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

Monday, August 29, 2016

A Big Weekend!

 Okay-- so yesterday was opening day, and this always means exhaustion and sort of a slow Sunday.

But Tart and Sweet is out on September 5th, and I got my paperback copies this week, and that means it was time to go see Darrin!

Darrin was thrilled to see us-- and I gave him copies of Fish Out of Water and Winter Ball, mostly so I would have an excuse to go see him now that the series based on his store is over. (I want to give I'm the sequels, natch ;-)

And I took a lot more pictures than this--but I just sent a pretty lengthy post to Alpha Book Club, and wanted to give them an exclusive content crack at those pictures, because Jaime was so nice about asking.

But these are two good ones-- and I think they give you a great impression of both Darrin and his beloved store. He's awesome. Alas, he doesn't read your pictures in Pixy Stix powder, but he is an awfully nice guy, and his employees are always kind.

You may notice my family in the background? See that bucket Squish is holding? Yup-- finally he succeeded in getting me to take a full bucket of candy. In this case, he dumped the bucket into the plastic bag, and then the plastic bag into the bucket, and then realized the bag wasn't coming out of the bucket so we got that too.

Zoomboy is holding a giant chocolate bar.

Because.

So while I'm sad that the series is ending, I'm happy that Darrin's still going to be happy to see me. I sure have enjoyed being a tiny part of Candy Heaven for the last two years.

Now about opening day--

Well, I've been doing it for fourteen years, and the little kids have been dragged to it, one way or another, since they were born. (ZoomBoy was born on Saturday morning in November. His father left the hospital, took Chicken to her soccer game, then to a slumber party, then took Big T to a movie, and then went home and had himself a nice little coma.)  But some days stand out more than others.

The days that were 105+, we all seem to remember, because everybody came home in a coma.

The days we had three different kids to watch on three different teams were also fun.

This year was different because Mate-- president of the club, remember-- was not actually present at opening day. In this case, the league put out the schedule for Mate's seeding tournament about a month after the soccer club had started planning opening day. So Mate helped plan a lot of it, and then he didn't get to go to any of it.

Squish and I did though. But I missed Squish's first game.

The story goes like this:

Mate had me volunteer to supervise at the bounce houses-- the obstacle course, to be precise. Squish's first game started at 10, and my shift was from 9:00--9:30, so, easy to do, right?

Well, the parade and presentation didn't end until 9:15, so I got to the house around 9:20, not expecting any kids to be on the house, because hello parade, where all the kids were supposed to BE, right?

Wrong.

there were about fifty kids, all over the damned bounce house, and they were going to kill each other if someone didn't get a handle on things.

So I did. "You--go through. You guys up there, slide immediately. No, don't wait for your friend, get down, go through, get out. It's an obstacle course not a mosh pit. Wait for the little kid to get out of the way. You, hurry. You, slide. Did I not say hurry? Get out of the house or I'll get your father. Yes, I know who he is. I don't care if he's here. Move it!"  And so on.

I had the second part of the course fairly smooth and I went to the beginning and realized a random mother had started evening out the incoming as I was evening out the outgoing.

Aces.

I got her name--and hopefully her team got credit for helping, because that's one of the reasons you volunteer, is to get a certain amount of credit for your team, and when she had to leave, I was stuck. I mean, nobody came to help out. And I couldn't just walk away-- kids were all over this thing. They were just asking for a kid to get hurt, and I'm not wired that way.

But after the first half-hour, all of that crisp military precision I started out with started to leak away. I became shrill and terrible, and I'm a little bit proud of this.

"You! Yes you! You can't sneak into the side. No you can't. You need to go wait in line like everyone else. You don't wanna? What do you mean you don't wanna? Where's your father? Your father's not here. Where's your mother? Your mother's not here? THEN GET OFF THE FIELD. NOW. YOU DON'T BELONG HERE. Oh, your Auntie is right over there? Let me just talk to her about what you've been doing here, give me just a second."

I lucked out. Auntie was RIGHT behind the bounce house, watching someone's game, and she got an earful.

I went back, and my reputation had spread.

When I said, "You need to clear out of this end or I will get your parent," those kids BELIEVED!" I mean, I wasn't nice, they hated and feared me, but by god they did not jump on top of each other when they came swishing down the slide, did they? They didn't camp out at the end, waiting to get walked on and hurt, did they? Oh no. I may have been the bitter bounce house bitch, but I was the EFFECTIVE bitter bounce house bitch, and I didn't let them forget it.

Of course being this horrible for two hours sucked all the joy out of it for me.

That's how long I went, and then another parent--from our team--walked up to me and said, "You know, what you really need is one person on each end. I did this last year. I just climbed up top and sat there. It was easy."

Okay-- for the record? This guy is about 5'6 and 140 lbs. He COULD climb up top and monitor from the top. I could not.

"Do you want to do it?" I asked, near tears.

"Sure! Just make sure our team gets lots of credit!"

Oh I did. I did indeed.

I got to the field in time for Squish's next game (and so did he, which was good, because watching the kids is kind of the point).  They lost, and then we cleared out of there quick to bring food to Mate and Zoomboy, who had two more games of their seeding tournament to go.

We got home and everybody fell asleep around nine.

Except me--I start work when everyone goes to bed.

But I"m not going to forget being the bitter bounce house bitch.

I was starting to miss teaching--sincerely. I love talking about literature, I love teenagers, I love the whole dynamic.

But thanks to two hours at the bounce house, I also remember why I was so excited to leave!



Saturday, August 27, 2016

Scorched Haven, Part 11: Some things are nonnegotiable

 If you haven't read 1-10 of this serial, you can find the other pieces here:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
So, to my immense excitement, Rampant, Volume 1 and Rampant, Volume 2 are now available for pre-order from DSPP!

This is the fourth book of the Little Goddess, and the one with the big cliffhanger that has been waiting, omg, seven years! to finish up. So, Rampant means Quickening is coming out next year, after Jack & Teague, and that means I'm SO EXCITED.

Anyway, to celebrate, (and to answer a certain young lady on Twitter who never misses a blog, bless her!) I decided I needed to get back to Scorched Haven today.

Tomorrow? You'll get soccer opening day. Today? You'll get Zeb and Colton, hauling ass through Turlock.  (Heh heh-- Kim Fielding, you are so welcome.)

*  *  *


They burst through the guard rail, missing an oncoming car by a fraction and joining traffic with a few wobbles of the wheel.

"Wow," Zeb muttered, stunned.

"You just did that!" Colton sounded so excited for him-- Zeb hated to break it to him.

"I did jack-- I'm not sure what Green's people did to the damned car, but it's like driving a magic carpet."  Zeb accelerated about 5 mpg, and then grinned. The despair of his morning revelation forgotten, he felt the thrill of speed and a new toy thrum through his bloodstream. "How many miles to Sacramento?"

Colton glanced at a road sign just as they passed. "Says 120. Why?"

"Well, 120 plus forty to Auburn and Foresthill-- I'd say we're three hours from home."  And like that, the sweetness of having Green's Hill sank into his chest. "I'd love for you to see home."  The gardens, the shapeshifter's common room, the fey and the vampires wandering through in their time.

The care from the people he served.

The worry for his wellbeing.

Suddenly he had something to give Colton. It wasn't his per se, but he still--it was part of the world he'd opened up with the bite. It was a good place. Zeb found a tiny sliver of pride.

"Where will we stay there?"

Zeb swallowed. "Well, there's usually spare rooms." He cut around an old Jeep going criminally slow. He couldn't see any lights in his rearview, but he figured the further up the road he got the less likely it would happen.  "Teague and his family just moved into an outbuilding-- that frees up a suite and another room, because Katy kept her room when Jack and Teague got together."  And speed up, because he could, and swerve around a Toyota with a girl rocking out behind the wheel. She didn't even notice him. "So, probably Katy's room. Some of the darkling rooms are free-- Kyle is keeping Adrian's room, but I got the feeling Ellis was moving out of his, and Leah is joining the Avians out at the aerie--"

"Jesus!" Colton half laughed.

"What?"  Zeb cut in front of a red Kia and gunned it into the great yawing gap between car clots.

"It's a good thing we heal, because damn, you drive like your head's on fire and your ass it was catching!  And that's a lot of fucking people-- how big is this house?"

Oh. "I want to get home," he said, like that wasn't plenty clear enough. "And don't think of it like a house. Think of it like a college-- a small one, but a college. Because there's lots of common areas and everybody eats in the same five places, and you have to report to a higher authority-- a couple of them--but mostly there's a lot of people minding their own business and fucking around when they can get a free space."

For the first time, Colton frowned uncertainly. "Can we go to college for real?"

Zeb felt another bolt of relief. "Definitely. No worries. If we go on the Little Goddess days, though, we're expected to help with the detail--"

"The detail?"  Confusion. Well, understandable.

"See, Cory-- she doesn't go alone. Ever. It's a rule."

"Why? Is she afraid of--"

Zeb scowled, remembering the times she'd led people into battle. The herb wash they used on iron and cold steel and silver to protect the creatures that were allergic to those metals had a very distinctive smell. Zeb remembered that smell from the night Adrian died, and he avoided the hell out of the common room when it permeated the hill forever after. Zeb wasn't a warrior. He never would be. Rescuing Colton was about the bravest thing he'd ever done, and most of that was running.

"Nothing," he said shortly. "She's afraid of nothing.  But she's important-- she can lead a troop elves, vampires, and werewolves into battle without blinking an eye, but when she's forced to play by human rules, she's really vulnerable. She's getting like multiple degrees to help Green run the hill--but it means she has to go to school, and that means a security detail-- several of them. If you're going on one of her days, you may have to take a class with her, or be scheduled to be in the quad at the same time she is--they don't let her see nearly the number of people who are watching her.  But we'd be expected to be that."

Colton grunted. "So... like this is a tiny island? Like a country within a country?"

Oh yes! He understood!  "Yes," Zeb said soberly. "And with these werewolves--and all this bad fuckin' blood, her country's under siege."  Hell. "This is what I"ve brought you into, Colton. I've been trying to tell you. I mean--the hill will probably be safe, but there's tough times ahead."

To his surprise, Colton grinned. "That's just fine," he said. "In fact, you know? That's better than fine. That's like... that's a cause. That's why people join the military right out of school. They want to do for something bigger than them. You saved my life, this guy Green's saving my bacon, the girl sounds like she's okay--"

"Stop it right there."  Oh, he had to fix this. "The girl isn't just 'okay'. The girl is a fucking warrior. She's... she's bad ass. She's killed more people than lived in your pissant little town. You don't get to go to Green's if you don't respect the Lady Cory."

"Oh."

Zeb grunted. He saw lights, far behind them, and he stepped on the gas some more and kept up the bob and weave. the speedometer said 105, but it didn't feel fast enough. "Oh what?" he asked between gritted teeth.

"I just... I mean, I  know you said there was a leadership thing--that there were three of them. I just really thought the two guys would have been leading mostly. I never thought woman in charge."

"Well you better get your brain around it right quick, because we do not want Bracken leading. That's her other lover. Teague's our alpha--but he looks to Lady Cory. The vampires are stronger than us in almost every way. And she leads them. Green's the leader of the hill--but he lives and breathes her safety. You don't blow her off, you don't ignore her, you don't interrupt her when she's speaking. You bow low and deep and you be fucking grateful she doesn't cook you like werewolf bacon."

"So some psycho --"

"Forget you ever heard that word!" Zeb shouted, and then, going 110, he swerved the car into the guard rail and through, ignoring the ripping sound of metal because he was pretty sure it was the guard rail and not the car that was ripping.  He popped out on the frontage road barely controlled the skid.

"Jesus!" Colton was hanging onto the Oh-Shit-Bar. "You must really love this woman!"

"She's my queen, dammit! And if I bring you to the hill, she needs to be yours too! You have got to show some respect to this world, Colton-- if we survive this fucking day, it's because of these people!"

The car was running without a hitch, and Zeb made a mental note to send something special and awesome to Nibbles, who had apparently James-Bonded the car into complete indestructibility.

"Where are we?" he demanded, looking around. "I mean, there's a town nearby--this looks like old orchards, made residential. Whose guardrail did we just pop?"

"Turlock," Colton said, sounding subdued. He pulled something up on the phone Zeb had charged the night before."Turn a right and we'll run through town and then get back on the freeway.  There's a college there, and--fuck!"

Fuck was right.  Behind them in the rearview mirror, two police cars darted in quick succession. Too quick, apparently-- one of them peeled itself like a can opener and flipped out of view, but the other one was right on their ass.

"Okay," Zeb said, thinking fast. "We're going to pull into the college."

"What?"

"And steal ourselves a car."

"How in the--"

"Quick-- call Green. He's in my presets."

"Why do you--"

"Just do it, Colton! I'm trying to keep us alive, okay? I've got a very basic trick used by a particularly wily woodland bird, and I'm going to use it."

Colton hit speed dial and speaker.

"Hello, Zeb. What can I do for you?"

Zeb almost cried. "We're in a college town, Green, and we've got cop cars all over us. I want to go to the university and steal a car."

"Very tricky with the new electronic ignition, Zebulon--but as it happens, I've got an ally there. Let me just send her a text... done!"

"So, are we stealing a car?"

"No, my boy, you're borrowing one. And you're leaving her the one you're driving in it's place."

Zeb grunted. "But Green, they're looking for this one!"

"They won't be by the time they find it."  Green's voice lowered. "Trust me, Zeb. I know it's hard--but please. We want to get you both home."

Of course. "Thanks, Green.  Give me directions."

Green did.

Zeb wasn't sure what his sources were-- elves, other were creatures, friendly humans--but somehow he managed to guide the two of them through a series of shortcuts and into the campus parking area in such a way that Zeb lost their tail and he and Colton could breathe a little easier.

"Now what car am I looking for-- crap!"

"What?"

"Oh, geez," Colton muttered. "Zeb, you hit a... wait. That guy's getting up and... he's not human!"

"Some dumb jerk with a goofy little hat and a deadhead goatee jumped right in front of the car,"         Zeb snarled. God, he could see the guy getting up and self-healing in the rearview. "He must be bad werewolf or something--but jumping in front of my car when I'm going forty miles an hour--dumbest fucker on the planet."

"Mm..." Green murmured. "Yes. My contact says he's the dean of her department."  He chuckled. "She asks that you go back and run him over again, but I've assured her you don't have the time. now look for a cherry red mini with a skull and crossbones on top."

"That's the car we're going to hide in?" Zeb demanded.

"Yup. Now do you see--"

"Jesus!" Colton yelped. "God, you're terrifying."

"I'm going to miss this car," Zeb said sadly, yanking the hand brake and killing the motor. "You sure this one's good to go? Should we transfer any of our stuff into it?"

"No--just hurry up. Drive out at an average pace, and don't mind what you see when you look back. Some of Nibbles' brethren are going to be fixing Kim up a new ride for a bit, yes?"

Zeb slid behind the seat of the mini and turned the key that was set up in the ignition. "Mm... make sure it gets fixed up really good, Green. I have the feeling I'm going to like this one."

* * *

Oh, he did, and for a few miles of rather tame driving, the road-hugging suspension of the mini almost made up for Colton's thoughtful silence.

"What?" he asked after the sign announcing Sacramento in 20 miles popped into view. "Women's rights is a deal breaker?"

"No," Colton said, sounding young. "I just... I'm sorry I got defensive. And crude. You were right. I listened yesterday--but I didn't really hear. You were trying to tell me about where I was going to live, and what I needed to know to live there. I"m sorry. Lady Cory. I understand now."

That was too easy. "What do you mean, you understand now?"

"That guy on the phone--he calls his friend and we have a new car. You run over a guy, and he's got a kill order--"

"Well, if he hadn't have been a werewolf, I would have been suicidal, you know that right?"

"Yeah, I know that too. But in your world, he's going to be a werewolf. I..."  For a moment Colton faltered, and a part of Zeb howled in angry triumph. This kid wasn't strong enough. He wasn't old enough. All those promises made had been crap, and Zeb had known it all along. Then his hand, warm and intimate, rested on Zeb's bicep. "This doesn't change you and me," Colton said, voice unyielding. "It just means I need to grow up so I'm worthy of you."

"Nonnegotiable," Zeb rasped, knowing he was risking everything. "Lady Cory--respect for her-- is nonnegotiable."

"Understood," Colton said, subdued. "What do you think the traffic's going to be like in Sacramento?"

"Heinous," Zeb said glumly. "It's always fucking heinous."

But at least he and Colton were on the same page. Hope. They'd awakened that morning and Zeb had been owned, body and soul, by the kid next to him--but he hadn't had hope.

Now, he did. The miles flew by under the mini. They were going home.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Falling Asleep at the Computer

Literally. I usually get a day to sleep after a trip, and not so th is time, so I think it's catching up to me. 

Only a few notes from today--

*  When I was in Kansas City, DSP had some extra books to send home with me for promo and such, and I'd bought a lot of T-shirts. On the last day I decided to send home a box with my books and my dirty laundry (to make room for the kid's T-shirts) and went to the service guy at the con:

"So, do you guys sell boxes?" I asked the classically handsome blond/blue-eyed midwestern wonder behind the counter.

"Uh..."  

I adjusted my dirty laundry in the bag in my hand. "Please tell me you sell bags."

"Uh..."

And I blanked. Just blanked. 

"Ma'am?"

"I'm sorry," I said. "I'm picturing one of those big butcher's bones you buy for your dog."

"I'm sorry, ma'am?"

"Because I'm boned."

He laughed.

In the end, I got a box from one of the T-shirt vendors-- a ginormous box, actually.  I put the books on the bottom and padded them with my dirty laundry.

The box arrived today-- beat to shit--and Mate asked, "What the hell is that?"

"Books," I said.

"Anything else?"

"Laundry."

"You sent home laundry?"

"I've done it before. At least there's no shoes in this one."

"Sure."

*  *  *

And in other news, we had to leave my minivan at the car dealership today so they could repair the air conditioner.  To replace it, they gave me a CR-V, which, for those of you who remember Fish Out of Water, Jackson got TWO of in the course of the book.

And if you read the ficlet posted at Grave Tells you get the feeling that maybe Jackson and this particular car are just kind of cursed.

So Raj, my friendly neighborhood Honda dealership guy walks me out to the car, and I was like, "Hey, that's Jackson's car!"

And he had no idea what I was talking about.

But that didn't mean I wasn't taking notes for Jackson as I drove out of the lot.

*  *  *

And that's it for tonight-- did I mention I was falling asleep?  Night all!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Unanticipated Side Effect

Sorry no blog last night.

I got back home and in addition to the kids starting school and the other stuff that happens when you're going for four days, the car was breaking down, my phone is dying (hence, no pictures), and the animals needed to go to the vet.

Steve had to go for regular reasons, but Geoffie--

Aw... poor baby.

She has allergies (or so we think) and we had to put the e-collar on her because she was scratching her eyes and they looked HORRENDOUS. So I took her to the vets on Monday (and btw, you're going to meet some of the vet people in my Christmas story, Freckles, and I hope you love them like we do!) Anyway-- Geoffie has allergies but she also has swollen lymph nodes from (we hope!) some sort of infection. We're worried, at any rate. So we could give her benedryl for the allergies, but we couldn't give her prednisone, which means it's taking a long time for her eyes to clear up.

She's been in the e-collar for four days.

Today, I took the damned thing off, figuring she'd start scratching her eyeballs right away and I'd put it right back on--but that's not what happened.

No. Instead, she spent a good twenty minutes licking and scratching all the rest of her body.

Especially her ass. It was like she was saying, "Oh, ass, did you miss me? Just because I haven't been there for you doesn't mean I haven't wanted to spend time with you!"  It was embarrassing-- reuniting a dog and her ass-- who knew?

Anyway-- the car still needs to be fixed and the phone is on it's last gasp--and the dog spent 20 minutes during my nap sounding just like this:



But I hope her allergies clear up and her lymph nodes go down and my little dog is okay. I'm very much used to her being healthy and happy and a general joy in my life-- I want her to go back to that. If nothing else, I'd like her to be able to scratch her own ass, right?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Awards I've Earned

Tonight I was sitting at my desk, editing, when Mate asked me if I had a highlighter.

Of course I had a highlighter... I mean... I had a highlighter, right? I had an entire plastic drawer set full of office supplies, there had to be a highlighter in there SOMEWHERE, right?

Well, I dug through the drawers and realized that I was up for some sort of award for Hoarder of Office Supplies--with some more rummaging (and the discovery of a pink highlighter, go me!) I decided I had won in the category of Hoarder of Office Supplies, with a gold medal in Sharpies and a silver in Child-sized Scissors.  

Save your applause for later, folks--that's only the beginning of the awards I give myself today!

*  I won a gold in getting my kid to school on time. The reason it's a gold is because this may be the only time I get her to school before the bell for the rest of the year.

*  I won a gold in begging the vet tech to chop up Geoffie's Benadryl into quarters, because... *flails* who can actually cut up a pill like that without crumbling it!

*  I won silver in putting on the poky bra without whining. It would have been a gold but I got points off for wadding kleenex under the strap when I was at the gym and had no other bras to wear.

*  I won a gold medal in my favorite event--determining What the hell is that smell and What to do about it, when I nailed the cat crap in the dog bed which was not anywhere near my line of sight at the time. Even Mate was impressed.

*  I win some sort of award for not using my phone as a rock to kick in the road after it died on me for the umpteenth time and then refused to start.

*  I win a bronze in having dinner ready for my husband when he got home. It would have been a gold if it hadn't been ready made salad with heated pre-cooked chicken on the top.

*  I win a silver in spreading the joy for sending my husband a blog post about the woman who pooped her closet. It would have been a gold, but since I looked up the article to show my editor why I was using the expression, "The dog pooped the house", I got points taken away for self-interest.

*  I win a gold-- that's GOLD--for coming home and functioning damned close to normal after a business trip. 

*  And I'm about to win a platinum for sleeping!

What awards have YOU won today?


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Ah... home.

My phone is not doing me any favors atm--

But I DID issue proof on social media that not only am I home, I have also texted people and let them know.

I feel sufficiently arrived, right?

So...

Fun things!

* I bought T--shirts for the entire family, and then, on the plane, I had a sudden freak out that everybody already HAD the T-shirt I bought, and THAT was why the ones I bought seemed so perfect for everybody.  Fortunately this was not the case--but it would be a great "Mom's so dorky!" story!

* I also got the kid dragons in bottles to wear as necklaces. These were a great hit!

*  Today, Kansas City was GORGEOUS. It was literally pretty enough for me to drop any previous grudges for bad weather and allergies and admit I really like KC. Of course, then I had to leave it.

*  The trip a joy, actually. I shall never fly American again if I can help it--United has made my life too happy when I fly them.

*  I got Mate and I matching rings. Well, the one I got seven years ago-- a surgical steel Claddagh ring--lasted this long. I figured matching copper rings would be just as legit as wedding rings, since we both got too fat for our old ones. (Me more than him.)

*  Geoffie is having some sort of allergic reaction. First thing tomorrow I'm taking her to the vets, because BABY!

*  I am ready to start the whole school/work thing again. In fact, I'm looking forward to it. I'm home, the kids are in school and everybody's ready to begin a new year.

It's a good thing!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Co-ordinating outfits

So, through an oversight on my part, today was the first day of school-- and I was at World Con.

I was sort of bummed about this-- but Mate did an awesome job taking pictures for me, and the kids picked their outfits out very nicely.

Zoomboy is wearing a cat taking over the world shirt, bought for him by his grandparents to make up for the fact that he's the only one who didn't have a shirt with a cat like this, and he missed it.  He is also wearing day glow shorts from last year, because nothing tops that much orange.

Squish is wearing pink capris and a blue fringe shirt, with a co-ordinating comb that my friend Rhae made for her, to match her lovely, amazing blanket. She was very pleased with her ensemble, and also pleased that her teacher is the tallest grownup at the school. A good day all around.

And Mom-- Mom is wearing one of her favorite convention shirts coupled with black stretchy pants, with a coordinating convention badge and a Honeydew Martini.  While it's not what all conventioneers should wear, Mom is pleased with it because A. She never coordinates this good with anything, and B. Martini.

Also, I got to shake Robert Silverberg's hand today.  I've revered him since Tower of Glass. 

More tomorrow!


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

And today I...

Took the dogs for coffee and sausage.

Took a walk.

Finished an edit.

Wrote a little.

Did some laundry.

Packed.

Kicked the cat out of my suitcase. Twice.

Argued with cat thusly:

"You can't go!"
 "Bitch!"
"It's not a cat thing, I just only have one ticket."
 "I will end you."
 "Get the fuck out of my suitcase!"
"Is that what this is? Scuse me while I knead your favorite clothes. And some more."
"Steve!"
"Otherwise known as the sweater that travels."
"Get OUT!"
 "Bitch."
And so on.

When this was done I...

Took the small dog to re-do her grooming.

Talked to Cedar and Melissa at the vets office, whom you will meet in Freckles, my Christmas story this year.

Took the small dog home.

Took the kids to go get mani-pedis.

The mani-pedi people were busy, so I only got a pedi. And eyebrows. Definitely eyebrows.

Zoomboy got sparkles on his toes. Squish got sparkles on his fingers. We all got pomegranate sodas. Then I bought some yarn!

Took the kids home for soccer.

Tried to get some work done.

Went grocery shopping so the family wouldn't starve while I was away this week.

Came home and unloaded the car.

Went back to the grocery store and got cat food and laundry detergent because I forgot.

Came home and ate sandwiches and prepped the kids for the fact that I'd be gone.

Wrote a list for Wednesday and Thursday night since I won't be here.

Packed some more.

Found a  computer case. Washed and dried it.

Packed some more.

Sat at computer and thought, "OH, hey, maybe I can work... except it's 12:00."

Looked up flight info for tomorrow.

Kansas City, I'll arrive around 5:03 P.M.!



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The East Coast Girls Are Hip...

Okay, for starters, Tart and Sweet is now available for pre-sale from Amazon and ARe, so that's exciting! 

Also exciting is that Monday's aqua teacher, charmed by our willingness to sing California Girls at the top of our lungs when her boombox quit, actually loaded the song for cool down today. *beams* She did that just for us. I love it when that happens. (And yes, we all sang along. It was AWESOME.)

And other than that, our big excitement was that Geoffie got groomed today. It was sort of cute, actually, because all of the neighbors who saw me walking just Johnnie enquired after her health. "Oh, is she okay? I hope so! We love her!"

I'm thinking, "I did not know incessant yapping was a sign of affection, but I'll take it!"

It's sad that she was missed, but even worse, she has to go back tomorrow.

Because the thing about grooming is that the whole reason we do it is because... *flails*  Look at this face! It's all hair!  And they asked us if we wanted the "teddy bear" cut, and I said yes, as long as her mustache and beard were REALLY SHORT, because otherwise she gets stickers in them.

And when we went to pick her up, the kids collected her while I paid, and I didn't get to see her for real until we were halfway out the door, and I realized, "Oh my God--she has a fu manchu mustache!"

So, you all know I don't send steak back. Or correct my order, even if it's wrong. Or tell people they're mistaken even though I know damned well they couldn't get their facts straight if someone gave them a peg board and a ruler.

Yes-- me.

I called up the groomers and asked them if they could fix her hair cut.

On the one hand, I'm mortified.

I don't even go back if I don't like my OWN haircut.

On the other hand?

I don't have to fish stickers out of my hair either, so it will be totally worth it.

I hope.

I really hope Geoffie thinks so.  I'm not really sure how she feels about the groomers--she always gets a really nice report card about being a good, friendly, obedient (seriously!) dog.

But either way, she's going back. Because she's got more facial hair than Mate, and you just don't pay for someone to groom your dog so you can say that in the same sentence.





Sunday, August 14, 2016

Oh, didn't I mention?

*  I'm going to be in Kansas City this next week for World-Con!  I'll be at the DSPP booth, Th-Sun,  if anyone wants to say hi, let me know!  (I'm so excited about this--it's not my usual venue, but sci-fi/fantasy was my first love, and I'm still infatuated!)

*  Unfortunately, when I made the date for World-Con, I thought the kids started school THIS week. I was really depressed when I realized I wouldn't be there for their first day of 8th and 5th grade. So if you see me Tweeting of FBing pictures, it's because Mate is THE BEST Mate, and he has taken pictures of me, and I'll be mourning that I couldn't do Squish's hair special or give Zoomboy his early morning hug.

*  I will also be at Yaoi-Con in September, and I'm waxing a little nostalgic. The first time I went--in 2010-- I was reeling. You can read my post HERE but what it DOESN'T say (because I was prohibited by law from discussing it) was that less than two weeks earlier, I'd been pulled out of my classroom for giving a kid a copy of Litha's Constant Whim and Truth in the Dark. I've talked about the matter a few times, of course, but I'm not sure if I ever mentioned how nervous I was.

I was just starting out then--I'd been with Dreamspinner Press for a year, and in my wildest dreams I couldn't have imagined where it would take me. And I was meeting people who have been my staunchest friends for the last six years.

It's good to remember, sometimes, where you've been and how far you've come, and how grateful you are to people who were kind to you when you didn't even know it was a thing.

And there you go!

I'm back to writing (because I've got a series of back to back deadlines!) and I'm excited and scared, because some of it is stuff I've never tried before--or haven't done in a while.

So that's me--always stretching boundaries, and always looking to the future.  But also grateful to the Past.

*  Oh yeah-- did I mention this was coming out September 5th? It's the last Candy Man Book--but I think you'll like where the series ends.  Hopefully it's in a place where you can imagine all our guys in the perfect HEA.

Tart and Sweet


A Candy Man Book

In the Army, Robbie Chambers turned on his lover out of fear—and he hasn’t been able to live with himself since. Now he’s out of the Army but still trapped in the closet that brought on his most cowardly moment, and he starts to think he’ll never be able to fight his way free.

Until he sees Cy McVeigh. Beautiful and uninhibited, Cy is dancing on the boardwalk at Old Sac for no other reason than the moment called for it. Robbie not only joins in the dance but is smitten from the very beginning.

However, Robbie still has old business to clear up, and when he helps out a kid in need and comes face-to-face with the man he betrayed, he’s forced to come clean with himself. He can’t redeem his mistake if he’s still locked into his old patterns, and he won’t ever be worthy of Cy if he can’t earn Adam’s forgiveness. He’s going to need all the help he can get from the people at Candy Heaven in order to make things right with his past so he can have a future with Cy.

* And that's it for tonight, folks!  Tuesday might be my last blog for a little bit but I'll try to keep you posted!