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

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I was going to take lots of pictures...

And then I didn't.  (Well, I took a picture of Molly, because she was a visiting dog, and she was so good, I almost wanted one of my own.  She even thought she was a lapdog, and she sat in her owner's lap like she belonged there, and she was awesome.)

But even though all I got were Molly and the alpacas, it was a still a wonderful day anyway.

So yesterday, reeling from con crash and grateful to be in a group of less than ten, Lynn West, Elizabeth North, her son Josh and I drove to see the "magic sheep" as Josh called them.  They were… well… magic.

The farm itself was just that.  A place where magic sheep ate.  The proprietor was unimpressed with tourists, but we just looked outside, went, "Oooh… magic sheep!  They're adorable!  Let's go eat!"

And then we did.

With a helping of Coldstone Creamery for dessert.

Alpacas = magic sheep
But it was a short and peaceful trip, and given the amount of driving I had done recently-- and had yet to do-- it was awesome.  And, of course, there was the company.

I know that I'm lucky-- boy, do I know I'm lucky--because I have worked for some miserable supervisors before.  If you recall, I was working under the iron winky of a number of people who actively wanted to fire--if not kill-- me during my stay in public education, and the further I get from that situation, the more convinced I am that it's symptomatic of the cancer of emptiness and shallow greed that plagues the education system and has always made its blood from the cleated backs of the basic teacher in the trenches. Because away from education, I've discovered that it's not just the students who are bright eyed and ready to learn and to invest in the promise of a glorious future.  There are some adults out there--some truly shining people-- who see promise in anybody who wants to try, and who see nothing ridiculous in the earnest fruits of a good heart.

Ladies and gentleman, these are my bosses.

I would spend a day with them searching for magic sheep or searching for proof of water on the moon.

It ended in a lovely dinner with a number of beloved DSP peeps, and it was a very good day.

And today, Julianne and I started home.

We are both…


Shaking from con crash, mortally tired of automobiles, and really wishing we shared more than one or two overlapping musical tastes, we both conceded that we needed to stop in Redding instead of pushing on through to Sacramento.  Pushing on through to Sacramento would have gotten us there at 10:00 pm, which in of itself is not that late.  However, Julianne lives in Santa Cruz, and she wouldn't have gotten home until 1:00 a.m., and that's not healthy.  So we stopped, and it's probably a good thing we did, because neither of us are particularly sane atm, and we would not have been good people to have behind the wheel.

But that does not mean we both do not mortally want to go home.

I can feel Mate's hand in mine as we sit kitty corner to each other.  I can feel the way Squish hugs-- all softness--and the way Zoomboy hugs--all angles and elbows.  The dog wants to lick my face and camp out on my boobs and I want to bury my nose in my beloved's neck and simply smell him--he bathes regularly, it's not a hardship.

I want these things so bad, even knowing that I have less than two weeks at home, and then I'm on a plane again.

And it's hard in this hotel room-- it's like this picture of the mountain.  It's a gorgeous shining vision, and even though I know there are pebbles and pitfalls on it, I still want to be there because these are the pebbles and pitfalls of my home, and it's right there so close I can almost touch it…

But it's at least another 15 hours away.


Anyway-- that being said, I should probably remind you all that I have a release out on Friday-- one I'm particularly excited about.

I'll talk more about Jeremy Bunny and Blackbird Knitting in a Bunny's Lair on Friday-- because that's when he's officially out, but seriously, I'm excited.  See, when we left Jeremy Bunny, he was hurt.  We saw him in the hospital, and then we sort of saw him recover.

But Jeremy Bunny had a hard past, and honestly?  The hospital was only the beginning.  But with the end of this book, the stories have come full  circle. That doesn't mean I don't have other sequels planned, it just means that the beginning of The Granby Knitting Menagerie is really very quaint and funny, and because: story, the end of Knitter in His Natural Habitat was really a little grim.  But this book takes that moment of grimness and turns it into redemption, and turns it into joy, and hopefully makes you laugh a lot, and hopefully also makes you sigh, because Jeremy and his boy (HA!) are are really one of the sweetest couples I've ever written.

I hope you think so too.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Amazing Days

 So, after three days of driving, Gin, Julianne, and I all arrived at the hotel.  We were happy, we were bonded, we were excited that we had made it and…

Mary drove up and suddenly they were in their rooms and we were apart.

I mourned.

But then Mary took me to her dad's house for dinner, and I was no longer in mourning, I was charmed, because her dad and his wife are lovely people, and they fed me chicken cacciatore to die for.  It would charm anybody.

That was a good day.

And then the next day, Mary and Jaime Samms and I took Mary's rental car to the airport, and then had a cab drop us off at Powell's books, where we saw everything from Star Wars Shakespeare to magnets with Julie Andrews on them singing "Look at all the fucks I give!"

Also in there, we met Andrew Grey, which was fortuitous because he was looking for someone to spend the day with, and we were just exactly the kind of someones he wanted!

With Andrew, we finished our spin around Powell's, and then we went out to lunch, and then we went to the Buffalo Clothing Exchange, and then we walked to VooDoo Doughnuts.  While we were walking around-- and there was a lot of walking around, we saw this advert for strippers, and I remembered that Mate told me Portland had a stupid number of strip clubs per capita.  As Julianne and I got in the car, in fact, he asked me if I remembered my ones.  So I stopped and took a picture of the strip club, so he could know that, no, I did not have enough ones, and I didn't go in. After that, we came back to our hotel room where people just kept running in and visiting until it was time to get ready for the yarn store.

While at the yarn store, JP Barnaby wanted a picture to prove to her fans that she was actually in a yarn store, because that is not a very likely place for JP to be.  I gave her my project to hold while she was getting her picture taken, and Elizabeth couldn't let her have that picture taken while she was holding the needles wrong.  What followed was this charming picture of Elizabeth helping JP knit.  Imma treasure this one always!

After that, we went to a restaurant in the sky, where I ordered too much steak, and actually took some back to the hotel to eat later, thinking I would never eat it, because there is too much good food in Portland.

This morning, it was go go go go-- we went to the presentations and then to lunch and then to the presentations, where Tere Michaels charmed the holy socks off of all of us while talking about secondary characters.  It was an amazing lecture, and very funny, and she should get a medal for making it funny, because I woulda sent y'all to sleep, I have no qualms.

Anyway, after that, we came to our rooms, where I finished the editing for The Bells of Times Square, and then sent it to beta readers and agent.  YOu guys all remember the ending from Titanic?  Yeah?  Well good.  Because I only want to write that ending once.

And after a snack in our room, we got gussied up and then met for the DSP cocktail party, where these two beautiful women whom I love deeply and sincerely were headed.

It was a fantastic party, but Mary and I had to run away early-- we hadn't had dinner.  Of course, once we got to our room, we realized we didn't want to leave, and that we had enough snacks--and, yes, the leftovers from the night before which I'd forgotten about-- that we didn't.  We did what old people do.  We watched television, talked briefly, and now, I am doing what I would do at home:

Writing while my work-wife sleeps.

So guys, could you keep up?

Cause I don't think I can, and I was here for all of the amazing days.

I can't wait until I'm home, and I can tell Mate and the kids all about them too.  I bought them lots of souvenirs at Powell's, because, as always, in spite of the madness, home is my favorite place to sleep-- but I've got four or five nights to go!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

On the road again...

Okay-- so the deal was, the family and I went on vacation last week, Saturday to Friday, in San Diego. You saw that.  We went to the zoo, we went to the ocean, we went to the movies--all was fun, and then the ride home in which I overdosed on water additives and saw sound.

Then, we had two days-- Saturday and Sunday-- during which we did Easter, hid eggs, cleaned the house, dyed eggs, took my mom out to lunch, came home and cooked dinner, then hung with children.

Then I packed to come to Portland for a writer's conference at Dreamspinner that starts on Thursday and I can't wait to be at--and, yes, once again, there is driving.   This time, I'm driving with esteemed editor, Gin Eastwick from Canada via Germany, and friend and DSP Goddess, Julianne Bentley.  We're in Julianne's car, and she's doing most of the driving-- mostly because I think I scared her a little, which, well, we're all still alive.


So, some things I've learned from the last time I chatted, in which I had learned not to overdo it on the MiO:

*  There is no good way to travel on your period.  Yes, world, I said it.  Now you know.  Saying.

*  That being said, traveling with smart, funny, interesting women is always a good time.

*  Watching Julianne discover a roadside attraction is like watching a kid discover the circus.  Gin and I would go out of our way a hundred times over to see her drive through a tree again.

*  Driving through a tree really is cool.

* Hwy 1 is beautiful-- but not to be hurried through.

*  If you don't like the weather on the Northern California coast, wait five minutes-- it'll change.

*  Rain + windy road + twilight = stressed out driver.

*  Don't try not to eat chocolate or red meat when you're on your period and on a road trip.  For sweet fuck's sake, something's gotta give.

*  I could listen to Gin talk for ours-- she has a Canadian accent, and it's been semi-neutralized by Germany, but every now and then it sneaks out and attacks me with joy.

*  Glass beach is cool on so many levels-- from tide pools to rounded glass to the big something that might have been a tractor that turned into a rock formation.  Dudes… go.

*  Confusion Hill is confusing on many levels, not last is why we visited.

*  Holy Jebus… did I forget to buy a brush when we stopped at the pharmacy?  (This is not necessarily something I learned, but something I just remembered while typing on the blog.  Oi.)

*  Snoring gets you a room to yourself.  It's not fair, but, well, it happens.

*  There are NO, I repeat NO gas stations between Ft. Bragg and Cave Junction-- that's like, sixty or so miles.

*  If you're traveling down a dark, windy road, and there are no gas stations for sixty miles, the last thing you want to see is a road called "Butcher's Knife."  Hello, Sam and Dean, come save us now!

*  There is no such thing as internet on Hwy 1.  Just kick back and enjoy the scenery.  There is plenty of that!

*  When in doubt on a road trip, sing!  (With any luck, someone will sing as beautifully as Gin does, and she'll take over :-)

*  There will always be some music you can agree to.  There is no way there's not.  It's a statistical impossibility.  Play mix tapes until you find it.

*  Even after spending an enforced week with my family, plus a family holiday, I still miss them fiercely.

*  Even after spending an enforced three days w/ Julianne and Gin, I'll be thrilled to see them even more at the Dreamspinner Press conference.  We arrive in Portland tomorrow!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Fucking Dragons

A note or two about this post.

See, the incident happened last night, as we were driving back from San Diego--and I thought it was hilarious, of course, there may have been extenuating circumstances, but we'll get to that.

So anyway, I was lying in my own bed, (yay!) and the dog was licking his balls, and it was keeping me awake.  Both the dog and the ball licking-- so there I was, lying in bed like this: 0.0, thinking about how I have to leave again in two days time, and the dog is never going to forgive me.  Not only that, but thinking that I have to, among other things too numerous to mention, go get the dog flea treatment because I don't think he started out licking his balls, if you know what I mean.

So I decide to get up and write this story-- maybe, I get some writing out of my system, and I'll be able to go back to sleep.  But I want a picture for it, right?

And, for reasons--again-- you'll see shortly, I decide to google "vibrating eyeballs".  For the record, don't ever do that.


Because apparently if you have your filters off, vibrating anything can only lead to porn.  Serious, hardcore porn.

I was not aware, and that's saying something.

So, okay, wasn't thinking about sex but now I am and unfortunately not the hot kind or even the healthy kind, because HELLO internet, but now I still need that picture.

So I google "eyeballs."  For the record?  Don't ever do that.


So now, I'm like THIS:


And I still haven't told my story. 

And I'm definitely not ready to go back to sleep.  So I find the picture of the cat tripping on LSD because it's one of my favorites and very appropriate, and now, faintly traumatized, I'm ready to tell my story!

So, did ya wanna hear the story?  

Okay-- so here's the story:

So, you know those MiO drink supplements?  (And, for the record, if you're going to google "MiO" make sure you spell it right.  There's apparently a Japanese porn star named Miyo.  She, uhm, does things.  Many, many things.) 

Anyway, so, on the way back from San Diego, it was my turn to drive.  Mate usually does all the driving, and I was a little sleepy-- long trip--so I was like, "I'm gonna need sugar and energy, yo!"  So, the MiO energy booster stuff, we had it.  I added lots of it to 2 liters of water.  And then another 16 oz bottle.  

And about an hour and a half later, I had to pee. 

I realized I had a slight… wobble to my extremities as I ran to the bathroom and back to the car.  A rather excited wobble, as though I had not done nearly enough jumping jacks and laps around the Chevron station in the past hour or so, and I had to get right on that.

"Mate," I said, pulling out of the pitstop to the left of middle of nowhere and back onto I-5, which is the middle of nowhere, "Exactly what was in that energy booster I just drank copious amounts of?"

He looked at the label.  "Uhm, potassium, ginseng, some B complex vitamins--"

"And that's it?"

"And caffeine.  Loads and frickin' loads of caffeine!  Why?  Are your eyeballs vibrating?"

"I can see sound!" I crowed manically.  I giggled too.  Probably not reassuring in your driver, now that I think of it.  

"It's got 60 ml caffeine per serving-- you must have had about ten servings in all that water!"

"WHHEEEEEEOOOOOOOOWWWWW!!!!  Get outta my way people, mama's gotta pee again!"

"It says energy booster-- what did you think was in it?"

"I had money down with myself that it was at least three parts cocaine!"

"Let me know when the crash hits--I'm gonna wanna drive."

"Oh yeah.  Will definitely do that."

And, sure enough, when the crash hit-- at a Carl's Jr. in Patterson--I practically face-planted in my fish tacos.  

But in the meantime, man what a ride!

So, now you see why I wanted the vibrating eyeballs.  *sigh*  It would be so much less traumatic if the internet could read my mind!

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Okay all--it's been a busy few days.  I've tried to blog, but, well, I'm trying out the little tablet computer--and I have to say, as a workhorse, it sort of fails, although it is portable as hell.
Anyway-- between Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo and a day spent just getting lunch and yarn and swimming in the resort pool (and that last one seems to be what the kids think we came for!) I have some pictures, and some snarky captions to share. 
Now, for those of you who follow me on Twitter, you may recognize the snarky captions.  But some of them are missing, and I'm tired and the internet is being stubborn, so I'm going to blame the tablet thingy whether it's the tablet thingy's fault or not.
But while I'm cursing the tablet thingy's shortcomings, here's some pictures of my week:-)
Yeah, I look like a sleepy hippopotamus, but remember the last zoo?  I am BAD ASS.

The ass of a chillaxing polar bear.  Carry on, puny ozone destroyers, carry the fuck on.

Seriously, seven hours at the zoo?  Where's the frickin' POOL?
Post-coital bonobos. Because Goddess was merciful and we caught them 10 minutes after the great bonobo orgy.

Have you ever waited for a lunar eclipse while watching Singing in the Rain?  Well, now I have too.
If you think he looks surprised, wait until you see his sister.

And if you think her brother looked scary behind the controls of the helicopter, watch the hell out, cause she's gonna fuckin' kill us all.
Mom, this is the expression chimpanzees make when they're happy.

Folks, these are the pictures I pull out when he's driving me bugshit.

She looks so thoughtful, doesn't she?  It's amazing the depths that Judy Moody will give you.
How much wood could a wood duck fuck if a wood duck could fuck wood.

Fucking worship me, puny humans!  Bow before my greatness, or I shall stand in front of your tour bus and preen in the chrome bumper, forcing the security guard to venture forth in greatest indignity and shoo me with great weaving of arms!
Chicken has found her spirit animal.  He is the sun bear.  He naps in the sun.

Let me out, you assholes, let me ouuuuuutttttt!!! 
I picked the best souvenir from the air/space museum EVERY
 Monkeys, meet gorillas.  Yeah, there's a resemblance.

 Pretty Birdie want your fingers?  Oh, yes he does!
Okapi.  Cause they're frickin' COOL!

 I am one of a zillion birds.  What makes me special?  I POSE!

And phew!

Yes-- it's a lot.  It's so much, in fact, that although I have moar pictures to go, my baby computer is having a tantrum and not dealing with them.

That's okay. 

We go home tomorrow, and then I leave again on Monday.  More blogfodder (and, well, Easter shall provide even MOAR) is always a good thing :-)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Songs from San Diego

Okay-- honestly, I was just thinking there are none.  Songs, that is.  But we are having some adventures, and that's always awesome.

We got in last night, after Mate did most of the driving (and I did a considerable amount of knitting) and a drop at Pea Soup Andersen's.  Now I'll be honest-- there really is only one thing to eat there: the pea soup.  Which makes it really puzzling that Zoomboy wanted to stop there AGAIN. But Mate and I enjoyed our soup, and, well, we ate ZB's untouched cheese quesadilla because we felt bad about the two times he'd sent it back.  It was Squish who noticed something, uhm, different about the rest of the clientele: "Mom--they're all old people!".

And, yes, it has become like The Nut Tree used to be-- older people who remembered the place from their childhood make it a stop between Nor Cali and SoCal. So really, unless you're there for the soup and the tchotchkes, there's no other reason to stop.  Except, well... you know.  The picture and the memories.

And today, we picked up Chicken and went to the sea.  (Where she could be Chicken of the Sea!  Heeeeeeeeee!).

We didn't spend long there-- just until ZB and Squish got cold.  Took about an hour. Then Chicken took us to Beef & Buns (where Rhys Ford had taken her) and we really loved it.  Parmesan tempura fried zucchini.  Saying.  Anyway-- we might possibly have made it to see a movie but for two things.

The first thing was that I smacked Mate's head with the Minivan hatch.  Yeah.  No shit.  Weenie move on my part-- he ducked his head in when I reached up to slam the hatch down, and, bam.  Anyway-- sometimes a big ouchie, no matter how impermanent, will make you remember things like an eleven hour trip behind the wheel the day before.  That, and Chicken actually had to do homework.  We decided lunch and grocery shopping and a trip to the beach pretty much wrapped up our ambition for the day-- we came home and napped.  Which was sort of luxurious, really.  Napping.  I mean, I'm a fan.

Anyway-- Chicken's friend Stevie is watching the animals-- she told me that the Chiwhowhat probably got a walk today with his little friend (her own dog, Gibby).  I'm happy to hear that-- it would me my little guy is having as much fun as we are :-)