Green's Hill-Amy Lane's Home - News

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

So, what I'm trying to say is...

There's this sort of dance married people do sometimes.

"Oh, I'm sorry dear--I'll get the dishes."

"No, no-- you've been cooking dinner for the last month. I'll get them."

"But you've been busy with gaming and meetings and with helping Chicken with her broken car, I'll get it."

"No, no-- don't worry. I'll make it happen.  And I'll do the laundry too."

"No, no--I'll get the laundry. If you're going to get the dishes, I'll get the laundry."

"Not your fault the laundry is overflowing. Don't worry about it..."

And so on.

Are you ready to beat us both with a 2x4 yet?

So Mate, my beloved Mate, has been trying to update my website for two years.

And being Mate, he has big plans, and a great idea, and no time to do it. Literally no time. He already lives behind his computer during family time as it is, usually sending e-mails, whether to work or soccer, doesn't matter.

Now two years ago, (when we had money) I offered to find a designer to pay. That's when I got the logo et al (still one of the best things I've ever done) and his feelings were hurt. He could do it. I know he could.

Okay. I knew he could.

And yes, I've updated the website (Weebly, which apparently is some sort of sin of websites, we had no idea) since, thinking, "Oh, this thing I'm doing here--I will have him change it for the new one. And this thing I'm doing here? This should be done like this.  And I will have pages for each series, and I will organize the books by type instead of publisher, and..."

And this list sort of grew longer and longer and longer, until every time I looked at my website I wanted to cry.

Well, I went to my website today and one of my priorities was eliminating the Torquere page (because none of the links worked anymore anyway) and I accidentally deleted the DSP page and I got an idea for how to make that whole thing more efficient anyway and...

So what I'm trying to say is, I updated my website with the help of a reader who was more than sympathetic to my plight. (I owe her something wonderful and writerly... think think think...)

But it's not completely done.

I'll do more tomorrow.

And hopefully more the next day.

Until it's as good as I can get it.

Until Mate can finish the WordPress website that he's been wanting to see for so long.

And also, in case you haven't uploaded it, Scorched Haven is available in .pdf if you want to GO CHECK IT OUT. 

And *whew*

Now on to more Familiar Angel.    

Sunday, January 22, 2017

MacBeth and Friday

Today, in light of the thing that was inflicted on our nation on Friday, a lot of people were quoting George Orwell's 1984. Now, 1984 is a favorite of mine--I used to teach a unit on that and Brave New World that I really really loved. But although those books deal with fascism and massive social oppression, they're not the only ones that deal with a tyrant.

One of my favorite things to teach--one of the things I used to be able to recite pages of (not accurately, but the gist was pretty much there) was Macbeth. 

And so I offer you some quotes from MacBeth, just in case you find yourself, between now and the future impeachment, sputtering for words. Shakespeare has a couple of old standbys that just might come in handy:

Upon not cheating to get you what you want:
"If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me." (Act I, Scene III)

Upon not trusting appearances or what authority says or not thinking everything that glitters is a gilt-gold toilet:
"Fair is foul, and foul is fair." (Act I, Scene I)

Upon being manipulated by someone more ruthless than you are:
"Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o' the milk of human kindness." (Act I, Scene V)

Upon fucking people over while smiling in their faces:
"Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under't." (Act I, Scene V)

Upon throwing a tantrum when you're trying to find your balls:
"I dare do all that may become a man; Who dares do more is none." (Act I, Scene VII)

Upon committing cold blooded murder on a sleeping friend--or making a cowardly act sound like a warrior's sacrifice:
"Screw your courage to the sticking-place." (Act I, Scene VII)

Upon wanting power for power's sake and not because you could do a better job:
"I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself, and falls on the other." (Act I, Scene VII)

Upon being afraid of all the people around you because you know they aren't all friendly:
"There's daggers in men's smiles." (Act II, Scene III)

Upon knowing Cheetoh McShitGibbon is coming to your town:
"By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes." (Act IV, Scene I)

Upon obsessing over something small and insignificant that's a reflection of your own soiled soul--or the place where the bad Tweets come from:
"Out, damned spot! out, I say!" (Act V, Scene I).

Upon watching someone who butchers his own language try to give a speech to lead millions of people who are smarter than he is:
"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." (Act V, Scene V)

Upon mistaking power for empty privilege:
"I bear a charmed life." (Act V, Scene VIII)

Upon not having the temperament to rule justly:
The king-becoming graces,
As justice, verity, temperance, stableness,
Bounty, perseverance, mercy, lowliness,
Devotion, patience, courage, fortitude,
I have no relish of them but abound
In the division of each several crime,
Acting it many ways. Nay, had I power, I should
Pour the sweet milk of concord into hell,
Uproar the universal peace, confound
All unity on earth. (Act IV, Scene III)

Upon making a subtle threat:
Fail not our feast (Act II, Scene II)

Upon being tortured by your own guilt because you did something horrible for no reason at all:
But wherefore could not I pronounce “Amen”?
I had most need of blessing, and “Amen”
Stuck in my throat. (Act II, Scene II)

Upon being irrationally afraid of things that have been made to look bad in order to entertain us:
'Tis the eye of childhood
That fears a painted devil. (Act II, Scene II)

Upon the belief that the world and the elements themselves rebel when the people in charge have reversed the roles of good and evil. Today, we call that climate change:
Ha, good father,
Thou seest the heavens, as troubled with man’s act,
Threatens his bloody stage. (Act II, Scene IV)

Upon convincing the gullible and the desperate that all of their misfortune stems from someone who not only wouldn't hurt them, but would probably work for their betterment:
Have you considered of my speeches? Know
That it was he, in the times past, which held you
So under fortune, which you thought had been
Our innocent self. This I made good to you
In our last conference, passed in probation with you,
How you were borne in hand, how crossed, the instruments,
Who wrought with them, and all things else that might
To half a soul and to a notion crazed
Say, “Thus did Banquo.” (Act 3, Scene 1)

Upon not being able to get people to do what you want because you don't have any leadership abilities whatsoever:
He cannot buckle his distempered cause
Within the belt of rule. (Act 5, Scene 2)

Upon commanding people who hate you, and being too small a person for the great office you've usurped:
Those he commands move only in command,
Nothing in love. Now does he feel his title
Hang loose about him, like a giant’s robe
Upon a dwarfish thief.

Friday, January 20, 2017


Today's schedule:

Wake up at 7:30

Take Squish to school at 8:30

Get home at 9:10 (with coffee and sausage burrito of course)

Walk dogs, use the bathroom, leave at 9:50

Get to  Chicken's at 10:15

Get Chicken to work a little bit late at 10:50 because we stopped to get her food, and she'd had no breakfast. She was understanding.

Get home at 11:35.

Debate fiercely with self whether to go to aqua or not, conveniently forgetting that ZoomBoy should be out of school at 1:30. Or was it 2:30? It was definitely 1--wait, 2:30.

Watch it start to rain and give up on aqua. Besides, it was 1:30.

Forget it was 1:30, forget that it's Thursday, forget Squish is out at 2:04, and go down for a nap.

Get a call at 2:25 as you're out the door to get ZoomBoy. It's Squish, saying, "You forgot it's Thursday, didn't you?"

Go HOLY MOTHERFUCKING CRAPBALLS in your head while you rush to pick up ZoomBoy, who, by the way, got out at 2:30 and is unperturbed.

Pick Squish up EXTRA late because we got ZoomBoy first.

Squish picks the place to get snack, because, well, ZoomBoy first.

Get home at 3:30 to a phone call from the dealership--come get car!

Leave house a little early, and realize HOLY MOTHERFUCKING CRAPBALLS I NEED TO GET GAS.

Have exactly enough time to get gas, drop off the rental and walk next door to get the old car with the brand new ass before everything closes.

Get home and pretend nobody's hungry for dinner while you try to get just a little bit of work, please, just half an hour of work in, for the love of holy let me do my job.

Start dinner at 7.

Eat dinner at 8, when Mate gets home after dropping Chicken off at her apartment, with a complete schedule for how she doesn't need a ride to work again tomorrow because her car is getting worked on.

Take phone call at 9 that you've wanted to take for quite a while.

See text while on phone that indicates somebody has a doctor's appointment tomorrow. You have no idea who.

Hug kids off to bed while on the phone.

Get off phone, spend five minutes with husband before he goes to bed, and ten minutes on phone figuring out that you need to take ZoomBoy to the doctor's tomorrow before he goes to school.

Think-- just THINK you've got the schedule down until Mate reminds you that Squish has choir, ZoomBoy DOESN'T have club, and Chicken will need a ride home from the Car Czar.

Sit down to do some frickin' work.

Look at clock and see that it's blog time.


Tomorrow, a horrible, monstrous abomination of a human being is going to be sworn in to rule (not govern, rule, like we're serfs) our country.

I personally will be too fucking busy living a life of community and family to give a ripe shit, or to read anything relevant to this farce that I can't use the democratic process to fight.

And I'm going to remember that the things he says aren't real unless he can legislate them. And if he tries to legislate him, he can be fought. And that community and family are bigger and more important than this aging flea-shit business failure on any given day.

I have more worth as a human taxi than this guy has on his biggest day. Whatever you are doing--whoever you are loving, whatever cause you are fighting for, whoever you are doing good for, whatever ideal or hope you are embracing--remember that you do too.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Yarn Ends

Okay-- two things today, one old, one new:


ZoomBoy has taken to calling the dogs "assles", thinking that I won't notice he's really just copying ME when I call them assholes. I let him get away with it because A. Middle School, B. Mom swears all the time, what did I expect, and C. They dogs ARE assholes.


Squish today said, "Wait! Why does he get to say traffic words?"

Me: He doesn't really.

Squish: Do I get to call them assles?

Me: No! Neither of you should!

ZoomBoy: Why not?

Me: Because one day you're going to be talking about your pets in class and you're going to say "We've got three cats, two fish, and two assholes!" and then I"m going to get called to the principal's office!

They both seemed to think this was good reasoning and we dropped the subject.

Of course my real reason was that Mate isn't happy when the kids learn to swear--even though he's the second worst offender in the house.

So that was new.

Now old.

I'm trying to finish fingerless mitts and a couple of hats as swag. It's hard fitting the time in, and I had a flashback to when I used to knit baby blankets in three days and four sweaters a year.

And then I remembered the following conversation between me and a friend of mine.

We were "adopting" bears for Chicken's birthday-- a Build-a-Bear workshop. And in  your "adoption" papers, you have to put a few hobbies or words that described you.

"Oh, easy!" my friend said. "You're a yarner."

"That's it? I put writer--see?"  (I had just finished Vulnerable-- I was so proud.)

"Well, yeah-- but you leave little scraps of yarn everywhere you go.     So, you know, more knitter than writer."

And I realized I had to make a choice, schedule time, break away from my beloved knitting and write instead.

And it was a bigger sacrifice than it might seem.

I mean, I really love knitting.

But I stand by that choice back then. Writing is who I am.

Although I still do leave the occasional yarn end to mark where I've been. Think of it as fiber of love ;-)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Itsa Itsa Itsa... Dodge Caravan!

Okay-- the days have been quiet which doesn't give me much blog-fodder, but I have a few things today.

The first is I took the Odyssey in to get the back quarter repaired today--and realized I'd forgotten to reserve a rental car. I went to the rental car place--right next door to the repair shop--and resigned myself to a long wait for Mate. Hell, I couldn't even get him on the phone.

Then the girl--who looked disconcertingly like Buffy the Vampire Slayer--and I say that with all love, because Sarah Michelle Gellar is stunningly pretty and I adored Buffy--saw me sitting in the corner, looking across the street at McDonalds and wondering if maybe I should just wait there because at least there was coffee, and said, "Wait--did you turn in a minivan?"


"So you'd want a minivan in return?"


"I can get you one of those. Just wait."

Took her ten minutes.

And she didn't have to do it. I was the moron who hadn't reserved a car. I took to Twitter and @Enterprise and sent out something making sure she got an attagirl. And they said she would.  I mean, it was just so kind-- and she didn't have to. I hope she got a gift certificate somewhere awesome--I really do.

And the car was a newer Dodge Caravan-- which is the same make/model of the one that died--literally, gave it's last gasp into a parking spot--two years ago. BTW? This one looks totally different than that one. It's like a whole new car.

The kids were very puzzled--and very excited--with the new-to-us vehicle. The dogs were highly suspicious. Apparently all bad things start with a Dodge Caravan. I'm thinking Johnnie and Geoffie might still have memories of the old one.

And after that?

Well, Quickening Part 1 got it's second to last edit, and THAT'S exciting!

Oh! And I'm making KPoP mitts for swag for Coastal Magic-- can you tell?

Well... maybe if the dogs weren't in the way...

I'm pretty embarrassed about the fingerless mitts as a swag option btw. I really don't see how anybody would want them--I'm bringing books for backup.

<3 p="">

Coastal Magic


I'm going to be at Coastal Magic in Daytona Beach, Florida, in a couple of weeks, and I'm excited. I'm going down a few days early, spending time with a friend who both writes and knits, and we're going to attend a class given by Franklin Habit.

Be still my heart!

I can't even tell you how much I'm looking forward to this.

And at the same time...


Who will tell he kids to feed the cats? Who will walk the dogs? Who will keep Mate from lunging off the bed when he has a nightmare?

And as I contemplate the guilt, I realize it's been a long time since I've gone anywhere without my family.  Wow. September? Is that when Yaoi-Con was?

I've planned a year of moderate travel-- Coastal Magic, DSP Weekend in Orlando in March, Romantic Times in Atlanta, and possibly RWA in Florida, and it's occurred to me that I miss my family during these moments.

Parenthood and career is such a perilous balance, isn't it? I think, in the last two years I've made several unconscious decisions to pick family over career. Interesting that--how sometimes it just happens, whether you will it or not.

That doesn't mean the decisions are easy to live with-- I kick myself daily for not updating my website, not writing more letters to shop out Heaven, not connecting more with the publishing world.

But I think what it comes down to, is that in all the world the things I'd most like to do, are spend time with my family and write.

So that's what I do.

And it's important to remember that I'm the one who set this priority, because if things on the career front don't pan out the way I'd hoped, I'm the one who set the priority. 

Yeah, it sucks being a grownup sometimes.

Anyway--I'm rambling. It's 1:25 a.m, and mostly what I've done today is edit and sleep, with time out to walk the dogs and play Ultimate Werewolf with the kids. (We've been spending about 20 minutes a night doing this--the game comes with an app, and expansion packs, and generally, high hilarity.)  On the one hand, I've worked an eight hour day.

On the other, I've dozed in front of the television for an hour while Mate watched Bob's Burgers.

I think generally, I can't complain. I mean, I can--I've had setbacks, even one today that sort of broke my heart even though nothing really bad happened, I just had to adjust how I was thinking about a story. It will still be published--just not how I thought.

But that too, is a choice.

And not too bad of one, really.

So yeah-- I guess when you're the ultimate grownup, those choices are all about balance. Today wasn't a bad day on the beam.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Beat Goes On


I tweeted yesterday about taking the 9 a.m. Saturday morning aqua class to try to fit some aqua in before the rain comes again. It was 35 degrees when I got ready to leave.

Yeah-- chilly.

Now, the pool was heated-- 78 degrees for aqua, it might even be 80--so the worst part was stripping to my suit and walking to the stairs (and then the trip from the pool to the hot tub afterward) and the class was pretty small.  (This means we could work really hard--lots of room--so we could keep ourselves warm.)

Anyway, I hadn't met this aqua instructor before, but she was awesome. A salty woman in her sixties, she was having technical difficulties with her DVD player and I offered my phone in its place.

"I'm not sure what's on it," I said apologetically. "It's the kids' mix on Spotify."

"I have no idea what that means."


Heather Dale--March of the Cambreadth

Journey--Don't Stop Believing

The Romantics--What I Like About You

Dropkick Murphy's--The Warrior's Code

Mark Ronson--Uptown Funk

Boxer Rebellion--The Runner

Lil Wayne--Let it Rock

Hunger Games Soundtrack--The Hanging Tree

Heather Dale--Mordred's Lullaby

And I was living in fear that Linkin Park and Offspring would come on, because those songs had a lot of swear words.

Anyway-- it's sort of eclectic.

And the funniest part of the whole experience was when one of the other victims, er, class members, turned to me and said "Oh my God, how old are your kids?"

I had to laugh.

That's a very complicated answer!!!

But some of you were worried about me when I said I was going... I just thought I'd tell you I survived.

And I'm thinking of going in the cold tomorrow. But, you know, only if the music's good ;-)

Friday, January 13, 2017

ZoomBoy and the Dentist

Zoomboy had a dentist appointment today-- I was all over it. Was gonna take him at 10:30, get him back to school by 11:45, get to aqua right on time and BOOM.

Day mastered, motherhood achieved.

One or two little glitches to this plan.

It started out well enough-- I went to get him from school and chatted up the attendance lady.

She is the nicest person.

"Oh, yes. Zoomboy. He's the sweetest lamb. He was tardy today."

"Uh, yeah."

"He's tardy quite a bit--but not as much as last year, so that's encouraging."

(I may have mentioned before that Mate and I are THOSE parents.)  "He's getting better."

"Yes, but I remember him this morning. He's rocking the bright green mitts. So cheery!"

"I'm making him a hat to match."

"He'll love that! But he signs his name slower than any child I've seen in my entire career."

(Like me, she is not young. This is an unexpected landmark in Zoomboy's history of being Zoomboy.)

"Well, you know, we're both left handed."

"Yes-- and he's got to do the thing with his hand. I understand. But he's a sweetheart--and here he comes!"

So that went well--and I think we need to remember to give the attendance lady a gift on the last day of school. It would probably be very appreciated.

But anyway, that wasn't the glitch.  The glitches came with the appointment itself. First, they were running a little late. But the dentist was taking extra time with a fractious little one who was having a very bad day, and since I am a grownup and Zoomboy is a big kid, we could definitely wait for that.

The second was... uh...

Well, I hadn't counted on her using nitrous.

I mean, I should have. Because they were sealing and filling all his teeth. But I didn't.

Zoomboy floated out of the back office and I talked with the dentist. While I was doing that he fetched my yarn bag. And stood at my side, staring at me soulfully. Without saying a word.

We got to the car and I talked about his procedure for checking back into school, and he said, "Can I just go home. Please."

It was the first thing he'd said in fifteen minutes, and he mumbled. And it dawns on me.

"Are you feeling a little loopy?"

"My nostrils are cold."

"Are you seeing in sound?"

"No." Beat beat beat. "Am I drooling?"


"It's Friday the thirteenth. I"m glad you didn't go after all the people in my dream with a blood dripping  machete."

"Me too. That would have been unnerving."

"Yes. Don't do that."

And then he leaned his head against the car window and stared out into the bright sunshine.

"Okay then. We still need to go get your stuff."

"Okay." ... ... ...

Folks, the softly staring gaze was getting unnerving.

He had to hold my hand when we walked across the school quad so he didn't wander away.

"Is he checking back in?" the attendance lady asked, looking puzzled.

"Uh, no. They had to use nitrous."

Zoomboy stared happily into space and swayed.

"Oh. Do you think you can get to your locker, Zoomboy?" she asked as she wrote the pass.

"Zoomboy?"  I tapped his chin.

"Yeah. That's fine."

He wandered away and she was like, "Yeah, I don't think..."

"No, he's really not gonna..."

"Yeah. This isn't the day to go back to school."

I texted Mate. Even the attendance lady thinks he's too stoned to go to school. 

I texted Chicken, and she was like, "Ha ha-- I need to see that!"

I told ZoomBoy what she said.

"Tell her to take a picture."

So I did.

And I'm not sure if the picture is worth the 1000 words... but I do think it backs them up a little. He's playing video games now. And trying not to drool.

Nitrous--I need to file that away in my motherhood bag, so I know what to expect next time.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


First of all, Rhae made me mitts, because she is wonderful. They are soft and scrumptious and smell like Damascus rose.

You can't have them, They're MINE. (Thanks Rhae!)

And about the cats...

The balance of power has changed here at chez Lane.  I'm trying to decide exactly how to fix things, but cats are particular creatures, you understand?

Gordie hates me because he thinks I'm the reason Chicken left. This is fact.

Gordie should love me, because I have reintroduced wet food into the dietary regime of our cats. This is also fact.

Newt Dewey loves me, because he loves everybody. This is fact.

Newt Dewey loves me in particular because I give the magic wet food. Again, a fact.

Newt Dewey also loves me in particular because I am the one who wakes up and pets him at o-crotch-thirty and I also laugh at him when he lands on the dogs' heads, causing great confusion. You know, fact.

Steve used to love me best because we were both bitch queens in a tiny stinky kingdom and she liked it that way.

Steve now hates me.  These are both sad truths.

Gordie now tolerates me.

Newt Dewey loves me in a very general way.

And the dogs are too stupid to understand that the balance of power has, indeed changed. They have initiated the following sequence of events:

Geoffie will plan to rush Newt Dewey because he is The Dreaded Cat.  Gordie will jump in front of Newt Dewey and stare Geoffie into running in the opposite direction, because Gordie is the REAL dreaded cat. Geoffie will ru n right into Steve and get beat up, because she hates ALL THE THINGS not me, but she also hates me because there is one more thing NOT ME in the house.

So, as you can see, there is a delicate balance of fur, hubris, and irritation going on in my tiny, stinky house. (We won't discuss what Gordie did behind the Christmas tree before we took it down. Let's just say I wanted to shove a lump of coal up that cat's ass.)

Because of that, the following peaceful convocation of cats was both welcome and...

Very, very suspicious.

If my family and I disappear in a while, do me a favor.

Be kind to all fat mice.

You never known if one of them is wearing teeny tiny glasses and tapping on a cell phone with her mittened little paws.

Back in the saddle...

*  The kids went back to school today

*  It is still raining

*  My shoes smell like troll vomit--I"m trying teabags in them to make them smell better tonight

*  Speaking of "teabags" there is a term ZB uses for his games called "tea bagging"-- I have no idea what it means, but since I see no gay porn on the Overwatch screen, I'm going to hope it means something else.

*  I miss aqua aerobics

*  The dogs are going to rebel if I take them walking in the rain one more time

*  The cats are still waiting fruitlessly for the world outside to change when they meow at the door

* Nope. Still raining.

*  I hit that stage of tired today where I don't know I"m tired

*  I think that question about "chair life" is no longer hypothetical-- my chair keeps sinking and it's pissing me off

* It's also funking up my back

*  Ordered swag today

*  Always order too much

*  And assume it sucks

*  Of course it sucks-- my sense of design--OI!

*  I want you all to see the cover for Bonfires but it's debuting on Joyfully Jay at the end of this month

*  Speaking of-- only a week and a half before I leave for Coastal Magic?


* But I DID dye my hair this morning

* Shocker-- it is NOT clown-car red

*  Gonna bail now--may tomorrow be filled with hope

*  But speaking of hope, I hope I don't see any more fictional stories deal with plane crashes before I get on a plane. I watched an episode of Travelers and almost had a heart attack.

*  Speaking of-- great show!

*  And on that note, I'm gonna bail.

*  May tomorrow be grand :-)