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

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.)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

After the 'Squeee'

Thanks guys--for all of the support and all of the excitement and all of the SSSQQQQUUUUUEEEEEEE!!! It was all awesome-- and so welcome after what has really been a melancholy weekend. (And may I say Thank You! to Julie, who validated an entire brain-thread on 'Take THAT, all you people who said nasty things about me being an indie pub because no one else would take me!!!' Yeah... I was feeling that--but I'm glad someone else said that first:-)

As you probably suspected, my grandma passed away on Thursday night. Flossie Codromac trained to be a nurse during WWII, and Grandpa Harold worked in the Army. Flossie was gruff and practical and kind--she adored my kids, even the younger ones, and some of the pictures I value the most are of a very tiny Ladybug, rolling around her floor. I'm sure she and my stepmom had their issues--mothers and daughters do not always make it easy on each other, as my stepmom and I know well. But I remember that her house up in Paradise was a place to go for holidays, and it was always warm and always welcoming and there was always so much fattening shit to eat that I gained five pounds. She used to take my step-brother, step-sister and me for a week or so every summer-- a time honored family tradition which my step-mom honors to this day. The summer between my Freshmen and Sophomore year in high school, she and Grandpa Harold took us on a cross country odyssey--the whole fam-damily, that's seven of us in a six person RV. (Okay--my step-sister was very small at this point and had no problem sleeping on the floor.) It was awesome--and although I was introverted and prickly, Flossie was (always) gruff, pragmatic, and kind. Like my step-mom, I don't think she knew what to make of me, but she was always game to try.

She was the kind of person who could listen to a self-deprecating story and say, "Well, that'll learn ya'"--with just enough of a smile to let you know we've all been there. She was raised old school--one of the biggest adult reamings of my life I got from my mom was when my kids didn't call up and say thank you for their birthday cards. They made an effort to do that everytime since--and she always appreciated it. She loved games--card games, dice games, anything that could be played ad infinitum with a lot of chance to talk in the meantime. She taught me how to play cribbage--which is still a lot of fun-- and taught my daughter how to play cards. Not this last summer but the summer before, my mom and I spent a couple of days a month shuttling Chicken and her cousin, Nate, to Flossie's so she would have someone to play cards with. Neglect to do that this summer was one of the primary shafts of guilt that you saw going in my previous post--I should have. There is no excuse.

My mom told me that about a half an hour after they turned off life-support, Grandma said, "Well, when's this thing going to get started?" That story made me laugh and cry. It's the epitome of Flossie--not even death could escape her boundless pragmatism--nor her attitude that pretty much everything could be dealt with. I love that--believe it or not, it's one of the things I've gotten from my stepmom that I'm proudest of. (I just need to balance it with my generous dose of 'The Sky is Falling'--I'm not sure where I got that from. All three of my families are at a complete loss.)

So yes--the weekend was melancholy. I'm sick, the kids are sick, and we're all a little sad. But that didn't stop me from asking my mom if she wanted some good news when she called me to tell me about the funeral.

"Sure--good news is always welcome."

"They're going to publish my book."

"That IS good news!"

Distracting news, at the very least. I'll miss grandma--every holiday, every Christmas, every Easter, every Birthday, she was part of a Greek chorus of older people that marked even my adulthood. She was one of the last ones--and I'm glad that I remembered to kiss her every time I left and helped mom and dad with her on the rare occasions they asked me. I'm glad she got to know my kids, and I'm glad--so very glad--she was a part of my life. I don't know if her death is going to sink in until one of those occasions. Even after the funeral, it's not going to be until Thanksgiving or Christmas when I look to mom's kitchen table and she won't be there.

So thank you guys for the celebration--I sure am glad we had it! Now it's time to be a little bit sad--and I'm grateful for that too.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

SSSSSQQQQQUUUUUUUEEEEEEEEE!!!!

I've got sad news and sick news, but I'm going to save that for another post. Right now I've got good news, and DAMMIT I'm going to share and celebrate and let you share and celebrate, and I'll whine about the other stuff later.

Dreamspinner Press accepted Keeping Promise Rock. The advance isn't enough for Rampant, but I'm sure the royalties will help with my other endeavors, and, well, shit. I've been trying to get someone else to publish me for five damned years. I'm happy. I'm just pleased and proud and happy.

So first, the prayer: Holy Goddess, Merciful God, still, let it not suck.

And then the celebration. SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Letters to the Ether...

Dear MacDonalds:

Seeing that my five year old is EXCEEDINGLY picky about his happy meal toys, and that he ONLY wants one of each type of toy but he wants EACH one of those individual toys, is there any POSSIBLE way I could just fork over a flat sum to you, grab a few sodas gratis, and just get the complete set? Or would that interfere with your evil plan to turn my crappy car into a dumping ground for french fries that can survive a nuclear holocaust?

Sincerely

Amy Lane



Dear Jared Padelecki and Jensen Ackles:

OKay--here's the thing. You are just as cute (if not cuter) than you were five years ago, only now you have added muscle mass, age and experience. You're interfering with my ability to function as a role model for young people--it's hard when you're having naughty fantasies and tracking drool. You may either A. cease and desist with the burning cuteness and sex appeal immediately, or, since I don't see that happening, B. just kiss and get it over with, so my entire being can go out in one incandescent burst of spontaneous conflagration, and I can die happy.

Personally, I'm rooting for B. Please send me the youtube clip as soon as you possibly can.

All my best

Amy Lane


Dear Safeway Grocery Store:

Your butter cookies are making me fatter. Can you either A. stop putting them out when I'm in the store or B. put something nutritious in them like fiber or vitamins or something?

Wonderful of you--thanks so much!

Amy Lane



Dear germs:

I'm tired, my throat is sore, and I think I'm running a fever. Obviously your use of my body as an apartment complex is not working out. This serves as your eviction notice--please leave as I'm about to start eating vitamin C like there's no tomorrow, and I understand that shit is lethal to you fuckers. Good. I'm looking forward to hearing your dying screams as I go to sleep.

Night night!

Amy Lane


Dear Ladybug:

Mama says go to sleep. It's way past your bedtime and you're driving her batshit. Batshit is bad--it leads to grumpy mama, or at least insane mama. Go to bed, sweets, before the screaming and spankings begin.

I mean it.

Mama Lane

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sleeping Dragons, Tired Moms.

First of all, thank you. You guys are so encouraging--and so forgiving of my major personality flaws. I really am grateful for all of your words--especially since you watch me spaz out here at least four times a year.

My grandmother (who is apparently damned tough) is going to be fine. I still have time to visit--and when thinking of that, I had a thought.

It was more like an epiphany, and I had it as I wrote a couple of leisurely pages on Jack & Teague. The thing is, I'm still in recovery from Keeping Promise Rock. I wrote 119,000 words in six weeks, during soccer season. This means that not only am I insane, for six weeks, I REALLY WAS IN THE DRAGON'S BELLY. I haven't been for the last two weeks, and I've been gradually finding my way back to the land of the living. I do laundry. (But don't fold it.) I wash dishes. (Once or twice a week.) And the house has been clean at least twice in the last two weeks. Not really clean, but, well, you know. Walkable. Now that I'm out of the dragon's cave for a little, I can still write--and not be obsessed with it. I know how to do that. I've just been remembering, that's all.

Second of all--Dec Raink-- I'VE LOST YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS. E-mail me again and I'll send you your chapters!

Third of all--Geneve (whom I lurve) has sent me some fan-art. It's up at www.greenshill.com and it makes me cry, it's so beautiful. Be sure, if you think it's beautiful--(and you will!)--that you say something on the blog. Geneve lurks, and I want her to know her work is appreciated--she really rocked the house with this!

Fourth of all--My horoscope said something really encouraging today. It said that someone would take care of me the way that I take care of other people. I was excited. I spent all day wondering what might happen. Might someone make dinner? Do the dishes without asking? Clean the living room? Do the shopping?

I got home from taking Ladybug to dance, and Mate had gotten cereal from the store. I didn't even know we were out. Well. That was sort of anti-climactic.

"No cookies?" I said wistfully.

"What kind of cookies?"

"You know--the shortbread ones, with the fudge in the middle."

"No--I didn't get any."

"Well, okay. How about you give the kids their shower and I'll go get cookies."

*sigh* "No, no. I'll get cookies."

*eeeeeee* "Thank you!" See--I knew my horoscope was on to something.

Fifth of all--One of the things you forget about having five-through-ten-year-old boys, is that their favorite subject is poop.

"I'm having a poop, mom!"

"Excellent!"

"It's mooovvving!"

"Isn't that exciting!"

"It's big. And it's round. And it's bumpy. And it has a pointy end."

"Okay, big guy, I'm just here to give you toilet paper. I'm getting the hell out of the bathroom now."

Sixth of all--I've ruined Chicken for watching Kung Fu Panda.

She's there, watching Master Uguay, thinking he's the best character ever, and I keep doing an impression of this. It's really the saddest thing I've ever seen. It makes a frat kid with a blow-up doll look cool.

Seventh of all--Big T lost his hat. The one with the stripes I made him--the one that shows up in the San Francisco picture. I told him I'd make another one, and he got really excited--he's been mourning it for weeks.

And for those of you who wondered what song Cory listened to when she was going to kick ass...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Things I've Sacrificed to the Dragon

I try really hard not to think about it.

I try not to think about the fact that I don't cook as well or nutritiously as I should. I joke about it, but I don't think about it.

I try not to think about all the times my kids wanted to sit on my lap but I put them off. "Let me finish my e-mail. I'll be right there."

I try not to think about the fact that I have very few real life friends. Pretty much, if I don't see people in the lunch room everyday, I'm off people's radar, and they're off mine. "I'll call such and such when I'm done with the book/soccer season/ the school year/ et."

I try not to think about the fact that the book shelf in the kids' room self-destructed last month and I haven't fixed it and they've been playing in the living room.

I try not to think about the fact that they sleep in my bed every night because SOMETHING needs to be done with their room in general, and I have not gotten to it.

I try not to think about the fact that time is passing, and I spend a lot of it immersed in things/people/events that are not real.

I TRIED really hard not to think about my grandmother who lives laughably close to me (one of two!) and whom I've visited maybe twice in the last five months.

But she is sick tonight, and maybe won't make it, and now I guess I need to tell the dragon to piss off and to actually THINK about the time that I sacrifice to it. Because every time I passed that corner on the way home with the children, I would think about Grandma Flossie--who has been a good sort of grandma, and who gave me Christmas presents from the time I was eight years old even though I was her daughter's boyfriend's kid and she (and Grandpa Harold) didn't know how long that would last. (They were pleased when it lasted pretty much forever.) Every time I passed the corner, I thought, "God--but I'm so tired. I'm dragging three kids--and I've got an hour before I've got to be/do/drive somewhere." And the tired thing would probably always be there and so would the hour before I've got to be/do/drive somewhere, but let's face it--it wouldn't have been so bad, so pressing, so all-inclusive, if I hadn't been feeding the dragon.

My step-mom (who is an awesome person) told me "She's all about her 'kids' and her mom and dad, and Dad. Come by if you like, but know that it's for you and not really for her."

Well, I came by, because I'm the one who felt like shit, right? I'm the one who kept passing her care home and thinking, "Next week, I'm really going to do that, but right now, I'm exhausted and I'm cranky and my house is a disaster and if I'm lucky I can sneak in some time to sit on the chair and doze with kids on my lap."

She knew who I was--which is more than I was expecting. She asked why I didn't bring the little kids--and I told her truthfully that they're not that well behaved in the best of times and they'd be causing unholy hell in the unit. She told me to give them hugs, to thank Chicken for the call and the card, and to tell Mate hello. Then she said something I couldn't hear--she had an oxygen mask, it was tough--and then she said "...time. An hour, or two, or three." And she was probably talking about when she's going into surgery or when my uncles were coming back to visit or something else, but all I've heard all night, looking at my crappy house and my tired kids is, "...time. An hour or two or three..."

And I have to wonder--I've ALWAYS wondered--how much the dragon eats. Some nights it seems that fucker devours far too much.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Going but not flowing...

*Yawn* Okay... my eyeball is throbbing with exhaustion again... oi! But a good night's sleep is hard to track down with a spear, isn't it?

So I've been thinking about the suggestions for the lexicon yesterday, and have come to a couple of conclusions.

A. As much as I loved Master Clorklish and Twilight and Cocklebur (from Vulnerable) I think I'm going to leave anyone who ISN'T related to the plot of Rampant out of the lexicon--it's pretty damned confusing as it is right now!

B. I can't even imagine a flow chart or a family tree. Seriously--could be the fact that my eyeball is twitching, but I'm not feeling it.

C. I CAN however, add a few more details and group the people according to which book they are introduced in.

D. Jack and Teague & Katy have practically their own book (okay, it will BE their own book when I'm done with the next two stories) but not everybody will have read it when RAMPANT comes out, so yes, they get longer blurbs. They just do.

E. I may possibly add a few notes on each species and it's peculiarities before I send the book to press. Whenever that may be, because right now, it's looking like we'll have to sell a kid, and I don't think the markets that good--our children are willful and therefore flawed, and I don't think anyone's giving us too much cash for them. But Chicken did clean the house today-- she might fetch a pretty price;-)

*whew* There--I think that's all.

Oh yes... I've broken paper on the new Jack & Teague story, BECOMING, and I've been doing this thing for a few people--it's sort of a chapter club. I just e-mail people with chapters of the story as I write. Of course, the work is really raw, and VERY un-edited--if that's the sort of thing that drives you batshit, you may want to wait until the final edit hits online. Some folks have enjoyed having a little niblet appear in their mailboxes every other day or so. Anyway, if you're interested in being a part of the club, e-mail me and I'll put you on the list.

And other than that?

I had THE most frustrating week at work. Part of it was my fault, but part of it was just... just... kids and politics. Here--let's see if I can explain.

We were asked to teach a single skill this week. As a small group, the English teachers of each grade had to come up a single skill we wanted to teach--and then an assessment for that skill. Just one skill.

The skill we came up with was a one sentence summary. Sounds easy, right? I thought so.

A one sentence summary breaks down to the following things: character + setting + conflict, all in one sentence. It passes no judgments and spoils no endings. It depends on knowing the following skills:

character epithet-- an adjective + a specific common noun --not Ms. Lane, absent-minded English teacher--right?

setting --general time + general place --not Natomas, 2009, it's Northern California classroom, present day --right?

conflict-- needs to rely on the six basic conflicts --man vs. man, technology, supernatural, self, natural world or society--still following me?

An example would be:

An orphaned girl and her alien friend fight their own insecurities and social services to forge a new family in modern day Hawaii. (Lilo & Stitch)

or

A masked vigilante pursues a homicidal lunatic through the streets of a corrupt metropolis while debating the nature of heroism and public perception. (The Dark Knight)

or

An orphaned lion cub faces his homicidal uncle as well as his own demons on the African savannah. (The Lion King)

And you get the picture.

Now I've taught this lesson before. I taught it to my AP classes. It took fifteen minutes. No shit. Fifteen minutes. I gave them the formula and we spent the rest of the period churning out summaries for every movie we'd ever seen and giggling our asses off. But that's AP. I figured we'd need to read a short story with these classes first, and that would take a day, and then we'd spend a day doing the rest of the assignment. Two days, right? And then I'd just give them a little piece of paper and (after warning them extensively that they'd have to do this) ask them for a one-sentence-summary on the work of fiction of their choice as a part of their weekly quiz.

You guys followed that, right? Did I lose anyone? Anyone at all?

It took me a week and they all flunked the quiz.

No shit.

A week.

Let's start with the story. It was short. "The Murderer" by Ray Bradbury. It features (and oh the irony as I give you a one sentence summary) a technophobic mental patient engaged in a passionate debate with his indifferent psychiatrist over whether or not technology actually dehumanizes us and should be destroyed, in a psyche ward of the not-so-distant future.

The first problem was, they didn't get the story. Wait--let me amend that. My second period (SHOCKER!) didn't WANT to get the story. It just totally didn't occur to him that just because the guy was in the psyche ward, the whole point of the fucking story was that the dude WASN'T CRAZY. Explaining this to them hurt me, physically and mentally. I may never recover.

The second problem was they didn't know what an adjective was. Or a specific common noun. Or how to generalize time and place. Or why a crazy person might have a problem with society.

The third problem was that their sentence writing skills aren't that great, and putting these things together was really hard. Of all the problems, the third problem was the one that I could understand the most, but had the biggest problem addressing--so much of that is rhythm and transition phrases--you know, picking things up by example.

But I'd done it. After four days (give or take some vocabulary exercises and sentence revising drills that are part of our everyday schtick) I had finally gotten to the point where everybody had a sentence and had either had the sentence okayed or was told to work on it some more.

Today, I passed out their little papers. "We will do the vocab quiz first, write the sentence second on this little sheet of paper, and then continue with the rest of the quiz as it's on the board. Then we will put the quizzes into two piles--the little sheet of paper separate. See. Like this example."

Madness and chaos ensued.

So, at lunch today, I apologized to my coworker--"Gees, I'm sorry I ever suggested that. I don't know about you, but my week S.U.C.K.E.D."

"Oh. I didn't do it. I'm not going to be here for the breakdown of the stats, so I figured why bother."

*sob* I'm going to go write some gay werewolf sex now. I need to get some shit out of my system.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Character Lexicon

OKay--I know, this is two blogs in one night and the other one ain't short. But I was asked to do a 'Character Lexicon'--and I kept wondering if had all the characters on the list that I needed. And then I thought, "Well, why don't I ask the people who know?" So here's my character lexicon--let me know if I missed anybody, eh?

Character Lexicon

Cory—Corinne Carol-Anne Kirkpatrick op Crocken Green started this little adventure as a gas station clerk who was working her way through college, and then she met Adrian, a vampire who loved her, and Green, who loved them both. She is now married to Green, Bracken, and Nicky, carries three of Adrian’s marks and so leads his kiss of vampires, and is still trying to get that degree.

Green—Vernal Green, Lord of Leaves and Shadows—the leader of most of the supernatural peoples in Northern California, Green is not a warrior. Instead he leads and heals with sex and love, and people would die to protect him.

Bracken—The youngest full-blooded sidhe on the hill, Bracken was Adrian’s lover and fell in love with Cory at first sight. He stepped away from her then, because Adrian loved her and they didn’t share well, but upon Adrian’s death he became her full-time lover.

Adrian—Adrian started life as the sexually abused cabin boy whom Green rescued on his way to America. Adrian became a vampire so he wouldn’t age and leave Green alone, and even after he fell in love with Cory, he couldn’t survive without his ties to Green.

Nicky—Nicky is an Avian--a shapeshifter who turns into a bird. He met Cory while she was attending C.S.U. San Francisco immediately after Adrian’s death, when he was working for Goshawk, the bad guy. Nicky accidentally bonded to Green and Cory in the course of saving Bracken’s life, but because he was trying to atone for his assault on Cory at the time, Green and Cory took them into their family—and their bed.

Max—Max is the police officer who tried to ‘save’ Cory from Green’s hill when she first met him. In the end, Green’s hill saved him, and he ended up beguiled by a girl who was more cat than human.

Renny—Renny became a werecat to follow her first husband, Mitch, into the life. When Mitch was killed, Renny’s cat personality became dominant and nearly feral. She’s become more human since she and Max have become a couple and gotten married… but not by much.

Marcus—Marcus was a history teacher with a passion for snow skiing. He’s got curly brown hair, big brown eyes, and a teacher’s affection for Cory, who wants to document the world they’ve found themselves in now that he has fangs and a taste for blood.

Phillip—Phillip was a stockbroker with a passion for snow skiing. After Marcus found him buried in an avalanche and brought him over as a vampire, the two spent twenty years struggling with their sexuality and their boundless love for each other. What they finally decided upon was a relationship based on the sentiment, “I apparently can’t live without you, asshole,” and that seems to be working for them.

Mario—Mario was an Avian who worked for Goshawk, the bad-guy in Wounded who convinced Nicky to mind-rape Cory on their first date. Mario’s wife, Beth, was killed in an assault on Green’s hill, and Green gave Mario back his will to live. Mario is mid-height, stocky, and very proud of his Mexican heritage.

La Mark—La Mark is another sweet-tempered Avian who had the misfortune to meet up with Goshawk while struggling with his identity. Unfortunately, La Mark’s identity is not a comfortable one—a gay, black Avian is sort of doomed wherever he goes, isn’t he? In spite of that, La Mark is a nice guy with a sense of humor and a blinding smile.

Arturo—Arturo came from the jungles of South America to the new world in the ‘50’s, trying to find an easier life. He found Green’s hill instead, and instead of conquering, fell exquisitely in love (in a very heterosexual way) with a leader who would lead with compassion instead of violence.

Grace—A devoted family woman, Grace was dying of untreated breast cancer in Redding, when Adrian heard her yearning to see her family grow, with or without her. He granted her wish and made her a vampire, and Grace has come to love her Green’s hill family even more intensely than she loved the mortal family she left.

Chloe—Grace’s bitter, unpleasant daughter. Chloe had to have her memories of her vampire mother and of Green’s hill wiped in Bound because she was not the kind of mortal Green allowed at the hill. (i.e., she was a REAL bitch.)

Gavin & Graeme—Chloe’s sons, they adored Green’s hill and completely accepted all of the strangeness within. Once a year they come back to the hill—Green has arranged a sham ‘camp’ to cover for their chance to visit with their grandmother and all the other people they have come to love.

Jack—Jack is actually a nice, quiet young man. When his sister—who became a werewolf by choice—is killed, Jack asks Green for some answers to her world and the people who would kill her. Paired with Teague to be human liaisons to Green’s hill and to go out and deal with violent and legal matters outside the hill, Jack fell utterly and irrevocably in love with his damaged, noble partner. When the two of them become werewolves (Jack by accident and Teague by choice) Jack’s transition to the hill is marred by his realization that Teague really is the great man Jack has always believed—and that means that his loyalties can not ever be exclusively Jack’s.

Teague—Teague was brutally abused as a child and inculcated in the same ideas of hate and prejudice that killed Jack’s sister. One night while hunting a werewolf, he is injured while saving the life of a young man who looks very human—and Adrian pays him back by bringing him to Green. From that moment on, he is Green’s devoted subject. When Jack is injured and Cory comforts him while waiting for the injury to heal, Teague’s loyalty is transferred to the lady of the house, even while he pursues a relationship with Katy and Jack, whom he loves beyond reason.

Katy—Katy has loved Teague Sullivan since she was barely old enough to talk. When she found that fate had brought him to Green’s hill too, she pursued him—and Jack—with a single-minded quest for happiness. Now that they’re a family, she wants to be a part of Teague’s adventures whenever she can be.

Sweet—Sweet is one of the more promiscuous sidhe at the hill—but also one of the most pleasant. She’s also one of the three sidhe who are known for being a healer.

Ellen Beth—Ellen Beth was brought to the hill when her lover was infected with some poisonous blood. Her lover died horribly, and Ellen Beth was turned over to Sweet for emotional healing. Sweet decided to keep her, and Ellen Beth has been happy to be kept.

Leah—Leah’s little brother died and Leah descended into a spiral of sex, drugs, and self-destruction. Adrian saved her from all of that, but Leah’s emotional make-up does not include any sort of monogamous relationship. Still, she misses the stability of having a small, nuclear family, and has spent years trying to find a balance in the hill.

Lambent—Lambent joined the hill just before Jack and Teague were bitten. He had always been semi-independent of Titania and Oberon, but until he ended up on Green’s Hill, he had no idea how much he’d valued his autonomy—or how much he hated the antique laws that governed sidhe behavior in the old country.

Kyle—The lone survivor of the Folsom vampires, Kyle’s beloved, a girl named Davy, was killed because she and Cory vaguely resembled each other—and because they were friends. Cory took Kyle into her kiss and forced him to want to live.

Andres—Andres is the leader of the San Francisco vampires. In Wounded, he allied his vampires with Cory’s—and passed up on an opportunity to take both Cory and Bracken into his bed.

Orson—Orson is the leader of the San Francisco werewolves. He’s not a particularly physical fighter, but he is an aggressive advocate for his people.

Tanya—Tanya is a sylph who works odd jobs for Green’s people in Redding.

Goshawk—Goshawk was the leader of the Avians in San Francisco. He was working on world domination when he convinced Nicky to mind-rape Cory in order to get her most powerful memories to drive his power. Nicky was guilt-ridden, and turned against his former leader in order to help the girl he hurt.

Timmy & Danny—Timmy and Danny were two of the Avians who were set against Green’s hill. They were captured instead, and given sanctuary. Like La Mark, Mario, and Nicky, they chose to stay at the hill instead of rejoining Goshawk’s forces.

Hallow—Hallow is a sidhe, and a professor at Sacramento State University where Cory and the other students attend school. He is also—by Green’s request—a counselor for the students themselves. Although Green usually counsels his own people, he felt that he was way too close to the situation as Cory’s lover and her leader to be objective or effective, and thus his trust in Hallow.

Titania & Oberon—The traditional leaders of the sidhe in England, Titania and Oberon’s court was full of sexual excesses and cruelty. They held Green a prisoner in their famed Faerie Hill because nobody could provide sexual satisfaction like Green. Green hoarded his power though, and eventually snuck himself and his lime trees out of their garden and across the sea.

Crocken & Blissa—Bracken’s parents, Crocken and Blissa are a study in opposites. Blissa is a flittery, sex-kitten of a four-foot pixie, and Crocken looks like an un-dusted pile of rocks. Together (and with a little bit of Green’s magic to make everything fit the way it should) they managed to produce Bracken, whom they love to distraction.

Still employed...

Thanks to all of you who expressed concern over my job with that last post. Frankly? It hadn't even occurred to me that my job was at risk. Now, this could be the pinnacle of dumbassery on my part, but I'll give you my line of reasoning (applied retroactively on my part, of course) as to why I wasn't concerned.

1. In spite of the erm, overlapping with my other money making endeavor, the fact is, the slashfic really was an academic exercise. Backed with historical fact and everything. Although the sex is what freaked people out, it was an exploration in power more than an exploration in kinky sex--completely justifiable from an academic standpoint.

2. To back that up, their conversation followed the text of the play relatively closely--again, nothing says 'legit' like bare Willy himself. (snark... okay, I'll stop that.)

3. Every day in the lunch room, the chatter turns to poop. Literally--size, texture, how to take a dump--you name the application of doing the number two and all of it's accessorizing (farting, wiping, smelling, the advent of corn) and it has been covered--in breadth, depth, width, weight, color and composition, in the last fifteen minutes of lunch. And not by me. (In fact, my only contribution to this particular line of conversation is via Bone Daddy, who tends to say things like "I had a smoothy poop, mom! I like those kind. They're smooth on the side and not all bumpy. Bumpy poop hurts.") Although my department gives me a constant stream of crap about my writing in all its forms, I think it's safe to say the scatalogical nature of the conversation lies mostly on other shoulders. In short,compared to what I'm up against daily? My academic slashfic was really not that bad. My (once drunken) colleague did tell me that it made him nauseous, but given the fact that 'a perfect ten' has a whole different meaning during these conversations at lunch, I think I'm safe.

That being said, I will watch my future need to publish single-gendered pr0n in a public forum. And I PROMISE not to share anymore of my lunch time conversations with the world. Really? They're better left in the sanctuary of crappy couches and radioactive microwaves which spawned them.

And in other news... I got nothin'. The brokeness continues, my guilt at working part-time and trying hard to write and make money quadruples, and the house is a cheetoh away from falling into a black hole punching through the crust of California into madness. Yikes! On the other hand I've got some good quotes! (I was going to include the 'smoothy poop' one in this section, but really, it fit better up above.)

* This one is from curmudgeonly colleague (with a little help from me.) "It's not the stupid people I mind so much, it's the dumbasses."

* This one is from Ladybug: "Hey, mom--what are YOU gonna be for Halloween?" (I had no answer. I should have said "Young, thin, and running on enough sleep!")

* Chicken went to homecoming--and I have promised not to post any pictures, but apparently, it was decided that she cleans up nice. Lots of kids stopped her and said, "Holy shit, Chicken, is that YOU?" In fact, her confidence went up so high that she came home and texted her manga buddy (a kid I introduced her to) and tried to get him to invite her to HIS homecoming. When she told me this, I said, "Manga-buddy is gonna have to get his shit together first." Her face got a little more philosophical and a little less 'high on idea!' and she said, "Yeah--that's what Manga-buddy said. How bad ARE his grades, mom?" I didn't have the heart to tell her I didn't want to look them up for just this reason.

* We watched 'Marley and Me' which was really good, but, well, it's about a dog and the trailer tells you that it covers 'a fifteen year time span'... we can all do the math. We know how it ends, right? So we're watching the movie and suddenly, Mate notices Bone Daddy is laying on the floor, fighting tears in the manliest way possible. It didn't work. When the movie was over, he disappeared, and came back with a drawing. "This is me. This is my tears. And this... *sob* is my broken heart..." And then he proceeded to cry on me for AN HOUR. Fucking movie. Seriously--oughtabeafuckinglaw!

* Big T asked me today if I knew how teenagers got Herpes. I said, "Presumably from having sex--is this a trick question?" He laughed, and said "Okay... that's not what I meant..." I still don't know what he meant, but at least we're clear on the fact that I heartily approve of sex education.

And that's about all for the moment... I need to go put kids to bed. So I can catch a pillow-drool too...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Seduction of Marcus Brutus

Okay—I’ll admit it. My colleague was drunk and I was sleep deprived, but the conversation over post-graduation beers hasn’t left me alone.

The two main conspirators in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar have a relationship rife with subtext—and very little of it is platonic. Brutus’ introversion and Cassius’ sly venom have all the hallmarks of a dysfunctional romantic relationship—one that ends in a spectacular crash, replete with flames and a dramatic death sequence.

However, my colleague and I were not content with innuendo. He has the gutter-mind and I have the writing background to take this observation of our two heroes one step further, and to ask the age old question: Who would top?

It’s not as frivolous a question as it would seem.

Homosexual relationships were a given in the Roman aristocracy. The young up-and-(erm) comers were routinely rogered by the old guard—it was almost a rite of passage, and Caesar and Anthony were no exceptions. In fact, Caesar was frequently criticized for letting Pompey penetrate him during their adult relationship, and Antony was known as being quite the boy-slut and man-twinkie, even as he aged into his majority. Given these historical details, is it really too hard to imagine that Brutus, brooding, quiet, agonized and introspective, would be fair game for the handsome, strong, wily Cassius?

But the question remains—who would top?

My colleague maintained it would be Cassius—simply because he seemed to have all the power.

“Yes,” I replied, thinking hard, “but so did Lady MacBeth, and you can bet old man Mac wasn’t taking a night-stick in the sphincter when he could pound the shrilling harpy like badly aged beef!” (Okay, maybe I didn’t say this verbatim, but you get the picture.)

The fact is, it’s not always the character with the rogering-stick who’s got the power. Let’s face it—rogering-sticks are impressive and all, but how easy is it for the, uhm, rogering-stick-sheathe to grab a hold of that thing and drag its owner wherever the sheathe wishes him to go?

I mean, Lady MacBeth as a sterling example: Women have been doing it for years.

And Cassius used Lady Mac’s techniques—he started out with flattery and then that faux-honesty, and then he held up his victim/lover/top’s flaws and said, “With me as your back-up, as a mirror to your flaws, you can help me do this reprehensible thing to carve a shining future.”

And really, unless sex was involved, how would either MacBeth OR Brutus be that easily deluded?

I see it so clearly—I can hear Cassius’ tone of voice, picture Brutus’ agonized inner monologue… in fact, it’s so damned romantic text-book perfect, I can damned near see it.

And, well, you know…
M/M romance is my glitch, right?
So given that, I present to you,

The Seduction of Brutus
By Amy Lane

(This roughly follows the text of Act I, Scene II of Julius Caesar. The translation and stage directions are all mine:-)


Brutus watched the royal party go out towards the steps of the capitol with weary eyes.

Antony had his hand easily on Caesar’s thigh, and Caesar was covering it with his own, tough little hand.
Of course they were sleeping together. Calpurnia thought she had to worry about Cleopatra—HA!

It had been eating at him, gnawing at his stomach for months. He knew—he’d known about Pompey, he knew about Antony. Brutus had been beneath Caesar’s body, knew his insatiable drive, knew the power of his heart… Brutus had reveled in it.
It was lovely not to be the captain of your own vessel, even for those blissful few moments of sex. Caesar was so good at taking charge, so good at dominating, officiating, penetrating. He was even better at taking it, allowing his body to be pounded, penetrated, used—and then milking his dominator for every drop of vitality in his human body.

In either capacity, Marcus Brutus had been pleased to go along for the ride.

But now…

Now he watched the maddened throng chanting Caesar’s name, and he couldn’t seem to separate the lovemaking from the leadership.

Caesar had wanted Brutus, Caesar had courted Brutus, Caesar had left Brutus, bereft and hungering for one more touch, one more fawn, one more favor. Did Brutus think Caesar would do any better for their beloved country? How was it that Rome was so much greater in Caesar’s esteem than Brutus had been.

And Caesar claimed to love Brutus best of all!

Well, apparently not as much as he loved taking Marc Antony’s body into his pouty, lying mouth, now did he?

“Aren’t you going out to the capitol to play?”

Brutus looked up, surprised. Cassius. He’d been avoiding the man—after Caesar had thrown him over, Cassius had seemed to think Brutus was fair game.

“I am not gamesome,” Brutus said with a quirk of the lips for his own pun. “I do lack some of Antony’s quick spirit—but don’t let me get in your way, Cassius—go play to your heart’s content.”

There was something lush about Cassius, something female and willing, that suggested he’d enjoy those games very much.

“I don’t know, Brutus—I’ve been watching you.” Cassius came closer to Brutus as he sat in the council chamber—his walk could only be described as a saunter. “You used to enjoy my company—but now you look like you hate the world! Surely…”
Cassius got close enough to peer down into Brutus’ eyes as he sat, “surely you don’t hate me too?”

Oh Gods. Cassius was flirting with him. It figured—Caesar had never loved Cassius, had never hit on him, had never looked on him with kind eyes. Brutus used to tolerate him, look at him with pity, when Caesar shared his flesh.

It occurred to Brutus—violently—that now he and Cassius had something in common.

“No worries, Cassius—I’ve been pretty much buried in my own head lately. I’ve got… well, I’ve got some shit in my head that I need to keep there. It’s not you, man—it’s me. I’m so caught up in my own bullshit that I’m neglecting my friends, right?”

A naked sort of hope crossed Cassius’ pretty features, and Brutus felt bad. God, he only wanted to be loved—didn’t we all?

“Well, I’m glad it’s not me!” Cassius said in relief. “But you know, you’re probably not the only guy in the world with great thoughts! I mean, you can’t see yourself, right?”

Brutus smiled. It was an old joke, and old discussion between the men of the senate: other people are our only mirrors—but sometimes they are warped.

“Only if you have a mirror,” he said warmly.

“Well, I wish you had a mirror that showed you how awesome you are. Everyone in Rome loves you—all the senators are trying to suck up to you, everybody wants your respect—hell, the only one not trying to kiss your feet is Caesar!”

Brutus barely suppressed a wince. Of course Caesar wasn’t singing his praises. Caesar wasn’t fucking him anymore.

“What could you possibly want from me, Cassius? That is the biggest load of bullshit I’ve heard in my life!” He said it with a smile, but Cassius turned wide eyes to him—and took his leave to sit down next to Brutus on the marble bench that was currently threatening Brutus’ ass with some very uncomfortable consequences.

“No—seriously—here, let me tell you what I see. You know I’m not a fuck-up, I don’t say shit I don’t mean…” The ruckus outside from where Caesar was making love to a joyous public became truly outrageous, and Cassius shot an annoyed glare over his shoulder.

Brutus tried not to laugh—obviously this little tet-a-tet had been well planned. Then he heard what the people were shouting and swore.

“Christ—fucking Christ no! Goddammit—do you hear that?”

Cassius rolled his eyes. “Sounds like they’re making him king!” He held his hands out and shook them in mock fanfare. “Whoopee!”

“Huzzah,” Brutus echoed sourly, and Cassius turned a predatory eye on him. Oh crap—Brutus didn’t want to go into that—not with Cassius who was doing everything but sticking his ass in the air and wiggling it like a puppy.

“You don’t sound happy about it—what, aren’t you looking forward to kissing his ass in public? I know you used to kiss it in private, right?”

Brutus sucked in his breath. Well shit—apparently it was ‘bare-faced-honesty’ time, right?

“I don’t kiss his ass anymore,” Brutus said, feeling empty. “But that doesn’t mean I don’t love him either—either politically or personally, you feel me? But seriously—what’s on your mind? Are you here to talk about my pathetic love life, or did you want something a little more honorable. My love life notwithstanding, if it’s a choice between death and dishonor, I’m taking death, right?”

Cassius sighed and relaxed away from Brutus. Brutus had a moment to notice that the guy took care of himself—nice body, pretty face, his hair neatly back in a man-do. If you liked that sort of thing—and Brutus had his moments, witness the thing with Caesar, right? Cassius distracted this line of thought by raising a hand up to Brutus’ chest, spreading his fingers seemingly without thought.

“Look—I know you value honor more than your love life, Brutus—and that’s why I’m here. Listen to them out there—they’re gnawing on their own limbs for a chance to touch him. I don’t ever want to be in that sort of subservience, you know? You and me—we’re the same as he is. We were born free, we’ve served our time in the senate. The guy is not a god—it’s starting to bother me that the general public wants to line up to let him fuck them up the ass.”

Brutus fought the temptation to say, But he’s damned good at it, and listened to Cassius seriously, although Jesus the guy could talk!

“Do you remember that time the dumbshit challenged me to a race? I mean damn, Brutus—the Tiber was raging and the wind could have cut you in two, and he suddenly thinks he’s going to prove something to me and then he gets sucked under the current! I mean, I don’t want to bow to anything that’s not as tough as I am, you know? We’re supposed to equals in the senate—and he’s so not that big a fucking deal! He almost died in Spain of fever, he falls down and froths at the mouth. I don’t want to put all my faith in that weak a vessel, you know?”

Brutus wanted to open his mouth and defend his old lover—it was as simple as that. Sometimes greatness wasn’t physical. Sometimes greatness was the fire that attracted brave men to councils of war and insects to their death. Which one are we? Brutus wondered, and then the shouts of the crowd distracted them both again.

“Oh yay…” Brutus said with a faint smile. Even the populace knew that godhood wasn’t locked inside the physical body… but not Cassius. Cassius was still feeling up his chest.

“God—he’s all set like Colossus, straddling Rome. What’s he expect us to do, teabag him while his junk’s all hanging over our heads and flapping in the breeze?”

Brutus grunted. “Nice,” he muttered—and his hard-on stirred, making him a liar with the truth. Cassius spotted the little tent in the toga and rubbed a daring, lazy circle on Brutus’ thigh.

“It’s not fate that puts us under him, you know that, right? It’s us. If someone comes up and begs for it, it’s not the gods that make his ass sore, right?”

Brutus’ cock throbbed, and Cassius flicked at it under the white cloth with a lazy smile.

“C’mon, Brutus—why should the whole world be lined up to lick Caesar’s balls? Why shouldn’t they be licking yours? Your name,” and this coupled with a whisper-soft stroke of the thing that was not Brutus’ name, “is as fair as Caesar’s. Sound them both out…B-r-u-t-u-s,” Cassius’ mouth moved slowly, his lips puffy and round, as though he knew very well what Brutus would do with that mouth in private, if Cassius but lined up to lick his balls. “See? Just the same. Weigh those…names.” His hand, ever so sly and now very daring, snuck under Brutus’ toga, and Cassius kept eye contact while he weighted Brutus’ ‘name’ in his cool, stroking hand. “They’re just as heavy together, right?”

Brutus took in a deep breath and tried very hard not to think with his dick anymore. Carefully, so as not to offend Cassius or wound his rather tender feelings, he seized Cassius wrist and pulled that grasping, petting, fawning hand away from the 'bearers of his name'.

Cassius made a little moue of disappointment and went back to stroking Brutus through his toga instead of under it. “Now don’t tell me your ‘spirit’ isn’t as great as his, Brutus. You both eat the same ‘meat’, right?”

“Yes,” Brutus said darkly, standing up, “but I think it’s a very different meat than you feed upon.” Crap—his hard-on wasn’t going down. It had been long—so long—since his ‘name’ had been stroked with quite so much determination.

And Cassius seemed to know it. He followed Brutus, pulled up behind him. Cassius was as big and strong as he bragged about—he was a few inches taller than Brutus, and his body, flush against Brutus’ back was both seductive and overpowering.

“It would be a sorry age,” he said softly, breathing into Brutus’ ear, “if the only worthy man in all of Rome was Caesar.”

His hands traveled slowly down Brutus’ chest, and Brutus shivered. Ah, gods…it felt so good to be touched. Cassius would take everything he had—every anger, every frustration—Cassius would give in to it. And what did he ask? What was his price for giving Brutus a place to grieve the loss of Caesar?

Ah gods. Brutus didn’t want to think about it. Losing Caesar once was hard… losing him again, for real, to Brutus’ betrayal? Brutus wasn’t sure he could…

Cassius moved those hands to Brutus’ thighs and stroked up, under the toga, and Brutus made a strangled noise. Ah, gods…what would he do, what would he pay, to not have to miss Caesar in his bed again?

“Okay, fine, you want me,” he panted. “I get it—I don’t doubt that…but…” Cassius grabbed his erection then and gave a sure and gentle pull. “I know where you’re going with this, dammit! Look, we can talk later… Please, Cassius, if you love me…”

“I do,” Cassius murmured. “I always have…”

“Well then,” Brutus grunted, jerking away from that grasping hand with his dignity barely intact, “give me some space to think!”

“Well, my weak words seemed to have had a strong effect,” Cassius smirked, and Brutus got angry. Dammit—that wasn’t fair.

“Look—I’d rather be a peasant knee deep in cow-shit than a senator knee deep in this king bullshit, okay? If he’s a king, that goes against everything we’ve ever believed in!”

Oh thank God. It was possible to think with something besides his prick—wasn’t that a nice change?

“I hear you,” Cassius said mildly, that superior smirk still in place as he held out his splayed hand and licked his fingers one by one. “But make sure the returning throngs don’t, right? They might be surprised to find you don’t love Caesar like they think you do.”

Brutus closed his eyes, hearing the thrill of the crowd's return. He did love Caesar, he thought in something like despair. Brutus loved his old lover enough to kill him, just to carve Caesar out of his broken heart.

Friday, October 9, 2009

*WOOT*

The stories aren't available separately until December first, but until then, I thought I'd point out that *woot* I'm somewhere in the middle!

Rampant Filking

OKay-- I admit--I've cut and pasted this one from an entry I made on the amazon.com forum, but I went back and re-read it and it was fun, so I thought I'd share.

Here's the plot of 'Rampant' to 'Let it rock!' (For the Supernatural video with this song on it, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3VVNbbSjDs )


You see my girl/ she's got/ nice and strong and powerful
Her loves/ they know/ exactly how to tend to her
But life/ it gets/ in the way of all the gooey sex
Let her rock let her rock let her rock!

There's a black-mailer...
And a vamp-ire bear...
And a ba-by vamp...
Watch her wooooorrrrrkkkkk!!!

Because when she/arrives/ oh she brings the power
And the bad / guys/ they refuse to cower
And her in/laws/ they think she's a skank-hoer

But she rocks but she rocks but she rocks...

She goes vis--it-ting....
To the great out-doors...
And lake Sha-a-sta...
Won't be the same...

Cory and all her friends make an entourage of the Fairy Queen
They go visiting to find a pedophile but it takes a while
They've got politics (rock!) yeah politics...
There's another vamp (rock) yeah another vamp
And he's not so bad but he's in a spot (rock!)
So she'll fix him up and she'll clean his house (rock!)
But she leaves bodies in her wake...

Because when she/ arrives/ yeah she brings the fire
Watch her come/ alive/ power can take you higher
Watch her lov/ers work/ to make she survives it

Let her rock let her rock!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

yeah yeah... *whine*


Okay--inspired by Kiss My Frog Kate (lovely woman!) I was going to write that Brutus/Cassius slashfic because, well, it would be a whole lot of fun! Alas, real life intruded--I got my galleys for 'If I Must' and OI! have my editors served me well in the past! It's just so embarrassing pulling up my galleys and finding blue balloons (used to track changes in word) all over my paper... nothing says 'Colossal Pain in the Ass' more than an entire paper full of deleted ellipses and dashes--the surefire mark of the immature writer, I guess. (Or is it just my writing style? I don't know... I'm not feeling enough kinship with Emily Dickinson on this piece to start arguing the punctuation as artistic right idea. Sometimes, yes. Absolutely. Sometimes, standard punctuation is just fine.)

Anyway, all of a sudden I was quivering-eyeball-deep in my galleys, and I realized "HOLY CARP! I WAS GOING TO BLOG TONIGHT!" And it's BLOGTOBERFEST--which means that all of you probably have VOLUMES for me to catch up on... I'm SO BEHIND! A last minute stop at the grocery store didn't help (okay--it took an hour. It was a full-out weekly trip, except I did it at nine-o'clock at night.) And there was a staff meeting today which...

Yeah. Okay. What can I say. Life got between me and the hot Shakespearian Manschmex. I'll make it up to you all-- I swear.

But first, I'll leave you all with some more burning cuteness:

Bone Daddy fell asleep at six-o'clock last night. (Lucky goober--just sayin'!) This morning when he woke up (fully clothed!) he said, "I skipped my shower--I took a nap and slept until night." Okay--it was cute. Maybe you had to be there?

And Ladybug... damn. She sat on my lap for twenty-minutes this evening and told me stories and asked for kisses. I'm hoping my picture loads--it's sideways, but you can still see it. Damn, she's beautiful.

And now that I've distracted you from my short post with my lovely three-year-old, I'm going back to editing until my eyeballs bleed. fun!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Baby dragon or dragon shit...

I don't know--but Dreamspinner has the manuscript, they still don't seem to hate me although I tend to just stumble into protoc-walls left and right... (I'm trying that one for a laugh again--if I don't get it, I'll assume it's a bad idea, just in general...) and I've been accused of having a "very pretty submission letter". That last one made me raise my eyebrows because I always feel ENORMOUSLY awkward when writing a submission letter--I tend to be unassuming and dry, and hope that whoever is getting the letter has a sense of humor. Lucky me, I think I may have stumbled upon the only editing team in history to actually live up to that one!

Some of you will be very happy to know that, in anticipation of SOMEDAY having the money to publish it, in the absence of an active WIP (and a burning need to sleep and to yank my head out of the dragon's cave and spend some time with my children and cleaning the house) I have moved on to the final edit of 'Rampant'. I'm not sure how much distance I have from it--I still think it doesn't suck, so I'm thinking not enough distance than I should have. It doesn't help that Roxie and Needletart sprinkled the manuscript liberally w/ 'LOL', and 'Nice!'-- it does turn a girl's head, I do have to admit.

Some of you will also be very happy to know that once Rampant is edited, I'm moving on to the next Jack & Teague adventure--the fifth one and the last one to be posted on line. Once that's done I'm writing the sixth one, the one that will ONLY be printed in the book, because someday I'll be able to publish that one too--notice the whole 'working on faith' thing? It's working for the moment!

And even others of you will be pleased to hear that once J&T are finished, I'm moving on to the 5th Little Goddess book, to be broken up with the occasional Green's Hill adventure, and, if Promise Rock gets picked up, the random insane disappearance into the dragon's cave to pull a sequel to Deacon and Dek's story out of my ass.

*sigh* alas--many of these grand plans depend on shit getting published... so. very. frustrating. And, I'm sure, boring to hear about.

Let me thrill you with some other things that may not be so boring--

In the "my colleagues need a their colon scoped to find their human decency" department, Mr. Trick has started a new hobby. He waits until he sees me run into the staff room (since the bathroom is attached) and then he sticks his head into the bathroom to call out my name. The second (or was it third?) time he did this, there was another teacher in the room. I came out of the bathroom drying my hands the other teacher looked at me in sympathy. "This is a VERY tough crowd to work with, isn't it?" *sigh* Yeah--he has no idea.

In the "other school's curriculum has gone too far" department, Big T gave mate and I a 'mental health' survey for his health classes. "Do, how many bad relationships did you two have before getting together?" OI! And that was US--mostly what we did was go out on bad dates! I can't imagine answering that one for my kid if we'd had any sort of normal sexual history before we'd met. I would have made something up--there's just no way I'd be confessing to my kid that the sixth time I woke up after a wesson oil party and had to pick up my clothes off the street in my walk of shame home I finally decided to have a relationship instead of random hook-ups with hot guys working the concession stand of the tractor pull. (And really, as long as condoms were involved, doesn't every growing young person deserve to have a couple of those stories floating around in their history? But not Mate and me... noooooo... with the exception of getting busted having sex in a crapload of parked cars, (and let me say, the Mustang was NOT comfortable) we really have nothing to report. (Okay, looking aback at that paragraph, I'm going to say that I AM very tired, but it keeps giving me the giggles so I'm going to let it stand. Please keep in mind though that I'm being very sarcastic and very facetious and that Wesson oil parties as a whole do not really sound like a good, healthy, or dermatologically sound sort of activity.)

In the "My five year old is cuter than a rabbit's butt" category, Bone Daddy keeps singing the October Song for us--something about Chicken soup with rice, but really, I'm just so charmed by him getting all excited about singing it, I could care less what the words are. Damn, he's cute.

In the "Weirdness during the weekend" department, I've got a couple of things to report. A--when we were at Torrid, getting Chicken's dress, we signed up for a raffle by donating to Breast Cancer research. We, uhm, won. A whole crapload of REALLY expensive skin care products. I felt bad. My skin care regime is pretty basic... scrub it and slather it and that's the end. I felt like that lovely raffle gift was wasted on heathens, but it smells good, so I took it. When I went to go get it I was waylaid by random hot Israeli (no shit) hot guy who wanted to sell me a 'reasonably priced' hair straightener for $100. Poor guy--he probably knew he was doomed when he asked me what I did with my hair in the morning and I replied "get it wet and brush it." He said, "This will only take you ten minutes." I said, "That's nine minutes longer than what I do now. I don't really have that kind of time."

In the "Best New Game EVER" department--we got together to celebrate birthdays w/Alexa (my mom) and my grandma and aunt--they were lovely and we had cake and pizza (a big deal for my grandma) and our b-day present from my aunt was a game called 'Bananagrams'--it's like free-form jumble with a timer, and we had a BLAST. Bone Daddy wants me to play it all the time now--he makes nonsense words, but he's so damned cute. Have I mentioned the cuteness? We get the uber-cuteness from Ladybug, but i gotta tell you, sometimes Bone Daddy is just so pretty, the cuteness burns.

And with that, I'm back to Rampant... I'll keep you posted on the Dragon Shit--not exciting to anyone but me, I am well aware.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I'm not dead yet...

Oi! Busy. Just flat out busy. Want proof? Howzabout a schedule...

Monday--BoneDaddy's soccer practice
Tuesday--Ladybug's dance practice & Chicken's soccer practice
Wednesday--BoneDaddy's soccer practice, Big T's karate
Thursday--Chicken's Soccer Practice, Big T's karate
Friday--BoneDaddy's soccer game
Saturday--Ladybug & BoneDaddy's gymnastics & Chicken's soccer game

*Whew*

Of course, the last five weeks have been a little more complicated than that. We've also had four back to school nights, three birthdays, the Ren Faire, and, today, shopping for chicken's homecoming dress to contend with. (This last is notable simply because Chicken has not owned a dress since the fourth grade, when they were required as a school uniform.)

Oh yeah--and mama wrote an entire book.

Keeping Promise Rock is now in the final editing stages, and after giving birth to a full fledged (118, 000 words) baby dragon in something less than six weeks, mom is doing fine. And she's surprised to find that the baby dragon seems neither stunted nor deformed.

Imagine that.

However, *yawn* mama seems to need a little more rest today than she has in the past five weeks--I'm gonna pencil in six hours:-)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me (and Mate:-)

Okay. I'll admit. Yesterday sucked. I mean, as far as birthdays go, it was a 'wake me up and let me know when it's over' sort of moment. How did it suck? Shall I count the ways?

1. I got stuck in lockdown with my 2nd period class. They wouldn't shut up. I got a call from the office chastising me because the class was shrieking when admin came by. Of course they were singing a rather raucous chorus of Happy Birthday to me when the announcement came on, and we missed it, but still. I was suitably embarrassed, pissed off, and ready to smack someone.

2. The same psycho crapweasel who stole my sandwich last week stole money from my purse. The sandwich thing had me really doubting myself--I mean WHO steals a sandwich? That thought alone made me uneasy about being in the same room with the guy. Fortunately, he got caught and hauled in, but still... sandwich stealing psycho... *shudder*

3. My shoulder was giving me hell--all damned day.

4. The short people were REALLY whiny yesterday.

5. I had to go grocery shopping at six o'clock on a Wednesday night. (Can we say NOTHING in the bread aisles?)

6. There is really nothing on television on Wednesday night. Okay--Glee. Glee and CSI NY were on television. And Glee is frickin awesome, so that one doesn't count.

Okay. I give. It was mostly one and two that sucked--but seriously--enough to poison the entire day.

And then today...

Redemption.

1. Three of my noisiest kids were suspended today--only one of them by me. (For being an assclown during the lockdown yesterday.)

2. The sandwich stealing crapweasel was apprehended and searched yesterday. Today I found out he had a big ol backpack full of pot in addition to my cash. He will probably not be returning.

3. I got to make Mate dinner for his birthday. That's sort of cool--doesn't happen often. I made cheap steak.

4. Mate liked his presents. (Shirts.) I liked mine. (Season four of THE show. Mmmmmmmm... yummy hot guys.)

and the fifth and final reason?

5. For those of us who watch yummy yummy hot guys... THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN!!!!!!!!

And really? That's all I needed. (Okay, for the record, my children have asked that the series of happy-happy joy-joy body movements I made when the ep closed NEVER be repeated in my home or their sight, so that their sanity might remain intact.)