All That Is Dark and Beautiful

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imageimageimageimageAutumn goes fast!! Sometimes it’s too full to keep track in words and posts, so here’s a quick cram session of all the things wonderful and a bit unbelievable that happened along with crunching leaves, bonfires, trick-or-treat, PTO Vice Presidency (shut up), soccer season, Apple Festival, a NINE YEAR Wedding Anniversary, a new legit job at A.L. Terry Jewelers, Back to the Future Pt 2 celebrations, reading amazing stories at Menacing Hedge…. you get the idea, things are booming!! In the midst of all that, there’s also this:

MORE!! At Booked.

Halloween means the annual Spookedtacular, and this year was a two hour NyQuil and beer fest of The Final Girls, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, urban legends, serial killers, and sincere love and vitriol splattered in all directions between Robb Olson, Livius Nedin, Jesse Lawrence and myself. Is a Christmas special coming, with the four of us? You bet! AND! At the beginning of 2016 while Robb and Liv take a Disney Cruise (or whatever it is they do when they can’t record) Craig Clevenger and I will be holding down the Booked. fort and co-hosting an episode ourselves. It should be hot. But more on that later! Click HERE to be taken to the Spookedtacular 2015,

Pantheon Magazine Winter Edition

A little sad, sweet piece of mine has been accepted at the lovely Pantheon Magazine. “Orphans” will appear in the “Hestia” edition. It’s a beautiful publication and I’m honored I’ll be found in its pages!

UPDATES for ‘Gutted: Beautiful Horror’ Table of Contents

If you don’t know what the anthology is about, click HERE to find out a little more about the depths of darkness and beauty coming from Crystal Lake publishing in 2016. It was incredible enough when I learned Neil Gaiman was on the roster, along with authors John F.D. Taff, Brian Kirk, and (one of my own) Richard Thomas – who needs a shout-out and huge thanks for tossing my name their way – THEN editors extraordinaire Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward announced on Halloween that along with all of us, Clive Barker will be including a story. It’s a bit surreal at this point, and I can’t wait to hear who’s announced next!  My story, “Cellar’s Dog,” is gangly and bizarre and pretty in its own way, and I’ll be forever grateful the editors could see what I saw when that black dog walked into those headlight beams.

So there you have it. The leaves are barely gone and already the Autumn is so full of goodness, I’m not sure where to go from here! Up? Or maybe I’ll just swim awhile. Float. Hug my lovelies and enjoy the laughter and the warmth. I think this is the top.

Thank you all so much for reading!

Amanda

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A Seriously Big Day

So.

I’ve had a lot of good news recently.

Let’s jump right in!

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In 2016, Crystal Lake Publishing is releasing an anthology called “Gutted: Beautiful Horror” that editors D. Alexander Ward and Doug Murano describe as “A series of stories that explores the tension between beauty and horror, wonder and terror, sorrow and transcendence. It’s a book of scars, regret and loneliness. But through it all, it’s a book where hope can still exist and beauty can still thrive.” They’ve only made a few Table of Contents announcements – four names thus far, to be exact, and they go as follows:

Neil Gaiman (you read that right)

Brian Kirk

John F. D. Taff

ME! YES, ME!!

The story they accepted is my much-labored-over, genre-crossing, over-long and painfully dear to me “Cellar’s Dog.” It clocks in at over 6k words and involves Appalachia, hounds, drugs, myth and the tiny glimmer of hope for redemption. I couldn’t be prouder that it’s this story out of everything I’ve written that will be included alongside these incredible people. And I can’t WAIT to find out who else will be in the book.

And! AND!

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Artwork by Brian Despain

The beautiful people over at Menacing Hedge are bringing me on as a Fiction Editor to sift and slush with Craig Wallwork, which is kind of like being asked to come over to best friend’s house to play as your JOB. I love Kelly Boyker and I love Craig, and it’s incredible to be helping choose the short fiction for a journal I submitted to with crossed fingers!

I’ll begin reading now-to-soon-ish, so send us your best!! The Fall Issue will be up soon with more specifics…

So.

I guess I’ll go to sleep, and see if this is still true in the morning.

Seriously, Autumn 2015, I frickin’ LOVE you….

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Well Hey, September

And in a blink, summer disappeared!

It’s cool, though. I’ve been selling jewelry and being Mom, and as the leaves get crinkly and the toads disappear I’ll slide back into my writer-bubble and my skin will feel settled again….

Speaking of!!

The last week I’ve had a good run.

Firstly, Kevin Catalano did an article for Entropy Magazine about 25 Badass Female Short Story Writers, and BOOM! I was in there. Click the link to the article for sure, because all these females kick some short story ass and there are links galore to their stories for proof of their prowess, including to my story “Teetotaler.”

5 + 20 Female Short Story Writers You Should Be Reading RIGHT NOW

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And then today I sorta accidentally found out my story “The Line Forms on the Right” from the Burnt Tongues anthology (edited by Chuck Palahniuk, Richard Rhomas and Dennis Widmyer, Medallion Press) was Long-Listed for the Best Horror of the Year, Volume 7, edited by Ellen Datlow. Not only were some of my bestest and most favorite writing peeps on the list, but also the likes of Caitlin Kiernan and Etgar Kerat! I fully realize there are a lot of names on there (it’s called a ‘long list’) but that’s just more good company to be in. Check this out:

Full Rec List – Best Horror of the Year,Volume Seven, edited by Ellen Datlow

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And of course get the ACTUAL REAL VOLUME SEVEN, it’s obviously amazing. As is Burnt Tongues, which had SEVEN stories on the long list!! The link for BT is in the Links tab above.

I’m a happy girl!!

More news to come, but we’ll talk about that in October. For now, I’ll leave you with a little Bobby Darin – the song that inspired my story in Burnt Tongues, and one of my favorites of all time.

Love to you all!! ❤️

 

 

First Frost

The trees are dripping orange-brown leaves, they sound like crumpled paper, and I can see the potential for winter to Not Completely Suck. Yes, I’m sick, but the fire is going and the sky is blue, blue, blue. And I have coffee and a 5 lb dog that thinks I folded the throw blanket just-like-that specifically as a bed for him, so things are okay.

I like this part, when the palettes shift. White grass and red leaves. A sparkle at the edge of the petrified leaves.

yes, I am full of purple prose this morning. Largely observational purple prose. pumpkins with witch hats cling to the windows, Cheshire Cat pajama pants, red coffee mug, quiet, schoolbus passing the window, wisps of clouds. Copper. That’s the best word to sum up the morning, to distill the rambling. Copper.

Happy November. Happy transition month. May your socks be warm and your skies blue.

 

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HALLOWEEN IS HERE! Family Trick or Treat & Booked. Spookedtacular!

Happy Halloween! It may be rainy and damp, but the weak light and various colds have not dampened spirits this week. Below, see what happens when my son says “Star Wars” and then listen to what happens when Booked. says “What plan? It’s Halloween!” Thanks for a helluva week.

Also, ‘sexy’ Han Solo is just Han Solo – dig my lean….

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Click the Booked. pumpkin to be transported to the SPOOKEDTACULAR!!

Click the Booked. pumpkin to be transported to the SPOOKEDTACULAR!!

 

 

What We Need Is More Phooootoooos….

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My Life is Pretty F#*king Great

Walmart is a necessary evil in my corner of the hills. Where else am i going to buy toilet paper in bulk, and deodorant at two for three dollars? But it has a way of sucking the life force right outta me. It drains me, makes me bitter, growly and ready to squinch my eyebrows together at the rest of the day. The cart feels 300 pounds and my soul is nearly empty by the time I leave. maybe on the way to a parking space a woman walks out in front of me and i have to slam on my brakes to avoid smashing both she and her toddler, and instead of waving a “Thanks for not smashing my inattentive self” she stands at my hood, cursing at me, trying to coax me out of the car so she can beat the hell out of me while her now-unattended toddler watches. maybe I see a thousand year old woman cart-check a man with his little kid so she can slide her overfilled cart into line before he can ring up his loaf of bread. Maybe while pushing my bulk toilet paper and cheap deodorant closer to escape, a carful of tweakers in a half-brokedown Corsica yell at me, over and over, about all of the different things they want to put in all the different places of my body.

by 10am, my day can feel ruined. There’s a carful of groceries to unload. A chihuahua that discovers, anew, each day, that indeed he has a voice and he is proud and will be heard! i’m not going to get by doing one load of laundry when there are clearly seven to be done, and the sink is full of dishes and the floor – that’s covered with matchbox cars – needs swept, and my husband thinks the hamper is a little pile next to the bed…

and my eyebrows are knitted. Because blah, that’s why. so i unload my groceries while washing a load of laundry and sweep the floor and try to get things done before i chance sitting down, and i go outside…

…to hang sheets on the line…

and the sky is blue, blue, blue as far as i can see. the clothesline is in a green yard, within sight of the horse pasture, and the horses are swishing their tails and grazing, behind me is a tiny little perfect house at the edge of a huge forest, and that’s where i get to live. there’s enough of a breeze that i’m beginning to smell Autumn in the air. the promise of it at least.

and inside the house is warm, and the cupboards are full, and the laundry and dishes and floors are dirty because family that was in town last week and i spent my time with them, cooking out, sitting around the firepit, going to the local fall festival with my husband and son to watch them spin themselves sick on rides while i ate fried food and waved.

and my son, he kissed me full on the mouth this morning and yelled “I love school!” before booking across the pavement, just a blur of Spiderman backpack and the orange soles of his shoes, running for kindergarten.

and my husband, of seven years come October, calls me things like “Mamasita” and “Pretty Pretty Princess” and yells things like “Shut up and write, why do you care if the dishes are dirty?” and links his ankle with mine when we sleep.

and there are pieces in my brain that magically crackle to life and create other worlds, and all i have to do is write them down. and show them to people if i want. and since i started showing them a few years ago, people started reading them. putting them in books with other stories. enjoying them. and the worlds and the words, they keep coming.

and my sister’s baby looks just like her, and she says “let’s spend time together,” and “i will read those chapters” and my mother and father sometimes have trouble walking, their hearts are so big.

and there are people stretched far and wide from down the road to across the globe that find me worth the time to converse with.

and. i. realize.

it’s late morning on a Tuesday, September 2013, and if my cup gets any more full of love and life and fresh air and human hearts and glow-in-the-dark paint, it will not runneth over, it will damn well collapse under the weight of all the things right in my world.

 

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