A Lot Has Happened!

I know, I know. It looks like I’m making things up again, Arnold, but hear me out. I am so sorry for not coming back and updating you all on anything. Bad Cherish! *Cue flogging scene in Sweeney Todd when Judge Turpin punishes himself.*

Okay, that was a bit dramatic, but am I forgiven? Yeah? Alright!

First thing first, I am a college graduate! Last month I was able to walk in my school’s commencement ceremony, although, I’m taking two online classes this summer to make it official tissue!

Second thing, I’ll hopefully be starting my first job not as a student soon. This is very much daunting, but it’s also very much necessary. I’m lucky this job allows me to work in my field (sort of) and will definitely be a plus should I apply to grad school. I think I might be headed in that direction.

Third, after months of not being able to write for Etta & Emmylou, I managed to rewrite chapter twenty and start chapter twenty-one. Let me tell you, chapter twenty-one isn’t moving as easily and not for the same reason as previous chapters. I think I may be a bit scared of ending this thing. Chapter twenty-one is so emotional, I actually have to stop every few lines and give myself a pep talk. I definitely wasn’t expecting it to hit me this hard, but there’s some real Elphaba and Glinda changed for the better feels. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can watch it here.

Fourth, and this may be the most important update, “The Trees Won’t Tell” has been chosen for publication at Kweli Journal! I knew this for a while, but I didn’t know when until a few days ago. It’s being considered for either the June 2017 or October 2017 issue. I think it’s safe to say that it’ll be featured in the October issue because of some edits that are in order. I’m actually a bit nervous about the editing process, though I’m always open to making my stories the best that it can be. I can’t wait to share more about this publishing venture that I’m on. There are still some details I’d like to clear up before I say more. I figured since I haven’t updated in a little while I might as well spill something.

Next post will be a booktrack for sure.

Until then,



Looking For A Blog To Follow?

Hey internets!

I can’t believe that it’s May! Crazy!


Anyway, I’m here to share a blog by a new friend of mine, Fanni! We met on Scribophile where she was just so warm and kind and encouraging about my writing. She’s definitely someone you want to follow. I have a little interview to tell you why, just in case you like to make informed decisions and don’t randomly follow people. Even if they are incredibly talented and overall awesome.

But first thing first, Fanni Sütő is a writer, poet, dreamer who believes in fairy tales even if they are dark, disenchanted and deconstructed. She writes about everything which comes in her way or goes bump in the night. She has been published in Hungary, the US, the UK and Australia.



Here’s Fanni!


You can find her on her blog: www.inkmapsandmacarons.com

Twitter: @Fanni_Pumpkin

Instagram: Parisiantreasures

Do you plan on using an illustrator? What sort of artist do you imagine would be best for your story?

I love cross-art projects. I’ve been working with an illustrator, for example he designed the cover for my bilingual short story collection and I wrote him poems for one of his artistic projects. I also had some of my short stories published on The Story Shack where you’re paired up with an illustrator. I really enjoyed that. I think I’d be best matched with an illustrator who is a bit dreamy, dark and Gothic in the vein of Dave McKean or Chris Riddell. I’m not too picky though, I’m happy to work with anybody nice. So if there is an illustrator out there reading this who would be interested in working on a project together, please get in touch, I’d be very happy to hear from you

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

Yes. Although we all know the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” I think the aesthetics still matter a lot. If you wander into a bookshop with no special book in mind, you will reach for the book that catches your eye. It’s sad but true. So I hope one day when my novel is ready to become a book, it will have a nice cover.

Have you written works in collaboration with other writers, and if so: why did you decide to collaborate and did it affect your sales?

I wrote a novella called The Gift of the Sea, together with my dearest writing friend, Gabriella Szaszkó (check out her writing here) It was very exciting because she writes dark realist fiction or horror, I write light-hearted realist fiction of fantasy. However, our styles merged well and we learned a lot from writing together. We published the story for free on our respective blogs so I don’t know if it would have affected the sales… I’m always open to collaborations, serious or just for fun, again if anybody out there is interested, feel free to get in touch!

If you could retire into any fictional world, which would it be?

Probably one of Jane Austen’s novels. I could go to balls, read books and maybe have my very own park.

What literary character is most like you?

Hermione Granger. Elizabeth Bennet, Georgia Nicholson, Eowyn


So? What are you waiting for?! Get to following! You won’t be disappointed.

I’ll be back soon with more booktrack.


Paper Roses

In celebration of my finishing chapter twenty of my WIP, I thought I would come share another song from my booktrack! *Skims to chapter six* Let’s see… Ah!

‘Paper Roses’ by Anita Bryant, who apparently was a huge homophobe. Very disappointing, but not a shocker.


anita bryant

Anita Bryant


Truthfully, I don’t think I ever heard the song before stumbling on it. I just like what it symbolizes. Chapter six follows a very heavy, very emotional chapter. Emmylou is doing her best to stay strong for the masses, but Jake is still hanging around doing his best good guy act. All the girls seem to lean on him for support, but Emmylou isn’t fooled. She thinks Jake is a big fake, playing up his actions so everyone will warm up to him and eventually the idea of letting the girls sing in the show. He’s kind of a superhero in this chapter. Doing the impossible. From the novel:

I can’t tell if he really cares for the Jacksons, for Lee, or if he did all that for himself. And I know it won’t do no good me bringing it up. Seems like everyone done made up they mind ‘bout him anyway. He’s not fooling me with those paper roses.

Ergo, paper roses. Pretty to look at, but it ain’t real. It’s all a front. Useless.

Ironically, real roses aren’t that great. They die so quick. But they are beautiful flowers. If not a bit common. Also, I don’t know when I became a flower snob. I’m not, I swear!

Soon I shall be back with good news! Soon I shall be back with more booktracks!

Stay tuned,


I’m Getting There…

Wherever there is.

In pure me fashion, I’ve managed to hit a bit of a snag in my writing. (i.e. my story that I was using to get out of my original WIP’s writer’s block is now giving me writer’s block.) Well, let’s not call it writer’s block, I’ve honestly just not have the chance to write what’s on my mind.

There is another Scribophile contest that I had wanted to enter and while I have an idea/character/somewhat of a plot, those words aren’t piecing themselves together as I would like. Luckily, I’ve come up with another story. It doesn’t fit the contest’s requirements, but it’s something I could potentially send out for future publication. Maybe.

Speaking of publication, I’m sitting on some possible publication news, but I won’t say anything more about that until I’m 100% sure. Perhaps one day I can spill all the beans. It has to do with my flash fiction turned short story turned possible novel, but to be safe, let’s call it a novella. Actually, let’s call it what I titled it: “The Trees Won’t Tell.”

Things are heating up in Gussie’s world. And the poor girl can’t tell if her life is getting worse or better. To be honest, that’s kind of how I’m feeling these days. I’m thinking it’s all going to work out for Gussie. Maybe not how she originally planned it all, but it’ll work out.

Here is Gussie btw.


Okay, it’s not her, her, but this is who I picture when I write for Gussie. Only slightly younger, as Gussie’s supposed to be sixteen. At first I was only using the picture to help describe her hairstyle, but I fell in love. Whoever this young lady is, she’s gorgeous. No wonder Erroll would move a mountain for her. Let me tell ya, he has some mountains to move. Like his no good Mama, for one. Oh, and he had to stop his schooling. Not to mention he doesn’t get to see his baby sister, or any of his siblings everyday. Miss Gussie Hicks doesn’t always make it easy for him, but I don’t think he’d have it any other way.

I’m still not sure if Gussie’s story is a romance or a drama. Can it be both? I know it started off as pure romance and it still does have it moments of pure romantic gooeyness, but things have also gotten darker. There’s an incredible amount of tension taking over.

Maybe I shouldn’t worry about such things. Perhaps it’s time I focus on finishing first.

At the rate I’m going, “The Trees Won’t Tell” will be complete before Etta & Emmylou! But not to fear! I have made it a personal goal of mine to finish chapter twenty before the month of April is caput. Oddly, I feel confident I can do it. Not saying it’ll be my best chapter I’ve penned, but I’m optimistic I’ll have something to hate by the time May 1st arrives.

Wish me luck!



Next up in the Booktrack’s jukebox is “Yesterdays.”

Oooooh, this is an oldie for sure. It was written in 1933 I believe. Although, for the book, I had in mind Ms. Lady Day herself.



Billie “Lady Day” Holiday



Billy Holiday just has that tragic tone to her voice. And no wonder too, because if you google her life, you’d know it was tragic. I think it would be cool to use her life a bit and create a story around it. Maybe I’ll get to it one day. If you haven’t already, you should here Audra McDonald as Billie Holiday. You’d think you were hearing a recording of Billie herself!

Without giving too much away, chapter four ends on such a high note, naturally I have to find a way to dash it all. What happens in chapter five sits with the girls for the remainder of the story. It’s kind of the driving force for all that they do. At least for Emmylou. Etta too at some point. But definitely Pearl.

Don’t stay melancholy for too long. I’m feeling very talkative about my flashshortnovel. I suppose I’ll be back to spill about that.

Ta, ta!


Writing Sprints!

Hey internets!

Midterms happened and then before I knew it, I neglected the blog a bit. So I got a lot to catch up on! I’m back with a story, though. As you all know, I’m a part of an online critique community called Scribophile. It’s great. A bit of what makes the website so awesome are the many groups you can join within the community. They reflect different writing genres and interest etc. I joined a lot of the YA themed groups as I primarily write YA fiction. One of these groups in particular has these weekly sprints. Basically, you get a quote of some kind and you have three hundred words or less to create a YA themed piece of micro fiction.

About a week or so ago I had a little free time and I decided to join in on one of the sprints, since I hadn’t done one in a while. Let me tell you, I’m so glad I did. I am tickled by my piece. Absolutely tickled. So I’m going to share it right now!

Here was my prompt/quote:

“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”

—Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park

Here’s what I came up with:

How’d I get here? Missing lunch to read to this dumbass so he won’t fail. So he can finish up his math homework real quick and won’t be embarrassed when Mr. Hunter assigns him a number to do on the board, and he can’t.

“If you quit looking around at everything, you’d finish and I wouldn’t need to read to you like a toddler,” I tell him.

“I know, but that book is so boring!”

“It’s only boring because you refuse to read it.”

“Babe, come on. Don’t argue with me,” he sighs. “Alright. Just do this one last time for me. Please.” He’s got all the eyelashes in the world, and they all bat at me.

“Fine.” I give in. I turn back to the book and continue on. “Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.

He throws down his pencil like I read his father’s last will and testament and he didn’t get a single thing. “What in the actual fuck does that even mean?”

“Seriously, language.” I hate that about him. Cursing to be cursing. At least I curse in context.

“Babe. But what does it mean?”

“You need to figure that out, not me,” I tell him. “That’s what Humphries is gonna ask you. I can’t tell you. What do you think?”

I actually see a lightbulb go off over his head.

“I think it means she’s ugly.” He laughs. He teeters back in his chair. “Oh shit, he called her ugly!”

He laughs and laughs. I just sit here. Why am I like this?

“Yo, Amanda!” he calls across the library.

“What?” she asks.

“You look like art!”


Tell me, what do you think? I know I’m just surprised it’s contemporary and not a southern historical voice. Actually, I think all my sprints end up contemporary. Hmm.The sprints are great, though! They really help to get your juices flowing, they offer a little break from your larger projects, and they’re just really fun! You guys should try it sometime.

Oh, and we haven’t had a booktrack post in a while. I better get to it!



I’m In the Wrong Story

Can I be real a second? And by real I mean really confused. Perhaps you guys can remedy this and explain to me, why the WIP that inspired this blog in the first place, isn’t my top priority anymore? And by priority I mean actively writing. Because it’s always on my mind. They’re always on my mind. I smile at the thought of these two girls I’ve created and I want nothing more than to share Etta and Emmylou with the world, but I just can’t write for them as of late.

True story, as of right now, I have them stuck in a door frame. They deserve so much more than to be stuck in a google document, let alone stuck in a door frame! How’d I get here? I mean, how did I get so far just to not hate everything I attempt to write? It’s gotten so bad, I can’t write for them at all. All I do is think about what I should be writing. I just can’t connect the dots.

Ask me about my short story, will ya?

Oh that old thing? It’s going great. It went from flash fiction, to short story, and now I’m expanding it to a novella/novel. I’m not sure which just yet. I literally can’t stop writing it! I mean that’s good right? Any writing is good writing I suppose. And I was thinking and surfing the internet and stuff and found that Harper Collins has an imprint that focuses on YA romance. It’s an eBook imprint only, but they are looking for novellas.

In a perfect world I think I’ll polish it, send it off to them, get published and be able to mention it when I query Etta and Emmylou. If I ever get Etta and Emmylou back up and running. And I sure hope I do, ’cause that mock query I wrote is looking really useless right about now.


Alright, alright. I got it. Thanks, Edna.

You know what? This is temporary. I’m still writing. I still have the interest of an agent. Say what now? Did I neglect to mention that? Well it’s true.

A little while ago I asked agent Caitie Flum if a story that takes place in the 1960s was considered historical on twitter. It seems dumb, but honestly there’s a lot of opinions on the matter. I thought a story was considered historical if there was more or less a history lesson involved somewhere. Etta & Emmylou just takes place in the early 60s. I don’t go into the social climate or mention any key figures of the times. Anyway, Ms. Flum told me that even the 90s are considered historical fiction these days. Like the 1990s. And then it dawned on me, in like a hundred years I’ll be that girl who was born in the last decade before a new century…

I got off topic again!

The main thing is, she was like all, “A YA historical in the 60s?”

And I was all, “Yeah with African-American conjoined twins.”

Then she was like, “It better be in my inbox when it’s ready.”

In my head I was like:


But then I said, “Of course!”

That being said, it’s been about a month and she probably forgot about me. LOL. And this post got a bit long. I better get going.

Shouldn’t be too long,


I’m Published!

Oh what a celebration we’ll have today! Thank Goodness!


You read the title right. I’m announcing my first creative writing publication! Kind of. Not since high school have I been published, but I’m international now. You can now find my poem, “Tabitha’s Babies” in The Quarterday Review, Imbolc 2017 issue, alongside my friend, Sonora!


I’m over the moon excited! I’ve ordered ten copies. TEN. Got myself a hardcover one, too. They should be here in a few weeks, as they’re coming from the UK. Sounds fancy, right? Looks even fancier. It’s such a beautifully put together issue. But don’t just take my word for it. You can read my poem in the link. I’m on page 53, and prefaced by a wonderful abolitionist drawing. It compliments “Tabitha’s Babies” really well, which is an odd thing to say given the subject matter of my poem.

Nonetheless, I know how hard it is to find a home for your writing. And while I happened to be in the right place at the right time, I’m so honored and pleased and excited to be included. This is my first poem ever. I’m not sure how often first time writers, especially in a medium they don’t practice is chosen and recognized, but I’m betting not that often. So I’m thankful for that. This is a big deal.

In the meantime, I’ll be over here trying not to float away or smile too wide.

Thanks for letting me brag!


Wah Watusi/Gee Whiz

In this week’s jukebox, I have two songs!.

First up, “Wah Watusi” by the Orlons.


It was one of my favorites to incorporate into the text. I’ve since revised chapter four so the lyrics aren’t in them, but I still love the song. I don’t want to give away too much, as what happens is a big deal and makes thing difficult throughout the rest of the chapters, but I will say it’s the first time Emmylou sings. And it’s to Etta! Apparently it’s one of Etta’s favorite songs. After “Mama Said” of course.

Oh I just love it! It’s so… catchy!

Here’s Wednesday Addams doing the Watusi with Lurch!watusi

Next up is “Gee Whiz” by Carla Thomas.


The romantic in me swoons when I hear this song. I get a similar reaction when I hear Santo & Johnny’s “Sleepwalk”, but Carla’s voice is top notch. If I’m not mistaken she was fifteen when she wrote this. Fifteen years old. What boy was on her mind? Maybe her own Erroll Harris? Anyway, by the end of the chapter Etta’s feeling better and Pearl and Jake have joined the girls in their bedroom. Carla’s voice comes floating through the radio’s speakers and Pearl and Etta accompany her. Again, much to Emmylou’s horror. Or added horror. She’s still in a little bit of a rage having Jake see her in her night clothes!

Little WIP update: I’ve started chapter 20! Finally! I hit a little bit of a dry spell, but I’m back at it. Sort of. Still trying to get this short story in order before I delve back into it. I can see the ending. I can smell the ending. It smells like satisfaction…and what took you so long? Seriously. I think it’s been a year since I wrote the first chapter of Etta & Emmylou!

But it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Right?



I really can’t believe how this year is panning out already. I’m feeling good. Better than good actually. That’s a little inside joke I have with myself about a short story I wrote, that I absolutely adore and—I’m getting off topic! *clears throat* I placed second in another Scribophile contest!

Omigod you guys! (Can we take a minute to appreciate there were two quick changes in the first song of the show alone?)

Anyway, back to my writing! It was a Valentine’s Day/love themed contest. All I had to do was feel some kind of love and keep it brief. This was my first go at flash fiction too. Why didn’t anyone tell me how cool flash fiction is?

I LOVE and I do mean love that piece that I entered. And not just because it won me some cash and happy feelings, but because it inspired me to write a short story. Why didn’t anyone tell me how cool short stories are?! I couldn’t let my love birds go. I had to explore their relationship further. Now, I LOVE the short story so much, that I’m going to try to find a home for it. Actually, once I’m done with Etta & Emmylou I’ve decided to make them my new project. I’ve got plans! Yay me!


The original flash piece is called, The Trees Won’t Tell. It’s about 20 words shy of 1,000 words and in the description I have one sentence: If Erroll kisses Gussie in the forest and only the trees witness it, are they in love?

Well, are they? You can bet your bottom dollar they are! The short story is about 7,000 words. As of now, I’m just calling it Gussie & Erroll, but when I send it off, I’ll put it all under the flash piece’s title. It follows Gussie as she and Erroll struggle to advance their relationship and get into “trouble.” In pure Music Man fashion, oh she’s got trouble… With a capital T, and that rhymes with E, and that stands for Erroll! Here’s my little blurb about it:

Gussie loves Erroll and he loves her back. So much in fact she may be his wife one day. That is if they can ever get some time alone. What with his mama’s issues and Gussie’s mama not wanting her to get in “trouble.”

Oh yeah, I go there. I was blushing writing some parts too, but readers tell me it’s still PG-13. I guess I’m just sensitive. 😛

It’s was a bit of a challenge writing about the more sensitive aspects of being a teenager and having the urge to merge. As Matthew Broderick told us in The Producers, “the urge to merge can rob us of our senses.” I wanted to stay true to the times. Oh, did I neglect to mention it’s historical? In my head it’s 1939. Finding euphemisms to support the sketchy knowledge of the past and an impressionable, sheltered country girl, and keeping it YA has been interesting. But I lurvvvve it!

Did I mention I’m in love with this story?

Here’s hoping I can find someone willing to give Gussie and Erroll a home. If/when it does happen I’ll be sure to let you all know. Speaking of finding homes for my work, remember I told you guys about my prose poem, Tabitha’s Babies? Well, I saw the proofs for the review that’s publishing it and I’m still speechless. It’s so pretty! And it has this s’wonderful illustration to go with it. I’m so honored. I should be able to share a link soon!

Well that was a mouthful! If you’re still reading, I’ll check ya later,