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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Me-me synesthesia

Okay-- we haven't had a good me-me circulate in AGES. As I was walking tonight, I started to think up a good, short, goofy me-me, and it turned out to be an AWESOME exercise in making me see what was best about my day--I'll try to share the coolness as I show you the me-me.

I wanted weird answers, goofiness, a pop-culture sensory-overload snapshot of someone's day--here are the questions I came up with:

1. If you could eat ANYTHING at THIS VERY MOMENT what would you be stuffing your face with?

Banana cream pie

2. If you could warp the space time continuum and start and finish a project in an hour, what would it be (and what color would it be?)

The Decimal Cardigan from Spring Knitty--in brown.

3. What was the weirdest thing to happen to you all day?

As I was leaving the day-care lady's apartment building, I heard Ladybug say, "Hi!" and then I almost dropped my keys when a man's voice said, "Hi there, sweetie--how are you?" I turned around and there was some random cute guy, returning from his workout--I was so surprised!

4. What was the funniest thing someone said to you today?

It turns out there were a LOT of funny things--someone told me she was going to sell her body for Laurell K. Hamilton books, Ladybug told me she was talking a lot because she was happy, and a co-worker I've been worried about told me he got a cat and is probably going to name it Dammit.

5. What was today's songworm?

Mad World

6. What was the thing you did today you were proudest of?

I played 'The Highwayman' for my 2nd period because it showed up in a Frank McCourt story about the power of poetry.

7. What was the dumbest thing you did today?

I wrote a crossover Supernatural/Heroes fanfic on a dare from a student. (Damned kid already owes me cookies--they'd better be spe-fucking-tacular.)

8. What was the most same ol' same ol'?

The craptacular house.

9. What was the best thing about your region today?

Fields of Green's mustard flowers. I love them, and they only have a 3 week season.

10. What color was your day, and would you knit a project with it?

My day was blue/lavender with yellow flecks. And I'd knit with that in a heartbeat.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bloggage: Now with synthetic fiber content


I'm actually crocheting an acrylic baby blanket. With every stitch I feel deeply that my conversion to wool was the just and right thing to do. How can I, in good conscience, abduct live dead dinosaurs from their psychotropic home in dye-land, when I know that there are sheep, suffering in the summer, because irresponsible consumers such as myself opted for the easy blanket in Red-Heart baby as opposed to something more challenging that would have forced me to use wool?

And I'm tired of the squeakiness.

*sigh* And I have to say this rant makes me feel really really horrible about the hu-norm-ous stash of acrylic that I've hidden in the garage so I don't have to own up to it.

And I've got another baby-blanket to make, and I'm thinking I might have to break my vow of giving up yarn for Lent just to buy a wool blend, because I can't do another one like this... just can't. Sorry!

In other news?

Nothing. Not a thing. Spent the weekend writing and hanging with the kids. Saw Monsters & Aliens (funny!), watched Ladybug be a cat (she's good at it!), listened to the Cave Troll tantrum (also a skill!), watched Chicken hunt fruitlessly for her cell phone so she could keep a date at the mall (it was in my purse--she missed the date!), listened to T try fruitlessly to be funny (he's still trying!) and cracked jokes with Mate (he's succeeding--the man can make me laugh like no one else.)


* We walked into target, and the following monologue commenced from Ladybug: "My dresses! My shirts! My pants! My hats! Oooooohhhhhh mommy! My SHOES!"

Mate couldn't stop laughing.

* Dropping Chicken off at Barnes and Nobles so she could read a Manga book we can't possibly afford (because there's 22 of them and they all cost 10+ dollars--this one WASN'T at the library!) We came back in an hour--she was done and very satisfied with herself.

* Having a 45 lb. cat in a pink T-shirt try to lick my face.

* Having the Cave Troll tell us not to leave Monsters and Aliens--there was still some more plot at the end. (He'd seen it in 3D the day before with his dad!)

* Giving crap to Mate about his bad memory, and having him call himself '10-second Mate' (if you remember 50 first dates?) I said something smart in return and he said, "Wha?" It took me a full ten seconds to figure out he was messing with me. (Okay, it was funny to us.)

* Making dinner two nights in a row and washing dishes four times in a week. It sounds totally crappy, I know, but it gave me enough leverage to have Big T clean the kitchen floor. Badly.

* And of course there was a little bit of time and energy left to write 15 pages and revel... you guys REALLY were nice about my sad little foray into fan-fic--I enjoyed myself, and I'm glad you did too!

And can I just say--to everybody out there who has told me they're thinking about writing again? DO IT! It truly does fill your soul an unusual way. (It's also addicting--I don't call it the dragon for nothing.)

What about me?

The Cave Troll saw Ladybug's picture and asked 'What about me?'-- so here's his 'What about me' picture:-)

(A good writing weekend--a bad weekend for sleeping. I'll give you some real bloggage later;-)

Friday, March 27, 2009


(Is she still blathering on about fanfic?

Uhm, yes. 'Fraid so.

For the love of God, can't we make her stop? Tell some kid stories, talk about knitting, give us an update on rampant... ANYTHING besides this crap again?

Don't worry--I think she's winding down.

Thank the Goddess. I'd KILL for a anecdote about an acrylic crocheted blanket. I mean really.

There there... it'll all be over soon.)

In music, a 'coda' is a short little piece of a few bars that is inserted in some repeats of the song and not others. In fan-fiction, the coda is not much different.

A coda is a brief little view of the characters of the fan-ficked universe that was not in the original canon. (I used this word yesterday--the 'canon' is the universe as conceived by its original writer(s). The original episodes/novel/movie as it first appeared.) Well, today's post is going to be a coda to yesterdays--in a lot of different forms.

* Coda the first-- works likely to get fan-ficked and why.

Yeah--you all guessed it (all of you--gees, there were a whole lot of comments--thanks guys, that was awesome!) Science fiction is the most likely genre to get fan-ficked. Maybe it's the myriad possibilities of world building, maybe it's the fact that sci-fi/fantasy gets the oh-mighty-shaft from the folks with the original literary canon planted firmly up their asses--either way, people like sowing their coda of oats in the rich fields of places that never-were and people who've never been. Given my own multiple bents, sci-fi is just dandy that way.

But it would be wrong to say that sci-fi is the only fan-fic field, and, in fact, by sticking to sci-fi, I'm leaving out one of the most legitimized and profitable areas.

Canyaguess? Canya canya canya?

If you said Jane Austen you are absolutely positively RIGHT. I knew this before--a buddy of mine is absolutely gaga over Jane Austen fan-fic, but it wasn't until I visited Barnes & Nobles TODAY that it hit me. There was an entire table of Jane Austen, and only HALF of it had been penned by dear Ms. Austen herself. No lie. Probably because the works are, like, hella old, the copyright laws aren't as stringent, and a number of works (Prescience and Prejudice, anyone?) have been published by modern writers and are selling wellas you can see!

*Coda the second* Why DO people pick certain works more than others?

The answers cover a couple of reasons, as far as I can see.

Sometimes, it's just to see more of the main characters. Sometimes, it's to simply continue the story--'coda'-- what's been done before, and sometimes it's to add to the world building itself-- these are all totally legit and probably the bulk of the fanfictioning universe. But not all of it--and that's where the party moves to my neck of the woods. It seems that one of the most common themes in fan-fiction is to pick works in which a relationship or aspect of the plot COULD have been better explored but wasn't.

And that's when we pull out the fold-up chairs and break open the ice-chests of miller right in slash fiction land.

The male/male relationship (also called 'slash' for the, uhm, '/' slashy thingy between the words) is the relationship that a lot of authors won't break into. It doesn't sell, it gets the work labeled, it's not particularly socially acceptable yada yada yada... and there it is (and I have no research, none at all to back this up) that I think our imaginations start running overtime.

If we're told enough times that something ABSOLUTELY SHOULD NOT AND CAN NOT EXIST, we start looking for it EVERYWHERE.

Like, uhm, say, an illicit and furry relationship between Frodo and Sam? (Yeah, I know--makes some folks want to go bleach their inner eyes with lye, but it's really big in the slash/LotR sites, or so I've been told. I sweartadog I've never been there.) Or maybe Aragorn and Legolas? (I'm NOT making this up. And I never will.) Or, you know, maybe Sam and Dean Winchester? (I refuse to comment on that one. I'm sick. I think it's starting to pass like bad fish--let's all hope.) All of these have been fair game on the fan-fic sites, and many many more as well. (I'm reasonably sure that Lance Bass had been well outed in fan-fiction long before his press release broke, and Clay Aiken was fooling nobody--again, particularly not the fan-fic-folk.) So, well, yes--that would explain why, when an informal poll of m/m authors asked "How did you start writing?" a majority of them said, "Fan-fic"--and bless them all, they're some outstanding writers and I'm glad to know them!

*Coda the third* A few vocab words. Wanna hear?

Besides 'coda', 'slash' and 'canon' there are a few other terms that come up a lot, and, well, I'm a big believer in 'understand the language, understand the people', so here goes: (btw? I use AU, Crossover, Coda, Character death, and some other fan-fic standards in my writing prompts... seriously--these are teacher school favorites!)

AU--Alternative Universe--this is where you use some of the same characters of the original work, but you take them somewhere else or to the same place, different chain of events. Like, say, Batman goes to Mars--or, Sam and Dean go to a place where mom never died, but was a kick-ass hunter right along side of them.

Crossover--Remember Batman goes to Mars? How about Batman goes to the U.S.S. Enterprise and battles Klingons? That's a crossover theme--different characters get together and party.

Character death-- this is a warning, usually. Some people don't log on to fan-fic sites to watch their favorite boy go down in flames, so if that's what you feel like writing, well, warn a fan before they read it!

Warning-- well, it's a warning, mostly--and it can be as simple as a movie rating, from 'G' to NC17. But there are some themes in every universe that people just DON'T want to know about. For some people, slash is WAY off their fan-fic radar, and for others, it's character death. Some people are just squidged out by certain couplings, and some people don't want their favorite couple with ANYONE outside of that EXACT couple. Most fan-fic sites either have specific standards about this, or they have warnings. Usually (uhm, yeah, I know this from experience, why do you ask?) there is a drop down menu and some standard warnings you get to give, including explicitness, time frame, and general nature of the fiction. For example, if I see *Warning: M-preg* I run in the exact opposite direction. Male pregnancy both squicks me out and cracks me up, and it's hard to maintain my conviction that fan-fic is an art form if I'm doing either, so I leave that particular bent to souls far hardier than mine.

And that leads me to my example. Yes, I penned this for an archive, but something wacky is going on w/the archive and they're not putting my stuff up. It's all good--I wasn't actually looking to get published, it was more for stress relief, and it's been working. Be that as it may, this is a good example of a coda--in fact, it's a short continuation of Supernatural episode 4:16--Angels on the Head of a Pin. People who know the universe will be very comfortable here. People who haven't seen the episode are bound to notice a couple of things.

A. I explain nothing--I expect my audience (the archive itself) to be as literate in the universe as I am.

B. My characters are set. For example, the music is a common theme in the show--and Kripke himself has said that he doesn't know what Sam's music would be, so I'm playing directly from the canon.

C. This one is directly related to the canon--most codas are.

And that being said, I give you Techno-Music


Before Dean ripped the i-Pod out of the Impala, Sam was having trouble filling it up. He faked a couple of credit cards about a month after Dean went to Hell, and resolved to listen to everything that WASN'T mullet rock, and to find some music of his own.

Hip-hop had been a complete waste of his time. Popular dance music, 80's British Invasion, rap--all of it had left his heart cold and beatless, as empty as his addict's soul.

Techno-pop had been the worst. He'd find himself singing to a song and then stop and realize that all it had was rhythm. Sam, king of research, analysis, hidden meanings and literary interpretations was singing 'Coin Operated Boy' because he was one, and there was no more depth than that.

He'd been getting a nudge for Pearl Jam, Nickleback, Offspring, Nirvana, and the Eels, but there was something soulful in those artists, and he'd hear Dean's music in them even as he was struggling to make some sort of rhythm and rhyme his own. In the end, they had hurt his heart worse than Dean's music, and he'd had to stop listening.

Two days before Dean came back, Sam had filled the fucking i-Pod with Boston, Bon Jovi, Kansas, Styx, the Scorpions, Def Leppard, Tesla, Night Ranger, Pink Floyd, Zeppelin, Aerosmith, and every other fucking band whose label he could barely read on the cassette tapes he hadn't had the heart to throw away.

When Dean had driven the car again, chucking the i-Pod, whining for pie, playing his beloved music at top volume, Sam had thought he could hear the beat of his heart again.

Tonight, sitting in the hospital, watching his brother balance between painful life and sweet oblivion, not sure which one he'd want, Sammy heard techno-pop.

He heard it in the drip of the IV, the beep of the heart monitor, the suspiration of the oxygen tank. He heard it in Dean's faint grunts as he fought against pain, and in the clenching of his jaw as he fought it even more.

Dean had said "Not me. I'm not your man."

Sam had driven himself and Ruby and the fucking Impala to save his big brother, and he was late, too late, maybe a year too late, maybe he was two years too late because maybe Dean had died the day Sam had with a bowie knife in his back.

And if they hadn't both died then, they'd both died a little now, because Sam had heard his big brother refuse to fight again. And Sam had heard Dean's heart and will breaking because those bastards had used him and used him and used him up.

Sam knew that sound--it was the reedy rasp in his own voice when he told Ruby he needed more, just one more fix, just one more rush, so he could fight the bad guys, could feel more, could dominate the pain, could kick some ass to make the pain all go away.

But still, as he lay in the bed, surrounded by the techno-music that kept his heart beating, Dean wouldn't moan and wouldn't cry. He just sat there, breathing by an act of will, because, dammit, there was still something whole in his soul that not even those fucking dicks with wings could kill.

The techno-pop sounds continued, beeping, whooshing, crooning of empty hearts and broken wills, and Sam looked at his brother's face. Dean was tired, he was bloody, and he was sad in a way that might be forever, might be too damaged to hunt ever again, and Sam watched as Dean clenched his jaw and grit his teeth...

And made his chest rise again.

Fucking techno-pop.

In a rusty voice, Sam opened his mouth and began to sing.

"I walk these streets... with a six string on my back... I play for keeps... because I might not make it back..."

Next to him, Dean grunted again, grit his teeth, and willed another breath.

(*whew* Is she done?

Yes--and thank god. If I heard the word fan-fic one more time, I was gonna hurl.

Do you think she'll talk about something else next time?

She keeps promising... we can only hope!)

Thanks all--that's the end!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

In Defense of Fanfic

Okay--I warned you it was coming, but I have to say, you all egged me on.

See, the thing is, I mentioned fanfiction, and I got a whole lot of people saying, "Yeah--I wrote that." Some of them even said, "I've been writing fanfic since I was a kid." And an even bigger batch of folks (especially in the m/m circles) said, "I started out writing by writing fanfic."

And shit just started percolating, and I realized I've been writing fanfic for most of my life.

When I was a kid, I read (picture divine light and holy music shining down upon the title) Lord of the Rings, and yes, it changed my life. It was followed in quick order by The Chronicles of Prydain, The Dark is Rising, The Dragonriders of Pern, and all things Robin McKinley--and a host of other sci-fi/fantasy that I only remember when I walk through the bookstore--or my daughter's bedroom.

And I didn't just want to (read and read and re-read and moon over and daydream about) the stories. I wanted to BE IN THE STORIES. I developed an entire fantasy coping mechanism--sort of online with the Jasper Fjord or Wishbone or Quantum Leap idea, wherein my friends and I would be called upon (trumpets, fanfare) to venture INTO the stories and become a part of them, in order to make them turn out right. They HAD to turn out right. It was a moral imperative--even more important than historical events. Hitler didn't have to die, mind you, but Aragorn MUST survive.

And, voila, I was writing fanfic.

Because I am clueless, I didn't know it was fanfic, even though fan fiction has been called such and printed with regularity since (canyaguess? Canya? C'mon... gueeessssssss...) Didja guess? Yup-- Star Trek is (according to Wikipedia and the general cybercircles I seem to be running in) one of the first major franchises to be fan-fiction-fodder. And for the most part, the franchise didn't seem to mind. (I seem to recall that Roddenberry did his share of ganja... good for Gene R., really--way to be laid back.) In fact, a LOT of franchises don't seem to mind.

Buffy, Firefly, Supernatural, X-Files--all of these franchises have given the wink-and-nod to the writing of fan-fiction--and why not? When Star Trek fan-fic started out, it was done in underground zines and friendly scribbled notes cobbled together during lunches. But still, it managed to power enough rabid fandom and advertising synergy to fuel DECADES of conventions, signings, movies, and four spinoffs--three of which had full-on seven year runs. Since the original canon only spawned 79 episodes (still 60 summat more than Firefly!) this fan-based-power-marketing intense--and that was before the internet.

When the internet came online, the fanfiction capabilities were ENDLESS. is an archive that deals in nine categories, including television shows, manga, movies, books, cartoons, games, and comics. Buffy was one of the first shows to be 'fan-fic'ked , and on the site, folks can share their shit, as it were--get like minded people to read their own creations, their own 'ins' to the worlds that have caught their imaginations.

I need to add here, that the ability to share fanfiction is seven to nine buckets of fucking awesome. One of the first fan-fics I ever wrote--again, before I knew there was such a thing-- was written about the Batman universe. I learned that in one of the canons, Batman and Batgirl... well, they had a history, yes they did, but it didn't last. And I started to explore the price that duality would exact on a good and decent man attempting to be too many heroes in one person. For those of you who read Bitter Moon--yeah, it should sound familiar, and the fine, wavering line between the Romantic hero and the Gothic hero has given me acres of virgin territory to penetrate *snark* in terms of character and theme development. However, that story didn't really last beyond the 'printed matter' stage--mostly because the one person I showed it to--a colleague--laughed until she cried. And it wasn't friendly laughter either. Yes--people who read and support literature in all forms are VERY important to the literature's continuation as a legitimate cultural art from.

And that's the crux of the fanfic matter right there, isn't it? Legitimacy. How legitimate CAN an art-from be when much of it is purloined from other sources?

Interesting question--and from what I can figure, there are two answers, one legal and the other artistic--and since it's my essay I'm tackling the legal issue first.

The legal issue is sticky.

For all of the franchises and authors that support--or at least wink-and-nod--fan-fic, there is a whole host of franchises and authors that rabidly and vehemently reject it.

Authors such as J.K. Rowling and Anne McCaffrey have said, "Why not?" (Although Rowling is purportedly a little off-put by the sexually explicit stuff, and I sort of don't blame her, and McCaffrey has asked that people stay within certain boundaries.) These authors are often flattered that their work has affected readers to such an extent--they want the magic to continue as it were, and enjoy the idea that their characters and worlds will continue on as separate entities from those that they alone put on the page. Some authors seem to feel as though fan-fiction is free press and intellectual exploration--and the highest form of flattery.

But not everybody. Authors such as J.D. Robb, J.R. Ward, Anne Rice, Annie Proulx, and P.N. Elrod have asked that fiction based on their characters and worlds NOT be archived. At all. Period. The End. Some of the authors, such as Proulx and Ward, have cited that the characters are *their* intellectual property, and the endings (of, say, Brokeback Mountain or Lover Unbound), are their business, and the writers flatly don't want fans and readers telling them what to do--not even as flattery. A number of authors have even been involved in legal squabbles and associated dramas that insist the fan-fiction be pulled from the internet based on copyright infringement. Most of the arguments cited for this include not wanting the market to be saturated with the product and authors not wanting to be charged with intellectual thefts themselves in case they put out a story with an overlapping storyline. In short, nobody wants to be accused of copying, when the fact is, sometimes great minds (and great minds trying to THINK like great minds) think alike.

And that last one is the most interesting dilemma (to me, anyway.) It seems that even the television franchises who wink&nod fan-fiction don't allow their writers to READ any of it. Nobody wants to be accused of stealing someone else's intellectual property--and nobody wants their canon influenced by someone who's A. Not getting credit, and B. Not going to be around to help write the ending. Now, the reason this last reason really has me hooked is simple.

It's legitimate.

There is some fan-fiction out there that IS that good. Good writers, smart people, imaginative observers, put their hearts and souls into the worlds that have wrapped them up and delivered them safely from reality. These writers have repaid their beloved worlds with more places to go, that's all. And that love and effort have paid off--they have created REAL worlds, as real as the worlds that have enthralled them, real enough to threaten the boundaries of the worlds that spawned their own creativity, at least in the legal sense.

And to me, that's another couple of fucking buckets of awesome.

As a teacher, "Write an extra chapter for your free reading book" has been on a long list of creative, engaging projects that I keep circulating in lieu of the standard oral book report. If you ever actually SEE me when I mention oral book reports, the words are inevitably accompanied by my pantomime of gnawing through the purple veins of my own wrist. Yes. I hate them that much. But an extra chapter? Now THAT I look forward to. An extra chapter, penned by a student--well that indicates a student has been engaged by the reading. The student has not only read but also understood, remembered, applied, synthesized and evaluated (trust me--these are a teacher's power words) their reading. It's big and good teaching mojo here--but until recently, I never realized it was called fan-fic.

As a writer? *huh huh, huh huh* That's me, laughing bashfully. I mean, I'm not huge, you know? I'm not J.R. Ward or Anne Rice--I'm Amy Lane, and I've sold maybe 5,000 books total. Diluting my market is NOT a problem, so take my opinion for what it is--pretty fucking salty, all things told.

I love fan-fiction. I love the idea that people want to write fan-fiction for my universe (yes, Grasshopper, I'm talking to you and you know it!) and I love love love LLLLLURRRRRRVVVVVE to the ends, depths and breadth of my liberal hippie soul, the idea that something I wrote, something I imagined, spawned creativity in another human being. *I* DID THAT. MY IMAGINATION DID THAT. I mean, gees, people. How amazing is it, that what I wrote is inspiring enough to make someone else write? Isn't that the definition of art? For fucking real--does that mean I'm an ARTIST?

Well shit--yeah, fan-fic all you want!

And as for why a writer--even a nascent one who has not yet published--would want to write fan-fiction?

Ohmigod! It's a writer's dream workshop, all in one little short.

As a friend said, (Samurai!) Fan-fiction is a twinkie for the soul. You don't have to worry about plot-holes, or even plot. A lot of fan-fic is written to capture a moment, capture a gasp of character, explore a conflict. Fan-fiction writers can explore and practice details, love scenes (yum!), mood, tone, theme, diction, character development, etc. all without getting bogged down in complex plots, worrying about plotholes, or getting tangled in the myriad complexities and intricacies of building a complete world. The world is complete. The canon is written. Even writing outside the canon, the characters and their quirks are built in. It's up to the fan-fic writer to capture a moment in time, and sharpen their writing chops on the fineness of the moments that ensnare our hearts.

See--it's all of the sweetness, none of the baking! It's better than refrigerated Otis Spunkmeyer cookie dough! For one thing, since it's free and available on the internet in both edited and unedited forms, you can eat it raw! Or raw and sexual, if that's your thing. However you scoop and bake it, fan-fiction can be one way to stretch the old writing muscles and tone the cranium up for some serious writing exercise--and, as long as you don't *oops!* poach on the territory of those writers who are dead-set against it, you can stretch those muscles for a little bit of praise and none of the pitfalls of writing your own stuff! I mean, how scrumptious is that?

I enjoy it. I mean seriously--when I feel a little panicky about RAMPANT (and those of you who know me can see how I might be feeling the pressure of returning to the Coryverse just a smidge) I go to Sam&Dean world, and voila! No pressure. No one needs to see it, and I can work out the ol' muscles and then get to work in my own world. It's all messages and peeled grapes in the fan-fic world. And if I didn't have my own wip? Well I'd have a creative, productive way to extend the magic, make it real, make it mine.

Seriously--I don't know why the medium needed me to defend it. Fan-fiction pretty much defends itself.

(Guys, sorry I haven't been checking up on blogs--I'm on sort of a writing tear, but I'll get to you, I promise!)

Monday, March 23, 2009


Okay-- I was going to post a link here that showed me, on a flyer, for an author talk at the Fair Oaks public library--but I can't get the @#$%%# link to work.

Suffice it to say the picture is the same one you've all seen a dozen times, but the flyer describes someone much more interesting and intelligent than I am.

I need to do two things:

A. Update my picture

B. Buy some sort of Extenze intellect viagra so I can live up to the hype!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I <3 My IPOD

Oh i-Pod, dear i-Pod
Compact magic box
How can I compare thee
You're as good as socks!
You read my mind truly
You seem to know when
I need to rock out
Or to chill and zen
Your programming is genius
And genius it knows
Which songs play with which ones
And where they all go

Oh i-Pod, dear i-Pod
Your taste is divine
Yeah, there's some kid's songs in there
But most of it's mine.
You play Sheryl and Coldplay,
Springsteen and U2
When the radio won't play it
On you it sounds new!
You come with me on walks
When I'm alone in the car
My electronic reminder
Of how lucky we are.

We have glorious storytellers
With magical minds
Singing stories in key
Great ballads in rhyme
We have brilliant court jesters
Who know more than our kings
Who feel life deeply
And know the joy that life brings
We have haunting acousticals
And pure emotion that rocks
And all of it's squashed
Into this one little box.

Oh i-Pod, my i-Pod
I lament my plight
On the whim of a monster
One day you just might
Part ways with my company
The thought, it just chills.
The indifference to honor
That would take you--it kills!
So our time now is precious
And I'll hold you so tight
If someone wants to steal you
They're in for a fight
Your loss to me, i-Pod
Would be oh-so-tragical
Cause your presence, beloved
Is nothing but magical.

*happy grin* Can you tell I need my music? Just a little? Now excuse me while I toddle off to knit an i-Pod cozy... poor baby's getting all these nasty nicks in his casing. That's no way to treat a magic box!

(I may not post anymore teasers for a while, but I WILL be writing a Jack & Teague short/short in the next month, and I'll let you know when that goes up on the website!)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Angst and Veal

Okay, I know some of you are in deep mourning for BSG, and I don't mean to piss on your parade. You go ahead and mourn, but for those of us who follow the ways of the Winchesters, I've got one word:


(Don't fuss too much with the link. It's just yet another video but I like the song!)


Seriously guys--for those of us that follow the show, last night was something of a watershed moment. Lots of questions answered, lots of pain, lots of kicking ass and remorseful angst... and Sammy hauling ass to save his big brother, who he was afraid would be too broken to do what was needed... *sigh* Good stuff.

I could thrive emotionally on angst and veal alone, but the writing is going well too, and school actually went sort of well today. Projects were due, and I expected that to be a big cricket-chirping blank in my 3rd period, and a few people actually did them. *woohoo* Someone in my 4th period (the same guy who participated in my 'rabid-fan-scream' ritual, actually-- go figure) did a poster on Wounded. He did a stand-up job--I put it in the "Non-erasable-wall-space-of-fame" and he was very honored. Well, so was I, so we're even.

After having to frog (and you all know how much I LOVE that) the toe of the roulette sock, I may--just MAY mind you, be ready to send it out tomorrow. Sorry, Trish--I got caught up in life.

Of course, now I have to work my fingers to the raw because I've got two baby blankets to get done in three weeks... but crochet goes so damned quickly, I'm not that worried. I have a cute pattern planned, and I'm starting to wonder--am I to the point in my crafting where I should start getting rid of some of my books? Seriously--now that I know what I use and what I like to use, I think there are some books here I'll NEVER use. But then, I'm young yet in crafting--maybe when part of my day no longer consists of being a barcalounger, I might get into more challenging stuff. And start quilting again. And put out two books a month. (Dreeeeeeeaa-m dream dream dream dream, dreeeeeeeeaaam... dream dream dream dream, whenever I want to, all I have to do is dreeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaammmmmmm...)

Oh-- Ladybug moment of the day? Standing on the bed and raising her hands to sing to the intro of 'The Muppet Show'--best dvd moment EVER!!!!

I had a more coherent post than this planned--sweartadog-- but that one moment with Ladybug has been part of a host of moments in which mom's presence was EXCLUSIVELY NEEDED on her part. Let's just say it's cut into my creativity and coherency just a little.

Oh--hey--I have a confession to make. I wrote a fanfic. *hides face in hands* Yeah. It gets worse. I put myself in it. *sob* It features Dean Winchester having a conversation with the one teacher he didn't hate or alienate *wince* and we're discussing *wait for it* heroic archetypes and why the fallen Gothic hero is possibly more heroic than the romantic hero who NEVER falls. *embarrassed grimace* Yeah--someday I may post it, but not today. Today, in spite of the fact that it's nearly 70 degrees outside at nine o'clock at night, I'm going to go put on a couple of sweaters. No offense to you all, because I know you love me? But after that confession, I'm feeling a little naked. *Run awaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy!*

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Rocky Road Icecream...

Some marshmallows, some nuts, some chocolate... all in all, total wacky goodness, you know? And really, it sounded better than 'crapdoodles' or any of the other random names we have for random-bit posts, right? (Although I don't know... I may pull up 'crapdoodles' at a later date. It's starting to grow on me:-)

Let's see. Where was I?

Ladybug is boycotting sleep. I don't know what her purpose is in doing this, but if she wants to make me flaky, spacey and irritable, I'd say it's been a rousing success. She has also been proclaimed, 'bitch-queen-goddess' of day care. Today she told the resident whiner to "stop being a crybaby". The babysitter let her--it seemed to get results.

The Cave Troll is learning to read--but not right now. Right now, he's trying to sleep while junior-baby-bitch-queen-goddess climbs on his head. Payback's a bitch, ain't it?

Chicken has joined ismarah in tackling Bitter Moon II-- she seems to like it so far but thinks that Eljean is a "pissy, whiny little bitch." I said, "So you get the book then. Great!"

There are big fucking snakes migrating from Florida. . Seriously. I wouldn't bring it up, but, well, John Stewart did a bit on it that was both horrifying and funny. *shudder* Emphasis on horrifying.

My sophomores took the CAHSEE (California High School Exit Exam) yesterday and today. I still hate this test. I hate the way we treat our students. I hate the way this country regards intelligence and productivity. I hate a lot of things about testing and how it's fucked up our education system. But I was really really proud of my students and how hard they tried. (I also got a fantastic amount of knitting done when I went in to proctor. Everyone thought I was soooooo talented because I could knit and walk. *ooooooooooh* Only you all know the truth.)

And speaking of knitting, I'm almost done with my roulette sock--close enough to need to measure against my feet. Except I'd just put my tennis-shoes on in anticipation of my evening walk. "Ah-HA," I thought, "Mate has just taken his shoes off, and our feet are almost exactly the same size." (Which is, fortunately for me, pretty much the size of my partner in sock-roulette's feet as well.)

"Mate," I said, "did you just take your shoes off?"

"Uh-huh," he answered, puzzled. He was wondering how I knew that.

I looked at my clean, dry sock, hoping his feet were clean. "Are they ripe and sweaty?" I asked, and his expression turned hurt.

"Why? Can you smell them from there? Is that why you asked about my shoes? I didn't think they were that bad!"

By the time I'd finished laughing, I'd promised to put that bit of conversation on the blog. He begged me not to. I love my Mate, and seriously--after a conversation like that, you'd love him too!

And hey--I'm getting near my 600th blog post (less than nine posts, actually, if you count the old blog and the new blog--which I do.) Should I do another contest or just throw some confetti, clap myself on the back and say, "Job well done, old girl, Job well done?"

And finally... another gift for you. It's a tiny fragment of conversation from Rampant, because it was funny.


OF course, this meant that La Mark was driving when we hit the winding portion of the road on the way to the cabin. I broke the stunned silence with the inevitable.

“Oh Christ, La Mark, pull over. I’ve gotta hurl.”

Ugh. It doesn’t get any better doing that, you know? It certainly doesn’t get any better when it’s a hundred-gazillion degrees Flamingheit and your skin sticks to your skin and your sweat’s running down your pits and in the crease of your body as you bend over to spew. Between that and the merciless, bloodless, bitter motherfucker of a sun, my head was starting to throb in time with the heat distortion coming off the road. The guys were sweet about it, but I felt like Bracken had looked yesterday as we pulled up in front of the cabins.

Bracken took one look at my face as he opened the door and swore. “Why didn’t you drive?”

I shook my head and took another swig from the water bottle Jack had given me. “Do you want the long version or can you live with ‘It didn’t come up when we were loading the car’?”

“The long version can wait. Come inside, shower, get out of the fucking sun…”

I started to giggle, having gone completely round the bend. “If the sun was fucking, it would be a hell of a lot cooler!”

“Why’s that, genius?” Bracken asked, swinging me into his arms because he liked to do that when he was feeling all big and manly.

“Because then all we’d see is his moon!”

Behind me I heard Jacky and La Mark grumble, “Oh Jesus!” and “Now I’ve gotta hurl!” and then Bracken had me inside the cabin and into the blessed, blessed coolth and the shower was running and they ceased to matter much at all.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Holding Hands...

Mate did it-- he made it the 1/2 marathon, and I am so proud.

I almost didn't get there to see--I took his word for when he'd get there, and I arrived about ten minutes before his earliest prediction--and he hobbled over the finish line about four minutes after i sat down.

Yay Mate!

His knee went out at around the 8 mile mark, and he walked the last five miles on a thrown knee. He's been stoically soldiering around the house, not asking for anything and getting his own ice-packs and Motrin.

I watched him looking for me when he crossed the finish line and I whooped and hollered until he waved--the last time he ran one of these, the crowd was ginormous and he didn't see me. He thought I'd missed his big moment. He was two hours late that time, and I'd been waiting with four kids (two of which were not my own!) and I was four months pregnant and hella uncomfortable. It was probably our only public fight ever. We don't fight a lot, and I was pissed because I'd been worried and he was pissed because he thought the complete hassle it had taken to go see him had meant I hadn't seen him at all.

This time was much better.

We stood around and talked with his friends (This had the potential to be the most boring conversation ever for a muggle to overhear: "I had a good run, did you?" "Yeah, I had a good run... how 'bout those hills!" "Yeah, those hills were brutal, but you were looking good..." They spiced it up a little, so my eyes didn't glaze over, but it wouldn't have mattered if I was bored silly--it was their victory and their conversation.) Mate talked them into taking a picture and I can't wait for a copy. (Okay--they hemmed and hawed about this--I finally had to tell them to stop being girls and take a hot and sweaty picture!)

I didn't take the kids--it was early, and I don't think they would have been nearly as excited as I was. (Besides, it was threatening to rain all day--never did, but it kept thinking about it!)

The walk back was too long. I'm such a dorkfish about those things--even Mate agreed that, looking at the angle I hit in the parking garage which was the furthest walkable distance from the finish line put me at the absolute furthest distance for him to walk with his bum knee. He forgave me though--I had Motrin in my purse as we started the long haul to the car.

We talked about nothing--how good the run was, how cool it was to see my friend cross the finish line unexpectedly (about four minutes after he did!) and how cold it was on the hill. (Even a few good quips about nipple bandaids which we both find both necessary and hilarious. Just do. Can't explain it.)

We would shift the stuff we were carrying every now and then so we could hold hands.

This June we will have been married for twenty years--and I can't a better way to spend the day than with my Mate, when he's done himself proud.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A day in the life?

Oh gees... do I have to? Saturdays are so boring! So much of my time is spent mooching around the house and hunting up a nap...


* Get up, get the short people up, and leave the house late for gymnastics.

* Stop at McDonald's on the way for happy meal toys and 'Krabby Patties'. It's tradition. It's also the only thing that gets them out of the house.

* Go to gymnastics. Watch my kids screw around and piss off Joanna and then charm her at the same time. Make polite conversation with the other mothers who are kind but who think I'm a major dorkfish. I've been dealing with different variations of the same parents for 10 years.

* Come home. Usually I'd go to Babetta's, whether or not I'm buying yarn (I'm not--I've given up yarn for Lent. I'm not Catholic--this, again, should tell you something about the size of the stash!) but they're a stop on a local promotion today, so A. They'll be crazy busy and B. Their kid's section will be closed, and I don't want the kids in the way.

* Mooch about & write until I have to take T to his school activity. Make a big crazy-funky loop to check in with the local book store who carries my books to see if I've sold any and then get lunch on the way home. (I sold five books-- Chipotle on me!)

* Get home and nap and catch up with the older kids on some of our shows. And knit. I'm finishing a traveling project I've been working on forever-- a sock-weight hat for a colleague, Mr. Trick, who whines like a mule about wanting a hat for two years. I used the same yarn I used on a hat for the Cave Troll because A. Mr. Trick reminds me of the Cave Troll--for one thing, they both have an inordinate interest in poop. Don't ask. and B. I can safely tell Mr. Trick that the yarn is not virginal since Chicken's cat has humped it several times. This will make Mr. Trick happy. Again, don't ask.

* Try to decide whether or not to take the children with me tomorrow when I watch Mate come in on the 1/2 marathon. The good part of that would be 'yaaaaay!' family day! The bad part would be hauling their baby asses all over old Sacramento. six/one/half-dozen/other--right now I'm leaning to dragging them all over creation, but I REALLY want to be there to watch Mate come in. He's a good Mate... he needs his + sized cheerleader in the stands.

* Realize that the plans Mate made for our 20 year wedding anniversary are in jeopardy because the kids have their yearly gymnastics/dance recital during that weekend. Keep Mate from crapping in the dorkfish tank because he didn't remember that. Try to figure out a solution. Fail. Go walking.

* And here I am, same problems, later time, hoping the little kids spaz down before we have to kill them. I mean that.

And that's a day in my life. Kind of boring, really... I'll try to think of something enlightening to say next time!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

For the record...

Taking a picture of your own arm tattoo doesn't really work--

But that's what teenage sons are for!

And other than that?

Well, yesterday was a day of all good things that I wasn't expecting. Wanna hear?

Let's see-- good thing the first? I've booked a speaking engagement at the local library! Monday, May 18th, I will be giving an author talk on the differences between PNR and UCF, and how the female PNR hero fits into the romantic archetype. (That last one will be tricky, since I have yet to phrase it right myself--but I figured that if I had to put it into words for a talk, I'd get it good and articulated before I stood up there, right?)

I will also have some books with me.

Of course, Mate asked me "Who will be there to hear you speak?" and I said, "You!"

He said, "Besides me?"

I said, "I'm pretty sure it will only be you, but you can tell me what a good speech it was, and I'll feel good about myself."

He says it sounds like a plan.

Good thing the second?

My iPod is here! Oh yes it is, and it is BEE-YOO-TI-FUL! Did you know that iPod has a genius feature? So that if you have a favorite song and you want a playlist to match, you click the favorite song and iPod will PRODUCE A PLAYLIST? It's magic. I know it is. Someone will tell you it's math--don't believe them. It's magic. Swear. Totally.

Good thing the third?

MY BOOKS GOT HERE!!! Which means some of you will be expecting packages in the very near future! *hee hee hee hee* I actually plan to send them out tomorrow, since I have it off! (I don't know why I have tomorrow off-- as near as I can tell, the administration is sacrificing a random freshman on the roof of the admin building and they don't want witnesses. If you've got a better theory, send it my way, will you?)

Good thing the fourth?

Well, a few weeks ago, a very nice lady from the forums e-mailed me because her books weren't selling they way she had hoped, and she thought she should give the whole thing up. I answered her e-mail (because I'd want mine answered, right?) and we were very cordial on the forums and last night, she asked if she could put me in the dedication for her next book--which will probably be published with a traditional press and not an indie pub! I was so honored--wasn't that sweet?

And good thing the fifth?

I managed to get my tattoo pix--didja notice? And that lovely (bright!) scarf in the corner of the picture is Donna Lee's wonderful handspun, handknit gift, and if it looks like it's been worn soft--IT HAS! I love it Donna lee-- thanks again!

Now I have to go read books to short people, give baths and be perfectly settled for nine-o-clock tonight when the world stops and holds it's breath. (I'll give you three guesses why. You'll only need one. Knittech, we may just have a whole new crop of youtube vids to cull through--and isn't that a hardship?)


I too am a lemming. (Fear me!)

Which creature of the night are you?
Your Result: Demon

Your raging id needs no chemical incentive to break out into a fiery orgy of destruction. When you're not burning, you're brooding. All you need is someone to point the way out for you.

Cthulu Spawn
Which creature of the night are you?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Acronyms and other Detritus

* First of all, I DO promise a picture of the new tattoo--I do I do... just not tonight!

* Not tonight because Chicken started dance lessons again. It's cool--she's with adults, so there is a lot of "look at me, I'm a ballerina" pressure off. She is NOT a ballerina, but it does look like she's finally starting to enjoy dancing to dance.

* I fell asleep at dance practice. I was thinking of starting lessons, but, well, I got a tattoo and an iPod instead. It felt like overkill. So I sat on the butt-sucking couch and knit. And then put on my sunglasses and fell asleep.

* The dance teacher tried to wake me up by playing "It's Raining Men" REALLY LOUD. *snork* As if THAT would work.

* The reason I woke up was because I was a victim of SOLPS-- Sudden Onset Levitational Pee Syndrome.

* I made that up myself--can I bow now?

* On Sunday, I took Ladybug and The Cave Troll to the park. Ladybug delighted everybody by climbing on top of the slide, sticking her head out and calling, "Hey guys! I'm here! Come play with me!"

* We knew nobody there. I don't know who she was talking to.

* Three older girls immediately came to answer her command. I guess it didn't matter.

* We took Ladybug and Cave Troll to Rubios for lunch today. They ate nothing. They spent THEIR time watching the fish--in particular, the snail. That was an eel. That they called 'Gary'. So, yeah-- Mate and I ate, and Ladybug and The Cave Troll spent their time 'meowing' at the eel who wasn't the snail from Spongebob. Smart, yes. Genius? Well... maybe the Wile E. Coyote variety.

* A conversation between Chicken and I on the phone:

"Mom, can you bring my cat bag? It's in my room."

"Define 'In your room"--that covers a lot of ground."

"It's under my table, next to my bed, under a drawer, or under the crap on the far side of the bed..."

"I'm not feeling it--can you give me some better directions?"

"I don't know, maybe it fell into a 'creveese' or something."

"A creveese? Is that anything like a 'crevice'?

"Stop laughing! Did you find my bag?"

"Yeah--it was in a creveese!"

"Would you stop laughing!"

"Tough--I'm giving you crap about that forever!"

"Well I'm giving you crap about writing gay porn!"

"At least my guys can say 'crevice' when they need to find one."

"Shut up and find my cat bag."

"I found it--why aren't you calling from your cell phone?"

"It's in my cat bag. Come get me."

"My wish is but to serve."

I don't know-- do you think I taught her sarcasm well enough, or does she need to spend some more time in my company for lessons?

* Big T showed me his pants--they were ripped in half at the waist.

* It happened in his last class when he stood up.

* I told him, "Well, we'll have to go get you some new pairs."

* "God, mom, I have to go *shopping*?" (whine whine whine)

* Swear to crap, people, that boy would rather wear those pants!!!

* And last but not least, Chicken ratted her father out for something he did a month or two ago, but it still cracked me up. Mate was driving Chicken to school--she was sitting right next to him, reading. The Cave Troll was in the back seat behind him, zoning out. All was quiet, all was peaceful, all was serene--for twenty-five minutes, it was quiet, peaceful, and serene. (Uhm, guys? Guys? It only takes ten minutes to get to Chicken's school... anybody in the car... anybody?) And then, Chicken said, "Dad, can we find anything else to listen to on the radio?"

And dad said, "Holy shit, I forgot you were in the car! Why didn't you say something, I was about to get on the freeway--I'm nearly at work!"

* Hee hee hee... I'm gonna laugh about that for a long time.

* Because I've done the same damn thing, that's why!

Good night everybody!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Royalty Ink

Heya--- Yeah, I know, I promised to post an actual blog yesterday (or was it Friday?) but people were really responsive to the teaser (not just in the comments but at and other places too) so I left it as the first post for an extra day--I hope no one minds! (Anyone else coming to look for it, it's the next post down--and don't forget to give feedback!)

Anyway, I took the short people to the park today, because there was no rain, and brother did they need it! They're still cruising for girl and boy-shit awards of North America, but at least I think they may sleep tonight... which is good, since the night starts AN HOUR EARLIER. Ugh. I HATES the end of DST-- hates it... of course, I hates the start of it too, but I really hate spring forward when it comes to synching up the little' kids' internal clocks.

Anyway, I got my royalty check this week and misbehaved with it, just a little.

First of all, I'm getting an iPod. I'm DYING without musical intervention and Mate has an in on a discount, so, well there goes 1/3 of the check, but I GET SOME DAMNED OFFSPRING WITH MY CHEERIOS! And Tim MacRae...mmmm... A & B song... I heard it as a Supernatural video on Youtube, because that IS my sick obsession, but the song... I've been singing it all week! I'm going to have to memorize that puppy to get it out of the brain matter--either that, or find a poem to teach with it, and that'll be fun too! Here's the link if you want to hear the song, but, uhm, don't hold the vid against me... so far I haven't found an intervention group for this, and knittech and galad are just enablers, so we're stuck with this until it runs its course. And yes. There's veal.

So that was some of it. I was going to spend more of it on an application to the Writer's Digest Indie awards, but I chickened out at the last fucking gasp and got a tattoo instead.

*yeah* I know--priorities. But I have a tattoo on my arm of a pictograph of the kids' names-- I've had it since Chicken and Big T were six and eight, and I added it when the Cave Troll was born, and until last night I HADN'T added Ladybug. So, Chicken and I were driving down the road, and there was the tattoo parlor, and...

Well, what can I say. I snapped. And it looks awesome, and I no longer have mother guilt for putting my pipe-dream before my loyalty to my family, although if we're broke for her birthday, (April 3rd) I'll have mother guilt for not putting enough aside to pay for her b-day party, but I don't think that will happen. (For one thing, Mate and I get paid on the 1st... we may have a top-ramen Easter, but Ladybug will have a party!)

Anyway, the rest of it goes to taxes, because I'm giving up buying yarn for lent. (Oddly enough that doesn't mean I can walk out of a yarn store empty-handed, because somehow Franklin's book 'It Itches' jumped into my basket yesterday, and so did some oddments for some people who will know them when they get them, and I didn't feel at all repentant. Maybe it's because I'm not Catholic even in the tiniest little dimension, but I think it's mostly because it WASN'T YARN!)

Oh yeah-- the tattoo--I was all set to take a craptastic photo-booth pic, but my computer almost fainted when I tried and I have some serious writing on Rampant to save, so I figured I'll wait until I can take a better shot in the sunshine (with Donna Lee's scarf, darnitall!) and do the whole thing up right.

Or I could forget about it, because, to quote Tolkien, my brain is like a store-room "Thing wanted, always buried." But the tat is a moon and star, for our Arwyn Star, and it looks very nice with it's brother/sister tats... I'm pleased:-)

And that's about all for now! May the week bring us goodies and BRING MY DAMNED BOOKS TO MY DOOR. Amen.

Friday, March 6, 2009

A sharp taste of tomorrow...

I'm going to write a real blog post later tonight, I promise... but this one's for my peeps on amazon, who asked for a teaser of 'Rampant'-- just to, you know, prove that I ain't talkin' out of an ass full of fuzzy bunnies and bullshit. This one deals with sort of a, uhm, 'sticky subject' that has come up with the idea of vampires and, well, living human females, so I warn you--it could very well give you the oogies. (It certainly gave Cory the oogies...) But if you're oogie proof, go ahead and enjoy!

“Pweaze,” I begged now, not wanting to think about the fact that all of the headway we’d made with Jack and his piss-bitchy attitude had gone south in a hurry after I’d had to channel Green’s power again to pin Gretchen back against the wall and pry her jaws open so she could drop a dazed and unconscious Teague.

Jacky turned to me, eyebrows raised, and I shrugged, wishing for death or an analgesic or alcohol or something.

“Jacky, you do id wadn our fault… pweaze stop taking your wowwy oub ob us—id doebn hep. Ad for da hobework, it doedn’t madder—I’b compwetewy wost.” The Canadian politics thing and a vote of no confidence. Why would a leader want to call for a vote of no confidence ? I totally didn’t get it—I mean, if my guys didn’t have confidence in me, I assumed they’d run away and leave me to face the bad things by myself. I looked up to where Bracken was glaring balefully at me from across the table and amended that thought.

He’d step in front of me and get eaten first.

I gave him a lame smile, and then an expression of horror as I saw who was approaching us from behind his right shoulder.

“Sit,” I muttered and Bracken’s handsome face scrunched up in puzzlement.

“I am sitting,” he replied blankly, and I sighed and pulled out another Kleenex just as a cultured, British voice spoke from behind him.

“Good afternoon, Lady Cory, afternoon, all,” said Professor Hallow, and Bracken closed his eyes and mouthed “Shit!” at me while I widened my eyes in agreement. That’s what I’d said, dammit!

“Good abdernoob, Professor,” I tried, and blew another phlemwad into the Kleenex.

“You’re sick?” he asked, puzzled—as he should be. People didn’t get sick on Green’s Hill. The non-humans didn’t get viruses, and Green could cure anything else.

“Abberdzeez,” I tried, and was relieved when Nicky supplied the actual word for me.

Hallow looked a little bemused. “Allergies? Oh my. I forget sometimes…”

“I doh, I doh—my poow widdow fwagile human body. Gween cab heal da sympdoms, but da abberdeez aw till deh.” Oh Christ—I couldn’t understand what I just said. I resisted the urge to bang my forehead against the table.

“Cory,” Bracken said hesitantly, “I can’t tell your sarcasm from your snot anymore. Maybe we should just give it up and go home…”

“We hab fibals next week!” I protested. “I cab take you awwl oub ob cwass wib fibals!” Auuuuuurrrggghhhh!!!!

Suddenly Hallow wasn’t behind Bracken anymore, he was in front of me, and I raised my face up to him and gazed at his handsome sidhe face with bleary eyes. As rotten as I felt—and as itchy as my eyes were—I could almost see him with his glamour on, and he was still damned handsome. To humans he looked to be in his late 40’s, with short silver-blonde hair and a clean, to-die-for academician’s profile.

To those of us at the table, he looked like a very handsome sidhe, with a hip-length silver braid and unfathomably beautiful triangular features that became his people. To me, right now, he looked like the uncle you’d avoid because he was the only one in the family with high expectations from you and you didn’t know how to deal with that.

“You can’t take any medicine for this?” he asked kindly, and Nicky and Bracken both gave a heartfelt “No!” Nicky was right next to me, and I leaned against him in comfort. I missed his smell—when my head wasn’t clogged with crap, he smelled like vanilla and bird, and I liked it. It was comforting.

“I boff bwood,” I tried, and Nicky shook his head, rust-tipped bangs flopping in and out of his eyes.

“’Just let us talk, please?” he begged, and I shrugged and gestured for him to continue.

“She barfs blood,” he translated, and Hallow’s eyebrows met his hairline and his expression grew… well, hurt, I guess.

“How long has this been going on?” he asked, looking to Bracken, and then looking at the distance between us. “And are you and Bracken at odds?” Bracken and I were usually touching—always, we were touching. There had been days when he would hoist me up in his solidly muscled arms and not put me down until schools’ end—and even if he wasn’t carrying me like a child, he was still touching me. My hair, my shoulders… I’d felt naked for the last two days, because I hadn’t had Bracken on my skin.

“Doh!” I protested, my own voice growing hurt. “We’re fibe!” Frustrated and miserable, I put my face in my hands, and Hallow crouched in front of me and took my hands in his, meeting my angry, swollen, unhappy eyes with his own gorgeous turquoise gaze.

“Then why aren’t you touching?” he asked quietly, aware that his outburst may have just driven me further into the self-protective shell that his presence grew on my back.

I opened my mouth and closed it again, and Renny, being the only girl at the table, rolled her eyes and chuffed, “Because she’s on the rag, Professor, and the last time he touched her when she was riding the pony, she bled out into the john.”

I closed my eyes and wished for death. It had happened two days after we’d gotten back from Sugarpine, and it had sucked large.

In retrospect, I should have guessed something because of the way the vampires treated me that night. It started when I was in the steel room with Gretchen, trying to convince her that just because I had killed her pet kitty (!) didn’t mean I was a mean bitch, out to spank her.

It hadn’t gone well. She’s warmed to me since, but on this night she was irritable and pissy, demanding new clothes (the ones we’d gotten her were not frilly enough, apparently. Ick!) and missing her mother and crying for her family. In spite of the fact that Phillip had tasted the clear memory of her killing her loved ones, she seemed to have forgotten that fact. About once a week we told her, gently, that her family was dead, and then she cried, and then, within a couple of days, she’d forget again. It was like Alzheimer’s disease in a little kid, and it was baffling and tragic. Sometimes, when we couldn’t take the sadness of telling her one more time, we simply told her that they were on a trip and would be back soon.

Two days after she’d arrived at Green’s, she still remembered they were dead and how they died, and had been edgy and restless, pacing and refusing to let me read to her or play dolls—she even ripped a few of them apart, looking puzzled and lost as she did so as though she’d forgotten she had the strength to do it. I was just about to give up and let someone else take a turn, when she suddenly stopped still and thrust her nose in the air like the consummate predator she’d been turned into.
Her eyes closed, and a very vulpine smile crossed her narrow, apple-cheeked face, and the look she gave me through suddenly red and whirling eyes made my stomach cramp.

“You smell like candy,” she murmured delightedly, her fangs partway extended and her little behind moving like a lion cub about ready to pounce.

I’ve learned a few things in the last two years—I didn’t think twice as I threw a power barrier up between us and sprinted through the door.

When I got outside of the steel safe—complete with titanium lock—and closed the door behind me, I leaned on it in relief. As I did so, I looked up and realized that every vampire in the hill except Grace was in the common room outside.

They were all looking dreamily at me, their whirling eyes half-closed and their teeth half-extended.

Marcus gave a sweet, psychotic half-smile and said, “You smell like hot chocolate…” and I decided enough was enough.

I put power in my voice—everything I had—and commanded them all to stay downstairs in the lower darkling. And then, without running (and pricking that whole ‘predator’ thing they’ve got going) I walked with as much dignity as I could to the top of the stairs.

Grace was waiting for me at the top of the stairs, some serious control in place to keep her eyes from whirling.

“Baby,” she said when I got to her, “I think your body has finally caught up to you.”

I sent her a blank, puzzled look, and she sighed and looped an arm over my shoulders, steering me towards my bedroom.

“Cory, darlin’, you’re about to start your period—it’s like a vampire delicacy. Usually on the hill we don’t run into it but…”

“Oh,” I said numbly, thinking immediately that there went all my evening plans with Bracken. Then, “oooooh!” because suddenly I understood why I was wearing eau de tasty as far as the rest of the vampires were concerned, and then… “Oh…ICK!” because I am not without imagination and the word ‘delicacy’ finally hit me.

Grace chuckled a little, but the sound was strained. “Cory, my girl, don’t ever forget that we’re not human anymore. Now I’m going to rustle up some supplies for you, and then I’m going to make myself scarce. We’ll stay out of the hill or down in the darkling for a couple of days—and maybe next month, we won’t be caught so unaware.”

“A couple of months…” I said numbly, and she looked at me with surprise. “I never was very regular—two months, sometimes three…”

Grace nodded her head with approval. “Well, that at least should make things easier. Now scoot—I need to send someone shopping.”

I wandered back to my room in a daze, and after sitting in fuddled silence and knitting for a half an hour, I realized that I’d felt funky and crampy and tired since I’d left Green’s bed that morning, and the light bulb went on. I’d known this was coming—it had just been so damned long, I’d forgotten what it was like.

Bracken came in then, fresh from helping Teague and Jack remodel their refurbished barn/garage/cottage, and as he started stripping, I made a dash for the bathroom so I could be done before he took his shower. It didn’t matter—he moved too quickly, and the fact was, the elves had no shame and no disgust over bodily functions. Taking a piss was taking a piss—everyone did it, and it didn’t really phase them. Bracken walked in on me once when Adrian was still alive and he was so casual about it, I don’t think he even remembered me, freaking out.

So on this day, as I was sitting on the potty, staring stupidly at the stained crotch of my underwear, neither of us even flinched as he brushed my leg on his way to the shower.

And that was when my uterus turned itself inside out in a frantic attempt to get closer to him, because, hello, it was saturated with blood, and that was Bracken’s element.

When I came to, Bracken was crouched in the corner of the shower, looking like powdered death from shutting off his power in a helluva hurry, Green was hovering over me, propping me up on the toilet, and everybody in the hill who wasn’t a vampire was crammed into our tiny bathroom, staring at me as I dumped three days worth of blood in two and a half minutes.

Fun times: remembering them now made my face flush and seemed to have some sort of magnification effect on the goddamned cramps.


Hallow read the wealth of what I was not saying as it trotted across my face, and if anything, the look on his face grew more hurt than it had before.

“This is a good thing, right?” he asked, as though struggling to be positive about something. “Your body is functioning correctly, it hasn’t done that in a very long time, right?”

“Righb,” I murmured, trying to forget the ashen pallor of Bracken’s face as Green had healed me and then cleaned me up in front of fifty-gazunga people. Besides cutting himself off from his source of power—which was potentially deadly for him if he did it too long—Brack had felt as though he had done something wrong.

“Tell dat do Bwacken,” I added, looking at him now. His neck was drooped over his textbooks, but he was looking at me intently, and I was completely unable to fathom the expression in his dark, pond-shadow eyes, so I turned back to Hallow. “Wad deh sombdig you wandig, Pwofeddor?”

“Isn’t your menstrual cycle enough for me to be here, Lady Cory?” he asked, with that inexplicable hurt.

I looked out over our little table with a pained expression. Jacky, Max, La Mark, Renny, and Nicky looked right back with undisguised interest, and I suppressed a groan. Not a one of them hadn’t trusted me with his or her life, or worse, the life of a loved one.

“Pwofeddor, cad we nod talk aboub my pewiob wight dow?”

“Why not?” he muttered, seemingly to himself. “Apparently we can’t talk about anything, can we?”

Oh Jesus. “Wad I do?” I asked, so exhausted by this conversation that I was on the edge of tears.

Fortunately, Prof Hallow is not nearly as repressed as I am.

“Is this why you missed our last three sessions?” he demanded, and I winced as Bracken and Nicky both said, “Three sessions!” practically in tandem and I shook my head.

“Doh!” I’d missed the last three sessions because I didn’t want to talk about Green—my period had nothing to do with it.

“Then why in the name of trees in summer didn’t you ask me to heal you?!” he demanded, standing to his full height, and I blinked at him stupidly.

“Heal be?”

“Yes—I’ve done it before, remember?”

“Heal be?” I asked again, feeling dumber than a dark star.

“You don’t remember?” he asked, the hurt and exasperation easing up in his lovely features and his habitual, neutral-friendly ‘counselor’s expression’ resuming its place.

“I do dow!” I wailed with some emphasis, and he laughed a little, kindly, and sat back down on his haunches and took my hands.

“Would you like me to heal you, Lady Cory?” he asked, and at the promise of no misery, the tears I’d held back threatened to spill over.

“Da cwamps too?” I asked, hating my weakness, and Bracken let out a hoarse little groan. I hadn’t complained about the cramps—he hadn’t known.

“The cramps too,” Hallow murmured with gentleness. “In fact, Sir Knight,” he said to Bracken, my lover/protector, “if you wish, you and your lady and I could take a walk—if we take much care, you two may even hold hands. Would that be acceptable, Lady Cory?”


Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Okay, it was lunch.

It was lunch, and I was wandering around the net, and my TA came in to get out of the rain. She picked up a pile of papers and started to grade, because I bring her McDonalds and she loves me. And another student came in--I won't use his name, but suffice it to say, he might not know it either. (He's one of the guys who tried to steal someone else's work in the first semester.) He seems to have made an honest effort to improve his work and his behavior, but, well...

"What am I missing?"

"Vocabulary assignment's 4, 5, & 6, I think."

"I did them-- I swear I did them!"

"Well, did you turn them in?" (Believe it or not, this often doesn't happen?)

"Well, I might have turned them in with my packet..."

Now, turning in their vocabulary with their packets is a sin. They all know it. The packet has one destination, the vocabulary quizzes and assignments have another. When they screw that up, the whole system falls apart... and no one knows it better than my T.A.

"You did WHAT?" she roared. "What in the fuck did you do that for? Do you KNOW what I have to do? First I have to find the right quiz, and you assholes NEVER put the right labels on them, and then I have to find the right class period, and THEN I have to find the FUCKING key, and THEN I have to backtrack to find the goddamned assignment in the written gradebook..."

I stared at her--stunned, and the student who shall remain nameless held his papers over his mouth and stared at her-appalled. And she didn't stop there.

"And you know what? All you have to do is pay some fucking attention. Just a little bit of attention--I know where to put the goddamned papers and I'm the TA, I've already PASSED this class, and if you and your dumbass friends would just pull your heads out of your asses and shut the FUCK UP for two and a half seconds at a goddamned time you wouldn't have to come in here during my lunch hour and dick with this!"

The poor student nodded and backed out, "I'll, uhm, look for that later..."

And I just giggled helplessly in my chair. There's some stuff that we're not allowed to say to students--we can't swear at them, we can't tell them to shut the fuck up, we can't tell them to pull their heads out of their asses, and we certainly can't tell them that they deserve to fail for not using their common sense.

But another student? Well... you know... they say shit to each other all the time that they shouldn't, just like teachers do, and they don't get censured for it. And, well, what could I say? They both knew she was talking sense.

The first student left, and my TA was left grumbling to herself, while I tried not to wet my pants.

Yep, folks. It was bee-yoo-tee-ful.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Quick, "Why my kid is a genius" entry.

Okay-- this involves the Cave Troll's real name, but it was awesome, and I wanted to share it before I forgot!

His dad was giving him a hard time about practicing his handwriting. "Pretty soon, big guy, your 'K's are going to look more like 'H's!"

"My 'K's do not look like 'H's! My name isn't 'Hewyn!'"

Mate and I stopped and looked at eachother. "Actually," I said, that was pretty damned smart!"

So there you go--why handwriting does NOT equal intelligence!

Filking blogger...


I sat down last night to post an honest-to-blog blog, and the computer took a dump so I couldn't. It was all about my hair cut (lots of hairs cut. Really short.) And how, after the kids called it a 'fro', and 'grandma Flossie-do' (after my real grandma Flossie, of course) I threatened to cut Big T's hair in his sleep. (This is something my Grandma Helen would have actually done--she shaved a strip out of my Uncle Paul's beard as he slept AFTER he came home a decorated veteran from Korea--that woman would do anything to get her way!) Mate even played into it the next morning by asking Big T if he'd checked a mirror--there was some panicked checking and mom pretty much cracked up, and mostly, it was high Lane-family comedy, and I was going to share, but, like I said, blogger took a dump.

So I'm going to bless you with filk.

Filk is known as a 'fake folk song' -- basic doggerel poetry, usually set to some sort of recognizable tune. I participate on the boards in, most notably one known as KTT-- Kill That Thread. It's in the Fantasy section of the boards, and we mostly talk to hear our own cyber-voices, trying to win a book donated by one of the participants. (VULNERABLE is in the offering next--I'm sort of excited:-) Mostly, the last one to post in a time allotment wins--except the last KTT was so busy, it turned out to be the last person to post before crashed the thread, and that was fun too. Filking happens here. Filthy filking happens here--and that's hard to do, given won't let you say shit, (or fuck or bitch or, sometimes, crap, which is why you see 'carp' a lot. It won't let you say 'hung like a horse' either--believe me, I've tried.) Anyway, I've got a couple of filks on this particular thread, and a very nice person (Jenclone!) went through and started an entire other thread featuring our filk, and I thought I'd treat (uhm, subject?) you all to some of it, since blogger ate my last post and all--and I have to go get ready for work!

(To the tune of Turn Up the Radio by Autograph )

Turn up, the filking puns...
I hear the stinking, I've gotta run...
Turn up! The pun machine!
I wannna make all KTT scream...
I'm writing hard, you're writing too..
We write here everyday...
For some writing is, a drudgery.
For us it's only play...
Day in/day out/ all week long...
Things go better with filk!
I'm punning twenty-four hours a day...
Until my cortex wilts...
Turn up the filking puns
I hear the stink and I wanna run...
Turn up the pun machine
I wanna hear all KTT scream...

This next one was inspired by a discussion started by Archer, who is a bow-hunter and a long-distance horse racer, and she told us that big boobs make bow-hunting difficult.

"No, Archer," wailed musicraven unhappily, "You can't tell us that girls with big boobs can't shoot!"

Amy Lane says:
Uh-oh-- I feel a filk coming on...

Big boobs can't shoot
Big boobs can't shoot...

Bi-ig girls... can't sho-oot..
(They can't shoot.)
Bi-ig girls. Can't shoot.
(Who says, they can't shoot.)
My girl wondered why-yyy
(Wondered why)
Boobs send arrows awry
(That's just an arrow-by...)
Big girls can't shoot, big girls can't shoot...
Silly girl...
When you pull your arrow back
Your big boobs pick up the slack
When you let that arrow fly
Your boobs put your aim awry...
Big girls can't shoot... big girls can't shoot
Big girls can't shoot... big girls can't shoot...
Ba-by... say goodbye-ye-ye
(Say goodbye)
When you let that arrow fly,
And don't wonder why-y-y...
Your boobs sent it awry...

This next one was from a 'Shakespeare inspired' filking contest--it's not as good as Archer's filk about dryer lint and Shakespeare, but it will do:

I wear my slash/goggles in Rome I wear my slash/goggles in Rome I wear my slash/goggles in Rome...
Slash Goggles In Rome (Sunglasses at Night)
Julius Caesar (I can only get away with this because A. I've taught this play before, and B. I write m/m romance. Trust me--there was something between Brutus and Cassius that doesn't show up in the history books or your mother's Shakespeare.)

I wear my slash/goggles in Rome
So I can know how it goes
And see what Cassius has in mind...

I wear my slash/goggles in Rome
Cause Brutus is too innocent to know
His honest truth for Cassius' lies...

Oh heeee's deceiving you...
Caesar is your friend too,
He loves you Brutus but you won't see...

I wear my slash/goggles in Rome
So when Cassius makes his move
I see that Brutus is who he wants...

I wear my slash/goggles in Rome
So I can tell them to get a room
If Cassius professes his love just one more time...

Brutus, heeeee's deceiving you...
Caesar could live too
If only you'd just talk it ouuuuuuutt...

Oh Brutus, heeeeee's got his eye on you
And he thinks your boss does too
Which is why Caesar has to diiiee...

Watch Cassius bare his breast to the wind,
Watch how he brags about his hot bod
And how he holds you when you're down...

Watch Cassius weep when things go bad
And how he won't admit you're had
Not even when your wife is dead...

Oh hhheeeeee's deceiving you...
And if you want him too
You proved your desire by your act...

I wear my slash/goggles in Rome I wear my slash/goggles in Rome I wear my slash/goggles in Rome...

And finally, my favorite, Hamlet. The tune is pretty obscure, so I posted a url to hear 'In Candy's Room', which is one of my all-time favorite Bruce Springsteen songs:-)

In Hamlet's Room
(To Bruce Springsteen's 'Candy's Room'-- if you haven't heard the song...)

In Hamlet's Room
There's pictures of his father on the wall
but to get to Hamlet's room, you've got to walk the darkness of a hero's fall.
Old friends from his childhood
Knock on Hamlet's door and bring him toys,
But when Horatio knocks, he smiles pretty,
Because Horatio wants to be... no one's boy.

There's a sadness, hidden in that pretty face--
A sadness all his own
From which. His. Mom. Can't. Keep. Hamlet. Safe.
Ophelia's Kiss, sucks the logic from his brain,
But the logic wouldn't remain
When he feigns madness anyway.

He goes ranting,
Ranting out into the night,
Ranting 'bout dark and the light
And how a murder palls the dazzling sky...

He says "Baby if I want revenge...
I've got a lot to learn
I've got to face hell for real
I've got to be. Willing. To. Burn...

And in the darkness, there be hidden truths that hurt...
When Ophelia gets to close
He makes those hidden truths hers.

And he! Loves vengeful speeches and sharpened words!
And he! Dreams his mother and his lover have somehow heard!

But it's wasted breath...
Cause what (what) he (he) wants (wants) is DEATH!

Oh how he's hurting so! He'll never let it go! (No no no no no...)

He knows he must give, all that he has to give, even his will to live...
To make vengeance his...

And that's all, folks.. maybe next post, blogger will behave!!!!