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Archives: My Life

Dreams

Dreams

It’s been hard to write lately as I’ve been super busy with work and other projects. I finished another revision of Cult (upcoming) and a script for issue 3 of the Olympia Heights comic. I built a website for my mother-in-law and I’m helping build another website to commemorate the one year anniversary of the Charleston Shooting. TLDR: I’m busy. I hope to write more this summer.

But today I wanted to ramble a bit about dreams. I have a weird relationship with sleep. I love sleep, and I’m really good at napping, but I’m not so good at normal night time sleep.

I’m a Weird Sleeper

I can nap in a noisy gymnasium sitting up (and I have, in case one of my high school gym teachers is reading this.) I can drink an entire Red Bull with 90 mg of caffeine and immediately take a nap. In college I used to sleep biphasically. I would go to sleep at 3 or 4 am, wake up at 8 am, go to class, come back and sleep from 2 pm to 6 pm and then go have dinner and be up until 4 rolled around again. It worked for me. It does not work for a married school teacher.

I Need Your Help 🐭 🔫 🐱

I Need Your Help 🐭 🔫 🐱

This winter, my school is bringing in a speaker to talk to the kids about the holocaust. Every 8th grade English class will be teaching a holocaust novel to coincide with the unit. I would like to teach the 1986 graphic novel, Maus.

Now the school has The Diary of Anne Frank and Night on hand, but there are no copies of Maus. So I need your help. My Donors Choose project is running right now. Every $10 donated buys a copy of the book and if you use the code SNOWFLAKE (still active as I write this) at checkout, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation will match your donation up to $500.

Maus is not only a great chance to engage students who otherwise might resist reading, but it also tells an important story about the dangers of intolerance and scapegoating.

You can check it out here. Thank you for your donation 🙂

Bottom Line: The Rocket City LitFest Was a Blast!

Bottom Line: The Rocket City LitFest Was a Blast!

I’ve had a very busy October so far. On October 9th I finished a 9-week teaching position with a flurry of paper-grading. On the 10th and 11th I did the Rocket City LitFest in Huntsville. On the 13th I spoke to some kids at Chelsea High School. Today I slept in late and made pretty leather things, at the expense of my clean, unstained fingers.

As utterly exhausted as I was by weekend, I must admit that it was well worth it. I spoke on a bunch of panels, met some really nice readers, and got to interview one of the coolest people on this planet on stage: Jenny Lawson.

Why I Don’t Read Romance

Why I Don’t Read Romance

A Valentine’s Day Confession

I don’t read romance novels. That is, I usually don’t. I have, but I don’t do it as a rule. I know a lot of romance authors and I completely respect what they do, but I find the genre to be a minefield of problematic depictions that I just don’t care to navigate. Let me explain.

Now I’ll start by saying that I love a handful of books that could be classified as romance. I’ve read the Sookie Stackhouse novels all from cover-to-cover. I’ve read Shakespeare’s comedies, which pretty much all end in a wedding (with the exception of Love’s Labors Lost, which ends in death). I’ve read The Fault in Our Stars. I’m not adverse to love stories. My books all have love story sub-plots. The problem I find with the romance genre is, that in want of conflict to fill 50,000 words, authors fall back on unhealthy relationship behaviors that make the endings of these books really hard to get behind.

A Minefield of Problematic Romance

On the Horizon

On the Horizon

I’m writing now to let you guys know what to look out for. I have a few things on the horizon for the next few months. Here are a few of them.

Indie RECon

IRCLive Awards NomineeI was nominated for an Indie RECon award for “Most Heartbreaking Ending” for Olympia Heights: The Cult of Kronos. You can vote daily, so please do!

Link to vote: http://indiereconlive.com/?contestants=olympia-heights-the-cult-of-kronos-3

 

Website Relaunch

The first thing is a website relaunch. I wanted to talk about it now because I have other important things to announce at the redesign reveal. I know I changed the look of the site about eight months ago, but I need to do it again. You see, I was lured into this theme by pretty animated graphics, but it’s slow and clunky and not very responsive. I’ve found a new theme that I’m adapting to hopefully be how this site looks for the next few years. I’ll be getting together with Carly Strickland to shoot some images for it this Wednesday and in the next few weeks I’ll be getting everything together to hopefully relaunch around the end of the month.

The Heroes Launch

I’m launching a street team website when I launch the new amyleighstrickland.com. It’ll be explained thoroughly in a video I’ve already shot. Be patient. There will be swag.

Geek Gathering

At the end of September I’ll be appearing in Sheffield, AL at a con called “Geek Gathering.”

Lightning Rod

Early October will come with the launch of the Kickstarter for Lightning Rod, the first Olympia Heights comic. I’ll be doing events around that, including a Google Hangout on launch day. If you want to get an email when it launches, sign up at www.olympia-heights.com/comic

Fal-Con

A local group is organizing a con in Montevallo, AL in October. I’ll be there with the family at our company’s table as it’s right now the road from my house.

CONjuration Con

CONjuration is a Harry Potter convention organized by fans in Atalanta. I’ve just been accepted as a guest (yesterday) and will spend Halloween weekend there. I’ll be on panels and selling my books.

NaNoWriMo

November brings NaNoWriMo and a new project. This project has no title yet, but it will be a NA serial set in Arkham, Mass. I’ve been reading a lot of HP Lovecraft.

Royer Goldhawk 2

I’ve been editing the sequel to Rescue, OR Royer Goldhawk’s Remarkable Journal for a late fall release. Expect a cover reveal some time during NaNoWriMo.

So keep your eyes peeled for big changes and big announcements. Thanks for checking in!

The Parthenon… The Nashville One

The Parthenon… The Nashville One

In 1897, for the Centennial Exposition, Nashville, TN decided to build a replica of The Parthenon. Later in the 20th century, they decided to recreated the Athena statue that was found in ruins in the real, ancient Parthenon. A few weeks ago, my husband and I decided we should visit the replica; after all, it’s only 3 hours from our house.

sm2014-04-26 11.02.09

Our fourth wedding anniversary was this week, so Kyle and I drove up to Nashville for the weekend and visited the replica temple. It’s a bizarre thing, to drive through a very Christian, southern, country-music city and suddenly stumble upon a monumental pagan structure. Like hello antiquity, what are you doing here?

Though the real Parthenon was cut from stone, and this Parthenon was made from concrete, it’s still very impressive. The Athena statue inside, which looks rather silly as a model in the gift shop, is a different beast in its enormous scale. This gold-leafed statue stands at epic proportions. In the real temple back in Classical Greece, commoners like myself would not be allowed inside the temple. I would have only seen Athena in all her glory from the door of the temple on festival days as the sun shone through the windows and bounced light off the reflecting pool onto her gold-plated chiton. There was no pool in this Parthenon. The tourists needed somewhere to stand to take photos.

The entire reconstruction process is a really fascinating story. The research that went into getting this place right is meticulous. I will admit that I was moved to something very close to tears as I stepped into the main room of the temple and laid eyes on the monolithic goddess standing in the naos, sheltering a giant snake with her shield.

I encourage anyone near Nashville to go visit this site. It’s $6 for adults (and cheaper to bring your kids). Kyle and I saw the Parthenon and later had a delicious Greek dinner at Athens in the city. The gift shop is meh, and it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot to do, but the tour guides know their stuff and the site of the goddess alone is worth the trip.

Read more about the park here.

Shelby Living

Shelby Living

matterdeep

Matter Deep’s Shelby Living article is out. If you live in Shelby County, you can pick up the October issue now. For those of you outside of the county (or state), you can read it now online.

Though there are a few mistakes (I totally messed up and told the reporter our quote was from The Tempest and not Henry IV and an outdated article on our press packet said The Incognito Project was due this November, when you can actually get it now) the article was incredibly positive and the people we worked with were super-nice.

Check it out today and check out our work at www.matterdeeppublishing.com