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

Present tense irregular

September 17, 2013

Tags: time

I have always thought that a mad aunt locked in the attic gave a household that certain je ne sais quoi that lent a literary feel to the whole establishment. Now we have the next best thing, a mad grandfather clock. Itís really more a great-grandfather clock, that being who it belonged to, and apparently it has lost its ability to count, perhaps the first sign on the road to clock dementia.

Keeping it running has always required regular house calls from the Clock Man, a mad genius whose idea of fun in his off hours is reassembling clockworks. Occasionally it gets grumpy and stops chiming, and he came out so many times to fix it that he taught my husband how to reset the chimes. Apparently it doesnít like being fooled with by amateurs. It has started chiming again but in an odd pattern. Mostly, it chimes one, two and three quite adequately, then starts with one again at four oíclock, two at five, and so on until it gets to nine, at which point it chimes seven, then gets on the spot with ten at ten and good for eleven and twelve.

It requires interesting math to keep time by it. Itís striking four so it must be seven. Time to get up. Unless it really is four. Is it dark outside? No. It must be seven. You canít quite trust it. It may really be four or it may just be sulking.

We had high hopes that it was actually self-correcting for a while when it started chiming eight at nine, but last night the hour hand began dangling at six no matter what time it actually is, and this morning the minute hand fell off and is wedged somewhere in the bottom of the case.

We have called the clock psychologist.

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