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

Monday, November 23, 2020

All the... small things...

 I've got small things at the moment--every time I try to write a big thing on the blog it comes out super long and super personal and I'm just not ready to do that, so small and perky it shall be!


*  Speaking of small things... I saw a teeny-tiny Maltese/Shih Tzu in the store today. I was shameless. We were all wearing masks (and Citrus Heights mask/distance protocol is pretty sound) and I just wanted to stare at the dog. I stayed in the middle of the end-cap as the person was passing my by:

"Don't mind me. I'm going to stare besottedly at your dog until you pass. She's adorable!"

"Thank you!"

And then we talked dogs for a moment--but I did have a moment of pause.

This was a small dog--this dog would be, at biggest, eight pounds. She was two months old and maybe two pounds total and an absolute doll, which is pretty much where Geoffie was.

But Geoffie was always such a little scrapper. Even as a baby she never would have let us carry her into a store--she was sure she had a giant voice, even then. I remember introducing her to Johnnie, setting her in front of him and thinking, "Oh God! He's huge! He's almost fourteen pounds! He'll destroy her!"

And Johnnie looked at her for a couple of days like he was afraid of just that.

And then, on like the third day, she did her Geoffie thing--it's terribly rude, but we can't seem to break her of it. She feinted--not passed out, but fake-lunged. It's the most terrible body language for a dog. It says, "I'm gonna get you!" and Goddess forbid a 200 lb. St. Bernard take her up on that, right?

But she did it to Johnnie, and Johnnie retreated, and it was like somebody had run a bell in our living room.

Let's get rrrrrrrready to RRRRRRRRRUMMMMBLLLLLEEE!!!!!

And ladies and gentlemen, it was ON!

And, at around ten o'clock at night, it has BEEN on ever since. 

Let's hear it for rumbling and tumbling, and small dogs who would never, ever stay in a purse.

* Speaking of small things... the kids are forever asking me about when they were little. And I forget sometimes that I've written this blog partially as a way to keep track of my observations about being a mother and about how much fun (or sometimes not fun)  they are.

So I was looking for a ficlet I'd written a long time ago and of course couldn't find it (I use tags pretty consistently on the Patreon, which makes things easier, but oi! Took me long enough!) Anyway--I did encounter a story of Squish, who had recently discovered MAD-LIBS.

"Mom, want to play a game of MAD-LIBS?"

"Sure, but, uh, maybe wait until I'm out of the bathroom first?"

"No, no--we can do it now. Name a noun!"

So I retold Squish--and the entire family--about this, and we all had a good giggle, and it was reassuring. My kids have gone through some shit times this year--everything from coming out (both as gay and NB in Squish's case)--to having the entire blanket ripped out from under his feet for ZoomBoy, they've been sad and upset and generally worrying for the last few months. And to find out that hey, thanks to the maskless wonders out there, they might not get to attend school in January? Oh my God--fuck us all sideways with a chainsaw, because I don't think we're gonna make it anyway.

So it was good to remember, there was a time when laughter was super easy, and we did it all the time.

*  And speaking of laughter--

We shotgunned the entire first season of the Animaniacs reboot. I was going to recapture the television but, A. I loved it, and B. My kids and I were watching the same thing, and oh my God we had a good day even if none of us frickin moved. At this point I'd sell my soul to know my kids weren't in their rooms obsessing over the darkness within.

So the new Animaniacs--very funny. Highly recommend. 

Also, Dot apparently has a crush on Chris Pine, and so do I.

* In completely unrelated news, tonight I made Mate watch Unstoppable for the one-hundred-and-fiftieth time.

Goodnight everybody!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

There's this thing... from the sky!

 Cat: Mom!

Me: Yeah?

Cat: Mom!

Me: What?

Cat: Mom!

Me: Oh my God--

Cat: It's wet outside!

Me: Cat, you're wet!

Cat: I'm wet!

Me: Stop touching me!

Cat: Get it off! Get it off! Get it off!

Me: Here--if you would just stand sti--

Cat: LET ME USE YOUR ANKLES AS A TOWEL!

Me: You're sopping!

Cat: Oh, that's much better! Wet food!

Me: No, you just had some--

Cat:  Don't make me slime you again.

Me:  Fine! Just--

Cat:  That was delicious. You know what would chase that down just right?

Me: God no--

Cat: Birds. I'm gonna go outside and see if there's any birds in the rain.

Me *weakly*:  Fine, you do that.

Dogs: Mom!

Me: I don't want to hear--

Dogs: Mom!

Me: Fine, what?

Dogs: It's WET outside!

Me: We've established that.

Dogs: It's wet outside and we have to PEE!

Me: Well, you know. Go outside and do your thing. No one will ever know.

Dogs: But it's WET outside! What do we look like, the CAT?

Cat: Hey boys.

Dogs: AUGH! IT'S WET! *runs away*

Cat:  Don't mind me... I'm just gonna sit on Mom's chest like this--

Me: AUGH! LET ME MOVE MY KNITTING!

Cat: And now I'm gonna lick my butthole. 

Me: So this is my life now.

Cat: Don't think of picking up your knitting. 

Me: Wouldn't dream of it.

Cat: Could you scratch a little harder? Right there... on my shoulder...

Me: As you wish.

Cat: Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.....

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Four Boys in the Park with Masks

 Back before I realized that sci-fi usually ended badly--Star Trek and Star Wars being the exceptions at the time--I thought that was the kind of writing I wanted to do. I was reading a story in a sci-fi magazine about a prison guard in the future.

He was responsible for giving prisoners experimental drugs in the form of candy, and the prisoners signed on for it, but he was resentful: they were in a time of famine and his own children were stuck eating sugar bread, which they hated, and he'd worked hard his whole life so they wouldn't have to do that.

As the narrative progressed, we realized there was something wrong with his youngest, his youngest was bleeding through the nose, and our hero was stuck in a paralysis of guilt and fear. He'd snuck four jellybeans to his youngest--just four--because his youngest was his baby, and he just wanted to give him something good.

Of course I was younger then, and the young live in a world of absolutes, so I believed that this was tragic karma--the man had believed himself better than the prisoners, and he hadn't realized he was inflicting terrible things on them, and what he'd inflicted on his son was a punishment.

Now, I know better. I know that the terrible pressures of a scary world and perceived injustices--and an almost desperate need for our children to have better than we did--can drive good people to do tragic deeds.

Which leads me to tonight.

ZoomBoy... isn't doing so well in the Covid  semi-isolation. His sibling has managed to plan days out with friends, with masks, going shopping, or drive-by giftings, so that the lack of social interaction is not quite so pressing, but there is still safe behavior.

ZoomBoy--not so much. And the pain of hearing my son say he has nothing to look forward to, and he doesn't see a way out of being a perpetual teenager, and he feels like he's disappearing...

Is acute.

So tomorrow is his birthday, and in a fit of rash hope, I told him he could meet friends at the park to play games. Video games, board games, whatever. They could wear masks and eat takeout and we'd bring cookies and they could... just be... you know. Boys. 

He asked three kids and they all showed up, and they talked and played games, occupying their own isolated picnic table while Squish and Mate and I took up another one. And for two hours, as the cold sun set in the autumn cobalt sky, I watched my son be happy.

Four boys, wearing masks, playing games--it shouldn't feel like the equivalent of a free-X rave, with heroin in every corner and chugging a beer as a token of admission, should it?

Four boys, wearing masks, giving each other quiet shit about being, well, boys. About how one guy didn't answer his text so he didn't get takeout, and another guy gave ZoomBoy a "Happy 5th birthday" card and that was hilarious. Who was listening to Viking metal? Who wanted to play Among Us? Who was passing English? (Not ZoomBoy!)

His grandparents aren't coming to his birthday dinner tomorrow, and we all know Thanksgiving is my house. Again. Where even the newer floors have grooves from our shuffling feet from this last year of doing so very, very little that makes our hearts brighten.

I miss my parents. I miss my friends. I miss the days when I could talk to my children on the way home from school and their deepest darkest sadness could usually be resolved in the time it took to get home.

Four boys in the park with masks. 

Was the risk worth it? 

I'm sure people will read this post and say, "God no, you selfish dumbass!" And some will read it and go, "I get it, but...Amy." 

And some will think I'm overreacting and it will all be fine.

And all I can tell you is I'd reached the point of sadness in my own heart that if I did not see some joy in my children, I would have broken. I'm the family's emotional support animal. I do patrol-dog checks on the family. 

"How you doing? Doing okay? Can I get you anything? How's the grades? What can I do to help? Going shopping--can I get you anything?" 

I am the human equivalent of a cold nose thrust under the covers to check for breathing and healthy smells.

If my people do not smell healthy, I am besides myself with anxiety--and my people are getting a little ripe.

So my breaking point was this: Four boys, in the park, with masks. 

And my son, smiling all yesterday and today, to know he is not alone.

May we all stay healthy. May we make only the mistakes we can live with. May we hunker down and make it safely to the spring.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

One or Two Things


* So, back when we were first in quarantine, and toilet paper was scarce, we bought this ultra green toilet paper, made with bamboo and quilted ad infinitum.

Ladies and gentleman, I regret to inform you, it is not Charmin.  

Enough said.


* I made a decent stroganoff tonight. In related news the smoke should be cleared in another hour or so. No, I didn't set the food on fire. 

The stove on the other hand...


* Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are going to be our next President and MVP and I am profoundly grateful. If we can just make it until the 20th of January, we might not have to wake up every morning and worry about what "that shithead" did now.

Which we have been doing for the last thirty, forty years since 2016.


* It's really cold. This is both super exciting and super unfortunate.

My feet are freezing and the smoke might take another hour or so to clear.


* I start writing again tonight after a mini-break of taking care of all my admin stuff. Tonight, my Patreon. Tomorrow, Jordan's story.

Sorry, NANOWRIMO, I may come up short this year.


* I also finished the technicolor dream-jumper and sent it out to the poor soul I made it for. 

Hopefully we'll still be friends when it arrives.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

And we will continue...

 To wake up in the morning, and do as much good as we can.

And teach our children love, and to love those around them.

And that EQUALITY and JUSTICE should be for all people. All. And so should love.

And that bigotry is a sin and should be a crime.

And racism is a sin and should be a crime.

And that our systems are important and there for a reason and we need to make sure they treat all people well. All. People. And if they can't do that, they need to be repaired or replaced.

And that education is important.

That violence is rarely the answer. 

That integrity matters.

That choosing friends over greed is a choice they can live with.

That the opinion of "the internet" means less than nothing.

But the opinion of people who know us and are touched by our kindness is to be valued.

And to live our lives as close to our ideals as we can muster. And forgive ourselves our flaws. And strive to educate before we alienate. 

And believe in goodness, even if it's such a small voice in the maelstrom.

Because there is no choice.

If there is to be a tomorrow. 

Blessed Goddess, holy God, 

In the future's name we pray.

So may it be.


Kermit Flail--Escape from November Style!

 


*looks furtively around* Yay?

*looks around again* *sees the coast is clear* 

YAYAYAYAAYYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYYAYAYAY!

Okay folks--hang onto your shorts, we all know what's happening on Tuesday, and I'll be honest. I WISH it was just that I have a new book out. (Well, I do, but that's not the thing on Tuesday!)

Anyway--if you need to ESCAPE from what's happening Tuesday--and what promises to be a VERY tense week for us all, well, you can't get better than books, and I've got some good ones here! 

Liz Faraim--a new les-fic writer--is out with Canopy, and I've heard Liz read parts of this one, and omg--if you want suspense and action and tenderness and humor? THIS is the book you've been waiting for. Also, it's set in Sacramento about 20 years ago, and I am down for that. Seriously--Liz's writing style is stunning and you will enjoy this so much.

If you want some healthy athletic escapes, well, Kate McMurray has the final book in her Olympic series coming out, and I don't know about you, but nicely muscled men with stunning athletic skills have always done it for me, and Kate's a fun writer with a dry sense of humor and love of sports--this should definitely deliver!

And what if you just wish Halloween had lingered a little longer? Well, I've got a treat for you! Besides my offering, All the Rules of Heaven, which features a gender-transcendent being and a reluctant empath, we've also got the Mary Janice Davison of m/m paranormal romance visiting! E.J. Russell, who is lovely and gracious and writes adorable charming books has two releases to share with us this month, and that really IS a treat with no tricks!

And my adorable faithful wonderful PA Barbie has some suggestions as well!

So, yes--the week is going to be tense, and I might be eating myself into a sugar coma in sheer stress and terror, but if I do? At least I'll have something to read when I need a break from it all. Here's to new beginnings and the start of a newer, better leadership--and here's to books that'll get us through in the interim!





Witch Under Wraps (A Mythmatched Novel)

by E.J. Russell



When supernatural secrets collide, it’ll take more than coffee to brew the perfect love.

When Ky Hern├índez bonded with his familiar, Zuri, his life changed forever. Their connection turned him into a practicing witch and led him to his calling as a medimagical professional. However, it totally tanked his love life—what guy would settle for eternal second place behind a parrot? So Ky keeps his witchy nature under wraps and sticks to hookups with humans, which can never go anywhere. But the mouthwatering barista at the coffee shop next door makes him thirst for more than a caffeine fix.

The charms Ewan Jones uses to appear human are inconvenient, disorienting, and . . . necessary. Ewan and his siblings are achubyddion, metaphysical healers whose powers are coveted by unscrupulous supernatural beings. And let’s face it: all supes are unscrupulous, given the right incentive. He’s grateful for the protections that hide his little family, and for the barista job that keeps them housed and fed. He’s just so lonely. And his regular, Ky, the super-hot, commitment-averse EMT, seems like the perfect candidate for a one-night shot at intimacy. After all, humans are no threat.

It takes a clumsy coffee shop intern, a mysterious werewolf epidemic, and one snarky parrot to unravel their pasts—and give them a chance at a future.

 

Buy Here

 

 




Duke the Hall (Royal Powers Book 9)

by E.J. Russell



A yuletide wedding brings tidings of comfort, joy… and peril.

Eighteen months ago, Tarik Jaso, Duke of Arles, would have been thrilled if Sander Fiala, Duke of Roses, sank beneath the waves along with his stupid boat.

That was then.

Now, Tarik can’t wait to head out on a private sail with Sander—a sail that will culminate in a highly public, politically significant wedding. Their union will be the first one between North and South Abarran royalty in centuries. If all goes to plan, it will usher in a new era of peace and cooperation between their countries.

But as the big day approaches, their meticulous arrangements begin to fall apart. Can Sander and Tarik weather the storm of political opposition, familial objection, and outright betrayal to reach the altar at last?

Duke the Hall is a 40,000 word M/M superhero rom-com featuring two dukes determined to tie the knot, relatives both helpful and annoying, spiteful thunderstorms, superhero sabotage, and hints that things are not all they seem.

Note: Duke the Hall is not a stand-alone story. It’s the sequel to Duking It Out and as such contains spoilers for the earlier book.

 

Releasing November 17, 2020

Amazon/KU





Race for Redemption


by Kate McMurray



Sprinter Jason Jones Jr., known around the world as JJ, is America’s hope to take the title of Fastest Man in the World, the champion of the Olympic 100-meter sprint. Two years before, a doping scandal brought his winning streak to a crashing end, and even though he’s been cleared of wrongdoing, he’s finding it hard to escape the damage to his reputation. At the Games in Madrid, no one believes he’s innocent, and officials from the doping agency follow him everywhere. It just fuels JJ’s determination to show them he’s clean and still the fastest man on earth.

If only he wasn’t tempted by foxy hurdler Brandon Stanton, an engineering student and math prodigy who views each race like a complicated equation. His analytical approach helps him win races, and he wants to help JJ do the same. But JJ’s been burned too many times before and doesn’t trust anyone who has all the answers. No matter how sexy and charming JJ finds Brandon, the Olympics is no place for romance. Or is it?






Canopy

by Liz Faraim


Vivian Chastain is an adrenaline addicted veteran transitioning to civilian life in Sacramento, California. She settles into a new routine while she finishes up college and works as a bartender, covering up her intense anxiety with fake bravado and swagger. All Vivian wants is peace and quiet, but her whole trajectory changes when she stumbles upon a heinous crime in progress, and has to fight for her life to get away.

While recovering from the fight, she falls in love with someone who is tall in stature but short on emotional intelligence, and this toxic union provides Vivian the relationship that she thinks she needs. Given Vivian’s insecurities and traumatic past, she clings to the relationship even while it destroys her.

Prone to fits of rage, the spiraling of Vivian’s temper creates a turning point for her as she looks within to find the peace she seeks.

Together, Vivian’s alcoholic brother and emotionally devoid mother serve as frequent thorns in her side, prompting her turbulent history to often bubble up to the surface. The bubbling turns to a rolling boil when Vivian’s brother lands himself in jail for drunken indiscretions, and not long afterward her partner is arrested for something so atrocious Vivian cannot even fathom it. She is left pondering whether or not to believe that the person she loves could have committed such an inexcusable crime.

Vivian’s relationships are strained to their breaking points as she continues to seek balance. She turns to her best friend for support, only to be left empty handed and alone until she finds comradery and care from the last person she would have thought.


Barbie's Corner--

Elves After Dark

Various Authors!

So, Barbie's offering this month is a multi-author Christmas Bundle, and the entries look sooper sexy and sooper adorable to boot!

Take a look! Some years people want to linger over Halloween, and some years people need Christmas to start early, and some years, we need them BOTH!





All the Rules of Heaven

by Amy Lane 

When Tucker Henderson inherits Daisy Place, he’s pretty sure it’s not a windfall—everything in his life has come with strings attached. He’s prepared to do his bit to satisfy the supernatural forces in the old house, but he refuses to be all sweetness and light about it.

Angel was sort of hoping for sweetness and light.

Trapped at Daisy Place for over fifty years, Angel hasn’t always been kind to the humans who have helped him in his duty of guiding spirits to the beyond. When Tucker shows up, Angel vows to be more accommodating, but Tucker’s layers of cynicism and apparent selfishness don’t make it easy.

Can Tucker work with a gender-bending, shape-shifting irritant, and can Angel retain his divine intentions when his heart proves all too human?