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

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.

Also?

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?"

"Food."

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

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

"Smells great! Is that cheese?"

*headdesk*


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.

o.o

I got nothin'.

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

Amy out!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Random Three Things

A. One of the girls at my McDonald's noticed my ticket to the Marvel show on Saturday-- which rocked, btw.  Anyway, she told me that she liked superheroes. On impulse I pulled out my my knitting pouch and showed her Batman and Superman, macking each other hard.

She was shocked, titillated, and, I could tell, interested.

I drove away and left her like that.  Maybe tomorrow, I'll give her a card!

B. I quit drinking diet soda in January. Contrary to all reports, I did not automatically lose weight, gain a better complexion, or develop heightened mental acuity.

However, my digestion is better, and, as evidenced by my dentist appointment today, my gums are healthier.

The downside of this was that I giggled all the way through my dental cleaning, because IT FUCKING TICKLES.

They like me there, though. They've known me since I was a kid. They look forward to taking care of ZB's teeth, which will need more metal than the Bay Bridge to reconfigure. Hell-- my family? We've probably bought my dentist's motorcycle. We're solid that way.

C. I am not allowed to post this, but I wish I could. Chicken sent me a video of her and her friend dressed in costume dancing in a classroom. I still don't understand the school assignment that drove them to it, but a Super Chicken in Steampunk Goggles singing "Uptown Funk" is one of those things you will never forget.

Ever.

I want a still for her wedding album.

I want to show it to her children.

I don't 

want to stop giggling over my little girl having fun, because it really was my happy for the day.

D.   I blew up the picture of Geoffie-- I was was trying to prove she wasn't a muppet. Tough job, that-- she looks less like a real dog than ever.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dogs

I live my life with two small dogs.

I used to think I was all about the cats, and while Steve the Cat is still my boon companion in the bathroom, and still very possessive of me when it comes time to be fed, the dogs have evolved into…

Giant furry pain in the ass relatives that I can't kick out and would miss horribly if they left.

Not a healthy relationship, no.

*  In the morning, I have taken to traveling with dog treats in the car so that I can call them back from being "at large" on the front sidewalk as I walk from the car to the house. Does this work? Are they greedy little bastards who prostitute their dignity and dance backwards for a single scrap of "pup-a-roni"? You bet your ass it works.

* In the afternoon, if I end up taking a  nap (and since Safari quit on me today, and refused to resurrect, it was like God telling me to "Go! Go! You'll get your work done eventually!") the dogs come with me. They're excited about nap time. The littlest one runs around and dust mops my face with her ruff and then passes out on top of the covers as though dead. The bigger one usually crawls under the covers with me and hangs. This afternoon, he decided he needed to go to the bathroom so he let him self out (and the back door was open, just to let the spring air in) and then came back. When he came back, he licked me, every so gently, on the lips. My eyes shot open and I peeled back the comforter, and then he dove in under the covers to his usual place.

As I fell asleep, I thought, "OMG-- I just let a dog into my bed for nothing but a kiss on the lips. Either I'm Sleeping Beauty or I'm easy as fuck!"  And then I fell asleep, because, hello, NAP!

*  They take turns bullying the cat, which saddens me on many levels. A. The cat is bigger than them, and I want her to triumph over their weenie asses.  B. The cat doesn't DO anything to them-- she is sweet, and a little stupid, but mostly sweet, and she likes sleeping and clawing my leg for attention-- THE END.  C. They are full of themselves, and I wish someone would take them down a peg.  None of these reasons seem to get in the way of the dog/cat order of being in my house, however, so the poor thing is beleaguered…

Everywhere except on our bed. The TOP of our bed is neutral territory. BELOW our bed, on the other hand, is someplace they can harry poor Steve until she just runs away on general principle.

On the other hand, Gordie, Chicken's cat, scares them.  Literally-- they look at that cat and wet themselves.  On the few times they've taken Gordie by surprise, the whole family tells Chicken during her next phone call and her anguished protest of "My pussy runs from no man!" can be heard across the airwaves.

Yes, it sounds filthy. Yes, I think that is the point.  Yes, her father blames me for that, why do you ask?

*  The little one is still not potty trained.  The other day, I caught her crapping in my bedroom and swept her up and charged through the house.  "Get out of the way! She's still pushing out turds like a Pez dispenser of poop!"  Needless to say, Zoomboy heard mom screaming about poop and lost it, laughing to hard to get out of my way, and the dog just kept turding, upside down and backwards, as I rushed her into the backyard.  That's okay-- I made Zoomboy trace our tracks in turds from the back door to the bedroom and throw away the evidence, because, well, I'm the mom and I say that's what he gets for laughing while I'm running through the house with a shitting dog.

*  They live comforted by the belief that everything outside the car is a bastard. This means that while I"m driving down the road, if we're standing at a stoplight and they see something walk by, it must be barked at and driven away.

Yes, little dogs, they are all bastards, bark at the bastards, get them! Get them! Bastards! Mailmen! They deserve your wrath!

Most people walking by to observe their wrath laugh their asses off, but that doesn't bother the dogs.

They have done their job.

And by the way, as you look at the pictures of the dogs, you may note A. that they have their own bedding exclusively for the car, and B. that the McDonalds bag (which I"ve thrown away, I swear!) says it all.

The dogs are, indeed, loving it.