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

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Great 'doh' moments in history!

(Okay-- Ikkinlala--get hold of me at amylane AT greenshill DOT com. I've tried twice and my e-mails to you keep getting thrown back!)

Okay, it all started as the kids were getting ready for gymnastics this morning. Suddenly, according to the kids, I didn't have four kids, I had two kids and two frogs.

"I'm a golden frog and she's a poison dart frog!" Said Zoomboy.

"Yeah--I'm a poison dart frog!" said Squish. "Don't touch me or you'll be the dead!"

"Okay," I said seriously. "I don't want to be the dead. No touching."

Of course then the poison dart frog climbed in bed with her dad and I to get away from the golden frog, and we were all the dead, but that's not the point. The point was that I suddenly put together the fact that the poison dart frog was called the poison dart frog because that's where South American natives got the toxin for poison darts.

This is not necessarily earth shattering news, and most of you probably already knew that, and it's not relative to anything at all important, but the light bulb cast a lovely glow, and I just thought I'd share.

Sorry I didn't blog yesterday. It's been sort of a busy week, and yesterday, I had to answer a couple of needs. Specifically, the kids need to sit on me and Mate's need to have me in the room for once and not a voice on the other side of the kitchen wall. Today, I needed to answer my own need to sleep, and I did, and all is well. Maybe tomorrow, I can take care of some more esoteric needs, like my need to finish Squish's sweater and the love scene between Shane and Mikhail that needs to be sweet and passionate rather than angst filled and painful. These guys are... well... they're breaking my freakin' heart is what they're doing. And since neither guy is the sort to ask for sympathy, and they both think that the other one is beautiful but that their own shortcomings are going to ruin it... mmmm... happy-happy boy-boy, it's all I can say.

Sigh-- I was gonna do a REALLY big blog post, but my damned computer has eaten my last paragraph six times, and I've been interrupted more times than that in the last three words. I shall call this a win because I posted, and talk to you all tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Five Stages of a Bad Review

OKay--before I start this actual post, I need to tell you all that my computer keyboard is dying. You need to know this because I've got blogging to a certain rhythm--I post my entry, and then I go check out everyone else's blog and make comments. The thing is, by the time I get my blog posted, my keyboard sees every touch of the mouse pad an invitation to drag and drop a thousand different things to places I had no intention of going. It makes me a thousand types of crazy--but mostly, it makes people think I've dropped out of existence. Sweartadog, I'm still reading you--just not always in a position to respond!

Anyway, so far most folks seem to like both Promise Rock AND Rampant, for which I'm terribly grateful--but the review scene is by no means idyllic. I figure that since most folks who show up on a regular basis have seen me come completely unglued with the pain of a bad review, I would share my new philosophy on the whole review thing. Next week/month/year, I may come back and check this out and think I was SO immature about it all, but right now, this is where I stand.

I figure getting a bad review has five stages--you all have seen most of them.

Stage one: Denial

"This can not possibly be about my book. Oh wait... yeah. Well, maybe they just didn't get the part... maybe they didn't understand... maybe they think that... I mean, I'm a nice person. Nobody could possibly hate me enough to say such mean things about me, can they?"

Stage two: Anger

"Fuck this. Fuck this reviewer, fuck this review, and fuck this horrible bloody-assed painful business of putting my heart out on the line so dumb motherfuckers can fucking fuck with my fucking work. This fucking bitch/bastard/sonofafuck/heifer troll can go jump off a bridge and listen to me laugh as they splat bottom. Fuck 'em all!!!!" (My angry stage involved a lot of swearing. I'm sorry--I'm like that.)

Stage three: Bargaining

"Well, maybe, if they just know where I'm coming from, they won't hate this part so much. If I could just tell them my idea, explain my grand vision, hear who influenced me, where I got my inspiration from, what sort of person I aim to appeal to, maybe if I could just explain the archetype, the genre, the character motivation, he/she/it/they wouldn't hate my work so much. Let me enlighten he/she/it/them, and the world will sing my praises!"

Okay--just to say right here--this is possibly the most dangerous stage of a bad review for an author. Why? Because in the electronic medium, we are able to actually SAY THESE THINGS to the people who left the bad review. This is a VERY bad idea. Why? Because--no matter how articulate our explanation, no matter how well thought out our vision, it doesn't matter who we're talking to or how we're refuting a reviewer's claims, all that's going to come out is the howl of a socially mauled second grader, wailing "I SWEAR I DON'T SUCK!!!" into the indifferent elements. This is the stage at which writers routinely humiliate themselves. Those of you who have stuck with me have seen this first hand. Those of you who haven't, well, let's just say I have experience, and leave it at that.

Stage four: Grief

"THEY THINK I SUUUUUUUUUCCKKKKKK!!!!" *wail* *moan* *sob* "EVERYBODY HATES ME!!!' *whimper* *sniffle* *whine*

For the record? This is Mate's least favorite phase of the game.

And now, stage five: Acceptance.

This one comes in several flavors.

Accept that it happens. It sounds cliche, but it's true. It doesn't matter what you do, if you put it out for public view, someone WILL hate it. I've been critiqued as a mother because I blog about being a mother. I've been critiqued as a teacher because I put that out there on the line too. When you put something out to be analyzed publicly, the odds are good that someone will hate you. The people who actually HATE public figures with no regard to their feelings WILL go about trying to mutilate your self-esteem. Some people are mean that way.

Some people just want to express an opinion.

Now for me, this is possibly the hardest part to accept, especially when we are talking about books and writers. There are some writers out there whose books I really dislike. I'm not crazy about Danielle Steele, Nicholas Sparks, or John Grisham. I wish I was--I know lots of other people who really love their work, but I've never been able to get past the first couple pages. However, I have yet to put fingers to keyboard in an attempt to go out and cut them down to size. Okay-at least as an adult--as a snarky sixteen-year old, I thought this was high fun. Once I got past the age of twenty-five, I sort of figured out this was juvenile and destructive, and it went the way of getting drunk just because I was of age. I mean, it didn't take a whole lot of vodka to figure out THAT just hurt everybody involved, particularly me!

The fact remains, I am often surprised by the meanness of reviewers because I don't see their motivation beyond just to harm. If they didn't like the book, nobody put a gun to their head and made them finish it. Why couldn't they just put the book down and walk away? It's what I would do. But the fact is, some people are compelled to find their voice about things that displeased them, and it's not a good idea to stop them. Silencing a voice--even one that hurt me personally--is not necessarily a good way to maintain a healthy balance of confidence and humility.

I need to accept that not everyone will simply walk away from my books if my books are not pleasing. That is not the nature of human beings, and I write about human beings. In fact, I write about deeply flawed human beings who find redemption in human relationships. Perhaps the mean people will find their own redemption--but their sins don't necessarily reflect poorly on me.

Accept that it will hurt

Yes it will hurt. You put yourself out on the line and someone took time out of their day to tell you that this piece of your heart sucks? No amount of sniffing disdainfully and trying to be philosophical will ease the pain of what someone has to say when they say it nasty. The reviewer who says it nasty will often be rather cavalier about the pain. "You need to get used to it!" And then, of course, you feel even more lacking in something important when it continues to hurt.

What I have to remember--what we should all remember-- is that literary textbooks are CHOCK FULL of literary geniuses who put out a few great works and then dropped off the face of the planet because the world in general and critics in particular can be fucking mean-hearted bitch-slapping meat puppets full of nastiness. I covered Washington Irving in class today--our first major American voice, and he retired from fiction because the critics hurt his feelings. Thomas Paine? Ernest Hemmingway? Walt Whitman? William Faulkner? Yeah--they were all discouraged by bad reviews. Hell--so was Shakespeare! If these guys, these giants of literature, can be hurt or depressed or devastated or suicidal because of a bad review, why don't I, little ol' pulp fiction me, get to shed a few tear before I woman up and write my next chapter?

Not a goddamned reason that I can see, and that is the truth.

Accept that I want it to happen

Okay-- this is the hardest one of all. But why do I want bad reviews? A couple of reasons.

1. Not every book is for every person. It's good to have negative reviews to warn the people who would not actually WANT to read your book that they do not want to waste their money. It's never good business to sell to the reluctant. Bad reviews help keep that from happening.

2. Not every book is for every person. My books tend to deal with flawed characters--I like flawed characters. Flawed characters are real to me, and watching them find a happy-ever-after is a great deal of fun for me. I also see the world as sort of an absurd, random place, where absurd, random things happen. And thus it is in my literature. If someone reads my books looking for perfect people making constantly wise, mature decisions in a well ordered world, the fact is, I DON'T WANT THEM TO LIKE MY BOOK. I don't see the world that way--I don't want them to think I do. This little part of my soul is only fit for display if it is honest. If I am honest, I am not going to appeal to everybody.

3. Not every book is for every person. And if a book IS for every person, I don't want to write it. I forget which romantic writer said it's better to inspire hatred than indifference, but, in spite of the fact that my inner five year old wants everybody to like me, I actually passionately agree. There's a couple of ways to be a 3.5-4.5 star writer on a website. One way is to write books that everybody thinks are okay. The other way is to write books that 20% of the population HATES and 80% of the population passionately loves. My stats skew pretty much this way--and I love that. I love that people REALLY LOVE MY WRITING. I need to accept that I'm not going to get that reaction if I write stuff that EVERYBODY likes. It ain't gonna happen. Everybody LIKES vanilla ice cream. A select few PASSIONATELY ADORE cherry almond fudge. I would rather be cherry almond fudge ice cream, because man, that shit really turns me on.

4. Not every book is for every person. But I know some of the people whom my books are for. For every Rachel and Holly out there who hates my writing, there is a Galad, a Roxie, a Needletart, a Littlewitch, a Haylo, a Louz, a Donna Lee, or a Geneve who really loves my writing. If statistics hold true, and people really ARE twice as likely to write a bad review as a good one, the ratio is twice as skewed in my favor than that. These people who contact me and tell me that my writing moved them are good people. They are kind and generous. They are funny, warm, human, and real. They are worth writing for. They are worth inspiring. They are worth bringing joy to.

For everyone else, I'm sorry you were disappointed--that was never my intention. But for the people who feel like my writing has given you something? Thank you! You make it such a joy to give!

Monday, January 25, 2010

And the winner is...

Okay, even as I type, Mate is coming up with a fool proof way of choosing one winner for each prize. If it were up to me, I'd be doing eeny-meeny-miney-moe, but I'm hearing the high tech sound of scissors and a hat, so I think he's going with that.

In the meantime, everyone wanted to know what I was so excited about knitting! I don't have pictures yet, although I'm rather shockingly close to done--only two sleeves to go! One of the reasons this went so fast is that I did it in one piece and then seamed the shoulders. I have no idea how it's working out, honestly. I asked Squish to try it on in vest form, and I was not encouraged. I think I may have made a tactical error involving the bottom, but it was hard to tell-- she wouldn't stay still and she wouldn't let me adjust the fit of the top, so it may just be that. Or, the whole thing could suck.

I didn't call it the ass-kicking-nightmare-in-pink for nothing.

Anyway, I'm thrilled--it's been a long time since I knit a sweater. Even if it totally sucks, at the very least, it will fit like a bolero, and that should be cute, and, well, I knit a sweater! Go me! Pictures when it's done!

We went to my parents yesterday to watch football--this was sort of a challenge since we brought the short people, but they were pretty good for the most part. It was sort of funny--at one point my mom gave the little kids a bath. My dad kept acting like I was imposing on her--but she WANTED to do it! At the end, he barked at me to go help her, and I walked in and she was poofing powder on their underarms and giving a new nightgown to Squish. I'm pretty sure I was not imposing on her, no matter how badly she wanted to root Minnesota on. (*sigh* The game, btw? It was like watching Chip & Dale-- "Here--you can have the game." "No, no, I wouldn't dream of it. It's all yours." "No--I insist--the game is yours!")

All in all, a pretty full weekend. Not too much time to obsess about the books, which is good, and not a whole lot of time to write, which is good too. Sometimes you need down time, and that's just all there is to it! (Of course Shane and Mikhail are getting rather impatient to have their story told. I'm roughly halfway there-- nearly 70,000 words, and I'm very proud of that one!

Okay-- Mate's high tech method of cutting out everybody's names and putting them in different kids hats has paid off, and I now have three winners!

Chris, if you're out there, e-mail me at the address under my profile--an e-copy of Keeping Promise Rock is yours!

jsquilter-- Rampant for you, darling! Enjoy! (Of course, you'll have to wait--I haven't gotten my author copies, because, well, iUniverse just is that way!)

ikkinlala--you and me gotta talk, sweet thing--I need an address and a color/brand preference--you would not beLEIVE the selection I have. Give me some ideas and I'll deliver you the SWEETEST little skein of yarn--you'll be so pleased.

Congratulations, everyone! Editors, remember there is a signed book with your name on it, no questions asked. (And probably some stashbusting or something. It's been so LONG since I sent out presents!)

And to say goodnight, I shall leave you with this image: I was sitting in the car with the short people, waiting for Chicken to make a manga-dump at the library, when I realized there was a pattern to the noise coming from the back of the car.

Of course there was a pattern--it was Zoomboy. He was singing Duran Duran. Hungry like a wolf.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Coming Down

(***For those looking for the contest winners--I know I said I'd wait until Rampant got here, but iUniverse is pissing me off in a big way. I'll announce the contest winners on Monday, period. I'll send the copy of Rampant to the winner as soon as my author copies come, but that way, if you've been waiting to buy a copy of Promise Rock, you won't have to put it off!!!!)

Sorry I didn't post yesterday-- but by now, I'm sure you all are over and done with all the posts about the writing me instead of the me with actual personality, so we probably didn't miss much.

Seriously, I've been 'coming down' from the stress and the angst and the excitement (yes, lots of positive excitement) and the general sleeplessness that's been taking over my life. I woke up this morning and realized I'd just slept for seven hours straight for the first time since summer vacation. *whew*

So tonight I get to visit blogs (later tonight--right now, I can't seem to shake all the children who are clinging to me like limpets even after lots of time together) and I get to cuddle children and knit (wwhhhhooooo boy, am I on a knitting jag. It feels SOOOOOO good!) and basically, you know, be sane. I give it a week.

But in the meantime, we took the kids to the zoo, and there has been some general hilarity in the Lane household that I thought I would share.

* At the zoo today, the animals were cold and very awake. The Hyenas in particular were frightening-- they just paced, staring at the void between human and hyena with this cold, calculating look in their eyes. "Yes, I see you. The small one looks tasty. And you? You would be fat and succulent. Stay there. Just stay there. We'll figure a way out. Just wait."

"Wow," I said to Mate. "They look very... disturbing."

Mate gave me a look that made me think of Gromit when he really and sincerely agrees with Wallace. Yes. That hyena freaked us both the frack out.

* Also at the zoo today, Zoomboy had a map. This was important. The map was paramount. We would go find an animal and Zoomboy would say, "Where is it on the map?" And the Romantic philosopher that I am, I would say, "Why do we need to see the map. The animal is RIGHT HERE!"

"But I've already seen the animal--now I need to see it on THE MAP!"

Yup. That's my OCD honors child right there.

* But he's not too grown- up. He agreed the lemurs looked like King Julian from Madagascar and he said, "Yes--and that one looks like Julian and that one looks like Mort... No, no, that's not Mort. That's a squirrel." And sure enough it was. The little bastard snuck inside the Lemur cage, ate their food and then squeezed outside, wagging his little fanny and screaming "Neener neener neener." True story.

* We went on the carousel--the little kids were cute, but Chicken and her father, weaving back and forth to the tune of 'Sleepy Jean' were actually cuter.

* And then we came home and watched Buffy. Ah, bliss. Right up until the moment when Zoomboy ran into the living room, all excited. "Mom mom mom! I had a poop that was brown on one side and green on the other."

I was still blinking when Mate said, very matter-of-factly, "You've been eating a lot of fruit loops, haven't you, son?"

Chicken laughed so hard she couldn't breathe.

And that's some normalcy for you. I LIKES IT.

Thanks to all the folks who have already reviewed the books--you really have set my mind to rest on a few things! This lady here in particular has been more than generous reviewing my books! If she sees this, I'd like to thank her--I'm so glad she enjoyed the work and then shared that with the world!

And now I'm off. I need to go lay down and watch some television with the short people before they drive me completely batshit. They saw me on the computer and scented blood.

I can't wait to catch up with all of you tonight, when they've gone to sleep!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

One Nap Was Not Enough

Okay--so I figure I'll leave the contest open until I at least get my first copy of Rampant--so another week, and then I'll announce the winners. They will, of course, be chosen in my high tech way of printing out everybody's names and throwing them in a hat. Editors? Erm, you're disqualified. You get a signed copy of Rampant and my EEEEEE-ternal gratitude and probably some stash-busting thrown in. So you win. Just flat out win. Mostly because I won the friend lottery when we met, and I'm returning the favor.

But I did like hearing the days that are all about you. I think a lot of us here work incredibly hard--we all need a day, don't you think?

So I've gotten some feedback on Promise Rock, and so far, folks are enjoying it. I'm grateful. Seriously--grateful enough to take a nap, which is something since I haven't been sleeping much since the books came out, and I may even get to bed before twelve. This is good. My husband seems to think I'm a little crazed. Crazed is very bad. I need to sleep my way to sane.

I also need to get the car fixed. We've got no means until the middle of next month--I think I'm going to be dumping power steering fluid down my car's gullet until then, because the steering was threatening to give out yesterday and I called Mate to come get Squish and I. The thing is, not only am I taking that car on the freeway, but it's been pissing down rain lately, and seriously, driving that thing is scaring the rabbit raisins out of me. *deep breath* C'mon, baby, hold on just a little longer.

Being stranded with Squish was sort of fun yesterday. I had a little cash, and I took her to the craft store and then to Starbucks. She sat there with her milk and cookies and her sticker book and crayons and sang and played and stacked stickers on top of each other while telling stories, and I knit. Then she flirted with the Starbucks girl, who was charmed beyond measure, and I knit. If it hadn't been for the fact that Starbucks was NOT warm, and I REALLY needed a nap, it would have been pretty pleasant.

Oh--wait! Cosmonaut and a few other people on e-mail have been asking me questions about Promise Rock, and I thought I'd answer them here:

Yes. There will be three sequels. Making Promises will be about Shane and Mikhail, Living Promises will be about Jeff and Collin, and Return To Promise Rock will see the final HEA of all the characters, including a wrap up of Benny and Drew (which I can't go too much into, because people get upset when there's girl cooties in their m/m, but we really need to see them happy too.)

But I'm also going to write the final Jack & Teague and hopefully publish that in June, and I have some novella ideas for DSP that I think will go over well, and sometime this summer, I'm going to start the next Cory book. But I'm not telling the name of it until a few people have read Rampant-- there's a spoiler in the name, and I'm not going there until folks have caught up.

And now, I'm going to go knit. The ass-kicking-nightmare-in-pink is looking pretty damned good!

Monday, January 18, 2010

They Might Not Suck

Okay-- that's just a preliminary assessment. I've been spending the last day in narcissism land, where I keep checking the media to see if anybody liked Promise Rock. That's both the wonder and the terror of the e-book, right? Instant gratification and instant feedback. *shudder*

Yeah. Scares the rabbit raisins out of me too! (That didn't stop my family and I from laughing uproariously at an SNL sketch where Sigourney Weaver was spiralling into the self-involvement of the internet. I took it as a warning and logged off and knit. Much Better. *happy sigh*)

Of course, if my head HAD been getting big (and Roxie, you weren't helping, saying such nice things about my interview like that!) I would have had today's embarrassment of the expired ATM card to remind me that I am still a giant dorkfish, and I might as well go swim after some corndogs or something, because even if I make a pile of money to hide my dorkfish self in, I will never be as cool as Robert Downey Jr. was last night at the Golden Globes. (Bastard. And he's so hot. So. Not. Fair.)

I took the kids out to get hair cuts today--can I just say how proud I am of Chicken? She donated 10 inches of strawberry blonde tresses to cancer patients, and now she looks adorable. She won't appreciate it, either. Did any of us think we were beautiful in high school? But she is, and she did a good thing, and now she can sleep in a whole two minutes in the morning, because it's not like either of us spend a whole lot of time on our hair anyway.

Zoomboy and Squish look pretty damned good as well.

So, today is contest day-- I promised. I have to offer, one hard copy of Rampant--as soon as it gets here, and that might be a couple of weeks, one .pdf copy of Keeping Promise Rock--deliverable as soon as the contest is over, and one skein of the sockyarn of your choice--we'll hash out which part of my stash you'll be getting when I pick out the winner. In order to win, all you have to do is leave a comment and tell me the one day of the year it should be all about you--and why.

My day was today--I'm so relieved it's over--and it was all about me because I wrote two (actually more) full length novels and a novella in a year, and I may have allowed myself to not have to work full time by making a profession out of an activity I really really love. I bought myself some yarn on Saturday, and if my ATM card had been working at all, I would have bought myself some more Jasmine Vanilla bath soap from Bath & Bodyworks, because it's really turning me on.

So tell me about the one day of year that should be all about you, and don't forget to mention which prize you want. I look forward to your answers!

P.S. To answer this question, which has been asked more than once, yes. I am working on a sequel to Keeping Promise Rock--it tells Shane and Mikhail's story, and it's called Making Promises. So far, people are so in love with Shane and Mikhail, they're almost eclipsing Deacon and Crick. But not quite.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Keeping Promise Rock

Is now out.

Holy Goddess, Merciful God, let it not suck.

And something about other people...

* Chicken won a poetry contest! WWWWWWWOOOOOOTTTTT!!!! As soon as the website publishes it to vote on, I'll post the link, but in the meantime, she's SOOOOO stoked. And I'm so damned proud, it's not even funny. I am mommy, hear me brag.

* Last night, Zoomboy was sitting on my lap and I said, "Do you want to go to the zoo?" He said, "Yes. I want to see lions in their habitat." Habitat. Wow. I'm impressed. He came into the kitchen this morning with a wooden axe and a wooden shield and said, "Look, mom-- I'm a Viking!" Not even my six year olds in fiction talk that well.

* Big T did the dishes. Okay--it's not that exciting, but he's just generally a big, earnest kid who lives for us all to be out of the house so he can have the television to himself. He was a little bit envious of his sister's success but he copped to it and congratulated her, and did I mention his ginormous heart? I should have.

* And today, Squish was cute. She nags, she orders, she tells me stories, she insists she sit in my lap. The ass-kicking nightmare in pink has passed 1/2 way done-- no Squish deserves an ass-kicking nightmare in pink more than mine.

* Mate changed our relationship on Facebook. We're no longer 'friends', we're now 'married'. I had to confirm this fact. Kind of a weird world when you have to confirm a twenty year relationship with your computer. Just very, very, odd.

And now it's off to figure out something to do with all these fun people now that it's raining and the zoo is not an option. We've got to get the short folks out of the house or my next post is not going to be nearly so cheerful! And, uhm, Promise Rock is out tomorrow. Because, you know, waiting on reviews for Rampant isn't going to be stressful enough.

And now some more about me.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Rampant: The Fourth Book of the Little Goddess Series is n=ow officially on

First, the traditional prayer--and I know you guys keep telling me that it doesn't, but I'm getting to be really superstitious. Are we all ready?

Holy Goddess, Merciful God, LET IT NOT SUCK! Cannyagimmehallelujia? Amen.

And next, something besides just another link, because I'm sure you're all tired of those.

The thing is, I'm sort of running on fumes. At the risk of TMI, my body is in the throes of an epic level hormonal plasma dump right now, and in the midst of all that "Holy shit, I've got two books coming out and that's twice the exposure to get my internal organs devoured by mean wolverines disguised as reviewers" angst, I've also got, well, an epic level hormonal plasma dump. Yes, I know, normal people call them periods. Normal people also have more than four or five a year, and don't blow through two boxes of feminine protection in two days. I tell you all, there's nothing like standing up in front of a classroom of teenagers and thinking, "A-yup. Feminine protection #epic fail."

So, on top of that, there is also the four hours of sleep a night--I'm angsting in the most ridiculous way.

An example? My editor from DSP (lovely woman--like most of you, I'd give a lot to be able to actually sit down and knit with her, providing she knits) e-mailed me last night to let me know that I made the top ten in overall sales on ARe. It's gone now, replaced by another title, but apparently what it meant is that consistently, over thirty days, my book outsold everything else on the site. In Elizabeth's words, that's "all of Harlequin and 99% of het romance." And I went, "Uh-oh."

Yeah, you read that right.


I had a sudden attack of angst because, hullo, I was sort of succeeding. I thought, "Oh crap. Will I get a whole crop of different people who think I write quirky and light and who will then destroy me because I really write quirky and angsty, and If I Must was a fluke? Will any of these people read The Little Goddess series and be disappointed?"

It kept me up last night.

But then, so did worry about Promise Rock and Rampant, and all of that other stuff. And I'm thinking now, "Most of these guys have seen me have meltdowns for the past three years, right? Bound, Bitter Moon I, Bitter Moon II--I've been riding the angst pony once a year, boiled down in the crucible of dream catching into a vapor of mooncalfing and hamsterwheeling, all because I put out my scant literary offerings into the world and fret over the wrath of angry gods. If anyone will get how weird I'm becoming about having two books out right now on the heels of a third (albeit a short one) the people who read my blog WILL get it."

Thank Goddess-- because I'm about to drive my husband batshit. Even the kids are worried--they actually let me NAP this afternoon, for no other reason than because I looked crazed and broke into tears when one of them did the dishes.

Rampant is out--and I'm going to be haunting the airwaves until it gets its first review (which is no mean feat, since I know amazon will take its sweet fucking time in shipping those puppies out to you--and to me, for that matter.) Promise Rock will be out on Monday, and I'm going to be a basket case, because that one gets professional reviews and holy cats--what if I not only get bagged (bad enough, as you've seen me lose my nut over but get bagged by someone with an audience of five-thousand people. Ou-UCH! And even more fun? That interview will hit the airwaves and open up an even wider audience to watch me succeed gloriously or fail with much freaking out and general hilarity.

And you guys, with a front row seat, already have practice scraping me off the ground in a puddle and pouring me back into the mold. Good--it's a good thing we've all had practice with this dance, because I think, just maybe, we're about to pick up the beat.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

It's a good thing you all wanted to hear about me...

This isn't the interview-- it's the teaser for the interview, and, uhm, dayum. I look okay on paper (I really need to replace that picture. That was almost three years ago!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I'd like to hear less about me...

But I can't. I agreed to do an interview for The Indie Times (link to follow when the interview comes out) but through a series of computer mishaps (not mine, for once) I ended up getting three pages of interview questions this afternoon, and having the option of returning them tonight so the interview's release will coincide with the release of Keeping Promise Rock.


So this is my blog post for tonight--with a brief interruption to tell you that Squishy Belle is making this process and Zoomboy's homework process by singing "All The Single Ladies" in the living room at the top of her voice.

It's cute, but I think it's making my eyeballs bleed.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It's Not


Rampant: The fourth book of the Little Goddess

I'll let you know when it's on amazon--but in the meantime, lookee... It's my book! (When it hits, we'll say the prayer again, just for good measure:-)

Edited to add: And the e-book will be online soon, both here and on the kindle, and the sony e-reader. Thanks to those who asked!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Random Shit

Okay--just gonna ramble on, with asterisks. It makes the blathering look organized:

* Took the teenagers to an anime con yesterday. It was a whole lot of fun--and we met the guy who did storyboarding designs for Batman Beyond, Static Shock, Teen Titans, ad infinitum. I tried not to drool over him--for one thing, he was my age and he might have taken it wrong.

* High point of the con was when I wandered into a picture someone was taking of a tight cosplayer and pulled a John Cusack from Say Anything. (Insert picture of me, looking socially retarded, right here: ) I looked at Chicken and said, "I've got to get out of here--I'm not cool enough for this place." She laughed for the rest of the day.

* Chicken and T had a good time. Chicken had an A1 smartass conversation with a vendor that I will try to recapture here:

Me: "Chicken, who's that in the picture?"

Chicken: "That's Gara from Naruto."

Me: "Cool--did he live?"

Chicken: "No--he died pretty early."


Chicken" "I'm sorry!" (points to me) "It's her fault-- it's the family spoiler gene!"

Me: "You can't blame this one on me! Hey--who's that?"

Chicken: "That's another guy from Naruto."

Me: "Did *he* live?"

Chicken (with the most precious straight face you've ever seen): "Yeah, mom. Absolutely. He's all alive, I swear."

The vendor cracked up, I cracked up--hell the girls behind us cracked up. I was so proud.

* I started school again today. Part happiness, part suckiness. Happiness--saw a bunch of kids I loved. Suckiness--my second period still sucks and my fourth has doubled in size. *sigh* I had a kid get his withdrawal slip signed so he could go to another class because the students in my 2nd period class "Don't respect the teacher, even though she's good." Makes me want to bang my head against a table until I bleed. Don't ask me why.

* My brake lights are out and my steering is going to die any minute. I REALLY hope my February royalty checks are bigger than I think they may be. (My 'If I Must' check is going to be bigger than I expected--it sold pretty well.)

* I continue to work on the Squishy-sized ass kicking nightmare in pink. I likes it. Of course I haven't started the body shaping yet, and that's where I suck lemons, but hell-- I have big plans, right?

* I'm starting to wish I was more like Cory, the heroine from the Little Goddess series. Somehow it seems like all this angst about the two books would be more productive if I had a hair trigger stomach and was at least losing weight!

* I get to talk to grown ups during lunch tomorrow. Yay! (I was talking to kids today--also 'Yay!' since they're my favorite kids, but grown ups are also fun.)

* Contest, contest, what shall I do for a contest? Should I give out three prizes (an e-copy of Promise Rock, a hard copy of Rampant AND a skein of mystery sock yarn?) Should I give one and let the person take their choice? Should I space out and forget it? Mmmm.. Probably Option A, with a first second and third prize. I'll probably do the contest on Monday, to celebrate Promise Rock, and it'll be a simple "Respond to this: " kind of deal-- but yeah... I'm gonna have a contest.

* But first I'm going to bed. Night all.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Cohabitating with a dragon...

I thought I was doing a good job of it, actually, until I took around and it was eleven thirty and not only had I not blogged myself but I hadn't checked anybody ELSE'S blog, and everyone was asleep and the house was a disaster, and I've got one (count it) day until I have to go back to work.

I can hardly believe I have a day job.

But that puppy's going to smack me in the face on Monday, isn't it?

Anyway, it's been a good week-- Promise Rock hit the website (eeeeeeee!) and I should be getting my five author copies next week (eeeeee!) and I should be getting my one advanced copy of Rampant in a week or two (EEEEE!) and in two or three weeks, I should have two brand new novels on (AAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!) Oh come on-- you all knew that the excitement would turn to stark raving terror on the drop of a dime, didn't you?

All that, and I'm feeling guilty for trying to sneak out of bed with Squish and Zoomboy, who were supposedly falling asleep watching Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (which was really cute, by the way). She didn't fall for it, and came wandering down the hall, and I made Mate go deal with her because the dragon was riding me, and now I'm feeling guilt.

Lots of guilt.

But me and Squish have had a good week-- lots of sitting together, lots of snuggling--I started a sweater for her (which may be, as I've told Samurai, an ass-kicking nightmare in pink) but, still--haven't done a sweater in a while. And I forgot how much snuggle opportunity knitting allows me. I need to step away from the computer more often.

And... I'm blathering. But while I'm on full-goofy-blather, I'll mention Roxie's rumballs which made it to me today--and how much the family LURVS them. Roxie also sent a hand-knit cotton washcloth, and you know what? THEY REALLY DO MAKE YOU A KNITTING ROCKSTAR! I'm so glad that works on the receiving end as well as the giving one--it is a universal truth.

I'll sign off soon-- I've committed to taking the two teenagers to an anime convention tomorrow, and I need to get them up and cleaning, and I need to give an hour of couch time to the kids before we leave. I also need to buy a dvd player (cheap) and a copy of The Crucible (not so cheap) and I need to get my ass on line and order some calendars since I didn't do it this last week (I'm a dork!)

So I'm going to send the prayer into the ether for Promise Rock-- I neglected it Thursday, and I'm a superstitious sort, we all know that, and I'm going to think of a contest to have, because I'm almost eyeball deep in author copies, and I think I should give one each away, along with some sock yarn, since I did a stash assessment and I'm hopelessly overstashed.

So here goes with the traditional book releasing prayer: Holy Goddess, Merciful God, Let It Not Suck! And while you're at it? Let me keep my three-star motherhood rating as well.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


It's up it's up it's up it's up!

Okay-- so it's not AVAILABLE until January 18th-- and it will probably be another week or so before it hits but it's up on the 'Coming Soon' and Deacon is just SOOOOOOOO purty, and I'm so excited...

And since it's up, and it's not all a dream and there IS proof that someone else is actually putting this one out, it's time to share something with all of you. Some of you all may recognize yourselves in the acknowledgments... for everyone else who didn't this time, know that you were in my thoughts-- thanks everybody, for the love and support! (It's UP!)

Anyway-- even if you don't buy the book, know that a lot of you have inspired it. This here's the tip of the iceberg.


My friend Wendy has been running a horse ranch mostly by herself for the last twelve years. She has killed seventeen rattlesnakes with a shotgun, can break a horse and show it and win medals, and has never, ever let anyone tell her that a woman can’t do this alone. This book’s for my friend Wendy.

My friend Julie has followed her husband around as a Navy wife for over twenty years. She has worked her way back from a hand injury in a motorcycle crash via knitting, takes shit from absolutely no one, and has read more than any human being I know of. This book’s for my friend Julie.

My friend Barb has lost every adult she’s loved with her whole heart in the space of a year, and she’s still raising her children and fighting for her home. This book’s for my friend Barb.

My friend Bonnie will answer her e-mail at three-thirty in the morning, because she knows that sometimes a time difference makes no difference in how much she’s needed. She’s spent a year and a half telling me that the people who are mean to me about my writing are fuckers and clueless bastards, and really? I can’t hear that enough. This book’s for my friend Bonnie.

My friend Roxie has lived a full, fierce life with enough empathy and self-assessment to look upon the screw-ups of others with compassion and understanding—she is creative, amazing, and reserves judgment except in the case of blatant meanness or bigotry, and then she has no mercy. This book’s for my friend Roxie.

My friend Saren sends me Supernatural videos constantly, even if I don’t have time to look up others to send back to her, and she has a husband who offers me virtual brisket with my real Top Ramen. Without her happy indulgence of my weird aging-cougar obsession with young and tasty veal, this book would never have been written. This book’s for my friend Saren.

My friend Matt has a really flaky wife who would rather write than do housework and who keeps pinning the family’s hopes on what should probably have stayed a hobby with mystique as opposed to an obsession for success. He is kind, empathetic, and never yells at me for traffic tickets even if they send us to the verge of bankruptcy, and he still loves me after twenty years. This book is especially for my friend Matt.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A little fiber miracle

Okay... has anyone else succumbed to this little ploy?

I brought Squish to the yarn store this Saturday, and she was actually pretty well behaved. (I need to remember this because she's been a poster child for children's straitjackets ever since.) Anyway, she went touring the digs and impressed a couple of people-- one notable conversation went like this:

"Hello, sweetheart," (said the good humored woman with no kids who was easily impressed, "you look like you know what you're doing. Do you knit?"

"No," (said Squish) "Chicken and Mom knit. I do ballet." (Insert artfully executed arabesque here.)

Needless to say, she was a big hit.

Anyway, so there we were in the yarn store, when she comes up to me going, "Mom mom mom mom mom... come look." (Seriously--I guess only my kid could get that excited in a yarn store, right?) I went to look and there was a fairly simple little purse made of ribbon yarn, with a fringe. "You're going to make me that purse with this yarn!" And she held in her hands a ball of the exact yarn, only in rainbow colors. Considering how high up this yarn was, it was either a really good guess, or the kid knows her fiber. Anyway, the purse was made of two colors, and not only do I hate ribbon yarn but it's hella pricey, so I was NOT going to buy the second accent color, but I was left with something of a quandary. How do I finish the purse with only one skein of yarn?

I apologize for the unbelievably crappy picture-- I haven't even brushed my teeth yet and my hair is a thing of mystery and yet not beauty at this hour of the morning, so it was a balance between getting the purse in the shot and me out of it. Anyway, it was close. I literally stopped working the i-cord at the end so I could put the fringe on, just to make sure I had enough yarn. In the end, the only leftovers I had were the clippings from the bottom of the fringe. The topper to the whole experiment was the button.

There I was, late at night, and Squish was up when she wasn't supposed to be. I held the mostly-finished purse up for Mate's inspection and said, "Now all I need is a button."

"There's a button," said Squish from the kitchen. "It's under the spiderwebs."

And sure enough, there was the button, under a herd of dust-buffalo. It was perfect--perfect color, perfect size, and the holes were even big enough to sew with a piece of the ribbon. It was a.. a... a FREAKIN' MIRACLE! No trips to the yarn store for one ball of yarn to finish two yards of the project, no going to JoAnnes to buy a cheap button... it just ALL FELL INTO PLACE.

*sniff* You all know the fibers only align like that in the card every so often, right?

Anyway, it turns out the button had been an embellishment on one of Chicken's old socks, and she thought it was frickin' hilarious that it would end up on this little purse. Squish loves the purse--turns out, ribbons knit up with this amazing elasticity for something that has NO give whatsoever in the skein. She can stuff an entire beanie baby in that little beauty. She is pleased.

Of course, knitting serendipity only happens like this every so often. As if to make up for that nice little moment, I've just cast on three times for the same sweater. I think it's because in a house full of rare handpaints, I'm knitting the whole thing in Encore, color petal pink, but that could just be me.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Everybody goes back to school this morning except me and Squish. Not to sound like too much of a curmudgeon, but it really is 'the most wonderful time/of the year!'

Seriously, I look forward to this week. There are no obligations (okay--we've got an orthodontist appointment at 4:15--I forgot about that.) There are no Christmas parties (took the tree down yesterday-- or, rather, Mate and the kids did.) And there is no work. (Have I mentioned I've been in editing hell? I've got less than 100 pages to go, but, dammit, I NEED TO BE FINISHED SO I CAN PUBLISH RAMPANT.) Anyway, all that aside, this is one of the most pleasant weeks of my year-- it's usually peaceful, and Squish and I get lots of couch time. I can feel my batteries re-charging now!

In celebration, we took the short people out yesterday to see Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakel-- and this alone should be a reason for those of you without kids at home to give thanks. The whole movie would have REALLY sucked, if not for two things. One: there was perhaps THE world's funniest fart joke involving a small rodent and the term 'Dutch Oven', and watching Mate come unglued at that part was worth the price of admission. Two: Watching Squish jump up and down and dance in her seat with every song. She knew the words to all the pop-songs, too, and since we're mostly a rock & alt-rock scene here at the Lane household, she must have gotten those from daycare. Yet one more reason to grace the lovely daycare people with handknits (my last project, actually) for a belated Christmas gift.

My nice neighbor was over last night, finishing a hat she's making for her husband. This has been something of a personal triumph for the both of us--she was having one HELL of a time working circular needles. At one point--less than 24 hours before it was due, actually--I traded projects with her. I have her a gray hat in heavy worsted yarn and took her gray hat in DK yarn, thinking that the bigger yarn might help her 'see' the stitches better. Nothing worked (although I did finish my gray hat before Christmas--am still awaiting my medal in the mail. Alas, it seems not to be coming.) Finally I took a black sharpie to a nice set of bamboo needles and marked the right needle so she would stop turning them around, and it worked. Sometimes, the simplest solutions, you know?

As for my Letter to the Ether-- thank you all for such an overwhelming response. I'd pretty much sworn off responding to reviews at all--I'm getting to a place where it's not a good idea for all sorts of reasons, you know? In this case, I didn't feel that I was responding so much to the review (*shrug* Can't really review a thing you destroy before using, right? It's like reviewing a toaster you shove in the bathtub with your cat. Not the intended use for either object, so you're sort of screwed if you try to sue either toaster maker OR cat maker. All bad.) I felt more that I was responding to the destruction, and it's nice to see that there are a whole lot of people who think that destroying a book is a pretty awful thing. (Gives ME hope, anyway!)

Anyway, its early Monday morning, and I need to go get Zoomboy-- if he doesn't get his cuddles before school, he's an unhappy Zoomboy, and my having the day off doesn't seem to figure into his plans at all.

Happy Monday, everyone! (And don't hate on the extra week off-- my district took furlough days this year, so I get a week off at the beginning of June too-- and the requisite tiny paycheck as well. *sigh* It's a good thing If I Must is doing well--I may have to use the proceeds to pay something vital, like power or water--in March.)

Friday, January 1, 2010

More Letters To the Ether..

To my darling daughter--

I'm sorry the bands on the Rose Bowl parade were not as exciting to you as they were to us. And forgive us for the miscommunication--honey, we didn't know you expected to see "Martians" there. We were only looking at the "marching" bands.

Love Mama, who used to be in a Martian band herself.

To the people who make the rules at iUniverse--

Although it's nice of you to offer me a chance to edit one last time, I ask you, what good are fifty changes going to do in a 220K manuscript? That's all you're allowing me, and I think expecting me to only make one mistake every 4,500 words or so is WAY too optimistic.

But, uhm, it's looking pretty good so far, right? (What do I know--I'm only the writer with a comma splicing addiction... all my editors are kept out of this stage. HELP ME, GRAMMAR GODS, HELP ME!)

Excuse me, I need to go have a short, meaningless fling with the Chicago Manual of Style now...

Amy Lane

To my dear husband who is trying to do home improvement around dinner time:

Please excuse me while your legs stick out from under the sink, directly blocking the stove--may I make some pizza bites to feed our family? *whimper* Nevermind.


And finally, with a little less good cheer...

To the woman who reviewed Vulnerable today:

Dear Madam--

I understand that you wish to keep from your son every hint of sexual innuendo and to never expose him to books or ideas outside of your personal scope of comfort. I do get that. However, I think that destroying my book in front of your son and then giving the book a poor review because you failed to read the information posted about the book to be excessive, violent, ignorant, and counter productive.

The book is listed under paranormal romance--that should be a big hint that something of a sexual nature should occur. Nearly every review listed--both the good and the bad--talk about the highly erotic nature of the book. There are seventeen tags of the book under 'erotica'. There is a swear word in the book description--that is a big clue that this book is not for the squeamish. The book selling site has a 'look inside' option--that there is another way for you to investigate the content of a book that you are buying for your beloved adolescent. There is NO listing under Young Adult--None. I've actively discouraged people over the internet from buying the book, based on sexual content alone. Your claim that you thought it would be Young Adult because it is part of 'The Little Goddess' series is really very disingenuous. Anne Rice puts out a lovely series of Sleeping Beauty books. Would you like to purchase those too, based on title alone?

But we'll put that aside for a moment. I don't object to people disliking my books--really. I do object to a violent reaction, and destroying books to me is the ultimate in violence. You are destroying ideas. You must be so very proud of yourself. In fact, why don't you treat yourself to a book? How about Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, Alice Walker, J.K. Rowling, Jonathan Swift, J.R.R. Tolkien or Judy Blume? Oh, I'm sorry-- are those authors too inflammatory for you? Too sexually charged? That's funny--they can be found on one of your favorite websites, this one right here: The one with Sarah Palin's picture on it, (because, you know, she's such a sterling example of parenthood for our young people.) But I understand. I'd offer you a Bible, since that may very well be your leaning, except that's one of the most censored books in THE WORLD, and I don't want to offend your sensibilities.

But now you leave me in sort of a quandary. I've always firmly believed that censorship is unnecessary, and book burning is ludicrous--someone once said that the only way to fight bad ideas is with better ideas, and that's impossible to do when the book is in ashes or lining a parrot cage. Hitler's book, Mein Kampf, for example, contains all sorts of flaws in logic and terrible self-contradictions that prove that he was a madman and his ideas were untenable (in case the pile of innocent bodies doesn't do it--but you know mankind--our memory is abysmally short.) If we had destroyed that book all over the world, those ideas would still be floating around, but we wouldn't be able to prove they were less stable than cat-diarrhea on a heating grate (and a good deal nastier) and show people how they didn't add up. We might be set up to do the same bullshit fuck-ourselves mess all over again.

The problem is, this belief that censorship is unnecessary is predicated on the fact that people can be self-censoring when they have all the information. You have just proven that this is not the case, since you were too ignorant to educate yourself on what you were buying. And to add insult to irony, won't even let me block your ignorant, emotionally unstable review from my sight! But really? I don't have to read the review. In fact, I don't plan to. I don't read a lot of things I find on from now on, your posts will be on that list.

So I guess, really, it's no harm no foul. I CAN self-censor the things that annoy me without destroying the written word. I suggest you do the same.


Amy Lane

P.S. I was once asked to burn a trashy romance/porn by my parents, just because it was fire day and the damned thing was cluttering up the top of the refrigerator. I was aghast and spent some of my time at the fire pit, trying to see what was so bad about that book. As I watched the pages go up in flames, every forbidden word was seared eternally in my gray matter. I'll bet that any words your son read of mine have that same destiny. Since the first love scene in Vulnerable was m/m, I'm thinking that maybe you've done yourself a disservice. You certainly can't blame me anymore. Like you said--my book no longer exists in your home.

P.P.S. My latest book, title 'If I Must', features a cuddly kitten wrapped in tinsel on the front. I sincerely beg you not to buy it.

Amy Lane