Amanda Cockrell

Selected Works

Young Adult Novel
Saints and soldiers and the Untied Church of Dog
The Hollywood blacklist and a delayed funeral
Historical novel of a Roman legion in Britain
The Horse Catchers trilogy
Mythological novel of the coming of the horse to the American Southwest
Volume 2 in The Horse Catchers trilogy
Volume 3 in The Horse Catchers trilogy
The Deer Dancers trilogy
Mythological novel of the beginning of art
Volume 2 in The Deer Dancers trilogy
Volume 3 in The Deer Dancers trilogy
Children's books
By my mother, Marian Cockrell, the story of an enchanted castle on the edge of Fairyland

What We Keep

In the garden

July 29, 2013

Tags: Hollins, writing, revising, gardening

At the end of another summer term at Hollins, I am always sad to see the Children's Literature students and faculty leave, but light of heart that now I can get into the garden or the flea market or whatever else has been calling my name over the last six weeks. But it was a fine summer. We had the usual student/faculty potluck gatherings at our house, with fireworks left over from a rained out Fourth, and the summer campers from Hollinsummerís pre-college creative writing program. One of my tutorial students left me a bumper sticker that reads LIVE. LAUGH. LOVE. REVISE. HOLLINS MA/MFA CHILDRENíS LITERATURE, appropriate since we had spent the whole semester doing just that with their thesis novels. They were one of the best classes Iíve ever traught and I donít say that lightly.

Back in the garden I am struck by how much time I spend trying to get things to grow.

The lilies of the Nile that I planted last fall and canít remember where I put. Is that them, over by the poppies? And if itís not, what is it? And for that matter, what is that thing by the clothesline?

My hair, which has reached an odd length. And an odd color as I try to get rid of the last of the natural herb-based dye whose only drawback was that it turned red in sunlight.

A novel manuscript, which instead seems to be shrinking. Every time I go at it, it shyly sheds another 10 pages. Soon it will be a short story.

How very satisfactory to see students grow. Personally they look just like they did when they got here, but their manuscripts Ė ah, those have expanded and solidified and acquired a whole new look.


  1. July 30, 2013 12:21 PM EDT
    Hey, My Mentor, glad to see you've joined us bloggers who are defined as "writers whose work has issues we can't solve right now but who are driven to write SOMETHING!" (Notice the exclamation mark? I put it there. I am glad I put it there. I am proud I put it there. Ha. So there.)

    I like your website. I am teaching myself web development: html, CSS. All that stuff.

    I have a manuscript in the works that I hope will come to fruition about a year after I die, which I hope is long into the future, whatever future means. It's a fantasy centered around my concept of portable holes. Dig?

    Listen, I gotta go. The attendants are searching for me in order to give me another shock treatment. Back to the rubber room.

    Keep on blogging! (Ha! Another proud achievement!)
    - Frederick Fuller, Official Cupbearer to cats Millicent and Cody.
  2. August 13, 2013 3:53 PM EDT
    Darling, don't forget that Flaubert would spend the morning putting in a comma and spend the afternoon taking it out.
    - Therry Neilsen-Steinhardt

Chocolate novios for Day of the Dead

Noon Whistle at the Lizard Works

Back yard bottle tree

The last hurrah

Delia Sherman and Ruth Sanderson, summer Children's Lit faculty

Children's Lit faculty Brian Attebery and Ellen Kushner at the end-of-term party