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

Sunday, September 29, 2013

"Shrimpanzee!" BRILLIANT!

Chicken and I are in San Diego!
Wait-- did I tell you I was coming to San Diego for two days?

Probably not.

It's been sort of a week. 

Last night we went out to Korean BBQ and followed it up with Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs II. What I loved most about this movie was how much fun it was for everyone.  No, it wasn't high art-- sort of.  It was puns, which is both the highest and the lowest form of humor, and this film, Technicolor hilarity, attempted to make every food-i-mal pun on the planet.  

Mate and I were both exhausted-- and us exhausted equals us silly.  

We loved it.  It made us giggle, and quote the stupid puns "Shrimpanzees!" and "There's a leek in the boat!"-- we love that shit!  And in our mood at the time?  We ate it up like a spoon.

Part of my exhaustion was the two releases right in a row, and part of it was trying to accomplish stuff while Chicken was in the house, and part of it was getting ready for, well, what I'm doing right now-- chilling with Rhys and her sister in San Diego, after escorting Chicken home. 

So this morning, Mate was out of the house early to set up the soccer field, and I was up not much longer, getting the kids ready and getting them to their games.  Their games were done at 12:30, there was lunch, packing, and then Chicken and I got to the airport and got on a plane.


Can we say stupid tired?

Yeah-- Rhys and Jenn took us out for tacos, and now here I am, gazing blankly at my screen and thinking things like, "Uh..."

Because I think, sometime in the past couple of days, I won a couple of Honorable Mentions from the Rainbow awards,(Bolt Hole, Dex in Blue, and Under the Rushes) and I'm pretty sure I scored an interview (with an accompanying giveaway.)   and I'm pretty sure Triane's Son Rising was released on Thursday.  

I know that a few people have been reading ARc's of Ethan in Gold and that they seem to like it very much, and that I finally got all my swag so I can mail it as soon as I get back.  

I know that Christmas Kitsch is available for pre-sale, and that much of the proceeds are going to charity, and that I love the cover, and I know that a bunch of hard working volunteers got Vulnerable translated into Italian, and that I'm looking into figuring out how to offer that for free on the Italian version of amazon.  (And they put this amazing cover on it.  It makes me very happy.)

And I know that Squish blocked a goal in the position of keeper today, and the Zoomboy actually remembered to play his position, and that I forgot to tell Mate that the kids are going to want to buy books for the book fair on Monday, although they already bought some on Friday. And that my stepmom treated  Chicken and me to birthday mani-pedis, and I treated her to lunch at our favorite Thai restaurant and we almost made it through without   arguing once.

And I know that I miss my husband, my booby hamster, and my comfy slouchy chair where I could watch Hawaii-5-0 with impunity, but that I'm having very much fun visiting here and that Rhys and Jenn are the awesomenest people ever. 

And that I think I'm very tired...

Why do you think that is?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Chicken's birthday, a new release, and what the two have in common

Original Cover

So Chicken is nineteen, and I've been a little absent on the net, because, well, birthday.  I managed to get one picture of the elusive Chicken-- I talked her into coming with me as I went to purchase birthday pie, and she dressed as a slacking teenager.  That's my sweater, by the way-- and that's an entire other story!

So anyway-- Chicken is nineteen, but it wasn't so long ago that she was twelve, and that's when my story about my story begins.

Chicken, at 19
See, I've been publishing my writing since February, 2005-- that's almost nine years.  And the first thing I put out was Vulnerable.  So  Chicken has been watching me write stories since she was very small-- and she and Big T were very aware that they were too young for mommy's books.  So, after three Little Goddess books, Chicken and Big T were 12 and 14, and I promised I'd write books they could read.

I both failed and succeeded.

See, when I started, I had the idea of the superhero in an epic fantasy setting, and I loved it.  But I wanted more than just the rich, handsome Duke of Earl or whatever-- I wanted to see what made this guy tick, so I started with the Seminal Event that began this schism in his personality-- the thing that made him two people.

New, Pretty Cover
I pretty much wrote the exact books I wanted to-- but as I wrote, concepts that seemed so very normal in my head began to seem really frightening for middle school students.  Now, I'm not even talking about the sex (although, of ALL things, during the re-edit of these stories, I was just asked to intensify one of the sex scenes in the next story, which sort of blows my mind.)  What I'm talking about is the idea of genocide.  Of mass murder. Of the government as bullies.

Remember, this was before the terrible events in Annoka-Hennepin, when those of us in the U.S. realized that our government was literally bullying kids to death, so in a way I was naive.

But I was also pretty dedicated to the story, so I kept writing.

And I was right to do so.  In the past couple of years, Elizabeth North, the CEO of Dreamspinner Press has made YA novels a concentration-- she's developed a Young Adult imprint of Dreamspinner, Harmony Ink Press.  When she put together this secondary company, she did her homework, and asked the Young Adult Librarians specifically, what made a YA book.

The answer?

Young. Adults.  (Shocking, I know.)

And when she told me this, I realized that I'd sort of known this.  I'd been getting book reports, for heaven's sake-- and what were my kids reading?  Ellen Hopkins, David Levithan, Sarah Dessen, Scott Westerfield, Holly Black, Robert Cormier, and Laurie Halse Anderson.  These guys deal with some pretty serious subjects.  Drug abuse, broken families, death, disaster, dystopia-- you name it, they've written about it.

They have even *gasp* written about sex.  The standard for Young Adult books and sex is simply that the sex has to drive character or story, and it can't dwell too much on the intimate details.

Well, oddly enough, that's what I wrote.  I wrote a book that an adult could enjoy (and several have) but that pared back (apparently a little too much even) on the sex.  The fact that there were boys having the sex (in some parts) was not a factor.

So, yes, Young Adult Books for Young Adults.  But not any Young Adults.

My Young Adults.

If you read the blurb, you will see that Torrant and Yarri are (by the time this book is done) our central players.  (All four books add up to nearly 500,000 words-- there's going to be more than two central players!)  You will also see some vague references to the "Moon Family in Clough."

Okay, let me be absolutely transparent (for those who weren't here when this was happening.)  The "Moon Family in Clough" is MY FAMILY in Clough.

These books were started shortly after Squish was born, and Chicken had just turned 12.  When we first see Bethen Moon, she is very pregnant, and her sturdy child Roes is at her side.    At the end of the bulk of the action, Squish's character is fourteen.  At the end of the epilog, she is a woman grown, with grandchildren.

So, while I was plotting something sort of delicate and all encompassing, I was also imagining my family growing up.  It was both an amazing and a terrifying experience, and in some ways, I was both very very wrong and very very right about who they would be.  (Zoomboy, for instance, is not a "pervert wastrel" as his counterpart, Cwyn "Terror" Moon, was in the story.  But he does give his teachers fits, he is terrifyingly bright, and the places his mind goes are not always predictable.)  While I was writing the second book, my students got into the act.  I was writing something aimed at high school aged kids-- I was very comfortable putting them in the book if they asked.  Now some of you know the story of Marv and Jino, and I won't go into it here, but this had some unexpectedly poignant results, and including my students is something I will never regret.

So these books-- well, close to my heart is an inadequate way of putting it.

When I discovered that Harmony Ink Press prints not just M/M romance, but all shades of the LGBTQ rainbow, and not just romance either, I thought, "Hey!  These books came out and only my loyal faithful fans and friends read them.  Maybe they can get another chance to be read." I suggested to Elizabeth and Nessa (who runs the Harmony Ink division) that these books might work for Harmony Ink when we were all in Chicago, and I thought that maybe, maybe, they'd be out in 2014.  I had no idea they'd be out so soon.

I'm thrilled.

The books were (as I've said) divided into four books reasonably large books instead of two GINORMOUS books, they were re-edited, and tomorrow, the first one begins it's re-release.

Next week, Ethan in Gold will be out, and I will throw a frickin' party, because Ethan was a tough write, and I loved it, and I think a lot of people are excited to hear that he's on his way.

But tomorrow, Triane's Son Rising is coming out, and even though this is the second time out of the box, I still think it should get some confetti.

Holy Goddess, Merciful God, let it not suck.

Triane's Son Rising at Dreamspinner Press

Triane's Son Rising at All Romance e-books

Triane's Son Rising at

(I'll add the link when it comes out :-)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Look Homeward, Chicken

Okay-- I was about to start working on my story tonight-- at the moment, my WIP is called Shiny! with the punctuation mark, and I'm having very much fun with it, and the story behind it-- well, fun.  That's all.  Fun and light, and for those of you who enjoy my angsty stuff, I will tell you that this is all Elizabeth's fault and leave it like that.  
But one of the fun things about Shiny! is that it has, well, sex in it.  Not a gratuitous amount, but what's in there is really fun, and that is one of the things that Triane's Son Rising does NOT have. 
I'm sure some of you are like, "Well, that's not a very good way to sell a book!" but I just wanted to remind folks-- this is a YOUNG ADULT geared epic fantasy romance. I remember when I was working on this one and teaching, and my department head-- who was one of the biggest vainglorious prickweenies EVER, said, "So, Lane, whatcha writing about?  More fantasy unicorns with rainbows shooting out their ass?"

I said, "Actually, no, this one's about social iniquity, forced alienation, and genocide."

He thought that was the funniest thing he'd ever heard of.  Yeah.  Asshat.  I know.  I had to work with him.  Anyway, it turns out, those topics are just dandy for Young Adult classified literature, and so is sex.  So for that matter is gay sex.  As it turns out, the ONLY thing needed for the classification of Young Adult literature is that the protagonists have to be young adults.  Since there's a new category for emerging adults, this means that Litha's Constant Whim, Truth in the Dark, The Talker Stories, The Locker Room, Vulnerable, and, yes, The Bitter Moon Saga can ALL fit under the classification of Young Adult literature.  (I hope the fuckers at my old DO read this and choke on their own humiliating vomit.  No, I'm not a martyr-- I do have a highly developed sense of vengeance, why do you ask?)

So, oddly enough, I am feeling a little embarrassed about the sexual content of this book.

The, uhm, negative sexual content of this last book.

I mean, sex is mentioned, and it's discussed-- no, not in graphic detail, in terms if emotional impact--and yes, our boy is attracted to both men and women, and he's got to deal with that.  (It's not rough.  They're both pretty.  He's interested.  And that's how the first book ends.)

Anyway-- so, I thought I'd need to remind everybody-- this book has no sex in it.  Not really.  And as for what it DOES have in it?  We'll chat about that later!

In the meantime, I have these random pictures that I should clarify.  I simply used letters, in order, so don't get confused!  And something was up with blogger-- the spacing here was NOT MY CHOICE... it sort of backed me into a corner and smacked me around a little.  It was late.  I let the pictures sit where they felt like they needed to be.
A.  I think this poster is the best reason in the world for commas.  Ever.  Use commas.  Don't be a psycho.  It's that easy. 

B.  Chicken is making octopi these days.  I like this one-- it was made specifically for Mary Calmes.  It's sweet and sort of smart looking and pink.

C.  Yarn porn.  It's from a place called Holiday Yarns-- I found them online.  It's gorgeous.  But I'm giving some of it away to peoples, as yarn.  Cause it's gorgeous, and I have plenty, and I think it makes a nice present, as so many of you have taught me.

D.  Squish and Zoomboy, chatting at a restaurant.  Because, you know, you haven't seen enough of them growing lately. 

E.  Darth Vader came to Squish's soccer game and supervised the royal asswhupping they administered.  My husband kept all our best players back and only played them three quarters (since the actual coach had taken off) and our poor Squishy.  She needs to be on a team that is not made up of superstars, since she is more of a social player.  I was on a basketball team like this in middle school.  Nothing makes you feel more like a loser than being the worst player on a good team.  God.  Of all the things I could have passed on to my kids, I wish complete hopelessness in any sort of sport was not one of them.

F. This is Steve the Cat, who is determined none but she should sit in the good seat.  Tough, Steve, Mom's got shit to do.

G.  I promise you all a picture of Chicken.  Her birthday is Tuesday.  She is, as you all probably guessed, still heartbreakingly beautiful.  My heart, anyway. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Time Capsule

Okay-- so we are all aware that I suck at the baby book thing, and that I often use the blog as sort of a time capsule.

I realized that October 12th is coming up-- and that's a pretty important day for me.  See, three years ago BEFORE October 12th, 2010, I was a teacher, part time.  Mate took the kids to school in the morning and I took Squish to day care, and then I picked everybody up (except T) in the afternoon.  My staff room had sort of turned into a snakepit of misogyny.  I was pretty sure I was the worst teacher and the most worthless human being on the planet.  Things may have been looking up--my students were better three years ago than they had been the year before, and our principal was doing his best to keep everyone positive and find new ways to make the school a better place to be.  That didn't keep me from listening to things like "Bleed it Out" and "Something to Believe" and "Let it Die" every morning, after I dropped Squish off. I needed something--something-- to keep me going, to make me believe I was capable of doing this job, of doing it well.

But the kids were fun-- and I was having fun with them, and I was pretty adept at avoiding my staff room by then.

If I look at the blogs, I can't hardly see the seam.

I can't see the transition from that life-- which was really hard, but that I was proud of (when I wasn't talking to my department head at the time)-- to this one, which is hard in different ways and that I'm proud of in different ways.  One day I'm talking about how we had a really hectic week that we wrapped up at Six Flags, and the next blog entry I mention that I got a chance to do aqua aerobics during the day.  I had to check the dates three times to make sure that the rug had been pulled out from under my feet in the spaces between.

Sure enough-- Monday-- the post about Six Flags.  Thursday, the post about the swimming.

Between Monday and Thursday, I got a call (Monday night) and told that I wasn't going to be teaching the next day.  "Should I leave a lesson plan?"  I asked, thinking that this would be a one day thing-- what had I done, after all, that could have been that bad.

"I think that would be a very professional thing to do," my union representative said soothingly.

That night, my principal called me up-- he wasn't supposed to do that-- and he told me that, no matter what happened the next day, he knew I was the person he had worked with for ten years.  That has meant a lot to me for the last three years.

That morning I stopped and left a lesson plan, and a laughing note to my students that I was in the doghouse, but to listen to the sub, and then I went up to the office.  On my way, I met two fellow veterans.  Now, I talk a lot about the misogyny of the staff room, and it pains me to admit that in a way these guys contributed to that-- but they weren't, on their own, bad men.  In fact, they'd fought for me a couple of times, and we were, in our way, friends.  They told me good luck, and I said thank you.  One of them also asked, in that way he had of being blunt with me because he could, "What did you do?"  At that point, neither of us knew.

It was the last time I saw them, and the last time I was on campus when students were present.

I waited in the conference room, and an administrator whose name I barely knew (and whose name I keep forgetting now, which is weird) came in and read a statement in which he accused me of pedophilia and pornography, because I let my students read my books.

I came home shaken, devastated, and told Mate tearfully that I had apparently sacrificed my job for my writing.

"Which books?" he asked.

"Truth in the Dark and Litha's Constant Whim."

"Oh.  Well at least it's important," he said.

I think I told my more personal friends on the internet-- and because not everybody is ever in the same room, I've had to tell that story a number of times since then.  But now, as the mornings are more crisp, and I'm getting into the hang of taking the kids to school again, and the light turns gold, it's coming back to me.  Chicken is starting her second year of not being part of that morning routine.  Big T is starting his third.  And after October 12th, I will be starting my fourth.

But that moment, when I came into the kitchen and sat down on a kitchen chair (we bought a desk chair that December) and looked at my computer after my husband left-- that was the beginning of where I am today.

We're approaching another anniversary of the same month.

See, after I'd been taken out of my classroom, things were up in the air for a while.  There was talk of me being allowed back in after signing my soul over in some papers that it makes me nauseous to think of having my name on.  Anyway--like I said.  Up in the air.

And in the middle of this, I went to Yaoi-Con-- my first convention.  Elizabeth North was there.

On October 30th, we sat in a lounge corner of a hotel bar, and she told me how she started Dreamspinner Press.  I'd told her (and Lynn West) about my new job situation already-- I had to.  They needed to take "teacher" off of all of my biographical material, whether or not I got to teach again.

"What would it take," she asked me seriously, "for you to not ever have to go back in a classroom again?"

Well, I'll be honest.  Part of what it took was over a year on paid leave, and another part of what it took was the settlement money when my district finally decided to settle.  That was it-- we'd paid off our debts from living on a shitty teacher's salary (part time!) as a second income, and we could take a risk on what I would make as a writer alone.

But part of what it took is right here, right back where I started: at my kitchen table, in front of a computer, pulling stories out of the air and setting them down.

Now, I'm pretty sure my "anniversary" is going to come and go without notice.  We're going to have a tournament that weekend, and I'll be packing for GRL the next week.  It's a Saturday-- it'll probably blow right by me.

But today, when I have the little dog in my shirt instead of the big dog on the ground, and my now seven year old Squish started my morning by singing Death Cab For Cutie, "You'll Be Loved", and my Chicken is coming to come home so she can turn nineteen with us, I thought I'd remember.

Three years ago I was a teacher, and I was pretty sure I was nothing, nobody, and unimportant.

Today, I am a writer, and hopefully I teach other people that they are something, somebody, and mean the world.

Someday, you will be loved.

Monday, September 16, 2013

From the Files of Squeee!!!

Okay-- first and foremost, Faye and Barb from Live Your Life, Buy the Book made BUTTONS-- actual, real BUTTONS for what look to be fantabulous swag bags that they are bringing to GRL.  Uhm...

I feature prominently on some of them.

Excuse me while I fail to suppress my exceptionally evil cackles-- as far as I can see, there is NO DOWNSIDE to this button.  Amy is Happy.


Also from the files of Squee--

Sleepy Hollow premieres tonight.

Yeah-- I know it doesn't sound like much, but here's the thing.  Mate and I like television.  We pick certain shows that are our shows.  We tape them.  We make an effort to stay up for them.  We enjoy them together.  These shows are some of the few things that will pull me out of the kitchen, where I am trying to cram an eight hour work day into six hours of un-interupted time.

And, bless basic cable, there are some shows that make up the gap between the network hiatus.

With the exception of Burn Notice (which I have to FORCE my husband to watch, even though there are only four more episodes recorded on DVR, because this last season was so tense and so painful, we're just freakin' afraid of what the next one holds) all of our other shows were over with about four weeks ago.

And tonight?  Not only is Bones premiering (in what I hope will be a final season) but Sleepy Hollow too.  Thank Frank, I'm saved.  I have to take a break now!  (Next week, when Chicken shows up, there will be shows galore!  I'm so pleased, I'm pink!)


And this next story took place at my parents' retirement BBQ, held for my stepmom.  Now, to set the stage here, Mate and I were exhausted.  Mate worked through the weekend, I worked in little bits and pieces, and between this, we attended two soccer games, this BBQ, and I had a FB chat and Mate took Squish to a B-Day party.  Sitting down to eat at the BBQ marked our halfway point, and we were both so damned tired there wasn't much left of us.

And into this, my friend Wendy sat down, and started talking about Beavis & Butthead. 

"Yeah, Chris (her boyfriend) has been making me watch it.  You know, I think of the two of them, Butthead is the most repugnant.  Beavis is okay, but I just cannot look at Butthead.  He turns my stomach."

At this point I turned to Mate and said, "Is it my imagination, or is she telling me which one of them is the most doable?"

Mate looked at her with consideration.  "Yeah-- that's what I heard."

Wendy protested vehemently, but Mate and I stood fast.  "No, no-- you were saying that the one guy was okay but the other one was gross-- that sounds to us like you're scoping them out!"

At this point Wendy got mad and said, "You know, this is one of the least attractive things this job has done for you!" and Mate and I looked at each other.

"No," I said, (taking another bite of amazing tri-tip from Mate's plate) "I'm pretty sure I was always like this, even before the writing m/m.  I was always the one who would jump in the gutter and paddle for my life.  In fact, it's one of the reasons my former coworkers loathed me.  I was better at the dirty joke than they were, and I was a girl."

Mate agreed with me, but he made me stand down for Wendy's delicate sensibilities.  Hey-- she started it.  I wouldn't do either one of them.


And Ashlyn shared this with me.  It totally made my day!

Hee hee!  I'm the cheetah-- you betcha I'm the cheetah.  Oh yeah.  I'm the cheetah.  Watch me fall outta that tree.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Sleepy, with a chance of snark

Okay-- Princess got a nap today, and she blew off her workout to do it.  She also read some more of Shadow Unit, a collaborative effort between all sorts of rock-the-fuck-awesome authors, that features some wonderful characters and is, in effect, like a cross between Criminal Minds, The X-Files, and CSI.   I understand that the original creator of the series-- Emma Bull-- intended this to happen, and she and her cohorts did it so well that I can't believe this isn't fan fiction from a real television series, just like she wanted it to be.

In a word?  Brilliant.  And there are some LGBTQ characters too, and, once again, I can't believe HBO did not snap this shit up and make it so.  That's okay-- The books are written so well, the only thing television would add is the ability to knit faster while I'm watching them unspool in real time.

Considering how high strung I was getting, this time--and this fun, violent, creepy, amusing, set of stories (I'm on the #2) was like... like a godsend, and I don't know if I'd be able to function this weekend without it.

This weekend we've got soccer on both sides of the time spectrum, a barbecue with my parents, a birthday party for one of Squish's teammates (which Mate will be taking her to) and my chat to promote Triane's Son Rising at Harmony Ink's FB page.  (Which happens from 1-3 p.m., EST, coincidentally, the exact time of the birthday party.  Hence, Mate taking parent duty.)

So it was like I napped in self-defense.

Seriously-- complete self-preservation.  I was having the horrible death-spiral of introversion that sometimes happens when I'm too busy with stuff that's all in my own head.  It's sort of self-obsessed (because it's all about what I'm writing, and that all happens in my own head) and sort of panicky (because it's about whether or not people will like what I've written, and I have no control over that) and about 100% self-destructive.  And, like I said, it usually happens when I go too long without sleep, while I'm trying very very hard to get some work done.  Honestly, I think this is why some writers drink, and some of them quit, and some of them go a little bit bugshit.  Usually, I can keep my introverted death-spiral under control (I'm sorta busy with a life that won't let me) but I just finished four back-to-back edits, with very little space between to actually write, and three of those edits (with one still pending!) were on the Bitter Moon books, which I wrote a very long time ago.  Not to go into too much detail, but the excess of looking back over my own faults left me with a terrible, wailing refrain of MY WRITING SUCKS completely balanced with NOBODY UNDERSTANDS ME, which probably has nothing to do with the work itself and everything to do with how twisted around you can get with only your own words and criticism for company.

So a nap and some time spent reading someone else's work?

Dudes.  It was like a Bali vacation!

(And, judging by the picture, not all of us had the strength to wake up from the nap and take a shower.  I'm not pointing any fingers but, you know, someone didn't want to get up.)

So after that, I woke up and made some snarky observations, mostly via Twitter, but some of them were just in my own head while I jockeyed for position in the line to get my kids and at the McDonald's Drive-Thru.  So, hereyago.  Snarky things I had the freedom to think after I got some sleep.

*  Hey, lady, in the new and very clean Mercedes--the next time you cut off a battered white-trash-mobile in the Drive-Thru, remember, you have more to lose than she does.  Seriously--I could give a shit if I get another dent, but sitting in the sun one more minute without air conditioning?  Let me the fuck in.

*  I need to know-- is dropping acid a REQUIREMENT of watching Uncle Grandpa? Cause the strongest thing I've got for my kids is caffeine.

*  Wow-- it's like you take a nap, and the world turns into bunnies and rainbows and unicorns and shit! Bring on the sleep-- when I wake up again, maybe it'll be chocolate!

*  You know, sometimes the villains really did have it right!

*  What should Harmony Ink's next anthology be?  Well, how about Waiting in the Wings--stories about the best friend waiting after the crush has faded.

Either that or zombies.

Go zombies-- they can eat the heartless crush.

*  If the writing business doesn't pan out, I can always sign on as a personal assistant and a buyer for someone else's swag.  I mean, I already buy my own, that shit's gotta be a skill, right?

*  Sure, Big T, you go ahead and go to D&D.  I'll still save the dishes for you-- I'm not doing 'em!

*  I'm one good TV show away from finishing a throw for Rhys Ford.  Which rerun of Supernatural or Teen Wolf should I watch?

And, my final one, and really the most important one:

*  How long 'til my next nap!

Peace out!  I'll talk to you all on Sunday, I hope!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I Don't Know What to Write

I took a nap, should I write about that?
I read my own stuff-- was it enough?
(Well, more like an edit--I can still say I read it!)
And I never feel more like shite than when I don't know what to write!

I played with the dog, but my brain's still in a fog!
I talked to the kids-- wanna know what they did?
(You don't want a view-- of that I'll warn you!)
And for a writer it really bites when you don't know what to write!

My car A/C is still broke-- should I start on that note?
The kitchen's still thrashed-- but so it's been in the past.
To softball Mate's gone-- but you all know that song!
The world is never, ever right, when I don't know what to write!

I joked with some friends-- but that came to an end.
I went to the gym-- and then went for a swim!
(And hence the nap, but we talked about that!)
And the world is always more gray than bright when I don't know what to write!

The stuff on TV--that we've already seen.
I'd watch it and knit--but no time to sit!
I'd talk about swag-- but that's sort of a drag
(Besides I'm excited, and I don't want to brag!)
And my blog is never really tight when I don't know what to write!

I've been some places, I think-- I can remember to link!
(But that's really more prose-- when I link to those.)
And I thought a lot--but I'm on the spot
And I never feel all that bright when I don't know what to write!

The house is quiet--no happy riot
The cat's asleep-- so peace he'll keep
The dog's a nut-- but I'm in a rut!
So what do I write on this boring right?
Not spouse, not kids, not life, not pet are giving me inspiration yet!


For what to write, I must go to the 'Net!

*laughs quietly to self*

Okay-- now that I've got that out of my system (and have perused the internet for writer's memes for the last ten minutes) I think I've gotten rid of my little bout of writer's block.  (This goes to one of my favorite truisms, which is the surest way to get over writer's block is to write, even if it's crap.  Eventually, once you get the wheels turning and the rust starts to flake off, you'll be writing like you sort of know what you're doing.)

Anyway-- oh yes!  Where was I?

HERE!  Oh yes I was, I was right there at Joyfully Jay's, giving away books!  (I think I still am!)

Also-- on Sunday, September 15th, I'll be HERE chatting from 1 p.m. (EST) to 3 p.m.  about Bitter Moon 1-- Triane's Son Rising, which is being (re) released from Dreamspinner's Young Adult imprint, Harmony Ink!  (If you haven't, go to my website, and see the slideshow of the amazing covers that have been made for this series.  I'm about thrilled to the bone for these, even if the editing is sort of killing me.  Maybe that's what my next post will be about.)

So there you go!  Maybe I do know what to write after all :-)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

And What Did Our Warrior Hamster Do Now?

Yesterday I did the unthinkable--I dove into the disaster that was my swag stash and-- are you ready for this?

I did it!  Just what I said I'd do!


Anyway-- I put T on retainer, and I owe him $40, but basically his job was to be standing by.  Anytime I shouted his name like a fishwife in Sicily, he needed to come running.  He mostly anticipated my needs anyway, but every now and then I shrieked his name, just so he'd feel like he earned his keep.

And today was... guess.

C'mon-- I know you can guess.  Anyone who's been around for any length of time (seven years now, people.  Seven years.  And remember, I was doing it for five years before that.  Ugh.  Seriously.  Eleven years of my life.)  Anyway...

It's soccer season.

So this morning it was all kids, get dressed-- no, not school.


Zoomboy almost staged a rebellion but then I fed him his breakfast of Concerta and milk and he perked right up.  Mate said he played the game of his life-- must remember those meds!

Squish was playing really well--and then her own teammate stole the ball from her, and she just retreated.  I mean, why play of your own guy thinks you suck, right?  I told her to go back in there and fight for that ball like she fought with her brother on any of the occasions she assumed he was wrong and he wouldn't give in.

She played much better during the second half.  I was proud.

Anyway-- swag.  See the pretty new swag?  After GRL I was thinking about doing random swag giveways.  It would have to be a contest... I haven't forgotten those bags of packages, yo?

But I have all of my bookmarks organized, and that makes me feel better because they stay prettier that way.  So, well, yeah!  Warrior hamster did her family proud!

Oh-- and this is my family, enjoying the fruits of our active morning.  Mate is surfing, because he had to get up early and set up the fields, and dammit, he's earned the right to surf.

Oh-- and hey!  I have a FB chat next week with Harmony Ink.  I'll post more--both here and on Twitter and FB itself, but thought I'd give everyone the heads up.  It'll be on Harmony Ink's FB page and I'll be discussing the Bitter Moon books!

Oh-- and hey!  Speaking of dusting off some of my forgotten stuff!  Torquere Press is going to recover my Green's Hill Werewolf series and release them as paperback books!  Wanna see the covers?

*dimples*  I knew you would.

I'll set up the link and do a little chat about them when they come out, but right now?

I really love that I'm going to have them in paperback.  Some things don't ever change.

Go Warrior Hamster, Go!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

10 or 11 things

1.  In an effort to assuage a friends driving need to kill something (metaphorically-- she's really very gentle) I solicited homicidal kitteh memes.  The results are here for you to see.

2.  I have fallen irrevocably in love with this song and this artist.  Don't hate.  She'll have you under her power in a few moments.

3.  Had to take Squish to the grocery store tonight after dance lessons.  She executed pirouettes, chausses, and buffaloes (as in "shuffle off to...") in the grocery aisle.  I was reminded of the magic of seven.

4.  Tonight, she was dancing in the kitchen.  She asked me "for a beat" so I put in Newsies, and Squish, her father, and I all jammed to "King of New York"-- time well spent.

5.  I published a brief essay on world building on my regular website.  It's funny.  I hope.

6.  Chicken and I had the following conversation, via text.  I had just sent her a lovely picture of what I thought was two young men kissing.  Now, I happen to know that one of these young men is a model crush of Chickens.  He has very distinctive tattoos.  I also happen to know he's a PORN MODEL-- but Chicken has only seen him in stills. So, I thought, "Her crush, kissing.  She'll like it."

I sent.

Chicken:  Pretty

Me:  Right?

(half an hour later) Chicken:  OMG--MOM!  That one guy is bent in HALF!

Me:  Oh for sweet fucks sake-- DID I SEND YOU PORN?

Chicken:  Again.

Me:  I didn't see it!

Chicken:  *pets*  I know.

Me:  I just don't see the porn for the pretty.

Chicken:  You never do.

7.  Three objects:  Zoomboy, a chimpanzee mask, bananas.

Use your imagination.  There was banana gun carnage all over the place.

8.  This is pretty damned cool, actually.

The cover model for Country Mouse and City Mouse-- "Owen", contacted me on Facebook.  His name is Bretton Himes-Downey--and he was thrilled to see his picture on the cover of a book.  He was so excited, he ordered a copy of the book-- and now Aleks and I are chewing our nails.  Please, let him like it!!!  

And to make matters even moar fun, his boyfriend is a photographer-- and I passed the link to Jonathan Downey's website on to Paul Richmond, the art director for Dreamspinner, and hopefully some serendipity happened, and maybe some art hookups with a fresh new eye!  I'm all excited-- I hope it's all good and they like the book and the contract comes to be, because I'm just tickled that a cover model contacted me.  You have to understand-- we ask ourselves all the time:  Would the cover model mind being on the cover of one of my books?

This one didn't.  I'm really thrilled.

9.  I got out of the gym today and my tire was flat.  So Mate turned into SuperMate and drove out, changed the tire, and followed me to the tire store to make sure the spare didn't give out.  I got the tire repaired, then left the tire store and went to pick up the kids, depressed because I'd been planning to go grocery shopping and edit some Ethan between the gym and the picking up of kids, and when I got home, Mate was already there, working, because he had to take Zoomboy to soccer pictures early today.

Later, after I'd taken Squish to dance lessons, and then to the grocery store, and then we'd eaten dinner and danced in the living room, I had a quiet moment to ask him, "So, did you rescue any more damsels in distress?  Maim Snidely Whiplash?  Fight your way through a dragon filled sky, with virgins thin on the ground?"

He looked at me like I was insane. But then, we'd sort of both had a day!

10.  After getting the kids and before dance lessons and soccer, I had a chance to sign a contract for Dawson's story-- now known as Behind the Curtain (previously titled Dance Moves.)  This story was... special.  I'll tell you all about it when I come up from air.

11.  OH yeah...

 Ethan's up for presale.

Oh-- and this last thing?

I don't know-- it's sort of NSFW-- but Chicken sent it to me.  I guess she felt like she owed me for sending her porn.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Wait, gonna, oh--yeah!

Okay-- first of all, the swag is reaching epic towers in my house, and I need to organize!  (Every time I say that I hear Wallace from Wallace and Gromet fame saying, "Let's get organized!"  The results are depressingly similar.)

Anyway-- sorry I skipped the day blogging.  I had a "finishing the story" crisis, which, well, it's sort of funny, because I was writing about a dancer, and part of the conflict was whether he was going to save himself for the "way back" after his career was over, and his boyfriend was sort of begging him to, and the dancer was so unused to the idea of their being part of his heart left, he almost didn't.

Honestly, sometimes I almost don't either.

I gain weight-- because I"m so tired my "Off-switch" with food is permanently disengaged and any carb is fair game.  My hair starts to fall out because I get dehydrated because I drink too much soda and not enough water.  (For the record, when this gets really bad, I get UTI's-- Forever Promised was one of the worst, and it came because I didn't really move from the computer for two days.)  My sleep cycle becomes so disturbed and my caffeine high is so chronic that I can go down for maybe four hours at a time before I'm up and at my computer again, and then, when I have to skip my afternoon nap, I'm a zombie-- spacey, babbling, forgetful, irritable-- just a bubbling cauldron of manic joy.  When people talk to me, I tend to look up as though startled from something really absorbing, and stare at them blankly, saying, "What?"

It takes a couple of days to come down.

Yesterday, I took a quick nap, took two Motrin to kill the headache, and took the kids swimming.  I was asleep by eleven p.m. on the couch.

Today, I slept in, went knitting with my friend L.E. Banks (whose lovely, self-possessed daughter made me long for my Chicken) and went and picked T up from my parents house, then came home with food.

Then I fell asleep while knitting in front of the television, which is something I haven't done in ages, and I took another nap.

I'm almost sane now.

I'm eating snap peas for dinner, with hummus, in the hopes of undoing some of the carb damage I've subjected myself to in the past week, and it's only water for the rest of the night.  And, of course, let's not forget my solemn vow not to do it ever again.

Until next time, right?

Anyway-- this time can also be pretty fun because my brain is on manic overtime, and I work in social media enough that some of the things that I spit into the ether can have surprising results.

For example, the tweet I put out that had Elizabeth, my publisher at DSP, saying, "Ooh... this would be such a good story... wouldn't it be good?  It would be good! Pllllleassee.... please please please... ooooh look!  It's so SHINY."

And after a valiant effort at resisting, you all know what happened, don't you?


I caved, and my queue adjusted, and as soon as I'm done with the Porn Star's Buttload of editing I've got to do, well...

You'll love it.  I hope.

But I hope I'll manage my time a little better, and get that one done without quite the sprint for the finish that this last one had.  I sure would like to save something for the way back, right?