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

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Grand Adventures and Dog Dialing My Stepmom

Okay-- some things that are not quite happening this week--

It is not quite Easter break, but Chicken is here for her school break anyway!

It is not quite Squish's birthday-- but Thursday, we are all over that!

It is not quite Squish's party-- but Saturday we are all over that!

It is not quite *kermit flail Monday*-- but Monday, April 7th, we are all over that!

It is not quite the release date of the charity anthology to benefit T.J. Klune and Erik Arvin--but tomorrow, we are all over that.

It is not quite our Easter break trip to San Diego-- but the first Saturday of break, we're all over that.

It's not quite the Dreamspinner Press Writer's Conference--but April 23-28th I am all over that.

It's not quite time when I have to have this blanket done for someone who will be at the DSP conference-- but OMG IT'S APRIL 23RD AND I'M NOT QUITE ALL OVER THAT!

And it's not quite Romantic Times Convention, but May 13-20th I'm all over that.


And that's plenty for now.

And in the meantime-- Chicken is home, and we're spending quality family time together.  We've watched movies, eaten out, and couched.  Isn't that quality family time?  (They're watching Saturday Night Live now!)


And about the dog--

See, we were in the car, and talking about Squish's birthday.  "Squish, did you give your invitations to your friends?"

"Yes-- but what are we going to do for my actual birthday, mom?"


"Aren't we going to have dinner at Wong's?"

"Okay, sure!"

"Are grandma and grandpa coming?"

"Uhm, okay.  Here, we're at a stoplight-- I'll look them up, you call them.  Oh crap."

Because the light changed, and I put the phone down next to the dog, on the passenger seat.

And at the next light, I heard the sound of someone calling "Hello!  Hello!" from the other line.


The unspoken dangers of cell phones in cars-- nobody ever mentions dog-dialing!

My mom thought it was HILARIOUS!  So did my husband.  The dog was really frickin' puzzled.

Also-- Look what Asnee did!  Asnee is a peep on FB who got such a kick out of the "turtle stories" about Dex and Kane (you can find them on GoodReads HERE) that she made her own line of "Lane-iac" merchandise-- with a turtle on it! All proceeds benefit PAWS animal shelters :-)

OH-- and a few words about the anthology--

See, by the time Christmas was over, I was done.  Cooked and done.  I was exhausted, I'd gained 15 pounds (still trying to work that off, and no, it wasn't like I was skinny in the first place--in fact, it was a fairly dangerous amount of weight) my foot was flaring up, and I was sick.  Seriously.  New Year's Eve was painful because I had to stay up past midnight.

And in the middle of this, I was getting texted by two of my bestests.  Mary-my-Mary and Rhys were both saying, "Hey-- are you writing something for T.J. and Eric's anthology?"

And I was like *sob* "Nooooooooooo?"

And they were like, "Get off your ass and do it!"

And I was like, "Guys-- I wish them both the best, but they don't know me!  Why would they want me to write them a story?  I would mean it with all my heart, but it wouldn't mean anything to them, would it?"


"Okay.  Okay, okay.  Fine.  Give me a couple of days."

And that made me think about how sometimes we have to be pushed to be our best selves.  And how we may mean well, but unless we get off our asses to actually do something, intentions count for shit.  And how, really, it takes very little effort to give something of yourselves to people who need it.

And that is the feeling behind "A Gentle Shove of Human Kindness."  It doesn't take much.  Even if you're in a shit mood and being an irritable bitchy fucker, you can still help people out.

And on that note, I need to post THIS.  As painful as my time at my old job was, Maria Hennessy is one of the most sincere bright spots.  Every so often, she shaves her head for St. Baldricks-- and you're invited to make your donation as well.  You know-- that gentle shove of human kindness I was talking about?  Yup.  It's here.


So, in my last post I promised two gifts.  One was a full e-book collection of the Triane's Son stories, and the other was a signed copy of either books 2, 3, or 4.

I asked my kids for two numbers between 1 and 23, and they came up with 3 and 19.  So Lee Todd and Devony, hit me up!  The first person to contact me at amylane AT greenshill DOT com gets to choose which of the two prizes you want.  If you're opting for the e-books, please be signed up at the website.  It's free, and it will make getting your 4 e-books in any format MUCH easier!  Congratulations guys-- and thanks so much everybody for commenting :-)

And guys-- don't forget to send me your April releases for the *kermit flail* post.  I've got two so far (Anyta, Adam, haven't forgotten you!) so this week is my push!


Happy week-- if I miss a post it's because I"m in the middle of birthday hilarity!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bitter Moon-- Triane's Son Completed

4: Triane's Son Reigning
 Okay-- I know you've seen the covers before.  But, well, the series is out now, all four books, and I thought I would remind you.

Bitter Moon IV: Triane's Son Reigning is out today.  It's the last book in the series, and the moment is bittersweet for me.

While this series was in editing, I frequently got notes from the editors that they were in tears-- that this book, of all of them, completely destroyed them.  At the very end, the editors told me I'd accomplished something incredible, and I should be proud.

I am proud.

I was proud six years ago when I finished this series and published them on my own--but I was also a little disappointed.  The Little Goddess series did so well for a self-pubbed series-- I had just started figuring out sales trends, and I couldn't figure out why this series wasn't selling the same way.

3. Triane's Son Fighting
Well, the fact is, fantasy and science fiction-- as much as I think they're the pinnacle of human achievement-- don't really sell as well as romance.  Knowing what I know now, I understand: romance sells hope.  Fantasy and science fiction very often sell painful reality with a pretty change of scenery.  I know that for all of the pre-industrial setting, the world building, the magic, that these books involved, there were some painfully real things in them that made them difficult to edit.

I figured I'd compile a list of "Bitter Moon" trivia-- things about my life that coincided with these books--to maybe make that a little more clear.  Also, it would be great to have a bunch of that all in one place.

So, some things to know about The Bitter Moon saga-- on this, the day, of it's completed release.

*  This series originally came in two volumes. (You can still see the original cover art here and here, because won't let the three copies in existence die.) For the re-release, we split each volume into two pieces, because the original books were over 200,000 words one, and industry standard, especially for young adult books, is half that.

2: Triane's Son Learning
*.  I started writing these books because my older kids were in middle school--I had written the first three books of The Little Goddess series which were "adults only", and they wanted a book they could read.  My daughter read the first of the books, my oldest son was not really ready for all of the figurative language.  Chicken probably could have read the second book, but by then I was reading her all the good parts as I was writing, and, well, spoilers ho!  Chicken hates spoilers.  And, of course, by the time I was done with the second one, she'd already read The Little Goddess series, because, yes, they do grow that fast.

* The protagonist, Torrant, is bisexual.  He did not start out that way, but, well, I fell in love with his school friend, Aylan, and Torrant did too, even though he was moon-destined to Yarri.  I had to accommodate the ending so that they could have their moments.  It was worth it.

*  In the original version, Yarri didn't live.  All of my beta readers (except one-- sorry Erik!) said, "YOU CAN'T DO THAT!"  *sigh*  Too much tragedy.  When I read the books again, I realize they were right.  My heart was sore when I was done with them as it was.

1: Triane's Son Rising
*  I started writing these books right after Squish was born-- she was probably two months old.  When you are first introduced to the Moon family, they are pretty much where my family was at that time.  Bethen is pregnant with her fourth child-- a redhead--and her three-year old is giving her fits.  One of the funny things (to me, anyway) was that when "Roes"  (a.k.a. Chicken) is full grown, I keep referring to her as "short and practical".  That's because in eighth grade Chicken was 5'3.  Then she started high school, went to sleep for nine months, and woke up 5'9"--and willowy.  Funny how, even when you're there, you still miss the ways your children grow.

*  My first year back to work with Squish was excruciating.  I blogged a lot of it on the "lost" blog, and I was a lot fiercer and a lot angrier then.  I alienated co-workers with my honesty--and, quite frankly, with my overwrought presentation.  I once made a list of shit that went down when I went back to work that year-- the computer, the administration, other teachers, AND the student body really were out to get me, in tangible, painful ways.  It sounds paranoid--I know it.  It sounded like the rantings of an exhausted, hormonal bitch on wheels, even when I was writing it then.  But now, looking back at it, I realize that just because I was paranoid didn't mean they weren't out to get me.  By the time I started book two (or books three and four now) my hero was stretched unbearably thin and under siege.  By the time he reached the end of his story, I was a sobbing, hysterical mess.

And then the "thing" happened.  If you read the books, you will read about "the thing" as an addendum in the last book.  The thing broke my heart.  Losing a student you are close too is never easy.  I may never get to write a memoir about the vainglorious prickweenies who made my life miserable, the cowardly groveling our administration did at the feet of a parent who worked for the district, the breaking and shifting of an atmosphere made toxic by misogyny and despair.  But I have Torrant, and the way his soul seemed to be destroyed one piece at a time.  The fact that he is alive and happy at the end of this story is, to me, one of the most optimistic things I've ever written.

*  While I was writing these books, I took breaks in between to write The Green's Hill Werewolf series, one novella at a time.  I remember the first time I blogged about Jack & Teague & Katy-- I was extremely self-deprecating back then (if you think I'm bad now!) and I called it "gay werewolf porn".  (Forgive me, everybody.  Seriously.  Especially if you love Teague as much as I do.  Forgive me.)  One of my colleagues pulled me aside to tell me how far I'd fallen.  I couldn't explain to him, even then, how much it meant to me that Teague, damaged, broken Teague, found comfort and love.  I'm a lot more articulate now--and I've had too many people tell me how much my stories mean to them to blow anything I've written off as "porn".  (Not that there's not a long, distinguished history of porn--just my work isn't in it!)

*  The year after I finished Bitter Moon II, I wrote Rampant, and If I Must, and Keeping Promise Rock. The rest, as they say, is history, and I've been writing almost strictly m/m since.  I'm going to break that this summer, and write Quickening to follow Rampant, and I'm worried and stressed-- and exhilarated.  I miss this kind of writing.  I miss alternative universes, and shape-changing angst-monsters, and fierce little women with sexual powered nuclear fusion rays shooting out their mouths.  And editing this story for re-release reminded me of the sheer creative force that such writing entails.

It also reminded me how far I've come, and how much more I'm bringing to the table.

So there you go-- The Bitter Moon Saga.  If you read it, and you're new to Amy Lane, remember, it's not a romance.  It's an epic fantasy with strong romantic elements.

And it was written to break your heart.


Comment on this blog to win the entire set of Bitter Moon books on e-book, OR one signed copy of Triane's Son Fighting OR Triane's Son Reigning.  

Contest begins TONIGHT at posting,

Contest ENDS Sunday night, March 30, 2014, 7 P.M. PST.  I'll announce winners on Twitter, FB, and on the blog-- if the prize isn't claimed in 48 hours, I'll pick another winner.  Comment away!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Things That I Believe

* Warning-- I'm going to get a wee bit political-- but I'm going to try not to get partisan.  Obviously I have a leaning but I believe that crooks are everywhere, mostly where the good guys are supposed to be.  Please--if you disagree with me, odds are good that with some discussion, I could see your point of view, even if I'll never take that side.  If you wish to disagree with me in the comments-- or with anyone else-- please do it in a respectful manner.  I have seriously been flipped off, honked at, and threatened by post-it note because of the liberal bumper stickers on my car.  I beg of you-- don't be that person.  Be the person who says, "Respectfully, I disagree."

Okay-- there are some things that I've been DYING to get off my chest-- but I'm not a fan of Orwellian double speak, so I mostly kept them to myself.  But this is my blog, and hello, I'm going to sound off.  Forgive me.

*  I don't care which political party you're from, if you're soliciting money from me, you're on the side of Satan.  If I'm forking out my money, it had better be going to help the homeless or widows and orphans or American Red Cross or saving the whales or something--I'm not sending it to a bunch of people who claim to be public servants in order that they might "service me" one more goddamned time.

*  Every politician out there--both Dem and Rep--needs to read George Orwell's Politics and the English Language as well as 1984.  When that's over, if they find themselves saying things like, "Within foreseeable distance of a victory!" or "Poised on the precipice of a crushing defeat!" they should volunteer for a summary shooting.  Or an ass-reaming. Or a beheading.  Or something.  Because the way politicians use language today--and again, this is both sides-- is criminal and manipulative and indicates supreme indifference to the education and intelligence of their constituents.

*  Leave health care alone for right now.  5 million people are being served who weren't served before. I know some of those people.  They are tearfully fucking grateful.  Can the system be improved?  Yes.   Can we afford to improve it right now, with a shit list of sixty-eleven things that have been neglected while we fought tooth and nail for something that eleventy-six other countries have managed to do with a lot less blood?  No.  Let people have some fucking low-cost health care and move the hell on.

*  Nobody needs the right to get a gun at a moment's notice.  Do people have the right to protect their homes?  Sure-- as long as they don't go proactively gunning for people outside their four walls, (and Florida, I'm looking at you) I'll give you that.  But every person I know on doctor prescribed mood elevators is screaming, "TEN DAY WAITING PERIOD YOU STUPID MOTHERFUCKERS!" and although I've never suffered from clinical depression?  I'll take their word for it.  The fact that the NRA is trying to keep a perfectly qualified man from being surgeon general because he doesn't like guns tells me that a whole faction of those people need to work the emergency ward of an inner city hospital and then come back and try this shit again.

*  Teachers make jack shit.  Jack. Shit.  If you are voting to make a teacher's salary dependent on a school's test scores, regardless of socio-economic circumstances of the school, I sentence you to a week substitute teaching in a crappy school district.  And then the opportunity to go drinking after paying your bills on your salary.  If you vote to make a teacher's salary dependent on the school's test scores and then okay the school cutting the school year in half in order to cut the teacher's salary even further, you need to teach in that school district for a year.  And you need to take your second job in that school district too.  And I get to laugh at your car and your Top Ramen diet, dumbass, because holy wow, do you suck.

*  Yes, there is 3 million dollars of welfare fraud in this country.  There is also 150 BILLION DOLLARS of legal tax evasion from giant corporations in this country.  Before we start cutting the food stamp ratios of single mothers and unemployed fathers and kids who are living from church clothes piles, maybe we can go after the motherfuckers burning hundred dollar bills to light their illegal cigars.  Jesus fucking Christ politicians, use your common sense.  I know someone who committed welfare fraud-- he served two weeks in minimum security prison, because in spite of the fact that he told the welfare office that he had a job, they continued to send him a check.  He used the money to fix his car and buy his daughter clothes for school.  They were the first new clothes I ever wore.  If we spent 1/10 of the time making the rich accountable that we spend persecuting the poor, we'd have a fuckton fewer poor people.

*  25 years ago, Mate and I worked our way through school.  We had jobs that gave us between 30 to 40 hours a week, and we attended a school that would give us our classes within a semester or two of us needing that particular class.  It was hard, and we worked hard, and by God we did it.  Our kids do not live in the same world.  They are competing with adults trying to feed their children with every job application they turn in.  They are competing with people who have attended school for ten years, one class at a time every time they fill out their course selection.  Minimum wage pays for a smaller percentage of their living expenses than it did when their father and I made it, and finding an apartment in anything short of a demilitarized zone for 1/3d of a minimum wage check is damned near impossible.  Education costs more and classes are less likely to be had.  The next time a politician, any politician, talks out his ass about how the poor "need incentive to improve their lives" they need to go back to school.  If school would take them.  Right now, school doesn't take slackers who can't read and don't do their fucking homework.

*  Every politician who thinks we need to cut school lunch programs should sit in a crappy desk with 35 2nd graders and try to pay attention when they're hungry.  And then get yelled at by dumb white men in expensive suits when they act out.

*  Any missionary who goes to another country to try to enact legislation that the United States has rendered illegal needs to spend a week in a refugee camp without protection.  Because seriously-- you have better things to do with your time than make homosexuality a crime in Uganda.

* If politicians are afraid of spending less on the military, why don't they spend more on military aftercare than they do on keeping soldiers engaged in war?  Seriously, it's like none of these idiots have seen Star Trek before-- you know the episode where the trained killers with the deep seated emotional problems go after the government that first created and then SHAFTED THEM?  Holy wow.  If the governing body can't take care of their discharged soldiers out of a sense of ethics and loyalty for a service rendered in good faith, they should at least take care of them out of their outstanding sense of self-preservation.

*pant pant pant*

Okay, I know I offended people, and I'm sorry.  I am.  Maybe not my people, but I'm pretty sure the last asshole who flipped me off because of my rainbow bumper sticker with the Obamacare sticker next to it (admittedly bought in a more optimistic time, but still) wants to deck me in a parking lot.  Personally I hope he breaks his finger while jamming it up his nose first, but then, I'm obviously headed to hell.

Just look at my politics.

Friday, March 21, 2014

We're not allowed to what?

No. Yarn.

So my stepmom called me up and said, "Let's go to the quilt show!"  And I said, "Will there be yarn?"  And she said, "Uhm, sure…"

There was no yarn.

No. Yarn.
I repeat-- a craft show with no yarn.  

But, well, I used to quilt-- I did.  It's been a while, though--- ever since my kitchen table became my office table, actually-- but since I still have three kids at home, I have hope that someday, I shall be a quilter again.

No. Yarn.
So it was okay-- we could go to the quilt show.

In spite of the appalling lack of yarn.  And men.

No. Yarn.
In fact, in the quilt show, there was one--I repeat ONE-- man under the age of forty.  He confessed to being a year away.  He didn't look a day over twenty-nine, so I"m going to count him.  He was showing vacuum cleaners.  We already had one-- of his brand!

But he was the only one.

So, there we go.  A craft show. No men.  No yarn.  But there were pretty things.

I bought a scarf.

Cute, but straight.
My stepmom and her cousin got a hand massage, and we all bought mink oil products before I thought to ask whether the mink oil was milked or, uhm, removed from an unliving mink.

Let's hope it's the first one, right?

No. Yarn.
And then we went to Dos Coyotes for lunch-- and on the way, I got a call from Damon Suede.  (Yes, I'm shamelessly dropping his name, because A. I adore him, and B. people who know him know how wonderful and witty and smart he is and that sort of adds to the oddness of this conversation.)  See, Damon was walking on the streets of New York, because he IS THAT COOL, and I was in the car with my mom and her cousin on the way from Cal Expo to the Arden Fair Mall in Sacramento, because I AM NOT THAT COOL.  So, there I am, asking him a professional question of a somewhat, uhm, delicate nature.  And while I'm doing that, Cousin and Stepmom are having one of those bizarre, "But is Dos Coyotes under the movie theatre or to the right of Cheezecake Factory" conversations, the kind that end with, "But I thought that place closed down?" and then you're parking and wondering how in the holy fuck you got there alive, because you're pretty sure your law abiding mother just casually broke several traffic laws.
Still no yarn.

And then my conversation with Damon was over (and I hope he's still talking to me) and my mother was looking at me strangely.  "Sometime when Cousin isn't here, you're going to have to tell me what that was all about."
Stepmom getting hand massage too.


I wasn't even being facetious, but I just couldn't think of words right then.  The words were all gone bye bye, and so was my brain.

Sorta cool.
And into this brain-soup of a day that I'd cooked up,  I saw an old student who recognized me in the middle of Dos Coyotes.  He's going to school to get a history degree, and was happy to see me.  When I told him I wasn't teaching, I was writing, and why, he was like, "Good for you, Ms. Lane-- you just keep on going!" I didn't get a picture of him-- but I'm not going to forget him any time soon.

Anyway, after all of that, we said goodbye to my mom's cousin and stopped by Deseret Industries.  Now, I wasn't going to buy anything there because that particular church hasn't always been that kind to my people, but I was sort of fascinated and horrified by the stuff they had.  The ancient sewing machine with the old table and the knee pedal?  Fascinating.  Five of the same kitschy spoon holder, probably from the same store?  Horrifying.  Conformity lives--and I didn't even take a picture of the uniform rows of consignment clothes in the same color scheme/fashion lines.  Trust me.  Horrifying.

Squish trying on glasses with me.
And then home, where I proceeded to pick up kids, then take ZB and Big T to a friend's to play D&D and Squish to the mall so I could pick up my prescription sunglasses. We stopped by a pho noodle place because if it was just Squish and I, we were going to eat something good and healthy for dinner that I didn't have to cook.

And now it's 9:15, and I'm at my computer in quiet for literally the first time today, staring blankly at the screen and wondering what to blog and write.
A blank canvass.  Uh-huh.

And while I'm here, still feeling a little shell shocked at my day, I can hear Cousin, asking me this exact question:

So what's it like, now that you have all the time in the world to write?  Is it like your day just stretches ahead of you like a blank canvas?

Short answer?


Oh-- and by the way?  I got to the end of the quilt show and they told me I wasn't allowed to take pictures.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mate's Journey

On Sunday morning, we woke up and drove to Sacramento.

The sky looked like this:

When we arrived, we parked in Old Sacramento and walked from the Railroad Museum, across the bridge, and to Raley Field.  It was still gray outside, and the river looked like this:

Mate went in to register, and then we waited outside of the stadium until he was called to line up with Wave 3 of the Shamrockn' Half Marathon.  He was pensive.  Mate looked like this:

He went to line up, and I stood on top of a little hill on the corner overlooking the starting/finish line.  Behind me, there was a photo drone that worked for the news:

Way behind me, was the sun coming up over the bridge and the city of Sacramento:

And in front of me, soon to be loosed like hounds on the hunt, or a horde of wild barbarians, was the wave of runners:

Mate was in there somewhere.  I did not see him.  But I remained optimistic as I walked back across the bridge…

And into Old Sacramento…

None of the stores were open, but I still saw this:

Once I got back to Old Sac, I deposited some of my stuff in the car, sat down, and waited.  And eventually, Mate appeared:

This picture was not originally so cool-- it was lame, which sucked, because Mate posed and everything.  Anyway, I edited it and sent it to Mary and she told me to stop showing off my phone features, and then I laughed and walked back across the bridge to Raley Field, and back to the finish line.  I waited about half an hour, and then I saw him, rounding the corner, for the finish, and I gave him a high-five:

I had to walk back around the field to see him, so I didn't actually see the finish line, per se, but he got the high five in time to take heart and run through it, so I had done my job as staff.  Then I walked into the stadium, and he was sweating all over section 107.  He looked decidedly less chipper:

We did not stay for the band, even though they were pretty good.

But he was still game to stop at a candy store on the way back, so we could buy the kids green salt water taffy and pretty canvas bags for St. Patrick's Day.  Darrin was the AWESOME proprietor of Candy Haven.  He looks a lot like the guy on the front of the bag, but has better earrings, and can flirt spectacularly.  I fell a little in love with Darrin.

But not as in love as I am with Mate, who,  after we came home and ate lunch, looked a lot like this:

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sometimes I ask myself...

*  Why can't we be retrofitted or USB ports, so, you know, I can connect my brain to the computer, press "Upload!" and go, "I know WWII History!"  Or, you know, "I know Kung-Fu."  Cause that's good too.

* Do cats think about us as much as we think about them?  Or do they train us up and assume the never ending supply of food is just going to happen, as well as ass-scritches in the morning and tackle hugs at three a.m.?

*  Mate is going to run a half marathon tomorrow-- why don't they make aqueducts over the city so I can swim the same course?  I'd be great!

*  Is it possible to knit with your toes while you write with your fingers?  Has anyone done it?  Has it been documented?  Can we get a research committee and a training commission to make that happen?

*  Can I have a "tech belt" made?  On it, I can put my phone, my real kindle, and my mini computer on it, as well as my car keys, my glasses, and the mystery concoction I'm supposed to put in my water to make me miss soda less.

*  Why can't I memorize simple maps?  Mate and I have been to Old Sacramento a thousand times, and yet, when trying to picture where I would go to see him run, I am completely baffled.  Completely.  And as badly as I want to see him run in front of the capitol, I even more badly want to see him make the finish line, and I don't think that can happen if I"m butt-hurt-lost from something as simple as walking in down town!

*  I put beets, carrots, and anise root in a food processor, and am cooking it up with tomato puree and chicken.  Does this break a law of nature or some sort of culinary rule?  If so, can lightning strike my stove so I don't ever have to clean it?

*  If I use plenty of milk, can I get a ruling on milkshakes counting for dinner?  (Because, you know, that previous item might happen.)

*  Is it wrong that I like the chocolate whey protein with my mango smoothies?  Just asking.

*  Does the dog know that it looks really obscene when he goes down my shirt?  Is this why he keeps trying to do it when we're outside on the porch at Rubio's?

*  How cool is it that my MIL doesn't mind hearing about my job?

*  How scary is it to break paper on a historical novel when you've never written one before?

*  Did my grandfather really join the Greek resistance after his plane went down, or was he parachuted in with the rest of the OSS?  I don't know, but the idea of even more legend has me salivating!

*  Did you know they painted the undersides of the reconnaissance Spitfire planes light blue if they were doing high altitude surveys and pale pink if they were doing low altitude in the cloud cover.  I'm enchanted by this detail.  I can not tell you why?

*  Given that Squish's intellect is all about the intuition, and Zoomboy's is all about the technical aspects of everything and the math, if we merged their brains, would we get a megalomaniacal world ruler who constantly fought with itself?  Just wondering.

 *  Why do cookies taste so damned good?

And… most importantly…

*  Exactly how early do I have to get up tomorrow to watch Mate cross the finish line?  It's that last question that is going to drive me to leave this exercise a little bit before it's time-- I think 4 a.m. is the ass-crack of dawn, and I'd better shower before I jump on that ride!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Teacher's Conference

Yes Ms. Lane, about your son--
Your sweet Zoomboy, yes, that's the one--
We'd like to say that he's okay, 
But he just won't DO HIS HOMEWORK.

His test scores soar, but what is more
He's kind and calm and carries on
When the rest of the class is loud and fast
But he just won't DO HIS HOMEWORK. 

He can do his math, and his reading's GREAT
But rarely does he participate, 
When he does, what he says is really first rate,
But he just won't DO HIS HOMEWORK!

His desk is full of papers, yes
Some with his name--and some with less
But few with his work, and I must confess
He needs to DO HIS HOMEWORK!

His eyes unfocus, his voice, it mutters
I know that if he had his druthers
He'd be in another time or another place
Where there wasn't ANY HOMEWORK.

Could you maybe talk, and make it big,
Maybe reward and maybe beg
About why his life will crash and burn
If he doesn't DO HIS HOMEWORK?

And I say--

Uhm, you say his test scores are all okay
And he'd rather stare at a sunny day
Than at his desk in shades of gray
Than concentrate on his homework?

Oh dear.



I must confess, the school thinks it would be best
If in addition to being clean and dressed
You could manage to do your homework.





Did you hear a word that I just said
About how when you claim you're doing work on the bed
You could possibly DO YOUR HOMEWORK?

Instead of reading?  Really, Mom?

Well, what are you reading?

Harry Potter-- it's glorious, and I can read it forever have you read it?  It's as detailed as Star Wars and I'm working on character bibles and I've got six jokes to tell you about boggarts and closets and the differences between animaguses and werewolves and why you can't let Dementors kiss you and when to use a patronus and how to work an accio spell and…

And I tune him out, and look and smile,
Because how can reading not be worthwhile
And seriously, tell me, how important can it be
That he gives up this joy for his homework?

I pull my head back, and try to be firm,
Because he won't be ten for every term,
But as I talk, the private space behind his eyes
Is full of wizards in disguise
And light saber battles and alien lexicons
And fighting techniques to build religions on
and how you build a tesseract
And how primates and quadrupeds interact
And anything, really, what to do
With what your teachers give to you.

What will do it, son?  Punishment? Reward?
A card on which your triumphs are scored?
Why won't you pay attention--!

I'm bored.

Oh.  That's something I sort of knew…
Schoolwork used to bore me too.

So, what were we talking about, Mom?

I wish I knew.  

Did it have something to do with homework?

(In defense of teachers (having been one)  a moderate amount of homework helps to reinforce what kids have done in class-- it's practice for skills they need to be able to pull out of their ear in a moment's notice.  But, well, Zoomboy and I are sort of the difficult kind when it comes to homework.  I remember kids just like us-- they drove me crazy and were my eternal delight in the same breath.)