Amber L. Carter
Writer. Professional Intuitive. Pop Culture Obsessive.
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Posts in Really Very Literary
[The Space You Take] Chapt. 1: Something Always Breaking Us In Two, Part 1

“OI! OI! OI! Oi!”

“See me riiiide out of the sunset!” Grayson sang. “On yourrrr…color TV screen!”

“Out for all that I can get! If ya know what I mean!”

“Me singing by myself this time!” Grayson yelled over the music.

“Alright, do it!” I mock-yelled back. 

“Ain’t got no gun, ain’t got no knife, don’t you start no fight!”

“Cause I’m T-N-T! I’m dyno-mite! T-N-T-” 

“NO, Amber! ME singing!” 

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[The Space You Take] Chapt. 1: Something Always Breaking Us In Two, Prelude

The sky looked like dread. 

Sliding my hands over the studded arch of the tan leather steering wheel, I stared out at the sky from under heavy lids and tried to shove that thought from my mind. I used to love coming up with descriptions like that - hey, look how clever I am, did you know I secretly wanna to be a writer? - but now, thoughts like that were needling, annoying…like being reminded of a bill you had to pay, or an apology you still needed to make.

So I resented the thought.

Almost, but not as much, as I resented that sky. 

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Committed To Sparkle Motion

I had friends from Minneapolis who were up at their cabin for the holiday weekend, and we were meeting that morning for brunch. I slipped on a pair of skinny black jeans, cuffed them quickly, then donned a black shirt and a light black sweater. Slipping on my sandals, I threw my hair up into a ponytail and then bounded down the stairs to unlock my bike. The morning was cool and cloudy and everything that I could ever want in a Sunday morning, just on the cusp of fall. I love fall so much. It’s so easy to forget in the haze of summer sunshine, but leaves and lakes and boots and jackets and bonfires…it’s what I come here for, over and over again. An endless loop of fall in the Northwoods. Riding my bike past my old place, I smiled a little as I remembered that this was the day, two years ago, that Katy and I went to River’s Edge for River Jam and I ran into the boy who would define that early fall for me…and pretty much my new adult dating existence, if I’m honest about it. He was beautiful and smart and a great, great kisser and he had a lot of potential. And I really wanted him, but it was the first time in a long while that I let my feelings shield and protect me, instead of tossing them to the wind to see what might come back. And I am really glad for that. The lesson I was meant to learn with him is that potential doesn’t mean shit, quite frankly, and it was time to be done with boys who were super cute but just a lot of talk, and who, at the end of the day, don’t really make you feel all that great about yourself.

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Dead In The Water

It was the numbness, you know? That’s when you know it’s real. When the thought of even Scott Speedman or Garrett Hedlund’s got you thinking, Eh. The depression thing…it was mild. That was kind of the thing. I felt “mildly depressed.” I wasn’t sad enough that I couldn’t get out of bed, not so upset that I couldn’t function. I just didn’t feel all that happy or excited. About anything. And I wanted to – I wanted to feel grateful, and positive, and all shades of joyous and motivated. But instead I felt deflated, and numb. Empty. And disillusioned, even though I hate that feeling. I kept wanting to give myself the pep talk that this was the best logical thing for the both of us (even if it felt like the worst)…but the truth was something that I’ve known all along, and it’s what he’s known all along, and it made me angry and hurt and unsure of anything that anyone has ever said or done when it came to love.

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Dance Dance Dread

I love dancing. I love dancing so much that I do it almost every damn day. Sometimes, I even do it by myself, when I’m alone, during special private moments. Mostly, though, I feel like dancing should be shared between people: Ideally, people who know and like each other. Or at least people who think that the other person is cool when they spot them across the room, like the way you probably would if you saw Lionel Richie at your cousin’s wedding, or like the way you would hope Lionel Richie would feel about you if he saw you across the room at his cousin’s wedding. “Hey man, that kid looks cool. Let’s dance. Fiesta forever.”

But sometimes, you just don’t feel like dancing. Maybe you’re like, “I hate this song” or, “I haven’t had time to work on my moves” or, “I am wearing the wrong outfit for that dance floor, as everyone else is wearing jeans and t-shirts and I had to come straight from work in a black sequined dress and high-heeled boots.” Whatever it is, it’s okay. You don’t have to dance all the time. Sometimes, despite what MTV tells you, it’s better to save the dancing for when you’re really in the mood.

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