Sunday, December 8, 2019

Newsletter #7: December 2019

Hello friends! I ended this year and decade by fulfilling a dream to appear on the Travel Channel, and it turned out AMAZING. I would really like to start the next next year and decade in the same way I started thesepublishing books, making appearances, having adventures, and inspiring others to explore the world around them in awe and wonder. And honestly, my hobbies, interests, and passions haven't changed all that much in the last ten years, or since I was a kiddo, for that matter. If anything, now in my mid-30s, I have more time and money, along with perspective and gratitude, to really deepen my interests and connect with the communities who share them. I am so much more confident and so much happier entering 2020 than I was when entering 2010, too. I welcome the new year and new decade with open arms. Here's my recap of the last part of 2019:

Recent Publications

"dead of winter," A Moment's Longing: Haiku Society of America Members' Anthology 2019
October 2019

Upcoming Publications

The chapbook of poetry I have been working on, apparitions, is still hanging in the balance as I await news from publishers. I am still hoping for news by the end of the year, with a goal to publish the book (no matter what!) in spring 2020. It's happening, I promise. A note to aspiring and published writers everywhere: having previous publications does not guarantee that publishing in the future will be any faster or easier.

Likewise, good news may be coming down the pipeline, and is timelier than ever, for the anthology about the lives and experiences of children detained at the U.S.-Mexico border, which I was asked to co-edit and contribute a piece to. In the meantime, I am waiting on a few other publications to come through, and look forward to sharing those with you when they happen. I also have some other new (and old...) book projects in the works, and am so hyped for what 2020 will bring!

Recent Appearances
With Jonathan on Travel Channel's Hometown Horror.

Jonathan and I appeared on Travel Channel's Hometown Horror, in Episode 5: "Three-Ring Terror," on Monday, December 2! The show explores small towns across the U.S. with dark, haunted, and otherwise weird history, and our episode was about beautiful and intriguing Baraboo, Wisconsin. We filmed in Baraboo this spring, where I spoke on the topic of Native American burial mounds, and Jonathan and I shared a strange experience of our own from the Baraboo area. The episode reflects this nicely, and includes some of Baraboo's other amazing locations and people, including our friends Shelly Wells and B.C. Farr of the Old Baraboo Inn. We attended the watch party for the episode at the Inn, and to see myself onscreen with the Travel Channel logo next to my big old head was nothing less than surreal.

In old news, the Scary Stories documentary is available on DVD and streaming on Amazon Prime Video and all major VOD platforms. Additionally, Season 2 and Season 3 of The R.I.P. Files are available on Amazon Prime Video. Season 2 aired again on Really TV in the UK for their October lineup. The show is streaming, as always, on Apple TVPluto TV's Conspiracy Channel, Xfinity X1 and Xfinity Stream's Gaia Channel, and other VOD platforms.

I also had some of my best podcast and radio interviews ever this fall, and am very proud to share the following. Please give them a listen:

The Fantastic Story Society, Ep. "Amelia Cotter & Chicago's Serpent Mound"
December 1, 2019

Beyond Reality RadioEp. "Stories of the Supernatural - Amelia Cotter"
November 11, 2019

Upcoming Appearances

My events calendar is filling up, and I am looking forward to continuing to fine tune my presentations and collaborate with my husband Jonathan on them as well. Also, as I mentioned in my last Newsletter, I did some consulting this summer for Season 2 of Travel Channel's Paranormal 911, and am looking forward to seeing that air sometime in the near future. Here is what I have on deck so far for the remainder of this year and beyond:

The Paranormal Pride on WBHM-DB
December 16, 2019 at 8 p.m. | 7 p.m. CST

Project PSI Radio
January 12, 2020 at 9 p.m. | 8 p.m. CST

The Outer Realm on 4680Q Niagara Online Radio
February 12, 2020 at 8 p.m. | 7 p.m. CST

Monsters: Fact and Folklore Presentation at Crest Hill Public Library in Crest Hill, Illinois
March 28, 2020 at 1 p.m.

Haunted Road Media ParaCon at Mineral Springs in Alton, Illinois
June 13, 2020

From now on, I'll be publishing my Newsletter biyearly in June and December. Thank you all for sharing in this journey with me and for all of your support. I wish you the happiest of holidays and an awesome New Year! Happy Hauntings, everyone!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Hometown Horror: Now Airing on Travel Channel!

Tonight is the premiere of Travel Channel's new series Hometown Horror, airing Mondays at 9 p.m. | 8 p.m. CST. You can watch me and my husband Jonathan, along with our friends Shelly Wells and B.C. Farr of the Old Baraboo Inn, on Episode 5: “Three-Ring Terror,” airing on December 2!

The show explores small towns across the U.S. with dark, haunted, and otherwise weird history, and our episode will be about beautiful and intriguing Baraboo, Wisconsin. We filmed in Baraboo this spring, where I spoke on the topic of Native American burial mounds in and around Wisconsin, and Jonathan and I shared some ghostlore from the Baraboo area, including a strange experience of our own. Please watch, share, and enjoy the show! Thanks and Happy Hauntings!

Hometown Horror is now airing on Travel Channel on Mondays at 9 p.m | 8 p.m. CST. 

Friday, October 4, 2019

Fall Reading and Book Recommendations!

Happy October, friends! I wanted to share my current reading, along with my reading goals for fall (and likely winter), and hopefully hear from you about what you are reading as well! I am also including a shameless plug for my own books, which are all great reads for a festive Spoopy Season. I had the most magical time on my trip to New Orleans last month, and I encourage you to get out this autumn and explore moretake yourself on at least one adventure, no matter how local. Drive down one back road. Peek around one dark corner. There is magic to be found all around us. Happy Hauntings!:

Current Reading

The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed & Lorraine Warren, by Gerard Brittle: I picked this up after the passing of Lorraine Warren earlier this year. It's quite an homage to the Warrens and provides fascinating insight into how alleged demonic activity is perceived from a very Catholic perspective.

Game of Thrones: A Dance with Dragons, by George R. R. Martin: I'm getting through it, slowly but surely, and am one of the five people left on the planet who hasn't seen the television series yet! I will treat myself to a binge-watch once I've wrapped this volume up.

Fall Reading Goals

Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident, by Donnie Eichar: The Dyatlov Pass incident has been back in the media this year and it has my FULL attention. The Astonishing Legends podcast has a great series of episodes on the topic, and there are two excellent episodes of Expedition Unknown dedicated to this captivating mystery.

Get Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence, by Erica Dhawan and Saj-nicole Joni: I got a signed copy of this at the Administrative Professionals Conference in September in New Orleans, where Erica Dhawan was a keynote speaker. This will apply to my professional life as well as personaleffective communication is a skill we can use in all facets of our lives!

Gumbo Ya Ya: Louisiana Folktales, by Lyle Saxon, et al.: I bought this at Faulkner House Books in New Orleans and can't wait to devour this collection of Louisiana lore, including classic stories of the loup garou, New Orleans Axeman, Zulu King, and more.

Indian Mounds of Wisconsin, by Robert A. Birmingham and Amy L. Rosebrough: After filming with the Travel Channel in May and speaking on the topic of Man Mound in Baraboo, I picked this up in a Baraboo bookstore and hope to learn about, study, and visit more of these sacred places. I also found an old pamphlet detailing the locations of the many mounds in the town of Baraboo itself (now almost entirely built over).

Surviving Death: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for the Afterlife, by Leslie Kean: This book came highly recommended to me and it sounds really interesting. Near death experiences are not a topic I know a great deal about, so I am looking forward to opening Pandora's box.

The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature, by J. Drew Lanham: I got to see Drew Lanham speak this summer at a meeting of the Chicago Ornithological Society, and he delivered part of his talk about his adventures in birding and bird conservation in the form of spoken word poetry. It was beautiful, impactful, and timely.

The Interfaith Prayer Book, compiled by Ted Brownstein: I grabbed this at the Ba'hai Temple this summer. I would like to introduce more meditation and prayer into my life!

My Books

This House: The True Story of a Girl and a Ghost: Although originally intended for a young adult audience, this book has far and away been most popular with full-grown ghost hunters/paranormal investigators and paranormal enthusiasts. It's a quick read for adults. The book is almost ten years old now and in its third edition, and is still incredibly close to my heart.

Maryland Ghosts: Paranormal Encounters in the Free State: You don't have to be a Marylander to engage with this collection of 35 true personal experiences with the state's ghosts, monsters, and UFOs, including Civil War and other historic sites, as well as the infamous Jericho Covered Bridge near Kingsville and Ellicott City's Hell House.

Breakfast with Bigfoot: For ages three through six, this book is based on an historic Bigfoot encounter that is often retold in the media (and also on Astonishing Legends). I changed the main character from an adult man who claimed to be abducted by a Bigfoot to a girl who is rescued by a Bigfoot...and hilarity ensues. Get it for the kids, or for yourself. I won't tell.