Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Haibun #4: Anxiety

February is National Haiku Writing Month! This haibun (a poetry form combining prose and haiku) inspired me to assemble apparitions, a painstaking and revelatory process that took more than five years. I'm sharing "Anxiety" now in the spirit of choosing movement despite discomfort, and leaning into change when sameness can feel deceptively safe:

Anxiety

I wake up in the middle of the night and wonder if my life could go on without you. I imagine that you die, because those of us who live with anxiety are encouraged to imagine the disasters we obsess over not obsessing over. I visualize announcing your death to our friends and family on Facebook, requesting not to be private messaged about it, and being frustrated when everyone private messages me anyway. I visualize deleting my Facebook account…and the radio silence that follows. Meanwhile, you lie sleeping next to me, very much alive. I place my hand on your chest and feel your heartbeat. I cherish this heartbeat, but feeling it in my hand makes me uncomfortable.

my overuse of white-out
  lake-effect snow

"Anxiety," copyright 2023 Amelia Cotter (Third Place, 2016 Haiku Society of America Best Unpublished Haibun Awards and Frogpond 39.3, 2016)

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Poem #8: In a Cemetery

Happy New Year! I ended 2022 on a high note with an Honorable Mention in the Illinois State Poetry Society 2022 Poetry Contest in the Free Verse category. The seeds of this poem, "In a Cemetery," were sown all the way back in 2004 during a grave rubbing exercise at a local cemetery in Frederick, Maryland, for one of my college Biology classes. Talk about a work in progress, but worth the wait:

I stand before my work and gather odd satisfaction.
Tracing others’ heavy layers of mortality
            (rubbing facts, figures, and inscriptions),
            I ignore my own.

I find myself on a roadway between eras.
Modern plots to my right, ancient ones to my left—
            One side glittering rows of teeth,
            The other a nest of jutting bones.

I’m filled with a peculiar joy that I’m here and it’s such a pretty day.
That I’ve ambled along these quiet pathways,
            Standing next to graves lined in perfect, sunken rows,
            And feel at peace among them.

"In a Cemetery," copyright 2023 Amelia Cotter (Honorable Mention, Free Verse Award, Illinois State Poetry Society 2022 Poetry Contest)

Monday, December 5, 2022

Explore More with Amelia #2: Winter 2022

Wishing you Happy Holidays and a peaceful Winter Solstice! This has been a year of intense change and transition, and ultimately stabilization. I'm excited to enter a new year with a fresh start and new opportunities for career, personal, and spiritual growth. I look forward to being a better and more present friend, colleague, and partner to the wonderful people in my life that I'm so grateful for. I'm up to date with my writing projects and goals, and it seems the world is once again my oyster, so to speak. 

I would like to take a moment to acknowledge and remember the Highland Park parade shooting that took place on July 4. One of my publishers, as well as friends and fellow poets, are in Highland Park, and this event was devastating. My loved ones were safe, but I know people whose loved ones were not. This, among the many violent acts that took place this year in the U.S., was a senseless tragedy and the victims and survivors, along with their harrowing stories, will never be forgotten.

Wishing safety, love, hope, and all good things for each of you this holiday season and in the coming year. Thank you and Happy Hauntings!
~Amelia

Explore More...

Haunted Maryland! It’s been ten years since the first edition release of Maryland Ghosts: Paranormal Encounters in the Free State! I grew up as a nerdy kid in the suburb of Bel Air, avoiding being one of the "cool" kids by snooping around the abandoned, haunted locales around Harford County and beyond. My late-night expeditions with friends took me all over Maryland, and I grew to see my home state in a new way. Even though I've been in Chicago for almost 15 years now, I appreciate and adore my hometown adventures above all. I imagine I'm a little out of touch with what's hip these days on Maryland's paranormal scene, but some of my favorite locations will always be: Ellicott City's Hell House, Jericho Covered Bridge in Kingsville, the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, the Pry House Field Hospital Museum in Sharpsburg, and Perryman's Spesutia Cemetery. For my fellow Marylanders and Maryland lovers out there, what's your favorite haunted place in the state?

New Logo: Amelia's DragonGoddess Boutique!

Amelia's DragonGoddess Boutique has a new logo, designed by Jonathan, and we're looking forward to introducing a new item for our upcoming two-year anniversary! We got one of our best compliments yet, at the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference in October, from Sara B., who said of our solid perfume, "I bought this last year and need to get more. This is the best-smelling stuff I've ever had!" Our new Abramelin Consecrating Solid Perfume and Anointing Balm (see our Featured Item below) has divine fall and winter vibes. Use our holiday sale coupon code DGB30 for 30% off your order of handcrafted solid perfumes, incenses, and dragon meditation kits through December 31! Order by December 17 for guaranteed Christmas delivery.

Featured Book: Maryland Ghosts: Paranormal Encounters in the Free State

Second edition from Haunted Road Media, 2015
$14.99 Paperback on Amazon/Barnes & Noble
$4.99 Kindle

Amazon and Kindle Best Seller in: Ghosts & Hauntings, South Atlantic U.S. Regional Travel, Supernaturalism

View the Maryland Ghosts Book Trailer!

Join author and storyteller Amelia Cotter as she presents a chilling collection of personal paranormal encounters gathered from across Maryland—in some of its most legendary haunted locations, private homes, hidden, and sometimes unexpected places.

From classic haunted houses to UFO sightings and mysterious creatures, these true stories, powerfully told in the words of those who experienced them, are sure to entertain and engage paranormal enthusiasts in Maryland and beyond.

Awaiting you in Maryland Ghosts: Paranormal Encounters in the Free State
• An amazing apparition photo caught in the Dr. Samuel A. Mudd House in Waldorf, featured on My Ghost Story
• The restless spirits of Hood College's German House in Frederick
• Incredible investigation findings from Jericho Covered Bridge near Kingsville
• Visitors from another planet on Lottsford Vista Road in Mitchellville
• The shadow figures and strange folks that once lurked at Ellicott City's Hell House
…and much more!

Featured Item: Abramelin Consecrating Solid Perfume and Anointing Balm


Each attractively packaged kit comes with one fragrance tin and corresponding affirmation card. Use our holiday sale coupon code DGB30 for 30% off your order from our online Store through December 31!

Fragrance: Herbaceous, penetrating, warm, and spicy-sweet with a honeyed finish.

Ingredients: Organic Beeswax, Organic Olive Oil, Myrrh Essential Oil, Galangal Essential Oil, Cannabis Essential Oil, and Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil.

Upcoming Appearances

Holiday Ghost Stories at Malliway Brothers, Chicago
December 23, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.

Winter 2023

Dead of Winter Conference at Mineral Springs in Alton, Illinois
February 11, 2023

Haunted America Conference at Lewis and Clark College in Alton, Illinois
June 23-24, 2023