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! 

i like girls

two black notebooks

back to school time at walmart i bought 2 blank cheapo notebooks, black, for 15 cents apiece while wailing “no wonder there are no trees!! paper is so CHEAP!!” and a package of good black pens, with no particular motive in mind, only knowing that clean notebooks and blank paper are amazing things to have and touch, and even better once they’ve been bled all over with nice slippery rollerball ink.

over the last few days, adam and i have been working together.

 in the front of MY black notebook i’ve sketched character thumbnails, chapter overviews, questions to myself, and at the back i’ve begun feedback notes. eventually this will meet in the middle in a huge and frustrating crash, and i will be forced to spend possibly a quarter for another notebook.

in the front of ADAM’S black notebook are pretend letters. he sits very carefully at his desk with a tupperware tray containing an assortment of his selected favorite markers, crayons and ink pens, and works. some of it is lettering, he tells me what it says, then he turns the page and draws powerpuff girls, and lakes, and dinosaurs, and mommy and daddy and heather. his pages are beautiful and colorful, while mine are SO monochrome.

but we do so enjoy working together.

it’s nice to be writing again. it’s nice to be working with beth again. it’s nice to attempt organization. it’s nice to read and discuss. simple thing, to talk about the thing you love, but i don’t know how often any of us do it. talk about it, or actually do the thing itself. i am shedding my sheepishness like an ill-fitting, itchy snakeskin – i’m tired of shrugging or mumbling about photography when people ask what i DO.  i fucking WRITE, damnnit. i’m memorizing everything you say and the way your hair is two different shades and looking at you in the eyes, because someday i will remember the names of those two colors and they could be useful. i will think long and hard about why you broke eye contact if you did, and that might also be useful.

i’ve been doing this since before they began to teach cursive writing in grade school, and though i never stuck with the cursive, i stuck with this – secretly,shamefully, furtively, squirreling away my notebooks and drafts and scraps of paper and printed pages as though it were my kit. i hid my notebooks as well as i hid bowls, papers, cellophanes, screens….

i will force eric into a kitchen chair, strap him to it with that roll of pink duct tape, and make him scroll with his nose until he’s caught up. the walls are coming down on our false language barrier, little by little our actual vocabularies are creeping in as opposed to our everyday everyone else vocabularies.

i have one week to make my sister read all this. maybe she will stumble across this and know that i plan to assault her with thousands of words….

balloons

the car is full of  balloons for adam’s big-boy-wearing-underpants semi-party. yellow cake, brown candles…. he’ll love it. he slowed down long enough to talk to me on the phone this morning for about 15 seconds, he was teaching Papa his numbers (apparently it’s the craziest thing in the world that my dad doesn’t know his numbers, so my kid has appointed himself tutor – love my dad for that) and didn’t really have time for a break from his lessons. we’ll have a hard time getting him home tonight, especially once he’s full of cake and ice cream.

the sky is flat grey. my organs are doing battle with each other, i think. there’s the feeling of jostling around for space. my eyeballs and brain seem to want the same space in my head. it’s the sky, i think. and bad sleep forever. and ever and ever. as soon as the sky breaks open i’ll start breathing normally again.

bellah is really starting to show. i am getting preposterously excited about a litter of illegitimate puppies…. maybe i should just put ribbons around their necks and hand them out as gifts to family members – mwahahaha. a fat black puppy with a red ribbon. nothing is cuter. 

no ending for this. being more promiscuous with my stories, just handing them out whenever someone shows interest. nudity.

balloons. cake. ice cream. grey sky. saturday.

Guy Fawkes Day

weird friday shakes today – my brain is exhausted i think – plus i think i’m hallucinating, because i could SWEAR it’s snowing. what the fuck? i have to press my face on the window and let my jaw hang for a moment while i assess this situation…..

well, i think it WAS snowing.

the outsides of my wrists and the underside of my mandible (falling into top 5 favorite words of all time) are red from scratching, another sign of exhaustion. luckily i cut my nails way down so i’m not actually scratching myself. i just get so ITCHY when the battery light comes on. feel like that creepy running-down teddy ruxpin voice is going to come out every time i open my mouth, or the sound a tape makes when you fast-forward it – WWWHHHHEEEEEEEEE – shudders and bursts before randomness dissolves into nothing.  i’m repeating myself to the kiddo – i can tell because he doesn’t want to play with me, he’s content to just play cars, drums, and just throw me those exasperated toddler looks now and then when i suggest something unappealing. tonight is grandparent night, he’s ready for a break from me anyway.

birds and birds on the wires. the flocks of blackbirds have been moving through the last two days, moving like schools of fish.

gonna break into a ramble, better wrap this up. it’s friday. there’s a netflix movie in the mailbox, it’s either robin hood (eric’s pick) or equus (combo pick).  tonight i’ll sleep. tomorrow i’ll sleep in, then watch judi dench in my pajamas with a cup of coffee, and by afternoon i should have most of my brain matter gathered back up. some of it’s in the bathroom, some under the bed, a LOT is stuck in between the keys on this keyboard, and the rest is on the bottom of all our shoes….

close to fragmenting. have to stop internet communication for the weekend, everything comes out wrong when i’m tired. this is all coming out wrong. sounds like a major deal when it’s just an average burnout from a long 2 weeks. i’ll be 5X5 tomorrow.

WHAT DOES 5X5 ACTUALLY MEAN?? where did that come from? is it about a square??? anyway, time to burn some effigies or blow something up, all depends on which side i decide to choose for the day – american film version or popular british version. normally i side with whatever includes the most fire, but this really is a can’ t lose situation.

off-kilter

having one of those days where i do everything just a little bit wrong. not huge fuck-ups, just the accidentally ambiguous phrase in an easily mis-readable tone in phone calls – wrong word choices in face to face conversations, eye contact on the wrong beat -tired words fall off my fingers and into typed descriptive paragraphs, too many adjectives, cut them all and it reads like catalog copy – put the cup ALMOST on the counter, make a slow grab, just enough to bat it even harder into the linoleum, crack instead of chip.

bleeding out the wrong veins, listening with the wrong ear, and talking out the wrong side of my mouth.

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