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

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Small Humans

Okay-- I admit it. Today is all about Squish.

It's going to be short because we're going to the zoo in San Francisco tomorrow (okay, why it's tomorrow and not on Friday, when we had a monsoon until 11 a.m. but blue skies after that is sort of a story in it's own, one in which I disappointed Mate in the extreme with my reluctance to drive in monsoons with a busted defrogger, but I won't bore you with that.)

Aherm. Anyway, Squish had a couple of extremely fun moments today, and I thought I'd share.

* Moment the first-- Squish and Zoomboy are back in gymnastics, and the other night, as I was flipping through channels, I caught women's college gymnastics on a sports channel, and had Squish watch for a minute. "Ooooh... Mama! I want to do PRETTY tricks!" So I told her to tell her teacher. And Joanna told her that she'd have to practice really hard--so that's been Squish's goal. "I want to do PRETTY tricks!" Bless her squishee little heart, right?

Anyway, Squish has to do a trick in which she stands up on someones hands and holds the position for ten seconds, and she did her trick and came up to me and said, "Mama, did you see that? I stood on the human and counted to ten!"

"Wow-- you stood on the human?"

"Uh-huh! And counted to ten!"

So now you know-- standing on a human really is a pretty trick!

* Moment the second--okay-- this is something she's been doing lately. she takes little pieces of paper and twists them tight and then stuffs them in straws of say, empty juice pouches and then stands up the empty juice pouch and says, "Look, Mama--it's a flower!" She did this the other day, and the table was FULL of an entire juice pouch/kleenex bouquet, and she was DEVASTATED when her dad came home and said, "What the hell is this?" and uprooted her trash garden, so to speak.

Anyway, so we stopped at McD's on the way to gymnastics, and there I was, chatting with one of the other moms and she goes, "Here mom. It's your flower!"

Very sweet.

* Moment the third--and this was just frickin' hilarious.

OKay-- we usually watch television (in this case, Date Night, with Tina Fey and Steve Carrell-- funny funny movie) with Squish's noise in the background. She plays, she sings, she...

PLays doctor.

It was Mate who noticed it first. She has this little toy that lights up and spins, and she was running it over the animals and calling it the "checker'. So she was running the Checker over the stuffed animals, and then she said, "Oh no! This one needs the beep beep thing!" And then she took an empty juice pouch with a straw, put the straw near the animals' mouth, and started squeezing it rhythmically like, say, on a medical show when someone has been intubated and is getting their oxygen via a bag that someone's squeezing. Then she ran the Checker over the patient, and eventually the intubation was removed and the animal pronounced fit and healthy and another one was given the Checker--this time by her brother, who got to hold the intubation kit.

Before that happened, though, Chicken, Mate and I almost wet our pants laughing.

God. Kids. Sometimes, they really ARE better than television.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hasn't it been a while since we had a random meme?

Okay, so I spent the day with my kids, + two--and yes, I borrowed them from the neighbor. Poor baby-- everyone send good thoughts to her, she's having one motherfucker of a pregnancy. She can't keep shit down, barely gets out of bed--anyway, she's got a nine year old who was being home schooled, and a two year old with boundless energy, and, well, until we took them out to clean the patio yesterday, they hadn't really been outside for two months. So today, we took them to the bookstore--left mom with a barf-bowl (Goddess, I only wish I was kidding) and wandered around Borders spending money like water. (Well, we bought Chicken test taking books and Squish some pre-school work books, and that right there is $50, and that didn't even cover allowance books or treats for the other kids and an Elmo the little boy next door will treasure forever) and...

'kay. Don't want to go there. Mate will see the bill soon enough.

Anyway, from there we went to the McDonald's playground, and that was fun for them too--and then we got home, and the nine year old was cooking, cleaning, and minding the baby for her mom, and I felt... bad. Back to the salt mines for the sweet kids, yanno? I mean, this is going to be over soon, and the kids are very very loved, so I think eventually they won't be so lonely, but not now.

Anyway, I finished LP Tuesday, spent yesterday doing business stuff, and have written about 2K on a Gambling Men short--not stellar, but not bad either, and I'm in the mood for a playful meme after that--something meaningless and cute. I don't want to 'tag' people--if you do these on your blog, tell me! If you just feel like doing them in the comments, do them in the comments. If you want to laugh at my favorite pajama bottoms, by all means, do!

1. My superpower is:
~~Naming things

2. My cover identity is:
~~The woman who can't remember her kids' names

3. The theme song playing when I become a superhero is:
__Linkin Park's Bleed It Out

4. My favorite pajamas are:
~~The pink ones with the teddy bears on them

5. The songworm I want to inflict on my worst enemy is:
~~ Forget You, by C. LO (Okay--I tried to inflict this on all my friends, but it didn't take!)

6. The songworm I want to sing with all my friends is:
~~March of the Cambreadth

7. The flowers I want to wake up in a field of are:
~~Babies Breath

8. The animal I want to bear my palanquin is:

9. The sit com I secretly want to watch all the backseasons of is:
~~My Name is Earl

10. The card I'd leave as my identity marker when I'd left a place as a superhero is: (Ace of Spades, Joker, Death if you're doing Tarot, what?) Seven of Cups

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Gotta crawl, gotta crawl...

I was sitting here, answering a friend's e-mail, when suddenly my strong, beautiful, Chicken hauls off and whacks my shoulder with all of her considerable strength.

"What in the FUCK?"

"It was the world's ugliest bug, mom! I had to kill it!"

Now neither of us are usually the squeally girl type, but suddenly, she starts squealing and then the two short people start squealing and I'm screaming over them, "What? What is it? what's wrong?"

"OMIGOD! Mom, it's dead, ugly and STILL TWITCHING!"

Squish is doing the oogie dance times three and I'm ripping my sweatshirt off in the middle of the kitchen and whapping it on the ground and finally I get a good look at it.

"There's no bug here--where the hell was the ugly bug?"

"I don't know--I could swear it was on your shirt!"

"The only thing here is a smudge!"

"Well, it was still alive--maybe it flew off!"

"Princess, if you're going to haul off and whack me, the least you could do was KILL THAT FUCKING BUG!"

"Aw, gees, mom. I barely tapped you." She walked off muttering in disgust--and the little kids started looking at dust bunnies and screaming about bugs, and I thought sadly that they have ALL THIS WEEK OFF and I'll be lucky if I can write a complete sentence until next Monday...

"Still twitching!" *chokesnort*

And other than that?

Not much to report, really... I'm about a dragon's pointy whisker away from finishing Living Promises--and hence the radio silence yesterday and today as I totally committed myself to that. That, and I've been asked to do some editing stuff, and that's sort of an honor and a lot of fun! *Whee!* But I'm, well, working! I know I know, for someone who sits on her ass all day, that sounds like an oxymoron, but it's true!

And to commemorate all this real work I'm doing, Mate and I invested in two office chairs--one for him and one for me--because the kitchen chair that was in front of his computer DISINTEGRATED and the one I was using was, well, let's say it was just ridden hard, right?

Anyway, Chicken and I had fun in the store, pushing the chairs around (Whee!) and trying to figure out what made the $40 chair different from the $350 dollar chair (a whole helluva lot, actually!) Anyway, it was fun, we bought real office chairs, and now, I've got an office supply box, some folders to keep my shit separated, and, well, a kitchen table that's still a mess, but it's at least organized chaos now.

Go me!

And now, off to ride the dragon-- but I'll leave you with this, because it's adorable...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Upon Being a Weenie

SERIOUSLY nothing to report here, except it's raining. It's raining, and that gazunga car bill did NOT go toward fixing our air conditioner, which means there's no defrog, and every trip I take in the car is a nightmare of wiping off the inside windshield and trying to put together the road in front of me like a patchwork quilt with every blink.



That, and I was doing REALLY good with the walking--four, five times a week, and I was due to go out tonight, when... *whimper* "It's raining." (I go out all the time in the rain--you know this.) "And it's... it's... it's... COOOOOLLLLDDDDD!!!" *wail* And it was. I realize we're lucky. When the rest of the country got hit with this storm, everybody's doors froze shut, like ice on a vault time-lock. But here, no, all WE get is icy, freezing, irritating, relentless 38 degree rain.

And it's night.

And it's cold.

And, well, as the title might suggest, I'm a weenie, and that's about all there is to it. I stayed in tonight.

Of course there COULD Have been more to report-- Chicken was scheduled to start tap dance lessons tonight-- she was REALLY excited about them. Too bad both of us COMPLETELY FORGOT about them. I even wrote them down. *face palm* Seriously-- how absent minded to I have to be before people start reporting sightings of my runaway brain, trying to cross against the light and ending up on some poor schmuck's front grille? I can't beLIEVE I forgot that! Chalk one more up to flaky mom!

And oh-- about the picture? Yesterday, Squish wanted me to document her inner monologue as reflected by a bunch of Littlest Pet Shop toys frolicking in the Batman fortress of terror, and I thought I'd share. The funny thing is, I was thinking that she was pretty smart for a little kid when I went searching for the (obviously malfunctioning) camera to take the picture, but when I downloaded the photo I found a 20 picture sequence of a big GI Joe doll, apparently doing the Cabbage Patch dance in a circle over my eldest son's bed. I think he was experimenting with stop-action--and it worked, as I was flashing through the photos on the computer, but, uhm, keep in mind that he's 18. For some reason, her picture is cuter...

And that's almost all she wrote. Oh yeah--LP is actually approaching completion. My joy cannot be contained:-

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mordred's Lullaby

My current songworm is posted below-- it's called Mordred's Lullaby and it's by Heather Dale, and I used the Prince Nuada clip just because it's really frickin' creepy.

Anyway, the song is about how Morgause shaped her son (and pretty much ruined him) from birth by whispering terrible, insidious things to him as he slept. And I thought, Jeez, I wish I'd thought of that!

Because seriously--take a look at that picture up above. Imagine how much easier my life would have been if I'd, at sometime, planted the notion in Squish's head that Princess dresses were NOT suitable grocery store attire. Note, by the way, the big bruise on her forehead from playing outside with her brother, the mosquito bite on her tender pink cheek, the glittery glowing tennis shoes and (you can't see it in the picture) the monkey tail affixed to the back of the dress with the bow.

Easier, yes--it is true. But not nearly so interesting.

So, today's post is all about family harmony... to wit:

* Squish, last night, saw the end of Footloose and wanted us all to dance. (You--over there--STOP PICTURING MATE AS KEVIN BACON! *shakes head* SO not dignified...) Anyway, she had us stand up and dance like at the end. (*chokesnort*) and then she started giving directions to have Mate and I dance together. "Put your hands on your shoulders. Now move your hips. Now hold hands. Yeah. Like that!"

So there we were. Dancing according to specs. I was so relieved. Then Mate started to giggle and said, "You're leading again."

Well shit.

* Zoomboy came out of the bathtub last night with this observation: "Mom, when I was in the bathtub, I farted. Six times. Wait. No. EIGHT times! And then as I got up, I realized that the farts were telling me to poop! So I did!"

And right there, I have no words. Seriously. None. Isn't it funny how things that seem simple really frickin' aren't when you're seven years old.

* And speaking of Zoomboy, the Little Brown Pill (heretofore known as the LBP) seems to be doing precisely what it's meant to. He has NOT become Zombieboy, he is still my odd little duckling (witness the farting conversation above) but he DOES take a moment to prioritize things. It's funny-- we don't really notice the inner dynamics of the LBP until about six o'clock, when the damned thing wears off and the psychological warfare between Zoomboy and Squish resumes. I need to talk to his teachers, but I'm going to assume that means the LBP is a gooooooood thing. Goddess bless the LBP and all odd little ducklings who need theirs.

* I reported on Facebook the following convo with the dumbshit cat: Attention, dumbshit cat. We want you to live. GET OUT OF THE FUCKING DRIER! The end.

The cat responded appropriately after I dragged her out by the scruff of the neck, but she ain't getting any smarter. Last night I went for a walk--it had been raining, so the ground was pretty wet, and she followed me out the door all excited because she was pulling one over on the big stupid human and sneaking out of the house. Then suddenly, I hear, "Meow meow meow meow meow meow meow!!!!" Which I roughly translate into, "Holy shit! What the hell is this on the ground! Get it off get it off get it off get it off get it off!!!! FUCK! IT'S EVERYWHERE! LET ME BACK IIIIIIIIIIINNNNN MOM, oh, oh please... let me back in... let me in let me in let me in let me in let me in... Oh shit. In there? No. Not in there... hey! What are you doing? Put me down! I don't want to go in there I just got away from those people let me go let me go... well fuck you too!"

And that's when I slammed the door closed, left the dumbshit cat in the house, and resumed my walk. *grumbles* Brain damage. All cats are brain DAMAGED!"

*Chicken and Big T are both planning a future. I'm torn between, "My babies! Don't grow up too soon!" and "Get the hell out of the house, dammit, we need your room!" I'm pretty sure that option A is winning out, but don't underestimate the exquisite lure of Option B, either...

And here's your creepy bad elf video with that really seductive songworm. Listen now, hate me later!

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Day of Love

So, business first, Truth in the Dark was awarded that purty little button fromJoyfully Reviewed -- I'm so very proud!

And, I'm not sure I posted these here--I put them up on Facebook, but not here:

These are from Love Romance Cafe for Keeping Promise Rock--the Runner Up is for best contemporary, and the Winner is for best erotic romance. (Which cracks me up, since KPR is pretty vanilla that way--it caught that category for the m/m, I think, but I'm not gonna look a purty button in the keester. That's just rude!) The fun thing about taking those two categories, though, was that I was up against het (m/f) in both of them, and, well, okay. I'm pleased & proud. Don't know what else to tell you. Just am. Thank you to everyone who believed in me--who keeps believing in me. Just thank you.

And Rachel Haimowitz, who is an AMAZING author in her own right, allowed me to go play in her sandbox this weekend and here I am, dishing about my insecurities again. Thanks, Rachel, for the chance to blather--your sandbox is lovely, and your toys are top notch!

So that was business--the rest of it? Weirdness. Just general weirdness around here. Want some examples?

I took Big T to go get his passport on Saturday for his Senior Trip (which is also his Senior gift, which he took instead of a car) and... well... we got there, I sent my packages (because heaven forbid I don't multitask) and it turned out he'd forgotten a couple of documents. I sighed, too him home, got the documents, and got back just in time to be told that they weren't processing anyone else that day.

"Are you mad?" Big T asked.

"I'm exasperated."

"What's that mean?"

"It means if you keep asking me I'll be mad."

"But you're not mad now?"

"Kid, all I can say is that you're lucky I'm not your Grandpa Pete. I did something like this to Grandpa Pete when I was your age, and he was so pissed he wrecked the car while pulling back into our driveway. Me? I'm gonna crank up this song and expect you to tell me I sound awesome when I sing."

But maybe it's the men in our family who were all for ticking me off this particular weekend, I don't know.

Zoomboy came home last week and said, "I've got 24 Valentines to give out. I want to MAKE them all!"

"You sure kid? You sure you just don't want to go buy a box? I can get you some Scooby Doo Valentines, the kind with the sucker that goes through the middle-- whaddya say?"

"No! I want to MAKE them!"

Well, he did make them--but he saved TWENTY of them for yesterday, and he needed his father's help to do it. *plbt* I foresee a lot of science fair projects in his father's future, and that's the truth.

And I posted this next bit in Live Journal (because I'm experimenting with a multi-media blitz of my absurdities, and, well, because I have to be on LJ because it's where the Torquere Press people go to play, and I need to go play there too) and, well, it pretty much bodes an ordinary day for me today:

I was going to go Valentine's Day shopping today for the kids (and Mate) and Mate offered to come with, and then got Squish all excited about going. I said fine, we needed milk anyway, and then as we were driving, said I'd go Valentine's day shopping later.

"I'll come with you!" he said.

"When am I supposed to be getting your card?"

"We're getting cards for each other?"

"Never mind. Why would I need a card? Or flowers? We're beyond these things. Women don't want cards. Or flowers. Only shallow women like to hear that their love is confirmed and returned, and God knows I'm not shallow. Of course we don't need cards. It's superfluous. Silly even. There's not a reason on the planet I'd expect a card tomorrow. We're beyond that. We've evolved. Twenty-four years means that romance is for other people, like college students and children. Why would we indulge in something like cards, or flowers, especially since I'm home all day and have no friends to show them off to! Absolutely. A card would be a bad idea."

Do you think he got the hint?

So I MAY be able to get him a card today after I get the kids, and the selection has been picked over by all the other losers waiting for the last frickin' minute. *sigh*

But that's okay--because I have a Valentine's Day song, and it makes me VERY happy. Thank you Chris for giving this particular song to me--it's lovely. I leave it to you all as my Valentine's Day Present:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Building a World in One Million Words

Okay—so Yearning is available today and I’m really sort of nervous.

See, the thing is, the cover SAYS it’s Book 1 of the Green’s Hill Werewolves. (Yay!) But everyone’s going to think that makes it, you know, Book the First. And it is. But it’s not. And that’s where things get tricky.

Seven years ago I wrote a little book called Vulnerable. (Available right here) And the thing is, it wasn’t supposed to go anywhere. The editing was HORRIBLE, and no one in my family thought it was what I was supposed to be writing, and no one where I taught thought it was what I was supposed to be writing, and generally, it had to be for kicks or I would have to admit how very much the story of one alienated, potty-mouthed gas-station clerk who was more than met the eye really meant to me.

A whole lot. She meant a whole lot to me. I wrote another book. And another. I wanted to write a fourth but I paused (because at that time, I was still pretending that this whole writing gig wasn’t my heart and soul) and wrote a two volume series of epic fantasy, which sold bupkiss but still made me proud.

And it was when I was writing those two volumes that I wrote the first Jack & Teague story—Yearning.
See, Yearning is the story that should have told me, when I wouldn’t admit even to myself, what Urban Fantasy, ménage, and m/m romance really meant to me. I couldn’t not write it. I was writing epic fantasy, and there was sex, and some risqué ideas, and some serious pain—but nothing like the rawness of a modern story, where the fact that we should be more afraid of the monsters walking around in human skin than of the werewolves we all suspect are out there is well-documented fact. We see it on the news every day. I wanted to write about survivors of these monsters. The walking wounded who rise above the pain and save us all.

And thus, Teague Sullivan was born.

Now people who love me will see a major nod to my favorite television show here—forgive me for it. I wanted that gritty feeling of Supernatural, the idea of two guys with nowhere to go but each other. But once I set myself in the modern world, with modern problems, I found (and he shows up on page one) that Green, the leader of the Northern California Fey and Undead, who was introduced in Vulnerable, absolutely must make an appearance. And when there’s Green, eventually there is Cory, and the sadness of their beloved’s death at the end of Vulnerable, and the Arthur/Gwynyfar/Lancelot triangle that their lives become with Bracken and… and…

See, when I wrote Vulnerable, and the three books (there will be more eventually) that followed, I set up this really rich place—Green’s Hill—for unlikely pairings and triplings to occur. And they have occurred. In surprising places even, like deserted back lots

and the anteroom to heaven.

And, in the case of Yearning, they take place in a crappy apartment, a really hot car (my husband used to have a red and white Mustang—they show up a lot in my fiction!) and, as ever, on Green’s Hill.

So, when Yearning comes out on Friday, February 11th, it’s not just a short novella, and not even just the launch of a series. It’s another installment of the self-published book that hasn’t quit yet—of a success story that is still in the making. Vulnerable still has the shitacular editing that it started with (although, thank heavens, I think that’s going to change in the next month—I’m finally going to be able to afford the re-edit that the self-pub company offers after five years) but it also has a whole lot of fans. Sure, there are a lot of people who couldn’t get past the editing, but there are a lot more who loved the book from the beginning, who have loved the two novellas released by Dreamspinner, and who have been rooting for Jack & Teague (& Katy) to come out and shine since before they were even introduced.

There are over one million words involved in the creating of the world behind Yearning—and I know for a first time reader that could be a bit daunting. But just look at that wolf on the cover. Doesn’t he look powerful? Doesn’t he look proud? Doesn’t he look worth it?

Trust me. He’s worth it.

(And everyone-- it wouldn't be a book without it! Holy Goddess, Merciful God, Let it Not Suck!)

Odd Duck Out

I've said it before, Zoomboy is such an odd little duckling, that sometime he just about breaks my heart.

Last night, after an OMG *exhausting* day that involved two trips to the pharmacy, $1200 worth of bad car news, and a meeting with my son's teacher that I'd forgotten about twice and that STILL didn't happen, I gathered my mommy-hood in both hands and did one more thing and took the kids to the skating rink for a school fundraiser.

Now, granted, Chicken did all the work-- she took painstaking little steps around the rink with first Squish and then Zoomboy attached to her arm, each one falling repeatedly for that hefty upper body workout--but still. It was hard to watch. Zoomboy was SO excited about skating--this was his third time--and as I asked the guy fruitlessly to crank the bearings on the skates so that Zoomboy might not so closely resemble this:

He refused, of course. There seems to be some sort of bylaw that says that any child in a size 3 tennis shoe is more than capable of going Mach 5 with his hair on fire. The fact that my poor little Zoomboy-- who can't successfully walk across the house without tripping on his own feet and bringing furniture down with him-- is destined to look like that picture with some wheels added on those kleenex boxes does nothing to dissuade the skating authorities at large. They're absolutely sure that should they crank his skates tighter, he will blow a ball bearing and go ass over teakettle in a boy/skate fireball that rivals a Nascar crash.

Zoomboy should be so coordinated.

I brought my Kindle and my knitting the better to not have to watch, but still, looming mommy-hood compelled me to look out over the crowds of those other eight year olds with their fiery heads to see my poor spastic giraffe, clinging tightly to the faux fur covering the walls, while his feet and legs did a complicated hambone dance that would have done Danny Kaye proud.

And he was still disappointed when we had to leave.

It made my heart hurt.

And so did this morning.

Because that second trip to the pharmacy yielded results, and I got home with a brown bottle of little brown pills. And we've got two doctor's appointments and a teacher meeting all dedicated to the efficacy of these little brown pills and my Zoomboy. Zoomboy downed the pill, and I made Dad promise to take him to McDonalds, the better to eat, because the little brown pills tend to affect their appetites and Zoomboy is all bird bones anyway, and then Zoomboy just sort of collapsed limply, with complete trust, on my chest as we sat down for cuddles, and I thought about the awful responsibility of being the person who handed out those little brown pills.

My odd little duck-- God, he's so happy with himself. He makes shapes in school and thinks he can jumprope as well as the other children (please refer to the above picture again) and comes home all excited about stone soup and reads books on mummies because they're totally gross and... and he's such a perfect odd little duck.

I just don't want to mess with perfection, that's all.

But at the same time, someday--and soon--it's going to occur to my odd little duck that people laugh at odd little ducks, and he's going to be devastated. I don't think I could stand that. If the little brown pill helps him focus on the big duck pond instead of his wandering duckling thoughts, that is probably all for the better. If it helps him remember that he's supposed to be running laps instead of pretending to be a car or doing the wedgie dance, he will probably be a happier little duck. I remind myself that just because forty-three years of living has made me comfortable in my oddness doesn't mean that there weren't some damned uncomfortable, awkward, painful years that led to all this comfort. It doesn't mean that there haven't been some damned uncomfortable, awkward, painful adult moments as a result of it since.

I remind myself that odds are good that he can still be an individual duck and just not be quite so odd. Or at least so publicly odd, anyway. He's welcome to be as odd as he wants in his own home, where odd ducklings are celebrated and not made to feel like being roadkill would be preferable to swimming in the duck pond.

I remind myself that he put his head on my chest in the absolute surety that everything would be all right, and that's my job. To protect my odd little duck. To point him at the duck pond instead of over hill and dale, where people aren't constantly making odd ducks feel bad for something they can't control, and where foxes and wolves eat odd ducks who weren't comfortable at the duck pond.

So he'll probably still read to his sister about gross things like mummies, and he'll probably still think he can jump rope when he looks like Melman the spastic giraffe, and he'll probably still say "I love you bigger than sky and deeper than blue"--but maybe, for the world at large, he'll be better off as a slightly more average duck on the little brown pill. It would suck if he had to make it through his childhood as the odd duck out.

(*Yearning is out tomorrow--happy excited thoughts and that wonderful picture of the big wolf again. And probably less parental gooeyness to boot--I promise.)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Oh Mummy!

Zoomboy is assigned 20 minutes of reading every day.

He's supposed to read to us, but seriously? Twenty minutes of quiet in our house? When Mom's not making dinner, coaching teenagers, or out buying snack?

So we told him to read to his sister.

And she sits there and listens.

So what are they reading about?

I'll give you two guesses.

But I'm pretty sure you only need one.

The really cool thing about this--wait, the really cool THINGS about this are

A. The book is WAY above his pay grade. He struggles on anyway. I think he likes the fact that the pictures are gross and he gets to share.

B. His sister, who, for most of the day can't shut up to save her tiny, chubby, precious little life, sits rapt, playing with the hem of her princess dress, so that her brother might enlighten her about the grossness every night.

And C?

C. is that this weekend or the next, after he finishes the book (like I said, it's around a 5th grade reading level) I'm gonna make him these:

And then, for a brief moment, I can be a hero among Mummies:-)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Nothing to Report

I'm so depressed! I actually had a real picture-- a GOOD one... one of the cat laying on Squish who was laying on Chicken--it was awesome and precious and now I can't find my phone. *grumble* Frickin' technology. Sometimes me hates it.

Anyway... next week, we're going to be neck deep in the cover picture for Yearning-- enjoy random graphic art while you can!

And other than that? Can I just add that the cat is a fucker? Just in general? Are you seeing this like I'm seeing it, because it's looking like the cat is a fucker. Just sayin'.

And since we're talking about random photographs-- some photographs I WISH I had taken but did not were of Zoomboy and Squish working in our 'Garden'. Our 'garden' consists of two big planters with some bulbs in them and some fresh potting soil. Now, I am HORRIBLE at gardening, mostly because it involves that giving a shit thing about the out of doors that I'm not always great at mustering up. I'm WONDERFUL at appreciating it when someone else does it for me, but me? Not so much. I'm sort of meh about the whole thing-- but Squish really wanted to grow something, and I have enough bad-mommy strikes against me, I figured, what the hell? Of course, I also started a flat of little seedling starters... and if all THOSE grow, I'm going to be up to my ass in tomato plants with NOWHERE and I do mean nowhere in my little tiny plot of earth to let them grow, but... *shrug* I'll give them to my parents or my friend or something. And in the meantime, Zoomboy and Squish go out for ten minutes a day and use the cool little sieve pitcher to water their flowers. They. Are. So. Proud.

Now everyone cross your fingers that those damned bulbs grow!

And other than that, we started gymnastics again. *sigh* We'd sort of gotten used to having our weekends back after soccer, but Zoomboy needed SOMETHING and Squish was going to hurt herself because she kept trying to do rolls and doing them wrong-- *sigh* And it's back to the races, right? (Well, it felt like it today-- I've been up late a lot lately-- sue me!)

But I SWEAR I will try to get you some other pictures besides promo covers and cat ass in the future. I'm starting to miss seeing my own kids on my blog!

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Mary (who loves me more than I could possibly deserve but I'm not complaining!) sent me a Wiccan desk calendar for 2011, and I'm loving it very very much. One of the interesting things that I noticed is that yesterday was Imbolc. It was also Groundhog Day and St. Brigid's day, but since Groundhog Day was covered not only by the Bill Murray movie, but also by the AWESOME SPN episode, Mystery Spot, (the funniest parts are pictured here:)

And St. Brigid's day is not only VERY Irish, but also VERY overshadowed by St. Patrick's Day, as well as VERY depressing, because it seems like being holy is not a whole lot to be sainted for. (I always picture saints as going into battle using a staff of oak and some chutzpah and then suffering horrible deaths in the name of freeing the people. Of course, the more I know about Christian history, the more I realize that they were more often the enslavers as opposed to the enslaved, but still, you always sort of hope that Saints are more interesting than the Wikipedia blurb suggests. It just seems like chastity is such a negative action, yanno?)

But Imbolc is sort of a day of hope--you light candles, you bake cookies, you say a little prayer that the sky ain't lyin' and that spring really is coming back, and there will be fertility and joy and more cookies and maybe even, if you laid your garden right (which I didn't and don't, although I've promised Squish that I would go buy her a big pot and some seedlings) you'd get flowers.

So yesterday was Imbolc. No candles, because THAT'S a recipe for disaster in this house, no decorations, because Valentine's day is JUST around the frickin' corner, and no cookies because I was running around like a rat without a tail yesterday...

But I remembered the hope. There will be pretty days, and there will be flowers. Squish and I will make sure of it, I promise.

Anyway, beyond that? Have been very very busy. Tuesday and Wednesday, Chicken's school had testing in the morning so she went to school at eleven o'clock. Since she gets out at 2:45, this is REALLY frickin' inconvenient--no lie. There was also some signing Squish up for Kindergarten, a parent/teacher meeting to get Zoomboy set up with a 504 (which basically says that teachers MUST accommodate his ADHD, even if they don't believe it's a real thing wrong) and in which all teachers involved said, "Ritalin is not a bad thing!" I'm inclined to believe them. I mean, yeah, I did okay, but "doing okay" also meant getting most disorganized person of the class of '85--and no, until I graduated, that was NOT an actual category. It would be super-cherry-candy-awesome if Zoomboy could go through school and not be labeled "quirky" or "weird" or "eccentric"--he's going to have enough trouble being "shy", and, well, son of the weirdo writer-lady with too many cats who tends to laugh at all things inappropriate. (Starting to loathe that word, though. It can be said with such high-n-mighty-snide-n-trite disdain.)

About the only thing I really have to kvetch about, though, is the fact that I managed to keep a horse-bridle on my hair-trigger temper for once--as I was pulling into the parking lot to register Squish, the DIRECTOR was pulling out of her parking spot, which is, btb, A FOOT AND A HALF wider than the parking spots for the normal everyday peons such as myself. So, on my right is some Mercedes bling-mobile that scared the heck out of me, and to my left? Not a whole lot of line. It was like this parking spot was designed for people with Geos and Kias, and the rest of us were shit-outta-luck. So I thought, "Well, yanno? I"m gonna take up the six inches of line, and I know no one can fit in next to me, but if someone DOES fit in next to me, neither of us will actually be able to GET OUT OF OUR CARS!!! So the director lady sees me doing this, and does the hand up, "Excuse me! Excuse me! No one will be able to park there. Could you PLEASE fix your car?"

Well, I'm not usually shy about voicing my opinion in public (uhm, you all may remember a moment in Arco Arena, wherein I seriously considered decking a complete stranger for sticking her dumbassed officious nose somewhere it had no fucking business, yeah?) but... well... I was about ready to commit Squish to public education. Now, at this point, I need a backhoe and a jackhammer and some fucking miracle solvent to find my faith in public education under the deeply rooted bitterness tree that recent events have planted in my cynical little heart, but, well... Squish. My beautiful, beautiful Squish.

She's gonna do SPLENDID in public school. Everything about her SCREAMS suck-up-to-the-teacher-until-they-love-me-so-much-I-have-to-pass, besides the fact that she's hella fucking bright and could probably pass kindergarten in about a month, as long as someone not-the-mama was giving her the tests. (She'll shine you on if she gets the chance-- no lie.) Public education, for her, is going to be a beautiful, beautiful place.

I wasn't going to do that to her. Seriously. I made her put her belt back on, I fixed the car, (and no, in case you were curious, I COULDN'T get my big fat ass back in when someone else pulled up next to me leaving six fucking inches of clearance between us--I had to come in from the other side. I hope I dinged the bling-mobile, just a little.) As I got out of the crap-mobile, the director was getting out of her car as it idled and going to put her cones in the middle of her spot so no one took it. I sighed loudly.

"What's wrong, Mama?"

"Nothing, sweets. I just allowed myself to be bent over by the man."

"Is that bad?"

"Only if you're me. Let's go, baby--your education awaits."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Beowulf, Knitting, and ADHD

OKay, this is weird--it's only happened to me a couple of times.

It's what I call "complete blankout" and it's the reason that, not once but TWICE during college, I sat through an entire conversation in which someone broke up with me and still imagined that we were together. (Fortunately, not much time had been invested in these relationships, because THAT would have been much more embarrassing.)

It defines moments with my parents when they were telling me things they felt were VERY IMPORTANT and I couldn't actually remember the conversation.

It's a strange moment-- a moment in which someone may be asking you a question or stating something, and you find your attention is just ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY elsewhere. Maybe it's on what you had for breakfast. Maybe it's on the knitting--which is usually your attention FOCUSER, but has now become the SOLE FOCUS of your attention.

Maybe it's on the fact that you really didn't get a lot of sleep the night before, and it might be a good idea to fine tune that WIP you've been working on.

My kid's ADHD specialist told me that this happened when a kid with ADHD was under a great deal of stress--and suddenly, those breakups I don't remember made SO much more sense. It's the traffic cop in our head that filters our priorities--suddenly, he's not just on a doughnut break, he's OUT OF THE FRICKIN' COUNTRY SPENDING EMBEZZLED MILLIONS ON GANJA AND HOOKERS! And when he's flown the frickin' coop, it doesn't matter what your attention is ON, what matters is that it is OFF what it should be on, and what it SHOULD be on is critical to your life and well being.

In this case, I think the knitting saved me. Suddenly I remembered that I only got to play with the knitting because of the claim that it kept me focused. If that was a lie, then I would no longer get to play with the knitting, and that threat alone was enough to put my fingers in motion and make me listen to the important shit going down.

I mean, you all know I knit a little every day, but I'm not NEARLY as productive as I used to be--but still. A little. Every day.

Damn, it's funny how much a little every day can mean to us, isn't it?

Anyway--so thereyago, it's a little vague, but it is the absolutely true story of HOW KNITTING SAVED MY ASS. Believe it is true.

So, true to the heroic nature of the Great Fiber Art, I got home and found (Bless you, Chris!) the link to These Socks in my mailbox.

They are perfect. The are socks for a warrior. I may very well buy the pattern, not because I'm gonna commit to knitting them, but because if knitting is going to SAVE YOUR ASS, then maybe it needs a more heroic form to take. Besides. I want that frickin' picture of that awesome goddamned sock on my wall, you think?

*nods head* Yeah, I think. I may be knitting a shawl out of Lion Brand Homespun (Pity. Me.) but, dammit, I'm gonna have a framed 8x10 of some real goddamned knitting on my wall. Because knitting makes heroes of housewives sometimes--sweartadog it does.