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

Thursday, October 31, 2013

So What Am I Doing Next Year?

Okay-- so I wanted to post something adorable for Halloween, and what can I say?  There is NOTHING more adorable than the guys from Little Vampires.   And then I WENT THERE for the link to the site, and saw the post that Rebecca put up for Halloween.  GO!  GO NOW!  YOU WILL BE HOPELESSLY CUTED OUT!   Because even though Rebecca gave me permission to post one of her comics on my blog, I loved the picture SO MUCH that I want people to FLOCK THERE, wander around the store, read the web comics from beginning to end-- fall in love.  (I gave James and Rebecca mention in the book Shiny! which will be out in March sometime-- they're some of my favorite con-people EVER.  Go visit their site and find out why.)

Anyway, so I saw the above webcomic, and then this picture in my phone, and I had to wonder... who zapped THAT guy?

Seriously-- this whole "planning ahead next year" is blowing my mind.  I mean, I've always sort of had a knack for it.  I always felt like I was pulling a semester out of the seat of my pants, but the fact was, i always had a long term assessment in mind, and we were always working toward it.  But to sit down with Mary and say, "Okay, if I agree to do this one thing, where is it going to fit in?" and have her play with my writing queue so that I can write a story NEXT YEAR-- well that's sort of boggling.

I know that the industry has changed since my first go at it-- I submitted If I Must at the end of August and found out September 1st that I would be published on December 1st.  I submitted Keeping Promise Rock in mid-October, and it was out on January 19th.  Dreamspinner can't afford to do that anymore, and, honestly, they shouldn't try.  There's a lot to be said for an extended production time-- better quality product for another, and a chance to promote and get the word out as well.  But it's more than that-- it's that old Hollywood thing.  Mate and I used to see an actor from one venue in another venue or a commercial, or hear that they were on Broadway, and we'd say, "Hooray!  They're working!"  And since I've begun to make my own living with my art, I've come to really appreciate that idea.  Once your financial needs are met, the thing with writing (or acting or painting or singing, I suspect) is that working is really all you ever wanted to do in the first place.  The opportunity to work at this thing that you love-- that's huge.  So, well, yeah.  It's blowing my mind.

In a year I'll be working collaboratively on the current Riptide project, Bluewater Bay.  It feels sort of delicious, and I'll be excited to do it, but, folks, that's an outline for what I'll be doing in a year.  

From someone who can't tell you what she's having for dinner tonight.  Just the knowing that I'll be working in a year is pretty fucking delicious.

And speaking of delicious-- see that cover in RT Book Reviews?  Yup.  Riptide Gives Back- the charity bundle that includes Christmas Kitsch gets cover mention on RT.  I'm sort of doing the pee-pee dance about this.  I hope we raise a whole lot of money for homeless LGBT charities.  Rusty and Oliver are good spokesboys for how much kids really just need a hand up-- and love.

And speaking of love-- this sign here that Zoomboy is holding is an act of love.  That thing lived in our house for a year before Mate got it all together, but there it is, lighting up ARCO Arena.  Mate was so proud-- and honestly, I'm pretty proud too.  That there's my family, y'all, and if they have a love affair with the underdog, well, so do I.  We're well matched.  Go Kings!

And, uhm, *snicker*  This was making the rounds on the ethernet, and I thought it would give the Halloween Psycho Killer motif a nice little update.  Because, you know, there's never a swamp when you need one.

And the Rainbow Barf Gnome-- this is Chicken's universal signal for "Mom, you're grossing me out with all this talk of love and the way you have unconditional faith in me.  Stop it.  Say something snarky immediately."  Alas, I am poor at taking hints, so I get this a lot in my texting.

And that's it-- I know what I'll be doing next year, and I can definitely tell you what I'm doing tonight.

I'm going Trick-or-Treating with Darth Vader, a Ninja Bunny, and a Chiwhowhat in my shirt!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Yeah-- Not Surprised

Some things that don't surprise me-- 

*  That the cat NEEDS to sleep IN THE BOX.

*  That my friend Wendy would harass a poor clerk at Chipotle about a bit of unripe avocado until the poor woman offered her free guacamole for her next visit.

*  That Bruce Springsteen's "Into the Fire" can make even a shitty, cold, busy, sickish sort of day into an inspiration.

*  That my parents are part of an RV community that holds an EXCELLENT Halloween carnival the two weekends before Halloween.

*  That the drive down the Jackson Hwy on Friday was beautiful.
The Drive Down Jackson Hwy.

*  That Zoomboy came in second in a Halloween screaming contest.

*  That the kids had an awesome time at the carnival, even without me.

*  That I may have to postpone the holiday knitting so I can knit a sweater for the dog.

The hat that's GOING to Kentucky.
*  That I managed to finish a hat for Mary's daughter that is not heavy enough for the cold Kentucky winters.

Some things that did surprise me that shouldn't have--

*  That the cat NEEDS to sleep in the box EVERY NIGHT.

*  That my crazy friend Wendy would respond to an offer of free guacamole with "Well, this isn't even my home store."

*  That I would need inspiration on a gray, foggy, frickin' COLD Monday morning.

*  That Squish came in first in a Halloween screaming contest.

*  That I would wish I could stay for the whole Halloween carnival.

The dog, keeping warm.
*  That the dog would find a way to get warm without the hand- knit sweater.

*  That I could also finish a hat for Mary's daughter that will actually keep her head warm and not allow her to freeze.

Some things that amused the hell out of me, surprise or no--

*  That the cat will leave the box in order to molest me in the bathroom.
I'm not in the bathroom, but the
cat's in the box.

*  That my story about Wendy and Chipotle was a GRL favorite, and now two-hundred people she will never meet, know her by the name, "Avocado Wendy."

*  That Pandora understands my Bruce obsession and is now playing "Meet Me at Mary's Place" in order to facilitate my day.

Squish and Zoomboy,
not practicing for the
*  That when asked if she wanted to practice for the screaming contest, Squish gave a tiny burst of sound.

 Her grandmother said, "No-- it needs to be loud for longer."
She said, "Okay."

 Grandma said, "Don't you want to practice some more?"

"No.  I'm good."

And so she was.

*  That I'm sick, even without going to the Halloween carnival.

The hat NOT going to Kentucky.
*  That the dog is not satisfied with sleeping "In my jacket" but will do a bizarre inverted flop from "between my jacket and shirt" to "between my shirt and my skin".  Little perv.

*  That knitting continues to be my holy grail in relaxation and part of the reason fall premiere season has been invented.


Hey, folks-- just a reminder, I put the Cafe Press link up in the corner of the blog, so you can visit there whenever you have a need for a Johnnies shirt or a dragon.  Also, I'm thinking of holding a monthly contest for Amy Lane quotes that should go on shirts in the store.  If you have an idea for one, post it in the comments at any time, and I'll try to include that in the voting.


Friday, October 25, 2013

And Dex and Kane introduce...

And here to introduce Amy's Cafe Press store (brought to you by the inimitable and awesome Rhys Ford) are Dex and Kane:

"Night bunny."

"G'night Unca Dex."

Dex kissed Frances on top of her downy little head and Kane hefted her into his arms and swept her off to bed.

Then Dex turned back to the computer where he was finishing work from the day.

A few minutes later Kane's noises returned accompanied by Kane's heat at Dex's back--and a sharp chin digging into Dex's shoulder.

"Whatcha doin'?" Kane's breath puffed in Dex's ear with every word, and Dex's groin ached. Sex. Yeah, they still needed to have it.

"Helping an artist design a logo for us," Dex said, hitting send on the modifications he'd asked for.

"A logo?"

"Yeah. Like, you know. To sell stuff."

"Yeah, I know what one is. Why do we need one?"

Dex turned his head to give a quick peck on the cheek, but he had to stop and linger for a moment. Kane's skin was... uhm....under his tongue, and then Kane turned his head and opened his mouth and the kiss got bigger. 

Dex's computer pinged right when he was about to shuck Kane's jeans, right there in the living room, because that marvelous uncut cock would be mouth level as Dex sat in the office chair.

With a grunt, Dex tore himself away and looked to see what the artist had sent back.

"Oh, nice," he murmured, and Kane nuzzled his ear. Oh... oh man. Dex clenched his stomach and his groin and even his ass against all of the things he wanted to do with Kane right the hell now and grunted to get Kane's attention. "Look," he said, and Kane pulled himself away from Dex's (sensitized, throbbing) ear long enough to grunt back in appreciation.

"Classy," he begrudged. 

"It should be-- it's the same artist who did the Sinner's Gin T-shirt you wear all the time."

Kane preened. "That's a good T-shirt-- can she introduce me to the band?"

Dex eyed him sourly. He suspected Kane had a secret crush on Damien, the lead guitarist. "No," he said, eyes narrow.

Kane ignored him and traced the stylized lines of the logo. "Too bad--but it's cool anyway. What're we gonna do with it."

"Put it on T-shirts, coffee cups, that sort of thing."

"So, like, people can see our porn company without knowing it's a porn company?" Kane asked blankly, and Dex wrinkled his nose.

"Well, it'll be like a secret club," Dex said reasonably. "Gay guys can wear it and they'll be like, 's'up', and--"

"Straight women can wear it and gay guys will know they're kinky," Kane chuckled and, well, Dex had slept with those girls too, and there was some truth in that. 

"Or that they're friendly," Dex added, because there was more truth there. Real Johnnies girls wouldn't mind that some of the guys were gay-- but they would appreciate the pretty. 

"Yeah, okay, fine," Kane said. He was rubbing at Dex's neck with his big, warm hand, and Dex's whole body was melting and about done with work. "How come it's got to be a secret? Why don't we just have a naked guy with a big cock on the front." Kane chuckled evilly. "Now that would sell some fuckin' porn!"

"Cause," Dex purred. Kane's hands felt so nice on both his shoulders now, that he didn't want to argue, he just wanted to okay the logo so they could go to the bedroom and have non-camera rockin' sex. 

"Cause why?" Kane's hands stopped moving.

"Cause," Dex let out a breath and sat up straighter. "Cause who's going on the front? I mean, a year ago you woulda done it, you cocky bastard."

Kane made a sound of displeasure. "Yeah, but, you know. Kids could see it." Sudden dawning realization. "Frances could see it! God-- you're not gonna do that are you?"

Dex typed, "Awesome, go with that!" into the computer and then hit send so Rhys would run with that design. Then he stood up and pulled the muscle-bound psycho with the giant freaking heart into his arms. "No, idiot. I'm going to put that on the shirt, and we can wear it, and Frances can see it, and all she'll know it says is 'Johnnies'."

Kane perked up, but then sobered. "You're going to have to turn the company over to someone else before she know what that means," he said seriously, and Dex grimaced. Yeah, it had occurred to him too. 

"I've got a plan for that," he said, because he did.

Kane grinned. "Good. Your plans always come through. You know what I've got a plan for, Dexter?"

Dex grinned back. "God, I hope it's us naked!"

"Straight up. You go get ready, I'll lock up."

Oh, thank God. Dex tore his T-shirt over his head as he ran, thinking that maybe he and Kane would have to order more than one before he got naked and ceased to think with anything that didn't want Kane's skin against his own.

Johnnies T-shirts, on sale now at Cafe Press

Also available-- Angst and Pain Dragon T-shirts

And a thousand thanks to Rhys Ford who set the WHOLE DAMNED THING up.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Kicking that thing awake

*  This post owes its existence to Christy Duke, who did not make it to GRL.  Her besty, Giselle Kay, brought her cardboard cutout (I WISH I had a picture-- it was awesome-- Giselle gave her superwoman boobs!) so that we could have pictures taken with her.  Christy pinged me on FB tonight, and got an odd and discombobulated rant-- and greeted it with humor and sweetness, and for that alone I owe her. Thanks hon-- I have the best fans in all of explored space.

Squish has said it three times today.

Mate gave me an extra long hug as we passed in the night-- me on the way into the house with kids and him on the way to a soccer board meeting.

Zoomboy keeps bringing me chocolate kisses.

Even Big T tiptoes gingerly around me, trying really hard not to talk.

Chicken hasn't noticed because she's got cramps so bad she's begging strangers for Advil and has opened the PMS channel on my phone texting service.

But still-- I can tell.  I must look like dog crap that ran the marathon and dropped into a pile at the end, too tired to even steam.

I'm officially toasted to dark brown.  Stick a fork in me and I'd fall apart.  The Chiwhowhat keeps licking me for the salt gravy.

I'm done.

Or at least I thought I was done.

And then tonight, as I sat in front of my computer for what promises to be a big long whack of editing (Fuck. Me. Harder.) my FB screen popped up.

"Super quick.  What're your favorite colors?"

*blink*  "Purple and gold-- like the cover of Racing for the Sun."

"Don't ask what it's for."

And that's when it occurred to me-- it hadn't occurred to me to ask what it was for.

Omigod-- it had happened.  A week of GRL-- two weeks beforehand of stressing about GRL-- and two days at home trying to recover from GRL, and now, when I could least afford it--

My curiosity took a nap.

Or was bludgeoned to death--I'm hoping for the first one.

I should have known!  I mean... seriously.

See-- I was taking Squish to dance lessons and she was talking.  She was talking all the way there and she was talking all the way back--but while she was talking all the way there I got stopped at a light and witnessed the following thing:

There were four ( count 'em!) cop-cars in front of a little house with a shitty view of a busy intersection.  There were at least three officers of our little podunk force with their weapons drawn, and in front of them, getting his hands ziptied together was...

Well, I was passing him from far away, and you know something?

He was still stoplight gay.  Skinnier than a Congressman's conscience, black as a branch, tummy thrust forward, ass popping backwards, he was wearing red and white stripped shirt, white plastic beads, fuck-me hip-dropping black jeans, and I didn't even have to see his eyes to know he was rolling them.

Holy crap.  What was that kid-- that bright as the sun bit of trouble-- doing in our dingy white-trash suburb?

Or that's what I should have asked myself.

But I didn't.

I fought my way through traffic (Squish talking nonstop) and then sat through dance lessons (the dog fighting for my attention like my chest without a Chiwhowhat was like a man without an ego) and then managed the Taco Bell queue in a sort of semi-detached trance.

It wasn't until Christy pinged me on FaceBook that it hit me.

My curiosity was asleep.  I'm not sure when it happened-- it might have been when I woke up from my nap too early.  It might have been when I went grocery shopping and realized that the only thing that looked good was cookies.  (Cookies have, to date, never made me throw up.  It's a point in their favor--I'm saying!)  It might have been when I hauled my achy, tired ass to the gym to work out in aqua-- but at some point in there, when I was up and moving, I left my curiosity face down on the bed, snoring into the gray matter, one pudgy finger extended in salute toward anything that should attempt to pique it until it was ready to stir.

And then I started to whine at her.  (You were very sweet, Christy, but it was true.  I was whining.  I'm not proud.)  I whined about my day and about how I passed the stoplight gay criminal and our white-trash guys with guns and how my curiosity wasn't even batting an eyelash, and when I was in the middle of my rant--

My curiosity woke up.

And now I'm left with a burning question:

What was the stoplight gay criminal doing in the white-trash backyard, why did those cops have their guns drawn, and why did someone need to know my favorite color?

And will my curiosity go to bed with me tonight, or will it stay awake and produce something really interesting on word in the morning!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

GRL 2013

That's funny-- it doesn't LOOK like Amish Country!  And yet, seriously, with so many of us trying to use the internet, most people who've been here will tell you that if you didn't have hotspot, well, you were back to the time when cable was the most interesting thing a hotel could provide.

But, other than that?  It's been a HELL of a time.  People?  This genre is amazing.  I was just talking to Jesse Potts, one of the contributors to USA Today HEA Blog, and she said that there was so much about this genre that seemed to heal the bruises that we all incur in the bumps of normal life, and I loved that.  And the thing about our readers is that they're so very grateful for that little bit of healing that reading gives them (or, in some places, that lot of healing) that being here, with the writers who heal and are healed by their craft, is sort of a sublime thing.

Folks-- even the hotel staff thought we were wonderful.  (Mary-my-Mary's awesome husband reported that when he checked into the hotel to join us, the woman at the desk told him, "Oh yes!  There's an erotic book convention here.  It's so exciting!")  Melia Hotel?  Your internet may have pissed us off, but your service and kindness more than made up for it.  Thank you so much for everything.

So, that being said, mostly, I'm just going to show you all pictures.  Maybe with some captions.  Maybe not.  Honestly?  After a weekend like this I'm a little out of words.

 Myself, J.P. Barnaby, & K.A. Mitchell at the Angst & Pain Storyteller's panel, where, I'm told, we made people laugh.  A lot.

Myself and Tara Lain at the RRW scrapbooking panel, where nobody told me that my hair looked like a wild wildebeest had rooted there for the entire frickin' day.

A big woman in a paisley dress, along with Shannon Shell, Amy Di Martino and Damon Suede at One Enchanted Evening.

Who is that woman?  She's in an awful lot of Twitter and FB pictures! But that shawl looks TERRIFIC!  

And there she is again-- along with A TWO HEADED FROG that Vanessa North knitted for her.  I just... I'... NO FRICKIN WORDS!!! You'd probably have to be us to know why we teared up.  I know I did.

My family at home, making sure I don't forget them, and that I want to go back.  It worked.  

The dashing and incomparable Andrew Grey, along with the very creative Goblin Queen (aka Nessa Warrin, EIC of Harmony Ink Press :-)

Troublemakers, all three of them. The one in the middle is Jesse Potts, and the pretty gypsy is Mary-my-Mary

Snow White claims to be a virgin.  His little devil fairy is doubtful. (Emond Manning and Anne Tenino, Goddess love them!)

Andrew and Mary set up my swag for me.  I LOVE them.

The skyline in Atlanta and the fan who was mean to Bruce Springsteen. AWESOME. (I mean that-- it was a good story!)

Those two troublemakers on the left, as well as Nessa, Shannon, and the always elegant Nicki Bennet.


This is the burger I ate at this awesome place called The Vortex.  Click the link, read the menu, laugh your ass off.  I shit you not!  By the way?  The white stuff is the marshmallow sauce for the sweet potato fries. DUDES.

T.A. Chase is one of my favorite people.  For one thing, she's always frickin' adorable.  For another, she and her bestie, Devon Rhodes could be the nicest frickin' adorable people I've ever met.  Love them.  And doesn't she look FRICKIN' ADORABLE?

Damon Suede and Heidi Cullinan, looking serious and prepared for our signing.

The always elegant and adorable Tara Lain, who was a joy to sit next to during the signing.

Mary-my-Mary and Andrew, who both make my world better.

Clare London, M.J. O'Shea and L.C. Chase, who were their awesome and wonderful selves.

OMG OMG OMG OMG-- The whole room heard me scream when Vanessa gave me Cal and Catherine from Clear Water.  And then I cried.  CRIED. Am still crying. Isn't she amazing?  OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG... I'm still in that place of joy.

Rhys Ford-- That costume says it all.  (But we helped, when we told the story of the Great Alpaca Roller Coaster Ride.)

The radiant Meghann Ord (right) and the HILARIOUS and wonderful K.A. Mitchell (left) mugging for the camera.  I so enjoyed getting to know them both!

ZAM. I mean, you know, ZAM!!!! And K-Lee Klein--because you can NEVER have too much awesome in one place. 
Certainly not at GRL.


I mean-- that's a LOT right there, right?

And so much happened, I don't even know if I can tell it all without prompting.

But you get the idea.

Beautiful, awesome, amazing people.

A whole lot of wonderful things to do.

A really good reason to sleep and be happy when I get home.  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Greetings from GRL Atlanta...

And now I must abed.

But first let me give thanks for...

Long hugs from strangers,
Joyful greetings from friends
A hand held in a moment of confusion
Telling old stories to new people
Being proud of my children in public
Being proud of my work to people who appreciate it
Being proud of my friends in any circumstances
Being associated with amazing people
Chocolate thrown in a crowded room
Teaching a group of my peers
Diet coke
Hearing my kids at the end of the evening
My husband who still loves me
A stunning view from a pool balcony
A quiet bed at the end.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Need a magnifying glass to find it...

So Mate is on the soccer board, which means that when we have a tournament, Mate has something of a big furry deal.

I, on the other hand, am left to run support, keep the troops fed, make sure everyone is dressed and delivered on time.

I also, uhm, make sure Mate doesn't yell at the ref, because usually we know that kid's mother.

Today was a prime example.  I remember this kid-- he was a the fresh baby on the soccer team (the newborn) the year before Zoomboy was a fresh baby.  His sister was one of Chicken's best friends--we've been to her house before many times, and this kid and Zoomboy-- they used to be inseparable.  (In fact, her home and her daughter's birthday parties and description of her family in Mexico were all part of my inspiration for Rafael's home in It's Not Shakespeare. And her husband is the best of men.)  Besides-- like Mate, she's become a board member.

Anyway, the kid was making some sort of crappy calls, and Mate and his co-coaches were LOSING THEIR MINDS.  (For one thing, we were winning, and that's just such a rare occurrence in itself... they were terrified of jinxing it!)

And then Mate caught my eye-- and I was not happy.

He turned to the parents and said, "Okay, okay, calm down, calm down."  Then he winked.  "I know that kid's mother.  She's going to hear all about it."  The parents laughed, and sure enough, the kid's mom heard all about it.

And said, "That's a horrible call!  I would have yelled at him too!"

So, bad feelings averted.

Anyway-- the weekend has been... well... full.

Definitely full.  Some other things of interest?

Zoomboy-- on his way out the door the other day said, "Bye, Mom!  Don't get killed by Tuscan Raiders!"  That kid is going to be damned disappointed when he doesn't grow up to become Darth Zoomboy.

Zoomboy... I am your mother!
Big T-- got sick yesterday.  I think that means that it wasn't food poisoning-- it really was that rare stomach bug.  From Squish to me to Big T.  Lucky Dad & Zoomboy.  Bastards.

Squish-- is going to be a Ninja Bunny for Halloween.  In order to facilitate this cutting edge fusion of Ninja and Bunny, we had to buy an adult Bunny costume.  Which means that every time someone comes over, she shows people the Playboy Bunny costume we got for her for Halloween.

Chicken-- just texted to tell me that I'm the smart daughter from Modern Family. I hated to break it to her, but honestly?  I'm Phil.  Yes, yes I am.  And poor Mate is Claire.  Poor family.  So sad.  Feel for them.

And Mom?

Mom just finished Shiny! and that's sort of a big deal.  See, I thought I finished it last week, but it was a novella, at 44K.  And I told Elizabeth, "You know, I think I can make it full length."

So she put me on the schedule for full length, and now it's a novel.  And the challenge?  I didn't put one drop of angst in it.  Not ONE.  Okay, a moment of melancholy-- but I swear-- it was so FLUFFY!!!  And gorgeous.  I really loved the guys-- they were fun to spend time with.  All gentle plot arc-- meet, have doubts, fall in love.  The end.  Sorry folks-- not twists and turns, just sweet, sweet fluff.

Elizabeth needed some candy, and, well, I'm her friend and that's what friends do.

And in the meantime?

Well, I told Mary, "You know... I've got five possible edits pending-- some of them have been delayed for months.  What are the odds I'll get a whole whack of them before I leave for GRL?"

Now, one of them I finished the day before yesterday, but still.  That's like, five days before I leave.  And I have two more in my inbox.

So that's three-- who wants to put down money I'll go for five?

Oh!  And I"m packing swag for GRL.  How much will they charge me for a suitcase that goes over 80lbs.  No, seriously-- I really want to know.  My swag case is that heavy, and I have no idea how to get it down.

Anyway-- I leave on  Tuesday.  On Wednesday I'll let you know how that goes!

And I'll see some of you at GRL-- bye!  I'm looking forward to it!

*monster smishes*