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This is my favorite picture from the Someone Wicked Publication Celebration at Newark Arts Alliance on Saturday, where eight of my fellow authors and I performed excerpts of twenty stories from the spectacular Someone Wicked Written Remains anthology.

 

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photo by Justynn Tyme

I had a blast at the event – loved talking with friends and fans, loved listening to the stories,  and loved performing.  I even slipped into a southern drawl during my performance of Chantal Noordeloos’ “Mirror Mirror” – something I hadn’t planned to do, but the dialog seemed to invite it, so I rolled with it.

Unfortunately, though, this is going to be one of those memories I avoid revisiting in pictures because of how I look.  I’ve lost half of my pregnancy weight in just 10 weeks, but for me, as with many women, it’s hard to look at HOW we look with anything but a glass-half-empty mentality.

Weight has always been the Achilles’ Heel to my ego.  I was fat as a kid, and tormented for it, and turned into an anorexic teenager to make up for it.  Even after I found my ideal weight, my height has always made me feel like a giant compared to other women.  It’s been a lifelong challenge to embrace my body type, to love who I am inside AND out.  Add *cough*-ty pounds of baby weight, I end up feeling like a holiday float.

So when I look at the pictures from my reading, I don’t see a lady who is already halfway back to her pre-pregnancy figure.  I see a holiday float in front of a microphone.

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photo by Robert Lutz

But that’s ok.  Looking back through my old journals, I reminded myself that it took eight months to lose the weight from my first child (which is fair, I think, since it took ten months to put it on!) Thanks to nursing and a whole foods diet, I also lost *cough*-ty extra pounds, so that by the time my son had his first birthday I was sleek and happy in my size 10 jeans – just right for my type.

I’m hoping to do the same thing this time around.  I’m eating healthy whole foods again,  aspiring to exercise (heh), and watching the weight come down in a natural way (read: slow).  In the meantime, I’m trying to be kind to myself.  I’m enjoying my baby girl.  I’m embracing the things that I love, like writing.  Like performing.  I may never be able to gaze at those pictures of me at the mic with a warm fuzzy feeling, even when (and if) I lose the weight… but at least I’ll have the memories.  Float or no float, I did go to that party, I did get up to that mic, and I did do my thing.  And it was awesome.

I think that’s key to a full life: you don’t HAVE to love every inch of yourself, but you do need to be kind to you, and love you as a whole.  You need your whole self to show up, after all.  If you’re half-glassing it, you’re only half living.

I do need to get a babysitter, though, so I can get myself to that salon.    Note to self.  A nice cut and color can do wonders for self-love.

 

Last week I promised some exciting news.  As the heading suggests, I have THREE very important announcements, the first of which is:

 

Emerging Artist Fellowship, Honorable Mention

 

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This year I was thrilled to learn that I have been awarded Honorable Mention for the 2014 Emerging Artist Fellowship, sponsored by the Delaware Division of the Arts.  My application was in the Literature:Fiction category, and included excerpts from my novels TO THE TOUCH (currently in submissions) and COVENANT (in progress).  My work was recognized from among 115 participating artists from my home state.

The Delaware Division of the Arts is an agency of the State of Delaware. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support artists and arts organizations, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. Funding for Division programs is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware State Legislature, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

I have a lot of announcements to make in the days to come, including an explanation for why this blog has been quiet for so long (it’s a good one, I promise!).

In the meantime, please accept my belated congratulations to my friends and colleagues at The Written Remains Writers Guild and Smart Rhino Publications for the release of our much-anticipated anthology, SOMEONE WICKED, now available in print and e-book editions at Amazon.com.

206_SomeoneWicked_Amy_1“Avaricious, cruel, depraved, envious, mean-spirited, vengeful—the wicked have been with us since the beginnings of humankind. You might recognize them and you might not. But make no mistake. When someone wicked crosses your path, your life will never be the same. Do you know someone wicked? You will.

The 21 stories in the Someone Wicked anthology were written by the members of the Written Remains Writers Guild and its friends, and was edited by JM Reinbold and Weldon Burge.”

Someone Wicked is an eclectic web of stories spun around the central theme of evil incarnate, with a diversity of genre and style that is the hallmark of Smart Rhino Publications (and good anthologies everywhere).  The authors featured in this collection include veteran storytellers as well as virgin word-wrights for whom Someone Wicked is a first-time publication.  Contributors include:

  • Gail Husch – Reckonings
  • Billie Sue Mosiman – The Flenser
  • Mike Dunne – The Fire of Iblis
  • Christine Morgan – Sven Bloodhair
  • Ramona DeFelice Long – The Chances
  • Russell Reece – Abracadabra
  • Carson Buckingham – The Plotnik Curse
  • Chantal Noordeloos – Mirror Mirror
  • Patrick Derrickson – The Next King
  • Barbara Ross – Home Improvements
  • JM Reinbold – Missing
  • Shaun Meeks – Despair
  • Liz DeJesus – Sisters: A Fairy Tale
  • Doug Blakeslee – The Flowering Princess of Dreams
  • Justynn Tyme – The Semi-Aquatic Blue Baker of Borneo
  • Ernestus Jiminy Chald – The Tail of Fate
  • Weldon Burge – Right-Hand Man
  • Joseph Badal – Ultimate Betrayal
  • Maria Masington – Impresario
  • L.L. Soares – Sometimes the Good Witch Sings to Me

and – hey, that’s me! –

  • Shannon Connor Winward – The Devil Inside.

Interested in learning more?  Someone Wicked is being featured at The Mortuary, an online forum dedicated to the horror genre in all its forms.  Creep over to the discussion to see what readers and authors are saying about the Someone Wicked stories.

By the way, the illustration for the cover for Someone Wicked (which I absolutely LOVE) was created by Jamie Mahon and designed by Amy York.  Learn more about all the Someone Wicked, as well as news and updates, over at www.SmartRhino.com.

 

 

So we had a blast at Hummingbird to Mars, the host venue for Wednesday’s “Seduction” by Poetry With a Point.  Hummingbird to Mars is a quaint little speakeasy-themed venue above a local watering hole.  A perfect date-night destination – we definitely plan to go back for their regular jazz performances.

Love to my writing friends who came out to support me. I need to give a shoutout also to our waiter, who enabled me expertly with that third mixed drink.

Poetry with a Point provided an eclectic range of performances, including a lecture on how to be effectively seductive from a sexologist (fun word to type, btw), standup comedy from the gigolo’s perspective, live music (+ opera!), sexy as hell persona poetry by “Leonard Cohen”, and me trying to be classy with an iffy sound system. But you ain’t seen nothing ’til you’ve seen the Cockney Choir. Good times. And I got a t-shirt.

I may or may not have video to provide later – technology is a funny thing.  In the meantime, some photos of me in my Anna Akhmatova-inspired guise, courtesy of my darling husband:


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Poetry with a point

“Seduction”

September 18, 2013

Hummingbird to Mars, Catherine Rooney’s, Trolley Square

I am very excited to announce my upcoming performance with POETRY WITH A POINT – an intimate poetry/performance salon held semi-annually at Hummingbird to Mars, in Trolley Square, Wilmington, Delaware.

With “Seduction” as the evening’s theme, I will be reading as celebrated Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, from her early work.  Sometimes referred to as “the Muse of Keening” – and criticized by revolutionist Russia as “a nun and a whore” – Anna’s poetry often explored themes of passion, grief, and spiritual guilt.  Her work is deeply moving, sensory… and slyly seductive.

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“We’re all drunkards here.  Harlots…. O my heart, how you yearn for your dying hour/
and that woman dancing there will eternally burn.”
– A.A. from Rosary 1913

“Seduction”‘s lineup also includes local artists performing music, monologues, and poetry ranging from flirtatious to bawdy.  Poets, drunkards, and harlots welcome, though space is limited.

Doors open 6:30, Curtain time 7:00 PM

Hummingbird to Mars is a speakeasy themed venue located atop Catherine Rooney’s in Trolley Square. Just stop in the back of Rooney’s on 16th Street and press the intercom to enter a time of elegance, relaxation, and seduction.