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

Friday, April 24, 2015

Random Thoughts About Subjects of which I Know Very Little...

*  I'd like to thank the movie The Book of Life--

A. It was adorable.

B. It represented Mexican culture which not enough of mainstream American art does, and it did it in a positive way.

C. It had two flawed and yet lovable heroes and I rooted for them both. (And, yes, much like in Road to El Dorado I rooted for them both to be together, but that didn't mean the girl wasn't fun too.)

D. It made ZoomBoy love the Mumford and Son's song I Will Wait For You.  That song has some awesome poetry in it, and I don't mind listening to it ad infinitum (and I'm telling you All About That Bass got old quick) and I love the way his face lights up when it comes on.





*  You know how they're willing to build a pipeline from the Alaskan wilderness to fuck-all, so they can rape the land for more petrol?  Why can't we start a public works project to pipe the water that is about to flood the Mississippi big time (because, hello eternal fucking winter up north, right?) into California farmlands to maybe up our water table?  I'll bet if Boehner and Company stop yanking their puds with both hands, we might be able to stop TWO major environmental catastrophes for the price and pud-wanking of one.  (Someone might be able to convince me that the science here is flawed, but they'll never be able to convince me that the pud-wanking is not the source of many, many evils.)

*  Really, Oklahoma?  You want the End of Days THAT badly? Well, when it starts raining blood, frogs, and grasshoppers, we now know who to blame.  (Hint: No gay man in the world drills so far down for natural gas that it causes earthquakes. None. Not a single one. That's actual science, ya know?)

*  My friend Ro sent me chocolate and Tiffany Glass Window bookmarks.  These things feed my soul.

*  Immortal comes out in two weeks.  I ordered magnets last night, and four bags for gift baskets and…

I am SO nervous. It's funny how some books can fuck with your heart, even when there's nothing you can do to change them.

*  Speaking of? I should be done with Quickening in the next week. I'm at 182K right now, and rounding into the final 20.  Like I said the other day-- "Get outta my way kids, mama's got a fuckin' dragon to ride!"

Thursday, April 23, 2015

And Gold Medal goes to...

Hey there folks, It's Bob Talksis and Steve Whodat here-- please join us in our umpteenth straight year of the Domestic Industrial Life Duty Ordeals, also known as the Boredom Olympics or B.O. for short.  Today we're checking in on our "Car Servicing" event-- let's see how our daft-letes are doing, shall we?

You know, Bob, we've got a good group of participants today-- front and center we've got Stylish Granny, in the trendy blue flowered cardigan from Nordstrom's with the practical and yet cutting edge Comfort Stride Mary-Jane tennis shoes to round out her twinset. Her equipment of choice is the self-help book, complete with double-edged highlighter/pen combination to help her focus--ooh, this granny has got it going on and is prepared to battle boredom old school style.  Watching her should be slightly better than watching paint dry and slightly worse than watching contestant number two!

I don't know, Steve, contestant number two is Beleaguered Mom of Pre-Schoolers-- and she might just be our winner here.  Of course things have changed since they instituted the "Child's Room" and the mommies have a place to play as well as three battered legos and a wooden train to help them in their--oh! There's the "Kid's Riffling through the Donut Box" foul-- oh folks! That donut got chucked halfway across the room, that's a clear red-card violation and our Beleaguered Mom is outta there!

Oh, Bob! That's too bad, but a donut foul is a donut foul.  Perhaps the next two contestants will put on a better show.  Here we have the Two Old Guys Discussing Politics While Watching the View!  Now this should be good, because Northern California can be redneck central, so let's listen in, shall we?

Old Guy 1: Oh, look. There's Whoopie Goldberg.  I like her. Very funny. 

Old Guy 2: And she's interviewing whosits from Glee!  What a nice lady. Did you see that? She's singing!

Old Guy 1: She's got a good voice, that one. I hear she's a lesbian.

Old Guy 2: Whoopie too. Good for them.

Old Guy 1: Yeah. My granddaughter is a lesbian.

Old Guy 2: Aubergine?

Old Guy 1: Yeah. She's got a girlfriend who makes real good cookies. Tanya. Nice girls, both. Wow, look at Jane Lynch talk--she's a nice lady.

Oh, Steve--that is so disappointing.  So disappointing.

I know, Bob-- I was expecting at the very least some political incorrectness and racial slurs there--what's NorCal coming to when Two Old Guys Discussing Politics can't at least broach the topic of "Why the N-word shouldn't go out of style!"

Well, Steve, gone are the good old days when old white people could just randomly stomp on the feelings of people of color or those in the non-hetero gender spectrum for their own amusement, and some people say it's for the better.  But that's not why we're here today-- we're here to declare a winner, and as sweet and genuine as this little convo is, it is not a winner in the time-honored games of B.O..

So the next contestants here are--oh, these two are making a surprise showing, Bob!  It's Two Middle-Aged Women and a Service Dog!

Points for the service dog, Steve-- that was good thinking. Animals of any kind are good to break the boredom games, but… wait, what are they talking about? Is it cute things the pooch does on the rug? Is it dead things he's rolled in?  No. Oh dear… Steve, I'm so disappointed. They're talking about service dog paperwork. 

This is a disaster!  Oh my God, Bob!  Several onlookers are tracking drool.  Drool, Bob, drool.  The only one who should be drooling here is the dog!

Oh, man!  Steve, you realize who's left in this round don't you?

Yes I do, and it doesn't look good.

Our final contestants in this round of B.O. are none other than Ms. Amy Lane and her daughter Squish.  Now normally, Steve, given that she has no job outside of the home, you'd think Ms. Lane would be a strong contender.

I know, Bob, but she has, in fact, several writing deadlines to chase, so her mind will probably not be in the game.  At this point she's only got a couple of things going for her-- her yarn bag, her phone, and her daughter, Squish, who stayed home today because her tummy was not completely healed.

You know, Steve, Ms. Lane says that, but given that this woman once one these games by building a structure out of donuts and splenda packets, I think that's a likely story coming from this wily former champion.

Well, age dulls even the best of us, Bob, and Ms. Lane freely admits, she was never the best of us. But look-- she is starting out well by bringing in the knitting.  That's very canny on her part-- she always complains that she has no time to knit, and this activity should keep her from being bored for quite some time.

Well, yes, Steve, but usually the knitting is in conjunction with at least two other forms of stimuli-- the television, music, a book, a rousing game of Words-With-Friends?  Today we have only…

The View. Yes, Bob--that was a stunning handicap given to our contestants--it almost constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.  But look! Lane seems interested in the Jane Lynch segment, so that's points in her favor.

Oh yes, Steve--and now she's showing Squish how to make hot chocolate the super fattening way with extra hazelnut creamer.  Oh! And it's too hot! That should provide at least twenty minutes of entertainment!

Oh, Ms. Lane is a canny contender.  She's alternating the knitting with use of her phone--FB, Twitter, she's got it all--but why isn't she using the Kindle ap?

Oh, Steve-- I think it's the Squish factor. See? She needs to periodically check on Squish--and, you know, with the ADHD, too much silence is not a good thing.  Yes, yes, the sporadic conversation with Squish may just save this contestant. See?  There she's nagging about hygiene, there she's asking about Pokemon, and oh! Look! She just cracked a joke and made her daughter laugh!

Bob, I think it's clear--unless this car servicing gig goes an hour overtime and Ms. Lane completely loses her nut, we do have a winner in the time honored games of B.O.!

(Alas, the games did go into overtime, and I'm pretty sure the two sweet old guys reading the funnies won.  However, mom got home and her yarn delivery as well as her chocolate delivery from her beloved Ro had arrived, and Squish and mom had a very nice afternoon :-)




Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Stages of Salt-Mining

Vulnerable--1st book
Anyone who has ever worked on a long-term project can tell you that there's a couple of stages:

1-- *WHEEE!!!*  I'm writing a book (or painting a mural or sculpting something out of marble or writing a symphony or whatever your artistic heart embraces) and it's gonna be great and I've got all the time and all the enthusiasm in the world!

2--*pushes up sleeves*  Okay, this is where things get tricky! C'mon, let's fuckin' craft!

3--*swallows grimly and takes another hit of coffee*  I've done this. I've done this. This is a walk in the park. I can totally get this done.

Wounded Vol 1
4--*whimpers* *nods with trembling lip*  Again? I have to go back again? Just… just a little. If I write/paint/orchestrate just a little today, I shall claim the rest of the day in the name of having a fucking life!

5--*openly sobs* It's just so looooooonnnngg…. I'll be working on this until I daaaaeeeeeeee…. I will never have another project… they'll inscribe this shitty magnum albatross on my fucking tooooooooommmmbb….

6--*crazy eyes*  Oh hell! What did I forget? There's a thing wrong, a thing I missed, a big thing, a thing that will make or break the entire project, where does the thing go, where should I put the thing, oh my God there's more than one thing! I must find the thing/put the thing/fix the thing/ add the thing THIS POJECT WILL STAND OR FAIL ALL ON THE WEIGHT OF ONE FUCKING THING!!!

7--*hysterical laughter*  It doesn't matter. It just doesn't fucking matter! I shall write/paint/craft/orchestrate what-the-fuck-ever because it just. doesn't. matter. *moar maniacal cackling*

8--*looks up from pile of giggling/sobbing hysteria*  Oh. Oh damn. I see… can you see it?  Is there fucking light at the end of the tunnel?

9--*exhausted but focused*  I can see it. I can see the light! I SHALL GET TO THE END OF THE TUNNEL! I SHALL GET TO THE LIGHT! Don't fuckin' bother me kids, I'm riding the fuckin' dragon, I can see the goddamned motherfuckin' LIGHT!

10--*looks around in wonder*  Oh, this is the light. It's, uhm… well, I need to edit. But, well, light.  Light's good.  Light is like having a life. I may get six hours of sleep tonight-- that's swell.

11--*tries to scratch itch between shoulder blades that no regular human on earth can get*  Okay, that project is all very well and good, and we are done with it and in the editing stages, but… but… but…

WHAT SHALL I WORK ON NEXT?

So. For those of you wondering where I am right now as I finish Quickening, the fifth book in The Little Goddess series?

I'm on stage 9.

(Also-- this post relates directly to Immortal because our man Teyth gets stuck on stage nine… and it's a really dangerous time for an artist. It's when we lose ourselves.)




Tuesday, April 21, 2015

You know that youtube video...

… where the guy is on a bicycle and it's going full speed and then a stick gets stuck in the spokes?

So there I am, thinking, "Dropping kids off at school, going to Weight Watchers, taking car in for maintenance, picking kids up early for dentist appointment, getting them home in time for Zoomboy's dance lessons, getting food for dinner, and then coming home to write…"

That's me. ON a bicycle… see me zoom?

Then Squish: Mom… my stomach doesn't feel good. At all.

That's me. Getting a stick in my spoke and going end over end over end.

So, instead of going ZZOOOOOOOMMMMM through my day, I'm home writing while Squish watches Bob's Burgers.

I bought a fuckton of ginger ale after dropping ZB off at school, as well as a thermometer and a Hello Kitty stuffed toy, because tradition dictates small toy comes with sick day. Just does.

So, Squish is recovering from the stomach flu-- I hope, and me?

I'm still on my back on that figurative street, gazing at the sky and trying to formulate a plan for getting back on the bike.

And here's a mugshot of Squish (seriously-- could she look any sicker, or any more like a wild-haired goddess bent on vengeance?) along with my writer copy of Immortal. The book is beautiful, and Squish is too-- but she's actually more beautiful when she feels better.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Adding to the family legend...

Squish, just hours before making family history.
So, what happened this weekend was, as we told Squish, the second best family vomit story ever.

Or so I thought.

Because when I went to find the blog post to the FIRST BEST family vomit story ever, I found THIS POST  which highlights the ORIGINAL family vomit story (the honeymoon vomit story) and I didn't even GET to the time that Squish threw up on the dog.

But this one was still pretty epic.

So, we went out to the movies and saw Monkey Kingdom (yes, as I predicted, some monkey died) and then went out to lunch with Mate's mom (who is an incredibly lovely woman whom I give thanks for every day).  While at lunch, we noticed Squish didn't eat much. "You okay Squish?" "Yeah, just not in the mood."

We stopped at McDonald's for iced coffee/dessert on the way back, and then Mate, in a fit of whimsy, decided to take the long assed way home with a stop at Great Clips for the entire family.  (Fit. Of. Whimsy. I wanted a nap before taking Squish to her friend's house--do NOT ask me how this happened.)

So, got hair cut.

I went last, because it took the longest.  My hair had gotten pretty long, and the bottom was pretty fried between hair dye, pool chlorine, and old layers grown out, so I got it bobbed to my shoulders, and that takes a while.  Squish, Zoomboy, and Mate were all sitting in the lobby, waiting for me, when the following happened (as reported by Mate):

Squish turned away from Mate and held her hands to her mouth.  Zoomboy said, "Squish, did you just throw up?"

Mate said "THROW UP?" (Witness previous stories, vomit is his achilles heel. He does not do vomit, barf, or puke in any form.)

BLARFGH!!

"Oh, Squish, do you want to go out--"

BLARFGH!!

"Okay, here, let me get a trashc--"

BLARFGH!!!

"Let's just go to the bathroom."

Which is when I caught on, because they went hurtling back behind me to the bathroom.  The stylist had LITERALLY just finished the last snip of my hair when I stood up and stripped off the cloak and started running for the bathroom.  The poor woman was trying to blow the last bits of hair clippings off my neck as I ran.  Because, as I've said before, Mate doesn't DO vomit, and now he was stuck in the bathroom of Great Clips with a vomiting child and that could be all that was bad.

So I ran in there and sort of took over, and Mate ran outside to pay ("Make sure you tip really well!" "Oh my God YES!")

And Squish threw up a couple more times and we wiped off the front of her dress and calmed her down and made sure she'd be okay to get in the car.  She ended up wearing my gym clothes home because they were better than her poor dress that had been taken out.

We still don't know what set her off-- if it was something she ate or a bug going around--but she threw up again that night after I tried to feed her basic bread, and spent the next day in her night gown, mooching about and eating not much.  But I do know this.

A. The lobby of Great Clips was WIPED OUT. There were two women with gloves and sanitizer spraying down the place, but she pretty much took out the entire rug. We felt SO BAD-- Mate kept offering to help clean, which is a measure of both his greatness and our complete and total guilt for bringing this barfing child into their business.

B. On the way home, Mate and I started to discuss whether this vomit story had taken over the Zoomboy vomit story linked above, and in the middle of the discussion he rolled down the window and stuck his head out so he didn't lose his cookies.  I actually gave him one of the little plastic bags we use for dog poop, in case he had to blow chunks.  Remember, folks, he was driving.  The man does not do vomit--but he's pretty great at heroic efforts, I will give him that.

So there you go. Adding to the family legend, we now have Squish, blowing chunks all over Great Clips-- and Mate and I, asking ourselves if we can ever go there again.  (I really hope we can--she cut my hair REALLY WELL.)





And Immortal--

Coming out May 8th still, don't forget folks!



And the Pushback-- still going on at Diverse Readers-- Go enter now!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

LGBTQ Pushback












So, for those of you who haven't heard of Memories Pizza, don't push that link.  It will only fucking depress you about the state of mankind and puckered evil white men who turn bigotry into law. If you want a slightly more optimistic version, press THIS link, because that gives the silver lining version, and that's always nice, and that's what I'm here to talk about.

The folks over at Diverse Reader  have decided to do something about the crowd-funding for bigotry, something positive, and I'm on board to help.

If you go to Diverse Reader you will find a rafflecopter for their giveaway, and links for THESE THREE CHARITIES: #Pizza4EqualityIndiana Youth Group and  Planting Peace.  All three of these charities are ways to push back against that act of hate by raising money for LGBTQ homeless charities.  

Now, the way this is supposed to work is that you donate the cost of a book-- $5.00-- to one of these charities, or ANY LGBTQ charity, and then comment on Diverse Reader and tell me -- and leave your e-mail or some way to contact you.  On May 1st, they'll match a reader(s) to me, and tell me who to send the book too. Now, notice I added an "s".  If there are enough entries, I'll add another e-book to the giveaway.  Be sure to add a way to contact you in the comments, okay?

Now the charities for Homeless Youth are particularly dear to my heart.  Having four "yutes" of my own, the idea of kicking a kid out of the house for something like a kiss (or sexual activity or a joint behind the bleachers, or anything short of criminal activity, really) is terrible and terrifying. It's a violation of everything I know as a parent to abandon your children for what should be a natural part of growing up--and one of the worst evils I know.  So if you have another charity-- the Ali Forney center, your own home homeless shelter or LGBTQ youth center-- let us know in the comments, and link us if you can.  

I'll re-posting the winners here when I find out who they are, be sure to check the blog on that date.  We're working on the honor system here, and my readers are some of the most honorable people I know, so I'm not sweating it-- thank you for all you do.

#ETA-- okay, folks, my original directions were not quite accurate-- I've amended them since so you may want to recheck them, okay?




Friday, April 17, 2015

Dear Diary, Today I Learned...

--Note: I will be participating in the LGBTQ Push Back fundraiser starting tomorrow. More details then-- the link wasn't live as I sat down to blog today.

Dear Diary,

Today I learned…

*  If you are participating in a blog-something and the link isn't live, just blog anyway. Pushing the link repeatedly will not make computer "go" any more than pushing the elevator button will make elevator "go".  You can always blog tomorrow.

* If Mate is taking kids to school to give you chance to sleep in, GO BACK TO SLEEP. Otherwise, older son will monopolize your time and make you take him to the bus stop for work.

*  If you choose not to do aqua because of bleeding through everything Goddess gave you to stem the flow reasons, Goddess will find a way to make this time unproductive for you because she is a spiteful bitch sometimes, and you can tell her I said that.

*  There is nothing like getting rerouted around the INTERSECTION TO ALL THE THINGS IN YOUR TOWN because a semi going the wrong way down the road took out a powerline pole to put a shitty day into perspective. Nobody died in the making of this shitty day. Many thanks for motherfucking mercies.

*  If the only thing keeping you sane as you crawl through ALL THE FUCKING TRAFFIC is the thought of a Starbucks sugar cookie, the odds are very very very good they will be out of sugar cookies, and you will be forced to make due with brownies, which are not really your favorite. Crying on the Starbucks barista only confuses him. Ask me how I know this.

*  Yes, I really did cry. Not my finest moment, no.

*  If you leave the house without pads because you are going to stop and buy supplies on the way, that is like tempting the Goddess to put you in traffic for two hours, ensuring that you will be bleeding through ALL THE FUCKING THINGS as you stand in line with feminine protection and four pounds of chocolate.

*  If you are standing in line at the pharmacy with feminine protection and four pounds of fucking chocolate, bleeding, that is an invitation to the Goddess to make you sales clerk especially sweet, chatty, and excited about getting you to sign up for a discount for a pharmacy you only end up going to when you've been crawling around in traffic for two hours unexpectedly and don't want to go to the other pharmacy where you HAVE the savings plan.

*  If you keep your cool and smile through this, you really have earned all the fucking chocolate.

*  If you are running through the house holding your soiled clothes in one hand and wearing nothing but a T-shirt and underwear, don't step on the towel that has lain crumpled in the hallway for two days. Odds are good the dogs used your absence to shit on it.

*  As you are hopping to the bathroom, should you stop to grab a towel, make sure it's not from the time bomb cupboard. You know, the time bomb cupboard? The one that explodes when your day has gone to hell and you have dog shit on your foot and you need to sit down or you'll cry?

That cupboard.

It will explode.  It did explode. I cleaned the dog shit up first, then I did the laundry, then I put on the shorts, then I sat down and cried on a friend (thank you Vicki!) then repacked the time bomb cupboard. I found two bags of Bath and Body Works soap and lotion when I was cleaning up. Did I mention the many thanks for motherfucking mercies? I was going to BUY some more of that shit because I thought we were out.

Thank you, time bomb cupboard, because I couldn't have found that out on a day when I was wandering through the house looking for a distraction for a book that wouldn't go.

*  If you have an hour before you have to pick the kids up and you are tired and tearful and spazzing out? Learn your lesson and use it to nap.

Goddess knows what horrors will await you if you don't get your nap in when you should.

Peace out, diary.  Last time I took a nap, I had a dream that a naked, kelp-green carnivorous elf with pointed teeth was cleaning my toilet and eyeing my dog like a snack.  I'll let you know if that dream is recurring or if, you know, this day has been nightmare enough.

Amy



Thursday, April 16, 2015

Period...

I eat you now, k? - lolcats.com

So, there's a chapter in Rampant in which Cory is at school on a beautiful spring day, and she's miserable…

She has allergies, she's at odds with Bracken, and she's on her period.

Yeah, that.

On the one hand, thank fuck, because I was becoming an emo crap sack, and I mean that in the most frustrated possible way. "Aw, isn't the dog cute? Excuse me while I SOB because she is too stupid to live and she's not long for this world!"  (People say they want to know what it's like inside my head. No they don't. They really don't.)  And my usual MO is to start JUST as the plane is leaving the ground on the way to some place I need to be as bright and charming as possible. (See the "emo crap sack" comment, because I think you'll note the contradiction there.)  I literally OWE people (and they are NOT letting me off the hook for this) because I jumpstarted like four women at one conference. There's no making up for that, and I'm just as glad I don't have to this time round. LIke I said, thank fuck.

On the other hand? I would plough over my own offspring for a chocolate bar. I got convulsions of mouth watering want just writing that.

The only good news is, its an excuse to stay in from aqua tomorrow and write, and this is good news because I'm so close to being done with this book I can taste it. And the really good news is that, while I get to relive that scene from Rampant right now, I never have to relive the whole pregnancy thing from Quickening ever again.

This makes me so happy right now I could--quite literally-- cry.

Or rip your face off… I'm saying. You know. Beware and shit. Adorable Amy is down for the count, it's time to rip some heads, eat some chocolate and sleep like a mob boss-- with a knife under my pillow and no hesitations about using it.
Oh!  I bought postcards and some magnets for Immortal when I'm in RT.

That cover is just… Mmm…

Happiest swag buy EVER!



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Trouble...

 Someone posted the comic on my FB page… and I loved it so much I looked it up on Pinterest and sent it to all my friends.

But I swear, I don't really do that.

Honest.

And it's been sort of a stressful couple of days… week.  Okay, stressful week.  How stressful?  Witness the following conversation:

Mate: Oh look, the school is having a clothing drive!

Me:  HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME!!!!!!! *sob* *wail* *self-destruct*

I'm not even exaggerating… but let's do put it into context.  I'd just spent the last hour telling him about all the stuff I had to do in the next month. And then he showed me something that would require extra effort to do, that I knew I SHOULD do--i.e., the clothing drive. Now, point of fact, Mate had no expectation that I would participate-- he was just impressed with the kids' school-- they're very proactive.

But what it turned into was I HAVE TO DO ALL THE FUCKING THINGS RIGHT NOW!!!!!

He did not know this.

He thought it was a flier for a clothing drive.  Poor, poor Mate.  Now he is aware.

So this morning, right after I dropped Big T off at the bus stop, Squish, sitting in the back of the car, wrinkled her nose.  "What's that?" she asked.  We both said, "Zoomboy…"

"What! I didn't do it! I haven't farted since this morning!"

"Oh. I guess your older brother left us a parting gift as he left the car."

You would have thought I'd just delivered Dress to Kill, they laughed so hard.  And the dogs just looked puzzled, because they thought the smell was DELICIOUS, just like the kitty roca they'd been trying to steal all yesterday.  I need rose perfume just writing that. LIke, STAT...

And I shall leave you with this picture of the terrible two. Yes, they're trouble…


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Like a Whole New Me...


 Do you like it?

I LOVE it!

Adore it!

Want to use it everywhere-- and I WILL!  I will put it EVERYWHERE!  It shall take over the world--
MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…

Okay… I may be a little bit sleep deprived.

Just a tad.

But Reese Dante just sent me my new artwork for my logo and my banners and my WHOLE NEW ME!

You will see this logo-- or variations of it, or the new profile pic--around the internet.  In fact, you may even be seeing a new internet-- or at least a new website therein-- but that's in a couple of months, when Quickening is finished (like, a matter of weeks now) and RT is under my belt, and I can breathe.

But right now, I'm just giddy with the whole new me!

Do you like it?  Do you see the purple for Alternative Universe, and the orange for Dark Angst and the lemon yellow for Adorable Amy?

Do you like the tagline?  Not just Angst and Pain, Amy Lane anymore-- nope. Chose which Amy you want! Do you want the happy? Do you want the dark alternative universe? Do you want the serious contemporary dramas?

I am ALL THAT IS THE AMY!  (*cue more evil laughter here*  Can you tell I'm a wee bit sleep deprived?  Just a wee bit. A tad.)

But seriously-- when I spoke about intense conversations about marketing and listening to the people who know more than I do (aherm… Poppy Dennison, Damon Suede, Reese Dante, Mary Calmes--yes, you…) this is part of the result.  There is more to come-- I mean, can't remake my image overnight, but this is a good start.

Now some people are going to miss the dragons-- and, yes, I am one.  But, the plan for the new website (and I'm getting there--been BUSY!) is to have a page of "Amy Quirks"-- everything from the dragon logos to turtle sex to adorable alpacas will be there, with an explanation, of course, so people can get the "Amy in-jokes".  I mean, I've had sort of a social media presence for a while (some of that time has been classier than the other of that time, so we shall keep that. Yes. Turtle sex is classy compared to other stuff.  Just don't even ask) so I'm not going to ditch it all.

Just going to make it easier to find!

So isn't it lovely?  Look for it on all your fine Amy places-- Facebook, Twitter, my website, swag, business cards…

I'm just so excited!  WHEEEEEEEE!!!!

And now to nap.






Okay-- so I'm still damned excited about Immortal-- in fact, so excited I want to offer another excerpt.  Enjoy!

I laid my head on the table, looking around me. That quickly, with a full belly, I fell asleep.

I do not know how long I stayed, but I awakened to voices and the thumps of boots on the floorboards.

“’Ere ’e is,” boomed the smith, Cairsten. “Paid all tha’ money for the scamp, and he’s sleeping on our kitchen table!”

I dragged myself awake by the eyelids, as it were, and tried a sleepy scowl in the direction o’ that great, booming voice.

“Sorry,” I mumbled. “Were I to start?”

“Not much to start, lad,” Cairsten said kindly, throwing his barrel-built, muscular body into a wooden chair that looked like it were built o’ four-by-fours and halves o’ trees, but that creaked with the fierce weight o’ his body. “We were closing down for the day. Any jobs that come in can be waiting for the early morning and don’t need doing now.”

“Do ye always work so early, then?” I asked hesitantly, because it seemed a strange way to do business.

“It grows too hot in the forge in the summertime,” Diarmuid supplied. He rooted through the cabinets as he spoke, assembling, I figured, the contents o’ our evening meal. “We get used to the early hours so we can run the forge before the full heat o’ day. But in the winter, when the sun comes later, we get up later, and the forge keeps us warm after last night’s embers die.”

I smiled a little, liking the simplicity of it. “Aye,” I acknowledged. I remembering finger-aching cold and being rousted from me bed to fetch water, and this seemed a better way.

“Yer not asking about today, then?” Cairsten asked, a slight smile under his dark hair.

“Yer gonna show me my chores,” I said knowledgeably. Funny how I thought I knew so much when in fact I knew nothing, not even the shape o’ the darkness.

Cairsten laughed, a great booming noise that shook the paned windows in their frames. “Nay, boy—not on yer first day. We’ll tame ye all right, but first we gots to bathe ye.”

I wrinkled my nose at him. “A bath? But there’s no holy day tomorrow!”

Diarmuid grunted. “I told ye,” he said, disgusted, and Cairsten shook his head in response.

“Tha’ ye did, but I were thinking good on the—”

“Don’t,” Diarmuid snapped. “Don’t ever ye think good on him.” Diarmuid cast me a veiled glance. 
“Not tha’ one. He dinna deserve nobbut!”

“Aye, aye,” Cairsten acknowledged, holding his hand up to forestall what looked like a flash of Diarmuid’s temper. “I hear ye.” He turned his attention back to me. “We’ll start with a bath, boy, and move on to putting sheets on yer bed, showing ye letters, finding ye clothes. I think Diarmuid’s old things might fit ye fine, and we’ll need a good suit o’ yer own. Did ye not have that at yer cottage?”

I shook my head and looked at the brown-and-gray stained jerkin and breeches I were wearing. “Is all I have,” I said, embarrassed.

“Well, now ye have more,” Diarmuid said with decision. “Bath first.”

They worked as a team, as they did out at the forge. The smith went and fetched the tub while Diarmuid pumped water, first into a pot to boil, and then into bucket after bucket that he dumped into the tub. There were steam rising from the surface before they had me strip naked and step into the tub itself.

Cairsten picked up my clothes using a pair of forge tongs. “I’ll just... just see to these,” he said grimly, and I watched him go, feeling dismal and half-drowned and sorry for myself.

“Me knife,” I said, thinking of the blade in my pocket. It weren’t really a knife, but it had kept me safe from Kump that one night, and all the kindness in the world couldn’t set my mind at ease regarding the bald, barrel-chested, black-bearded smith.

“Ye need a knife?” Diarmuid asked, pressing a piece o’ lye soap and cloth in my hands.

“I.... It were handy,” I said, trying for dignity. “What’s this for?”

“Rub the soap on the cloth, and rub the cloth....” Diarmuid grimaced. “Everywhere.”

I gazed at him blankly. “Everywhere?”

“In yer hair ’til it’s soaked, then under yer arms, between yer legs, behind yer knees, on yer manhood—everywhere.”

The water were already making me flush, or I might’ve flushed all on my own. “Are ye watching to make sure I do?”

Diarmuid grimaced. “I’ll turn me back if ye wash the crease o’ yer arse and everything in there.”

“Why?” I asked boldly, but I were already doing it. His back were broad and stoic. He didn’t seem interested in touching me, and, well, he’d fed me. Small boys are animal, feral—feed them, give them safety, they’ll curl at yer feet and never sniff another soul. I were no exception.

“Ye smell,” he said frankly. “We have to live with ye. Would be good not to smell ye, day in, day out.”

“Excuse me—”

“And ye get sores if ye dinna wash!” He must have felt uncomfortable, because his voice were thickening with that forest accent again.

I looked at my arms and realized he were right. I already had them from the stiff edges of the coarse, chafing fabric.

“They sting in the water,” I told him, as though this had just occurred to me. Well, maybe it had.

He turned and caught my eyes. “Next bath, after living in clean clothes, they willna sting so much. The next one, they’ll be near to gone.”

“How do ye know?” I asked. Aye, I were but a child—but it were occurring to me, looking at me thin limbs, me shins covered in sores from me ragged trousers, that I weren’t much good to these two great, brawny men who could make good porridge and hammer metal and bend it to their will. How could I earn my keep here, where I might have eggs for breakfast one day?

“I were the same when Cairsten found me, only covered in blood to boot. He were taking a fixed wagon to a thatcher’s cottage in the woods. He found me there. I were nobbut four or five.”

“How’d ye get there?” I asked, intrigued in spite o’ myself.

“I dinna know,” Diarmuid said, shivering. “I knew me name, and I kept pointing deeper into the forest. Cairsten said... well, he said he felt summat wrong that direction. He took me with him, cared for me. Were father to me. ’E’s a good man, Teyth. Ye’ll see.”

I scrubbed myself, careful o’ me sores, and thought on it. “I willna be no trouble,” I said after a moment. “I don’t need no raising. I can make porridge fine, haul water, herd chickens and pigs, sweep hearth....” I looked around me uncertainly. There were no chickens or pigs as far as I could see, and Diarmuid had made a better porridge than ever I could. “I....” I bit my lip. Now that some of the grime had been stripped away, I could smell the lack of the smell I’d worn on my skin. “I... would rather not go back,” I said baldly, thinking sadly on Mum. I were an evil boy—Kump had always said so. Mum had begun to agree with him at the end there. And now I’d just gone and proved them both right by turning my back on them.

“Well, we’ll find things for ye ter do,” Diarmuid said, and again I were reassured. It were wise o’ him, I thought later. He didn’t say I could stay right off, although that were what he and Cairsten probably planned the minute they looked at me. He said they’d find things for me to do. Right there, he’d known about me, about the heart o’ me.


He’d known I’d want to make a place, want to grasp a thing that were mine between my fingers and never let go.