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

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Candy Moments

So, we went trick-or-treating with Berry Jello tonight--which was fun! Also in our party were friends of Berry Jello's--people Chicken has been babysitting for over the past few months. We'll get back to this. First of all, let's start with yesterday, when things started getting really scary...

*  Candy Moment, the First--

Yesterday I stopped at Rite-Aid for candy and feminine hygiene. Yes. I know. It's a terrible combination--I'm in all likelihood suffering from sugar poisoning at this very moment. But the clerk at the local Rite-Aid is a very sweet guy with some cognitive disabilities--for the most part, he functions very well, and is very helpful, but yesterday, Squish had to go to the bathroom.

So he's looking at my purchases, and she comes up and goes, "Mom! I have to go potty right now!"

And the guy freezes. "Do you have the key?" I ask.

He opens and closes his mouth a few times. "No! No. I do not see the key."

I look at Squish a little desperately. "Well, if you sort of hustle this up, maybe I can take her home."

And he is rooted to the floor. I recognize this--I've seen Big T do it, I've seen ZoomBoy do it, and I'm pretty sure I've done it myself at times. His brain locked up and he was completely out of decisions. He couldn't ring stuff up, he couldn't help Squish, he just... stopped.

And as he stopped, I felt it.

Breakthrough bleeding.

So he's gaping like a fish, Squish is jumping up and down, and I am bleeding through two kinds of feminine hygiene, my underwear, and my jeans.

At this moment his coworker walks up and omg, he can take Squish to the bathroom, we're saved!

And three minutes later I've got a bag full of feminine hygiene (and candy), and it's rung up now, we're saved!

So I go hustling back to the bathroom, knock on the door and say, "Squish, let me in."


"Squish, dammit, let me in!"

"Who IS this?"

"It's your Mom!"

"Uh, who do you think THIS is?"

"Oh my God. I am so sorry."

I tear out of there before I can confront the stranger I was demanding share a bathroom with me, just as ZoomBoy texts me and tells me Squish has made it to the car.

I get in, throw a towel on the seat and tell Squish, "Open the candy."



I left a litter of wrappers all the way home.

Poor woman. The worst part was how long I hesitated--I might have had to face her if I hadn't had a towel in the car.  Seriously.

* Candy Moment Number 2

So, Chicken babysits for two kids who live near Berry Jello. Tonight, as Berry was putting makeup on Squish's face (it looked great!) the little girl Chicken babysits came in and said, "Hello, Chicken, do you like my costume?"

By this time, Squish's entire face was made up.

"This isn't  Chicken," we told the little girl. "This is her little sister, Squish."

For the entire night--like, three more hours--the little girl kept calling Squish by Chicken's name. Every time we said, "Not Chicken, Squish!" she stared at Squish suspiciously. I'm pretty sure she went to bed tonight thinking we were having one over on her.

*  Candy Moment Number 3

So, Berry Jello took us trick-or-treating.  Now, her neighborhood is a series of small duplexes fairly closely set together, but in the streets behind her, there is a hilly labyrinth of rich people who give away full sized chocolate bars and decorate to the hilt.

She took us to her rich person's trick-or-treating wonderland, and the kids loved it and it was great.

It was two miles of great. (According to my phone, anyway.)  It was two miles of great with some REALLY breathtaking hills. I am not excellent at direction. I was worse than the kids with, "Uh, this is some hill, Berry Jello... how far away are we again?"

"Oh, we're really close, I promise."

"I only trust you because you like pain less than I do."

"No, seriously--we're almost there."

So we clear this one hill, and we've been out for two hours, and ZoomBoy is going, "Mom, how much longer?"

I look at the street ahead of us and try to figure out where we've been. "Well, uh, I think up here we take a left, and, then another left, and then a right, and we'll be right back on Berry Jello's street."

And Berry Jello cracks up. "Oh my God! That's Fair Oaks Blvd! We hit that street, turn right, and we're practically at my house!"

And I'm convinced we warped the space time continuum on that last hill. "Are you SURE?"

"Oh yeah. I'd totally be pissed at me too if I thought we had that long to go. Jesus, where did you think we were?"

"Not nearly as close as we are. Huzzah and hallelujah, you're right. We're almost home."

Shortly afterwards, I got ZoomBoy and Squish home, and we were settled in with dinner and Stranger Things.

I have to tell you--I think one of the reasons I enjoy fantasy and alternative universe stories so very much is that, to my perception, the world is just as strange on the reality side of the line as it is on the supposed fiction side.

Maybe even a teeny bit stranger.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Baby in the House!

 My friend, Ambrosia, and her beloved, brought a baby to my house tonight.

Sure, there was visiting--but the baby.

I mean... look at her.

So much adorability.

Both kids got to hold the baby.

They were overjoyed.

And I got to talk to my friends.

But mostly I got to hold the baby.

The dogs were very confused.

Every so often Ambrosia's beloved, Idris, would get up and they'd bark at him.

"I've been here for two hours! What were you doing then?"

We got to watch Nightmare Before Christmas.

But mostly--and this can't be emphasized enough-- we got to hold a baby.

She smelled like baby. It was awesome. Her cheeks were so soft....

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Did Anybody See My Weekend?

Geoffie is concerned about where the weekend went.

Friday, Squish, Chicken, Big T, Mate, and I, all went to see ZoomBoy's play.

The play itself was You Can't Take it With You, and for the record, if you are curious about this George Kaufman creation, DON'T watch the Frank Capra film with Lionel Barrymore and Jimmy Stewart. For some reason, Capra screwed the pooch with that version, and the TV version of the stage play with Maureen Stapleton and Barry Bostwick was much better.

ZoomBoy in his costume and makeup!
Anyway-- ZoomBoy was SO excited because apparently on the Thursday night production, the guy who played Kolishnikof made a rude gesture on stage and was taken out of the play for the duration, so the guy who played the IRS agent AND one of the three FBI Agents ended up being Kolishnikof instead. He did a great job--he carried a script, and while he surreptitiously studied it for his cues, he delivered his lines with a full-on Russian accent and conviction, and he managed to make the script look like a communist literature pamphlet (because the play was written in the 30's) and in general, we were much impressed.

Squish, my parents, a cousin-ish, and Max
We were also impressed by ZB because he was promoted from "3rd FBI Agent" to "Jim the 2nd FBI Agent" and he did so with aplomb.

Basically, we're just so proud of him. He was one of two freshman in the production and he was the only kid up there without some sort of prior drama experience (but they made much of his dance experience) and he had friends who gave him a ride to Denny's and... and he's growing up. And doing a good job of it.

Max. Good dod, Max! Good dog!
Yesterday, I took him and his sister to Plymouth, which is right outside of Jackson.  Plymouth has a big RV park, and every year, THE WHOLE PARK participates in decorating their RV's (or the apron in front of them) and costume contests and at night, there's Trick-or-Treating.  ZoomBoy wore his father's Lederhosen, and I couldn't seem to get a picture of him, but his sister wore HER sister's anime maid dress, and did her face up to be creepy doll--and it worked! Well--for that iteration of makeup it worked. As soon as the costume parade was over, we went and washed the whole works off because it was driving her batshit insane.  (*note to self--buy more creepy doll makeup that won't make her batshit*)

We left Squish there at three and came home, because ZoomBoy had curtain call at 5 again.  We promised him all today to just sleep--and he took it. Played video games, slept, ate--that kid had earned his broccoli-hood, and we knew he'd need it to get through next week.

Bless his heart--he gets to do it all over again.


At Plymouth we saw some super extra awesome costumes, and I took some pictures.  I'm particularly impressed by the unicorn and s'mores frappuccinos, but Jack and Sally, the gumball machine, and an entire group of Rydell High students really did make me smile.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

More Old People at the Pool

Yeah. The title says it all.

Okay-- so I get into the hot tub which is usually my happy place, right?  And usually, since I get to class late and then stay and try to make the time up, I'm alone, but not this time.

This time, I get there in time to hear an older man (out of the spa) and an older woman (in the spa) debating. The man says, ""How can you say that? Look at this? It's October! It's almost ninety degrees. How can you say climate change is a myth!"

"But this happens!"  She looked at me to appeal, because the guy was pretty abrasive.

"Oh no, hon," I say, my kindest voice to the fore. "He's right--it's real."

"Let's just agree to disagree," she said a little desperately.

"But how can we fix it if we don't even acknowledge it?" I ask, and for a moment, she looks like she wants to listen. For a moment, her mind is open.

"Well that's just stupid and anyone who believes it is too stupid for me to even talk to."

She beats a hasty retreat out of the spa and I turn to the guy.

"You can't do that," I say--again, Captain Reason. "You can't tell people they're too stupid to talk to, because then they'll stop listening."

"But people are just stupid. People like that who won't even look at the facts aren't worth my time."

"But how are we going to change things if we just walk away from the conversation. That's how liberals lose. They decide they're too smart to talk to conservatives and they walk away."

"But they're so stupid!" the guy went off. "People like that--they're not worth my time! Have you seen some of these people on TV? They do whatever the TV tells them, and if they station is FOX they believe that bullshit! They're not even worth talking to!"

"But if you know better, isn't it your job to educate them? I taught for years--I didn't expect my kids to come in able to write an essay--even in the eleventh grade. I had to teach them how to reason--and how to think critically about the information they were given. Not everybody gets that. A lot of people are given the box and that's the only shape they see until you point out another one."

"Yeah, well I'm not here to educate the world."

"Well who's going to change it for the better if it's not the people who see what's wrong?"

"A few Republicans will flip because they're afraid of their jobs. I'm not worried. That guy will get out office. We'll be okay."

"No we won't--not if the people who see the problems only speak out to people who agree with them!"

The debate--and it was a debate--raged. I quoted Studs Terkel (which I mistakenly attributed to Saul Bellow, and now I feel like an idiot cause derp!) We didn't raise our voices and we didn't call each other bad names and we both kept our temper.

In the end he had to leave because his wife was waiting, and I needed to get to the showers myself.

But I didn't get to finish with the thing I really wanted to say.

And the thing I really wanted to say was, "If you don't talk to people reasonably and try to educate them, then what are you talking about social issues for? If all you're doing is telling them they're too stupid to even talk to, you're entire purpose in pushing the point is to prove you're superior.  And that doesn't make you a better person than they are. It might make you smarter, but it doesn't make you any better than the person flashing the new car to prove they have money. Great. You get climate change is real and trickle down economics don't work and racism needs to be addressed and educated out of the populace and the current administration is corrupt as fuck and Betsy Devos is a tapeworm crawling through the bloodstained vomit that is the current political party in charge. Good for you. But unless you educate the people you're disagreeing with, and explain why you think these things and why your opinion has merit, all you're doing is lording your intellectual superiority over the plebes, and that's just as toxic as lording your money. Don't do it. If you're not going to convince that poor nice rich woman who has political ties in our community that the environment needs her help, all you're doing is bullying her because you think you're smarter than she is. Believing the liberals are right doesn't do jack shit if you're not going to use that belief to make the world just a little bit better, and if you're going to use it to terrify people into avoiding you and anyone who believes the same thing you do, you're actually making it worse."

Of course, I was in the spa, in a bathing suit, and trying to enjoy the last sunshine of the year and get up the strength and optimism to finish my day.  I didn't sit in the spa to save the world and I didn't have my debate panties on.

I just wish I was a little bit better at it when I got the chance.


I could have spent that time talking to the sweet, frightened older woman who was in denial, but by then she'd run the fuck away.


Education. EDUCATION. If we don't believe people can learn new things then we can't learn any ourselves. Edu-fucking-cation.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Wednesdays Are Hard

Seriously-- ZoomBoy is doing the play, Squish had dance, I worked out and Chicken came over to do laundry. Busy--but bittersweet too. Kids are getting a little older and the quality of the busy has changed.

So here's the current mood, the current joy, current project, and the current surprise for Wednesday:

Current Mood:

Current Joy--  Elizabeth sent me llamas :-)  And a yarn bowl!!!

Current Project: Still the Wave Crash--but I may  stop before it's totally done--right now the wingspan is LUSH and it's pretty darn deep. I may just put a really deep hood on it at the end of this pattern repeat (there is a pattern, but it's hard to explain) and wrap a border around it and call it a happy monstrosity. (Okay-- for the record? Only I get to call it a monstrosity because I love it, and it's mine.)  

Current Joy: ZoomBoy texted me this afternoon while doing his makeup for the dress rehearsal. "Look, Mom! I have eyebrows!"

"I'll show your sister. She'll be jealous!"

And there you go! Wednesdays are hard--but we survived. And for the record? I tried to get Squish to be in the picture with the llamas, but she insisted it be me. My daughters are getting tricksy these days...

Oh! Update on the blog tour:

 Two Chicks Obsessed

Gay Book Reviews

Tammy's Two Cents

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Love Bytes

Boy Meets Boy

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Still Getting Taller...

So, ZoomBoy is in drama this year, and he tried out for the school play. He got a small part--ten words, two lines--but you know what?

No kid has EVER been more excited to be a part of the drama club.

He's had long, long days for the past week-- lots of late nights and long rehearsals, and he's come home for the last two nights smelling of hair spray and makeup that he can't get off.

I'm so excited for him. These were some of the best memories from my own schooling and he seems to be having a blast.

But I miss him.

He's usually part of our little couch group at night, and he cracks jokes and has a say in what we're watching on TV.  He's a fun voice in our family-- I miss him when he's gone.

But last night he came home asking for help with his makeup--which his sister promptly gave him, no moms allowed--and help with tying a tie.

And so these photos happened.

And I'm sniffly all over again.

Monday, October 23, 2017

From the Archives of Pain and Sorrow

So, I have a confession to make.

About a thousand years ago--give or take a decade--I wrote a het Batman fanfic. I didn't even know what fanfic was, back then, or that it had precedent, and it was before ZoomBoy was born, I'm not even sure if there was an A03.

So I showed my friend, absurdly proud of it. She wasn't a bestie or anything, but I thought she was a friend and she laughed her ass off. She thought it was hysterical that I'd be putting my time and energy into something this stupid. She would go on to completely screw me over as an administrator--I guess looking back to that moment, I probably should have known.

But in a way, this right here is one of the places I started, because I obviously haven't lost my love for Batman, although I now picture him with a happy ending. A different ending, but a happy one.

So here you go--enjoy. But if it triggers hysterical laughter in you, uh, be kind?

The Seduction of Batman
They lost. They didn’t often lose—they were too good for that. He’d been working the streets for nearly eighteen years, and she for five, and together, they were like ballet. They might have saved the family, if Dick had been there, working for them, or even Tim. But Tim was away at prep school, so Robin was out of commission. And Dick was NightWing now, and he was in a completely different city, looking dangerous and savage, and so much like the old man that Barbara couldn’t believe she hadn’t slept with him when he’d been Robin. But she hadn’t, and there had been nothing to hold him in Gotham, except his love of the old man, but Bruce had been kind, telling him to be his own person and all that. Bruce was always kind, Barbara was thinking on the ride home. It was one of those things that made him great.

So the family was lost—and not to any of the really colorful, dangerous wackos out there that usually ended up in Arkham, but to one of the casual, run of the mill wackos that so often got lost in the bigger shuffle. Bruce hadn’t lost him—he’d known he’d been out there, knew he was a bomb about to blow up, but he’d been snagged on the way to the house. Save the family, or keep the bomb from blowing up a crowded mall? In the cartoon they could have done both, but not even Barbara’s frantic call (with voice disguiser, of course) to her father helped them do it in real life. They had sorted through the rubble of the home afterwards, the blood stained walls, the stuffed animals and games that were all that remained of two very happy childhoods—terminated in the most brutal way of all. Barbara had been appalled. She had wept, and she never wept—it was too hard being a superheroine in a man’s world to cry often—and Bruce had held her, gently, using that big warm wall that was Batman to soothe her as he often did for other people.

And she had been soothed, too. In spite of that brief flirtation with Dick, she really did live for these moments, when he stopped treating her as a partner, and treated her as a woman. But something had prompted her to look into his eyes, and she’d sobbed all over again. He had on his game face, of course, but he was destroyed. Devastated. Nothing looked back at her but pain and guilt and anguish—and that curious, unbidden self-loathing that always seemed so out of place in Batman. Without realizing it, Barbara found that she had wrapped her arms around him, and was now whispering to him as though he were a child. He was fifteen years older than her—he had always been the older brother, the brooding uncle. So many people in the city depended on him, trusted him, and believed in him until he was something larger than life. She did not realize, in all those years of schoolgirl crush on Batman, and real love for Bruce Wayne, the absolute schism between the two people in one soul—until she saw the pain there that bridged the gap.

Without knowing how or why, they found themselves back in the car, speeding out of Gotham. It wasn’t dawn yet, but they had done this long enough to know, bone deep, that nothing else of importance would happen that night. They were only superheroes—not Gods. They couldn’t go back after standing in that house. And Barbara, in the stillness of that silent ride, planned her first seduction.

They arrived back at the cave, and Alfred was there, as usual, with clothes, baths in the double bathroom that Bruce had had installed when she had joined the team. It had been a sweet thing to do, she had thought then, at eighteen, still afflicted with maidenly modesty. But in the five years since, she had realized that it had also effectively cut her off from him. If he came home wounded, she never saw him bleed. She’d asked Dick, before he’d left, and Dickie had told her that before, in the old days, the two of them had limped upstairs, and gone to their separate rooms, bathed, and fallen asleep. So the boys and girls locker room had been a sweet concession—and also a way of being a team, but still being alone. Not tonight.

She emerged from her shower room clean, but for a few scrapes and bruises, and wrapped in a huge, fluffy pink towel. The pink, she thought, was Bruce’s idea of a joke. Batman had no sense of humor. She caught Alfred before he walked into Bruce’s side of the locker carrying medical supplies and a robe, and silently took them from him. Alfred looked at her kindly, cocked his head, and she shrugged. Are you sure? He asked. You will only get hurt. She responded, Pain or pain? You tell me which one’s worse.

Bruce was sitting on the massage table, naked, propped up on his arms. His head had sunk to his chest, and she saw he was bleeding, rather heavily, from a gash on his shoulder. She had not known he’d been hurt. How often, she wondered, had he kept her from harm, and been hurt himself, and she had not known? Anger made her hands sure as she stitched up his wound—they’d both read up on medical tapes and done some field surgery. It was part of the job.

What was not part of the job was her yearning to touch more of him. His skin was smooth—and pale to the middle of his arms. Of course, she thought sadly. He was a playboy by day—but how could he explain those scars, and there were not a few, at the pool. She knew now why he always sent her to the country club, when it needed to be done, and felt stupid for not guessing. Ah… that had hurt. He tensed, and she realized in depth how powerfully he was built. The black leather of the costume tended to minimize him, but his shoulders were broad and heavy, and even his slim waist was encased in muscle. His chest had a smattering of hair, but not much.

“Damn, Alfred, you’re losing your touch.” He swore, and she mumbled something, wondering when he, with his lightning reflexes and laser mind, would realize that she was most definitely not Alfred. But then, she realized with a pang of guilt, this was the one place in the world he felt safe, and she had intruded.

“You’re quiet tonight.” Bruce was saying, stretching his neck out by leaning his chin even further into his chest. “Normally you’d ask me how this happened.”

She looked at him, so weary, so wounded, and not just on the shoulder. This will not last, she thought. I can not cure him. He will not cure himself. Nevertheless, she hopped up on the table next to him, relieved when he didn’t startle, and leaned her head on his shoulder.

“How did it happen?” She asked. He looked down at her, his face still fell and grim. It was a fine face—planed cheeks, a good, straight nose, sensitive mouth. Everything put together to make him handsome, but not too much so. She loved his eyes the most—silly thing, really. Romantic. On any given day she could hardly tell what color they were, because their hazel color was so completely nondescript. She loved his eyes because they were so good at hiding his wounds. Because when she looked into them now, she could almost believe they would leave the street some day, retire, have babies. Be happy. It would never happen. But for a while, while she was young, they could have the night together.

“It happened when that piece of shrapnel from the explosion almost took your head off.” He said harshly. They had enclosed the bomb, surrounded it with steel and kevlar so that it had only destroyed a room, not three thousand people. The bomber, thinking he had succeeded had run home, killed his ex-wife and her new family, and then himself. Batman and Batgirl didn’t lead pretty lives.

“I didn’t see it.” She said honestly. “You shoved me in front of you—like you always do.”

His face tightened, almost too much to be devastatingly handsome—now he was just devastating. “Your father loves you very much.” He said. “I have enough blood on my hands.”

She slapped him, hard. She trained as much as he did, and she drew blood, just a little, from the corner of his sculpted mouth. He just looked at her with those weary, lying eyes, and didn’t bother to mop it up. She looked at her hand, smaller, but strong, and showed it to him.

“And now I have your blood on my hand. So what do we do now?”

He looked away, chuckled, but not happily. “Your father would love to have you date Bruce Wayne, Barbara Gordon. But he’d die before you married Batman.”

“But he loves you both.” She told him truthfully, and he glared at her, and the lie fell away from his eyes. He was exhausted. He was tortured. He didn’t want to be saved. The sardonic part of her mind, the one that would save her wholeness and sanity when all this was over, thought wryly that he was pretty much every girl’s fantasy. Danger was an aphrodisiac.

“You will hate me in the end.” He told her, the shadow to her thoughts so close that she startled.

“Only one of you.” She told him truthfully. She closed her eyes and breathed in, smelling him. He had a smell unlike any other man—it wasn’t cosmetic, or even the leather that seemed to linger on him even when he was in his day clothes. It was danger and darkness. Even Dickie, she knew, had not smelled quite so dark. There had been a neon electricity to Dick that was missing in Bruce. Bruce was all shadows, and she was hungry to hide in them.

“Which one?” He asked, and she could tell that he was worried. And, finally, the human emotion she had waited for, that would let her do this, she could tell that he was scared.

“The one that drives me away.” She leaned very close to him, touched her lips to his shoulders, and she felt a soft kiss in her trademark red hair. He took her upstairs then, and then took her, period. It was skin and skin, and the shadowed magic she craved, and again. And again. And again, until she was sore and throbbing and exhausted—and possessed. No matter what befell them, she knew, no matter who she ended up with in the end, she would never quite shake off the possession of the Dark Knight. Those other women, she wondered, who had shared Bruce Wayne’s bed—had they felt like this? She asked him, as they drowsed off to sleep.

No. No, he whispered, and she could hear something alien in his voice, something not whole, not in control. They hadn’t felt like this. They hadn’t loved him like she did. It would be, she perceived then, a very short ten years.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Weekend Short Takes

First of all, Familiar Angel is out, and so far people have enjoyed it. As I said last post, it's not Little Goddess-- low angst, high speed chases and sex on wings dominate-- but it's urban fantasy (with a little bit of history thrown in at the beginning) and I had so damned much fun writing it.

Everything after that was the weekend with the family--which, to me, is fairly entertaining as it is.

*  This morning, I went to get Big T for a day of shopping and laundry, and I took the dogs with me so even if there was no walkies, they would know I still loved them. As we went through the McDonald's drive-thru, we got the usual reaction to the dogs... with, uh, one tiny exception.

McDonald's Window Girl:  Hi there! Oh, what cute puppies! They're so adorable! So, you wanted two iced coffees, chicken tenders, a quarter pounder no cheese, a chicken sandwich, two double cheese, and two hash browns?

Me: Uh, no--I needed two sausage patties, no hash browns.

MWG, flustered: Oh! Oh no! Here--let me go fix that for you!

She disappears, and when she comes back, it's obvious she's playing for time and babbling. Babbling. So much babbling.

MWG: Oh, so cute! So the sausage patties are for them? Yeah, I'm doing that for my dog. In two weeks. Before I put her down. I don't want to put her down. I've had her for fifteen years. I love her so much. But I"m going to take her on a happy day in the park and all her favorite foods and playing with all the people. *sniffle* It's going to be the best day ever.

Me: Uh...

Big T: Uh...

MWG: Because they 're our buddies, right? I mean, you gotta give them the best things, right?

Me: Yeah. I"m so sorry about your puppy, honey.

MWG: That's okay. Here's your order! We gave you the meat patties free. *sniffle* For your dogs! *sniffle* Bye!

Big T, as we're driving away: That was... wow.

Me: Oh yeah.

Big T, petting Johnny and Geoffie on his lap: They're still young dogs.

Me: Very young.

Big T: Wow.

Me: Saying.

*  We are in Penny's getting Big T jeans and shoes, ZoomBoy jeans, and Squish, well, the sweatshirt that caught her eye in the boy's department that we bought her because it was practical and we felt bad.

ZoomBoy: Look, Mom-- that dummy is all alone.

I'm paying for the transaction as I answer: Yeah, honey, that's nice.

beat. beat. beat.

Me, to Mate: He's posing next to it, isn't he?

Mate: Oh yeah-- he's all done now.

Me: Figures. Go back, ZoomBoy-- let me take a picture!

*  We are watching TRON, the old version with Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner.

Big T: Hey--the Dude goes day glow!

Me: Wait-- he gets high off of electricity in a few minutes--you'll totally recognize the bit.

Squish: Wait-- what is that big building they're in?

Me: That's a computer. Believe it or not, the computing power of that entire building could fit into my laptop, right Mate?

Mate: No. You're laptop's way better than that.

Squish: Wow. So what are they doing in that computer?

Me and Mate: Playing video games.

Squish: Of. Course.

*  I am playing Word Cookies!  For those of you who haven't downloaded this game on your phone, don't. It's addictive.

So, I get a "Special Bonus Game" or whatever, and Mate hasn't played one of these so I hand the phone to him. Fifteen minutes later, he's moved WAY past that, and Squish holds out her hand. For a minute or two, they give each other answers as they try to beat the latest round.

Then Squish does the unthinkable.

She takes a "Hint."

Dad steals the phone.

Squish: Wait! I wasn't done!

Dad: Yes you were! You took a hint! You forfeit the phone!

Squish: No! No I don't! I was still playing!

While they are wrestling over the phone, ZomBoy reaches over their struggle and grabs the phone: Wait! Have you tried that?

And now it's all three of them on the couch, trying to be the one to answer the last question.

And I"m dying: Dammit you guys! I'd take a picture of this, BUT YOU'RE ALL HOGGING MY PHONE!!!!

*  And one of the places we went to go shopping was for makeup--stage makeup. We went to the dollar store, because this was just for ZoomBoy's play, and I'm pretty sure it's going to get thrown away afterwards.

But we're at the dollar store, looking at makeup.

And Squish wants some.

"Okay, so this and this and this," she says thoughtfully. "AND EYEBROW POWDER."

"Uh, you really want eyebrows, don't you honey."

"Yeah, Mom. It's my dream."

(One of my favorite moments from about two weeks ago was when she was watching Paul Bettany on A Knight's Tale and she was like, "Oh, look! He doesn't have eyebrows either!"  It made her so happy to know you could be famous without eyebrows.)

*  And finally, I got a bug up my ass to watch The Conjuring-- don't ask me why, sometimes I like a well made horror movie. (This was one--really was.)

So Mate hates horror movies.

As we're watching, he's studying his phone to see how much of a true story this one is, and he starts giving me facts. I've already looked up the true story, at two o'clock in the morning no less, so I'm right back at him with the facts.

As the movie finishes, and the creepy doll is shown, I'm like, "Oh, hey--I looked at all this YouTube footage of totally creepy dolls-- want to see?"

"Christ no."

I laugh, remembering why he started researching in the first place. "It's bad enough I made you watch the fucking movie, right?"

Mate: "God yes."

Familiar Angel  is still on blog tour this week-- here are some of the other stops:

Familiar Angel, the Blog Tour

 Two Chicks Obsessed

Gay Book Reviews

Tammy's Two Cents

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Love Bytes

Boy Meets Boy

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Familiar Angel-- Release Day

by Amy Lane

One hundred and forty years ago, Harry, Edward, and Francis met an angel, a demon, and a sorceress while escaping imprisonment and worse! They emerged with a new family—and shapeshifting powers beyond their wildest dreams.

Now Harry and his brothers use their sorcery to rescue those enslaved in human trafficking—but Harry’s not doing so well. Pining for Suriel the angel has driven him to take more and more risks until his family desperately asks Suriel for an intervention.

In order for Suriel to escape the bindings of heaven, he needs to be sure enough of his love to fight to be with Harry. Back when they first met, Harry was feral and angry, and he didn’t know enough about love for Suriel to justify that risk. Can Suriel trust in Harry enough now to break his bonds of service for the boy who has loved his Familiar Angel for nearly a century and a half?

So, Familiar Angel...

First of all--I love writing purple. I do. Alternative universe is my favorite--but it's not really a big seller, so I have to limit how much of it I write.

So when Dreamspun Beyond offered me a chance to write a series--a trilogy-- I jumped all over that! I had the perfect premise, and there would be three adopted brothers, and they would turn into cats, and there would be action and danger and so much excitement!  Okay, so I WAS a little hot after reading Ava Drake's offerings to the Dreamspun Desire world, I'll admit it--but what I wanted was MacGyver and Hawaii-5-0 and NCIS with magic, and that's what I set out to write.

And I was having a BLAST.


Okay, so you may notice...

This is not a Dreamspun Beyond.

It seems the whole human trafficking angle was just a little bit dark for a line that's supposed to be light and fluffy, and suddenly I was in a quandary.

I had these books written in my head already.

I had the style, the tone, the backstory.  I had already written the meeting in the clearing--which they wanted to cut--with the angel, the demon, the parents of the child who would be the lover of the third familiar...


I froze, for like, a week. I nibbled at it, but mostly I wrote other things--I just... I couldn't decide what to do.

Now I've said before that I've never gotten writer's block, and that's still true. Because this wasn't writer's block-- it was decision block. I could either completely rethink this idea and release the stories with the Beyond line, or I could keep going, finish what I'd already started, and release it as is.

And as independent as I'd always prided myself as being, it was a tough decision.

All anybody knows of my "purple" has been a series of low-selling, much talked about one-offs.  A Solid Core of Alpha. Under the Rushes. Immortal. These books made an impression and I'm proud--but they didn't feed my family.  

I'd hoped, with the attachment of the Beyond line, I could have the best of both worlds--write urban fantasy, and yet still sell.

But in the end it came down to what I know of myself and what I know of my writing, and I decided to keep the concept I had.

Of course, that didn't stop me from sending it to Ava Drake (Cindy Dees!) for a cover quote--and the thing she said about it? I died. It was lovely. That blurb on the front is one of my proudest moments as a writer. (As is the Karen Rose quote on the front of Red Fish, Dead Fish. Seriously. Talk about validation. DAMN.)

And that may be what it comes down to in the end. I wrote the book I wanted and hoped for the best.

But guys--it really is a fun book. It's Hawaii 5-0 with angels and demons. It's Charmed with cats and relationships that don't end in recriminations and nihilistic superpowered lovers. It's Supernatural where the witches are the hunters and the bad guys get comeuppance. 

It's hot sex on wings and cats who read on the Kindle--and I hope you love it like I do.

Cause I really do want to write Edward's book. I think you'll like that one too.

Familiar Angel, the Blog Tour

 Two Chicks Obsessed

Gay Book Reviews

Tammy's Two Cents

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Love Bytes

Boy Meets Boy

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Mystery Kitty

So, I was supposed to take Newt-Dewey the Magnificent Gray Floof to the vets today--but I left the back door open and Dewey ended up having a very different day than I had planned, something involving MI6 agents and saving the world, I assume, but he could have just been plotting the downfall of the Republican party. We'll have to hope for the best--I'm pretty sure he's on the side of the angels, but, you know--he does kill lizards.

In fact, that's par for the course with this cat.

Technically, he's ZoomBoy's--and ZB takes his pet ownership very seriously-- he comes to the vet's appointments and feeds Dewey and mocks him during the unanticipated great famines that last an entire two hours while the cat pines away and starves.

You can see he's pined away and starved quite a bit in the last year. He's a whisper of a full grown kitty.  Poor waif. Fourteen pounds is practically wasting away.

Mate brought me this picture--he'd been playing Destiny, and was apparently baffled by Newt-Dewey's ability to just stretch out and cover half the bed.

"Yeah," I said, boggled. "Apparently the vet thinks he's Maine Coon Cat."

"But... but don't they get bigger than that?"

"Well, you know. They don't stop growing until they're four years old."

Mate looked a little horrified. "Good God."

"Yeah--he could be a monster by then. And it could explain... you know..."

"The eating thing."

"Yeah, that."

This cat catches and kills lizards. Of course, ZoomBoy thinks the cat judges them to death, but it doesn't change that he is actually capable of useful cat behavior.

And a great deal of superiority.

And eating us, holy God, out of house and home.

But this picture right here--stretching out and owning the furniture and having zero fucks to give about it?

This is the hallmark of our favorite kitties right here.

I look forward to posting many pictures of this cat to come.

I also have to remember to buy food tomorrow. Another Great Famine is not to be borne.

* * * A lot of you folks are traveling to GRL in the next few days.  Enjoy yourselves and safe travels--and never doubt, I miss you all.

Monday, October 16, 2017

So, How Was Seattle?

Well, first of all, it was Bellevue, which means I sort of waved at Seattle in passing, but since Bellevue (or the part I saw of it) was amazing, I'm not going to quibble.

Second of all, I need to give some shoutouts--

*  Carmen Cook and her wonderful husband, Scott, who both welcomed a newbie to the con, were charming companions at a VERY noisy and momentous dinner, and were both just awesome people the entire weekend. It's like I really DO feel that I made new friends, and it started with these guys, and a Mai-Tai and just the friendliest people on earth.

* Karen Rose and her husband, Mr. Rose (Martin!) who were happy to hang with me during the geeky chatty quiet times. Cause we all need that, when things get loud and noisy!

* THE WHOLE MASTER'S CLASS PANEL--I got to listen to their dinner conversation and it was AMAZING. Also, they all smiled at me and made me feel welcome for the rest of the con.

*  Jasmine Silvera, author of Death's Dancer (and isn't that an amazing title? I bought this book on the title and cover alone!) who not only commiserated on me about living in Sacramento (she has since escaped) but who was also my moderator for my archetype class and who KICKED ASS trying to get my power point to show up on the screen.

*  Asa Maria Bradley, and her friend Jessica Holt, as well as Lee and Sarah, all of whom invited me to dinner and were charming and hilarious. I drank wine and chatted with my sisters and enjoyed myself immensely-- I do hope they invite me again.

* Sarah MacClean, author of kickass feminist regency romance, and the one who gave the luncheon speech with my new mantra, ROMANCE IS NOT SILLY! And who also was kind enough to introduce me to Jasmine after the reader event when I came up and fangirled over her swag--a regency heroine complete with pussyhat that I found to be ingenious and ballsy.

* Tori V. Thompson, who came over from Whidbey Island to bring my kids Seagull Poop, Crab Crap, and bath bombs. Okay, yes-- the goodies (and they are goodies!) were supposed to be for ME, however, I did warn her that my kids would besiege me and steal them. I managed to get two pieces of Whidbey Rock Candy tonight and they made me feel like a terrible human being for even asking. But the fact that she came all the way out, bringing her lovely husband, JUST to see me?

I'll seriously treasure that always.

*sniffle* Thanks hon. That was awesome.

*  And last but not least to my darling Rhae, who greeted me this morning with a birthday package of the most wonderful things--I shall have pictures tomorrow, but she made Squish and I each scarves, and Squish was SO happy to get mine, and I wore mine all evening even when it got warm. They're beautiful, and the boys got T-shirts and my friend and I got incense and tea and stones-- it was the most lovely amazing gift and it has filled me with good will all day.

The trip was great--I enjoyed giving my workshops and although the first one was sparsely populated (because it was Bambi against Godzilla, Mothra, and King Kong on the schedule--I'm not even kidding, I wanted to go to some of those classes!) the second one was fairly well attended and three people told me I helped them get over plot difficulties just by being my goofy, geeky self, and I was glad.

I'm glad to be home-- the kids missed me, and their weekend was fairly adventuresome. The dogs showed signs of hoomin deprivation, and have been needy leeches all day.

But it was a good trip--thank you so much to everybody who helped make it that way.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


So, leaving for Seattle at asscrack a.m..  If anybody wonders why I leave so early, it's so Mate can get back to the house in time to take the kids to school.

Poor Mate!

So I know I've said some things about this on social media but I'm not sure if I said it on the blog--but I'm going to the Emerald City Writer's Conference this year.

Excited?  Hell yes!

Karen Rose, Asa Maria Bradley, Darynda Jones and Cherry Adair are going to be there--just to name a few, and WHEEE!!!!

I'm also going to be presenting there--a class about archetypes and a class about setting, and am I nervous?

OH my God, I'm nervous.

The one thing that might keep me from jumping out of my skin is that I ran the setting presentation by ZoomBoy and the archetype presentation by Squish this weekend while I was updating my slides and adding stuff.

They both had some awesome stuff to contribute-- ZoomBoy did one of my setting assignments and I added his input to a slide, and Squish?  Well, Squish did the most amazing thing.

See, I originally put the presentation together for the Dreamspinner Press workshop--almost entirely m/m authors, and while I had some remarks ready about female heroes versus male heroes, I didn't have anything in the slide show, because... well. Because it's all about the guys in m/m. That's, uh, why it's m/m. But I did have some stuff to say about the girls, and it was pretty important, especially considering I like to write female characters as equals.

So I was giving Squish the presentation with every intention of visiting female archetypes at the end, when she interrupted.

"Epic heroes? Mom, where's the girl epic heroes?"

And she had such a classic Squishy expression on her face--I had to use it.

So I made it a running gag through the presentation. Every now and then, in the places where I'm most tempted to get long winded, I've got a picture of Squish, with her "bullshit line" firmly established between her eyes, reminding me "Mom--female heroes! Get to the point and represent!"

I hope the audience enjoys her as much as I did.

So if I disappear for a bit, that's where I'll be (although I almost always manage one or two posts while I'm gone!)

And if you're in the Seattle area--remember, the reader event which is FREE at the Bellevue Westin. I"ll be there along with some other AMAZING authors, and we're going to have a fun time!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The dogs, the kids, and me...

So, a quiet day today. I'm spending some of my brain power reworking my presentation for Emerald City, some of my brain power finishing the blog tour for Familiar Angel, and some of it starting Crocus which is the sequel to Bonfires. Honestly, not a whole lot of words left for the day to day of it, so most of this blog's going to be in pictures.

So, we've got the dogs walking, posing of course. I posted these on Instagram with the following story:

And so today, we whizzed on all the whizzing things, bjorked at all the big woofers, and snuffled all the wharping smells. It was a good start to a real day, not a pretend day when we have to pretend we had our walkies but a real day when walkies really happened.

The best kind of day.

The end.

So there you are-- cute dogs said cute things. Mission accomplished.

Of course, after the cute things, everybody had to nap.

Even the cats.

I bungled the cat picture though. They were just all asleep in the same general area, without any one cat being on the same piece of furniture as any other cat. I was trying to capture that, but hey, streak of ugliest pictures on the internet remains unbroken.

And the last pictures was pretty classic, because Squish and I were watching television. Squish is fun to watch TV with--especially as she gets older.

"Mom, wait!"


"Why is she kissing that guy? Where's the other guy. The... the functional guy?"

"Well, they broke up last season."


"Honey, we're supposed to be waiting for Paige to get together with Walter! That's the point of the show."

She blinked at me.

"I mean... Walter. Head guy."

She blinked again, and I started to feel like George Clooney in Ocean's 11. 

"But Walter's a tool?" I hazarded.

She nodded. "I hate this show."

Then she rolled over on her stomach and the dogs camped out.

"Uh, Squish?"


"You got something on your butt."

"Yup. Get me water?"

"Yeah, sure."

I mean they just looked so comfy, right?

Yup-- time for me to go to bed!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Mate and the Evil Shirt

So, a couple of weeks ago, when Twitter was making me lose my will to live, I bought a fairly heinous and possibly offensive protest shirt because dude. I was a seething ball of inarticulate rage, and if something violently pink that equates the current administration with one of the worst American disasters of all time gets me out of bed, well, uh, I'll buy it.

So two weeks ago, when I was getting ready for Squish's soccer game, that was the T-shirt on top.

I threw it on and got ready for the game, and Mate came home from the first game he coached that day, with coffee for me (he hates the stuff), saw my shirt and winced.

Some things you should know about this situation before I go any further:

*  Mate is still a member of the soccer board. He coaches three teams, and he knows that some of his parents are supporters of the current administration.

*  I talk to all the parents on the team. It's what I do.

*  Everybody knows I'm coach's wife and Squish's mom.

* He takes his responsibility as a community member very seriously--he's done a lot of work and is rightfully proud.

Bearing this in mind, he took one look at that violently pink, possibly offensive shirt and winced.

And said, "Uh, I really hate that shirt."

And that's all.

These are the things he didn't say:

*  You're making me look bad.

* If you loved me you'd take that off.

* You could make my life really unpleasant if some of my parents see that.

*  You'll embarrass me.

*  God, please, no.

*  Jesus, Amy, can we just forget about politics for a minute?

*  How selfish can you be?

So I changed my shirt.



*  He brought my coffee

*  He didn't contest my right to wear the shirt

* He didn't make the shirt about him

* He respected my opinion

* He respected my right to wear whatever the hell I wanted

* The shirt would have made him really uncomfortable, and he was honest about that

* It's not all about me--it's our kid's soccer game, and he had a point

So today, I started talking about feminism--

And he said, "I'm sorry. I'm not a feminist."

And I said, "Yes, honey. Yes you are."

Because he respected everything about me in that moment.  I could have worn the shirt and he would have been uncomfortable but he would have still loved me. And I took it off, and he was appreciative, and still, never doubted my right to wear whatever I damned well pleased.

And this is the thing that NON feminists don't get.

I don't need my way all the time. I don't need to be shrill. My husband doesn't need to be a tool. He doesn't need to be abusive. Neither of us needs to be right all the time.

And we can have a good time together, enjoy our time in each other's company, because being right is not as important as respecting each other's right to be who we are.

And accommodating our differences.

He brought me coffee. He hates coffee.

I took off the damned shirt.

Because making each other happy was more important than the alternative.

And because the other person didn't demand that we change a damned thing.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Out of the Mouths of Rock Stars

 Okay-- so yes, pictures taken during a concert aren't always the best.

The red blob is K-Flay doing "Blood in the Cut", and if you haven't heard this song...

Well, it makes me think of Chase in Shadow.

Really dark--really painful. I'll be honest, I'm not sure I can write a book like that again, but I do like this song.

And the blue blob (taken by Mate, so it's much nicer than my crappy red blob) is Imagine Dragons.

And they were lovely--almost spiritual, the lead singer Dan Reynolds was candid and charismatic and yes, damned sexy. (Frickin' drummers-- they had my number in high school too!)

I admit--when he told us that originally the "I-I-I"  in "I Bet My Life" was "Ma" because the song was about his mother always being there, I got a little teary.

The video for that is really awesome-- posting it here, just for entertainment value and because... wonderful.

So the concert was really positive and uplifting--and Reynolds had more to say--more beautiful, heartfelt things to say--about recent tragedies than any of the Republican government officials in a thousand years.

He gave a moving, faithful tribute to Tom Petty, because Tom Petty was influential, and so many of us grew up with his songs twanging in our consciousness, and they moved us.

And he dedicated "It's Time" to Las Vegas. The band is Vegas based (like another favorite of mine, The Killers) and while he evaded politics, he said there were people in the audience--we were at the Golden 1 Arena--who had been at Vegas, and he praised their courage in coming out to another concert, to their dedication to music and celebration, in not letting fear change who they were.

Lovely words.  Lovely music. Lovely sentiment.

And I was grateful-- they felt much needed.

Monday morning, I woke up and Mate was still in Germany. I scrolled through Twitter before I got out of bed--if there's anything newsworthy it pops up there, and I can investigate other news sources when I see it.

And that's how I found out about Vegas.

And I woke up and tried to process--and couldn't. Got the kids, one at a time, up and dressed and off to school, and thought, "It'll hit me. I'll have words for this. Angry words, grief words. That's how I deal with stuff like this."

And I was walking the dogs in the park after dropping my kids off at school, when I heard sirens.

They could have been for anything. Highway patrol, ambulance, sheriff's department. I'm not a savant, I can't tell what department's being called by the sound.

But I heard ambulances, and for a heartbeat I stood still and listened, thinking, "Are they heading north/south or east/west."  North/south is heading for the schools. East/west, for the freeway. "North/south? East/west?"  The sirens faded off to the east, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

And then I started to cry.

Because I heard a siren and my first thought was "Shooting at the school."

Not because I'm paranoid. But because it has happened. It could happen any day. When I taught, I spent part of my teaching day in lockdown, because there were weapons on campus. So have my children. Parts of Sacramento are very liberal, but we've got our share of gun-toting rednecks. There is an SUV a block from the high school (which is two blocks from the grammar school) that has "Keep Calm and Thread On" stickers in the back window, with a collection of guns on the sticker.  I'm sure if that guy snaps and takes out the high school where my son goes nobody will call him a terrorist either.

But people who have panic attacks in the park over a siren know the truth.

We are held hostage to fear of guns.

All men who own a fucking cache of semi-auto or automatic weapons are terrorists. They have enough weaponry to inspire terror. Achievement unlocked. They have enough entitlement to threaten the 77% of people in the country who don't own any guns at all. Well done.

Before Mate and I left for the concert Wednesday night, Chicken and I had a discussion about how, if either one of us were taken out by gunfire, we would send each other's bloody clothes to the NRA. Mate said count him in too.

None of us talked about the younger kids. It makes our hearts too sick to think about it, even if they're in the greatest amount of danger.

In case anybody is wondering? I don't think this happens in a healthy society. I don't think it should happen at all.

So I guess I needed that concert--I needed to feel brave again.

But that didn't stop me from being afraid of the sound of gunshots whenever the music stopped playing.