Amy on writing

Hope is a Window

My horizon

Hope is a window, even when it feels like a door. For too long, locked. For too long, the dark curtains hanging over our world have felt so heavy, so insurmountable.

But hope is a window.

Even though the curtains have grown grey with dust from this longest year, they are still just curtains.

Opening them will be messy, and the light that streams through will be stark. It might not be pretty.

There’s a new normal outside too, it’s not pretty either, but it could be.

Our will eyes adjust, we can adjust. Shield your weary eyes and take a peek.

New is scary, change is hard, and perhaps? We have become accustomed to the darkness.

But hope is a window. It’s time to let the light in.

Cheers, Amy

Amy on writing

Amy VS The TBR 2

So many books, so little time.

This review is for the the engaging and artful Novella ~A MAP TO THE STARS By author, editor, and artist Ashley Hutchison— co-founder of Lost Boys Press.

Like the enigmatic artistry of Kintsukuroi, A Map to the Stars is a reminder of how malleable we are. Like beautiful ceramics, we are fragile, breakable, but as we repair, the cracks left behind make us more beautiful. Ashley Hutchinson’s novella is a unique and stunning journey of introspection. A true testament to the indomitability of spirit.

Like a symphony, this story is a movement. I recommend you read it as such, in one sitting. But don’t forget the tissues.

Cheers, until next time, Amy

Amy on writing

Amy VS The TBR

So many books, so little time.

With Ashfield Estate’s second round developmental edits safe with my editor, (not in a metal trash can set ablaze) Yay!

I’m finally tackling my TBR!!!

So today’s post is a review for the wonderfully weird, kind, and talented Stephen Black’s The Kirkwood Scott Chronicles: A New Jerusalem.

A must read.

Stephen Black’s The Kirkwood Scott Chronicles: A New Jerusalem is a rollicking romp through time, space, and genres! A little dystopian, a little historical, a lot of urban fantasy, and a pithy wink of dark comedy. This is a fantastic sequel To Skelly’s Square. The world is bigger, the stakes are higher and our merry band of heroes couldn’t be cheekier. I can’t wait for the third installment.

Support our amazing indie authors and order today! And don’t forget to leave a review.

Next up is Chad Ryan’s Ghost River. An extreme horror that mesmerizes as much as it terrifies.

I’m ready.

Cheers for now,


Amy on writing

Ashfield Estate

A YA Utopian Horror

I did it!!!! I did it, I did it.

I finished my first round of developmental edits for my latest novel: Ashfield Estate– a YA mystery that plays with the classic boarding school trope but adds elements of horror, dystopia and satire.

Although I have a ways to go before it reaches the query stage, I have completed my second book!

It is now in the capable hands of my editor. Which in my mind, is the equivalent of handing over a jumble of tangled chains to someone and waiting for them to return necklaces.

I’m hoping this book is the one. It’s leaner, it’s meaner and I think I’ve learned and grown as a writer in the process.

And as usual. I’m hopeful. Always hopeful.

Cheers always. Hope to update again soon.

Cover art by me! A fun reward for completion.


Amy on writing

Beyond The Horizon

The prospect of a better tomorrow appeared bright by the light of shiny spangled signs and glittering balls as we said **** (claim you expletives) to 2020.

But a week in to 2021, nothing looks better or brighter. Death, an unwavering pandemic, rising poverty levels, and the unbearable weight of racial injustice have been compounded by the unforgivable assault on our democracy. The result–an insurrection.

And the world looks on. This dystopia is a global nightmare. But it is ours. This is our past, present, and future.

But I don’t think we are doomed. I still see something brighter on the horizon, I see people on the move. Collectively moving forward, toward something beyond the shadows. What is this thing? Hope? Resolve?

Both…We can get past these atrocities if we believe we can.

But we cannot forgive, and we cannot forget. Every stone laid by complicitity and hate has destroyed the bedrock of our being. We have to be better, because we have to be.

I’m hopeful.

Cheers, Amy

Amy on writing

The Year That Wasn’t

In this shared, dystopian nightmare. We aren’t alone, but it has been lonely.

I hope as the sun sets on this year that wasn’t, you are all safe, well, and ready for something better.

I know I am. And to celebrate the end of 2020, I have some fresh vent-sesh poetry.


No one knows.

Unwound, unrobed.

Who you are when the doors close,

When the sun has shone.

No one knows.

And when your eyes close,

the curtain call is like a dark rose.

What reaps, what sows?

No one knows.

Velvet soft and thorn prone.

But in silence the dew flows, salty throes.

All’s exposed.

And no one knows.

It’s been another long time since I’ve visited and as always I regret it. But sometimes, there’s just not much to say. And yet, so, so, much.

But for me, this blog has always been about a journey foreword. And a journey it still is. But on any adventure, we get sidetracked, bogged down, or lost…

Or sometimes we are simply floating on a stagnant sea without a paddle.

The price of self preservation.

Now, I feel my ship ready to sail again, I have a weather eye on the horizon and some brand new, book related news!

I have a fresh book in developmental editing. I wrote it in a four-week fever dream and can’t wait to share.

In my next post I will reveal the title and cover art for my new work. A 64k word YA Utopian Horror, yes. It’s exactly that.

And it won’t be months from now, someone, please. Hold me to it!

Cheers, Amy

Amy on writing

The Longest Year

I feel it’s been forever since I last posted here, because it has been. This is the longest damn year ever. And it’s only half done.

I miss being here and feeling like I have something to say. Something to share. I kept waiting for something amazing to happen, something to shout from the rooftops…

I have no such thing. And I’ve decided that’s okay. Being okay right now is okay. It’s the most okayist thing in the world. Are you okay?

I’m okay. I’m here without rooftop shouting news because in the end, it’s all about the journey. Welcome back on my ride.

To update, My querying redux started with a bang of requests and excellent feedback from agents… until Covid 19 swept over our nation. Then suddenly, my voice seemed too dark.

I can’t control this. This is bigger and more vital that any book. A lot of things are right now…

But I won’t give up either. On my 2 year blog-versary, I’ve come too far to give up. And this isn’t a race. I’ve stepped back to work on new stories and evaluate the right avenue for my publishing venture. One way or another, I’ll get there when I get there .

And I’m gonna be better about talking about it. Writing, as we all know, can be very isolating. Community makes us strong. I need to grab hold again and not let go. Words are too important.

Which leads to my last note in this long overdue update.

Words are important. More important? Voices that need to be heard.

I want to state, unequivocally, my support for Black Lives Matter. Although this is not my narrative, I will forever be changed by the magnitude of this moment. Silence is complicity, and I want to be a better ally to the Black Community. Nothing is more vital. We must do better. The future of humanity depends on it. So please-Do the work. Listen, learn, accept, speak up, stand.

To all my dear WPs, ✌️💛 from the bottom to the top.

Cheers, Amy

Find me on twitter @amywestphal4

Amy on writing

Querying: Redux

Digital art for CAPTURE THE TIDE by me.

I live!!!!! Yes WPs. I’m here, living like a writer and balancing it all like I know you all understand!

Update: I completed a full revision of my novel CAPTURE THE TIDE, including changing my POV from 3rd to 1st person. This was a massive, time consuming task and I couldn’t be more grateful for my amazing editor. I’m already seeing some great feedback from agents, including some requests!

I hope to continue striking balance and being more active here again soon. Hopefully with some more great news!

Wish me luck!

Cheers, Amy

Amy on writing

EWR call for artists- no fees, no catch

Hey my WPs! I have exciting news and an even more exciting opportunity to share.

I have joined EVERY WRITERS RESOURCE as a section editor and art director. is the premier resource for all things writing. From conception to publishing, Everywriter is there to help you on your writing journey.

Everywriter is also the place to read amazing stories, articles, short fiction, poetry, and see top artists from around the world.

Wanna be a part of it?

Check us out to see the revamped site that has been a go-to resource for 15 YEARS!!!

If you are interested in having your artwork featured on Everywriter please email me!!

Please send me a link to your website/art page or email me 10-15 images directly.

If you are selected for Everywriter, please have your bio, high Rez images ready to email.

Questions? Drop me a line at the same email.

Everything featured on our site belongs to you. Your artwork and stories are yours and will be credited clearly as such. We are here to showcase talent. Previously published works are considered.

For questions about poetry

For questions about fiction

Thanks and Cheers!!


Amy on writing

Learning the hard way

I haven’t posted or been on WordPress for far too long. And I apologize. I’m still here!

I am heavily absorbed in edits for CAPTURE THE TIDE. I know, still. But this is the reason- I have a real legit editor on it now.

A while back I posted about hiring a service to do a one-off edit. This was a mistake for me. One I didn’t learn until recently.

But it’s okay! I have an editor that I am working with in what I can only describe as a collaboration.

These are the things you want from an editor, and of course I’ve learned this the hard way. As I do.

Step one is developmental edits- big picture stuff

Next is deep edits- pacing, transitions, believability.

The next 2 edits are fine tuning of the overall story and copy editing.

There should be tons of back and forth, a running dialog. Your editor is your team mate and cheerleader. A great editor views your success as their success.

So when looking for an editor that is right for you, ask these questions, allow them to work with you and of course be kind. They know your work is precious to you, and they respect that.

Don’t settle for less.

Cheer, Amy