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

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Birthday

So, someone posted on FaceBook, "I hear you turned 15! Who said dyslexia is all bad?"

I love that guy.

Anyway...

Yes, it twas my birthday, and I'd planned to have a regular day, followed by a nice dinner at Tahoe Joes w/Mate.

Except Mate got sick. Like, he's falling asleep now after his two hour nap sick. And suddenly, all the regular day things-- walk the dogs, pick up Big T, go grocery shopping, drop stuff off at the Goodwill, cook dinner for the kids--became... well, sort of sad.

Except Big T cooked the pizza while I napped, and then served me pizza while I sat and watched a favorite movie, and then, just when I was thinking, "Oh, crap, I need to take him home," Chicken showed up. He'd texted her while I was napping, and said, "Let's not make Mom and Dad take me home--it'll be a birthday present."

And my stepmom called, and so did my stepbrother, and real-mom sent a card and of course, Mate got the pet door...

And the kids did the dishes and cleaned the bathroom.

And it's funny, how even the smallest shit can be huge when you're fifteen.

It's been a good birthday.

I'll make it to steak dinner eventually. Hopefully Mate feels better tomorrow for HIS birthday.

Hopefully we can do enough small things to make 15 feel like a much grander number.

Beauty and the Beast

When I wrote Sidecar, and Casey didn't know about the AIDs crisis in 1988, people wrote me and said, "But he was only 150 miles north of San Francisco. How could he not?"

Well, I didn't.

I mean, I'd heard of it, but nobody talked to me directly, and even though some of my friends were gay, they didn't seem to have it, so why would it affect me?

And I'm not sure when I realized that it should affect everybody. Was it an episode of Designing Women? Was it And the Band Played On? (I hope not--that was so long afterward!) Did a friend finally tell me to pull my fucking head out of my ass, I wasn't the only princess on the goddamned planet?

I don't remember what it was. Maybe it was the combined weight of all those things. Maybe it was when Magic Johnson told the world he was HIV+ and a friend of mine had a full blown crisis.

Maybe I just grew up--when I talk about being a girl from the hills, I'm not kidding. Sure, now Loomis is a bustling metropolis with over 10,000 people in it, but when I was in high school it had less than 3,000, and Rocklin, where I went to junior college was not much bigger. We looked shit up in encyclopedias and microfiche then, and the internet was a thing that other people had, or that made that weird grinding noise when you turned on your modem.

Maybe it was when I went to San Francisco State for a year, and people were passing out condoms all the frickin time.

Or when I became sexually active, the summer before, and I realized that I was really lucky that neither of us had a sexual history to discuss and that the pill was great because I didn't have to worry about where Mate's penis had been prior.

But realize, I did--eventually. And as the full scope and horror of the situation descended upon me, I realized how stupid, how self-involved I'd been to not know.

And how many potential friends passed away when I didn't even know there was a monster out there to take them.

 When I started writing gay romance, I knew that fear, that history, was a thing I could only touch on peripherally--I hadn't lived through it. It had been reported to me. I had very little right. It wasn't mine.

Tonight, Squish--age 12--and I watched the live action Beauty and the Beast-- while she was shopping for a new book, by the way--and just before Gaston started to sing "Kill the Beast", I paused the TV and told my daughter about Howard Ashman, and why this song was about something bigger than Beauty and the Beast, and about all of the horrible things I know about that time now that I had been blind to when I was a dumbfuck teenager from the hills.

I told her about the things I've read since, the movies I've seen, stories from people I know who had to go to a funeral a week, articles about the woman who gave her family inheritance to bury people whose families wouldn't even come claim their bodies.

And some people may be going, "She's twelve! Does she really need to know that?"

But she's reading Rainbow Rowell and John Green and probably secretly looking up m/m fanfic on her phone, and I felt like if she was going to be part of that reading culture, she needed to know the things that I hadn't. She needed to feel some of the history, be made part of the larger world. I pieced together my empathy a bit of information at a time.

I gave it to her in blanket form, and we both cried as we looked at all the pieces.

It was so fucking tragic, and nobody in her class knew about it.  "It's the punchline to a joke," she said in disbelief. "And now I'm mad about that, because this is awful. How can we not know?"

I know where my shell of cluelessness and innocence came from--I built it to keep me safe from the awfulness of my own world which I don't talk a lot about, and probably never will. Maybe it flaked away a piece at a time as I got strong enough to deal with the world at large and learned to compartmentalize my own damage where it couldn't corrode my empathy for other people.

But my children have had a good life. The things that hurt me have been kept far away from them, and I always hoped that would make them stronger.

Today my kid saw a thing I was afraid to face, and she cried, and then she took the knowledge to her heart and let it make her a better person.  I think she's going to take that knowledge out into the world and help make it a better place.

And while I'm not proud of the clueless little space cadet I used to be, I'm proud of the children that girl grew up to raise.  If I've contributed nothing else to this world, I've given it better human beings than I ever was, and maybe they can make the difference I could not.









Thursday, September 27, 2018

Politics


So, I was going to write a post and say--honestly, I thought--that I had never been sexually assaulted, but I lived in fear of it.

I was going to say that I believed the women who'd come forward, because I am the most likely person in the world to just be quiet, just hold it close, just eat it to death and maybe tell four or five people in my life that it ever happened and think that was good--that made me an open book. 

I was going to stand with my sisters and say I'd been fortunate--so fortunate--that I'd never had to deal with the trauma of being criminally assaulted. 

Just groped, you know. Harassed. Laughed at. Just put into the uncomfortable position of having to say, "Uh, no, I've got a boyfriend, you shouldn't do that."  Just forced to ask my daughter if I should tell her grandparents about the incident or if she'd rather we kept it quiet because it was her discomfort we needed to respect, and the rest of it could go to hell. Just confided in during college and uncertain as to what she was saying because was she really saying what it sounded like she was saying until my friend said, baldly, "No, this was coercion," and I grew up and said, "Did you report it?" And she said, "No. I went to a rape counselor instead." 

Just told again and again and again by people I knew and loved and respected that it had happened and stood in awe of their strength, helpless, because there was nothing I could do to make it better, I'd never be able to make it better, and every small incident I remembered in my own past paled in comparison to the abuse of others I've known and yet even those things were awful and humiliating and frightening and they weren't anything, just small things, just a drop in the bucket of rape culture, not even worth talking about.

I've never been criminally assaulted.

Bully for me.

Fuck anybody who thinks that means it doesn't happen. Fuck anybody who thinks it hasn't happened to people they know. Fuck anybody who thinks its rare and it can just be gotten over and all these women should just get over it because it's all in the past and it doesn't matter any more.

It's a splinter in the soul. Shrapnel near the heart. A festering wound waiting to burst. It's human pain and the staggering indifference to it on behalf of the politicians who are supposed to represent us is symptomatic. These are the people who starve children, separate families, back sexual predators, cheat companies, fuck over education at EVERY opportunity, and have sold our country to the highest bidder.

Their gross and bilious fuckery does not lessen the importance of what we know.

Real men don't assault women. They don't rage at them. They don't intimidate them. They don't beat them.

The politicians can fuck off. Can fuck ALL the way off. We will raise our sons to be gentle and our daughters to be strong, and dammit, we will start to fix the world. 

It is time to NEVER let puckered angry white men speak for us again.




Pet Door

So Connie Bailey (*all the love in the world for this woman who is my soul mate and my sister*) took pictures at the workshop, and sent us the files. I used one of them for a new picture on FB but figured I'd let you get a look at them.  It's funny--I would have said the top one--eyes squinched shut and smiling--was the most me, but Connie really loved the last one. The one where I look mysterious and thoughtful.


I'll take it. Mysterious and thoughtful? Not usually my thing. But I'll take it, just this once.

So, still tired--today I got up super early and my nap? It was epic. It was also a day of communication--Elizabeth, Mary, and, later, a podcast interview with Geoff Knight of Geoff and Will's Big Gay Podcast--I'M SO EXCITED--it's coming out right when Hiding the Moon is, and whee!

Anyway...

So news here?

Well, I regret to inform you that my dogs are too stupid for the pet door.

The cats? They get it. It makes it possible for them to go in, then out. Then in. Then out. Then in.

Then out.

Which seriously is like third on the list of things a cat needs to live, right after sitting exclusively in YOUR chair and nowhere else, and a bottomless food bowl.

But the dogs?

The dogs are...

Oh my God.

They're hideously dumb.

The whole family has taken to shuttling them out the pet door and then calling their names to get them to come back in. And yet, they come into the living room and look helplessly at the door, as if trying to say, "I know you're trying to tell me something... something... anything... I just don't know... can I get a clue? Wait... why are we doing this again? Let me in let me in LET ME INNNNNNNNN...."

Yes.

All of that.

They're trying to show us all of that.

And Mate and I are catching up on television.

There's a new young hottie on 9-1-1, and he's supposed to be the fresh meat that makes the old young hottie jealous.

I'm like, "For fuck's sake, if these two guys are not shirtless and making out by the end of the season I'm gonna be SO disappointed."

Anyway-- just to let you know I"m not dead, and that SuperBat is not my only default mode.

Oh!

Speaking of which--I'm putting it all together to make a document for Instafreebie, so people can download it and put it on Kindle.

Cause I'm good like that ;-)






Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Superman’s Bris

I LOVE my DSP weekend. I really do. I meet and plan and talk and even have an occasional panel to be on (which I forgot about and still showed up with an audio-visual aid!)

Anyway-- it was wonderful, and I may pull out stuff to talk about in the next week, and I have a few stories to tell about kids and dogs etc.

But while I was there, this started, and I felt it was important to finish it because... I mean, you saw the title!

While I was in Orlando, I got a very cool birthday present from a reader. She came to chat  and she sat down at our table and met me and Andrew Grey and Kim Fielding. The mug was a big hit, and the conversation turned—like they do. Of course, it was fueled by the recent Batdick controversy (and the fact that I have a picture of the original graphic novel frames on my phone that show very clearly that Bruce Wayne was circumcised) and Kim Fielding said she wanted THIS fanfic. It was important, she said. Necessary to life. The mohel, by the way? Was someone she actually met to perform a service for her family— she said I had to include him. It was NECESSARY.

Now I adore Kim, and would do ever so much to make her happy.

And of course, Andrea who gave me the mug deserves some happiness too.

So, here we go. Happy dinner table conversation—welcome to Superman’s Bris.

Superman’s Bris

Bruce kept telling Clark that the important thing was he was okay.

Six weeks recovery? Not a problem.

Broken leg, concussion, contusions? Batman had seen worse.

Superman had been there for worse.

Not a big deal.

But after their first night’s lovemaking, a couple of weeks before Bruce was allowed back in the field, Clark was driving everybody crazy.

Bruce would be up in the Eye in the Sky, analyzing data, putting together models of criminal activity to see if it linked to larger patterns, and Superman would buzz in through the electromagnetic airlock, slide his hand along Bruce’s back like he was checking for wounds, and then just buzz the fuck back out.

Bruce would be at work, laughing glibly about a skiing accident, when a mighty wind would haul through his suddenly open window, blow away all the papers, ruffle his hair, feel him up, and blow the fuck back out.

They would be sitting quietly, eating dinner, and Bruce would concentrate on his food—because Alfred cooked and fuck it all, he needed to concentrate on that shit—and when he looked up, Clark would be still be there, but Bruce would have the feeling of being surreptitiously triaged.

And Clark’s eyes would be glowing which meant he was X-raying his body through the table as he sat.

“Stop it,” he snarled.

“Stop what?” Fucking Kansas farm boy—guileless blue eyes. You could almost believe he was as innocent as all of that.

“Stop expecting my bones to shatter and my heart to stop. It’s sort of insulting. I work hard to stay fit. Unless there’s a bomb or a gun or a sword or something, I’m usually okay.”

“I don’t know what you mean.”

Bruce set down his knife and fork and glared at him. “You. Lie.”

Clark fiddled with his own cutlery, a complete uneaten steak on his plate. “Superman does not—“

“Maybe not, but Clark Kent just told a solid gold whopper. Christ on... on... on fucking crutches—“

“Which you still have to use!” Clark muttered.

“You’re being a child,” Bruce snapped. “Oh my God—did you never skin your knee as a child...”

And it hit him then. Like a clock to the jaw.

“You never skinned your knee as a child.”

The silence fell, a jagged granite boulder, plummeting through a black lake.

“No,” Clark said simply.

Bruce had a sudden thought. “You’re uncircumcised.”

The shock that washed Clark’s face scoured away Bruce's irritation. “Uhm...”

Bruce Wayne's smile was not sweet. It wasn’t pleasant. But it must have done something, something hot and wicked, because Bruce could see Clark's face flush from across the table.

His next words were enough to make Bruce strangle on his own tongue.

“They tried to have a Bris.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“The Kents. Martha’s family was, uh, Jewish. They were adopting me. They tried to have a Brit Milah. A Bris.”

Bruce put his elbow on the table and balanced his chin in the palm of his hand. “Do tell.” He may even have batted his eyelashes.

“It didn’t work.”

Bruce let out a positively filthy chuckle. “I know.” Clark's foreskin was wonderfully sensitive. Bruce particularly liked pulling it back and licking under the head, because Clark made the most delicious noises.

Just thinking about it, Bruce could almost smell his come.

And Clark was still stammering, still fumbling for words that didn't send the erotic flush rolling off him in waves.

“The, uh, mohel was... well I met him as an adult. He was sort of terrifying. Like, you know, this tiny man from Poland. He glared at me. We went to temple with Martha's family sometimes. Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur... you know. Most of the time we did midwest Methodist, but... I guess..." He gave a weak smile, and Bruce got it. Jewish/Christian, Kryptonian/Human--theirs was not the first mixed marriage in Clark's family history.

"So, a circumcision," Bruce said, to get the conversation back where he wanted it.

On Superman's penis. Because who wouldn't want to have a conversation about Superman's penis?

"Yes."

"And the mohel held a grudge."

Clark fidgeted with his silverware some more. "I... uh... apparently broke his favorite Kvellar. That's a, uhm--"

"Bris knife. I know. You broke it?"

Clark started to roll his knife. Like, a tube of toothpaste. Into a tiny little tube.

"Well, it, uh... you know. Broke off. On, my, uh..."

"Superdick."

He started to mold the ball of silver in between his thumb and forefinger. The knife was no longer a knife, it was now malleable silver clay.

"Foreskin." Still not meeting Bruce's eyes. "He, uh... broke three of them, actually. So, like, his favorite, and his two backups, and in the end, he just said I wasn't really Jewish. Cause, you know, you have to draw blood."

"So you're not Jewish."

He started to roll the little ball around on the table, like a marble, and Bruce wondered if it would be worth it to point out he was putting a divot in Alfred's favorite antique banquet table.

"No Bar Mitzvah," he said with a shrug. "But, uh, you know. Dad didn't take advantage, so no baptism either. Just... sort of let me choose what I wanted."

Bruce stood, without crutches, and used the table to balance as he walked over to take Clark's chin between his thumb and forefinger.

"What you wanted," he repeated.

Clark met his eyes, his cheeks a blooming red, white teeth sinking into his plump super-lips. "What I wanted."

"Do you want me, Clark?"

He dragged in a breath, and Bruce could hear the rasp. "So bad."

"I bleed."

Those Kansas-sky blue eyes closed. "I've noticed."

"I'm circumcised."

That lush mouth, sinful really, curved upward. "I've noticed."

"Would you like to know what I believe?"

Bruce could hear the bob of his adam's apple. "What?"

He bent his head until his lips brushed Clark's ear. "As God is my witness--any God--as long as I'm breathing, as long as my heart beats, I'll love you. And when I stop breathing, when my heart stops beating, the love will still be there. But I won't be able to play with your glorious, amazing body then, so you should use me while you can."

He nibbled along Clark's jaw, surprised when Clark tried to evade his kiss.

"I'm afraid," he whispered.

Bruce tried to make him smile. "You? Even your foreskin is stronger than steel."

But Clark would still not be tamed. "My heart--"

Bruce captured his mouth then, not wanting to hear it. Of course his heart was fragile. Tissue paper and promises fragile. Cornsilk thin. As substantial as a cloud in a a blazing sky.

But he opened for Bruce, groaning in need, and Bruce took over, straddling him carefully as he sat. Kiss, plunder--taste.

Clark returned then, hauling him close, and Bruce nibbled another path to Clark's ear. "We can eat later. Care to fly us to bed now?"

"Why bed?" Clark panted, and Bruce slid his hand between them, pushing the heel of his palm against Clark's burgeoning erection.

"I want to show you the blessings of a foreskin of steel."

Clark laughed--a fractured, needy sound--but Bruce wanted to tap-dance in triumph. "That's terrible."

"I'm going to tongue it, and nibble on it, and play with it and--"

The world swooshed around his ears and he found himself in their bed.

Naked.

A very naked, very muscular Clark Kent was underneath him, bucking up against his stomach, leaking a copious puddle of pre-cum.

"Hungry?" Bruce taunted, worming his way down, making sure the corrugated muscles of his stomach rubbed harshly against Clark's cock.

"You made promises," Clark growled. "Or were you all talk--alk!?"

Bruce loved his taste. Loved his width and thickness. His foreskin. All of it.

But as he played and nipped, nibbled and sucked, what he loved most was having Clark Kent at his mercy.

He was not feeling particularly merciful this night.

He teased and played until Clark gibbered with need, practically sobbed with it. "Bruce! Oh my God! Please--I need to-- you can't-- please--"

And then Bruce oiled his own aching cock and slid upward, thrusting into him without warning, knowing--after three years, knowing--that the roughness, the quick bite of pain, the intensity would put him over in the first stroke.

And render him helpless as Bruce pounded inside him, chasing his own climax.

He held it off as long as he could, watching Clark--flushed, sweating, head thrown back, eyes closed, body shaking with pleasure, with stimulation, with an orgasm that was still rippling through his cock, his taint, his ass.

Watching him abandoned, naked, losing all knowledge of his immortality, of his carefully instilled mores and manners, with his adorable farm boy shyness stripped away.

Just as vulnerable in spirit as Bruce was in body.

More so.

Afraid.

Afraid of losing the man he loved.

Bruce's climax roared through him, a cleansing fire, screaming out of his chest, his balls in a pump and a throb of come.

Bruce collapsed on his chest, still rutting, even after he'd slid out in a sticky gush.

"I'm afraid too," he whispered between their harsh breaths that filled the room.

"Yeah?" Clark's hand slid through the lock of hair that had fallen on his forehead, pulling it back into place.

"Of losing this. Of losing you. You've never skinned your knee, Clark. But you've had your heart broken plenty of times. It's no different for me."

Clark chuckled rustily.

"But you've skinned your knees."

"It was a warning," Bruce agreed. "That's all." He closed his eyes, his face buried against Clark's throat, and then opened them quickly. "Did I give you razor burn?"

Clark grunted. "Mm hm. It's that thing I do. During sex."

"Where we vibrate in quantum resonance." Bruce wasn't going to say it, but he had to. "I could hurt you. When we're together. Right?"

Another grunt. "I guess."

"I won't," he said softly. "Who needs a bris when you've got a foreskin of steel."

Another rusty chuckle and Bruce knew he would be okay. No more super-whooshing and triage-on the fly. Clark could deal now. Thank the deity of choice.

Whoever that may be.

*  *  *

Clark listened to him fall asleep, thinking about skinned knees and razor burns, quantum resonance and sex.

Bruce Wayne and how his fragile body held Clark Kent's fragile heart.

He started to plan then, for the end. For the many ways Bruce Wayne could die.

For the many ways Clark Kent could use the quantum resonance of his heartbeat to end his own life.

Bruce would never know. Clark would never tell him.

It was Clark's own covenant though. Bruce would love him after death--he'd promised.

Clark would be there, wherever Bruce was. Sustaining that love in whatever realm and whatever form they'd become.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Packing

Okay... so two things. Maybe three.

One. I'm the worst at packing. I've discussed it here many times.

My time honored packing technique consists of shoving in way too many clothes and then picking one item-- one!-- and, at the last possible gasp freaking out and shoving as many of those items possible in every corner of every suitcase available.

Going to Denver, it was T-shirts.

Once, it was underwear.

Sometimes, it's an extra pair of black stretchy shoes. Why not? I own four.

Very often, it's yarn.

In order to, I don't know, do this at a saner pace today, I decided to do NOTHING ELSE but pack. Like, I walked the dogs, finished an edit, and packed. Took a nap, and packed. Returned an e-mail, and packed.

For those of you who are as squirrel brained as I am, you can see what I'm doing here. I'm "rearranging" in my head. I'm thinking, "Hey, I've got fifty dozen T-shirts already, maybe not so much, yeah?" Or, "You know, it's 90% humidity and 90 degrees in Orlando. I'm pretty sure I only need two cardigans, and that's one for the way back and one for the hotel."  It's basically THINKING about what I'm doing before I panic and go FUCK I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M DOING.

We'll see how it works.

Two things I'm doing differently this time around.

A. I'm bringing my tablet and not my laptop. This scares me. My laptop was THE ONLY WAY to bring with me ALL THE THINGS. It's the ultimate in hoarding and packing. FOUR YEARS OF DOCUMENTS in ONE SMALL COMPUTER. It's genius.

But I depend on this small computer, and it costs a lot, and if it gets lost or destroyed, that's a replacement I can't afford. Besides, it's got FOUR YEARS OF DOCUMENTS in it (and yes, external hard drive, but my last one converted into a handy paperweight so I've been reloading it for the last year.)

So, I'm taking the tablet, with this month's project on it and the capacity to share google docs and hopefully that's all I need.

I also tried to make sure I can blog on it, because my blog is set up for one device only and I'm so good at pushing that one little button that I've literally forgotten how to log in from another device. So I fixed that and maybe I'll blog!

So that's happening.

B. The other thing is that I'm trying to be sane about yarn. I mean, yes, I've got five other projects in my luggage--small things--but I've decided to try this bag here for my carry on.

I know it doesn't look that impressive--I've got some ROCKIN' bags, and this is Michael's, very unassuming, but it fits in my carry on, and--the fun part--it zippers on the top and the yarn comes out the hole in the side. This is exciting to me because I'm THE WORST at dragging half-finished socks around airports, or dropping a ball at my feet. I'm a big girl. Those seats are frickin' tiny. I drop a ball of yarn in the center seat and that things gone until the whole plane unloads and I'm on my hands and knees, literally the elephant in the room.

So I've got the two projects tucked in the top, and when the time comes, I unzip, pull out a project, zip up again, and I can knit happily for the rest of the trip. I also remembered my Kindle, and the cool thing about the Kindle/yarn combo is that I can hang my Kindle from the seat in front of me and do both. It's marvelous. And it fits in the top of my bag, so my MO is to pull out the yarn bag, pull out the Kindle, put everything else over my head and voila!

So, I'm not saying this will be perfect--and I'm sure this is NOT the most exciting blog post I've written, but I have done some shit jobs packing and I have run out of my house with a terrible "FUCK!!!" feeling of not having everything done.

I figure, this time, even if I DON'T have everything done, at least I don't have that feeling, right?

I'll try to blog a few times while I'm at Dreamspinner Weekend. It's really one of my favorite events--I see a lot of people I really love.

It's why I pack in the first place, I guess ;-)


Road Construction

Just a quickie-- I'm leaving for Orlando on Wednesday morning--at asscrack Wednesday morning--and while I'm excited about the trip, I am, as always, buttfuck behind.

Seriously-- I started packing my knitting tonight, which means I'll think I'm all ready to go tomorrow and suddenly be shoving half my inventory into an overnight bag in case I get captured for 2-3 years and forced to knit for twelve hours a day.

Send handpainted Merino! I might be facing yarn pirates!

Anyway--

All that intro to lead into this story.

Which is terrible.

Chicken is taking classes in anticipation of getting her teaching degree--right now it's World Mythology which makes me super jealous because she's OBLIGATED (HAHAHAHAHAHA) to read and study world mythology, which is one of my favorite things.

Anyway...

She gets out around nine in the morning twice a week, then comes over to my house to go walk the dogs with me and, of course, get coffee.

The walks are always my favorite thing--she's great company--and it doesn't help that she flatters mom a little ("Mom, I swear to God, I needed you to come give your archetypes seminar to this guy because he was not getting it!") but this morning was a little rushed. She doesn't usually work Mondays but she did today, and I had to get home in time for her to take off.

Anyway, we've been having road construction on our street.

Now my street is a little known passage between two thoroughfares--with a couple of non-obvious turns, it can used as  a short cut as long as you don't speed because the speed tables will gut your car like filleting knife. For the last six months there has been MAJOR construction on one of the thoroughfares--right at the end of our street.

It's insane.

Our street isn't that big, and it's falling apart because of all the heavy machinery, and what they're doing (installing sidewalks) often means we're practically on the wrong side of the road while someone is trying to exit onto the street through a construction zone.

This is the street I go down to pick up/drop off kids every day.

There's a detour that doesn't take too long, but unless they set the big sign on OUR side of the dip, sometimes our only warning is a blocked road.

So, pain in the ass. Yes.

The other end of the street has no sidewalks, one streetlamp, and drop off gutters. Yeah, if you didn't know we lived deep in the heart of strip mall country, it would look damned rural. (We're the white trash family who let our lawn die. Now you know.)

Anyway--

We went for a walk, I remembered to take the detour back--the quick one that didn't make me double back--and as we were entering the narrow end of the road--the side NOT backed up against Sunrise Blvd. with all its insane road construction, I could see another road crew setting up.

ANOTHER ROAD CREW on the OTHER END of the street, which essentially means there's one way out and it's through a bloody fucking labyrinth.

So out of nowhere as Chicken was feeding the dogs their morning McSnack, I blurt out, "Jesus fucking Christ! More bloody fucking road construction? Our poor street is getting fucked at both ends--it's a goddamned spit roast!"

There was a moment of stunned silence. We both swear--a lot--but this was excessive even by our standards.

"Uh, spit roasted," I said into the silence. "It's a porn term."

"I know what spit roasting is, Mom."

I pulled to a stop in front of our house and looked at her, and we both burst out laughing.

And now we're gonna have that image in our heads forever, and I guess that's okay.

I mean, it's like the road construction--it's not like we've got any choice.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Breaking Point-- SuperBat

Image may contain: sunglassesSo-- Chicken gave me this notions carrier for an EARLY birthday present and I love it SO MUCH! It's small, so basically some scissors, a tape measure, and some yarn needles--or I could use it in my purse for small items-- either or.

It's adorable.

And it also put me in the mind for--you guessed it!

SuperBat!

Now I just showed a friend my collection and I've promised to pull this all together and give it an edit, so know that's happening, right? But in the meantime, I've got some Super-Angst to share with y'all-- enjoy!

* *  *

Breaking Point

The building came down.

Well, not all the way down--Superman was holding most of the thing on his back and waiting for Batman to get up after he'd been knocked against the wall by the blast.

Not this again.

Three years. Batman had recovered from the Mad Bomber three years ago, and they'd had three years together and they'd been great. Fucking blissful. Best years Clark Kent had ever lived, including an idyllic childhood in fucking Kansas.

And another bomb--this one made to look like a terrorist threat by a monster corporation--and Bruce got there in time to clear the building, but he'd refused to leave--had, in fact, been about to go find the bomb and diffuse it when Superman had stopped that shit and flew him out of the fucking building because he had some sense. 

And the bomb had gone off and the building had tumbled, knocking them both to the ground. Clark landed at Bruce's still form and caught the fucking tilting building on his back.

And now Bruce wasn't moving. And Clark was stuck.

"Uh... Clark?" Diana sounded in his coms. "We're all out here waiting and you are?"

"On the ground on the west side," Clark told her. "Bruce is down."

"Explain down?" Diana said, sounding panicked. "I'm coming over--"

"Tell her no," Bruce said groggily. He rolled over onto his back and squinted, and Clark saw the blood gushing through his nose. Fuck.

"Concussion?" Clark asked. He'd tried to hold on--but Bruce had struggled to get out of his arms and Clark had run into a tumbling pillar and--fuck.

"Yes," Bruce mumbled, heaving to a sitting position. "YOu're going to kill yourself holding that thing. We gotta figure out how to get you unstuck."

"Lay. Down." Clark was going to kill him. "Barry will come get you--"

"Barry's in another dimension tracking the business owner," Diana said tersely. "Hal's with him. The Hawks are on the other side of the world, Teen Titans are in California--it's us. Here. What do you need?"

"I"m trapped," Bruce said, looking around. Parts of the building had collapsed around them--he wasn't far wrong. "He lets go, the whole thing comes down. He tries to carry me, we both get crushed--except I don't have a crush proof container. We need a way to keep me safe while he lets the building go down, and then he can come get me."

"That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard," Clark said calmly, but inside he was panicking. He couldn't hold the building much longer. He couldn't. Oh fuck--he couldn't. Even if he threw himself on top of Bruce, Bruce would still be crushed.

"Can't you guys do that... that quantum resonance thing that Clark does during se--"

"NO!" they both burst out, and Bruce put a palm to a probably aching head under his helmet.

"It only works during that specific moment," Bruce said. "And I don't think either of us can do that right now."

He turned off his com and winked at Clark because he was an asshole. "For one thing, you'd probably rattle my head like an egg in a jar. Kersplat."  He turned his com on before Clark could tell him he was an asshole. "There's a concrete pillar here," he said, checking out the debris around them. Big, square, it ran behind Clark's legs because it had been near the blast and toppled sideways.

"So?" Clark asked, sweat popping out on his brow.

"So there's space behind it. I've got an oxygen tank and armor plates in my cloak. I get down there, cover myself up, and you let the wall topple. Then just get to me before my oxygen runs out."

"I don't believe this,"  Diana muttered.

Clark's thigh muscles were beginning to buckle. "We can't possibly--"

Bruce crawled to right under him and raised up on his knees for an awkward, bloody kiss. "I trust you," he said calmly. "I'll be okay."

And Clark almost cried. "You can't do this." Oh God no.

"I can and you can." Underneath the blood and the mask, Bruce's attempt to smile looked ghastly. "Come on, Metropolis--don't let Team Gotham beat you in the home stretch."

He couldn't. He couldn't leave and just let the wall fall and then hope? Hope for the best? But Bruce had disappeared from his line of sight and every sinew of Clark's body was screaming in pain.

"Go!" Bruce shouted, his voice muffled by what had better be an oxygen mask.

"I can't--"

"Fucking go! Diana, lasso him out of here if you have to but make him fucking go!"

"Fucking live!" Clark shouted and then he heaved upright and zoomed out of there.

The sound of the building crashing to the ground behind him was like the crack of the world.

It wasn't until he turned around and started to heave blocks of rubble out of the way that he realized he didn't have any idea how much oxygen Bruce had.

"Diana!" he cried. "Do you have X-ray in the fucking jet?"

"On it!"

"Alfred!" The old man carried a monitor on him for times like these. "Alfred, are you there?"

"Yes sir."

"Do you have any idea how long Batman's oxygen tank lasts?"

"Ten minutes," Alfred said promptly. Then, "Sir?"

"We've got seven to go."

The found him after twelve, body still and huddled, bat cloak spread from his head to his toes as he curled under it. His pulse was faint and thready, his respiration shallow. Diana had a spare oxygen tank in the jet and she slid the mask over his face as Clark got ready to take him.

"Batcave?" she asked tersely.

"Yeah."

A part of him kept trying to tell him that this wasn't as bad as the last time had been.

A part of him kept insisting it was worse. This time they had labored. They had fought. They had forged a working and personal relationship out of the strongest, brittlest materials in the world or outer space--Bruce Wayne's damaged heart and Clark Kent's adamant soul.

This time he had so much more to lose.

Triage went quickly--he needed fluids and oxygen and a splint for a stress fracture to his exposed leg. No bones popping through skin, thank God, and his concussion didn't need a hole in his skull either.

So bad.

But not Mad Bomber bad.

Six weeks in recovery--not four months.

He could deal he could deal he could deal

A/

Clark and Diana were sitting side by side next to his infirmary bed this time when his eyes fluttered open.

"Told you it would work," he said, trying for a cocky grin. He must have failed because Clark flew away.

Diana rolled her eyes, but she looked haggard and anxious. "I could slap you for that alone."

Bruce took a deep breath. "I hate that he worries about me."

"You're incapacitated, asshole. Of course he worries about you. I worry about you and you irritate me like no man I've ever loved."

Bruce smiled slightly. It was like being a superhero was an invitation to an incest club. Everybody slept with everybody else until you found a configuration that stuck, because sleeping outside the superhero club was an invitation for pain. At least you knew you still had to work with you ex in the club so you tried not to fuck them over too badly.

"Please go get him," he asked, feeling sad and needy. "I... I heal better with him here."

Her expression softened and she smoothed back his hair before kissing him on the forehead. "If that doesn't work for a line I don't know what will."

A few moments later Clark came back, wearing Bruce Wayne's sweats and carrying one of those cursed teddy bears that had been left in their room when Bruce had been sick two years ago.

Bruce allowed himself to smile. "He's not a good substitute," he said, since the bear was wearing tights and a cape.

"Yeah, but he's softer and more comfortable to sleep with." Clark's voice sounded fragile somehow. Broken.

"Come here," Bruce ordered.

"You're hurt."

Oh, wonderful. "Are we here again?"

"We're worse than here," Clark told him. "We're... we're beyond here. I could have lost you again and again and again and again and I don't think my heart can take it. I think I"ll die if I see you lying still again. If I have to hold my breath to see if you're still breathing. I can't function. I'm just... I can't breathe--"

"Sh... sh... c'mere..."

Clark came unglued. Bruce had done it a time or two--the time Clark had fallen from the sky had been the worst, but this... this felt familiar and alien at the same time. He fell forward, onto Bruce's chest, and Bruce just held him as he shook.

"What's the matter?" he asked tenderly. "I did all the good things this time, right? I told you where I was, I waited for backup. I trusted that you'd get me. All those things I wouldn't have done three years ago, they saved my life this time. Right?"

"But what if... what if... what if... I failed!"

He sobbed, and Bruce just kept soothing him until he was done.

"Impossible," he whispered, kissing his temple. "Not because you're Superman. But because you love me."

Clark nodded weakly and Bruce closed his eyes. Sleep. Needed sleep. Needed healing. It would all be better when they healed.

Maybe.

A/

A month later, Clark zoomed in right before dawn and Bruce was waiting for him, pissed off.

He'd been out patrolling--late and later and later-- anything so he didn't have to be there when Bruce was awake and wanting to talk.

It was rude was what it was.

So as Clark touched down in the bedroom and started to undress, Bruce sat upright in bed, obviously scaring the shit out f him.

"Naked yet?"

"Boxer shorts," Clark said shortly.

"Naked."

"We're not doing that until--"

"Crutches, Clark. I'll lie back and you can ride me like a show pony if you want. Or, if you're feeling charitable, I'll take a pity blowjob. But you and I are going to make contact tonight if I have to hit you over the head with a crutch!"

Clark sighed and sank onto the bed next to him, hands dangling between his knees. Bruce forcibly grabbed the one nearest and sucked on his finger hard enough to make Clark Kent shake with need, and he didn't let up until Clark whimpered.

"So you do want me?" he muttered.

"Every minute of every day," Clark snapped. "Do you want to grope my crotch to see?"

"Sure, if you're offering! What's with the disappearing act, Clark. If I didn't know you were being an emotionally avoidant baby, I'd be hurt! But I trust you, see? Because you're not full of bullshit, so somehow, this whole 'Let's wait until Bruce is asleep before I come in' shitshow is related to the whole 'Bruce got hurt and I'm weird about it' fuckery. What is it? Why are we not sixty-nining like it's a sport and whining that my ankle isn't ready yet because you want sex on a trapeze?"

A smile tugged at the corner of Clark's full mouth. "Sex on a trapeze was your schtick," he said fondly. "Before me, remember?"

Bruce leaned forward--awkwardly because his leg was still in a cast--and stroked Clark's cheek. "Talk to me!  All of my emotional growth and you can't be the repressed one here--we need you to talk--"

"Quit. Go up to the Eye-in-the-Sky. Be our commander. Just... just don't work the field anymore--"

"Get out of my bed and move out," Bruce growled, smacking him on the back of the head.

"I will not," Clark snapped, and Bruce would have been reassured if he hadn't been so pissed.

"Then what in the fuck is that bullshit? Retire? I'm fifty! Nobody retires at fifty! I've got fifteen more years--"

"Thirty years on the job," Clark mocked. "Isn't that retirement? Near as I can tell, you were running mini-batman jobs when you were a teenager. What's so wrong with retirement?"

"What's so wrong with fighting crime?" Bruce was seething. "I like my night job! I like moonlighting as BatMan-- don't you like being Superman? Doesn't it flip a switch somewhere inside you? What's wrong with you?"

"Are you going to make me say it?"

"Yes."

"Please--I feel like an asshole when you make me say it!"

"You are an asshole! Fear of losing me is not a good enough reason to ask me to stop being who I am! Who I'm good at being! Jesus, Clark--I wouldn't ask you to stop being Superman! Or stop working at the Daily Planet! And don't say that you're less vulnerable than I am, because we've both seen you bleed and we've both washed the other's blood off our skin and we know it's bullshit!"

"How do I do this?" Clark demanded. "I... a month later, I'm still seeing you, under that wall, and you were so still. And I was almost too late. And I just keep seeing you, not breathing--"

"Then remember when I breathed," Bruce ordered, voice softening. "Baby... your parents put you in a space ship and sent you into the big black void. How do you think they did that?"

"Their planet was disintegrating--you know th--"

"But how did they do it? Tell you goodbye? They didn't clutch you to their chest and hope the afterlife was sweet--they had some faith and put you in a little traveling crib and imagined you alive, and grown. And happy. Sometimes, that's all you can do. Just put your faith in your beloved's next breath. Come on... Clark. You seem to have so much faith in me, so many other times in our lives. Can't you have a little faith in this?"

Clark closed his eyes and Bruce too his hand again.

And sucked on his thumb, teasing a little with his teeth.

And tugged. And massaged Clark's thigh. He released his thumb with a pop. "Now c'mere. I can't do the trapeze yet, but I'd really like that apology blow job."

Clark leaned in and kissed him, and oh! His hands on Bruce's shoulders, making him feel small. Bruce loved that.

"Giving or receiving?" Clark growled into his mouth.

"Reciprocating," Bruce urged, and Clark chuckled. Then he took off his boxers and got in on his side of the bed, scooting so they were equipment to equipment, exploring softly, licking, stroking, nibbling.

Bruce needed this--so bad. Clark's cock, his nakedness, his gentle play. Sixty-nine was such a vulnerable position. You did your best, you treated your partner with your best tricks, your gentlest touches, and at the same time you opened yourself up and hoped for the same from them.

Bruce--buzzing from painkillers--hit his crest first, and as he climaxed gently in Clark's mouth, he gave a sigh of relief.

He'd wondered, these last three years. What was going to break first? Their relationship? His body? Clark's eternal worry?

He stroked hard and fast, knowing Clark Kent, boy scout, loved a little bit of roughness when he was emotionally wrecked, and Clark responded with a groan and came, hot and bitter.

Bruce swallowed happily.

His body had broken first. Clark's worry, second.

But their relationship?

That appeared to be stronger than both.

He'd always thought "I love you forever" was hyperbole. But as Clark rearranged himself and Bruce got comfortable on his chest, he thought that maybe it could happen. Maybe death was the breaking point, but maybe, just maybe, it was beyond.




Sunday, September 16, 2018

Who Am I?

Okay-- so some interesting feedback from a variety of places, much of it contradictory, has come to my attention.

It reminds me that not everybody knows who I am.

I mean, sure, I've been doing the blog for 12 years, and I've been writing for DSP for nine--but some people JUST met me, JUST read my books. And there's a lot of them. And they might not know what to expect from me.

So, who am I?

Hello--my name is Amy Lane.

Except it's not my real name, it's a nom de plume, but it's so close to who I am that even people who've known me as my other name still call me Amy.

Anyway--

Who am I?

I am a mother of four children, ranging in age from 12-25. The oldest has a communication handicap that has shaped my job history and my own personal values and my sense of empathy. The others are highly individualistic. Two of them are queer--but I didn't know that when I started writing gay romance, so lucky me for being exactly the kind of mother those kids needed to be comfortable and happy with themselves. Go them, for being born my kids! I couldn't be luckier.

I used to teach high school--for 18 years. I let my job writing interfere with my job teaching and lost that job. I miss it--the kids, anyway. Not the administration, because for the most part they were shitty white people (I believe I called them "puckered angry white men" 8 years ago during the "divorce proceedings" and I haven't changed that stance even a little.

I taught in what was basically an inner city school-- gun lockdown drills, gang problems, drugs, alcohol, whatever. What people forget about being a teacher in a school like that is A. The kids who are respectful but still question everything are your golden children and you prize them above diamonds, and B. Teachers don't bring guns, and believe teaching should stay that way. It was our job to DEescalate situations, not to pull out a gun and shoot. Guns don't belong in schools. Shame on anyone who thinks they do.

The entitled white kids were the bane of my existence. I had no problems with my diverse population--and I let them teach me as much as I taught them. It's one of the reasons I miss teaching--I used to learn so much.

I've seen the way this nation treats it's children of color. It's shameful. I've seen it in the budget. I've seen it in the administration. I've seen it in the teacher's room. I've heard it coming from the students' mouths. I've seen it so institutionalized even the people in the institution didn't recognize it until we stand outside looking in. Before "Black Lives Matter", and before "progressive values", and before an ignorant maggot issued the epithet "libtard", I used to look out at my incredibly diverse student population and say, "We. Are. Failing. These. Children."  And as time goes by, and I see more and more how and why that was true,  I get angrier.

I think ICE is the fucking devil. Besides students whom I loved, my children and I have people in our lives that have lived here legally for many years, and the fear of this illegal batch of storm troopers fucking with their lives is terrifying. There is no excuse for them--except fear, prejudice, and xenophobia, but since when were those things excuses for anything?

I believe in faith--any faith, really, even humanistic faiths--and I loathe dogma. That means that sometimes the "counselor" or "confidante" or "sage" in my books is a kindly therapist. Sometimes it's a wise father or a kooky old aunt or a middle-aged female vampire. And sometimes it's a rabbi caught sneaking a smoke behind the synagogue. Faith. Not dogma. Faith in humanity, a benevolent force in the universe, the capacity for human joy, the power of kindness--faith. Not dogma. Not even scientific dogma, although I am a big believer in science and education.

I believe in family, found or born. Or furry.

I believe in health care. I've got good shit now, but I've been pregnant while on welfare, and let me tell you, if I'd had Thing 3 under the same health care with which I had Thing 2, Thing 3 would be DEAD. The hospital would have kicked us out after 12 hours and my son would have stopped eating and died. And that's me. Educated white lady--albeit usually a soft spoken one. The hells that shitty health care can visit on a family are TREMENDOUS, and Obamacare (ACA) was not perfect but it was a start and we goddammit should have fixed what we had and not tried to dismantle it.

There is enough mental illness running around my family to fund an entire season of after school specials. If I went there in fiction, odds are, I've been there IRL, at least in some capacity.

Feed the hungry. Clothe the poor. Educate the masses. House the needy. Tend to the sick. I'm not Christian or Jewish or Muslim--am, in fact, pagan--but you don't need to have a religion to believe these things are important.

Just a faith, even if it's in human beings and not in divinity.

Or a conscience.

So that's me. There are other things, more personal things--I mean, I've been blogging for a lot of years, there's gonna be some stuff I missed.

If you didn't know before, you know now.

If you're surprised by anything I've written, I'm pretty sure you can go back and see my values reflected there. I'm not trying to scare anybody off, really. I just want to spare you the surprise.

That's me.

You can't really separate the beliefs from the books. If you don't like my beliefs, you probably won't like my books. Writing is personal that way--but criticism doesn't have to be.

Amy






Thursday, September 13, 2018

Nothing to report...

Image may contain: dog and indoor

"Mom, what's a textile?"

"Well, Squish, it's a fabric. Textiles are fabrics made of fiber. Knitted, woven, crocheted--"

"Oh. I'm reading about the textiles in Shetland."

I widened my eyes and got a better look at what she was reading. "What do you have there?"

"One of your magazines. I had to do a report on a magazine article."

"And you thought yarn was the way to go."

"Well, also you write for this one. I put it as one of the reasons I picked it."

"Okay then."

"It's an interesting article."

"I"m sure all the 12 year olds will be crazy for it. You were going to make a copy weren't you?"

"Oooh... yeah, that would be much better than cutting it out!"

"My editor probably thinks so too."


B. String Boys is breaking me. It's been a while since I've sobbed so openly over my keyboard. You're all welcome.

C. I made an experiment today. I instapotted a roast in a bottle of wine and some garlic bullion. Two goes at stew setting, then I took the meat out, carved it into cubes, threw it back in and added sour cream, and rice. 

My family thought it was amazing.

*bows*

D. We watched Desperately Seeking Susan tonight. Can I just say that I had a serious crush on Aiden Quinn (who sort of looked like Mate as a kid in that movie) and thinking about him now, in Elementary, I think he also looks like Mate (a very East Coast, Old Spice, cop-suit and bryll cream Mate) which is funny.

Maybe it's the eyes. 

E. Oh! And the picture! Squish took it while I was napping. She was like, "It looks like you killed all the animals, Mom!"

I looked at the picture and said, "Sleep bomb GO!"

And then we tried to find Geoffie.

I posted it on FB and offered a prize who could accurately count how many animals in that shot excluding the big mammal in the middle--most folks got it right, but not everybody.

Silly Geoffie ;-)


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Rage Against the Machine

So here I am, doing great on the fiction part of our program, but with nothing to talk about.

I mean, Ambrosia and Idris visited, bringing baby Ellie with them, and she's getting SO BIG, and the sweater will look ADORABLE on her, and it was a lovely visit--but, like a dork, I got no pictures.

Hard to blog about the adorable baby with no baby pictures.  She IS in that phase where she eats everything though, and one memorable moment had her digging her tiny fist into the crevice between the couch cushions and producing a wad of polyester stuffing.

Which she shoved in her mouth.

Also, the dogs didn't shut up. I had to hold them and feed them treats constantly, and man, that seriously cut into my baby-holding time.

Anyway, here I was, tap tap tapping away, when a noise started.

A voice.

In the living room.

It's reciting dry facts and puns in a voice like a snotty calculator, and I think, "Wait a minute..."

I track the voice to its source--under the small couch. (The one that had gotten happily eaten, earlier today.)  I tugged on the cord and voila! The offending piece of machinery.

I took it to the kids' room and poked ZoomBoy with a stick.

"Yo. Make your possessed machine shut up."

"Oh God."

"I'm not kidding around here--it was dead quiet in the living room and it's creeping me out."

Tap tap tap. Blessed silence. "Sorry."

"Clean your room tomorrow."

"Yeah. Definitely."

"Ugh."

"Sorry."

I stomped my way back to my computer and turned on Spotify.

This is NOT the first time this has happened.

Fucking computer.


Monday, September 10, 2018

Monday Monday

And today we established...

That extra Del Taco brought inside and set on the stove counts as dinner if mom's still napping when dad gets home from work.

That my eldest daughter, Chicken, believes Geoffie is marginally cuter as her hair grows out in front of her face, but that A. This establishes her identity as a roomba and B. She doesn't smell good. At all.

That the chicken I made last night and then sautéed with garlic and vegetables was GREAT, but put that same chicken and broth in with some noodles and carrots, you are lambasted for having chicken soup that "tastes funny" and the Del Taco was enough, really.

That I will eat my funny tasting chicken soup and like it. No, not for spite. Mostly.

That a short enough layer on my hair qualified as "bangs" and renders any questions about my next dye job moot because OMG MOM HAS BANGS.

That Mate likes Bosch better than Luther because it freaks him out when Luther talks to the serial killer.

That I'll watch Bosch with Mate because I think Bosch (Titus Welliver) LOOKS like Mate and while he doesn't see the difference, the similarities are pleasing to the eye.

That Mate's resemblance to Titus Welliver doesn't preclude an insane drooling attraction to Idris Elba, who, if he likes a serial killer, might not think I'm that weird!

And finally...

That it doesn't matter which one we watch, there are few things more pure than a boy and his smelly roomba dog, watching television together.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Beetlejuice!

Okay--

So on Saturday morning, we were all getting ready for Squish's soccer game.

And she suddenly started yelling at the dog. "Gibbs! Gibbs! What the hell are you doing down there under mom's feet! She's on the toilet, Gibbs! You're such a weirdo!"

So while I'm still going, "You're in my bathroom why?" she keeps going off. "You two--" she points at the other dogs, "--are garden variety everyday weirdos, but Gibbs? You're the super special ultrasonic holiday variety weirdo!"

And at that point, ZoomBoy comes running down the hall yelling, "What? What do you need? WHY DO YOU KEEP CALLING MY NAME?"

So, now we know. Just like we have to call Geoffie three times-- "Geoffie Geoffie Geoffie!"-- we also have to call ZoomBoy three times. But we have to call him "Weirdo."

And I have to be on the toilet.

Because heaven forbid it happen while I'm anywhere else.

And given how many times he's said, "Idindoit!" this weekend, we figure that's his whole new name.

"Weirdo Idindoit!"

That time spent with the baby name book was a total waste.

OH! (*scurries into living room to take a pictures*)

So, I also stopped by Babbetta's today-- my LYC.

And I showed her pictures of ZoomBoy's sweater.

She liked very much--she likes to see what we do with our yarn--and then she said, "I bet you didn't use a pattern for that, did you?"

"No--I've been having fun seeing if I can do it just using my knowledge of garment construction."  (Rudimentary as it is--fitting is completely beyond me.)

"See? We had a workshop last week on how to knit a sweater from the top town. Everybody had a baby sweater by the time they were done--it was really cool."

And then I went and got that item in the photograph from my yarn bag. "Like this?"

"YES!"

"Yeah-- I've been experimenting with a lot of those patterns for that magazine I write fiction for. The knitting one."

"Well those are beautiful. I'll be interesting to see that written down."

And I"m compelled to remember something I actually wrote a long time ago, in Winter Courtship of Fur Bearing Critters, when Rance said, "My knitting is simple. But it's good."

And yes, this is crochet, but the idea is the same. My needlework is simple--very simple--but apparently it's built on solid ideas and good yarn.

That makes me sort of proud :-)

Thursday, September 6, 2018

In Which the Damned Dog Makes Me Look Bad...

It was bound to happen.

See, Geoffie is a bad dog.

I mean, I love her, but she barks at everything, doesn't listen, and you have to call her like you're summoning Beetlejuice. "Geoffie Geoffie Geoffie!"  You only say it once, she doesn't appear.

Anyway...

So we were walking at the park, and we met a frequent flier.

People like to talk and say hi, and they would, I think, not mind talking to ME, except almost uniformly, Geoffie scares them off.

She's just so LOUD.

So this older guy (I say conveniently ignoring the fact that all my grays are showing and my face is not aging well) is walking his graying Chihuahua--a bigger one, like twice the size of Gibbs. We meet him all the time, and Geoffie barks and sometimes they touch noses and sometimes she barks her ass off.

And in the past, when she's done this, if I've let her go after a couple of meetings, she will make a friend. There will be some chase, some barking, some playing, some fun, and then she'll come back, I'll put her on the leash, and she will trot proudly, tail in the air, because SHE has deemed herself the cutest one of all.

So I asked the guy if we could try it this time, too, and he said yes. I think he wanted a walking buddy and we see each other all the time.

How bad could it get?

Oh, Geoffie, you are a BAD DOG!

She went charging for this poor old Chi-hound, who turned around and ran in the other direction and then swung around her master and almost took him out! Like an ATAT in Empire Strikes Back-- and on the one hand it would be EPIC but on the other, OMG, GEOFFIE! GET BACK HERE! And then, embarrassingly enough, I had to summon her like Beetlejuice.

"Geoffie Geoffie Geoffie!"

I put her on the lead in complete mortification. "Oh my God! I"m for sorry! That's the only time that hasn't worked ever!"

"It's okay. She was just asserting herself."

"Yes, she was. She is a BAD DOG."

Geoffie just looked at me, smiling, tongue out. She had CHASED the interloper, and she had TRIUMPHED!

Oh my God!

I'm so lucky the guy was nice.

I"m so lucky his dog was fifteen pounds instead of fifty!

I'm so lucky the Beetlejuice thing works and she didn't go kiting off into the wilderness to take down a pit bull!

Augh!!!! GEOFFIE!

So anyway, I woke her up to take this awful picture for this blog post, and I don't even feel bad. Take THAT you terrible miniature hound!

It's at least as bad as you made ME  look!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Was that your Auntie?


So, tonight was the kids' first night doing pointe dance. 

Now Chicken didn't do pointe dance-- she stuck with adult jazz because she was all about soccer. But ZoomBoy REALLY wanted to do pointe class, and Squish didn't want him going without her and so pointe class it is.

It's 2 1/2 hours of dance on Wednesday nights is what it is.

Just looking at them, torsos straight, legs painfully positioned-- it made me hurt. (I was seated in a really uncomfortable chair, so that might have been it too.)

This picture is a little blurry-- the room was dark and I zeroed in on my kids so you didn't get the whole lot of them (although they are all very graceful) and I think it's telling here. Squish still holds herself like a little girls.

Her brother thinks he's Mikhail Baryzhnikof (sic).  

A reader was texting me tonight, telling me I should record my inspiration for some of my stories as I go-- and usually I do. For instance, it's no secret that I got the idea for Jared's school from Behind the Curtain from the kids' dance teacher and her willingness to take anybody who works hard. 

Watching my kids work hard--especially ZoomBoy--who walked away exhilarated, like he'd been waiting for pointe class all his life--was really awesome.

Squish cried in exhaustion all the way home, though. Tomorrow she has soccer. I assume she's sleeping from Friday afternoon until her game on Saturday.

Life isn't always as easy on the young as we think it is.

Anyway, on the way home, I tagged Mate and asked him to get food so the kids could get ready for bed--it was almost nine!

As we were in the middle of exchanging our days (Mate signed me up to be on ZoomBoy's drama board. I am underwhelmed with excitement, because everything--EVERYTHING I tell you, about my psychological make up has created an excellent match for petty politics) ZoomBoy interrupted us for a note about science.

"How do you tell male ants from female ants?" he asked us, mid-kvetch.

"I have no idea," I said.

"You put them in water, and if it sinks, it's a girl ant. If it floats, it's a buoyant..."

It took me a moment to realize I'd been had.  

Then I had to relay the joke to Mate, because ZoomBoy was in the back seat and Mate couldn't hear it the first time.

After Mate had groaned, he said, "I thought they were all girls. Cause they're aunts, get it?"

And I was brought forcibly back to Men In  Black and "Was that your auntie?"

And hence the title of the blog.

And if you dream of ants in purple chiffon skirts doing stretches, I'm sure it's not my fault.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Kermit Flail-- Mystery and Suspense Version!

YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, I admit, this is a sort of odd Kermit Flail. 

I think folks were busy-- also, September is sort of an odd time to release a book. It's like the January of ebook retailers-- no "boys of summer" promotions, and the holiday promotions are two months away. 

But that means it's mystery season, both paranormal and suspense varietals (heh heh... like wine, right?) because everybody who submitted to Kermit Flail this month falls in that category.

We've got Rick Reed, a Kermit Flail regular, with Sky Full of Mysteries--and I have to admit, it looks both mysterious and poignant--and like there could be a lot of tears here. So, that's fairly autumnal, right?  

And Bru Baker, with a Dreamspun Beyond, Camp H.O.W.L. novel, and these look like a rollicking good time, this one included!  (So, you know, if you like this book, pick up the others-- that's always a fun thing!)

We've got a couple of sales-- Girl in the Mist and Fish Out of Water are both on sale for .99 on Kindle, and that's always exciting!

And we've got me, with A Few Good Fish, which is doing nicely, thank you-- some stunning reviews. I'm really proud that Jackson and Ellery stand up for this one as they stood up for Red Fish, Dead Fish, and Fish Out of Water.

And, last--but certainly not least-- we've got AN ENTIRE SERIES by Gregory Ashe.

I know that people who like series like Fish Out of Water are frequently looking for a new one--and this one was dropped into my lap by a fan of mine, who wanted to rec these books as well. 

And I've read the first few chapters of Pretty Pretty Boys, and they are gritty, and they are poignant, and they are action packed and the two leads are fucked up and and awesome. Seriously, if you're looking for a stepping off point, take a look at the Hazard and Somerset series--I can't wait to work my way through the whole damned list!

So there you go--a modest offering, but it all looks amazing, and I hope you enjoy!!!!

YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!


Sky Full of Mysteries

by Rick Reed

What if your first love was abducted and presumed dead—but returned twenty years later?

That’s the dilemma Cole Weston faces. Now happily married to Tommy D’Amico, he’s suddenly thrown into a surreal world when his first love, Rory Schneidmiller, unexpectedly reappears.

Where has Rory been all this time? What happened to him two decades ago, when a strange mass appeared in the night sky and lifted him into the heavens? Rory has no memory of those years. For him, it’s as though only a day or two has passed.

Rory still loves Cole with the passion unique to young first love. Cole has never forgotten Rory, yet Tommy has been his rock, by his side since Rory disappeared.

Cole is forced to choose between an idealized and passionate first love and the comfort of a long-term marriage. How can he decide? Who faces this kind of quandary, anyway? The answers might lie among the stars….

Buy at Amazon





Hiding in Plain Sight

A Camp H.O.W.L. Novel


by Bru Baker

Happily ever after is right under their noses.

Harris has been keeping a big secret for years—his unrequited mate bond with his best friend, Jackson. He’s convinced himself that having Jackson in his life is enough. That, and his work at Camp H.O.W.L., keeps him going.

Things get complicated when Jackson applies for a high-ranking Tribunal job in New York City—far from Camp H.O.W.L. The position requires he relinquish all Pack bonds… and that’s when his wolf decides to choose a mate. Suddenly Jackson sees his best friend in a sizzling new light.

Their chemistry is through the roof, but they're setting themselves up for broken hearts—and broken bonds—if Jackson can't figure out a way to balance his career and the love that’s just been waiting for him to take notice.

Available for Presale Here 


Girl in the Mist

by S.T. Young--

ON SALE FOR .99!!!! 

nfamous for infiltration and becoming her undercover identities, Nina Hernandez disappeared without a trace. Three years later, Naval Intelligence agent Rory O’Donnell finds her in a tortuous mental hospital. He's unsure if it's really Nina, or if she's undercover and faking it. Either way, he's pretty sure something sinister is going on...
Rory springs Nina, and together they elude their determined pursuers. He needs to get her to safety...all while keeping his hands off the beautiful, mysterious young woman. As he works to convince her to trust him and share her darkest secrets, he wonders if he can trust her not to betray his...
Between her mercurial changes, sexy come-ons, and her exasperating independence, a protection assignment has never been so hard. On a dangerous trek across the country as they tumble from one danger into the next, Rory finds that resisting Nina might just be his toughest task yet.



Sale! $.99 

A Few Good Fish

by Amy Lane

A tomcat, a psychopath, and a psychic walk into the desert to rescue the men they love…. Can everybody make it out with their skin intact?

PI Jackson Rivers and Defense Attorney Ellery Cramer have barely recovered from last November, when stopping a serial killer nearly destroyed Jackson in both body and spirit.

But their previous investigation poked a new danger with a stick, forcing Jackson and Ellery to leave town so they can meet the snake in its den.

Jackson Rivers grew up with the mean streets as a classroom and he learned a long time ago not to give a damn about his own life. But he gets a whole new education when the enemy takes Ellery. The man who pulled his shattered pieces from darkness and stitched them back together again is in trouble, and Jackson’s only chance to save him rests in the hands of fragile allies he barely knows.

It’s going to take a little bit of luck to get these Few Good Fish out alive!



Hazard and Somerset by Gregory Ashe

First Book: Pretty Pretty Boys

After Emery Hazard loses his job as a detective in Saint Louis, he heads back to his hometown--and to the local police force there. Home, though, brings no happy memories, and the ghosts of old pain are very much alive in Wahredua. Hazard’s new partner, John-Henry Somerset, had been one of the worst tormentors, and Hazard still wonders what Somerset’s role was in the death of Jeff Langham, Hazard’s first boyfriend.


When a severely burned body is discovered, Hazard finds himself drawn deeper into the case than he expects. Determining the identity of the dead man proves impossible, and solving the murder grows more and more unlikely. But as the city’s only gay police officer, Hazard is placed at the center of a growing battle between powerful political forces. To his surprise, Hazard finds an unlikely ally in his partner, the former bully. And as they spend more time together, something starts to happen between them, something that Hazard can’t--and doesn’t want--to explain.


The discovery of a second mutilated corpse, though, reveals clues that the two murders are linked, and as Hazard gets closer to answers, he uncovers a conspiracy of murder and betrayal that goes deeper--and closer to home--than he could ever expect.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Rocking the Sweater

First of all, Kermit Flail will be on Tuesday-- repeat KERMIT FLAIL WILL BE ON TUESDAY!

Yeah, I decided to take Labor Day off-- sue me!

So, for those of you who didn't see it on Twitter or FB, this is ZoomBoy in his sweater. (You may recognize this sweater as the thing the dog was hiding under in yesterday's blog post. Woowoo indeed.)

Anyway-- here's ZoomBoy, rocking the sweater.

Now for those of you who don't know, I've been writing short fiction for Yarn! magazine-- I'm in issues 49, 50, and 51, and will continue to write for them until they kick me off, I think, because they're pretty awesome. BTW you can get the magazine from pocketmags.com if you prefer an electronic format and don't want to pay for shipping, but I will tell you that the production values in this publication are stunning and I'm proud to be a part of it.

Anyway, Rie, my editor, keeps telling me they want me to write patterns. And I"m always a little baffled. Can she not see that the things I make are sort of... erm... patternLESS? It's always "Well, I sort of did what the pattern said here, but I changed it here, and here and here and here and I used a whole different yarn and finally I crocheted it instead of knitted it because the sun was in WTF rising."

I told her I did "math-less crochet" and bless her, she said, "We'd like to see you write up some math-less crochet patterns-- that would be GREAT!" And now I'm like, "God. I'd almost rather go back and count my stitches."

But anyway-- this is a math-less crochet pattern. I chained a back as wide as ZoomBoys and wrapped it around his waist until a little past the sides so I"d have ease, then made a big rectangle for the back.

And two smaller ones for the front.

And then I sewed that together (or crocheted it together, actually) and  added sleeves. And a collar. And, well, there you go.

So there.

Math-less crochet.

Ta-da?

Seriously-- I may have to write an actual pattern for that.

There are test-pattern people who are going to have to FOLLOW AN ACTUAL PATTERN for that.

My brain just exploded.

Speaking of?

If you decide to get Yarn! magazine, expect to find an actual math-less pattern for fingerless mittens in issue 53, and a story to match.

The pattern's been submitted. I just need to write the story.

*headdesk* Life is weird. I mean, WEIRD.

But ZoomBoy likes his sweater, so that's pretty awesome.

I've started one for Mate.

Ta-da?