Archive for the ‘Words Words Words’ Category

Oakland Cattown Cafe

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

A friend from out of town (hi, Holly!) is visiting Oakland for a few weeks, which gave us the perfect excuse to visit somewhere I’ve been dying to go — the cat cafe! Oakland Cattown Cafe is associated with a shelter, so the money you pay to visit the cats is actually a tax-deductible donation to the shelter. Holly made our reservations online, so they were $10 each (it’s $5 if you drop in and they have space). There are a limited number of humans allowed to bug the cats each hour, so reserving ahead was totally worth it.

Also, this is mostly a photo review, so, enjoy the cats.

Cat Macarons at Oakland Cattown Cafe

The first thing that greeted us was cat macarons!

We both tried the Earl Grey and Ginger Yuzu and they were both good, but Earl Grey won for me. Thanks to US health codes, they can’t serve you while you’re in with the cats, but you can take in food, as long as you don’t share with the cats, and your drinks have a lid. We both got tea & macarons, reviewed the rules, sanitized our hands, and headed in.

Sleeping kitten at Oakland Cattown Cafe

Let sleeping cats lie!

Once we got inside, most of the kitties were settling down for an afternoon nap, so we found seats (there’s tons of places to sit) and enjoyed our treats. Someone was coming to adopt one of the kitties, so the employees were busy with that instead of greeting us, but they did happily greet everyone else on the way in. We got there right at the hour, so as to spend the whole hour with the kitties, and were alone for the first while (employees aside).

Cosy cat cushions at Oakland Cattown Cafe

Cushions for humans and trays for treats arrayed around the cat hammocks

This guy had just gotten out of a week of medical confinement (hurt ankle), and went around yelling for his ‘brother’ and waking everyone up.

Playing kitties and Oakland Cattown Cafe

Reunited, they immediately begin acting like brothers

After a while the lighter one got tired of his brother’s loud antics, and started tackling him every time. Even kitties know when to say stfu.

Custom cat furniture at Oakland Cattown Cafe

Cat butt o’clock!

There is a whole panorama of really cool Oakland-themed cat furniture in there, including this awesome Tribune building. The other two clocks are different, but obviously this one was my fave.

Kitty quiet room at Oakland Cattown Cafe

The quiet room, after the orange one woke everyone up

There’s also a “quiet room” where only 2 humans at a time get to go bug the cats in their cozy cubbies. The orange one was in there yelling, so we petted a few heads before everyone settled back in to resume their naps. Some of the cats snuggled up 3 to a cubby, and some were really not interested in any other company but their own.

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate at Bittersweet Chocolate Cafe


Overall, it was a really great hour. We didn’t play with the cats ourselves a lot, but some other people came in and broke out the toys, and enough cats were awake from the caterwauling to be entertaining. There’s huge windows to let in the sunlight, and the room is spacious, clean, and full of cats. I definitely recommend a visit to Oakland Cattown Cafe if you get the chance!

As a bonus, we walked back toward BART and ran across this awesome place, a hot chocolate cafe. The not-too-sweet treats we got there were the perfect follow-up to lunch!

Categories: Words Words Words

January Patreon Sketches

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

My wonderful supporters on Patreon get the option to request sketches at the $5 and $10 level (color!), and this month I got 4 requests.

Abandoned Book for Kim, sketch by Amy Crook

Abandoned Book for Kim, who was feeling melancholy

Death Does Netflix and Chill, sketch by Amy Crook

Death Does Netflix & Chill, for Jeff, who wanted to see Death on holiday

Favorite Treats, sketch by Amy Crook

Favorite Treats, for Blaine who wanted my favorite food (I cheated)

Exes and Ghosts, sketch by Amy Crook

Exes and Ghosts, for Molly who asked for musical and got an earworm

Untrue Love by Amy Crook, a Consulting Magic short


PS – If you’ve been curious about my writing, the little G-rated “how they met” short Untrue Love is on sale this week — for free!

This story shows us Alex’s first case, when he was an insufferable little university student instead of an insufferable adult. He meets Agent Murielle Lapointe, with whom he’s still working years later in the novels, and they work together to catch a killer.


Categories: Completed Commissions, People, Figures and Faces, Things I'm a Fan Of, Words Words Words, Zombies, Skulls, and Other Morbid Things
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Best of 2015: 13 Artist’s Picks

Monday, December 28th, 2015

Artist's Choice: Best of 2015 from Amy Crook

It’s the most reflective time of the year, when we all think back on what was shiny and good in the previous year. Since I enjoyed the post so much last year, I thought I’d once again choose a baker’s dozen of favorites, first month by month and finally one art to rule them all. Or something.


Categories: Words Words Words
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Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

Notebooks are finally available in my Etsy shop!

Notebooks are finally available in my Etsy shop!

The stats are as follows:

  • 8 designs to choose from at $10 each or 2/$17
  • Notebook contains 24 blank pages
  • Each 4.25″x5.5″ notebook is made to order by hand
  • Cover is printed on Wasau natural parchment card stock
  • Inner pages are 25% cotton Southworth paper
  • Notebooks are saddle stitched with 2 staples

Take a look at all my notebooks and choose the ones you love the most!

Categories: Sale Post, Words Words Words
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Consulting Magic short stories

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Untrue Love by Amy CrookUntrue Love is a short story about murder, magic, and our very own Alex Benedict as a 20-year-old university student.

If you’ve read and enjoyed my other Consulting Magic books, you’ll be delighted to see Alex meeting Lapointe for the first time and trying not to drive her off with his personality before they can solve a murder. There’s magic and food and mystery, all wrapped up in one little bite.

If you’ve not read them, this is a good place to start! You can figure out if you’re interested in the world and the people, long before the romance starts in The Courtship of Julian St. Albans.

Alex Benedict is a student of magic in his third year at Hartbridge University with no clear direction for his studies. That is, until he puts himself in the middle of a criminal investigation by literally stepping in it.

This is the story of Alex’s first case with Agent Murielle Lapointe, and while it’s lacking in romance, it’s a delightful look into grumpy young Alex and what he got up to before he was a professional consultant.

Rosemary for the Holidays by Amy CrookAfter you’ve read The Apprenticeship of Julian St. Albans, you can get a little taste of the holidays that follow! This cheerful little story shows Alex and Julian holding an actual holiday part, where friends and family drop by, and they end up filling their home with magic, love, and wonder.

Rosemary for the Holidays is definitely a sequel to the first two books, a quick treat if you’ve finished both books and still want another taste of our boys. Not to mention a visit with Horace, the flower fairy, the brownies, and the rest!

Julian St. Albans and Alex Benedict celebrate the Solstice with a visit to the wish tree, and a holiday party at their flat. A little holiday gift to the readers of my Consulting Magic series!

This story comes after the events in the second book, The Apprenticeship of Julian St. Albans.

I’ll be writing away on the third book during NaNoWriMo, so enjoy these little nibbles while I’m figuring out what’s next for Alex, Julian, Horace, and the rest of them!

Categories: Words Words Words
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Unboxed Giveaway

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Unboxed by Amy Crook

Yesterday was Frodo & Bilbo Baggins’ birthday, and mine as well!* To celebrate, I’m giving away a signed copy of my latest novel on Goodreads — check it out! Entries close midnight on September 30th.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Unboxed by Amy Crook


by Amy Crook

Giveaway ends September 30, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

*And Tom Felton, but he’s not really relevant.

Categories: Words Words Words
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Monday, September 21st, 2015

quick paint sketch of a hummingbird by Amy Crook, livepainted on Periscope

quick paint sketch of a hummingbird by Amy Crook, livepainted on Periscope

What’s Periscope, you might ask?

  • Periscope is an app (owned by Twitter) that lets you make live videos with your phone.
  • Periscope videos (or scopes) last 24 hours before they vanish forever.
  • I have Periscope set to tweet when I’m on live.
  • You can watch on the app or on the web, including the replay (for as long as it lasts).
  • You don’t have to make videos to have an account and watch them.
  • You can text chat to the person making the video, share the video on Twitter, and give them “hearts” by tapping on the screen during the live feed.
  • Yes, it’s yet another form of social media.
  • Kind of like Youtube and Snapchat had a baby and sold it to Twitter.
  • But I actually really like it.
  • My username is, predictably, amysnotdeadyet.

I’m using it to make art! Or, well, to let you watch me make art. I painted the little hummingbird sketch above live on Periscope the other day, and below there’s two more things that owe their lives to me wanting to draw something on Periscope.

Eames & Arthur bookmarks by Amy Crook

Eames & Arthur bookmarks by Amy Crook

Well, actually Eames and Arthur (above) owe their existence in part to Periscope, and in part to wanting to work on their character design for a commission. But the merdude below was one of my first Periscope experiments!

Merdude watercolor sketch by Amy Crook on Periscope

Merdude watercolor sketch by Amy Crook on Periscope

You can see at the top of the page I wrote, “Hi! I can’t see you chat,” because when I’m drawing or painting the phone is up over my shoulder and, like everything on Periscope, the chats are ephemeral and disappear before I can go looking.

I’m amysnotdeadyet on Periscope — come say hi!

Categories: People, Figures and Faces, Sea Creatures and Other Animals, Series and Books, Things I'm a Fan Of, Whimsical and Strange, Words Words Words
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