Tuesday, May 14, 2013
She awakens from her writing trance sobbing with happiness, and can't find any tissue. Her house is a mess, she's a mess, you can tell she hasn't showered in days, and the only thing she has to blow her nose on is the post-it that says, "Buy tissue!"
It's just like that.
I'm used to that writing hangover. I even get it with the happy stuff, because if I've done my job write (get it? Write? Because, they're homophones, right?-- Sorry-- was channelling Zoomboy there for a second!) I even get a little verklempt at the end of those. I know that there was a moment in Left at Saint Truth-be-Well that had me just smiling until my eyes water.
So, uhm, the end of Forever Promised.
Just had me sobbing, and that was on the third edit.
And the thing is, while I was signing books at RT, a lovely woman came up to me and said, "A lot of authors have made me cry tears of sadness, but you are the only author who made me cry tears of joy. I loved Gambling Men so much."
The writer next to me (Regina Lamm, whom I've already squeed about 'cause she was awesome!) loved that compliment so much she wrote it down for me, and I keep it here next to my soundtrack CD's, for whenever I feel depressed about my writing or things in general.
So I was editing (that's phase four, mind you--I've written it, edited it myself, and am now on my second round of publisher's edits) and I got to the end of Deacon, Crick, Shane, Mikhail, Jeff, Collin, Benny, Drew, Jon, Amy, Kimmy, Lucas, & Parry Angel, and I found myself crying.
There might have been a sob.
And the thing is, this book ends happy. I promised people that this book ends happy. That doesn't mean that there aren't a few grim reminders of how unhappy it could have ended, and how actions have consequences--sometimes even consequences that are out of proportion to the action in the first place--but for our people, there is happiness.
And it still made me cry.
And I am going to be fretting, because so many people loved the first three books, and saying goodbye to all those characters was really hard. I mean, think about it--I started and finished three books while I was working on this one. It just didn't come easy. Everything was intricately plotted, and although I can predict critics saying, "It sprawls! It needs focus!", the fact is, every scene was painfully chosen to point to one climactic speech by Mikhail and the final, deliriously happy moment that I won't spoil for you all for the world.
Oh-- and there's some tears--hard tears--in the middle.
So yeah. I finished my edit, looked around my trashed house, and sniffled.
And my husband said, "Okay, Joan Wilder, are you ready for your trip to South America now?" Well, no-- he didn't say that. But he did hand me a tissue.
And just like Joan Wilder, I sent it to my editor thinking, "Read 'em and weep. I always do."
Friday, May 10, 2013
So you probably all fathomed that I got home okay (YAY!) and then that I promptly dropped off the map.
Well, see, I sort of did.
Getting home was, well, long. I left at the equivalent of 2:30 a.m., California time, after two hours of sleep, and got to California around 11:15. Mate picked me up, we went to lunch, I took a nap, and Mate woke me up to go get the kids.
That's when I realized how truly I had beaten myself the fucketh up.
I could barely wake up enough to walk to the car, and once there, I fell asleep on the way to the school, and on the way back. I had to wake up to go have dinner with Mate's delightfully chatty Aunt, and then I got home, and crashed, and tried to get up and crashed again.
Boom. Bang. KABLOOEY!
And all of this sleeping would have been just swell, really, except for two things.
One was that I missed some REALLY GREAT details on the blog about Kansas City, and I need to put them down or people will be hurt, because they'll think I don't appreciate the holy hell out of them when I do, and the other was that I had a deadline to meet.
I know, I know-- what the hell was I thinking, right? Well, I was actually thinking that my dedication to Rusty and Oliver, and the Christmas novel that was supposed to be a novella had put me way behind on my usual queue, and I needed to get my next project done stat. It was a good plan, especially because this one really was a novella, and I managed to get it done on time--but, well, I had to pretend I was a dead turtle in order to do that.
But I really am alive.
So let's start out by my HUGE thanks to B.A. Tortuga and Julia Talbot, who love me. They must. These two lovely ladies, the founders of Torquere Press and friends who still want me to write this Green's Hill Novella that I've been dyeing to put down, gave me yarn. And not just any yarn-- Mongolian Yak Yarn. I shit you not. They're LYS owner actually goes to Mongolia. And I have the proof! I'm going to knit me a basic sherpa hat, and then send it back to them with scads and scads of love, because seriously-- Mongolian Yak Yarn. It's too delicious, too amazing, too... FUCKING AWESOME not to reward with knitting. Love you ladies! *big smishy schwacking kisses*
And then let's move on to a celebration of something sort of magical that happened that I forgot to mention. Ms. December Rain (also known as Historical Lie) who helped me edit Rampant a few years back e-mailed me and asked if I could get a cup of coffee with her while I was at RT. I said sure, and she was coming for the signing on Thursday, and that was great. And then I realized I was sort of double booked--I the event was at 2:45 pm, and I was supposed to meet December at 3 pm. So I did what any mother would do-- I consolidated my activities. This means, I ran out into the lobby at 3, grabbed poor December by the scruff of the neck and said, "Great to meet you! Come with me!" And she did, and was promptly rewarded by a zillion free books, a free T-shirt, lots of writers she recognized and got to talk to and a little bit of conversation with me, which I treasured. Now I know it cost a lot to go to this convention, and parking was outstanding, so I felt pretty good about that. I got to meet December, and she got lots and lots of free stuff, and, well, she gave me a mug with my Little Goddess people on it, and I love her. I hope she had a good time--I really love that she got to do something sort of amazing because I grabbed her by the scruff of the neck and said, "Come here--it'll be great!"
Oh-- and did I mention the soundtracks?
I need to mention the soundtracks! Bibliojunkies Bel and Nat are amazing fans--and they're trying to convert Shel, the third person in their trio, into an Amy Lane fan too, which is sweet of them, but Shel is by no means obligated. Anyway-- Bel put together some soundtracks (and I'm pretty sure Nat helped!) for Chase in Shadow and Keeping Promise Rock-- and I'm so excited! I can't wait to listen to them-- I'm like, saving them, for sometime when I'm not writing hell for leather-- but I have them right next to my computer, and every time I look at them I tear up. I love that-- you all know I love that--I love music and books and the seamless way they fit together sometimes. *sniffle* Thanks, Bel. Meeting you and Nat and Shel was an awesome experience, and I really needed to get that out there and tell the world. You ladies are just a triangle of loveliness and I'm honored.
So that was what I'd forgotten to say about Kansas City. *whew*
And now I get to go spend some more quiet moments with my kids. Mother's Day is Sunday-- it's going to be busy, since I haven't seen Alexa in some time, but my kids are going to take me to a nice place with red meat (my one requirement in a restaurant actually) and I'm going to relax a little, and maybe not take the whole thing so seriously for a day.
And I'm also going to pet all the animals all the time-- after my absences of the last month, they seem to think they have that coming!
Oh-- and about the pictures--
Zoomboy's gift from Kansas City was the Chewbacca Angry Bird-- he thought it was awesome, and wore his Chewie Outfit in celebration. (Although I don't think quite so much of Chewie's underwear was showing.
And as for the Warrior Hamster? So, see, Chicken sent me that as part of her homework, and I sort of adored it. Since I'm the hamster on her tumblr page, I loved that it was for me. When I told her I was going to by golly finish this novella by today, she said, "Go little warrior hamster, go!"
So I brandished my little sword and jumped into the fray screaming "AIIIIIEEEEEEEEE!!!!"
Which, sometimes, is how you get shit done!
ETA: Tina, #21 in comments, you are our winner! Please, either contact me on twitter or through my website to get your free copy of Dex in Blue, Bolt-Hole, or Under the Rushes! Congratulations!
Sunday, May 5, 2013
We call it the Habi-trail.
|The habit-trail from the inside|
|Frickin' snow in May|
As my daughter's hamster said, the one that lasted one day before it ran out of the cage, out of the house, and out of our lives, "QUEEEEEEEEKKKKEKKEKEKEKEKEKEKEKK!!!"
And I think I might have still loved it, if it hadn't been for the sneaking suspicion that it made me sick.
I mean, I've had allergy attacks before--I have. I've had the slow and the sneaky, and the quick and the brutal, and I think I've mentioned that, until recently, I could refuse to admit that I had allergies--I just got a nasty cold once a year, when the wind picked up after the rains.
Okay--my allergies that I used to deny even existed just spent the last four days picking me up by the back of the neck and shaking me like a dog.
They mauled me like a cheetah mauls a nik-nik, they jumped down my throat and my head exploded, they chucked my brains through a blender puree and my logic through a meat grinder they...
Ohmygod, I canNOT remember the last time I felt so incredibly shitty. Okay. I can. Mate, Big T, Chicken and I all had the CRAP, and we had it so bad, none of us moved for a WEEK, and when we were done, I had to bleach the furniture before I sat on it ever again.
THAT was the last time I felt this bad-- except, uhm, I don't think I had quite the plethora of drugs at my disposal at that time in my life.
|Still frickin snowing|
Seriously-- Claritin, two kinds of Sudafed-- I've been a walking pharmacy, but I'm TAME compared to what some of the other folks here at RT have been taking. (Vanessa "The Jeep Diva"-- babe, I SO felt for you. I just wanted to cuddle you and put you to bed someplace that DIDN'T give us all the itchy-stuffy-snots.) Anyway, I think by now it's a universally acknowledged truth that something in the hotel has made us all horribly sick, and while my own personal nik-nik-mauling cheetah is finally getting tired and allowing this tuckered widdo nik-nik to toddle around in stoned circles with semi-coherent bleats, there are a couple of days of my life there which will forever be a blur.
A good blur-- don't get me wrong.
|The adorable Jessie|
I just sort of wish I'd felt better for it, you know?
Of course, there WERE some funny moments, even WITH the drugs (or, sometimes, especially with the drugs!)
|Me and Kat the Book Tart|
* One poor woman had the misfortune to sit in and watch BOTH panels I participated in--one on M/M Romance and one on Broken Heroes. Apparently I came out of my stupor enough to make an impression, because when I met her in a random pass of the habit-trail, she was like, "This girl needs some caffeine!" Now, I knew she was being SARCASTIC, because she'd already said I had too much energy. However, the people I was with who had seen me desperately trying to medicate myself out of my phlegm were like, "Oh no-- she's had enough drugs already."
* I FINALLY got to meet Marianne Morea who used to head the PRG and who started writing when I encouraged her on the amazon.com boards. I loved her. She was open and up front and funny and acerbic and our lunch with her and Ariel Tachna and T. Lynn Tolles was entirely too short.
* I got to watch Jesse Potts (who, along with Mary Greznik gave us some lovely mention here and here ) win one of the BEAUTIFUL baskets offered by Dreamspinner Press at the Fan-tastic Day Party on Saturday-- Jesse chose the yarn
|Belinda, Tara, Z.A.M|
|Mary, Ethan, Carol Lynn|
* Gina Lamm got to watch a fan come up to me and say, "Lots of books have made me cry over sadness, but only yours have made me cry for happiness." She loved it so much she wrote it down, because she said her goal is to have someone come say that to her. She's only at the very beginning of her writing career--- but she has so much personality and charm, I have faith that it very much will. (Okay-- not funny, but touching, and I was just so taken with her. My friends were a little worried that I had "fallen among het peddlers" as it were, being put in alphabetical order at the signings, and I had to reassure them that those who wrote het were really very kind and did not bite at all!)
|Gina, who is gorgeous.|
* Katie Lane and Kimberly Lang (other het peddlers, but, again, I'm starting to think that might not be a bad thing, and that the world has changed enough for het to be, perhaps, acceptable in the world of GLBTQ lit) were also seat-mates, and Katie was an adorable owner of a Cairn Terrorist... erm, Terrier, and we swapped dog stories in the quite moments. Kimberly wore a bride's veil in a spunky reenactment of one of her story's moments, and they were both fun and kind to me. We shared things like Sharpies, tape, water, and chocolate, and you forget how much fun it is to make new friends for no other reason than you're humans in the same space. Thank you ladies-- I had fun.
|The train. Delivered. The Food.|
|And this was so elegant, we|
took a picture.
|We ALL took pictures.|
* And don't EVER piss off Tammy May. Seriously. There was a hotel snafu, wherein I was told I couldn't get my books when I SHOULD have been able to get my books and you know something? Tammy had hits put out on people's lives until I got my shit. (Maybe not, but damn. DAYUM did she take care of that quickly. I fall at her feet like the goddess she is.)
Anyway-- that's what I've got. I'm tired, I'm still drugged, and I'm looking forward to a quiet lunch. I'm also really looking forward to going home tomorrow. I have a Mate and a little dog and two small children and a big son who all need me, and if they don't, tough.
I need them so badly, I could cry with it.
I mean, this is Zoomboy being Chewbacca with his sister's belt and a vacuum cleaner part. Who doesn't need that?
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Folks, I hope you love this story as much as I did--I know Daisy from around the net, where her sense of humor and her snark have already made me a fan!
The Time My House Burned Down
(Otherwise known as the inspiration behind From The Ashes)
Hi, Amy Lane Readers!
Since Amy is out of town this week, she’s kindly allowed me to hang out on her blog to entertain you with my stories. Like Amy, I’m an author of MM Romance and I have kids. Unlike Amy, I don’t knit.
Knitting failures aside, if you’re happy to hear a story of loss and redemption, pull up a chair, grab a cup of tea and chill a while. I’ll tell you about the time my house burned down. Believe me, it’s a doozy.
So, where to begin? I could start at the chronological beginning when I was chauffeuring three kids around town and received a phone call from a neighbor that my house was on fire. Or I could start closer to the end, when I struggled to come up with a story idea, and realized—WAIT!—I can totally write a story about a firefighter, because I had a house fire once.
The first starting point is depressing, while the second is funny. But in the interest of keeping the time-space continuum intact, I’ll start from the beginning.
One sunny summer Sunday in 2008, I was driving home with my 2 year old and 5 year old daughters, and their six year old friend, when a neighbor called to tell me my house was on fire.
Luckily, I was only a few blocks away. I say luckily, because driving any further than a few blocks would have been dangerous with my vision blurred from stress and my hands shaking on the wheel. By then, I could do nothing about the candle I’d left burning on an upstairs dresser four hours earlier.
(And yes, as soon as I heard of the fire, I remembered that candle. Have you ever wanted to turn back time so badly you almost believed you could do it with the force of your mind? Well, that’s exactly how I felt.)
I got home to find firefighters running in and out of my house, my belongings being flung out windows, police and half the neighborhood standing around and watching my top floor go up in flames.
I wish I could tell you I was sad, or that I felt angst over the tragic loss of my kids’ baby clothes. But the main thought that ran through my mind as I wandered into the street was, “My husband is going to kill me.”
Maybe other people react differently. Hell, I’m sure other people react differently. The only things I could think of were, “Oh, fuck!” “Oh, damn!” and “Oh, shit!” The kids? I have no idea. I was in too much shock to think about them. They certainly weren’t crying, at least not yet, because they were just as confused as I was.
Somehow, people took care of me. My neighbors watched my kids and held my hand while I talked to the police. The woman who lived in the house behind us let me come inside to make phone calls. She even pet-sat my dog so I could stay at a friend’s house until we found something permanent.
The thing people don’t realize about a house fire is how quickly one’s concerns shift from “Oh my God, my stuff!” to “Shit, I have no stuff.” I may have had a sentimental attachment to my kids’ slide bed, but no clean underwear jumped to the top of my concerns pretty darn fast.
I was a wreck that day, and honestly, I can’t tell you everything that happened. I have a vague recollection of my in-laws driving down from Bellingham to make sure me and the kids were okay and to take us out to dinner. I know I slept in my best friend’s nightgown because I didn’t have any clothes.
My husband was on a boat in Alaska when the fire happened, and until he came back, I couldn’t bring myself to leave the neighborhood. I’d drive to the top of Capitol Hill, have a panic attack, and decide that whatever it was I needed I could get within a mile of “home.”
Only the top floor burned. Most of our first floor belongings were salvageable, as were the things in the basement. We couldn’t live there, though, as there was too much charring. You know how they say it pays to be connected? Well, it does, because some friends of ours had a small guest cottage we could stay in for a week, a place nicer than our actual house.
I wish we could have stayed there the whole time it took to rebuild, but our friends had guests coming, so I managed to find us a rental place nearby. Second words of wisdom—it pays to have good insurance! Allstate covered the repairs to our home, paid our rent… No one re-emburses much for clothes and bedding. But expenses? Allstate was golden. They even covered the cost of movers to come in and pack up our stuff.
All’s well that ends well. Sort of. I got offered a new job a couple weeks later, so that was good. But I hated the job, so that was bad.
The real benefit of having a house fire was that I learned something important about myself: namely, that I needed a break.
I’d been taking care of kids almost non-stop for six years. My husband travelled for work. I barely had enough daycare to cover the hours I needed for my job, and had often worked while simultaneously watching toddlers.
The story truly started the night before the fire: I’d been alone with the children for two weeks. In summer, so no school. The kids had had a friend sleep over the night before and both my kids had gotten sick and thrown up. Unfortunately, since the extra child at our house lived across town, I was too tired to drive her home.
In the morning when my kids asked to play spa, I grabbed a candle, put it in a cup, lit a match, and…
Seriously bad things happen when mommy is overworked. Now I fear missing sleep almost as much as I worry about accidents. All it takes is one match, and a moment of distraction.
To this day, I hate leaving my house empty, and have to fight off waves of anxiety any time I take a trip. But I’ve never let myself get that run down since. I sleep eight hours a night, and use babysitters liberally. I’ve given up worrying about what I “should” be able to handle, and focus on understanding what I “can” handle.
So some other mom works full time AND coaches soccer AND blow dries her hair every day and shaves her legs more than once a month? Well, good for her. I’m happy for her. I really am. I, on the other hand, am going to get myself a cup of tea and watch The Rachel Zoe Project before my kids come home from school.
In the end, I’m happy my house burned down. It made me the person I am today—someone with better boundaries and a stronger sense of self. Sometimes we all need our lives shaken up a little.
In my upcoming novel, From the Ashes, my hero Jesse’s house burns down, and I wonder whether readers will question how he reacts. Perhaps readers will think, “Well, if it were my house on fire, I’d do X, Y, Z.” But I’m not sure how many of those potential critics will have experienced such a disaster firsthand.
Maybe readers will feel Jesse bounces back too quickly, when they would have rolled into the fetal position and rocked in hysterics for a few days before being functional. To that, I say—the basics: food, shelter…it’s pretty hard to ignore those things for long, no matter how upset you are.
And sex? That first night after the fire, I would have given a lot for a sexy, mysterious firefighter to keep me warm.
I’ll close with a clip from the start of From the Ashes, but first, let me share some advice.
1. Homeowners/renter’s insurance. You want this.
2. Your friends and family will come through for you better than you could possibly imagine, but it pays to know people with a guesthouse. J
3. Child care. Yes, child care. If you’re a mom, you need rest, and there is a real cost to running yourself ragged.
4. Don’t ever put a candle in a plastic cup.
This ends Daisy’s Story of Woe/Fire Prevention Hour. Hope you enjoy this clip from my upcoming release, From the Ashes.
Pre-order FROM THE ASHES on Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/from-the-ashes-daisy-harris/1115084890?ean=9781619217980
Pre-order FROM THE ASHES on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/From-Ashes-Fire-Rain-ebook/dp/B00C4U6MOC
Daisy’s Website: http://thedaisyharris.com/
Oh my God. Oh my fucking God.
Jesse stared up at his house, the duplex where he’d been living for the two months since he’d moved to Seattle. In thick, black clouds, smoke spilled from the windows.
Firefighters streamed in and out of the building. Someone punched through his skylight to toss boulders of his charred and damp belongings onto the concrete.
Underwear he’d left on his bed when he’d gone to work that morning lay on top of the burnt remains of his grandmother’s hand-knitted afghan.
Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God.
He couldn’t think.
Someone was talking to him. The voice asked about Jesse’s landlords, if Jesse knew there was a meth lab in their basement.
“No,” Jesse said. But once he’d started, he couldn’t stop the words from spilling out. “No, no, no, no, no. Fuck, no.” Mindlessly, he sprinted toward the front door. He could get something out before the fire ruined it all. The coffee table he’d bought at a secondhand store. The Christmas sweater his mom had given him even though his father wouldn’t look at him anymore.
Something. He couldn’t let it all burn. From behind, someone grabbed him, clutching Jesse in a bear hug. Jesse
knew as soon as he felt the stiff, flame-retardant material of a firefighter’s
uniform that they weren’t going to let him back inside. Sobbing, he collapsed in the guy’s arms.
That single-room studio had been the first place he’d ever felt comfortable, where he could be himself. He could be a gay man in his gay apartment and not worry about his father kicking him out.
“You can’t go inside. It’s not safe,” the firefighter said in his ear. “Do you have someone you can call? A friend or a girlfriend? Um...a boyfriend?”
Jesse blinked back tears. He had a few numbers in his phone, friends he knew from class or work, but he didn’t know any of them well enough to lay on them the fact that his motherfucking house had just burned from the inside out.
The only number he could think of calling was the one he refused to consider. No, Jesse was not calling his parents. No fucking way. He’d live on the streets first.
“I can’t. I don’t...” He wiped the back of his hand across his face. “I just... Give me a second.”
“Take all the time you need.” Tomas kept a hand on the kid’s arm in case he ran for it again.
Everyone panicked when they got home to find their house on fire. The initial “No, No, No,”—the first stage of grief—was universal. Sometimes victims sped past denial directly to bargaining. Older women fell to their knees and started praying, as if God could turn back time or fix their faulty wiring. Men were more likely to fly into rages, shouting at neighbors or firefighters. Even their wives or kids. So Tomas wasn’t surprised by the wide glassy eyes and erratic behavior of the queer kid who lived above the Central District meth lab.
Tomas shouldn’t have noticed the fit of the kid’s skinny jeans or that his hipster T-shirt was pockmarked with holes. And he definitely shouldn’t have found it cute that his sandy-brown hair hung long in the front but was shaved in back. Eight hours past the end of his shift, Tomas was running on adrenaline and coffee. He needed to keep his mind on his work.
“You lived here, right?” Tomas gestured behind him to the damp and burnt- out shell of the duplex.
The kid looked at him through red-rimmed eyes. Pinching his lips together, he nodded.
“You’re okay.” Tomas rubbed the kid’s arm, trying to calm him down. “No one got hurt. There was no one inside the building.” He wanted to drag the kid into his arms for a hug. He looked like he needed it, but responders weren’t allowed any unnecessary touching of victims. Tomas hoped that one of the kid’s friends or neighbors would show up soon to hold his hand.
Lips pale, the guy shivered.
“You didn’t have any pets right? We didn’t see a dog or a cat.” Sweat slicked inside Tomas’s clothes from his time rushing through the building earlier. The last few guys were snuffing out the fire on the top floor, and half the team was already loading equipment back on the truck.
“No.” The queer kid sucked in air in giant gulps. “But the landlords. They had a... They had a dog.” He shook his head again, like he was clearing his mind enough to talk. “She’s in a cage out back. Her name is Chardonnay. Oh my God, is she hurt?”
Tomas put his arm around the kid’s shoulders, urging him to sit down. “I’m sure the dog’s fine. The fire never worked through the outer walls of the building.”
The guy’s narrow shoulders trembled.
“I’ll tell them to check, okay?” Tomas pulled out his intercom and asked one of the guys inside if he could see a dog out back.
Rick, his buddy on the other end of the line, replied yes.
Tomas smiled. “The dog’s fine.” He wasn’t sure if the kid heard him, though, because his eyes were unfocused.
“What’s your name?” Tomas rubbed his back.
The guy blinked up at him, as if he couldn’t remember. After a swallow of air, he said, “Jesse. Jesse Smith.”
“Okay, Jesse.” Tomas kept his voice low and soothing. At any moment Jesse might flip from his current mode of denial into a volatile burst of anger. “I’m Tomas Perez, and I’m not going to leave until I’m sure you have a place to stay tonight, okay?” He tried to make eye contact.
The gaze that met his was hazel green—beautiful and rimmed with light brown lashes. Blinking, Jesse glanced away. His focus bounced around the yard, house and street in a distracted jumble. “You’re sure Chardonnay is okay? Can I go check on her? She’s probably freaking out.”
Tomas put his hand on Jesse’s shoulder. He squeezed, feeling Jesse’s sinewy muscles under the material of his T-shirt. No. He shouldn’t have noticed that, either. “We’ll go to the backyard in a second. Just let them finish the work inside.”
Monday, April 29, 2013
Okay-- so yeah. I seriously haven't finished Chicago laundry and I'm getting back on a plane tomorrow. My mind boggles.
The good news is, the AC went out and it's 95 degrees here this week, and I miss it-- the repair guy comes Thursday, and I'm going to be in nice, temperate (flooding!) Kansas City. (The AC is a whole other story-- there's a special place in hell for repairmen who come out to do routine maintenance, break your shit, and then disappear for two weeks. God puts them in THIS HOUSE when it's 90 degrees. Trust me. There's vengeance involved.)
Anyway-- as John Lovitz said in League of Their Own, "I've got enough time to go home, give the spouse a little pickle tickle, and then I'm back on the train." (Okay, he said "wife". I think Mate would disagree with that. I paraphrased.)
But while I was here, there was cuddling, freaking out because the house has reached terminal devastation, freaking out because (what else?) I have SEVERAL deadlines, and freaking out because the dog has decided that if he CAMPS OUT ON MY BREASTS I might never leave him alone again. (Co-dependent little bastard. I'm sort of blown away.) Oh-- and knitting.
This is the chain mail rib scarf for Jeremy. Because Aiden needs to make something that will protect his bunny, the next time he decides to be brave.
There was also the following conversation over Rubio's on Saturday:
Squish: How come Mr. Krabbs has a daughter but no wife?
Mate: Maybe she died in childbirth. If mom's a whale and dad's a crab, that can't be an easy labor.
Zoomboy: Died in childbirth? Like the princess in Star Wars Episode 3?
Me: Omigod... my life!
You know... just to remind me that family is family after all.
Oh, and THIS happened, and suddenly people are offering to send Jason Collins copies of The Locker Room. Hey-- I'd buy it and sign it if someone could tell me where to send it! Oh yeah-- and Chris Kluwe did something awesome too, if we're talking about sports!
And I suddenly became addicted to fingernail polish--on my fingernails, don't panic-- because before I left for Chicago I made the heinous mistake of getting acrylic tips. They looked lovely, but by the time I popped them off because they were annoying the hell out of me, what was left underneath was brittle and icky, and I bought every nail polish bottle that said, "strengthening" "conditioning" and "revitalizing"-- in pretty colors of course. I'm going for professional help in the nail department-- I'm not exactly sure I should have ever given up my original hygiene routine, which basically involved ripping my nails off when they became inconvenient.
Oh! And don't forget Daisy Harris is going to guest blog for me on Wednesday! She's awesome, funny, and smart-- you'll enjoy her very much!
And as for me? Well, I've got two youtube videos to speak for me-- enjoy.
Friday, April 26, 2013
After watching The Grifters and Out of Sight and Lone Star (I know, not all Elmore Leonard, but still) I began to have an appreciation for characters that blurred boundaries, but whom you still rooted for.
When I started writing, those people were fresh in my mind.
Ace Atchison is that kind of character, and so is Sonny.
Ace is blunt, direct, and very aware of his rank as bottom-middle of the pecking order. He doesn't particularly care. But when Sonny shows up on the scene, Ace uses whatever resources he can to shelter Sonny from what they both know can be a very cruel world.
Sonny doesn't make it easy on him.
I loved writing Ace and Sonny. This book is told from Ace's POV, and while I was perfectly aware of what was going through Sonny's head, watching Ace flounder through it, try to come to terms with who he thought Sonny was, and with all the places he got that wrong-- that was a fascinating puzzle, and I loved it.
At the same time, there were scenes that left me shaking as I wrote them. The scarring on their arms is one of the places. The first sex scene is another. Those weren't the only ones.
These guys got deep under my skin, and they did it quickly, and they did it without mercy. This won't be the only time we see them-- they are a hard couple to shake. But I warn you, just like this time, the next time we see them they'll be doing things we're not ready for, things we might not like, and the rawness of what they feel, what they think--that's not going to change. Oh yeah-- and next time? It's going to be from Sonny's point of view. Because reality in 3-D is overrated, I want to go for the fourth dimension of crazy!
That being said, here's the blurb-- and enjoy. If I've done my job, this one will seize you by the throat and shake you around a little. I understand some of us like that!
Available at Dreamspinner Press
Available at ARe
Available at Amazon.com (You may have to wait a little for the Kindle link!)
"I'll do anything."
Staff Sergeant Jasper "Ace" Atchison takes one look at Private Sonny Daye and knows that every word on paper about him is pure, unadulterated bullshit. But Sonny is desperate, and although Ace isn't going to take him up on his offer of "anything," that doesn't mean he isn't tempted.
Instead, Ace takes Sonny under his wing, protecting him when they're in the service and making plans with him when they get out. Together, they're going to own a garage and build race cars and make their fortune hurtling faster than light across the desert. Together, they're going to rewrite the past, make Sonny Daye a whole and happy person, and put the ghosts in Ace's heart to rest.
But not even Sonny can build a car fast enough to escape the ghosts of the past. When Sonny's ghosts drive them down and run their plans off the road, Ace finds out exactly what he's made of. Maybe Sonny was the one to promise Ace anything, but there is nothing under the sun Ace won't do to keep Sonny safe from harm.