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

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Really, Dog? Really?

 The paths at the smaller dog park are really narrow compared to the older dog park where we just started to go sometimes.

I'm not the hot mess I used to be, doodling along with the dogs running circles around my feet and trying to kill me. No--I hold them in one hand or the other and they gravitate to that side. We're easy to see, I have the spare hand available to short leash them, and while they're not particularly well behaved, they do understand I'm not going to let them go until we pass whatever it is they want to bark at and we just keep going. 

I listen to audiobooks while I walk, and while I try to stay alert, the girl jogging  behind me was lithe and fleet of foot. Seeing that the dogs were on my right, she swung around wide to my left to run around me and stay on pace.

And Johnny the shitty little coward saw his opening.

He swung behind me hard, pulling my arm around my back and leaping for this intruder who dared to try to flank me.

He leapt and I yanked on the leash from behind my back (shoulder still aches) and his halter, stopping him in mid-air, right before he was about to land on and possibly bite this poor jogger whose only crime was being quiet and considerate. (I do understand that in creepy-little-dog land, this means she was sneaking, yes, a SNEAKER, who was going to attack me, but we live in EVERYBODY-needs-to-use-the-park land, where if you are trotting neatly alongside your human, it is very bad form to run behind them and try to kill everybody involved.)

He went flying backwards--in mid-air mind you--and landed on his back, all four paws folded neatly on his stomach, staring at the sky in utter confusion. 

I stared at him in horror. 

He'd been an inch--an inch--away from landing on this poor jogger. I was mortified--oh my God. If he'd bitten her? SO MUCH BAD. Including maybe having to put this damned dog down for sheer stinking stupidity. 

My mouth worked fruitlessly, and he gave me a sickly smile and tried to wag his tail. 

"The FUCK, DOG! The actual FUCK!"

Ahead of me I saw a man wave at the jogger. "Are you okay? It looked like he got ya!"

"No--he was close but I'm fine." And then she kept going.

We resumed our walk, but every so often I'd growl. "You bad dog..."

He got into the car and I said it again. "You bad dog..."

He spent the rest of the day looking extremely apologetic.

I've kept a tight hold on them  for the last couple of days, but I'm so disappointed. We'd worked on this. We had! We had a rhythm! We had a way to deal nicely with other people in the park! One wrong move--one wrong moment of inattention--and this dog might have hurt somebody, and all of the bad things that might have come from that. (Besides HURTING somebody--oh my God.)

So I don't have a life lesson from this yet. But I do have to tell you that the fucking dog hasn't forgotten that yank through the air, and the absolute knowledge that he most assuredly fahked up. 

God, I hope that asshole learns. 

Geoffie, by the way? 

Was just as surprised as I was. 

I know she doesn't look like much, but she's obviously the brains of this outfit.

Friday, January 22, 2021

A Cheap Pink T-shirt

So I have this T-shirt that I never wear.

I ordered it in the second week of November, 2016, and it's bright pink. It's got two very recognizable silhouettes on it--on of the twin towers before they went down, and a certain former president who, shall we say, was lacking in fitness and presentation.

The T-shirt was captioned, "The two worst days in American History were 9/11 and 11/9." There was no mistaking the meaning.

I was angry--we were all SO ANGRY. Because we saw what he was. We knew. And we'd raged and campaigned and donated--and watched as the damned party argued and undercut and splintered. The United States had lost arguably the best candidate to ever run for head of state to misogyny, racism, and shitty messaging to undoubtedly the worst. Not just presidential candidate, but all around human being. 

To quote John Mulaney, the horse was in the hospital, and God help us all.

I never actually wore that T-shirt.

I couldn't. 

In the beginning, I'd put it on, and Mate would look at it and say, "Mm... it just feels so disrespectful to those who died in 9/11. Could we, you know, maybe not? There are Trump supporters on the teams I coach--please? For me?"

And both those arguments moved me. He was right. Nobody had died yet--and wasn't coaching those children more important than my animus?

Four years later I still can't wear it. No soccer--not for my kids, because they've outgrown it, and not for Mate because the virus has robbed us of a lot of things and that's one. But at this point, it feels disrespectful--not just to the people who died in a terrorist attack on our country led by Al Qaida but also to the people who died in a terrorist attack led by our Commander in Chief. It feels disrespectful to the hurricane victims in Puerto Rico--and Louisiana. To the people who were tear gassed during peaceful protests. To the people who were victims of hate crimes which police departments were no longer allowed to report. It feels disrespectful to the 420,000 victims--and counting--of a virus that is pernicious and deadly but is now--thanks to the Terrorist in Chief who was just ousted--going to be really hard to stop because he managed to politicize science, germs, and common fucking sense.

The human cost of the last four years has been staggering. Our new POTUS just got to the White House and realized that Operation Warp Speed wasn't just badly managed--it didn't exist. There wasn't even a framework to fix. There was nothing. And getting enough people inoculated against the disease to make our world what it was is not going to be easy.

The spread of disinformation has been pernicious. Right now there's some junior legislative graduate from the university of q who thinks she's got the power to draw up Articles of Impeachment on our new POTUS. Do I know she doesn't have a chance?


Does she?

No. And that's a problem. Because the last four years have LITERALLY made truth suspect and lies cachet. That's going to be some hard damage to fix. 

And today, 4000 more people died of a disease that could have been at least controlled back in May. 

So part of me is relieved. I mean, as bad as it is, at least we have grownups in government who admit there's stuff to fix. But part of me is going to wait in disbelief to see when ignorance and hysteria gain another toehold in our society and try to bring it down.

I think it will take me another couple of months to realize that truth and reason are not always under the clumsy deadly hooves of the horse in the hospital.

And I still don't know what to do with the hideous pink T-shirt. 

Right now, it's just floating around my room. I'll go, "Ooh, pink! Wait. Shit. No. Can't wear that." Maybe it'll be there through another administration. Maybe someday I'll be comfortable enough to rip it up and use it for rags. Right now, I'm just sort of grateful for the shock it gives me every time I look at it.

I don't want to let my guard down and trust in goodness in my government that is not hard fought for, ever again. 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

The Evolution of Language

 So what happened was this...

The kids hate brussels sprouts. Loathe them. Whine about the smell them taking over the kitchen. Said they smelled like farts. (Teenagers. What a joy.)

After a few ill-advised attempts to sneak them into the kids' diets via a well loved protein, well, they evolved.

The kids called them "chicken farts."

Now Safeway has packaged vegetable dishes-- they come all  prepared with a dollop of chipotle butter, diced garlic and onions, and all you have to do is cook them. They're delicious. 

The kids call them "garlic farts."

And I need a little protein with my garlic far--erm, vegetables, so I added that pretend crab stuff.

I call it "fake fish".

Which I made for dinner last night. There were leftovers, and I heated them up for lunch.

"Oh my God, Mom--wtf are you eating?"

*sigh*  "Fish farts."

"How could you make it worse?"

"Want some?"

"I'm going to make ramen now, thank you. Take that shit away!"

"Fine. Do the dishes."


But the point here is that brussels sprouts and fake crab are now "Fish Farts" in my family, and there is now way to unring that bell. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

My Husband Turned the TV on Today

 *Warning. Political ramble coming--and I do mean RAMBLE.

Two years ago--shit. THREE years ago, we took a trip, dragged our adult children with us, went to a wedding, and then toured Washing DC and Philadelphia. I remember taking a trip like this with my family when I was a teenager, and even then, under all the layers of insouciance, the idea that this was the CAPITOL, and that was where the PRESIDENT was, made an impact on me. 

We've had some reprehensible presidents. Reagan was elected when I was in middle school and I hated him. Even then I could see that Carter was doing what was best for the country while Reagan was doing what was best for himself. George Bush Sr. was monstrous. Dub-ya was dimwitted. But even through all of that bullshit, even looking at the racism and the shortsightedness and the willingness to just throw people away based upon a misguided sense of human justice, I believed--not in the people, but in the office. As bad as they were, they weren't TRYING to be bad. Criminally stupid? Shortsighted? Racist and classist? Yes. But they honestly believed that they were doing the most good for the most people. Was it true? No. But they THOUGHT they were doing it, because that's what the office entailed. 

So reprehensible presidents--but at least guided by a higher purpose. It kept them from slaughtering civilians wholesale, and taking diarrhea dumps all over the constitution and making a transaction of the entire ideal of honor that the office was trying to achieve. 

We all know what's in the office now. I can barely think if it as human. The craven, cowardly assholes trying to prop up this diseased pustulous blob of plasma and call it a man have also cashed in their humanity card. 

I know that politicians have to lie--if they're going to succeed in doing even a little bit of good, they're going to have to lie. I know that humans are dishonorable and traitorous. I know that negotiating who is telling the truth and who is genuinely standing for somebody else and who is just trying to mine social media for clicks is a treacherous swampy business, no matter which part of the internet you are trying to negotiate. 

But we're not a "turn the television on and watch the news" family. In fact, in nearly 30 years of motherhood I can remember only two "turn on the television and watch the news" moments. One was 9/11. The other was when President Shitbag won. And then, today, a third time. When stupid motherfuckers stormed the Capitol building to do what?

Trash the place?

Shit on our American institutions?

They claimed they were there to fight for Trump--but you saw the ones who were teargassed. They were  A-ghast that people wouldn't want them there trashing up the joint.

And anybody who doesn't believe that BLM is a thing was not watching today, when an Enwhitlement of Terrorists vandalized the Capitol building like they were having a tailgate party at a high school football game. 

I keep trying to imagine how exhausted my friends and family who are POC must feel, watching that, and frankly, I can't. Because I was exhausted. I got home from my walk, we turned on the TV and I went down for my nap. Under my cave of blankets. Listening to my audiobook, because it was safe in there. 

I'm so angry. I'm so tired. The things I was shouting at my TV today were violent. I'm embarrassed my children heard me saying them. "SHOOT THOSE MOTHERFUCKERS!" is not exactly the peace and reason I strive for when I teach my children or write my stories. 

And when President Shitbag said, "I love you all," I honestly felt bile rising. 

The one thing that kept me from breaking down completely was the commentary on MSNBC btw. Because as badly as journalists reacted to Shitbag when he first came on the scene, and as long as it took them to call a Shitbag a Shitbag, they are not having any of this crap now, and that was refreshing. 

And I also admit--the other thing that kept me sane was that damned audiobook. I've been writing through the pandemic, and I've been rather shyly promoting my Patreon and my books, because Jesus, don't we all have better things to worry about?

Except we don't. 

Because sometimes reality sucks so badly we can only take it in little tiny baby bites, and we have to retreat into our blanket forts with our escapism before we can come back out again and start screaming things like "CRAPBAG SHITWIT COCKDOCKERY!" at a sack of flesh that's too putrid to be human. 

So if writing or reading on Thursdays on my FB page or posting on my Patreon is what's keeping people from losing their shit, much like the audiobook I was listening to kept me from losing MINE, then I will keep doing that--and be grateful for all the people who keep reading.

If we just hold hands and escape together, we can come back and rage against the machine another day. 

Monday, January 4, 2021

Kermit Flail--2021 AT LAST!


*wipes brow*


Okay. Made it. I mean, it was close, but we made it. I am so relieved--but honestly, I'M not letting my guard down yet. But while we wait tentatively to see if 2021 might not kick us in the teeth, let us hide where all good things are--inside books! Books will keep us happy, I hope, and sane. At least it's worked that way for me so far!

And we have some lovely choices this month!

Kim Fielding, Jaime Samms, Ashlyn Kane, Nicole Dennis and E.J. Russell all have new releases out this January, and WOW. I can't imagine a more delightful group of writers. Contemporary, sports romance, some fantasy and a wicked double dash of adorable paranormal, and your January should whip right by! Come see what we've got!

Teddy Spenser Isn't Looking for Love

by Kim Fielding

Some people search their whole lives to find love. He just wants to avoid it.

Teddy Spenser spends his days selling design ideas to higher-ups, living or dying on each new pitch. Stodgy engineer types like Romeo Blue, his nemesis—if you can call someone who barely talks to you a nemesis—are a necessary evil. A cute necessary evil.

Working together is bad enough, but when their boss puts them both on a new high-stakes project, “working together” suddenly means:
sitting uncomfortably close on the same plane
staying in the same hotel room—with only one bed
spending every waking minute together.

Turns out Mr. Starched Shirt has some hidden depths, and it’s getting harder to ignore the spark Teddy feels with every brush of their hands, with every knowing glance. He might not have been looking for this connection with Romeo, but will he ever be ready to let him go?

Cracks in the Ice

by Nicole Dennis

Cheimon Tales #1


The oldest Frost scion, Jacob Serac, recognizes something is wrong in his relationship with his crystal partner, Devyn Risher. When he tries to abduct Devyn, things go wrong. He calls in a reindeer agent from the Cheimon Patrol Division (CPD), and the situation darkens and brings out a major problem that affects more than their relationship.


From that moment, the truth comes out, adventures, mishaps, and chaos occur. Jacob, Devyn, and the rest of the North Pole Dimension scions try to save their precious home and life from a potential dark magic disaster. All of this to occur at Winter Solstice.


All the while, Jacob and Devyn try to heal their relationship and Jacob’s crystal heart.

Innkeeper's Blues

by Jaime Samms

A loving boyfriend, generous friendships, and a thriving business—Arnold Kreed should be ecstatic. So why does he feel like he’s standing on the edge of an abyss?

When Kreed took a chance on a thief—letting Lucky into his world, his life, his heart—he hardly imagined he would find the love and acceptance he didn’t dare dream of. Lucky draws people to him, and his extended found family embraces Kreed. Now in an established relationship, despite Kreed’s ex causing trouble again, Lucky and Kreed are working toward making a life together. But Kreed is unsettled, unable to find his bliss. He is getting grumpier, and he can feel his people, including his beloved self-aware house, Mildred, pulling away…

How can Kreed get back to the joy he so recently found if he has no idea what’s wrong?

the Inside Edge

by Ashlyn Kane

What does a work-life balance look like to recently retired professional athletes?

Ex-hockey player Nate Overton is trying to find out, but dipping his toes in the gay dating scene post-divorce is a daunting prospect even without the news that his show is on thin ice. Before he can tackle either issue, he skates headfirst into another problem—his new cohost. Former figure skater Aubrey Chase is the embodiment of a spoiled rich playboy. He’s also flamboyant, sharp, and hot as sin.

Aubrey knows how important it is to get off on the right foot. He’s just not very good at it outside the rink. Having spent his life desperate for attention, he’ll do anything to get it—even the wrong kind.

For Nate and Aubrey, opposites don’t so much attract as collide at center ice. But while Nate’s everything Aubrey has scrupulously avoided—until now—Aubrey falls suddenly head over heels, and Nate’s only looking for a rebound fling. Can Aubrey convince Nate to risk his heart again, or will their unexpected connection be checked at the first sign of trouble?

Best Beast

An Enchanted Occasions story

by E.J. Russell

Being invisible makes it really hard to get laid.

When half-human Kai Schiffer steps into the Interstices—the post-creation gaps between realms—his supernatural half kicks in and he literally disappears unless…well, don’t ask.

But in a stroke (heh) of good fortune, Kai finally has a chance to show his face (and other parts, stars willing) to his long-time crush Jovan Kos—Interstitial Law Enforcement agent, wolf warrior, occasional berserker, and best man at their mutual best friends’ Imbolc wedding.

Jovan, who’s half in love with Kai already, is grateful his best man duties are light enough that he can focus all his attention on Kai. After all, with Enchanted Occasions Event Planning handling the Olesson-Pakulski wedding, what could possibly go wrong?

Releasing January 15, 2021 on Amazon and KU

Pre-order here

And coming next month...

Book 2 of the Hedge Witches Lonely Hearts Club!

Portals and Puppy Dogs, 

by Amy Lane

Sometimes love is flashier than magic.

On the surface, Alex Kennedy is unremarkable: average looks, boring accounting job, predictable crush on his handsome playboy boss, Simon Reddick.

But he’s also a witch.

Business powerhouse Simon goes for flash and glamour… most of the time. But something about Alex makes Simon wonder what’s underneath that sweet, gentle exterior.

Alex could probably dance around their attraction forever… if not for the spell gone wrong tearing apart his haunted cul-de-sac. When a portal through time and space swallows the dog he’s petsitting, only for the pampered pooch to appear in the next instant on Simon’s doorstep, Alex and Simon must confront not only the rogue magic trying to take over Alex’s coven, but the long-buried passion they’ve been harboring for each other.