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

Friday, June 29, 2012

Okay... So It's Out, What now?

 Okay-- so I'm WAY EXCITED that Sidecar is out, and by this afternoon it will be out at, and it's already out at ARe.  So, anyway, I'm staring at my computer breathlessly, like this: 0.0 : while waiting for the world to recognize the awesomeness of moi!

Alas.  It doesn't happen that immediately, or that cleanly-- we all know that by now.  But I'm still going to be... well, fidgety, until I see how this one is received.  I just am.  Can I give it a prayer again?  Holy Goddess, Merciful God, Let it Not Suck?  Cannagimmehallelujia, Iknewyoucouldamen!   Thanks, guys--I needed that!

But it's funny-- I just "ran into"  (i.e., finally recognized) a fan who won a copy of The Locker Room a while back, (as well as some prime yarn!) and I remembered how freaked out I was about that one.  And Keeping Promise Rock.  And...

I worry, I guess.  I always will.  It ALWAYS feels like a profound act of hubris to share that weirdness that goes on in my oversized noggin with the whole rest of the world.  I can't explain it, I only
know it to be true.  I'm just really excited when other people seem
to think that what I've got in my head is worthwhile.  (Maybe we can blame my old job for that constant fear that it's not-- it's as good a place to start as any!)

But that's why this next project after Sidecar is exciting.  It's still in editing stages right now, but it's an anthology-- Andrew Grey, Mary Calmes and I all contributed a story based on the mythological concept of the Three Fates.  What's funny is that while Andrew picked Greek mythology, and Mary went for Egyptian, I picked Norse.  We didn't plan this-- we just each looked at the fates and wrote our stories and enjoyed what happened next.  But the fun thing is that Mary and Andrew are both awesome writers, so it's not just ME throwing myself out there... I got friends and they got my back!  So it's not hubris so much as confidence--well, mostly in them, but confidence nonetheless!  And that's what's out next!

Now, as for what I'm working on now?  Well, I just, (as of LAST NIGHT) finished the sequel to The Winter Mating Rituals of Fur-Bearing Critters-- the second sequel, actually.  The first sequel (How to Raise an Honest Rabbit) was Jeremy and Aiden's story, and the second one A Knitter in his Natural Habitat is Stanley's story.  So that's almost submitted, and that's exciting.  And, of course, I thought I'd prove that I DO still knit,
and that's why I showed you, ta da! my knitting!  Yes-- lace and beadwork... I shouldn't be working on it.  I'm finishing a baby blanket for my old childcare provider, and that needs to be done tonight, but in the meantime... I love the colors and I love the beads and I love the cobweb pattern and... sniffle.. I mean, I fucked it up six ways to Sunday already, but I still loves it.  No one will know when I'm done, right?  I hope not.  I'm having so much fun working on it now!

And after Stanley (and between the knitting and the home improvement and the trip to Hawaii coming up in the next weeks!) I've got this:

You see all those pictures of superheroes?  (Of course you do-- they're most of the blog!) Well, Mary sent them to me as inspiration for the next thing on my roster.  It's a story I've been wanting to write for almost a year--it will be fantasy/steampunk, and it's going to have one of my favorite themes and I'm so excited about writing it I'm almost wriggling like a puppy.

Seriously, folks.  Steampunk Batman (NOT it's real title.)

It is time.

So that should probably be started tomorrow, along with some power house cleaning and a baby shower and some other stuff that I'll probably bore you with later.

But just know that as I go about my day and clean my house and take my kids to the pool and do water aerobics, behind my homely housewife exterior?

 Yeah.  All this other shit is going on.

Pretty awesome, right?  Makes you think about the people in the grocery store a little different, right?

Yup.  It's a scary world out there.  Even scarier when you know Batman is real!

*laughs maniacally*

Okay-- I'm done riffing.  Oh-- very quickly?  I blogged over at Chicks & Dicks yesterday-- about a sort of strange time in history.  It fits right in with Sidecar (ARe link) and even gives some surprise little snippets from it too!

And that's all for today-- gotta go snuggle!

God, I hope people like it.  THAT'S
what's going to be on in my head when Batman and Robin aren't humping like bunnies.  Just so's you know!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


 Hi, all!

I'm gonna start off with book news, because you've all seen plenty of family stuff for the last few, and, well, because Sidecar is coming out, and I'm getting SUPER excited.  Did I mention the cover?  I originally got the cover "sketch" and loved it.  Fell completely in love.  I begged them not to cover it in--it was beautiful and perfect, and I kept it that way.  I know there's no man-titty, no promise of sex, no steamy, smoldering looks in this cover.  It's simply two people, locked together in a journey.  Well, isn't that marriage?  Isn't that a lifetime partnership?  Thus, the metaphor, right?  Sidecar.  When you get to that part of the book, I hope that the cover suddenly makes you weep--it did for me.  It was that perfect.  That and the sepia toned nostalgia color of the cover, along with that sunshine glow at the end of the road.  It was beautiful.  (Note:  This is not what the actual Sierra Foothills look like, btw-- they are dusty, dry mountains, and even the gravel road to Joe's house would be filled with less ground cover and more brown--but the emotional tone?  This is dead the hell on.  Enjoy it!)  Anyway-- Sidecar is out on Friday, and I'm simultaneously thrilled and terrified.  Oh God.  All of the chunks of my soul, both small and large, that I put into this one--please let them not be crapped on.  Holy Goddess, Merciful God, let it not suck!  Cannyagimmehallelujia?  Iknewyoucouldamen!  And don't forget-- there's a chance to win one of two e-book copies at Stumbling Over Chaos , where Chris was generous enough to post the contest.  (Because she's so efficient, and, well, I'm VERY MUCH NOT!)

Also in book news, is this:

It's a chat at Bethwylde and there's going to be a few of us on there (as you can see.)  I may give away a copy from my backlist (or maybe even of Sidecar-- we shall see!) and I'll be there on and off as the day progresses.  I'm looking forward to this-- I know a few of these people, have met a lot of them in person, and I think we shall have very much fun:-)

Also?  All Romance e-books is having a "Summer's Hottest Hero" contest-- and I think Jace needs to win this one.  (Or at least be nominated, right?)  So follow that link there, and enter Jace (or Jason Spade) from Gambling Men: The Novel
so Jace can get some love, okay?  (I've been told that he's responsible for melting several phones.  Seriously-- doesn't that get some sort of "hotness" award, right?

I had to text Chicken from this
position: Help. Can't Move.
Come move a child so I can get up!

And as for my charming family?

I think it's very clear from the the pictures taken yesterday, that we are sort of all funned out.  Off to take a nap, my darlings!  Toodles!


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Greetings from the Wilds of Oregon

I love it here, actually.  When I was a kid, our preferred method of travel was a renovated VW Bus (called Brother Bus, sweartadog!) and the Pacific Northwest was our playground.  We would journey to Oregon, Washington, and Canada, camping outside when we could, or smushing the five of us (once it was six and a dog-- we brought a friend!) into Brother Bus to get out of the ubiquitous rain.

As an adult, we're shoving everybody into a rented Pathfinder, but the loveliness and the adventure hasn't changed.

Yesterday, we met the charming, elegant and STUNNINGLY beautiful Roxie (and Bucky, the Roving Ram-porter, who is seen here, charming the socks off of Squish) for breakfast at the Bijou Cafe-- breakfast was amazing.  As a family we tend to do a lot of swapping food-- so Zoomboy got a big pile of strawberries on his nummy buckwheat pancakes, but that was okay.  Squish got yoghurt, but was not prepared for the organic stuff, so she didn't have anything to eat until Mate fed her the strawberries.  Big T ate the yoghurt, and Chicken wrapped an arm around her mushroom/cheddar omelet and dared anyone to mess with it.  For us, that is a standard meal--but I think it might have been amusing for both Roxie and Mate's father, Bill, to watch it in action.

From there we journeyed to Powell's Used Book Store, and the world fell apart.  Mate's father, Bill, had been feeling a little bit iffy at breakfast, and suddenly, he was feeling HORRIBLE (and looking the part.)  Mate was really alarmed, and we had all scattered when we hit the doorway of Powell's.  Powell's is a city block, three stories and something like nine different sections. It's AMAZING, but Roxie and I spent a good half an hour chasing people through it trying to get together and get organized so Mate could take his dad back to the hotel.  Roxie very graciously offered to take four of us (because that's all that would fit in her car)  back later.  Big T, Squish, and Chicken owe Roxie a BIG debt of gratitude, otherwise they never could have left the place with the pounds of books we managed to purchase.  (Zoomboy got some as well-- in particular, a book about unlikely animal friends.  Zoomboy is all about unlikely animal friends!)

After saying goodbye to Roxie (*sniffle*) we rested up and then went out again.  (Bill stayed at the hotel-- he says he's feeling MUCH better this morning!) We visited Washington Park--both the rose garden and the Japanese gardens as well.  At the rose gardens, Chicken and Big T tried to smell every rose in the garden, for comparison purposes.  We all laughed at the image brought about by "International Rose Testing Zone"  (Think about it--*clear!* *explosion* *poomph* *rose petals fluttering to the ground*) and somebody gave Zoomboy a treasure hunting map for the Japanese garden--let's just say it was not conducive to tranquility to have him tear-assing through the garden, screaming for the next thing on the list.

 Be that as it may, the world of Washington Park was lovely-- it was tough to leave.

Today, we've got the Saturday Market and I think back to Washington Park for the zoo-- but we'll see.  First we'll meet Bill for breakfast, and a lot of it depends on how he's feeling.

And I need to mention book news here for a minute-- Sidecar is out next Friday, and in the meantime, Chris, at Stumbling Over Chaos is offering a contest for a free copy of it, if you comment.  I'm REALLY anxious about the release of this one.  There are some beloved moments in this story--I'm hoping I did them justice.

And in the meantime, wish us luck!  We get home tomorrow morning, and on Tuesday, Zoomboy goes in to have his jaw evaluated... his lower jaw is freakishly narrow-- it makes his enunciation difficult, and we're going to see if he needs to get repaired before or after his mouth grows into his teeth.  Stay tuned... or, you know, just forget I ever mentioned it!  Wish us safe travels though-- Zoomboy busted the back of his ear open on the escalator at the Portland airport... we really do travel loud, don't we?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Six Years Ago

Six years ago I had two books out:

And I was working on a third:

Squish, Big T, Zoomboy and Chicken all looked as you see him in This Right Here.  We called Squish "Ladybug" then, because the true awesomeness of Squish had not yet been discovered, and we called Zoomboy, 'The Cave Troll' because he had us outnumbered by a ridiculous amount--and that was before he could even talk.  (I may have mentioned this before--he didn't talk AT ALL until I was home with him right before I had Squish.  His first words were, "Oh, mama, I like chocolate milk!  Chocolate milk is NUMMY!" which was damned awesome because I was about to call the frickin' school district and have him assessed!)

Dennis Quaid the cat was still alive, and my hair was really that color without dyeing it too often.

I was working full time, and I had not yet lost my faith in my job or my bosses or much of the world in general.

I had not yet had it restored by Elizabeth and Lynn and the wonderful people at Dreamspinner Press, either--but that's another story.  

And I had just started blogging, and throwing my thoughts out into the world.  

And one of the first people to respond was Roxie.

And she was wonderful.  She sent me advice and good humor and showed me that the world got even better and kinder and more exciting as one grew wiser in it.  She sent me rum balls and funny hats for my kids (and damn if I can retrieve ANY of these photos from my computer right now, because I've got some lovely ones!) and talked about her cats the same way I did, and...

I loved her.  

I had never met her, but I adored her.
And now, my kids and cats all look like this: 

And Roxie and I look much the same (I have more fat, more grays and more wrinkles-- she still looks fantabulous.)

And we are going to meet for real on Saturday, when I drag all the kids and none of the cats to visit with Mate's father in Portland over the weekend.  

I can not wait to meet Roxie.  In a summer that's looking to be pretty damned spectacular, this could be one of my BEST THINGS.  

I'm so excited, I won't be able to sleep:-)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Dance of the Hours

So, we lived through Saturday.

It was tough-- it got to be a-hundred-gazillion-wasumba degrees on Saturday, and, well, that sort of sucketh right there.  But the kids got up on stage and the danced their hearts out--even Chicken, who was fading fast in the end.

Chicken actually had a very funny moment, speaking of fading fast.  The thing is, Chicken (like most of the people there) was only on stage for a couple of numbers.  A long adult jazz medley, and her own senior solo plus the senior dance.  But Chicken--being  helpful Chicken--made her self supremely useful and sort of adopted moving the little kids from spot A to spot B as the the recital went on.  That was her job.

Undead Demon Cat
Anyway, the night before the recital, she asked me if she was going to get a jacket--it's tradition.  Graduates get a red jacket, with their name on it.  (In her case, her jacket had "Sunshine" on it--she was called that because she never smiled.)  I told her, "Yeah, probably," which makes the fact that they had to drag her on stage for the presentation even funnier.  She told me, "They were like 'Get up there!  You know what comes next!' and I was like, 'But I have to get the kids in position!'"-- she was so busy being an awesome Chicken that she forgot to go up and take credit for being an awesome Chicken, and I sort of love that about her.

Her dance went well-- she did a long series of something-e'es' (hey, *I* never took dance--I just shoved my kids on the floor!) that were essentially a series of very artistic moving turns--they were supposed to be the end of the dance, and she was trying to make them until she went off stage.  She ran into a curtain instead, but she was so relieved it was over, she didn't really care.  I was trying to explain to her best friend (who was there to watch her perform) that she was going to be a horrible combination of whiny, bitchy, prickly, depressed, and amped at the end of the show.

Chicken, thrilled to have survived
"Why?" Stevie asked, and I shrugged.

"She really hates performing," I said.  "Being on stage is a big furry deal for her."

"Oh!"  And Stevie got it.  I didn't so much--I'd always loved performing.  Never really got to a lot--as I grew up and started to teach I realized that the secret of performing was commitment.  I was better at it as a teacher than an actress, I'll give you that, but I still understood--which is why I got a lot of character roles.  But Chicken was always too cynical and self-aware to commit, which is why her song and her dance and her costume--sort of a sweet little extemporaneous LOOKING, swaying to the wind hipster kind of affair-- really suited her well, and Stevie was prepared for the emotional tsunami that was Chicken after the recital.

But as for commitment?

Squish had it in spades.  Squish had the commitment thing down so well, that we all got to see her, in a white leotard and blue tutu, stamping her foot and pointing to tell the girl next to her where she was SUPPOSED to stand.  And Squish was lovely, too.  Her hair was braided on the sides and pulled back into a pony-tail, and she wore dresses and cute hats and...


She was our Squish.  Fearless (except of bugs-- bugs scare her these days), opinionated, pretty, perfect, and, very often, dead wrong--but unafraid of being so, because she's only sure she's right--her self-esteem is not necessarily invested on that fact, it simply follows in the wake of her being awesome.

Still, I was not sure how to take my stepmom's assertion that she was just like the hippo from Fantasia.

Now see, my first reaction was probably like yours.  "She said my baby's WHAT?"

But then I started to think about it.  I mean, LOOK at those hippos.  They're all girl. There is no compromise, no "Oh, yes, I'm pretty for a HIPPO," or "Well, I shall move to minimize my hippo-ness, because it is unfashionable to have quite so much, arm, hippopotamus in one, erm, tutu, right?  I shall strive to be less of a hippopotamus to make the world feel better about my hips-that-art-part-o-us."

She does not worry that she is not pretty enough for the crocodile, and she shouldn't.  She is ALL woman, and that crocodile does his damnedest to hold her up, because she deserves no less.  She executes all her moves, and lets the creatures around her execute theirs, expecting no less than perfection.

She IS perfection, and if the foundation of the surroundings can't take so much awesomeness, well, that's just IT'S problem, because our little hippo has gotta dance.

See-- THAT'S the way I think my stepmom meant it.

She meant that nothing was going to stop Squish, no skinny stick man crocodile, no spotlight usurping elephant, no nothing.  Squish was going to be the queen, and the prettiest and the best damned ballerina, and the one who by golly knew where the spot was.

So, well, I didn't take exception, because that IS my Squish.

If I find out she meant my baby was fat, I'll be pissed.

Zoomboy and Squish, happy.
Anyway-- that was Squish.  There was also Zoomboy, who FOR ONCE looked like he not only knew where he was going on stage but he also seemed to approve of getting there, and it was a pretty successful moment.

At the end, I was so proud I cried.  Their teacher was so proud, she almost cried.  And my parents and Mate's mom and my friend Wendy watched the entire spectacle-- all five hours of it-- and said, "That was damned entertaining."  They even laughed or were invested in the kids that weren't theirs.  (Well, who wouldn't be invested in a bunch of boys dancing to "I'm sexy and I know it."  You haven't laughed until you've seen a two-year old put his hand over his head and shake his tush to "Wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle.")

And we barely survived the heat.
Big T--excited about going camping.

It was all right.  And Sunday morning, I got to throw them all on my parents front lawn and send them to play with grandma for three days.  I'll see them tomorrow, and I won't have NEARLY enough work done to show for their absence (well, Mate and I DID spend Sunday going to the movies and going out to dinner like it was our anniversary on Father's Day or something... wait...)
Undead Demon Cat, bereft at
Chicken's absence.

And we'll be all rested up to rock hard with Roxie in Portland!  Roxie sent me some suggestions for what to do on Saturday, when we'll be running around with her and Bucky.  I sent them to Mate for discussion, but, seriously?  It's like the dear woman read our diary.  I'm SO EXCITED I'M BUZZING!  I'm going to meet Roxie, and I already love her to death!!!  Yay!

So, like I said, we survived--and I, for one, am never going to think of Dance of the Hours with anything but fondness, for hippos and other dancing creatures:-)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Quick, look at the pretty!

Chicken, Zoomboy, and Squish all have their recital today.  Now there are going to be a thousand people working backstage and they have been working sixteen hour days for the last two weeks to make this happen, and I in no way want to minimize the effort of the mothers and volunteers and the kids themselves, but I have to say this.

Holy blessed Jebus, am I bushed.

Seriously-- between Chicken's graduation and her senior recital, plus the other kids' pressing need to do frivolous things like eat and have clean laundry and maybe not be bored out of their skulls, I have spent what feels like a week going to the store.  That's it.  Just shopping.  New leotards, new tights, new shorts for gymnastics, snacks, ice for the snack bar (it's a communal intermission snackbar-- I also bought cookies) flowers for the kids, stuffed animals for the kids snacks for my purse because the damned thing runs 4 1/2 hours and if I don't have some beef jerky in there I will be jumping the line for some goddamned cookies... just... just STUFF.  I have spent a week shopping for STUFF.  Everything from needles and thread to stitch sparkles to Chicken's costume (which took me a day) to hair pins and hair elastics and... and...

The mind boggles.

Or at least MY teeny tiny little mind boggles.

Now in the past I've done a really thoughtful post about recital, but seriously-- if you're as bored hearing about it as I am about LIVING it, I think we've had enough thoughtful posts.  Last year, I sat by myself and texted Mary in a panic.  HELP ME.  I'M BORED.  SEND PORN AND BEER.  Well, still waiting for the beer from Hawaii, but she DID pony up with the porn, (okay-- not REALLY porn... ) and in that spirit, I'm going to post some pictures of rehearsal and a whole lot of boy-pretty.  Quick!  Look at the pretty!  That way you'll forget that I've spent two weeks doing the I-live-for-my-children mom thing and have lost all pretense of a personality, job, or social life!

(Okay-- I lied a little about the social life.  Chicken and I did get to have lunch with Z.A. Maxfield and her LOVELY daughter, Zoe.  We talked about writing and children and dieting--of which she is far more successful than I.  Anyway-- okay.  So I cheated a little on my martyr-mother agenda.  Sue me.  Doesn't she look pretty in the picture?)

So here we go.  Be distracted by the pretty.  I'm gonna go watch my perfect children be beautiful in a sweaty auditorium.  This time I won't be alone btw-- all of the granny-and-auntie-come-latelies are going to be there, as well as Chicken's best friend (whom you have seen in pictures before!) Stevie.  So this is my last chance to gawk at pretty until tomorrow as well!  Enjoy!