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

Thursday, March 29, 2012

More Crappy Pictures From Another AMAZING Time!

This is just to prove I was in New York
Essentially, this trip to New York has boiled down to three major parts--

A. The meet up in the La Guardia Marriott with all of the AWESOME Dreamspinner authors for a day of workshops.

B. The Rainbow Book Fair on Saturday which was a huge event in a little teeny space.

C. The afterwards, where I got to play in the city with some friends:-)

Now, I probably should have blogged about all of this from the outset--because it would have been fresher in my mind, and because names-- swear to GODDESS I suck at names, and not in the good way, either.  But I met some awesome people this time round, and maybe if I try to list them all now I'll remember more and more as I write the rest of the post:

This is Chris, who will be my lunch buddy  from now on.
This is Damon Suede who made me drink RWA Kool-Aid.
Damon Suede (who is terrifyingly charismatic), Chris Koehler (whom I already knew but now we're going to do lunch once a month and that's awesome!), Eden Winters (who is both sweet, fun, and has the most charming accent!), Carole Cummings (whom I adore!), J.P. Barnaby (who is wonderful!), Rowan Speedwell (both sweet and shy:-),  Paul Richmond (who did the cover for the Promises books and who is both way younger and way prettier than I am!), Anne Cain (who did the covers for the Green's Hill novellas to name a few, and is also way younger and way prettier and way hipper than I am!), Catt Ford, (who did the cover for Alpha and Fur-Bearing Critters and is way prettier than I am!), Nessa Warrin (who was a sport for being as sick as she was, and who listened to my stories with good grace), B.G. Thomas (who was both funny and salacious), Mike Murphy (who was another good sport about being bored silly at the dinner table), Jamie Fessenden (who jumped in and told some great stories of his own, thus saving me from further embarrassment), Zahra Owens (who brought Godiva chocolates until we HAD to worship her!),   Piper Vaughn (charming and warm), Taylor Donovan (charming and boisterous), Karen Klein (as adorable as a kitten), Ellis Carrington (sweet, cute, and serendipitous), and the usual suspects whom I live to see again-- Ariel, Nicki, Elizabeth, Lynn, Connie, Julianne, Andrew, and, of course, my Mary, mine, whom I will not give to anyone else because I am a selfish bitch that way.

There are probably people I forgot--and I'm so sorry--but, as you can probably tell, that first part?  Yeah.  That was something of a blur.

This is the inside of the Rainbow Book Fair.  It's insanely crowded.
The Rainbow Book fair was crazy busy-- insanely crazy busy.  The vendors were in a teeny-tiny space, and DSP brought it's own crowd of authors.  It was loud, it was hot, it was horrifically crowded--but it was worth it.  I know we don't think about this a lot, because, well, if we're reading this we're on computers, but for a lot of the men coming by to buy books (and because it was the Rainbow Book Fair, many of our customers were men) did not own a computer.  If they wanted a book with a happy ending- a ROMANCE book-- they were going to get it from this venue, because a whole lot of the GLBT book stores had closed.  It was worth it, and amazing to be there.

Rockefeller Center at night.
My book reading went well-- but I don't remember a whole lot.  About the one thing I do remember was asking Andrew (who had just finished his own book reading) if he knew where I was on the schedule.  He looked at the schedule and said, "Honey, you're on NOW!"  I grabbed my copy of Chase and took off running, only to get caught behind an 80 year old man with a wheeled suitcase who was buying his year's supply of books.  After that I vaulted two flights of stairs with Jamie Samms (need to give her a verbal hug because she was lovely, I adored her, and she was made of awesome) and my Mary behind me.  Uhm, my body?  Not so much with the two flights of stairs.  I got to the top and was heaving for breath when I walked into the reading room as quietly as possible.  A guy had gone on ahead of me, but they were very nice about letting me go after him.

My Mary.  Mine.  You can't have her.
Lynn.  Who is lovely. And I love her. 
This is the view from my hotel room on zoom.
And it seemed to go well-- Elisa Rolle put some pictures up on Facebook--I have no idea how to capture them, but I didn't look like a freak of nature, so that's something.  And after that, there's a big blurry mess. I remember Damon, making me promise to sign up for RWA, which I will do when I get home, and Chris, who was snarky and fun, and being table captain which terrified me because I've made a habit of shirking responsibility, and seriously?  BLUR.

From left: Julianne, Connie, me, Elizabeth, Lynn, & Zahra
On Sunday, a few of us said goodbye to our newfound friends-- it was difficult because we'd so enjoyed meeting them--and went into the city to see a play. Alan Rickman... zomg zomg zomg... okay... and not just him-- the writing was OUTSTANDING.  The play was called Seminar, and I want a T-shirt with my favorite line from it.  "Novels. Need. Silence."  I LOVE that.  Anyway, when we were done with the play, we visited Times Square.  Which is really as bright as everybody says it is, even in the middle of the night.  It was aMAZing.
Lynn, working dutifully with the city as her backdrop.
The view from the concierge suite at the Marriott.

Monday... well, let's just say that Mary and I talked WAY into Sunday night until it WAS Monday, and then she left when I'd finally fallen asleep and then?  Then I woke up swimming in sweat because it was suddenly 80 degrees in the damned hotel room.  It was only six in the morning NY time and so I called the front desk to have someone fix the damned thermostat.  He had a very high tech solution:  he opened a window.  Sounds simple, right?  Except this was the La Guardia Marriott hotel, so named because it's RIGHT NEXT TO FRICKIN' LA GUARDIA AIRPORT, which means that a plane took off every twenty minutes.  Ask me how I know?

The view of CPW from the Egypt Room at the Met
Anyway, I took a car into the city all by my lonesome, and then got to the city to find everyone in the Marriott Marquis on Time Square.  They were working.  And I know it SOUNDS lame, but after taking some pictures of the square from the window because it was FRICKIN' AWESOME, but I sort of enjoyed just sitting down with them and working too.  And then, after lunch?  (The Stage Door)  I took a nap.  Oooooohh... canya just feel the electric sizzle of the city, right?  But it really WAS nice, because I sort of AM a writer, and like Alan Rickman said, "Novels. Need. Silence."  And after all of that frickin' hustle before?  The silence was peaceful.

Have Seen this painting three places!
A Tiffany Window at the Met
The next day a couple of us went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art... and I frickin' cried.  Renoir, that bastard--who knew I had such a hard-on for that picture of two girls at the piano?  I mean, I guess I knew I did, because my Aunts had given me a card that featured them at one time and said that the girls reminded them of me, but to see the picture for real?  God.  That and the picture of Toledo, Spain, painted by El Greco, because I'd seen it in a textbook next to The Pit and the Pendulum, and then taught it to my son's 3rd grade class as an Art Docent and THEN seen it for REAL at the Met?  ZOMG.  Truly overwhelmed.

And the Tiffany windows weren't bad either.

Wednesday, it was back on the plane again--and I have to say, that the charm of air travel is no longer quite what it was.  I'm tired of feeling my feet swell and getting mashed against strangers, but I do have to admit that Julianne my traveling companion whom I love made all the difference between a shitty trip and an amazing trip-- we talked and talked and talked, and since we talked all the way THERE that's saying something!

And now home.

A largish housewife in a hotel room in NYC
And, as I wrestle with blogger (and just decide to leave the crappy pictures where they are because I'm trying to tell them they'd look more attractive somewhere else on the blog) and let the dog in and out and in and out for the umpteenth time and remember how happy the kids were to see me (and how they loved their gifts from NY) and how happy I was to see them and how the damned cat woke me up at five in the mourning in sheer, stinking need (okay, since she sang me an Aria of Mourning the morning I left, I shouldn't be that surprised!) and how VERY happy I was to see Mate, waiting with my baggage at the airport...

I think it was a GREAT trip.  And I think home is NEVER overrated.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Stayin' Alive!

Hey, all!

I'm still alive, my plane didn't crash, the ride from Queens (where our hotel is) to the city (where the book fair is) didn't kill me, Mary my roommate hasn't stuffed a pillow over my face to stop my snoring, my fellow DSPers haven't shoved pie in my face to stop me from telling dreadful jokes, (or talking altogether!) and I seem to have survived a book reading that I was late for, as long as a very quick ascent up two flights of stairs that this body was SO surprised it could make in record time.


So, uhm, yeah-- it's been a little busy.

But I wanted to blog--because I can't remember the last time I did it and that's bad!

So far, my pictures are sort of crap-- great memories, crap pictures--which I will probably post later anyway for effect.  The Rainbow Book Fair in New York was a LOT of fun-- it was a CRUSH--massive quantities of people in a tiny, tiny room, but I got to meet all sorts of folks I know from on line, and I think I made a few friends as well.  That's always amazing to me--the people you know online are TRULY your friends.  Julie, Roxie, Donna, Saren?  It's real.  I adore you.  I WILL MEET YOU if it kills me.  Things like this always make me melancholy that I haven't yet.

And yeah--I haven't seen my kids or my Mate in five days--missing them a little...lot...huge, massive quantities that I can't really express in print!

But the "let's go into the city and play" part of my day starts today--and that will get us more pictures and maybe, a little bit of breathing room--but so far?  The trip's been frickin' awesome!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Super Sock Man takes Metropolis, Metrocity, and Gotham

Okay-- Two Things. The first is that Super Sock Man is out tomorrow!

Yay!  The expanded take on the adventures of Donnie, the super-precocious young adult and Alejandro, his sister's roommate will be hitting the e-book shelves tomorrow There is a contest at Chris's that I should have posted earlier! Sorry, Chris! For a copy of it, (you've got like, hours, to enter the contest, and I want to smack my head on the wall for forgetting!  I guess the last blog post says it all-- last week literally removed my head.)

So, the fun thing about this one is that yes, I designed the socks.  For those of you with a particularly discerning eye, check out the sock on the left--see the fish features in it?  Uhm, yeah... for those of you who write patterns?  WASN'T EASY!  Anyway, the socks are a little slouchy around the ankle, but they tighten up at the tail-cable to hopefully keep the socks from sliding irritatingly down your feet.  Here's hoping.  Oh-- and the STORY!  Well, in short story form it was sort of sweet and hot.  The novella is, well, just as sweet and a whole lot hotter.  I don't often just sort of sensually indulge when I'm writing, but Donnie and Alejandro's story was really very simple.  It almost felt like I didn't have a choice--the good stuff was the best stuff!  This is also a prequel of sorts to Chase in Shadow-- you will meet Chase and see Chase's first encounter, and yes, for those of you love Chase, he's a real douche-fucker in this one, but, if you love Chase, you also know he'll redeem himself AND break your heart by the end.  (For those of you wondering how that happened, I wrote the novella first and it inspired the novel--it was sort of a fluke that the novella ended up coming out after the novel.)  

So, well, there's that.

Anyway, the other thing is that I have today is the whole, yanno, "I'm leaving tomorrow!" thing.  6:10 a.m.--DUDES!  I'm still packing.  We weighed my suitcase last night and consigned 5 lbs of shit to my carry on, and I'm thinking, "I'm gonna want the frickin' carry on on wheels and not the one that's going over my shoulder, because THAT would frickin' SUCK!"  Besides.  My yarn is going into my carry on.  And no amount of long, hard talks with myself about how all I'll need is my sock bag have managed to convince me to go with anything less than three bags of yarn.  I don't understand it, but it's the truth.  *headdesk*  Well, I'm going with a fully charged iPod and a Kindle and some paper books, too, because I have a low tolerance for boredom, and the two plane trips are already freaking me out with their potential for length and sublime discomfort.  And then imma be in New York!  My mind boggles.  BOGGLES. Okay--have to admit, I know less about New York than I probably should to be this boggled.  I'm seriously jonesing for a bus tour.  I wanna be a tourist.  You remember, Men in Black?  Will Smith drops down onto the open air double decker bus and goes, "Yeah, I know, it just be rainin' black people in New York!"  I WANNA BE ONE OF THOSE TOURISTS!  I mean, we have plenty of people of all colors in California, and I wouldn't mind if Will Smith dropped in my lap in ANY state (naked, intoxicated, Wisconsin...)  but mostly, I want to be in a bus, having someone telling me, "This, this is where my cousin Vinnie got busted, and here, this is where the mob hit went down, and right here?  This is Greenwich village, we can't go any faster here, we might hit an artist!"

I mean yesterday?  At aqua?  (Dude... not nearly as fun as band camp!)  I was sitting in the jacuzzi because it was too frickin' cold to run to my towel from the pool without a stop to warm myself up first, and telling this nice woman where I was going.  I've gotten really good at not apologizing or simpering back when I tell people what I write anymore.  "Oh, you're an author.  What do you write?"  "Gay romance.  Yes, yes, you heard that right!"   Anyway, I was fully expecting the usual swallow and double take with this woman, but no.  What I got instead was, "And you're going to the Rainbow Book Fair in New York?  You might meet my son!  He just finished an interview with Dan Savage.  He's one of the people who lobbies for worldwide health education at the UN."

I was totally impressed--and this guy sounds WAY above my social circle, but still.  If I do meet him, it would be awfully fun to start a conversation with, "Hi, Mr. Ramirez, you know, I was hot-tubbing with your mom..."

But as excited as I get, I'm also getting sort of weepy.  The kids are giving me trinkets to take with me so I don't forget them.  Really?  Because after some solid years of motherhood, I'm going to forget these faces in a little more than a week?  Seriously doubt it.  But that doesn't mean I won't miss them either, as I venture into the bowls (*snicker*) of Metrocity-- Mate has set up a FaceTime  interaction, so I can chat with them, which is nice.  I'll probably do a lot of singing over the computer, and some irritated chatting with Chicken and some clueless chatting with T and some wistful chatting with Mate, because no place is as good if he's not there.

But still-- I'm going to Gotham and I'm going to have fun and I'm going to come back with stories and I will, of course, come back and tell you!  I'm going to Gotham--may Batman save us all!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Calling all headless chickens...

Okay--my week wasn't as shitty as Batman's, but still!
Bullet post today... cause I can't think in a straight line...

*  I leave for New York on Wednesday.  Does that not blow your mind?

*  Big T got a job.  Selling knives.  Guess who taxis him back and forth to his training?

*  Short people have had minimum days.  Guess who goes to pick them up and then turns around and picks up Chicken two and a half hours later?

* Went and bought a purse yesterday.  A real one.  At J.C. Penny's.  Brought Sam's mom, brought Sam and his little brother, brought my kids... none of them had been in a department store short of Christmas.  They thought it was the circus.  Sam's mom and I thought it was a little nuts.  The funniest part was when she said, "You're so good at making such quick decisions!"  I was watching the kids run around in circles and going "I have a choice?"

* On top of that, there is yet more lawyer stuff of which to not speak.  *headdesk* I'm starting to think of this whole thing in Dean Winchester terms.  From now on, I'll refer to it as "Starship" because it's awful, and it never goes away.

*  It's been raining--so all the driving is in the rain.  There is no walking or swimming in the rain.  I was plenty fat before.  Now I feel it.

*  I bought new clothes.  Don't make me less fat.

*  Country Mouse went live!  Some of you might remember that this is the story I co-wrote with the lovely and professional and highly talented Aleksandr Voinov.  It was a trip-- we would write at the same time from half-way around the planet--the cursor would move without my help, words would come out, and then I'd take over.  Weird.  But cool.  And I love the story-- Owen and Malcolm are fun guys-- watch them take on London--and each other!

*  My crazy friend Wendy came over to dye my hair better.  Yes, I could have paid someone to do it--but then I couldn't have talked my friend into coming over to visit.  It was fun.  My hair still looks like a rabid squirrel attacking my head--but now it's pomegranate red!

*  Teacher's conference this week (because they had to be.  That's just my life!)  Squish has improved dramatically-- because she can't help but be dramatic.  We're proud--but not surprised.  We were pretty sure once she found a way to succeed and be the bestest, she would implement her plan to be the bestest.  Her teacher even forgave us for flunking homework!  (A Kindergartner in a full time Kindergarten?  DOES NO HOMEWORK.  And THAT is the frickin' rule!)

*  Zoomboy brought home a stellar report card.

*  The principal at this school used to be Chicken's 5th grade teacher.  Apparently, we are THAT family. The family with smart kids.  I know this because Squish's teacher TOLD me we were THAT family.  I wonder if they look at me--hair like rabid squirrel, no make-up, the size of a Wal-Mart--and wonder where my children came from.

*  House is a pit.  Are we surprised?

*  Have started Dex and Kane's story--and am pleased, because even though it's still set at Johnnies, and there is sad, it's still much happier than Chase's story, and I LOVE Kane.  Kane isn't that bright--in fact, he's happy to be controlled by his dumb stick--but he's got a soft, squishy heart.

*  If you were working on a project for a friend, and then she doesn't need them rushed anymore, but you lost half of your pair of the same thing... is it bad if you keep the first pair and give her the second?  If you follow that, give me a holler... I'm trying to figure it out!

*  Yummy hot guys were on tonight.  Yes, I still love that show.  We're not called fanatics for naught.

*  And that's all.  I'm signing off.  *whew*  Have I mentioned it's been a week?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Oh, Boy! C'mere Boy!

C'mere, darling, I want you to take down a memo.  Yes, yes, of course I know you're busy cleaning the kitchen table-- leave it alone for a moment while I turn the stair master down.  That's right.  Are you set?  Yes, here we go.

"Dear powers-that-be, in the future, when providing me with an assistant to clean my house, run my beauty appointments, walk my dog, pick the children up from school, do the shopping, the cooking, send my packages, keep track of my appointments, help schedule my travel itinerary, count my calories, remind me when to leave for my workout, blah blah blah blah blah, could you kindly, in the future, make sure this assistant is someone other than myself?"

There, boy, do you have that down?  Excellent.  So, what are you making me for dinner?  Slop.  Hmm... not my first choice, do you have anything else?  Asparagus?  Oh my, that's original.  Well, there is that pee-stink thing, maybe not.  How about something, I don't know... lo cal and green.  But not lettuce.  Or broccoli, or cauliflower, or stamped carrots, or green beans or... what do you mean that's about all my options?  Cucumber?  Oh, if I must.

And what will *I* be doing while you're doing this?

Nothing much really.  Dreaming.  Well, yes, they call it reading or writing, but really, what I'm doing is... you know.  Dreaming.  Wait.  Where are you going?  What do you mean you want to work somewhere your service is appreciated!  What am I supposed to do if you're not here to clean my table and cook my dinners and scrub my toilet?  You can't just quit!  You're my... my...

Uhm.  You're my imaginary employee.  *sigh*

Hey kids!  Bad news!  The houseboy quit, the house is a shithole, and we're having Taco Bell for dinner tonight!  What do you mean what was I doing all day?  Mommy was *think think think*  WORKING!  That's right!  Mommy was WORKING!  Yeah, I know it looks a lot like sitting at the computer and surfing, but I SWEAR there was some work going on there.  Honest.  Seriously.  I get paid and everything!  Wait... come back... who's gonna spring for my super awesome retirement home when all this dreaming gets to be too much!!

*double sigh*

This whole writing thing is a very odd business, isn't it?  Don't answer that.  Because I'm talking to myself, that's why!  Well, yes.  That IS  a good idea.  My character COULD do that!  Oh, wait--not only am I talking to myself, I'm answering back.  Uh-oh.  Shh... We'll just keep this between us, okay?

*waves*  Hi, everyone!  So, uhm, how's YOUR week?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

This is What Will Be...

First of all, thank you everyone for your well wishes-- Zoomboy is feeling better now, and I for one am much relieved.  He sat on my lap again last night, and my back is NOT happy sitting in that chair anymore.  I'm so stiff I can barely move today!

Second of all, Squish and I have a new song:

It was the oddest thing.  I finished "Coming Home" the other day, my paean to Bruce Springsteen, and was in a serious mood for Bruce in general and the Magic album specifically.  So there I was, listening to that on the way home from gymnastics with the window open and the (depressingly mild) spring air blowing through the car, and Squish, my little music magnet, said, "Mom, I want to hear that song again."  So I played it again.  And again.  After the sixth time we were home, and both me and Squish were singing "This is what will be..." as tunefully as possible, along with the Boss himself.

Squish and I are on opposing camps of the zodiac wheel, and I foresee a day when we will NOT get along.  But in the meantime, knowing that we can sing Bruce Springsteen with her is going to make me VERY happy.

And third of all-- a few notes on Super Sock Man, the novella.

This was posted on Good Reads and somebody put up a rating for it--I think in the mistaken idea that if you'd read the short story, you were done with the whole affair, and that was the end.  The thing is, that's NOT the end.  In fact, if you've read the short story, you've read approximately 12% of the whole thing-- and that DOESN'T include the glimpses of Chase from Chase in Shadow which evolved later.  So, the short story and the novella?  Two rather different animals, sort of like the difference between a house-cat and a big, somnolent lynx, actually.  Besides.

The novella has a pattern.  You know, for the socks on the front?  So no.  The short story and the novella aren't really the same thing.  The novella was written for all of the people who wanted to see what happened to Donnie and Alejandro AFTER the short story ended--along with some character development beforehand.  And, as I said, there is a tragic glimpse of Chase from someone else's point of view--always a plus, if you liked Chase's story, right?

So, different.  Sort of the same, but no.  Mostly different.  Just sayin'.

And with that I'm going to leave you with this--it's the rabbit in my hat.  Do you want to come and see?  (Okay... you have to listen to the song for that to make ANY sense at all!)

(And Donna Lee if you're out there, baby?  My e-mail has lost your e-mail address-- get a hold of me if you can, and I'll give you the deets about NY--I'd love to say Hi!)



Thursday, March 8, 2012

Aww... Little Man Down

Sick Little Man with Mandatory Attack Cat

Yes, tis true!  Zoomboy is sick today, and I should have known.  He has been getting gradually too big to sit on my lap--not that it's stopped him any, and hey!  It's not like the mama-chair doesn't have a six inch gap between seat and arm anyway, making it damned impossible to sit/knit/breathe in as it is, so why not?  But last night?  Last night I got one of those increasingly rare cuddles, with a kid on each side of me (remember when they happened every day?  *sniffle*) that lasted for more than two hours.
Aww... poor miserable little market trout.  

Ah yes.  That should have been my first clue.

My second clue was when he woke me up at four in the morning (and remember, I'm usually up to 12:30 a.m. as it is!) to wander around the house like a lost soul, looking for the bright red first aid kit that I have so wisely crammed all of our first aid necessities into so that I might find them at four o'clock in the FRICKIN' MORNING when my kid wakes up with a sore throat!

It was in the car.  Mate found it at a more reasonable hour after I found MLM (most likely medicine) in the form of an unopened cough syrup purchased for reasons unknown.  It said cough suppressant.  I assumed that meant the kid wouldn't be able to feel his throat to cough--and that was good enough for me.  Good enough for Zoomboy too.  He slept until the magic red back appeared--but that doesn't mean Chicken isn't still haunted by the specter of mom, hovering around her doorway at the aforementioned dark-fucking-thirty, going, "Have you seen the first aid bag?"

"No. Can I go back to sleep now?"

"Yeah, sure.  Knock yourself out."

ZB, Chicken, and Squish are all in my bed now, watching cartoons, which is really sort of cute when you think about it, and me?  I'm revising a story that was supposed to be a quick, 20K paean to Bruce Springsteen, and which is now looking very short-novellish.  Yeesh.  Seriously-- Elizabeth keeps asking why I'm not submitting as much.  I figured it out--I'm writing just the same, I'm just all writing LONG instead of SHORT! On the one hand, that's good, right?  People don't complain when you write LONG because they wanted MORE.  On the other hand?  Not as many releases when you write LONG.  You grow afraid.  "Will they remember me?  Maybe they'll remember me.  Maybe they'll say, 'Oh yeah.  Amy Lane.  I used to like her work.  Then she broke my heart one too many times and went away.  I shall not buy her anymore forever.'"  Or, you know, something like that. 

So, anyway, I'm gearing up for New York-- trying to figure out the place in Chase in Shadow that I should read.  I read someone else's guidelines or suggestions for what to pick or not to pick--lessee:

Something that has not a lot of dialog in it--unless you're good with voices.
Something that has only as much sex as you can stand to read to a group of people.
Something that doesn't give away any spoilers. 

And I was like, aww, fuck!  The whole thing is (eye)balls deep in dialog--and a lot of it is IN CHASE'S HEAD!  And, HELLO, a lot of it is set on the GFP set, where, yeah.  Sorry.  Sex.  And the only parts that really aren't?  Yeah.  At the end of the book where the character stops talking to himself quite so much.  

Oh yeah-- and Tommy's got a South Boston accent that I can hear clearly in my head but that I can not mimic AT ALL.  

So folks, should anyone have any idea where I should read from?  Yeah.  I'll take suggestions.  Seriously.  

So wish my little man well--and Squish-- I'm betting she's the next domino to fall. (As Samurai Knitter said, even to a loving parent, every kid is Patient Zero.)  I'm betting Zoomboy won't be going to tomorrow night's King's Game which he was REALLY looking forward to, and let's all hope they're both better by Monday.  It sucks to be home from school when there's so much cool stuff to learn. 

Oh yeah--and the uber-cool picture?  If anyone's having as much sunspot difficulty as I am, this just helps you to think that rabid-crazy elemental forces can sometimes be benign. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Oh Thank God, There's Nothing to Report!


Crises can be SO exhausting, can't they?  I had no idea how rough last week was until yesterday, when we went to see the Lorax (more on that in a minute) and I cried at the end.  Yes.  Cried.  Like a bitty baby.  The problem?

I didn't particularly like that movie.

I didn't--but then, there's probably been one Dr. Seuss remake I've approved of besides the Grinch, and that was the stage play Seussicals, which has a kickass soundtrack if you're interested.  The thing about most of the others is that they try to take something really simple and perfect and pad it to make it complicated.  That's not how Dr. Seuss works.  HE WAS TALKING TO CHILDREN.  He wanted simple, and he understood that simple was profound.

Mary and I were texting about Ted Geisel yesterday, and we realized that many of our big lessons--the ones we hope make us good human beings with something to pass along to another generation, much less a (small) audience of readers, we learned from Dr. Seuss.

Are you wondering if you should join the culture of misanthropic greed and the blind abuse of power that seems to have taken over our country?

Read Yertle the Turtle-- Dr. Seuss tells you what happens to tyrants and he tells you why.

Are you upset because you don't resemble one of those horrible housewife people on reality television?  Gertrude McFuzz has the lesson right there.

Are you a politician, trying to block rights to adoption?  Horton Lays an Egg.  Wondering if your stand on homophobia promotes bullying?  Horton Hears a Who.  

Are you tired of watching the land you grew up in become uninhabitable  for humans and other animals?  The Lorax.  

Politics aren't brain surgery.  Treat other people decent.  Don't shit in your own pool.  All turtles should be happy.  If you have the resources, help the world. Greed and self-absorption are really really bad things. Dr. Seuss knew this--and he wrote them so easily, a child could understand.  He didn't use 3-D animation, and he didn't use big soundtracks or uber-bright colors.

He used a few important images.  He used words.

So I got done with the movie, with it's bright colors and craptacular script and cried, because, instead of a Dr. Seuss book, which makes me feel like I can help solve the world, I was left with this big artistic train wreck and this idea that it didn't matter what I was doing or how much I was doing, it wasn't enough to fix the world which is, apparently, being run by fascist poo-heads who would rather destroy my rights and my children's natural resources than feed the guy on the corner.

So it was in this frame of mind that I went on Twitter before I set about writing my REALLY depressing, Bruce Springsteen inspired story and lamented about how I wanted to pick one thing, just one thing to do to feel like I should change the world.

And it was there that I ran into Samurai Knitter, who said the following about changing the world.

"Knit a uterus.  Send it to your congresstwat and say that now that they have one of their own, they can leave yours the fuck alone.  Pattern on"

And sure enough?  There was. 

Now I may not get to that pattern--I've got a scarf for Big T I've been working on for AGES and a hat that I knit in exchange for some kick ass face cream from my friend, Lori, who runs a business, but I did laugh my ass off.  And I remembered that one way or another, knitting CAN make everything better.

And that Dr. Seuss was right.  The best things in life really ARE simple.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

There's home and then there's "Ah, home!"

Okay-- I hate to disappoint anyone who is checking back to this blog for more on the controversy-- seriously, all I've got is the official Dreamspinner Press links to their official statements.  I think they're both classy as hell, myself--but then, y'all already know where my loyalties lie.  The first one is Elizabeth North--Executive Director of DSP--and this is her statement about the plagiarism issue:

You'll find the link on the DSP website.

The second one is Julianne Bentley, who wrote the attacked blogpost on fan fiction, and it is, essentially, clarification:
It is, in effect, an addendum to her original blogpost.

And I hope that's mostly an end to it, because me?

I've got some squishier fish to fry:-)

Finally, finally, I was able to settle down and write today.  It was sort of a victory for me, because besides the brouhaha, and the enormous amount of time it seemed to suck up, there was also dance lessons and my husband attending two basketball games ("But... but... I've got season tickets!  It may be their last season!"  Yeah, hope springs eternal-- his that the team will stay in Sacramento, mine that they will win and not break his heart.)  And then there was this:

THIS is a musical presentation that the kids went to last night--it was pretty cool.  They got to make toad croakers out of plastic cups and dental floss, bee buzzers out of combs and wax paper, and duck quackers out of straws.  (For the record-- auto correct has now tried to correct "duck quackers" two different ways, and BOTH of them are dirty.  I SWEAR it's not my fault, and shame on the computer for thinking the word "quackers" is really like "suckers" and that there should be an "i" in DUCK!)  They also got to make didgeridoos out of PVC pipe and scotch tape.  Dudes.  The kids were in heaven.  They were toad-croaking and didgeridoo-ing all over the frickin cafeteria.  The guy was pretty awesome--he did sound-stories and had the kids participate and then had them make their own instruments and taught them major lessons on reading comprehension using sound. I was very impressed by the multi-media presentation, and also by the fact that, once again, throwing away anything in my house has no been verboten.  I'm going to be up to my eyeballs in old drinking straws, plastic cups and (ugh!) used dental floss in no time at all!

And other than that-- a lot of folks have asked me this, so I'll put it out there:  Yes, I am going to GRL this year, without my Mary, but with my Ariel and Andrew and ZAM and I think a few other folks who will help me not be lost without my Mary.  And maybe Galad will get to come visit me in Albuquerque, which I'm probably going to say about six-thousand times between now and October, a'la Bugs Bunny.

Oh yeah.  This picture.  This is Squishie-- note the sash, sword, and concern for the poor victim of the vicious beast.  She wants to be Brave.  I think she already is!

So thems the news mostly.  Oh yeah-- that, and I picked up some yarn while in San Diego-- SHOCKER. Actually, the big shocker is that it's lace weight... but non-shocker is that these colors called to me like shameless hussies, and I fondled them until we all purred.

Oh-- and the alpaca is just for fun!