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

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Super Quick Things

 *waves madly*

Sorry about spacing last night-- I was finishing a presentation, and once it was done, I realized, "Hey! I've tweaked my neck and I can't sit at the computer anymore!"

But presentation done, and now it's on to pack-- I'm going to Florida for DSP Weekend (the publisher's conference we all look forward too every year :-) and I'm PHEW... sort of behind.

Anyway-- I have TWO audiobooks out in the span of a week, and yes, I'll remind you on Kermit Flail but I thought I'd mention them now!  

The first is Virgin Manny, and it's a new narrator but I love him VERY much!

The second is Winter Ball and I THINK the reason this took so long to be released is that Nick J. Russo did the narration-- and he's one of my FAVORITE narrators and very much in demand.

So I"m excited about this--and I hope you are too!

Also--and I'll be announcing this during Kermit Flail, but I've done an interview with the AMAZING Damon Suede for his new book, Lickety Split-- It should be up on March 13th or so.  I don't do reviews much anymore, BUT I HAVE read this book. And loved it. So very very very much. So that love inspired the interview questions--and I hope you'll join me here when that goes up!

And that's about it-- gotta go run and pack!  We're driving up to San Francisco so Mate can drop me off at a crappy hotel. From there, the inestimable Ms. Juliane Bentley and myself will shuttle to the airport at 5 a.m., and then to Florida!

I'm so excited--I see so many friends there!

Monday, February 27, 2017

We did something!

He's "blupping".
Still not stalking you... forever and ever and ever...
*Note-- I tweeted some of these pictures and events. I went back and copied some of the tweets as captions, cause, uh, it's late, and I'm not that funny even when I'm NOT tired!

So, one of my biggest fears of having the kids for a week at home is that all they will end up doing is sitting around watching videos while mom works. 

ZB: I love going to the zoo-- it's like a giant game of find the thing! Squish: Waldo....
Well, I"m not saying I couldn't have gotten some work in last week (boy I am writing slides most of tomorrow. Yeesh!) But I DEFINITELY got some stuff done with the kids this last week.

On Monday and Wednesday they had rehearsal for their performance at the basketball arena, on Tuesday they had hair cuts, on Thursday they had mani-pedis (ZB got emerald green on his toes), and on Friday, they had the performance at the arena AFTER Squish played soccer. 


And on Saturday, we went with my friend Berry Jello to the zoo. 

Zoomboy does the zoo...
And today was all about folding clothes, washing dishes and sleeping off giant headaches. 

We have not yet ventured into the day, but we have sat for hours and stared yearningly into the light...
So yeah. 

I think it's safe to say we did something!

Tiger, tigering...
We are evil giraffes...

ZoomBoy: Did you see that chimpanzee? He pooped in his hand and ate it! Chicken: Who needs two girls/one cup? Me: *walks away*

Thursday, February 23, 2017

And the moral of the story is...

Okay, so when Mate gets home we all duck.

He's not a horrible person--I swear! But he will walk in and we'll all be settled into something peaceful, and suddenly it's, "Did we get this? What's for dinner? Why is there a Cheez-Its box on the couch? Why can't we put stuff away?"

This flurry of bitching usually lasts about five minutes, and then--it subsides.

There is peace in the realm, and Mate becomes my sweet and funny companion once again.

And today, as he was ranting about the Cheeze-Its boxes, I went to fetch another salty/crispy snack for him, because that's just what I do, and it hit me.

He's hangry.

Now, Mate doesn't admit to being hangry.  He used to be able to go for DAYS without food, only brought back to earth with the rest of us humans when his nose started to bleed and he almost passed out. (This happened a couple of times right after we'd moved in together. Made me want to smack him cause it scared the hell out of me.)

Anyway-- it would make sense that he's hangry-- his commute's a pita, and he eats lunch at 12:30 and claws his way through traffic at 6:30, and it wouldn't occur to him to, say, maybe eat a snack at four or something so he doesn't come home and berate his wife and children out of nowhere.

Now, I usually have that snack right on hand--I pretty much thrust it into his grasp the minute he walks through the door. But I really need to get him to remember to eat on his own before he has to deal with his confused wife.

So the moral of this story?


Wednesday, February 22, 2017


So, when Chicken and I were signing the wads of paperwork for her car, I was appalled to see she had her father's exact signature. I mean, I knew they thought alike, but this was scary!  Anyway, I started talking about signing things, and how if you're going to be signing a bunch of stuff it's a good idea for your name not to be Linathien Thay Agnes Lucretia Stromboli, because then your hand would cramp.

And today, on Twitter, I made the observation that Newt-Dewey had now transmogrified into Honey Baby Sweetieface.  Because that's what we call him. "Where's the cat?" "Which one?" "Sweetieface."

I've talked before about the power of names. When I'm going for a particularly powerful name--especially for a character in a paranormal book--I want the name to have a sound and a power and a meaning.  So, for example, Calladh in Deep of the Sound meant harbor. Keir meant darkness. Teyth meant, of course, Silence, while Diarmuid means "absence of envy."  And there was always the conflagration of Naef and Knife and Naif.

So yeah. I like playing the name game.

And nowhere is it so apparent than in the Little Goddess books.

I'm editing the second volume now, and it's occurred to me that the whole "name transmogrification" idea behind what you call your pet or even the pet name for your kid is just as real in life as it is in the story.

Lady Cory goes through some identity changes as she learns and grows, and her name--already complex by Bound, grows with her. Just like Chicken's cat has gone from "Valkyrie" to "Val" to "Mrs. Poopie Butt-Hole" to "Mrs. PB" to "Dammit cat, stop barfing!", so Cory has gone from "little college student" to "Lady Cory" with a lot of stops--and identities--in between.

And so do we all.

I like the idea that the older we get, the more we grow, the more hats we get to wear, the harder it is to pin us down with just one name. Personally, I've always wanted to do ALL THE THINGS--doctor, nurse, auto mechanic, daredevil, housewife, teacher, writer. When I was in college I took a class for prison guards--I thought, "Hey, I could go into law enforcement!" and I wrote the movie for that life choice. (And then I saw Cool Hand Luke, and realized that I was Luke in that movie and not the man behind the mirrored glasses. Some names will never be ours--but it's important to realize that too.)

And now that I"m approaching middle age (or I'm in the middle of middle age or, you know, I'm not a  kid anymore) the only perk I can see to all of the sagging and the health stuff and the "Oh my God do I have to amputate a limb to lose some fucking weight!" is that I get to add more hats and more names to the cloak of who I am.

I like to think that everybody embroiders more complex patterns of their own cloak as they grow older. What's the use of growing older if the embellishments on our soul don't grow more glorious as time passes?

Anyway... there you go. I've pondered about names.

Time for Amy Lane to go write, so her alter-ego can sleep. And thus remember her own name in the morning ;-)


So, back when Mate and I were working at Fridays, shoes were a problem.

See, the only shoes we could afford were the ones from Target, with the plastic soles and the vinyl instep--they lasted about two months, but the next quality level up was WAY more than we could afford.

Mate worked the kitchen and I worked the expo stand before a brief stint waitressing which led to me getting fired. (I cannot TELL you what a horrible, fucked up, dumbshit waitress I was. There are no words.)

Mate's shoes got the brunt of the awfulness at T.G.I. Fridays.

They were horrible--especially when he worked fry station or helped with the dishes. There was this stench... this unbelievable soul crushing stench, that would boil up from the bowels of hell and envelop my sweet darling's poor feet.

That and the soles cracked at about the time the stench appeared, and your entire night would be sloshing around with mop water in your shoes and tiny splinters of whatever glassware had been dropped that night working it's way into the skin of the balls of your feet.

But the smell...

So one night, we are both off at the same time, and I am driving him back to our tiny apartment on the other side of town. (This apartment complex, by the way, is right next to the gym where I started attending water aerobics. Ah, I remember the knife fights in the parking lot fondly...)  Anyway-- we had a fifteen minute drive, it was three a.m. on a summer's morning, and we were going to Payless or Target or Fuck-my-Feet or wherever to get new shoes the next day.

And the rolling, boiling fungal frenzy from hell was wafting off Mate's feet to the extent that I was going to blow chunks if we didn't toss those fucking shoes out the window.

But that's bad. Littering is bad.

So we went through a McDonald's drive-thru (this was before they were open all night) and we left the shoes in the trash can at the end.

I don't know. It seemed like the thing to do.

But I bring this up for a reason.


Skechers are both wonderful and horrible things.

They are wonderful because: memory foam.

They are horrible because: memory foam disintegrates.

Now, I've owned three pairs of Skechers, and I've loved them--even this last pair. But this last pair has been worn during an extraordinary period in California: It's been raining balls here. I've gone walking in the rain in these shoes more often than I've been walking in the rain for the last five years. They have gotten wet, gotten wetter, and gotten... crumbly, really, on the inside.

And about the time they started to... well, crumble, that old familiar stench started to boil up from the soles of my shoes.

Oh God.

How could I have forgotten that this smell was sent from purgatory to remind sinners that hell was a-coming and we should repent the fuck now?

But between trips and getting sick and kids and school and performance and rehearsal and omg I have to do WHAT in a week?  Well, that trip to the Skechers store was just not happening.

I had to live with the stench of my failing shoes. Where's a trashcan in a McDonald's drive-thru when you need one?

But today? Today my purgatory ended.

Yup, folks.

Today I bought shoes.

*happy smile*

And tomorrow, the old ones are riding the happy can to heaven, and taking their hellish stench with them.

So anyway.

THAT'S what me and the kids did today.

Monday, February 20, 2017


Mate and I are good analyzers.  If something happens politically, we analyze the cause. If we have a disagreement about movies, we analyze our likes and dislikes to decide exactly what it was that turned one of us off and the other one on.

When I was in teacher school, Analyzation was a big deal. WE used to have KCAASE-- A hierarchy of thought processes from easiest to highest.  I know the acronym--and the emphasis--has changed in recent years, but it used to stand for Knowledge, Comprehension, Analysis, Application, Synthesis, Evaluation.  (I think Evaluation has since moved down below Analysis, probably because it's easier to say "I don't like this shit!" than it is to say, "This is the reason that this shit I dislike!")

Anyway-- we receive the data, understand the data, analyze the data,  apply the data,  put the knowledge together with the application, evaluate whether or not it works, and then start collecting new data.

It's how we process.

It's how we deal with politics, literature, movies, math, education, child-rearing, career concerns, money-- we analyze shit.

Sounds great, right? Two Libras, being Libras, analyzing the fuck out of things and making a measured decision.

Well, I could point out the flaws in our financial situation, but that's just embarrassing. I could point out the flaws in our prioritization of adventure over home, but then I'd have to think about the ROOMS (plural) of my house that I just don't go into.

But mostly, the place where this whole "analysis" thing has failed us the most has been the dogs.

We cannot figure out which one of them is dumber.

Mate has felt crappy all day-- he pretty much has what I had a week ago.  He was crawling into bed tonight and I was snuggling with him before I came into the living room and worked. While we did this, Johnnie tried to burrow under the covers. He kept missing, because I was on top of the covers and he would go in the tunnel between us, searching for "ultimate cave" of legs and blankets, and come out at the end. Then he'd go back up to our chins and start again.

Geoffie would come up, beg for pets, leap across the great divide between our bodies (it's all of six inches) and go scurrying around us looking for A. the mouth of the cave, B. Johnnie, C. another chance to leap, ears sailing, tongue flapping, as she played around these fanTASTIC big lumps of human on her own personal jungle gym.

"OH my God!"  I cried as Johnnie's going cave cave cave...

"What?"  Mate mumbled--through a head full of mucus, poor man.

"The fuckin' dogs!"  Whee!!! Geoffie panted, as she cleared my hips.

"Yeah, I know.  Me neither."  cave cave cave

"You either what?"  Whhheeeee!!!

"I can't figure out which one is dumber!"  cave cave cave

"Do they do this shit when I'm gone?" I ask.

"Hell no."  Wheeeeee!!! "When you're gone, they go sleep with the kids.

"They do not!"  cave cave cave

"Yeah they do!"  (And now, for variety, they start to tussle, making Snoopy Auuuughhh! sounds as they play.)

"They don't sleep in here?"  I am flabbergasted-- they follow me to the bedroom whenever I walk down the hall, looking for an excuse to get in bed.

"Nope."  Auuuughhhhh!!!  "And every time a car goes over a puddle, they run to the door and howl, hoping it's you."

"I'm sorry."  Wheee!!!  

"Why?"  cave cave cave

"I seem to have brought perpetual chaos into the house."  Auuuuuughhh!!!

"Yeah-- I just wish I could figure out which one is the smart one.      Right now they're both driving me bugshit."

I roll out of bed. "Well, I have to go work. Maybe if they leave you alone you can figure it out."

I walk down the hall and the dogs follow me, sounding like a herd of elephants on the wood floor. I get to the computer and start dishing out dog treats to get them to leave me the hell alone.  My MO is pretty simple-- I put a pile of treats in the corner of my desk, and whenever one of them whines at me or tries to get my attention, I feed them a piece of Pupperoni.

And it's not until I'm plowing pretty steadily through a new bag that it occurs to me.

Hey... maybe it's not the dogs that are stupid...

Shaking off the crud...

So, shaking off the crud mostly-- still tired, but at least not feeling consistently crappy.  This is a good thing, because now Mate has it, and I want him to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Before I turn the light off to go to bed!


Some fun stuff this weekend, starting with Chicken getting her job at Rubio's. I have to admit, as I sat there, eating my grilled shrimp salad, it occurred to me that being in the restaurant and ordering a meal while someone is getting interviewed is maybe not a great strategy for life. Because hey-- she got this job this time, which is great because the family loves this restaurant, and they'll work around her current job, or, if she gets the job she really wants, they'll work around that too.

But, uh, as I was sitting there eating, it hit me. What if she doesn't get this job?  Then what? I finish up my salad while my daughter cries all over me? "Uh, hold up there, I know you're crushed, but if I don't eat some protein, hon, I'm going t devour the seat rests... sorrrrrreeeeeeeeee...."

I mean, at the very least, I should have ordered a burrito because those are easier to carry with you. Next time, I'll keep that in mind!

So there was that.

Yesterday, Chicken and I went to a car dealership and she drove a Crown Vic. Now, seriously, for $3500, this car wasn't bad. As Chicken said, "It's got cop suspension, cop brakes, cop engine, cop mirrors..."  And the first thing she said was, "Hey, my brother will fit in this car!"  Which, I guess, was a problem in the other one--he kept breaking things.  But it was the first car she drove, and it was really big for her, and, worse than all of that, I was with her, which meant there was probably a big ol' reason she shouldn't have this car, and we just went with the odds on that one.  But she and her dad went out today, and they're going to go out tomorrow, and it would be fabulous if she had a car before the end of this week.

Not to whine, but driving one more person around makes me cranky.

So there was that, and Squish's soccer game.  I was knitting a conspicuous pink hat during that, and as I sat there, one of my friends was like, "Is that a hand warmer? A sweater?"

"Uh, no. It's a hat. A very, uh, particular pink hat."

She thought that was hilarious--I'm thinking more people in Sacramento need to be wearing those hats, that's what I'm thinking!

This morning I got a special treat-- a trip to Babetta's and a special breakfast with Karen Rose. Chicken was there at the yarn store, and the whole family went to eat. Lots of good stories--my kids were especially cute today, if I say so myself--and Zoomboy and Squish got to tell stories too.  I'm sort of proud of that--it takes a lot of storytelling to get to that point as a parent when you're not poised with your thumbnail between your teeth, ready for your kid to reveal something heinously embarrassing about the whole family. (Technically, that's my job, right?)

Anyway-- when Karen had gone on to her writer's retreat in Mendocino, it was time for us to come home and...

Well, sleep.

Like I said--I'm apparently made of sleep.

Which, oddly enough is where I"m going now, so I can save up the energy to do something this week so the kids aren't disappointed. It's a week off school, after all.  I mean, I'm not so old that I don't remember that's cause to celebrate!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Overheard in my house...

Okay-- so sorry about missing last night. Mate was getting back from Portland, and, well, yes I blew off the blog to celebrate his arrival.

But other than that, a few odd things have been said around here that I thought I'd share:

*  After seeing a cartoon on the GIF controversy  here at THE OATMEAL Chicken turned to her little brother and said--on accident-- "So, ZoomBoy, do you say GIF or YIF."  Now I have no idea what a YIF is, but apparently it's bad-- don't-tell-the-parents BAD, because ZoomBoy said with dignity, "I am very underage to know about that," and Chicken fell down laughing.

YIF. I don't want to know.

*  ZoomBoy had a swing dance unit in PE, and apparently the final project was a big Grease style dance contest at the school. I went to see him swing dance--he picked out his nice black button down and slacks--and... oh you guys-- he was so happy!  He and his partner (a very sweet girl he knew from choir too) were eliminated in the first round, but we forget to give thanks for a lot of simple stuff sometimes. Seeing his smile when Squish and I showed up to watch him dance--that was such a simple thing. I'm so grateful I got to be there.  (I took video for Mate because he was in Portland, but am not great at uploading it. *sigh*)

*  Squish stayed home from school yesterday because... well, I'm a little fuzzy there even though I'm the one who made the call.

With Mate out of town, I take ZoomBoy to school first, then come home and get Squish. Now Squish is amazing at getting herself ready. In the days when I took her and ZoomBoy, she would be ready, teeth brushed, breakfast had, cartoons on, before I could even get ZoomBoy out of bed. But even the most organized Squishy has a bad day.

I got home from dropping ZoomBoy off and she ran out to the car sobbing. She woke up late, with a bloody nose, and she couldn't find her underwear, and she'd gone out to the garage to see if there was any in the drier, and a big cat jumped out to startle her, and it wasn't Shulamonster who was supposed to be out there, it was some imposter kitty, and Shula was probably DEAD!

I've never seen her this upset--but I have seen her snotty. As in congested. I think she was sick--headachy, joint-achy, just generally icky, and she had a shitty morning. And I remembered back when I worked full time and the big kids had been little. They'd HATED school. Loathed it. Especially Chicken. I used to promise them one day off a month. Just a pajama, mental health day. And we did that--not even every month. But sometimes, the knowledge that you had one pajama day a month actually got you through that month without needing to use it.

So I gave Squish a pajama day. After we watched her brother's swing dance competition, she sat and watched cartoons and got to be lord of the remote control and I hugged her frequently and...

Pajama day.

She felt much better this morning, and that was fine too.

*  But that leads us to the other conundrum.

The identity of the cat in the garage.

Now the kids--led by Chicken, upon whom I blame about everything-- calls this animal Imposter Kitty, and Chicken claims it's not Shulamonster because it has a different fur, and a different face, and it's twice as big, and it has BALLS.

The kids say Imposter Kitty is Kitty Zilla, and  Shula was NEVER this big.

Squish is sure this cat KILLED Shula, and that's why she's not there anymore.

Mate says Imposter Kitty IS ACTUALLY SHULAMONSTER, and she just got REALLY FLUFFY for winter.

I have not seen enough of this cat to call one way or another. All I can really tell you is, if you're going to have a cat live in your garage, you should maybe keep the garage clean enough to track down the cat should an Imposter Kitty take over it's domain and eat it.

And by you, I mean us. And by Imposter Kitty, I mean Giant Shulamonster.  And by clean, I mean the opposite of anything in this house.

*  Chicken is looking up cars, on a very (VERY) limited budget. She found one that looked like a GREAT deal and I told her to CarFax it, and she thought I was being paranoid, and I gave her $40 to do it anyway and...

The 2008 Hyundai was actually a 2011 Hyundai that had been in two accidents, one of them TOTALED it, before it had been salvaged, re-built, and given to the poor hoser trying to get rid of it now.

I'm serious. CarFax. I LOVE this idea.

*  Newt-Dewey beeps. Seriously, he'll sit on the table and make beeping noises at you until you tap him enough times to get him to stop.

It's his schmooze alarm.

And on that note--goodnight everybody!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

And That Happened...

My fever is back just a little, because I went swimming again, but that's not why swimming was a mistake.

No, no--see, this was the first time I'd gone in about 2 1/2 weeks, almost 3. I was SO HAPPY to be at the water again.  I got there late because hey, it's me, and paused for a moment to pull off my sweater, T-shirt, and jeans and set them in my bag before giving my suit a tug and starting for the pool.

And that's when my thumb popped through my suit.

0.0  I was right there. I could SEE the water. How bad could one little hole be?

I started for the stairs and all was well until I hit the water and started moving.  And the rip started to crawl.  Uh oh.  At this rate, if I turned around and went back, I'd still be flashing a whole lot of ME before I even got to my bag.

I signaled the teacher, and had her go through my stuff (embarrassing--so glad I don't keep condoms and sex toys in my gym bag-- just saying) and she pulled out the T-shirt I was wearing.

The one that said, "The only women who don't love gay romance are the ones who haven't read it yet."

Everybody got a good look at that as she dropped it into the pool, and I put it on quickly, dragging it down and tucking it under the elastic and through that abominable hole.

But that didn't stop the hole from spreading.

By the time I was done with water aerobics, the suit had ripped from my hips to my boobs--and it was a damned good thing I had that shirt on.

On the one hand I was like, "Wow, that was embarrassing!"

On the other hand I keep replaying that Sam the Eagle skit from The Muppets when he goes, "Did you know that UNDERNEATH OUR CLOTHES we are ALL NAKED!"

Well, I certainly was today!


And in pictures today, we have

 A. A Valentine display from my neighborhood that I really sort of love,

B. The haunted cat trying to get in so she can continue to haunt us-- you know the drill, 'Feed me! Pet me! Brush me! Or I"ll stare at you like this forever!"

C. Chicken in Target, saying, "That's one way to get fisted!"  And the two of us afraid we'd never get invited back to Target again, and

D. The ladybug fudge pops came with the flowers Mate sent.  Yes, he's absent today-- business trip--but I felt loved and appreciated for my Valentines Day!

(So did the kids, who also got cards and some gifts. The big kids got Shari's Berries of their OWN :-)

So night all-- falling asleep. Hope your V Day wasn't bad--or, at least if you WERE the one growing naked in the pool, your T-shirt covered the important bits, because seriously, that's a blessing!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Goodbye Cruel World...

A moment of silence for Chicken's 2001 Chevy Impala, everybody.

She's dead, Jim. 

Got a call from Chicken, right as I wrapped up my morning walk--the car had simply ceased to operate. There was the sound of rocks, and car no-go.

I went to pick her up form a less-than-savory stretch of Manzanita Blvd, where she sat in her pajamas after dropping her brother off to work, because, I guess, no good deed goes unpunished.  

By now we knew the drill-- have it towed to the Car Czar, because they treat you decent there, and go Valentines shopping at Target while we wait for the diagnosis.

Well, the diagnosis was the transmission had an aneurism and would cost $4,400 to fix.  Somebody run me the bluebook on a 2001 Chevy Impala on a non-stock body and all new brakes, cause I think it's worth about half that.  

Yeah. Break out the horn and play taps-- that's all she wrote.

Chicken was depressed as fuck--and I spent the day trying to cheer her up. Chocolate, new sweats (so she could stop wandering around in her pajamas), and some concoction from Starbucks that I got an accidental sip from and wanted badly to hurl-- none of it worked. 

She called my dad, who said, "So, I'm 70 years old--sorry pumpkin, I don't do that shit anymore."

"That's cool--do you have any advice?"

"Is it front wheel drive?"


"A good funeral service would do it."

"Yeah.  It's weird. Cars die on me. Dad totals them, Mom just dents them, but they die on me."

Well, everybody needs a hobby?

She's a good adult--she was worried about her livelihood and I didn't blame her.  

We came to a solution--I hope it's one that runs for at least another two years (this car, for all it's faults, did run for two years, even though it looked like a sock full of rocks by the end) and when I called her father and told him he let out a sigh. He'd been hoping to go to Octoberfest this year with his friends on a sort of package weekend, and he said, "There goes Germany."

Yeah. We waved to it floating away in the distance. Maybe some other year when I could come?  Bring the kids? We'll hope.

But in the meantime, Chicken still needs to go to her dead car at Car Czar and get all her stuff out of it before having it towed to Pick & Pull, who will give her money.

I told her to swing by the house before she does. 

"I've still got the pink Krylon from when I thought I was going to have to spray paint over the graffiti. "


"So! Tomorrow's Valentine's Day and it's PINK PAINT! Spray paint a heart on it with 'Goodbye Cruel World' on the hood! It'll be great!"

"Mom, you are so weird."

Well, maybe so--but I got my baby to laugh at the end of a really sucktastic day.  I'll call it a win.    

 And she'd better send me a picture if she actually does it.

Kermit Flail--February (Little Late!-- sorry!)

*whew*  We made it to February!

Okay-- we made it to mid-February, but in my defense, I was away from home.  

Anyway-- it's a brief (but powerful!) Kermit Flail today-- I didn't give people much warning, but the extraordinarily lovely Ms. Devon Rhodes and the ever amazing Rick R. Reed came through, and we've got some really fun stuff for you!

I've got a few things at the end--a cover reveal if you didn't catch it at Joyfully Jay's, the first link to Quickening, and the link to Scorched Haven, the free Little Goddess story on my website. So yes--thanks for tuning in this month--Kermit Flail, February: Little but mighty!

Resuscitating Love

by Devon Rhodes

If Hill keeps putting cowboys ahead of his marriage, even being a cardiologist won’t help David fix their broken hearts.

Hillard ‘Hill’ Pearson, the new events director of the American Royal, has worked hard to get to where he is. This is his first year as director, and the huge responsibility of the more visible position has taken over his life. Yes, he could be considered a workaholic, but he’s put fifteen years into the event he’s loved since he was a kid, and now is his chance to shine.

When David Weinstein finally convinced his long-time partner, Hill, to marry him, he thought it would bring them closer together. Instead, they’re not even to their first anniversary and their relationship is suffering. David’s finally at a stage in his medical career where he has regular hours, but he can’t seem to connect with his husband when he’s free. Now, with the event that he’s sick of hearing about underway, he feels like he’s making all the effort with no return.

Can Hill and David resuscitate their love before David gives up on the promise of forever?

Publisher's Note: This story has been previously released as part of the Unconventional in Kansas City anthology.

99c at Pride link:




By Rick R. Reed

When Leon first saw him singing in a dive bar, he was mesmerized. But he didn't know he'd be going home with the dangerously sexy lead singer that night. He couldn't have predicted he'd fall in love. But then, Leon never expected his love to be reciprocated ...

So, why, three years after that fateful night, is Leon perched at the edge of a bridge, ready to make a fatal leap?

Superstar is the story of a groupie and the rock star he loves. It's the tale of a man on the edge, both literally and figuratively ... and it's a timeless story of love found and lost, set to a driving beat. It's a story about promises made, promises broken, and dreams unfulfilled. And, ultimately, it's about realizing that love can come along when one least expects it -- and in the unlikeliest of places.

Amazon Kindle: (FREE with Kindle Unlimited)
JMS Books:

Quickening, Vol. 1

Little Goddess Book 5, Volume 1

by Amy Lane

Cory thought she’d found balance on Green's hill—sorceress, student, queen of the vampires, wife to three men—she had it down! But establishing her right to risk herself with Green and Bracken had more than one consequence, and now she’s facing the world's scariest job title: mother.

But getting the news that she’s knocked up takes a backseat when a half-elf hunts them down for help. Her arrival brings news that the werewolf threat, which has been haunting them for over a year, has finally arrived on their doorstep—and it’s bigger and more frightening than they’d ever imagined.

Cory throws herself into this new battle with everything she’s got—and her men let her do it. Because they all know that whether they defeat this enemy now or later, the thing she's most afraid of is arriving on a set schedule, and not even Cory can avoid it. The trick is getting her to acknowledge she's pregnant before she gives birth—or kills herself in denial.
Cover Artist: Anne Cain

Scorched Haven

by Amy Lane

Zeb has always been the guy in the background--second spear carrier to the left. But when he takes a trip away from Green's Hill, and his backup is killed, he needs to start thinking like a hero, or he's going to get killed!  Even worse,  Colton, the kid he rescues from bad-werewolf central, seems to be along for the ride with him, and the longer they spend in each other's company, the more Zeb really wants to keep this kid alive!

While Zeb struggles to keep them alive on the road trip from hell, Colton has an even bigger job to do. He needs to convince Zeb that he's the hero in Colton's story, and that if Zeb can save both their lives, Colton can save Zeb's heart. 
*  This is a free download from my website, and while it does give sort of a crash course in Little Goddess central, it can be read as a standalone if you don't mind spoilers.

And finally-- if you missed it on Joyfully Jay's, this is the cover for Bonfires, which will be out on March 24th. I'll get y'all a buy link just as soon as I possibly can!

Show Tunes


I'm saying-- that round of the sickness SUCKED. The last time I felt that gross, I wrote the scene in Winter Ball where Skipper coughed so hard on the soccer field that he threw up.

Just saying. Now you know where the real comes from, right?


So, Kermit Flail is tomorrow morning, and I don't want to get too involved tonight, BUT, ZoomBoy did do something particularly cute this evening.

It started when the kids were unloading groceries from the car--a procedure I'm forbidden from participating in, because it's my job to keep the dogs from running outside to greet me, thereby seeing something shiny across the street, thereby getting squashed by an oncoming vehicle. Anyway-- as I was running inside to keep them from doing that, I heard ZoomBoy in pure "whistle while you work" mode singing, "Let's do the time warp again..."

And I only THOUGHT my happiness was complete. 

Later on, as he was playing video games intently, he started singing, "You can do it... I can't do it... you see Rio, I see JAIL!"  from The Producers. 

I almost DIED OF CUTE. Cause it fit, right? It's a song about taking risks, and he was trying to convince his friend it wasn't a good risk and he just SPONTANEOUSLY burst into song. 

Oh, bless his little nerd ball heart.

Now if only he'd stop farting on his sister...

Thursday, February 9, 2017

You know your cold is bad when...

The clerk at Michael's, the clerk at Rite-Aid, and the kid at Del Taco all call you "hon"...

Your friend tells you a miracle cure for the crud and you cry because it means you have to go to Rite-Aid again...

The dogs follow you around the house to sit on your feet...

You warn your editor you have a cold because you're afraid your e-mail had germs...

You go to your room to lay down and watch TV and give up on TV because laying there with your mouth open sounds so much more fun...

The cats tap you on the face to make sure you're not dead...

The kids join you in your bedroom to watch DeadPool without a word for all the inappropriate language...

Your husband stops the sexual innuendo with one look at your face...

You both plan for when you take your NyQuil, because you grew up on the Denis Leary adage "Don't make any fuckin' plans."...

Your husband (bless him) also buys the orange juice with the pulp because he knows it'll make the kids stay the hell away...

Finishing one deadline is celebrated by going to bed and not starting on the other two...

Good night!

And the head cold speaketh...

So, my trip home required four airports, three planes, and about a zillion human contacts. At one point, I was so hungry I almost got lost in O'Hare, and I vaguely remember begging a Starbucks clerk to give me a sandwich unheated, because if I didn't eat A THING I would be doomed to wandering O'Hare forever, unable to keep my gate number in my pretty little head.

You don't really get to do that without repercussions.

Welcome to me with a head cold. With any luck, it WON'T turn into Skipper's plague from Winter Ball.  Because that was from RT, and it wasn't any fun either.

So, short snippets of sick Amy-- enjoy:

The following conversation happened in my congested head this morning:


You are NOT dying-- you just can't face the editing you have to do.

I am too dying. I feel like crap. I'm shivering like a wet Chihuahua. I know--I just walked my dogs and they're both doing this same thing I am.

Okay, so you're DYING--but you're also stupid and everybody knows stupid people feel no pain. Shut your yapping and GET TO WORK!

*headdesk*  I've edited, my computer has crashed, and now I need to work some more.

Yeah, fine. Fuck this. Go to bed.

Thank you. *diez*

*  *  *

The following conversation happened between me and a real live sales clerk. For reference sake, my cart contained: sparkling water, six cartons of Safeway soup, cookies, crackers, and Kleenex.

Clerk: Hey,  how you doing?

Me: Great!

Clerk: *a little frightened*  You don't sound great. You sound awful.

Me: Well, you know. I'll be better after I get home.

Clerk: Are these Kleenex for you?

Me: Yeah.  *sniffles* *wipes hand across nose and feels disgusting*

Clerk: Would you like me to get you a box while you wait to ring stuff up?

Me: That would be kind. Really kind. Thank you.

Clerk: Feel better, hon.

(FTR? Clerk was about 20 years old. And he called me "hon". *criez*)

*  *  *

I am getting out of the shower.

Mate: You sound better!

Me: Yep! Yay!

Mate: It got worse by the second word.

Me: Yeah-- shower didn't take.

*  *  *

Mate: So, how was the kid's dance lesson?

Me: I"m sure it was lovely.

Mate: You spent the hour asleep in the car.

Me: I didn't even tilt the seat back.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Homeward Bound and Home...

*  On Saturday, during the book signing, I got two text messages from Chicken.

1.  "There was a small fire in the kitchen today. The funniest part was looking at Dad as if to say, 'There, there is a fire. What now?'"


Given the information at hand, I'm glad to see that California is still standing after spending all Saturday naked and on fire.

*  I had never been to the Charlotte airport before. As we were getting our stuff from the overhead bins, I told that to the lady next to me. She said, "Where are you going?"

"Well, from here, I'm going to O'Hare."

 "That's in the middle of the airport."

"Is that far away?"

"It's long. Very, VERY, long."

I made it with five minutes to spare, panting, blowing, and wishing for teleportation in the worst of ways. Damn, NC, well played. Like that whole bathroom thing wasn't bad enough, just running through your airport shoved me over the edge. I'm crossing you off my list of destinations, for life.

*  The Flash Fiction panel at Coastal was AMAZING. OMG-- such a talented group of storytellers!  Julie Kenner, Dee Davis, Becky McGraw, Damon Suede, Lucienne Diver, and Kiernan Kelley.  We will never hear the term "Scientific Nipples" the same way again!

*  The Killing Game panel at Coastal was.... *shakes finger*  You know who you are!!!  All I have to say about that was, I sat on a panel with THREE PEOPLE who willingly admitted to offing between dozens

to WHOLE POPULATIONS. These people had destroyed worlds, y'all... and what was the topic of conversation?

One vampire, one housewife, and one damned horse.   *shakes head*  Nope. Never killing the horse again.

* The dog is Lacy-- she belongs to Randy and Mary Gresham. (I posted about them on FB and Twitter.)  When I am far from home and missing my dogs like crazy whoa, seeing Lacy and being allowed to stroke those amazing ears often makes the difference between having fun at a con and being just miserably homesick. Thanks Randy and Mary--mostly for being such kind people that your dog is that nice too.

*  Speaking of dogs, my own dogs have been walked in the rain and fed bad, horrible, very tasty foods. I have recemented my identity with them as their favorite human, and they will follow me into hell, barking at the fuckers who scratch their pits on their own front lawns all the way. *happy sigh* Fucking wee potato shaped hounds. I missed them so.

*  I got publicly groped by the TSA in Daytona Beach. Like, my cooter and everything. I mean, yes, she gave me the option of going to a private room, but I said, "Whatever," because I was thinking, "I've done this before--how bad can it be?"

Well apparently it was "Touch the cooter through the skirt and panties" bad. I stood there with my arms out and a stoic expression on my face until she was done, but inside I was thinking, "Y'all... I think your machine is bonkers and this is insane."

Oh well-- I hope it was good for her, because next time I want lobster thermidor and a glass of wine before that shit goes down.

*  On my last business trip, I sat next to a woman who was very offended about the fat. My leg slid into her territory as I slept and she woke me up to see if maybe I could take a deep breath and hold it for three hours and try not to be so fat. She huffed, she rolled her eyes, she got upset if our shoulders touched. I almost wanted to sit on her "on accident" just so her worst nightmares of not being near a woman who wasn't a size two could be realized and she could hate all fat people with a passion for a REASON.

She was, for the record, blonde and blue eyed with a fake tan and a nose I don't think she was born with and boobs that were much perkier than the skin around her neck.

Last night, as I was nearing my bank of seats, I was appalled to see I sat in the middle. Holy crap, if there's a place you don't want to sit as the fat kid, it's in the middle where there is NO SPACE to move.

The young woman sitting on the end said, (with a California accent, y'all) "Oh-- would you like me to sit in the middle? You can have the end that way."  She smiled as she said it, and it was such a kind thing to do.

For the record, she was wearing a hijab.

Prejudices come from many places. The first people I ever met wearing that particular headdress were students of mine--funny, kind, wickedly smart, they made sure that my sympathies would be, forever and ever, solidly on their side.

I just think it's important to remember that most holy books, most philosophies, most people respected for their point of view and reason hundreds of years after their deaths, everyone from Jesus to Mohammed to Buddha, are very quick to point out that the quality of our culture can be judged by our kindness to strangers--or to the lowest strata of our own society. (Like, say, fat people, where skinniness is the watchword for beauty.)

While I was in Florida--often with zero bars to post, in case you were wondering-- my country was fighting its own government for the right to treat people kindly.  While I was afraid on the one hand (I was far from home and airports were being blocked by protestors) I was also proud.

We want to be the people who treat other cultures kindly.

Let's continue to strive to be that people. Let's not lose faith that we can be. Let's continue to fight. Yes, we lost the DeVos vote--by one person. And if she tries to give students guns to fight grizzly bears, I'm pulling my kids from school--but that was a close vote. We can't give up while we still have voices. I think we're beginning to be heard.

*  NEXT WEEK there shall be Kermit Flail-- sorry guys-- I was out of town!!!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

A few quick moments...

This first picture is the Florida skyway-- it is notable because it's the bridge Tory fell from in Black John.   BTW-- Tory is an asshole.

The second picture is of poisonous snakes in Florida. What's notable about this is that it's at a restroom in Florida-- so yanno.. Watch out for poisonous snakes!

The third picture is of six out of seven pairs of fingerless mittens I've made to give away for Coastal Magic. (One of them is with a gift basket, as well as a hat, in another gift basket.)  It's notable because, uh, DAMN. And also because they're pretty. And also because I'm so done with this project-- sometime next week if you all prompt me I'll post the pattern. (They're easy.)

And now I'm at Coastal Magic-- and I love it. The mixer was a joy, and  Cinema Craptastique was a riot-- but now, it's off to bed :-)