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

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Snippets of Nothing

1. I'm working on Making Promises (sequel to Promise Rock) right now. I'm dying to finish Jack & Teague, and I have an idea for a hot little novella, but right now, Mikhail is BREAKING MY FREAKING HEART. Anyone out there know anything about Russian endearments and swear words? I feel the need to have my hair dyed at the local salon, just so I can pick the brains of the girls there.

2. Last night, and my grandpa's 90th birthday party (I'm not sure he knows we were there, but he ate well) my Aunt Teresa asked about the '3G network'-- "What does the G stand for?" (for those of you who have seen the verizon commercials with the maps--that's what she's talking about.

When I got home, I asked Mate about the 3 G network-- what does the G stand for? Mate said he didn't know.

Zoomboy, who was sitting next to me during this conversation, said in a very matter-of-fact voice, "It STANDS for Giraffe!"

So know we know. It's the three Giraffe network. And in the next (aherm) GENERATION, it will be the four Giraffe network. Like I said, now we know.

3. This morning, I was helping Ladybug get dressed. She was butt-assed-nekked, and I gave her clothes and she was not sure she liked my selection, but she carried them through the house anyway to put on in the living room, a big brown funk over her head as she contemplated the unfairness of life.

"She's funny," observed Chicken.

Ladybug gave her a sour look, pulled her funk back over her head, looked at her nekkid pink toes and resumed trudging. "I. Am. NOT. Funny."

Chicken and I had to hold each other up we were laughing so hard.

And that's what I gots. I am one project away from being done with my Christmas knitting, and if you don't think that doesn't curl my toes, you haven't been paying attention!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy December 28th...

Such a sad day, really. It's Monday, so Mate's getting back to work, and I've completely forgotten what it's like to have a day off where he doesn't figure.

Last week, we took the big kids shopping at the mall (hateful place--not as hateful as the mall where a partially finished hat W/some lovely Hiya-Hiya circular needles fell out of my bag, but still. It's the mall.) Anyway, the idea being that we would give them money and they would go buy the little kids gifts, and then they would take a little kid a piece (after they got their santa pictures) and go shopping for the other big kid. The thing that happened that was pretty awesome was that they took the first bit of money we gave them and then... spent their own. All of their birthday money and left over allowance money and "I didn't buy lunch when I had the cash" money--and instead of a modest gift, they went about spoiling each other rotten. And they bought ME a gift, which was not on the agenda at all, and since I had two gifts to open Christmas (three total) and I'm a little kid at heart and like surprises, this really moved me. It was very very sweet, and one of the reasons I wished I could just dump loads and loads of stuff in the living room for them every year.

(Funny bit about the mall? EVERYBODY was there--I mean, everybodies that we knew! Big T's best friend, kids from Chicken's soccer team, our next door neighbor and my local Yarn Store owner were ALL AT THE MALL ON THAT DAY. I think Citrus Heights is a small place, that's what I think!)

Although we did get a financial reprieve of sorts-- our bank account was down to fumes (and wasn't everybody's?) and on Christmas Eve, the mail arrived and, lo and behold, iUniverse did me a solid and actually GAVE me my e-book/Kindle royalties for the last year. The check was surprisingly big-- big enough for me to run around the house hooting and pumping my arms and screaming MERRY FREAKING CHRISTMAS TO ME!!! big. Alas, I still maintained my virtue--Mate asked if I wanted him to buy me an iPod with it and I said, "No--remember, we have to service the cars and buy groceries and maybe not go overdraft this month." Sigh. Well, Mick said it best. Sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.

(I DID have an e-book falling off of the virtue path yesterday. As someone said, sometimes it's best to just eat the ice cream and not eat the watermelon, the peas, the three cookies, half a bag of chocolate and THEN give in and have the ice cream. This was me, eating the ice cream, and now I can look my Dreamspinner colleagues in the eyes and say, YES, I have read more than one or two of their books.)

And the last few days have been, mostly, dealing with the rubble. We did go to see Mate's mom & grandma on the 26th--that was nice--but yesterday was spent hanging out in the rubble, and that was good too. Today, I go grocery shopping and make the big kids clean up the rubble. Not as glamorous as Christmas, but, considering how much I don't like rubble? Not such a bad day either.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


(If I Must is on sale on the Kindle. If anyone feels like logging on and giving it a review, it wouldn't be quite so lonely among the other Amy Lane books. I mean c'mon... doesn't that kitten look lonely?)

Seriously-- it's there on the Kindle--I didn't think it would be. If you want to put in a good word for me, I would be (as always) eternally grateful:-)

(Roxie? Thank you! The moose-that-poops and the sock yarn and the LAVENDER--one of my favorite scents!-- are so very welcome. Merry Christmas to you, sweetheart-- you totally made my Day After Christmas!)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Good Day...

Okay--I'm sure I'll have lots and lots of stories tomorrow, but today, I'll leave you with this:

At my parents house, as everybody was simply gathering and chattering and catching up, we became aware that the volume level was significantly up from where it should be.

Then we became aware that ZoomBoy was singing "The Twelve Days of Christmas" at the top of his lungs.

He was on verse seven. By verse ten, he needed help--I gave him ten lords a leaping--he soldiered on. I clapped like it was over. My sister said "You think that's gonna do it, do ya?"

Nope. Sure enough, he had to sing the last two verses. Mate was surprised he even knew them.

Bless you, ZoomBoy--you can sing for us any time. (And he did. He sang Deck The Halls all the way home.)

Bless you all--may you hear children singing in your heart every day, and especially the special ones.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lane Lunacy, Christmas Style

Heard recently in the Lane household--most often in the car:

Mate (after sipping from the wrong cup from the cupholder in the front of the car): Yeah-- what's IN there?

Me (eyes bugging in horror): "GUM!"

Mate (choking back laughter): "Mmmmminty!"


Chicken (wide eyed and ironic): "Yeah, Zoomboy-- if you don't believe in Santa, he won't come, and then Big T and I will suffer from broken hearts!"

Me (horrified, because Zoomboy ain't stupid!): "Careful, Chicken-- remember Zoomboy gets S-A-R-C-A-S-M!"

Painful silence as everyone who can read tries to figure out this word.

Zoomboy: "Sarcm?"

Mate: "That's closer than I got!"


Squishy Belle (when her father has not jumped on the gas pedal with both feet, whistling through time and space in order to see more Christmas lights in one go): "Green, Dad, GREEN!!!!!"


Squishy Belle (while waiting for Dad to come to the table with Taco Bell while we're at the mall): "Mom! I'm getting POTATOES AND CHEESE!!!"

(This one has been boiled down.)

Me: "Mate, why can't I access GoodReads anymore?"

Mate: "Because I blocked it."

Me: "Why'd you do that?"

Mate: "You asked me to."

Me: "Oh yeah... it was bumming me out..."

Littlewitch (via e-mail): THAT is a good Mate!


And for those of you who follow THE show... you will enjoy this.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Let the holidays commence...

Three things have happened to officially kick off this year's holiday season... shall we hear?

Thing the first: Mate and I had a movie date--and that needs some talking about.

I spend relentless hours explaining to students the difference between an archetype and a cliche. An archetype is a form, a story or character or symbol mold to use as a framework on which to build a story on. A cliche is when the story is told in tired words, leaving the framework threadbare and transparent. A storyteller's job is to cover that framework with details: real people, doing real things, particular moments, particular words, true emotions. There are truly only so many stories, and the archetypes are easy to predict, but the depth of the storytelling determines an original story.

I was thinking all of this after I saw Avatar.

Most of us could predict the storyline and the outcome, simply by watching the very first 30 second trailer.

The depth of the storytelling made that framework lush with details--it was visual storytelling at it's most glorious, and it did justice to a noble archetype in spades.

Awesome. Just awesome.

Of course, another thing that occurred to me was that Cameron and I have two things in common.

The first thing is that since he poured his own money into this project, I'm now in very good company as an independent writer. He's an indie too!

The second thing is he has killed off important people for the romantic HEA in movies before. Everyone watching the movie is aware that in Cameron's world, NO ONE IS SAFE. This is important--it makes the suspenseful moments at the end of the movie that much more suspenseful--no one is safe. He could take anyone out at any time. This could end badly. Brilliance! I'd like to say that I did the same thing because I too am brilliant, but the truth his, I'm a sadistic bitch with a twisted need to make myself cry. And then inflict it on everyone else. But the result is the same. So, you know, me and James--we'll do lunch.

Okay, now on to the second thing.

Mate and I went Christmas shopping today. It was hard buying on a restricted budget--I'm afraid I didn't do it gracefully. I REALLY didn't do it gracefully when we ended up going to the whip-spiffy rich-white-people's mall. I hate malls in general but there were two things we needed from this place. Thing one: It has an Apple store, and Mate gets a discount, and iPods were on the menu for the big kids, so, well, there we were. Thing two: It has a Disney store, and Princess and the Frog dolls were not to be found anywhere else. So there I was, hauling my white-trash ass (sans make-up--my eyes are acting up again, and I looked like a naked mole-rat with bad skin) through the area's swankest mall, and I had to go bobbing for corndogs like a good dorkfish by (get this!) LOSING MY KNITTING. It was simple-- a mega-Moschi hat in saturated pastels, I'd started it during Avatar and was about halfway done with the ball of yarn. And I lost it in the mall.

Mate said he'd go back and get it for me, but, as broke as we are, and as much as I loved that mega Moschi, I would have paid somebody else the cost of the yarn just to tell me I did not have to go back in there.

And now to the third thing.

My final edit of Promise Rock has been sent in to my editor. Go me. I'm hoping I can take a page from Cory's book and start vomiting from sheer nerves. It would feel much the same as I feel now, but at least I'll lose weight, right? As it is, I celebrated by stuffing Christmas cards. They may get sent out by Christmas Eve--and you all know that's not the latest I've ever sent one, so we'll call that a win!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

In Which Things Return Somewhat To Normal

Okay-- first of all, I have discovered the ultimate in muggle deception, the zenith in instant gratification yarning, the absolute perfection in homemade gifts to make when you have a reputation for homemade gifts and your family has moved your deadline by five days.

Are you ready for this? It'll blow your minds:

Ladies (and gentlemen-- Eric, Knittech, Tanner, Curmudgeonly Colleague, Mr. Trick, I know you're all hanging on the edge of your seats for this one!) I present to you, the crocheted cotton washcloth.

Okay-- would have been better with pictures, I concede. But I spent two nights making crocheted cotton face cloths, bought some bath stuff that color coordinated, and you'da thought I discovered chocolate.

It was MAGIC. No shit, no shinola, no guilt--I was a rock star. I shall bow now and get ready for my encore. (Cheers, applause, Jensen Ackles throwing his boxer shorts on stage...ooooh, Jensen, you naughty boy, put those back on--Mate watches me knit!)

I know I promised to tell you about my stinking thieving juniors, but I can't. Most of them didn't show up on Friday, my grades are in, and I spent a lovely couple of hours talking to a bunch of my favorite kids without the strain of actually having to TEACH--especially with the shitheads who make all the noise gone--and holy crap, I remembered why I love my job. Merry Christmas to me--high school students can be the bestest best people on planet earth, and that's how I'm going into 2010. (Selective amnesia--it's served me well for eighteen years.)

Of course, the day was not without it's quirky moments. I made what Curmudgeonly Colleague proclaimed "The lamest statement I have made in over fifteen years of acquaintanceship." And then he posted it to our e-mail group. And then Mr. Trick chimed in. And then I asked them sweetly if they liked their candy, and wished them a Merry Christmas. pllllbbbttt... seriously-- like my imploding sense of direction is news to anybody on the planet. Even Ladybug tells me she thinks I got us lost when we're on the way home. (I did not! I'm just taking us to see the lights! BECAUSE YOU ASKED ME TO!)

And today went well. I managed three out of five complete 'bag-o-knitting' gifts, and the three washcloths, and two 'bag-o-knitting' gifts that are more than 3/4 of the way done already... I really am a rockstar! And the little kids got presents (which was an improvement over last year, yes it was!) and in general, my family connected. It was all I could ask. Huzzah!

And of course--because a good day is not a good day without a widdo bit-o-stress: I got my FINAL Promise Rock galleys to proof. I can't even pay someone to proof these--it's like labor and breastfeeding--you absolutely can not shove these duties off on someone else if you have to give birth. But I have until Jan 1, so I'm a little more relaxed. I mean the holidays get stressful, but now I have something to do when I'm sitting in front of the computer, looking dazedly at the mess.

So, this is a little longer than I had planned, but I will leave you with this (and Galad, this should crack you up!)

We got home and we were watching a movie and Mate was watching his beloved Kings (win, for once) and he starts shouting at the television. And then Chicken and I actually heard what he was saying.

He walked into the living room and we looked at him and burst out laughing. "What? What? What's so funny?"

"OH. MY. GOD." I screamed, doing my best 'Mate'. "IT HURTS SO BAD!"


"Oh yeah, baby--that's what you said." (It's at this point that Chicken rolled off the couch, she was laughing so hard.)

"I did not."

"Ye... yeh...yeah you did, Dad!"

And then we looked at each other and said it again, "Oh my God! It HURTS SO BAD!!!"

"I swear I didn't say that!"

He did. Big T's a witness too.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

*sigh* This isn't the post I had in mind...

Okay--I actually visited like five blogs today--but my damned work firewall wouldn't let me comment... I'll try and take care of that tomorrow, just know I'm still checking up on you--ME LOVE MY E-BUDDIES!

And in other news...My first review as a non-indie pro.

Not bad. I'll have to improve upon it, but not bad.

And now, I"m off to go put a munchkin to bed and fill bags of candy for my ungrateful co-workers. (Okay--many of them are grateful-- but the douche who called Zoom Boy "Nose Bucket" should really get rabbit raisins in his bag. That's YOU Mr. Trick. In case you forgot.)

And I SWEAR I'll write real post soon! In which I tell you why I wouldn't expect half of the class of 2011 to successfully pick their noses without stealing someone else's boogers.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Can't write, I'm writing.

Seriously-- I was writing the Christmas letter. The weird part? It feels like a blog, except I use everybody's real names. And I can't swear. And I refer to my work with Dreamspinner Press as "niche romance" for the benefit of Mate's extremely religious conservative family in New Mexico. And I didn't mention Supernatural once.

A real post tomorrow, wherein I bitch about everything, including the breakdown of Western civilization. Nai Nai!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thank You.

Okay--my day was crap. The Monday before finals is ALWAYS crap. Too many kids saying "Why, oh why, did you fail me for not doing jack shit for two months. Why didn't you TELL me my F was so bad!" It's often either that or, "What crappy job can I do on a small assignment to change my C to a B?" BLARGH. I'm through.

Well, not really through. There's always a few rays of hope. My creative writing club is going strong-- that's always nice. I had kids giving me some fantastic book reports. That's nice too. I totally chewed out three kids from my second period for interrupting my creative writing club while those kids were giving book reports to me quietly by my desk. Good feeling gone.

There's more... in fact, I could (and probably will) bitch for hours about the class of 2011, but for the moment, I have a happy, and I'm going to toss my stinky Juniors to the wind and talk about my happy.

I'm sort of embarrassed to talk about it, actually--it sounds really narcissistic (although we know that this is a failing of mine anyway) and, well, you all know how I hate to tempt the gods. In fact, I probably wouldn't mention it, but I think I owe a lot of you a big THANK YOU, and so, well, I'll bring it up.

When you go to Dreamspinner Press and look up the different options--short stories, novels, novellas, what have you, you'll see, on your right, a scrolling list of the best sellers in that option. So, for the link I gave you--in the Advent Calendar section-- you'll probably look on the right and see "If I Must" scrolling by. It's been #1 for a week now. Uhm, SQQQUUUUUEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!, right?

So, I was checking it out because, uhm, quite frankly? Can't get enough of seeing that, especially after a shitty day like this one, when I noticed something. When you click on the story itself, you get a different Best Seller list--this one for the actual length option of the piece. So, if you click on the cute little kitten cover to check out "If I Must", you end up in novellas. Last night, my husband was looking over my shoulder (because he's a supportive guy and is getting a charge out of this) and he said, "So, are you on that list yet?" And I said, "No... these are big deal sellers, you know? These are novellas--mine is just the Christmas stories. I wouldn't end up there."

Except there I am. I'm number ten, and by the time you guys get this post, I'll probably not be there anymore because it's always changing, but, for a minute, there I was. And as vain as it is to dwell on it, well, it's been a shit day. There was the students, there's my ever plummeting popularity on GoodReads (have I mentioned it's the year to hate on Vulnerable? Ouuuuuucccchhhhh...), and then there was the real stuff, like grocery shopping and no walk, and kids approaching sick (or on their last legs before vacation) and a family that moved Christmas up five days (so my real mom's family is having Christmas on Saturday--about five days before my knitting was planned to be complete!) and my CONSTANT wondering about whether I'm doing my job justice or not, and a house fairy that has yet to find my address and clean up the wreckage the last meteor left and... well, you get the picture.

Today, there was a sign from the universe that said "Yes. This is possibly a good route for you to be taking."

And I need to thank the people responsible. Thanks guys--I know a lot of you followed me from a genre you liked to one you were maybe not so excited about. I know some of you bought my novella and thought the kitten was cute and the story was cute and maybe you'd tell your friends in spite of the big label of "Gay Romance" on the website. I know a lot of you had faith.

Thank you. I hope you all enjoyed the story. I certainly enjoyed telling it for you. For everyone who's had faith in me (whether you bought the story or not!) just thank you. Every time I send up a Holy God, Merciful Goddess, Let it NOT Suck--I have you guys in mind. Let you not be disappointed. Let me do what a good storyteller does. So for all your faith, I'll say it one more time.



Saturday, December 12, 2009

Real Post

We'll start with the good stuff.

* The other day in (go figure!) second period, my student-- the loud one, the one I've sent to the office but who is always trying, walked up to the board and write a quote. "Ms. Lane, Ms. Lane-- lookit this-- it's a quote from music... what do you think?"

It said, "No ceilings."

I walked up and wrote, "No roofs?"

And he responded with another quote.

We played this game for ten minutes while the rest of the class watched and cheered us on. I'm not sure who won, but it was a nice moment. I want another one.

* And then, in the next class, a kid was showing me her poster assignment. It was really lame. For the record, you know your project is lame when the kid with an 8% in the class who is universally acknowledged to be dumber than a box of toasters in a swimming pool walks by your project and says, "What's that? An F-minus?"

She didn't take it gracefully. I had to send her out for calling me names under her breath.

But really... if THAT kid tells you your project is lame, just suck it up and take the D-minus-minus as a gift, right?

* Zoom boy. *shakes head* Zoom boy's teacher and I had a long conversation, and it turns out that Zoom boy is every bit the piece of work I've been telling you about for three years. (Yeah-- I know you believed me, but now I've got proof in a public file.)

See-- turns out that Zoom Boy has a text book 'attending problem'. Not hyperactivity--he can sit still. Not bad manners or acting out--his behavior is outstanding--he never gets into trouble and he's always trying his best. Nope. This is honest-to-Bob Attention Deficit Disorder. ADD.

The problem is, they can't prove a learning disability unless a kid is working two years under his capability. And Zoom Boy is approaching grade level or grade level in almost everything. (It's first grade--how behind can he be?) But by the time it becomes really noticeable (I said a little anxiously) he might hate school. I don't want him to hate school. I want his intervention NOW dammit so he can continue feeling really positive about what he's doing.

"Oh," said his wonderful teacher, "don't worry too much. The GATE (gifted and talented) assessments will happen in February. I'm fully expecting him to turn out to be a GATE student-- in which case, although he's performing at grade level, he'll be performing two years under his potential, and so he can get intervention both as a GATE student (super smart kid) and as an ADD child."

So my kid is a genius with a learning disability. Jaysus. I mean... shit on toast. I'm honestly at a loss for words.

* I came home and told this story to Mate and Chicken, and then I came in to write while Chicken did her homework.

"Hey, Chicken," I said thoughtfully, "if Zoom Boy is GATE, what does that make Ladybug?"

Chicken looked at me and said--with no self-consciousness whatsoever-- "Fucking scary. It makes her fucking scary, mom. Run away. Run away now."

And now (drum roll please...)

It's Big T's birthday.

For perspective, I've got a picture of him almost four years ago, when his little sister was born.

And here's the contrast picture, for when we were at the beach after the Renaissance Faire.

*sniff* That's my boy-- about grown up.

And it's almost hard to write about him now. So much of who he is had gone beyond the 'cute' and into the 'these are the core beliefs that make my child almost an adult'. Some of them are hard to deal with. He doesn't believe in a higher power--I do. I want him to--even if it's Jeff God of Biscuits, Jeff is benevolent and can give you some comfort when life gets hard. Thinking of the bad things that can befall a young man in the world, when mom isn't there, makes me really want to give him at least the idea of comfort. He's my baby, and even if I don't have the pictures in the computer, I still remember him as my baby, and dammit, I want him to have a security blanket as his shoulders grow big enough to hold a man's burden in a hard world.

But he's going to be a wonderful young man.

He does what's right and not what's easy. Every goddamned time. Even when his peers make fun of him. Even if he knows it's going to lose him friends. And he stays with his friends, even when he knows the kids he met in grade school, when he was fully in special education, are difficult friends to have. He wants to be their good example. He wants to be someone in their lives who doesn't desert them. He wants to be true and loyal and fine.

He is true and loyal and fine.

He took his little brother to a play last night--partly (he admits) because he wanted the girl he likes to meet his little brother. But she didn't show, and he was still just proud to be at school with Kewyn--and proud that I trusted him. (I did trust him. But my nails are now torn to the quick. SSShhhhh... Don't tell him.) He plays with Ladybug and with Zoomboy and tries to be a good big brother to Chicken, even though they fight constantly, like cats and dogs.

He makes me take him places so that he can sit in the front seat and we can talk.

He's always trying to say funny things, or ironic things, or wise things.

Sometimes he succeeds.

And I haven't been able to really get into the enormity of seventeen, and how close it is to eighteen, because I can't quite get into the idea that he's not the chubby baby the pushed into my arms after they made him breathe when he was too lazy to start on his own. (Little bastard. One of my five worst moments ever.) I remember looking at him, as he focussed his goopy, bad-tempered eyes on me, and telling him out loud. "It's going to be a quick eighteen years."

I hate being right.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Remember That Prayer Again Folks?

Okay-- this is my cover art. January release date. Holy Goddess, Merciful God, REALLY let it not suck!

(I've got a whole real blog with some funny stuff in it, but this was sort of exciting!)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Blogging with a monkey on my back...

Uhm, yeah. Pretty much why this post ain't gonna be that long, folks! She's up and it's ten-ta-eleven. Shit.

BTW-- do any of you watch Glee? If you do, WIN!!!! Just sayin'...

This one's for Julie for no other reason than she likes Phineas and Ferb and she probably REALLY needs something to smile at right now.

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And other than that? It's all about writing my final... (for once, it's only one!) and trying to survive the next seven work days.

BTW-- Big T? My baby? The chunky widdo monkey who weighed twenty-five pounds at four months old? *sniff* He's gonna be 17 on Friday. Which means I'm gonna be... a very proud middle-aged woman with a ginormous son. Have we mentioned the six-foot-four? Yeah.

Ladybug--bless her-- has launched herself into Christmas with all the ferocity of a feral cat at a piece of prime, tender steak. Some quotes as proof?

"Mama, when are we going to decorate?"

"After Big T's Birthday."

"We need to do it before that. We need to do it tonight."

"We're not ready tonight."


"Why is it so urgent, baby!"

"We need to decorate for Santa because I'm NOT on the naughty list!"

And she's not. Whenever we're driving after dark, mom takes the long way home to show her the Christmas lights. A whole bunch of new ones went up around our house this weekend and after a couple of blocks around the house she went "Pretty Christmas lights, mom. I LOVE Christmas lights!"

I love her.

Monday, December 7, 2009


OKay-- that's mostly a wish. I got my editing done--yay! and am now looking at a long stretch of finals and correcting papers and generally throwing myself into the dayjob.

It was funny-- after hearing rather cynically about the young teachers and their 'successes' I had a good day teaching today. We're doing The Crucible--I'll finish it by finals this year (win!) and I realized that a number of the students were actually into it! (Another win!) My lunch was busy with a number of students making up work (win!) and I've had a couple of moments where kids who have colossal pita's (pains in the ass!) all year have been humble, fun to talk to, and working hard on making a grade come back. (Epic win!)

And also, during lunch, I've had some of the kids come in who like my writing--that was nice. One of them (Pride Synister--not his real name:-) wanted to read his WIP to me, and we spent a good half an hour bouncing ideas off each other for his work. THAT was fun--the kid is awesome talented, and I LOVED hearing his stuff. He's gonna be TNBT (the next big thing!) mark my words! (After Paduan, of course. Paduan, are you listening? Get your ass out of neutral and WRITE dammit!)

Holy shit! I too am an optimistic curriculum clone! Go me.

I've also gotten cover art for Promise Rock. *happy swoon* OMG-- I mean, O.M.G. DEACON IS SO PRETTY! He's the center of the cover, and it's sketch of him that Crick (aka Dek) drew, and have I mentioned the purtiness? He's just like I pictured him-- as soon as it's finalized (what I got was just a preliminary sketch) I'll ask for permission and post him. You'll swoon too, I swear!

No word on Rampant yet--I'm pretty sure they'll get me my galleys right at the start of Christmas break--which means an end of January release, i think. *squeal* *swoon* *thud*

Too much happiness... stop me if I start to blather, seriouly.

And other than that? I'm falling asleep. Seriously-- I went to lay down w/Ladybug and forced myself to wake up and blog and do other shit--I'm pretty sure this post is lacking in style, form, wit, etc. I need to write a final and collect papers and shit--and honestly? I'm starting to think my body's new bedtime is nine-o-clock sharp!

I'll try to have some cute kid stories next time-- cuteness has been happening, but I can't seem to gather it together for you by the time I post, which sucks, because the blog helps me remember them as they grow. All this *squeeing* and *swooning* isn't nearly as much fun without them, that's for damned sure.

Oh wait-- I have something! It snowed last night--there was two inches of it on my hood this morning. It took less than two minutes of kids alone in front of the car for a big snowball to hit someone in the face (Zoomboy) and tears to follow. Zoomboy recovered in time to throw a snowball at his little sister so she could cry and the experience was complete. Chicken, (who threw the first snowball--shame on her) laughed hard enough to need to run inside and go pee. Pee she might do--it was fucking cold here, for California! And Big T, bless him, opened the door this morning while it was still dark and peered outside like a kid half his size and a third his age. "Look, mom! Snow!"

Yup--like I said, they're a snow-shovel of fun, that's for sure.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Some Shit I Forgot To Mention

* I'm in editing hell.

* At first it was editing heaven--you guys saw that part. Then I realized that I was so busy popping little blue editing balloons, I'd forgotten to hit the 'track changes' button.

* I realized this on page 200 of 332 pages. I am now on page 240, after redoing the two-hundred pages previous.

* Again.

* My deadline is tomorrow.

* I feel like a stressed dorkfish about this.

* When I told my editor, she knew what adorkfish was!

* I so love her.

* She can also edit the spelling of "cannyagimmehalefuckingllujia!" I may have mentioned this--but I am still imfuckingpressed.

* All this editing has been done in the kitchen, with a draft on my feet and the heater vent blowing cold air on my eyes.

* I can't kick my virus, and now I have pinkeye. No shit.

* I didn't know this until Friday, 6:45 a.m.--this is, for the record, 45 minutes after the cut-off time for calling a sub.

* I figured out I had pink-eye because I looked in the mirror and thought, "Holy God! The only things with eyes that red should have fangs!"

* My teaching day sucked because my eyes were red. If I wasn't catching shit about hotboxing weed, I was catching shit about pinkeye. The kids were horrible. I hate them.

* I mentioned this to the curriculum clones. They told me "I'm actually having some real successes right now!"

* Good for them. I'm happy they're happy.

* In fifteen years, I hope they are this excited to be here. Just sayin'.

* It's possible the depths of my hatred were spawned in the pinkeye incident. We'll see if I can cook up a decent final and then decide.

* I need time to sit down and knit. Believe it or not, I've got Christmas knitting planned.

* It's possible that I'm a moron.

* Moron or not, I'm done w/ 2.75 of a planned 7 projects. I'm feeling good about myself.

* Let's see how good I feel the night before Christmas. Just sayin'.

* And iUniverse should have the Rampant proofs to me right after Christmas.

* Woohoo! And that's a good place to stop!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Picture Mate 'Here'

"Okay guys... some bad news. It's picture day. Not in the library, no. We're gonna go home, get Big T and go to Wal-Mart. The one in Roseville. I think. Okay, one of the ones in Roseville. I'm not sure which one. Yeah, Chicken, you can wear that. Yeah Ladybug, we'll get you a Christmas dress. Yeah Zoomboy, if they HAVE little' boy's shirts with snowmen on them, sure. They're yours. Big T, are you in the car? Did you brush your hair? Chicken, did you brush yours? Don't look at me like that, we haven't done this in years, we're due! No, I'm not getting my picture taken...shit. (Remembers two requests for a new author photo.) Yes. Yes I am. Yes I'm wearing this. Because it's on, that's why. Everyone ready to go?

Shit. We're late.

Okay--run around Wal-Mart while I go buy the clothes for the little kids. Find the photo studio. Of course there's a photo studio. Well did you ask someone? Anyone? Like the people by the digital photo booth? SEE? GO ASK THEM? *mutter* Fine. I'll ask them.

We're in the wrong Wal-Mart, you say? Uh-huh. Uhm, you wouldn't want to, uhm, call Pleasant Grove Wal-Mart and uhm, reschedule for us. You WOULD? Thank you. That's awesome. (*note to self* Stop dissing Wal-Mart. That was really nice of her.)

Yes, Ladybug, we WILL put on your new Christmas dress and take a picture. WHEN WE GET TO WAL-MART. No. The other Wal-Mart. The one on Pleasant Grove. Here--we need to get gas. Wait in the car while I get gas (and go inside and ask the clerk for directions because although I USUALLY know where Pleasant Grove is, I just had a brainfart and forgot totally.)

Okay, Ladybug, we'll put your dress on in the bathroom... nevermind. Thanks Chicken. No, changing her in the back of the car with the hatch open is a fine idea. We'll put a sweater on her--the goosepimples will go away, I'm sure. The white-trash label not-so-much, but whattayagonnado? It's weird--all the cars in this Wal-Mart are REALLY new. Well, apparently that's Pleasant Grove, isn't it! (No wonder I didn't remember how to get here.)

All right--everybody in the store. Are you all in the picture? Shit. If I'm here and getting a picture taken, I'll feel like an asshole if I'm not in the family picture. That just seems wrong. Okay, everyone, make way for Mom. Zoomboy put your thumbs down. Squishy, stop mugging and just smile and stop swinging the bench around. Chicken, smile. T, smile. Yes, you have to. If I have to you have to. THIS IS NOT AMERICAN GOTHIC GODDAMMIT, SMILE! Thank you! Squishy stop mugging. Zoomboy, the thumbs-up thing is NOT HAPPENING. Older kids, show me some teeth if you have to bare them like The Fantastic Mr. Fox. No, I'm not kidding. Big T, YOU HAVE MORE THAN ONE EYE! Okay. That picture might be adequate. On to the individual shots.

Squishy, stop mugging, you're beautiful if you just smile! Yes, you know it don't you? Uh-huh. Zoomboy, that pose makes you look like a pre-raphaelite woman swanning for her portrait while awaiting her bride-price. Maybe sit up straight and show some teeth. Better. Big T, you are not a cyclops, for chrissakes getyerhairouttayereyes! Chicken, please? Let's just brush it out. Please? You're so beautiful. Let's just show that to the family. And teeth. We spent a billion dollars on braces for the love of crap on toast can't we see some goddamned teeth around here? *sigh* Fine. A ponytail is fine. Don't give me attitude, dammit, if I have to do this you have to do this.

Okay, we're done. Now I just have to pick the package. Fun. Zoomboy get off the floor. Don't touch that. Go in the room and play. Don't hit her with that. Ladybug take off your dance shoes and stop farting--you're making the photographer nauseous. Okay, guys, here's an idea... take the little kids to the toy department and see what they want from Santa... sure. Fine. $5 dollar limit, get some cheetohs while you're at it.

We can get the post cards you say? Yeah, I guess we'll do the one with all if us in it. What do I want the caption to say? *giggle* How about *giggle some more* "Picture Mate here!* *full fledged hysterical laughter* "The whole family really DOES wish you a happy holiday!"

*wipes happy tear* The photographer also thought that was a laugh riot. Yeah, she has kids, why do you ask?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hi Grilltech!

Do you forgive me now? Besides, Supernatural reruns aren't until January... that's a long time to hold a grudge, my man!

You'll have to forgive me all-- I'm so tickled about If I Must but at the same time I'm in editing hell.

Okay. Not hell. I've got to tell you, the editors at Dreamspinner are fair to fully awesome people--lots of incredible minute changes that I wouldn't spot but that make the whole thing just shine--and a sense of humor as well. You've GOT to love someone who corrects the spelling of 'cannyagimmefuckinghallelujiah!'--and it TOTALLY makes sense! (I'm so in awe of this. It's like a superpower or something.) But editing this way is addicting. I get the manuscript and it's just rife with these little blue bubbles, and then I accept or reject the changes (sometimes I reject--I kept 'glorpy' instead of 'sloppy' and 'a smile like moldy cottage cheese' and 'smooth-as-lube gait' but mostly I accept--these people really do know a lot more than I do!) Anyway, I hit the little button, and the blue balloons disappear. It's like, instant gratification. I'm hooked. I want to KEEP PUSHING THAT BUTTON so I can see the editing magic happen.

Of course it helps that with one of MY manuscripts (Roxie, Bonnie, Bonnie, Eric, Ceri--you guys back me up on this) there is a guaranteed SPECTACULAR number of little blue balloons. It's like being a totally shitty editor myself has made this job a lot more fun after someone else has gone over the writing.

I did take time out to watch Buffy with the big kids-- Spike has just discovered he likes killing monsters. I'm in love. You guys were right--Buffy really IS the greatest!

And other than that? I'm going to leave you with this little bit of Christmas cheer from Zoomboy. I went to pick him up today and he bounded into the car saying, "Mom! Mom! Dennis quaid and Gordie are going to get MOUSES to eat for Christmas!"

Be still my heart--the little guy just does it to me all the damned time.

"if I Must"

Ladies and Gentlemen (I know there is at least ONE gentleman out there! Hi, Eric!) I present to you all, the first book I've ever sold that I haven't had to publish myself. Okay--it's short. It's a novella. But you have to admit... the kitten is damned cute:-) If I Must --if any of you all decide to buy it (it's available on e-book only) do let me know if you like it. I've been told it has a high warm & fuzzy rating, and almost no angst at all.

I can't promise I'll ever write another story this happy, but for right now? I am very pleased.