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

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The really great and the sort of irritating...

Okay--really great?

B-MoonI got it's first review on! SQUEEEEEEE! That's it, guys. I mean, there's still some stomach-heaving, nail chewing anxiety out there in the process, but, still, I'm good! You all like it! You really really really like it! (I knew you did...but something about that first written review--I'm telling you's weird. It's like a baby not seeming human until it's wearing a hat--it makes no sense. But for me and this book thing, it's absolutely true.)

(For some reason my link thing ain't workin' today, so we'll just pretend it is, 'kay?) Okay--also on the 'really great' front, Floyd, a.k.a. Tabitha, is 3/4 of the way through *Bound*. He's still depressed because I apparently represent the proofreading collapse of POD authors everywhere (almost his exact words) HOWEVER, (and it's a biggie!) he'd still rather read one of my badly proofread books as opposed to, say, (another exact quote!) Dan Brown's *Da Vinci Code*. Do check out his blog on (again, sorry, no linkie thingie--I think it has to do with blogging at work!) and let me know what you think. I think that for a guy who SO does not get the genre, he's done a damned fine job of keeping his mind open and his reviewing as professional as possible. And he wishes I would read my manuscripts one damned more time. (I didn't want to point out that I DO read them five times, I really DO! Because that would just make me look pathetic, really.)

Okay--so those things were really really great! And so was Ladybug sitting on my lap , (remember, she's not even two yet) with a size 16 tapestry needle and a pile of buttons, making herself a pretty-pretty necklace. She was SOOOOO GOOD ABOUT IT, TOO! She finished the necklace and her sister put it on her and she was soooooo proud. And I was damned impressed, because the Cave Troll is such an obsessive compulsive spaz about all things crafted that if we tried to get him to do it, he'd squeal until our eardrums bled, and then throw the buttons across the room. So Ladybug is awesome, and I'm surprised! My family doesn't do hand/eye coordination. It does do good verbal skills (which she gots!) and apparently we do extraordinarily pretty children, which I'll brag about as well!

And Ravelry is really great! Flickr works so much better than blogger for pictures! I"m so excited about that! What I am wondering, (and perhaps I should wonder on Ravelry, but so many of us double-dip!) is how I can attach my 11pg. document that I've been working on since I first started to my file, so I can say, "Well, these are the things I've done SINCE Ravelry, but my other stuff is here!"

Because, uhm, people? 11 pages. 10 pt. font. NO pictures. It's only impressive as a mass.

And now for the sort of irritating. Amazon RAN OUT OF MY BOOKS DAMMIT!!! Can you believe that funky assed bullshit? The ordered two books, sold them, shipped them, and for everybody else who was waiting on their book baskets, just yanked the books out of the basket! And not just Bitter Moon I, either! They ran out of ALL my books! And I'm sort of on a hot streak, and nobody buys your damned books if it looks like you're out of print, DAMMIT, and I'm pissed as hell that my publishing company allowed this to happen! I know, I know. I'm a tiny obscure fish in a tinier pond hidden under a rock in a quarry, but still... this fish is pissed and wants to bite the finger off of the big bad quarry-man, because he's stupid and I hate him.

But I understand that shit resolves itself eventually--hopefully before people forget they ever wanted my books!--and Bitter Moon I is good. You all told me and told me, and I finally believe you. And I can relax.

For now.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

And in addendum:

Item the First: Governor Arnold is going to cut the education budget so severely next year that he's going to send the state with one of the highest costs of living in the nation into the exalted position of 46th in the nation in terms of $$$ per kid. Thanks, Governor, you're doing exactly what I thought you would when the rest of the state voted for you in Terminator II.

Item the Second: I got my latest rejection letter for *Bitter Moon I* from a publishing company today. Now some people cheerfully say that they paper their walls with their rejection letters, but after I rip mine into little pieces, spit on them, and throw them in with the cat-litter, I really don't see the point.


If I didn't hate my fourth period so much I'd show movies tomorrow and wallow in my depression, but really, I'd forego all of the movie going pleasure to piss those people off. Now THAT'S something to look forward to!

That rarity of rarities and my own common neurosis...

My 5th period class is quietly doing their work, and I got bored and decided to blog.

Someone check the bible--I think this could be a sign of something truly dire.

The truth is, my 2nd period was vile enough to make up for this seeming obedience. A few weeks ago, I moved everybody to a seating chart, and told them that if things went well enough, I'd let them migrate back to their friends. It wasn't working out, so I broke up my chatty little groups again, and when I got to the girl who hates me, what burst out of her mouth was "Mrs-Fucking-Lane!"

She was the first referral of the day.

The kid who's gonna move into independent study was the second, just for screwing around when the rest of the class was listening.

His buddy (with whom he was doing bizarre little pantomimes across the class) would have been third, but the bell rang.

So the kid who built a pyramid of Kleenex in my 4th period on the day I was absent got to be third.

Things went a little more smoothly after that.

So, yes, I think I've earned this moment of quietude. Providing it lasts longer than a second and a half!

Anyway, I got to (got to...any parent will tell you that it's not really 'got to', it's more like 'had to') go to Big T's 2nd semester Back to School night last night--need I mention that it was 38 degrees (don't weep for us, Toronto--I know we've got it mild...but then, we also know we've got it mild and forget to wear our winter coats when we end up having to walk the 1/2 a mile to the school itself because we had to park across the street, effectively freezing our large, middle-aged asses off!) But other than the cold, and the map drawn by a moron doing time in an asylum for the criminally insane which led me around the school three times until I begged an ROTC cadet for mercy, the night was pretty decent. T has nice teachers, although I'm sure they thought I was a total nutcase--especially since I knit through all their presentations to stay awake.

But that's pretty much how I survived the whole day yesterday--we had meetings on the accelerated reader program, and I could tell how excited it was making me when I moved from the vanilla sock to the pistachio fingerless mitt, simply because I was knitting in my sleep with the sock, and the mitt kept me sort of cogent. By the way, I can't help but feel that if the presentation enthralled me that much, I can't wait to see what the program's gonna do for our kids. (OUr district just does this shit, man--they go 'hey--this sounds good' and without consulting teachers in any school site, they spend a bajillion dollars on a program we wouldn't take the time to puke on.)

*Sigh* Anyway... let's move on to the fact that I'm so anxious about waiting for that first review that my fingernails are now a thing of the past.

Sora already gave me feedback (I lovesya, sweetheart, you knows I does!) and many of you have (very wonderfully) assured me that the book doesn't suck... and I honestly believe you. You guys know me, though. I"m a total basket case until that first review. I shouldn't be that needy--I really shouldn't.

And yet, sadly, I am.

But that's okay too--I'm writing this one part of BMoon II--it's one of the parts I had plotted before I even started the first one. It's a scene and a chapter that's going to lie at the heart of the two books, and the anticipation of writing it was so sweet that I actually put it off for a bit so I could just squirm with the happy excitement of it all, like a puppy balancing a treat on its nose.

And now that I'm writing it, even in fits and starts, I'm a true worshipper of Triane--baby, for me, it's all about the joy!

Let me know when enough of you have read the first one to want teasers for the second!


Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Calm During the Storm...

The weather here in nor-cal is grungy--it's what Seattle wishes the weather was like all the time just to live up to it's rep! (I actually love Seattle, of the prettiest cities outside of San Francisco and Victoria that I've ever been to! But then, those of you who've traveled Europe, I'm sure, have better favorites than mine:-)

So...grungy weather, a family riding the fine edge of being sick, kids riding the fine edge between 'oh, poor baby, you don't feel well?' and 'no jury on earth would convict me', and a house that was actually clean more than twice in the course of the week...what to do?

Knit and watch old episodes of 'Firefly' on DVR. (Okay--I want a personal tete a tete with the @$$holes who canceled that show. I swear I wouldn't hurt them. Much.)

It was awesome--and I was just on the fine edge of having my brain explode out my ears as it was. There's nothing like being 'almost' sick to prompt a record binge of knitting. I finished the scarf for the kid I love, and started the scarf for the kid who's promised not to be a bitch to me and got heavily invested in my ravelry. (I need to start that whole 'flickr' thing so I can put pictures on--but then, we've seen my luck with pictures w/blogspot, so we'll just have to cross our fingers and hope for the best. *sigh*)

We managed to survive the lockdown on Friday--but if you look at the comments you'll see that Lady In Red might possibly need some heavy duty massage therapy--she was in the same room with the mutants during that THREE HOUR disaster, so I'd be the first to pitch in on the gift certificate. Oh--and by the way? While stuck in the same room with his least favorite 9th graders, my curmudgeonly my-way-or-the-highway-your-kids-are-tardy-so-you-suck colleague got bored enough to read the blog. He seemed to take exception to that last epithet, so I decided to call him that until my fingers fall off from having to type the whole thing. (Are you reading, Mr.--? Remember--savor the irony!!!)

Oh yeah!!! And speaking of lurkers!!! Don't forget--IF YOU DON'T COMMENT, I CAN'T REMEMBER TO PUT YOUR NAME IN THE ACKNOWLEDGMENTS!!! Someone just reminded me that they read all the time, and I realized that, although this person has contacted me via email frequently (and y'all know I treasure that) I don't remember if she's commented or not, or if she's done the other name thing or what, and I thought that this was one of the people who should have had her name mentioned but she didn't!!! (Goodwitch, I'm talking to you, darlin'--I'll do my best to get you in the next one!!!)

Oh yeah--and if you look at the comments from the last post (you know, the one where I gloated about amazon, because, uhm, I'm a narcissist who does that...) and the first feedback (besides my editing team whom I adore...j'et adore, j'et adore, I couldn't love you all anymore!) is that the book is satisfactory, and my (many) prayers have been answered. It very possibly DOESN'T suck, and we won't have to hear Amy Lane's prayer of insecurity for at least another six or seven months.

*whew* And the nice lady who's been my unofficial biographer just contacted me with an absolutely HUGE LIST of stuff I could/should/may remember how to do with marketing. She included the 'Teron Angel' reviews, and she's right--I really need to yank the Teron Angel reviews. I actually tried once, to do a customer service call to get into that account, but the lady on the other end of the line seemed so totally confused that when our phone connection died (because that happens in my house) I just let it go. But the bigger I get the more embarrassed I am about them. And for some reason amazon put the one I wrote for Vulnerable on the front page. Everytime it gets a positive vote I just cringe. When I had one book out, and six reviews, it was kind of cute that one of them was mine. Not so cute now, oh no, it's really not. It's not even cute on Library Thing. Okay. Well. It's sort of cute. When I put myself on libary thing, I just found out it existed, and had not yet taken the 'towering ego of the insecure' antidote--i.e., most of last year--and I giggled as I did it. It still makes me giggle. I'm kind of a sick puppy sometimes--can't explain it. But for everyone who doesn't know, Teron Angel is Amy Lane, and when I was desperately in need of recognition or some sort of press (you know, like last month, when I discovered, Goodread, and Summize?) , well, sister did it for herself. When I'm big, that's gonna hit the airwaves like Cassie Edwards' sad taste in 1930's literature, and I'm gonna need all of you at my back saying, "But she told us this already!!!"

And I'm off and running on the next book. Seriously--it's about 1/3 done . Is that good? I don't know. Seriously--I'm at a loss as to whether that's good or not. All I can think is that, if I write about 4 pages a day, I can make the deadline. I also know that the Harlot told us that her books are between 50 & 60 thousand words. And that's how many words I've got in 1/4 of BMoonII. That either means I talk to much or that fiction is a strange and tricky animal--I haven't figured out which one yet.

Anyway, that's the state of the state, and now I must play with my children (some more--it's been a good day for that) and clean my kitchen:-)



Friday, January 25, 2008

Bitter Moon I--now available on

Yup. No doubt about it. This part is always my 'The Book Has Arrived' moment:-)

And that, yerhonor, is why I got shot.

First of all, thank you everybody. You're all so awesome--is it any wonder that you ended up in the acknowledgments? (Hee hee...I love that part!!!)

And second of all, I need to explain why I'm blogging in the middle of what should be my 3rd period class.

I was home yesterday with the Cave Troll and Ladybug--our little man is sick, so he got to run around in his jammies a lot with this awesome blanket he got for Christmas--it's got a decorated hood and hands, so he just throws it over his head, and, VOILA! Instant boy-dragon. Ladybug got a kitty cat too--but since her new game is having us put on the dog leash and taking her for 'walks' up and down the hall (and, apparently, giving her food on the ground so she can eat on all fours like the cat--we didn't do this on purpose, we'd leave the room and find her like that-Oi!) she's not so into it.

Anyway, in case you were wondering how I got to spend so much time on-line, thereyago.

Now, about blogging at 10:05 on a Friday.

It all started when I went to the bathroom. I had about ten minutes at the end of my prep period, the staff bathroom was empty, and, hey, remember that I share a bathroom with five other people at home, and the fact that one of them isn't potty trained doesn't mean she doesn't need to wander in on occasion to see what I'm doing there.

So, know...Quality Time. With a capital D.

And that's when the announcement for a lockdown went over the airwaves.

When I was, uhm, having Quality Time. You know. With a capital D.

So there I am, when my Quality Time is over, stuck in the staffroom. My first thought? NO knitting. My second? Goddammit--my i-pod is on in my room, running, providing random air with musical enjoyment while I am here, in the godforsaken entertainment desert of my own mind. My third thought? I really can entertain myself--but a computer would be wonderful, because this moment was EXCELLENT blogfodder. I don't remember what my fourth thought was because that's when I settled in for a nap. 1/2 an hour later, I wake up and call Mate, because today HE'S home with the short people, and, well, anything was better than the leaden silence of a blank, empty room, right?

Well, that was a pointless conversation. And I'm still ALONE IN AN EMPTY ROOM WITH NO DIVERSIONS TO SPEAK OF.

And that's when I decided that I'd rather be shot dead than this bored.

So I took my life in both hands and ran across the quad. One of the vice principals was out, checking rooms. She glared at me. But you know what? I think an hour is good. I think I should get a B+ in Lockdown because that was an hour in a dark empty room without my knitting!

And if I hadn't broken and run? It would, at this very moment, be an hour and a half.

I think I'm showing movies for the rest of the day. Don't quote me on this--but an hour and a half out of our schedule? If it gets to be two, what's that gonna leave us? Second period is over, third is on the way out, and I'm gonna get a write up for getting stuck in the bathroom.

Having Quality Time. With a capital D.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Live, from i-Universe...


Holy Goddess, Merciful God, (are ya all with me here?)


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cloudy with a chance of crap-all

Well...nothing to blog about really. I mean, uhm, REALLY nothing to blog about that comes in any cohesive form, so I'm gonna do the shot-gun blog approach with a solid wad of crap-all ammunition. Uhm...EVERYBODY DUCK!

* On Monday, the Cave Troll handed me my driving glasses when I was not prepared for them. As a family we haven't seen them since. I'm using my old glasses--the ones that have been missing an arm since Ladybug decided it worked better as a dolly-prod. They stay on my face just fine, but the headache they give me is spectacular.

* I got my ravelry, but I got it here at work, so I have no time to explore it and set up or anything until I get home. I have no idea how to do it from home, now that I have the page set up here on earth. *urgh* When I die, my bones are going to go in a case with John McClane's as one of the last technological dinosaurs to survive into the 21st century.

* I'm really excited about getting my Ravelry. I hope I have time to do more than just explore!

* Yesterday, in the middle of my 6th period class, right after I got done telling the kids to calm down, they could see all the news on Heath Ledger at home, my grumpiest, most "my-way-or-the-highway-your-damned-tardy-kids-are-interrupting-my- classes-and-that-means-you-suck" colleague calls me up in the middle of class.

He called to tell me that Heath Ledger had died.

* I have two more baby hat/booties to make. But I bought the BESTEST BEST worsted weight yarn for at least one of them. It's soooooooooo Al-paca-wool-not-quite-white-pastel that I almost want another kid to make a blanket with this yarn.

But it's hand-wash only, so I'll keep it at 'almost'.

* Bitter Moon I: Triane's Son Ascending is in the printing stage--it should be showing up on the websites within a week or so. As soon as I see it, you'll be able to hear my e-squeal all the way around the world to Bells and Tinkingbell. (smirk)

* I sent Ladybug to daycare in her pajamas today. She loves those pajamas not quite as much as she loves me, or beating up her brother, but definitely more than the cat. I just didn't have the heart to take them off when she was so set on wearing them. It's a cold, nasty, windy day, and if I could teach in my pajamas, dammit, I would. Let's face it, when we grow up, we HAVE to wear real clothes. Before we're two, at least, we should be allowed to wear our squishy, ice-cream-colored, fleece-footie-pajamas as many times as mom can possibly wash them.

* Oh yeah--my 'Ravelry name is 'Cory'. I don't know why I did that. I think it was because, for a moment there, I forgot my real name ISN'T Amy Lane!!!

* Has anybody seen 'The Sarah Connor Chronicles'? BRILLIANT if you like your sci-fi raw, action-packed, and angst-filled. And the chick who was in Serenity is still SMASHING at giving me the willies!!!

* Speaking of giving me the willies, I made the Cave Troll's character in Bitter Moon II a cheerfully ambisexual wastrel, with a side-dish of cold-blooded-murderer. How twisted am I that I really like this character at the same time I'm fervently hoping my real son grows up to be nothing like him? The scene where he kills for the first time (in defense of his family, of course) actually gave me the chills. It was AWESOME. I hope.

* Chicken made scrunchies to raise pocket money for Australia. She's a good Chicken, and we loves her very much, yes we does!

* *sigh* I agreed to make another scarf--apparently IN MY SLEEP since it's obvious that I have no time otherwise. But this kid is SO NICE, and I've had her for two years... and *sigh* Someone told me there was a free *sucker* tattoo for my forehead in the offering, so here I am, planning something I probably won't deliver until June.

* Oh yeah--tired of the texture of my hair (as opposed to the color, which I was growing accustomed to) I finally decided to go ahead and dye my hair. I was aiming at a color found in nature.

No such luck. High-Sidhe-Blood-Red, anybody?

So...I fired my crap-all-munition into the stratosphere...what did I hit?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Cows again...

Chicken and I went to the craft store today and took the short people with us. All went well until the end, nearing nap time, when the Cave Troll was gearing himself up for a huge tizzy fit, and I took the wind out of his sails.

"Is that a real cow?" I asked. "I don't think so. That doesn't sound like a real cow. In fact, I don't think you have a cow. I want my money back. The next time you have a cow, I expect a real show!"

It worked for a bit--for about five minutes he was quiet, trying to figure out what his crazy mama was really saying, and if he could work it into his 'pitching-a-fit' act.

After the five minutes was up, he gave an anticipatory whine.

"What's wrong now?" I asked brusquely.

"I lost it!" He wailed.

"Lost what?" I asked.

"I lost my cow, mama! The cow is gone!"

Chicken and I didn't stop laughing until we got home.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Thanks, Knittech:-)

You paid attention during 91% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

Sooner or Later, Everyone Goes to the Zoo...

(Name that movie, anybody?)

Anyway--we went to the zoo today. I love our zoo--lions and tigers and mangabeys, oh my! There were tigers laying on mama, margay's itching their chins, and chimpanzees throwing pooh--really, everything children need to see to grow up big, strong, and just itching for a summer internship shoveling shit for pennies.

Can I knit now?

Seriously--I've gotten caught in sort of a weird, non-knitting situation. I want to knit--but all of my knitting time has been sucked up by my writing time. And usually I manage this sort of thing better--but I've had a blessing fall into my lap, someone who has volunteered not only to clean up my query letter (in this case, my e-query letter) but who wanted to help edit the first three chapters of *Vulnerable* and you just don't say no to someone who is doing this, cheerfully, because she believes firmly in good writing and good karma (!) because your body is screaming "Knit! Knit now you kninny! Your mental hygiene is slipping and your thoughts are getting all nasty with cynicism and if you don't settle yourself into the simplicity of knitting, your face will assume that position...there...that one...with your eyebrows drown together and brackets at the side of your mouth...YES! THAT ONE RIGHT THERE! STOP LOOKING LIKE THAT AND FOR CRAP'S SAKE, KNIT!"

And it doesn't help that I don't deserve this attention. I mean, I must not. because here this nice lady gives me perfectly sound advice for how to alter that paragraph on the second page--the really long one, about cows rotting and mother nature not really giving a fuck--and I like her rewrites. I DO. They're solid, and professional and concise--and all she did was hit the paragraph spacer a couple of times. Voila! Better writing.

And I'm saying no?

Seriously--what kind of farging icehole am I?

Well. Apparently, I'm a farging icehole who doesn't deserve to knit.

Or publish big.


But the zoo rocked, the kids were thrilled--Ladybug can talk a lot, and she was making snake noises and tiger noises and chimpanzee noises. (We drew the line at the pooh-throwing. Really, there's only one genus that can do that, and it's not the human one.) The Cave Troll thought was thrilled--he's naked now, but he loved the zoo even when he was wearing clothes. (Okay--that didn't make sense--I just wanted to point out that for no reason at all he took off his threads and has been running around with his little Calvin ass flapping in the wind, and since Ladybug's bathing in the sink as i write this, I thought I'd just wait until she was done and put his naked-Calvin-ass in the sink after her. Since we still HAVE NO BATHROOM. 1.3 years, people. It's not funny anymore!)

So, maybe I'll have to stick with the mama thing, since apparently no one is willing to help me with that edit. A good thing too, because apparently I'd have to rip their throats out. Who knew I was such a ball of insecurity and fierceness?

(Yeah. You all knew, didn't you. You knew.)

Friday, January 18, 2008


&^%$$&*Phone system...the call in phone system at school was changed. I spent an hour last night searching my house for my @#$%$#@ PIN number and trying to find the one page on the website that explained how to call in for a @#$%$## sub because, dammit, I felt like crap and I had to enroll the cave troll in Kindergarten and I was taking the @#$$# day off. I actually had to SOB before I could get Mate to take seriously the level of stress about this matter--but it worked. One sob and he magically reached into some bizarre corner I had overlooked and found the phone. Bless his @#$$%#@@%&* heart.

@#%%## School System... Chicken and I hauled the two short people in to the local District Office to sign the Cave Troll up for one school and Chicken up for another, and as it turned out, we were not only two pieces of paperwork short for the Cave Troll (the garbage bill wouldn't do, apparently, it HAD to be the electricity bill. WTF? Are we going to pay for trash pickup in a house we don't pay for power? If we hadn't been completely unable to dredge up the government sanctioned proof that there was a real Cave Troll who really lived in our house with apparently no power but no garbage either, I might have pitched a typhoon-class tizzy about that one.) But then, after I get them both signed up to go to anywhere but our home schools (the district allows for open registration) I was told that, apparently, I now had to sign Cave Troll up for his home school as well. Why? Is it not enough that we want to get him the hell out there? (Chicken went there for a year. She got behind in math, because her entire math class sucked so very very badly that the teacher kept sending her and one other girl out to the computer lab for math tutorials because that was the only way someone was going to learn something. Damn. I wish MY school would let me do that. One of my most pain-in-the-ass students told me that the counselor wouldn't move him to my 6th period class this year, because, in her words, 'She'd rather die than sit through that class'. Nice.) Anyway, my day off was over--it's Mate's turn to battle public school idiocracy now. Of course, we both realized that we're spoiled. We put Chicken in private school for a couple of years, and Big T was sort of swept out of our control into the loving arms of Special Ed services, and really, this is the first time we've had to worry about such a thing. Seriously--we've been parents for 15 years, and this is the first kid we've had to register for Kindergarten. Anyway, back to *&^%%&

(*&%###% Virus. My head's stuffed, my body aches, and all I want to do is sit and knit, but I've taken five days off of Bitter Moon II, and one of my most crushing fears in the middle of any book is that I won't ever finish it. It's almost psychotic, the way I'm driven to finish a work, or at least show a good faith effort to it almost every day. So I'm going to MAKE myself write two pages--even if it's crap, crap can be cut or fixed until it's not crap, but getting out of the habit cannot be so easily changed. I sent off the okay for Bitter Moon I: Triane's Son Ascending last night. So, that's about four weeks waiting for it to appear on sale online and for my own copies, and then about three weeks waiting for someone to read it and about another week or two chewing my nails to the quick and waiting for a review. Are we ready? Can we all say this together? Do we need it printed in the program or do we have it memorized? Holy Goddess, Merciful God, Let. It. Not. Suck. Amen.

*&^%$* Me. Mate offered to let me take the tall people to the movies. I was gonna--I really was. And then it occurred to me that the short people were exhausted. They would be asleep really soon. And in the meantime, it would be me, and (get this) A QUIET HOUSE. And so it is. And it's lovely--truly beautiful. The television isn't even on. And here's the reason I suck--all of this quietude, and I can't but help feeling guilty for not spending time with the tall people.

@##%%^$#@@#%%^^& parental guilt. It's like an itchy coat--need it to keep warm, but it's not all that comfy in the long run. I'm gonna go knit with something that doesn't itch and makes me happy, before I break out in hives.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It started out innocently enough...

It all started with a picture on my whiteboard.

I drew a gorge.

There was a reason for the picture--I was trying to illustrate how gorge (the ravine) turned into gorge (the gullet) and then meant gorge (to stuff your face until you hurl).

That's not what the picture looked like, though. As my fifth period informed me, when they walked in and saw it on the whiteboard, what it really looked like, was, a 'Vajayjay'.

It didn't help that two words later, we hit 'granary', and then Ms. Lane had to draw a grain silo to show them what a granary looked like. Uhm, it didn't look like a 'granary'. In fact, it looked a lot like an item used specifically to penetrate an, uhm, 'gorge'.

The next word was 'gull'--meaning 'to trick or fool'

And then came 'guile'--the quality that one needs in order to 'gull' a 'gull' into doing your bidding.

The final word was 'hilarity'--but I skip ahead.

After 'guile' came 'gyrate'--as in (are you with me? Because the kids got it!) "The 'granary' used 'guile' to 'gull' the 'gorge' into 'gyrating' all night long."

And the term 'whiteboard porn' was born, and much 'hilarity' ensued.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


We had short people invasion problems last night, and I got no sleep. Seriously--4:00 a.m. and the short people are invading the bed, and all of the wiggling, giggling, and hair pulling that that implies...and around 4:45, everybody gets to sleep, and fifteen minutes later, the Cave Troll squeals in his sleep and unloads a half a gallon of used liquid. Mate leaps out of bed and starts the midnight (or a quarter til five) sheet/pj change, and Cave Troll stands up, looks miserable (as mom is changing him into whatever the crap we had on hand) and says, "I'm sorry I peed on you, dad."

Oi. I would have been the walking dead today, but I had an assignment that involved music (compare/contrast Springsteen's 'My Hometown' to Bowling for Soup's--if I don't lose my job, it could be the best lesson I've taught all year. The chorus to the BfS version pretty much hammers the idea of 'I'm just glad we got the fuck out of our hometown!') and so I was there, mostly, jumping up and down and walking them through the differences in poetic terminology. It was great. I'l spend the rest of the year being perfectly mediocre, but for a minute there, I was almost a real teacher again.

And then I sat and tried to get some writing done and fell asleep. For forty-five took me the whole drive home to get rid of that thready-heartbeat, caught-breath feeling that happens when you wake up too soon from a nap you didn't mean to take.

So, I'm giving BMoonII a rest and spending the rest of the night knitting, and hoping the short people can hold their own with the bedtime bogeymen tonight. It's a hope, anyway. (The fishlight still has a little bit of magic in it--at least they go down in their own room!)

But BMoon II beckons, and Part I will be out in five or so weeks, and I think, when I get that baby in my hands, I may actually weep for joy. You never know.

Oh yes--I didn't give props to Donna Lee yesterday, but I snarfed her quiz, threw it up on my blog really quick, and took all the credit--sorry, darling--I didn't mean to do that, and belated thanks to you. It was just that (and you all can back me up, here) it was such a rockin' quiz that there was really no question that I was going to take it. And pass it on to my buddy who loves Jane Austin so much that she actually reads fanfic--a think I swore I would never do, but I'm starting to think twice about it. (I've got students threatening fanfic for my books...I'm tempted to tell them to do it so I can see what they want my characters to do...)

Anyway, my knitting is calling...that first pair of mitts turned out WAY too big, so I'm working on a different pattern/different yarn thing, just to get the bad taste out of my mouth that a dip in the Nile from the great ship Gauge Disaster can leave. I like this pair--of course, it's Debbie Bliss Cashmerino...I would have to actually roll it in a ball and eat it to make it look as bad as that last pair I knit.

And this is the younger, dipshit Dashwood sister Marianne, signing off...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

In no particular order:

1. I'm done with the galley's proofing. I managed to correct 39 instances of the word 'snow-cat' that was hyphenated when it shouldn't have been, un-capitalize 'gift' unless it was at the beginning of a sentence, and thoroughly convince myself that I suck as a writer and should never be allowed to put thought on paper unless it's a grocery list.

For those of you who are alarmed by this sentiment, those of you who have been around awhile may be thinking that this is sounding very familiar. It should. By the end of BOUND I was certain that I was the world's most boring human. When people talk about how hard writing is, this is one of the reasons why. The other reason is when other people tell you that you suck and are the world's most boring human. Some validation is not good!

2. We took the kids (pictured above--they really are wonderful little craptoasters, aren't they?) to a snow park today. They had a lot of fun--except for Ladybug, who wandered around in her snow coat (to quote 'Christmas Story', 'looking like a tick ready to be popped') and didn't get to do much of anything except take off her hat and mittens, and then have us put them on again. The Cave Troll got to go sledding and tubing, and she was left with mom. By the way? None of us own snow-boots--this snow park thing was sort of a wild hair. I fell down four times. I'm a big woman to be falling down that much. There's a reason the snow park isn't tops on my list of 'to do's'. There's also a reason we have no pictures of the snow park. No one was foolish enough to give me a camera.

3. Speaking of being a 'big woman', we're gonna need Brunhilda and her cattle-prod, because although I did document much of my eating, I also managed to gain a pound. (And no, I didn't document eating 5,000 calories a day--swear to Oueant, god of honor, that I was being good.) The nice lady said 'some people take two weeks to really take off'. That was nice of her. I decided to reward her by explaining that I'd been up 'til 2:00 a.m. proofing my galleys for five days straight. I'm sure there was food on this table when I sat down some of those nights that was not there when I got up, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was. And oddly enough, it did not seem to 'document itself'--which, considering my earlier conscientiousness, sort of pisses me off. You'd think the food, at least, would cooperate!

4. We've updated the website. Huzzah! You can see a picture of the front cover, before they make the changes I asked for, since I thought the title and author elements were out of proportion. No matter--what you can REALLY see is Gala's wonderful artwork. Artwork that I just remembered I forgot to thank him for in the acknowledgments, although that's not something he would know to look for, and having his signature on the front cover is going to be a big enough thrill for him. Damn. Remember that good feeling I had about having my proof form in? Good feeling gone...

5. I have to start school tomorrow. *shh* Don't speak. I'll be in denial until the alarm goes off.

6. I have discovered a new band--the Dropkick Murphys! Has anyone heard of them? (For some reason, Julie and Bells, they make me think of you...funny, since I've not even heard your voices!) They are a Celtic Rock Band--no, not Enya, or Celtic Woman. These guys are Irish in the truest 'bar band' sense--they are hyperfrenetic, drunk, and mean. (I don't know if they're really drunk or not--but I saw them performing on the Letterman show and they worked off more calories in five minutes than my whole family does in a day.) And they KICK. ASS. And, corrupter of the young that I am, I turned my kids on to them immediately. Now I'm going to have to go listen to the lyrics carefully--they can deal with swearing, violence, and sex, but there might be other objectionable stuff there that I'll have to debrief. Damn. It's my parental duty to listen to kick-ass music. I'll just have to bear it. Soooo sad.

7. I've finished one of my post Christmas presents--a pair of handwarmers for a student. They're too big...but I'm hoping a little help from the drier might fix that!

8. *sob* I'll see you all on my lunch break tomorrow. *sob* At wwwooooooooorrrkkkkkk!!!!!! (wail wail wail and carry on...)

Peace out!


Saturday, January 12, 2008

What I told the Harlot...

I cruised the Harlot's post on 34 wee tiny leaves last night as I was proofing galleys, and wrote a response that's at least two blocks past Goofy with a right on Weird:

My manuscript sucks
My manuscript bites
It's not what I want
To be reading tonight
But I have to proof it
And change where I goofed it
And my brain and my eyes
Are working their loosest
So I'm taking a break
How much more can I take?
Til I see the Harlot make socks
That would make my brain ache.
Now my work doesn't grieve me
You all can believe me
If she can knit thirty-four
Tiny ol' leaves, gee--
I can finish my proofing
My awful typed goofing
And as a reward
I can knit up a new thing!

Go Harlot and her leaves!

And now, after three hours of sleep (Ladybug was on a 'let's make the parents wacko with exhaustion' kick) that's not looking any less strange.

BTW? I start a new semester on Monday--I'm not thinking about it because I don't want to sob through my last two days of break! I've got nearly 200 pages to go, and a nap to take, so I'm gonna git crackin'!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Galley Proofing

Okay--this is a polite way of saying "AUGH! I'm too busy reading my own book to write a proper blog!" The good news is, Mate is going to throw the cover picture up on the web site. (Rocks. Rocks out loud.) And I'm going to read my own book and wonder why anybody else would want to. (Seriously--this is the stage I out and out hate the most. I'm pleased with how few typos et al there are, but I'm just OVER this part of the story and want to be working on Part II! The good news is that the whole 'now what did I name that character?' dilemma is solved because I read the part where I named her in the first place. *whew*!)

And I've got to ask--what do you thing is an outrageous upload time? Because when I reach five minutes, I pretty much call the whole thing off, and I'm wondering if that isn't my problem. Anyway, here are turkeys on the roof of the house two doors down. No, I don't know why it wasn't my roof. Those other people are just lucky. But it was pretty freaking amazing. And I even got a picture.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Not It...

First of all, I have done very little today. I had plans...visit my aunt-in-law's sick mother, do some laundry, write another ten pages, but I woke up with the mother of all headaches, its gotten vaguely better since I woke up but mostly, all I've wanted to do has been check the amazon forums (Amy Lane is as close to being a hot topic as she ever gets right now, and I'm not going to discourage that in the least) and knit. Lots and lots of knitting.

I finished the first fingerless mitt with that Kathmandu-cash/silk/merino and I'm not as pleased with the pattern and yarn mix as I thought I would be. C'est la vie...the second one has been cast on, and away I go. I'm working on a pair in this Arucan sock yarn as well... I'm using Barbara Walker's stitch dictionary and making a cloverleaf rib, and hoping for the best...the sock yarn takes my breath away in terms of colors, but I"m pretty sure that before I'm three inches in, I'll wish I'd obeyed my first instinct and knit up that purplish mystery fiber that Roxie spun for was calling my name too, but the Arucan was calling louder. (Maybe it felt as though the homespun were getting all the attention, I don't know.)

Anyway, in the meantime, the short people were thrashing the house like veteran rock stars, and although I've cleaned up just a little from that, I'm hoping to get some more done tomorrow. (Tomorrow we're sending the short people to day care for the first time in the whole vacation. Mate's staying home and we're cards. Yeah, that's it. We're gonna go on a date and play cards. And isn't it sad that I'm planning to clean the house when all the cards are played...)

But really, nothing besides that to report...oh--wait. There's the fish light. We got one of those lights that looks like a round tank of fish, where on layer of fish is spinning one direction and the background is spinning the other direction and basically? The Cave Troll will go into the darkened room to watch the spinning fish. And take a nap or go to bed without falling asleep in our bed. For us card-playing adults, this is a big furry deal, let me tell you! And since the Cave Troll is there, Ladybug will stay there too (at least until two a.m. when the whole thing goes to hell and our King Size becomes the family cot again...)

And that leads me to my post title--I've got here, for your viewing pleasure, the top 10 (or and counting...) reasons for a married couple to play rock-scissors-paper, or, as my husband does, cry "Not It" triumphantly at the top of his lungs... here they are, in the order in which I remember them...

10-- Your fifteen year old son wants a proofreader for his handwritten essay. His handwriting is just like mom's.
9--The crapweasels have violated the sacrosanct bounds of the holy defecation receptacle.
8--A suspicious sound, suspicious smell, or otherwise suspicious look to a vintage diaper.
7--No socks for the youngest can be found outside of the infamous pile of 'sock soup' on the floor of the car below her car seat, which is heavily seasoned with McDonald's crumbs and misplaced chocolate milk.
6--A blown circuit breaker in the backyard when no one has gone 'landmine' hunting in over two weeks.
5__A stinky dog when no one has gone 'landmine hunting' in over two weeks.
4--A mystery stench in the kitchen and/or bathroom.
3--Ginormous hairy spiders who have set up webs across key entrance points in the garage.
2--A sound like the wheels of the Juggernaut dancing in tune to an AC/DC cassette being played in the same player that harbored the missing pb&j on wheat coming from your bedroom where the children are supposed to be asleep.
1--Your angsty, weepy, 500 words per minute teenaged daughter comes home after a baaaaaaaaaaddddd dddaaaayyyyyy.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Dear Cat Food Company...

So the picture is the 'Cindy Lou Palm Trees' picture from a few months back, and other than that... I feel some more letters to imaginary people coming on...

Dear Weight Watchers,

I don't mean to criticize, but you people need to stop being so nice to me. I was gone for over four months for crying out loud--you redecorated!!! And when I get on the scale to find that I have gained back most of the 90 lbs I lost six years ago, did I get scolded? Laughed at? Slapped about with an empty MacDonald's bag? No, no. You people just commiserated with my wobbly chins and told me gently that next week, after a week of dieting, things would look better. Gracious goodness, people--do you not realize that if you don't send a six-foot bruiser named Helga after me with a billy-club and a cattle-prod to separate me from my chocolate, this weight-loss thing is never going to work?

Thank you, and I look forward to seeing a mean-assed uber-bitch with handcuffs and an attitude at our next meeting. Unless of course I lose weight. In that case, your regular sweetheart with the nice smile will do just fine.


Amy Lane

Dear Science Diet people,

I realize that you spend a whole lot of your life force formulating the best vitamin complexes to extend the lives of the sorry hairballs camping out on my kitchen table. While you're at it, could you try making that super-spiffy ultra vitamin complexed ball of kibble more appealing to the hairballs than it is to the goddamned dog? She's gulping it down by the quart and we could park a glass of water on her stupendously sized ass. Besides, its making her break wind like a fart-scented hurricane.

Thank you for your time,
Amy Lane

Dear Loose-Id people,

Please make it harder to download your smutty books onto my computer. If an idiot like me is doing it, how many more people are squandering their precious time and life force reading word-candy when we should be writing classic literature? Or at least sweeping the damned floor.

Thanks for helping me out,
Amy Lane

Dear Genetic Scientists,

Please work faster on the ability to remove the genes containing a parent's least-likable traits from our children. My older kids would rather read than clean the house and my younger kids think that 'no' is a noun, verb, and an adjective. We need to fix this and fix it now, and really, I think you're my only hope.

Thank you so much,
Amy Lane



*whew* Thank you so much, and I'll let you know when I celebrate my big fat royalty check (HAH!).

Amy Lane

To the makers of Kathmandu merino/cashmere/silk yarn--

You've got three different fibers in there people, would it freakin' kill you to put some damned nylon in the mix? This yarn is sumptuous, squishy, and gorgeous and it has less stretch in it than my unimaginative principal's skinny, black and white mind. A little help here?

Thank you,
Amy Lane

To the ghosts of Mel Blanc, Friz Freling, Chuck Jones, et al:

I just wanted to let you know that your work lives on. My four year old can watch the Looney Toons Gold collection for hours at a time--and because we frequently get lost in our little lives in this littler house, he often does. Thanks to you, my son can do the 'Rabbit Season/Duck Season' bit until we're ready to jump in a lake with poor Elmer Fudd, and he thinks that life really is a cartoon and attempts to jump off the furniture accordingly. As long as no one gives him a loaded weapon until he knows better, I think you all will help keep my little Cave Troll grounded in all things comedy. Seriously, gentlemen, your work lives on. Thank you.

Amy Lane


Friday, January 4, 2008

Ta Da!

I didn't used to be such a pussy about the weather. Some of you may remember the post about the swimming lamas...yeah--that was me. Braving the elements, forging stoically through Mother Nature's mayhem undeterred by little things like downed trees, swimming picnic tables and the possibility of ending up on the evening news as the world's stupidest person killed in the dumbest quest for a double-cheeseburger, ever recorded.

But not so much anymore. Maybe I'm older. Maybe I'm wiser. Maybe I've trained my imagination in the vivid details of death, and as I looked outside today at the leaning trees, the waving powerlines, and the glossy ripples of turbid water splooshing across the street, all I could hear in the back of my head was the voice of the EMT's..."Gees...too bad she didn't put on any makeup before she wrapped her car around that bus...she was having the world's worst break-out EVER! And just imagine how much she'd weigh if she'd died AFTER she ate lunch..."

Or maybe I just don't like getting cold.

Either way, you may very well ask yourself what it was that made me brave the elements today. What was it that caused me to plow the crapmobile through the knee-deep puddles and the erratic debris on this soggy January 4th? What was it that caused me to go head to head with a trash can as it sailed through an intersection and made a stately left onto Greenback? What was it that sent me out in rain so thick and wet that I was sopping after a three minute go with a downed window?

What was it indeed.

I'm proud to announce to my readers that my Christmas cards have, at last, been sent.

They're a bit soggy in the middle.

Thursday, January 3, 2008



*I did not become a size 12 overnight--in case anyone thought that was a possibility. For the record, I was, once, when my hipbones stuck through my jeans and I got to know my food coming and going. If I was a size 8 at this stage in my life, I'd be able to use my boobs for knee-pads, and nobody wants to see that....

* Ladybug and I have come to an agreement. She gets out of her crib, sits down next to the toybox in her cluttered room, and sleeps there all night, so that she has her pick of stuffed animals the next morning when she cries for me to come get her. Do I understand this logic? Not on your life. But, hey, whatever lets us all get to sleep before 1:00 a.m.

* Ladybug is now the proud bearer of two tiny earrings in that pretty light purple color that most Aries I know would rather sport than the regular diamond that is their birth stone. I don't know why this is, but it is so (and if any Aries out there disagree, by all means let me know, because I would feel far less guilty about my totally groovy star-sapphire that I get to call my birthstone as a Libra. If you are insanely jealous--although I don't know why you would be--it may help you all to know that I look like crap in blue!) My Latina students will be so proud of me--they were telling me that I had waited too long as it is. And if anyone is wondering how I could possibly mutilate my sweet little girl like that, I've got to tell you all that the tantrum she threw when Chicken took Cave Troll to the other end of the mall was bigger, worse, and uglier than the little whine she gave when the second ear was pierced.

* Floyd (aka Tabitha) is starting to read BOUND for his third review. I'm expecting to get red-penned within an inch of my life, but, well, hey... type as thou shalt o, or something like that.

* I'm waiting (WAITING) not so patiently for my galleys for BITTERMOON. Honestly, I'd be getting a lot more reading done if I could make myself stop checking my e-mail for my damned galleys! (Although I'm almost done, Roxie, and I love it so much--for the uninitiated, Roxie's eye for color detail in her fiction is exquisite... I can practically feel the colors and see the textures of her stitch patterns of her well-woven descriptions, and her character, Sanna is so much fun! Okay...done gushing now...I'll save the rest of the gush for the ending, and my review on amazon;-)

* Chicken did me proud as an observer of human nature the other day. The guy who takes out carts at Target is one of the nastiest people I've ever met to hold down a job. He's been working there for five years and says NOTHING. AT ALL to the customers, although I've heard him frequently cursing out the human race as a whole when there's no one close enough to be offended enough to complain. I was telling Chicken to beware of him--basically, just stay out of his way, because he looks mean enough to mow down the unwary with his carts--when she suddenly did a passable Meg Ryan imitation from 'French Kiss'. "My ass is twitching. You people make my ass twitch!" I was laughing so hard I actually smiled at the nasty man. He mentally cursed me and my offspring to hell, but since we're practically pagans and probably going there anyway, I figured I should let him have his fun.

* My back was doing great until I took the Cave Troll for a walk tonight. He gooooooeeesssssss soooooooooooo sllllllllooooooowwwww... it hurt just to go that slow sometimes, but that's not why my back hurts. My back hurts because at least six times he turned around and launched himself at me when I wasn't ready, and little dude weighs 45-50 lbs. plus momentum. OUCH!

* And, after using up two skeins of Lorna's Worsted, Camouflage to make Big T a pair of socks and my Uncle (as it turns out) a hat, T wanted a hat like the one I gave away. And I had to buy one more skein. And I asked, cheekily, because I'm so damned done with this color, "So, T--what should I do with almost this entire skein of yarn I have left." The answer--and promptly, I might add-- "Fingerless Mittens!" Well, shit...feet, head, hands...and he's promised to wear them to school. Cool.

* So, I spent my evening watching 'snakes on a plane'--you know, the movie w/Samuel L. Jackson and, well, lots of fake snakes. On a plane. And all I can say after watching it is that the knitters would be the only ones who would live. Why? Because we have big pointy sticks and we know how to use them.

* And if you'll excuse me, I need to venture into the land of the Farting Dog (aka, the living room) and rescue my husband, who has been hinting to the two older children for ice cream for the last ten minutes. My husband as a whole tends to be a subtle, sly & dry sort of person. I can't convince him that this is lost on teenagers, and the poor man may die of ice cream deprivation if he depends on them to serve him with quart and spoon.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A What?

Ladybug has figured out how to climb out of the crib. For the uninitiated into BedTime Wars, this is a BAD THING. She is in her little crib right now, screaming "Out there...get out there..." Except her face is red and her voice is hoarse from shrieking and it's not nearly as cute as it sounds. (And looking back over this, it don't sound that cute.) Anyway, the Cave Troll was too much a lover of order and control to ever dream of climbing out of his crib. He could, all right--he's got the best physical skills of the four, but as for WANTING him it is, he won't sleep in his own bed--he would rather sleep between Mate and I because it feels more like the crib.

Sometimes, I wish we could plug one child into another and download the program that would make our lives easier. Alas. Not to be.

Anyway--we stayed up, watched SNL and then watched the ball drop, jumped up and down and hugged the kids, and then...went to bed. Roxie said everything I was thinking about arbitrary days to denote a new year, and all I can add is "Go darlin'" My life is really good, I resolve to lose weight and check my e-mail less, and basically, what it really means is that people took their lights down and my walk is a little less picturesque.

Oh--and I've figured something out about is my favorite color. Sort of. Now see--it's hard to put a finger on--I don't kid around about being a color-slut. There are days when I just want them all, and I'm pretty sure they all want me. So I'm going to go on a stash dive and count how many skeins of purple sock yarn I have versus how many skeins of green I have. I'm having a feeling that, (much like my heroine, Cory, and her two lovers, Bracken and Green) it's going to be a toss up--on one day purple may be the thing I need, and on the next day, green feeds my jones to perfection. Wouldn't it be funny, though, if the purple outweighed the green? Then, wouldn't it be true that purple would be my new Green? (Okay, the book people are going to think that's hilarious. So, basically, I wrote a knitting joke for five people who both knit and read my books. I think my next New Year's resolution should be not to do shit like that anymore because it's so totally dumbass there is no excuse for it, that's what I think!)

And speaking of dumbass jokes...

When we were at my friend's wedding, I walked into the bathroom, which was not connected to the rest of the reception hall, and prayed I could peel my ass off of the freaking cold toilet seat when my mission had been accomplished. (I had visions of being stuck there, like that kid in 'A Christmas Story', except with less dignity.) When I came back to Mate I said, "My God! Even a witch would need tit-warmers in there!"

He said, "A what?"

*sigh* Maybe my real New Year's resolution should be to forget that I ever thought I had a sense of humor, that's what it should be! That, and to finish Roxie's wonderful book. I've been reading slowly--mostly because it's my vacation and I feel like it. And the book is worth the savor, so that helps! Tomorrow, I resolve to be humorless, matter-of-fact, and no nonsense. I also resolve to be a size 12 overnight.

See ya in skinny pants!