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

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Snippets of Nothing

1. I'm working on Making Promises (sequel to Promise Rock) right now. I'm dying to finish Jack & Teague, and I have an idea for a hot little novella, but right now, Mikhail is BREAKING MY FREAKING HEART. Anyone out there know anything about Russian endearments and swear words? I feel the need to have my hair dyed at the local salon, just so I can pick the brains of the girls there.

2. Last night, and my grandpa's 90th birthday party (I'm not sure he knows we were there, but he ate well) my Aunt Teresa asked about the '3G network'-- "What does the G stand for?" (for those of you who have seen the verizon commercials with the maps--that's what she's talking about.

When I got home, I asked Mate about the 3 G network-- what does the G stand for? Mate said he didn't know.

Zoomboy, who was sitting next to me during this conversation, said in a very matter-of-fact voice, "It STANDS for Giraffe!"

So know we know. It's the three Giraffe network. And in the next (aherm) GENERATION, it will be the four Giraffe network. Like I said, now we know.

3. This morning, I was helping Ladybug get dressed. She was butt-assed-nekked, and I gave her clothes and she was not sure she liked my selection, but she carried them through the house anyway to put on in the living room, a big brown funk over her head as she contemplated the unfairness of life.

"She's funny," observed Chicken.

Ladybug gave her a sour look, pulled her funk back over her head, looked at her nekkid pink toes and resumed trudging. "I. Am. NOT. Funny."

Chicken and I had to hold each other up we were laughing so hard.

And that's what I gots. I am one project away from being done with my Christmas knitting, and if you don't think that doesn't curl my toes, you haven't been paying attention!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy December 28th...


Such a sad day, really. It's Monday, so Mate's getting back to work, and I've completely forgotten what it's like to have a day off where he doesn't figure.

Last week, we took the big kids shopping at the mall (hateful place--not as hateful as the mall where a partially finished hat W/some lovely Hiya-Hiya circular needles fell out of my bag, but still. It's the mall.) Anyway, the idea being that we would give them money and they would go buy the little kids gifts, and then they would take a little kid a piece (after they got their santa pictures) and go shopping for the other big kid. The thing that happened that was pretty awesome was that they took the first bit of money we gave them and then... spent their own. All of their birthday money and left over allowance money and "I didn't buy lunch when I had the cash" money--and instead of a modest gift, they went about spoiling each other rotten. And they bought ME a gift, which was not on the agenda at all, and since I had two gifts to open Christmas (three total) and I'm a little kid at heart and like surprises, this really moved me. It was very very sweet, and one of the reasons I wished I could just dump loads and loads of stuff in the living room for them every year.

(Funny bit about the mall? EVERYBODY was there--I mean, everybodies that we knew! Big T's best friend, kids from Chicken's soccer team, our next door neighbor and my local Yarn Store owner were ALL AT THE MALL ON THAT DAY. I think Citrus Heights is a small place, that's what I think!)

Although we did get a financial reprieve of sorts-- our bank account was down to fumes (and wasn't everybody's?) and on Christmas Eve, the mail arrived and, lo and behold, iUniverse did me a solid and actually GAVE me my e-book/Kindle royalties for the last year. The check was surprisingly big-- big enough for me to run around the house hooting and pumping my arms and screaming MERRY FREAKING CHRISTMAS TO ME!!! big. Alas, I still maintained my virtue--Mate asked if I wanted him to buy me an iPod with it and I said, "No--remember, we have to service the cars and buy groceries and maybe not go overdraft this month." Sigh. Well, Mick said it best. Sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.

(I DID have an e-book falling off of the virtue path yesterday. As someone said, sometimes it's best to just eat the ice cream and not eat the watermelon, the peas, the three cookies, half a bag of chocolate and THEN give in and have the ice cream. This was me, eating the ice cream, and now I can look my Dreamspinner colleagues in the eyes and say, YES, I have read more than one or two of their books.)

And the last few days have been, mostly, dealing with the rubble. We did go to see Mate's mom & grandma on the 26th--that was nice--but yesterday was spent hanging out in the rubble, and that was good too. Today, I go grocery shopping and make the big kids clean up the rubble. Not as glamorous as Christmas, but, considering how much I don't like rubble? Not such a bad day either.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Psssttt...

(If I Must is on sale on the amazon.com Kindle. If anyone feels like logging on and giving it a review, it wouldn't be quite so lonely among the other Amy Lane books. I mean c'mon... doesn't that kitten look lonely?)

Seriously-- it's there on the Kindle--I didn't think it would be. If you want to put in a good word for me, I would be (as always) eternally grateful:-)

(Roxie? Thank you! The moose-that-poops and the sock yarn and the LAVENDER--one of my favorite scents!-- are so very welcome. Merry Christmas to you, sweetheart-- you totally made my Day After Christmas!)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Good Day...

Okay--I'm sure I'll have lots and lots of stories tomorrow, but today, I'll leave you with this:

At my parents house, as everybody was simply gathering and chattering and catching up, we became aware that the volume level was significantly up from where it should be.

Then we became aware that ZoomBoy was singing "The Twelve Days of Christmas" at the top of his lungs.

He was on verse seven. By verse ten, he needed help--I gave him ten lords a leaping--he soldiered on. I clapped like it was over. My sister said "You think that's gonna do it, do ya?"

Nope. Sure enough, he had to sing the last two verses. Mate was surprised he even knew them.

Bless you, ZoomBoy--you can sing for us any time. (And he did. He sang Deck The Halls all the way home.)

Bless you all--may you hear children singing in your heart every day, and especially the special ones.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lane Lunacy, Christmas Style

Heard recently in the Lane household--most often in the car:

Mate (after sipping from the wrong cup from the cupholder in the front of the car): Yeah-- what's IN there?

Me (eyes bugging in horror): "GUM!"

Mate (choking back laughter): "Mmmmminty!"

***

Chicken (wide eyed and ironic): "Yeah, Zoomboy-- if you don't believe in Santa, he won't come, and then Big T and I will suffer from broken hearts!"

Me (horrified, because Zoomboy ain't stupid!): "Careful, Chicken-- remember Zoomboy gets S-A-R-C-A-S-M!"

Painful silence as everyone who can read tries to figure out this word.

Zoomboy: "Sarcm?"

Mate: "That's closer than I got!"

***

Squishy Belle (when her father has not jumped on the gas pedal with both feet, whistling through time and space in order to see more Christmas lights in one go): "Green, Dad, GREEN!!!!!"

***

Squishy Belle (while waiting for Dad to come to the table with Taco Bell while we're at the mall): "Mom! I'm getting POTATOES AND CHEESE!!!"

***
(This one has been boiled down.)

Me: "Mate, why can't I access GoodReads anymore?"

Mate: "Because I blocked it."

Me: "Why'd you do that?"

Mate: "You asked me to."

Me: "Oh yeah... it was bumming me out..."

Littlewitch (via e-mail): THAT is a good Mate!

***

And for those of you who follow THE show... you will enjoy this.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Let the holidays commence...

Three things have happened to officially kick off this year's holiday season... shall we hear?

Thing the first: Mate and I had a movie date--and that needs some talking about.

I spend relentless hours explaining to students the difference between an archetype and a cliche. An archetype is a form, a story or character or symbol mold to use as a framework on which to build a story on. A cliche is when the story is told in tired words, leaving the framework threadbare and transparent. A storyteller's job is to cover that framework with details: real people, doing real things, particular moments, particular words, true emotions. There are truly only so many stories, and the archetypes are easy to predict, but the depth of the storytelling determines an original story.

I was thinking all of this after I saw Avatar.

Most of us could predict the storyline and the outcome, simply by watching the very first 30 second trailer.

The depth of the storytelling made that framework lush with details--it was visual storytelling at it's most glorious, and it did justice to a noble archetype in spades.

Awesome. Just awesome.

Of course, another thing that occurred to me was that Cameron and I have two things in common.

The first thing is that since he poured his own money into this project, I'm now in very good company as an independent writer. He's an indie too!

The second thing is he has killed off important people for the romantic HEA in movies before. Everyone watching the movie is aware that in Cameron's world, NO ONE IS SAFE. This is important--it makes the suspenseful moments at the end of the movie that much more suspenseful--no one is safe. He could take anyone out at any time. This could end badly. Brilliance! I'd like to say that I did the same thing because I too am brilliant, but the truth his, I'm a sadistic bitch with a twisted need to make myself cry. And then inflict it on everyone else. But the result is the same. So, you know, me and James--we'll do lunch.

Okay, now on to the second thing.

Mate and I went Christmas shopping today. It was hard buying on a restricted budget--I'm afraid I didn't do it gracefully. I REALLY didn't do it gracefully when we ended up going to the whip-spiffy rich-white-people's mall. I hate malls in general but there were two things we needed from this place. Thing one: It has an Apple store, and Mate gets a discount, and iPods were on the menu for the big kids, so, well, there we were. Thing two: It has a Disney store, and Princess and the Frog dolls were not to be found anywhere else. So there I was, hauling my white-trash ass (sans make-up--my eyes are acting up again, and I looked like a naked mole-rat with bad skin) through the area's swankest mall, and I had to go bobbing for corndogs like a good dorkfish by (get this!) LOSING MY KNITTING. It was simple-- a mega-Moschi hat in saturated pastels, I'd started it during Avatar and was about halfway done with the ball of yarn. And I lost it in the mall.

Mate said he'd go back and get it for me, but, as broke as we are, and as much as I loved that mega Moschi, I would have paid somebody else the cost of the yarn just to tell me I did not have to go back in there.

And now to the third thing.

My final edit of Promise Rock has been sent in to my editor. Go me. I'm hoping I can take a page from Cory's book and start vomiting from sheer nerves. It would feel much the same as I feel now, but at least I'll lose weight, right? As it is, I celebrated by stuffing Christmas cards. They may get sent out by Christmas Eve--and you all know that's not the latest I've ever sent one, so we'll call that a win!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

In Which Things Return Somewhat To Normal

Okay-- first of all, I have discovered the ultimate in muggle deception, the zenith in instant gratification yarning, the absolute perfection in homemade gifts to make when you have a reputation for homemade gifts and your family has moved your deadline by five days.

Are you ready for this? It'll blow your minds:

Ladies (and gentlemen-- Eric, Knittech, Tanner, Curmudgeonly Colleague, Mr. Trick, I know you're all hanging on the edge of your seats for this one!) I present to you, the crocheted cotton washcloth.

Okay-- would have been better with pictures, I concede. But I spent two nights making crocheted cotton face cloths, bought some bath stuff that color coordinated, and you'da thought I discovered chocolate.

It was MAGIC. No shit, no shinola, no guilt--I was a rock star. I shall bow now and get ready for my encore. (Cheers, applause, Jensen Ackles throwing his boxer shorts on stage...ooooh, Jensen, you naughty boy, put those back on--Mate watches me knit!)

I know I promised to tell you about my stinking thieving juniors, but I can't. Most of them didn't show up on Friday, my grades are in, and I spent a lovely couple of hours talking to a bunch of my favorite kids without the strain of actually having to TEACH--especially with the shitheads who make all the noise gone--and holy crap, I remembered why I love my job. Merry Christmas to me--high school students can be the bestest best people on planet earth, and that's how I'm going into 2010. (Selective amnesia--it's served me well for eighteen years.)

Of course, the day was not without it's quirky moments. I made what Curmudgeonly Colleague proclaimed "The lamest statement I have made in over fifteen years of acquaintanceship." And then he posted it to our e-mail group. And then Mr. Trick chimed in. And then I asked them sweetly if they liked their candy, and wished them a Merry Christmas. pllllbbbttt... seriously-- like my imploding sense of direction is news to anybody on the planet. Even Ladybug tells me she thinks I got us lost when we're on the way home. (I did not! I'm just taking us to see the lights! BECAUSE YOU ASKED ME TO!)

And today went well. I managed three out of five complete 'bag-o-knitting' gifts, and the three washcloths, and two 'bag-o-knitting' gifts that are more than 3/4 of the way done already... I really am a rockstar! And the little kids got presents (which was an improvement over last year, yes it was!) and in general, my family connected. It was all I could ask. Huzzah!

And of course--because a good day is not a good day without a widdo bit-o-stress: I got my FINAL Promise Rock galleys to proof. I can't even pay someone to proof these--it's like labor and breastfeeding--you absolutely can not shove these duties off on someone else if you have to give birth. But I have until Jan 1, so I'm a little more relaxed. I mean the holidays get stressful, but now I have something to do when I'm sitting in front of the computer, looking dazedly at the mess.

So, this is a little longer than I had planned, but I will leave you with this (and Galad, this should crack you up!)

We got home and we were watching a movie and Mate was watching his beloved Kings (win, for once) and he starts shouting at the television. And then Chicken and I actually heard what he was saying.

He walked into the living room and we looked at him and burst out laughing. "What? What? What's so funny?"

"OH. MY. GOD." I screamed, doing my best 'Mate'. "IT HURTS SO BAD!"

"What?"

"Oh yeah, baby--that's what you said." (It's at this point that Chicken rolled off the couch, she was laughing so hard.)

"I did not."

"Ye... yeh...yeah you did, Dad!"

And then we looked at each other and said it again, "Oh my God! It HURTS SO BAD!!!"

"I swear I didn't say that!"

He did. Big T's a witness too.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

*sigh* This isn't the post I had in mind...

Okay--I actually visited like five blogs today--but my damned work firewall wouldn't let me comment... I'll try and take care of that tomorrow, just know I'm still checking up on you--ME LOVE MY E-BUDDIES!

And in other news...My first review as a non-indie pro.

Not bad. I'll have to improve upon it, but not bad.

And now, I"m off to go put a munchkin to bed and fill bags of candy for my ungrateful co-workers. (Okay--many of them are grateful-- but the douche who called Zoom Boy "Nose Bucket" should really get rabbit raisins in his bag. That's YOU Mr. Trick. In case you forgot.)

And I SWEAR I'll write real post soon! In which I tell you why I wouldn't expect half of the class of 2011 to successfully pick their noses without stealing someone else's boogers.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Can't write, I'm writing.

Seriously-- I was writing the Christmas letter. The weird part? It feels like a blog, except I use everybody's real names. And I can't swear. And I refer to my work with Dreamspinner Press as "niche romance" for the benefit of Mate's extremely religious conservative family in New Mexico. And I didn't mention Supernatural once.

A real post tomorrow, wherein I bitch about everything, including the breakdown of Western civilization. Nai Nai!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thank You.

Okay--my day was crap. The Monday before finals is ALWAYS crap. Too many kids saying "Why, oh why, did you fail me for not doing jack shit for two months. Why didn't you TELL me my F was so bad!" It's often either that or, "What crappy job can I do on a small assignment to change my C to a B?" BLARGH. I'm through.

Well, not really through. There's always a few rays of hope. My creative writing club is going strong-- that's always nice. I had kids giving me some fantastic book reports. That's nice too. I totally chewed out three kids from my second period for interrupting my creative writing club while those kids were giving book reports to me quietly by my desk. Good feeling gone.

There's more... in fact, I could (and probably will) bitch for hours about the class of 2011, but for the moment, I have a happy, and I'm going to toss my stinky Juniors to the wind and talk about my happy.

I'm sort of embarrassed to talk about it, actually--it sounds really narcissistic (although we know that this is a failing of mine anyway) and, well, you all know how I hate to tempt the gods. In fact, I probably wouldn't mention it, but I think I owe a lot of you a big THANK YOU, and so, well, I'll bring it up.

When you go to Dreamspinner Press and look up the different options--short stories, novels, novellas, what have you, you'll see, on your right, a scrolling list of the best sellers in that option. So, for the link I gave you--in the Advent Calendar section-- you'll probably look on the right and see "If I Must" scrolling by. It's been #1 for a week now. Uhm, SQQQUUUUUEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!, right?

So, I was checking it out because, uhm, quite frankly? Can't get enough of seeing that, especially after a shitty day like this one, when I noticed something. When you click on the story itself, you get a different Best Seller list--this one for the actual length option of the piece. So, if you click on the cute little kitten cover to check out "If I Must", you end up in novellas. Last night, my husband was looking over my shoulder (because he's a supportive guy and is getting a charge out of this) and he said, "So, are you on that list yet?" And I said, "No... these are big deal sellers, you know? These are novellas--mine is just the Christmas stories. I wouldn't end up there."

Except there I am. I'm number ten, and by the time you guys get this post, I'll probably not be there anymore because it's always changing, but, for a minute, there I was. And as vain as it is to dwell on it, well, it's been a shit day. There was the students, there's my ever plummeting popularity on GoodReads (have I mentioned it's the year to hate on Vulnerable? Ouuuuuucccchhhhh...), and then there was the real stuff, like grocery shopping and no walk, and kids approaching sick (or on their last legs before vacation) and a family that moved Christmas up five days (so my real mom's family is having Christmas on Saturday--about five days before my knitting was planned to be complete!) and my CONSTANT wondering about whether I'm doing my job justice or not, and a house fairy that has yet to find my address and clean up the wreckage the last meteor left and... well, you get the picture.

Today, there was a sign from the universe that said "Yes. This is possibly a good route for you to be taking."

And I need to thank the people responsible. Thanks guys--I know a lot of you followed me from a genre you liked to one you were maybe not so excited about. I know some of you bought my novella and thought the kitten was cute and the story was cute and maybe you'd tell your friends in spite of the big label of "Gay Romance" on the website. I know a lot of you had faith.

Thank you. I hope you all enjoyed the story. I certainly enjoyed telling it for you. For everyone who's had faith in me (whether you bought the story or not!) just thank you. Every time I send up a Holy God, Merciful Goddess, Let it NOT Suck--I have you guys in mind. Let you not be disappointed. Let me do what a good storyteller does. So for all your faith, I'll say it one more time.

Thanks.

Amy

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Real Post

We'll start with the good stuff.

* The other day in (go figure!) second period, my student-- the loud one, the one I've sent to the office but who is always trying, walked up to the board and write a quote. "Ms. Lane, Ms. Lane-- lookit this-- it's a quote from music... what do you think?"

It said, "No ceilings."

I walked up and wrote, "No roofs?"

And he responded with another quote.

We played this game for ten minutes while the rest of the class watched and cheered us on. I'm not sure who won, but it was a nice moment. I want another one.

* And then, in the next class, a kid was showing me her poster assignment. It was really lame. For the record, you know your project is lame when the kid with an 8% in the class who is universally acknowledged to be dumber than a box of toasters in a swimming pool walks by your project and says, "What's that? An F-minus?"

She didn't take it gracefully. I had to send her out for calling me names under her breath.

But really... if THAT kid tells you your project is lame, just suck it up and take the D-minus-minus as a gift, right?

* Zoom boy. *shakes head* Zoom boy's teacher and I had a long conversation, and it turns out that Zoom boy is every bit the piece of work I've been telling you about for three years. (Yeah-- I know you believed me, but now I've got proof in a public file.)

See-- turns out that Zoom Boy has a text book 'attending problem'. Not hyperactivity--he can sit still. Not bad manners or acting out--his behavior is outstanding--he never gets into trouble and he's always trying his best. Nope. This is honest-to-Bob Attention Deficit Disorder. ADD.

The problem is, they can't prove a learning disability unless a kid is working two years under his capability. And Zoom Boy is approaching grade level or grade level in almost everything. (It's first grade--how behind can he be?) But by the time it becomes really noticeable (I said a little anxiously) he might hate school. I don't want him to hate school. I want his intervention NOW dammit so he can continue feeling really positive about what he's doing.

"Oh," said his wonderful teacher, "don't worry too much. The GATE (gifted and talented) assessments will happen in February. I'm fully expecting him to turn out to be a GATE student-- in which case, although he's performing at grade level, he'll be performing two years under his potential, and so he can get intervention both as a GATE student (super smart kid) and as an ADD child."

So my kid is a genius with a learning disability. Jaysus. I mean... shit on toast. I'm honestly at a loss for words.

* I came home and told this story to Mate and Chicken, and then I came in to write while Chicken did her homework.

"Hey, Chicken," I said thoughtfully, "if Zoom Boy is GATE, what does that make Ladybug?"

Chicken looked at me and said--with no self-consciousness whatsoever-- "Fucking scary. It makes her fucking scary, mom. Run away. Run away now."

And now (drum roll please...)

It's Big T's birthday.

For perspective, I've got a picture of him almost four years ago, when his little sister was born.



And here's the contrast picture, for when we were at the beach after the Renaissance Faire.



*sniff* That's my boy-- about grown up.

And it's almost hard to write about him now. So much of who he is had gone beyond the 'cute' and into the 'these are the core beliefs that make my child almost an adult'. Some of them are hard to deal with. He doesn't believe in a higher power--I do. I want him to--even if it's Jeff God of Biscuits, Jeff is benevolent and can give you some comfort when life gets hard. Thinking of the bad things that can befall a young man in the world, when mom isn't there, makes me really want to give him at least the idea of comfort. He's my baby, and even if I don't have the pictures in the computer, I still remember him as my baby, and dammit, I want him to have a security blanket as his shoulders grow big enough to hold a man's burden in a hard world.

But he's going to be a wonderful young man.

He does what's right and not what's easy. Every goddamned time. Even when his peers make fun of him. Even if he knows it's going to lose him friends. And he stays with his friends, even when he knows the kids he met in grade school, when he was fully in special education, are difficult friends to have. He wants to be their good example. He wants to be someone in their lives who doesn't desert them. He wants to be true and loyal and fine.

He is true and loyal and fine.

He took his little brother to a play last night--partly (he admits) because he wanted the girl he likes to meet his little brother. But she didn't show, and he was still just proud to be at school with Kewyn--and proud that I trusted him. (I did trust him. But my nails are now torn to the quick. SSShhhhh... Don't tell him.) He plays with Ladybug and with Zoomboy and tries to be a good big brother to Chicken, even though they fight constantly, like cats and dogs.

He makes me take him places so that he can sit in the front seat and we can talk.

He's always trying to say funny things, or ironic things, or wise things.

Sometimes he succeeds.

And I haven't been able to really get into the enormity of seventeen, and how close it is to eighteen, because I can't quite get into the idea that he's not the chubby baby the pushed into my arms after they made him breathe when he was too lazy to start on his own. (Little bastard. One of my five worst moments ever.) I remember looking at him, as he focussed his goopy, bad-tempered eyes on me, and telling him out loud. "It's going to be a quick eighteen years."

I hate being right.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Remember That Prayer Again Folks?





Okay-- this is my cover art. January release date. Holy Goddess, Merciful God, REALLY let it not suck!


(I've got a whole real blog with some funny stuff in it, but this was sort of exciting!)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Blogging with a monkey on my back...




Uhm, yeah. Pretty much why this post ain't gonna be that long, folks! She's up and it's ten-ta-eleven. Shit.

BTW-- do any of you watch Glee? If you do, WIN!!!! Just sayin'...

This one's for Julie for no other reason than she likes Phineas and Ferb and she probably REALLY needs something to smile at right now.

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And other than that? It's all about writing my final... (for once, it's only one!) and trying to survive the next seven work days.

BTW-- Big T? My baby? The chunky widdo monkey who weighed twenty-five pounds at four months old? *sniff* He's gonna be 17 on Friday. Which means I'm gonna be... a very proud middle-aged woman with a ginormous son. Have we mentioned the six-foot-four? Yeah.

Ladybug--bless her-- has launched herself into Christmas with all the ferocity of a feral cat at a piece of prime, tender steak. Some quotes as proof?

"Mama, when are we going to decorate?"

"After Big T's Birthday."

"We need to do it before that. We need to do it tonight."

"We're not ready tonight."

"WE NEED TO DECORATE THE HOUSE!"

"Why is it so urgent, baby!"

"We need to decorate for Santa because I'm NOT on the naughty list!"

And she's not. Whenever we're driving after dark, mom takes the long way home to show her the Christmas lights. A whole bunch of new ones went up around our house this weekend and after a couple of blocks around the house she went "Pretty Christmas lights, mom. I LOVE Christmas lights!"

I love her.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Asleep...

OKay-- that's mostly a wish. I got my editing done--yay! and am now looking at a long stretch of finals and correcting papers and generally throwing myself into the dayjob.

It was funny-- after hearing rather cynically about the young teachers and their 'successes' I had a good day teaching today. We're doing The Crucible--I'll finish it by finals this year (win!) and I realized that a number of the students were actually into it! (Another win!) My lunch was busy with a number of students making up work (win!) and I've had a couple of moments where kids who have colossal pita's (pains in the ass!) all year have been humble, fun to talk to, and working hard on making a grade come back. (Epic win!)

And also, during lunch, I've had some of the kids come in who like my writing--that was nice. One of them (Pride Synister--not his real name:-) wanted to read his WIP to me, and we spent a good half an hour bouncing ideas off each other for his work. THAT was fun--the kid is awesome talented, and I LOVED hearing his stuff. He's gonna be TNBT (the next big thing!) mark my words! (After Paduan, of course. Paduan, are you listening? Get your ass out of neutral and WRITE dammit!)

Holy shit! I too am an optimistic curriculum clone! Go me.

I've also gotten cover art for Promise Rock. *happy swoon* OMG-- I mean, O.M.G. DEACON IS SO PRETTY! He's the center of the cover, and it's sketch of him that Crick (aka Dek) drew, and have I mentioned the purtiness? He's just like I pictured him-- as soon as it's finalized (what I got was just a preliminary sketch) I'll ask for permission and post him. You'll swoon too, I swear!

No word on Rampant yet--I'm pretty sure they'll get me my galleys right at the start of Christmas break--which means an end of January release, i think. *squeal* *swoon* *thud*

Too much happiness... stop me if I start to blather, seriouly.

And other than that? I'm falling asleep. Seriously-- I went to lay down w/Ladybug and forced myself to wake up and blog and do other shit--I'm pretty sure this post is lacking in style, form, wit, etc. I need to write a final and collect papers and shit--and honestly? I'm starting to think my body's new bedtime is nine-o-clock sharp!

I'll try to have some cute kid stories next time-- cuteness has been happening, but I can't seem to gather it together for you by the time I post, which sucks, because the blog helps me remember them as they grow. All this *squeeing* and *swooning* isn't nearly as much fun without them, that's for damned sure.

Oh wait-- I have something! It snowed last night--there was two inches of it on my hood this morning. It took less than two minutes of kids alone in front of the car for a big snowball to hit someone in the face (Zoomboy) and tears to follow. Zoomboy recovered in time to throw a snowball at his little sister so she could cry and the experience was complete. Chicken, (who threw the first snowball--shame on her) laughed hard enough to need to run inside and go pee. Pee she might do--it was fucking cold here, for California! And Big T, bless him, opened the door this morning while it was still dark and peered outside like a kid half his size and a third his age. "Look, mom! Snow!"

Yup--like I said, they're a snow-shovel of fun, that's for sure.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Some Shit I Forgot To Mention

* I'm in editing hell.

* At first it was editing heaven--you guys saw that part. Then I realized that I was so busy popping little blue editing balloons, I'd forgotten to hit the 'track changes' button.

* I realized this on page 200 of 332 pages. I am now on page 240, after redoing the two-hundred pages previous.

* Again.

* My deadline is tomorrow.

* I feel like a stressed dorkfish about this.

* When I told my editor, she knew what adorkfish was!

* I so love her.

* She can also edit the spelling of "cannyagimmehalefuckingllujia!" I may have mentioned this--but I am still imfuckingpressed.

* All this editing has been done in the kitchen, with a draft on my feet and the heater vent blowing cold air on my eyes.

* I can't kick my virus, and now I have pinkeye. No shit.

* I didn't know this until Friday, 6:45 a.m.--this is, for the record, 45 minutes after the cut-off time for calling a sub.

* I figured out I had pink-eye because I looked in the mirror and thought, "Holy God! The only things with eyes that red should have fangs!"

* My teaching day sucked because my eyes were red. If I wasn't catching shit about hotboxing weed, I was catching shit about pinkeye. The kids were horrible. I hate them.

* I mentioned this to the curriculum clones. They told me "I'm actually having some real successes right now!"

* Good for them. I'm happy they're happy.

* In fifteen years, I hope they are this excited to be here. Just sayin'.

* It's possible the depths of my hatred were spawned in the pinkeye incident. We'll see if I can cook up a decent final and then decide.

* I need time to sit down and knit. Believe it or not, I've got Christmas knitting planned.

* It's possible that I'm a moron.

* Moron or not, I'm done w/ 2.75 of a planned 7 projects. I'm feeling good about myself.

* Let's see how good I feel the night before Christmas. Just sayin'.

* And iUniverse should have the Rampant proofs to me right after Christmas.

* Woohoo! And that's a good place to stop!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Picture Mate 'Here'

"Okay guys... some bad news. It's picture day. Not in the library, no. We're gonna go home, get Big T and go to Wal-Mart. The one in Roseville. I think. Okay, one of the ones in Roseville. I'm not sure which one. Yeah, Chicken, you can wear that. Yeah Ladybug, we'll get you a Christmas dress. Yeah Zoomboy, if they HAVE little' boy's shirts with snowmen on them, sure. They're yours. Big T, are you in the car? Did you brush your hair? Chicken, did you brush yours? Don't look at me like that, we haven't done this in years, we're due! No, I'm not getting my picture taken...shit. (Remembers two requests for a new author photo.) Yes. Yes I am. Yes I'm wearing this. Because it's on, that's why. Everyone ready to go?

Shit. We're late.

Okay--run around Wal-Mart while I go buy the clothes for the little kids. Find the photo studio. Of course there's a photo studio. Well did you ask someone? Anyone? Like the people by the digital photo booth? SEE? GO ASK THEM? *mutter* Fine. I'll ask them.

We're in the wrong Wal-Mart, you say? Uh-huh. Uhm, you wouldn't want to, uhm, call Pleasant Grove Wal-Mart and uhm, reschedule for us. You WOULD? Thank you. That's awesome. (*note to self* Stop dissing Wal-Mart. That was really nice of her.)

Yes, Ladybug, we WILL put on your new Christmas dress and take a picture. WHEN WE GET TO WAL-MART. No. The other Wal-Mart. The one on Pleasant Grove. Here--we need to get gas. Wait in the car while I get gas (and go inside and ask the clerk for directions because although I USUALLY know where Pleasant Grove is, I just had a brainfart and forgot totally.)

Okay, Ladybug, we'll put your dress on in the bathroom... nevermind. Thanks Chicken. No, changing her in the back of the car with the hatch open is a fine idea. We'll put a sweater on her--the goosepimples will go away, I'm sure. The white-trash label not-so-much, but whattayagonnado? It's weird--all the cars in this Wal-Mart are REALLY new. Well, apparently that's Pleasant Grove, isn't it! (No wonder I didn't remember how to get here.)

All right--everybody in the store. Are you all in the picture? Shit. If I'm here and getting a picture taken, I'll feel like an asshole if I'm not in the family picture. That just seems wrong. Okay, everyone, make way for Mom. Zoomboy put your thumbs down. Squishy, stop mugging and just smile and stop swinging the bench around. Chicken, smile. T, smile. Yes, you have to. If I have to you have to. THIS IS NOT AMERICAN GOTHIC GODDAMMIT, SMILE! Thank you! Squishy stop mugging. Zoomboy, the thumbs-up thing is NOT HAPPENING. Older kids, show me some teeth if you have to bare them like The Fantastic Mr. Fox. No, I'm not kidding. Big T, YOU HAVE MORE THAN ONE EYE! Okay. That picture might be adequate. On to the individual shots.

Squishy, stop mugging, you're beautiful if you just smile! Yes, you know it don't you? Uh-huh. Zoomboy, that pose makes you look like a pre-raphaelite woman swanning for her portrait while awaiting her bride-price. Maybe sit up straight and show some teeth. Better. Big T, you are not a cyclops, for chrissakes getyerhairouttayereyes! Chicken, please? Let's just brush it out. Please? You're so beautiful. Let's just show that to the family. And teeth. We spent a billion dollars on braces for the love of crap on toast can't we see some goddamned teeth around here? *sigh* Fine. A ponytail is fine. Don't give me attitude, dammit, if I have to do this you have to do this.

Okay, we're done. Now I just have to pick the package. Fun. Zoomboy get off the floor. Don't touch that. Go in the room and play. Don't hit her with that. Ladybug take off your dance shoes and stop farting--you're making the photographer nauseous. Okay, guys, here's an idea... take the little kids to the toy department and see what they want from Santa... sure. Fine. $5 dollar limit, get some cheetohs while you're at it.

We can get the post cards you say? Yeah, I guess we'll do the one with all if us in it. What do I want the caption to say? *giggle* How about *giggle some more* "Picture Mate here!* *full fledged hysterical laughter* "The whole family really DOES wish you a happy holiday!"


*wipes happy tear* The photographer also thought that was a laugh riot. Yeah, she has kids, why do you ask?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hi Grilltech!

Do you forgive me now? Besides, Supernatural reruns aren't until January... that's a long time to hold a grudge, my man!

You'll have to forgive me all-- I'm so tickled about If I Must but at the same time I'm in editing hell.

Okay. Not hell. I've got to tell you, the editors at Dreamspinner are fair to fully awesome people--lots of incredible minute changes that I wouldn't spot but that make the whole thing just shine--and a sense of humor as well. You've GOT to love someone who corrects the spelling of 'cannyagimmefuckinghallelujiah!'--and it TOTALLY makes sense! (I'm so in awe of this. It's like a superpower or something.) But editing this way is addicting. I get the manuscript and it's just rife with these little blue bubbles, and then I accept or reject the changes (sometimes I reject--I kept 'glorpy' instead of 'sloppy' and 'a smile like moldy cottage cheese' and 'smooth-as-lube gait' but mostly I accept--these people really do know a lot more than I do!) Anyway, I hit the little button, and the blue balloons disappear. It's like, instant gratification. I'm hooked. I want to KEEP PUSHING THAT BUTTON so I can see the editing magic happen.

Of course it helps that with one of MY manuscripts (Roxie, Bonnie, Bonnie, Eric, Ceri--you guys back me up on this) there is a guaranteed SPECTACULAR number of little blue balloons. It's like being a totally shitty editor myself has made this job a lot more fun after someone else has gone over the writing.

I did take time out to watch Buffy with the big kids-- Spike has just discovered he likes killing monsters. I'm in love. You guys were right--Buffy really IS the greatest!

And other than that? I'm going to leave you with this little bit of Christmas cheer from Zoomboy. I went to pick him up today and he bounded into the car saying, "Mom! Mom! Dennis quaid and Gordie are going to get MOUSES to eat for Christmas!"

Be still my heart--the little guy just does it to me all the damned time.

"if I Must"

Ladies and Gentlemen (I know there is at least ONE gentleman out there! Hi, Eric!) I present to you all, the first book I've ever sold that I haven't had to publish myself. Okay--it's short. It's a novella. But you have to admit... the kitten is damned cute:-) If I Must --if any of you all decide to buy it (it's available on e-book only) do let me know if you like it. I've been told it has a high warm & fuzzy rating, and almost no angst at all.

I can't promise I'll ever write another story this happy, but for right now? I am very pleased.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A touch of rugrat...

Okay-- I've got some decent kid stories--the hard part is remembering them! Hmmm... Funniest first:

We went to see Trans-Siberian-Orchestra last night--it was nine buckets of awesome and one bucket of "Dammit, does Arco Arena have to have THE must uncomfortable seats on the planet?" Stepmom bought tickets for Mate & me & the big kids, and the big kids were ENTHRALLED--too. awesome. for words.

But if the big kids were with us, and we were with parents, where (you might be asking) were the short people?

It was a new experience for them, really--in Zoom Boy's memory, at least. They had a BABYSITTER! In fact they had two--and as I was going to pick up my victims, I mean my students, I mean their babysitters, Ladybug was unclear on the concept.

"I wanna babysit!"

"You can't, sweets--they're the baby sitters. You're the baby they're going to sit on!"

"They can't sit on me! They'll squash me!"

"They're small girls--they won't be that heavy at all!"

We dialoged like this all the way down to pick up the girls and I'd almost forgotten about it until we got home. When we got home, and my two intrepid babysitters got out of the car, Ladybug got a really good look at them and realized, OMG, they're adult sized!

"Mama! They can't sit on me! THEY'RE TOO BIG!!!!"

THAT story's going to make the rounds at school, I'm sure!

Zoom boy found one of Chicken's old art books--it's a fingerprint book. You make a fingerprint and then draw little faces on it--for a first grader? it's art MAGIC! The cute thing is, we didn't have any stamp pads, so I asked Mate to get *ONE* on his way back from an errand.

*ONE*

Apparently, Mate still has a little first grader in him--because he came back with *FIVE*--in rainbow colors. Zoom Boy spent two hours, making fingerprint pictures. I cannot convey the absolute adorablenes of him lying on the kitchen floor, art utensil in hand, creating a masterpiece. He's gonna be something brilliant and skeery, just mark my words.

The big kids can check their grades on computer from home. I think this is THE worst invention of the 20th century. There is NOTHING worse than kicking back with your kids on Thanksgiving vacation to find out that one of them tanked an Algebra test and got a bad grade on a paper she worked REALLY hard on! The thing is, she had no empowerment at all--no teacher to ask, no way to figure out how to fix it. All she could do was waste precious moments of much needed brain-recharge, weeping.

Have I mentioned my burning hatred of modern education? I think it's worth repeating. I know my own students have done this and I tell them not to. We can fix it when we're at school--when we're at home, we have other concerns.

Have I mentioned that we're going to try to get Big T professional driving lessons for his birthday/Christmas? I'll be sure to tell you all when to get off the road. I know most of you are out of state, but still... given my own track record in an automobile, you just can't be too careful.

Oh yes--one more charming story. My babysitters (SWEETEST girls on the planet!) were so cute when I told them Mate was going to drop them off. "His car is cooler than mine anyway."

"Oh naw, Ms. Lane. NO car is cooler than the minivan!" J'et adore!

Friday, November 27, 2009

I am Eggplant

Okay--it was great in a 'strategy planned like a military general' kind of way. We took two cars because we agreed to pick up and drop off Alexa (my biological mom) and if we had all gone in one car, it would have meant the kids would have been hauled around for more than 120 miles. As it was, I picked her up, we all met at my aunt Teresa's for a large to-do with multiple parts of the family, and then Mate took her home while I took the kids to dad & stepmom's for a smaller celebration, where he would meet us later--and that might have been perfect, except...

Except my older aunt, the one who's lived all over the globe, and who was the spoiled older sister when she lived at home and who had nannies and servants when she was raising her own children and who has yet to realize that the world does NOT revolve around her, asked me if Mate could drop of my grandmother too.

Now dropping off my grandmother was a job for my uncle--his family lives five, maybe ten minutes away from her. She wanted to go home early--about the time when we were leaving, and instead of asking them if they were ready to leave yet, older aunt thought, "Hey--this way, I don't have to do any thinking or helping myself," and asked me if we could do her a favor.

I did a brave thing. I said, "No."

I said, "No" not because I felt like being a bitch, but because it was nearly an hour out of Mate's way, and we had another meal waiting on us. Unlike our first stop, where we were one of many families at the table, our second meal was ONLY us and dad & stepmom. Stepmom worked all day, and Daddy offered to cook dinner while she was gone, and Mate & the kids had already dropped off the fixins (while I was picking up biological mom) so I could add to the meal when the kids and I got there. The plan was, Stepmom would get home, we'd have a half-an-hour of amicable prep, and, voila--for once, she wouldn't have to do all the work. The grandmother who passed away last month was Stepmom's mother--this was a nice way for her to have some family around her for Thanksgiving and not have too much stress, which she didn't need.

So I said "No." And older aunt took advantage of the time when I was rounding up the kids and went and got Mate and asked him behind my back, because Mate's a nice guy, and she knew he wouldn't say "No" to her. And because he didn't realize that the entire family would be waiting dinner for him (he didn't realize how small the celebration would be--not his fault, mine, but there are things women know about family celebrations that men don't know all the time) he agreed to drive over an hour out of his way. By the time I realized what she had done, I was behind the wheel and watching in surprise as older aunt was loading grandma AND Alex into Mate's car.

So we waited dinner an hour, because my "No" wasn't good enough.

Now this didn't really sour my meals at all--I loved being with my family, and yesterday was wonderful in that way. The celebration with Daddy & my stepmom was very sweet, and stepmom got to play cards when it was over (I napped--I was EXHAUSTED) and everybody--including the kids-- were VERY happy. It was really the best sort of Thanksgiving, all things considered.

So I didn't let it wreck anything important--but I will be very prepared in the future. Because it wasn't fair--it wasn't. I rarely say "No." The fact that I've been splitting my holiday time between two-three families since I was very small is proof that I've learned to accommodate a variety of people's needs and to try to make as many people happy as possible. So I don't say "No," a lot--and I thought that would make it significant enough for the people in my family to listen.

The fact that it wasn't means that next time I will have to say it louder.

But that was yesterday. Today was the part I really savor. Today, we did a short spate of housecleaning and a lot of leftover eating. I sat on the couch and slept and watched Buffy and let the little kids sit in my lap and knit and knit and knit. I felt my body recover from another busy week, from months with too much worry and work and not enough sleep, from feeling like I MUST be doing something ALL THE TIME. It was awesome.

Yesterday I was empowered mother/daughter/wife, organizing like a general, and the results were worth it.

Today I was eggplant--a massive purple vegetable, and I was happy today too.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow I shall probably meditate on things to be grateful for--and it will last all day. (It's easier to meditate on a full stomach--but I think I'd believe it anyway, just sitting on the couch w/kids on my lap.)

Anyway, I am actually still sick (blargh) but the only thing really left of the flu is just being really really tired. (This could also be the result of getting less than five hours of sleep a night for four months running... the body sometimes just kicks it's own ass with love, doesn't it!) I've made most of my contributions (with Chicken's help) to two family feasts, and I'm knackered. That being said, I'm going to leave you with the following bits of weirdness, because a good chuckle is always something to be thankful for:





Monday, November 23, 2009

Last Random News Bite

Good News: I pushed send for Rampant into the publishers today.
Bad news: Area 51 was every bit as corny as I thought it would be.
Good news: I don't care.

That's all, folks!

Random News

* Good news--Gave myself permission to be sick this weekend. That's worked out well for me.

* Bad news--Poor Mate. He's on vacation too--and he REALLY wanted to go out to a movie last night. I really wanted to sit on the chair feeling wretched and knitting. I won.

* Good news--We did get to go grocery shopping together though. Go us!

* Good news--I finished the 'Adrian' short!

* More good news--I submitted it to that place that sent me the courtship letter.

* Bad news--this means it's not going up on the website until they reject it. Sorry!

* Good news--I can send it to you if you ask REALLY REALLY nicely.

* Good news--Started the Promise Rock sequel!

* Bad news--May have to change the name of one of the leads of Keeping Promise Rock! My editor is being VERY VERY patient with me as I angst over this, but Dek and Deacon look too much alike on the page for the editing team's peace of mind. What's angsting me out (and you probably have this figured out already) is that they're not just names, they're PEOPLE, and swapping out the people is really disturbing.

* More bad news--the one name sub that I liked best was actually the name of a minor character. So I'm not swapping out one name, I'm swapping two. Or I'm naming Dek 'Carrick' and changing it to 'Crick' (the shortened nickname is really crucial. I don't know. I sort of like the Crick thing. Sounds Cricked.

* Good news--we've been making steady progress on the Buffy front. Great show. Wish I'd watched it in its prime.

* Good news--I get to submit Rampant today!

* Bad news--I have to find my wallet in the mess!

* Good news--Zoom Boy has discovered crafting with construction paper!

* Bad news--see above. The kitchen looked like a Michael's exploded.

* Good news--Ladybug is still cute.

* Bad news--She knows it. You should have heard her flirting with the dentist. "And I have two cats. Dennis Quaid and Gordie! I chase after them and hurt them--that's bad. They scratch me when I do that. But they still love me. The dog loves me too. I love my cats. My mom tells me not to chase the cats but I still do. My brother gets mad when I chase the cats, and he won't let me play with my toys..." Seriously--fifteen minutes of this with a complete stranger. I'm surprised they even got a chance to look at her teeth she talked so much! She talked more to that dentist in her fourth visit than the rest of my kids have talked to a health care professional in their entire lifetimes combined. I mean DAMN.

* Good news--In spite of her rather heinous overbite, the dentist has still not yelled at me about letting her suck her thumb well past the age of three. I guess cuteness really DOES rule the world!

* Good news--Zoom Boy has a loose tooth.

* More good news--he likes GETTING money but has yet to figure out he gets to spend it. It's like giving ourselves a dollar!

* Even more good news--the dentist gave him his X-rays, loose tooth and all. Okay, it's good news because *I* think they're cool to look at.

* Good news--Mate has the day off.

* Good news--We're going to go see 'The Fantastic Mr. Fox' today. It's not a date, but it is a movie. I hope Mate is pleased.

* Good news--Chicken had her soccer banquet yesterday. Parents vs. kids at the indoor soccer ring--apparently Mate kicked ass. (The theme of the day seemed to be putting the beat down on your own kid. Chicken felt appropriately abused.)

* Bad news--the soccer banquet did not (repeat: NOT) signal the actual END of soccer. She still has practice tonight. (!!!!) Apparently the fun carries on until December.

* Good news-- Seven more days of vacation. *ah*

Friday, November 20, 2009

Meet The Beast...

And the beast is me.

Seriously. I've been a snarling, bitchy, horrible beast this last week... and it's funny. I think I finally figured out what my problem is.

Uhm... It's November and I teach high school. O.M.G. Do I truly need any other reason? Okay... well, my small people are also tired and have been clingy like leeches and my big people haven't stopped talking in five days and I haven't had more than ten seconds of writing and/or knitting time to myself in the last two weeks and Supernatural just ripped my heart into tiny pieces and THEN WENT ON HIATUS (damn them... angel faced brothers with kiss-me mouths. Isn't there some sort of public property law that says anything that hot MUST be available on television to feed the masses? Wait...I'm off track...) and I LOST another iPod and...

And it's November, I have children, and I teach high school. Yup. Bad mood covered. On to other things.

Other things like traffic ticket be damned, I'm sending Rampant into the publisher's this week and the stepmoms kicked out some AWESOME cover art. Okay--it's not Mt. Shasta, but it is Mt. Lassen reflected in a lake, and since Lassen is actually mentioned in the book, and, hullo, it's a big skeery volcano, I think Mt. Lassen will make a fine cover shot, don't you? (We actually HAD pictures of Sugarpine lake... but they weren't really, uhm, exciting if you didn't count my beautiful children sitting on a log in the middle of it. I mean *I* liked them, but I don't think they'll sell books.)

So, uhm, that's sort of cool.

Other things like Dreamspinner's Advent Calendar going on sale by the individual story in a week and a half-- finally, some of you will be able to read "If I Must" and I want you to because it's cute and happy--and we all knows I don't do cute and happy that often, right?

So, uhm, yeah. Getting excited about that.

Other things like expecting my edits for "Keeping Promise Rock" in the e-mail sometime in the next four weeks.

Uhm. SQUUUEEEEEE!!!! Right?

And other things like getting a courtship letter from these folks today, which, all things considered I thought was kind of flattering. The director of submissions had actually seen me on amazon.com, visited the web site, and wanted me to send something in. I'm thinking of sending in the piece I'm working on about Adrian and the Angels...I don't know if they'll like it, or even if it's what they're looking for... but hey. They gave me an invite... I hate to be the hoser who stays home from the party because he thinks jeans are just too damned casual to wear, right?

So yes. I have been a royal raging bitch. But my children and I are going to have a lovely break, I may fight the laundry monster and win, and, holy shit and pass the potatoes, I may just finish some Christmas knitting AND the Adrian story in the next week.

Maybe, if the dragon sleeps, the children sleeps, MOMMY sleeps, and I get to sneak a romance book in the bathroom (HuLLO, I've been trying to read Dark Highlander for a MONTH! I LOVE it, I just need to get through it!), maybe if all this happens, we can sic The Beast on the Laundry Monster and nice mommy can walk out of the rubble, you know, like the scientists walk out after Godzilla and Mothra go a few rounds in Tokyo?

I mean, you know. That sort of shit happens in the movies, right?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Avoiding the blog...

No, not you guys, although it probably feels like that. (I'm sorry--I love reading everyone's blogs, mostly I've just been busy!)

And mostly it's been my own blog I'm avoiding. I had some very cool, very funny stuff to blog about, like how my administrator requested I didn't mention anatomical parts on my referrals (although she thought my referrals were very very entertaining) or the five stages of getting a bad review (panic, refusal, bargaining, whining and swearing) or even the absolute abyss of craptasm that my mood was yesterday (too many people needing something from me--always a bad day).

And then I had the department meeting and craptasm took on a whole new meaning.

See, our goal lately has been to 'all get on the same page'. I've never been very good at this--ever. I've never worn what everyone else was wearing, I've never done my hair the same way everyone else has done, I've never approached life in an orderly fashion, and 'getting my curriculum on the same page'...

Well, I swore I'd try.

In fact, I seem to recall, clear as day, telling my department head that I'd be willing to change my first quarter essay from a persuasive to a personal reflective. I even recall some tentative plans to do just that.

And then today, when he asked everyone what page we were on, I was proud--we'd just finished the persuasive essay! Well, it made sense to me--the entire first quarter is rationalist literature--It's ALL persuasive essays! It's just... so... damned... easy... to use the literature to teach the essay. And I've showed him my approach before, and he's liked it! But it wasn't what he was looking for, and I could tell he wanted to ream me, but he didn't want to do it in front of his curriculum clones (there's three of them, all young, all male, all obsessive compulsive, all REALLY excited about this 'on the same page' thing) and there I was, off in Amy-land, seeming to be completely clueless as to what the real world was doing.

And to some extent, I was.

I wasn't even to timeline. I mean, I was REALLY excited myself--last year, I did two extra rationalist pieces (Thomas Jefferson and someone else I completely forget right now) and didn't get to The Crucible until second semester. I just started the Crucible, and I may be about 1/2 way through (or possibly all the way through... I've got some plans to just rip us right through that puppy) by the time finals get here. So, on the one hand, I've accomplished a four week streamline--and that was WITH the debacle of the entire week and a half time-out I took to do the one sentence summary in response to our collaborative group time experiment on behalf of the administration. (Holy shit. I'd forgotten about that. Dammit--I really WAS on track to finish the Crucible by Christmas. Shit shit shit shit shit--that pisses me off all over again!) On the other hand, I'm still behind. And as I bumbled my way through THAT explanation (while Mr. Trick is looking at me like an iguana he brought home by mistake) I found myself wishing longingly for Mr. Sparrow.

Mr. Sparrow has the same problem. He's out now getting chemo, but when he's working he's A. unconventional, B. brilliant, and C. charismatic. Since I am merely A, he sort of had the effect of making me look good. We used to have long conversations about how sometimes we'd start out wanting to do a two week unit and it would grow to take up the entire quarter. We'd have deep discussions about how we just couldn't let them skim over the curriculum, we had to give it depth and breadth and color and scope.

He made me feel good about moments like this, when, holy shit, I'm behind and on a different page, but he'd been there.

Today, I just felt off kilter and old and female and weird.

It's funny how one person can completely alter the effect of the bad shit on your day, isn't it? I mean, I knew I missed the guy, but I didn't realize how humanizing and accessible he tended to make my mostly male department.

It's also funny how, with really awesome people, you want them to feel better for purely selfish reasons. I really hope he feels better--I miss how he makes ME feel.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Self Esteem and Why I Need Another Job...

First of all-- MOTHERHOOD #WIN!!! Sam came to the party. Sam is Zoomboy's bestest best friend in the whole world. Sam is fun. Sam and Zoomboy play. I honestly wouldn't care if they leaned against the wall like potatoes--Sam made Zoomboy happy and all was right with my world!

For a little while at least.

Then I went back to school and gave a REALLY BITCHIN' Joseph McCarthy lecture linking the Communist Witch Trials with the Salem Witch trials... and one out of three classes listened. Of course, this lecture wasn't supposed to be quite so long. They had projects due today. Maybe five kids per class did their project. Many of them claimed they thought it was due Tuesday. I don't buy that. It was on the board. 'Rough Draft Due Tuesday', 'Project due Monday'. This was AFTER I changed it from being due Friday. They get a 10% discount for turning it in late, and after tomorrow, it's 50%, but... seriously. What in the hell is wrong with my Juniors? So having them blow off the lecture was sort of icing on the cake.

And then, in (take a guess!) second period...

The lecture was wrapping it's way to a tortuous end (and you have to know that I have class-interactive parts in the damned lecture--It's not just me talking, although in the past, I've actually gotten their attention this way. I DO ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT THE FUCK I'M TALKING ABOUT after all) when this group of hosers starts cracking up. I tell one of them to go outside and get himself together and he does, and then he gets back inside and I'm like "What in the hell?"

"Ms. Lane... Ms. Lane... no, no... listen! You've got to hear this! When Flipper here went to the bathroom, we put a tack in his chair, and when he came back and sat down... HE FLATTENED IT!"

Well, tomorrow I need to tell them that if Flipper HADN'T flattened the tack, it would have been considered 'assault' and written down as a possible suspension.

Today, three minutes before the bell rang, I had a surprise smirk. Sweartadog, didn't know it was coming. Couldn't have stopped it if I tried.

Suffice it to say, I didn't make it to the bell. That's okay. They weren't paying attention anyway.

But about self-esteem...

Saturday, before the party madness, before the emotional meltdown about being the world's suckiest mother, before all that bullshit, I was driving the little kids to gymnastic, about ready to stop at McDonalds, and generally wishing I wasn't up so early. (This was also before I discovered I left my wallet at home and called Mate to deliver McDonalds to North Highlands in order to keep Zoomboy from chronic meltdown--you know, when my brain shorted out and I became the world's suckiest mother.) Anyway, there I was, in a pleasant haze, and suddenly, Squishy Belle spoke up from the back of the car.

"Everybody likes me."

She grinned into the rearview mirror as she said it, and my first thought was, "Yup. Glad to see that little self-esteem problem managed to leave one member of my family alone."

"That's right, Squishy Belle--everybody likes you."

"That's good."

*ahhh* Well, at least she thinks I do a good job.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Motherhood#fail/Motherhood#win

So Mate and I are out of the little kid birthday game. When do you send out invitations again? One week before the party? Two? I thought one--I remember missing parties where the lead in was too long. Mate thought two--but he forgot to remind me two weeks before the party, and I'm the one who buys the invitations. So we were aiming for one, got them out on Tuesday, except Zoom Boy was responsible for handing them out and there were socio/political/educational blocks in the way of handing them out at recess.

He didn't get them out until Thursday.

Nobody's RSVP'd yet.

Nobody's coming to my little boy's birthday party except family.

Shit.

So we sit down with Zoom Boy to warn him. "Honey, we got those invitations out awfully late--it might just be family."

"That's okay."

"I mean, Mom & Dad & Grandma & Grandpa... those other kids, we didn't give them enough warning." *twist knife of failed motherhood deeper into the heart*

"Will I have cake?"

"Yeah. Remember-- we already ordered it." For lots of people. We'll have cake fore DAYS.

"Will I have a bunk bed?" Fuck. Fuck. The fucking bunk bed--it was a suggestion--I sounded him out for it, and he liked it, but we had the dog puking problem and had a thought that we might pay of that traffic ticket that's about to put a warrant out for my arrest before we got another bill and...

"No, sweetheart. We'll just get you a bunk bed anyway." Hell, Mate just sold stock at a ridiculously low price. Let's go bunk bed! "And I'll tell you what! It doesn't have to be a birthday present. You'll get toys for your birthday. Lots and lots of toys." Because in spite of the ridicule I just got from a colleague for wearing craptastic clothes to school, we WILL spend money on more worthless pieces of plastic if they make you happy after I have fucked up this day beyond repair!

"Will Auntie Wendy be there?"

"Absolutely." Score one for motherhood#win. Don't look at the #fail column. Do. Not. Look.

"Then it will be good. Can I have all the little robots?"

The little robots we bought to put in the goodie bags no one will get because no one will make it?

"Absolutely."

"It will be good! I love you mom!"

"I love you too, Zoom Boy."

Excuse me now while I go look up the cost of shrinks. We may need to start putting money away for one. I can't #fail ALL the time.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

WHAT THE HELL IS THAT SMELL?

Trust me. You don't want to know.

But I can tell you this.

1/2 a can of resolve and entire bottle of Febreze later, and we may be able to stay in the house w/out chuking into the crappy bathroom as a family.

The cats think the dog is possessed by Satan.

And we've got two extra loads of laundry to do,

And no clean towels in the house.

Every room in the house has a big stinky, chemical treated wet spot SOMEWHERE.

And I know that in an extreme pinch, the big kids will pick up a towel and a stray bottle of chemicals and attack gooey macnastyness without flinching, whining or bitching.

I also know that in extreme measures, Mate will okay a big food takeout just so no one has to smell food cooking.

Because after some things, the smell of food cooking is positively heinous.

But we all have to eat.

Oh yeah-- I can tell you that the vet called and is pleased to say that the dog has pancreatitis, and that we may go broke treating her.

It's a good thing Mate was going to cash in some stock so I could publish Rampant, because the dog may make it through Christmas. *sigh*

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

'Becoming'

The fifth Jack & Teague (& Katy) is up. It's called 'Becoming', it's the last one on the website, and, well, I'm exhausted! Enjoy!

(And because this is a knitting blog, I'll add this: Mate just came up with another use for a knitting needle. Seems Zoom Boy locked our bedroom door from the inside and then fell asleep on the bed. Mate needed to pick the lock. Because, you know... we get to the bathroom from that door!)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Win/Fail

Okay--I'm rating my goals for this weekend--everybody with me?

Cleaning the table--#fail

Folding the clothes--#fail

Scrubbing the bathroom--#fail

Going grocery shopping--#fail

Taking Zoom Boy to his soccer party--#win!

Getting the kids to gymnastics--#win!

Getting to see a movie with mate--#fail

Getting to see a movie with mate & the short people--#win!

Getting to see a movie with the tall people--#fail (but they saw 'Zombieland' with mate--Mate gets a #win on that one!)

Finishing a cool fingerless mitt from a new pattern--#win

Starting mitt #2--#win

Finishing the new Jack and Teague adventure--#win!

Finishing Adrian and the Angels--#fail

Finding my husband's iPod which he lent to me--#fail

Planning to eviscerate my knitting bag where I think it is--#win

Getting over my crappy goodreads status--#fail

Finding a way to MAYBE publish Rampant--#win (but don't hold your breath!)

Not eating cake when it's put in front of me--#fail

Not eating something I've cooked when it's put in front of me--#win!

Forgiving Curmudgeonly Colleague for butting into my business--#win!

Forgiving myself for taking the whole thing so seriously--#fail

Getting to bed on time tonight? #win or #fail... it's all in the flip of a coin!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I hate being a LIbra...

You all know the birth sign Libra, right? The scales? The justice? I hates it.

I have a temper (shocker) and I have a spine, and I know how to use them--but it's hard sometimes when you see the other guy's side of the story. But that doesn't mean it doesn't piss me off. (You can see how this can lead to stomach ulcers and/or eating your feelings, right?)

See, the thing is...

I was leading my second period (again, shocker that it would be this class!) back from the library and almost everybody was inside when suddenly two of the girls started shrieking at the top of their lungs. "Holy shit! What the fuck! Oh my God!" I turn back around to see what the problem was, and there's a five inch praying mantis on the rail of the ramp to my room. I snap, "Oh, Jesus, calm down!" but I can see their point--one of the girls had almost put her hand on the thing, and yeah. It would freak anybody out a little, right?

So they're almost calmed down when here comes the two biggest bozos from my class room--except, they're not really being bozos. They're trying to be HEROES. "It's just a bug! I'll kill it for you!"

And I've got my hands on their shoulders and am pushing them back inside, when...

My curmudgeonly colleague comes out of his classroom. He's pissed off. He was giving a quiz, and suddenly there is screaming and shrieking and "What the fuck!" interrupting his class and he automatically assumes (and this is wrong of him) that I don't have things in hand, so he starts ordering my bozos back into the room.

My bozos are bozos. I've sent them to the office more often in the last two months than I sent anybody in all of last year. But they are MY bozos, and they were actually GOING BACK TO THE ROOM, and suddenly curmudgeonly colleague is out on his step yelling at them, and they get mad. That's MY job. They go, but they're grumbling, and then one of them says something HIGHLY inappropriate.

And suddenly they're both being referred. And they're mad at me for not standing up for them. Except they've just told another teacher "That fuckin' niggah do too much!" so they're screwed.

*sigh*

And I can see everyone's point. Curmudgeonly colleague has a right to keep his door open without worrying about my kids kicking up a ruckus. The girls were being teenaged girls--it was a big skeery bug. The boys were not actually being bozos--they were trying to be heroes. I get it. I wrote an e-mail to administration saying just that--the boys said inappropriate things to a staff member--I support any consequences. But the admin should know that they were reacting to other circumstances--they felt like CC was getting into their business when he shouldn't have.

To an extent, they're right.

I resent having someone order my kids around. And I walked into lunch with every intention of calling CC aside and saying as much to him. But lunch was... crowded. And rowdy. And people were enjoying themselves, and the weekend was coming, and... and my spine deserted me.

I managed to say something like, "Hey, Curmudgeonly--the next time I need a bug killed, I'll be sure to go into your room and get you first! Because, you know, God forbid we should kill them ourselves!" And then I left it at that.

Because he's a friend, and he may have pissed me off, but when the bozos are gone, we're gonna be stuck with each other and it would be nice if we were speaking.

I hate being a Libra.


And on the lighter side of things? (And also relating to Curmudgeonly bossing my kids around, but this time didn't piss me off.)

Another class of kids was going off to the library, and one of the girls was being pretty loud. As I took off after the class (after shooing the stragglers out of my room) Curmudgeonly said "Hey, could you quiet her down a little!" and I was planning to anyway, so I walked up next to her and asked her nicely to not shriek across the quad.

Now Sweetie's a big girl-- as am I, and I wobbled a little as I was walking and bumped into her. I apologized, and she laughed, "That's why big girls like us aren't supposed to walk together Ms. Lane--we'll rub up together and start a fire!"

I was cracking up over that one all day.

And I'm sorry the post was late--I had another oops moment where I went to put the kids down to sleep and fell asleep with them. *happy sigh* I'm starting to enjoy those.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ladybug-land

Okay-- still boring, but this time it's not my fault. We had CAHSEE make-up tests--everyone who didn't pass the test in their sophomore year had to take it in the last two days. I was missing 1/3-1/2 my classes, and was SO not in a position to teach them ANYTHING I was going to have to repeat. Twice.

We watched movies. Sue me. I can't even find it in myself to be a teeny-weeny-itty-bit repentant. Shepherd angel of penitence forgive me... (I'm not joking--I looked up angels for research for Adrian's story in heaven, and there really is a Shepherd, Angel of Penitence. I personally think he sounds sexy as hell--yeah, he's gonna be in the story.)

Anyway, Ladybug has been making her presence felt. As I was telling her babysitter, she's sort of like that Bugs Bunny character-- Baby Faced Finster. One minute, she's all simpering cuteness and wee-thing theatre, and the next she's a midget bank robber, shaving in the mirror while puffing a cigar. You think I'm kidding? I give you exhibits A, B, & C.

A. We were late to dance yesterday--I couldn't find her dress. After convincing her to go without her dress (easier said than done, trust me!) I got her there and was putting on her shoes.

"Dancers are pretty mama."

"You think so?"

"Yeah--Dancers are LADIES."

"Yeah--are you a LADY?"

"No." She gave me a VERY pointed look. "I don't have a DRESS!"

aherm. That's me. I've been schooled.

B. Brenda (the day care lady) told me that her husband, Roy, was dancing to the music from his laptop, trying to get the kids to laugh. Ladybug looked at him and sniffed disdainfully.

"That's not dancing!"

"Oh yeah--what's this?" And Roy performed a mock pihrouette (sic).

"That's BALLET!" She said indignantly. "THAT'S dancing!"

aherm. And that's the baby sitter's husband. He's been schooled.

C. This afternoon while she was watching television, I took the opportunity to go to the bathroom. I was there, contemplating my navel, when she walks in with her little toy camera phone and an absolutely EVIL grin.

"Smile, mama! Say cheese!"

And now I've not only been schooled, I've been toy-you-tubed.


The thing is, she's not only articulate, playful, and fearless... she's also a sarcastic bossy bit of baggage--and she's hella smart. You'll be talking to her, thinking "She's playing us all--she knows she's cute and she's got the stage knowhow of a seasoned Vaudeville veteran!" and suddenly she'll talk to you like a complete adult and confirm that idea. This isn't REALLY a three year old with a winning overbite and a charming lisp-- it's a midget in need of a good orthodontist.

*shudder*

I'm planning to ship her off to Catholic school when she hits thirteen. I'm just not old enough to deal with what's coming down the pike. (Can pagans go to Catholic school? This could become a REALLY PRESSING QUESTION in about ten years!)

And that's about all! Oh yeah- Mom & Dad brought dinner today, and good news about a chance to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra (SQUUUEEEEEEE!) and, of course, a good load of guilt about not writing the kinds of books my mom can share with her friends. (Yes. It sounded decidedly like mixed signals to me, too!)

Doesn't matter. What matters is, Big T washed dishes, I didn't have to cook, and Zoom boy and Ladybug got to pet their extraordinarily well behaved dog as he sat in the back of their truck. Everybody was happy.

Night!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Adventures of the world's most boring human...

Okay-- that's me.

Went to work-- did my job. Not great, but it got done. (Okay--I've got a backlog of papers that's sort of haunting me. If I get those done my self esteem will SKYROCKET I promise.)

Came home--did my job. Homework got done, baths got done. Some eating was involved with minimal cooking. I took a nap and disguised it as quality time by calling it 'cuddles'.

Saw Mate and the big kids off to their one King's game this year. (Probably not as exciting as the one in San Antonio, where an honest to God bat made an appearance, but they get to go in person this year.)

Worked on some Jack & Teague. (Progressing nicely, but I have to say I'm spoiled. It seems like it should be going a lot faster--I have to keep reminding myself that the dragon is taking it easy these days and we are not to goad him into frantic activity because that's hard on me and the family. Me and that dragon are going to have to coexist and that's just the goddamned truth.)

Gave an FO to its intended recipient. I'll try to get some pictures from her--just the fingertip gloves--they turned out pretty good, but they were done on size 0 needles and took forFREAKINGever. My next project is fingerless mitts w/a VERY cool lace pattern in this yummy hand-dyed cashmerino--the pattern's on the net and if I manage not to fuck these up I'll put in the link. It's fingerless mitts and a cowl out of one small skein--sweartadog, it's like magic.

And sat down to blog.

And was grateful--because sometimes boring is good. Boring makes you appreciate the special. Boring means you might get some sleep. Boring knits up the raveled sleeves of frantic that are soccer/beginning of school/birthday season. I don't mind being the most boring human some days. I might even get some reading done.

(*thought* After I finished the Jack & Teague, I was going to do a short story on Adrian and then start the 5th Cory book... I'm thinking I might start work on the 2nd Promise Rock book instead, since I don't have the money to publish Rampant yet. Brutal truth, but real, nonetheless... when I have enough $$$ to publish Rampant and Jack & Teague, then I'll start work on the next book in the series...)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

'Nai 'Nai...

So the funeral was... sad, but happy to, in the way that someone who has lived a really good life surrounded by friends is happy. The best 'happy' part was the gathering at my parents' house--I got to see cousins I usually don't see, and I've got a few 'funeral' stories that actually, uhm, put the 'fun' back in funeral.

The first one was when I was talking to a cousin I hadn't seen in a while, telling her "Oh yeah--you live near the school where I work!" and then I started talking about the writing and suddenly the cousin looked at me and said, "Wait a minute... do you publish under another name?"

I said, "Yeah... Amy Lane!"

And she said, "I WONDERED who that was--I looked up Grandma's obituary and there was your blogpost and I couldn't figure out WHO that was who knew so much about our family!"

I got a laugh out of that--and so did my dad!

And then, later, I was talking to another cousin. Now this cousin I knew slightly better--and I love her to death, but, well, we don't see eye-to-eye on some things. She doesn't get the whole 'put the kids before the dream' kind of thing--when I say "I don't have enough money to go to San Francisco to schmooze with the agents/publishers" she says, "Cut the milk with powdered and go!" She doesn't understand that my family makes plenty of sacrifices (including clean laundry and a house that's un-embarrassing) so that I can chase my dream--I'm not making them give up anything else. So, well, when she started to show the (inevitable) prurient titillation at the sex scenes in my books, well...

It was impossible not to mess with her.

She wanted to know where I got my material for my sex scenes. This comes up a LOT-- and you'd be surprised how many people don't believe that it's just my filthy imagination and a lot of in-house monogamous practice. I tried to give her that answer and she was like, "Yeah... but it's... you know... TWO MEN! Or MORE!"

Now the thing is, anyone who can write a simple, straight, one on one sex-scene with two consenting adults can mix it up a bit--either gender, you're IMAGINING how the other gender feels. One man, two men, it's not like I've got experience with my own marriage tackle, right? I've got a whole different set of parts! But I've got a VERY bi-partisan imagination.

But people don't buy that--and my cousin wasn't buying it either, and, well... like I said, I messed with her. I looked her straight in the eye and said, "youporn.com. Lots and lots of youporn.com."

Her eyes grew the size of dinner plates and she said, "I don't even have a reply to that," at about the same time a friend of the family (who knows that I can be very evil) practically spit out his lasagna he was laughing so hard.

"Call it research!" he giggled, "Reasearch!" and I laughed and moved off to speak to someone else.

*sigh* Family--good times.

And I mean that. The really sucky thing about seeing your relatives at a funeral is that you wish there were other times you get to see them, because holidays always find you spread a bit thin. I mean that. There are too many good people in the world--and in my families--to get enough good, good time to visit.

It was hard to leave--but leave I did--because I had some promises to my children to keep. And I promised Knittech pictures or Grilltech will give me spoilers for my show on Thursday night and that would SUCK. (Tell him I lived up to my part of the bargain Saren--please?)

Anyway...
So yesterday, after the funeral, there was this...



And then there was some of this...



And then today, there was a lot of this...




And then some more of this




And finally, not too long ago, there was this...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ooop... skipped a post.

Now see, I didn't plan to. But I was tired, and feeling sort of sick, and Ladybug said, "Lay down with me!" and I did.

And then I fell asleep, and, well, my regular posting day went right out the window.

The thing is, I'm a little bit sick. I took Wednesday off to take my turn at home with the little kids, and it turned out to be a good thing because I had laryngitis so bad, I couldn't place a drive-thru order. (Chicken had to do it for me--she thought that was hilarious!) Seriously--even Zoom Boy (also known as the CaveTroll or Bone Daddy) was walking up to me with his finger extended in classic E.T. pose telling me, "Mom--say "Ouuu-uuuuchhh...!" We had an inservice Monday, and I'm off today, but that still means I had to teach on Tuesday and Thursday.

On Thursday I made it easy for myself. I figured what the hell--I'm sick, it's a short week, and Friday is the day before Halloween (Or Samhain--remember, it's pronounced 'Sawain') and so what I did was this: I put a T-chart on the board and put Supernatural on one side and Big Whomping Test on the other. Then I stood up and told them that they had their choice of sub plans--it all depended on the next hour. Every time they quieted down or raised their hand, they got a mark under Supernatural. Every time someone shouted out or screwed around when I was trying to talk, they got a mark under Big Whomping Test. (They have a quiz on Friday anyway--this was just a promise to make it long and excruciating.) Needless to say, I did NOT have to formulate or leave copies for a Big Whomping Test, and my students are going to have an enjoyable Friday.

Today is my grandmother's funeral--and I'm taking the teenagers. They're not dealing with it well. Trystan wasn't very close with Flossie, (although I think he's going to miss her more than he realizes) and he's feeling awkward about attending. Chicken WAS close with her--Flossie, Chicken and Chicken's cousin Naters (only close to his real name) played cards all the time. Chicken has good memories of Flossie listening to her teen-angst and being kind about it, and this is the first grandparent Chicken's lost that she really knew. (When my older kids were born, they had a total of thirteen grandparents and great great grandparents--most of them women. When chicken was three an elderly neighbor came to the door and said "Hi, sweetheart--do you remember who I am?" to which Chicken replied, "Uhm, Grandma?" Because honestly, it probably seemed like she was constantly being hauled around to different places and told to call an older woman 'Grandma'-- we didn't blame her for being somewhat confused.) Anyway, lots of tears on Chicken's part, and that's been rough.

For me, I'm pretty sure it's going to sink in later. I know that passing Grandma's apartment building is going to be a constant source of "Oh shit... I should visit Grandma Flos... Oh. Well shit." And, as I told my mom, "Thanksgiving's gonna SUUUUCCCKKKK." And I think if I don't have a total estrogen dump at the funeral, that's when it will hit me. No more grandmothers at my Dad & Mom's place at Thanksgiving. Bummer.

But after the funeral and the 'deal' at my folks' place (which I may not attend--still feeling icky, and there's going to be a lot of elderly people there--it's not nice to share your germ stew with the elderly!) we're going to have to carve pumpkins--and THAT should be fun. The little kids have been looking forward to it for weeks--I was going to do it last night, but I got back from dropping Chicken off at Soccer, and they were BOTH ASLEEP. (Considering soccer starts at five o'clock, this is sort of a trip.) And Zoom Boy stayed asleep all night. It was his first day back to school after being sick--it's only to be expected, but it's gonna look kind of pathetic on his homework sheet.

Speaking of... we got Zoom Boy's report card back. He's 'approaching' grade level in all his subjects, which is sort of worrisome , (Chicken was a solid list of 'At Grade Level' when she hit public school) but that's not the big thing. The big thing is that all the stuff that helps kids do well in school-- paying attention, organization, following directions--those are all 'needs improvement'. I'm thinking Zoom Boy might really have an Attention Deficit problem--it would explain all sorts of his patterns of behavior. He fixates on things, doesn't seem to 'hear' what we ask frequently, needs CONSTANT reminders to stay on task. *sigh* It could be another open IEP for a Lane offspring. Lovely. I mean I REALLY appreciate the school system and how they work with special ed, but, well--you know it's hard. We've only JUST stopped fretting about Big T and how he's going to do when he's out of school. AD is such a pain in the ass for high school boy. Even the sweetest boys become like big whomping puppy dogs, and they frequently piss their teachers off. And Zoom Boy is so sensitive that way. *sigh* Borrowing worry. Who needs it.

Zoom Boy is going to be a vampire tomorrow. Ladybug is going to be a princess. I swear, I'll have pictures.

Cioau!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Meet T.J.

OKay-- so a week or so ago, Chicken was crocheting and I was writing a particularly, uhm, GRAPHIC scene for Becoming, the newest Jack & Teague adventure. Suddenly she comes rushing into the kitchen, with a burning question.

"Mom, mom! What does this look like to you?"




Well, first I choked on my tongue (and my immediate answer), and then I declined to comment. Suffice it to say, it did NOT look like a really big jalapeno pepper.

But eventually, with a little bit (lot of) work on Chicken's part, that, uhm, pepper-shaped thing evolved into this:



Meet T.J.

Now T.J. is not just an extraordinarily lucky length of acrylic yardage and some quilt batting. He's not even just a monkey. T.J. has a purpose. T.J. is a GAY PRIDE monkey.




Now Chicken didn't start out to crochet a Gay Pride monkey-- all she wanted was a little critter to love and to cherish and to prove her uniqueness to the world. (I think you can all agree that that last goal has been squarely met.) But as T.J. began to mature and emerge from the skeins under her skillful hand, we began to see signs.

Sign 1: The rainbow shirt was a big give away.
Sign 2: That thing that looked like a jalapeno? Yeah--that became his mouth.
Sign 3: What was supposed to be a mini-skirt ended up being a pair of high-cut bicycle shorts so tight, this stuffed monkey actually had a PACKAGE.
Sign 4: The sparkly red shoes.



See?

But that's not the final sign that T.J. is a loud and proud emblem of mom's new writing triumph. The final sign? Yeah--it was a complete accident, but what happened was this. Chicken wanted T.J. to smell good. She looked for some cinnamon/rose/ambergris oil to put on a cotton ball to use when stuffing T.J.'s head, but she couldn't find it, got impatient, and used some vanilla instead.

The result?

Uhm, yeah.

Sign 5: T.J. smells like a cupcake. No shit.

So Chicken named him 'T.J.' after a character in the Kitty the Werewolf series who was openly gay. We are proud to welcome T.J. to the family--we think he'll fit right in.

(Thanks everybody for the virtual (((hugs)))-- much appreciated. We are still sick--in fact, I lost my voice completely when teaching today. Ah, well--it's going to be a VERY short week.)