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

Friday, June 24, 2022

Choices

 I'm so angry.

Every woman in America should be this angry--but some of you aren't and now I'm pissed at you.

I mostly blog for myself these days--I don't use it for an advertising platform much, and my kids have gotten to the point where their oddness and absurdity can be captured in a brief FB post. They also loathe having their pictures taken, so, you know. Blogs aren't quite the medium. But right now I'm mad, and I'm trying to write and this anger keeps getting in the way and I need to get it out. I can't HAPPY EVER AFTER right now, when my inside keeps turning with HOW FUCKING DARE THEY. 

When I was a kid growing up in the Nor-Cal bible belt, my parents may have been liberal, but abortion was wrong. All my friends said so. But then, you know, you grow up, and people start going, "Yeah, except for rape. It should be legal then. Or incest. I mean, when the woman has no choice--it's not her fault." And then you think, "Well, what about people who are really young--fifteen is too young to have a baby--there should be something about that in there." Or, "What if she doesn't have the means? It sucked growing up poor, but my parents had access to a brighter day--what if you can't have that brighter day with a kid at your heels?" Or, "Well, also if her health is at risk. Definitely if her health is at risk." Or even, horribly, "And definitely if the baby is dead or brain dead--it would be HORRIFYING to have to walk around with a rotting corpse inside your body while you tried to grieve."

And then it occurred to me. I was maybe fourteen. "Well, who gets to make these decisions? If a woman is too young, too broke, too old, too sick, too much of mess, too non-consenting to have a child, who gets to say? Does she have to go in front of a panel of old white guys and spill out her entire life's story to explain why she doesn't need to have this baby right now? Seriously, who the fuck are they to judge this hypothetical woman?"

Who the fuck are they?

Who the fuck was I

And like that, I realized why my parents had protested the government. 

Fast forward a reproductive lifetime to when I was thirty-eight. Mate and I, in a fit of miscalculation absolutely laughable in two college educated parents of three, find ourselves pregnant. AGAIN. Holy shit! It took us nine years to get pregnant with Thing 3, and suddenly, two years later, we're pregnant with Thing 4? We ASSUMED we'd have another nine years, and in that time, well, we'd close down the baby factory because we have plans for our late fifties and they mostly include us being able to go places without our children. But pregnant with Thing 4 we were--and make no mistake. We were THRILLED. We had no place to put this baby--but we'd figure it out. We both had jobs. We were resourceful. And Jesus, the house was already a fucking madhouse.

But it was not all baby glow and universe juice.

I was THIRTY-FUCKING-EIGHT years old. This is vastly different than twenty-five in baby-pushing years. I was exhausted. Everything hurt. Thing 3 was not talking yet, Things 1 and 2 were in Junior High and boy wasn't THAT a treat, my job SUCKED, my administration had already proved they hated pregnant women and wanted to kill them with fire, and I was SO FUCKING FAT. (I did not yet know how much fatter I could become. Youth is wasted on the young.) My blood sugar was circling the drain, and I'd developed ulcerative colitis. (All the Itis brothers suck btw--Col Itis, Arthur Itis, Bruce Itis--the entire family is just the fucking worst.) It was HARD having this baby. And still I wanted it. 

I MADE A CHOICE TO HAVE THIS BABY. 

It was a choice of privilege--yes, I would have given my life to have the baby, but I was fortunate because my husband was not an abusive douchebag. I COULD give my life for the baby because I knew he would care for our other children if things went terribly, terribly wrong. 

The fact is, if I hadn't felt like my other three children were safe with him, I could not have, in good conscience, carried through with that pregnancy. 

But all those things--all those factors--were MINE. They weren't for anybody else to decide. Not my parents--who were terrified during the entire pregnancy--and certainly not my government's. 

Mine. 

And fuck anybody who tried to take that choice away from me.

Fuck them now. FUCK. THEM. How dare they. 

How dare they legislate our bodies like this. My body is MINE, shitty choices, destroyed metabolism, all the fucking Itis brothers and all. It's the only body I know how to use. I feel INVADED by this Supreme Court decision, like suddenly all of my choices are under scrutiny, as though I have to appeal to that intimidating panel of judgy fucking assholes for everything from my pap smear to my mammogram. And I'm not even of reproductive age anymore. How do my children feel? They are growing up in a world where their only choice requires cash expenditures for a Kevlar vest. And, yes, fuck you SCOTUS for that choice too?

But the idiotic fucking gun law repeals are wholesale slaughter--and for better or worse, that feels less personal than this. The Roe V Wade involves the creepy wrinkled fingers of Mitch McConnel and Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh and Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and the Big Liar himself all crawling around my body, my privates, my womb. They're oozing along my children's bodies, their choices, their sexuality, their personhood, and they've all aimed the Uzi at my head to stop me from protecting my babies.

The overturning of Roe V. Wade is that evil. It's that pernicious. It's that GROSS.  And I don't have any answers besides vote and donate and shake my chubby fist at the sky and howl.

Dear conservative SCOTUS members--  Fuck you. Fuck you all. How dare you. Eat shit and die. Fuck yourselves with an anchor. Choke on your own vomit. I hope demons rip your bladder sout through your urethras and shove them up your noses. I hope your faces fall off with syphilis and all your cronies laugh and judge you while pushing their oozing wrinkly wizened fingers up your assholes and squeeze your shriveled wieners. 

I just want you all to know how WE feel.

Sincerely, women everywhere. 

The end.


Friday, June 10, 2022

Fuckcess and Sailure

 So I'm currently putting together a class that I'm teaching next Wednesday--it's beginning knitting and crocheting, and one of the enrollees wrote to ask what project I'm teaching first, and my response was, "A rectangle. I'm teaching people how to choose materials and make a rectangle. And if their first rectangle is successful, I can teach them how to read a pattern and make a different rectangle--or even a triangle. But first, we start with material choices and what I've learned by doing."

And as I outline this class, I'm thinking of the projects I want to present, and how they're often not perfect, but I learned something from each one. And also how even the imperfect ones usually get used to death and loved.

And while I was outlining the course, I stumbled upon the idea of Fuckcesses and Sailures. 

A Fuckcess is a project that actually turns out--shape is perfect, stitches are perfect, it's everything it was planned to be, but due to material choices or stitch choices the item is really never going to be used. About fifteen years ago, a friend of mine was doing a takedown of Vogue Knitting, and she tore a designer a whole new asshole because of a backless knit dress designed in bulky 100% alpaca wool. As it turns out, the wool company was sort of the hidden bad guy here--as I recall, they told the designer what they wanted and she did her best, but the reason this was a "dress for fuckcess" item rested in the material and item choice. Bulky weight alpaca is lovely stuff--but it has serious drape and zero elasticity. Either it would be written to standard gauge or even a little below and droop so badly that nipples and other things would just pop right through the stitching (remember, it was backless so a bra SHOULDN'T be necessary) or it would be knit so tight that it would hang like a garage door. Also, knitted dresses are often a bad idea if the material choices don't account for the sag in the skirt. As in, it could give a size zero model an ass like a dump truck. I have a shawl of bulky weight alpaca--I love it, but as a form-fitting garment? No. 

And a  capper, I believe the entire garment was done with popcorn stitches, which looked like giant growths in the giant fluffy yarn.

Oh--and if it was cold enough to wear an alpaca dress, leaving the shoulders bare would result in some serious frostbite.

But the dress was very pretty in the picture. That my friends, is a Fuck-cess.

We've all had them. 

I, for instance, have a poncho I made for Mate using super thick kitchen cotton. Looks good. Fits great. Is not warm AT ALL and weighs roughly 300 pounds.

I also have (and this is ready to be presented for the class) this sweater I made chicken. It's bulky weight wool, and to my eyes, it's SOOPER pretty. And the unusual construction worked. The wool itself was a little drapey--I thought a little bit of light felting would make it hang together more, and I was right! It's a little felted, and it's tight, and while it was super big on Chicken then, it comes much closer to fitting now. 

It would be a fine, FINE article of clothing in Toronto, say, or Alaska. Some place where they have snow six months out of the year. 

As opposed to our part of California which is slowly sinking into oblivion because of drought and climate change.

Yeah. This sweater is a FUCKCESS. Did everything I wanted it to and nothing I needed it for. Ta-da!

So that's one side of the coin.

The other side of the coin is much less likely to be seen in knitting magazines. The standard Sailure is something that may have a structural deficit--or several of them. It may have some poor color choices (aherm, in the eyes of everyone but the maker, mind you) and it may have a few missed stitches, but the item is useful, well used, and LOVED. One of my favorite stories of a Sailure is a qiviut shawl made by a woman in recovery. She and the other members of her recovery group became fascinated by the "magic" properties of qiviut yarn, and in spite of the fact that knitting was new to this person--she'd learned it to help her recovery process--and she didn't know how to block, and the shawl was therefore stumpy and short and needed a pin to stay around the neck or shoulders, this shawl was the magic talisman for women who were trying so desperately to live a better life. It was passed from member to member--one wore it when she got her thirty day chip, and then again at a year. Another wore it to her daughter's wedding, where she could only go if she promised to stay sober. 

I would say that this garment, in spite of its structural flaws and knitting errors, was an unqualified SUCCESS--or a Sailure. Any flaws in the construction or knitting sailed right by the wearer's notice, because the garment itself fulfilled its usefulness again and again and again.

Sailures do not get layouts in magazines. They're not often on the blogs of knitting designers or geniuses. But they are unequivocally loved. 

My own personal Sailures are many and documented, but most recently it's this Stevie Nicks inspired hooded cowl--an infinity scarf with a hood--that I made for my sister's birthday using some favorite yarn scraps. I love everything about this by the way, every scrap, every color choice--it just all came together. 

As did the extra twist in the infinity portion of the scarf, giving it almost a knot as opposed to an infinity twist. 

Now, I'd keep this myself--iI love me a good hooded scarf or shawl--but my sister was the first person to tell me, "You know, nobody but you has seen the picture--even the one in your head. What you may be freaking out as a design glitch might be a feature to somebody else."

So I'm writing this one down as a Sailure. And I'm pretty sure she'll wear it to death in the winter. It really is her jam.

And the reason it's important to know about Fuckcesses and Sailures is that it's important to remember why you're doing what you're doing. Some people can only function if everything is perfect--and sometimes I envy those people. But most of the time I'm aware that if I stressed about perfection I'd get nothing done--not knitting, not housework, not traveling. I could easily get obsessed with chumming the water with minutia and not ever see the ocean upon which I knit or write or float. If my bestie asks me for a sweater, I feel like I need to get her a sweater STAT--sometime in the next year. She's COLD, you understand. FREEZING. My yarn may be the only thing between her and certain death from exposure. A miscounted stitch or mildly imperfect seam doesn't matter when death is on the line! Pretty much everything I've given her--and there's been a lot--has been possessed of flaws. And while I see the flaws, she sees the garment and how warm it keeps her.

She sees SUCCESS, and I see SAILURE. 

And sometimes it's okay to just let the F in "failure" sail right by.





Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Trickster gods and Murder birds: Long Con, the Suit

 



Sometimes, I feel like I'm the only one out there who loves the heist subgenre--but I can't help it. I ADORE IT--and while it's mostly found in movies, it has its roots deep in literature and our oldest myths.
I know for me, it started with Barry Hughart's The Flower and the Stone, which featured a premier thief/prostitute who would go seduce jewels away from a man or a woman in the name of the good that Ox and Master Li were doing, and simply saunter up with the needed tchotchke.
"Where did you get that?" they would ask.
"I'm a very bad man."
"Oh--you ARE a very, very bad man."
Except he WASN'T. He was a very GOOD man who played fast and loose with the law to get justice.
That concept was just so delicious!
Indigenous Peoples loved this idea--there was a Coyote or Crow myth for every tribe. Coyote, the trickster god, was their favorite. And he wasn't just out there to make the bigger, more powerful gods learn humility, either. While it's true that sometimes Coyote got his ass handed to him on a platter, in the end, his ultimate goal was to lead The People to safety, to the place under the stars, where they wouldn't need to worry about pain and sorrow any more. In some tribes he foretold the apocalypse--and in some tribes he saved The People from the coming doom. And in some tribes he stopped it altogether, because he wanted to play with those on earth.
But that didn't mean he couldn't play merry hell with the self-important other gods while he was waiting for the big battle.
There is something almost compulsively sexy about a trickster god or goddess. They're a scoundrel, a rake, a seductor--or seductress. The trickster often flirts with gender, sexuality and the societal bounds that we all yearn to cross. Loki spent six years as a mare--where he got bred by another god and gave birth. Cupid changed form in order to seduce Psyche in the dark. The Egyptian god Seth went from married male god to the gay party god depending on his story--and Bugs Bunny, the ultimate American trickster god, looked damned fine in a dress. And men and women would follow a playful, coy Kitsune into adventure. And people root for these gods in their adventures--they go places that the ordinary farmer can't.
In the first book of the Long Con series, Stirling (whose book I am writing RIGHT now) asks Danny--the original Mastermind--"Are we good guys or bad guys?"
Danny tells him they are tricksters. They're there to give things a bit of a push towards both chaos and good. The chaos is the fun part--but the good is what drives them all.
So that's what I keep in mind in this series--but of course that's not my only inspiration--and I've made this very clear. In my real life I tend not to see queer couples absolutely everywhere--I've done a lot of mental matches of het couples as well. We all exist on the same sphere, right? That said, Ocean's 11, Leverage, and The Italian Job all had their moments when I said to myself, "Naw... Charlie and Left-Ear were definitely a thing," or "Parker, Hardison, and Elliot could totally have made it work," or--and I felt this very strongly--"Danny and Rusty just have to admit that their love for each other surpasses all other love."
That's not to say that Charlie and Stella didn't make a very nice couple, and Parker and Hardison have done great things--but Rusty and Danny will forever be head canon, and I wanted to write a series that did that. "Yeah, sure--they are all gay, and the gay gang gets bigger with every book. But the adventures are fun and the hijinks ensue and the banter is dry and surprising. That is the book series I want to write."
And that really came together in this installments. It has old family revenge, noble quests, buried pain, true love, action sequences and murder birds-- what's not to like?
And it also has one of my top twenty favorite couples of all time.
Michael is one of the sweetest, most adorable, most innocent characters I think I've ever written--and he spent two years in prison for armed robbery. Carl assumes he's the boring second-ran of the very flamboyant Salinger crew but he is constantly proving that his very practical mind can run a surprising straight line when everybody else is trying for curves. I loved putting these two men together and seeing something very pure--and very unbreakable--emerge between them.
But they're still tricksters-Carl possibly even more than Michael, although he'll never be arrested in his life.
They're smart and sexy and a little unpredictable, and they're forces for chaos and good.
That's my kind of love story right there--I hope you love it too.
You can find it here:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09Y6BLZNT/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-suit-by-amy-lane-12141-b

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-suit-amy-lane/1140922972?ean=9781641083751



Monday, May 16, 2022

Hair Cut

 "So what can I do for you?"

"A layered bob." I have no idea what that means, but 6/10 times it gets me a hair cut I don't want to attack with pinking shears.

"Okay, we'll do a little texturizing--"

"BY ALL THAT'S HOLY DON'T TOUCH THOSE WEIRD SCISSORS!"

"Okay, okay--touch-ee! How do you propose I thin your hair out?"

"Layers."

"Are you sure?"

"Lots of layers. Do NOT massacre my hair with those things."

"Fine. Layers aren't going to do it."

"They have in the past."

"How about if I buzz cut your back and--"

"Oh God."

"And do a little stacking here--"

"Please God, not the iron throne in the back--"

"And wings! All girls love wings!"

"Please, for the love of God could you layer the front?"

"Layer how--bangs?"

"THAT'S NOT LAYERING."

"You know, you're being awfully picky for someone who didn't know what they wanted."

"A layered bob."

"I don't think you know what that is."

"Well four out of ten hair stylists hear those words and do what I ask."

"What did they do differently?"

"More than one layer in the back of my head, and a flirty little layer in the front."

"That's not really a haircut."

"It was if you grew up in the 80's."

"No, seriously, this will look better."

"Fuck it. I don't care. I don't have to look at me. Whatever."

"Sure. This'll be great. Your hair will take forever to grow out in the back and it will live in your eyes during the heart of summer. You'll love it."

"Fine."

"No, seriously, a little blowdrying, some curling, some product--"

"Look, I know we just met but do you see anything about me that would suggest that's going to happen?"

"Well you don't live in a cave."

"Not by choice."

"Seriously--what do you think?"

"Please tell me you sell scrunchies."

"Yes."

"Then it's fine."

"But--"

"No, seriously, all fifty-somethings like to put their hair up in that little pixy thing 2 year olds do when they don't have enough hair."

"But if you don't like it--"

"If you touch those texturizing scissors I'll stab you with them."

"Who hurt you?"

"PEOPLE WHO DON'T KNOW HOW TO LAYER!"

"Fine, tip?"

"20% okay?"

"And this is why we don't layer."

"Keep the change."



Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Whining Me

 I sang my pain into the ether

Disgusted by my whine

My troubles are so tiny

Not worth sorry, not worth time

Tell your troubles to the river

The river carries on

People have their own loads

It's important to keep calm

But I had a moment's weakness

(Let's face it--there's been more)

And I made my pain a banner

For a friend to see--or two, or four

Or more and more or more

And I hid my face against my pillow

Embarrassed by my pain

For the trifling of my sorrow

And vowed not to sing again.

But I sang my pain into the ether

And my friends didn't think I whined

I'd forgotten that in sorrow

True friends--the best of friends--are never less than kind.


So all--thank you, to everybody who said a kind word to me after last night's blog. EVERYBODY. Everybody. I'm more hopeful today--and I thank all of you for your kindness and the hope you leant to me when mine was behind the drier.

Thank you.


Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Disposable Humans

 Knees ache. Fingers ache. Today I could actually hear my crepitus  echo. And we all know what happened in the Supreme Court. Fuckers. So Mate is pulling me out of my chair because I can't make it without help at the moment, and he says, "This is the last time for the night, right?"

And at that moment my knee gives a giant pop.

And I start to cry.

"I'm useless. I'm so stupid. So stupid. I never should have gotten this fat. If I wasn't this fat my knees wouldn't be crumbling so bad."

"You'e not stupid."

"I'm disposable. Ask the Republicans. I'm too old to be an EZ Bake anymore--absolutely worthless. I have a uterus which satisfies their one requirement for being a woman but it doesn't function, anymore. Women's healthcare is a sin. You could throw me in a trash can but there's not one big enough."

"I'm not throwing you away."

"If we lived in a red state you could just shoot me and let my body fall into the trash truck. It would be fine."

"No. Nobody's getting thrown away."

"Progressives want to--they're great at finding reasons someone isn't good enough to join their club. They throw people away like tissue--there is no other side of the story."

"Well, those are Twitter people. They're like Sicarians (sic) in Guardians of the Galaxy. They're like paper people. In real life you could kick their asses with no knees."

"In real life I couldn't kick their asses when I had knees."

"Well, you've always been a pacifist."

"True. Even when it meant getting my ass kicked."

"And you always got up again."

*sniffles * "I just need more help right now."

"I'll help. I swear I won't throw you away."

*more sniffles* "Even though I'm stupid enough to get fat?"

"Swear."

"Good."



Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Happy happy...

 So yes, I know Sunday was Easter, and we had a lovely one. Family at my mom's house--we all brought something. It was also her birthday, so pretty much, the only thing she had to cook was a veggie tray--woohoo!  It was funny--I'd had my sister signed up for dessert of some sort, but that morning my mom's best friend showed up at her door at eight in the morning with a cake she'd just "thrown together" that was so gorgeous it made me cry. Also, its as as good as it looked--and that doesn't always happen!

And the kids got candy and clothes--pretty much the standard Easter basket in our house. There was also much sleeping in and recovering, which everybody had to do because Saturday was also special--but once in a lifetime (we hope) special and that takes it out of you!

Saturday was my oldest son's--Big T's--engagement party.

And it was lovely. The kids had it at a beer and sandwich place with a covered patio, and the bride's brother brought fancy cupcakes from where he worked, and there was pizza and happy conversation and a general appreciation for two young people whom, I think it was concluded, were really really loved. 

I stood up to give a toast--I think the entire family sort of bowed it over to me, it was weird. I remembered when Big T was eight years old and he stood and greeted people to his birthday party. He smiled and told them where to put the presents and thanked them for coming and was, in general, the perfectly good host. As I was watching the kids (Okay-- they're 28 and 29!) greet their guests and be fun and excited and generally super awesome adults getting ready to enter a new stage of super awesome adulthood, I had the thought that they were perfect for each other. 

So that's what I said for my toast (except better, cause I write sometimes.)

Anyway--for their engagement present they got wedding crocs.

Yes, I know, classy. 

But you have to understand.

Chicken got two pairs of crocs and loved them--so she bought a pair for her grandparents for Christmas. I was getting tired of wrecking my feet while cooking because I hated wearing shoes in the house, so I thought, "Hey, I should get a pair of those!" The first pair was too small, and it was sitting on the floor while I tried to muster up the enthusiasm to trade them in, when ZoomBoy walked in, put them on, and said, "Thank you Mom!" and flip-crocced out of the room. The next pair I got DID fit me, and Squish saw me and ZoomBoy wearing our crocs and said, "Uhm... why didn't I get a pair?"

So that's four of us. Wearing crocs. 

We wore them to the movies, where we were meeting Big T and Beautiful A to see a show, and A said, "Hey--your whole family is wearing those. How funny!"

And I'd been banging my head against a wall to think of something I could give them besides just gift certificates to someplace practical to make it easier to pay for the wedding.

And I went,  "Aha!" And then I decorated the crap out of them--glitter tulle, champagne jibblitz, pink bows for hers, black bows for his--Wedding crocs.

They were adorable. Also, I got Beautiful A the fuzzy ones, because that's some nice shit there.

So we had a big weekend--and my kids were happy. And my dad and stepmom were happy.

And Mate and I were happy.

And that doesn't happen as often as it could, so Happy Easter everybody. 

May we all get our moments of chocolate, ham, and pretty sunny picnics on a Sunday afternoon.





Monday, April 4, 2022

Ten Things That Don't Look Like Writing But Are

 We've all seen the memes--Jim Carrey typing madly at the computer, looking possessed. The cat, paws flying, putting in that order for never-ending catnip. The old-style author, with the pipe and the whiskey and the old S-electric typewriter. Even the odd Shakespeare or Byron, with fingers stained with oak gall ink from the carved quill nub.

When people envision a writer at work, they envision some sort of industry. After all, writers are constantly whining about how hard it all is--shouldn't it at least look like we're working?

There's a word in this trade... fairly important... *snaps arthritic sausage fingers* What is it? Oh yeah.

Irony.

Ironically enough, some of the most productive moments writers have happen when it looks like they're doing something completely different. Here are ten things that it looks like I'm doing when I am, in fact, writing.

#10--Wandering around the house, talking to myself. My husband used to ask if I was yelling at him--or the kids--in my  mind when he saw me having an obviously intense conversation with someone who wasn't in front of me. "Nope," I'd say. "I'm writing." He was usually very relieved.

#9--Doing the laundry. A. It's so boring it feels like I should be doing something else productive while I'm doing it, and B. See Item #10. Wandering around the house with a laundry basket is a perfect opportunity in which to talk to one's self. True fax. 

#8--Doing the dishes. Yes, you may be sensing a theme here about housework. Before I make my list more than ten items I may as well add vacuuming, sweeping, and cooking to the list. But not organizing--organizing actually uses brain power for me, and I can't organize my house to clean it if I'm trying to have multiple conversations simultaneously in my head. Which is probably why my house is an epic disaster zone. 

#7--Walking the dogs. Yes, much of the time I'm listening to an audiobook or music, but there are times when I shut all that off because my brain is too busy. The fun thing about this one is that even though it's basically the same thing as wandering around and talking to myself, it doesn't look like it because there are dogs. Because there are dogs, it looks like exercise. Win/win.

#6--Taking a shower. I mean, we've all washed that shit before, right? And this way nobody can see that you're actually engaged in #10. It's like a little cubicle with relaxing warm water and good smells, all designed to send you to other planets where you can have intense conversations with the people in your head.

#5--Applying hand cream. Extra points if it's some sort of liniment for arthritic sausage fingers, because then it looks like self care, when it's really a chance to sit at my desk and talk to myself--although usually a fill-in-the-gap measure, for little sentences to get you to the next big exciting part.

#4--Cleaning the desk. Seriously--have you seen my house? Why would my desk be even close to clean if there wasn't some sort of underlying writing need behind all of that organization and dusting. Also, it helps to get the cat dander out from between the keyboard letters so it's not so hard to push down on them with my arthritic sausage fingers.

#3--Staring into space. This is really just wandering around the house talking to myself but sitting flat on my ass with my mouth closed.

#2--Getting a snack. Write write write! Pause, stare into space, put on some hand cream... transitional phrase! Now on to the next part but first... I need cheesy-poofs. Get up, get cheesy-poofs, and by the time I'm back, with a little detour to refresh my fizzy water and ice, I have the next exciting part ready to type out. See? It only looks like cheesy-poofs and no willpower, but in reality it's actually part of a much grander scheme.

#1--Napping. Or resting my eyes. Or, you know, staring into space with my eyes closed while imaginary people have conversations in my head about what they're going to do next in my book. You know. Writing but without the keyboard.

Yeah--I only wish I looked like the Jim Carrey gif when I was writing. Looking at this list, there is absolutely nothing to distinguish me from the everyday sort of chubby lunatic in a hoarder house full of yarn... except the book at the end.


Thursday, March 24, 2022

The. End.

 The. End.


So, The Luck Mechanics, book 1, is complete and I'm super excited. Yes, because I love finishing a book but because my life exploded, and for a little while there I couldn't write. My brain was too overloaded with other things--not to mention my life was too busy with consequences of those things.

I was so relieved that, after life settled down again, the writing was there, waiting for me to come back to it, and it hadn't been stopped forever. What I had wasn't writers block, really--I knew where the book was going and what I had to do to get there--it was terminal distraction. I had good reason to be distracted, and I wasn't going to beat myself up for it, but to find that it wasn't permanent...

I cannot contain my relief.

So for those who see a bit of a hole in my release schedule next year, you'll know why. For a moment, real life really did overwhelm me. And I can't promise this book won't need a shitton of paint, some screen doors and a bit of a makeover from the inside out to work.

But I'm proud of finishing--I'm SO proud of finishing. I've always prided myself on treating this like a profession and fulfilling the promises I make to my reader and my publisher, even when what I really want to do is knit and cry and watch NCIS (or whatever my hyper fixation at the time may be.)

I didn't do that. As soon as I could, I was back at the keyboard, even if I had to go gingerly because my arthritis had become a living breathing entity and not just a "some day when I get older" possibility.

I've been teaching a couple days a week for the past two weeks, and when I outlined ways for writers to help craft their stories I was reminded every time that I'd spent two and a half months writing a relatively short book and I wanted to cringe--and cry. But now I feel like I've lived up to those teachings, and that my professionalism has done me a service.

And I can sleep in, just a minute, before waking up to edit and submit.

And then I can start the next book (the Tech) because it's never "The End" when there's so much more to write.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Miracles and Whatnot

 Omg--I'm surprised I haven't told you all this already.

We cured the dog.

Okay--she wasn't sick, but I'm telling you, hauling that barking pack of Chi-who-whats through the park or through the neighborhood was starting to really wear at me. And we were the most hated dogs at the park. I mean, THE most hated dogs at the park. The lady with the boxer still curses our name whenever she sees us.

And then one day, I remembered the purple squirt bottle.

It's not much--small, meant for hair, fits in the hand. I bought it for this specific purpose, but I kept forgetting it and never used it and then, one day, I remembered it.

I swear, It took three squirts, maybe four, and suddenly...

We went from a rabid clatter of furry house demons to a... well, they're still the Chihuahua mafia, and they're still trying to carry out a hit on me and make my death look like an accident, BUT they haven't enlisted anymore homeowners or park walkers into their nefarious scheme.

In short? 

They all shut the hell up.

I'm boggled. 

I'm baffled.

I'm...

ELATED. 

Oh my God. Walking at the park is a joy again. I'm so happy. 

I haven't abused it, either. In fact, today I FORGOT IT. But it didn't matter. Literally a couple of squirts and Ginger and Carl have just remembered to shut the hell up.

It's blissful.

For the record? Geoffie? 

Has not. 

She thinks the water is just a happy little break from routine. Looks around, smiles, keeps on barking. But she still runs toward friends and rolls over to her back and exposes her stomach. I mean, Geoffie.

So there you go. A miracle. They're rare, but very satisfying.

And as for the whatnot?

I'm currently teaching my Crafting Category series in two places--one live, through the local junior college outreach, and one online, through the Paranormal Romance Guild. It's been a while since I gave classes--I'm sort of tickled. I gave my first live one in about two years, today, and they were super appreciative. I was so happy!

So, miracles and whatnot. 

You can't count on them, but they sure are nice when they happen.