Amanda Cockrell

Selected Works

Young Adult Novel
Saints and soldiers and the Untied Church of Dog
Novels
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

Rocks

November 6, 2013

Tags: writing, gardening

We have been stealing rocks. Since we live in an old riverbed, this is not hard. The alleys abound with them, and every time it rains, enough to build a chimney with wash onto the road that goes through the park. I feel a bit furtive with my sack of rocks, stealthily putting promising ones in as we walk the dogs. But a load of the things costs a mint, and I need flower bed borders, so we embark on a life of crime.

It’s very satisfactory setting the day’s haul in a line next to yesterday’s, slowly encircling the columbine and the hydrangeas, like coming to the end of a story and knowing you’ll have the ending in your pocket tomorrow.

Rocks can’t be rushed, any more than stories can. They takes eons to form (so alas do my stories) and they are particular who they will sit next to. They are heavy and you can’t swipe too many at a time in the same way that it is inadvisable to steal too much of your neighbor’s personal life for your fiction. A small bit here and there, then a chunk or two from a different person is safest.

Comments

  1. November 6, 2013 8:40 PM EST
    My neighbor tore down two old lake camps and the foundations were broken hunks of white marble, discarded from the tombstone yard for mis-spellings or unfortunate corner cutting. My flower beds are now lined with gravestones. I am studying him for fictional purposes too.
    - ashley wolff
  2. November 10, 2013 5:11 PM EST
    I also have collected rocks for borders and to create a rock wall!

    However, I am writing to you about one of your mother's books I just read: The Revolt of Sarah Perkins. Is there any way you can get it back in print? It's a WONDERFUL book! I know I'd like to add it to my library's collection. One of my library patrons ordered the book through Inter-Library Loan and told me she learned that there were restrictions for republishing it. There must be a way around them.

    And I didn't realize she also wrote Shadow Castle, which I read as a child, lost, and then bought a few years ago so I would have it in my collection. What a talented writer!

    Thanks for your attention.
    - Jill Patterson
  3. November 11, 2013 8:55 AM EST
    Jill,
    There really aren't any restrictions other than finding someone who wants to publish it again. I have the rights to it. The problem is finding someone who wants to republish it! You can probably find a used copy for the collection though. And how nice to find out about the Shadow Castle connection. You made my day!
    - Amanda Cockrell






























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