Friday, September 22, 2023

Explore More with Amelia #4: Fall 2023

Happy Spooky Season and Fall Equinox! I'm coming off of one of the best summers ever, and it will be hard for future years to top this one, but wow. What a time 2023 has been so far! See below for more details, and I'd like to share again that it's also been ten years since the first edition release of Breakfast with Bigfoot! In my last Newsletter, I mistakenly referred to April 20 as National Sasquatch Awareness Day, when in fact it is October 20. I hang my head in shame! But, I also say the more the merrier when it comes to Sasquatch celebrations.

In ongoing news, The R.I.P. Files is forever expanding into the multiverse, and is now also on Cineverse and DocuBox. This summer, I became Vice President of the Chicago Herpetological Society. And if you enjoyed my Astonishing Junk Drawer interview in March, you can hear a few snippets of it at the beginning of Astonishing Legends Ep. 254, "Conjuring Philip Part I." Have a wonderful, safe, and happy holiday season and stay spooky! Thank you and Happy Hauntings!

Explore More...

Cryptids, monsters, and UFOs! This has truly been a year of strange sightings and oddball elementals. From the Chicago Mothman to the Mexican alux, and from UAP disclosure to our miniature alien ancestors to "That motherf***er back there [who] is not real!," 2023 has given us a bingo card of otherworldly delights. There is one local cryptid story that came across my desk this year that has tickled me pink and that is the legend of the Bull Valley Monster. The Bull Valley Monster is an upright-walking creature resembling Sasquatch that haunts and hunts the area around Woodstock, Illinois, particularly along Bull Valley Road. Fun fact: there are more Bigfoot sightings in Illinois than any other state east of the Mississippi. And while Bigfoot sightings are more common in the central and southern parts of the state, northern Illinois is home to this bipedal beast that enjoys attacking unsuspecting teens driving the backroads late at night. While area police get occasional reports of the beast, no hard evidence of the Bull Valley Monster has ever been discovered.

Screenshot from FX's The Bear Season 2, Ep. 10, "The Bear."
My .15 Seconds of Fame: The Bear, Season 2!

Speaking of unearthly sightings, you can see me on Season 2 of FX's The Bear in Episodes 7 and 10! This spring, I fulfilled a bucket list item to be a background actor on one of my favorite shows and worked on location at Ever Restaurant and at Cinespace Studios. Look for me in Episode 7, "Forks," and in the season finale, "The Bear," which was partially shot in one continuous take. Being part of this incredible process was a top ten experience for me and just so much fun to observe. I met the coolest people and can't wait to throw my hat in the ring for Season 3! All episodes streaming on Hulu. Yes, Chef!

apparitions nominated for the 2023 Eric Hoffer Award.
Featured Book: apparitions

Wrapping up this year's award season, I'm so proud to share that apparitions was shortlisted for The Haiku Foundation 2022 Touchstone Awards for Distinguished Books and nominated for the 2023 Eric Hoffer Book Award. The book is now also housed in the American Haiku Archives and The Haiku Foundation Library.  Ordering from me will get you a beautiful copy with a silver seal, but Amazon sales boost rank and visibility, which are also important to me. Either way, I'd be honored and thrilled if you'd add the book to your collection. In addition, two of my newer haiku landed me on the Second Annual Trailblazer Contest Longlist for Haiku!

New Item: High Priestess Blend Incense Bundle

Each attractively packaged kit comes with twelve incense cones and corresponding affirmation card. Use our Friends & Family coupon code FFD15 for a 15% discount off your entire order from my online Store any time!

Fragrance: Complex, ethereal, smooth, and stimulating, with fresh, coniferous, and balsamic spices.

Ingredients: Benzoin, Black Copal, Clove Buds, Dragon’s Blood, Frankincense, Juniper Berries, Myrrh, Pomegranate Peel, Makko, White Sandalwood, Red Wine.

Upcoming Appearances

Amelia's DragonGoddess Boutique Showcase: Seasonal Scents
September 27, 2023 at 7 p.m. | 6 p.m. CST via Facebook Live

Midwest Spirit Fest at Thornton Distilling Co. in Thornton, Illinois
October 8, 2023

Live at the Brumder! Amelia Cotter: Experience the Supernatural at Brumder Mansion in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
October 13, 2023 at 7 p.m.

Milwaukee Paranormal Conference at Irish Cultural and Heritage Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
October 14, 2023

Paranormal Stories at Cuddle Bunny, Chicago
October 15, 2023 at 7 p.m.

Spooky Story Spectacular
October 25, 2023 at 7 p.m. | 6 p.m. CST via Facebook Live

Poetry Workshop with Amelia Cotter...and Bunnies! at Cuddle Bunny, Chicago
November 5, 2023 at 7 p.m.

Monsters: Fact and Folklore Presentation at Fox Lake District Library in Fox Lake, Illinois
November 18, 2023 at 11 a.m.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

#GiveBackGetInvolved: Resources for Injured Wildlife in Chicago

Finding a dead or injured animal is a stressful experience and it can be difficult to know who to contact for help. In Chicago's parks, the most common injuries to wildlife are generally to birds that have collided with buildings or gotten snagged in fishing lines and other debris, but you may also encounter injured turtles or mammals. Below are some resources to help guide you to the right kind of assistance:

Animal Care and Control: You can reach Animal Care and Control by calling 311 to report bite incidents, dead animals, injured animals, and stray pets. Please call 911 for animal fights. Animal Care and Control also works with other animal welfare and conservation organizations to find homes for exotic animals and pets found around the city.

Chicago Bird Collision Monitors: The Chicago Bird Collision Monitors collect primarily dead and injured migratory birds but can advise on local and domestic birds, and what to do if you find a baby bird. Please call, do not email or text. (773) 988-1867.

Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation: One of two wildlife rehabilitation centers where many injured animals from the city are transported. They operate a satellite facility on Northerly Island and may pick up injured wildlife. Call for more information regarding what to do with an injured or orphaned animal. (847) 842-8000.

Willowbrook Wildlife Center: The other wildlife rehabilitation center where many injured animals from the city are transported. They work with the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors to coordinate pickups. Please contact Chicago Bird Collision Monitors or Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation before contacting Willowbrook Wildlife Center directly. (630) 942-6200.

This article was first published as "Injured Wildlife in Lincoln Park" on the Lincoln Park Conservancy blog in July 2023.

Monday, July 3, 2023

Haibun #5: Lakeview, Chicago

For some folks, summers are hard. That seasonal depression hits different when the weather is warm and there's nowhere to go (or it feels that way, at least). I'm grateful for my mental health and relieved that the monster OCD relapse that inspired this old haibun has long passed:

Lakeview, Chicago

I used to think if I could just see the lake, I wouldn’t feel alone. From my eighteenth floor window, the despair nudges me closer to looking down.

this old feeling…
the ghosts I know
come home to haunt

"Lakeview, Chicago," copyright 2023 Amelia Cotter (first published in tinywords Issue 19.1, 2019)