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

Friday, February 21, 2020

Meh?

I don't have many "meh" days.

The kids actually ask me what I do during the day because I usually meet someone at the park, or someone in the pool, or see a meme or something that makes my day a little more interesting, and I just wouldn't be Mom if I didn't share.

But I felt "meh" today. Seriously--I think it might be a bug. Squish felt horrible last night--but we couldn't put a finger on it. Wasn't head--but that ached. Wasn't stomach--but that felt gross. Wasn't body aches but all she wanted todo was sleep.

This morning I woke up feeling just like that but I'm a grown up and Geoffie had a groomer's appointment and I had to get up and shower and clothes and the groomers and...

And my keys are locked in my goddamned car again?

So I canceled the groomers and I was going to take the dogs for a walk but...

Uh... well, people yell at me when I do that. Seriously-- I got yelled at by the one person who took care of her lawn on the entire block. I'm like, "I don't want to go out there! People are SHITTY out there!" So I worked, and I ate lunch, and then I went back to bed for two hours--and I gotta tell you, I may go back to sleep early.

So possibly a bug, maybe just allergies, but I have my keys tomorrow and I can at least get a walk in.

So in the meantime, my day was... well, meh.

But I gotta say-- that nap was pretty kickass, right?

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Imaginary Conversations and Real

So, today I went shopping explicitly for snacks.

 Me, to clerk: You know, I like how that bag of potato chips says, "Party size" when what they REALLY mean is "party of one teenager gaming all day on the couch."

Clerk: They really need to sell a size up for that.


Also, I bought Lindor Balls

ZoomBoy: Mom, I'm inhaling these balls. *smirk*

Me: Well, some balls are held for charity, and some for fancy dress.

ZB: But the balls that are inhaled for pleasure are the balls I like the best!


Also, there was drama in the bathroom.

Nebula the adorable new kitty: Hello, I am here and you are here and we should have pets since you do not seem to be moving oh that's wonderful keep petting please.

Steve: What. Is. That. Thing.

Nebula: Oh look, I am a kitty getting pets and you are a kitty desiring pets and the human seems willing to forsake all other actions besides giving us what we desire so we should--

Steve: DIE HEATHEN DIE!

Nebula: RUN AWAY!!!!!


And Squish has discovered a thing that playful kitties do.



Squish: Look! Mom! He's standing on his hind legs and trying to catch a bug! Go kitty go!



And I put my foot down about dog snacks:

Me: AUGH! I’m not giving you another treat! *I get up to give the dog another treat*

ZoomBoy: What’s wrong? They won’t leave you alone?

Me: No! They won’t stop begging! And...*I flail at her in her little soft collar* Look at her!

ZoomBoy: Yes. She looks like she has a very long flight to get to. She probably needs snacks.

I mean, when he puts it that way...


Monday, February 17, 2020

Don't Panic...

She's fine.

There's that moment in the Harry Potter movies, where Mrs. Macgonagal looks at Harry, Hermione and Ron and goes, "Why is it always you?"

Ron replies, "Believe me, Professor--we ask ourselves the same question."

Geoffie.

If anyone is going to get sick, it's Geoffie.


When she weighed three pounds she stepped on a fox tail, it penetrated her widdle foot, and she was the sorriest 3 lb. piece of fluff on the planet.

When she was two years old, I went away for the weekend and came back to her life-threatening eye infection.

A year later, I gave three dogs a big pork soup bone to gnaw on. One dog got a chunk of bone too big to digest in her teeny digestive track and almost died.

And this?

We have no idea.

It started out as a boo-boo, and then she chewed on it and it became an ouchie, and today she was three-legging it around the park and now she has a cone of shame and a goblin paw.

And she's been force fed pills and had icky stuff rubbed on her skin.

She is every bit the sad panda.

But she is, indisputably, ours.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Valentines Day and Serendipity...

Okay-- so I wasn't going to post today, I was going to write a story for Patreon, but the following happened.

I've been working on a pair of socks and I'm so close to done--like, one good conversation and some Friday night TV close to done.

But there was a sale on this super bulky yarn, and I... I had one of those moments of inspiration.

I KNEW what this yarn wanted to be.

I could imagine this yarn being knitted, I could imagine the pattern, I could imagine myself wearing it. It would be so romantic--a hooded infinity scarf, super bulky yarn, off-white with eggplant colored edging.

I HAD to make this scarf.

Well, I was at my desk today when I got a text from ZoomBoy--"My teacher wants you to make her a sweater."

Ha ha--very flattering. But then, I thought about this teacher. It's his choir teacher--she's been the choir teacher through grade school and middle school--she's the one behind the fantastic choir program, who makes beautiful shows out of air and wishes and kids who adore her.

If anyone deserved a sweater, it was this teacher.

Alas, I needed to finish this scarf and then the socks and then...

Wait.

About that scarf...

So I picked ZoomBoy up from school and we laughed about the sweater thing and I said, "Do you think she'd want a scarf instead?"

He laughed and I said, "It should be done tonight--maybe you bring it in tomorrow and say 'My mom can make you a sweater but it will be a while. Maybe this can keep you warm while you wait.'"

He loved the idea--and even Squish said, "Oh, Mom, I'd give up my own sweater so she could have one. She's superhuman. She deserves a sweater."

But it meant I had to push on through to finish, and, well, there went my time for the Patreon.

And there went my dreams of me in the hooded scarf--but that's fine. I don't think was ever really meant to be mine anyway. Next week is President's week and the kids just finished a big program--I think if anybody deserves knitwear it's ZoomBoy's choir teacher.

Besides--Mate sent me flowers. I've been pretty much taken care of this Valentine's Day, you think?



Thursday, February 13, 2020

Lovefest 2020

Oddly enough, everybody wanted to know about my day.

Seriously--I have repeatedly told people, "I live a very uninteresting life!" and about six people asked--but, oddly enough, I have something to tell!

For starters--last night, I thought I'd lost my fingerless mitts on my walk, and I was much depressed. :-(  

This morning, on the first leg of my loop, I FOUND them, and I was much cheered!  :-)

And then, after finishing the loop, I put the dogs in the car and realized I couldn't find my keys, and I was much panicked!  ðŸ˜±

I put the dogs in the car--it was about 60 degrees outside, which meant inside the car it would get to be about 80 at the most, and they were fine. This is important, because I had just cleared the first leg of the loop again in quest of the keys when a young mother pushing a jogging stroller AND walking her dog came running down the loop waving my keys at me--and I was much cheered!  ðŸ‘ðŸ‘ðŸ‘

And she said, "I took them up top and clicked all the cars--you know, you shouldn't leave your dog in your car--they were probably getting warm."

And I was much... augh! How could I be irritated at her--she'd just saved me fifteen minutes of hauling ass around the park again to find the damned keys! But the dogs were fine! But... walking the loop again and missing my swim and...

I settled on gratitude. 🙏🙏🙏 Because ultimately she was well meaning, and seriously, the dogs gave zero craps--because they'd been on their walks and they were all crapped out.

She was kind. I'm going to be happy there is kindness in the world. (Not on the internet or in the White House atm, but there is kindness in the world.)

Anyway--so walk achieved, swim achieved--I did NOT kill any of the 45 supporters in the pool-- that was a danger on Monday, for real. Got Squish home--ZoomBoy was at rehearsal--and got my nap in, and then, Mate got home with ZoomBoy, he downed a couple of burritos, changed into his tux like a superhero, and BOOM. 

I mean that. BOOM.

We went to LoveFest 2020.

Now, when I did this last year, I was much taken by surprise. It's a joint venture/fundraiser between his drama department, the band, and the choir department, and it's all songs and skits based around love. 

It was adorable last year, when the drama department did a choral reading of "Never Gonna Give You Up" and effectively Rick-Rolled everybody in the audience, and it was adorable this year when they did a self-written/produced set of Cupid shows the New Guy around skits. The Choir was lovely--and they finished with the Beatles and THE WHOLE CAST performing the end of Hey Jude, and we were all left feeling LOVELY. (Speaking of which, "Isn't She Lovely" was one of their songs--this was a class act and I was so proud.)

It was just... wonderful.

And this year I brought Mate and Squish with me, and ZoomBoy got to show off.

So, there you go.

What did Amy do today?

More than usual.

Monday, February 10, 2020

When your native tongue is Lit Geek!

Okay-- so, sorry I didn't report back last night. So. Tired. Also, I had to make up word count.

But teaching at the East Bay chapter of RWA was a blast! Lovely, lovely authors--all of them kind and accepting, and I felt right at home. Their usual room was hijacked by somebody (there was much grrrrrrrr about this--heads will roll!) and we had a smaller classroom and it was packed to the gils. (See the chapter's promo picture of me with Kilby Blades, who, bless her, was the one who asked me to speak <3 nbsp="" p="">
But there was enough oxygen for people to breathe and to laugh at my jokes and I was much encouraged.

I got to use a real life example in my speech--I was talking about character communication.

"Yes, so very often people don't talk--but that doesn't mean communication doesn't happen. As an example, you may notice the little favors at your desk? Well, my Mate and I got up early this morning to get me here, so that I might have my coffee, and I was halfway through my coffee--when all good insights come--when it hit me. I had left the bag with the favors at the hotel. So I said this to Mate. Who went, "Really? Dammit." And then he stood up, gave me a kiss, and muttered, "I'll be back in a minute."

"Thank you Mate. I love you."

"Grumble grumble grumble."

"But ladies, I submit to you, that you all have those favors, and my Mate just said 'I love you' very very clearly, without saying a recognizable word."

Many, many hands were held to chests, and then I hit them with, "And he got me a SPACE HEATER for my WRITING SPACE for Christmas!"  I told him he will be much in demand after my passing--people got misty-eyed, I swear.

He doesn't believe me. That's okay. We can let him think I"m the only one who sees what a marvelous Mate he is.

Anyway--I talked to people. It was OUTSTANDING. And then we came home and there was napping, and the kids didn't feel great on Sunday so... we went to a movie. We have been trying to see Ford vs. Ferrari for MONTHS. And it was good. So good. Laughed my ass off. Cried like a baby.

Had a very lovely date weekend that was not officially date weekend with my Mate. 

Friday, February 7, 2020

So sorry--reinventing the wheel...

Okay-- so, VERY short post tonight.

This weekend, I am, alas, not going to be at the Lavender Library with my QSAC folks--and I'll miss it! *waves* Instead, Mate and I are driving to Berkeley tomorrow night (the older kids including my ginormous son will be here with the younger kids which makes me very happy).

Anyway-- I'm teaching on Saturday morning for the RWA Chapter that meets in Berkeley and you guys I'M SO EXCITED.

SO excited that I did what any good presenter would do and opened my worksheet files and Power Point to brush up on what I had to say so I didn't get in front of all those lovely writers and go, "GEEGLE agglplak GURK!!!!"

Because that's a fear, you know, when you're talking to a group of lovely and consummate professionals who possibly know more than you do about writing books, and you're there to tell them how YOU write books, and you're not sure that does anybody any good at all.

Anyway-- I open my notes and I realize... there's something... there's something...

Wait a minute... this is the hour version. It's not stored with the hour version, but this is the hour version. I had an entire version of this which took around 1 1/2--2 hours, and I was very proud of that. Had the whole "Setting the table for dinner" thing, looked very impressive.

I knew I had that--I presented it in Emerald City in October--and it wasn't there.

So if I've been a little MIA in social media, and if I've seem a little distracted, it's because I've been rewriting that, and repracticing that, and... and... and.... EGGLE agglplak GURK!!!!

Or, you know, something along those lines.

If anyone needs me, I'll be the passenger in a shitty Odyssey on the way to Berkeley tomorrow, boring my husband to death with Fiction Haiku: Conflict and Setting the Table for Dinner.

Because he's seen me to the Geegle aggleplak gurk thing, and he was not impressed.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Life as Yakety Sax

https://youtu.be/w8j-U6L8lFA


So VERY short post today-- I just want to say, my life is a circus, and I'm not so sure I'm the ringleader.

Picked the kids up from school--nothing. Silence all the way home. I actually got lost in my audiobook and forgot they were there. Then Squish was like, "I'm talking to my former crush about my present crush and I need to go."

She ran into the house and had an actual conversation. AN ACTUAL PHONE CONVERSATION.

When does that happen?

Then I have to admit--I crashed for a lONG TIME. (I think my cold is trying to come back. There was a lot of sleeping today--and all of it was necessary.) When I woke up the house was still silent. Had to check to see the kids were breathing.

Then Mate got home.

Chaos.

Sheer chaos. He was doing knee exercises on the floor--with dogs. The cat got locked in the garage. Suddenly everyone has forgotten how to make their own tacos. (How does that happen, people? Mommy puts a taco bar in front of you and you forget how to eat?)

We settle down for a little bit, watch some Leverage, get our hearts broken by The Good Place finale, and then, just when Mate was down for some ass-kicking with John Wick 3? 

ZoomBoy needs to know how to write satire, Squish is discussing the nature of humanity via her essay on Frankenstein and the dogs have heard the call. *ding* LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLE!!!*

Mate hits pause on the TV so I can discuss the nature of satire and humanity and we're off to the races. Finally, everybody gets settled with bed or homework, and I get a chance to go kiss my Mate goodnight while I go to work.

The dogs follow me in.

There I am trying to have a nice conversation in the dark with my Mate and it's like Yakkety Sax is playing in the background.

Finally I get out here to my computer, ZB is still working on the essay and it's quiet...

Too quiet.

*sigh*

Monday, February 3, 2020

Kermit Flail--February!!!

YAYAYAYAYYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!

So last month I was worried about February because January sucked so hard--but you know something? February is the shortest month of the year--and there are some awesome things planned for this February, including a chance to teach next Saturday in Berkeley. So I am going to WOOT-WOOT! and celebrate this February-- it is the month of love, dammit, and I want everybody to get a Valentine's Day card, because I said so that's why. 

And speaking of Valentines...

We have some adorable creations here.

First we have Powder and Pavlova, a BRAND NEW release from Jay Hogan, with an adorable "just a fling" premise. Definitely worth checking out!


Powder and Pavlova

by Jay Hogan

ETHAN SHARPE is living every young Kiwi’s dream—seeing the world for a couple of years while deciding what to do with his life. Then he gets a call.

Two days later he’s back in New Zealand. Six months later his mother is dead, his fifteen-year-old brother is going off the rails and the café he’s inherited is failing. His life is a hot mess and the last thing he needs is another complication—like the man who just walked into his café,
a much older…
sinfully hot…
EPIC complication.

TANNER CARPENTER’s time in Queenstown has an expiration date. He has a new branch of his business to get up and running, exorcise a few personal demons while he’s at it, and then head back to Auckland to get on with his life. He isn’t looking for a relationship especially with someone fifteen years his junior, but Ethan is gorgeous, troubled and in need of a friend. Tanner could be that for Ethan, right? He could brighten Ethan’s day for a while, help him out, maybe even offer some… stress relief, no strings attached.

It was a good plan, until it wasn’t.



Moving on, we have a spot of M-Preg, and what looks to be a sweet maiden-uncle sort of hero, with a love handles and a lot of love to give--let's hear it for Misha Paige and A Serpent's Bond!!!



A Serpent's Bond

Myth Kissed

by Misha Paige


A former foster kid, Hudson always had a simple dream for a perfect life. A husband to love and a family he could come home to every night. It wasn’t a fancy wish, but it might as well have been.

Approaching forty, he’s still single—and fighting the battle of the bulge—so his dream probably wasn’t going to happen. Not in this lifetime.

Especially not with Drakein Nacash, the drop dead gorgeous man who’s the subject of his nightly fantasies and barely even knows he exists.

In one day, his life is turned upside down and he’s introduced to a myth turned real. What if he could have everything he ever dreamed of?



And I have to admit--while most of my Kermit Flail books are sent to me, I have one here that I sort of, well, stole. Kilby asked me to participate in the promotional chat for this one, and it looked so awesome--and it's Kilby's first M/M book--so I wanted to give her a big welcome and a *muwah* from all of us in M/M land. Let's hear it for Kilby Blades and Adam Bomb--YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!


Adam Bomb

by Kilby Blades

Moguls, Royals, and Rogues


Can a lifelong friendship survive the fallout?

Levi Cossio’s best friend Adam has always been larger than life: a smoking-hot billionaire hotelier whose charm can bend the world to his whim. When New York City stops being big enough for both of them—at least if Levi ever wants to fall out of love with Adam—he leaves it behind for a job in in San Francisco.

But when Adam pulls an Adam—upending the calm new life Levi has come to love with a plea to lend his talent to a worthy cause—Levi is helpless to resist. Adam will be the first Fortune 100 CEO to come out of the closet on a grand scale. He needs a trusted ally on his PR team. Levi is a lauded portrait photographer. And the job will only last three weeks.

Levi accepts on one hidden condition: he’ll keep his new friends away from Adam, certain that if they get a whiff, they, too, will fall under Adam’s spell. Bent on keeping his two lives separate, Levi barely makes it through the first two weeks unscathed—and then Adam drops another bomb….


And finally, I have my March release, which is sort of a crossover book--but MOSTLY a standalone with lots of cameos from some of your favorite people. It's called Shades of Henry, and it's about a soldier whose entire life detonated and his brother sets him up with the most unlikely of jobs.

I think a lot of people have been waiting for this book--and the cover is lush <3 p="">

Coming in March--

Shades of Henry

by Amy Lane


A Flophouse Story
One bootstrap act of integrity cost Henry Worrall everything—military career, family, and the secret boyfriend who kept Henry trapped for eleven years. Desperate, Henry shows up on his brother’s doorstep and is offered a place to live and a job as a handyman in a flophouse for young porn stars.

Lance Luna’s past gave him reasons for being in porn, but as he continues his residency at a local hospital, they now feel more like excuses. He’s got the money to move out of the flophouse and live his own life—but who needs privacy when you’re taking care of a bunch of young men who think working penises make them adults?

Lance worries Henry won’t fit in, but Henry’s got a soft spot for lost young men and a way of helping them. Just as Lance and Henry find a rhythm as den mothers, a murder and the ghosts of Henry’s abusive past intrude. Lance knows Henry’s not capable of murder, but is he capable of caring for Lance’s heart?


And a letter from management--

-I have to admit--I could SWEAR someone else sent in a Kermit Flail earlier on in the month. I know I was planning on three posts besides mine and Kilby's and I CAN'T FIND IT IN MY G-MAIL. So, if this was you--it's not because I don't like you or blew you off--please contact me and I'll edit this post and add you in. PLEASE contact me--I'm totally serious--because it's going to drive me NUTS until I remember who that was I was supposed to add. Also, I'm so sorry--I usually prefer if things run a little more smoothly than this. My incredibly embarrassed apologies. DON'T FORGET TO SEND THAT IN! Thank you. Amy

Friday, January 31, 2020

Steve, Glorious Steve...


First of all, Mate is home, and there is much rejoicing! (yayayayayayayyayayay!)

It's funny how a Mate--any Mate--isn't missed so much in the big things--the grand dramatic gesture of bringing me yarn, for example, although that was much appreciated!--but in the little things.

 Touching hands as you pass through the house. Someone to watch television with. A hug in the kitchen?

I missed my Mate. It's taken me a day to assimilate to having him back again. *happy sigh* He's home.

In other news-- ZoomBoy was reviewed by an instagram influencer at his school, as @the_eternal_box. The interview should show up Tuesday, and, bless him, they asked him to wear his sweater and his scarf AND his tophat, AND his Infinity Mitten.

Apparently I have been preparing him for this moment for years.

Also, Steve seems to have claimed my yarn as her own. I, uh, think we shall have to discuss this. I mean, she couldn't possibly be that harsh a negotiator, you think?

And I am working on a plain DK weight sock. Which would probably be boring me shitless, if the color wasn't so damned purty.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Tiny Convos...

Short post tonight--my newsletter is up on Patreon for the public-- come look!  

It's been me and the kids this week, and some of it has been blargh but most of it has been us--and we've had a little bit of fun. Sometimes--whether it's at home or out and about, it's the tiny convos that keep us going throughout the day.

Little-old-lady-at-the-pool: Oh, I love vegetables--everything but Brussels sprouts.

Me: I LOVE Brussels sprouts!

LOLatP: Oh no! No no no!

Me: Well, with butter.

LOL: With BACON! 

* * *
Me, tonight, after I'd about finished my newsletter: (Posted on FB): Just realized my first five releases this year are Silent Heart, Shades of Henry, Slow Pitch, Shortbread and Shadows, and Safe Heart. So the year 2020 has been brought to Amy by the letter "S", the number "5", and the portmanteau "headdesk"

* * *

ZoomBoy *with full urgency*: Mom! Mom!
Me: What?
ZoomBoy: The domain "p*nis.c*m" is for sale for 2 million dollars!
Me: ...
ZoomBoy: We have to save up!
Me: ...
...
* * *


Me: Squish! You didn't wash the insta pot when you did the dishes!

Squish: You didn't ask me to.

Me: I did too! I said it specifically.

Squish: Did not. You're making that up.

Me: Just because you say it, doesn't mean that's true! I TOLD YOU!

Squish: Hearsay. Your word against mine. I was just sitting here, your honor, doing the dishes...

Me: ...  You can't testify at a murder trial where you're the victim.

Squish: Fine. Next time.

*  *  *

Mate (over Skype), looking at bank statements: So, I see you went to the yarn store...

Me: Well, uh, yeah. Sorry.

Mate: Well, I was going to get you some yarn from Vermont, but why would I get you yarn when you already have some?

Me: I'm sorry, what was that?

Mate: Why would I get you yarn when you already have some?

Me: I don't understand.

Mate: Why. Would. I. Get. You. Yarn--

Me: No, no, I understand you're saying the same words, I just don't get what they mean!

* * *

Mate  (over Skype again): Well I was going to get you yarn, but it turns out all the yarn stores in Vermont are closed on Tuesday.

Me: Seriously?

Mate: I'm serious! I don't know why Tuesday was their day off, but it was!

Me: That's a likely story. When do you have to be at the airport tomorrow?

Mate: 12:30.

Me: See? You have plenty of time!

Mate: I need to see my dad first! (Please remember, this was the entire reason for the trip--his dad is still not doing well, but there's neither improvement nor deterioration so Mate is coming home.)

Me: Well fine. If you're going to make THAT a priority.

Mate: I'll give him your love.

Me: Sure. YOu'll give everybody your love, but do I get any yarn?

* * *

And finit. But I do have to say-- no blog  tomorrow, because my baby's  coming home tomorrow night, and I can't wait to see him.

He's coming home <3 span="">

Monday, January 27, 2020

Letters from home...

A long time ago, when ZoomBoy and Squish were little, Mate's job took him on business trips a lot. Weird shit always managed to happen when he was gone. Raccoons in the backyard? Only once in 22 years--when he was gone. A terrible thump and a giant blood spot on the floor of the garage? A mystery never solved, even though I called the police for a drive-by. Because Mate was gone. You name the catastrophe--broken heater, little kids with the plague, big kids in crisis, animals needing emergency medical care--it all happened when Mate was gone.

I, uh, did not deal with any of that shit with grace and aplomb. I mean, for one thing I was working full time, and for another, two kids in diapers and two in middle school, and for another, I'm... you know. ME.

But I"m older now--there are only two kids and they're frighteningly self-sufficient. My only real function is taxi, and I do make dinner because otherwise they'd exist solely on Ritz crackers and oatmeal and call that nutrition.

So, much less hectic. So I was a little sad--and a little amused--when Mate and I were talking about his stay in Vermont to see to his father. (Right now the prognosis is... extended? He needs full time care but for how long? Nobody knows. I think our entire cadre of GOP senators should be put in hospitals as they're passing and told that if they don't croak within three months their family's finances will be gutted and they'll be in debt for the rest of their lives so could they hurry it up a little? Because THAT'S fucking humane.)

Anyway--Mate's trying to square things away with his stepmom and half-brother, and I'm here, guarding the fort. Yeah, I'm tired--I work until late and the kids have to be at school early--but seriously, I can deal. So I amused myself writing "letters to the front" to my brave husband far away, fighting the cold and the crud and the barbarianism of modern day health care. Please take this tongue in cheek-- that's certainly how I meant it. Twelve years ago I would have been a mess--but today, I think we're going to live.


Dear Mate--

It's hard living in this house without you. The smoke alarm went bonkers, and ZoomBoy and I had to deactivate it. It felt so final. I ordered new ones from Amazon but what if they're the wrong one?

The uncertainty is the hardest thing to bear. 

Your Amy


Dear Mate--

We spent most of yesterday shotgunning old television, because I was too tired to think of anything better to do. Taking over your chores is exhausting--how do you manage to wake up at seven in the morning? It's terrifying. There are monsters then! And cars! Fortunately we have a solution--I understand those profligate writers use it, those people who stay up until one in the morning and sometimes must function before coffee. 

It's called a nap, and after I took it, I could perform my household duties so much better. 

And I even ordered pizza.

Your Amy

Dear Mate--

The dogs miss you, beloved. Tonight they spent ten minutes running around the living room trying to find a place to sleep together because they could not share my lap. 

They ended up sleeping on my lap anyway. I'm afraid my knitting may be a bit delayed--no scarf for you.

Your Amy

Dear Mate--

Alas, we missed your call! Emboldened by the whole "nap" idea from yesterday, today I resolved to do something exciting and adventurous.

We settled for going to the movies but I had to sign up for Cinemark to do so--Can we even have two accounts in one house?

Anyway, the kids and I were enraptured by the violent poetic antics of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence--they are, indeed, the naughtiest of young men, and still watchable today. 

I'm running circles here in order to not watch any of the shows we watch together. If you're gone longer than a week, I may crack.

Forgive me for being weak, beloved--

Your Amy

Dear Mate--

It is beginning to dawn on me that on those mornings I thought we had acquired friendly dish-washing pixies, you were actually the one to wash the dishes. 

I miss you, my darling, but I rather wish it was pixies. So do the children. We'll do our best to make sure we have clean cutlery and plateware to welcome you home. 

Our poorly, sad, and pathetic best.

I do not deserve the tidiness that is you--

Sincerely,

Your Amy


Thursday, January 23, 2020

Finishing Projects

Okay... so, two nights ago, I finished Safe Heart, the third in the Search and Rescue series, and it took an extra long time because A.  Christmas, and B. Sick. So yesterday I did a Patreon story, and tonight, I... well, I finished another project.

Like Safe Heart, this one had a Christmas deadline--and I sort of missed it. In fact, both the projects you see here were for Christmas.

The sweater was for Chicken's bestie, Stevi, and I was super honored she asked me. She picked the colors (from my existing stash) and I loved crocheting it. I had Mate model it first, and he did his Jedi-Master pose, because the sort of lush hood makes it seem very Jedi-Masterish.

The scarf...

Oi.

So two years ago I finished ZoomBoy's sweater--and he's worn it to school frequently since. He asked for the colors, and picked the finishing touch--collar vs. hood, cardigan vs. pullover, etc--and I love that he loves this sweater.

Well, for Christmas, when we told the kids things were going to be a little thin, I asked him what he wanted. He'd JUST finished borrowing my Christmas scarf--made by a student, so it's been around a while--and he really wanted a scarf of his own.

"What colors?"

"I want it to match my sweater."

Oh my God. OH my God. My retina had hardly healed, I shit you not.

And, I have to admit, I was OVER crochet after finishing that sweater, so I knitted the scarf, double stranded and extra wide. I wanted it to be super lush.

When I got to the end, I remembered that the stripe pattern on the sweater was asymmetrical. The pattern on one side was purposefully different than the pattern on the other. Looked very avant-garde and, well, 80's, since we were going neon. I echoed that in the scarf--and it's more noticeable in the scarf because I threw the colors in relief. So today, in the spirit of finishing things, I took a little time off of the grind and shotgunned Leverage which is an AMAZING show, and finished the scarf. I've got a pair of socks to go, and then I can make my son's girlfriend a shawl, and my friend a VERY belated birthday present.

So there you go--I really DO knit and crochet and yarn still. Sometimes I forget that's still a thing, even though I do a little every day.

Oh! Speaking of knitting--Mate Skyped from Vermont tonight. He was wearing the sweater I made him, because... well, probably because I made it and he wanted me there. People ask me why I don't sell my yarn wear. For one thing, I"m super slow and my family would starve. But for another, finishing things is not really my strong point.

I think my family saves every sweater, hat, and (mostly) pair of fingerless mittens because they know I finished that object out of love.


Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Packing for Siberia

Hey all--

First of all, I want to thank my community profusely. Just when I was sure the internet was full of spite and red dragons, everyone in my timeline rushed to me with comfort and kindness, and my faith in humanity is much restored.

I cannot thank you enough.

Today was a little better--Mate stayed home, partly to get better before his trip, and partly to pack. He went for my daily walk with me, and it occurred to us both--hey! He has no winter boots! He's going to frickin' Siberia, USA (Okay, fine, Vermont. Not Michigan or Minnesota but... fuckin' cold. That's all I'm saying) and he has no boots and no long underwear, because we live the part of Northern California that maybe sinks to the thirties in the middle of the night in January.

He spent this evening folding clothes and looking for boots at Wall-Mart online. He found some, and I bought him a decent coat when he was coaching in the rain a lot, but I was settling down to knit and watch TV when I thought, "Oh my God! Does he even have a hat?"

Now I've made him about a hundred, but they've all gone the way of my fingerless mitts. *waves distractedly* Somewhere in... you know. Our room.

Anyway--I asked him, and he goes, "Yeah. I have that one you made ZoomBoy."

"Which one I made ZoomBoy?"

"The ice cream colors. It fits perfectly."

"Uh..."

"No, here--I'll show it to you."

Okay-- during Thanksgiving, I made that hat for ME, and then Squish took it over--and then LOST it. And he was right. It fit him perfectly. Close about the head and ears, and folded over nicely for warmth.

And it was teal, brown, and purple.

I laughed a little (lot) but mostly I was reassured. He's going alone to a cold place to do a hard thing. I am really glad he's going to have something I made with him. I had seriously contemplated staying up all night and making him another hat, because I just didn't want him wearing something generic when he has me in his corner.

So, now we know what happened to  Squish's hat. My fingerless mitts, the ones that matched it? Not so much. But the hat is going to Siberia, USA, so Mate doesn't have to go completely without us.

That helps a little.

Happy week, everyone! OH! For those of you who follow me on Patreon--I've put all 10 of the Jai/George parts in order, and either tonight or tomorrow, I'm posting another episode.

Here's the Patreon, in case you're interested--enjoy!  https://www.patreon.com/AmyHEALane

Sunday, January 19, 2020

February

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDgOc3gMtFk

So, this song gets me every time--I may even have blogged about it before.

Two years ago Mate's mom passed away and we lived in February until May, when Mate realized he'd forgotten to give me a Christmas present. He made it up to me--and of course I understood. He was broken and sad inside, but this song has always had the power to chill me, because it speaks of two people who love each other and of the way the world has of freezing that love in motion.

I'm getting over the crud--thank heavens--but Mate has it now and he may have to get on an airplane soon because his father is dying, and we're not sure how we're going to buy the ticket.

This year we are worried, finances are what they are, my job which I've loved--partly because I've loved the people I've written for (everyone reading this, you're probably on that list)--is fractured and and frightening. The jungle of misinformation, speculation, and outright lies is thick and difficult to navigate, and I've gotten very specific about who I talk to about what's really in my heart. Too many snakes ready to poison, too many beasties, ready to bite.

I look every day for compassion and humor in the world--and most often I'm rewarded. I cling to every interaction hoping it will give me warmth so my heart doesn't freeze over. February is coming. My Mate is sick and he's sad, and his heart is about to break and I can do nothing for him. Material things which can offer a cushion and a distraction aren't going to be available for a while, and the places  I've gone to so I can charge my batteries and keep his heart warm are red and jagged and ready to slice open my nerve or my artery at a wrong word.

So I listen to this song and remember--February will end. For those of you who wonder where I get my ideas, there are a few lines about a crocus at the end of this song that gave me the idea for my book, Crocus.  They're about how you can't forget that signs of spring, signs of rebirth, signs of hope are out there in the world. You can't forget that love which may have frozen can come back to life.

 I may finish a book tonight--and you know what?

No matter how cold February is, no matter how anxious and frightened I am about finances and what is to come, finishing a book is still something I'm proud of. I know--you look at my roster and you think, "Uhm, old hat much?"

No.

So there you go. Crocuses in February.

Like the end of the book, I know it may happen.

That love which may have frozen can come back to life.






Friday, January 17, 2020

Poor Steve

So, the kids were going to put the cats in their crates this morning, while I stole another half-hour of sleep, but things didn't go as planned.

We were all thinking, "We've got two crates, one of them's big-- we can probably just put two cats in the big crate."

But the two cats were too big to room together in the big crate, so they tried to put one cat and then the other in the small crate, a crate that has crated all our cats for about twenty-five years.

Apparently not these cats anymore. These cats were far too large for this little crate, so I said, "Fuck it-- Steve's got a dental cleaning, it's a bigger appointment, I'll take her!"

Dewey, that little shit, got to flounce out, fluffing his ruff and tail as he went. "Little does he know!" I thought. "I am going to make another appointment for him AND Nebula today! That'll show him!" And I did.

So I took Steve and got a call that they were going to do her dental cleaning in an hour right before I went to pick up kids. I picked up kids, came home and napped, and when I woke up, there was a panic message on my phone.

Her temperature spiked, oh no, they couldn't put her under, and then her blood pressure and her blood glucose and omg she's never reacted to opioids like this before and--

And I called them back and they were like, "Uh... how about we do this tomorrow."

I was like, "Okay-- since we've got an appointment for Dewey tomorrow at nine, we'll just slide Steve into that spot, and I'll bring Nebula too."

They were like, "Okay-- that's convenient," and so we're planning to do that.

But Steve looks sick and sad and mad. And they don't want to charge me anything-- they're thinking they don't have to do a bunch of stuff over, so this will all go on the plan, but I'm like, "You know, if she's not up to it, maybe we just put it off for three months until she feels better. Cause I know what it's like to not be up to some fucking bullshit and I'd just rather not."

So tomorrow, Steve may be back at the vet's office. But I swear, if she's not happy tonight? Im just putting Dewey in the car carrier because he's due.


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The Nature of Revolution

So I've been sick for almost a week, and I was feeling a little better today (let's see how long I can write tonight tho--I have the feeling too many nights of sleeping upright so I don't break a rib coughing are about to catch up with me) and the kids and I had...

Well, it sort of an awesome conversation.

It started out when Squish started talking about Frankenstein, and how the privileged white man made a mess and refused to take care of it and it consumed him.

Then ZoomBoy said, "Yeah, and we read A Modest Proposal today-- it was hilarious!"

I was so excited!  "It was, too! I mean, you got it, right? That Swift was saying that since the English aristocracy had pretty much devoured the parents with their taxes and inhumane treatment of the Irish that they might as well devour the children!"

ZoomBoy hadn't been prepped with that part of the history-- I told him about the sanctions against the Irish during the Age of Enlightenment and how Swift was a clergyman in a poor Irish slum--Presbyterian? Anglican? I forget-- but that he was so beloved the churches of Ireland rang their bells at his death, because he was kind and humanitarian to everybody, but the English didn't understand irony because (go figure) the men in power weren't that bright, and they didn't understand the power of irony, particularly when it was aimed at them.

We discussed the finer points of Modest Proposal some more and then Squish said, "Well, it's like the French Revolution, isn't it? Where civil unrest continues on and the people in power get killed and the next people in power get too power hungry and they get killed, because by then they're too mad to listen to reason!"

"Yes!" I said excitedly. "And then you get diabolism, where people are so angry they believe 'If you're not with me, you're evil and need to be slaughtered!' Did you know about Maximillian Robespierre who was so bloodthirsty that he managed to convince a tribunal to kill over 1,300 people?"

"Oh my God! That's terrible!"

"Yes--and because he was with the revolution, everyone assumed he was a good guy, but the truth was, he just liked to watch people who didn't agree with him bleed. You see a lot of those types on Twitter."

"Yeah," ZoomBoy said. "It's frustrating when they're progressive--they make people afraid of progressives because they're terrifying."

"Right?"

"So when did the revolution end?" Squish asked. "Did they just run out of people to kill?"

"No-- they ran out of government, because they'd nuked the existing government without a plan for one to take it's place. And they were sort of milling about going, 'But what do we do now' when Napoleon grabbed a flag and screamed, 'Follow me into war and bloodshed and let's take over the world!'"

"And what then?" Squish asked.

"And a hundred years later, Lenin grabbed a flag and said, 'Follow me into war and bloodshed and let's take over the world!'"

"And then twenty years later in Germany..." ZoomBoy said.

"...Adolph Hitler grabbed a flag and screamed, 'Follow me into war and bloodshed and let's take over the world!"

We all sighed. "And then Orwell wrote a book," I said, "about how language can be used against us, and Arthur Miller wrote a play about how not having complex adult thinking can lead to chaos."

"Mom, English is a really great subject," ZoomBoy said.

"Yeah--and Frankenstein was a dick," Squish added.

"You guys are gonna save us all," I said, and then we all went to do chores and homework and play video games.

Because you can only solve the world's problems some of the time. But y'all, it was a REALLY good time.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Well that sucked...

So, two days of being too sick to write--and believe me, I've got to be WAY OUT OF IT to be too sick to write-- and I have one thing to show for breathing on the planet.

I finished this sweater.

I promise we'll have a picture with Stevi, who asked me to make it for her because I've given her and Chicken matching sweaters for probably the last six years. I make sweaters for family, and she is family, and I was super proud that she asked.

But sweaters are maybe one of the hardest things for a knitter like me--who likes to flit from project to project-- to make. So this was a labor of love, because the sleeves seemed to take forever and the hood was a black hole that I could only accomplish when sick and sedated and too stupid to write but not exactly setting the world on fire in the housecleaning department.

I am really looking forward to giving it to her--I let her pick the colors, and, again, only family. (I get tired of colors--it's why I make lots of hand warmers in bright hand-dyed color ways.)

So that leaves two more things I promised for Christmas that I should finish up this month-- phew!

Anyway-- I'm feeling a little better now. If I'm super super lucky, I can sleep, but I'm not going to hold my breath. I'd probably just end up coughing anyway. But tomorrow--TOMORROW--as Dog is my witness, I will spend my day writing again.

By the way-- ignore the two missing buttons and the ends I hadn't sewn in yet. Mate actually spent a busy sunday and he WAS tired at bed time, and I wanted him to take the picture wearing it before he went to sleep. I've since taken care of the niceties, and if there's more wandering ends, I need Stevie to point them out to me.

This sweater pattern-- one of my own "let's wing it!" raglan yoke patterns, is a variation on Mate's own Jedi sweater, which was a pullover. I used one of the Plymouth self-striping yarns for the body and sleeves, and I do like this blend--25% wool, 75% polyester-- for a sturdy sweater that can be washed ad infinitum. And it's super colorfast. And as for the toggle buttons? I got 50 of them from Amazon, and they've been one of my favorite craft purchases ever. Those things go with pretty much everything--and they're super easy to use.

So let's hear it for some real sleep tonight and some writing tomorrow. No swimming, because not even I am dumb enough to swim when I'm just coming off a cold. (This is a lesson hard learned--for the of you who've read Winter Ball, Skip's horrible fever/cold was written while I spent three weeks fighting off what could have been a one week cold if I had just stayed out of the pool.)

I sure do miss writing when I'm too stupid to do it!

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Blessings

Okay--I'm depressed and sad and my hot water heater is dying.

And I'm sick and have the crud.

But there are blessings. There are always blessings. I don't say "How can things get any worse," any more. We've watched that play out on the national stage--it can get worse. It's getting worse right now.

But the one thing the threat of imminent nuclear annihilation can give you is perspective on how you've lived your life.

Have I lived it on my terms? Have I injured as few people as possible and apologized when I could? Have I given joy to as many people as possible? Have I been true to my family, my friends, and my art?

Everyone has to answer those questions on their own, I guess. But right now, I'm counting my blessings.

Small dogs

Afternoon naps

Teenagers that tell you about their crushes

Teenagers that show you their memes

Husbands that hug

Cats that stake their claim

A crocheted project that has (finally!) entered the hood stage

Chicken soup

Doris Day and Rock Hudson

Jay Hernandez (and laugh lines in the corners or the eyes)

Friends that text

Friends that meme

Friends that ask to read that next chapter

Grown daughters that give you book reports

Grown sons that meet you at the movies with their girlfriends

Two excellent versions of Little Women

McDonald's Holiday Pies in January

And this: My daughters are a bit... sarcastic, in nature. They're not cruel--they show kindness in their everyday lives. But Mate was a little disturbed when they cackled evilly over the death of a redeemed villain in a recent, uh, movie franchise. "My hard-hearted daughters!" I told him it was just this fictional death, and most of the time, they're almost human.

But we saw Little Women on cheap-movie-Tuesday, and I'm pretty sure you all know there's a death in the middle. A sisterly death in the middle. In particular, the death of a younger, blue-eyed, red-headed sister. Mate and I were sniffling through, trying to not incur their scorn (it's happened more often than you can fathom. Les Miserable-- my kids, trying not to nod off, me, chorking big mouthfuls of air, tears, and snot as it ended.)  Suddenly, we heard twin big gulping sobs. Both of them. One would stop, they'd make eye contact, and the other would start. It was just beautiful. Cause, you know, sisters.

Ah, nothing like traumatizing your young at the movies.

Blessings. I've got 'em.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Now Available--Silent Heart

Silent Heart

Search and Rescue: Book Two
Dog wrangler Preston Echo has been in love with his brother’s best friend, copilot, and business partner since high school—and Damien Ward knew it. As Preston grew into a stunning, hard-willed man, Damien began to dream of Preston too. 

Then Damien almost died in a helicopter crash. While his physical wounds are slowly healing, the blows to his self-confidence and goodwill are almost worse. His body is broken and he’s afraid to fly—how can Preston love him now? 

When Preston’s brother goes on a search-and-rescue mission and disappears in an earthquake zone in Mexico, Preston and Damien are thrown together in an effort to find him and bring him back. Preston’s merciless honesty—and relentless passion—may leverage Damien into his bed, but can Damien overcome his fears to allow himself to stay there? 

Book LInks




I hope you all enjoy this story!  

It's funny how we tap into our past experiences when we least expect to. I know one of my first books was about a horse rancher, but the truth is, I'm not great with horses. I had a couple of bad experiences when I was young--one of them is very like the experience Preston had in this book. I know those injuries--they were mine!

So as a Libra, I vacillate-- on the one hand, horses are beautiful, intelligent animals who are majestic and lovely and should be treated like kings!

On the other, they're one-ton idiot dogs who have a big blind spot in their vision and can look at something a thousand times and then lose their shit on the thousand and first.

And, as a Libra, in this book, I wrote a character for each side--Damien adores horses, and even the super bitchy ones.

And Preston?

Preston thinks they're idiot dogs. (Just remember--Preston adores dogs. He just doesn't like to ride them.)




Idiot Dogs

By Amy Lane



Preston doesn’t like horses.

Dogs, he gets—he understands dogs for what they are: companions with some limitations.  He recognizes the circle of life in dogs—and that dogs are here for a shorter time than humans so we need to appreciate them while they are here. He recognizes that dogs need to be protected and catered to. Just like he needs his math games to keep his brain centered, his dogs need their treats so they know when it’s time to work. Everybody has their needs in order to do their job.

He’s very very copacetic with dogs.

Horses (to Preston) are big, dumb panicky animals that can hurt him if he’s not careful.

They’re like dogs—except they weigh a ton, and if a dog gets excited, he gets mud on your shirt, but if a horse gets excited, he kills you.

Damien on the other hand adores horses. They are to him, like airplanes and vehicles of any sort. If you treat a horse right, he will let you fly—and when Damien is whole and well, and has his hero on, flying is his very best thing.

Unfortunately, (or fortunately for us,) in the course of Silent Heart, both men need to deal with dogs andhorses, and the results are, well, unpredictable.

Preston gets thrown from a horse at one point—and his injuries when he landed are the same injuries I sustained as a middle schooler in an ill-advised attempt on my part to harness the power and the beauty of a magnificent animal.

As it turns out, I am not made for magnificent animals. I am more made for tiny mediocre animals with delusions of grandeur. 

But heroes like Damien are made for magnificent animals, and this is all the more frustrating for Preston. He is aware of his limitations. His dogs are specially trained, and there is a need for them and this fills him with pride—but it is hard for him to go outside his comfort zone, and while he can do it, he needs more time to center himself and arrange his very unique brain, and he needs his routine, or he loses all of the things he can do in the very concrete maze of the things he can’t. Preston wants to go all the places Damien can go—but horses are never going to be his thing, and flying by the seat of his pants will never be his thing, so Damien must be the one to change.

Fortunately for both of them, Damien—who will never stop loving horses—has also come to crave peace and quiet. The activity of Preston’s home, training and caring for the many dogs Preston and his crew care for, has the potential to give Damien peace he’s never had. 

So when Preston offers to get horses for Damien, horses Damien can ride on his property, while Preston is training his dogs, this is—for these two men—the equivalent of a marriage gift. This is Preston’s way of saying, “I will never love horses—but I love you. I will get horses for you, if you will come to my quiet home and love me.”

Damien has known Preston for nearly twenty years—he understands what horses mean.

The question is, will he take Preston up on his offer?

Well, it is a romance—the answer is, probably. Because sometimes the grand romantic gesture comes from the most unlikely of places.

In Preston’s case, it’s in the willingness to host idiot dogs on his property, because he knows they are, in reality, the magnificent animals his lover adores.