Saturday, August 6, 2011


Toot- it's not just the sound that is most frequently heard coming out of both ends of the creatures (2 and 4 legged) whom dwell within our humble home. Today it is the sound of me blowing my own horn. My essay Both Sides, originally posted on this blog in February 2011, is featured in today's Life and Arts section of The Buffalo News  Click The Buffalo News link to read the version I edited for the paper.

It the midst of scrubbing cat yack bombs and trying to extinguish the acrid smell of cat pee from a rain dampened basement, I received a phone call from an editor at the paper. She said that the essay had touched them because the song which inspired it had been so much a part of their lives. She had sung the song to her children when they were much younger and now sings it to her grandchildren. She also said that they would be sending a photographer over to our home to photograph me and any of the children who happened to be around. As I was still holding a spray bottle of bleach in my hand- I panicked at the thought of a stranger coming in and having the tang of urine be their first impression of me. I imagined that under my picture it would read,' The author and her children in their home which smells like animal excreta.'

By the time the photographer arrived, I think we aired out a bit ( but, it was also the eve of garbage day and our tote was quite ripe). Anyway, it was quick and painless. Henry, Princess Commando and The Baby posed with me for some of the shots ( The Baby had just woken up from her nap, so she was bewildered by the presence of the stranger in our living room). And then the photographer took some pictures of me standing alone. I didn't know what to do with my arms, my hands. At best, I must have looked painfully awkward and insane (as I tried to keep from blinking against the flash). The testament to my suspicions is that they opted to print a photo of me with the kids (where I felt most natural). I mean in our daily lives how often do we stand against a wall alone with our arms crossed over our chests in a haughty gangsta rap stance?

Photo taken by Sharon Cantillon, The Buffalo News
The Fall 2011( issue 9) of Mamalode Magazine is off to the printers. My essay, R.I. P. Tooth Fairy will be featured in it along with excerpts of Princess Commando's hand written letters to the Tooth Fairy (she receives a credit for her work as well). Visit Mamalode to find out how you can order your own issues of the magazine. I received my first issue a couple of months ago and I fell in love with the magazine. It is not a typical parenting or woman's magazine. The writing is so moving and the photography is so gorgeous. It is a collection of beautiful perspectives which celebrates all of the pieces that make us who we are. I am so honored to be a part of this collection of work.

For me, that is the greatest sense of accomplishment as a writer- to be able to connect with others at the heart of our humanness where the soul or spirit stirs. That is what I seek in the essays that I read of other writers- that sense of perspective which is at once both familiar and new; an offering of solace in not being alone in one's thoughts and views; the sense of alliance in navigating through uncertain territory especially when we feel most vulnerable; and, a sense of humor which brightens and lightens the places inside of me that I tend to let shadows grow. The community of writers I have connected  with through blogging (you all know who you are) has inspired me, humbled me, comforted me, enlightened me. The writing I follow has helped at the most unexpected times to make better sense of my puzzle and figure out where the pieces fit in order to see the bigger picture. I am so grateful to all of you who continually put your hearts out there in the open for all of us to behold. And, I am so grateful for all of you who continue to stay on board with me, finding in my own writing something that you connect to.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!


  1. Such an amazing photo Amy!! You all look so great, and happy. What a gorgeous family! Congrats on such an accomplishment. It's definitely well deserved.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  2. Beautiful portrait! Congratulations on your publication! It couldn't have happened to a better or more deserving person!

  3. Congrats Amy! That is super exciting. I admire you for putting your writing out there, it takes chutzpah. You are a talented (and beautiful) lady. Love the family portrait.

  4. Congratulations dear Amy! the photo is beautiful, you look so happy :)

  5. Thank you all so much for your kind words and support! xoxo

  6. That's a great portrait. Congratulations on your success!

  7. congrats amy, darling!

    the article is sweet and so so poignant. having known you for some time now, though over some distance and only through this wonderful terrible online nature, i've never once doubted that you didn't know your way, or if you'd lost it, you wouldn't find it again.

    ever thought of joining SCBWI? look into it. it could be exactly the next step you need, connection wise, confidence wise, professional wise. PLUS you could go to the nyc conference and we could meet up! everything i've done through them has been super helpful (even though i hated it all at the time). just a thought. your talent is too great to not be more mainstream:)and at the very least it might help you find like-minded, creative people in and around buffalo.

    email me if you want to discuss more of anything. and hang in there with the not knowing anything. i've felt that way for a long time now. just about my whole life;)

  8. @mamamash, thank you!
    @Corrie: Thank you, as always, for your support and insight. Love you! I did join SCBWI for a while when my book was with that horrible literary agent at Talcott Notch. But, I didn't use any of the resources or try to connect with others through it. I'm not opposed to revisiting joining again, though.