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

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Muppet Movie

First of all, we had a lovely Thanksgiving.  All three of them.  They were excellent-- there was laughter, and food, and more food, and mom even cooked and generally?  Everything you expect.  But the night before Thanksgiving we went to see The Muppets, and that's the thing that's sort of sticking in my head.

The next day, we went to Thanksgiving the First--the one at my Auntie's house up in Newcastle.  It's a great place--around twelve acres of autumn-greened land full of brush, hills, granite rocks, and goats.  My aunt and her boyfriend are crazy about goats--it's one of the things I love about them.

So, for once I got to stick around a while and actually TALK to this family.  Usually, I run up, drop my mom off, hug everyone and run away.  This time, we stayed.  This time I talked to my aunt's boyfriend's daughter-in-law, whom I adore, and we made plans to watch movies and knit together-- see?  SCORE!  This time I also talked to my other aunt, the one who made me crazy a couple of years back, and we had a really nice conversation.

One of the things that came up was The Muppet Movie--the original, including this specific memory.  Now, I'm not sure if I've blogged this memory before.  I might have--I might not have.  But I'm going to reblog it again.

I saw the Muppet Movie in Junior High, over winter break.  My parents took us to this cheap theatre--the last run special, right?  At one point it showed old horror movies from the 50's for a dime--sort of a throwback place.  Anyway, the movie had been out for a while, and I was still excited to see it because I'd LOVED the show, and imagine my surprise when my best friend, Cherie Smith, was there.

Cherie was awesome. For one thing, her parents smoked pot just like mine (yes, it was the late 70's, why do you ask?) and neither of us had to lie about what our parents did to relax.  Trust me, in junior high? This is a big deal.  She had this aMAzing singing voice--we were both in choir, and we really loved to sing, but she was much better than I was.  She had braces, which I thought was really glamorous, although she was counting the days until they came off, and she had started her period, which to us girls in 7th grade who had all read Are You There God, It's Me Margaret, also equated glamour.  I'd told Cherie everything in my callow little heart, and I like to think she had done the same.

So Cherie and I got to watch The Muppet Movie together--she had a sore throat, and was a little sick, but other than that, we had a really good time.  She loved the music-- we both wanted to sing those songs.  The Rainbow Connection?  That was a good song.  That did everything a song should do--it made us yearn to talk to a green frog in the swampland of Florida--we were sure he knew exactly what it was like to be chubby, unpopular girls in the middle of the Nor-Cal cultural desert.

Cherie and I sat in the same group in English and homeroom.  There were four of us, and on Monday morning after school started, I was surprised to see that she wasn't there.  The other girls and I were puzzled--I got to tell them that we'd seen each other at the movies, and then homeroom started and then the principal wandered in.  He was a lovely man who actually still employed spanking, but only did it to kids he thought would really benefit from someone giving enough of a damn to say, "Hey, kid, you're screwing up.  Own up, take your punishment, and then we'll talk about how to fix your life."  To this day, a friend of my stepbrother's say that all the good things from his life--wife, kids, steady job--came from getting his ass paddled by the broad, graying man that we all both loved and feared.

We didn't fear him today.  Today, he was crying.  Grownups NEVER cried in the '70's--especially in small schools with a combined 7th and 8th grade class of 80, maybe.  It just wasn't done.

But today was different, because today he had to tell us that a kid he'd known since she was in Kindergarten had passed away from a bizarre form of pneumonia, and that's how I found out my best friend died.

I kept it together--everyone told me that I should go to the office and call my parents, but they weren't losing it and I wasn't either.  Besides, after the nurse called my dad in the fourth grade because my eyes had swollen up from poison oak, he had made it absolutely clear that he was never to be called from work again unless I was near death.  I was fine.  By best friend, not so much, but I could still breathe, so I kept it together and let my folks work in peace.  I got home in the quiet of the house and lost it, and when I was done, got up and started my chores.  I told my parents when they got home, and my dad gave me a hug, and then he and my stepmom exchanged a look over my head. I'll never forget the nature of that look.  It was the look of complete and utter loss--they could deal with sprained ankles, deceased pets, and crazy ex-husbands and wives.  They could deal with my step-brother getting busted for pot and getting a call from the library saying I wanted to read books too old for me, and my little sister tattling on us if we looked at her cross-eyed.  They could not deal with a best friend who had died.   (As it turned out, this was practice--a few months later, this happened to my dad.  But that's another story.)

A few months later, Toxic Shock Syndrome became big news, and someone went back to look blood tests, and put two and two together, and Cherie became an official victim of a bizarre little health scare that most people have forgotten now.

The next year, our choir got to go away to a collaborative junior high choir--we performed songs from the Muppet Movie.

So, I finished telling this story as we sat by the fire and just talked, and I apologized for how grim it was.  Chicken was apologetic.  "Mom, that's AWFUL."  It was Mate who looked the saddest.

"You've heard this story," I said, trying to lighten the moment.

"Yeah, but I didn't hear that it was related to The Muppet Movie.  Actually, it explains a LOT about your writing."

And it does.  It explains the absurd mixed up with the tragic, the circular nature of irony, and a belief that no character in the story is EVER safe from the powers that be.  It explains the solid belief that all things in the world are random.  It explains why weird shit drops from the universe on my character's heads, and why nobody is safe from anything that happens in the news and why grief will always be a part of joy, and death shall forever remain a part of life.  It explains why the most heartbreaking moments are always coupled with innocence, and why innocence is never truly lost--only misplaced for a while.  It explains why I can't write characters who hold grudges, and THE BIG MISUNDERSTANDING plots don't last long.  It explains why my characters get together and stay together in the firm belief that anything can happen to a loved one, so wasting time screwing around with dumb shit is not in the cards.

And it explains why I'll always love the Muppets, and why the song Rainbow Connection (which, just to hammer the point home, thank you cruel universe, we played to stunning applause in band in my senior year) will always bring me to tears.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Upcoming Release Snark

Okay, so I have two upcoming releases in December.  I'll talk about Fur-Bearing Critters next week--it's part of the Advent Calendar, and it's really hella cute.  I also have (sort of by request) this one here.  This couple is Ryan and Scott, and they were the couple from the Curious Anthology story, Shirt, as well as the stand-alone story, Phonebook.  (Phonebook is still available from Dreamspinner Press.)  Anyway, Elizabeth asked me to write them a Christmas novella, because they're sort of adorable, and seriously hot!  Anyway, Puppy, Car, and Snow is sort of a family story.  Scotty and Ryan are snowed in with Ryan's family for Christmas, and while most of Ryan's family is okay with the gay, they're NOT okay with Scott!  Ryan spends his family vacation defending his lover from his mother--and mothers can be just BRUTAL--we all know that!  (I know I will be.  Seriously.  Brutal.)  Anyway, the cover art is lovely (THANK YOU, ANNE CAIN!!!!!!)  and I hope you like the snark!


For Saturday Snark at Marie Sexton's: From Puppy, Car, and Snow  

Oh God. Ryan wasn’t wearing any sleep shorts or any underwear…. Oh God. He totally meant business, and Scott’s hard on went from limp biscuit to porn star in one brush of his fingers on Ryan’s bare hip.
“Do you still have a headache?” Ryan whispered furiously, and Scott cringed. The only really bad thing about that lie was a boyfriend who might hold back on sex because of it.
“That depends. What’s your mother doing?”
“Hanging upside down in her cave, I think. Why?”
Scott giggled a little and fumbled for the waistband of his sleep shorts. “Because if she’s in her cave, my headache just got cured,” he said truthfully. 

And then there's this! Talker's Graduation is up for book of the week over at Whipped Cream Reviews this week.  If you've got a half a second, go on over and vote for me!  (Pretty please?) 

And other than that?  Well, two Thanksgivings down, and one to go!  I'll get back to you on Monday with deets about tomorrow's--it's the big one at my parents house, so that should be interesting!    So, big Thanksgiving wrap up on Monday, but for today?  I finished Gambling Men, am in editing for Chase in Shadow, and am going to ditch out on this glamorous life in front of my computer and go watch Up with my family!  Ciau!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

From my crazy family to yours.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Working like a bondsman...

36.jpgOkay-- first of all, does everybody know what that means?  That it refers back to the time when the country was using indentured bondsmen (and women) to do all the hard shit, people who had literally bartered years of their lives in return for passage and room and board?  I used it in a work, and the editor was puzzled, then I asked Mate and Chicken, and they said, "But Mom!  Who would get that?"  and I thought that maybe I'd run it by you all!

Anyway, lots of recovery going on here at the Lane Crapmansion-- Mom's recovering from the bug and wondering whether or not to go to aqua classes, the kids are recovering from school for a week, the dog is recovering from, ohmygod!, not having food for almost six hours!  (The dog is spoiled, why do you ask?)

But I'm pleased to say that, aside from a lingering headache and the stamina of a kitten, I'm almost done with the flu!  Yay!  Alas, I seemed to have given it to everyone else.  Boo!

But that does not mean that we have done nothing this weekend--nay, indeed!  (If I'm gonna say 'working like a bondman, I'm gonna go full-balls archaic, ya think?)  Anyway... where to start where to start where to start...

First of all, Zoomboy had his last soccer game of the year.  We lost (is everybody surprised?  Me neither.) The good news is, all of the little boys still want to play the game, and that's a victory and a half, lemme tell you.   Anyway, Zoomboy's big deal so far has been extreme dot-to-dots.  That's between 500-1000 dots-- and, Zoomboy worked three in a row until his neck cricked.  Mate and Chicken and I all went "Awwww..."  and then I remembered something a friend told me.  Scorpios and Libras get along FANTASTICALLY on the karmic wheel--something about how Scorpios make us Libras all liquid and happy inside.  SAGITTARIUS (Big T's sign) on the other hand, does NOT get along with Scorpios--which explains SO MUCH about our family dynamic.  Zoomboy does something, Mate, Chicken and I all go "Awwwww."  Big T goes "Arrggghhhh!!!"  It's the way we work.

In other kid news, Chicken also had her last seasonal game.  (She still has a couple of tournaments.)  She got her official sweatshirt last night, and I had to laugh.  She has a number of Latina teammates, and her coach, a longtime friend and fellow soccer mom, is also Mexican.  Chicken's coach has heard me screaming "Run, Chicken, run!" for more than ten years.  I didn't realize Chicken's team had picked up on this, until I saw her sweatshirt.  On the back, it said, "Pollitos".  Yup.  Little Chicken.  I was so proud.

And Squish?  Squish had this to say this morning;

"So this boy in my class told me that if I said (whispered) Bloody Mary in the bathroom, she would appear in the mirror.  It scared me so much I forgot to wipe and almost ran out with my pants down!"

"Well, sweetie, you need to ignore what those icky boys tell you, okay?"

"Nicholas isn't icky mom!  He's clean!"

"So Nicholas is okay?"

"He could be the boy I'm going to marry, but I don't know.  I like Terrence better."

Yeah.  That whole conversation gives me the knee-shaking palm sweats.  You?

Oh yeah... and the cover?

So, this book I've submitted, Chase in Shadow... it's, umm... tense.  And painful.  And I used as my inspiration a couple of models from a GLBT related industry.  The picture is of "Travis"-- but to me, he'll always be "Tommy"--and that picture is SO much like Tommy that, as soon as it hit the net, I had to show you.  Someday I may find a picture of "Chase" for you, but, umm, I'm sort of holding out for one with his clothes on.  You'll all be more comfortable that way.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday Snark Again

It's once again time for Saturday Snark on Marie Sexton's blog, and for the first time I KEENLY felt the lack of my old hard drive, because I had the cover art for this book on it, and I REALLY liked the cover art for Making Promises.  Mikhail looked JUST as adorable, snarky, and arrogant on that cover as I imagined him in real life, and I treasure that.  Anyway, so no cover art--and, in this clip, no Mikhail, because part of the lovely match up was that Shane could be just as snarky as his little Russian cohort, and I love that.  
(I'm feeling better, thank you all of your concern--today is Zoomboy's last soccer day, and I'll be out there on the field for him and Chicken, and that'll probably zap me of all strength for the day, but I'll be there!  Oh-- and the picture?  A friend sent me the picture, and I thought it was lovely.)
Anyway-- on with the snark!

They took Shane’s car. Kimmy sat in back because Kurt held the seat of the two-door forward for her and said, “Here ya go, babe.” Then he refused to wear a seat belt because it might crush his cape.
If it hadn’t meant hurting his baby, Shane might have hit a tree as they were driving (providing he could find one in Gilroy) just to watch the guy go flying through the window.
The questions about money were incessant—how much he’d gotten from the settlement, where he kept it. His response of “in a bundle in my sock drawer” made Kimmy giggle, and Kurt ended up telling her to cut it out, the men were talking. Shane started wondering about how much bodywork would really cost. He was, as Kurt kept pointing out, financially loaded.
When he found Shane unresponsive about the money, Kurt started talking shit about Mikhail, and Shane actually had to watch his breathing as red spots danced in front of his eyes.
“I didn’t know you were queer, bro—if I had, I would have warned you off the little dude. He’s sort of a man-slut, you know? Never met a Faire hook-up he didn’t like?”
I don’t do seasons, only days. Yeah, Shane knew. He also knew—with a cop’s bone-deep instinct—that there was a reason for that, but he wasn’t going to discuss Mikhail’s sex life with this guy.
“You know, I think you only get to use the word ‘queer’ if you actually swing that way,” was what he did say. “Or if a queer person likes you as a friend.”
Kurt had laughed. “Well, it’s a good thing you and me are tight, my man, am I right?”
Kurt laughed some more, and Shane patted his steering wheel sadly. He really did like this car. And Kimmy might get hurt in the accident as well. But it was oh-so-tempting.
“Shane’s bi,” Kimmy said unexpectedly from the back, and Shane caught her eyes in the mirror and smiled.
“This is true,” he said, as though encouraging a child. The Kimmy who had squealed that morning when she saw him seemed to be in hiding. So was the brutally honest Kimmy who had talked about being an addict and wanting a family. This Kimmy was a frightened Kimmy, and she was huddling in the back of the car as though saying “boo” was going to get her kicked onto the pavement and into the middle of nowhere. (Was this really the main road to Gilroy proper? Shane had seen more metropolitan thoroughfares in the middle of the Canadian wilderness.)
“I thought you were really brave, Shaney,” she said now, casting a furtive glance at Kurt. “You took a chance on someone. Even if it didn’t pay off, you… you know. You can find someone who won’t be a cowardly weasel….”
“Oh come off it, Kim!” Kurt said dismissively. “The guy was only being smart. You’ve got to look out for yourself, right—shit! Why’d you do that?”
“Squirrel,” Shane said with a straight face. Kurt had slid across the seat and smacked his head on the window when Shane swerved, and now he was putting his seat belt on with something approaching zeal.
“I saw it too,” Kimmy said seriously, but she met Shane’s dry glance in the rearview with twinkling eyes. 

(Oh, hey-- I've been guilty of guest blogging, and you can find a couple of my articles here and here too!)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pure Concentrated Eevoll

Okay, so this is the time of year when the grade school petrie dish overruns with nasty squiggly little rhinovirus and other ghoulies, and, well, I'm afraid that petrie dish just exploded in my head.

And my lungs.

And my sinuses.

And generally any part of my body that has to function on a regular basis to keep me alive.


Oddly enough, it's been GREAT for the writing.  No going to the gym (and now my feet are acting up again) and no fussing with that silly "cooking, cleaning, and shopping" thing (not that I cleaned anyway)--just me, huddling at my computer, telling the world to go the fuck away because mommy feels like death, warmed over, with a side of dog crap and phlegm on it's own special plate.

Fun times at the Lane crapmansion, that's for sure.  (By the way?  Ny-Quil, Day-Quil, anything from the "Quil" famill--does provide for some very vivid, very disturbing dreams.  I almost coughed myself to death last night in an effort not to have to take medicine so I wouldn't have to have those dreams.  Effort failed--all I achieved was two hours of extreme discomfort, and a medicine schedule that leaves me up an hour earlier than I might otherwise be.  I repeat.  Blargh.)

Anyway, I had parent/teacher conferences on Monday for Squish and Zoomboy--and I'm still wildly in love with their school, and bitterly, painfully furious with the idea that my kids are in classrooms with thirty-one other students.  That's fucking insane, anything over twenty-five is just madness--but their teachers are such good people, and are so warm.  Zoomboy is... well, frighteningly bright.  His teachers both agree--they say he's too quiet, but, just like Chicken, since he's not quiet with ME, I can live with "needs to communicate more at school." But he's solidly over grade level in reading and all of the accompanying skills--and he's SUCH a good boy.  I want him in a GATE class, only because that will give him a peer group, pretty much for life.

And Squish?  Squish did what we figured she would.  We spent part of the summer trying to work on her skills, and she was blowing us off and shining us on.  We gave up, figuring that once she had a peer group and an actual authority figure, she would start to thrive, and we were right.  She started out with low skills, but has now sort of taken off.  By the end of the year, she might have some of the highest skills in the class--and the teacher is, as always, charmed by her.  She stayed home with me yesterday--she wasn't really sick, but she spent an hour on my lap playing tic-tac-toe, and I was, once again, charmed by her.  It seems to be the thing to do.

And in other news?

Well, I've sort of "officially" won NanoWrimo--I find this to be sort of funny.  Nano requires 50K in a month, and yes, I've written 50 K this month--32K finishing up a story called Chase in Shadow, a story so exquisitely painful that I wish I could recommend valium with every read.  Horrible, hideous, angsty, excruciating...  and yet I had to write it, and Chase and Tommy, the two leads? Ye gods.  Someone called my characters "deliciously flawed"--and that's Chase and Tommy in a nutshell.  Flawed, in pain, seeking solace in and furious with each other--it's a complicated personal dance in a complicated, personal hell.  God, I hope people like it.

And the other thing I've been writing?  Well, does anyone remember the Gambling Men stories?  Jace and Quent?  The first things, really, that Dreamspinner ever accepted from me?  Yeah, well, the second story, after the Curious anthology, was called Raising the Stakes, and it was the last thing Dreamspinner PUBLISHED about these guys, but not the last thing I WROTE.  When I was done with the final short story in what amounted to being a complete plot arc, I had 29K.  So Elizabeth, my publisher, and Lynn, my editor, sort of cajoled/prodded/insisted that I take that 29K and expand it to a full novel length.  Now, all of the stories were written from Quent's point of view, and I figured that the best way to double the verbiage would be to look at things from Jace's pov.  So here I have a complete plot arc, all I have to do is fill in the blanks from the other character--sort of.

Because that other character has his own background, and Quent has his own background and basically?  It's another complicated dance, and a bit of skill stretching I haven't done since Vulnerable.  I'm hoping I've got the chops for it now, because one of the flaws in Vulnerable is that people could spot (without knowing what it was) the division between where Vulnerable started as a short story and then was expanded into a novel.  I want this to be seamless, I want the Jace to sound like he was there in my head all along, and I DON'T want to lose that hot, visceral, fuck-or-die immediacy from the first stories.

So, I've written 18K on this one, for a total of 46K in Gambling Men, and that means I've written 50 THOUSAND words this month--and still haven't finished my project.  (Okay--so I finished ONE project--I'm not sure how that counts.)

Anyway, in general?  I'm writing.  I'm producing books.  I'm sick, the kids are great, and the cat is pure, concentrated evil.  To quote our vet:  "We'd be happier if Steve was a little less, umm, fluffy."

Us:  "So would we, but she's unlivable when there's no kibble on the table, and she eats the dog food for fun."

Vet:  "Eats the dog food?"

Us:  "Yup."

Vet:  "Cats don't usually do that."

Us:  "Most cats aren't Steve."

True, so true.

Monday, November 14, 2011

It Didn't All Happen At The Zoo

Zoomboy turns eight on Tuesday, but this weekend was his "party day."  Last year we did the Chuck E. Cheese thing--but I didn't want to do that this year.  For one thing, it's expensive, and for another?  Zoomboy really only has a few good friends.  He relates to one or two kids really well, but is lost in a group.  I'm like this, and so is his father, and I fervently believe that this is OKAY.  One of Zoomboy's best birthdays ever simply had his family.  He got one really awesome toy and spent two hours playing with it under the kitchen table.  When I said we could have a birthday day with is best friend and his little sister, he was ecstatic.  We went to the zoo and saw a movie and then came home for pizza, more playing, and cake and ice cream--and he was pretty damned excited about that--can you tell?
Anyway, so this was the zoo--and I'm sorry about the fingerprint on the camera when I took these--it seems that playing Angry Birds on the phone requires greasy fingers in all sorts of places you would not imagine they need to be!
Anyway, so this was only really part of the Birthday.  While I was shepherding kids through lands of primates, big cats, and reptiles (ZB's friend's favorite place!) The rest of the family was doing this:

 Okay, so it looks like they were making a big fat mess in our living room.  But they weren't--well, they were, but they weren't JUST making a big fat mess.  See, that big fat mess in our living room (which is still there by the way) USED to be a big, fat, mess in the KID'S room--and that's rough.  Lots of toys, no place to play--and it wasn't the kids' fault really.  Their room is REALLY REALLY small.  In fact, Squish's bed (which she never slept in because it was covered in stuffed animals) was really her converted crib.  So there was this room, and all of these books and all of these toys, and no place really for two little kids who can actually play quietly and amuse themselves if they're just given a little space. So, while I was taking the kids out to play, Mate and the big kids were providing a little space.
I know--it still looks messy--and we still have to sort the toys in the living room and get rid of a lot of them.  But this?  This is a start.  It's an assembled bunked, and the kids will get to pick some stuffed animals to go on top, and a bin of toys a piece to go in the spaces between.  But the one thing we're not getting rid of (and you can only guess at it) is the big lovely rug full of space for them to play on when they need to.  It's amazing how often we forget that space is a gift.  And this year, it was our gift to Zoomboy--who was also appreciative of the bunk bed.  Cause he thinks it's cool--and so does Squish, who gets the bottom bunk all to herself.  (She needs a bed to herself--her typical sleep position is one we call the "fainting starfish"--draw that picture in your head and ask yourself if you really want to be anywhere near that when it snores.  And yes, she snores.  The other night she fell asleep on her father's lap and competed with the dog.  Mate said, "Oh listen--she's just like her mother."  plllbbbttt.)

And speaking of Squish?  After we dropped Zoomboy's friend off (he spent the night--another first, because for the first time we had room!) we went and got new shoes for the kids.  Zoomboy got your basic model tennis shoe--the strap is different and so is the velcro, but boy's tennis shoes haven't really changed in function in the last sixty years.

Squish's shoes on the other hand... She saw these across the store.  The toes light up.  She put them on and said, "Do I look good?"

I'm just lucky she still asks.  This morning I started singing "These Boots Are Made for Walking" by RoseAnne Cash, and she strutted around the kitchen.  Don't mess with a girl in sparkly toed boots--it's a truism!

So anyway-- that was my weekend, and I'm exhausted.  But pleased.  My children have a place to play--and my family worked toward a worthy goal, and Zoomboy is eight.  I'm so proud.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Little Blather With Your Snark

Hey Guys-- sorry I've been so out of the loop!  The kids had two days off--and that doesn't go as easily as it used to, and seriously--catching up on two weekends away in such quick succession-- wow.  WILL catch up with everyone's blogs tomorrow--I miss you all, and you know it!  Uhm, Zoomboy's birthday is on Tuesday, but today is The Big Sam Day--and I will be VERY busy (soccer game, zoo, movie, come home and cook pizza... *whew*) but I thought I could stop by and offer some snark from Shakespeare (which is doing pretty well--I hope everyone is enjoying it!) I had a hard time picking a snarky place-- James and Rafi pretty much banter through the whole book, and Rafael is unmerciful about giving James a hard time!  (Sometimes in the best of ways, but not here:-)  And don't forget to check out the other snarky snippets that you can find Here!

James whimpered and would have banged his forehead against the steering wheel, but the light turned green.
“You’re just evil. Evil sex on legs. I should pull over and let you out at the nearest strip mall or I’ll be spoiled for all other underwear models forever.”
Rafael’s chuckle made his balls stop dancing. There was no room to dance when his cock took up the entire dance floor in his pants. “You got a long line of underwear models in your bed, Jimmy-Jack, or are you sayin’ I’ll ruin your stroke mags for life?”
James scowled. “Do I look like I’ve got a long line of underwear models in my bed? I’ve got a long line of underwear models on my computer. They love me. They’re always hard, always there, and they don’t take off and leave me for married sugar daddies who finally leapt out of the closet and left their wives. I don’t need real, but I do need faithful. I’m okay, really. I’m fine.”
“Oh, daddy, you may be fine, but you’re miles away from okay.”
James made a face. “And please don’t call me ‘daddy’.”
“I could call you ‘papi’—how’s that?”
“It means ‘daddy’ in Spanish, doesn’t it.” He didn’t even have to ask the question. He knew from the way Rafael chuckled that it was just one more way to yank his chain.
“Of course it does. You’re too easy.”

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's Not Shakespeare

It's Not Shakespeare is out!

Of course, I wrote my best post for this Monday, mostly because I was waxing rhapsodic and going all verklempt about Mate (as I should!) but I thought I'd give it a little introduction today as well.  

See, the thing is, I wrote REALLY intense for a while.  (For the record, I've gone back to intense again for the last month... wow.  Pain.  Oh the frickin' emotional pain!)  And then, for shits and giggles, my publisher sent me this picture--and it was SOOO cute.  Did you see the doggie?  Did everybody see the doggie?  Nice doggie!  Good doggie!  Good Marlowe--isn't he adorable?  Oh yeah.

I mean, how could you write angst for that dog?

You can't.  You write humor.  You write fun.  You write two guys who were made for each other, even if one of them doesn't believe that really happens in just a couple of weeks of REALLY good sex.    You have soul mates who don't get maudlin, best friends who will love each other forever, a partnership based on kindness, humor, and love.

I adore these guys.  And the fact that the name of the dog is Marlowe, after Christopher Marlowe, and that it discusses my whole take on whether or not Shakespeare wrote his own plays (I think he did) right when the movie Anonymous is about to come out--well, that was just zeitgeist, I think.

I hope you all like it--and I have to say, I hope you all take advantage of it.  I've got this and a couple of novellas coming out (two in December, one in February) and then my next release is going to be all angst and razorblades--and don't think I'm kidding about that.  Enjoy the hell out of this.  We all know my work isn't always angst-free!

In news?  Well, I took my gimpy self, along with my crazy friend Wendy (whose love life is imploding--I won't give you details, but God, am I grateful for Mate!) and we went and bought a bunk bed for Zoomboy.  Now the PLAN is this-- Zoomboy has a birthday day on Saturday (Actual birthday, November 15th) and after soccer, we go home, get him changed, and go pick up his friend, Sam.  Then we take Zoomboy and Sam to the zoo, and then to the movies, and then we pick up an ice cream cake, and then we pick up some pizza and then we get home...

To where Mate and the big kids have cleaned out the little kids room and installed the bunk bed.  There will be a small "play with me" present on top of the bunk bed, but mostly?  It's a bunk bed and a sleepover with his best friend.  And we're hoping that's enough to satisfy Zoomboy's bright and yet simple soul.

(And the gimpy part came in when my crazy friend Wendy and I were lifting shit.  Her back is shot, and my wrist and shoulder supported no weight whatsoever.  Sad.  So sad.)

Oh-- and from the files of random-- Zoomboy and  Squish's school had a cookie dough sale.  I bought enough dough for both of them, but I only put it on Zoomboy's order form, because, well, I was filling it out in the office on the last possible day, why do you ask?  Anyway--Zoomboy got this prize for selling cookie dough.  I told them that the prize is both of theirs, and you know what?  At first I thought it was like, something you could get out of a cereal box, and then?

Okay, it's this top--you know, crank it down on the little twister thingy, release, and it spins?  Except when it spins there's a laser light show and sound effects.

*awe*  Best. Prize. Ever.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Writer Down!

Okay, not at the moment.  At the moment, writer up!  Writer well rested!  Writer not in too much pain!

But Friday night, after a day on the con floor at Bascon, I was texting and walking, when it is a well known fact that I have problems doing EITHER of those actions well independently, and I was also talking to my companion, Julianne.

And then I was falling.  And then I was on the ground, while Julianne said, "Okay.  You're down.  Hang out there for a while.  Take stock.  Make sure you're okay.  I've got time."

For the record?  In case you ever see a large woman take a fall, I personally prefer this approach.  Why?  Because it gave me time to assess all my owies, decide they wouldn't kill me, and then get up without crying. Anyway, I got up, thought, "Everything hurts," and then reassured my companion that I would be okay and saw her off to her car.

Then I went up to my hotel room, stopped off at the ice machine, and cursed the fucking hotel because there was no ice.  I sat down to write, took two advil, dozed off snoring over my computer, and then got up really early in the morning because A. my wrist and shoulder hurt, and B. I needed to get a move on on my frickin' manuscript.  (Since I was alone in a hotel room, I figured I should make some hay--and I did!)

Anyway, so the next day?  Went worse.  I slammed my pinky in the bathroom stall because I was grabbing with the wrong hand, the ace bandage I'd cadged from the cute-n-useless at the front desk kept making my shawl shed, and, horror of horrors on a business trip, I got a badly timed, bitchy, overbearing visit from everyone's least favorite Aunt Flo.

Mate was supposed to show up Saturday night.  And he did.

Have you ever been so happy to see someone that you almost cry?  I have.  When we lost Chicken at the San Francisco zoo when she was seven--yup.  When we lost Zoomboy at a VERY busy Monterey Aquarium a couple of years ago.  There were tears.  When I was in a car accident about ten years ago, I was BEGGING for a phone (with my neck in a stationary brace) so I could call Mate and let him know I was okay.  Suddenly he was looming over me saying "Why do you need a phone?"  I almost cried.

I turned around and he was walking into the restaurant, still in his coaches outfit, wet from the rain, and I almost cried.  It had nothing to do with the romantic evening we'd planned and everything to do with having an owie day... just an owie fucking day, and he drove three hours in the rain because I had an owie fucking day.  And I honest to Goddess teared up.

So I don't have a picture of the book coming out on Wednesday--I will on Wednesday because I'll be on my regular computer then--but it's called It's Not Shakespeare.  And I don't write Shakespeare, right?  I've never had pretensions to writing Shakespeare.  But I write romance, and I'm really proud of that.  When I'm writing a couple, I want to write a couple that, after nearly 25 years together, when one of them shows up after an owie day, the other one gets a little verklempt.  Because to me, that's romance, and that makes me happy, and I went the rest of the world to, for just a minute, be that happy.

Because that's what Mate does for me:-)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Okay, so Halloween was VERY fun.  Chicken's coach relented at the last possible moment, and Chicken got to wear her steampunk outfit--self assembled from various Renaissance Faires and anime festivals.  Of course because I'm an idiot, I didn't get a picture, which was a real shame, because she was charming.  

Her friend came over, and they gave out candy while Mate and I took the short people out on their annual Halloween death march, so called because although our neighborhood isn't very long and we by no means covered all of it, they were, of course, whining us to death by the time we were done canvassing for sweets.  It was okay--we had a couple of scary houses (one of which sent Squish squealing down the walk shrieking "Too scary!  Too scary!  I'm too young!  I can't go there!") and some pretty pretty decorations which Squish was very apt to comment on, to the great delight of those being voluntarily mugged for sugar.  

Zoomboy was dressed as the Grim Reaper-- he tried to get away with just gesturing with his scythe, but eventually he realized that went against his basic politeness and unbent enough to wish people a happy Halloween, and to thank them.  Squish had no such prohibitions built into her costume.  None at all.

"Oh my!" exclaimed one nice mugging victim.  "You two are so scary!"

"I am not scary," Squish told her reasonably.  "I have no scariness in my life.  I'm cute!"

"Omigod!  You certainly are!"

"Thank you.  I AM cute.  Have a Happy Halloween!"

And then, as she was marching away with her ill-gotten gains, she ran into another mother who was LOSING IT, laughing on the street as she waited for her own kids to get back.

"I AM cute!" Squish protested, hurt, I guess, by the woman's laughter.

"Oh honey I believe you," the woman cackled, "she sure wasn't talking to ME!"

And thus, Squish.

And in other odd news?  We won a random pair of Foo Fighters tickets last night and for those of you who have not heard The Foo Fighters, I give you the following video of you know who, done to one of their biggest songs:  

Anyway, I LOVE the Foo Fighters.  Adore them.  That song I just posted?  That's Chase and Tommy's song, from my current WIP that I've been keeping VERY VERY close to my vest, because writing it is like mixing different flavors of pain.  So, yeah.  Love them.  Adore them.  And they were playing with Cage The Elephant.  Again, let me present you with a sample:

And so what did Mate and I do, in our young and funky middle-aged-ness?

We gave the tickets to Big T and his friend.

We felt so old.  We did--but there were a couple of things going on there.  The first--and perhaps the most important, is that as much as I ADORE the Foo Fighters, the person who brought their first CD into this house was Big T.  Big T loves music like I love music, like it lives in his soul.  And it just didn't seem right for us to leave him home.  Now Mate would have gone with me, but he didn't want to go with Big T, and I would have gone with Mate, but, seriously-- he's almost nineteen.  Doesn't he get to watch his own concerts?  We did.  Mate and I spent a considerable amount of our disposable income on concerts when we were nineteen.  Isn't there some cachet in the concerts you've attended?  Don't you get to wax lyrical about music that throbs in  your blood?

And I have a deadline, and it's riding my ass.  And Mate was really tired.  And I've got a business trip this weekend.  And Mate was going to join me on Saturday night because it's a night away from the kids. And we would feel guilty leaving everybody on a weeknight.  And just this once, we ceded our youth card to our teenaged son.

He came home luminous, and we're proud:-)  As my friend told me, it was a very karmically pure thing to do--and don't we need more of those?

*sigh*  Yeah--but someday soon, I'd like another kick ass concert to make my old bones dance.