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

Friday, August 31, 2012

Swag Swag Swag Swag...


Seriously-- GRL is approaching, and someone informed me that it was my job to purchase... whatyacallit?

Oh yeah.  SWAG.

Anyway--yeah.  First of all, expensive.  I get it, it's a tax deduction, and a necessary promotional business expense, but I spend the money and I'm thinking, "My GOD we need a new bathroom floor." Anyway, I've sort of made myself live with that (because I don't want to sound like the Grinch who stole GRL for one thing!) but that's not even the worst part.  (Don't tell Mate this.  He'll disagree!)

The worst part is PICKING IT OUT!

Dudes!  Besides like, endless possibilities of things-- tote bags?  Pens? Book Marks? T-shirts?  Really awesome stainless steel coffee mugs with a collage of my favorite book covers?  There's also what you want to go on the things.

I've picked my dragon.

You all know Chicken designed this for me sometime back-- I've used it as my Facebook avatar since forever.  Anyway, it's my writing dragon, eating plotbunnies for breakfast.  Anyway-- I've had two things that I've used for a logo.  One is the front cover of Vulnerable, which I still love very much, but I figured that since GRL folks (many of them) aren't going to be interested in (*sob*) my Little Goddess, my logo needs to be something a little more associated with my strictly m/m stories.  There are conversations all the time on Twitter and Facebook among the writers--people bring up our "Muse" constantly.  Those of you who have been around for a while know that for me, "Muse" is too gentle a word.

My inspiration doesn't a-Muse me--it rides me like a hand-shaking, cold-sweating, stomach-cramping addiction.  It's not a monkey on my back, here, it's a FUCKING DRAGON.  

So I figured that was as logical a place as any to start.  And then I needed a tagline.  Now, since our writer's conference in March, I've watched my fellow writers try to come up with their own taglines.  It's painful.  Nobody wants to attach a label to themselves that they want EVERYBODY to identify with them.  I mean, what's my tagline going to be?  "I may write while plagued with self-doubt, but at least I can't clean house?"  Uhm, no.

So I've got the dragon, and he's eating plotbunnies for breakfast, but "My writing dragon eats your plot bunnies for breakfast" is more of an inside joke, isn't it?  (That didn't stop me from putting it on the back of a T-shirt.  Don't ask.)

So really, I've got one thing--it's what I've been signing on my books for years.

Now, when I started signing books, I started with a rather pivotal line from Vulnerable-- "Blood Like Rain, Amy Lane."  (I used red pens, too, for drama, donchaknow!)  Anyway, when I moved to M/M, I sort of got to be known as the Queen of Angst.  Now, that's not entirely fair-- we know that, right?  I mean, I know I've got the whole Promise Rock thing to live down (I'm SORRY about the horse, OKAY?)  and Chris and Xan may never forgive me.  There were some scary moments in Chase, and, well, Alpha wasn't a cakewalk, but Queen?  Naw... I mean, I've got some fun stuff, too, right?


Okay-- now that we've got that cleared up.

Yeah.  "Cute and sweet" rhymes with "fresh meat."  It does NOT however rhyme with Amy Lane.

However, "Angst and Pain" does.

So, uhm, yeah.  There are elements of my swag that do proclaim "Angst and Pain, Amy Lane."

I'll try to remember that when I'm signing Sidecar, or Clear Water, neither of which are particularly angsty, and one of which is actually sort of funny, right?  But, a tagline is a tagline, and I have to admit-- it looks sort of cool on top of the dragon logo on the tote bag!

Oh, wait-- about the tote bags. I was totally going to get the purple and lime green-- I WAS-- I don't care HOW hideous it was, it was the color of my favorite sock yarn, and we all know how attached I am to that!  But it didn't matter.  I was voted down.  Yes, Chicken said it was hideous and needed to be changed, but she wasn't the deciding vote.

No, the deciding vote was the graphic artist in charge of production who sent me the alternative version in purple and white without being asked, presumably to save me from myself.

It worked, but I still maintain that purple and lime green would have been an unforgettable combo!  And Chicken still maintains there are some things she would like to forget.

And that's not the end of it.  My swag has a theme and it's complicated and I had to have three  four different companies do the frickin' logo and after all that?  And I think people will probably hate it.  But hey...

Angst and Pain, Amy Lane, right?  Nothing like living your own tagline!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Post Soccer/Editing Hangover

Opening day for soccer-- you all remember that?

Oi!  Me too!

This year I didn't get to see Zoomboy play, because all of his games were concurrent with Squish's.  I Did get to see Squish play, however, and that was a revelation.

See, one of my children's great qualities on any sports field is their incredible sense of unawareness of what anyone else is doing there.  We call it the butterfly-chaser's syndrome, and my kids?  From Big T to Chicken to Zoomboy-- well, they have it in spades.

Of course, Chicken overcame her butterfly syndrome eventually--but I figure she was about ten before that happened.  Big T did eventually get his black belt, and that was hard.  Zoomboy could happily chase butterflies and pick daisies for the rest of his soccer career.  He doesn't just have his own drum, he's got his own zydeco band in his head.

But Squish.  Well...

I noticed an interesting thing when Squish was playing.

Point of fact one:  When she was told to play position, she did!  This doesn't sound like a big deal, but her coach put her in as a defender, and she stayed there, as a defender, when all of the other defenders ran into the big bunch of kids who were hovering around the ball.  Now, I could have told you this would happen, since I saw Squish standing on stage and stamping her foot to make the girl next to her move into position, but judging from what the other six year olds did, this was sort of a triumph, and it surprised me.  Of course *I* think my children are superlative, but usually they're not superlative at anything that anyone else gan gauge some sort of superiority in relation to other like beings.  But there she was, in position, when the other kids weren't.  It was sort of a revelation.

Point of fact two:  She was playing goalie for a quarter.  She actually tracked the ball.  This, again, is an anomaly.  Mate's mantra last year was "Zoomboy, where's the ball?"  We were asking Chicken that until she was twelve, because Chicken had a tendency to stand at defender and assume the ball had nothing to do with her until it zoomed over her foot.  But not Squish.  She stood, legs bent, squinchy little face all concentrated, and made sure she knew where that ball was so it didn't zoom through her hands.

0.0  I am in awe.  Four kids.  It took four kids before Mate's athletic ability and self-awareness bred true as an innate quality and not something that we had to beat gently into our kids' skulls with a rubber bat. (Okay, in T?  Judging by our one aborted trip driving, this self-awareness in space has not bred into him at all!)

But there she was, our sturdy little soccer player, ready to go.

Damn.  Fourth time is the charm!

Anyway, we forgot sunblock.  By the time opening day wrapped up, we could all be seen from space, including Chicken, who refereed five games.  One of these was with some douchey coach who failed at being a select coach and was disdainful of being back here at rec league.  (I am so tired of these douchewaffles who come back to kids sports to try to puff up their egos!  Take a viagra, add an extenze, measure your penis and GET OVER YOURSELVES!  Jesus, stop inflicting yourselves on our kids!) Anyway, this guy apparently tried to lecture her on when you could sub people in a game.  She was like, "Yeah I know.  I've been playing this game for eleven years, I've figured that much out." Chicken-- that Terminator look is not for nothing, oh no its not.

But we finished, and the next day, there was the shopping for the bridal shower (an old friend of my mom's) and the buying of the gift and the attending of the bridal shower.  And then Wendy, Chicken and I cut out early, caught The Expendables (because if you do not see a synchronized decapitation and enjoy that shit, something is missing from your lives!) and then finished it off with Sushi for the perfect girls day out.

And yesterday was all about catching up on work, because I'm not out of the deadline woods yet (although I'm close enough to the borders to be taking a nap and know the wolves aren't going to get me as I sleep!)

*whew*  So busy!

Oh, and thanks to the folks who commented on the Springsteen post.  BTW?  Even if you don't subscribe to the gospel according to Bruce, there's something you should know.  I STILL LOVE YOU!  Whoever moves you, makes you believe, that's your Bruce.  That's okay-- we all have our own.  It's just a lot of us have The Boss!

Oh, one more thing-- given that this is a knitting blog, I betcha can't guess what THIS IS:  (Hint:  It needs to be finished in the next month before Chicken leaves for school!)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Everything I Know About Writing, I Learned From Bruce Springsteen

I was going to be a part of a blog hop today-- What Writing LGBTQ literature means to me--but, like so many things when I'm in the writing/editing rabbit hole, I space-monkeyed right out of that obligation.

It wasn't something I could focus on at the moment anyway, but I have been thinking a lot about Bruce.  See, when I was in seventh grade, right after my best friend, Cheri Smith, had passed away, I was befriended by another girl, Stacy Muir.  Now this friendship was destined to die when we hit high school-- she was the child of lobbyists and I was the child of, well, neither my dad nor my stepmom had their nursing degree at the time, and they weren't married yet and suffice it to say, well, I did NOT fit into her world.  (This isn't to say she was a snob--she was very nice.  We just didn't have a lot in common when we hit high school.)  However, her brother was doing an interesting thing.  He was going AWAY to college, and Stacy expected to go AWAY to college, and although college was not something that was discussed a lot in my house as part of MY future because my parents were too busy worried about THEIR college education, which I'm very proud of.  But I was possibly the only one of the three of us--my stepbrother, my stepsister, and I-- who thought that college and going away to school was part of my future.

Anyway, Stacy Muir's brother had another really cool feature, and that was a total obsession with Bruce Springsteen.  This would have been around 1980, so her brother had been privvy to some pretty cool concerts--I do believe he had a copy of that famous Winterland concert, because he'd been there!  (This is the concert during which Bruce told bootleggers to start recording.  I love him for that!)

So the first place I heard about Bruce Springsteen was in Stacy Muir's bedroom, and that was the first place I ever heard the song Thunder Road.

At the time, I was like, "Eh?" but then I paid attention to music, and the more I heard of him, and the more I realized that other people had stolen his shit (Manfredd Mann?  I'm talking to YOU!) the more and harder I fell.  Born in the USA was awesome for Springsteen fans--but it was also sort of irritating.  Yeah, yeah, suddenly he was selling out everywhere, but, he'd been ours forever!  And now all these other people wanted him?  But that was okay.  Those other people were just a passing phase, who left Springsteen behind with big hair and pegged pants as we moved on into the nineties.  Those of us who were married to the Boss knew the best years were to come--and he didn't let us down.  Sure, there were some empty years following Tunnel of Love and Lucky Town, but then there was "Streets of Philadelphia" and "Secret Garden", both released as sound track songs and guaranteed to remind us that Bruce was still out there.

And then, Springsteen did this sort of amazing thing.  Jacob Dylan was in the top of his form as lead singer of The Wallflowers, and Springsteen got upstage (at Dylan's request, I think) and sang Dylan's signature song with him--and upstaged him by no other virtue than being Bruce.

And suddenly, Bruce was back on the map.  (For those who'd thought he'd dropped off, of course.  For the rest of us, he'd never left.  He was just in a quiet little town that few people visited--but he was still there!)

And he has put out phenomenal music ever since.

But still-- I was not expecting the Magic CD.

Those first few bars of "Gypsy Biker" shot a hole through my soul, and I've been bleeding through it ever since.

And that was just the first salvo on the album.

Every song just called to me, and reminded me of that in damned near every interview I've done, I've cited Bruce as an influence.  So how does a down and dirty east coast rock and roll superstar/poet influence a west coast soccer mom and writer of sweet romance?

Well, in his ROCK-AWESOME tribute to The Boss at the Presidential Award Ceremony honoring Springsteen, John Stewart said (and I'm going to mangle his quote) that, "When you listened to a Springsteen song, you weren't a loser.  You were a character in an epic poem ABOUT losers."  And that right there is one of the great thing about Springsteen-- he gives a grandeur to the common man, the guy who doesn't succeed, and that right there is where I'm going to start my list of Everything I Know About Writing I Learned From Bruce Springsteen list.  (Now note-- I put songs or albums that served as examples behind some of the things on the list, but I could have listed a dozen songs or every album there.  Springsteen's got a body of work out there-- I just put the easiest to remember!)


*  The common man is still the epic hero of his own story  ("Night")

*  Everyday moments have grandeur and dignity  ("Meeting Across the River")

*  When you live a small life, the common landscape can assume epic proportions ("Born to Run", "Jungleland")

*  If you're the epic hero of your own story, sometimes the gods really ARE out to screw you  ("Seeds", "Reason to Believe".)

*  Even the bad guy has something to say ("Nebraska", "Johnny 99")

*  You can tell the beginning, middle, and end of a story in six minutes of lean prose and aching emotion.  ("Jungleland")

*  You need to know the rules of your art to break them.  (Devils and Dust)

*  Even if you break away and leave it all behind you, it's still going to haunt you like a cheap U-haul attached to your motorcycle with a triple length of clothesline.  ("Hungry Heart")

*  Every player on the board has a voice in the song.  (The River, Wrecking Ball, Nebraska, Magic, every frickin album he ever put out.)

*  People are betrayed by their dreams all the time.  ("Philadelphia".)

*  Not everyone is going to understand what an artist was trying to do with every work.  That doesn't mean the artist shouldn't have created it, just that he should expect the world isn't going to get it every time.  (The Ghost of Tom Joad)

*  If everyone's a hero, everyone can fall.  ("Backstreets")

*  If everyone can fall, everyone can be redeemed.  ("Gypsy Biker")

*  People don't need to be pure to be worshiped.  ("Candy's Room")

*  Goodbye's are sometimes a necessary part of life.  ("Bobbie Jean", "Highway Patrolman")

*  Sometimes, saying the truth will lose you fans, because it fucking hurts, but you still gotta do it.  ("American Skin")

*  The place that made you can trap you, break you, or set you free-- but it will always be a part of you, and you can't lose that.  ("Devil's Arcade", "Darkness on the Edge of Town")

*  From great suffering comes greatness of heart.  (The Rising)

*  You don't have to be dirty to be sexy.  ("World's Apart")  But it doesn't hurt.  ("I'm On Fire")

*  Other artists can have a voice in your work.  (Oh Clarence, Max, how we miss you both!)

*  A happy artist makes good art longer.  Don't let the work destroy you.  (Patty Scialfa deserves a frickin' medal-- and not just for having a gritty and ethereal singing voice.)

*  You are never too old to celebrate the holy shit out of your art.  (That man did a standing backflip in front of a Superbowl crowd when he was 58 years old.  Holy Crap.)

*  All art is personal.  You can't escape it.  Be up front about it and take any punches from the fuckers who don't like you square on the chin, and then spit in their eye and make another song.  (That's from everything, pretty much.)

*  The most painful lessons of our life can be achingly beautiful.  ("Magic", "Devil's Arcade")

*  Living long enough to learn the painful lesson can sometimes be the most painful part of all  ("Last to Die")

*  Simple, haunting images are the most powerful.  (Nebraska)

*  Religion is destructive.  Faith is redemptive.  The two together are explosive.  ("Adam Raised a Cain")

*  Art is an exploration of the human condition.  This can not come without politics.  Politics don't always make you popular.  Fuck it.  Be true to your art and you'll be true to the human race.  ("Born in the USA", "Seeds", "World's Apart", "This Land is Your Land", the entire album of Wrecking Ball, The Ghost of Tom Joad, Nebraska, Devils and Dust... oh fuck it.  The man's whole body of work says this.)

There's more.  I mean... hell-- the guy has put out an album every two-three years since I was in sixth grade.  I remember one pundit lamenting that this was not productive enough for him to sustain his popularity--since Bruce is still putting out music when a lot of people who got caught and lost in the business are now in permanent rehab, I think it speaks well to his ability to balance a real life and an artistic one.  I know that Bruce has just come out about suffering from depression.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and say a lot of artists do this.  I think it comes from being an exposed nerve, and from sometimes not being able to call the difference between what's real and important and what's in our head and can wait.  It makes for a horrible dichotomy, that, and it's hard to balance the needs of what's going on inside our head with the people who love us who don't live there and don't know why the inside of our heads are so needy.  But his open nerve has made his world so much richer, and I pray that someday, someone will say the same about me.

Thank you Bruce-- Mourning Heaven may have been inspired directly by you, but I don't think anything I've written has been untouched by your growly, stripped-bare voice and your ripping, snarling guitar.  I love you and your art in a way that goes behind intellectual, and beyond emotional.  Every time I hear your voice, you move me, and I can give no greater praise than that.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hey! You in there! Stop that!

Okay, so I'm going to do some editing of Dex and Kane.  Oh yes I am.  I love them-- you've heard me yammer on about them for MONTHS!  

But wait!  Taern and Dorjan, my two steampunk guys-- they're great. They're sort of calling to me--I mean, they're on a deadline too!  And OH!  They're so much fun!  They've got steam powered crickets and they LEAP and then there's the millipede trains and the rabbits on the monorail and...

Wait.  Taern?  Is that you?  You didn't tell me you were going to do that!  Damn, you're cute!  Sorta spunky and chipper and-- wait.  No.  You are NOT going to have a love scene now.  No no no no no no no!  Okay, stop teasing Dorjan, you've got more self-confidence than he does, just... Hey!  You!  Put your clothes back on.  

Excuse me, y'all, while I sort of see this through, wouldja?  I wasn't planning on it--was, in fact, planning to edit, maybe cook dinner, maybe do the laundry, but, see, these guys, well, yeah, something came up and--

Oh crap.  That was way more involved than I'd planned it.  And messy.  Where are they going to find a cloth and some water to clean that up?  Okay, there we go.  But I had to write that too, and now there's clean up and Taern is getting-- stop that!  Oh crap.  No.  

I'm going to bed.  Yeah, I know it's mean, but no imaginary characters ever died of blueballs overnight.  Okay, maybe they did in print, but I'm pretty sure nobody ever came back to their work in progress to see a little toes-up corpse with a boner on the page where their character was supposed to be!  

So I go to bed.  I do.  I've got things to do, right?  And I go to bed, and have zombie fighting dreams all night. 

And when I wake up, my once sweet love scene suddenly looks like a zombie apocalypse, and I don't even LIKE zombies.  I chase away the litter of rotted clothing and dropped body parts and resume writing.  Okay guys?  That good?  Can we get on with our-- oh, hey.  There's a new character here.  Oh, we like her!  Yeah, I don't care if she's six feet tall and has a penis--she wears an updo and a Victorian dress and serves tea like a pro, dammit, she's a LADY!  And she's awesome.  Oh, I like her!  

Be nice to her guys.  No.  No.  What are you doing?  No, no I said be nice!  Keep those mean people out of her house I MEAN IT!  Oh, whew.  Okay.  Nice.  Good-- wait!


I said it.  Are we okay?  Can we get back to kicking ass some more?  Good, oh, that's fun!  Leap!  Ho! Guard! Turn! Parry!  Dodge! Spin! Fuck!  I SAID STOP DOING THAT!  

Oh for fucks sake.  


And hey!  Oh, dammit!  He's hurt?  AGAIN?  God.  I hate martyrs.  Okay, yeah, well, he's cute when he's all defensive, and then Taern has to tend to him and... oh hells.


You'd think I wrote romance or something!  

You jerkoffs go over there to the corner of my brain and do what you do.  I've got a blogpost to write!  

Heh heh heh... Yeah.  If you folks could only see what I'm thinking right now.  Heh heh heh...

*toddles off, laughing quietly to self, while family plots padded cell in the nice facilityI

Thursday, August 16, 2012

One More Mile...

Okay... random post here.  I'm sort of running on fumes here--hence the title.  (And btw?  If you haven't heard this song?  I'm sharing it with you now.  It's beautiful, and I love it--in fact, I used it in Making Promises during Ylena's last chapter, and it made me cry.

But wait!  There's more!

*  I'm in the throes of finishing Under the Rushes.  It's sad and beautiful, and riffing on my favorite theme and trope (tortured hero, final redemption, woohoo!) and I have two thousand words to go.  It's almost 130K, and I haven't done anything this epic since Making Promises.  And I'm exhausted.

*  Zoomboy and Squish started school this morning.  I didn't get a bright and shiny picture, but I did get a picture after the day.  I would like the new and casual observer to pay special attention to Squish's ensemble.  Yes, she picked that out--the purple plaid shorts, the matching adorable puppy shirt, the jaunty little ponytail, the completely mismatched socks.  "But Squish, we, uhm, have the mates to those..."

"I like them!"  Squish told me.  "They're good.  They're almost the same height!"

*  Chicken was enjoying her life of leisure today.  This is her, with her 13 lb. serial killer, the one who provided us with the zombie bird last year and who entertained us all summer by taking ginormous moths into his mouth and letting their wings whirr away like they were gettin' somewhere!  Yeah.  Gordie.  He's a psychopath, but he loves her.  At least, I don't THINK he's plotting her imminent demise!

*  Zoomboy said to me today, "Mom!  I've got a plan!  All I need is some whipped cream and my sister's badger mask!"


No, I didn't ask for particulars.  Sometimes, it's best not to know.

*  And the string of nights getting 4 hours of sleep began to tell on me today, I am ashamed to say.  Zoomboy started dance two weeks ago.  We went to one class, skipped the next, and then today?  I swore up and down he was in the 6:30 pm class.  Uhm, I was wrong.  Cause, look at him folks, DAYUM that's a big three year old!

*  And I should have prefaced my last post.  Although the poem was my idea--I had, in fact, written it out loud to Chicken about four days ago, I do owe the title to my aqua instructor, Trina.  She was talking about her son's cat, who started out by bringing in moths and then moved up to mice and voles, and then up to moles and rats, and then worked her way up to a teenaged jackrabbit.

"I'm telling you," Trina said sincerely, "we live across from a kindergarten, and I'm gonna be checking to make sure none of those littler kids go missing!"

So thank you, Trina-- I'm pretty sure the title made the poem!

And that's the end for the moment-- I've got an epic story to finish, and I need one more mile...


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Reflections of a 13 lb. serial killer

Get it! Eat it! Bite it's head!
Bat it! Paw it! Kill it dead!
Smack it! Skid it! Under the stove!
Get it back! Get it back! I saw it move!

Bap bap bap it on the maw!
Hold it firm beneath my paw!
Grasp it hard between my teeth
Just to play--not to eat!
Claw it, stalk it, see it, hiss!
Pounce again--I saw it twitch!

Palm it hard against the wall,
Set it up and watch it fall,
Smack its tail until it breaks
Pummel the furry little freak!

Nibble its feet and chew its neck

Leave its body bones and blech.
Chomp its fur and lick the blood
(Not quite as good as my canned

 Drop some bits across the floor-
It doesn't need those bits no more!
Juggle it between my feet
Lick the matter from my teeth!

Every prey is fun and new,
And they're so exciting to play with, too!
An orgy of violence that I must do...
Before I leave it on the porch.
For you.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday Snark: Sidecar

It's Saturday, which means it's time for Saturday Snark over at Marie Sexton's Blog!  I'm going with Sidecar this week, because I'm proud of it, and because Joe and Casey snarked really really well.  This is in the early stages of their relationship, when Casey really is just too damned young, and Joe is firmly entrenched in his role as Casey's guardian:

“Yeah. Fine. Whatever”—and he had to laugh when Joe wrinkled his nose.

“God, cursing used to be honest, you know? When did ‘whatever’ come to mean ‘fuck you’?”

“You know, for a guy with a ponytail and a soul patch, you sound an awful lot like my grandmother.”

“You know, for a kid who weighs ninety-eight pounds soaking wet, you sure got a mouth on you.”

“Yeah, wanna know what I can do with it?”

Joe grimaced again. “Kid? You know what? I’m going in there, and I’m going to eat pizza and congratulate all my friends on a job well done. I’m going to have a beer, and I’m going to hope that maybe Sharon Rosenthal, the pretty girl with the long, blonde hair—”

“The one with the sweater that could fit me?”

“You should be so well-endowed. Yeah, her. I’m going to go make out with her. She might even spend the night. If that happens, you’re going to sleep in my guest bedroom, do your English packet in the morning, and make plans to become a truly outstanding human being—in two or so years, okay?”

Casey shook his head, at a loss. “You know, I don’t think I’ve met another human being so opposed to a blowjob before.”

Joe rolled his eyes. “That’s because you haven’t offered one to the male half of the people in that room. And you’re not going to. You go to school, find the other sixteen-year-old boys, and score all the tail you can manage. But you hit on me too hard and I’m going to knock you into the nearest foster home, you hear me? I don’t do that. And as far as I remember, you must have said sixty thousand times that you didn’t want to do that either!” 


And while we're talking about snark, I FINALLY remembered that thing that Zoomboy said to me that needed to be mentioned in the blog.  We were arguing over the air conditioning in the car.  It was 106, (according to the car's thermometer) and I had the A/C pumping as high as it could go.  Zoomboy complained the entire way to Target, although his sisters were both begging for me to make it, by magic, even cooler in the car.  

"It's too cold!" he said when we were walking through Target.  

"It's not even cold enough!" I snapped back, because it wasn't!

Instead of getting mad at me, Zoomboy smiled beatifically and patted my (admittedly enhanced) waistline.  And then, in a voice very like a television announcer's, he said:

"The arctic seal has its own insulation against the cold."

I stopped dead in Target and stared at him, not sure he'd really said what he'd just said, and he smiled at me innocently and wandered off to get a polo shirt, because he really likes those.

"Why you little sphincter..."  I said, and Chicken and I just looked at each other.

"Laugh or strangle him?" she asked.

"I'll let you know when I decide."  

I still don't know--but you gotta admit, it was a fine example of snark!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Cover Squee!!!

Cover Squee!!!!

 This first one is for Mourning Heaven (which should be on the Coming Soon page very soon, so you'll see this cover again!) This story is the one inspired by Bruce Springsteen's Magic CD, and I can't look at the cover without hearing "Gypsy Biker", "Magic", "The Last to Die", and "Devil's Arcade"--all of which are so insanely beautiful that I tear up when I hear them-- every single time.  I'll post Devil's Arcade from so you guys can hear it again.  I'm so worried-- the cover is beautiful, the songs break my heart.  I'm so terrified I didn't do them justice.  I mean, I know it's not like I'm setting the bar high or anything  (Bruce!  I'm writing to Bruce!) but Goddess... this one really can't suck.

Mourning Heaven will be out on September 7th, and I'd say it's just in time for GRL and Yaoi-Con, but the fact is, the NEXT book will be out just in time for GRL and Yaoi-Con-- this one's a month and a half ahead of time!

And this one?  OMG-- it's DEX!  I LOVE this cover-- I know that the model doesn't look much like the original model I had in mind for Dex, but it's almost better, because he's my Dex.  And he's beautiful, and thoughtful and hurt, but he still looks like he can smile.  And Kane?  Kane's just yummy.  He looks solid and real and grounded, which is just what Dex needs.  Mary and I are still having Dex/Kane conversations, because the world still seems to revolve around those two points of view:  Dex--the planner, the worrier, the guy who's fussing with all the details and who has all the information, and Kane--who is admittedly not bright, but who has good instincts for when all of Dex's worried bullshit is absolutely unnecessary.  I LOVE that dynamic-- and I love this book.  I worry about Mourning Heaven living up to it's inspiration.  I'm still worried about people loving Dex as much as I do, but I am so head over heels in love with him and Kane that I can deal if Mary and I are the only ones who are.  Dex is out October 1st-- and that's just in time for Yaoi-Con and GRL!

Oh-- a note for those of you who have read Chase in Shadow, the prequel to Dex in Blue.  For those of you who have read it, there is a BIG BAD THING that almost happens.  The main action of Dex starts A DAY AND A NIGHT BEFORE the BIG BAD THING!  So you get to see Chase, lost and alone and afraid before that situation begins to resolve itself-- be aware.  Some people had a problem with the overlapping timelines of Keeping Promise Rock and Making Promises, and I did sort of the same thing here.  I always like to see what one set of people are doing while the other set is very definitely engaged.  You'll get a sense of that in this one here, and, of course, while this one is happening, Ethan's story is happening too, but I'll get to that later:-)

So that's it-- Cover Squee!!!!

Mate has been gone this week and he gets back tonight, but the kids have given me some fine moments while I've missed him.  Some examples?

Chicken, while coaching her brother's soccer team and trying to utilize the parent volunteers: "You, the guy whose kid I don't know the name of-- yeah, you!  Could you go over there and help them through this drill?  Matt?  Awesome.  Could you go over there and help them through this drill?  Thank you!  (Yes, she does sound like me, why do you ask?)

Squish:  Look, mommy!  You're getting old people hair!  (Not anymore!  Now I'm getting a mixed- bottle-of-dye hair, because I was NOT meeting my husband at the airport with old-people-hair, oh no I was not!)

Me, watching The Soup do a closeup of an Olympian's swim trunks : 0.o Dude, he's circumcised.
 Chicken: 0.0 Yet another thing I didn't want to know.

Mate, on the phone at around 11:20 two nights ago, calling from L.A. : Hey-- the whole room is shaking!
Me: Was it an earthquake?
Mate:  No-- some big guy just ran by my room or something.
Me, on text, ten minutes later after checking the internet: It was TOO an earthquake!  It was a 4.4!!!!

Me, on Twitter the other day:  Stuck in Big O Tires with a religious nut!  HELP!  Need rapture!  Now goddammit, NOW!  (I got the next best thing--I got told they could help me the next day but they were too busy that day.  I got to leave and I didn't have to listen to an explanation of why the church being the bride of Christ was not offensive to his manhood because that made him a woman.  No.  I shit you not.  That's where that conversation was heading.)  

Me, texting Mary on the same day:  OMG, there is a giant metal chicken sculpture at the dividing line between Fair Oaks and Orangevale.  Essentially, it's welcoming you to Orangevale with a six foot stainless steel cock!

Oh-- and speaking of Mary-- Mary has adopted a kitty who had a flatulence problem.  Poor kitty-- apparently it was returned twice to the pet adoption place because of this, and I felt bad, and more than a little bit mad.  If that worked with people I'd be single and childless, thank you very much!  Anyway, Mary is the kind of warm person (much like Roxie, Knittech, Samurai, Donna Lee and pretty likely most of you) who wouldn't mind having their very own Fartkitty.  Kitteh's fart, so do people, there are other things to worry about besides gas.  

Okay-- I know the boys said fun things this week-- they pretty much fart and I think it's funny, but I'm at a loss.  The one thing I do have for you is Big T.  Big T was not trying to be funny-- he was just petting the cat.  But it hit me as he talked to the cat and the cat didn't correct him or try to respond, that he was funny and charming and articulate talking to the damned cat, and I suddenly wished that he could talk to everybody that way.  Of course, if he could do it without scratching our asses, that would be a plus, but that part aside, there's a lot of him that gets hidden because he's nervous.  I have faith it will show itself to the world someday.  

Oh yeah-- and Zoomboy?  Shall we talk orthodontia?  Lets.  Zoomboy has been referred to a specialty orthodontist.  Apparently his jaw is way too screwed up for your average everyday orthodontist, and he needs something SPECIAL.  Dude.  We're still paying off the big kids teeth. I hope Zoomboy likes his when he gets them-- that could have been a car, man, that could have been a car.  And THAT'S the end.  In the meantime, I'll leave you with this, because it's true!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Workin' in the Word Mines...

Goin' down down down...

Chicken's second recital was her first fashion disaster.  She was supposed to wear a coal mining cap, and the damned thing didn't have the foam in it to keep it on her precious little noggin.  While all the other kids were moving their tap shoes and using their little fake pick-axe props, she was trying to see over the hat that slid over her eyes.

This was before, and people said we should send that video clip into America's Funniest Home Videos, because it was that precious.

Chicken didn't believe it was precious.  She cried about it for days.

And that random memory was brought to you because I have had my head in my computer for the past week and that doesn't look like it's going to change any.  I mean, it needs to change-- I need to get the car serviced today and talk/cajole/beg/badger/beat my younger children into cleaning out their room, and Mate needs to take Chicken to San Diego and there is of course soccer and dance and gymnastics oh my!  But, well... a promise is a promise, and I promised I could get this one done by a certain time, and I think I have a chance of doing that.  Of course, I shall try to remember things like eating, drinking, and getting the kids their school backpacks and their clothes while I do!

Of course, Mate is gone this week-- he's at Siggraph, and it's in LA this year.  Since I'm going to LA later in October, I figure my quota of Southern California has been reached and I saw no reason to go.  (Seriously-- getting a baby sitter, deserting my children, paying for cab fare while Mate tells me he's pretty sure the next three miles won't kill me?  Those things should be reserved for Vancouver or Seattle or Baltimore.  NOT L.A.  He's welcome to L.A.-- but that doesn't mean I don't miss him!)  One of the fun things about him being gone was that he didn't have an assistant coach this time out.  (I did some active recruiting for him.  All of the other coaches have an assistant coach, Mate needs one!!  Or two!)  We had a new mother yesterday (one of several) and she was sort of asking for some "what next?" guidance.  So I told her game basics and opening day and such.  While we were talking, we were watching both our team, and the other U10 team practicing, and I had a revelation.  While the other U10 team was wearing PRACTICE uniforms, and were doing things all in sync, and looked very paramilitary and organized, well, our team looked like...

Well, it's hard to see, but take my word for it.  It's not all paramilitary and shit.  So, I leaned over to her and said very confidentially, "And yeah.  Don't expect to win a lot.  See that team over there?  They've had their pick of kids since they were in U6.  The coach actively recruits.  My husband takes all the other kids, the ones who don't know what they're doing or who have never done it before.  Last year, we got creamed 15-1.  Mate's biggest triumph was when all those kids showed up to practice the next day, excited because they loved practice, and it made them happy.  That's the kind of soccer team he wants it to be.  So, uhm, winning, not as high up on the list."

She looked a little relieved.  I was happy.  I think Mate's going to have a good year:-)

Anyway--so there's that.  I've also got cover news!  Seriously-- I've seen preliminary covers for Dex in Blue and Mourning Heaven, and I'm ALWAYS such a sucker for covers but seriously.  These are going to be prime, gorgeous shit.  I can't wait!  (Reese Dante is doing Dex in Blue.  She did Chase in Shadow, and she's doing this one to match.  I've seen the preliminary one and helped pick the cover models (since we, alas, can't use the original Corbin Fisher guys who inspired it!) and I LOVE the guy I picked for Dex.  He didn't look like Dex at the beginning, but I saw this sort of thoughtful, wholesome thing about him-- he channels Dex, not Dru the original model, but Dex, and I love him:-)  Okay.  Enough gushing about fictional people-- I need to get back to the coal mine!

Oh--but not before adding breaking news:  Squish lost a tooth.  The world shall rejoice, and that is all!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Saturday Snark Returns

Hiya!  It's Saturday Snark Day at Marie Sexton's blog again!  I particularly like this exercise-- it's a challenge to find the moments in your work that made you choke on your own coffee (or soda!) and try not to spray it over your computer screen.  Humble?  No.  But fun to go back and read what made other writers crack up-- definitely!  

This is from Believed You Were Lucky, which is in the Three Fates Anthology and it shows us Hacon Haldor, who is usually a very cautious sort of fellow, dealing with the consequences of a particularly magical night:-)

Hake walked in a little early and gave her the coffee while he sipped his own—also a caramel double latte, although usually it was a small coffee, black—and he smiled absently at Emma’s narrow-eyed scrutiny.

“What?” he asked, and she grimaced.

“You smell different,” she said. She sipped her coffee suspiciously.

“Smell different?” Perplexed.

“Yeah. Usually you smell like... Mennen. Something that smells like lilacs on you, even though I think it’s supposed to smell like men’s stuff. It was my first tip-off that you were gay.”

Hake choked on his latte and set it down so he could hang up his summer-weight coat and take his briefcase back into the tiny office behind the reception room. (He also made a mental note to change his body wash and his deodorant, because that right there would have been some good information to have when he’d been trying unsuccessfully to pick men up at clubs after his breakup with Andre.)

“And what do I smell like now?” he asked when his office was settled and his computer was booting up. He glanced at the clock—he had fifteen minutes before his client actually showed up. They had time for this.

“Mmm... something hot! Something a straight guy would use. It’s like... I don’t know. Wood chips and horse sweat and mint and ambergris—whatever it is, you should keep it!”

Hacon blushed—a true blush, he knew it—and Emma looked at him curiously.

“Come on, Mr. Haldor—what is it? What are you wearing? Give?”

Hake mumbled into his coffee, and she insisted on making him speak up.

“What?” she asked one more time, and he blushed some more and said quite clearly, “It’s Ivory soap and Leif.”

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Nobody Gives Awards For Shagging a Cat

First of all, have I introduced you all to the timesuck that will have you laughing until you wet your pants?  Seriously.  I love this effin' dog!  Texts From My Dog  Seriously-- go and see where I got the title of the blog, and then come back and tell me how long you spent laughing until you howled.  Funniest thing I've ever read.

Okay-- maybe a little more than nothin', but less than exciting!  It's summer vacation people-- I don't know what else to tell you.  Zoomboy has started soccer again, Squish starts next week, Mate's going on a business trip, Big T got his driver's permit (that's an EEEK!  as well as an EEEEEEEE!! there people!) and Chicken is about to start a tumblr with humiliating comics featuring me as a chubby, nearsighted hamster who can't get over herself.  (I said they were embarrassing-- I didn't say they weren't true!)

Seriously-- what's to add?

It's been a hundred bajillion degrees here, and besides soccer, the kids have had a chance to swim at my moms or play in the junior sized pool here, and I've been staying tan and fat (yet hopefully more fit) by continuing with my aqua aerobics.  (I freely admit I would have an easier time losing weight if I stopped buying chocolate chip cookies on the way home.  Sue me.  Better yet, liposuction me until you have enough fat to float a Volkswagen and then give me more cookies!)

The picture you see above you is an example of some of the kid-shifting we're doing in anticipation of Chicken soon to have her own exciting college life.  This is Zoomboy, and he wanted to start dance.  He towers above all of the little girls in his dance class, and in this pic, he has the appearance of being butt-fucking-lost.  This is okay.  He's going to be fine-- I watched him following what the teacher did, and I realized that this had everything a growing boy needs: specific instructions, immediate physical activity and reinforcement, loud noises when they're doing tap, and a chance to wave your hands over your head like a chimpanzee and turn around in circles.  ALL boys should take dance.  It should be a REQUIREMENT.

And speaking of Zoomboy and the fact that he's a boy, he greatly amused his dentist yesterday.  He got a 360 degree picture taken of his teeth yesterday so we could give it to his orthodontist, and the dentist was showing me this pic of what appeared to be REALLY ODD looking teeth in a VERY SMALL mouth, but that apparently was just perfectly normal for an 8 YO boy.  (For those of you who haven't been around this animal a lot, their wrist bones are too long, their teeth are too big, and they hurtle across the floor with a the slap slap slap slap of one of those duck toys with wheels and leather flaps for feet. See?  Except they're LOUDER.  NOTHING is proportional.  Not teeth, eyes, hands, feet, or voices.)  Anyway, I said, "Did you show this picture to Zoomboy?"  "No, did you want us too?"  Can you hear the cathedral chanting of showing an 8 year old boy what he would look like without his skin?  Happiest skeleton boy on earth.

Anyway-- so, seriously.  Not much.  My big excitement is that it was  Samday (so, uhm, playmate with Sam's mom), and that Reese Dante, lovely graphic artist extraordinaire, sent me a bunch of stock photos and said, "Guess what!  It's time to pick out your photo for Dex!"

*happy sigh*  Photo-shopping for hotties.  Time well spent.  I can't WAIT to see what she comes up with!

Oh yes-- one more thing.  Chicken's tumblr is live-- and it's really frickin' funny!  She claims she's going to keep sketching for The Author's Daughter until she goes away to school.  I don't know-- she can do a lot of damage between now and then!  Enjoy:-)