2016 Scares the Shit Out of Me

 

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Seriously.

It’s only the 2nd day of the year, nice easy Saturday night full of peppermint candy, Lana Del Rey and sleeping dogs.

Last night was Sherlock’s ‘The Abominable Bride’ (which was better than all of S3 put together, and I loved S3), and this afternoon was ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ with my almost-8-yr-old son in his Darth Vader sweatshirt and my cool-as-hell hubby (and it was GREAT! I was afraid to hope, after the prequels). So. I’m high on Moriarty and Chewbacca.

The year ahead lies sprawled in an almost impossible glowing light. These Lite Brite blips of things to come, and they seem too good to be true:

  • the first edition of Menacing Hedge I’ve worked on as full-fledged co-fiction editor with my incestuous sibling Craig Wallwork, out pretty much anytime – and conspiring with the beautiful crew there
  • more and more unbelievable announcements about the Gutted:Beautiful Horror anthology – just a lil ole book coming out this year with me in it….AND Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Paul Tremblay, Damien Angelica Walters, Richard Thomas…that’s not even all!! It’s just too hard to type out all the names, and they’re not even DONE with the ToC!
  • AWP LA, which I guess is some sort of “conference” or something, but whatever – I’ll be spending April Fool’s Day in California with the crew that welcomed me into the bosom of ‘Warmed and Bound’ nearly five years ago, only that crew times ten…ocean and bowling and books with some of the best people I’ve ever met or am about to
  • Tentative plans for a vast and ambitious family vacation that, worst case scenario, would take place next summer instead of this one
  • Tentative plans to finish a semi-vast and very-ambitious linked short story collection surrounding the concept of Frankenstein’s Monster and the freedom from the burden of chronological memory…that, worst case scenario, will be completed next summer instead of this one (it would take some massive laziness to drag out an entire extra year)
  • Jewelry – Jewelry!! Work!! They call it work, I call it a kitchen and laboratory full of adoptive family, gems, and magic lasers and elf-sized tools. They let me hang out there, and talk about movies and gold and life, and pay me for it…
  • my son and I have started the Harry Potter series, a mere two hours ago, and he’s into it
  • Richard Thomas has extracted a promise for a story from me for Gamut, which seems like something I should have to fight to get into
  • Craig Clevenger wants to podcast with me for a couple guest episodes of Booked.
  • My sister is going to give me another niece or nephew – another minion for my son!

Can I just stop there, and take a breath?

My fear is justified, yes?

Because this is my life, and I want to deserve it. I want to deserve the people and the love and the pictures in my brain and the roof over my head and the happiness,

and I don’t want to take a breath, or cough, for fear I’ll wake….

So, before I do, in this world now I want to say: I love you all. I appreciate you all. You’re heavy and light and wispy and warm in your love and support and confidence and laughter and conspiratorial smiles. My family, my friends, my work family, my writing , my reading compadres, my Sherlock-fiends, my fellow mothers of beautiful strong babes, my ladies in the shadows that whisper to me that I’m good enough.

Thank you. By the Stars and the Moonlight and the magic of breathing, I wish you all as beautiful a 2016 as you’ve made possible for me, just by being a part of my life.

-Amanda

 

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(Magical Shiny Shoes to dance through the year)

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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Video: Amanda Gowin at Sylvester Memorial Library

the video!!! took forever to get this mess uploaded. i realize it’s an hour long, but at least stick around long enough for the church fire anecdote… plus i read a story. mainly i ramble. but i think it turned out pretty well! 

‘Radium Girls’ at Sylvester Memorial Wellston Public Library

 

 

There are two main reasons I like the Wellston library:

 

1. The Summer Reading Program – below is my kid, today, leaving the Pool Party with his sack of goodies – they gave them PRIZES. And a PARTY. Just for reading books and attending programs to see Mr. Molecule, The Turtle Lady, animals from The Columbus Zoo… Oh yeah, it was a real chore, let me tell ya. So first off, if you’ve got a kid in grades K-5, take them to the Summer Reading Program next summer. You want them to grow up thinking books and learning are cool, right? Because they ARE, right?

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2. Sneaky Book Placement – I snapped the photo below while my son was watching magic tricks. DO YOU SEE THAT? That’s Victor Hugo, discreetly above Stephanie Meier (Meyer? Am I supposed to pretend to care?) in the Teen Paperback section. George Orwell was there, too. It was genius. One sneeze, and a lost tween could accidentally grab something worthwhile! These librarians impress me….

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Alright, so let’s get to the point, to the scary part.

Karen Davis, whom I suspect may be the head honcho, asked if I’d like to do an event/reading at this here library. She “discovered” me AKA decided to be kind to me when I was embarassedly (I know that’s probably not a word) and rapidly emailing friends to look at their copies of Radium Girls to find the ISBN so someone could request the book be carried. I received an email from her not long after. I was both shocked and flattered. And terrified. So I was three things, not both things…

Anyway. I’ve never been in front of an audience for anything like this for longer than ten minutes. Always part of a group, part of a larger event. Always with the advantage of tossing back a couple drinks first. And I don’t even drink! It’s just, you know, exposing that little bit of your soul to people that makes a little alcohol helpful before sliding onto stage…

Karen, I promise not to drink before this event!

It’ll last about an hour. I’ll probably read a story, and talk about writers in the area, and storytelling in general -because face it, Appalachians are natural storytellers. We’ve all got stories. We’ve all got history. I just happen to write stuff down. There will be cookies, prizes for Q&A and discussion participants, three paperback copies of Radium Girls as door prizes just for showing up, and books to buy if anyone is so inclined.

I’m really excited about this, so come hang out for an hour.

At the very least, you’ll get a cookie.

 

‘Radium Girls’ and Appalachian Storytelling

Featuring Amanda Gowin

Wednesday, August 13th at 6pm

Sylvester Memorial Wellston Public Library

135 E. Second St. Wellston, OH 45692

Suddenly it’s Summer and We’ve All Gone Insane!!

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Books & Booze (one of these things i like more than the other…)

A couple weeks ago, the lovely ladies of Books and Booze had me on for an interview – coffee and Nyquil were consumed. Llamas and novels were discussed. Check it out here!

http://www.books-booze.com/2013/10/25/bb-ep-66-amanda-gowin/

Thanks, Renee and Jessica!!

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