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

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Free verse? Show some Whit, man!

Me to Chicken: Do you like my new favorite meme?

Chicken: What does it even mean?

Me: Who cares! It's ADORABLE!

* * *

Mate,  looking through the cupboards this morning: You did a bad bad thing!

Me: What? Wha'd I do?

Mate: You bought bad things!

Me: (looking at the four boxes of Oreos) Well, you know. Four kids, two grown, no school for a week…

Mate: (flicking me on the head) Well I'm sure all they'll eat now is Oreos!

Me: Well I also bought acres of fruits and veggies. (I am very self-righteous as I say this.)

Mate: Which I"m positive they'll eat instead of Oreos!

* * *

We picked Zoomboy up from his school Yosemite trip the other night. Imagine thirty unwashed eleven- year-olds wandering around grabbing their gear and trying to reconnect with all their parents. In short… chaos.

But it did feature this one moment:

Zoomboy, grabbing my arm and looking into my eyes with all earnestness: And we saw a bobcat and we hiked to Vernal Falls and now you know I can hike a long way because we kept going and going and going…

Towheaded kid I don't know, grabbing my arm as ZB is speaking: And we did--we hiked all the way to the top of the falls, and it was wonderful and it was six and a half miles and we did it-- we had so much fun and--

Zoomboy: And we had to hide our stuff from the bears and we used the heater in the cabin so I didn't need my long underwear and…

Me, watching the towheaded kid wander off to find his parents: Was that your friend?

Zoomboy: Yes. We hiked together in the woods. And we didn't see any bears even though we had to hide our stuff from the bears and the thing on my wrist was so I could eat and…

Me: So when's the last time you bathed?

Zoomboy: Uhm…

Me: Let's say it's tonight!

On a general note, I'm saying the money for sending them on a "character building trip"was money well spent. He is even more of a character now than he was when he left.

And that towheaded kid ain't bad either.

*  *  *

Big T: The little kids and I have a plan. We're going to watch The Breakfast Club.

Me: Penguins of Madagascar? Peabody and Sherman?

Big T: (laughing) Well, yeah. Those look good too, but I think they'll like The Breakfast Club. 

Me: Okay. The minute their eyes glaze over, you go ahead and put this in. Trust me. It'll go over better.

As it turns out, Mate and I sat down with Big T and watched Breakfast Club, while the little kids cleaned their rooms. Which meant that we saved them the opportunity to be cynical and hate their elders at too young an age. Go us!

*  *  *

Mate: You were good-- you wrote, you did laundry, you went shopping and cooked. I spent the morning watching… God. I can't even remember what I watched…

Me: That's because it was White House Down!

Mate: Heh heh heh… oh yeah. Yeah. Who wants to remember that?

Me: And yet, you keep watching it.

Mate: Shit goes boom.

Me: Of course.

* * *

And the cartoons of Crowley and Azraphel from Good Omens? Those are Chicken's work. She also designed my new avatar (which, alas, is temporary) so if anyone is interested in purchasing an avatar or art work from her, by all means visit THIS LINK.  And besides her own art, she also publishes VERY funny .gifs and art from friends :-) 

Friday, March 27, 2015

My Day in Bullets

*  Zoomboy got back from his trip to Yosemite.  Never has one boy talked so much or so fast between the hours of 8 pm and 11 pm.  He hiked to the top of Vernal Falls, saw a bobcat, hid his clothes from bears, and didn't bathe once.  (Guess what mom made him do first thing. He was still wearing the same underwear. Everybody let that sink in and go shower.)

*  Squish and I went to Starbucks after school, where they gave us free pup-a-cinnos.  This is a small cup of whipped cream that you give to your dog. It's awesome, and my dogs will have many more to come.

*  Riptide sent me flowers and Elizabeth North sent me a congratulations card, and it really isn't a dream, it's not it's not it's not!

*  Julianne and I spent a substantial amount of time looking online for what amounts to a grown person's prom dress.  And shoes.  Mate has put a veto on the pantsuit, and I have dreams of losing a zillion pounds before July. I don't remember being this excited/nervous about my actual prom.

* This podcast happened, and I adore Jay from Joyfully Jay anyway, but this was her being brilliant and insightful about the genre and about book blogs in general. Yeah, yeah, the shoutouts did nothing to diminish my excitement over hearing one of my favorite subjects discussed at length by some stunningly bright women who love romance.

* CHICKEN IS COMING TOMORROW! Yup. That's exciting. From having hardly any baby birds at all to a full nest. Oh, holy crap, is this my HOUSE?

* I actually remembered to fill the tank before the tank was empty. This is me, alerting the media.

*  And I'm not sure if I mentioned this, but Quickening is coming along. I already sent the first half to DSPP, and since it's being released in two parts (as is Wounded, Bound, and Rampant) that's exciting. That means the first volume of Quickening is done!  So, for those who have been waiting? Well there's proof that your faith will be rewarded! Thank you!

*  I'll do a cover reveal for Wounded as soon as it's available from DSPP!

*  And, oh yeah-- Riptide is selling Bells of Times Square for 30% off in honor of it's nomination! (What? You didn't see the banners? ;-)

Peace out!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

RITA ® Award Nominees -- really? REALLY?

So, I saw Heidi Cullinan's tweet this morning. She was full of *FLAIL* because she'd been nominated for a RITA® award in long contemporary fiction for Fever Pitch--the first gay romance writer to get the call.

I was happy for her, and so proud for our genre and…

Okay. I can admit it. HELL YES was I jealous. I mean, aren't we all, even if we like the person and admire their work? Don't we want the recognition? I wrote an entire Amy's Lane last year at this time about dealing with that let down, and about being happy for what we have, and proud for our friends and excited that there is such good literature in the world-- and I still stand by that piece.  Every writer worth his or her salt really is the prettiest princess to a reader out there who feels absolutely saved by that particular book-- and to connect with someone in that way really is the greatest honor. You can't name an award after that--and it really is why we do what we do.

But, all that being said, when J. Kenner called me as I drove Squish to school this morning, I have to confess that I totally lost my fuckin' mind.  Poor woman-- first I screamed, "OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!!!" And then I gushed all over her because I adored Wanted and am now going to read her backlist.  And then I bailed from the conversation because I was driving while talking on a cell phone which is illegal in California, and Squish was in the back of the car going, "Congratulations mom! I think I'm late!!!" (The congratulations were sincere-- she was such a supportive little Squish!)

You see, J. Kenner was calling for the RITA Award committee, and The Bells of Times Square made the cut for best short historical.

And Lynda Aicher has an erotic story--Bonds of Denial-- in the nominations too.

Which means there are three RITA Award ® nominated authors who write gay romance.  And I'm one.

Yeah-- I'm one. 

Sarah Frantz, my editor for Bells called me as I sat in front of Squish's school, and we squeee'd on each other for about five minutes.  I'm still in a bit of shock. (And oddly enough, I'm starving. Nobody tells you that's a side effect of being nominated for something, but the Oscar nominees who have to show up in the skimpy dresses must be miserable.)

I'm nominated for a Romance Oscar.  Holy fuckin' wow.

I was already going to the RWA ® Nationals this year-- but now, I'm one of the people in the black dress at the awards banquet.

Damn.  Thanks to everyone who has offered congratulations, and to everyone who read Bells, or Beneath the Stain or any Amy Lane book and thought, "Damn. That's good stuff! I want to tell the world!"

Cause that's what this feels like--like the world has been told.

And my day is full of SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wisdom from Squish

Zoomboy is in Yosemite this week, so it's just Squish and I in the mornings.  She is very good company.  This morning, she has already laid several nuggets at my feet that are of the purest gold!

Squish (while getting her hair brushed): I don't think television really knows what goes on in television.

Me: What?

Squish: Well, we were watching a movie where a girl got famous writing, and she was on television in, like, a week. That doesn't really happen.

Me: No, that's not realistic.

Squish: Right? It's like the people who write for television never look to see how it works.  You know what else isn't realistic?

Me: Hit me with it.

Squish: The girl waiting in the tower for the boy to come. Why doesn't she get out of the tower and chase the boy.

Me: Because sometimes boys get scared when they're chased.

Squish: But why have the tower at all? Why can't she just ask him to the movies!

Me: That's a very good point!

Squish: I mean, at least the Disney Princesses have some bad luck, and they have to work at it.

Me: Because stories would be boring without conflict.

Squish (very bored now): Yes, mom, I know.

Me: Okay, go get a rubber band for your hair.

Squish: Okay.  *skips away*

Y'all, that's my little girl.  *weeps with pride*

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dogs and a temporary new avatar

I'm using it for my Twitter/Facebook avatar-- do you like it?

If no, don't worry-- I'll probably be replacing it soon, possibly with my standard headshot, which you can see in the bio section.

If yes, I'm sorry-- don't get attached.

The thing is, I'm going to be re-vamping my website, my logo, my image, all of that stuff, and part of that is making everything uniform.

The problem is, uniformity is not my strong suit.


I like a bright, bold cartoon avatar for FB and Twitter-- something about the size of the thumbnail an my increasingly aging eyes makes the the thick lines and brazen colors appealing and easy to identify.  To that end, I asked Chicken to make me an avatar that looked like ME.  She tried twice to make ME a skinnier version of me, but even Mate said, "The chubby mom thing is very you."  And the fleeing cat thing is just funny.  I've been told that I'll probably have to get over the cartoon avi-- that I'm going to want to stick to my headshot, and if I don't like the headshot, I need to have a new one taken and get over myself.  From a marketing standpoint, this is VERY SOUND advice, but from a personal standpoint, the bias against my own picture is very hard to overcome. The photographer did a lovely job, but I don't spend a lot of time gazing into a mirror, and so I'm always surprised that middle aged person in the picture is really me.  And she was three years younger there, so I'm always mentally adding wrinkles, which is sort of an ego blow as well.

The colors are… well, you'll see when it all falls out, but orange, purple, and lemon yellow are going to be very integral to the new logo/website thing, so this is sort of a transitional avatar. It's getting you used to things--and hopefully making you smile.

I know it made ME smile, and since it is me, that's important too :-)

And about the dogs?

They dogs follow me throughout the house whenever I move-- but they don't just "follow" me. They wrestle/chase me. So every time I walk down the hall, I've got this tornado of small dog wreaking havoc in my wake.  And when I do laundry, this happens:

Me: *opens door to garage with laundry on my hip*

Geoffie: NOBODY LIVES FOREVER, FOLKS, BANZAAAAAAIIII!!!!!!  *leaps over two steps to go sprawling on garage floor*

Me: 0.0  "You didn't stick the landing, dumbass."

Geoffie: *skids into a box*

Johnnie: *hops down the two steps to start gorging himself on Garage Cat's food*  "Yeah, mom, she's a pip. Nom nom nom nom nom…"

And by the time I'm down with laundry, they've become a two-backed tasmanian devil once more.

Monday, March 23, 2015

I didn't get a picture...

Which is part of the reason I came unglued when I dropped Zoomboy and Squish off to school this morning.

We spent all weekend getting Zoomboy ready for his trip to Yosemite-- new long underwear, new wool socks, dad's old coat, old sleeping bag, old pillow, new alpaca hat made by mom at the last minute because she couldn't stand to think of her little boy out in the woods with strangers and bears and nothing from mama.

And I've sent my kids on trips before with their grandparents and such, but I was in the drop off queue for school and ZB got out and gave me a kiss and wrestled his backpack and pillow out of the car…

And was gone.

And I didn't get a picture or a big full hug and…

And I sobbed all the way back home.

Because I'm a weenie.

And I miss my kid already.

And it was a really nice fuckin' hat.  (You can see Mate modeling it last night.  Does he look tired? We were both tired-- got that kid ready for Yosemite like BOSSES oh yes we did.)

A realization about age...

Mate and I went to see Insurgent on Friday night with my friend.  This evening, as he was telling Chicken about it, he said, "Yeah-- the theater was depressing.  Three old people and a theater full of teenaged girls with a few dates hoping to get lucky."

Beat. Beat.

Then Chicken faced enlightenment.  

"Oh--was Auntie Wendy with you?"

Mate nodded glumly.  "Yup."

Well, at least she didn't jump to the immediate conclusion that we were the old people… that was nice, right?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Had a thought...

And you know how dangerous that is.

I was watching one of those crime shows about the hacker who can get into any data base on the planet in two seconds while making wisecracks at the same time?

I love those shows.

I mean, hands down-- have fallen completely in love with them.

I'm mesmerized.  I don't care if it's impossible for one person to out-hack a battalion of cyber-criminals and police in two minutes of snarky banter.  I don't care if serial killers usually succeed by using simple stuff instead of hyper intelligent "No mouse is smarter than me!" mousetraps, and that there are (thank Pete!) not nearly that man psychopaths in such a limited space (even New York!) and that one of these shows usually covers a thousand years of serial killer and mysterious death and psychopath history + embellishment in the course of one season.

Doesn't bother me.

It's like magic.

In fact, it's exactly like magic.

Like the fairy princess and the snarky belligerent prince use their magic wands and various fairy godparents to elude the dark sorcerer and slay the dragon, with full acknowledgment that even if they slay the dragon and elude the sorcerer the battle will continue tomorrow.

And that's why we love those shows.  Because the cyberworld is scary, and it's such a specialized science that to many of us, it is magic.  Because monsters are real, whether they wear human form or not, and we want to believe that there are spunky princesses and snarky belligerent princes who can slay the dragons and vanquish the sorceress.  Yes, computers are beyond our ken (some of our ken) and it's gotten to the point where the people at the help desk of our porn companies know more about our OS than we do, and that seems like a modern problem, but it's not.

A thousand years ago, people didn't know what was out there in the dark and they invented Grendel and Grendel's mother and Nimue and dragons and scary bears and giant sea monsters, because they knew there were monsters even if they didn't have a clear picture of what the danger was.  We're the same people--we know there is danger, we know there are monsters so we invent shows that give us hope the monsters can be slain, that's all.

And it doesn't hurt that the princesses are pretty and spunky and brave and the princes are snarky and loyal and true.

I'm sure they were that way a thousand years ago too.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

And meanwhile, in the kitchen...

*  Yesterday, the kids were awesome and took out the trash.  I was sweeping up the floor when I noticed they'd forgotten to put liners in the cans.

"Hey, Zoomboy-- come here and put a bag in the trashcan, could you?"

He pads into the kitchen and reaches for the box with the bags in it.  But first he has to move something.

"Oh, hey!" he says, lighting up like a firecracker. "Look! Sunflower seeds! I love sunflower seeds!"

And then he walked away, happily munching sunflower seeds, leaving me holding the broom and the dustpan in his wake.

*  Today, I had to write two blog posts promoting Food for Thought.  So, basically talk about the one thing I know least about-- the kitchen-- while sitting in the kitchen.  I start writing about food rescue, and how cheese is your ultimate weapon, and thinking about what's in the refrigerator and...

An hour later, the kids come in.

"Mom, what's that cooking on the stove?"


"Why are you making food at three in the afternoon."

"I don't want to talk about it."

"Smells great! Is that cheese?"


Friday, March 20, 2015

Today's Earworm + Today's Weird Moment

Earworm first:

Weird Moment:  At the gym, getting out of the pool and heading for the jacuzzi, cause, 65 degrees, need heat!  Anyway, there is an elderly woman sitting on the steps of the pool. She is wearing her bra and her underwear and holding her brightly striped orange and black swimsuit in her hands.

Yes. You read that right.

Anyway, I had sunglasses on, but that must not have disguised the fact that I was… uhm… surprised… and she looked at me and smiled sunnily.

"Buh-bye!" she chirped, her Russian accent heavy.

Then she proceeded to put the swimsuit on her head and paddle laps in the deep end, wearing the suit like a babushka.


I got nothin'.

But now you have both the ear-worm and the eye-worm-- you're welcome.

Amy out!