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

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Things I have left...

*  My sunglasses in a hotel room in Daytona

*  My rack cards in an airport in Atlanta

* My earrings. Everywhere.

*  My water bottles. Everywhere.

* My earbuds. God knows.

* Laxatives in at least four hotels and counting.

* An entire bottle of Advil in a Cafe aGoGo in Las Vegas.

* My event bags in my older kids' house because they stole them.

* My sense of humor at that last airport.

* My sense of purpose in the last day of the con.

* My diet in the restaurant with the A+ rib eye.

* My resolve not to drink wine in that glass of Riesling.

* My common sense in the hotel store when thinking about my kids.

* My charm at the dinner table when I break out the phone and start showing off pictures of the dogs

* My dignity when talking about turtle peen in front of a very amused Lyft driver.

* My heart, back in Sacramento, where I'm going back to find it again.

Orlando RWA2017 it's been wonderful--but I need to go home.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Not dead yet (but I did take a night of rest)

Okay-- so, per usual, RWA is a whirlwind of amazing people to talk to, workshops to attend, and appointments to make.  If I tried to put it altogether for you, I'd fail miserably.  When I go home and try to tell stories about cons like this, mostly what my family gets is numb silence, followed by random non sequiturs through most of the next month. I'll be toodling along, and then I'll go, "Oh, hey, when I was with Karen Rose at RWA we went to this great African restaurant at the Disney resort, and I had the most  AMAZING wine. I mean, I actually drank alcohol. I was stunned."

Or, "Okay, so I was at RWA when I got kidnapped by my boss and I went out to dinner with the lovely ladies at DSP, and I love going places with them and I want to go out with them forever and ever and ever!"

Or, "Oh yeah-- Karen and I copped a knit-- that was fun. I also knit during a couple of panels, but I did not, alas, finish Lynn's fingerless mitts."

There's always, "Geoffrey Symon made my day about six-thousand times this trip--and I finally got his number in my phone. I'm like, 'Yay! We're friends!"

Same with Cathy Tully, who is about the fiercest most awesome broad at the con.

Oh--here's one that just popped out in convo with the fam tonight: "I got to tell Sylvia Day that Chicken was a huge fan!"  (I told Chicken this, and she said, "Yeah, that's fair." Which is practically gushing high praise from Chicken.)

And then there was this moment--"So, did I tell you that Suzanne Brockmann told me her son, Jason T. Gaffney who writes too, is a fan of mine? SHE TOTALLY INSPIRED ME!!!"

Or, "Sue Brown-Moore and I had lunch with Lynn West, and there wasn't a lot of work but I did enjoy the company of two lovely women. Oh--also, Sue and I got to tell about the amazing thunderstorm we watched from her balcony. Because those things will bond you."

Of course, I led with, "Oh! Hey! Elisabeth Staab and I are rooming together again this trip! I'm so excited--we make good roomies!"

And I've been telling everybody that, "Did you know Andrew Grey got the centurion award this trip? We're all so proud for him!"

Oh-- and, "I gave Rayna her shawl-- she seemed to really like it, but of course it's hotter than the sphincter of hell here in Florida, so I'm not sure she'll get a chance to wear it."

And so on.

So it's been an eventful trip--and tomorrow is the book signing, and I'm sure it will be even more eventful!

But tonight, I admit, I wasn't quite feeling up to the noise and excitement, so I spent some time sleeping and eating and, well, finally, blogging.

Tomorrow I'll be up and about and ready to collect more stories, more moments with friends, more knowledge, more memories.

It's always worth the trip.

Monday, July 24, 2017

On a jet plane...

Me: I'm going to the mall and to get shoes--you guys can go or not, but I'm not buying any--

Kids: We're going.

Squish: I need loafers.

Me: That's fair--ZoomBoy, we'll wait until after my check to get you new Vans, okay?

ZB: All I want is pretzels.

Me: That's fair.

So Squish got loafers, and, well, a pair of blinded out $7 sunglasses, and I got flip-flops and a Tardis dress.

And ZB got pretzels.


And one more thing...

Mate: Do you want one of these Mrs. Fields cookies?

Me: No. I had one.

Mate: Why did you buy them?

Me: Because I had to look at my ankles under fluorescent lighting today.

Mate: So...

Me: They're ugly.  Huge, bloated, swollen--like dead rotting whales attached to my feet.

Mate: And the cookie was gonna help that?

Me: I just wanted some justice. If my ankles were going to look that bad, I wanted to actually EAT SOMETHING that would make them look that bad.

Mate: *shakes head*

Me: Yeah, well, good news is, I've eaten one. Have some of the rest of the dozen.

Mate: *stuffs mouth*   Sure.

And finally...

Watched Armageddon while folding clothes and packing...

*sings badly* I'm a leaving, on a jet plane (totally plan on Sunday to be back again...)

*waves* See you there!

A story in pictures...

 So, on Friday, we all dressed pretty and went to the salon to get our nails done, so mom has cute toes for RWA.

On Friday night Mom spent from  12-4 a.m. in the hospital with her oldest, while he recovered from an asthma attack, so Mate took the younger kids to soccer camp the next day, and then we went out to eat with their grandma.  When we got home we started looking for Zoomboy's dance shoes, because the entire family thought they had seen them in the last week.

We had not. We are officially the worst parents EVER.


This morning, after a bright and early start...

We got the kids to the fair at 10:20. 

 Where we saw chickens.

We also saw cavies. Lots and lots of cavies. In fact, we saw a convocation of cavies, conjugating in cages.

We even saw cavies getting their hair done for their show. 

Although I didn't get a picture of the handler doing her cavies hair, I do treasure Mate going, "Is that thing bound to the little pedestal," and me saying, "No, he just sits there. It's his thing."  It's amazing what you learn from internet videos--thanks everyone from my FB group for sharing that little tidbit, I felt very smug.

Yeah, fine. There were also bunnies, but this year, the cavies won. 

We also got to see dinosaurs. 

Or, as Squish said, "Dinosaur on dinosaur action."  It was all very exciting. I should note that when we went BEHIND this dinosaur, Squish said, "I don't see the pink spot the cats keep showing us when THEY walk away."

I said, "That's because on a cat, it's the eye of a demon. On a dinosaur it would be like the Eye of Sauron--a terrible vortex of evil that entire people would disappear into, and the nice people at the fair wanted to spare us that."

She was very grateful. 

Mate saw the dinosaur, laughed, and posed like he was running away. I said, "Go do it! I'll take a picture!"

He laughed.

"No, seriously--I'll take a picture. Of course, you know where I'm posting the picture."

"Everywhere," he said. Then he posed, because he's made of BeefSquatch AND awesome!

After the dinosaurs, we saw the student art--so much good stuff, but these two things were my favorites:

And then, after that, it was time for the reason we came. And, yes, we sent our son backstage with NO SHOES and a VERY IRRITATED DANCE INSTRUCTOR because, as I have mentioned, we are terrible, terrible people, and by the time we realized the shoes were gone, we couldn't find a place for fifty miles that sold them so we could pretend we had them all along.

But they did pretty good, don't you think?

And then? Afterwards? 

We went and got barbecue, and thank God nobody got a picture of me eating ribs because I'd never live it down.

And then funnel cake.

And then? 

It was three o'lock, and the kids were like this:

That's cooked and done.

Me too, for the record. 

And I'm out of here--blogging might be spotty next week. I leave for RWA LITERALLY in the asscrack of dawn. So, look for me on other social media, and I'll try to remember pix!

Night all!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Health Care

Yes, I usually save my politics for Twitter, but I'm tired--for reasons I'll explain later--and a little punch drunk and pissed off.

I'm a soccer mom. A SOCCER MOM. There's a lot to hate the GOP for, but right now, what I hate them MOST for is making me involved in politics when I'd rather be SOCCER MOMMING goddammit. For real.


I have two adult children, living on their own, paying rent, car care (one of them), food, utilities--you know. Basically being grownups. In the last two months I've had to take them both to the ER.  Chicken because she fell down the stairs and cut her knee open, and last night, I spent three hours in the ER because Big T had an asthma attack and needed a chest X-Ray and a breathing treatment.

Big T is fine--but, of course, with the health care so big in the papers, it did make me really grateful for the fact that my kids are still on our health insurance. The ER copay for each kid was only $100.

Yeah. Only.

Nearly twenty years ago when we were applying to buy our house, we had to clean up one little matter of credit on our record-- $180 because I took my son in because he was crying and he must have an ear infection, dammit, right? What he had was a cognitive disability that nobody took the time to diagnose, but we didn't have health insurance at the time, and--24 years ago--$180 was the running fee for a kid in the ER.

And we couldn't pay it.

We dodged creditors for YEARS because until Mate got out of school, we flat out didn't have the goddamned $180.

I am well aware that "only" $100 would level my kids right now. They couldn't pay the actual fee on their own--they'd have to be billed, and then they'd be dodging that creditor for years until they found some semblance of financial stability.

I've lived without insurance and with children.  I lost my first teaching job because I was pregnant with  Big T when I was hired. Since Mate was still working restaurant work and going to school, we ended up on Medicaid when I got pregnant with Chicken. Do you know happens when you go into a hospital with Medicaid to have a baby? Well... first they condescend the SHIT out of you, and then when you give birth they ship you out ASAP. I know that they try not to do this anymore, but I walked into the hospital at 7:40 in labor with Chicken and gave birth at 8:19 pm. We were out the door at 10 a.m. the next morning. Frankly, if it had happened with ZoomBoy, he'd be dead. He became non-responsive after 14 hours and they had to feed him through a tube in his nose. Yes--poor health insurance WOULD HAVE killed my son.

But I digress. (Face it--I ramble--it's nap time for Amy, because getting to bed at 4 a.m. is not as easy as it used to be.)

What I'm saying is that health care is immediate. It's real. It's worth calling your senator for. It's worth not forgetting.

God, I want to be a soccer mom again and only a soccer mom. But I am a soccer mom and a college graduate's mom and a minimum wage earner's mom and a dancer's mom, and the mom to people who have to breathe and live in this world. (And yes, climate change and pollution ties into EVERYTHING too.  Yesterday was a spare the air day. He had an asthma attack because he works next to a mechanic who pumps a lot of crap into the air. Go figure.)

I have to stay involved, at least until I know that if my son has to go to the ER without me, he can afford to pay the bill.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Eight of Wands

So I leave for RWA at the asscrack of dawn on Tuesday, and I am currently... overwhelmed.

Things to do:

Dye hair.

Do nails. (This has turned into a family event, much to Mate's chagrin.)

Grocery shopping for family.

Last minute shopping for me.

Soccer meeting for Squish.

Trip to the fair so kids can perform.

Find dance costumes and shoes so kids can perform.

Finish an incoming edit.

Have 20K on current project.

Walk the dogs, do the laundry, fold the laundry, decide what I'm wearing.

Find my good shoes.

Prepare and send out my blog tour for Red Fish, Dead Fish. 



I'm so going under.

The kids keep trying to talk to me and I'm a million miles away.


I'm going to leave you with a story of Mate and why he's awesome.

I was talking about my current project, and all of the things I wanted to write and how I wanted to market stuff and how I wanted to branch out and... and I started hyperventilating because consequences beget consequences and you have to deal with those consequences and even more consequences happen...

It's terrifying.

And Mate said, "Stop it. Just write the story. It's like freaking out in case you win the lottery. Nobody wins the lottery and if you do win the lottery it usually ruins your life. Just work every day and play and enjoy yourself. It'll happen--or it won't. We'll be fine."

He's a wise man, my Mate.

But he's wrong. I already won the lottery.  I married him.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Nobody's Mouse But Mine

So we got back from vacation and the dogs forgave me...

But my computer mouse didn't.

It didn't work. I mean... DIDN'T WORK.

Because of my computer set up I was bent over double over my console and going back and forth between an ergonomic keyboard and the touch mouse on my laptop.

I mean, I could do it--and I was even getting good at it, but my back was killing me.

And about five minutes ago, as I was sitting down to my computer to blog (wondering, "Hey, what am I going to blog about today? I saw Spiderman Homecoming again and it was AWESOME.") when  I reached automatically for my mouse...


I almost cried.


He looked at it. "This isn't the same mouse."

"No," I said, because the other one had been red. I didn't realize it was red until now, with the little black one, but yes. It had been red.  "It's... wait. Which one was my mouse? Why did the mouse change? Where did the mouse go?"

"Well, since Chicken was here watching the kids, I'm assuming she accidentally switched mouses. So, you know. That's yours you got back."

And now I feel bad. I didn't recognize the non-identical twin. But it's okay--the mouse apparently forgives me...and OH BABY, DID YOU MISS ME?

Monday, July 17, 2017


Gonna ramble.

First of all, people want to see me in Orlando (see yesterday's blog) and I think that's fantastic! I can't wait to meet folks at the signing! Wheee!

Second of all, I've never been thrilled with boxes.

Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. 

Yeah--most people remember that Emerson quote wrong. They think it's "foolish inconsistency"--but that's not what Emerson is saying. He's saying that we really fuck ourselves over trying to keep EVERYTHING THE PERFECT SAME ALL THE TIME.

In short, boxes aren't great.

Most holy books have inconsistencies in them. People start wars over whether or not they should be read one way or the other--so essentially a book who's entire purpose is to tell people to be nice to each other, give back to the earth, feed the hungry, educate the poor, respect the personhood of all persons becomes a tool of violence and oppression.

People want rules: I want to get away with as much as possible without being thought of as a bad person. Give me rules, and I will obey the rules and nobody will think I"m a bad person but I can still bully people on the internet and be judgey as fuck about people not me and think that mental illness and teen pregnancy and opioid addiction will never happen to me because I checked all the goddamned boxes.

But the fact is, sticking to those rules may be easier, because a person doesn't have to think, but it means that following the rules leaves the world at large at the mercy of people who DON'T WANT TO THINK. Like the people who believe, "Hey! This list of rules says homosexuality is BAD. If I'm not homosexual, I am not BAD, so I can be a complete and total vile ass-worm to anybody homosexual, and I am GOOD."  Now, I obviously don't feel that way, and people reading my books aren't going to think that way and that's fine. But what about people who think LGBTQ rights are GREAT, but adhere to progressive rules with the same zealotry as the redneck adheres to his fundamental church. "Hey, this list of rules says only idiots get pregnant as teenagers, so that must mean it's BAD. Since I had MY children in perfectly planned accord with my income level and support team status, I must be good, so I'm going to be judgey as fuck and a total assworm to anybody like that, and I am GOOD."

Which isn't good at all.

It's substituting one list of rules--one set of checked boxes for another--and then doing the same damned thing. "I have checked all the boxes, so I am good, and I can be a total twat to anybody who doesn't match this set of boxes."

When we were in the classroom, we were told to have a few general rules-- For example "Respect people's time"covers everything from "Don't talk when the teacher is talking" to "Don't ask dumbshit questions when other people have real ones," to "Don't be tardy and if you ARE tardy don't make a big furry assed deal about it that interrupts the whole goddamned class." You don't need to make a giant list of boxes to check if you have a generally good idea in place of the list of boxes. And that way, the kid who sees that someone set fire to the bathroom isn't going to be afraid of blurting out, "HEY OMIGOD THERE'S SMOKE!" because the teacher will send them to the principal's office before pulling the fire alarm.

In fact, it often seems like long specific lists of rules are made specifically to let people like politicians and dirty cops and people like Anne Coulter (who is a vile assworm) get away with doing and saying horrible things to people--like, say, shooting unarmed citizens and then saying, "But I was using a department accepted protocol of racially profiling to determine my life was in danger from a twelve year old with a candy bar in his hand."

It's like, "Hey-- that wasn't on my list of unacceptable boxes--I'm still a good person and can't be held accountable because YOU DID NOT TELL ME SPECIFICALLY THAT KILLING AN UNARMED PERSON OF COLOR WAS BAD IF I GOT CAUGHT DOING IT."

Which is, of course, totally evil and unacceptable vile fucking bullshit.

But that whole box thing--it does give people an out, particularly those who don't like to think, don't like to monitor their own morality, don't like to assess whether or not their hurtful behavior should have any internal consequences even if the external consequences are, shall we say, sorely lacking in depth and appropriate severity.

And the more one side (the left) sees the other side doing it (the ultraconservative dickweeds who want to kill the press, steal our health insurance, starve the children and enable the rapists) the more they feel justified in doing it themselves. For every politician going, "Hey, nobody is going to hold me accountable for this NRA kickback I'm getting to let my own citizens blow themselves up," there's a left wing troll screaming in someone's face about what should be a simple difference of opinion and not a blood-letting matter of extreme and dire proportions. And while the troll's actions aren't as dire as the crooked GOP's willingness to ignore moral bankruptcy, they don't make the wall of good we're trying to build any stronger.

I'm just saying--goodness is simple. Goodness is forgiveness. It's the strength to say, "I don't think that's right," and to do something to right the wrong. There is no requirement for being horrible to people, in goodness. It's EVIL that comes with all sorts of boxes checked and arguments made as to why being a shitty person if just fine because the boxes were checked, right? Legally it's all hunky dory! Ethically we're great!

I think Christopher Moore said it best: Feed the hungry, heal the sick, educate the poor. How hard is it to fuck that up?

Or was it Jesus who said that--different words, same meaning?

Or was it Mohammed?

Or Buddha?

Boudicca? Athena?

I'm sure it's out there somewhere, in a zillion different quotes.

Here's mine:

There is no list of checked boxes that can make us right if we still behave horribly to our fellow man. There just isn't.

So there you go.

Rambling, incoherent, and probably destined to piss people off.

But I bet this one's hard to put in a frickin' box, right?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Necessary promotions

Okay--so, we're all home safely and, frankly, for the last two days, have been made of sleep.

Seriously--I had no idea how tired we were, but after yesterday--and two naps!--I thought about it, and it took us seven hours to drive from Monterey--most of it was traffic. We stopped and played at the beach for a good three hours--long enough to toast all of us crispy pink and by the time we were home?

So. Tired.

Anyway-- today has been mildly productive work wise, but it was 107 today. The dogs had to settle for a morning drive as we went to start Chicken's car. By 9:30 it was too hot for their little paws on the pavement.

All that being said, once we got home, I had an ack! moment of "ACK! I LEAVE FOR RWA IN LESS THAN TWO WEEKS!"

And of course, about four days after I get home, Red Fish, Dead Fish is out, so I figured, since it's going to be bit of a rush (I've got a blog tour planned--something special that does NOT entail me talking about, well, me!) I would get all my balls-walls advertising out today.

So... Here we go.

For those of you in the Orlando area (and I know some folks!) there is going to be a book signing for RWA--the little thing up there tells us it's 3-5 Saturday night, and it gives details. This is a charity book signing, which means your money for the books goes to literacy programs, and I'm pretty sure it means there's only a nominal fee (if any) to get in. I'll be there, with my spiffy new flag (this is a note to myself to bring it--I keep forgetting I'm leaving the state, and I have to bring book stuff, and omfg I have to wear ACTUAL CLOTHES and not shitty jean shorts and tank tops.

So, yes-- the charity book signing. If you can make it, odds are good I'll be wearing clothes. Whoopee!  (Note to self: Buy hair dye, get nails done, get toes done, and maybe wax the unibrow, I am trying not to look like a troll in public. Done.)

Okay-- so whew! There's the first thing off my promo list. Check!

The second thing on my promo list is Red Fish, Dead Fish,  which is now available for presale HERE AT AMAZON, and also HERE AT DREAMSPINNER  I should have details for the blog tour up here before I leave for Florida-- let's cross fingers, yes?

And the third thing was just a reminder that Manny Get Your Guy is out, and that so far the feedback has been pretty good.  I start the fourth one in the series-- A Fool and His Manny this month, so all of the excitement is keeping me in the groove--the Channing/Lowell/Graysons are not quite over yet, and I'm ready to celebrate. Don't forget--The Virgin Manny is the first in the series, then Manny Get Your Guy, and, as of May, we'll have Stand By Your Manny.  I had to write all that in a row, because the titles. Could you not just DIE?

Anyway-- there you go. Promotions away. I'm so excited--are you?