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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A little bit of summer...

Okay, it is true. I've set myself an impossible deadline, I've got a HUGE release (and not the dirty, euphemistic kind either) on July 4th, and I'm stressing big time.

Which means that the time I spend at the pool is more important than ever, because it is time when the kids have my immediate attention and I am not with Whiskey and Patrick, trying to get into the head of adult ADHD and semi-infinite patience. (Patrick tends to go KERSPLANG! a lot-- it's just something he does. Whiskey has to duck a lot. And you can thank Julie for the omigod sexy name btw. Wesley Keenan was a guy who couldn't get laid as an undergrad. Whiskey? Oh yeah... on the breakfast table face down in the cheerios...)

So, anyway...

Squish, Zoomboy and I have still had some good times. Yesterday we went to the park and we met friends after my aqua class. We were meeting with Kewyn's friend Sam, and his family, and that gave me some adult face time w/another adult-- ahhhh... (And I've mentioned this before, but Sonja is perhaps THE nicest person. It was a good day!)

Today, the short people came to the gym and we went swimming afterward.

And Squish learned to swim.

Now I've gotten swim lessons for the older kids, and I kept putting it off this year for the short ones. It's just that for my family, swimming has always come from playing. You play, and then while you're playing, you figure out how to float. Chicken was the perfect example of this. Chicken and I had been playing in the pool for four summers. When she was four years old, my stepmom took her camping at the lake. Chicken started walking into the lake, and instead of stopping at her chin, she just kept walking, pushing up off the sloped bottom until her face broke the water. (My mom, in the meantime had started running to get her, because she hadn't expected this!) Finally, when the bottom was too sloped to reach, Chicken managed to keep her face above water, and voila! Child could swim!

Today, Squish did the same thing. She'd played with the floaties to the point where she could hug a kickboard to her chest and just hang out, floating on her back. Today, she was standing on tippy toe with her face out of the water and I said, "Just stick your stomach out, and you can float on your back."

And she did. Her stomach floated up and then she was doing it--the starfish. And then she could paddle to keep her face out of the water, and there you go. Child could swim.

Of course, directionality is a problem, but for me, the real purpose of Child Can Swim is that, if the kid ends up thrown in the deep end of a pool, they can hang in there until an adult gets there to bail them out. Of course, the goal is for the ability level to rise until no adult is needed, but for the moment? Child can swim. And her brother, in an effort not to be beaten by his little sister, stopped screwing around and did the same trick. Children can swim.

It's not fool proof, but we're excited. Yay!

So, on top of that, I have the following, oh-so-very-Squishy conversation for you:

"Mama, what am I made of?"

"Sugar and spice and everything nice."

"Anything else?"

"Freckles and speckles and gorgeous red hair."

"And flowers and lollipops too, right?"

"Oh, absolutely-- can't forget the flowers and lollipops."

"And kitties and hearts and sunshine and love and lots of love and stuffed animals and pink and..."

And all of that too, of course:-)

And that's about all! The next time I post (or maybe the time after that!) it's going to be the big "Living Promises is out" post, and then I'm probably going to hide under my bed and make moaning noises, because I'm stalwart about reviews like that. (Not.) Which reminds me--

I may do a review round up at the end of the summer-I may not. I still love the good ones and REALLY appreciate them, but anyone who's known me for long (and some of you, we're starting on six years now) knows that after a certain point, I feel like talking about good news is just bragging, and I don't want to tempt the gods. So I'll see the review, revel in it for a little, and be quietly happy that someone posted something public and nice about my writing. I'm thrilled--but going on too much about it feels wrong.

That being said...This here felt really special to me. The letter is beautiful, and I was really honored to be named in this event. I got a Dear Author letter, and I'm really proud:-)

And now I'm going to go nap, because I spent 2 1/2 hours in the sun, and I'm not going to be able to write more Whiskey and Patrick if I don't get a little rest:-)


Monday, June 27, 2011

The Birth of KPR

Okay-- I'm sorry I left the book cover post up for so long, but, well, a sort of amazing number of people were hitting on hit from Goodreads. It was sort of frickin' amazing. I lost my head for a minute--my apologies.

Anyway, first, let us do a family update.

Zoomboy is climbing the walls, and the demonic cat is helping him levitate:

Squish is finding ever more convincing reasons to impress her moral superiority upon us:

And Chicken is going to exotic places while looking stunningly beautiful--or, well, mostly just stunning, as in, she wanted to buy a sword but settled for a pin that said "I Aim To Misbehave" instead!

And as for Big T, well... well, seventy years ago, my grandfather was flying with a plane load of his covert operations photos which had been taken over Germany. The plane was shot down, and my grandfather rescued the pilot and then proceeded to try to swim to shore with a broken leg. He partially succeeded, and was rescued by Greek fishermen. When he woke up, his wallet was missing.

Why am I telling you this? Because within hours of arriving in Greece, Big T was scammed for over 1/4 of his Euros by Gypsies in an attempt to buy a ukelele. I shit you not. God help us, we didn't realize it was a family tradition, or we would have warned him better. Poor guy-- he had to borrow some money from a chaperone and we're trying to beef up his visa card right now, but he seems to be having a decent time other than that. He sure did think Delphi was pretty--and he's making regular messages to his father on Facebook. I just want him home happy and in one large piece, that's all!

And that's family news. As for the title...

Okay-- more than one person has recently asked me for the inspiration that led to Keeping Promise Rock, and the truth was, in order for a work to be that dragon ridden, there has to be more than one inspiration--there have to be MANY.

When I got the idea for Promise Rock, several things were happening.

One of the first was that Knittech and I were throwing Supernatural fan-music videos back and forth. One of the interesting things that happens when people start making those videos is that they try to tell a story that has NOTHING to do with Sam & Dean, and only deals with the physical types and the archetypes, and one of those caught my eye. In the video, 'Sam' went away to Iraq to escape a closeted relationship and 'Dean' stayed home with his wife and 'Sam' came back in a box. About the only thing that's the same there is Iraq (for one thing, the characterization of both guys is completely different) but, well, it did get me thinking--and we already know I was addicted to the angst. (

Some other things that were happening were also important.

One of the first things was that Squish was getting dance lessons in a nearby town. It's a little tiny suburb that's right along the levee. It has a small airport, a water tower, a main street, and, literally, a church on every other corner. It's SERIOUSLY near Natomas, where I used to work, and although Natomas has a VERY diverse population, this little suburb does NOT! And, well, there are a lot of disposessed people on every corner. (Homeless people tend to take refuge on the American River bike trail and in Discovery Park, and the bike trail cuts through 'Levee Oaks', right down the middle.) There is a disproportionate number of stray children hanging out at every corner on scavenged bicycles with cigarettes hanging from their mouths.

Now, this town (and I've done a post featuring a picture of the town during the rains) is part of ground zero on the government infrastructure's report that tried to predict where the next 'Katrina' (i.e., failed levee) was going to be. EVeryone who lives in Sacramento knew this already. In fact, my Crazy Friend Wendy (the one in the book who killed seventeen rattlesnakes, I shit you not?) once tried to buy horse property in "Levee Oaks" during one of the worst storms of that year. Her real estate agent bailed and Wendy tried to see the property on her own. She couldn't. It was under five feet of water.

Some of you already know this--I wrote this story in six weeks. What happened to prompt it? Well, Lynn West (Editor in chief at Dreamspinner) put out a link to a vodka commercial (Ketel 1) and said, "Elizabeth and I want to see a story written to THIS!" I was on the heels of having written Rampant-- 220K of really complex plotting, the fourth in the series--and 750 words took me half an hour. Lynn loved it--it became the first part of the first Gambling Men story (and I've written FIVE that haven't been published) and she said something to me that probably seems really inconsequential to her, but it meant the world to me. You have to remember, Rampant was my SIXTH self-published book. All of my books had elements of m/m in them, but I'd never written a strictly contemporary, H/H story until Keeping Promise Rock, and Lynn said, "This is awesome-- we've been waiting for you to submit something to us."

They'd been WAITING for me. All of those letters of rejection, all of that bullshit of "If you were REALLY good, you wouldn't self-publish" and Dreamspinner Press had been waiting for ME. Now, Lynn knew me from about a year earlier, when I'd written an 8 page fanfic on a couple who is NOT supposed to be fanficced, and submitted it to a yahoo group for the sheer stinking hell of it. I rode the high of that acceptance for months, and now, well, I was being accepted with a big smooch and a hug and a foot rub. "If I Must" followed in short order, and there I was, late August, driving through "Levee Oaks", thinking, "What can I write next? They like me. They really really like me."

So what I was thinking about behind the, "What can I write next?" was really, how wonderful it was to be accepted for who you were--and celebrated even. How wonderful it felt when people didn't just tolerate your quirks, they embraced them.

Six weeks later, Keeping Promise Rock was done--somewhere in the middle of writing it, we went to the Renaissance Faire and watched Mikhail and Kimmy (as I came to think of them as) dance. Weird, how stuff like that starts, isn't it?

Friday, June 24, 2011

We Haz Cover Art!

Yup. Living Promises will be out on July 4th-- and I'm SO relieved to have my cover art!

I'm showing the sketch and the finished work, because the mud puddle is pretty amazing, and, well, because Collin's hair became more Collin-like in the second one.

I like it. I'll post the blurb in a minute, but one of the reasons I like the picture is because it shows so much life! One of the first gay men I ever knew as an adult came to work one day with a black eye. When I asked him what happened, he said, "My roommate and I got into a fight."

NOw I'm not a smart woman, but I did know one or two things. "Wait a minute. Isn't your roommate your..."

He shrugged. "Yeah, but we're still men. Men get pissed off and they fight."

The conversation (over 23 years old btw) stuck with me, and you can see it in my writing. Collin and Jeff are FIGHTING. Yes, Jeff has a tragic history (you all have no idea) and yes, this is Promise Rock, but these guys get pissed off and they throw a punch and they live hard and loud.

And THAT'S why I like the cover. Because even with the blurb and what we know of Jeff, this story is all about life.

So here's the blurb:

Six years ago, Jeff Beachum comforted a frightened teenager outside an HIV treatment clinic, and Collin Waters has remembered his kindness ever since. Now, after six years of crushing on the kind, brown-eyed sweetheart of his dreams, Collin is feeling adult and together enough to make his move. Too bad fate, which has never been kind to Jeff, has something else in mind.

Jeff's life had fallen completely apart before that long-ago day, and it isn’t much better now. Jeff has toughened up, become self-reliant, been the funny guy his friends turn to, the one who gives advice and comfort when needed. But every phantom from Jeff’s past is about to come out to haunt him, and the family Jeff has staked his future on isn’t in such great shape either. Collin is more than a starry-eyed kid, and it’s a good thing, because Jeff’s going to need all the help he can get. No one knows better than Jeff that life can be too short to turn your back on honest love, and that living happily is the best promise of all.

And here's the prayer. Join me, won't you?

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

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Knitter's Lullaby

OKay-- First thing you've got to do is click that video above, because it's got, like, the theme music I hear whenever I look at this finished project. There. Mood set? There you go.

This is chunky alpaca, which means that, yes, I'm ready to wear a cloak to the ice age. Or, well, at least move to a misty country that is frequently chilly. But I don't care, it's so soft it makes baby bunnies feel like razorback hogs.

The pictures are crap because they were taken in the evening on my phone camera, but you get the idea. It was knit side to side, with one cable lining each side as I went. I'm not sure how that works area wise, because the cable on the bottom actually contours the increases that I made on one side down to the flat bottom, and then contours back. I mean, the sides and bottom are actually LONGER added together than the top, and I don't know how that cable just kept growing. For some reason it makes me think of how airplanes take off, but no. It's not that light.

And the back cable was solidly lifted from a Barbara Walker book, because I'm not that visual either, but I needed to fill in all of that empty space of reverse stockinette. And the hood was sort of an afterthought, because... well... hoods are COOL. My only complaint, really, was that mattress stitching the cable together led to that weird flatness that cables DON'T have and that makes the hood come in at a little point. I'm sure there are lots of suggestions for fixing that, but Im thinking of maybe just blocking it and seeing if the stiffness goes away.

The button is... lovely. Probably doesn't even really match, but it had such a layer of color that I had to have it. And days of trying to figure out if I wanted a pin or a clasp or nothing at all were immediately put to rest when I saw it. It's dark. It's mysterious. It looks like the song.

Now, here's the thing. I am not small. I am not graceful. There is nothing about me that suggests the heroine in a highland romance or an Arthurian legend. But there is a part of me that has always wanted to be that girl in the cloak, the mysterious one, the simple one, who is brave and strong and true. So forgive me for being self indulgent, for playing the creepy music, for spending a lot of time on something that will only make me look larger and that really isn't my color. I may never be the girl in the cloak--but by Goddess, I've got the damned cloak. (And btw? Chicken looks lovely in it, doesn't she?)

(btw-- there is a blogpost BEFORE the previous post that posted out of order. I don't know if anyone saw it. It's the one with the picture of the two boys on it, holding hands. It's adorable. Anyway-- just mentioning. Oh yeah-- and Mate updated the website! Go Mate!)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Blogger, you fucker.

Okay-- not to be harsh, but I'd just written a lovely post about my kids' recital and all sorts of funny things--it was hard to do, because I'm exhausted and the kids are exhausted, but I think I managed to pull off lots of things to make you all laugh at... I pushed post, and blogger had a giant intestinal blockage, and most of it disappeared.


I'm going to rewrite it, but the end of the post was a paean to Clarence Clemons, who passed away today, and I'm sort of heart sore and sad, because I've loved Bruce and his e-street band for many years, and dammit, it was a good memoriam, and I'm not sure if I'm up to it again.

But I'll try... again, tomorrow. In the meantime, listen to this and think, "Oh my God. Human beings felt so rawly and so passionately, that they made this joyful, desperate, feral, heart full noise!" And thank any god you wish that Clarence Clemons was among them.

Recital Time Again

Okay, yesterday was my 22nd wedding anniversary-- but that's not what I remember about this time of year.

Nope. For the last 14 years, it's been recital time.

I don't know why I'm so tired--in fact, I feel guilty about being this trashed. My kids were in the performances, or, Chicken's case, working backstage too, but no. I feel like I've been through a thresher because I sat for five hours in a hot theatre, and then did it all over again. Now, to my credit, I was drinking water like a madwoman and the bathrooms were up (or down, depending on the day) two-three flights of stairs, but really, it came down to the exhaustion of sitting on a hard bench and trying to keep attention.

This year, I had a new toy. Besides my knitting (and that was three respectable inches on my sock, thank you very much) I had my new phone, and a friend on the other line.

Now, we all know we've got good friends out there, right? I mean, there are a few of you that I would feel completely comfortable banging down your actual door at three in the morning and introducing myself briefly (I'm Amy!) before sobbing on you for hours should my life fall to shreds. (For some of you, I've already done the equivalent thing in cyberspace. You know who you are. I'll never forget everything you've given me for the last nine months.)

So I was texting one of THOSE friends. One of those friends to whom you can text, "Help! I'm sitting in a darkened theatre, my ass hurts, my cooter hurts, I'm falling asleep, it's hot as fuck and I'M STARVING! Send food/humor/porn!"

And, you know, they deliver.

Well, she's in Hawaii, so she couldn't deliver the food, but the humor and porn? I got me some of that! (Well, as you can see by the picture, which is now my phone's wallpaper, it wasn't really porn. Just purty pictures:-)

So, that kept me awake when the littlest little ones were doing their ballet figures to songs I've heard almost as many times as they have.

But other than that, the recital was as it always is: a combination endurance test/parental love fest. The little ones were VERY cute, (yes, even other people's children--very adorable) and the big ones breathtaking-- especially the ones I've seen grow up for the last fourteen years. This year, a lot of the kids in Chicken's class graduated, including one boy who was in nearly half of the 65 numbers, if you include his job as a spotter for the younger gymnastics kids. This young man... he's one of those people you watch perform and think, "Oh my Goddess. He's a human being, and he can DO these things... this beauty on stage makes all of us human beings better people." Watching him alone brought a lot of joy.

Zoomboy was actually participating this year--most other years he's been on stage, but he was moved from spotter to spotter, been twisted into various pretzels, and then moved on. This time, he participated in the process--it was nice to see. Of course, he was not without his quirks. On the first night, I was sitting next to a nice woman whom I've gotten to know over the last three years that our kids have been in gymnastics together, and I said the following:

"Oh... geez... don't tell him to tuck his shirt in! You just gave him permission to play with himself in front of five hundred people. SEE!!!" And sure enough, there he was on stage and his his hand went from tucking in the shirt to checking in on the boys, just to make sure they hadn't shifted during the move. My friend thought this was hilarious--she only has a girl.

Squish was... well, she was lost. Just ass-fucking lost on the stage. But in a cute way. Mate and I had the following conversations about her.

"Yup--she's four beats and one move behind the whole class! And wait... in two steps she's going to check for the tape." (They put tape on the floor so the kids know where to stand. "Yup, there she goes..." (This was the rehearsal night--my friend thought we were like a parental comedy duo.)

The second night, the actual recital, was MUCH worse.

Me: "God she's lost."

Mate: "She's not even following the other kids on stage!"

Me: "And yet she appears to be bossing them around. Look-- it's like, 'I have no idea where I'm going but follow me, dammit!'"

Mate: "Maybe she's really an actor. None of it is her fault, she just can't work with people because they don't understand her."

Me: "Yup--that's why she's four beats behind and going in the wrong direction. Nobody else gets her method!"

*sigh* But she was adorable--in fact, she got the mass, "Awwwww...." award, for clueless kid with most parents rooting for her!

Chicken was... ye gods. Amazing. Just amazing. On the dance floor she's got this suave sort of grace--she moves with the rhythm, she DANCES. It's taken her years to adjust to where she can do this--and watching her makes me cry. (I tried to take pictures for you all--I did. Mary Calmes, my text buddy, can vouch for this-- I kept sending her fuzzy pictures of my spawn and she kept sending me pretty boys kissing. Believe me when I say NONE of those pictures are fit to post.)

And poor Chicken. She felt like crap-- I was pumping her full of cold meds, and then, at the end, she came and discreetly (i.e., texted me on the phone) a note letting me know that Aunt Flo had paid her an unwelcome visit in the middle of the show. Bitch. God, that would suck. At the end of the show she wanted to go do clean up but she felt like crap--she fell apart and had a big meltdown before she decided to go with dad and help break the set down. Turns out, break down was accomplished--so many other people had been there to help, they weren't needed. She got to go home, and I think that's where she wanted to be most.

So that's where we are now. Doughnuts for Mate's father's day breakfast, and dinner and a movie later today to celebrate our anniversary (which was on Friday, of all things. Like we had time for more than Mate to give me a card and me to feel guilty on Friday.) This morning, Mate got showered with gifts, including the book "Sh*t my Dad Says," which is fucking hilarious! Seriously--make it a best seller, you won't feel used by media whores or anything--you'll just really like this father/son dynamic.

And that's about it. I'm not going to recreate my paean to Clarence Clemons-- I think last night's post did just fine. One of the things I didn't mention last night was that I saw Clemons on the Jon Stewart show, talking about his biography. During the show, he mentioned that there were pages in the book--tinted gray--that may or may not have happened. His memory wasn't really clear on those matters, and Stewart LOVED THIS. In his words, "If you've been in this business for 40 years and you don't have some gray pages in your memory, then you haven't really been a musician!"

Clemons was a musician, and short of the death of the Boss himself, I'm not sure if there's another one who has touched my heart with quite so much power.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Zombie bird!

I officially caved to laziness today-- I couldn't help it.

I took the little kids to the pool yesterday to play after water aerobics, and after two hours, I was WIPED. OUT. Between the allergies/summer cold I've got going and the two hours in the sun, about the only thing I was good for when I got home was a nap and taking Big T to a meeting for his Europe group trip. (Which sucked btw, because the a/c fix on my car was apparently not fixed enough. I need to take it back because I need a chill rating of IFC in my vehicle before I take it to the streets in 100 degree weather. Ice. Fucking. Cold.)

Anyway, I was going to take them to the pool again today, but I also need to go to Target, and Friday and Saturday will be taken up with recital and dress rehearsal and, well, my allergies were pounding the snot out of me. Quite frankly, I'm bailing. I'll go to the pool to work out tomorrow and leave the little kids home, and today is gonna be a work day. Sounds pathetic and sad, I am aware, but, well, so am I sometimes.

Anyway, I'm working on a story right now called Clear Water-- speaking of which, does anybody know the name offhand of common industrial water pollutants and tests that can be fun for them? I've got some research methods down (and oddly enough, the manufacturers for the equipment to monitor the chemical levels were my best research sources) but I'm open for more. This is an oddly lengthed story. It's a small romance--I was originally thinking a long novella, but I think it will probably just make novel length, and it's... well, a personal story. Quirky. Straightforward. I'm enjoying it, because much of it is taking my characters and letting them roll, but Patrick has adult ADHD--and he's not always easy to write. I need him to be strong, but I also need him to show the emotional extremes that ADHD can give you if you don't have a handle on it. Patrick is sort of a tragic rabbit (thank you, Mary--I love that term!) but I need us to like him, not feel sorry for him. It's a tricky walk, yanno?

And tomorrow is recital rehearsal (yerk!) followed by recital (blargh!) It's funny-- I both love and loathe this time of year. I love seeing the kids in the recital (and we're booked at a new theatre this year, a big one, with air conditioning, and I'm excited!) but the time thing is big--and I haven't even been to any rehearsals yet! Mate is doing the rehearsals-- he likes being security dad. I've been using the time to catch up on work, since I haven't been able to work during the day--busy busy busy. (On Tuesday, I spent the entire day in the car--literally. I left the house at eleven in the morning and returned at intervals to change kids in the car, and didn't really get home until eight thirty at night. Considering the crappy a/c and the 100 degree day? blargh!)

I am anxiously awaiting the cover art on Living Promises--it's out on July 4th (yup, not only sequel angst, but big release day angst. I'm sort of wishing I could just be sick that week so I don't have to see if anybody hates this baby--I poured some blood and sweat into it. PLease I hope people love it.) And I have a release day for A Solid Core of Alpha (this is the story that had beta readers asking me what MY anti-psychotic regimen was, since I seemed to know so much about it for one of the heroes. This was both encouraging and discouraging--I had no idea I was that crazy.)

And today we're buying... uhm... something... for Mate for father's day. I hate shopping for Mate. I just need some sort of emotion ball that says "You. You are my everything." And contains all the red/orange/purple/gold smushy, deep, shiny, glowy feelings therein. Yeah. Target doesn't have one of those.

anyway--this is sort of a boring post-- sorry! But I will end with how my day began yesterday, because it made me go from this: -_- to this: 0.0 to this @.@.

So, yesterday, I was sleeping. -_- It was nice. Doesn't happen as often as it should.

Mate wakes me up. He says, "I saw Chicken's cat eating a dead bird in the house. I don't know what happened to the bird."

0.0 "Jesus Fucking Christ!"

Mate says, "Really? Do you really have to swear?"

@.@-- seriously-- are you shitting me? There's some sort of rotting zombie bird hanging out in the chaos, and I don't get a swear word?

He still maintains that I was overreacting, but I woke Chicken up on my way out the door to the pool (little kids in tow) and told her that her cat's dead bird was somewhere in the house and she had a job to do.

"What in the FUCK?"

"Yeah," Mate said, "total overreaction."

So now, I'm sort of like this: :-P because, really, men. Go figure.

Monday, June 13, 2011

OH, and another thing!

Okay--you know my life has gotten REALLY busy when this makes the "Oh yeah, I forgot to mention!" files.

Reaching: The Third Book of the Green's Hill Werewolves was released on Saturday-- I shit you not!

Now this book was a stepping-stone book, between the eventful Waiting and the as of yet unreleased Changing. I didn't expect it to develop it's own story--it was supposed to be a part of Changing, but, well, it grew. One of the things I've always tried to tell myself is to take my time and tell a story well, and this little one was proof that doing that isn't going to steer you wrong. As a stand-alone, I'll be honest--it sucks. But as an integral part to the whole? There is a whole lot of small things done right--it builds tension, it further develops Teague's damage--and his strength--and it sets Cory up to have the strength of will to do the things she does at the end of Quickening--all this on a bump-on-a-log story of about 20K. I was surprised at myself when I was editing, that was for certain!

And other things I didn't get a chance to mention?

I was asked to blog at the Desert Island Keepers for two days-- and I did! You can find me talking about The Keeper Cave here, and talking about plotbunnies again right here. Both posts were a blast to write, and I'm so grateful for the D.I.K. ladies for asking me to guest blog! If you look at the names of the guest bloggers there, I was in excellent company:-)

Also, (and I'm such a fool for not getting pictures!) Big T had a party for graduation at my (one remaining) grandmother's house--and my aunties and uncle showed up, and it was lovely. It's funny-- my Auntie Teresa (for whom I am a namesake, irl) has some of the exact same movie preferences I do. Ten years ago, she was complaining about one of the few movies I truly dislike (Short Cuts, a Robert Altman concoction) and I couldn't believe I'd found someone else who didn't think it was the bees-knees. This time she was singing the praises of Aaron Sorkin, who is one of Mate's and my favorite Hollywood people, mostly because he can write his ASS off--the rhythm of his dialog, the intricacy of his characters... *swoon* Yup. And it was fun to hear someone else go off on a writer/director, because folks don't always pay attention if it's not Spielberg.

Of course, the weekend went REALLY fast--and some of it went fast without me. I had shit to do (finish editing Living Promises for one)-but I woke up and finished all my shit, and was all set to spend the day with the short people doing stuff--and then it hit me. Now that my shit was DONE, I felt like shit instead! So I told Mate to take the kids to gymnastics without me, and that I'd take them to the park for a birthday party later--but by the time he got home to pick me up, I was fast asleep. I'm not sure if it was an allergy attack or a bug, but it got a little better yesterday, and today I'm mostly just tired, but it was a pain in the ass. And I'm starting to feel like all I do with the short people is the hard stuff-- brush your teeth, stop that, don't beat each other up, eat your dinner before ice cream, dammit go play or something--and I want to take them someplace fun. But it's recital week, and I don't see that happening until at least Sunday or MOnday. *sigh* That blows, actually. *brightens* Wait! I'd planned to take them to the pool on Wednesday-- yay! Good things! Okay-- I'm all better now!

Anyway-- it's a busy week! Besides recital, Big T leaves for Europe at crotch-o-dawn Saturday, and getting him ready is sort of like prepping a caravan for Gunga Din-- just saying. I think the 13th Warrior traveled with less shit--and more organization. (And, of course, that kick-ass horse!) And can I just say that having teenagers in the house makes for a totally different writing dynamic? It used to be, I could stay up late and have quite writing time. Now I'm starting to think my best idea would be to go to bed early, and get up at five in the morning, because the only thing in our house up at that hour is the dog's methane!

Anyway-- so a short post this time--but maybe not quite so long between them, you think maybe? That last post pretty much consisted of the ramblings of a sick, exhausted mommy--I'll try to keep a little of the articulate professional going in the forthcoming chats, yeah?

Oh yeah-- I've finally gotten a chance to get to some of my blogging peeps. I have a few more to go check on, but seriously--I'm missing out on people's lives, and I want back in! I love blogging--I miss doing the personal blogging that I started out with. I shall endeavor to do more of it.

And that's about all--oh wait. Living Promises got moved up--it's coming out July 4th, and beLIEVE me, you'll have a cover the minute I do! (Angst angst angst angst angst... God. People love Keeping Promise Rock and Making Promises so very much-- this book had better fucking measure up! Angst angst angst angst... ) And with that, I also got my contract for Solid Core of Alpha-- which will be out in August. And then a mid-length novella called It's Not Shakespeare in September (I've got a cover for that one--it's sweet:-) and in September/October, we'll have Talker's Graduation. They say the best revenge is living well, and I'm thinking that by the end of this year, my backlist will be living very well indeed. I'm proud of these upcoming stories--all of them. From Locker Room to Talker's Graduation, all of these books had something to prove for me. I really hope I proved that I can be happy doing this thing I love, and that I can do it well.

Nai Nai all! Sweet dreams.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Big T Graduated
Chicken Little matriculated
Zoomboy got awardinated
Stood up and staginated,
And I went out and field-day-ated
While Squish hung with other students and cutinated.

There was recital rehearsinating,
And mom doing some drivinating,
And also doing some deadline-hating,
And a whole lot of family celebrating.

Add to it some allergens
And tired, whiny childer-ens
A dinner to celebrate graduation's end
And Chicken and Zoomboy hanging with friends.

All in all, it was family busy-ness,
Factoring in some dynamic weirdy-ness,
And remembering that this year we've all been blessed
I leave you with some fuzzy picture-ess.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A few pictures--no time for words.

Okay-to recap:

My last day in Florida featured breakfast at a drag show (I shit you not) which I didn't get pictures of because I'm a weenie, and this:

It was beautiful and peaceful, and the site of the best kidnapping ever. We had a lovely time--and I never in a thousand years expected to end up at the beach when I went out there, much less the drag show I didn't get pictures at. My kidnappers were frickin' awesome. And the beach was actually right here:

YOu can't see it, but it's Cape Canaveral--we were at Canaveral National Beach. So, I got to see a lot of birds (seriously-- that Eels song, "I like birds" isn't set here for the hell of it-- there were pelicans and egrets and osprey and all sorts of things I didn't notice but my companions pointed out. So. Cool.) and I got to see the ocean which was gorgeous, and from a distance, I saw NASA.

But that was Sunday, and it was awesome, and I spent yesterday recovering.

Today, I've got an award's ceremony for this guy:

And graduation for this guy:

And then dinner with my parents and the family and my crazy friend Wendy who is going to be watching Squish and picking up Zoomboy and Chicken from school while we're at the graduation. Anyway...

*sniffle* It's going to be a big day after a few of them. And my 6' 4" baby is now watching the last episode of his two favorite shows, just to get in the mood. And that is SOO like me I can't hardly stand it. I'm so proud. And so befuddled. How did he get this big? This old? This awesome? Goddess--I'm so befuddled. Maybe it will sort itself out at the ceremony--but I imagine I might be sniffling too much to tell.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Zero crappy pictures, a thousand very cool memories

Okay-- the crappy picture was SO crappy, I'm not even putting it out there. I love the new phone, but the camera, well, not so much.

It's all right.

I made it to Orlando perfectly intact after getting an upgrade to first class. God Bless United Airways--that's seriously all I've got to say. I love them. If they're this nice on the way back, I'm writing a total letter of Goddess Bless you.

On the way down I sat next to a really nice guy from CA to CO-- he was a photo journalist, and if he didn't have a girlfriend I would have tried to set him up, because he was, without a doubt, one of the COOLEST people I've met during random circumstances. He was also cute (and I loved that he was a gentleman and complained about the smallness of the seat when he was a fit, slight man who fit just fine:-)

The guy I sat next to on the next leg of the trip was also a gentleman--quiet, not a talker, but very sweet. What got me during that branch of the flight, though, was the vision of Florida from overhead. There was a LOT of brown water. I got here and heard about the water leaching the tannin from the oak trees, which makes a pretty story, but does not quite explain the very primal skeeriness of that much brown water, coupled with the idea of icky creatures living underneath. Water Moccossins and Aligators HAVE to live in Florida-- that brown water in the humid green world calls to their scaly, reptilian hearts.

So far all I've seen here are two hotels--one of them hosting banana hammock central. Did you know that for a lot of those little speedo-weenie-guards, there's a strap underneath to make the weenie more prominent? Sort of a gay man's push-up bra. The result is the same, too... the weenies sort of go 'sproing-sproing-sproing' and basically, well, it was a little overwhelming for a kid from the hills--but everyone was so cheerfully almost nude that I got over myself damned quick. I made friends with a lovely man who was working the John Paul Gautlthier booth--he looked adorable in the sailor suit outfit and he bought a copy of Locker Room AND we were good enough friends to hug and kiss every time we met each other when we passed at the con. It was a short convention fling, but very intense. (No worries, folks, it was GAY days-- no ambiguity in that relationship, none at all:-) But he was so very sweet-- really made my day.

Lots of folks made my day. I stood, offered swag, discussed books, and why I liked m/m with a lot of puzzled men who also liked m/m but didn't see what the appeal was for ME--and they bought books and were kind and generally? A good day all around. I understand tomorrow, we may be going to the beach instead. I forsee another good day.

So I wish I had a picture--but I'm going to be telling stories that are very much fun for weeks!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I'll Get the Butter knife!

Okay-- so Zoomboy has his second grade field trip to Fog Willow this morning. Do I know what Fog Willow is? Not a clue. Do I know he's been all excited about it? Not a chance in hell I could not. He's been telling me what to bring and what to wear, what he wants for lunch and generally how to behave on this morning I sent him off to Fog Willow. Apparently it's someplace outside. It's supposed to rain today, and heavy sweaters were involved.

Anyway, so I go to wake him up this morning.

"Zoomboy! Zoomboy, buddy! Wake up! You're going to Fog Willow today!" (Still don't know where it is!)

Zoomboy shoots up with alacrity and a certain bleary eyed excitement. "I'LL GET THE BUTTER KNIFE!"

I look at him with an armload of clothes in my hands. "O-kay... you do that. What's the butter knife for?"

"To make my sandwiches. Peanut butter and jelly. No crusts."

Gotcha! So, as he's dressing, I'm making the sandwiches. (Peanut butter and jelly. No crusts. You heard the man!) I go to get a lunch pail (which he hasn't used since Dad just gave up on the lunch thing and started giving him lunch money instead.)

"Mom, what are you doing with my first grade lunch pail?"

"Is this one from first grade?" I asked, unzipping it. "I didn't rememb... SWEET MERCIFUL CHRIST!"

"Sorry mom. I forgot to throw away my banana."

"Okay then. Well, I'm remembering to throw away this entire thing, howzzat?"

"OKay. What are you doing with my second grade lunch pail."

"Opening it very carefully." (Excuse me while I breathe a sigh of relief.) "And now I'm putting your lunch in it. Sandwiches, no crust, and goldfish."

"No bananas."

"Oh hell no!"

Eventually lunch is packed and Dad arrives from dropping off Chicken. "Isn't today a dress up day?" he asks.

"Yes. I don't have a twin." Sadness. "Nobody will be dressed like me."

I decide this is a good time to go to the bathroom, because he just sounds so sad, and I need to both pee and take a minute to not get all mommy-maudlin on my odd little duck, and then Mate comes into the bedroom and starts rifling through his drawers.

"Are you finding a matching outfit?" I ask, hiding my verklemptitude.

"Yeah," he mutters. That's Mate. Never making a big deal out of the shit that absolutely spins the world right on its axis.

So up top is a picture of the two of them, Zoomboy and Mate. I was going to pimp Waiting (because it's out at ARe and and but you know?

I think Zoomboy and Mate get top billing.

Don't forget the butter knife!