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

Monday, July 27, 2015

Homeward Bound!

So, tomorrow is a travel day, and you won't hear much from me.

Today was a series of quick errands--starting with Grand Central Station to fix Mate's phone-- and after that, some walking around, some failed stores, and some good conversation with Damon.

And some takeout in the hotel, and some television, and some sleeping.

And some of both of us looking at each other over meals, and saying, "You know what? We miss the kids. We miss the stupid dogs. We miss our jobs and we miss home."

Lucky me, I get to go back tomorrow, but Mate is going to visit family and then coming back on Thursday.

I'm so glad for him-- usually when I come home, he's there waiting for me.  This time, I get to wait for him.

And then we'll both be back home.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Wait… I didn't win?

No-- no I didn't.

And in spite of my daughter's attempts to cheer me up with Leonardio diCaprio .gifs -- I'm fine.  (The Leo diCaprio thing was hilarious by the way.)

Seriously-- when Damon Suede heard who won, he was like, "Oh, honey-- I had no idea that's who you were up against."  Tessa Dare won-- the incomparable Tessa Dare--and if she hadn't won, well, Elizabeth Hoyt was right after her.

Yeah, folks-- I was playing with giants. I'm pleased to have not been squashed like Bambi.

And since I wasn't basing my entire notion of self-worth on the award (but I admit the nomination did give that a bit of a bump!) I could enjoy the fineness of the night.

Sarah, my editor, looks astounding, and my Mate and I look pretty good--and he was there, by my side the entire time.

I mean… my Mate was there the entire time.

Don't I write love stories? Isn't the purpose of love stories to show that two people in love are worth any number of worldly recognition?

It is to me.

Today, Mate and I went to see the Statue of Liberty and then to see a play. (Hand of  God-- hilarious and terrible and painful and thought provoking.)

I was a little tired and a little quiet, because hey, it was a big week!  But I was with my Mate, and we were having a good time.

And I am still in love.  And I'm pretty sure he is too.  And one successful love story trumps a minor loss of worldly recognition.

It's been a wonderful trip.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Such Great Heights...

The reception was held on
the 43rd floor. This is me,
looking from such great heights.
The thing about the nomination that I did not expect, was that it really was like winning the statue.

I honestly don't expect to hear my name called tomorrow.

I stood in a room today of amazing, beautiful, some shy, some self-assured, brilliant, practical, dreamy women, and had an enormous epiphany of "I'm not worthy."

Or maybe it was more, "Oh dear heavens, they are ALL worthy!"

Or maybe it was, "I'm a teeny little star in the sky-- but look! I'm a twinkling damned star!"

Heidi Cullinan, Lynda Aicher and I--the three M/M writers
who were nominated in different categories for the RITA.
Our grand "cabal of 3" as Heidi called it :-)
I don't know. I know a lot of people have congratulated me in the last three days, and every time they do, I feel like there's someone else behind me.

I also know that I got to congratulate Sonali Dev today, who wrote A Bollywood Affair, and I told her that when I taught high school many of my East Indian students would say, "But there's nothing in the library for me."  Even though I no longer taught school, I was so glad there was something in the library for them, something award winning and happy.

Mate and I went out to dinner after the reception.
He loves this place: "Great food, good music, and
they're playing Cartoon Network in the background."
I love Mate.
Tonight, I was walking through lobby-con, and I saw Sonali again-- I had Mate by my side, and I introduced him, and she glowed at me. "My husband is coming tomorrow, and my best friend flew down from Chicago tonight. Isn't that insane?  I have already won!"

And right there I found my RITA equilibrium.

My best friend may be here for me in spirit, but my Mate is here, and I have people in my corner. Just like Sonali, I have already won.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mate takes Manhattan

Okay-- I saw great things today, and talked to great people as always, but, as you have all probably noticed, my heart lies with my family, and my Mate.

So, Mate flew in to see me wear the pretty dress (which he brought!) and to sit with me at the RITA's, and you know what? Everybody who met him thought he was the world's best spouse. I could have told them that, but something about having him show up and hang out in the Marriott overlooking Times Square did all my talking for me.

So he arrived, Rayna and I took him across the street to Junior's, and then I took him on a walk. We saw Times Square proper, Broadway, and Rockefeller Center--and he was charmed.

Tired, but charmed.

So yes-- writing business was done and great conversations were had-- but I'm going to leave you with Mate.

Best. Mate. Ever.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

NY 1

(Thanks Rayna!)
So, I got in yesterday, and it's funny-- I assumed I'd be getting in around one and then I'd have the rest of the day. Sure I'd be tired, yeah, but so? I've been tired before.

A. My red-eye flight was NOT non-stop, so, for the record, waking up at 3 am my time to change planes was THE. WORST.

B. My stomach was all messed up-- I did not eat during the layover, and I did not eat when I got off the plane.

C. Which meant that, when the shuttle took 3 1/2 hours to get me from the airport to Times Square, by the time I got here, I hadn't eaten in 17 hours.

I was chalk white, near tears, and loopy as a fuckin' goose.

Lovely Poppy
Poppy, bless her (and looking gorgeous today in her signature colors! <3 and="" arrived="" at="" by="" check="" concierge="" could="" done="" eat.="" elisabeth="" ever="" face="" food="" for="" gracious="" had="" i="" in.="" in="" look="" me="" meet="" my="" one="" p="" park="" poppy="" roommate="" she="" staab="" stuff="" the="" time="" to="" took="" waiting="" was="" we="">
Small breakfast!
I've got to tell you, we went downstairs for a bit-- I honestly can't remember why-- and when we came back up it was 8 p.m..

And I was so tired from the flight and the blood sugar crash that I went to bed and slept until six in the morning.  Yeah, I woke up to text people-- including Mate to say I couldn't talk--but I was just wrecked. Between the flight and the blood sugar, I flat out couldn't deal, and fighting sleep was not gonna be a thing.

Rayna & Elisabeth
But that was okay-- I woke up this morning, bright and chipper, and Elizabeth, Rayna and I made plans to go see the memorial. It was a lovely day for it, not too hot, and by the time we'd finished talking about our 9/11 memories, we weren't up to the museum.  We went to find a bathroom and a cold drink instead, and ended up in Barnes & Nobles, where Elisabeth and I made a fatal mistake:
Pretty, solemn day

We snacked.

As in, we ate a small item, not quite a meal, and decided to eat later.

Not reckoning on the book signing that started at 5:30.  (The book signing was exciting btw-- I got a RITA Flag-- and Rayna made me a meme!)

So, we were okay going IN to the book signing, but by the time we got OUT, we were starving.

(Kate and Heidi
Which is how we ended up at Junior's, with Kate MacMurray and Rayna Vause, and huge appetites.
Thanks, Volunteer

And afterwards, we went to hang at the bar ;-)

So, good couple of days-- tomorrow, I go to some classes, talk to some folks, and hopefully have a really good time.

I know that today was pretty damned awesome.

Monday, July 20, 2015

I'll take blind panic for $500...

Okay, so a month ago, I picked out my dress for the RITA ceremony online.

It took me weeks. 

I mean weeks. I was trying to match my editor's dress (which is stunning, because she is stunning) and trying to pick something that didn't make me too… uhm… large.

And I thought I found a dress.

It wasn't going to arrive for a month-- but I could deal with that-- it would arrive the week before I left, and I'd be good.

As you could probably guess by my last post, not only did it not arrive, but thank you, PayPal, the order was CANCELLED, and I was fucked. 

I know that the last time I went to the national RWA conference, I was, well, a little intimidated by how well, uh, everybody dressed.  Yes, I said it. I felt like a big, tank-wearing, capri-sporting slob. So, yesterday, as I hauled my family through the 102 degree heat, I had a revelation. Btw--don't ask how we all ended up going-- I think it had to do with the Minion movie and trying to catch the early show, and somehow there came a point where Mate and I both screamed FOOD in tandem, and well, five different stores for me and a new pair of shoes for Mate and kids who were SO ready to be bribed with fro-yo, and that's all she wrote.

But back to my revelation.

Yes, I was freaked out by omg wtf am I going to wear, and holy HELL how did I get all these clothes and not know if I could wear them or not, and JESUS do I even look good in them?  Also-- the purple paisley thing from two RT's ago seems to have dropped off the fucking continental divide. I'm not even sure if it looked as good as I thought it did, but I have to admit: I miss it. There, I said it. I miss that fucking dress/tunic, even if it's just to say, "No, you body-odor-sucking polyester nightmare, I have moved beyond you now so piss off!"

And… the revelation.

I'm not just freaked out by going back to RT as the tank-top wearing, capri-pants sporting, M/M chip-on-my-shoulder nightmare that I'm sure I was two years ago.

I'm freaked out because one of the things that I almost lost (but didn't-- thank you Mate!) was a little teeny pewter pin, that's just so lovely I can almost cry.  It's my RITA pin, and it goes on my lanyard, and it says to everybody, "See this person you've never heard of, with the book that would get run over by a tractor trailer in most book pitches and then killed with fire?  She's a RITA nominee!"

Oh, holy God.

I'm going to be a princess.

Now see, I've spent my entire adult life absolutely sure that I did not get to be the princess. I mean, I never even imagined being the runner up princess. I was always the servant girl who helped the princess get her shoes and her prince and got to celebrate in the riches of the kingdom.

Being prepared to be the servant girl, I have to admit:  I don't have the shoes to be the princess.

There, I've said it. There is no dress I can wear, no shoes I can buy, no hair product I can invest in that will make me live up to being the princess.  Since Mum first put cloth diapers on my bum, I have been knocking shit over with my ass and then doing the touch-your-toes-look-at-my-keester stretch to pick them up.

I have no finesse, no party wit, and no elegance, grace or style.

And unless the expedited shipping that I paid an embarrassing amount of money for pans out, I'm going to have a dress I've already worn, and have already packed again because I am taking no chances.

So, you'd think I'd still be in a blind panic, right?  Because my dress is arriving tomorrow and I'm getting on a plane at 12:05 am?

But something happened yesterday as I nearly came unglued.  (Mate kept asking if I cried on all the sales clerks in the Sacramento area as they told me that no large-sized fashion stores in the area  carried evening wear in July, and I had to admit that yes, yes I had. And one woman offered me a summer dress with a cardigan, and I, who once wore a muumuu as evening wear because it was all I had, almost ripped her face off.)

I made that revelation, had that epiphany that no dress/make-up/hair-dye whatever was going to make me any different than the woman who types stories in her disastrous kitchen with dogs jumping on her knees, and calmed the fuck down.

Of course, a lovely text convo with first Mary and then Damon helped me pull my shit back in a sack, but in order to calm down enough to even ask them how to calm down, I had to remember something really important.

And I can't remember what it was now, because yes.

I'm still in a blind panic.

Oh, wait!

Yes. My kids thought that pin was damned cute-- they did. But they didn't think it made me any less liable for dinner, or any less horrible for making them stay home from San Diego while they were forced to babysit, or any less of a deserter for leaving them for a week.

I can do my best professionally and personally, but every princess is still the serving girl in the kitchen the next morning.

It's what princesses do best.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Good News/Bad News

Squish and I show off our pretty nails.
Good News: I have my confidence building mani/pedi accomplished!

Bad News: In a confidence destroying move by fate, my dress will not be delivered in time, and I need to go shopping tomorrow.

Good News: The kids and I had a big day today, filled with swimming, mani/pedis, purchasing of hair dye, and a little surreptitious yarn purchasing.

Bad News: I tired myself out-- and I'm already late on a deadline.

Good News: I managed to put off getting a pedicure for my son by asking him if he was ready to have pink toenails.

Bad News: He figured out that there were OTHER colors we can paint his toes, and I think I don't get off the hook next time.  Poor pedicurist.  He's got big, bony feet, too.

Good News:  It's been 100 degrees here, and not above.

Bad News: I think our outside refrigerator is broken. Crap.

Good News: We bought a tiny pool for our small dogs!

Bad News: They think we bought it to torture them.

Good News: I did laundry today.

Bad News: I should have done way the hell more.

Good News: Knitting was accomplished.

Bad News: Still haven't used up the yarn!

Good News: I leave for New York in three days!

Bad News: I leave for New York in three days!

Aw, fuck it-- I can't weigh it all on scales. I'm gonna do some laundry, do some shopping, take kids to see Minions and hope for the best.

Then I'll panic. Cause, you know. Three goddamned days.

At the fair again...

Yes. I was the one who took Zoomboy in to dance at the fair today, not Chicken.

I got all high and mighty with the promise of a "surgical strike-- go in, get out, minimal of scarring to the pocketbook, capiche!"



First I watched Zoomboy dance, and that was fun.  In between his dances were dances with the little itty bitty kids, and I loved them-- as one person on Twitter said, there's one statue, one crier, and one diva who does what she wants in every class.  The cross-section of Mouseketeers that I have pictured featured this little blue-eyed statue, who just stared out at the crowd like this *.*  throughout the whole show. Was adorable.

Now, most of the classes are pretty big for the big recital, but the fair is a different fish. The fair is in the middle of the day, during summer break, and very often students, parents, even teachers can't make it.  So one of the classes of the the itty-bitties featured two performers. One girl, who was a precision dancing instrument-- seriously. Clean lines, perfect timing, stunning execution for a three-year old, and I've been watching three-year-olds dance for seventeen years.

The other one was like my kids-- she stood there with her eyes glued to the kid who knew what she was doing so they knew what to do next.

Yup. I liked that kid. Never met her, but she was my kind of diva.

Anyway-- after performing, we were going to do two things: go see the farm animals and stop for funnel cake. These were the two things we'd missed out on yesterday, and since we had two participants tickets for today, I was like why not?

Well, mission accomplished--I didn't entirely keep my pocketbook in my pocket, as evidenced by the hat Zoomboy bought and the pretty smock that I bought and may wear in New York with black leggings and a cardigan-- but we did see animals and we did eat funnel cake.

The funniest part of the day was when we were in the animal nursery. There were no births today, and after looking around at the newborns and the really uncomfortable mothers, I said, "Oh, hey, look-- there's a movie!"

It was a movie of live births.

"Sit here, Zoomboy, and watched the piglets splorch out."

"Mmmmnnnngghhhhdddd….nnnnoounnndfdddd…. ugh."

"Yup. We're on the same page. Let's go see the goats."

So, there we go. Motherly duty accomplished. Have been to fair twice. Writerly duty is WAY THE HELL BEHIND. *sob*

And don't even get me started on packing for the RITA's.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Tale of Two Hotties

We went to watch Squish dance in the state fair today-- her brother dances tomorrow, but I may be able to get away with making Chicken take them both while I try to prep for New York next week, we'll see.

Anyway-- after weaseling out of the Midway we told younger kids that they could do things like ride the gerbil balls and the really big slide if we didn't do the rat-trap roller coasters and the games designed to break young people's hearts.  So the kids were doing the gerbil balls-- one try on land, one on water-- and I struck up a conversation with the adorable young man who was manning the gerbil balls.

He was so much fun! Blond, blue-eyed, funny, loved his job, pretty much only hit state fairs up and down the west coast. He had a friend who owned property in Oregon, was looking forward to Portland-- I mean, he was a walking plot bunny.

*happy sigh*

I loved him.  Poor Chicken-- she got a giant case of the herks when she talked to him-- you know this affliction?  A pretty boy smiles at you and your base reaction is to seize up and make the sound, "heeerrrrkkkk…"?  Anyway, yeah, she did that while I mined him for information on what it was like to work the fairs.  He got excited about live music and watching the motocross performers, and talked about how they all sort of followed the same circuit and… dude.

Yeah. Mapped out a story, just for me, wasn't that sweet?

So, I was riding the high of that fun and useful interaction when we sat down in the food court to eat. We ended up right next to the sound booth for the square dancing on stage, and the young man inside was…

Well, even prettier than the first, with stunning blue eyes, black lashes, and blond hair. Mmmm…  But in addition to being pretty, he was also bored. as. shit.

As the kids and I sat down, I took the opportunity of a lull in the music to say, "If you looked any more bored, you'd explode.  Great fun for us, but not so fun for you, I think."

He laughed politely, and ignored us for the rest of our stay.  In fact, he ignored us to the point that when I accidentally made eye contact, he hit the sound board and turned up the music for THE ENTIRE SQUARE DANCE STAGE, just to avoid talking to one fat middle aged mother.

Which I thought was hysterical, btw. I mean, I told Chicken, and the two of us laughed our ass off.  "Fear me! I'm somebody else's nosy mother! Plan your escape route now!!!"

Anyway-- very amused.

But as we talked about the boys, I realized something.  Yeah-- they were both going to be in a book. Couldn't help that because… dudes!

But yeah-- guess which one of them is going to end up with the hot motocross guy, and which one was going to end up being the douchebag?

Just sayin'.  Us fat middle-aged mom types-- we've got ways of taking revenge.  Makes life sweet, oh yes it does.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Overheard in My House Today

Me: ZB, you smell funny. When was the last time you bathed?
ZB: Uh…
Me: Was it another country?
ZB: Yes.
Me: Change that. RIGHT NOW!

* * *

Squish: The little dog threw up!
Me: Clean it up!
Squish: Why does she keep doing that?
Chicken: Because she lives on a steady diet of cat poop and maxi-pads… omg, get her off my lap!

* * *

ZB: Mm-- mom, what are you making?
Me: Food.
ZB: It smells just like meat eater's pizza.  Except you used vegan sausage for meat. And coconut milk for cheese. And noodles for crust.
Me: And curry instead of garlic.
ZB: Other than that, it smells just like pizza.

* * *

Big T: Little dog, you are so happy to see me! Why do you love me so much!
Chicken: Because the rest of us know what she eats!

* * *

Me, making reservations for Coastal Magic: "Yeah, uh, I'd like to make reservations for…"

Receptionist: When would you like to make reservations, ma'am?

Me, in a panic: I don't know! My computer froze up and every reference to this event was on the computer!

Twenty Minutes Later--
Receptionist: So, that reservation will be X amount of money--

Me, in a panic: Is there any way we can make that like, $100 down, because I'm a writer, and I get paid every three months, and this is Top Ramen month, and we're going to New York next week for sort of the same reason I'm coming to Florida in February.

Receptionist: Of course, ma'am, let me see what I can do.
A few minutes later--
Ma'am, we've got this all set up, is there anything I can do for you?

Me: No, you've pretty much worked miracles.

Receptionist: Well, ma'am, if you would like to fill out our survey at the end of the call, we would be much obliged.

Me: Are you kidding? I called you with no date and no money, and you set me up for both-- lady, I will sing your praises to the stars!

---- And that, folks, was my day!