I haven’t been here on the old blog in a while. A lot’s happened since my last post. Mostly, I had some major anxiety that I needed time to work through, and I found myself on the other side of it last week. As I said on Twitter this past week, it was as though I was suddenly looking up at a clear blue sky with soft autumn breezes on my face.

In the interim, I’ve sold a tiny story that is yet to be published, and I’ve had a poem (my first!) accepted by a different publication. No details on when it will be published, but it should be in the world by the end of 2024. (That’s publishing, folks. It takes lots of patience.)

Also, just this week, I had a story accepted and published in Flame Tree Press’s Fiction Newsletter. I wrote the story a while ago for an anthology call, and it kept getting rejected. I wasn’t sure if it was right for any magazine and almost trunked it, but then, I discovered Flame Tree Press’s monthly flash fiction “contests.” In each newsletter, they announce a theme for the next month’s newsletter and ask writers to submit flash stories based on the theme. Then, they select two stories to appear in that month’s newsletter. It’s a paying market, and I think this was my very first pro sale, meaning they pay at what are considered professional industry rates.

Their theme for October was “Dream Walker,” and I when I saw that, I realized I had already written a story about a couple of dream walkers, one of them from Faerie. The story also has air ship pirates, actual ship wrecks, and a dream seascape. It’s probably the wildest and coolest thing I’ve ever written, which is why I wondered if it would ever find a home. I was so thrilled when Flame Tree Press accepted it! Sometimes, a story just needs to sit and wait a bit before it finds its shining moment.

“When Dreams Do Show Me Thee” is currently available to read in Flame Tree Press’s newsletter, and it will appear on their website some time in the next month. I’m excited for everyone to read it!

That’s really all I have for now regarding my writing, except that I just wrote a story over the past three days that I think is probably the best thing I’ve ever written. I had to get through the anxiety/depressive slump before I could find that spark of creativity I needed to remind me how much I love this process.

Despite all the rough, terrible things occurring in the world, there have been some really great things happening for me (like more work on a cosplay project that has been super challenging). I hope you, my dear readers, are finding a bit of happiness in your lives as well, or at least, some ease and rest.

Please, take care of you. And as always, thanks for reading.

A. Cook

Amanda Cook is a writer and stay at home mom who lives in a southern Indiana woods with her spouse, kids, and one clingy dog. In the Before Times (and sometimes even now), she could/can be found helping out with her kids' school, catching up on her toppling TBR pile, playing games with her friends, hanging out at virtual conventions, crying over period dramas, or sewing yet another cosplay. Her second novel, "When We Were Forgotten," was the winner of the 2018 Bronze Medal for Best Sci-fi/Fantasy/Horror E-Book from the Independent Publisher Book (IPPY) Awards. She writes short speculative fiction and poetry that can be found at various markets and here on her blog.

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