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

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Writing is Hard

write write write write write... WAIT!

Is this making any sense? Did I describe that right? Did I over-describe it? Is the prose plain? Is it precious? Is it commercial enough? Too commercial? Did I do that thing that that one reviewer on GoodReads really hated?

Do I care enough about that one reviewer on GoodReads to actually change my prose for this person who didn't get the book anyway?

Okay okay okay... words to do. Write it ugly. Just keep going...

WAIT!

Do I really know that fact? Hold on, let me look that up. Well, 15/100 women get pregnant using condoms, skipping one birth control pill a month can make you fertile, so YES, this character CAN get pregnant!

Wow. You'd think a woman with four kids would know that birth control fails. But then, I was never really trying to control it--I just sort of let it happen.

Okay, stop cruising Wikipedia, nobody cares about condom brands.

And write surf Twitter write answer e-mails write I absolutely NEED to be on FB now...

AUGH! I'm running out of allotted writing time... WRITE MOAR WRITE FASTER WRITE NOW!!!

Oh, wait... do I have to pee?

That took way longer than I'd planned. Probably best not to text message when I do that. Now, where were we...

Oh yeah.

Write.

*yawn*

Time for my nap?

Already?

Well, got a lot of driving to do this afternoon.

Can't fight the nap-- it's damned important.

But first, let's see if the fascist traitor in the WH has gotten us involved in a war lately... *yawn* Dammit, just when a Republican was going to say, "Gee...I didn't USED to care about the weather in St. Petersburg--why is THAT important?"  *yawn* But seriously. Nap.

Okay, kids, shopping, getting back to that whole, you know, writing thing--no, I don't have any thumbtacks. No, I don't know where they are. NO YOU CAN'T PUT THAT HERE. If you guys didn't keep putting shit here, I might know where the thumbtacks are! Okay, yeah. Get stuff in the fridge and I'll make dinner. Yeah, sure you can have a cracker, knock yourself out. Writing, why do you ask? I know I haven't written anything in ten minutes, I've been dealing with crackers getting set on my desk and finding thumbtacks. No, I haven't found them. That's your job!

Okay, the stuff is put away? Time to cook!

*fry chicken* *write* *fry chicken* *write* *make salad* *give up on writing and sit down to watch TV and eat*

*text friend text friend text friend*

*feel bad about not being completely mentally present for family in front of television*

*put phone deliberately down*

Oh, time for the kids to go to bed?

Dammit.

Night guys.

Now, time to write!

But first, find my jam...

That's not it...

That's not it...

Oh God, who put that on my Spotify?

Okay, that's it...

And write!

Wait, where was I?

Wait, what else fell into my inbox?

Wait, where was I again?

Oh God--this is a sequel-- do my descriptions match? *goes to bathroom* *reads own book for twenty minutes on toilet* SHIT! Descriptions don't match!  *goes back and backfills*

Okay, that took twenty minutes. I've got an hour left of writing time, and *yawn* That nap again...

The long, six-hour one between now and then...

Wait!

I have to blog!

God DAMMIT, I was just fighting off sleep.

*blog* *blog* *blog*

Okay... write!

Wait. Where was I again?  Oh my God! That's all I've done all day?  HOLY FUCK I'M BEHIND SCHEDULE!

write write write write write write write write write write write write write write write *yawn*  Okay. I can send this to my beta.

Time for bed.

I've got to write again in the morning.


A whole lot of random...

Sorry about no blog last night--I basically fell asleep at surprise o'clock, and no work got done. Today was kind of full, mostly of weirdness that I shall share--

So here goes...

*  First of all, I'm an idiot. I try to be plain about this, but every now and then a situation arises that makes it hard to avoid my idiocy.

Such as forgetting whether my iPhone is a 6, a 6S, or a 6S Plus.  And then ordering the wrong faceplate from the faceplate factory. And then having to explain what an idiot I am to the poor stranger on the other end of the chat box.

Seriously--I"m going to add that to the next Winter Ball installment. Skipper and Carpenter are going to be using chat boxes instead of telephones, and some idiot woman is going to be freaking out because she ordered the wrong product and can't remember which one she DID order, and Carpenter is going to be like, "Lady, did you remember to breathe when you woke up this morning? Cause if not, you got bigger things to worry about than our product!"

This scene has got to happen. I'm saying.

* ZoomBoy worked VERY hard to earn back his demerits from all the tardies he and his dad earned, so he gets to go on his trip to Sunsplash tomorrow. Today, I asked him if he had any flip flops and he came back with two completely different shoes.

"Is this okay?"

"Only if you want to get teased about this for the rest of your public school career."

"We only have ten days of school left."

"Oh, baby-- something like this will dog you until graduation."

"That's okay. I don't mind."

"Could you at least look?"

"Fine."

*  We tried for an entire twenty-minutes to watch the new version of Dirty Dancing tonight. About the time we got to the Starship Captain having erectile dysfunction and Haley from Modern Family growing a brain, and all of the nuance and subtlety that made the original something special put into clanky exposition because nobody understands how to critically think about dialog anymore, we decided to watch Muppet Christmas Carol instead.

"Ah, yes," I said. "That movie is like a balm to my soul."

Mate gave me a wounded look. "I thought you liked this movie!"

"I do!"

"But you just said it was a bomb!"

"Balm. B*A*L*M. Not bomb!"

"Oh!"

And at this point, Squish got in on the act. "But what's that? What's it doing to your soul?"

And Mate said, "It's a salve."  It sounded like, "sav".

"I don't know what that is either."

"It's like burn ointment," I said, wanting to get to the singing. "So like aloe vera for my soul."

"Okay. Are you sure we can't watch the new Ghostbusters?"

"Yes! Yes I'm sure!"

"Fine."

*  Also. I am a bad parent. I completely blew up at Squish over something trivial, and we all learned a very big lesson.

The very big lesson of, "If you ask Mommy to sing "Star Spangled Banner" with you, and then correct how she said 'o'er' RIGHT BEFORE Mommy is supposed to hit the high note, Mommy will irrationally lose her shit all over you in the minivan, and your life will be meaningless as you know it."

Yes. We all learned this lesson.

I learned not to sing the "Star Spangled Banner." Ever.

She learned not to correct people on their word choice until the song is over. Holy Jebus, that ticked me off.

And now you know.      

* Oh. Mate and I are watching American Gods, which is a STARZ Network movie, and has lots of full frontal nudity and sex.

Some of this sex is M/M.

So, say, the Ifreet scene in the "Head Full of Snow" episode, which features an Ifreet who says he doesn't grant wishes. But, well, let's just say he's ENDOWED enough go grant a couple of wishes just by, well, taking off his clothes.

So, watching this, eyes wide, mouth open, entire body on OMG GAY SEX IS HAPPING IN FRONT OF ME HURRAY, and Mate goes, "Enjoying yourself?"

"Yes. Yes I am."

"I'm glad to see it."

"You get Bilqis and Laura. I get Shadow and the Ifreet."

"That's fine."

"We both get Ian McShane, because he's wonderful."

"I totally understand."

"This show is awesome."

"Yes, yes it is."      

Seriously-- you should watch it. A-MA-ZING.

And on that note, off to bed!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Made. Of. Sleep.

So, my neck has been ungodly sore these last few days--I'd say it's the result of all the driving but I think what it really is has been all the reading I've been doing. Something about the angle at which I hold my head when I'm reading off my phone tends to fuck my neck right up.

*sigh* It figures something I love to do without calories or consequences is still bad for me.

Anyway-- the little kids are pretty snarky because we were gone. I think next time we leave we need to leave them with grandma. I get no snark when grandma supervises, that's all I'm saying.

Also-- I bought a watermelon last week that I sliced up last night for dinner. Was good tonight too. I didn't expect that, and I will forever think of watermelon as the gift that keeps on giving.

Took two naps today--both went way longer than I expected, and I think I'll probably fall asleep a little early tonight. Damn. I mean, damn. I don't know how Mate can even function. (Of course, he went to sleep about two hours before me for the last two nights, so maybe that's how.)

Also-- took the assholes for a walk this morning, and they were SO. HAPPY. But one of the things I need to remember as it gets hotter and hotter, is something I just saw on the net. It said if you can't hold the back of your hand to the sidewalk for the count of five because it's too hot, then it's too hot to walk your dogs. This is a good thing to remember before you embark on a little trek, because their little paws can be so tender!

Have been watching American Gods, and it's going right up there with Legion for world's most trippy show that I adore with all my heart. Just... the gorgeously designed production, the way they both play with symbolism to totally fuck with your mind... oh my God!  Television has gotten SO MUCH BETTER than it was when I was a kid.

Dudes.

And that's about it--I'm going to aim for another 1000 words and then go see how much sleep I can get, and whether or not it does nice things for my neck when I get it.

Fingers crossed!

Oh!

And the cover?

Well, I've been saying the werewolf stories will be re-released in October. This is the cover for the second one (done first, because) and I'm just so in love with Teague all over again. *sigh*

Which reminds me-- Quickening V.2 is out on June 13th-- so, you know. Don't forget. Because I left part one in SUCH a good place, right?

*laughs evilly all the way to bed*







Monday, May 22, 2017

Medford

So, we left the kids with  Chicken and went to my cousin's wedding in Medford--it was lovely.

Medford is a long drive though--and I'm knackered, so I'll leave you with some pictures and some captions and take my achy body off to bed!

Mount Shasta, which plays with your perception as you come down the hill from Oregon.

An attempt to get more mountains on film, which ended badly--except the rainbow was very pretty and I liked it. 

Medford is part of Gold  Country (it has it's own Pony Express statue, like Sacramento) and Yreka is too. 

Kevin and Kailey, the happy couple getting married.

Of course I looked for a yarn store on Saturday before the wedding and bought this.

It was not, however, the only thing I could have bought.

A shot of the B&B where the wedding was held. 

The Willows--it was lovely.

I did not get a picture of my Aunt Monica, who is the mother of the groom, because I'm an idiot, but this is my Uncle Phil, his sister (in the middle), Teresa, and his wife (on the right) Barbara. Phil and Barbara are the very nice people who gave Big T a job--they have nothing but good things to say about him, and Mate and I delight in breaking the bad news that he has flaws.

So far, they refuse to believe. 

Middle-aged people attempting to be romantic. Sorta works. The man is very handsome and indulges his often silly wife.

We ate here this morning, because wouldn't YOU?


Mate was trying to capture the mountain's height on the sign with the mountain itself. 14, 161 feet. So, a mountain, really.

Yup. Still a mountain.

A lake named after the mountain, which is in fact further away (I think) than another mountain of equal size.  I don't understand either. But Lake Shasta is where I set Rampant, for those of you who are Little Goddess fans. 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Recitals and Concerts

 So, ZoomBoy has gone to this school since the first grade, and Squish since Kindergarten. This is something of a big deal for Mate and I--I switched schools a couple of times before high school, and so did Mate, and we wanted our kids to have as much continuity as possible.

Big T was doomed from the start--in California, special ed students are shuttled from program to program, so he changed about five times before high school. In a way, it was okay because the same kids got shuttled with him, but in another way, there wasn't the same sense of continuity, and he knew it.

Chicken went from the private school across the street (for those of you who remember Shiny!, why yes, I used some of that school in that book, why do you ask?) to our "home" school which was a nightmare. She kept getting sent to the library to teach herself math on the computer program because she was one of two students not swinging from the light fixtures.  Anyway, we moved her to Big T's Junior High, so for two years at least, they attended the same school, and she didn't know anybody and they threw food at her and bullied her and I spent a lot of time taking days off and hanging with her so she could make it through junior high.

They split up for high school--Big T had a program at one school and the other school had academics she couldn't get at Big T's school, so...

Oi.

It was a luxury to have ZoomBoy and Squish here, at the same school. Even when ZoomBoy moved on to junior high, Squish wanted to keep going. She liked the continuity just like we did.

But next year is her last year, and it's starting to hit me.

There's going to be a whole lot of lasts at that school coming up--including "last Christmas choir, last spring choir, last back to school night."

Tonight was the spring choir--and Squish sang like an angel (I assume--she looked like one anyway) and I was glad to be there. Afterward we went out (per family tradition) and got hamburgers and generally laughed and teased each other.

One of Squish's songs was "Consider Yourself," from Oliver Twist, and we told Squish the story of how her sister danced to that song in the sixth grade, and her bloomers dropped from under her skirt and puddled on the ground. Squish already knew the story--come dance recital time, Joanna, the instructor, uses Chicken as an object lesson in just kicking the thing out of your way and keeping on keeping on, but Squish never knew it was this song.

And the story just made me remember--these things are finite.

Big T will never wrestle again, and they don't need us to show up at the college and talk about his student rights.

Chicken isn't going to dance for JoAnna's again. And she's played her last soccer game.

So has ZoomBoy.

Someday, Squish will too.

And while right now, going to choir was a it's a lot of hurry and "Hell, where's your shirt?" and  "oh God we're tired" and a "We're leaving for my cousin's wedding tomorrow and we have no time!" I'm glad we went to hamburgers afterward for the family moment, and that Mate took some pictures.

Because we don't have too many more nights in a grade school cafeteria, listening to kids do their best to make music, left in our family.

And we're going to miss them when they're gone.







In the Neighborhood

Quick one tonight--I'm on a roll.

So, I was walking my dogs (shocked, we are, Amy--because you do this six days a week) and on the approach side of the giant, mile-long loop, there was a GINORMOUS HOUND. Like an English Mastiff or a pit bull or something that was taller than his person when he stood on his hind legs.

He wanted to eat Geoffie.

He did.

Geoffie wanted to be eaten--or at least that's what I got from the way she didn't stop barking.

So I took the dogs on a different loop approach as it were--out past the park, into the residential sector around the park, and there I met a woman with two dogs.

She knew me from aqua! Which was fun, and we compared dogs, and it was funny because I've always been sort of blown away by how different Johnnie and Geoffie are, when they are, in fact, both  Chihuahua crosses-- Johnnie crossed with mini-pin, and Geoffie crossed with ShiTzu. Well, this woman's dogs were both crossed as well--they were doxie crosses, and one was crossed with Yorkie, and was sort of skinny and wispy and nervous looking and the other was crossed with Australian shepherd and was BEAUTIFUL black and gray mottled and long-haired and long bodied.

So it was a nice conversation and then we left saying, "See you in aqua!"

And we waved in aqua.

And then... well, today was the day I chose to tell Trina, the aqua instructor, that I put her in the next Johnnies book.

Trina is very cool about what I write, and pretty cool about most things, so when I told her she was in a book with porn stars, she wanted to know if SHE could be one, and I was like, "No. I'm not giving you a porn scene--but I do need some cosmetic moves so the guys look ripped."  So I got to hear about "preacher curls" and "squat thrusts" which was great, but the rest of the pool got to hear what I wrote.

The woman with the two dogs was taken aback, which is too bad, because I'd enjoyed our conversation and Geoffie appeared to be civilized when talking to her dogs, and Geoffie NEEDS to learn manners, or, yes, one day she will incite the wrong ginormous fuckin' dog and get eaten.

Anyway-- I told Trina I'd let her see some of my book covers, so I'm going to plaster them all over this post and tag her on FB so she can see what my covers look like. And hopefully the nice woman with the two dogs will see too, and I won't have to worry about her hustling the dogs in the opposite direction when we meet :-D









Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A few random moments...

So, partly we're doing the same-ol, same-ol here--Mom the taxi service and Mom the writer both vie for the same time slot.

But still-- the same-ol has it's appeal, and since Mate and I are driving up to Oregon this weekend to attend my cousin's wedding, the same-ol' same-ol' is sort of a welcome respite from GO-GO-GO, which, yes, we're going to indulge in once again. (btw, just writing that reminded me that ZoomBoy has a concert on Thursday. NEVER. ENDS.)

But following are a few things of interest during the day--

* I know I mentioned this in context with the benefit, but a portion of the proceeds of this book will be sent to the Keith Milano foundation for Mental Health Awareness.  For those of you who've read this book, you'll know why I've chosen it. For those of you who haven't... well, there's a reason. (And the book is still pretty happy, really, so that's good too!)

*  I'm working on Bobby Green right now, and as with all the Johnnies books, it's ripping my soul out.  You're welcome.

*  When I go walking in the park, there's an older woman there--in her eighties, I imagine, and she has a small black dog named Nibbler. Fans of Futurama will read that and, hopefully, laugh their asses off.

*  The kids had a dentist appointment today and I somehow managed to EPICALLY FAIL picking them up for that. I still don't get it--I left an hour early, but something about the kids hearing they had a dentist appointment made everything move SLOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWW....

*  Mate stopped on the way home from work to get a hair cut and go grocery shopping. I know he was ESPECIALLY hangry when he got home because we had a leftover Quarter Pounder with cheese after an emergency lunch stop for Mom after the dentist appointment, and he polished it right off. If you've never eaten a cold Quarter Pounder... uh, never do. Answering "no" to that question speaks well of your life choices.

* We brought home nuggets for Chicken, and she took great delight in sitting with the cat in her lap and feeding him pieces of nugget. This is Gordie, the cat who used to swipe lunchmeat from the sandwiches I made to send the kids to school with. That cat hates my guts, but GLORY will he eat anything we set in front of him.

*  This is nice-- I tweeted something about how I knew people were stressed about politics because most of my feed was cute animals... and suddenly people were sending me adorable animals on my FB feed! (My Twitter bleeds into my FB automatically... handy that.)  So I took a picture of Johnnie, just because he was the only animal in my house who would sit still while I focused the camera.

*  I went down for a nap this afternoon and woke up because Newt-Dewey (also known as Sweetie Baby Honeyface) was staring at me from close range. As in MUAH! close range. Fucking cat. I prefer him when he's patting the dog's heads as they poke up under the blankets.

And that's the end! *yawn* Only a few more words to go!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Manny Get Your Guy-- Coming Soon


Manny Get Your Guy

by Amy Lane


The Mannies

Starting over and falling in love.

Tino Robbins’s sister, Nica, and her husband, Jacob, are expecting their fifth child. Fortunately, Nica’s best friend, Taylor Cochran, is back in town, released from PT and in need of a job.

After years in the service and recovering from grave injury, Taylor has grown a lot from the callow troublemaker he’d been in high school. Now he’s hoping for a fresh start with Nica and her family.

Jacob’s cousin Brandon lives above the garage and thinks “Taylor the manny” is a bad idea. Taylor might be great at protecting civilians from a zombie apocalypse, but is he any good with kids?

Turns out, Taylor’s a natural. As he tries to fit in, using common sense and dry wit, Brandon realizes that Taylor doesn’t just love their family—he’s desperate to be part of it. And just like that, Brandon wants Taylor to be part of his future.

*  *  *

So... Manny Get Your Guy is coming out on July 1st--this is Taylor's story and if you read The Virgin Manny, you remember Taylor. He was the junior league dominator who kept coming on to Tino even though he hadn't come out yet to Tino's sister, Nica.

Well, jump ahead ten years--Nica and Jacob are on their fifth kid--five kids, five failed kinds of birth control--and yes, I knew a couple of families just like that. Including one that blew through condoms and the pill in one good bang.  But Nica and Jakey are very much in love, and all they need is a little help. Some of the help they're getting from Jakey's cousin Brandon, who lives over the garage and takes on building an addition to the house so baby number five can fit. Some of the help comes from Taylor, who has been in town for a little while after getting out of the military, but who hasn't really reintroduced himself to the family because he's embarrassed. He was sort of an asshole before he deployed, and he's not sure how well they'll take his return.

They take his return pretty well--but five kids is a handful, and watching Taylor deal with Nica's kids turns out to be highly amusing. For me, anyway, because the oldest three are stinkers, the youngest one's a doll, and the one in the oven is giving the family fits.

I mean, kids. Families with kids. Accidental pregnancies and being stupid in high school and growing up and figuring out life. It's messy and mesmerizing all at once--and ever so much fun.

Anyway-- this series was going to be a one off, and then my editor and I had a giggle/snort over potential titles, and it became a trilogy.  The third one is Sammy's story-- he's the fractious little boy in the first one, but he's fully grown at twenty-one by the time his own shot at love rolls around. (He's seventeen in this one and has a sort of understated crush on Brandon, but Brandon tells him--kindly--that he's too young.)

And then I penned Dustin, who's Nica's oldest, and a real little prick. And Quinn, who shows up near the end of Sammy's story, and turns out to be a really decent guy, and I had a thought of Dustin and Quinn meeting at a family wedding, and Quinn pulling the "Older relative" thing on Dustin and pissing him off. And then, about ten years later...

So there's going to be four stories in all, and this is the second. The third was supposed to be coming out in January, (it's been done for two months) but there was some internal push/pull with the schedule for various (good and exciting) reasons, so it might not be coming out for a year. And I don't know where that leaves the fourth one--but we'll see what we can do.

But they're happy and family and potato chip eating and NOM.

Enjoy. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

A weekend of rest...

Mate takes a family selfie before we leave for movie tonight.
So...

Thursday night I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy with Mate, and it was AWESOME, and we've been listening to the soundtrack all weekend, but we didn't get a lot of sleep, cause, you know, out late, so it was good that we had the next three days to rest.

Sort of...

Friday-- Kids to school, dogs for a walk, skip aqua, go shopping, put away groceries, work for two hours, manage a shower, go get the kids, bring Squish home to change into soccer clothes, take her to her game at 4:25. She shoots, she scores! Get her home, cook dinner, send Mate off to his late night game, stay up late and write...

Saturday-- Get up, eat breakfast, take dogs out for a walk, get coffee, get dogs home, change clothes, go for Mother's day pedicure with stepmom and stepsister-- tell stepmom her table scarf was A-MA-ZING cause hey, it was, and the little matching bag that went with it was even better--I have branded stuff to sign with now, huzzah!  Meet Mate and Squish's OTHER game, no scoring, then take ZB to get fitted for his costume for dance, pick Big T up on the way home, pick Mate and the kids up including Chicken and take everybody to meet his Mom for Mother's Day, YAY, pack everyone up, go home, fall asleep in front of the computer at 11:30, sorry!

Sunday-- Wake Mate up at 7 so he can take cat to vet, find out I got the day wrong and apologize profusely, although Mate brought me coffee which makes him a superhero.  Call bio-Mom, wish her Happy Mother's Day, go pick her up for lunch at Panera and--

Okay... brief detour here.

So, we were driving down the road on the way to Panera when we saw a restaurant called Twin Peaks, and we thought, hey, why not.

We dragged the kids--and my mom, who is... okay. She's crazy. I've said this before. Today's crazy was giving the kids a little lunchbox shaped coffin of old electronics including an aging Nokia and then handing me $3 to go "charge the iPhone and buy it a new battery."  I have to say, one of my proudest moments as a mom was when ZoomBoy said, "Thank you, Grandma, that was really nice of you," when, in fact, he's 13 and really able with electronics and recognizes batshit crazy when he sees it.

So, suffice it to say, my mom was a little overwhelmed by a loud sports bar.

And Mate and I were a bit bemused to realize that Twin Peaks did not, in fact, refer to the rustic mountain decor, but rather to the waitresses' skimpy tops and their, uh, twin peaks.

The kids were also mortified.

When the neighborhood birds drink the unicorn frappes and
then crap on your window.
We sat outside--and it was REALLY chilly for California in May, and I looked at Mate at one point, after our waitress had come by. I was shivering so hard my teeth chattered, and I said, "I really want to get that poor girl a sweater."  Mate, who had been making a concerted effort to keep his eyes at eye level and not even to drop them when he was looking at the menu because, dammit, these girls were as young as his daughter! Looked at me and nodded in distress. He really wanted them to have sweaters too. The poor things looked cold.

Anyway--as I explained on Twitter, there is a reason suburban families shouldn't go into Hooters or anything remotely resembling a Hooters, and let's leave it at that.

ZoomBoy is getting eaten by a shark, because he can. 
So... THAT'S a drive, and then we dropped my mom back and stopped at PinkBerry on the way home and then got home and it was time for ZB's dance. Mate was taking him and I told Mate I was going down for a nap and when I woke up I heard Chicken in the doorway and ZoomBoy and Mate too and I thought, "Oh God, did I get the date wrong today too?"

Turns out, Mate had fallen asleep on the couch and didn't wake up until after Chicken crawled in to nap with me.

So ZB missed dance, I got a short nap, and Mate went to pick up Big T anyway, because the climax of my Mother's Day was to go see the Fifth Element, which was in theaters for Wednesday and tonight only. We ate Del Taco on the way there, because in spite of getting a Crock Pot/Pressure Cooker duo from Amazon, I still don't magically have time to cook, but I enjoyed the movie.

And I have to say, I"m going to totally enjoy a nap tomorrow too.

A lot.

Because I have 2000 words to write tonight, and I'm telling y'all, I need a rest from my weekend of rest.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Old Theater Stories...

Okay-- so this FB post is hilarious and if you're on FB, by all means click the link and read for DAYS. https://www.facebook.com/vellumandvinyl/photos/pcb.1350385545054853/1350383221721752/?type=3&theater

Anyway--

I tried to post my own theater story at the end of it, because I did theater from 6th grade until my sophomore year in college.  I LOVED theater, but I wasn't that cute, and I was working 40 hours a week--once I moved to San Francisco, being part of theater wasn't in the cards.

But that doesn't mean I don't have a few that I regale my kids with sometimes.

So I thought I'd share with you--

So...

Old theater story 1--

My freshmen year in high school, we were doing a production of Trifles, by Susan Glaspell, and there's a part in the production where the two actresses on the stage find a bird with a wrung neck in a small box of quilting notions. The part is pivotal to the play because it's proof that the farmwife who's "trifles" they're going through has actually committed the murder that happened in the house.

So it was probably ill advised for our stage manager to put a dead mouse she'd found in the prop room in the box instead of the bird on dress rehearsal night.

Of course everybody in the production knew--(I was the assistant director) -- and we were all cracking up while our director--a volunteer pretty much who put a lot of effort and authority defying into us having a production at this school anyway.

She was FURIOUS. I mean, I've never seen steam come out of a person's ears before.

And her biggest fear was that this was that the two girls on stage would crack up during performance, but nope-- the girls pretty much held it together all three nights. The only bad moment was when they were both peering into the box and one of them was supposed to say, "It's neck--somebody wrung it's neck!"

The girl said, "It's neck! Somebody snapped it's neck!"

And that was payback, because the entire stage crew had to hold it together while the actresses themselves went serenely on with the play.

Theater Story Number 2--

One of my years in Junior College, we were doing Stop the World, I Want to Get Off.  It's a musical, and if you haven't seen it, LittleChap, the lead, spends a lot of his time talking to a chorus. The chorus is all purpose--we were other people, vehicles, machinery--it's really a fun production.

But on the third night of a four night show, LittleChap got a little bored with being LittleChap (he was in his forties, and he was a great singer, but junior college theater was a little below his pay grade.) He decided to drink before the performance--a LOT--and he had trouble with a fifteen page monologue--ten pages of which was given to the chorus before our cue line, which sent us off stage while he finished up.

So on this night, like I said, he was sauced. Totally. And he rambled back and forth, and we the chorus tried to help him out by asking questions to get him back on track. And for a little while it worked-- we'd give him leader lines and he'd remember what he was supposed to be saying. And then, oh my God, he did the dumb, and said our cue line.

Five pages early.

We all looked at each other in horror--and left the stage.

Because there was no other line we had to leave on, and we needed to be off before the next character came on.

And he was left, drunk and alone to meander under the spotlight and I don't even remember how bad it got because most of us had our eyes closed and our hands over our ears by then.

Theater Story Number 3--

And I'll end on this one even though I have lots of them, but this one is sort of important.

I crushed on theater guys all the time, and especially in the late eighties in a small town where there wasn't a lot of room for self-expression, the gay kids tended to gravitate toward theater.

I was dumb-- it took me a while to figure out why none of the objects of my affection could reciprocate, but by the same token, I was also hard pressed to figure out why being gay was supposed to be bad. I mean, okay. The guys kissed guys. So, chasing after them made me look stupid, but they always seemed to be nice to ME so what was the big deal?

But still... there was all the stuff people said...

Anyway-- I was working the light board with a kid I'd crushed on hard in high school (this was junior college) and we were doing Working. Lots of cues. Anyway-- this kid was a couple years older than I was, and he'd come out, and he was sophisticated and smelled really good, and omg how was I supposed to be because everybody said he was gay and what do I do?

Well one night what I did was come in with a fever of 104 and try to run the light board. I felt horrible, I was coughing and shivering and wearing a sweater and a jacket and generally feeling like ass and Tom who was the director in the tech room saw me huddled in my chair being miserable and put his brand new leather jacket that smelled like Polo over my shoulders.

I was a walking germ pit. It was one of the nicest things and one of the most noble sacrifices anybody has ever done for me.

And my realization was complete.

Gay or straight he was a damned fine human being and that was my takeaway -- damned fine human being should trump prejudice at all times.

I tried to make sure it did after that--there were more moments of awakening, of course, and culturally there were always layers to peel away and behaviors that needed to be unlearned, like there is in any civil rights movement I would imagine.

But so much of it was started that night with a leather jacket that smelled like Polo and a really nice guy trying to take care of a walking plague victim running a light board.

So there's three--I'll let you know if I remember any more!

Night!