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

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I Am a SnapDragon...

Thanks, Knittech!

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

I don't have much today-- here's to a happy and prosperous new year, and to good friends who send you books for free. (This explains why I have very little to talk about!)

I PROMISE tomorrow I will write a REAL blog! I swear!

Happy New Year, Stay Safe... I'm going back to my reading now before being asked to be a mom!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


While we wait to see if blogger will load pictures, I'll tell you a little secret.

I submitted Bitter Moon II this morning. *deep breath* I'm sure the editing problems abound, just because I'm me, and if I think it's perfect, I'm bound to have forgotten to capitalize half the proper nouns in the manuscript. But it's done. It's in, and I'm torn between laughing and sobbing, which is silly, because beyond some of the folks reading this blog and a few nice people out and about in the world, very few people are going to read this book.

Doesn't stop me from freaking out though, does it?

You all know what's coming next, right? Join me, won't you?

Holy Goddess, Merciful God, LET IT NOT SUCK!!! Cannyagimmehallelujia? Amen.

I give up--I'll try loading pictures later, and I'll even give it a go with a real blog post then. Right now I just wanted to vent my raging insecurities into cyberspace--thanks for listening. I'm going to go crouch in a corner now and tremble like a chihuahua in a thunderstorm.

(And thank you all for your support for yesterday's blog--it meant a lot to me that you all assumed I wasn't abusing my child--and can I just say that the little shit is so patently unafraid of me that it's not funny? *yeesh!*)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Excuse me while I throw down in public...

Okay--for starters I was on my last nerve.

That's understandable.

Mate had worked very hard to round up 20 people to go to a King's game--including our entire famndamily--and I had worked very hard to whip up some enthusiasm. The thought of our two smaller children at a King's Game without the luxury of leaving in the 4th quarter gave me a serious case of "eeeeennnngggs" but I didn't want to kill his buzz, so away we all went.

And a lot of it was fun. We cheered which was hard to do, since they, uhm, lost by 45 points. (Yes, you read that right. I'm starting to think there needs to be a 'debacle rule' in the NBA--when a team gets behind by more than thirty points they have the right to beat the living shit out of their opponents without fouls until the score gets closer and the game gets more like a game and less like clubbing baby seals on the top of the head.) The kids danced and got warned off the step behind us more than once. (What was up with that by the way? There was nobody there, nobody trying to get out, and all they wanted to do was sit their bottoms on it and watch the game next to me. I was getting close to getting pissed off in public, but I held it in. For that moment, anyway.) The Cave Troll looked forward to trying a basket at the end of the game. (Okay--he sobbed on me for the entire excruciating fourth quarter, begging to go do that RIGHT THIS MINUTE.) I took the kids for ice cream. (Walking back was fun--I couldn't hold their hands because they were holding their ice cream and the floor was crowded and I lived in fear of losing either one of them in a nanosecond and ending up on the news as one of those sobbing women saying "I just took my eyes off of him for a second!") And Ladybug went for lots of walks up and down the stairs. (She was so tired--I just watched as the older kids took her on those walks with my heart in my throat, hoping she didn't stumble--the stairs at Arco Arena SUCK!)

And then it was over and we were ready to wade through the crowd, around the arena, and get the kids in line to go throw the basketball on the court. Ladybug had a hold of my hand and a hold of Chicken's hand, and suddenly, she decided to play the 'drop game'--you know, she drops her weight and we swing her high? I told her no, and tried to pick her up, but she was fifty pounds of wiggly, floppy Ladybug, kicking and thrashing because SHE WANTED TO WALK. I put her down again and she tried the drop game again and Chicken and I ended up dragging her for a couple of feet before I grabbed her ear, and was about to lean down and have a heart to heart with her about the goddamned 'drop game', when it happened.

A couple of complete strangers told me to stop pulling my daughter's hair.

I turned around, annoyed. "I'm pulling her ear," I told them dumbly, wondering who in the fuck they were.

"Well stop it..."

"I'm trying not to drag her..."

"Well why don't you pick her up and she won't dislocate her arms."

"Is she your kid, bitch?" (Yes. I said that.)


"WELL THEN BACK OFF!!!" Because abruptly this complete stranger had triggered my temper when my children had not. I wasn't angry, my kid wasn't screaming, I wasn't bruising her or hurting her, I was trying to exact a measure of control over an over-tired, over-stimulated toddler in an insane situation, and this bitch was TELLING ME WHAT TO DO WITH MY CHILD?

Chicken picked up Ladybug (kicking, wriggling, and screeching) and ran to Dad, because she was afraid he was going to have to step in and pull me off this heifer, and I abruptly remembered where I was.

And that my husband had friends here.

And that this shit-for-brains moocow was not worth humiliating him or my older children in public.

I turned around and stalked off, ignoring her half-hearted, "Well it takes a village to raise a child!" without any of the comebacks I actually had ready at my disposal. 'Lady, if you were in my village I would have sacrificed you to the FUCKING DRAGONS' was my first choice, followed by, 'Bitch, you'd actually have to LIVE ON THIS PLANET to live in my village' as my second, with 'My village already has enough idiots, heifer!!!' as a close third. For once, I really did have the perfect thing to say when I wanted it... I just seriously needed to get out of there because I was going to get ugly in a bad place to get ugly, and I know better than to do that. I'm an educated, reasonable woman, and I would not let this sanctimonious cow make me tussle like a six-year old in a playground.

But I could have taken her. I have two nearly grown kids who seem to be turning out just fine, and that was my fourth comeback, but that's not what I was thinking as I stalked away. I was thinking that they turned out just fine because in spite of my mouth and in spite of the fact that I REALLY COULD HAVE taken her out (she was small--hell, all I would have had to do was sit on her and bang her head against the floor) that one of the reasons they have turned out to be decent people who respect (most) authority and treat other people well is because even though I had it in me to seriously let my temper out and perpetrate violence...

I didn't.

Big thanks for small mercies.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

In Which All Is Right With the World

Okay--with any luck the two pix I took on the computer attachment will come out, because my first question is going to be, "Now do these things look like they're worth staying all night to make?" (And the computer is NOT loading them and I'm ready for bed. We'll try again tomorrow because the dinosaur glubs were hella cute.)

For the kids, the answer was yes--Cave Troll has a thing with puppets and glubs, and since these were a mix of both of them, it was fairly rewarding to have him go nuts over the 'Dinosaur Glubs' I made for him--so, well, yes. It was worth staying up late to get them done. And Ladybug would have been devastated if she didn't have her own 'glubs' since her brother got his, and the fact that what were envisioned as 'pony glubs' actually looked more like deformed-hamster glubs didn't deter her in the least, so that was good also! The fact was, both sets of glubs turned out so well that Mate's mom suggested (and I'm still not sure if she was being facetious or not) that I make some just like them for Mate's grandmother--her hands don't have any feeling in the fingers, and putting actual gloves on her is hard, but yarn mittens seem like they'd be easier. The fact that they look outlandish would, according to Dee, keep them from being lost. I'm going to have Mate call and make sure that this is what they want, because, by-golly, if she wants another pair of dinosaur 'glubs' in a grown-up size, I've got to tell you, I'm there!

Christmas went all right--seriously, all right! The little kids got their piles of loot, the bigger kids were pleasantly surprised by their piles of loot, and the morning of paper carnage and card-board destruction was as joyful as we remember it being when we were kids. Of course Mate and I got our jollies too-- the big kids had new (as in 'unwashed'!) cell phones under the tree, and Mate went into the living room, said, "We're going to sleep for another hour," you know, just to dick with them? And then went back into our room with OUR cell phones so we could call the kids phones under the tree. Juvenile, I know, but we laughed like idiots--it was pretty wonderful:-)

The visit to my real mom's family didn't quite go as smoothly. I got to give away all the wool I'd been working on for months, and that was pretty damned awesome--nobody really did explain how the last item went form being 'on reserve' for my absenty aunt to a present for my cousin's girlfriend, but since she started our conversation with 'Your daughter's sweater is SO beautiful', and it was the Arwen Cardigan I made last year, I figured the mitts were going to a good home. The thing I love about my mom's family is that the really adore handmade gifts, and this knitting thing has really taken off with them. Seriously--if I ever have a pair of socks that needs a home, I know who to send them to, and since all the women (that's three aunts, my mom and my grandmother mind you) have medium feet, I'm golden. That's every sock pattern like EVER, so putting two pairs of socks, a hat, two scarves and some fingerless mitts in a bag and saying "first come first serve" and then ducking out of the way can really be a helluva lot of fun--and dudes, like I said, it totally was!

The problem came with the gift giving, and the fact that I hadn't had any sleep in three days. The adults draw names for this one, and everybody gives to the kids. I can't convince them that Big T and Chicken are big enough for the adults table, so everybody gets a little spoiled, and this is fine since I usually get my cousins (only a little younger than Big T and Chicken) something as cool as I can think of and afford. The problem was, this year the gifts that my aunt had paid to have delivered on the 19th didn't get delivered AT ALL, and the little kids didn't have anything to open. Now usually I could handle something like this--and the fact that somewhere in the name-drawing thing, my name got left off the list was actually pretty funny. My two aunts who had organized this year managed to pull some pretty nifty gifts out of their ears but they were so flummoxed--it was like, "Wait a minute--who DID draw your name?" and ordinarily I would have been laughing like hell--with my new silk scarf and quartz crystal whatnot, because, like I said, these were their 'emergency gifts' and they were pretty cool. (With me it would have been a cookie tin full of fudge. Period the end. With these guys it's cool shit!) But for some reason, the lack of sleep and the sad short people did me in, and suddenly I was in tears. Not my finest moment, folks, I don't know what to tell you. I managed to convince everyone that I was good and it looked worse than it really was, but for some reason just thinking about that moment makes me tear up again. Did I mention the embarrassment? Anyway I need to forget about it because something really cool happened afterwards.

My aunt and uncle are very musical-Phil plays the guitar and Barb plays the piano and their kids play the harmonica and the piano, and every year for Christmas they get together and learn carols and play for us. I LOVE this part--it's like every cool movie you've ever seen with singing families in it, and I was so excited that they were doing it again. This time, they chose carols that they wanted us to sing along with.

Uhm, I can sort of sing.

I mean, not great or anything, but we'd finished Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and suddenly the whole family was looking at me as though I'd grown a second ass, and then Winter Wonderland came up and they made me stand up by the piano and sing because I sort of knew the words and I looked out and there was my aunt Monica, the one who had moved to Hawaii (she came back with gifts, bless her--I was just so happy to see her!!!) looking at me with shining eyes. She came up and hugged me and said, "You're just like Cory--I should have known... I'd forgotten you could sing."

Okay. That was a good moment. Just was.

There were some more good moments to come. After we left my mom's family, we went on to my dad and stepmom's, where the family pictures on refrigerator magnets went over VERY well, and although I got VERY competitive with the 'Christmas Carol' trivia, once I won the gift bag I came with (hey, it was from Barnes & Nobles and giving it away as part of the prizes HURT) I backed off and let other people answer. (Again, not my best moment... I try not to do that too often--no one likes the show-offy smart kid.) The short people got presents at this stop (always a plus) and when Ladybug opened her clothes, her response of 'Oh WOW!' pretty much earned her a spot in the favorite grandchild hall-of-fame. (She did the same thing for Mate's mom today--Ladybug is VERY appreciative of pretty clothes and shoes:-) And as my personal piece-de-resistance? My step-mom (not always a fan of the hand-knitted gift) has been wearing one of Chicken's old sweaters that I made--Chicken wore it maybe once and decided that although she had picked the pattern, the yarn, and the size, it really wasn't her thing (!!!). My step-mom has received so many compliments on it, that she said, "I really need to buy some yarn and have you make me a sweater." Now, this could have disaster written all over it--but right now, I'm reeling from the the compliment.

On the way home, Big T told us this was the best Christmas he could remember, and Chicken sort of agreed with him. I'm sure they'd have their own blog posts a mile long, but all in all, I think we could call it a success.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas: It's not just for young people anymore.

This morning, I was prepping my kids for the housecleaning (that is even now continuing without me) and the following conversations took place:

Big T: "Mom, how clean do you want the bathroom."

Me: "Pristine."

"But seriously--what do you want me to clean?"

"The floors, the floors behind the toilet, the walls, the walls behind the toilet, the mirror, the shower, the outside of the toilet, the inside of the toilet, the sink, the counter by the sink, the mirrors, the shower..."

"So, everything."

"Everything. I want it to look like the housecleaning Goddess herself wiggled her nose like in a commercial and the entire bathroom sparkled. I want it to be so clean we can light a potpourri candle in there just like all the other mommies in the world."

"But Mom, we're not like all those other families..."

"Well, dammit, I want the bathroom to be clean enough for me to go in, take a dump, close my eyes and pretend we ARE those other families!"

"Mo-om...MY INNER EYEBALL!!! GEES, I'm stuck with that image for the rest of my life!"

But the bathroom is now clean!

And then, later...

Mom: "Chicken--are you aware that at darkthirty a.m. your psycho-cat goes completely apeshit?"

Chicken: "Yeah, Mom, it's a laugh riot."

"No...I mean... he gets really frisky..."

"I know--he attacks my feet and then jumps up to look in my eyes so when I scream about my feet he can REALLY freak me out!"

"It's worse than that, Chicken... he found another skein of yarn... and... he was doing, you know, BAD things..."

"Mom, was he humping your yarn again?"

*sob* "Yes..."

"What yarn was it?"

"The Miss Priss Hermione," *sniffle* "Chicken, I'm afraid she's no longer pure... she may never be the same."

Chicken patted my back. "It's okay, Mom--he does the same thing to the alpaca Al Pacas...I started putting them in boxes and hiding them around the room to watch him find them. They're, uhm, not virgins anymore either."

And as for the short people? They are currently chasing each other around the house--when they're not DUCT TAPING their stockings to the wall (we couldn't find thumb tacks) and fondling the Christmas gifts from mom, dad, & siblings under the tree. (Santa comes tomorrow...) The fondling is actually a little disturbing, but we can't get Ladybug to stop.

*sigh* They are my children, aren't they? And currently, they are all listening to Big T reading 'How the Grinch STole Christmas.'

I wish you and yours fun conversations, warmth, squishimas, an enthusiastic Holiday (of your choice) story, told with full heart (and full volume) by someone you adore. I wish you warm feet, warm hearts, good yarn, entertaining yarns, and love.

Happy Holidays to you and yours-- from me and mine.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Things to do things to do things to do...

1. Finish the Cave Troll's glubs by Christmas. Take pictures.

2. Start and finish Ladybug's glubs--same deadline. Take pictures.

3. finish the last pair of socks for the Chaney women free-for all. Take pictures.

4. Finish the hat I've been working on as a traveling piece. This will be easy, as it's pretty much decreasing time. No pictures, since the color is too wonderful and the texture is too heavenly (silk/malabrigo...mmmm) and a picture will only break my heart with the limits of visual media.

4. Finish the yellow and blue kitchen set for my friend Barb. Not necessarily needed to be done by Christmas. No pictures needed.

5. Finish the final Christmas set for the MIL who insists that she doesn't need anything for Christmas but who will probably appreciate these. Red acrylic X-Mas glitter yarn. No pictures necessary. Really. You'll be grateful.

6. Line up 'post Christmas' Christmas knitting--kitchen sets (mentioned above), Noro striped scarf (how many was that cast on again?), my friend Wendy's alpaca gloves because she has Reynard's syndrome (low circulation in the extremities) and alpaca would be PERFECT for that, Kewyn's sweater since his sister has one for this year, and baby things for EVERYBODY... (or at least my neighbor, a lady at work, and a certain grandmotherly sort whom I adore.) Slide in a pair of socks for no particular reason but next year's Christmas and because I have enough sock yarn to do that, as well as a hooded scarf for myself and maybe a crocheted baby blanket for project Linus, and, well, I'll be knitting until next year!

7. Wish everybody a happy holidays, in spite of the fact that I'll be writing again on Wednesday.

8. Buy chicken for the Christmas Eve feast.

9. Help Mate wrap gifts--which I would have done last night had he not STILL BEEN PLAYING WOW until 1:00 a.m., and then he stayed up until 3:30 doing round 1 of the gift wrapping. He's promised tonight he'll let his old lady who seems to doze off around 12:30 stay up until the wee hours to help. I told him that if he doesn't get his ass in gear, he'll be wrapping everything at dark-freaking-thirty a.m. This will be fun because I bought the majority of the gifts about a month ago and Christmas morning will be as much a surprise for me as it will be for the kids!

10. Clean the house--or at least whip, beg, and cajole the useless teenagers I mean beloved older children to do the same.

11. Watch Chicken and Mate destroy the kitchen and blow up the blender. I mean, uhm, help them bake tomorrow.

12. Have I mentioned the knitting?

13. Go walking so my ass doesn't get too big for standardized door frames before the end of break.

And on that note? Adieu!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Squishy Belle

I've had to do it--I've put the writing on a moratorium and am knitting as often as possible. I've forgotten how liberating that is... and how refreshing to the ol' cranium. I'll be SO ready to write again as soon as Christmas has come and gone. I've even let an extra day come and go between blogging--but that was mostly due to falling asleep in front of the television when my blog moment came... and staying asleep as it went!

But what can I say? It's Christmas, the semester has ended, and I feel inclined to celebrate another semester of survival--huzzah for me, I didn't kill any one. (Although I was tempted to kill a few people, especially when I caught another kid STEALING SOMEONE ELSE'S WORK to put his name on it! It's a good thing guns aren't legal on campus.) Let's just say I treated myself to some yarn and quiet knitting time today--it was awesome, but it wasn't enough. Hopefully I'll remember pictures, because I've done some pretty cool stuff so far--and if the glubs actually get completed by Christmas eve, I think they'll be awesome.

So, about mama's Squishy Belle... Squishy Belle is Ladybug's other nickname... it's the one that I call her most often when I'm kissing her plump little cheeks or her squishy little tummy, and I've got to tell you, she's living up to every bit of delight and despair a two year old can dish out. Are you ready for some examples?

Every morning Squishy Belle comes out of her room and says, "Look, mama--my Christmas Tree!" And then she goes behind the chair and plugs in the lights. "Merry Christmas, mama!" We never showed her how to plug in the lights. She saw her father do it. Once.

The other day, she was sitting on my lap and I was watching The Day After Tomorrow--the part where the rabid wolves were attacking Our Hero, Jake. "Look, mama!" she exclaimed, pointing to the screen and clapping her hands. "Poodles!"

"Poodles?" I said, surprised. "Those are poodles?"


"Well that settles it, Squish--if you can't tell the difference between a poodle and a wolf, I'm not letting you outside again, EVER!"

Of course her older sister was cracking up, but I've got dirt on all the kids, so I clued her in. "Go ahead and laugh, Chicken--when you were this age, you saw a truckload of fish spill out on the road in Kangaroo Jack and told us all, 'Look! Semen!'.

Chicken laughed harder. "Semen?"

"You know, instead of 'salmon'?"

"Well, at least I was close!"

"Yeah, yeah, you know a swimmer when you see one--you may possibly go outside by yourself before eighteen." She thought this was more than fair.

And finally...

This morning, Squishy was in line for gymnastics, and her teacher, JoAnna, was standing in front of her. JoAnna's sort of a gruff woman--the kids adore her, but she prides herself on not being manipulated by cute little kids, and at this moment, she was dealing with a fractious little girl, so she had her game face on and her hands in her pockets and her shoulders hunched because she wasn't gonna take this little hellion's crap and we all knew it.

Then I noticed what Squishy Belle was doing.

She had her hands in her pockets and her shoulders thrust forward, and her lower lip jutted out.

"Psst... JoAnna..." JoAnna looked up and I gestured to Squishy. "She's trying to be just like you!"

And that did it. JoAnna grinned, picked up Squish and kissed her Squishy little cheek... because she's not just my Squish sometimes, and she knows it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Believe it or not...

Okay--my internet time is on a serious downswing here... and, seeing as this is a knitting blog, you'll never guess the cause.

Yup. I've been KNITTING. (Or crocheting, as the case may be.) I know this may shock some of you... it shocks me. The simple fact is, that in spite of a sort of weirdo dissociative malfunction in my brain, you know that one that completely denies that Christmas is less than a week away? Anyway, in spite of this, and in spite of the fact that I've got grades happening (more about that later) and shopping to do (brother, do I!) and insane short people to take to Santa, in spite of all of this...

I've allowed IT to happen.

You all know what IT is--anyone who's followed the Harlot understands IT. IT is the driving need to, in spite of time constraints, budget constraints, and the fact that everybody you know and love has been gifted with wooly love sometime in the last two years, knit more Christmas gifts in a week than you've knitted in the entire past two months.

IT is insanity. Now, I have, in the past, been shanghaied by IT, and I swore I wasn't going to let IT even walk through the door this year. I had it nailed--I still do. Sort of. I was going to knit for my real mom's family. They like everything I knit, think I'm a genius because I knit socks, love new scarves and accessories and are basically poster children for 'appreciative recipient'. I once sat outside in the car because the Cave Troll fell asleep as we arrived at the family's house for Christmas, and my aunt got all excited because she thought I MUST be in the car because I was knitting something for HER. (Since I WAS knitting, and I DID finish, and the gift didn't have a home yet, once Mate told me what she said, it turned out she was right.) So basically, all of the Chaney women were getting knit wear--random knitwear. I'd been working on it since October, I had a couple of pairs of socks a couple of fingerless mitts, a couple of scarves--hell. I even had a scarf for the babysitter, cooked up on a whim. I liked it.

And then I saw them. Three really loud Christmas themed dishtowels for five dollars. (Imagine bright lights shining from above...'aaaaaaaaaaaa') And suddenly, I had a vision. A vision of this really tacky red and silver acrylic that had been floating around the house for a year and all of the craft shows I had been to, and... (you know where this is going, don't you?) Yup. Those crocheted towel toppers. I absolutely had to make them.

And so I did.

And then I had to make potholders to match. And so I am. And then... and then...

And then I had it. The ultimate IT epiphany. It happened when the Cave Troll stole my glubs, and I thought, "I need to make some glubs for the Cave Troll and Ladybug!" And (bright lights, holy music..."aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh") I had suddenly planned two pairs of glubs that must (MUST I say, absolutely MUST) be peering out at them on the top of the Christmas stockings.

Uh-oh. I've done this before. I've stayed up until four a.m. knitting or crocheting something that seemed like a REALLY good idea but that really wasn't as beloved as I thought it should be. I've crocheted until my wrist felt like it would fall off, I've glue-gunned my fingers to the iron skillet of hell, I've... I've...

I've only got a week, but I'm SURE I can make it.

Oh fuck. I'm doomed.

(*I'll bitch about grades on Friday, if I'm still as pissed as I am right now. Right now, it's probably a good thing that I blogged about IT, because if I blogged about the kid who put his name on two other people's assignments--one that he'd stolen from the portfolio stack--and then tried to pass them off as his own, I'd have to throw the computer through a wall, and that would really hurt me more than it would hurt the kid. Unless his head was in the way--and that's tempting too!!!)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Random Ephiphanies

OKay... some really funny stuff and some not so funny stuff and some really weird stuff happened to me yesterday. Bear with was all just so goddamned random.

* The Cave Troll and Ladybug had an ongoing argument as to whether or not the star on the top of the Christmas tree was a "Patrick Star" or an "Arwyn Star" (in honor of Ladybug's actual name:-) The argument was pretty funny at first, but by dinner time last night, Mate had closed it down. It was "a star... that's all, A star." Given how single-minded they'd been about it, we were lucky it wasn't a "Goddamned star!!!"

* I got a very nice offer from a fashion photographer in Europe to do the cover art for Bitter Moon II. I'm both floored and flattered (you had to read the rest of the letter--it was really very wonderful) and thinking seriously of taking her up on it. The covers wouldn't match, no, but... but I've got this lovely vision of a b&w pic of a river bank in the day, with a river of stars reflected back. And's not like anything I do matches anyway, right?

* The Cave Troll stole my glubs. He wanted me to make him glubs on the spot this morning, but when I said we were on the way out the door and I could not knit him any glubs in thirty seconds, it seemed only my glubs would do. I miss my glubs--my hands are damned cold.

* Big T insists on watching Heroes and asking me which heroic archetype each 'hero' fits into. This makes my head hurt, and I'm starting to not like the show so much. He doesn't understand why we tell him not to talk to us during movies--but I'm sure you all do!

* Chicken is glad her dad is on vacation this week--he claims to be fixing the bathroom, and I'm hoping! But that's not why Chicken is glad. She's glad because I can pick her up 15 minutes after school gets out instead of an hour afterwards. I think her ass is getting damned cold in her corner, and she's running out of books to read.

* I had a kid bitch me out on my lunch hour because he wasn't going to charm his way into a better grade. He asked me two weeks ago and I said, "Okay--turn in your paper." He said, "I'm working on it." Yesterday, he couldn't even remember what the paper was about. Why? Because his mouth motors non-stop during class to his buddies. The only funny thing about this horrible encounter with a kid who doesn't speak 'reason'? He totally threw his buddies under the bus. "If I'm failing, how come they're passing? They should be failing too!!!" Now THAT'S character!

* And here's the epiphany. *WARNING* It's hella sad.

A few year's back, our school secretary was a very nice, hellifically efficient woman who moved on to a better, less stressful job, but left her kids in our district--I have her older son in my 3rd period class. This last Friday, Berto's little brother passed away from brain cancer. We all knew it was coming--but it sucked big anyway. When I saw Berto in class yesterday, (wearing his 'memorial shirt') I told him privately that I was sorry to hear about his little brother.

Berto's a laughing kid--always. Always laughing, always smiling, always nice, even when he's getting in trouble--which is a lot. His smile stayed right in place, and he was totally sincere when he answered. "No worries, Ms. Lane--he's all better now."

And I went into the bathroom and cried.

Here's to the lot of us, suffering, celebrating, being irritated, grumpy, fierce and friendly, broke and heartbroken, hoping, hopeful, and hopeless, heres to our happy misery continuing in cheerful contemplation out in blogland. I don't want anybody to be 'All better now', for a very very long time.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Big T is 16

And I didn't get any pictures.

So the story is this:

This week, T was trying to get his friend to go with him to the movies for his birthday. I've prepped the kids--nothing big for b-days. Nothing big for Christmas. T was primed, if a little disappointed, about cake & ice cream at home, watching his birthday gift on Friday night (The Dark Knight. Mmmmmmmm.....) with his family and a movie with his buddy on Saturday.

His buddy couldn't make it.

I felt like crap.

I called up my stepmom and said, "Yeah--maybe you guys could take him out to the movies...just something to make it special, you know?"

Stepmom said, "Surprise party! Nothing big--we'll just get the kids (cousins & cousin-like-people) to my house and have cake and ice cream there! We'll take him to dinner, you guys sneak in and we'll tell him Mate's there to fix the computer. He'll love it!"

Well *I* loved it. I loved it a lot. Big T would be so surprised. I checked to see where Big T was during this conversation--he was at the computer with the headset on. AWESOME. Nothing could disturb him short of nuclear attack.

I continued with the party plans with my mom, hung up, turned around, and ran smack into my gigantical, maniacally grinning son. Literally. I almost fell on my ass.

"What's my surprise, mom.

I couldn't help it, I couldn't fight it, I couldn't combat it. A GINORMAL shit-eating grin plastered itself to my face and I said, "Nothing. Nothing. It's nothing. No surprise. Nothing big. Just Friday. You're ready for Friday. Just talking to grandma..."

Yeah--I managed to keep THAT up for two days. And then, after the conversation which my mom finished up with, "And if the surprise is blown, I'll know who to blame!" it all fell to crap.

I didn't have the heart to tell her that I was pretty sure the jig was already up. "Hey, Big T--Grandma and Grandpa are going to take you out to dinner..."

"And when I'm done there will be a surprise party, right?"

"Nope nope nope nope nope nope nope..." Okay... you can only do that for so long before you cave like a cardboard condo, and the whole thing comes spilling out. Followed by, "And if you tell grandma that I suck this badly, I'll kill you. And THEN I'll disown you."


"Grandma will never forgive me for as long as I live."

Who was I kidding? The kid looks just like me. He's got my eyes. He's got my freckles. He's got my shit eating grin. He's got my complete inability to keep anything resembling a secret.

My parents walked into the house full of people grimly, and my mom said sarcastically, "Some surprise, Amy!"

I turned around and slugged my oldest, my darling, my baby, in his solid bicep. "Thanks a lot, Big T!"

"OW! Mom! What'd I do?"

"Don't blame him, you're the one who couldn't keep a secret!" (Well, mom, you knew that about me, right?)

"I tried! Dammit, I tried!!!"

Apparently he made it all the way through dinner before he sprung that (hereditary) shit-eating grin. I'll NEVER live that down. And I think I sprained my wrist.

Happy Birthday, my beloved child. You've made my life interesting, warm, rich, and wonderful--and, believe it or not, full of surprises.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What the horoscope said:

"You will get news or meet friends today, Amy, from abroad. These things could possibly cheer you all day."

What happened:

During my second period class another teacher walked in with a cop. I glanced at the cop and then at my (admittedly dodgy) class and was about to say, "Okay, officer, which kid are you here for?"

Then I realized he WAS a kid-- or he had been, back in 2003. Goddess bless him--he wanted to come visit, and I probably shattered his eardrums with OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG...

Ayup. Made my day.

And so did this:

Another student decided to give us little Christmas gifts--little hand lotions and such. I accepted, smiled, said thank you, and rubbed lotion into my hands.

And wondered all day about the smell... what is that smell? Why does it turn my stomach? I don't like this smell. What was this smell supposed to be?

So I took a better look at the little bottle. And the distinctive plant on the front of it. And the name of the lotion.


In a country where I can't buy hemp yarn for that cool hat I saw in Knitty a couple of issues ago, this kid just gave a bunch of people hand lotion made from marijuana oil.

I've been laughing my ass off all fucking day.

Who knew? That free horoscope had it pegged!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

You mean I have to clean the house?

I was having a hard time figuring out why the house was so thrashed. I mean, didn't I have a system? Don't I ask the kids to clean parts before I leave it? Doesn't Mate clean the kitchen sometimes? Haven't I been making the short people clean up their stuff? What's missing?

Oh? Oh. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh.


Okay--I used to actually CLEAN the house. I did. I clearly remember a time that if I didn't, we'd be swimming in filth. I used to have some pride in how my home looked. I've been trying to remember what happened to supplant this, i.e., why I seem to be wading through some serious crap to do simple things--like go to the bathroom, and I've come up with some reasons why I can't haul my fat, lazy ass off the club chair enough to make my home un-embarrassing.

* I was pregnant. Okay, I admit this was almost three years ago, but I think those days when I was pregnant with Arwyn, trying to write, work full time and chase Kewyn were the origins of my determination to make everybody else BUT me clean the house. I remember cleaning house back then, when Mate's mom came by to help me out, but I was part time then and the after school stuff wasn't nearly as crazy as it has been this year. Which brings me to...

* After school stuff. Oi. Just, fucking, Oi. Exhausting even to write about. Which leads me to...

* Writing. I take it MUCH more seriously now than I did before Arwyn was born. I guess I realized that if I wanted to keep up this 'quirky little hobby' and make it a career, some things would have to make it to the backburner. What I DIDN'T realize was how GUILTY I'd feel about letting my house become an embarrassing stew pot of bacteria and detritus. When I look at my kitchen table I think CPS is going to be knocking on my door at any minute--and then see the spaghilli I cooked for dinner (not one of my better experiments, that) and lock me up and throw away the key. Of course I'd have to hobble to the prison cell, which brings me to...

*My foot. Just frickin ouch. I swear--I'm finally getting to the point in part time/afterschool activities/writing schedule wherein I thought I could catch up, and I find I'm surfing the net or knitting more (don't mind that much, truth to tell) because walking FUCKING HURTS. I can go shopping. I can walk around the block a couple of times a week for exercise. I can cook dinner. But doing housework--all of the standing, the little trips, all of it--kills me. And whining about it just feels old. (Mom's feeble, old, and falling apart kids--hey, could you pick up the slack? Maybe raise yourself while you're at it? And, yeah--plan Christmas, that would be AWESOME!!!) And usually the times I'm doing it are not good writing times--they would, in fact, be REALLY good cleaning times, because the kids are running around anyway and I could distract myself by playing with them which make cleaning the house a zillion times less onerous. And make that CPS call seem a little less likely.

So, you add it all up and the house is disgusting--but I've got to tell you, even with all of these good reasons for a crappy house, I just discovered the best one of all--and I have to thank Galad for it, because she said it first, and with a little tweaking, I love it. I want it on a T-shirt and a coffee cup and magnet and a needlepoint sampler. So thanks, Galad, for leading me to a true epiphany:


so there.

(I'll clean the table tomorrow so we can have pizza, dinner, and ice cream for Trystan's b-day, and set the kids on the living room on Saturday so we can get the tree. It will have to be enough:-)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

When you're out of material...

Look through your pictures!

Ladybug has been sick for two days... and now she is no longer sick and driving everyone bugshit--time for her to go back to the babysitter's and dad to go back to work.

And mom? Losing her fricking mind--I mean that.

Christmas knitting? Oh yeah--I've got that.

Papers to grade? An 8 week backlog, thank you!

Finals to write? Only two, really-- not so bad...but, uhm, need to be written and copied by Monday afternoon.

Any writing going on? Of course. Granted, only about two pages a day, but that's 'sleeping dragon' writing, not 'dragon in the blood' writing, so I'm fairly satisfied. After Christmas and a little bit of sleep, I'm thinking that dragon is going to wake up and wreak a big, scaly havoc of whoop-ass on my poor little laptop and I'm looking forward to it. I need to remind myself that the writing always gets a little thin around finals week and not worry about the big, giant 'B'. (Uhm, 'block'.) Truth is, I'm not blocked--I think I'm just a little blue. I've got the post-partum blues for Bitter Moon II, made worse by the fact that I can't bring that baby home when I'm ready to. (We did the exact same thing for the Cave Troll when he was born, btw. And then we DID get him home, set him up in the clean house and just looked at him for an hour. Got very boring. Mate finally turned on the television, and then we could both watch the baby sleep AND watch John Stewart. Much better.) Anyway, I'm pretty happy with Rampant as it's going so far, I just wish it would write itself the way the Jack and Teague stories did, but Rampant is more complex, and I have to deal with that. More characters, more history, more complex plotlines--that's the price of growth in your craft, I guess--I just need to concentrate on doing it right, right?

And hey--speaking of stuff writing itself...

The Smart Bitches were marketing a product that seemed designed exclusively for m/m romance writers... they said they wanted to see the product in somebody's next romance. I didn't have time to write a full fledged shorty, but I did manage to produce this:

One Item Off The List

"Teague?" Jack's voice murmured in the darkness, and Teague stirred irritably against him. He had barely crawled into bed after going out on a job, and Jack had been relieved that he felt comfortable enough to just lay down and sleep instead of that frantic, 'let's-fuck-Jacky-silly' he'd sustained for their first two weeks.

"What?" Teague rolled over and faced Jack in the moonlight, scowling through tired eyes. "I told you about the job. It was long and boring. The vampires ate, Cory cracked jokes, and nobody grabbed my ass. Can we sleep now?"

"I was just..." Jack flipped his hair out of his eyes, wondering who to ask around Green's Hill for a trim, "just, what are we going to do for Christmas?"

Teague blinked. "This couldn't have waited until morning, Princess, or is Santa gonna slide down the fucking chimney early this year?"

"Unless your dick is Santa, I'm not counting on it," Jack snapped back. He propped himself on his elbow and wished Teague went in more for the gentle touchy-feelie thing in the quiet of the night. Unless sex were recently involved, Jack's gruff, wiry, stubborn Irish lover was still getting used to the idea of random displays of affection. "I was just wondering--I know they're not letting us out of the hill unchaperoned until we change and they're sure we're not going to eat anyone in broad daylight, know... Christmas shopping?" Last year Jack had bought Teague a display case for his model cars, but they hadn't been sleeping together last year, and Jack was at a loss.

"Christmas. Shopping?" Teague's head jerked up and his scowling hazel eyes peered at Jack through the darkness with equal parts bemusement and exasperation. "Do you have any idea how tired I am?"

"Not really, asshole, since you just patently lied to me about the job!" Oh yeah--Jack had seen the bruises, but he'd been planning to let it slide. "I was just wondering what we're going to do for Christmas, since we're fucking each other instead of, well, whatever we were doing last year."

"I'll ask someone to take us out tomorrow," Teague mumbled resignedly, turning over on his side and backing up against Jack in a patent invitation for the taller man to spoon. "If nothing else, there's always the internet--we've got bank accounts, you know."

"And the job?" Jack asked, taking that spooning invite anyway.

"I'll tell you tomorrow, Jacky," Teague yawned. "Just don't get me know..."

"Gay?" Jack supplied dryly. "Because, you know, I had plans of getting you pink underwear with a baseball player on the crotch. You know? Batter-up?"

Teague's knotty shoulders shook hard with a suppressed laugh. "You do that and I'll fucking strangle you with them. Now shut up and get some sleep."

"And the job?" Jack insisted.

"If you promise not to get me pink underwear, I'll tell you about that too." He was exhausted--his shoulders started moving evenly almost immediately after he finished speaking.

And Jack lay in the dark, smiling a little, trying to remember where he'd seen that website. It would be totally worth it.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

And I didn't even get to the best part!!!

Okay--so when Chicken was helping me open yarn packages in the car yesterday, she said, "Here's a yarn magazine, mom--I'm putting it in your yarn bag, 'Kay?"

"Okay," I responded, trying not to crash the car and ogle what was coming out of the packages at the same time.

So I didn't see it until today, when I was grading papers in MacDonalds, hoping for a break from the papers (which I made some serious inroads on, and I'm very proud of myself).

And I was thumbing through it, loving the fact that it was from a whole different place, I saw a pair socks that I really loved. And a quirky little article on 'Casting off' and guess what?

CERI DID THEM BOTH!!!! She wrote the pattern (and SERIOUSLY, darling, I was thinking "Ooooooohhhh, best thing in the book..." before I saw your name) AND she wrote the article, and I know this person--she sent me stuff, and I'm SOOOOOO tickled.

Best MacDonald's visit EVER.

Happy Yarnmas!

Yeah--it's a holiday, I know! It's a surprise to me too!

I had no idea, really, until I went out to check my mail and there was not just one surprise skein of yarn from a friend, but TWO!!! It was really a trip-- I was on my way to Chicken's insane soccer loss (12-0) in the 40 degree foggy damp, and when I got there, I looked at my parcels in such enchantment, I actually missed three of the other team's goals. (I guess if I'd missed our own goals this would have suggested bad mother-dom, but since the other team was making plenty of others, it was no big thing.)

So thank you, Ceri for the luscious merino/microfiber sundae, as well as the (oh joy oh joy--you have no idea how much I love these!!!) rip-mix cds!!! I'm so happy--it's better than Christmas and such a surprise!!!

And thank you Michelle, for the hand dyed skein of sockyarn from this guy. (It's a color somewhere between Cygnus and the red interpretation of Glacier Lake, with some more reds and pinks in it than either of those.) I like the guy's story and his site, and the yarn is yummy and the thought behind it--lovely.

So seriously--the little kids are driving me apeshit--they're an alpaca fiber away from being totally sick, but they're also totally bored so sending them outside into the ice-fucking-cold is out of the question. I've got a stack of papers to grade--I'm so desperate that I'm taking them to MacDonalds to play in the little gym so I can grade shit-- and although the unlimited bucket of diet coke is appealing, spending my Sunday doing that is not a whole lot of fun, and neither is surfing the net looking for a present for Chicken (a Twilight sweater) that's going to take a quarter of her Christmas budget out of the coffers.

But I'm taking my yarn with me to McDonalds, so I can fondle it and coo at it, and dream of Christmas vacation, where we will spend marvelous hours together, making something lovely.

Thanks guys--and Happy Yarnmas to you too!!!

(Pictures later today, I think, after this good girl has done her many duties:-)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Help a sister out!

Ismarah just asked for some suggestions for good knitting books for a lapsed knitter-- my first two recommendations are:

Yarn Harlot-- Knitting Rules
The Yarn Girls' Guide to the Basics

I'd especially like something like the Yarn Girls' Guide to the Basics without quite the hefty price tag to recommend-- the patterns really ARE basics--but they're classic and very useful. I use their little kid pattern books ALL THE TIME--and, again, just basic stuff, so I obviously like the format.

But you all knit--you all have your favorites-- what suggestions do you have?

All things considered...

It's probably good I didn't blog yesterday.

Have you ever been so tired that your first response to EVERYTHING is melancholy? Yeah--that was me, yesterday. I was like a walking open nerve--my blog post would have read like one of those teen tragedy songs from the 50's (Tell Laura I Looooooooooove her....) or a thirteen year-old's pre-menstrual diary. Yeah--all things considered, it's probably a good thing the kids pulled me away from the computer to come fall asleep in front of the television before I blogged last night--although their words, "Come play with us in front of the tv" were a lot more flattering!

I wasn't the only walking open nerve, though--the short people were HORRIBLE--I finally just dragged them to bed about two hours early and sang at them until they gave in. There were still a couple of trips out of bed afterwards, but they were both asleep by 8:30-- poor little guys. The Cave Troll is fighting off being sick, and Ladybug was fighting off being disowned--and I managed to wake up early to blog without them--can you believe that? I'm still a little amazed.

Anyway--there wasn't much to blog about, really. I'm knitting with some silk/malabrigo yarn that feels, uhm, decadent--seriously--so sinful, I'm probably absorbing calories through my skin (because, you know, the calories I eat aren't enough!) and I'm making fingerless mitts with them. I may make another pair--but simpler--I'm doing a faux cable and I think I should just do a 2x2 rib on the next pair. As depressing as it is, I'm coming to recognize my need for comfort food knitting as opposed to challenging knitting--at this point, if it's more challenging than stockinette, it takes too long!

I got my blurb in for the Creative Writing class yesterday--I went home and fixed it and then sent it in to the counselor. This actually was a trigger for some of those overwought tears, actually. I was on my way out the door when I got stopped by a young colleague--very young. Very idealistic. Very gung-ho. Very sweet, actually--and he wanted to make sure I was getting my paperwork for the creative writing class in, because if I wasn't up to it, he was REALLY interested. He was so respectful of seniority and age and accomplishment and all of the work I'd put into it before I felt pretty damned unworthy. I mean, seriously--here was someone all enthusiastic (like I used to be) and ready and willing and, I'm sure, more than able--and here I was, with an eight week backlog of papers on my desk, fighting burn-out with every breath I take-- if I hadn't promised some of my Juniors that I was going to try to teach the class, I would have just let him have it. Besides, he's sort of the darling of the department heads anyway--I'm sure he'd never be caught fighting to teach a comic essay class by using stand-up comedians, or making copies of slightly dirty fairy tail adaptations because they talked about the corruption of the writing process on language. It's been so long since I taught the course--I'll be making up new curriculum all over again!

And that's another reason I didn't tell him to take it. The whole idea sort of got me excited about my job--I hold on to those moments, believe-you-me!

But I think I"m going to be torn some more about the whole thing--on the one hand, I'm now superfluous. It used to be I was the only one on the faculty who even had a desire to teach the class. Now, I've got young Mr. Sloe-eyed Chipmunk Cheeks in the wings. But that's not necessarily a bad thing--if I ever get that *snork* big book contract, and can make a living writing as a day job, Creative Writing will continue at the school--and that REALLY makes me happy.

Oops--short people are up, and we've got a busy Saturday ahead--time to duck and run!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

In Which We All Get Schooled...

By Ladybug, no less.

I had to bring Ladybug to a staff meeting today--and the hilarity was not entirely unexpected, but very satisfying nonetheless.

* Chapter 1--In which I pick Ladybug up late (because I was correcting papers since I had to be at school anyway.) The little booger beat me out the door-- "Stop talking, mom, I want to go!" I might add that she chose (yes, SHE chose) the striped, inadvertently felted sweater on her way out the door this morning, and she waited just long enough to put it on before she dodged out of the baby-sitters door. Blessed little muffin, showing off for mom!

* Chapter 2--In which she clapped every time the staff applauded for another speaker. (Very cute.)

* Chapter 3-- In which I tried to move her to the table with my focus group, and she cried until I went back and moved HER SPECIFIC chair to the appropriate place. (Mmm, no. Not cute at all.)

* Chapter 4--In which she vociferously complained should I neglect to help her with the stamping/coloring/stamp-coloring craft station I set up to occupy her. She actually did this fairly quietly for 1/2 an hour--I was impressed.

* Chapter 5-- In which my department head (the one who ended up with the Cave Troll's puppet because, quite frankly, I didn't want it back after what had been done to it) decided to mess with Ladybug's head. They had a little bowl of candy at the table, and I snagged a Laffy-Taffy for Ladybug. Mr. Trick stole it from her and hid it under his hands. (This man claims he doesn't like kids.) Ladybug sent him a look of complete contempt, and then looked at me for help. While she was turned towards me, he dropped the candy back in the bowl, I snagged it and gave it to Ladybug, and he stole it again and dropped it in the bowl. Now folks, I live with four kids--this game was officially old for me this morning, as I was getting dressed and we were playing it with two kids and shoes. I snagged the damned Laffy-Taffy one more time, unwrapped it and gave it to Ladybug.

Ladybug held it between her thumb and her forefinger and glared at Mr. Trick--her expression was a priceless cross between 'Were you serious?' and 'Fuck you and the broom you rode in on!'

Mr. Trick laughed and looked at me--it was clear the English Teacher Department Head had just been schooled.

* Chapter 6--In which she continues to impress people. Mr. Cool (the guy who took my photo for the website) has an eight-month old at home, and he was absolutely enchanted by Ladybug. As we stood outside and talked, she ran around and made noises (most of them obnoxious teenager noises, like 'I want to go home now, mom!') and Mr. Cool just grinned and said, "Oh, she's cute."

"You think she's cute?" I asked, amused. "Hey, Ladybug--what do you say when you drop something?"

To which Ladybug replied, "Oh crap!" without batting an eyelash.

Mr. Cool laughed his ass off. I told him it won't be quite so cute when his own kid did that trick in two years, but he didn't believe me.

* Chapter 7-- In which I return home to complete chaos and a royalty check that might just get us through Christmas. I go out to get toilet paper, hair gel, milk and take-out.

* Chapter 8--I forgot the milk.

* Chapter 9--Mate, blessed Mate, said, "Uhm, Wow." And then went and got the milk for me. I love that guy--I'd have his babies for him, but that's been done. And thank Goddess, it is, well and truly, done.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Things I thought I could be a Grown-up About...

But I just can't.

* The fact that someone stole my i-Pod from my desk on the Friday before Thanksgiving Break. (Pisses me off and hurts my feeling, every single time I think about it.)

* Bringing home papers to grade over the break. (The cat LOVED them. Loved to SLEEP on them, that is!)

* Having ice-cream in the house. (Must. Eat. Chocolate. Ice. Cream. MUST!)

* Going to the yarn store with money in my pocket. (Cause and effect disconnect, I sweartadog.)

* Telling old stories about students who have graduated. (Isn't piercing your scrotum with a safety pin in the bathroom on a bathroom pass AND THEN showing all the girls AND a substitute teacher what you've done, some sort of guaranteed admission into the 'Stupidity Hall of Fame'? I mean the location of the piercing alone should guarantee the guy a slot in the Darwin award's DNA elimination challenge event, right?)

* The fact that Sarah Palin LOST. (Still dancing whenever I think about that one.)

* Scoring a point in my ongoing verbal sparring with my daughter. (She's vowed to disown me if I ever do my funky chicken dance in public.)

* The big "How to handle the family Christmas present" decision. (My mom told my sister and I to make a decision. We did. We were promptly over-ridden by my mom's best friend, who also gets a say.)

* The suggestion that the family calendar was NOT made more charming by the smutz on the faces of the short people. (I thought it was more charming, and I live with short people and smutz all day. I think mom was just being difficult.)

* The direct statement that mom and dad get enough calendars and that a family calendar was not a suitable gift. (Seriously, what crawled up her arse and died anyway?)

* The 'WHAT THE HELL IS THAT SMELL!!' problem in the staff lunch room. (Considering the fact that the bathroom opens into the lunchroom, what does it say about my sensibilities that a malfunctioning HEATER is the thing giving us the biggest case of the fits! Well, for one thing, it probably says that the room smelled like it was ABOUT TO BURN DOWN!!!)

* The fact that I still think dog farts are funny as hell. (I swear I've got the maturity of a four year old.)

* The fact that I started our day back from vacation with a movie. (Okay--in my defense, I promised them one, and for the most part, they were REALLY very good that last week before Thanksgiving.)

* Going to bed on time so I'm not a total zombie princess in the morning. (But I don't really start to write until after 11:00 pm!!)

* The fact that I will, in all probability, receive a rejection letter in short order from Loose-Id, where I submitted 'Yearning' and hope to submit 'Waiting'. (Why don't they like me? Why? Why? Whyyyyyyyyyyyy?)

*Stephanie Meyer--who wants to bet that SHE didn't have to choose between publishing HER next book and buying the kids Christmas presents this year? (If was really a grown-up, I would have let this go, wouldn't I? Failure is probably my karmic response to this very thing, I can tell!)

* The fact that, even though I will, in all probability, receive a rejection letter from Loose-Id, I have already spent the theoretical (and probably very small) advance they might have given me if they accepted 'Yearning'. (Dammit, it's Christmas, and we have no money, and I want to spoil my kids!!!)

* The fact that even though I will, in all probability, never, ever, ever, be a writer for a traditional press and I should probably throw in the towel right now because this insane obsession of mine can't possibly be good for my family or my physical or mental health, all I can think about, like a constant wail in the back of my head, is that I don't have enough money to publish Bitter Moon II right now. I just edited it again--most times EVER on a manuscript. I think it's very possibly really, really good. (How narcissistic am I, that this breaks my heart? I can't even answer that question objectively, I just can't.)