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

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Okay, went and saw Muse last night and I had my mind effectively blown.

The band has been around for a while-- long enough to have a big repertoire and a REALLY diverse following.  They were fun on stage, but the fourth and fifth band member was really their lights/effects choreographer-- DAMN.  Just... DAMN.  I've got no words.

It was amazing enough to keep me from knitting.

Which is saying something, because I was knitting through the entire opening act.

Now, I do love to knit, but I don't usually try to do it during a rock concert--for one thing, I like to stand up and dance.  But Arco Arena does NOT lend itself to dancing--at least not my section of it--and much love to Band of Skulls (the opening act) but their lights and sound was designed not to overshadow the main attraction.  They were enjoyable, but, well...

Okay, see, I'm meeting people next week, and it's always nice to bring gifts--it's sort of tradition.  So I finished a gaiter and asked Mary, "Would this be okay for Elizabeth?"  She said, "Give Elizabeth the pretty yarn you bought her in her color that you said you'd never have time to knit, and give the gaiter to MEEEEEE!!!"

I said, "Uhm, okay..."

And then she texted me later and said, "Wait!  It's Ellis's birthday that week!  You MUST give the gaiter to ELLIS!"

And I went, "Hey!  I have no time, lots of yarn, and scads of boundless ambition!  I can make her a gaiter between now and then, I KNOW I can!"

But, well, you know.  I had things to DO during the week.

So I texted Mary in the middle of Band of Skulls and said, "If I fuck up the first couple of inches of Ellis's present because I'm knitting during the opening act for Muse, should I rip it out or call it a design element and explain how it gives the garment character?"

She said, "She'll love it!"

I said, "With or without the fucked up part!"

She said, "She'll love it!"

I said, "But will she think the fucked up part is funny, or will she think it's lame?"

And Mary said, "She'll think it's funny!"

I said good-- and then I texted her this picture.

And she texted back, "Good God, woman, are you really knitting there?  GO HOME to knit!"

So I'm going to hope that "She'll think it's funny!" thing is still in place, because it's a biased rib pattern, and sometime in the middle of Wanderlust I added two stitches and reversed the direction of the bias.

But as soon as Muse came on, I had to put the knitting away.  The music was GREAT and the lights/effects were so prevalent that even though I was knitting in the dark before, if I'd tried to count a 5x5 rib during the course of the main concert I would have given myself a seizure.

I LOVE rock stars.  I love that they can look directly into a camera, sing something torchy and gut-felt, and every woman in the arena thinks about sex.  And the guys don't worry that every woman in the arena is turned on, because odds are good the girl isn't going home with the lead singer of Muse, or the Killers, or even The E-Street Band-- she's going home with her husband or boyfriend or girlfriend or wife, and SOMEONE'S gonna get lucky!  And the rock star?  He's just in the moment.  He IS the music.  His entire being is that collection of notes and power and sound vibrations and electricity that make up a song and lightshow--he's TRANSCENDENT--and he pulls us up with him!  It's holy, the way good music can raise a crowd into pure physical joy.  It's like one of the sacramental bennies of being a human being.

So, well, yeah.  I enjoyed the holy hell out of the concert, and, as always, plotbunnies were fucking like silly in my head, getting ready to give birth.  We'll see what they pop out!

And, in writing news, I updated my website in a couple of places, but I was given a couple of honors that I'm sort of proud of, and you can read more about that HERE if you'd like to.  And also, there's a... well, it's not a contest, it's sort of an "award"-- people are voting for the best m/m romance writer this year, and they had it narrowed down to five.  I was lucky enough to be in the top five, and pretty damned impressed with the company I was keeping, but this voting in public thing is BRUTAL.  It's like, "Well, screw winning-- would be nice just to not be embarrassed!"  (I'm sure I'm not the only one of the five of us thinking that, by the way.  Did I mention a certain brutality present in the process?)

Anyway, if you'd like to vote-- for any of us, because Harper Fox, Kaje Harper, Jordan Castillo Price and Abigail Roux are AWESOME writers and totally deserve your vote-- go to THIS LINK HERE and leave your choice in the comments.  And again, congratulations to all those nominated-- like I said, I'm in some pretty damned amazing company:-)

Oh yeah!  And I'd forgotten until I loaded my pictures, but I got some new swag for the upcoming conferences-- I'm bringing about fifty of the key chains to Florida (and some new bookmarks for Under the Rushes, too!) and that's always fun.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Mixed Blessings

Especially with all of the awesome superhero movies out there, there's a lot of fun talk about, "My superpower is..."

And I have to admit, I've been blessed with a couple of them myself.

*  Allegory--I have the gift of naming-- I won't deny it.  Children, characters, stories, pets-- I can name things.

*  Random encounters--I have the gift of running into people at odd times.  I've had some of the best moments with my relatives in lines for movies or stuck at the same stoplight in different cars.  I shit you not.  I've told you about meeting old students when standing at an intersection at two in the morning.  I once saw an old friend come in at a half-marathon when I was at the finish line waiting for my husband to come in.  Unpredictable, and most of the time only useful for feeling good about myself--but sometimes, once in a while, I have an idea it's coming.  I couldn't tell you WHO, but I'll have the idea that SOMEONE I know will be where I'm going.

*  Witchiness-- but only a teeny, tiny small amount of it, and only in the saddest of situations.  Maybe it's seeing so many grandparents grow older and pass on, but for the last couple, I've known as I've left--just known.

Alas, I seem to have passed that last one down to my daughter, and the first one seems to have deserted me, but we'll get to that.

Let's continue.  As with all superheroes, there is an ANTI- superpower-- a kryptonite to Superman's superpowers, a heel to Achilles' strength.  In my case it's this:  It is impossible for me to keep a secret from someone I love.  I once went to elaborate lengths to hide my husband's Christmas gift from him as I was getting out of the car from a shopping expedition, only to brag about how I'd managed six different places including the Sunglass Hut within 45 minutes at the mall.

Uhm, there really IS only one thing you can buy at the Sunglass Hut.  Yeah.  He wasn't surprised.

Anyway-- so there you go.  My superpower/superweakness, for your perusal.

Now, these are pretty tame superpowers by any stretch of the imagination.  They are.  It's not X-Ray vision.  I can't fly.  I can't even lose weight.  I can name things and run into people without medical assistance needed-- go me!

But sometimes these superpowers can lend an extra... uhm, piquancy to my already odd way of looking at things.

To wit:

I saw my last grandparent on Monday.  Yes-- my last one.  It didn't take a genius to know I was seeing my last grandmother for the last time-- she rolled over, said my name, asked me if I'd been in an accident (?-- she's witchy too-- I was a little freaked out about this, and in a minute, you'll be too,) and then fell asleep.  My aunt Carol told me this was a good day-- she woke up and knew me.

When I left, I said "Goodbye, I love you,"-- because we've already discussed this, that should be all you ever have to say to someone when you leave--but I knew.  I thought I might visit on Sunday, but I was pretty sure it wasn't going to happen.

I cried all Friday.  Yeah, I was writing a sad part of my book, but although I often tear up at sad parts, I don't usually sob, and sob so hard I can't see what I'm typing.  I thought, "Hormones?  Exhaustion?  The stress of saying goodbye to these characters anyway?"  There were reasons, right?

But nobody called.

So on Saturday, there I was, driving down the road in a part of town I usually do not frequent.  See, the kids and I were in North Highlands, going to gymnastics, when my husband called me and told me that he was going to Folsom with his buddies after football, and he wanted us to meet him for pizza.  For those who know the area, it's like being asked to journey from East L.A. to Beverly Hills, except without the two hour commute.  Anyway, we get to pizza and the kids decide they want to go home with their dad.  So I was alone in the car, popping a zit in the rearview mirror (that's embarrassing by the way--but not as embarrassing as having that thing waving to people when I get out of the car!) when I realize the woman in the passenger's seat of the car next to me is my Aunt Barb.

So we roll down our windows and chat for the duration of the light, and then go when it turns green.  (Yeah-- some of these superpowers run in families.  You may have guessed.)

So I was thinking they might try to pace me, so we could chat at the next light, but for a moment, they trailed behind.  Suddenly, they catch up with me, and tell me to pull over so we can talk.

So they stop, I pull ahead, and there we are, looking like people who just had a fender bender, sitting on the side of the road.

And that's when they tell me grandma died.


I mean,


I mean,



We cry a little, we hug, we say we said our goodbyes to her, we remind ourselves that she was ninety-one years old, and they tell me that they didn't want to call me and give me the news over the phone.  My aunt Teresa was probably on the way to tell us, but she didn't have to now.  I could tell the kids in private.

And then we got in our cars and drive away.

Well, I figure, why not?  Their superweakness is obviously the same as mine.  They see me.  They know they have something big to tell me.  They think, "Well, won't Amy feel bad if we see her and she finds out over the phone later?"


Anyway, I get home, and the bizarreness of the whole thing is still ringing in my head, and I post it on Twitter, because, well, it's bizarre, and Twitter is a good place for that shit to resonate, right?

And then it hits me-- oh FUCK!  Chicken's on Twitter, and I haven't TOLD HER.  So, if she's on the computer, I just effectively told my daughter ON TWITTER that her great grandmother died.

So I texted her instead.

She was at IHOP with her friends.

She texts, "Yeah, I knew, I think.  I was weepy all yesterday."

So, well, there you go.  Family superpowers and family kryptonite and how sometimes the twain shall meet.

The only thing missing is a name.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I Ran Out of Toilet Paper

Seriously.  I ran out of toilet paper.  The family had just enough to get them through this morning.
Now this is an unusual thing for me-- I am usually the uberqueen of overstock, but not in this case.  In this case I. Ran. Out. Of TOILET PAPER.  

So, well, that was something I had to do today.  

I also had to get the kids to school and get the dog to the vet to get his nads clipped.  

Getting the dog to the vet to get his nads clipped was really important.  See, yesterday, he was left alone --which was not my fault.   Okay, it WAS my fault, but it was sort of out of mercy.

See, what happened, was, my friend Sonjia (aka Sam's mom) called up because she thought her car had run out of gas in the middle of an intersection.  The car had not, in fact, run out of gas, which we discovered after I stopped to fill a gas can for her and then poured into the car in what felt like the middle of a very busy street.  Anyway, after getting her 4 yo boy across that busy street and into my car with my kids, we ended up waiting for an hour for the tow truck and her inlaws to arrive, and in the meantime, the CHP showed up and used their handy-dandy shove-everything grill to get her car out of the intersection, and in the end?  We were gone for an hour and a half, with the dog in the car with the kids.  

So when we had to go get Big T from the bus stop, I decided to leave him alone for twenty minutes, and, as we all know, this is a BAD THING.  So after we walked in the house, I picked him up to reassure him that no, his people had not been sucked down a black hole and he was so excited he attempted to both hump my neck and stick his tongue up my nose at the same time.  For the record?  It was an uncomfortable moment for both those involved and those witnessing, and while it's a good thing I didn't have to use a tissue because, well, the toilet paper thing, well, it was just a good thing his vet appointment was this morning.  

So to get to the vets on time, I had a plan.  I told the kids I was going to take a shower.  I would be in the shower for twenty minutes.  They were under one obligation.  They needed to get dressed.  They NEEDED. TO. GET. DRESSED.  That was it.  We'd have time for breakfast, hair combing, and medication, if only they would BE DRESSED when I emerged from the shower. 

Well, Zoomboy got dressed, and then proceeded to play with his sister until I got out of the shower and she was still in her jammies and we had five minutes to go (because me, not so good with the time, yanno?) and I yelled.  Yup.  I yelled.  In fact, I yelled at the children so loudly, THE DOG PLOTZED.  On the couch.  

I did it.  First I planned to take his nads away, and then I scared the shit out of the dog.  Literally.  And made Squish cry, but she got over it.  That dog's NEVER gonna be potty trained.  We're gonna be buying carpet diapers forever.  

So I got the kids to school, late, and wondered when we were going to get our SARB letter because, hey, they're NEVER on time, and then got the dog to the vets.

The vets have a demon kitty.  

Yeah, sure, they say he's an Egyptian hairless, but he wouldn't let me get a picture of his sunken, demon-yellow eyes.  So, while he loved on me, loved on the receptionist, and loved on my phone while I was taking the pictures, I remain convinced he was not a heavenly creature.  But that's okay-- I'm a pagan, heaven is overrated.  The truth is, petting him felt like petting a warm blooded, stubbly snake, or a REALLY BIG shaved scrotum, and while I wouldn't tell HIM this (because, did I mention?  He was a total love?) the fact was, I missed fluff while this cat was attempting to seduce me with his giant scrotum body.  I mean, I get it-- his entire ATTITUDE was fluffy, but, well, fluffy can't always be boiled down to attitude.  Sometimes, it has to be an honest to God tactile experience, and this cat gave a different tactile experience, and I think it would take some getting used to.  Not that he wouldn't be a wonderful pet, and a very rewarding one (his purring shook the counter) but they had another cat there, an orange tortoiseshell, and I'm firmly convinced the second one was just so they could bury their hands in his fur.  

So, after that experience, I arrived at Safeway.  

And I texted my friend and GRL roommate, Ellis.  

"Dear God, I am at the grocery store without a plan, because we ran out of toilet paper this morning.  I. Ran Out.  Of TOILET PAPER."

To which she responded: 

"ABORT ABORT ABORT-- Run in, get toilet paper, get out, do not, repeat do NOT attempt to shop! You will spend $200 there and STILL have nothing for dinner!"
"I'll just get staples," I reassured her.  

Yeah.  Famous last words.  

So, at the end of the day, as I sat down after doing a load of laundry to finally do my actual job and, yanno, write, I felt compelled to text her with the truth:

"Bad news:  Spent $350.  Good news:  $50 of it was in toilet paper.  #dontjudgeme"

Of course, Ellis, being a petite 105 lbs. of awesome, would not DREAM of judging me.  

I leave that for you all to do!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Just a Thought

*  This is Helm's Peep.  Seriously, enough said!  *dies*

*  On all those crime dramas, why don't serial killers ever come back with a hangover and some advil?  Why does it always have to be with a vengeance?

*  And why are they so pissed off on television anyway?  I mean hell, they're getting serious press!

*  What kind of woman lets her grade school children watch Titanic?

*  Is it bad that she enjoyed the solid half-an-hour of "I need you, mommy!" after the sobfest at the end?

*  Oh, tiny dog, I now know why you didn't need to be walked today!  (Hint: That's not chocolate!)

*  How much time can a time suck suck if a time suck could suck peeps?

*  When the dog is sniffing at places we're walking by, is he identifying his friends?  "Oh, Jimmy!  There you are!  I'd recognize that piss anywhere!  And oh, *sniff*  that must be the Samoyed with the nice tail!  Think she'd give me some?  And omgLOOK!  It's CRAPZILLA!"

*  If we could train the dog to sleep with the kids, do you think they could all be trained to sleep SOMEWHERE ELSE BUT OUR BED?

*  It's hard to stick to a diet when my brain is consumed with the ever-present dialog between steak and chocolate.  Steak is winning at present, but chocolate has made a good case.

*  Everyone wonders why the dog loves me best.  Here's a subtle hint: It's because I take him out to pee most often, and he THINKS THAT MEANS I LOVE HIM.

*  I just had a FB chat in German.  My human translator was awesome, but do you think Bing would like a thank you note for offering help on the side?

*  You know you've done good when your publisher sends you a contract along with the e-mail, "I hate you!"  Yes.  Angst achieved.  I've made someone cry.  I'm gonna go eat chocolate now in remorse.  #notsorryevenalittle  #wellmaybeforthechocolate

*  Jack Reacher is a kick ass hero, both in the books and in the movie.  But in the third book he's 6'5" tall, 250 lbs. of sheer muscle, and was described as "a condom stuffed with walnuts".  I'd like me some of that, even just to slash.  Jack Reacher, watch out-- there's a man out there for you!

*  I saw The Last Stand last night, and while it was typical gory Swartzeneger, complete with exploding brains and squishy sound effects, it was also solid action entertainment.  Of course MY favorite part was when the Hero in Need of Redemption gave a manly hug to the Deputy in the Red Uniform through prison bars.  HelLO plotbunny!

*  I'd like to declare the nap that will follow this blog post as part of my creative process.  And any knitting that comes with it.

*  And once again I'd like to thank Steven Spielberg for Jurassic Park and a movie my kids can watch that I can analyze and say, "Yeah.  It stands up."

*  Off to go snuggle with dog and sleep.  #Ineedthis

*  May we ALL have a happy and productive week:-)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Cover Squee, and More Whining

Okay-- I've been editing, so I admit, I don't have much to chat about.  Or, I do, but a lot of it is behind the scenes.

And it's weird, how much your behind the scenes stuff can just mertilize your regular day, you know?

Some of my former professional legal bullshit has resurfaced, and I thought I was okay with it.  I was better than okay--I was self-actualized and righteously pissed off!  It was awesome, I was the heroine in the book of me, and I was going to kick some ass!  

And I honestly believed that was how it was going to be, right?  I was going to be that awesome.

And then the stupidest thing happened.  I had a bad weigh in at Weight Watchers.  I won't go into details, but I'd been SO. GOOD.  Better than good.  I'd been a MODEL points tracking, activity pointing, Weight Watcher's machine, and by golly, I was going to walk in there and make the scale my BITCH!

And I walked in there and... well, my gym scale said I lost three pounds.  The scale that mattered says I lost bupkiss.

I cried through the entire meeting, surprised, because it had been a while since I'd been that helpless about anything.

And then I cried through my entire day.  

No wonder I write about men.  My entire emotional process is one long masculine path of utter denial.

Heroine in my own novel, my STILL-fat white ass!

I was devastated-- this bullshit had started again and I was committed to see it through to the bitter end.

Except I've moved beyond it, you know?

Well, apparently the wheels of justice to not acknowledge my emotional need for closure.  *sigh*  Fuck them.  I might have to be out of town when they roll by, so go me!

So, between that, my shitty kitchen table (I did commit to cleaning it--I also committed to getting more sleep--which I shall attempt to do shortly!) the freakishly cold weather, and a little dog who thinks it's hysterical to eat the kitty roca and then come yawn in my face, I'd say the cover squeeeee! was a very necessary joy.

Colby and Terrell look very hot and very hawt, and maybe if I look at the cover enough, some of that photographic sun will seep through my bones.

Oh-- and I have to add this, because it's a classic example of me vs. CMoS.  You all see that little hyphen on the cover, between "Bolt" and "Hole"?  Well, that originally wasn't on there.  In fact, Paul Richmond had already jazzed up the Dan Skinner picture with some blond hair for Colby and some photo manipulation for a few other details (like a sailboat that had no place in the plot, as well as the titles which we damned near nit-picked to death, and we had a product we REALLY liked.

And then the product came back from editing, and it was pointed out that "bolt-hole" had to have a hyphen in it.  It was the CMoS LAW!

I had no idea I was breaking the law of CMoS-- I hope they don't hold my past sins against me, or I'm in a helluva lot of trouble!

And when all is said and done?  I posted it on FB, and half the responders assumed the title was "Butt-hole" anyway.

OI!  Funny only because I SWEARTADOG, that title has no dirty implications whatsoever!  (Bolt-Hole, not Butt-Hole, because the second one really IS dirty.)

Annnnddd I'm rambling.  Time to tak my little dog and my cover squee, and my stupid insecurities, and go to bed.  Night everybody!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cold Snap

Me:  C'mon puppy, let's go pee-pee!  Time to go pee-pee in the potty!

Dog: It's 23 degrees out here, you sadistic bitch!  Besides--you know I already whizzed in your laundry!


Mate:  Did you go do aqua aerobics today.

Me:  Yes.  I've been assured my metal is in the mail.  (Still hasn't been sent.  The nerve!  It was forty degrees out there yesterday!)


Zoomboy:  It's really cold.  I think I'll wear two sweaters!  If it was only a little cold, I would only wear one, but it's really cold, so I'll wear two.  If we were on the Ice PLanet Hoth, I'd have to wear taun-taun guts, but we're not, so I'll wear another sweater.

(Zoomboy has become obsessed with Star Wars lately-- his rather hilarious story for school is titled "Robot Apocalypse" and features a communications robot named CP who helps people run their lawn mowers after the crash.)


Me, on phone to book vendor:  Oooh... it's a bit cold!

Book Vendor:  Don't talk to me about cold--I live in Petaluma, it was 15 degrees out there.  Isn't it in the 50's where you are?

Me:  It's in the twenties!

Book Vendor (as if suddenly realizing I am a customer and he probably shouldn't play one-upsies with me):  Wow-- I'm surprised.  It usually doesn't get that cold in the valley.

Me:  Yeah-- well, people keep giving us cold weather clothes.  Time to use them!


Me:  You know, since basically I"m throwing a jacket on over my pajamas when I take the dog for a walk, I don't really have a bra on.  Basically, I really am freezing my tits off.

Mate:  Don't do that.  I like them.


Big T:  I was going to go out and catch a bus and go look for a job.  But you had to leave.  I thought I'd stay home for the dog.

Dog:  Sure.  That's why you didn't leave the house.


Me to dog:  NO, Johnnie, don't eat the Kitty Roca-- IT'S NOT WHAT YOU THINK IT IS!!!


Cat to me:  If the dog was truly significant, you would allow him to make sweet love to you in the bathroom.  Now scratch my places, slavebeast, scratch them!

Me to cat:  Behind the tail or behind the tail, my liege?  My wish is but to serve.


Me to Mary:  Florida, right?  We're going to Florida in a month?  It's going to be warm, right?  WAAAARRRRRRRRMMM....

Mary:  Uh-huh, because 68* is warm.  Sure it is.


Me to dog:  Yeah, sure, come camp out on my chest.  Just don't stop radiating heeeeeeeaaaattttttt.


I understand the weather's going to warm up a little.  I, for one, can hardly wait!

Saturday, January 12, 2013



Time is totally leaping by me in bounds like a startled deer.

I think part of it was that I was getting sick yesterday.  I skipped my workout (because nothing says "get sicker" like going swimming when it's 35 degrees outside) and slept.  For two hours.

The cat kept giving me full body tackle hugs while I slept to make sure I was still alive.

*happy sigh*

Twas beyond awesome.

And I went to bed at the normal time--and I feel better!  Isn't that amazing?  Seriously-- the older I get, the more I appreciate sleep (and the less time I have to get some--that's weird.)

And other things in the update?

Well, Big T has very little to do atm-- School's out for another week, and he's hanging out around the house, catching up with his movie viewing.  Little Johnnie the dog?  Has come to think of him as his favorite human-- it's really very cute.  But the dog-- if you see a lot of pictures of this dog sleeping, it's because HE SLEEPS A LOT!  As I posted on Twitter, I had a cat that was dying of something that slept less than this supposedly hyper-breed puppy!

It also gives me a twitch that threatens to burst out-- you know, the one that screams, "GET A JOB!"

But he's so good about other stuff... and he's looking.  Just hard to find right now.  *sigh*

So there's that.

The Kings might move to Seattle-- Mate is depressed, and I'm going to a game with him tonight so that he might not mourn alone.  I don't know what to do about that--we're going to have to find him another sports obsession... uhm, Rivercats games here we come?  I haven't written baseball players yet...

Squish is blowing my mind-- she sounds SO grownup sometimes-- it's hard to remember she's still six!

Upon getting the wrong happy meal toy:  "Mama, I thought they would have the Mochi toys.  I'm a little disappointed.  We already have the Strawberry Shortcake."

Upon watching Hercules: "Mom, the animation of the monster does not quite match the animation of the rest of the movie.  Did they use a different technique?"  (Me:  0.0 uhm, yeah.  Computer animation for the monster, two-D animation for the rest of it.  Dayum, baby.)

And I'm trying to think of a third, but mostly, I get the sound of her evil cackle when she knows she's been cute--which is good, because I guess she's still six after all!

And I've got my plane tickets for Florida-- I'm attending the Old City New Blood  conference in less than a month, and I'm SO excited!  There will be  YARN SHOPPING beforehand, and hanging with my publisher and friend, Elizabeth, and my best Mary, and our bud, Elizabeth Staab, and, in general, lots and lots of joy.

And it might not be 35 degrees.  Saying.

Oh-- and in knitting news?  I'm sort of obsessed with the all purpose, garter stitch gaiter, knit in a large gauge yarn--but, and this is a good point here, so listen-- I think I should have done a different color the second time.  No yarn is so pretty or project so awesome that you want to do the same thing in the same color twice.

Oh yeah... and did I mention the new rug?

The cat would like me to mention the new rug.

In fact, it's her best thing of the YEAR!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Nine or so things!

Seriously-- catching up takes so much time!

Anyway-- I've got a bullet point post of things, and then I'm going to go to bed early.  I HAVE been staying up late, but today I took a two hour nap, realized that working until one a.m. was counter productive when you have to be up at six, and am now attempting to just chill out.  Trust me.  I need it. Here's a list of assorted bitches, whines, and moans for the last five days.  (And some celebrations too, but I'm a little blue, so guess what's got my attention?)

*  First of all, the lovely gif is from Love Romances Cafe-- the voting doesn't start until Thursday (I think--that's the tenth, right?) and I'll be sure to post a link on Twitter/FB when it does, but right now, the honor is TOTALLY in the nomination for Talker, best YA book, and myself, best LGBTQ author. Again, thank you, Dawn and LRC-- it's an honor.

* Secondly, I've been told I've received a Beary Award for Sidecar--very much  an honor!

*  Third, Chris from Stumbling Over Chaos is having a "catch up" contest for Under the Rushes  -- if you haven't bought the book because, hey, we're ALL broke after Christmas, now is the time to get it free!

*  Fourth, I"m currently doing a complete Re-org for City Mouse-- the story needed some extensive internal editing, and can I just say?  I MISS working on Racing for Sonny-- man, that story is SO shiny... right now?  It's my favorite toy!  I have some cover art for that City Mouse though, and once Aleks and I decide on our favorite, I'll put it up!

*  Fifth, I get THIS picture as a cover pic for Bolt Hole, and I'm thrilled!  I'll put it back up when there's some titles and everything, but right now?  I adore it muchly!

*  Sixth, all of my electronics failed me when I needed them most-- in the past two days, in order, the following has happened:

  **My printer broke when I needed it to print out my new work credit card so I could buy plane tickets.  I need to buy the plane tickets--I go to St. Augustine in A MONTH!

** My computer crashed and TWO BACKUPS FAILED ME and I would have lost 10K of Sonny, but I'd been sending installments to Mary, so I just had to patch that all together from my e-mail.

** The Weight Watcher's website is incompatible with my smart phone, and there is NOTHING more frantic than a dieting fat woman who can't enter her points and who needs to eat dinner RIGHT THE FUCK NOW!

** My car is making cricket noises. I'm sure there's a better word for it, but right now, let's let cricket noises stand.  (See?  I told you there'd be whining!)

** There were several contest winners over the break, and we had a helluva time getting their stuff uploaded.  (If one of these people is you, and you've been expecting it and it hasn't happened?  Contact me at my amylane AT greenshill DOT com e-mail!  It WILL be done!)

* Seventh, Johnnie is still cute and still adored, but we are having potty training difficulties.  I put a mat on the indoor places he likes to potty, and then, after he'd had a few accidents, put the mat outside in the potty place.  I just took him to the potty place.  It was cold, so he sat on the mat.  He was grateful.  It wasn't nearly as chilly as that awful grass.

*  Eighth, Steve the cat followed us around the block on our walk tonight, bitching the whole time.  Apparently, without her help, we couldn't make the six rights that constitute walking out of your driveway, making a big circle around the block, and walking back to the house.  She does this a lot-- and she's vocal the entire time.  This time, I saw a neighbor and took Johnnie up to say hi.  When I went up the driveway, Steve hunkered back, one house over, and crouched in the bushes, eyeballing us as if to say, "I shut up for one minute, and you forget how to get home."  As soon as we left, she waited until we passed her hideout and joined us again.  I adore her, but she is the WEIRDEST cat.

*  And ninth?  Well, the kids have started school and band and dance and gymnastics, and they're tired and fractious--but I will leave you with this joke Zoomboy told me:

Mom, why did the elephant paint his seat yellow?
So he could hide in the custard.
I've never seen an elephant in custard.
See?  It's WORKING!

I totally did not see that one coming, and yes.  I laughed my ass off!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Get the Thing!

So, a scattershot of things this morning, right?
*  These are the small dog's basic commands:

For walkies-- "C'mon Johnnie, let's go pottie!"  (If you say it like the song, it rhymes!)

To heel-- "C'mon!"

To play-- "Get the thing!  The thing!  The glorious thing!  Get it!  Get it!  Getitgetitgetitgetit!"

To go to sleep-- "Okay, get up here, Jesus Christ calm down, under the covers, calm down, okay, calm down, yeah, that's it.  Calm.  Calm down.  Stop it.  Stop... stop... that's right.  Calm down.  Right.  Calm down.  Good boy.  Good.  Whew."

*  Went and saw the live stage show of How to Train Your Dragon last night.  T'was AWESOME.  There's something amazing about a live stage show, and this one had acrobatics and puppetry, and, oh yeah, GIGANTIC FRICKIN' DRAGONS on the stage.  And that flew.  And that... seriously.  I mean. Dudes.  It was amazing--and the sequence where Hiccup is trying to fire his thing into the air to capture the Night Fury was a combination of acrobatics and live media that would blow your minds.  So is the scene where the gigantic dragon destroys the fleet.  All in all, just... *sniffle*  I love good storytelling and live theatre.  *happy sigh*  Yeah.  
*  The little kids loved it.  They also loved the souvenirs their sister bought them.  Can you tell?

*  Chicken has made clear glycerin soap with little tiny plastic animals in the middle, like sort of the prize for using all the soap.  The results make us giggle, and she agrees they're an awesome gift for her friends.  My idea.  Uh-huh.  We have it here in writing.

*  One of our "fun" Christmas gifts at the family exchange was one of those laser pointer thingies that bobs and weaves, so your pets will chase it.  We thought it was a GREAT idea.  As it turns out?  Our pets are smarter than that.  Yeah, go figure.  We keep setting it up in a dark room and bringing the dog or the cat in, only to get this look that says, "Assholes."  *sigh*  It was still a good idea. 

*  Speaking of pets, we crate the little dog when we leave the house, but the big dog is still free range.  We came back last night to find the big dog lying next to the crate, her head close to the door, so she and little dog could apparently commune.  It was very sweet.  Little dog has become one of her five reasons to live, which is nice.  We weren't ready to put her down yet.

*  Squish learned how to make potholders on a loom.  It is not good enough for her.  She wants to learn to KNIT!  Uhm, anyone have patience reserves? I'll take them in a bucket, a bundle, or a box of cookies!  Send help, quick!

*  Saw this book.  Loved it.  Bought it.  Am going to ship it to Mary today, because her kids will go nuts with it!

*  And this is political, but it covers two political arguments I'm semi-rabid about so I'm gonna post it.  I figure no one who knows me will really be surprised.  

*  Chicken leaves tomorrow. *sniffle*  Small dog will miss her too.  She's become his favorite person, and that's a damned shame!  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Years, Slug Style

Yeah.  We never really got New Years.

Mate and I have been to a couple of parties, thrown by friends, and when we were young, we worked through the New Year a couple of times.  We've had people over to watch movies, watch the ball drop, and go home, and we've always let the kids stay up.

But really?

Not our thing.

So last night, we were all set up to watch the Thin Man marathon, only it didn't happen this year, so we watched Abbot and Costello movies and that was fun too.  I made ham (apparently I make ham that tastes like candy.  Chicken thinks this is proof of my magic powers.  I think it's proof that I could probably turn broccoli into a heart attack if someone gave me enough brown sugar and butter) and for the kids that was a big deal.  (We never had a ham when they were growing up.  I've come to appreciate the beauty of ham as I've aged.)

We drank sparkling cider, ate potato chips, and counted down from 59 when the ball dropped.  In the meantime, Mate and I, inspired by the Jack Reacher movie which we both liked a lot, read the very first  book by Lee Childs on our respective electronic devices.  (This is interesting to do, because the books sync to the last place the book was read, REGARDLESS of who was reading it.  I caught a lot of crap about reading like the wind last night, but I don't read NEARLY as much as I used to, so I HAVE to read like the wind or I wouldn't read at ALL!)

The little kids stayed up until 12:30 (they were a MESS) and the big kids quibbled about who would watch what on the television.

And then the ball dropped, and we toasted each other with apple juice, and went to bed.

Chicken stopped by our room, where Mate and I were reading, and said, "That was nice.  But next year, I sort of want to party like a college student."

We said that would be fine.

And it will be.

But I got my best Christmas wish-- one more year, probably the last, with all my kids being my kids as the New Year dawns.

I got to read a book.  Booyah!

Happy New Years everyone.  If you've got hangovers, drink water.  If you don't, may you hit the right sales.  If you're not going shopping, enjoy the quiet.  I'm all ready to see what the world's gonna do this year--and as long as there's no more campaign commercials, I think it's going to be fine!