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

Monday, November 30, 2015

The thing about Mate...

So, you all read yesterday's post, and the general consensus is that Mate is a hero.

I'm down with that shit.

And here's the thing.

I'm a feminist. I'm all about division of labor. I'm totally against me doing most of the housework--and I don't.

But when my husband comes home for ten minutes between work and a soccer meeting, I have dinner waiting if I can.  When I make dinner on other nights, I call the kids in to come get theirs--but I walk out his dinner, just for him.  And if it's something really tasty, he gets dibs on leftovers.

Because he's my hero. And a hero should get certain concessions.

And the really cool thing? The kids get it.

So, when McDonalds had no hot chocolate and I told them that I would make hot chocolate when dad got home?

Well, Dad's a hero.

So it's no problem.

Mate may never think he's EVERYBODY'S hero (although he totally is). But I don't want him to ever have any doubts that he's mine. 

I hope that comes out in my books. To me, that's sort of what romance is about--even after twenty-eight years.

Sunday, November 29, 2015


Okay-- so, mortification.

You know that terrible feeling that a stranger just saw your unmentionables? You walk out of the bathroom, your skirt's in your pantyhose, you're on your period, and the whole world just got a doubleshot of your least favorite view of yourself?

Yeah. That.

So, Squish was sick last night-- twice. And there was the whole refrigerator dying before Thanksgiving and at the end of soccer. And Mate was in the middle of doing a room cleansing--still in progress--for Squish so we can have some use out of her bedroom and it's not just full of crap and she can't get to her clothes. Zoom boy was cleaning HIS room too--and it needed to be clean because... ew. And I was folding clothes for the first time in months. And I'd been sick too.

And I don't keep house for shit.

Okay--let's be real. That last one's the most important, but all the other stuff helped too.

So, the new refrigerator was delivered today-- sort of.  (This all relates, trust me.)

And the guys arrived just as I started clearing a rather complicated path through the utterly destroyed house.  BUT (and this is important) while it looks like we're in the middle of a hurricane, the fact is, most of our detritus is modular-- we know it is--and we know how to move it. Yes, yarn boxes/lego tables abound--but they are easily stacked.  And yes, the couch was in the way, but Squish can lift it-- so, yes. We looked disorganized--and certainly slovenly, but, well, we weren't on our game.

Anyway, the guys arrived, took one look at the chaos, and said, "We can't do it."

Mate said, "Dudes, by the time you get the refrigerator to the back door and we remove the door, we'll have a path."

They said, "We can't do it."  (And Big T and I were clearing a path while this was going on.)

Mate said, "Just get it to the back and look!"

Well, they got it to the back-- and we had a path. And they said, "We can't do it."

And Mate said, "The hell you can't-- look--I can do it."

They said, "We're already late. We'll have to come back."

Mate said, "Well you can come back and collect the old refrigerator which we'll have outside, because I'm going to do it, because you guys are full of shit."

They said, "It can't be done."

I was mortified a little.

Yes, I was.

Because my house was a shambles and it was literally too dirty to deliver the refrigerator.

Except it wasn't.

And Mate stood up for us, and said, "Disorganized, yes, but we're not hoarders, and it can be done."

And he did it.  He rented a dolly, and he and T moved it in themselves, and moved the old one out, and it's done.  (And our floor is much cleaner now :-D

I complained to Mate.

I said, "I'm so embarrassed about the house..."

And Mate  said,

"What a bunch of fuckin' pussies."

I know--the house was a mess, and I should be embarrassed--but can I tell you how dead sexy he was in that moment?



It's funny-- people ask me all the time how I can write so "real". Where do I get my details? How do I ground everything so physically?

Fact is, I always think I skimp on some of the yuckier details. My writing is often optimistic-- I think real life is much more Immortal or Bells of Times Square and much less Clear Water--but that doesn't keep me from hoping for Clear Water or, even better, Shiny!

As to how I get my details?

I'm a mother.

I'm telling you, standing barefoot on the cold concrete in the 35 degree dark of the night to hose the industrial strength puke out of your daughter's only boots because she got sick on the potty--that's real.

If you can embrace that shit, you can write a moment of happy--because that has got to be what's waiting around the corner.

*ETA-- actually, what was waiting around the corner was more laundry. This time, sheets and a comforter. And I think I have a cold. Good news? Squish is pale and sort of listless, but feeling much better. And me? I will NEVER look at ANOTHER chicken fajita again as long as I live. EVER.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Before the Riot

Sorry this is actually on Saturday-- I'm afraid the holidays caught up with me and I was actually sort of sick.  But I DID write you fanfic--  and I thought I'd tell you that Vulnerable is available for FREE from DSPP today  and that Winter Ball is available for presale from DSP (at 35% off!).  So I hope you enjoy angst with your turkey-- I can't seem to write this fandom and keep it light!


Thanksgiving was usually pretty quiet--Bruce would do a couple of patrols and then go out to a charity benefit, catch a few hours of sleep and be out in time for Black Friday, when his day really began. Black Friday was actually sort of fun-- he could stop a Walmart riot with a single ninja throwing star and he liked doing that.

It made him feel badass, and it was really one of his few indulgences.

But that was in the past.

This present--the one in which a tight and mighty ass in a pair of blue tights blurred through his waterfall most nights--this confused him.

Today-- the day itself, not the charity benefit he planned to attend with a news anchor of astounding beauty and very little brains--he was apparently not allowed to go out on patrol.  In fact, he'd awakened that morning to find a little plastic slag pile on his dresser that used to be the key-card to the BatCave.

"What the--"

"No," Clark said sleepily from bed.


"I'll take you."

"I can get there by myself, thank you."

"Yes, but it will take you hours, when, if you just behave, I'll take you there in seconds. C'mon, Bruce-- you're the one who's always complaining about time wasting. Now come back to bed."

Clark cocked his head from the melted slag to the sleepy man and then back.

He sniffed the air. "There's turkey cooking," he said in awe.

"Alfred cooks turkey for you." Clark propped himself up on one fist, the covers sliding from his bare chest.  Bruce glared at him longingly... he really did want to touch... touch... just slide his palm all over that smooth, hairless, be-muscled chest. But...Thanksgiving... self-imposed suffering... Walmart! 

"It's usually just a breast," Bruce explained, feeling like using the word "breast" in their bedroom was almost sacrilege. "He... I mean, I asked him not to... but..."

"It's small," Clark said softly. "We used to have my mom and dad, their nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles--hell, my high school friends. It was big."

"It's just us," Bruce said, shrugging. "Thanksgiving for three."  Dick. Tim. Barbara. Jason. Jason.  "Sometimes four or five," he said, voice choking. Okay, it hadn't always been small. There'd been a year or two there when it had been... family.

Clark knew all that. The Justice League had helped that search for Jason. Helped relocate Tim. Used Nightwing like the resource he was.

"Dick's coming," Clark said quietly, shocking Bruce from his grim contemplation of the melted slag. "So's Diana. And Barbara."

Bruce stared at him. "They hate each other."

Clark gave a toothy grin. "It'll be just like a regular family. Barbara's boyfriend. And Green Lantern--Hal."


"He's fighting with his girlfriend. And--"

"If you say Lois, I'm going to a soup kitchen."

Clark made a face. "No. I was going to say that nobody's going to be here for a couple of hours. And that Alfred canceled your date tonight."

"He what?"

"I told him to. Yell at me."

"But..."  Bruce flailed for a reason he should actually make that date. Besides appearances. And orphans. He liked the cause but--

"You made the date months ago. Before there was us." Clark nodded reasonably. "I mean, I know nobody can know..." His face fell, as though it had just occurred to him that nobody could ever know, outside the League and whoever he'd invited to this little shindig.  "But you don't have to go somewhere with someone you don't like. Not tonight. Not this time."

Bruce swallowed. "Walmart?" he asked cautiously.

Clark grinned wickedly. "If you get in bed, we can go together."

He bit his lip, because, oh God, the thought of Superman busting up a Walmart riot with his laser vision was both amusing and arousing.

But then...

"Company?" he asked, his voice strangled. "I mean..."

"Yes."  Clark's moment of wicked joy faded. "Not alone."

"How can you even say that--"

"Six years," Clark said, voice tight. "I watched as you and Dick tried to destroy each other, you and Barbara tried to heal each other--"

"Failed," Bruce muttered.

"Damn right you did. I watched..." His voice lowered gently. "I was there--I saw your face as you carried his body from the wreckage."

"Stop," Bruce whispered.

"And then it was my turn... I carried you out... and... you were just... God. You must have willed your heart to beat," Clark continued, inexorably, "because you looked worse than Jason did, and you were still... still..."

"Why are you--"

"Do you think I'm going to let you go?" Clark's voice cracked, and Bruce took the three steps to the bed and hovered, uncertainly. Because the Man of Steel's eyes were red-rimmed and shiny, and Bruce didn't know what to do with tears.

"I... I'm--"

"A neurotic bastard," Clark's half laugh did it--set the one tear free to spill down his cheek. "I'm well aware. You have more scars on the inside than the outside. I know that too. But..." He didn't meet Bruce's eyes, even when Bruce combed his fingers through that black, glossy hair. The strands were coarse and slick, like tensile steel, and Bruce wondered sometimes, if he could use them as a garrote or a tiny, undetectable blade. But weaponizing Superman's follicles was the last thing on his mind right now.

"But what?" he asked, when Clark's voice failed him.

Clark managed to look at him finally. "But I'm grateful for you. And I want a goddamned day to celebrate that. Not Valentines Day or Christmas-- I want a day of pure fucking gratitude, and this is it. This is the day when I get give someone a big hearty thank you that you, Bruce Wayne, have kept breathing in and out for the last six years and somedays... somedays..."

Bruce kissed him, salt tears and warm man, feverishly possessing his mouth. The kiss turned fierce, almost feral, as Bruce used hands and mouth to still the fall of tears, the intensity, the fear that spilled from the man in his arms. Clark Kent, small town boy, had planned a day for his lover--Bruce Wayne, lonely millionaire, wanted to give him everything he'd yearned for.

Heated kisses, bare skin, tangled sheets. The taste of Clark's cock on his tongue, against his palate, the spurt of spend down his throat.  When Bruce drove into that perfect, vice-like body, the man beneath him was mindless, wordless, head thrown back, abandoned to passion, to sensation, to sex.

Love hurt too much for this moment. Love was all of the things they could lose. Love was that moment, after Bruce had roared and climaxed, then collapsed, trembling against Bruce's side, naked and defenseless, vulnerable and weak.

That was love.

Bruce closed his eyes tightly, not wanting the fissure in his heart to open. He clenched Clark in his arms, praying he could be the strong one, praying he could keep his heart tucked in chest where it belonged.

"I'm thankful for you," Clark whispered, shaming him.

"I..." Bruce rested his forehead against a muscled shoulder. "I'm grateful," he whispered back. "I... I have no words..."

"Stay in bed," Clark said, and the air between them grew lighter. "We don't need words."

They got out in a couple of hours, and Alfred had, indeed, made a complete turkey, with fixings, and there were guests. Dick managed to stay civil, Barbara brought her new fiancee, Diana brought sarcasm and wine, and Hal brought all the other alcohol, including the hard stuff that got even aliens drunk.

And the next morning, there was, in fact, a rash of Walmart riots--but the news cameras couldn't catch anyone actually fighting or looting on camera. In fact, most of the riots seemed to be a wash of red laser lights and green power, with a fairy dust sprinkle of ninja stars shaped like bats.

Police Commissioner Barbara Gordon said it was possibly an invasion-- or a new super villain.

She very carefully hoarded all of the footage that involved three drunken super heroes tossing would-be rioters in the air like beach balls and bat-starring their wallets to the walls.

And she was very careful that only she alone saw the furtive, intimate brush of hands between the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight before they left the last crime scene... uh, riot scene... uh... Walmart imbroglio.

It was, as she told Dick Grayson that night as they left the mansion, the happiest they'd ever seen Bruce Wayne.

They were
grateful for that.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Happy Squishgiving

I took this photo after Squish got all ready this morning. What you can't see are the painstakingly chosen pink skirt, pink tights, and pink shirt that all went on under the big pink hoodie--but I think what you can see is enough.

Squish was ready to go out on the town.

This is, of course, about five minutes before she spilled milk all on herself, and cried.

And I felt that cry-- she'd been so proud. It was such a good outfit, and I'd fixed her hair so it spilled down her back and she was wearing matching wristlets and the lovely scarf (Thanks Rhae!) and earrings--and the purse? Do you see the matching purse? Yeah. She looked her best and most adorable Squishiness today.

It sucked to have her plans change.

We rinsed off her clothes and threw them in the dryer and she found another sweatshirt and, for the most part she got her groove back, but I do try to remember moments like the big cry, too.  Because we expect so much out of the holidays-- we expect to look good and be happy and have everything go well--and sometimes, it just doesn't.

So, for those of you who had the perfect holiday--I'm so glad. We need those days of family warmth and good food, those days of tradition and joy. They do make our lives so much more pleasant--so very fulfilling, if we are fortunate enough to have them.

But if you got into a fight with a family member or burnt the turkey or ended up alone in your apartment with a tin of beans--remember that not everybody gets the perfect holiday. You're not alone if you cried, or if you couldn't join the five-thousand people in the kitchen or if you're revolted by turkey. You're not a freak if this was a shitty day for you-- but that doesn't mean you won't get a quiet happy day of your own, with people who love you and some joy.

It just doesn't have to be this day, or this moment.

Have faith--it will come.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving-- the fridge is empty but the buy links are up!

Through a miserable adolescence and a lonely adulthood, Skipper Keith has dreamed of nothing but family. The closest he gets is the rec league soccer team he coaches after work—and his star player and best friend, Richie Scoggins.

One brisk night in late October, a postpractice convo in Richie’s car turns into a sexual encounter neither of them expected—nor want to forget. Soon Skip and Richie are living for the weekends and their winter league soccer games—and the games they enjoy off the field. Through broken noses, holiday decorating, and the killer flu, they learn more about each other than they ever dreamed possible. Every new discovery takes them further beyond the boundaries of the soccer field and into the infinite possibilities of the best relationship of Skipper’s life.

Skipper can’t dream of a better family than Richie—but Richie’s got real family entanglements he can’t shake off. Skipper needs to convince Richie to stay with him beyond winter ball so the relationship they started on the field might become their happy future in real life!   WINTER BALL, NOW AVAILABLE AT DSP 

So, today I...

* Emptied the refrigerator and cleaned it with bleach and fire
*  Talked on the phone to my bestie
*  Went out for lunch, since all our stuff is in the outside refrigerator
*  Cooked for tomorrow-- and for the day after tomorrow when we're going to have our own turkey
*  Edited in between cooking and dealing with the kids
*  Skipped my nap to read Rhys Ford cause she's amazing
*  Sorta cleaned the kitchen when I was done cooking
*  Stared blankly ahead in exhaustion and knitted through two episodes of friends
*  Got my buy links and got excited!  
Now, you may notice I said "Links" and not "Link"--

See, Selfie is ALSO up for pre-sale (from Riptide, and not DSP.)  Now, Selfie has a much longer lead time, so it's not due out for a couple of months-- but you'll get to see the pre-buy link (and the blurb and the warnings!) if you go RIGHT HERE.   (If that doesn't work, go to and look up Selfie by Amy Lane-- that should!)  

Now, normally I'd totally post my artwork right here, but if you go to the website, you may notice that the artwork is covered, and that's because we're going to have a big cover reveal a little closer to publishing time.  But in the meantime? I've got stuff UP and I'm totally excited. WHEEEEEEEEE!!!!

And now to totally have Turkey Day-- and to be grateful for my family that helped exorcise the refrigerator and for the dogs who are exhausted for having ALL THE PEOPLE at home, and for my cat who wants all the affection NOW, and for my friends who answered bizarre phone calls and goofy texts all day because I didn't WANT to do my chores and for fun books to read.

And for all of you :-)


A Little Book With a BIG History

Okay-- so today, Dreamspinner Press announced THIS.   Do you see that?
I am SO EXCITED about this-- you have no idea.

Yes, I've written one for the line--and I hope it's accepted.  It's called Tamale Boy and the Spoiled Brat and I'm so amped-- if they take it, it will come out in January 2017.

Now you may wonder what's so exciting about this. "Oh, yes, look-- Dreamspinner has books out, you know,  like those grocery store books. Harlequin Presents or Silhouette Desires. Oh, isn't that quaint. You know, the M/M people trying to be like the Het people. That's funny!"

No.  No no no no no...

You're not seeing it. 

It's awesome. 

See, the basic Harlequin Presents is what I tried to write when I first tried to write. In fact, on my website, if you look under my free work-- much of it is REALLY OLD by the way--you will see a 60K book--horribly formatted--called Name.  This is probably my third or fourth attempt at writing a Silhouette Desire or a Harlequin romance--because when I was growing up, man, those things meant everything to me.  And even as a grownup, they brought me comfort like you cannot believe.  

Want proof?

Here-- I'll offer you a short history of Amy and the Category Romance.

* Sixth Grade-- Amy tries to check out Forever by Judy Blume and is reported to her father by the librarian because that book had sex in it.  Amy is mortified.

* Seventh Grade-- Amy discovers the Harlequin Romance rack at the library. Curiously enough, Amy is allowed to check out as many of these as she wants, because everybody knows that the sex in them isn't that bad anyway.

* Eighth Grade-- Amy is desperately convinced that she will fall in love and marry somebody who is much older than she is, someone who can educate her on life, because the boys she knows are hopelessly stupid and the mysterious men in the books are much more interesting.  Eighth Grade is sort of a nightmare for Amy-- those mysterious men in the books would definitely see those wonderful qualities that the stinky poo-heads in eighth grade were missing.

* Ninth Grade-- Amy discovers that people have also slipped sex into the science fiction and fantasy books she adores. Much of her reading becomes the QUEST FOR SEX.  Harlequins still help in this department.  At this point, Amy is invisible and is still convinced that the men in the books know EVERYTHING. 

* Tenth Grade-- Amy's family takes a summer trip before tenth grade in her grandparents' RV. This is seven people in the RV, entertainment space is limited, and the PC, Kindle, iPad, iPod, Smartphone and any other device made to keep people from strangling each other when on a six-week trip across country in an RV has yet to be invented. We have the following: My stepbrother's electronic football game--by the end of the trip, all seven of us are fucking ACES at this game. A walkman and six cassette tapes made by my parents--which is how I know all the words to an album put out by Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, and Crystal Gale. I'm looking' for blue-eyes... has anyone seen him? Don't you tell me... he gave up on me....  And four books per person. 

You read that right-- FOUR books... PER PERSON. 

Yes-- I thought I was being smart, because I chose sci-fi fantasy books, and I went for the wrist breakers too.  But it was no good. I was done with them in the first week. So, by the end of the road trip, I had read my books, my stepmom's book (The Thornbirds), my stepbrother's book (which was also my dad's-- it was about time travel conspiracies in the military) and my grandmother's Harlequin Romances. Did you know that secretaries who traveled to the far east could marry their handsome sheik employers? I was thrilled to find out!

*  Eleventh and twelfth grade-- Amy learns that she can claim she's studying if she sits on the bed with her GIANT TOMES OF GOOD LITERATURE on her lap... and hides a tiny $.25 romance book behind it.  Her stepmom accuses her of wasting her day when she does this, and frequently shoos her off to do chores or get beaten up by her stepbrother.

* College-- Amy learns that Mate is susceptible to the same trick--but that Mate is much more amused than her stepmom was when she gets caught doing it. But, see, at this point there is a Mate-- and I am Amy, and I am no longer living my life through my books. Here is when I realize that I am reading the books because I am going to school and working full time, and sometimes I need to read something NOT painful, informative, dry, educational, or SET ON A GRAND SCALE OF HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT. Or, you know, written by dead white men. I need to read something immediate, heart pumping, and real. I need to read something that appeals to my emotions and makes my day better. Which, I think, is why Mate lets me slip one in now and again. All puns intended.

*  Post-college-- I have been fired from my first district because they hired me when I was pregnant and this pissed them off. It doesn't matter-- my son can't keep a babysitter because there is a mysterious problem that nobody can diagnose and everybody assumes is bad parenting, and so childcare is not going to happen anyway.  We are living in a terrifyingly old and decrepit house in the middle of nowhere, and I have no car.  Mate is working all week and going to school at night, and I am pregnant again and alone with my son who cannot communicate.  And Harlequin Romances are $.25 a piece at The Almost Perfect Bookstore, and they are my friends. I make my first attempt at writing one at this time, and it's molding away in the garage somewhere, but I still remember when my friend read it and told me it was a real book, just like the one she was reading.  It was one of my best moments of that time, hands down.

*  Post-first children-- Mate is in school and I have a job teaching and we are trying so hard to dig ourselves out of the hole we were in when I wasn't working. I have two very small children, one with a communication handicap, and leaving them behind as I go work full time is ripping my guts out. And my husband is working at night.  Every month I get two deliveries-- each one has a wine glass packaged with the box, it was part of the deal. One was Harlequin Historicals, and the other was Silhouette Desire. I teach English now-- I have an idea of why these books comfort me, why I cry with relief every time the little box shows up at my door. The first Christmas we lived like this, Mate and I have no money for gifts for each other. I give Mate socks-- which he needs--and some shirts--because his others have holes-- so he can open a present in front of the kids. I wrap--and open--my four Silhouette Desire books, and some of the chocolate we put in the stocking for the kids. (P.S.-- we still have the wine glasses to this day-- they're the nicest things in our cupboard.)

I write Name during this time, but I stop reading categorical when I go back to school--and start reading urban fantasy, which totally turns my key.

* Today-- I have been writing professionally for over ten years. I have been writing for a publisher who wants my work for over six of them. I am no longer a teacher.  And I look at these books--these 50-65K books-- and I see why I loved them so very much. 

They were comforting--they had a heartbeat and a rhythm. There was a rush to the first meeting, and the rush escalated to the first touch, and rose further to the first kiss. There was an explosion at the first sex and a gentle let down afterwards, and a sweetness at the end. This rush was addictive--and at the times in my life when I was most stressed, or sad, or confused, it was better than chocolate, that knowledge that, in between the pages of this book, I could find endorphins and happiness. There would be banter and characters and joy. There would be scenes that took my breath away, courtship scenes, scenes that led to happiness and happy ever after. There was this ability to, very quickly, take a peek into someone else's life and experience the happiest moment, just like you were living in her skin. 

It was marvelous. 

It is still marvelous. It is still magical. It is still a peek into somebody else's life and a chance to live the happiest moment in it.  

Yes-- I am known as the Queen of Angst. I am known for writing books that strive to be real, and are often gritty, and hopefully haunting. But I can do that because I have found my peace and my balance and I have lived through my turbulence (I hope) and that's where I draw from. But I never forget that during those times when things were hard, when I didn't know who I was, when I doubted myself, when I hated myself, it was the basic, happy, trope-filled categorical romance that gave me a window to a better life. Yeah, sure, I stopped looking through that window and started living my own life--but I had that window to paint a picture for my future. I had a window in which to see a working relationship, a happy ever after, two people in love.  

There is no shame in reading those books-- in needing those books during some times in our lives (or ALL THE TIMES in our lives!)  I am so so so proud that my name is going to be added to this line. I am so excited to see my publisher doing this. 

Oh guys-- look. They're calorie free chocolate.  They're fat-free prime-rib on the page. They're a big hit of legal endorphins. They're happiness by the word. 

Enjoy--freely and without guilt or worrying that someone's going to accuse you of reading "trashy romance"-- they're SPLENDIFEROUS romance--because they ARE romance, and they are meant to celebrate, in juicy Bacchanalian splendor, the joys of finding happiness and falling in love. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

6 Reasons to Go Walking in the Rain

*  The dogs assume you are NOT a booger-head who breaks your promises.

*  You can freak out the mailman twice in one day. (Once as you leave the house with the dogs who think he's lunch, and once as you encounter him at a random time during your walk with the dogs, who still think he's lunch.)

*  You can work out that lingering stiffness in your back and neck that comes from knitting for too long in front of the television.

*  Self-righteousness works off at least a hundred extra calories. It's like going swimming in the cold or running in the heat. You're not just exercising, you're suffering.

*  The sound the rain makes as it hits the leaves, knocking the yellow ones a-fluttering to the sidewalk, is like fairies in gold-plated booties pattering across a tin roof.

*  You might encounter--and exchange banter--with a utilities worker standing in a hole of someone's yard.  His head and shoulders might be peeking out, and the dogs might be hysterically flummoxed by said man-in-a-hole.  You might carry the image of the man-in-a-hole with you for the rest of the day.  He might--just might, mind you-- reserve a place for himself in a book.  So, remember that: walk in the rain = man-in-the-hole.  And all that that implies.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

On Balls and Walls

Okay-- so, this story is sort of dependent on THIS STORY RIGHT HERE, in which the other soccer moms and I tortured Squish's coach with some innuendo involving white and blue balls.

Well, this this weekend was Squish's soccer banquet, and because Soccer Mom 2 is EXTREMELY brave and industrious and creative, it was a rousing success--at her house.

At the end, the coach got his coach gift, which is traditionally a framed picture of the coach and the team.

This time, Soccer Moms 1 & 2 went above and beyond-- they gave him a book of photo-illustrated "coachisms".  For example, one of his favorite coachisms this year was "Suck it up, Cupcake!"   So they took pictures of the girls pretending to eat a drawn cupcake-- and the page that said, "Suck it up, Cupcake!" had those pictures next to that coachism.

The idea was AWESOME, because, as I've said before, the coach has lots of energy and spends a lot of that energy making the kids love soccer.

So, one of the coachisms was "You can't eat fast food! I never eat fast food!" And that prompted the Soccer Moms and I to gather our fast food wrappers from our cars (there was an embarrassing amount of them, even though we'd all just cleaned our cars out) and stack them next to his truck, so it looked like they'd all fallen out of his door or had been thrown into the bed. He had a good laugh at that-- "Aw, you guys trashed my truck!!!"  -- and the only forgivable thing was that he hadn't known we'd done that so we'd cleaned up really good.

And another one of the coachisms was, "Where's my white ball?"

And of course the other soccer moms and I had a good laugh over that. And Soccer Mom 1 told me, "Oh yeah. It was pretty funny-- I told him why you'd be a ball expert and he was MORTIFIED. He turned bright red and changed the subject and he could barely speak. It was hilarious."

Heh heh heh...

I am so socially awkward. It really doesn't behoove me to have an in-joke because people, I will USE that shit.

I went to the coach and said, "So you know, I promise not to use you in my books. Ever."

At first he played along-- "Soccer Mom 1, she just told me I'm going to be in her book!"

"No I didn't!"

"She said she's going to put me in the book because you told me too!"


And he laughed his ass off, because I was so earnest and she play fights very well.  But after things quieted down a little, I said, seriously, "No-- I really don't make people I know into love interests-- it just gets weird, so you have no worries."  (Those of you who have asked for Darrin's story in Candy Man already know this.)

He said, "Uh... well, uh..."

And then I pulled up the cover of Winter Ball.  "And you should know that this book was written almost a year ago, a long time before I even knew you and your assistant coach, so this is not about you in the least."

"Oh God. Is that really a book about soccer?"

"Yeah. But I promise you're not in it."

"Good. Uh... that's great to know."

"And honestly, I've already used your name-- it was about four years ago, and he was a stock broker, and if it makes you feel better, he was very butch."

And at this point he turned to Soccer Mom 2's wall --which had once been an avocado green and was now in the process of being painted a nice granite gray.

And he said, "That's a really ugly wall. Why would you paint a wall that color? I mean... green. That's a horrible color. Gross."

And Mate (who had been cracking up the entire time) said, "Yeah-- that's the color of 70's appliances. That's horrible."

And Soccer Mom 2 and I met eyes and laughed and she said, "If you think the wall is bad, you should have seen the carpet."

And I was dying. I've never seen anybody change a subject that fast.

So I hope he gets to be Squish's coach next year. He was awesome, he had Squish running and feeling good about her improvement, and he noticed that she was really really smart--and that is always something wonderful.

And the girls love him.

And, at least once in the season, I'll get a chance to make a crack about balls.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Fanfic Friday--Stucky: Some... Day....

Okay-- so I wonder sometimes when I'm doing the Fanfic Friday-- OMG-- what if I love that bit? What if I decide to use it someday in my published writing? Will my readers hold that against me?  And, for those of you who are interested, I also wonder what would happen if I ever wrote a story about two older law enforcement types getting together when they had adult children at home. Because, the more I write Cartinski, the more fun a story like that seems like it would be.

Anyway--so, given that I have no ideas how readers will react to that, I think it's only fair to tell you: I DO plan to use the "Some... Day..." idea someday. Because one of my favorite movies of ALL THE DAMN TIMES has been LadyHawke. And when Rutger Hauer said this line in that movie, ALL THE THINGS IN THE WORLD just... stopped. Held their breath. And we all wanted to know what could cause Navarre so much pain.

So, probably not in an easily recognizable form... but, you know... some... day...

(Also... I apologize for it being so short--I may have mentioned "Drabble" in the labels?)

*  *  *

Steve watched dispassionately as the cybernetics-enhanced body thrashed against the vibranium-reinforced hospital bed. His own wounds--wrenched shoulder, broken nose, bruised internal organs, broken ribs, cracked hip-- were all healing ahead of schedule, because hey! Those were just the Captain America perks!

The Winter Soldier had the same perks it seemed--except, while Steve had come out of his anesthetic well ahead of schedule, the same way he healed...

Bucky-- or the man left inside his shell--was struggling. Going deeper and deeper inside his head each day.

"Maybe," Fury said, during one of his quiet periods where he'd only lain there, twitching, "he just needs to realize that what's out here isn't going to beat him, drug him, and destroy what's left of the man inside."

"That's very wise," Steve said, so dryly he couldn't differentiate his despair form his sarcasm. "I'll let you know if we find a way to tell him."

His response had been a hard squeeze of his shoulder, and then Fury had left.

And Sam had taken his place.

Steve had given him a sideways glance, wondering how he felt about this. He'd helped Steve take Bucky down--he'd heard their final words, screamed just before Sam had fired the vibranium-fiber snare.

Why can't you just let me go!

Because I loved you--I loved you with all that was inside me. I can't let ME go--and you never gave up on me, Bucky-- not once! 

He'd been falling down, in pain--just like their previous encounter, only this time, he had the teeniest bit of hope that he wouldn't die.

And that's when Sam had fired the snare.  One of the weights had gone awry, almost smashing Bucky's head--and another had shattered Steve's femur.

But the fight was over. Bucky was anesthetized, Steve was healing.

Sam was... quiet.

"What?" Steve said after an hour of just sitting there, watching Bucky twitch.

"I can't let you go either," Sam said.

Steve looked at him in surprise. "I'm sorry?"

"You think I don't know what's at stake, you tracking him across the known universe. Risking your life--again--to come up against him. You think I'm fooled? YOu're just here for your 'friend'?"

He had no answer to that, so he studied his hands instead.

"You're here for him in the same way I"m here for you," Sam said, and that--that came as a shock when it shouldn't have.  Steve almost broke something twisting around in his chair, and Sam's defiant, tortured eyes met his.

They were red-rimmed, and Sam's mouth trembled.


"Shut up," Sam muttered. "I'm just here."

"But what if--"

"I don't care if he wakes up and wants you right here and now."  Sam's voice shook. "You are not the same person. He may have known you then, but I know you now. And now is what you need."

Steve couldn't seem to get a handle on his jaw--it wobbled up and down, and his breathing started coming in short pants, hurting his side.

"What if I can't?" he asked finally, but his voice was weak, and he had to stare at Bucky to make sure he remembered every detail of that dear, alien face.

"You will," Sam said, the confidence inches voice giving Steve something to cling to. "Someday."

*  *  *  *

Bucky Barnes remembered the first time he looked at Steve Rogers and thought he was beautiful.

Steve had gotten the shit kicked out of him--again--for defending somebody who didn't need defending--again.  Bucky pulled him out of the trash pile, wiping blood from his nose and shaking blond hair from enormous eyes, glaring at Bucky and daring him to say anything, anything at all, about his fifty-billionth fight.

Bucky hadn't been able to. "Jesus, kid. Do you even remember how to hold up your left?"

Steve held his fists up, just like Bucky had showed him. A righteous bruise was blooming along the outside of Steve's arm. Yeah-- he'd held up his left, and it had gotten battered to hell.  Bucky had taken him home then--Bucky's home, where his mom let him use the bathtub, and then given him some of Bucky's little brother's clothes to wear.

Bucky had walked into the bathroom just as Steve had stood up, water sluicing from his scrawny chest and delicate waist and flanks, and it should have been no big deal.  Skinny naked guy-- they'd seen each other without clothes since they'd been first graders, fighting back to back in PS 12.

But this time, he'd stood up, and Bucky had seen his bruises first, beauties, all of them, from his shoulders to his jutting hipbone.

Then he'd seen the milk-pale skin, and then he'd seen his graceful, almost dancelike movements, and then he'd seen...

Those enormous eyes, staring at him in confusion.

"Buck? You got clothes for me?"

Bucky had cleared his throat and ignored the flush took over his body, and thrust his armload of clothes into Steve's arms and then turned to exit the bathroom like the fiends of hell were after him.

And now, locked into the horrible, recursive hell of doctors, probes, brainwashes, rinsing away Bucky and leaving only Soldier, it felt like every atom of his being was running through the molasses of time go get back that moment. that moment, when Steve's body was new and beautiful to him, and the possibilities of them touching had seemed... endless.

So when the anesthesia threatened to wear off, and consciousness threatened to overwhelm him, with a new world, a new directive, a new Steve, one in a perfect body and a new uniform and a deep, bitter anger against the powers that forged them both--that was what he struggled against.

He wanted to go back, back... to that moment in the hotel room in France, when they'd both forgotten who they were supposed to be and were only hands on bodies, aching pleasure, the subsumation of each of their strong, dominant personalities into the well-being of the other.

He arched off the hospital bed, fighting the newness, the present age, the reality he would wake up to.  He fought for that perfect moment, that exact pitch in time, when he touched Steve Roger's skin, and all of that sweetness, that strength and innocence, had been his for the taking.

Some... day...