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

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Art Begets Art

Okay, I've said this forever.  And ever and ever.  And it seems like the simplest of ideas, but very often our politicians or our education systems or whatever don't get it.  But it's true.  Our art is what is remembered, and Art Begets Art.

I loved being the docent for the Kindergarten and the 3rd grade classes.  I learned VERY much about Renoir, Degas, Lautrec, and not telling 3rd graders when an artist dies of alcoholism, no matter WHAT the curriculum says about it being part of the presentation.  (Damn Lautrec anyway-- it's not like his name wasn't hilarious as well...)

So I'm proud of being a part of that--and today, when I met Sam and his mother and family (loveliest people ON the planet, bar none!) at the park with my children, I was also pleased that two different children knew me.  I was the "art lady" and Zoomboy and Squish were considered VERY lucky.

And then Chicken showed me her project from art (pictured above) which was inspired from this song and this show, and I thought that there is something to be said for passing on this value, that art is important and that our civilization is marked by our art and our literature and by the things that we are passionate about...

And that our idiot politicians can bicker about the rights of man all they want, but the rest of us?  We know that responding to art is one thing those morons can NEVER take away.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Uhm, yeah... I don't know where to go with that...

Okay... Squish was home sick yesterday which was... awkward.

She's apparently accustomed herself to the breakneck cosmopolitan pace of Kindergarten and the simple pleasure of sitting on Mom's lap was reduced to a clingy, whiny mopefest of how bored she was--at the same time she could barely move without seal-coughing loud enough to attract big bull sea-lions from the nearest bay.   I was going to send her to school this morning so I didn't kill her (or at least yell at her again!) and also because I'm the art docent today (and tomorrow) and I really sort of don't want to make Mate come home to watch the kids so I can go to their school, because there is just something fundamentally and karmically wrong with that, we all know it!

So, there we were, rooting for her cough to go away and her fever to not return (it didn't) and then, at two o'clock in the morning, Zoomboy did an unexpected thing:  He requested permission (I am not lying about this) to throw up.

"What?" I asked, unaware that he had even crawled into bed with us.

"I think I'm going to throw up.  Can I go into the bathroom and use the toilet?"

"By all means!"  Mate barked, horrified (and not sure if he could race to the end of the hallway in time, as he has during pukies past!)

This morning?  He was fine.  Seriously.  No bullshit fine.  Jumped up, went and picked out a shirt for him and a complementing shirt for Squish.  We were thrilled.  And he gets to be there when I come into his class and talk about Degas and Lautrec and Renoir and Carnival, and then make little paper figures connected with brads to show movement, and I'm really pleased and I really hope I don't foul this up.

And, uhm, speaking of foul.

See, I wrote a story about this object to the right.  It's funny.  It's cute.  Roxie can vouch that the sex is not gratuitous, and that the romantic payoff is worth the abuse of knitwear.  And then I put the pattern for the object to the right in the story.  And knitted up a sample.  And my editor wanted a picture.  So there I was, outside, trying to take a picture of the object to the right in front of my house, when the mail lady came by to deliver the mail.

She really had no comeback, explanation, or comprehension when I explained that I had written a pattern and I needed a picture to go with it.  She literally didn't know where to go with that.

And there is a sort of war going on for the space on my phone--with three participants trying to outdo the other.  See, my friend Mary Calmes who loves me keeps sending me texts full of eye-candy... the picture of my favorite Winchester boys here is only one, and it's really one of the few that might not have some sort of artistic licensing thing to it (because I've been DYING to post the others because they're PRETTY!) and, well, they really do make my day.

And then  Chicken realized what was going on, and SHE started sending me pictures that SHE found on line. This demotivator poster cracks me up every time, but trust me-- she finds PLENTY of free pictures of boys kissing, just to crowd up my phone.  She and Mary have been having a war--they will randomly send me hot pictures of pretty boys and I will pass them along, but in the meantime, the picture card on my phone is getting FULL!

And then, probably without realizing it, Elizabeth got in on the deal.  She sent me some motivating pretties from God-with-a-camera, Dan Skinner, who did the cover for Clear Water, and whose tasteful, non-nekkid pictures just got BANNED FROM FACEBOOK because of the two-guy content.  Which is why I put the Dan Skinner picture up top.  Because it's beautiful, and, well, I sort of wanted the world to know that there MUCH WORSE THINGS on frickin' Facebook than that.

And also because Elizabeth said it reminded her of Green's Hill.  And I miss Green's Hill.  Quickening is not coming along quickly at all--I keep having to make way for things that pay the rent, and my Little Goddess is languishing in her pregnancy.  I will get there... but in the meantime, it's lovely to have a picture that reminds me of someplace I really love.

And I think that's all... because seriously, I don't really know where to go with that....

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Happy Birthday, Chicken

On Chicken's 17th Birthday we...

1.  Picked up her gifrickinnormous birthday cookie
2.  Dropped her brother off at the Sac Horror Con
3.  Went to a soccer game where her team had no subs
4.  Watched Chicken almost score twice and walk off a sprained ankle-- no subs, remember?
5.  Sang happy birthday to her and shared the cookie at soccer
6.  Went back to join Big T at Sac Horror
7.  Met Tad Williams.  (SQQQUUUEEEEEE!)
9.  Took Chicken's picture.  (It's not as beautiful as the moment:-)
10.  Got a picture of a swamp monster too.
11.  Bought an impossibly beautiful ink and pencil drawing.
12.  Got In N Out on the way home because we were STARVING
13.  Came home and met Mate & the short people who had spent the day at soccer and sunsplash.
14.  Took care of Squish--she was sick.
15.  Watched DVR'd television until Chicken reluctantly showered and said goodbye to her beauty parlor straight, soft, & fluffy hair from Senior Portrait day.
16.  Agreed that it was a very good day.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bullet Points

Someone told me that bullet points were the best invention of the eighties--I'll take their word for it, but I do have to admit they come in handy, especially when there is all sorts of random information someone has to share.  To wit:

*  Squish has actually PLAYED soccer for her last few practices.  Mostly because we told her we wouldn't put her in soccer, and Dad CERTAINLY wouldn't coach if she didn't show some effort.  Okay, yeah, it sounds like blackmail, but, well, it worked!

*  Chicken got the spa treatment today-- hair, nails, make-up--all so she could have her Senior portraits taken.  Funny thing?  I told her to wear her black jacquard Chinese lounging jacket, and she did--and I put up her straightened, polished soft and shiny hair in chopsticks and she came into the photo room, and the guy went, "I have to admit, I've never seen this before.  What do I do with this?"  We were like, "Uhm, give her a book or a pad of paper and a pen!"  I think the picture will look lovely, and Chicken overcame her mortification at being pressed, polished, pureed, and generally prodded into the role of being a real girl, and was able to claim some benign rebellion over the entire process which, she is quick to say, was NEVER her idea in the first place.

Me?  I'm thinking of paying them to dye my hair next time.  Considering how bad I am at it?  Hell-- couldn't hurt!

*  We forgot Zoomboy's Little Brown Pill for two days running.  We have the feeling that once again, Mate and I just flunked homework.

*  Big T has survived another week getting under mom's feet.  I almost MADE him go up to Oregon to be trained at Roxie's husband's machine shop, but I don't want to sit on his hopes to be a screenwriter.

*  Me?  I've got a WICKED WIP going on--it's called Chasing Shadows, and I'm going to keep this one close to the vest, just like Alpha, because it threatens to razorblade my heart and let it fall out of my chest and thump-splud on the floor at your feet.

*   I've got two releases in October--one for the 5th Jack & Teague and one for the third Talker, called Talker's Graduation.

*Speaking of Talker's Graduation, my publisher told me that they were going to consolidate the three stories and release them in a paperbound volume (YAY!)

*  And speaking of Jack & Teague, my editor told me that they REALLY wanted to see some more menage from me--which means more writing in the Cory-verse, which means that even though Quickening is not coming along NEARLY as fast as I hoped, I'll still be in the Cory-verse, which makes me VERY happy.

*  And back to me and kids?  I've volunteered to be the Art Docent for two of my children's classes.  This means I have to put together a presentation and a lesson plan and then cut out and prepare materials and basically?  It's a lot of work, and it's due next week, both the Kindergarten AND the third grade presentations.  I'm REALLY excited--I think I'll learn a WHOLE lot--and I'm also REALLY nervous, because little kids are SUCH  a different kettle of fish.  But I think it will be a good thing--even though it will steal some of my writing time that I really can't afford to let go.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Brief Meditation on Messy

I went to Squish and Zoomboy's Back To School night tonight--I covered both kids because Mate was doing soccer pictures as Coach.  I spoke briefly to both of Zoomboy's teachers--I mentioned his open 504, and that if he happens to miss his meds, they'll know it, but that he very much wants to do well.  His social studies teacher agreed, and then said, "Oh, I'm so sorry I made him cry."

"How'd you make him cry?"  (She seemed like such a nice woman, too!)

"Well, my cat passed away this week, and I was telling the kids that it made me sad, but that we buried him and now he's part of the earth, and suddenly Zoomboy started to cry, and he told us about Dennis Quaid, your orange cat?  And then the little girl next to HIM started to cry, because she remembered when HER cat died, and then the little boy sitting with us started to cry because he remembered when his dog died.  I felt so bad.  Everyone else went off to recess and we stayed in having a group hug."

"Oh my God!"  (Seriously-- I was torn between cracking up and apologizing!)  "I'm so sorry!"

"Oh, don't be.  It was a really lovely moment.  I felt like we'd really shared an experience."

That's why it's okay to be messy.  Group hugs, people who hurt with you, a shared experience instead of a lonely one.  That's what messy gives you sometimes.  


And speaking of messy?  Squish had a big messy meltdown when she realized that tonight she was supposed to sing the Pizza Hut song to her parents and she missed it because she was getting her soccer picture taken.  I helped her feel better by singing it with her... "Pizza Hut, Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, McDonalds McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut!"  I swear, if it hadn't been 105 degrees, I would have been STARVING.  

--And that's it-- a brief moment contemplating messy!

(And this one's for Chicken--who loves this song!)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Further on Up the Road

Two wheels, will travel!
We were on our way to drop Big T off at my parents on Sunday, when we we saw this weird and ingenious contraption.  Look at that!  It's a motorcycle with a bicycle rack!  Apparently, if it's got two wheels, this guy is obsessed!  We thought it was awesome--and let me say, I'm proud of that picture.  A phone camera from a moving car... dude!  

Can I pet?
Anyway, at my folks house, there are kittens.  I only got a picture of one, but there are two babies and a teenaged mama, and my mom is very happy to have kittens in the house again.  So were my kids, who, of course, were absolutely sure that they had never petted a kitten, ever.  The whole world seems to assume that we got Steve just as fat and happy as she is now, and I assure them that is not the case.  If Steve hadn't been a kitten when we got her, she wouldn't keep thinking she could jump places she really can't, and then falling on her fat Steve ass to the general hilarity of all!

And in other news... lemme see lemme see...

Oh yes-- Superheroes!  

First of all--there are a lot of superheroes out there.  Some of the responses I got here and at made me aware that people are strong and amazing, and I am so impressed with you all.  Bringing my kids ice water or juice when I go to pick them up seems sort of pansy assed compared to all the shit you all do.  I'm proud to know you.  

Second of all-- Saturday Snark!  That was fun!  Let's do it again!  And, of course, if there's a line or a moment you'd like to see in Saturday Snark, let me know.  It's funny how many lines I want to throw up there!  ("Jesus, Sparky!  Stop touching my cat!"  or "Yeah, three's a scary number.  We don't linger on three."  were both runner ups for Saturday.)  Anyway, let me know, and maybe it'll make it up and we can help make Marvelous Marie Sexton's latest brainchild a total success.  

And as for the title?  Well, besides the fact that Season 7 is starting on Friday!  (EEEEEEE!!)  There is also this sort of melancholy realization that there are folks out there I haven't seen in almost a year, and that I miss them, and our shared purpose.  Not all of them, and not every part of what it was we were, but I miss them.  Maybe I'll meet them further on up the road.

And KnitTech?  This one's for us:-)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday Snark

Okay, my friend Marie Sexton who has this whole blog-promotion thing down WAY better than I ever will, has this thing called Saturday Snark, where you post your characters saying something snarky.  I figure my characters have snark to spare, so I thought I'd participate.  Patrick and Whiskey have been making a lot of friends recently, so I figured I'd start there, although I've got some Deacon lines I'd REALLY like to throw in, because he's got some rather hidden snark in there that he doesn't get a lot of credit for.  That's okay.  I think Marie's going to be doing this for a while.  

If you follow the link above, you will find a bunch of other authors, posting THEIR snark, and basically, it's supposed to be a very fun, snarky tour through other people's books!  Thanks, Marie, for the opportunity to snark!

So this is Patrick, explaining how Ritalin effects his widdo cortex:

Whiskey shook his head.  "Uhm, what's gonna be different about you?"

"With the LBP?"  (Little Brown Pill)

"Yeah.  what's it do to you?"

Patrick pretended to think.  "Well, first I get hella horny, and then I start humping the furniture."

Friday, September 16, 2011

On Being a Superhero

gorgeous young blonde guy laying back on a bed putting on white socksOkay, so I'm in the middle of changing Super Sock Man  from a short story to a novella, and I realized that part of the story hinges upon the idea of being a superhero.

Donnie puts on the socks (still under construction, by the way)  and feels like a confident, sexy, superhero, and, well, in the novella, I sort of run with that in a couple of directions.  I mean we all know how I feel about superheroes, right?

But as the rhythm of my life changes--from someone with an outside job to someone with a job at home, from someone with kids at home during the summer to someone with kids at school  I've discovered that some of the simplest things, some of the stuff I didn't get a chance to do before because I was so damned busy, makes me feel like a hero.

Now housework is not one of my priorities, and will never be one of my priorities, so don't anyone think I'm going all Martha Stewart on your asses.  It's just that getting a chance to serve my family--in a way I haven't before, really--is unexpectedly really frickin' cool.  So here's a list of things, in no particular order, that have made me feel like a superhero lately.

*  Making lunch for the kids, and putting it in their own, specially chosen lunch boxes.

*  Making a sandwich for my teenaged daughter, even though she's been capable and expected of doing this for herself for years.

*  Helping Squish do her decorate the paper doll like herself homework over four days early.

*  Doing Squish's hair.  Today it's in pigtails.

*  Letting my kids walk to their friend's house after school once a week.

*  Helping my friend's daughter sell cupcakes for her sixth grade trip.

*  Helping Chicken read 1984.

*  Cleaning off the kitchen table before it collapses from the weight.

*  Making plans to fold clothes before the next family vacation.

*  Cutting fast food dinners down to one or two a week.

*  Easing up on the family's dependence on McDonalds as a whole.

*  Giving my college aged son advice on how to get a job.

*  Reassuring the dog that in spite of advanced, advanced, advanced, ADVANCED middle aged, she still hasn't lost the ability to strike terror into the heart of the poor guy working on the neighbor's house.

*  Designing and knitting a sock for the Super Sock Man story.

*  Designing and knitting an, erm,  cock sock for my Christmas submission to the Advent Calendar this year.

*  Having the car mostly fixed with the exception of needing some matching tires.

* And managing to blog a LOT more in September than I did in August!

So what have you done that makes YOU feel like a superhero lately?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kids and etc...

So the other morning, Mate's dad called to update us on his health (a little skeery, but okay for the moment) and Zoomboy came into the kitchen.  Mate's dad hasn't seen Zoomboy since... well... four years ago?  Five.  No, it was five.  We've got the picture to prove it.

Anyway, I asked him if he wanted to talk to Zoomboy--because, yanno, a seven year old can almost converse like a real human being.  The conversation--which I could only hear part of--went something like this.

Zoomboy:  Hello.
"Grandpa Bill?"
"Dad's dad.  Okay."
"3rd grade."
"Mrs. Hilton."
"Yes, soccer."
"Yes.  My dad coaches."
"We lost."
"Okay.  Mom, he says bye."

And I thought to myself, "And that right there ladies and gentlemen is three generations of minimalist communications at work.  It's a thing of fuckin' beauty."


This morning, after making lunches (and have I told you all that this makes me a hero?  Seriously.  Had no frickin' idea.)  I went in to see Squish putting on her socks.  She was still wearing her nightgown and was lying back with her feet in the air, putting one on, then the other, and looking at them with sort of a dreamy admiration.

I hadn't picked out these socks, nor had I picked out her outfit for the day, but there she was, in a pair of mismatched--and I mean COMPLETELY mismatched, one was ankle length, one went to mid-calf, one was purple and snowmen, one was pink and black checkerboard--socks, and her nightgown, looking at me with her little freckled cheeks all scrunched up.

"I got my socks on, mom."

"Yeah you do."

"Aren't they pretty?"

Of course they were:-)


Also this morning, I walked by Chicken's room.  Chicken was rooting on her dresser for something, her back (and backside) to her bed.  She was wearing her corduroy pants, and her cat was making sweet, heavenly, tender check&whisker lurve to her ass.

I stopped, and watched as that cat kept rubbing up against her back pockets like she was catnip with a tuna chaser, and said, "Uhm, that cat REALLY loves you."

"Oh God--is Gordie kissing my ass again?"  She turned around and scritched him behind the ears.  "Yeah, he's my bitch."

When she goes away to school, that cat is never going to leave us alone.  Bank on that.  I'll be wearing him like a needy gray "where's my human?" necklace.  Mark my words.


And Big T gets a ride to the bus stop for school twice a week, when I'm on my way to aqua aerobics.  This morning, I almost forgot to drop him off.  I had to kick him out of the car when we sat at the intersection.  He looked at me reprovingly and I said, "Hey, you're eighteen, at least I stopped the car!"

Well, we can't all be sunshine and lollipops, can we?


Oh yeah-- Talker's Graduation is out on October 12th.  In case that means anything to anybody:-)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Soccer Saturday, and Why I Didn't Kill Anyone

So yesterday was a soccer day-- and it was MISERABLE.  Temperature in the 100'ds, humid, air quality for shit--just gross.  So when I got back from taking Chicken to her two ref jobs, I was not surprised to see everybody in shorts going to Zoomboy's game.  (Chicken had a game in an hour too--we had to split up, which we don't usually do, because their games overlapped.)  I was sort of surprised to see this outfit on Squish.

"Hey," I said, "didn't that used to be a dress?"
"Yeah," said Mate, looking at her grimly.
"That's okay," said Chicken, with the same expression on her face, "I'm pretty sure those used to be shorts, too!"

Well, it made her happy, but it reminded ME that I need to clean out her clothes hamper more often, because that outfit is a lot of things, but FITTING HER BODY is not one of them.  So the day was hard--for the soccer players more than the soccer mom, who sat at the sidelines and sucked down water and thought longingly of actually WRITING since, yanno, that is sort of her profession.  Actually, though, at Chicken's game, I DID start getting unaccountably bitter.  Bitchy.  Moody.  I mean, more than usual.  You know, it's AMAZING what skipping lunch can do for a person?  Seriously--if it wasn't for a granola bar in the bottom of my purse, I might have killed someone.

And, of course, my knitting...

This T-shirt (modeled over Chicken's head, actually)  a gift from my friend Elizabeth, was waiting for me when we got home at five o'clock.  (For those keeping track, that was soccer from 9-5, oh yes it was.  Mate guided Zoomboy's team to an enthusiastic loss at 5-2-- seriously.  He was expecting to get creamed, and that's not what happened. Zoomboy even kicked the ball once.  On purpose.  It was in the WRONG DIRECTION, but his intent to help canNOT be doubted.)

But the T-shirt pretty much insured that nobody would die yesterday--I was too busy laughing, and working on my socks for the Super Sock Man story.  All good!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Talking Dirty

Okay-- my friend is on the phone, talking about getting her alpaca fleece sheared and processed, and then finding a spinner to buy it, and seriously-- it's like she's seducing me with fresh, quality critter fur.  I WANT TO SPIN THAT!  (Okay-- not these critters-- these critters were found on Bing images, and while charming, they do not have the personal appeal of a personal alpaca and it's body hair.  Knitters, rally to this-- you know what I'm talking about!)

Anyway, my house is a crapfestive craptastic crapgasm--and buying ONE MORE THING and investing in ONE MORE HOBBY is completely out of the question.  But that only makes all her seductive talk about fleece and combining it with Romney and roving that much more of a turn on, yanno?


In other news, I went and ruined Chicken's social life last night.  Oh yeah, some people call it back to school night, but yeah.  Not the way I do it.  I try very hard to make sure EVERY teacher remembers my name.  And Chicken spends the rest of the year trying VERY HARD to make sure they forget hers.  It's been a good system-- and this is the last year we're seeing it in action.  *sigh*

Also, I'd like to thank everyone who made such nice comments about Clear Water.  My odd little duck apparently inspired a VERY popular odd little frog--I'm so glad that Patrick was lovable and real to people, and that Whiskey seemed to be the same.  (Whiskey is a little foul-mouthed and grump-tacular) at times--I was worried;-)

And seriously--if you want to know how tired my kids are of take-out, check out THIS weirdness.  I was trying to get them up this morning (soccer practice last night--they were TIRED!) and when they wouldn't wake up to get their clothes on I had to threaten them with a cafeteria lunch if they didn't dress themselves.  It wasn't an idle threat--I didn't have time to dress them while they slept and make their own sandwiches--and I think it surprised them both.  *shrugs*  pb&j or a ham sandwich--who knew they were magic?

I noticed something very disturbing, btw.  I took my son to wait for the bus and watched him--earphones on, iPod blaring--walk toward his bus stop, ignoring the truck he was wandering in front of, and generally clueless as a baby duck.  Oh crap.  He's eighteen, right?  He's 6'5" tall, right?  He's got a blackbelt in karate, right?  Yup.  But that boy still done got some growing to do.

Zoomboy, btw, seems to have sprouted into an actual boy.  Sorta blows my mind.  And, as promised, girls keep falling into his dimples--see?  Sometimes, mama DOES know best!

And Squish?  She told a friend's mom that her mom was aMAZing.  Why?  Because I put Cheetohs in her lunch.

Have I mentioned, life is a widdobit stwange?


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Like a sting ray, only smaller...

We spent the long weekend in Monterey.

We go there as often as we can.  Something about the lovely, seventy degree climate, the aquarium (which you can see Zoomboy enjoying with oomph!) and the smell of the sea makes the entire family gazunga scads of happy.  Mate, my beloved Mate, who has not really had a vacation out of town that didn't involve work in a LOOONGGG time, was also gazunga scads of happy.  

We ate crepes (Squish liked hers with apples and cinnamon), 
 And went on a whale watching excursion (during which we saw NO whales--but did get a raincheck) and ate clam chowder in bread bowls and ran along the beach (where we saw dolphins offshore.  Go figure.)
Mate popped a tire on the car going into a place called Phat Burger, run by two kids who had been best friends since high school, and made THE. BEST. FOOD. EVER.  Including sweet potato fries, and garlic fries that lived for hours after eaten. He got the tire fixed while we were running on the beach, and said next time we go there, he'll know how to take that turn.  And that we WOULD go there again, because, as I said, BEST. BURGER. EVER.  

We saw that rarity of rarities--Big T on a family outing, as well as a photographed smile on Chicken.  We spent the nights in a hotel room which slept six, but only had a television in the room with one bed.  All six of us crammed onto that one bed to watch the last six episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender, on Nickle-odian, which replayed the whole series for the weekend.  Some people might have called that odd.  We called it family.
 And we got to see Zoomboy in his natural element--where the sea and the sky contend with each other, to see whose roar is the loudest.  Even Zoomboy was ready to go home at the end. (He astounded us all on the way home, btw.  We got stuck in traffic, and he had to pee in a bottle.  Besides making the whole car giggle terribly, he filled a 16 oz water bottle--Mate and I have now sworn NEVER to ask him "Can you hold it?" again.  Obviously he CAN hold it--and if the boy's gotta go, he damned well has to go!)     Everybody had pink cheeks, sore from laughing at the end of three days.
Waking up this morning to get everyone off to school was hard.  But I asked the short people, "Did we have a good time?"


This is my family, having a wonderful time:-)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Clear Water

I've talked a little bit about my son's diagnosis w/ADHD, and my own realization that I'm lousy with it, and for the most part, it's all good.  Zoomboy's little brown pill has made his school life MUCH easier--after one month on it last year, his school test scores (and this is one more reason to abhor that whole process, honestly) went from DNF in his practice runs to almost advanced in the real thing.  We're pretty sure he's going to do scary good this year, all thanks to psychiatric science and a little bit of support.

And as for me?  I was just lucky that the things I was good at--the environment I could control--just happened to fall in line with what society thought was important too, at the time.  I could read and write and folks thought that made me a good kid and didn't realize that that irritating "flakiness" was anything other than me.  Being me.  I worked with it--it became my schtick.  Still is.  I'm fine.

But I've run into parents (and mentors) who have been really, completely disdainful about the whole thing.  "He doesn't need any frickin' drugs!  He's just not trying!  He's a screw up!"  And watching the transformation in my own son--the confidence he's gotten from knowing that he CAN do these things, and that the little brown pill really HELPS him do these things--I've got to wonder, how's that going to feel after fifteen, sixteen years?

Clear Water is not an angsty story--it's not.  I've been calling it "anti-angst", and I mean it.  After Locker Room, Living Promises, Alpha, and Talker's Graduation, I wanted something sustained and light, dammit, and tears were NOT an option.  I'd also just been subjected to a whole lot of involuntary research into something that looked like it could make a VERY interesting character.  And don't ask me where I saw the two-headed frogs.  *shakes head*

Now I'm sure some of the voices out there are going to rip poor Patrick apart, claiming that he's either "over the top" or "so immature that nobody would want him".  The fact is, Patrick really IS part of that research.  Patrick is adult ADHD--rare, but real.  Adults with this disorder either A. Find something they are TOTALLY brilliant at, and succeed in really oddball ways, or B. end up unemployed or in prison.  A lot of option B is a self-image thing.  They've been told they're screwups their entire lives--and they can't seem to keep focused or control their temper, so the world must be right.  So people can say what they want about Patrick--I know the truth, and I'm gonna beg them to leave my sweet little frog alone.  He's a lot more vulnerable than the world things he is, and a lot smarter too--and that's why he needed Whiskey to save him.  Every little frog needs a safe place to huddle when the world gets too busy, right?

So enjoy Clear Water, and my sweet little frog.  I loved writing this book.  I hope you enjoy reading it.