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

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Why I Write

Oh God. I must be at the bottom of the blogging barrel, because dude… doesn't everybody do one of these?  I mean, somewhere out there, isn't there a quote from every novelist who ever gnawed on a pen talking about why they write?

Ugh.

Because I'm telling you, I've got nothing profound, or if I do it's going to sound pompous as all hell.

So, lessee, lessee… why I write, why I write… 

I don't think I'm going to count the number, because we all know how that ends.

Why I Write--

*  Because it helps me get rid of the voices in my head.

*  Because it seems to justify my internet shopping addiction.

*  Because I thought amazon.com was a celebrity site and I'm too blind to be paparazzi, so this was my way of being a part of the club!

*  Because in the 80's, none of the romance writers would say "cock" on the page, and I had a burning desire to fix that.

*  Because the love triangle thing always seemed so short sighted-- why can't she have BOTH, goddammit, WHY?

*  Because the real life diet consists of me not eating, and on the page the literary diet consists of one character telling the other to eat.

*  Because a friend of mine told me that I would leave my mark in little ends of yarn from knitting, and I realized that the only think we really remembered about Shakespeare's clothes was that he didn't like French hose because it cut off circulation to his balls.

*  Because unlike anything else in my life ten years ago, when I put something on the page and showed it to the world, at least somebody in the world said, "Good job!"

*  Because I'd spent my entire life learning literature and teaching literature, and goddammit, I wanted to do some literature!

*  Because my colleagues at the time mocked romantic literature and crazy artists, and I couldn't understand why they didn't see that the literature we taught and the writers we studied were often just the same as the romantic literature I read and the crazy artists they mocked. 

*  Because I'd been losing myself in my imagination for most of my life, but saying I was "writing" just made it sound cooler.

*  Because I've always been an opinionated little shit, and writing gave me a way to voice my opinion without giving in to my irrational rage.

*  Because the people who read what wanted to write were just as crazy as I am, and when everybody is the same sort of crazy that's a community, and that's where I wanted to live.

*  Because when I'm at a party, boring stories about my family are a reason for me to drink and other people to shun me, but when I'm blogging, they're considered "networking" and "work".

*  Because I had the cat and the computer and writing was the only place to go after that.

*  Because I had stories to tell, and for no other reason.  I had stories to tell, and the first story wasn't enough and the second story wasn't enough and the third and fourth and fiftieth haven't been enough.  I write for the same reason I talked to my stuffed animals and saved up anecdotes to tell my husband and got the degree with the thirty extra units in English and was so zealous about the subject that I had to teach it to spread the word.  

I write because I have stories.



See?  Silly and pompous.  Was I right or was I right?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Saturdays

You may notice the cat is ON
the computer. Fucking cat.
Mate and I were invited to a party this weekend, and I had a hard time convincing him that it was okay that he didn't want to go.

I think it's funny that he doesn't get that I get the true nature of introversion.

I know my parents assume that I'm an extrovert-- I get along with crowds, I enjoy conventions and the chance to speak to everybody, and I thrive on guest speaking opportunities.

We call this move the "Buffalo"
But there always comes a time during the con when I absolutely positively need to be alone.  Alone doesn't necessarily mean ALL BY MYSELF IN ONE ROOM, which is why rooming with Mary works. We can both sit in the same room and work, and we don't need to talk.  We can also be happy watching television together and making random comments on the action on the screen.  At home, Mate and I can derive happiness just from being in the house at the same time-- the term "companionable silence" wasn't invented because it was a lie.

But the silence in our own heads-- that is absolutely priceless.  The comfort of routine, of being with people we trust-- that can give us a charge like absolutely nothing else.

ZB Choreographed this himself.
I know that much of my day can be solitary, and that when it isn't-- when the kids are home from school or when Big T decides today he wants to talk-- I come perilously close to being a psychotic, moody bitch.  Can't these people see I have things in my head? Can't they see I need the silence of the world to get this shit on paper? Holy Goddess what's wrong with all the fucking noise in the world?

The old shadow puppets were
done on zinc plates. They were
very cool. These were die
cut paper.
I mean, I spent this week with the kids.  On Thursday, we went to the Crocker Art Gallery to see the Lautrec exhibit-- and we had a blast.  Kewyn's bestie, Sam, was there, with his family, and they had an interactive place where the kids got to dress up like performers and go on stage.  (What you can't see in the pictures was that as they were performing a big group of elderly trustees came in and watched my kids clown around on the stage. They were entranced.)  They also got to see the occasional set of boobs in the art of gay Paris.  They were excited about that-- me and Sam's mom were like, "Don't dwell!"

Anyway, the kids colored and put on a shadow puppet show, and then visited the modern art section and went downstairs to make pipe-cleaner bunnies and play with puppets. And then we toured Old Sac and visited Candy Heaven- -and on the whole?  It was an awesome day.  Last night, Mate and I went out to dinner and to watch the Kings win.

Today, we spent quiet time as a family and saw a movie and ate out for lunch and now?

I absolutely positively have to be by myself. 
Squish needed us to take a picture of this or she wouldn't
put it on display.

Oh my Goddess-- I ADORE my family. I'd die for them. But if I don't get some fucking quiet in my head, I might kill them myself.

So when Mate -- who has been late from work because of soccer meetings and work meetings and other meetings for most of this week-- says, "I… I just… I can't…"  about going to a party with friends?

I am the last person to judge.

People assume that introverts don't like crowds-- but it's not true.  We love crowds.  But we get our power from being alone.
Of course ZB went out and found himself a baby to
entertain. It's what he does.

I totally get that Mate needs some power.

And to illustrate how much I need some quiet time?

Yesterday, I was taking T to the bus stop on my way to work out?  Big T was talking about an awkward moment in class, and I was listening, because, well, that is my job.  As we pulled up to the grocery store parking lot, I stopped a ways from the bus stop because, well, I was running late for my workout.

Squish's favorite puppet :-)
"Okay-- so I'm letting you off here because I'm late and you're not, and you can walk."

"Okay.  So that's the end of my story."

"Well, that's all right-- everyone has awkward moments."

"Yeah, but I've got a question."

It's a giant chicken costume.
Because giant chicken.
"Make it quick--I"m late."

"Am I a difficult person?"

"Get the hell out of my car."

Big T-- *laughs *  "Okay."

"I mean it. Now. Get the hell out. Get. Out. Go away. Now."

Big T laughed as he got out and walked away.

He was lucky the car wasn't moving. I would have shoved him out with my foot.

See? Dogs get Saturdays. Sleep, be pet, it's all good. 













Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Allergies

Okay-- so, for years, I didn't think I had allergies.

I just thought I had an irritating cold that arrived between February and March every year, didn't come with a fever but left me with body aches, itchy eyes, congestion and post nasal drip.

*nods*

Same time. Every year.

A brain trust I'm not.

Anyway, now that I have admitted I have allergies, I suppose I'll have to investigate the whole spectrum of chemical enhancement open to me. But that would involve leaving the house for something  not required by law-- like scaring up food for the children or going to work out.  (Working out is a special joy-- there is some sort of plant over the pool, and right when I think I'm getting over my allergies, it dumps big clots of yellow pollen on the water. Last year I started sneezing and nearly drowned.)

I've got to do something, because my other option is curling up in a little ball and whimpering away my day. Ugh.  I fell asleep at 11:30 last night-- at my desk. I'm serious-- these allergy things are kicking my ass.

And it's not a good week for it, either.

The kids are home this week, and although my parents took them Monday-- witness the pretty pictures at the lake-- and I'm taking them to the art gallery tomorrow, with friends, that leaves them with three days during which to knock around the house and wear their pajamas until three-thirty, when they have to leave for dance lessons and it becomes absolutely imperative that they change.  But essentially, having mom home means bothering mom, and, well, making appointments with mom to skip out on two hours of work in order to sew together a stuffed dog. (I'm sure there will be pictures later.  That's what I'm doing when I get back from my workout.)

So, conducive to getting work-- including blogging-- done, this environment is not.

But all is not lost-- the kids have been mildly entertaining, for one.

Yesterday, as I sat at the table working (what else!) suddenly Zoomboy started shouting the Song of Our People: "SQUIRREL! LOOK! SQUIRREL!"

Because, you know, there's not six-thousand squirrels per square acre in our neck of the woods.

Anyway- I snapped this shot of the two of them, looking out on the world as though the rare giant purple-striped majestic squirrel were flying by and crapping candy.  It was a big moment in our day, believe you me.

And then, to make it adorable, I posted the pic on Twitter, and someone *aherm Tiggy-Bubba* sent me this meme-- and I about died laughing.  Ah, the brutal, savage pit-bull-- how you besmirch your noble ass-kicking image with pretty much every breath you take.  (My friend Berry Jello's pit bull once made out with me for twenty minutes.  She was really the most affectionate dog I've ever tongue-kissed. Bar none.  I'm starting to believe that whole "fear the pit bull" thing was made up by people who beat the shit out of their dogs and wanted an excuse for why the dog got pissed.)

So that was exciting.

Also exciting?  I finished a knitting project.  I'm particularly proud of this one, because it's for my friend's daughter, and so far I've managed to keep her family well ensconced in wool.  I'm also proud of this one because I fucked it up heinously, and managed a comeback with a newfound technique.

*shudders*

For knitters, the word "steeking" brings about a special horror.  But I knit the hood from side to side and seamed it on the top-- and then realized that I'd cast on way the hell too many stitches.  The hood was big on ME, and I've got a GINORMOUS head-- and I had a limited number of ways to fix it.  Option A: Leave it as it is and say it's romantic.  (My intended victim, er, recipient has a very small head.  There's such a thing as too romantic.)  Option B: Seam the thing twice and just let the four inches extra flop around.  Option C: Seam the thing twice and *shudder* CUT OFF THE EXTRA, then crochet the seam to secure the ends.

Cutting off the extra is "steeking"-- it means you're cutting the steeks-- or horizontal bars of the stitches-- and hoping the extra stitching will secure the knitting.  Usually this is done on small stitches, mostly wool yarn, because the felting helps keep the stitches secure, and if you're doing extreme color work, it's actually easier to do the project in the round, and then cut your seams and secure the edges.

This was none of those cases-- big stitches, double yarn, wool/acrylic blend.

Securing that seam was like putting clown feet on the stitches, and I could think of no way to do it with less bulk.  But the plus side is that the hood has a definite shape-- and since the recipient wanted ears, it looks, well, gremlinesque.

I sort of love it.

And you may or may not have noticed that my family thought it was awesome.  Mate (and someone on Twitter as well) proposed that I put eyes in the obvious places.  Alas, the young recipient didn't want the eyes, but I was seriously just a trip to the craft store away from googly eyes and big plastic eyelashes on that baby.

I sent that puppy out yesterday, asap, before my family could get too damned attached.  I hope the intended victim loves it as much as we did ;-)

Oh-- and as for the T-shirt?

This was a gift from Elizabeth, because I sent her Bitter Taffy, the sequel to Candy Man. I promised her no angst-- Mary approved!

This T-shirt was the result, with the angst-and-pain meter, and the Mary-approved range.

I am charmed and excited-- and can't wait to wear it to Orlando in two weeks. WOOHOO!!! I'm getting out of allergy central!

My kids may never forgive me!










Saturday, February 14, 2015

So I'm Not in San Diego

But I almost was because Chicken dumped her bike and landed on her head.

Her amazing and beloved Auntie Rhys took her to the Critical Care and then to the ER, where she got a CT scan and was told to go home.

I had my finger on the button to buy plane tickets when she called me: "Please Mom, stay home."

"Are you sure? We've got tickets lined up we're--"

"Mom, I've got midterms. I don't want to fall apart. Just stay home. I'm fine."

*sniffle* "Okay… if you're sure."

"Yeah. Rhys has it, okay?"

Well, of course Rhys has it. Rhys is scary competent, and amazing.  And Chicken and I have always been able to say, "It's okay. I got this."  And I have always trusted that she meant it.  I'm still not sure if that's wrong or not-- I know Rhys was a little surprised I wasn't jumping on the first plane out (which left at 6:30 that day, when she bonked her head at 10 a.m.)  But when someone tells me, "No. I'll be okay. You don't need to."  I believe them.  I really wish people wouldn't tell me that if they don't mean it-- I trust people on that score. Yeah, I know-- crazy.  Anyway, she's texted me regularly for the last three days.  This morning, she texted late, and I was like, "Text in ten minutes or I'm buying a ticket!"

She was like, "I just woke up, dammit!"

I think she's fine.

And so is Squish.  Squish has an ongoing rash (personal, I know, but chubby little girl in yoga pants rubs her thighs together-- it happens) and occasionally needs me to bring cortisone and a change of clothes to school.

In this case, I got the call at a really inopportune time:

"I'm sorry, Ms. Lane, but your daughter needs a change of clothes again."

"I just put dye in my hair. I've got twenty minutes to go."

"Well, we'll see you when you're done!"

And of course while she was gone, they did the cool stuff in her class.  *headdesk*  There were tears.  My Valentines day trip to the store was a "let's throw shit into the cart" disaster because I had no time.  The hour afterwards where I took the kids to the store turned into a black hole from which there was no escape. I can't explain it. I dyed my hair, the world screeched to a halt. I got nothing.

So when Mate told me that our nicely planned dinner for two with a movie had turned into takeout for the family plus our two friends and maybe a movie, I have to say, I did the logical thing.

I cried.

LIke, inconsolably.

Can't explain why, except to maybe say that maybe the previous two days had set me up to want nothing but my husband's company for an entire evening.

I got over it-- I mean, I'm only a little bit of a stress puppy.  I was better by the time Wendy got here, and while she and Mate went and picked up takeout and the puppy (who got spayed) and Wendy's husband (who had just gotten off work) I got ready for a date with my husband-- friends or no friends.

And we had a good time.

For one thing, Mate and I laughed semi-hysterically all the way to the movies.  (We drove separate cars.)  We were talking about kids, and the horror of our 6th grader having seen the puberty video and the fact that he was now feeding all that information gleefully to his little sister.  We talked about how Big T- was horrified by all of it, and the time ZB ran into the kitchen in the morning and said, "My man parts are sore!" and Big T said, "I'm really uncomfortable right now!" and how I told ZB, "Well stop whacking them on things!"

When Mate could recover he said, "Not whacking, pulling-- I swear, if he yanks any harder that thing's gonna come off!"

God, it's amazing what a good laugh can do for us.

Anyway-- we woke up this morning and…

The kids go their chocolate and activity kits and stuffed animals, and they were so happy.  They gave us gifts (I got a sewing kit, Mate got a "metal model of the Eiffel tower" kit.)  We ate out and bought dance shoes, and Mate stayed home and did yard work in the unseasonably warm February.

It wasn't bad.

I got flowers, and, well, I did get an iPod, although I said--and meant it--that I didn't want one.  I love it.  Shhh… don't tell.

But a day for love?

Well, it wasn't a bonk on the head from a speeding bicycle, right?










Wednesday, February 11, 2015

February
























I'm not sure what it is about this month.

Maybe it's the almost constant haze, or the way that--when the weather is working-- you can go the whole month without seeing the sun proper.

Maybe it's the financial thing-- this is the month when the excesses of the holiday season come charging through the mailbox and hit us right in the bank account. When Mate and I were both working at Friday's, I remember this was the month we arrived at Friday's every day and ordered soup and salad, because we knew the waitresses would take pity on us and not charge us.  February was the month I almost got fired for filing a police report, because the cops called me at work, during lunch rush, and I needed to file that report or I'd get evicted.  (It also has something to do with me screaming "This is fucking important!" to my manager when he tried to get me off the phone.)

Maybe it's the fact that for about fifteen years, either my children or myself all got sick during February. There were a number of years where I missed an entire week of school, and picking back up after that mess was a pita.

Maybe it's that it's the shortest month of the year, made shorter by holidays that people never knew how to schedule and made longer by sheer misery.

I'm not sure where the blame for February can be placed, but I have got to tell you, there is something about that Dar Williams song that really yanks on my feels.

You said "That's a crocus," and I said, "What's a crocus?" and you said "That's a flower."

  And I tried to remember, but I couldn't remember and I said "What's a flower?"

And you said "I still love you!"

There is an unquestionable bleakness about this month, a sorrow for a year we thought we'd said goodbye to months ago, a yearning for a year that hasn't achieved flower yet.

And sometime in the middle of this month, the world turns pink.

And we give each other goofy cards and chocolate and hearts and flowers and stuffed animals and dinner and movies and the occasional baby.  (Aherm. Zoomboy's B-day is November 15th. Somebody do that math for me?)

I know it's commercial. It's a made up holiday. We took a terrible legend about St. Valentine and turned it into something beautiful and hokey and kitschy and wonderful.  We made spring before it was spring. 

We made birds and bees copulate and be joyful, because we picked a day and said, EVERYBODY GET BUSY AND SHOW AFFECTION!

And I can't hold it against us that we do that.  I mean I can hold it against grade school students who use this as a chance to bully-- I pulled my own kid out of school for Valentines Day when she was being bullied.  But now? I send her packages 500 miles away so she knows she's loved.

And I buy my other kids flowers.

And we give silly gifts and kisses.

And Mate tries to take me out to dinner.

And I said what's a flower?

And you said I still love you.

And sometimes, we don't lose to February. Sometimes, February lets us win, right?

And to show some win--I discovered this song and this band this month. A little melancholy? Yes. But it's beautiful, and I see flowers in it.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Coma Time


Ugh!

My computer mouse is spazzing out, I'm fighting off being sick, and my a "blogging injury" is acting up. Sometimes the silliest crap can just torpedo your morale you know?

But a friend's daughters were baptized today, and even though I don't work for that particular corporation, it doesn't mean I don't respect the holy bejeebers out of someone else's faith.  And in some families, the baptism is sort of a rite of passage, a milestone of growing up--and I respect that too.  It was lovely to see these two girls grown into thoughtful, humble, stunning young women--it hit me right in the feels.  Nothing perks you up like being around joyful people, and I was grateful for all of that purely positive emotion.  And not all churches are horrible to the LGBTQ population or the science community--it's important to remember that, because faith really can be a great healer.  Again, things to be grateful for abound.

Anyway-- that was a thing on the positive side.

We also went to the SpongeBob movie yesterday and…

Okay.  I'll be honest. I sort of like SpongeBob. Maybe I've just been brainwashed, because my older kids have been watching the show since 1997 when it debuted on Nickelodeon, and its a lot of fun.  The writing is clever, and there are a lot of meta jokes that adults can get (or older teens) and, well, after almost twenty years, it's sort of a family staple.

But yesterday, Mate and I were both feeling a little punk and a little sick, and we sat down in front of the movie…

And zzzzzzzzz…..

We were out.  I saw him trying to wake up and he saw me trying to wake up and in the meantime the movie--which is always a little bizarre and a little meta and a little hallucinogenic--became like an eyeball-searing candy-colored version of Pink Floyd's The Wall and The Who's Tommy.  There was even a musical interlude at the end with a talking dolphin who had toilet paper stuck to his fin.

And Antonio Banderas.

Sweartadog, it wasn't until I read the credits that I realized I wasn't imagining Antonio. He had a braid of pirate hair down to his ass.  Sorta sexy.  Definitely weird.

I mean… holy batfish catman-- this was a show that had a talking squirrel in an underwater spacesuit as a matter of course. What were our sub-consciousnesses going to do with that?

I may never heal.

But I have my plane tickets to Florida, and Lights, Camera, Cupid is out already on amazon.com, and that's sort of exciting!

Actually-- have I talked about Nascha, the story in this anthology?  See, I sort of compressed about forty years into 10K.  In The Deep of the Sound, Cal McCorkle has to deal with his brother--who has every sort of psychological diagnosis ever (and who is based on some of the kids my son went to school with, as he keeps track of his old school friends and realizes that his difficulties are not the hardest things he could face), and his beloved Uncle Nascha who is spiraling into Alzheimer's.

Nascha has a few lucid moments, though, and he makes use of one of them to put some events into motion that Cal is unaware of.

This story-- these ten-thousand words--are his story.  They're painful, and bittersweet, and ultimately hopeful. In a way they really are a Valentine to anyone who has ever had to say goodbye to a beloved older relative a piece at a time (done that), and hoped that all of the good memories somehow outweigh the bad.

So there you go-- what I did over the weekend.  And now, I'm going to finish a thousand words or so on Quickening and go into the corner and make like the dog in the picture.

Coma time!




Thursday, February 5, 2015

Purple Iguanas Don't Fly Kites in Texas

So… tired… must not watch television and knit…

Seriously.

It's been sort of a crush, work wise, and I have yet to get my feet under me.

I need to get my feet under me, because I'm leaving for Orlando in less than a month, and I'm excited-- there are a lot of people I'll get to see in Orlando that I miss terribly the rest of the year. Some of them are coming together for Coastal Magic, which is starting tonight, and I miss them terribly.  Damon, Tere, Lila, Jennifer, Gina-- have fun without me, peeps.  *sigh*

But aside from that, I've got odd-cap stuff to chat about-- let's see how much I can get through before my eyes start to close and I start to type in semi-homonyms in my sleep. You think that doesn't happen? I've gone over many a manuscript that has "obvious" instead of "observant" or "parenthood" instead of "apparent".  Or, my personal favorite-- "obviant" because, well nothing says tired like making up words.  By the way, did you notice odd-cap?  What the hell-- is that a cross between oddment and madcap? If so, I like it. I declare it a word. World-- make it so!  And to that end, I'll start with moments in editing.

*  My manuscripts at Dreamspinner go through three major edits and several rounds of proofreading. Not everything is cut and dried in edits, and the result is that sometimes we have conversations in the margins.  In this case, the conversation was the word "frissioning"--which is not actually a word. But I think it should be. In fact, I staged a rebellion in my editing notes about "Who can make this a word! I shall build a campaign platform on it!"  So, regarding that last thing?  I say we add "obviant" and "odd-cap" to our lexicon. They shall be Amy's words.

*  And speaking of Amy's words, I have made a horrible discovery. In an effort to convey affection, in the nature of things like, *hugs * and *squishes * and *love*, I made up my own word: *smishes *  It turns out, my editor, Goddess love her, actually looked "smishes" up in the Urban Dictionary.  

I keep using that word. It does not mean what I thought it means. And now I need to find another word.  And I LIKED that word. Tis a quandary.

* I swear to dog, the little dog wags her tail in her sleep. Game over, man. It does not get cuter than that.

*  Except when she actually sat up and begged. Paws hanging in front of her chest, eyes looking adorable, like a real dog. Holy crap.

*  Zoomboy had a doctor's appointment today to catch up on his meds. As he stood at the counter he picked up a face mask, because, yanno, it's plague season, and said, "Mom! Don't I need a face mask!"

"No," I said, distracted. "You're not sick. You have ADHD."

I look up and met the admitting clerk's eyes and she was cracking up.

*  Mate and I had the conversation the other day before he left the house:

Mate: "How's my hair?"  

Me: "Looks great, Barbie, you'll be the envy of all the guys AT FLAG FOOTBALL!"

Mate: "Heh--point!"

* The kids have-- like kids do-- been giving me grief about, "But I don't WANNA do that chore!" I've found the best thing-- it's weird how well it works.

"Is there anything we don't do for you?"

Suddenly, the room goes quiet and the chore gets done.

Yeah, weird. Blows my mind too!

* Mate, after getting everything to fit in the dish cupboard: "AHA! Jenga!!!"

* The other day, Zoomboy made the following statement: "Darn, mom, my man-parts are sore."  
I don't remember what happened after that. The room erupted into chaos.

* Squish and I made Snickerdoodles last night. I was squishing the dough with a fork (it was a package) and she said, "Mom, can I do the next part?"

"No, honey, you'll get dough all over your fingers."

She stared at me, perfectly straight faced (remember-- she's eight) and said, "Yeah mom. That would be awful. Can I do the next part?"

Wow. How quickly they watch their older sisters and learn.

* Big T went eighteen hours without sleep, and came home buzzed on too much coffee and empowered by his own devil-may-care nonchalance regarding the laws of physics. I didn't tell him that his father and I once went five days with only eighteen hours of sleep between us. It didn't seem sporting somehow.

* And this morning on Amy's Lane, I told a story--all true-- about the worst work evaluation I'd ever endured. The thing was, until I looked at the story later, I didn't realize I'd left out the most bizarre part of that day. It didn't fit into the context of the article, but, you know-- the title of this blog post is about the bizarre shit that's flitting through my brain.

So here goes.

One of the most traumatic work evaluations I ever endured happened with a lesson plan that failed twice. The first time, I was trying to impress the vice principal with a new lesson plan, something I'd cooked up (which I had to do since we had no curriculum in those days) and I was really reaching. The lesson ended in disaster-- and I got hired back for the next year, but I really wanted to redeem myself.

For the next year's evaluation, the principal was reviewing me, and he missed our appointment something like fourteen times. Fourteen times. So that's fourteen times that I came dressed, ready, with a perfect lesson plan--and he didn't show. So, on this day, I wanted to fine tune the lesson plan that had failed the last time, and that's when he walked in, and it failed spectacularly.

I spent the next three periods in hysterics. I mean, sobbing in the corner while half the class tried to comfort me and the other half tried to burn down the classroom, and I managed to pull myself together during my prep period-- last period of the day.

That's when I saw the message to call my stepmom, and I sat in my empty classroom, and she asked me how I was doing. The whole sorry thing spilled out of my mouth, complete with tears, and "I have to face my principal in half an hooooooooourrrrr…."

And she said-- I shit you not-- "Well, I guess this won't make any difference. Your grandma died."

O.O

Yup. It wasn't unexpected-- as a family we had said our goodbyes, and said our peace. But, as my friend just told me--"You know? Only you could have that day."

Not too much has changed, really.

I could still have that day.



Monday, February 2, 2015

February-- only a little *flail* for ya!!!

Hey all!  We were a little light on the *kermit flail* this month-- I think it's just been sort of an asskicker all around, you know?  

But I do have what looks to be a charming romantic comedy from Kris T. Bethke, followed by a list of upcoming releases and current projects from yours truly… 

So, keep an eye out for anything else that you think should be *kermit flailed*-- I'm perfectly willing to try this post again with more people, but in the meantime, let's give it up for a book about a sweetheart of an MC who is comfy in his own skin, and an really creative title-- let's hear it for Pumpkin Rolls and Porn Sounds-- 

YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!





by Kris T. Bethke


Will Grant only attends the PFLAG meeting because his mother guilts him into it. But the instant he hears the night’s speaker, Will is glad he showed up. Joshua Rhinehardt is dynamic and engaging. Although Joshua isn’t physically Will’s type, Will can’t get the man out of his head.

Joshua may be comfortable in his own skin, but
 it isn’t often men like Will are attracted to him, and he's not comfortable changing for someone else. He wants to make a life with Will, but his own insecurities keep getting in the way. 


Will’s unwavering acceptance helps Joshua see that when two people connect, physical appearance just might 
not matter at all.

That looks sweet, right?

**

Now my next book didn't come with a cover (which I should have asked for, considering I do the *Kermit Flail*) but it's sort of an anthology with a lot of great writers in it, and it's something you should know about.  

So, for those of you who don't know about Riptide's Bluewater Bay stories, they're a bunch of GLBTQ romances set in the Puget Sound area of Washington--and I do mean full spectrum LGBTQ, which is sort of exciting in itself.  There are some outstanding authors on the Bluewater Bay roster-- Anne Tenino, Z.A. Maxfield, L.A. Witt, Aleksandr Voinov, S.E. Jakes, Heidi Belleau, Rachel Heimowitz, G.B. Gordon-- and I'm sure I'm missing somebody, but you get the idea. 

A lot-- I mean a lot of great writers!

So my first book for Bluewater Bay (and there will be two, at least) is The Deep of the Sound, which is sort of cool, and I'll have a blurb down below.  But the blurb mentions Cal's Uncle Nascha, suffering from Alzheimer's, and the thing is, Nascha was an amazing man. And I wanted to give him a backstory.  So when asked to write a  10K story for the Lights, Camera, Cupid anthology that's going to give everyone a taste of Bluewater Bay, I chose Nascha as my victim, uhm, er, MC for that particular story.  And, against all odds, I give him the best ending we can hope for.  (Yeah, I was surprised too.)  

So, if you're interested in tasting Bluewater Bay, be sure to check out Light's, Camera, Cupid-- if nothing else, Nascha is a standalone story, and 10k of thoughtful tears. (I hope.)

And that takes us to the calendar of sorts that I've got planned.  I'll include covers if I have them, and blurbs if they're their, okay?  And we'll finish with what I have planned to work on next!

January 26th-- Black John, the 4th Johnnies Book

Available at Amazon, Dreamspinner Press, and ARe

John Carey is just out of rehab and dying inside when he gets word that Tory, the guy who loved him and broke him, has removed himself from the world in the most bitter way possible—and left John to clean up his mess.

Forced back to his hometown in Florida, John's craving a hit with every memory when he meets Tory's neighbor. Spacey and judgmental, Galen Henderson has been rotting in his crappy apartment since a motorcycle accident robbed him of his mobility, his looks, and his boyfriend all in one mistake. Galen's been hiding at the bottom of an oxy bottle, but when John shows up, he feels obligated to help wade through the wreckage of Tory's life.

The last thing John needs is another relationship with an addict, and the last thing Galen wants is a conscience. Both of them are shocked when they find that their battered souls can learn from and heal one another. It doesn't hurt that they're both getting a crash course on how growing up and getting past your worst mistakes sure beats the alternative—and that true love is something to fight to keep if your lover is fighting to love you back.

*    *    *

February 10th-- Light's, Camera, Cupid-

*   *   *

March 3rd-- 

Vulnerable: The First Book of the Little Goddess


Working graveyards in a gas station seems a small price for Cory to pay to get her degree and get the hell out of her tiny town. She's terrified of disappearing into the aimless masses of the lost and the young who haunt her neck of the woods. Until the night she actually stops looking at her books and looks up. What awaits her is a world she has only read about—one filled with fantastical creatures that she's sure she could never be.

And then Adrian walks in, bearing a wealth of pain, an agonizing secret, and a hundred and fifty years with a lover he's afraid she won't understand. In one breathless kiss, her entire understanding of her own worth and destiny is turned completely upside down. When her newfound world explodes into violence and Adrian's lover—and prince—walks into the picture, she's forced to explore feelings and abilities she's never dreamed of. The first thing she discovers is that love doesn't fit into nice neat little boxes. The second thing is that risking your life is nothing compared to facing who you really are—and who you'll kill to protect.

2nd Edition

*    *     *  

April-- The Tales of the Curious Cookbook, featuring stories from Marie Sexton, RJ Scott, Amber Kell, Mary Calmes, and Amy Lane


My story will be out in the second week of April, and the blurb is as follows:

Food for Thought-- 



Emmett Gant was planning to tell his father something really important one Sunday morning—but his father passed away first. Now, nearly three years later, Emmett can't seem to clear up who he should be with—the girl with the apple cheeks and the awesome family or his snarky neighbor, Keegan, who never sees his family but who makes Emmett really happy just by coming over to chat.

Emmett needs clarity.

Fortunately for Emmett, his best friend’s mom has a cookbook that promises to give Emmett insight and good food, and Emmett is intrigued.  After the cookbook follows him home, Emmett and Keegan decide to make the recipe “For Clarity” and what ensues is both very clear—and a little surprising, especially to Emmett's girlfriend.  Emmett is going to have to think hard about his past and the really important thing he forgot to tell his father if he wants to get the recipe for love just right.

*   *    *

May-- Immortal  (No blurb or photo-- coming soon)

*   *   *  

June ---  The Deep of the Sound


Cal McCorkle has lived in Bluewater Bay his whole life. He works two jobs to support a brother with a laundry list of psychiatric diagnoses and a great uncle with Alzheimer's, and his personal life amounts to impersonal hookups with his boss. He’s got no time, no ambition, and no hope. All he has is family, and they're killing him one responsibility at a time.

Avery Kennedy left Los Angeles, his family, and his sleazy  boyfriend to attend a Wolf's Landing convention, and he has no plans to return. But when he finds himself broke and car-less in Bluewater Bay, he’s worried he’ll have to slink home with his tail between his legs. Then Cal McCorkle rides to his rescue and any inclination he had to run away from Bluewater Bay dies a quick death.

Avery may seem helpless at first, but he can charm Cal's fractious brother, so Cal can pretty much forgive him anything. Even being adorkable. Or giving him hope. But Cal can only promise Avery “until we can’t”—and the cost of changing that to “until forever” might be too high, however much they both crave it.

*    *    *   

July-- Re-release of Wounded: The Second Book of the Little Goddess


*   *   *  

August/September-- Bitter Taffy (The sequel to Candy Man, Rico and Derek's story this time.)

*   *    *

And then

There's probably going to be a release of Bound before Christmas, and then a Christmas story, because right now? I'm working on Quickening, which will be released in mid- 2016.  It's thrown my queue into a bit of an uproar, but I'm 1/3 done, so at least that's something.  

Following Quickening, I'll be working on Lollipop, the third and final Candy Man story.  That will be pretty awesome, because I love the softness and sweetness of these books compared to much of what I write.  

Following Lollipop, I'll be working on Selfie, which is a Bluewater Bay book

And after that, I will probably be working on my Christmas novella.  

and after that?  We'll have to revisit the queue-- there'a ALWAYS something brewing, right?

So there you go-- my queue and releases, probably through 2016.  Imagine that-- it's almost like I'm organized!


OH yes!  One more thing--

Don't forget to check out Love Bytes on February 2nd-- I wrote an epilogue for Black John that's sort of a taste of the happy at the end, so if you've read John, and want some more of the guys (or even just want to know if you want to read Black John and don't mind spoilers!) go ahead and look for me there!