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

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Why I treasure my beta readers--

With apologies to Littlewitch, she just sent me the following e-mail:

Within a couple of paragraphs I got "like diaper ointment of my chafed mental ass" and "slicker than lube on a chrome anal probe" and I thought "I was a little surprised by the first and the second just upped the ante" But then Andres was there and I didn't care anymore. *sigh*

To which I replied: I actually WROTE THAT?

*blink* I mean really... I WROTE THAT? Wow.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Books, glorious books!

I knew it would happen... I just waited for the dragon to calm down, get over his usual tizzy fit and start pacing his cave and gnawing on human limbs in distraction. And then... and then...

Someone else's dragon moved in. *happy sigh* It's a good dragon... fierce and full of snarky narration, terrible angst, and blood... it's scales are indigo, midnight, slate gray and blood purple--not as much fiery orange as I like, but a taste of irridescent green along the feathers. His roars are bitter and angry, full of unfulfilled longing and crimson sacrifice and I LIKES him!

Seriously-- I've been reading the Rob Thurman books. The first one is Nightlife--wasn't TOO fond of that one, there is a plot development that seriously pushed at my comfort level with identifying with a first person narrator, but the premise is just so... so juicy, I stuck around for the end and then devoured the next two (Moonshine & Madhouse). I've slowed down a bit--I'm going to savor the last one (Deathwish) but, seriously... *ahhhhh* I thought this would happen with the Karen Marie Moning books first (sorry, Littlewitch) and I hoped it would happen a little more seriously with Elfhunter (which I am still enjoying in a leisurely way--it is very tasty too!) but I should have known that these would totally captivate me.

For one thing, they sound... really familiar.

Cal (short for Caliban--his mother was a piece of work!) Leandros and his older brother Niko have been on the run since Cal was fourteen. Seems that Cal's father was one of THE nastiest pieces of supernatural monsterdom on the planet, and Cal's father's people want Cal back. They've got a little job for him.

So we've got two half-brothers, on the run from the supernatural. They take up residence in New York, and after the first book, they start settling down with a group of (*gasp*) truly good companions, but throughout the books, it's Cal and Niko. They train, they kick ass, and they let their guard down in front of nobody but each other.

*happy sigh* Yeeeeahhhh... I know some of you are feeling a little deja vu--hopefully WITHOUT that creepy Wincest vibe that only I was into. I really love these books. Could be because they're some of the only books I've had a chance to devour all summer, (I've read a couple of e-books that I really enjoyed) but it could be just that I was in the mood to kick some ass.

Or maybe I was just in the mood to let somebody else's dragon entertain me. I mean... you never know what kind of eggs that guy's gonna be leaving in the compost heap of my brain-cave, now do ya?

(Side note--Okay--I go back next Thursday to decorate my room and make copies and prep for classes and shit. Today, I officially stopped making the Cave Troll come to the gym with me on M/W because he was swimming for an hour and THEN going to soccer practice, and his poor baby butt was WIPED OUT when he got home. He was still tired tonight. I just told his little sister, "Okay, sweetie... go lay down next to... I mean perpendicular to your brother!"

And I"m gonna try for some pictures of the three hats... I'll explain how they came to be, but like Knittech, a picture really is worth 1000 words.)

Monday, July 27, 2009

More randomness...

Seriously-- it's like the impending doom of school (August 6th is when I go back on my own time, August 7th when I get paid, and August 10th when I start seen goombahs for real) is squishing all the wittiness right out of my skull. All I've got are random bits of summer as it slips between my fingers... bummer. I still need to write that essay on whether or not Brutus tops or bottoms when he and Cassius spend quality tent time. (Tops. He tops. I'm serious. I've got certifiable historical evidence that shows us that pissy little drama queens like Cassius would take it like good little soldiers, and Brutus would pity them.) Anyway, that, and small summer moments... it's all that's left, tragically, of a brain once over-inflated by it's own good intentions and blithe self-belief.

But let's talk about them anyway, yeah?

* Bless you, my beta readers, j'et adore. The minute my projects are ready for your capable hands, I'll be sure to deliver.

* Yesterday, I was folding clothes and watching television, and Chicken was reading on the bed next to me. In the middle of this, the Cave Troll comes thundering down the hall, flings open the door, and shouts, "Chicken!" and then runs away. And that was all really. Chicken and I sort of gaped at each other and shrugged... I mean seriously... what the hell?

* Today, I was on the john (and don't you love stories that start with that... holy about TMFI!) and Ladybug threw open the door with my jug of soda in her hands. "Mom! I'm gonna drink your soda!"

"Okay, fine," I said evenly, and then pushed the door closed.

A minute later, she pushed the door open with her foot--since she'd just sort of sat back on the folded clothes and chugged ice-water & diet coke--and said, "Mom. Your soda is all gone. You need more."

I had, as of yet, not accomplished the task I sat down to. Needless to say, I never did.

* She's been in an odd mood all day anyway. She refused to come to the gym with me today. Just wanted to sit back and chill. I don't know why. Apparently she threw quite the fit when we left, but when we got back? No particular reaction. I had to blackmail her to come with us to the craft store. She went, she found a craft (little wooden boxes, one for her and one for Cave Troll, to decorate with paint, stickers and glitter) and she and Cave Troll applied themselves assiduously for more than an hour. But she hasn't been... focussed on any one thing. She is, in fact, currently sitting behind my chair, trying to pretend she hasn't snuck out of bed past her bed time because she chugged my soda and went down for a nap and didn't get any exercise. I'm not sure what's up her craw, but the next time she says "I don't want to go swimming," I'm going to put her in that swimsuit, tuck her under my arm, and go!

* Cave Troll went swimming AND went to soccer practice. He was out like a light. I LOVE days like that.

* Mate's coaching soccer. I feel so decadent... that means I don't have to take Cave Troll, and for once, the Lane family is at practice on time!

* Oh yeah. Today was apparently hot-male-hardbody-by-the-pool day at the gym. If I'd known, I would have been sure to bring the PAPER BAG for my head! Poor guys... I was both the youngest AND the best looking woman there. I mean... all of that beefcake on display, and only a fat, cynical old cougar like myself to appreciate it. Had to have hurt. (But the Cave Troll thought I rocked--he likes it when I sing 'California Girls' to him at the pool. Heh heh... little perv.)

* Big T still working on that comic routine. I'm not looking for a catfood upgrade in my retirement from his proceeds--but he might get plenty of overripe produce if he's desperate!

* I actually finished a pair of socks! Chicken was supposed to get you pictures but... alas... she put it off. I immediately started another pair of socks that AREN'T my roulette socks, because I'm a wiener who forgot I had my roulette sock to finish (NEXT sock I cast on... I PROMISE!!!) Julie keeps accusing me of being Tom Sawyer. It's true... I'm an idea rat, mostly... not a lot of finishing power. (But I WILL finish that sock... for one thing, I LURVE the Ty-Dye yarn!)

And with that, Ciou!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Upon Being Horton...

It's going to be random thoughts today. I keep thinking I've got some REALLY FUNNY STUFF to blog, and then I sit down to work on Jack & Teague and all personal shit goes bye-bye. I think my gray matter is damaged... uhm, anybody shocked? I didn't think so. So, random thoughts... let's fire 'em up.

* How does Horton the Elephant know he's right? Because I've felt like Horton my entire life. And then I've felt crazy. Poor bastard--and why doesn't any one kick that bitchy roo in the teeth at the end? They TORTURED that elephant forchrissakes! I know that if I AM Horton, and not really crazy, when the little voices in my head finally get heard, I'm gonna initiate some SERIOUS payback on my non-believers. If they let me out of the straightjacket first.

* Watched my first two episodes of Buffy today. (Yes. I know. 12 years behind the times. I WAS BUSY!!!) That being said? *swoon* Not quite Supernatural, but 12 years ago, it might have been.

* My friends James & Rebecca (of Little Vampires fame are currently at San Diego Comic Convention. They've seen Joss Whedon. *swoon* *thud*

* And as I was scraping myself off the ground from that Joss Whedon thing, I got another tweet from them. They saw Ray Bradbury. *SQUEEEEEEEE* *swoon* *thud* *squeeeee*

* My parents called up and took the big kids to the movies tonight. I love them.

* They came back and reminded me of a Ladybug story when they dropped the little kids off. When the big kids went to Lassen, the little kids were UNhappy. We were explaining the situation to Ladybug when she said, most adamantly, "You stole my CAMPING!"

* I have eleven days before I go back to school. I hate that.

* I have 64 pages of what I'm thinking is going to be a 120 page Jack & Teague. Me LIKEY!

* My summer reading is Rob Thurman's Nightlife series. Very nice--two half-brothers on the run from the supernatural world... now who would have thought that sort of thing would appeal to me?

* I've decided to work on socks at home a little more often. My new traveling project happiness? Simple. Hats. Seriously--so easy, and you can finish most of one during a movie. Whereas socks? I can mostly ruin a plain sock in the course of a movie!

* I'm GOING TO FINISH A KNITTING PROJECT tonight. Did I mention the *swoon* ing? The *thud* ding? Yeah-- now it's your turn!

* It's Julia Roberts night on HBO-- am I the only person on the planet that LOVES Conspiracy Theory? *oh* Okay-- I'll go watch it now...

* Timeline: As soon as I'm done with Jack & Teague, I'm sending it to beta readers... Galad? Littlewitch? Eric? Any takers?

* While J&T is being beta'd, I'm going to be doing my first MAJOR rehaul of RAMPANT. Roxie? Needletart? Ceri? Are you still game?

* I REALLY love this song. The fact that the video features my guys? Well, that's a plus, but the song... mmmm... Blind Faith. Says everything.

Maybe I'll be coherent and witty on Monday... Hey--it's always a possibility!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer Days

And lazy offspring:-)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Slime Story

Today, after soccer/karate/etc., I complained about slugs. I've been seeing trails all over the house, and then, last night when i went to the bathroom, I stepped on TWO of them. *ooogie ooogie ooogie ooogie ooogie oogie* Of course, what I actually said was, "I stepped on them. They were LODGED IN THE CREASES OF MY TOES!"

He said, "I haven't seen them."

"You haven't seen the slugs?"


"The slug trails?"


"You say you have no idea that there are slugs everywhere and they come out to play at night?"


So about two minutes ago, I looked around the kitchen as I was writing (Katy's all satisfied now) and there were TWO GREAT BIG UGLY SLUGS UNDER THE SINK. Mate was very unsympathetic. "Stop making noises and DO something about them!" (Can you imagine the noises I was making after prodding the mutant slimy body out of the crease of my little toe at 2:30 a.m.? I don't scream, but I'm good at the disgusted whimper.)

"You do something about them! I killed the last two!"

So there! And so he did. And I'm feeling much better about my life, thank you very much!

Fucking dragon...

Okay, so NOW the dragon shuts up?

That fucker has been roaring in my ear for WEEKS. Seriously... finished RAMPANT, knocked out a 17,000 words for dreamspinner, and jump right into Jack and Teague... and I'm stoked, right? FINALLY Katy gets a little, uhm, satisfaction in this segment, and I'm happy, right?

And there they are. I won't go into details (here) but, you know... REAL interesting shit is happening.

And the dragon goes to sleep.

Just conks right out. Snores even. And here I am, stuck at my computer right on the VERY EDGE OF COMPLETION in a sex scene I've been building up to for a YEAR, and that fucker takes a goddamned nap and leaves me with a powerful hankering to go knit and watch television.


But it's good. Seriously--all good. I've been dying for some good knitting, and for those of you on twitter, (btw--I'm now amymaclane there) you know the best part. I FINALLY frogged the ugly green sock. Okay--it really wasn't ugly... or the colors weren't. The colors were 'khaki'--green, beige, gray--very subtle and understated. Except they were my traveling project and I fucked them up so many times that... well they weren't looking right. And then I messed up the foot count. So I frogged them and started something a lot more exciting. Well, it was another sock, but the colors weren't lame, and... let's just say I'm excited about it!

It's good I'm excited about something. I've got 2 1/2 weeks until school, and that sucks--I'm afraid to check my e-mail. The last time I did that over summer really bad shit had happened. I don't want to see what's happened now that I've been out of contact for four weeks. *shudder* I don't even know what I'm teaching! (Underaged humans, I assume, but you never know.) And, well, let's face it. The short people have been driving me crazy. They really never shut up, do they?

But on that note, I'm gonna motor. First I'm gonna check with you all and see how you're doing... (I'll forget someone. I always do and end up checking the next day. It's good.. It's like forgetting money in your pocket. *Yay!*) And then? I'm gonna kick that fucking dragon until he wakes up and gives Katy some satisfaction. I mean seriously--the poor kids' been waiting a year!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Reasons to believe...

Okay-- sort of a weird couple of days. I've been writing along, waiting from word from my first two beta readers and searching for reasons why I write.

I mean I KNOW why I write. The voices in my head won't leave me alone--I might as well do something productive with them. I just mean... why? Why do I keep writing the shit I want to? In spite of my hopes, odds are good that it really won't get picked up by a larger publisher (because they're dumbshit asshole fuckheads with no sense of business or taste, but that's another post) and I think the people who know me and love me would forgive me for not finishing the series--especially when I think I could actually make money and write professionally for some of the e-pubs I've made contact with. I know another self-published author who is kicking ass on because she's written to formula (unlike myself) and I'm sure she'll be snapped up in a minute while I'm still pimping my bizarre combination of sensibilities and techniques to whoever will listen. I could make money if I did what everyone else is doing--wrote to genre specs and word limits etc. Right now, I make just enough money to keep going--(and pay my property taxes and hopefully fix the damned car.) I mean, why continue to self-publish my own little fish in such a big indifferent pond?

Well-- a couple of reasons, actually.

First of all, *I* want to see how it will end. I mean I KNOW how it will end, but I've got four books worth of plotting in my head, and some really beautiful moments that I can bring to life. The only one who can write those moments is me. "Seeing your dreams become truth" doesn't get much simpler than writing your own stories.

Second of all, *YOU* want to see how it ends. Writing for my self is nice, but writing for the surprised "Ooohhh..." or "That was COOL!" or "Wow! Thank you!" is incredibly rewarding. I'm not sure if it would be quite so rewarding--to my readers or myself-- if I was writing for someone else's vision.

Third of all, well, I've got the following:

Thomas Paine-- Thomas Paine was THE bestselling author of the colonial era--he wrote a pamphlet titled the Crisis which was in more households than the Bible. Pain's next endeavor-- a treatise on a belief in rationalism (or a rational God) got him kicked out of the country. He found refuge in France, and when the political situation shifted he was promptly imprisoned. Thomas Jefferson got him freed, but when he died, the fuckheads in America were still so deluded about Rationalism (they thought he said there was NO God) that they wouldn't let him be buried in a churchyard. His remains ended up in an antique dealership in England. If anyone is proof that your best work can be SEVERELY understood and that the public is a fickle bitch, it's Thomas Paine. He wrote with passion and conviction--in the end, that had to be enough for him.

Washington Irving--Washington Irving's first endeavor (I forget what it was called!) was greeted with enthusiasm and applause--but Irving still couldn't quit his day job. He spent a lot of time being a lawyer and a diplomat and such, mostly so he could travel to Europe and revel in his success. Unfortunately, his second work (which had, among other things, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle in it) was not so beloved in his lifetime. Irving kept writing, but not fiction. Imagine what he could have done if he hadn't been discouraged.

Edgar Allen Poe-- Edgar Allen Poe sold 'The Raven' to a newspaper for $10. That's all he ever got. Ever. The entire fucking East Coast was memorizing this work for parties, teaching it to their school children, and Poe died of alcoholism and despair at the age of 44. Getting published for $$$ and being popular do NOT guarantee success and happiness.

Emily Dickinson-- Emily Dickinson published seven poems (out of more than a thousand!) in her lifetime. The poems were so badly fucked up by her dumbshit editors that everything that was fine and original and cutting edge in her work had to wait until her estate published the poems after her death. Editors can make shit sweet and pretty, but they can also take a filet mignon with bordeaux sauce and put it in a blender with reconstituted spuds and frozen vegetables. Authentic voice in spite of traditions and conventions really IS worth the bullshit.

Walt Whitman--Walt Whitman's perennially re-written magnum albatross, 'Leaves of Grass' was self-published. Whitman had a distinct voice, poetry without rhythm, pure imagery. I forget the name of the high and mighty poet (I'm thinking it was Oliver Wendell Holmes, but I could be wrong!) who threw his self-published copy of the work into the fireplace, but I know that Ralph Waldo Emerson said Whitman would be the future of America's voice. Whitman never really did achieve public success--he just kept plugging away with his originality and his lust (he was bi--no wonder I like him!) and his passion and his zeal--and finally everyone knew him. He was America's 'Old Gray Poet' which pissed him off, because, dammit, he'd put a lot of effort into being young and rebellious. But it doesn't matter. He published his own work, caught shit from big names, and his words echo in our ears long after his death.

William Blake--William Blake saw visions, talked to angels, was so intense that upon meeting him his future wife literally PASSED OUT and yes--he published his own work. He spelled shit wrong on purpose, challenged conventional religious beliefs, said flat out that the God who made the Lamb ALSO made the Tyger, and dared the world to think outside of religion, science, and fuckheadedness. And he did his own illustrations, and they're haunting. And so's his work.

And I could go on--in fact, when school starts up again (three weeks from today, fuck you very much, NUSD for that short assed summer break!) I probably will. But you guys get the point. Commercial success does NOT equal quality. Editing does NOT equal depth. Being famous does NOT equal happiness. And the opinion of the average public sheep very often does NOT equal sheep-shit. All very compelling reasons for me to continue to write what I love, as well as I can for as long as I can, right?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Day In Ratings

Good evening Ladies and Gents. Today, I present A Day In the Bucket Rating Scale. You know how it works--it's a lot like the Drew Carey Point system on This Show. In short, the points don't really matter-- if something sucks, it sucks in buckets. If something's awesome, well that comes in buckets too. Weirdness comes in buckets or spatters, and the rest I make up as I go along.

Shall we commence?

Today's high of 109F? IIII--yup, that's FOUR buckets of suck!

Harry Potter VI-- IIIIIII-- yup, count 'em-- that's SEVEN buckets of awesome. I don't care if it's religious to the books, it was a kick-ass movie.

Mamma Mia (which we're watching as I type)-- III--three buckets of awesome. Pierce Brosnan is still pretty, but my cat can sing better.

Chicken's psycho cat and his bizarre affection for my feet-- ** Yeah-- that's 2 spatters of weird.

Chicken's newly made poppet in black and orange with big creepy glass eyes? -- IIII --mmm hmm-- I give it four buckets of awesome.

Big T's enthusiastic commendation from the grandparents after camping-- IIIIII--six buckets of awesome (bucket of course;-)

The Cave Troll's big ass tantrum and refusal to fall asleep-- III--that's three buckets of suck, right there.

The two hornets nests I've had to kill in the last three days-- II II --that's two buckets of suck A PIECE!

The hidden hornets nest still producing black-jacketed nightmares? IIII--Five buckets of suck.

My two first round beta readers who are now reading Rampant and who will very gently tell me that it probably sucks just a little now, but that it may be fixable with some elbow grease-- IIIIIII --Seven, count 'em, SEVEN buckets of awesome. Me <3 you guys!

My parents for taking my two oldest to Lassen National park for a week and then telling me that they're good kids- IIIIIII-- SEVEN HUGE BUCKETS OF AWESOME.

To my kids, for surviving-- IIIII Five buckets of awesome. (They didn't have to drive, pack, or plan.)

To my fucking car tires for getting damned close to blowing out two weeks before I have enough money to replace them-- III THREE buckets of suck. (It goes up to 10 buckets of suck if those fuckers blow before August 1st when I take the car in!!!)

To my amazon numbers which are in the toilet right now-- One bucket of suck.

To 16 pages of Jack & Teague part 4: Changing-- One-half a bucket of awesome.

To the 1/3 a kid's hat that I knitted during HP 6-- 1/2 a bucket of awesome.

To Cherry Almond Fudge ice cream-- II--2 buckets of awesome.

To a visit with my grandmother & mother tomorrow in the godless heat-- IIII & II --4 buckets of awesome for the visit, which will make them both happy, and 2 buckets of suck for the godless heat, which makes nobody happy.

To Abba, because Mate and I remembered more Abba than we thought we did-- ** 2 spatters of weird.

To Daniel Radcliffe who is totally turning into a hottie in spite of the fact that he's still a fetus-- *** 3 spatters of weird for ugly cougar vibes.

To Socks That Rock colorway Rockstar for self-striping on Chicken's half-pipe hat and TOTALLY pooling on Ladybug's beanie-- ** 2 spatters of weird.

To reruns of Supernatural which allowed me to watch the I Know What You Did Last Summer episode which features the lines "Well, you wanted me to come clean!" "Yeah--but now I feel dirty!"-- II-- 2 buckets of awesome.

To the giant bag of plastic bags going to the recycle bin that just appeared to my overworked eyes like a 'plastic bag snowman'-- **** --that's a 4-star smattering of weird.

To cold, clear water--IIIII-- 5 buckets of awesome... and the jury's going to write some more now! Later!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

One or two things. Maybe five.

Thing one: Okay--I gave it up. Without cutting a single excessive sex scene, I sent my baby out to my first two beta readers so they can tell me how excessive the sex scenes actually are. For two weeks, at least, I'm free--and happily working on Jack & Teague's next adventure, 'Changing'.

Thing two: Today, however, I'm devoting to knitting and reading and staying as far away from the computer as possible. (yay!)

Thing three: I got two e-mails today--one from Germany and one from Italy. The one from Germany was asking me why my portrayal of Goth society was so negative and so one sided. The Italian one was asking if I'd ever thought about trying to publish my books in Italy--she thinks there's a big market for pnr in Italy. Needless to say, I am proportionally boggled by both e-mails. I think I'll deal with them by revisiting Thing Two.

Thing four: Burn Notice is on tonight. In the absence of new Supernatural episodes, that's as good as it gets!

Thing five: When you hear the following--CRASH "oops..." BANG "sorry..." BIFF "so sorry mom..." BAM "so so so so sorry, mom!" it is, perhaps, better to tell your 3 year old "It's okay, honey!" BEFORE you go see what the rest of that shit was all about!

Thing six: Big kids get home tomorrow. Roxie asked if it was harder or easier without them. The answer is: both. Yes--they do wrangle short people a lot, and that's always a help. It's also helpful that I don't have to drag the short people all over creation if we're short on milk or I need to get the car tuned. (And I do!) But they also talk a lot. The seem to think I owe them some sort of cranium space, and honestly, that's EXHAUSTING. So yes--I have enjoyed my break A LOT, but I also appreciate their helps with the short people. With any luck, by the time I pick them up tomorrow, Big T will have completely forgotten that I completely ripped his face off for being a 280 lb. turd as I was dropping him off at Grandmas. That in itself would be a real blessing.

Amy Out--you may see me on twitter today, but I may be too out of it to even tweet!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The view from the edge of the dragon's cave....

Things look very strange.

Picture me... peeping my head from the edge of the dragon cave, ... a look outside, and I pop back in. Another look, and another pop... I do this about ten, fifteen times a day, getting glimpses of the landscape before I disappear into my hole, until finally, I have a patchy, random photo-in-the-round of reality as it appears to me. Wanna look?

I have edited 406 pages of Rampant and I still can't decide whether or not to cut one or two of the earlier sex scenes. THIS is EXACTLY why I treasure my beta readers. Eric? Littlewitch? Are you out there? Are you ready for round one? I think my brain is toast on this matter--I am at the place where I have no objectivity and everything I write must suck, suck large, and suck hard. I hate this place--it's like a knitting black hole. The only way to escape is to soldier on.

I have written, edited, and submitted 50 pages of 'If I Must'. I am... uncertain as to how I feel about this. Writing short contemporary fiction leaves me absolutely convinced that I forgot to go deeper into character depth and that I left out a vampire or a werewolf or something to make the plot tighter. But I liked Joel and Ian, and I think they're pretty hot. I have hopes for them-- but I won't find out if they found a home until after Sept. 1st.

The older kids left on Sunday to go camping with grandma--I came back from dropping them off, and Mate said, "The house feels like it lost weight."

I have a new acronym... but I can only use it when the kids ask me what's for dinner: Stuff Hanging In The Fridge & Under Cabinets, Kids! Yup... that's what I feel like when I have to cook!

We replaced out cable box/dvr--and lost the whole Season 4 of Supernatural in the process. I feel strangely bereft. And she disconnected the dvd player in the process, so I can't even watch Season's 1-3 to atone for my lost ones. I think I need to go read my own Wincest fanfic. It will make me feel better.

We have two hornets nests out under our eves. The cable girl killed one with something so foul, I don't think you can read the product label loud in the US-- but by gum, them fuckers was dead! Tomorrow I'm going out with a hose and a broom to kill the other next the old fashioned way. With squishing, squealing, grossness, and a healthy chance of getting stung.

I have noticed (and I've noticed this before) that almost the entire plot of the Disney's version of Cinderella is developed by characters OTHER than the principle characters. I like the movie, but, you know, the prince could have been sort of hot. Or he could have been a wife-beating control freak. I mean, all we really know is that his father was an interfering misogynist and the mice were really cool--and the duke had been, apparently, castrated at birth. Oh yeah-- we know her feet were hella small. I mean--THIS is what we build a classic movie on? I think I've been robbed!

I seem to have forgotten how to read stuff that's not on the computer. I've read plenty of e-books this summer (thanks, Jen!) but none of my paperbacks. Of course, the descent into the dragon's cave might have something to do with this. Maybe I'll try coming out of the damn thing tomorrow to see. (Besides--it smells rank in here!)

I got a request for Vulnerable to be reviewed by a big online 'zine. I sent in my author copy and a request to please don't base the entire review on the flaws, and now there's nothing to do but rip my nails off until my fingers bleed.

About two months ago, I sent a copy of Bitter Moon I & Bitter Moon II to a forward surgical officer in Afghanistan who participates in one of my forums fairly regularly. He left a very nice review for part II, and I found two things out today. Thing the first is that all the guys in his unit love it. I was moved very much--I guess guys in a surgical unit in a hostile land could sort of relate to Torrant's plight, regardless of his love life, yeah? The other thing is that part I never made it. He just got an empty envelope. I sent another copy, but now I'm wondering what happened to the first one... is it in someone's secret library? Has it been turned into toilet paper, what? The world may never know...

I sent both older kids to grandma's with homemade wool hats. T's was in camo-colored stripe, and Chicken's was in socks-that-rock, pink and blue--I folded up the brim and inserted some plastic canvas and made it a half-pipe hat. Visible love for a camping trip in the cold. Gotta love it.

And I made a serious investment in the following things: Two sets of pens, two sets of crayons, two boxes--one pink, one blue-- to put them in, two pairs of scissors and two sets of coloring books. Because I love my children, that's why. And I don't want to strangle them, that's why.

I'm off. I need to go fall asleep watching a movie now, and then wake up, stumble out to the living room and knit.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The poop, the whole poop, and nothing butt.

Ten very important minutes in Ladybug's life:

"Mommm! Mom!"


"Mom. I have to go poop. Come with me. Come on mom. No, get out of the bathroom. DON'T LEAVE! Stay in the bedroom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Come look! I made a BIIIIGG poop. No I'm not done. There's more. Get out of the bathroom. DON'T LEAVE. STay in the bedroom. Mom? No, I'm not done. Stay in the bedroom. Mom? No, I'm not done. My face is a mess. My hair needs to be brushed. No! Don't come in. Get out of the bathroom. MOM! Look. I made another poop. That's two poops. No, I'm not done. Get out of the bathroom. DON'T LEAVE! STay in the bedroom, mom. Mom! I can't find the paper. OKay. No, I"m not done. Get out of the bathroom. DON'T LEAVE. Mom! Look! I made another poop. That's three poops. No, I'm not done. Get out. Wait. No, I"m not done. Yes. Yes, I'm done. MOM! Come help me wipe. Okay, I'm done. Get out! MOM! I need to wash my hands. Help me. Okay. I'm done. DON'T LEAVE! I'm coming out. Okay, Mom. All done. Come let me sit on your lap now."


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Entertainment in the Rabbit Hole

The Cave Troll asked that I post this, because he loves it, that's why:

And I thought I'd tell you that Ladybug freaked out yesterday. Seems she'd downed some kool-aid and sucked her thumb. "Mooooooommmmmmmmm!!! My thumb's RED!"

Friday, July 10, 2009

Posting From the Rabbit Hole

Okay--I admit it.

I'm eyeball deep from the rabbit hole.

Those of you who write--or knit--know about the rabbit hole. It's the place you go when all of your energy, all of your creativity, creates a quantum singularity of your attention, and suddenly...whoop! There you are.

You listen to the kids with half an ear. You watch television with only part of your attention. You yearn for moments when you are alone--you can knit or design or spin or even just fold clothes and be IN THE RABBIT HOLE.

My kids have learned to 'handle' me. They clean the house when I ask, they get the little kids milk or dvds or whatever the hell they need, and everyone learns that when mom looks at them blankly, whatever it is they're saying is going RIGHT over her head.

Oh yeah--I do manage basic shit. We made it to Fairytale Town yesterday, where the little kids ran themselves senseless and I got to have an AWESOME conversation with my friend Jenny, who never gives up hope for writing and who always buys and reads my books and who LOVES to talk about books, science fiction, m/m romance and, in general, all the stuff I love to talk about but have so very few people who share the same interest. It was awesome--it exhausted the little kids, I had fun... and then I came back home and whoop!

Right down the rabbit hole.

Today I went to aqua-aerobics and then played with the kids for an hour in the pool--we had a good time. The little kids get bolder every time we go into the pool. Ladybug was putting her face in the water and blowing bubbles today. (About that--my little Squishy Belle has a nice patina of tan--with freckles! Today her brother was offering to take away her freckles and Squishy said "No! My freckles are pretty! Mom said so!" Proof, I guess, that I only sort of suck as a parent.)

But I got home, got them fed, turned on some Spongebob, and whoop!

Right down the rabbit hole.

Why? Because someone in a position to publish my work said, "Hey--we're waiting for you to submit something!" and the perfectest bestest most wonderfulest story dropped into my head from heaven.

So I went from 744 pages of RAMPANT into what's looking to be 50 pages of IF I MUST. I have literally written more than 40 pages in three days.

My head is full of voices that aren't mine, conversations I've never had, emotions I've never needed to contend with.

And kids who are tired of Seefood. (If I see it, I throw it in the pot.)

This, boys and girls, is where you live when the roar of the dragon drowns out all reason. What's really insane is that, at the moment? I'm happy to be here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Okay, so I was on Twitter, right? Because that's what I do, right? And dreamspinner press--an e-book pub that specializes in m/m romance--well they got on Twitter, right? And Lynn, who's in charge at dreamspinner posted a youtube prompt..This one, to be exact, and said she was DYING for a story to go with it.

So I obliged.

In 1/2 an hour, I had 700 words about Jace and Quentin. And they were hot.

And dreamspinner press is going to send it out as a teaser in their next newsletter.

And they (Lynn West!) said, "When are you going to submit a full length story?"

And I said (because I'm a dorkfish) "I'm up to my ass in alligators (okay, maybe I didn't put it that way) but when I'm done with my current Little Goddess projects, I'll be banging down your door."

And then, fully blown, a story that will probably be around 5-10 thousand words dropped out of the sky and into my brain, completely formed, like Athene out of Zeus' head. (That was the goddess who did that, right? Maybe it was Artemis. Who cares--I'm on a roll!)

And the story's set around Christmas. Just in time to submit by Sept. 1st for their Christmas edition.


And, oh yeah--just in time for me to work on the story while a take a break before doing my first edit on the fourth Little Goddess book. You know, because I, uhm, FINISHED RAMPANT TODAY!!! (At a piddlin little 744 pages pre-edit, I might add. Yeah-- it's not gonna be much... you know... not nearly as long as Bitter Moon! Bitter Moon II that is!)

OKay-- a brief prayer first--you're all with me, right? Holy Goddess, Merciful God, LET IT NOT SUCK!

And now, with me, a little celebration.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Why Mean People Can Kiss My Ass

Okay-- I have to admit, I'm in a little bit of pain. VULNERABLE, my baby, my first, has been continually kicked in the nuts on, and yeah--it hurts.

But today, while sulking like a kid with a crappy report card, I was reminded (yet again) of why the mean people on can kiss my fat white ass.

Galad-- Galad sent me (because she's between five and eight buckets of awesome) a lovely card, a LOVELY copy of Madeleine L'Engle's book 'Herself', and (okay--are you all ready for a fibergasm?) a BEAUTIMOUS skein of Wollmeise in this heart's blood color that defies description but catches my breath. I would ask Galad why she lavished me with such bounty--but I won't. Galad is such a wonderful friend and e-buddy, that I shall simply take her generosity on faith and affection--she has certainly reaffirmed my faith and affection for my fellow man. (If anybody has some ideas for a crochet project in 575 yards of fingering weight wool, let me know... for some reason, my fingers are itching for some tiny crochet--maybe because it's denser and the color just begs to be saturated... or maybe because it's quicker and I want to work this stuff up asap!)

Elizabeth Gentry-- This very nice woman is also struggling with self-publishing her own books and after some e-correspondence, she asked if she could give me credit on the inside front cover of her second book. I piss and I whine a lot, but I forget what it was like to be at the very beginning of this little journey, and SO certain that only my family and friends would EVER read my book--Beth keeps on hoping, and she seems to think I help her do that. How miserable can I be if someone who wrote a book thinks I'm an inspiration? I mean really, as a teacher, that's the absolute best I can be. Thanks, Beth--I'm so very proud to be in your book:-)

Lorna Miller--This here is Lorna's website. She's trying to raise money for training and outreach for parents of children with autism--and she asked me to donate a set of the Little Goddess books for her silent auction. HOW COOL IS THAT? (Okay--I'm obviously sort of an idealist because I'm excited about giving my books away!) I mean--she asked for MY BOOKS to help raise money for something cool! I'm beyond honored.

The Cave Troll--who wanted me to pull a penny from behind his ear. He was afraid I wouldn't know how before we started the trick, so he took the penny and shoved it in his ear first. He's SUCH a five-year-old boy--that's both charming AND gross!

All of you--including fawatson, Joy, Naidina, blondie, Eric, Leanne and Littlewitch who either just posted, contacted me on, or, (in LW's case) patted my shoulder as I whined-- for reminding me that I don't write for the people who hate my work but for the people who love it. You're all more than worth the effort of pulling up my bootstraps and writing on.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


We had a fine fourth--what I can remember of it. I'm sort of working on a sleep deprivation fugue right now. Too much writing late and waking up and snuggling w/the kids early.) But the family has been in fine bantering form this last week, and I'm hoping to capture a little of it for you here.

Mate: "What are the kids doing?"
Me: (watching the Cave Troll poke an old whoopty-12 through a toy and use it to bop Ladybug on the head): "The Cave Troll is beating Ladybug to death with a rubber ducky...on a stick!"

After watching about half of a Disney Movie called 'Shark Boy and Lava Girl':

Cave Troll: "Look at me, Mom--I'm SHREK BOY!"
Ladybug: "And I'm Llama Girl!"

While shoving a rubber penguin into the mouth of a stuffed killer whale:

Cave Troll: "Look Mom--it's from "Happy Feet"!" (For those of you who remember my rant on this movie, this moment is supremely funny.)

While bursting in on Mom while she is ensconced on the 'throne' while simultaneously brushing her teeth:

Cave Troll: "Mom...come quick! I've got a guy! In a toy! It's doing a thing!"
Me: "Cab ib waib?"
Cave Troll: "No--I'm going to move it!"

After the kids put the canned goods away in the shelf under the counter:

Me: "Whose idea was it to stack the cans hurricane style?"
Big T: "Chicken did it!"
Chicken: "Why is it I'm always the one who gets thrown under the bus?"
Me: "Because you make the most satisfying thump."
Chicken: "I'm not the only one who can thump!"
Me: "Yeah, but the little kids barely make a splat and your brother keeps breaking the axle."

(And Ladybug is keening for attention right now--I'll try to add to this later!)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fucking rat...

Okay, she was a good rat, and she's gone now, and I refuse to speak ill of the dead, simply because her death traumatized my children.

And it did.

Of course, Chicken cried all day, but she womaned up and when the vet asked if we didn't want to operate (on a 3 year old rat--seriously?) she said "NO." When the vet asked if we didn't want to take Lullaby home and see if she would live a while yet (she was still active, even with a tumor 1/2 her body mass attached to her side) Chicken said, "No, because it's going to get worse." And when the vet said, "We still have to charge you for the office visit because it's not a cat or a dog," (and WTHF is up with that anyway?) she said, "Mom, are you sure we can't have grandma do it?"

I said "No, honey, because grandma really doesn't want the little kids to know she killed your rat--we'll just pony up the $54, and bury her in the front yard like we do."

And Lullaby gave us a few more rat kisses and looked at me with her beady intelligent eyes that seemed to say "You bitch--I'm fine. Are you really going to put me down for a big growth and some blood in my crap? You've been doing that for years and they seem to be letting YOU live!" And then I remembered that we're going to have to have a housesitter again, and that Chicken is going camping with grandma again, and really, this rat was threatening to go tits-up at all of the worse possible times, and that maybe, it would be better, saner, for all involved, if we put her down today, while Chicken and Ladybug were visiting the kitten cages at Bannfield.

I came out of the room with the same box that we carried the rat in, except the rat inside was in the usual altered state of existence after euthanasia, and Ladybug wanted to carry the box. Chicken got all upset, but I figured, what the hell, I'll be a good mother and make this day suck for myself as much as humanly possible. I opened the box and showed her the limp little body, and said, "Lullaby is dead, sweetheart. That's only her limp little body, and the part that made her give you rat kisses is all gone."

Ladybug was upset--but not loudly, and not for show. She just held that box to her chest and looked at it with her lower lip pushed out until we got the box home. Her eyes got damp a little, and she repeated, "The rat is dead? Mom, you need to fix the rat. Mom, you need to fix it. You need to make it move. Really. Make it better, Mom. Fix the rat."

On the way out of the pet store/veterinarians, we bought some catfood, and the clerk got all excited. "What's in the box?" she asked. "A dead rat," I answered. She wasn't so excited after that.

We got home and I'd watered the flowerbed (I use that term loosely) where we've been burying rodents for the last 11 years, and we dug the hole and said goodbye to the limp little body in the big muddy hole. (We've got quite a collection in that flowerbed--and I got to hear them all listed on the way home, and can I say, 'Thanks one hell of a lot, Chicken, for making me feel like the queen of the dead fucking rodents?' And there was Spike the Guinea Pig and Trixie and Newman and Paige and Jasmine--"Remember Jasmine mom, she died on Halloween--you and dad gave her CPR for two hours while I lost my fucking 5th grade mind?" "No sweetheart, I'd managed to block that out with intensive therapy and hallucinogenic drugs, why the fuck do you ask?")

Ladybug was horrified--we were just going to put the rat in the hole? She wanted to sit on the bench with the rat, so she wouldn't be lonely. We got inside, and I double checked with Cave Troll--"You said goodbye to Lullaby, right, because the rat is dead now, and she won't be coming home." "Yeah, mom--can we get another rat?" Oh, thank Goddess, I thought--thank you Goddess, because this reaction I can deal with. Greed--I'm so grateful for simple American greed--we lost the rat? Let's replace it! Cannyagimmehallelujia!

No. We can't.

Because we went to the movies and got home, and Ladybug stopped for a moment of silence in front of the flowerbed, and told her brother, "Lullaby is in the ground. She's dead. Mom can't fix her."

And we got inside, and the Cave Troll wanted a piece of paper and a pen. (He's very into art therapy these days. We get into a fight, and he draws himself being sorry--it's very effective at making me feel shitty when he's the one who started it by being a total snot.)

Anyway, he came to me with a picture of the rat, in a hole in the ground, and (I shit you not) a headstone. And himself, standing next to it. (He looked a little like Spongebob, but by now, who the hell cares?) And then he fell apart. Cried for twenty minutes. No theatrics, no "I want mom to feel sorry for me because I can milk this", just honest-to-Goddess, cling to mom and sob weeping.

As I was typing this, Chicken came in and said, "My room's empty, mom. I even miss the cage."

And so I'll repeat: Fucking rat.

Rest in Peace, Lullaby--trust me, little fancy rat, you'll be missed.

The Astrology Connection

My horoscope for tomorrow says:

You've been lucky for the last two months, no doubt about it. But lately it seems as though your luck is changing. It's hard to pinpoint, but something is "not quite right" in your daily life. At the moment, the planets are imparting some lessons that can be difficult to bear, Amy. Try to get through this transition time with as little pain as possible. Ultimately, the lessons learned will prove worthwhile.

I shall interpret this to mean:

Get off the fucking internet and write for you and not for the critics. Write for the intelligent, funny people you connect with and stop trying to please the assholes--they will never be pleased and they will only give you ulcers. Also, clean the goddamned house, it gives you meditation time which allows you to write smarter and faster, instead of staring at your computer screen wishing for a sign that this is what you should be doing. Besides--everybody likes clean clothes.

See--who says astrology isn't helpful?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Okay--I'm not saying I'm a needy bitch (because we all know I'm a needy, insecure nightmare of estrogen and creative chaos) but really--REALLY, people, is it too much to ask for on lousy DECENT review on while I'm trying to finish book 4? Because Vulnerable is GETTING HAMMERED out there, and it's KILLING ME!!!!

*whew* Okay--I feel a little better.

I'll feel a LOT better when people stop kicking my baby when she's down.