I actually HAVE pictures of the kids, being fricking ADORABLE, but since I can't find the camera cord, and I've been editing not one but THREE Green's Hill novellas for production (okay-- only Little Goddess fans buy these, right? NO one else will understand them! Just saying!) I thought I'd give you a picture of my yummy yummy sexy immortal Green before I commenced:
Okay-- so Chicken is enrolled in tap-dancing now, which makes us almost as busy as soccer season, since she's got dance three nights a week, Squish has it one, and Squish and Zoomboy have gymnastics on Saturday mornings. Big T's job is to get his shit together, study for his driver's test, and figure out how to be independent without constantly bumming rides from us. I'd give him a monster sized hint,--it involves getting a frickin' driver's license!--but for some reason telling him that he's shooting himself in the foot by putting it off only seems to make him resentful.
*sigh* He's going to be living with us until he's thirty-five. You mark my words--Mate and I are going to have to start staging kinky sex shit, complete with costumes and whips and chains in the living room to get him to move the hell out. I can see it now. I'm just preparing--because when he turns thirty and still doesn't have a driver's license, it's either scar him for life or buy an apartment and move out and just start sending him house payments.
The good news is that he had this sort of red-furred critter camping out on his face for the last three months, and he apparently held it down and skinned it or something, because he looks less like a hippy-viking, and there's red fuzz all over our bathroom. He promised me he'd kill that thing for graduation--bless him, I think this was his way of doing it in baby steps. I'm not sure if it's occurred to him that it's gonna grow again.
In other news, Zoomboy has lost a tooth--Hooray! And then he lost the tooth--Aww. So I told him to write the Tooth Fairy a note, explaining how he lost the lost tooth, and that the Tooth Fairy might have some pity on him, since this is the THIRD (out of five mind you) tooth that he's lost and lost. I wonder if the other ADD odd-ducks have this sort of problem with the Tooth Fairy--I'm betting they probably do, because I think between the "Hooray, I lost a tooth!" and the "Aww, where'd it go?" I would lay down pretty heavy odds that there's a "Squirrel!" or a "Oooh, shiny!" in there somewhere. Maybe even both.
And Squish? Squish is... Well, let's make a list:
* Is heavily interested in sparkly hair bling--most particularly a big red bow that came off a Mini-Mouse Christmas hat that we've been pinning on her pony tail.
* Insists that two hours is NOT too long per day to sit on my lap, which would be fine, but I'm not allowed to sleep during this time, nor knit, nor, unless I'm crafty, read.
* Enjoys it when I go to the gym, because then she can entertain her court with stories of her big brother and the six million birthdays she's going to have.
* Is incredibly disappointed when I explain that her birthday will only happen once, we can't invite the entire world, and will NOT happen simultaneously at Build-a-Bear and Chuck-E-Cheese!
* Is completely into my plan to buy actual flowers to replace the bulbs that have probably rotted in the savage rains we had during the last two weeks.
* Does NOT see the difference between mommy freezing her plentiful pale posterior off at water aerobics as a work-out and Squish, swimming with impunity, the way she does when it's 105 outside!
* Keeps coloring in the workbooks we use to prep her for Kindergarten, regardless of what the real instructions are, using pretty color combinations and a really impressive skill. (For me, anyway-- I can't draw for shit and neither can Mate.)
* Wants to sit in my lap at night, or have me lay down with her, because, well, this is a stretch, I think we're pretty well attached. I am forever grateful that I had some time to get this attached. When Chicken was this age, I didn't realize how girls did that with their mothers--I was honestly surprised when she wasn't ready to be a teenager at six. I had forgotten that just because my own mom split when I was that age didn't mean I was truly grown up. With Squish, not only have I been prepared, but I've been given the gift of some time and space to really appreciate having her with me. Even when I'm impatient, because she NEVER STOPS TALKING, I am, as I've said, forever grateful. She really is my dessert baby. I hope that never changes.
And in other news?
I've been editing-- Waiting, Reaching, & I Love You, Asshole have all been edited in the last week, and I'm so thoroughly immersed in the world of the LG that I think I'm going to celebrate by finishing a chapter in Quickening. I'm almost 65K into Alpha, and I'm SO proud of it so far--I think that this one's going to surprise folks. It's dark, gritty, twisty and painful. *blink* Okay, maybe not surprise them THAT much.
Oh yeah-- and I thought this was funny.
When I was editing Truth in the Dark, Lynn, my editor, had to go through and point out all my Em-dashes. They're a dirty little literary habit that I was sort of addicted to, and the number of them in that particular manuscript was truly appalling. Well, the lesson stuck, and I've been pretty good (I hope--Lynn, if you're out there, don't laugh at me!) at minimizing my nasty little addiction ever since.
Enter: The Green's Hill Werewolf novellas. Now see-some of you know that these were written before I leaned down my writing style a little in KPR and some of my other work for Dreamspinner. Well, the Green's Hill Werewolves are being put out by another publisher--one that hasn't seen my gradual weening from the ubiquitous Em-dash, and has been, well, surprised (i.e. shocked and appalled) at the number of them I've used.
They seem to want me to minimize that.
I've thought about telling Lynn--I really have--but I'm afraid she'd actually crawl through cyber-space to laugh at me and then tickle me until I pee. Because, it really is sort of funny, and, well, I really do sort of deserve it:-)
Sunday, March 27, 2011
So, Mate and I went out on Friday night-- casino style.
*snicker* yeah- that sounds all badass and hot, I knowsit, but Mate's job had a soiree-- I love the way his job does the soiree thing. It's all free (including desserts that I would kill you for, BEFORE I died in heaven while eating them) and the employees ask for tickets--in this case, Mate got two. One for Mate, one for his largish, socially inept +1. Who had a grande sized time, btw.
The thing is, Mate's friends are so ubercool, so fun, so nice, so excited about their jobs (even though they don't admit it) they are uberawesome people to hang with. (I'm sure they don't have the same thing to say about me, but, well, I only get to hang with them twice a year, so they're nice to me anyway.)
Anyway, they had a casino thing-- the employees got tickets to trade in for chips--neither of us did the gambling thing, but it was sort of cool-- turned out we knew one of the pit bosses, he helps run the company and our kids have been in gymnastics together for years! (Okay, this was probably only really exciting to me. It was like, "I KNOW PEOPLE IRL-- SERIOUSLY! SEE-- IS PROOF!") But then, maybe the whole thing was just given a nice rosy glow by the copious amounts of Ketel 1 Mate kept bringing for me. It was HWEAWAWESOME.
Now, you all know from past blogs that usually, I don't like to drink too much--for one thing, I've got a habit of running into embarrassing people from my past. But this time, not a hide-nor-hair of anyone who might not want to see me shit-faced, and my husband, who was taking great satisfaction from being one of the elite few who did. *bright smile* And after a nice nap and some Advil yesterday morning, I wasn't even that hungover.
It was fun-- talked to real people, just... I don't know. Re-the-hell-laxed. Some of you all know this was a long time coming--since early October, actually, and I enjoyed myself immensely. Don't want to do it a lot, but enjoyed it while I was there.
Anyway-- that was Friday, and the last couple days have been... well... I got a lot of writing done.
I've said it before-- the bad thing about writing is that it all happens in your head. You can jump up and down and sing, "I wrote 8K in two days!" and that's all well and good, but aside from the smashing feeling of accomplishment you get (and, well, yes I do!) there's not much else to show for it. I can tell you that Alpha is really exciting to work on, that I'm going to edit "I Love You Asshole!" tomorrow (love that title!) and that Waiting will be out on April 9th... and the Locker Room on April 22nd. And that I sat on the couch and knit some, and that was satisfying too.
Oh yeah-- and I made bread. Again. And the kids cleaned the kitchen to do it. Can we say, "Magic?" Oh--and one more thing. Shortly after making the bread, the following conversation occurred:
Me: "I, uhm, turned on the auto-clean function on the oven while you were gone."
Mate: "Did you at least scrape out the gunk first?"
Me: "Uhm, no?"
Mate: "Is there some reason you're not letting me in the house?"
Me: "Uhm, no?"
Mate: "Is there some reason all the windows and the sliding glass door are open?"
Me: "Uhm, not anymore?"
Mate: "How bad WAS the smoke."
Me: "Not so bad once we all sat outside for about half-an-hour."
Mate: "I'll clean the oven before you use it again, how's that."
Me: "That would probably be best."
Oh yeah-- and one more thing I've been doing: Reading the Gin Blanco Spider books by Jennifer Estep-- I'm enjoying the hell out of them. Anyone who likes UCF--go ahead and read them. Lots of gritty fun!
Friday, March 25, 2011
Okay, so my knitting photography has never been the best--I'll just stick with Squish's expression here and call it good. It's a wrap, worked side to side, with a cable at the top and one on the bottom, and (this part's hard to see!) three medallion cables worked in the center. I'm about done with the second medallion, and am about to start the third--and I may even go back for another skein of yarn to do a hood with a cable...
And then I have to decide who I want to give this thing too, because it's alpaca, and I can't really be trusted with something that cool. It feels like angel's wings, did I mention that? Anyway--the cables show up better in person, and I'm hoping the design doesn't suck too much. It'll be able to keep a body warm during the next ice age, and that's always a plus in a garment.
And this is what happens when you don't watch the animals-- they have a party in Chicken's room and things get completely the hell out of hand! Look at that gray one--he's totally stoned. And the one in the drawers? Has a SERIOUS catnip addiction. Fucking animals... feed them, give them luvies, they totally think you're an enabler.
And other than that? I got nothin'. I've been writing up a storm-- 8K in two days-- and really enjoying the hell out of my project-- that's something! I saw a RL friend (the one with the wine... red, this time, which was a change! and we knit and made bread and it was a lovely afternoon...
Right up until I got home and realized that Big T, in a classic Big T move, had missed his bus and walked home because he couldn't get anyone on the phone. He didn't call his father (which is REALLY starting to piss me off) and he didn't let anyone know there might be a reason to miss the bus. This morning he did something similar, which was to wake me up and tell me he'd need to be picked up at 5:30. I told him I would be getting ready to go out with his Dad for an Intel thing, 5:30 wouldn't work for me, and to ask his father. He woke me up in ten minutes to day he'd need to be picked up at nine instead. I told him, for the fifth time, that MOM AND DAD WE'RE GOING TO BE OUT AT A WORK FUNCTION and to (get this--it's revolutionary) ASK HIS FATHER!!!
*grrrr* He never did ask his father. *shakes head* What is it about that? Why can't they ask their dad-- it's not like dad spoils them less than I do, and he's not nearly as moody. Don't get it. Don't get it, never will, but someday, I'd like to not be the one woken up at gawdawful in the morning to deal with it, you feel me?
Yes, yes, I'm sure most of you do;-)
Anyway--uhm, that's about it. Writing's a funny thing-- you're either doing shit all up in your head or pimping a recent or upcoming release. When it's the shit that's all up in your head, you're perfectly entertained--but, alas, not very entertaining! (That's why the word counts--I don't live an die by them, but, well, I just want to prove to y'all that I'm DOING SOMETHING, right? Especially as bad as the house looks-- if it wasn't for the little word count thingy on the bottom of the page, someone might come to arrest me for stealing oxygen!)
And now? Off to hope water aerobics haven't been cancelled. Swimming in fifty degrees--yaw-fuckin'-hee!!!!
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Okay-- I had two deadlines in one week. I had to have The Locker Room edited by Friday and a selection of blurbs in by tomorrow, and because I'm an idjit and do shit bass-frickin-ackwards, I started the editing first and then elected to do the blurbs second.
Anyway, let's just say I felt an inordinate pressure to get both things done by March 23. (Even though, mind you, Locker Room wasn't due until March 25th.) And I did! As I started this blog, it was done at 11:39 p.m., and I have 21 minutes to breathe!
Okay-- I really don't have too much to talk about beyond that. I did the water aerobics thing today--it was 47 degrees when I left. When I got out of the (thankfully) heated water, if I'd had balls, they would have frozen off. (Alas, the big ass has remained exactly where originally seated. *snark*) But I did that, scooted my contract off to DSP, and bought Squish some brand new dry erase pens and a board and eraser to go with them. It promises to rain for FRICKIN' EVER and I thought she'd need the distraction. (Dudes, the bulb project can be safely written off... if they had little bodies to jettison, the bulbs would have sent them up to show me that all life in the poor suckers were drowned. As soon as the rain lightens up a little, I'll go buy us some new bulbs and try again. Yikes!)
So I'm back to hobbling my fat ass around the neighborhood in my rainslicker for exercise. It's a good thing I don't melt... but maybe it would make my life a whole lot easier if at least parts of me melted in the water-- just sayin'! And I do find it a little bit funny (not too much--it's going to happen again!) One of the things people found 'unbelievable' in Keeping Promise Rock was the flood that occurred in a pivotal part of the book. Well, Levee Oaks is based on a REAL town nearby-- one we drive through in order to get to my daughter's dance lessons.
Folks, those smaller creeks (like the one in the picture) are rising, and the Discovery Park (which is along the American River) is flooded again. We're promising to rain for another two weeks, and I'm telling you-- floods look like they're coming. Floods--big floods--happen in Sacramento. In fact, John Sutter wanted to build Sacramento someplace higher up, but James Marshall built Sutter's Fort near the river anyway. (I forgot how Marshall won that argument-- it was something underhanded.) Anyway, the damned city flooded for its first fifty years--the existing city is built on the silt and ruins of the previous attempts. Once every ten years this city floods, and once every twenty-five-thirty years it has a big kahuna. I lived through the big kahuna in 1986 barefoot and walking with my best friend on a deserted country road, trying to get to her horses which were JUST FUCKING FINE thank you--but that's another story. The second one happened while we actually lived near the river. My husband's mom called us up and asked if we were under water. We said, "Huh?" and she said, "Turn on the television!" We did, and every apartment building on our block EXCEPT ours was flooded. Dayum-- sometimes you're under water, and sometimes you're watching otters swim for it.
So anyway, my suburb is a little higher than the flood plain (although there is a small creek near us that doesn't look too promising) but I've got my eye out (as, I'm sure, does every weather service in the nearby area.) What happened before is that the ground got saturated, the waterways got high, and then a warm rain melted the snowpack, and WHOOSH! No place for the water to go. It's not a tsunami, but after Katrina, the big skeery buzz was that Sacratomato was the next New Orleans. They've shored up the levees since then, but seriously--I've got big eyes, like this: 0.0 --there are good things and bad things about living in the same place all your life. The bad things I could take two more blogs to list, but one of the good things is that at least you know what your natural disasters might be. Earthquakes, floods, and the occasional tornado.
I'll watch for the rain and hope for the best!
And I SWEAR I'll have a personal picture next time. I've got my deadlines met (for the moment) and tomorrow is all writing. And, of course, the twenty-one minutes to breathe:-)
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Sort of random various shit to report, but first things first:
* Yes, I totally had my ass kicked in Round 2 of DU BWAHA. I Was not expecting the round to start that night (because there was something else on the site that said they weren't voting again until the 19th) and suddenly, voila! I was getting the beat down by Josh Lanyon. My one consolation (besides being in the ring with Holy God Josh Lanyon!) was that if I'd managed to get the same number of votes for Round 2 as I begged, borrowed, scavenged, and scrounged for Round 1, I would have totally won. That makes me happy-- and makes me very grateful. Thanks for everyone who nominated me and voted for me--you all rock, and that was TOTALLY FUN! Maybe I can write something outstanding and get nominated next year? I'll keep my fingers crossed!
* The Locker Room is out on April 22nd, and Waiting will be out on April 9th. WOOT! I'm really excited about The Locker Room--I'm proofing the galleys right now, and I'm like, "Oooh.. I don't suck!"
* I got a lovely visit with my Aunties Monica and Carol last night. That NEVER happens--but I just sort of zoomed away from the family, went, sat, knit, and talked in the dark. I love them both--I've just never really had a chance to visit them without my kids. I want to do it again.
* On Friday, I went to pick up Zoomboy at his friend's house--he'd gotten out early and I asked his friend's mom if she could keep him so when i went back to pick up Chicken's friend Stivie, I only had to make one trip.
I hadn't been planning on staying, because she was waiting with wine. And bread starter. And now I'm totally girl-crushing on this sweet woman with four kids and a reasonably messy house because she wants to be my real life friend and she got me to bake bread. And now I have to get the recipe from her because IT WORKED and it TOTALLY DID NOT SUCK! WOW!
* Oh yeah-- Living Promises now has a contract and will be out Late July/Early August! WOOT! I'm so excited about this one, but a little worried too. (Really, Amy? You worried?) Anyway, this work is just not that angsty. I'm sorry-- I mean, I know it should be--it deals with dead boyfriends and HIV, but Jeff from KPR and LP doesn't do angst. He just doesn't. He's snarky, sarcastic, and occasionally bitchy. Collin, his love interest, meets him snark for snark, and both of them are just too damned tough to go into angst. They know about death, they know it could happen to them, but damned if they're going to spend their time getting upset about that. They're both a little self-involved, both a little vain, and both a little bit hot tempered, and both totally survivors. I love them--I love their chemistry, but they're not Deacon and Crick, or even Mikhail and Shane. They're just two regular guys, trying to get by. I hope you guys love them like I do. (And as much as my beta readers, who kept assuring me that they were awesome, even as I said, "But, there's not a lot of angst." They were like, "That's okay-- with their backstories, too much angst is a really bad thing."
* Tomorrow I shall take a picture of Squish and my WIP-- I'm really getting excited about it, even though there's a mis-crossed cable down at the bottom that I have no intention of actually fixing, but I may do the Yarn Harlot's cosmetic fix, so I don't feel like a total slacker.
* My Alpha book is progressing at a satisfactory rate. Seriously--I'm having fun. If I wasn't writing doing some other work for DSP, I'd be on NANOWRIMO pace with this one! GO DRAGON GO!!!
* In the meantime, enjoy Spike. I know that a LOT of people told me that Adrian reminded them of Spike from Buffy, but although I've been watching the series for the last year (for the record, nearly six years after Adrian died for Cory and Green) I didn't really see it. There were superficial resemblances, of course--cockney accent, white blond hair (although Adrian's was floaty--and natural) and blue eyes--but I didn't really see the 'feeling' everybody was talking about. But now that I've seen the last episode (and thanks all of you for not warning me that was coming. *sniffle* Fucking series finale.) I totally get what you were saying. Eight years after the series ended, I am now totally in love with Spike. *sigh* I'm ALWAYS five-ten years too late for cool. But that's okay-- because Spike's mine right now, and not the entire world's. I'm totally happy with that. (Hmm... Spike & Dean... HelLO plotbunny... I swear, if I was doing slash fanfic, I'd SO... MMMMMMM...mmmmm.... yeah...)
* Aherm... anyway, I've been Twittering. I need to stop. It's not so much the timesuck, as it is the addictive properties. Besides... my dragon's getting snotty and screaming, "WRITE, BITCH, WRITE!" (That could just be Littlewitch, but I don't think so. The voice is deeper, and sort of growly.) But I need to remember how much fun it can be when I'm feeling lonely at home.
* It's supposed to rain a lot this week, which totally throws a monkey wrench in that hole water aerobics thing--and they're moving to another pool next week while the home pool is being repaired, and they won't have the same class times. *whinge* Yeah, I know, whine whine whine-- but I want to look not frighteningly blob-like when summer starts. It'll be the first time in quite a while!
* Chicken made it home safely on Friday night--I cooked corned beef & potatoes for her since we got to go out on St. Patrick's day, and that's one of her favorites. She was FULL of stories from her trip--I think she enjoyed herself, although I don't know if she'll cop to it. That's okay-- her story about the mornings was priceless. Apparently, all the girls in her hotel room woke up early and did their hair and their makeup and chattered her awake. "You need to get up! You're going to be late!"
Well, Chicken doesn't do make up, and her hair is limited to straightening her bangs so they don't spazz when she has her hair back in a ponytail. She got up, put on her clothes, straightened her bangs, packed her shit, put her shoes by her bed... and slid back in for another hour. She said they all stared at her and laughed at her--and then left her the hell alone.
*sniff* Makes a mom proud.
And that's alls I gots, folks--but then, I'm busy bowing in Joss Whedon's general direction.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
(EEEK! ROUND 2 STARTED TONIGHT AT 12 AM CST! VOTE HERE!!!)
Zoomboy has been looking forward to St. Patrick's Day for WEEKS. He painted a little pressboard chest all gold, and put jewel stickers all over it, with some shamrocks on the side, and then filled it with fake gold and little shamrock shaped emeralds made of paste. He bought one of those $.99 sun-visors and covered IT in shamrock foamy stickers too! He found (God knows how!) his shamrock dog that we bought last year right AFTER St. Patrick's day, and made us buy a St. Patrick's Day garland and some decorations for the mantle, and he set a leprechaun trap and EVERYTHING.
Well, last night, the leprechaun ALMOST got caught. He got away with the bait (the fake gold from the chest) but left green shirts and small toys for everybody! (Well, Big T got an iTunes card, for which he was extremely grateful.)
This morning, Zoomboy put on his shirt with a GREAT deal of enthusiasm, donned his hat, grabbed his stuffed dog and his green bakugan, and said, "Look at me! Happy Saint Patrick's Day!"
Goddess love him-- I couldn't love him more if he was made of gold and gave angel lessons instead of the odd-duck sort. He really is the bestest duck on the Emerald Isle, isn't he?
Anyway, his sister awoke long after he had gone to school, and proceeded to talk my ear off about how now we didn't have to worry about having enough money to buy toys because the LEPRECHAUN would do it for us! I pointed out that the leprechaun only did that once a year, but her wonder was TRULY astounding. It occurred to me then that Santa Claus is sort of a given, right? And the Easter Bunny--even if you're a practicing Christian and not a pagan (I mean, it's a pagan celebration anyway, right?) sort of comes out of left field, but they go with it. But leprechauns only visit certain houses--the ones with the parents in them who will buy green stickers and fake gold and allow children to build leprechaun traps in the living room that mom trips over six times during the course of March 16th and then keep them until the morning of March 17th.
You know, the ones with the suckers.
So her wonder really was well placed. Some random elf came by her house and convinced mom and dad to part with their gold so we could have one more thing on the floor on which to step at tHree in the morning. Magic IS real! And so worth it! I listened to her tell every adult she met today about that damned leprechaun, and each time, the adult looked at me with, "Toys? Really? Like the Happy Meal fairy isn't going to bankrupt me as it is? Jesus, lady, what's WRONG with you?"
*evil chuckle* Well, the list is long and distinguished, but I don't think letting the leprechaun show up this morning is on it!
And that brings us to my last Squish story for today. Many of you have heard about the random troop of turkeys (real turkeys, the kind that shit on your lawn) who wander around my neighborhood, but this neck of the woods isn't the ONLY suburb in the immediate area with a weird fowl situation.
I'd practically forgotten about what wanders the streets of nearby Fair Oaks until we were driving through the little main street today, and Squish said, "Mom, why did the chicken cross the road?"
Now (for obvious reasons) my stock reply to this one is, "Because it was stapled to the turkey!"
"No!" Squish replied, irritated. "No, mom--there's a chicken RIGHT THERE! Why did it cross the road?"
"Oh!" I said, light dawning. "Because it lives in Fair Oaks."
"Okay," Squish said, thinking. "Will it meet up with the turkey later?"
"Only if it crosses a LOT of roads."
"Okay. We'll see it later."
I doubt it, but I didn't tell Squish that!
And thank you all once again for DU BWAHA! RIGHT HERE!!!
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Round one is over and I'm still standing!
And tomorrow, I will post a date and time, so that you all can help me so that Josh Lanyon does not kick my ass too hard. (Keeping Promise Rock will be up against Fair Game in the next bracket. Josh. Lanyon. *swoon*)
Anyway-- I may have shared a little trash talking phrase with a few of you that I felt deep in my soul. If you feel compelled to do so--by all means, post it in the comments.
You KNOW I danced up and down in my kitchen, screaming it at the top of my lungs!
Thank you so much everyone who voted--I didn't ever expect to make it past round one, and I have, and I'm just SOOOOOO jazzed! You all rock-- thank you for your fabulosity--I'm humbled:-)
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Okay-- I'll be honest. I'm not expecting to make it much past round one, but I'm SO grateful for the people who nominated me, and excited and just, really really amped! to be on the nominee list, that I'll shamelessly beg for some votes anyway:-)
I'm actually in the second set of votes-- so, Round 1, set 2, and that opens at noon tomorrow (March 16th, CST)--but here's the link for when it's all ready.
In the interest of being totally honest, I will tell you this: If I'm a good girl and get all my computer stuff done early, I plan to walk away from the computer and not obsess too much. For one thing, I have kids to pick up (no gym, because it's raining and my son's out early) but for another...
I could easily let this totally overtake my itty-bitty bug brain.
My bug brain shorts out too easily as it is.
So I'll be finishing some socks for my auntie, or a shawl for my granny, or working enthusiastically on A Solid Core of Alpha (which is going really well at present--I'm liking it) or, well, anything but worrying.
I ain't kidding when I tell you that the cake was in the nomination. All the rest is icing. (Okay-- I'm looking forward to voting for a lot of the other nominees--I've always loved this contest--this year, I just love it a little bit more:-)
Monday, March 14, 2011
Okay--I got the e-mail today, telling me that this book
made it as a finalist at DABWAHA and, well, I'm jazzed.
For those of you who have not heard of DABWAHA, the link to The Smart Bitches is right here. It's a little like the Sweet 16 basketball tournament-- first you fill out your brackets, then they solicit votes, and each round of voting pitches two different books against each other until finally, only one book remains.
Last year, it was Jane Seville's Zero at the Bone (which is a rock AWESOME read, btw) and the m/m reading world rejoiced, because if you check out the contest, you can see that the eight different category are widely varied. There's historical, series, short story, Y/A, contemporary, PNR, GLBT and Crossover. So her book triumphed in a field with ALL books, most of them het, and it felt like a victory just because the playing field was even, right? It wasn't 'erotica' (just because it's m/m) it was quite simply, a very good book.
So, I got the e-mail today, with the button on it (WOOT! One of these days I'm going to put all my buttons on my actual blog background, because I'm told that's a good thing to do!) and the injunction to "Let the trash talking begin!"
I'm not great at trash talking. In fact, having met a lot of fellow writers in this last year, I'm not exactly sure we're a trash talking crowd, really. Quite frankly, most of us are pretty supportive of our fellow writer--we really want to see the people around us succeed, because it seems like good feeling about writing just spreads to the rest of us. That, and when we read someone's work that's so good, we only WISH we'd written it, most of us are inherently honest enough to say, "Uhm, well, shit. I only wish I was that good. You elevate the art--I'm proud to be in the same profession." And see? We're also pretty modest. In fact, we're so self-deprecating and (I mean this in the nicest way!) freakishly neurotic about producing good, quality work, that I don't see us doing a lot of trash talking, do you?
I tried. I DID! I looked in the mirror and said, "I'm better than you! Well I AM! Because, well, because! I'm insecure. I'm FAR more insecure than you are! And nervous--I'm the most nervous writer in the world when I release a new work--I've got you all beat hands down! I damn near throw up, I swear! So I'm insecure, and neurotic, and... and I SUCK! I do! I TOTALLY SUCK! I suck worse than you any day of the week! So, uhm, yeah. Vote for me! Because I suck!" (Then I give a nervous, ingratiating smile, for effect!) "Uhm, go me!"
*sigh* Yeah. No trash-talking here. None at all. It doesn't help that I'm up against Marie Sexton and Heidi Cullinan who are both so luminous and extraordinary in their writing that it makes me want to weep, besides being really lovely people, and James Buchannan whom you just can't help but feel is too cool for school, not to mention Josh-frickin-Lanyon, who is like the Bruce Springsteen of m/m romance! And, uhm, well... see?
But I'm really proud to be in the company I'm in. I'm assuming I'll be wiping the floor like a mop in the first round (although don't let me discourage ANYONE from voting for me! Yes, I'll post links, why do you ask?) but for me?
Making it into the bracket really is the honor. WOOT! GO ME!
Sunday, March 13, 2011
* I'm sort of simulblogging today-- you'll see why in a second, but I just ran out of time to do more than one blog post a day!!! It's rough when you live your life without time:-)
Okay, so yesterday I woke up in a panic, thinking it was my day to post at the Torquere LJ page and then I posted, and then nice people nicely informed me that I'd gotten the day wrong.
I was mortified, but not as surprised as I might have been.
It happens a lot to folks like me.
I very clearly remember having a conversation with a work supervisor. Could I make a deadline? Sure. I could do it. Was it possible to get a reminder that the meeting was that day? PLease?
The supervisor was dismissive--he was a bit of a tool anyway-- but he couldn't understand why it was so hard for me to remember a meeting. Just put it on the calendar, right?
For some of us (and we know who we are) we could have big neon signs flashing and a whole chorus doing the can-can all saying "MEETING WEDNESDAY" and we'd still miss the meeting simply because we forgot that TODAY was the Wednesday in the sign!
My Aunt, a successful graphic artist, told me that she had the same problem. "And people just look at you, like what kind of moron doesn't know what day it is, don't they?"
But it's true! And that's not the only break we have with time, either--for those of us who create or write or knit or basket weave, one minute becomes ten minutes becomes an hour becomes "Holy God, was I supposed to pick up the kids?" or "Oh, Geez, I'm sorry I missed our lunch date!" if we're not REALLY careful about it, doesn't it? And the really sucky thing about that time-reality disconnect is that when it happens the most is when we're creating something REALLY awesome. We slip into the 'create' zone, and the world goes away, and dumb things like 'time' are only a construct, and the true reality is what's going on in our brains.
Until we, say, you know... post a blog during someone else's time slot, and spend the rest of the day mentally thunking our foreheads with our own palms. *Doh!*
Anyway--the good news is that these really annoying time/space disconnects DO create some of our best art. I call it riding the dragon, and I even had my daughter make my little dragon avatar for just that reason. (He's eating plotbunnies... sweet baby... he got hungry!)
Anyway-- that was me, going on a little dragon tour, and I'm back now. Yesterday I posted the pictures for the Green's HIll werewolves books--I'm going to put them up again, because they're awesome, and because I love Jack & Teague, and because Green's Hill is one of my favorite places to be. I bet time doesn't exist THERE either!
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Time to breathe?
I don't. Unfortunately, I do seem to have time to eat. I always used to joke that if I ever got my dream to stay at home writing, someone would need a backhoe and a power winch to get me out of the house.
Uhm, anyone know where we can rent a backhoe?
Okay-- not that bad yet, but I am feeling as svelte as a manatee, so I guess it's a good thing I've been going back to the gym, isn't it? (Although I felt really bad, because I forgot about my class time and I had to take back a chance to go watch my neighbor's kid when she went in to get her ultrasound. I hate it when I double book things--you'd think, once again, that it wouldn't come up at the moment, but this stay-at-home thing is NOT as boring as people make it out to be.)
Oh--hey. I got an interesting missive in e-mail today. It's time to sign everyone up for soccer season again. As Zoomboy would say, "The hora! Oh my God, the hora!"
He doesn't really know what "hora" is--but he knows Dad says that whenever he loses something and has a complete world-screeching-to-a-halt meltdown over a five-cent toy he's not going to remember in fifteen minutes, so he assumes it's something we should take very seriously.
And speaking of things you wish you could unsay in front of your children, in case any of you ever meet Squish, if someone does something wrong in traffic, be sure to call them a "demented biach", because she already knows what THAT means. (That way you don't have to use any of the heavy duty traffic words, right?)
BTW, the dog, with her geriatric digestive system, has been trying to kill me.
I told Chicken this, and then went on to explain that I was starting to be able to guess who had fed her what based on the impurities in the sulfur bouquet she emanated, and Chicken started laughing so hard that she got me going.
You know that laughter that takes over your bodily functions until something has to go?
I almost killed my daughter with laughter when I broke wind in the middle of that conversation. I did. There we were, laughing about the poor old dog, and there was the buck snort that rattled the windows.
As Chicken convulsed and nearly fell off the rolling chair, I walked out of the room, saying with as much dignity as I could possibly muster, "Just remember, you may have been able to hear that one, but after what the dog's been doing, you'll never be able to smell it."
And then she really would have fallen out of the chair, but it had it the back of the wall by then and supported her weight just fine. Yup, me and the dog, just sitting in the house, creating toxic waste. Oughtabealaw!
Anyway, about the picture on the top-- last week was National Reading Week, with our favorite Seussian icon, The Cat in the Hat. Zoomboy has caught Dr. Seuss fever-- he's not so much into READING the Dr. Seuss stuff (although he had read Runny Babbit by Shel Silverstein all by himself, and is still ploughing through the mummy book like a bonafide champ!) but he's got a real jones for the swag that comes with it. His big purchase today (we went for St. Patrick's day decorations, because by now, they're really cheap, and the treasure chest he decorated didn't fill in that kitchy void for him) was a little ceramic Cat in the Hat, along with Thing 1 and Thing 2. He painted them almost immediately and started to set them up in a display case, and said, "Where will we put them?"
Well, damned if I know. Every flat surface in the entire frickin' house is covered by something that SOMEONE thought was pretty spiffy at one time and that we don't know what to do with now. Even now, sitting here and looking at, what I ahve to admit, is shit, I can't BEAR to throw any of it away. Big T made it, or Chicken brought it back from Hawaii, or my aunt made it for us or... Well... crap. Some of this shit really needs to go. It does. Next time I hit a big writing deadline (like I did when I finished Living Promises) I'm gonna treat myself to a big "chucking" of some of this memorobilia crap. I have to. I don't have any place for any thing new!
But you know what I'm not gonna throw out just yet?
This Cat in the Hat sticker that Zoomboy put on my laptop. Cause that, folks, is love AND art, and who can beat that with a stick?
And that's it-- my daily ramble. Nothing to report, but, like stay-at-home moms have known since home was a cave, everything that's important happens when there's nothing to report.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Okay, I don't know what's wrong with blogger, but the damn thing seems to be freezing my computer--but only when I log onto MY page. Folks, speak up--if that big honkin' picture of the happiness twins (otherwise known as my children beating the holy hell out of each other on a cliff) is freezing EVERYONE'S computer, well, then, I'll take it down and replace it with something easy and small--like the stupid dumbassed fuckheaded cat, right? (Steve has been out-steving the most determined Steve. She keeps escaping from the house, getting one house down, and looking at us, all panicked. "Fuck me! I never expected to get this far! WHERE THE HELL AM I? Take me home... but don't touch me... but take me home! Jesus, can't you people keep a cat inside? I hate you ALL!" And so on.)
Anyway, back to the picture actually UP this post, Waiting. Waiting should be out on April 9th (Yes--that's two days before The Locker Room, why do you ask? Is it because I'm going to be locked in another week long frenzy of pimping my book and then waiting to see if anyone read it and liked it, why, well, yes. That IS a recipe for insanity. Why do you ask? Well, yeah-- I'm already nucking fug buts, and again-- why are we asking?) and, anyway, yes, it's the second Jack & Teague (& Katy) story. This is the one that actually starts to feature the (& Katy) part-- poor girl--she's already waited 30 K to get some, she doesn't have to wait very long in this one!
Now, I've said this before-- the whole thing with the Green's Hill Werewolves is that I wanted to write something that's short, intense, and has a very tight plot arc. The weird thing was, that for me, there was no such thing as a story that was over after 30K, an that's how this one came to have six installments. What's weird is how weird people get aBOUT stuff like this. You make it very clear that it's a series. You make it VERY clear that there are more to come. You explain to EVERYONE that it's set in a pre-established world. And suddenly you're getting pummeled because there is a complete world built around it. *sigh* I don't get people sometimes. Really don't. But that's okay-- the people who really loved these guys to start with get to see them legit, and I think (hope) they're getting some new friends as we go. I REALLY want to see them open to ARe and Kindle--I'm not sure why, maybe it was all those years with Amazon being the only place I had that felt legit, but, well, it just doesn't seem like the book is released until it shows up on Amazon.com, yanno?
Anyway, that's about all for now, folks! We went and saw Rango this Sunday-- it rocked! (The voice talents were AWESOME--as was the in joke about Hunter S. Thompson on the way to Las Vegas.) And today, on the way to dance class, Squish heard this song on the iPod rotation.
"Mama, was song on the iPod or on the radio?"
"On the iPod, why?"
"Can we hear that aGAIN?"
So, uhm, once again, welcome to my soundworm. It's wearing tight, pegged jeans, a killer leather coat, has 80's hair, and made my little girl be-bop her head back and forth on the way to dance class. I think I'm in love.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
is selling okay-- it will help, I think, when the book comes out at amazon.com and ARe--I'll let you know what that happens. In the meantime, the link I just posted will get you to the Torquere website, and they have Kindle and Nook compatible formats available there.
--Living Promises is COMPLETE. Yup-- that's right! It's done! I'm waiting to hear from my editors to see if it's accepted (cross fingers, say a prayer, hope a LOT!) but the third Promises book is done. I'm planning for a 'revisiting' book in a year or so, but this is the final power couple-- Jeff and Collin, and it tackles some difficult issues and, well, it was a bear to write. I'm so glad it's done--and I so hope it doesn't suck!
--Waiting (sequel to Yearning) will be out on April 9th! Go Jack & Teague!
--The Locker Room has just had it's second edit-- and an editor that totally saved my bacon! It's weird, how much stuff that I LIVED THROUGH I completely forgot the details to. The trip from Sacramento to Carlsbad-- why did I write 700 miles? Was it because I was thinking seven or eight hours? I don't know-- but it's really 450 miles, and geez, wouldn't I have looked stupid! The same thing with the correct spelling of LeBron James, or which game in the series Robert Horry of the Lakers beat the Kings with an outside three-pointer. I want to bake this person cookies I'm so grateful-- and since that's the kitchen and cooking, you all KNOW how grateful that means! Anyway, on the second edit I noticed that it might not suck--so that's exciting too. Seriously-- my boy, Xander, ain't perfect, but he's truly endearing, and I really love him. A lot. (Xander's the one holding the ball in the picture above. Christian is the cutie standing on a box and kissing his neck. Yeah, I know, you can't see the box-- but since Xander's 6'9" and Christian's 6'3", you figure that's the way it's gotta be.
--Am breaking paper on Quickening this week. No-- I can't write it full time, and that's going to be hard, and slow. But I'M STARTING. Because I promised, And because I missed my Little Goddess a lot. And because so did you.
--Have broken paper on an interesting project that, for the moment, I'm calling "A Solid Core of Alpha". I likes it. I'm not going to talk about it for a while, until I get my world building just so, but it's sci-fi, which I really haven't done, and I'm hoping for a rather heart crushing dilemma, because, yanno, that's just my speed.
And that's writing!
--Going to knit night on Thursday. I loved it so much. This time, I'm NOT dropping someone off at a school activity on the way, no matter how much big T begs.
--Am working on six pairs of socks. Yup. You read that right. The good news is, I'm almost done with two of the vanilla pairs. The bad news is, the patterned ones have been in progress for over a year.
--Am working on a lovely alpaca shawl made out of chunky yarn. So, you know. If there's an ice age coming, my grandmother will be ready. it's designed side to side, with three medallion cables on the back center (and, I'm wishing I'd started those a little earlier, but I'm not gonna rip it out, because there's a deadline.) The design is... well, it's working. I didn't think it would work, but it's working. I think. When I'm done I'll take pictures and let you all decide for yourselves.
--Am working on another pair of fingerless mitts. I've got sort of a basic pattern here for worsted yarn and really small needles that I like, because they feel sturdy and solid. The pair I've shown here is using heavy worsted (not quite chunky) and slightly larger needles--I have large hands, they fit fine, but for normal people, I suggest a regular worsted weight and the size 4 or 5 dpns. I'm posting the pattern right here, in case anyone wants it:
Worsted weight yarn
DPN's, size 4
CO 40 stitches
k2 p2 for as long as you want
knit one round plain.
Start increasing for gusset in next round.
For right glove--
round 1: k 1, m1, k 1, m1, knit rest of round plain
round 2 (and all even number rounds) knit plain
round 3: k1, m 1, k3, m1, knit rest of round plain
continue increasing in similar fashion until you have 11 stitches in the gusset.
For left glove--
round 1: knit all the way until the last two stitches left in the round. m1, k1, m1, k1
round 2 (and all even number rounds) knit plain
round 3: knit around to one stitch before last m1, m1, k3, m1, k1
continue increasing in same way you have eleven stitches in the gusset
When gusset is finished, knit the stitches onto a holder in the next round, then join the remaining stitches together in the round after that.
Knit another 4-8 rounds, depending on how long you want your glove.
K2 p2 for 8 rounds after that.
Thumbs--Starting from join of the main glove, pick up three stitches on the side, knit the stitches off the holder, and pick up another three stitches from the side (for seventeen stitches--if you like a tighter thumb pick up fewer stitches.)
Join the round.
Knit three rounds.
Weave in ends.
--And that's it in knitting!
Besides driving me nuts (okay-- that's a combo of no writing time, no self time, pms and foot pain!) the following conversation happened that made me smile.
Squish: "Chicken, why are you up so early?"
Chicken (grumpy, frowzy, and barely awake): "Because some horrid little girl came into my room and shouted, 'Chicken, we're all awake in the living room, but you can sleep in!'"
Squish (puzzled): "But I said you can sleep in!"
And that, folks, is the morning report:-)
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Not a damned thing.
Okay-- see, here's the thing. I've had the chance to be at home recently, and much to my surprise...
I'm okay at it.
I knit, I play with Squish, we do workbook stuff, I write professionally, I take walks, I'm going back to the gym (long goddamned story on how that fell through this morning-- suffice it to say that tomorrow I will triumph over bureaucracy, and leave it at at that!) and I actually clean the house once in a while. No lie-- clean the house, right? I even cook or something like it most nights--and you all know, that's a real goddamned victory, right?
I'm losing my speaking rhythm.
You know, that rhythm you have when you listen to people and then respond? That rhythm that lets you speak in a group without sounding like an offworlder, trying to find her feet?
So tonight I went to my favoritist of happy places, my LYS.
*ahhhh* My peeps.
To start with, there was a very funny, very flamboyant knitter who kept trying to show me a picture of a man in a thong he'd found on Ravelry... I was most disappointed that he couldn't find the guy in the thong, but I thoroughly enjoyed talking to the man with the sticks and string. He was not the only one to chat, and, (I know it will surprise some of you, that I should need this) I was most shocked to discovered that (get this!) EVERYONE was REAL! You know... like, not online? Sitting in the same room with a pulse and... well, real faces and work in a bag?
Yeah, I know.
And then I got home, and Zoomboy was right in my lap.
"Were did you go, mama? Where were you when you weren't with us? Did you bring us something? Why did you go away? Why weren't you here?"
And I thought, "Man, I need to leave a little more often."
Seriously-- his father doesn't get grilled when he's gone like that. The fact is, I haven't been out on my own since... since... yaoi-con in October!
Other people besides my family are good.
Not as good as that picture above (which I thought looked like what I wished I looked like if I lived in the 1950's) but... yeah.
I'm going again next week--you betcha!
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
I do believe it's true...
Are you looking at that sunshine in those pictures? The incandescent blue of a February sky? It was an awesome, amazing, lovely day at the zoo. I'm so glad we went. The unexplained teenager in the pictures is my daughter's friend, Stivie (so we've got Steve the cat and Stivie the friend--it works for us!) and as a whole?
We had a blast!
The San Francisco Zoo isn't like other Zoos-- many of the enclosures are wide, airy, and damned near like nature intended. That place where the giraffe is gnoshing? That's a five star hotel for 'raffes & 'bras & 'lopes. The Grizzlies have a lovely enclosure, and the lions? Lots of lion around.
There is a good feeling at this zoo--(okay--not my feet, which are not happy in the best of times) -- and there was a lot of laughter this day. Zoomboy, especially, enjoyed himself. Zoomboy is light and quick and can READ--he read EVERY informational plaque out loud to us, whether it was about the tiny Emperor Tamarind or the Blue Dyeing Frog. (He's got a thing for poison frogs-- they're like his FAVORITE.) Squish was happy (although she got hungry and tired toward the end-- four hours at the zoo is a long time) and Chicken had her friend to giggle with. Even Big T, who rarely accompanies us on family gatherings anymore (because he is old enough to stay home and play video games I guess) got into the spirit. He helped with the little kids and laughed with the rest of us--it was an impossible day to stay unhappy. There was just too much sunshine in the air.
Afterwards, we went to Bubba Gump Shrimp Factory (which has never stopped being heinously overpriced, but which we enjoy immensely) and Zoomboy got his ocean fix when we walked to the end of the pier afterward.
The short people slept all the way home. The tall people did some napping as well.
I felt like that cat, when we got home. The one curled up in her owner's lap, snoozing peacefully with a little cat smile on her face. Remember that cat? Or that Ziggy cartoon? The one with the caption that said:
THIS HAS BEEN A GOOD DAY.
Well, it was.