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

Friday, April 28, 2017

Test Scores

I took ZoomBoy to go register for high school today, and was reminded of something not many people know about learning handicaps.

ZoomBoy has ADHD--most of you know this, and even if you didn't read Clear Water, you figured out that he got it from me.

Now, one of the hallmarks of a kid with a learning disability like ADHD is that there is a noticeable achievement gap between what his test scores say he can do and what his actual grades show he's done. 

There's a number--something like 20%--how that relates to what I don't know. But I do know what I was looking at when I saw his transcript paper today.

This kid had a 2.0 GPA with MAP test scores in the 95th and 97th percentiles. 

And the counselor was touting the old bullshit line about, "It's better to get an A in regular English than a C in honors."

Yeah. No.

"Hi, uh, yeah. This kid has ADHD."

"Well, lots of kids--"

"No. This is the Industrial Strength ADHD--the kind that makes a squirrel on meth look like he's in a coma."


"You think it's better to get an A in regular English than a C in honors? Well with him, he can get a C in honors English or an F in regular English."

"Yes. I see that. Why doesn't he have an open 504?"

Me: 0.0  "What do you mean he doesn't?"

"Well, see, here it says--"

"I called a special meeting before he went into Junior High so they could give him an open 504 so we wouldn't have to deal with this. Are you saying he doesn't have one?"

"Not apparently."

"Well, I'll fix that--but we need to find some way to fix this."  I waved the paper around.

"We'll do our best."

ZoomBoy was all big eyes through all of this.

"Did I do something wrong?" he asked.

I sighed. "Nope. I mean, besides not doing your homework, but you've been fixing that. Jesus, kid--would you look at these test scores!"


"They're pretty damned good."


"The next four years are gonna be a challenge."

*sigh*  "Yeah."

Well, he's up to it. Honestly? As long as he graduates, I'm not stressing about grades. 

With this kids brains, he could spend four years watching YouTube and come out and conquer the world. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Pretty girls and Floofy Woof

First of all--my stepmom sent me pictures of the kids for Easter.  They went egg hunting in the rain, and they were SO most triumphant, I had to share!  For the record, each little egg was a pass to a toybasket-- yet another way to hunt without worrying about too much chocolate.

Second of all--it rained today when it wasn't supposed to. Squish was depressed--she was supposed to have outside class pictures today, and had worn her spring dress with a cardigan and everything. I took her picture when she got home, just so we'd still have one.

And thirdly--This happened on our way home from dance lessons. A TRUCK BUCKET OF FLOOFY WOOF!!!! Oh my God--ZoomBoy was taking the pictures, and he took like a zillion--but we couldn't seem to get a good one that showed there were FOUR magnificent fluffy woofs in the back of this truck. Was awesome.

Oh! Fourthly-- when you walk into an AT&T store and the three clerks start flirting with you, the only customer in the store, in a desperate attempt to talk about Unicorn Frappes and bodyguard phone protection, you know SOMEBODY is having a slow day.

Damn, were they cute!

And now, back to the Quickening blog tour. Oi!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Autism Awareness Blog Hop: Perfect

Hey all-- it's that time of year again for RJ Scott's wonderful and inspiring Autism Awareness Blog Hop.  You can find the masterpost--with the list of the great authors who've contributed RIGHT HERE.   It's definitely worth a read folks--do check it out.

Now, many of you know that while none of my children are on the autism spectrum, three of them do suffer through a range of neuro-atypical difficulties. The most difficult one of these to explain has been our oldest son, who is Communicatively Handicapped.

It doesn't sound like a real thing--I know. I mean, I know a number of men who freely admit to being communicatively handicapped on any given day. But the disability itself affects everything--from behavior to muscle tone to academics to socialization.  My son is 24 now, and we've worked hard to make him self-sufficient. He took six to nine units a semester and got his AA degree after five years of hard work. He's going for his BA, and that's impressive--especially considering initial assessments thought he'd be lucky if he ever learned to read. But he will never drive. He has only now become mature enough to think about dating. Working more than thirty hours a week will completely overwhelm him. Unexpected questions or social situations fluster him to the point of tears.

Cognitive disabilities are rated mild, moderate, or severe--and Big T was in the moderate range, which meant this disability would be something he would have to overcome in every aspect of his life as he matured to adulthood. His accomplishments are no small thing.

When he was a baby, getting him diagnosed so we could get help was a nightmare.

To start with, his pediatrician was not competent--and his father and I were new and uncertain parents.

"But doctor--he cries all the time."

"Yeah, they do that."

"Well, yeah--but I lost my job because we couldn't keep a babysitter."

"Well, you should be home with him anyway."  And for those of you who are like, "How could you let him speak to you like that?" I should mention--my mother-in-law felt the same way. In fact, she actively blamed me for the fact that he cried all the time, because I had gone back to work so we could afford the incompetent frickin' doctor. My own parents actively and vocally blamed me because I didn't work full time and they felt I "hovered".  I could not fuckin' win.

But back to diagnosis.

"But doctor--he's six months old and he can't hold a bottle."

"They get lazy."

"But he can't sit up, either--and that's a milestone, it's in all the books."

The doctor sat him up and he sagged like a half-full bag of rice. "Naw--he'll get there soon. He's fine."

"But he's not talking."

"Well talk to him."  (Seriously--you all have met me, right?)

"But he's not mobile and he's eleven months old."

"Look at that--he's walking."

"But he won't raise his hands to grab furniture. He's blocking with his chest!"

And so on.

Finally, when he turned two, he had a grand total of three words. That was it. Three. "Yes," "No," and "Ba". I'd had his younger sister by this time, and we were starting to realize that no--none of the behaviors he'd shown as an infant were normal. The lack of ability to transition, the lack of receptive language skills, the low muscle tone, the zero expressive language--something was getting in the way of his progress.  Hell--even his size. He was extraordinarily tall, but he ate too much--and that sounds like bad parenting, something I'll freely own--but when he was two, his father and I sat at the table half-asleep and realized hey--this kid had eaten half a pizza and wasn't slowing down. When he was tired, the same thing that hindered his muscle tone and coordination also failed to tell him he was full.  When he was four months old he could drink 24 oz of pumped breast milk in a sitting. (And brother, that was not comfortable--I'm saying.)

But explaining this--and getting it explained back to us--was difficult and frustrating to say the least.

The medical profession had sort of completely failed us--and have yet to regain our faith, honestly.

So the education system came into play, and we applied for a number of early intervention programs--all of which agreed with us. Something was not right. He could hear. He could respond. But there seemed to be a big thick wall between stimuli, cognition, and expression. (This is what makes communication handicaps so hard to diagnose, I think--his cognitive processes are AWESOME. His input and output station is full of rust and manned by slackers taking naps.)

His early test scores put him below 10th percentile in everything.

And the testing processes seemed to go on and on and on.  At one point we had to tape electrodes to his head and keep him up all night and try to do a sleep study. He was three! Ugh. That was a nightmare--and a failure--and his father and I were just up to our eyeballs and fucking DONE.

And that's when--driven by grief and desperation--Mate said something really profound that changed our entire approach. Changed, in fact, the way we would deal with our kids forever.

"Goddammit--all this testing to see what's wrong with him! Can't they see that he's PERFECT?"


Yes--I know. I just catalogued things he couldn't do. I didn't even mention the ten to twenty tantrums a day, the inability to process that a situation was going to change and he needed to change with it. Anyone dealing with this kid would not automatically think "perfect."

But oh God. He was. He hugged me every morning. He tried so hard to keep up with his cousins and talk and run and play. We could understand maybe one word in twenty, but he would babble to us about his day and his friends and the sky--oh, and his heart!  He played with his little sister so happily--even their fights were civilized. He would become captured by moments of beauty--he lost his balloons once at the park and cried inconsolably because he would never get them back. His sister could read at four years old, and he would pick up her books and recite what he thought were the contents, so he could read too.

He was so perfect.

We stopped the quest for the perfect disorder name not long after.

Quite frankly, we did not give a flying rat's fucking ass what the doctors wanted to call it. The education system had him enrolled in early intervention programs at two, long before the doctors even wanted to believe that we were right, and he needed intervention at all.

He was perfect.

There were things we could do--exercises, programs, classes, techniques--all geared to help him overcome whatever was getting in his way. We did those things--and he was so smart--so perfect--that he took what we could give him and he ran with it. When he was three his IEP said we needed to get his incidents of tantrums down to ten a day. When he was seven, his IEP said we needed to eliminate the one tantrum he had a week.

And things weren't easy--his disability will never go away. Explaining to him, multiple times, why he will probably never be capable of driving is something that continues to break my heart. Walking him through social scripts of dealing with teachers and counselors so he can ask coherently for the help he needs its time consuming and frustrating.

But it's worth it.

Because he's perfect.

So this is what works for my family. It's the belief that our children, when given the love and the help they need, will become the best and most perfect version of themselves. There's nothing in there about a free ride or a miracle cure--there's just the belief that the child we've been blessed with has all the ingredients to make our family complete. As parents, we just need to find the ways our kid is perfect.

 I've heard parents of children with disabilities talk about their own children--autism, Asperger's syndrome, OCD, ADHD, depression-- so many different ways a child can be thrown a curve ball by his or her own brain chemistry, it's truly astounding.

But every parent I've heard has the same belief.

There are difficulties, there are roadblocks, there are diagnoses and interventions.  There are acronyms and funded education, and non-profits and IEP's.

But all of it, all of the many approaches, the many things there are to learn about each and every disability comes down to wanting our perfect children to be as successful and as happy as we can possibly help them be.

In a world full of highly fallible humans, it's one of the closest ways we as parents come to perfection ourselves.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


So, Quickening Part 1 is out in LESS THAN A WEEK!!!!!

*pant pant wheeze wheeze pant*


To sort of get us in the mood I thought I'd share a teaser from Max and Renny, a couple who doesn't get a whole lot of play on the hill, mostly because Renny is at her best when she's non-verbal...

But they must have banter. And snark.

And claws and whiskers too.

So here's a teaser with Max and Renny in it, just to wet your whiskers.

*  *  *


Cory was sulking on the couch again and Max could barely refrain from turning into a cat and rubbing his nose with his paws.

Goddammit, she smelled pregnant.

Renny walked into the kitchen as Max made their sandwiches, and Max held his breath, waiting to see what kind of mood she'd be in. Her slender arms around his waist--good. Her sweet nuzzle against his back--also good.

Max wasn't sure what caused the change--it might have been that Cory yawned. It might have been that she started to shiver, because that's what she did when Bracken was outside hammering out drywall. Whatever it was she did, it reminded Renny that she was pregnant and the whole hill knew it.

Except Cory.

She snarled and raked Max's stomach with her claws as she changed.

"Nice," he snapped, because dammit, he was bleeding. "You're not getting a sandwich unless you turn human."

Her paw--delicate in proportion to her body but still the size of a saucer--snuck up onto the counter and pulled both sandwiches onto the ground.  She proceeded to eat them both, onions, mayonnaise, and all.

Max was raised to be a gentleman, and a gentleman did not call one's beloved a bitch, even when she'd just bogarted your sandwich.

"Garfield," he swore softly, and she ran an indignant claw over his naked calf as he went back to refrigerator for more sandwich fixins.

By the time he finished making his own sandwiches, Renny was sitting up on the island. "Chips," she said shortly, so Max grabbed a bag and opened it so they could both dig in.

"Sorry," she mumbled through a mouthful. ""m'twitchy."

Max couldn't blame her. Even as a human the smell as all over the front room.

Kittens. He could smell kittens. 

And mama cat was just sitting there, oblivious.

Max stuffed half a sandwich and some chips in his mouth and said, "Wanna go help Bracken?" through a full mouth.

"Jackrabbits," she said, then shoved another mouthful in. When she had that about swallowed, she turned into a cat again. Max got to the kitchen door and let her outside so she could trot down the landing and out into the world in general.

It would probably be more satisfying if the "banging out drywall" that the men professed to do in Teague's family house was actually what they were doing. But no--all the non-load-bearing walls had already been knocked down. What was left was actually framing walls and putting drywall back up.

It was much more of a finesse job, and Max was grateful for summers he'd spent in construction because he'd been giving Bracken and Nicky and Green pointers as they'd worked out their frustrations with the current situation.

Right now, it was just Bracken and Nicky, and Nicky was all about sitting on an ice chest and giving Bracken pointers.

"Sand it, big man. You know what Max told us--if you don't sand it all smooth before you put the primer on it, it's going to look like shit."

"If I sand it any harder I'm going to sand a hole through the middle," Bracken gritted. "Don't we have anything I can break?"

"Sorry," Max said, walking through the door. "But that wall is about sanded perfect. Let's move on to framing the kitchen. We've got the lumber and Bracken can pound nails--"

"Which is what he excels at," Nicky said smugly.

Max growled, almost feral.

"What crawled up your ass?"  Nicky asked, following him into the middle of the house where the lumber and supplies sat.

"My wife."

Nicky cracked upend Max's already crossed eyes crossed further as he tried to make that mental picture not happen.

"No, not that way. She's just... you know..."

"Not all human," Nicky said in sympathy.  "We get it."

"I just... I don't know what to do to make her less... freaked out. We all know what that smell is. We all know what it means. What we don't know is how Cory's going to react to it, and, well..."

"That's Renny's job," Nicky said with sympathy. "We get it. But apparently one does not just walk up to a girl and say, 'You screwed up and you're preggers.'  Or at least that's what Green told me when I got off the plane.  I seriously thought there would be a greeting card for that or a cake or something, but no. Just patience and time."

Max grunted, out of the one and unable to waste the other.

"Bracken, brother--you're going to need some help."

"Then come here and help me," Bracken ordered. "If I don't hit something with a hammer, I'm gonna fucking lose it."

"Word," Nicky said.  "Word."

Bracken and Nicky went in after a couple of hours--it was hot outside, no matter how much Green tried to control the temperature and Bracken didn't do well in the heat.  Max stayed in the construction site, talking desultorily to Lambent and Hallow when they came in to help, and then working alone as the evening shadows lengthened.

He was there when Renny trotted up to him, dropping a dead jackrabbit at his feet.

He looked at the thing and tried to find pity-- but he couldn't. His father had taken him hunting as a kid, and getting to do that as a cat was one of the coolest most trippy-awesome things of his life.

He squatted in the dust of the house and scratched his wife behind the ears. "I appreciate it," he said softly. "But we both know it's not going to make things better."

Penny licked his wrist, long, slow licks that rasped the skin off his arm, but he let her.

"We've got to be running out of jackrab--"

She meowed plaintively.

He stared at her, fascinated by her cat form as he was in her human form. She was... elusive. In their marriage bed, she was practically silk and air--right up until he climaxed, and then she was warm and human and real, holding him, laughing with him, licking his face. (Yes, in human form--he'd signed on with her in all her quirky glory, and being more cat than girl was part of that.)

Suddenly she was a girl, squatting naked in the lengthening shadows. "I was a bitch," she said quietly. "None of this is your fault. Come run with me. We can play in the pond. The littles will run from us and pretend to be mice."  She reached out and cupped her hand on his cheek. "There's bad shit out there," she said, her voice drifty and almost clairvoyant. "I can smell it. But not tonight."

Max nodded grimly, but then he cupped the back of her head and pulled her into a kiss.

She tasted like jackrabbit blood.

And wild thing.

And Renny.

He turned into a cat and left his clothes lying on the floor of the construction site. He had no doubts the sprits would return them to his and Renny's room, but in the meantime, his beloved was offering him a chance to be moonlight and death.

Max watched her, stretching as she bounded across Green's gardens, and followed her into a leaping frolic.

Moonlight and death.

What a beautiful thing to be.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

I think I've hit that point...

So, I leave for RT in a week, and I think I've hit that point...

You guys know that point?

Where the avalanche of stuff on your desk is so big, and your list of deadlines so huge, that you can't focus?

Like before you can do laundry and pack, you need to curl up in a little ball and go comatose and plan shit in your head.


Just as I sat down here to write about the stuff I had to do I remembered that I'd FORGOTTEN to take ZoomBoy to dance practice today.

But I remember lying down to nap and trying to pinpoint exactly what it was I was missing to do today, and getting "Blog tour...Did I set up the sale for the LG?... finish story... add extras... can I submit that thing before I leave?... you have two edits... you need to do laundry... did you get your swag in order?... what about that dress, DO YOU HAVE THE DRESS?... what about your hair?... makeup--all your makeup is crap... HOLY GOD DO THE ANIMALS HAVE FOOD?'  And that ran around my head until I literally fell asleep to escape it.

So that point.

It's this really surreal calm point as you try to plan all the chaos.

And it's distinctly uncomfortable.


So we went to a Republic game last night, and, as I always am, I was struck by the sheer gorgeousness of athletes in their prime. Maybe it's because I was never an athlete--and now a mile with the dogs a day feels like a booyah moment. But I watch the young people on the field, and they're SO fast, and they're SO strong--I'm just grateful I can try to capture them in fiction, is all.

But also, funny thing happened there--

Mate and I had premium seats, but we moved at halftime to sit with his friends, one of whom has been known to coach soccer herself. So Mate and Lauren are chatting about soccer--completely absorbed--and Lauren's husband, Derrick, looks at me and says, "Are they still at it?"

"Oh yeah--I'm glad he's got someone to talk to about it."

Derrick was like, "Yeah, sometimes I just have to call halt--I can't hear it anymore."

"I don't mind so much," I said, shrugging. "Besides, I talk about my job sometimes, and he's really nice about letting me bounce my ideas off him. 'A guy would really say that, right?' can be a really important question sometimes!"

Derrick definitely agreed.


And this is a Chicken story.

She came with me to buy some swag bags and some T-shirts (the T-shirts were hers) and Squish came with me and generally we chatted and had fun.  Then, at the end, I was putting together "s'mores kits" for the baskets I'm giving out, and Chicken was loading bags at the grocery store.

In our travels she'd gotten a lollipop--one of the really big kinds--and she had that thing in her mouth and was just sort of doing her thing, oblivious to the 25-ish, attractive clerk tapping her on the shoulder.

"Uh, Miss? Miss? I can help with that. Would you like some help with that?"

We all knew the moment she realized he was addressing her-- she practically choked on her lollipop and her face exploded.

Her sister and I looked in horror as she started coughing, eyes and nose watering, and the clerk had to help her out while she tried not to choke and die.

"Smooth," I said, when she could finally breathe.

"I know," she wailed.

"Haven't seen moves like that since your father."

"Thank God there's precedent."

I comforted her on the way home--"I bet that happens to that guy a LOT--he was really cute."

"I hate you."

"I"m sorry--it's all I got."

"Still hating."

Well, she had reason.

And Squish had an awesome moment-- I put it on Twitter.

I ordered Geoffrey Symon's new book on Crime Scenes, and Squish saw it.

"Oh that's great! Are you going to share that with Karen (Rose)?  That way she'll know how many bodies will fit in the refrigerator!"

Mate heard her as he was walking by. "I thought we agreed, it depends on how well you chop them up!"

"Yes, but this book gives you TIPS!"

I mentioned this to Geoffrey and Karen on Twitter-- they adore Karen, and are big fans of Geoffrey's last book--and Karen thought that they would be the most popular kids in school if they knew good criminal procedure.

They seemed to think they would be too!

It's a good thing they love me, or I'd be a little worried...

And that's it!

Oh-- if you have any Kermit Flail to share, don't forget to e-mail me, okay? I want that post ready to go next  Sunday morning--I'm going to be in the airport and crotch of a slutty dawn o'clock.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Lots of Different Stuff

So, I fell asleep last night appallingly early. I think it was the last of the cold kicking my ass, and a little bit of stress, and fear of the avalanche of stuff I might not be able to get to in the next week.

But mostly being sick and actually tired.


Some kid things to laugh about...

The "Easter bunny" got chicken a pretty little summer top--that Chicken eyed like some sort of skanky 80's tube top that came with hoop earrings, lipstick, a pack of cigarettes and three rubbers.

"Really? You want me to wear this?"

"It's adorable."


"If you don't like it, give it to your sister."

"I want it!" Squish said excitedly.

I really should have gotten a picture because it was adorable. Had a flirty peasanty little collar, flowers--it looked springy and cute, and Squish with her braid and her jeans was just too cute for words. Now this is the third new thing squish has gotten in the last couple of weeks, and she was sitting in the car today on the way to school.

"I am experiencing a style transition," she said sagely. "From, you know, mostly T-shirts and yoga pants, all casual, to jeans and blouses--you know. More structured."

"A style transition," I said blankly.


"Well, good luck with that, Today's outfit is smashing."

Bless her. A style transition. When I experience a style transition I go from pajama pants to loose yoga shorts. She's actually growing up.

Now, this other thing I posted on FaceBook, and a few people looked at it and went, "Huh?"

But I think it deserves a little more attention than that, because it was ZoomBoy being AMAZINGLY clever.

Okay-- if you haven't heard this comedy bit, the rest of the story won't make sense--

Now, because I know most of you won't go listen to the comedy bit, I'll recap. (You should listen to it--it's HILARIOUS.)  It features two guys going into a diner and one of them dumping all his coins into the jukebox and playing Tom Jones's "What's New, Pussycat" seven times.   

Seven times.

Which is an eternity--especially if you listen to the song, because it's REALLY repetitive. 

Now the other song--and this one shows up in the middle of the lineup--is "It's Not Unusual"--and the point in the bit is that having it show up in the middle of the umpteenth rendition of "Whoa-a-whoa-whoa-" is like a breath of air before going back to being waterboarded again. 

So you need to keep that in mind before the rest of the story makes sense.


When we drive to dance, I am usually in zombie mode-- tired and just up from a nap that's too short.
ZoomBoy usually mans my phone as the DJ and Dropkick Murphys usually rule.

But today, he picked "What's New Pussycat."

Now is when you have to refer to the video--or just take my word for it.

Cause there I am, zombie mode, the driving dead, and suddenly Squish goes, "Hey-- did you repeat that song?"

"No," ZoomBoy said--COMPLETELY deadpan, mind you. "It's just a dip in the middle."

Suddenly my brain switched on.

"You little shit!" I laughed. "I'd better hear Rocky Road to Dublin RIGHT NOW or you're off DJ duty for LIFE!"

He could not stop cackling.

The next song was "It's Not Unusual"

Squish danced and snapped in the backseat, and I couldn't stop laughing.  

So, I got to dance and went in to watch the rehearsal. This is where (those of you who follow me on  Twitter may remember) the dance teacher shouted, "Hey! The Lane kids are lost again!" and I responded, "Stunned. STUNNED I am that my kids are lost on the dance floor." The fact is, my kids aren't bad--but they get into the mode of watching someone's feet and all their hard work falls to shit. We know it. It's a problem. They're working on it.

But in the meantime, I'm texting Mate about "What's New, Pussycat!"

He laughed, and then told me, Yeah--I got Rick-Rolled this morning. 

Oh my God. He looks so quiet. Little shit indeed.          

And on the Mate front--

Tonight I came out from folding clothes and he was watching MST3K. (Mystery Science Theater 3000) The premise is much like Cinema Craptastique, where the comedians watch the movie and rip it apart. Anyway, we're watching something in it with  Doug McClure, and Mate goes, "Oh yeah. I remember this movie!"

And I remember that when I met Mate, he was a kid barely out of high school and still living with his mom. Nobody had any money and it was the 80's-- sometimes watching shitty movies on network television was all a boy could afford, and he LOVED those movies with all his soul. 

So we had a good laugh over that, and then the next episode of the show started (one episode per crappy movie) and Mate goes, "Oh my God! I've seen this one TOO!"  

No movie is bad enough for my Mate.  (I am actually beaming with pride. It's such an adorkable quality. I could watch those shitty movies with him for the rest of our lives.)

And there you go! 

Hopefully I made up for falling asleep yesterday--but I may try to slip some fanfic in this weekend anyway.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Erranded to death...

Kid to school

Walk the dogs

Service the car

Shopping with Mom

The fabric store!

Home again

Daughter drives now

But first the pet store

Then there's Safeway

Lunch now please?

Parking lot hopping

Til Del Taco

Cause Mom's got a headache

Cause it's almost two.

Thank grown daughter

Get in the car

Get the kids
A stop at Starbucks

Unicorn Frappe--

Not until tomorrow?

Well unicorn poop!

Make some promises

Get them home

Shit, I've got work!

If I don't nap I'll die

Mate to the rescue!

Dishes done when I wake up!

Leftovers for dinner

Then it's time

To make some swag

Last night I was up

Until almost two

Tonight it's much shorter

Cause Mate's doing it too

A whole half hour

To watch TV

While working on sweater

For the kid who helped me.

And now I'm writing.

Post office tomorrow

And Thursday too

God I've got a lot to do.

On a plane in a week?

Or just a little bit more.

Seems I've sung

This song before.

But it's not getting old

And it's not getting twee

Cause I'm busy as hell

Right before RT.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Ham ham ham ham...

So, VERY tired tonight--shall share a short dissertation on ham and what it apparently means to my family.

On Saturday night, I made a ham for the family. We were going to my parents for Easter potluck, but my kids REALLY love ham, and it was on sale for obvious reasons. I bought two.

Anyway, it was enjoyed on Saturday, and then we went to my parents' house and ate ALL THE THINGS Sunday, and then this morning...

I checked to make sure Squish was eating breakfast...

"So, uh, Squish. Whatcha eatin' there?"

She smiled around a mouthful.  "Something I found in the refrigerator."

"You know, there's also lobster mac and cheese leftover from yesterday."

"Mm... good dinner."

I thought this was cute--and gratifying, and then, as I was walking the dogs, I got a text from Chicken...

"I'm coming over."

"Do you want me to bring coffee after I'm done walking dogs?"

"Sure. Thanks. But I'm coming over to eat ham."

I got home and she was already comfortably ensconced on the chair, eating ham and mac and cheese. I made her a care package and said, "Now, remember to share this with your brother."

"Fine," she said. "But I swear to God if he comes into the living room after having cooked ALL the leftovers for himself and then gets all puzzled that I ask him for some, I'm going to beat him to death with my shoe."

"Uh, that's fair."

"Mom, you have no idea."

"Hello--I lived with him. I get it. Maybe explain that to him when you get home so we don't get any calls from the police."


Now, me, being me, found these two exchanges to be fairly funny, so tonight when Mate get home I said, "Oh my God! I have things to tell you about ham!"

"What about it?" he said. "I took some to work for lunch. It was great! I'm so glad you got two!"

So, uh, there you go.

My family and ham.

It's apparently a thing.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter!

Lots of fun stuff today--but I'm a little tired, so I'll stick to the big stuff.

First of all, I chatted with a reader today, one who was, like all of us, worried about the state of the world. She shared with me this quote from Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, author, and human rights activist--and the words were good.

I told her I'd share them with you: (Paragraph divisions are mine, because auto formatting is a tricky beast.)

We must always take sides. 

Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.

 There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. 

All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them.

 Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing.

 There are victories of the soul and spirit. Sometimes, even if you lose, you win. Peace is our gift to each other. Hope is like peace. It is not a gift from God. It is a gift only we can give one another. 

I have not lost faith in God. I have moments of anger and protest. Sometimes I've been closer to him for that reason. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe.

So we must struggle to make kindness and equality a real thing, wherever our universe. This is a true thing.

And on the family front...

*  I did an Easter treasure hunt with clues in the eggs and the kids loved it. *happy sigh*  I'm never going back to just eggs again.

*  Also-- my parents' driveway is sort of infamous--it's wiggly, and it's guarded by a gate with posts and rocks and a tricky thread the needle thing to back out--and the only way to go in is forward so you ALWAYS have to back out.  

Anyway--my folks give me shit every time I back out of it.

But today, Chicken came to visit after work--but she was SO SICK she didn't stay long. So she was backing out of the driveway and the car was squiggling all around and trying not to hit rocks and posts and I realized something.

Like my ADHD, my squirrelly temperament, my thing with words and my freckles, bad driving is something else that gets passed down the ages. *sigh*  Sorry Chicken.

*  My mom poured me a "whipped lemonade" today-- whipped cream vodka and lemonade. Nom.

*  And I'm still a little sick-- but then, so is ZoomBoy. Let's just say we both got back from grandmas and had to sleep for two hours before we could wake up to go to bed. 

*  A few years ago I published a cute little short with Wilde City Press in an anthology called Foolish Encounters. Sadly, Wilde City is no more, but since they gave me the rights to the story, I posted it on my website. Click here for The Fenestra Penetration-- and be prepared: VERY NSFW. 

On that note, I'm going to bed--I really am too sleepy to remember the other stuff that happened today, so that's my sign :-)

Thursday, April 13, 2017


I know politics are scary out there--we're watching a greedy evil petty tyrant hurt our neighbors and take away our rights, while the men who are supposed to hold him back are picking their noses and calling themselves holy because they've never had to make a hard choice in their lives.

I'm angry too.

But I know a lot of you are frightened and are watching your Twitter feeds and news feeds and having a hard time breathing for the fear.

Think about what you did today--I know you, so many of you who read my blog.

Did you do something to make somebody happy?

Were you kind?

Did you gather with your family? Text a friend? Forgive someone for a small slight without even letting it fester?

Did you give to charity today, sign a petition, look at a protest march and think about how it could fit into your schedule? Did you buy a gift with a whole heart? Did you dye eggs with children, whether it's your religion or not?  (And Easter American style-- who actually knows or gives a shit where the traditions come from.  Chocolate. That's all we care about. And deviled eggs but only if someone in your family has a really rockin' recipe.) Did you hug someone with your entire body, until you couldn't hold the stretch anymore?

Did you write something you were proud of, or read something that touched your soul?

The Dunning-Kruger effect holds that the least competent people are the ones who jump into a difficult situation because they're really too stupid to know they can't do the job--witness the entire GOP and the traitor-in-chief at the moment. Dumbest motherfuckers on the planet, so busy destroying shit they can't even get the puppet hands out of their asses while they do it.

But the people who read my blog--I've met you. I've shaken your hands or hugged you at conventions and conferences, and you've given me joy just by telling me stories of your own lives.

You're smart.  You know what's important. You know what kind of world you want to live in. You take steps EVERY DAY--both the ordinary days and the frightening extraordinary ones--to make that happen.

You read romance because it gives you hope and faith and because you believe in love and kindness and giving back to the world more than you take from it.

No matter what tomorrow-- and the idiot-fuckhead-traitors jacking off to their own bombs-- brings, we know we have lived today with the most kindness, the most productivity, the most love we could possibly give to the world.  

And we will do so tomorrow.

And the next day.

And all the days we are blessed with to keep doing just that.

It's who we are. It's all we can do. It's the best we can do.

And knowing that lets me breathe through the day, when I am afraid (and sick--I admit it--ZoomBoy and I have had fevers all day) and tired.  Knowing that someone right now is reading a book I wrote because it gave them hope--that's why I'll keep writing tonight.

So breathe, if you can. Take a breath, and the next one, and the next one--and all the ones you're blessed with after that. You are loved. You have loved. You have worked for the best possible world you could without self-aggrandizement or hypocrisy.

Many of you have given all your talents to something that will make the world better.

Your talents, your effort, aren't in vain. Not even on scary days. You HAVE made the world better. Your kindness ALREADY matters. Nothing can change that.

Breathe. Hold your family. Keep doing good in the world.


Have faith.

Work for change.

Hope some more.

It matters.

See you all Sunday-- we're doing a new thing for Easter this year. Let's see if it works :-)


Okay so ZoomBoy is sick with a super sore throat and a fever, and I'm just sort of tired and cranky. Gonna be a blessedly short blogpost tonight, folks!

The few points of interest...

When you're feeling sort of punk, nothing beats vegging out on Berry Jello's couch and shotgunning a series.

In this case, I was shotgunning Walking Dead, and it's (as everyone has been saying for YEARS) amazing.

Knowing that I tend to proselytize things like television shows, writers, and musicians, I wonder how long it's going to be before my nearest and dearest are going to be saying things like, "Jesus Christ on a cracker, Amy, did you HAVE to show us the motherfuckin' zombies?"

Sweetie Baby Honeyface the cat cuddles with ZoomBoy when he's sick. Because that's just Sweetie Baby Honeyface's frickin' WAY.

Now that I've fallen in love with the cast of Walking Dead, I'm going to hate to see most of these poor fuckers die. (And seriously, anybody who doesn't know that was coming hasn't been paying attention to anything in the last five years. The same could be said for our current political clusterfuck as well, but, well, I'm cranky enough as it is.)

My characters had surprise sex last night, and when you're a writer and suddenly your characters are doing it without your permission, well, that could be the only time that's a good thing.

Last night as I sat and wrote, there was a giant THUD at the front door, and the dogs started barking their nuts off. I got up to check (because I AM the dead person in a horror movie, apparently) and when I opened the door, I realized that something had displaced it--shoved it back about an inch when it hadn't been completely shut. And the cat was there, glaring at me like I was a complete and total bitch for not letting her in sooner.  Yup. The cat almost opened the front door, and it's a shame she didn't do it completely because either way, I had to go change my drawers.

And tonight's going to be rough, cause ZB's throat hurts him a LOT, but we have a doc's appointment in the morning. Since it's raining outside, I'm not too keen on throwing him in the car and dragging him to a place o-germs, but dude... my baby HURTS and that's not cool.

And that's about it--hope you all are having a peaceful, healthy night.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Predictably, we're late...

Mate:  Sum of Us?

Me: Politics. Or charity. Or sort of both.

Mate: Got it.

Mate: Avaaz?

Me: Politics. Or charity. Or sort of both.

Mate: Right.

Mate: Vistaprint.

Me: Work.

Mate (to self): Advertising...

Me: Sure.


Me: Self-medication.

Mate: Lots of those when your books come out.

Me: Do I SEEM less neurotic?

Mate: I could make a case, but no. Not declaring it.  T-Fury, Tee-Spring, Zazzle...

Me: I was seduced by the internet.

Mate: I can't declare that.  Project Trevor?

Me: Charity.

Mate: Mod-Lily, Roaman's, Women Within...

Me: Uh, clothes?

Mate: Work related...

Me: Just not the pajamas.

Mate: That's a uniform.

Me: Fine. Work related.

Mate: Loopy Ewe?

Me: Self-medication.

Mate: Ah.

Me: Wait! No! I made things! Work related things! We can declare those! I have pictures! There were blog posts! It's... uh... public relations!

Mate: Yarn. As advertising.

Me: Sure.

Mate: $280 in Kansas City?

Me: Uh... oh! The thing!  The thing! I went to the thing!

Mate: *.*

Me: Uh, the uh, panels and people and cosplay and Robert Silverberg and...

Mate (to self): Conference...

Me: Yes! The thing!

Mate: Sure.  This guy here? Who's name I've never heard of?

Me: You've heard me talk about him all the time-- that's Andrew Gordon.

Mate: Sure. This guy here?

Me: We know him too. That's work.

Mate: And this?

Me: Yeah, we know him too. That's advertising.

Mate: I don't know any of these people.

Me: You've met them all!

Mate: Under different names. It's not my fault.

Me: Of course not. What else?

Mate: One more T-shirt company.

Me: That was after the election--self-medication.

Mate: I'm not declaring that. Corbin Fisher?

Me (without batting an eyelash): It's research.

Mate: Is Adam and Eve research?

Me (blushing): Uh, no. That's an, uh, personal expense.

Mate: Unbelievable.

Me: It's cheaper than Xanax.

Mate: Word. I'll leave you alone now. Go do your job with a computer and a blank page.

Me: Sure.

So, see? Taxes.

Falling from the sky.

Okay-- so I've got a SuperBat bug up my keister. Heh heh heh...

So anyway... enjoy.

* * *


The plan was diabolical--and simple.

The helicopter S.O.S.ed over Metropolis, and continued toward Gotham.

"Got this one," Superman said, and Bruce had a vision of him changing in a bathroom stall or a broom closet or something and then zooming out a window. One of the best things of working at night when everyone assumed you were getting drunk and getting laid was that you didn't have to do the costume switch thing.   You just had to not get drunk and not get laid.

Or not get drunk and be all but married to a guy who barely needed to sleep and who would bend over for you on a dime.

God, Bruce Wayne loved Clark Kent in a "I"m so stupid for you" kind of way.

So Bruce had to give his guy props for pulling off the double life on a moment by moment basis--Bruce had enough time being Bruce Wayne in the day and Batman at night.  But having Superman to come home to? That was something special right there. That was almost enough to make him feel human.

"Oh no!" Clark's choirboy voice over the intercom cracked and Bruce tried not to smile. Then Clark said "There's a child, falling from the helicopter--he doesn't appear to be moving!"

"Superman, that's negative on approaching."  Bruce's stomach was suddenly in a roil. "Diana, can you get closer? Can you see what's falling? Somebody get a six on this!"

"It's a child!" Clark insisted. "I'm going in!"

"I do not like this!" Bruce hissed over the intercom. He worked the satellite feed as quickly as he could from his console at work. "Barry! Hal! Somebody besides Clark! That thing looks green!"

"It's a child!" Diana confirmed, but her voice was cracking too. "And I won't get there in time. But he's got something around his neck, like a collar, and it's--Clark! Negative! Give someone else--"


One word, but Clark's voice, strained and fading, was enough to make Bruce want to throw up. He had the visual, close up now. The child--a little boy, was limp and breathing--probably drugged. Around his neck was a bright glowing green kryptonite collar, and Superman was clutching the child and falling sluggishly from the sky.

Slow--it was a slow fall--almost a land.


"Goddammit somebody get there and catch that kid before he stops breathing!"

Because Superman was sickly green, bleeding from the nose, mouth, and ears, skin cracking, like any human would be in the presence of plutonium.

"Got him! Clark, let go! Let me take the kid, you land!"

"Kid..."  Constrained by pain, Clark's normally fine mind was wandering.  "Gotta--"

"I've got him!" Hal snarled. "Let go or we'll all go down!"

Twenty years of being a masked vigilante. He'd gone through four Robins--one of them had been killed in action. And he'd gone to face the damage, doctor the hurts, deal with the fallout with eyes wide open, even when what he saw ripped out his soul.

But he almost couldn't watch his monitors.


"Let go," he whispered. "Come on Clark. Let Hal... let Hal take him. Land yourself. Let go..."

Superman dropped suddenly, as though passing out, and Hal took the advantage, tugging the baby away from him and encasing them both in a bubble shield before taking the kid up to the Eye in the Sky.

And still, Superman fell, slowly, struggling, from the sky.

"Wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up WHY ISN'T ANYBODY GETTING HIM!"

The whole operation had taken maybe ten seconds, and was over two-hundred miles away. Bruce's only option was to stare as Superman's limp form fell...fell...fell... wait, did he just move?


The concrete shattered under his weight.

Bruce watched that still form on the ground while his breath stopped and his heart stopped and everything in his life stopped and breathe move get up breathe move get up breathe move get up...


To onlookers, it was like he'd been jerked up into the air by strings.

Bruce scrubbed his hands across his face and discovered it was wet, and he could no longer stare at the monitor.

"Bruce, he appears to be fine."  Diana's voice was a little trembly. "Clark? Clark? Can you say something to us so we know your brains didn't run out your ears?"

"Barry?" Clark said creaky. "You out there?"

"Barry?" Bruce asked, stricken to the core.

"Yes boss--what do you need from me?"

"Could you go stop Bruce from running?"

"I beg your pardon?" Bruce asked, when he could catch his breath again. To his shame, his voice came out croaky and broken.

"Shouldn't we maybe take down the helicopter, boss?"

"I'll get the helicopter," Diana said grimly. "Hal's got the kid. Barry, do what he says--if Bruce isn't halfway to the BatCave by now in an effort to find something that will get him off planet, I haven't worked with the guy for ten years."

"Fuck you all," Bruce snarled--from the elevator, actually, because he didn't have his suit with him, he was at Wayne Industries for sweet fuck's sake!

"Ten-four," Barry said, like he got it now. "What would you like me to do?"

"Just keep track of him until I get there," Clark said grimly.  "Diana, you sure you got--"

"Kryptonite, Clark. It was obviously aimed at you. Let Hal and I handle this one, and you know. Calm him the hell down."

"I am very calm," Bruce told them.  His brain burned hot and bright, a red ball of fear and pain.

"Uh, yeah." Barry didn't sound convinced. "I'll be there before you can leave Wayne Industries."

Not possible. Mostly because Bruce had a back way. He pulled out his intercom and stepped on it, then pushed the three button sequence that would send the elevator plunging down to subterranean levels and rocket it toward  the outskirts of Gotham.

The trip took about half an hour.

By the time the car shuddered to a halt in the outer circle of the cave, Bruce was still curled up in a corner, shuddering, trying not to lose his shit.  Oh God. Oh hell. He'd thought it was okay, he really had. But Clark had kept falling, and falling, and falling and... Bruce had watched him on the monitor helpless, and he had...

A pounding at the door got his attention.

He hit the manual intercom from the inside of the car. "Alfred, I just haven't opened the doors yet, okay?"

"Obviously, sir. I'm not the one banging on them."

"Well tell whoever it is to stop, I'm in the middle of--"

He did not expect the elevator to crack in half like a walnut, leaving him, huddled in the corner of the car, exposed.

"Falling apart," Clark Kent said, voice rough. "You're in the middle of falling apart."

Bruce blinked at him, balefully. "Wash your face," he demanded roughly. God, he was bloody. Ears, eyes, mouth--every orifice. He was pretty sure if Clark turned around his pants would be soaked in gore too.


The man of steel who never bled was bleeding all over Bruce's BatCave. He clutched his hand to his chest to make it easier to breathe.

"I'm fine now," Clark told him evenly. "You on the other hand--"

"I've got somewhere to go," Bruce said, like it was obvious. The voice of reason--that was Bruce Wayne. "I have an appointment in Bavaria--I need the BatWing, that's all."

"Bruce," Clark said, voice all gentleness.  He hunkered down like Bruce was a child. "I've seen your blood before, remember?"

"I'm... I have to go. Chechnya. There's something... there's something urgent there. I've got to--"

"Look at me."

Bruce shook his head, wrapping his arms around his knees, resting his forehead on them too. "No," he begged. "No. You're invincible. I'll die first. Those are the rules. That's... that's the rule. I die first. You know it's coming. I'm... I'm expendable. There's a pool at the Gotham police station--everyone's got money on next year."

"I'm not taking any of that action," Clark said grimly. "Now look at me, Bruce. You need to see I'm mortal sometimes. And you need to see I'm okay."

"YOu're okay," Bruce whispered. "You're okay. You're okay you're okay you're okay--"

He felt the long fingers on his chin, gentle but insistent. He raised his eyes and looked.

His face under the blood was no longer green--that was important.

But the blood again.

But Clark's eyes, piercing blue, those were open and boring into Bruce's soul.

"You'd better last longer than next year," Clark told him, scowling. "Now come on. We're going to the infirmary."

"You said you were okay," Bruce snarled, jerking away.

"But you're not."  Clark let out a sigh and seemed to give up. He paused right there and wrapped his arms around Bruce's shoulders. "You're not."

"I'm never okay," Bruce told him truthfully before he broke again. "I'm functional. You make me functional. But oh my God, I'll never be okay again--"

He began to lose it, completely, with nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

Clark stayed there, as bloodied and worn as Batman most days, and held him.

Being mortal sucked on the best of days, but Batman would never--ever--recover from seeing Clark Kent falling from the sky.

"What are you doing?" he demanded when he could breathe again. "Why are you--" He scowled. "Please tell me you're not miked."

"Took the com out when I made Barry leave the BatCave," Clark told him as he slid off his rumpled suit coat. "Just you and me here."  He looked over Bruce's shoulder. "Please tell me there aren't people falling down the giant gaping hole where your elevator used to be?"

Bruce didn't even look at the wreckage. "It was a private car," he growled. "Why are you undressing me?"

"Because we're getting in the shower."

"I'm not the one who needs a shower!" Blood! Oh God!

"So you can see it wash off, Bruce. You can see I'm okay."

Bruce just shook his head--but for once he let himself be led from the cave to the infirmary, to the giant white tiled shower.  He'd been in here a lot--and sometimes, it looked like a butcher's block when he was done. He remembered cleaning off Jason Todd's body, the late adolescent fragility destroying his heart to powder as he prepared his ward, his protege... his son, for burial.

He watched numbly as Clark turned on the water and then ripped off his suit.  The threads of the specially designed elastic cotton split and turned to powder as it fell.  Kryptonite--so deadly to Superman that the clothing on his body was destroyed.

It wasn't until Clark reached for him, backed into a corner and rubbing his hand across his mouth that he realized he was chanting, "No. No no no. No..."

He took a deep breath and tried to see what was real.

Clark Kent, farm boy, altruistic alien, Superman, was standing naked in the shower, inviting Bruce to check out his body with trembling fingers to make sure he was okay.

Bruce took the few steps toward the shower head, wrapped his arms around Clark's waist and squeezed.

No ribs broke, no breath stopped. Clark palmed the back of his head and forced his face into the hollow of his shoulder and neck, and Bruce stayed there, letting the hot water pounding them both, breathing hard until the water ran clear beneath their feet.

"What's it going to take?" Clark asked softly.  "How do we get you back from this?"

"Take me," Bruce whispered.


"TAKE ME!" He shouted, face still muffled in Clark's shoulder. Clark picked him up and flew them, without ceremony or pause, into the bedroom.  Bruce tried to do it on his hands and knees, body pulled into the fetal position while Clark pounding inside him reminded him that they were both alive.  But Clark wrestled him to his back and shoved lube roughly up his ass before he could even relax enough to take it well.

"You want this?" Clark asked, voice cracking. "Cause I want to know I'm alive too. Try to run out on me? You know what I was thinking, the whole time I was falling?"

"What?" Bruce growled, arching up, trying to thrust against his cock, trying to take it all the way inside. "What were you thinking as you fell from the fucking sky?"

"I was thinking," Clark breathed, carefully thrusting into Bruce's vulnerable human body, "that I didn't want to," slide, slide, slide, "leave you!" Bottom!

Bruce gasped, unaccustomed to bottoming, but needing that feeling, his lover inside him, so much he'd endure any pain to have it.

He wasn't expecting the pleasure.

Wasn't expecting Clark, exquisitely gentle Clark, thrusting inside him, rocking harder and harder, until Bruce felt the man-of-steel's thighs smacking up against the bones in his ass, leaving bruises, but taking hm, dominating him, filling him completely, until there was no room for fear or doubt, no room for pain, no room even for that awful image, Superman bloody and senseless, falling from the sky.

Bruce cried out too soon, it felt like, far too soon. He needed Clark inside him for longer, for more, forever.

But Bruce's orgasm triggered Clark's, and soon he was spasming, coming--not, like the lore suggested, shooting holes through Batman's ass--but coming hard, like a human man inside his lover. Bruce climaxed again, almost willfully, in an effort to keep Clark inside as long as possible.

"Don't leave me," he whispered against his will, forgetting conveniently that he was the one who'd been leaving in his secret escape hatch.

"Not if I can help it."  Clark shuddered one more time and collapsed on top of him. "But you need to stay too. As long as possible. Please, Bruce. Please. Don't try to leave again."

This time the tears were cleansing, not devastating. And when they were shed, the two of them stayed in bed, drying under the fan and touching each other, just touching.

Pretending that forever was a thing, and that never again might either one of them spend a day falling from the sky.  

Monday, April 10, 2017

Writing with the Ego and the Monstrous Id

Super Ego: This would be a Christmas story and it shall have a length of approximately 40 K and the central premise is a young man who is trying to believe in goodness and an older man who thinks he doesn't have any optimism left, and they--


SuperEgo: NO! Jesus, they just met, and one is recovering from a car accident and--


SuperEgo: We have a plot arc, you irritating sex-addled toddler, now shut up while I--

Id: You can say "cock" in this one.

SuperEgo: We enjoyed the challenge of the category romance.

Id: You can say it more than once. Cock cock cock cock cock cock--

SuperEgo: Only using one word shows lack of imagination.

Id: Penis erection dick!

SuperEgo: If we're quite done, I can have a civil romance depicting the healing force of two men in a Florida condo--

Ego: Can one of them be terminal with something that hurts a lot?

SuperEgo: NO!

Ego: Please? Like, three year ebola or something.

SuperEgo: There's no such thing. And even if there was, it's so rare we'd be crucified. Now just let me indulge in some banter--

Ego: The other one needs to be damaged.  Multiple personality disorder. A PARENT ABOUT TO KICK THE BUCKET!

SuperEgo: NO! For sweet fuck's sake, this is just two guys working shit out!




Id: Yessssss?

SuperEgo: If--and only if-- you shut the hell up while I write some goddamned plot, I'll let you watch some porn later.

Id: Can it be THREE guys fucking?

SuperEgo: It can be whatever you find on pornhub. My treat.

Id: Okay. I'm just gonna go thumb through your best sex scenes from the last fifteen years while you try to work but I'll shut up until then.

SuperEgo: Thank you.


SuperEgo: *mouth full* Dank boo.

Id: Mmm... fingering is my FAVORITE. And then some sucking... and some fucking... and then some coming... EAT MORE CHOCOLATE!

SuperEgo: Go away until I'm done!

Ego: What about me? Did you see this Google search on diseases that still kill people like they did in Brian's Song?

SuperEgo: Look. You're not the Id. I can bargain with you a little. I know you want to cry--

Ego: Happy, you bitch. You haven't ripped anyone's spleen out for three books!

SuperEgo: But I've got Bobby Green coming. You're leafed through my brain cells. You've read the docket. You know what's coming.

Ego: You'd better not pull your punches.

SuperEgo: Bitch, I've got plans.

Ego: Fine. I'm going to be looking up statistics on child abuse-- you enjoy your chocolate and your porn, because you and me have a date.

SuperEgo: Okay, so we've got the two guys, they're being snarky, it's a rain storm--

Id: *whispers* two guys fucking

SuperEgo: And we're not going for the easy fuck here and they're dealing and it's real life--

Ego: *whispers*  pregnant ex wife

SuperEgo: And they're doing the amicable divorce thing and she looks a little more human and the guys are snuggling and they're hot and--

Oh. Fuck it all.

It's time to blog, isn't it.

Id: Let's go to sleep and dream of two guys fucking!

Ego: Let's go obsess about all the bad stuff that can happen to people you love!

SuperEgo: Godammit. A Christmas novella. One simple Christmas novella. *yawn* God knows that those two assholes will write when I"m asleep.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Steve and the Rain

Poor Steve...

If you go here, you can see a video showing you her very difficult relationship with the magic sky water that vexes her so:  FB

It's so sad.  She sits in front of the door and begs to be let out.  She can go out most other nights? Why should tonight be different?

And then, huzzah, the human servants at her command open the door and she is allowed o break free.

Except, oh no! What horrible sorcery is this! Her greatest enemy is out there! Water! And she cannot go out... she cannot... oh no, it can't happen...

Until, driven mad by her need to be OUTSIDE THIS FUCKIN' HOUSE, she vanishes into the dark and stormy night.

Only to return five minutes later, scratching frantically at the glass door meowing, "Let me in! Let me in!!!" and freaking out any other animal for a five mile radius.

"Oh, God, this one again..."

"Every time it rains."

"You think she'd get it, right? She goes out, she gets wet, she stays in, she stays dry..."

"Not that one... she's a total slut for the night. Even if she comes back all wet. Ignore her, Charlie--we've got our own owners to annoy."

Or something like that.


About five minutes after that video was taking, the damned cat asked to be let out again, and this time she went.

Only to BEG to come back in a bout a minute later.  I let her back into the house and she went screaming from room to room until I wrapped her up in a towel and dried her off.

Because apparently that was her diabolical plan all along?

Anyway--damned cat. Entertaining, yes--but she jumped up on the bed before I dried her off completely and shook, like a dog, soaking Mate as he sat and played a perfectly innocent video game.

*shakes head*  Sometimes, that animal comes with an internal tiara--I am saying.


It's like she knows I"m an easy mark...

Eeeeeeee!!! and Auuuuuuughhhh!!!

Today, boys and girls, we're going to talk about vowels, and all the things they can do for you.

Let's start with long e.

Long e can be made VERY VERY LONG. And it can be a word all by itself.

For example, when you come home after a long day, and your adorable wee potato shaped hound treats your return home like the second coming of a female pillow shaped savior, your best response might be that vowel.


Because cuteness should never go without some squEEEEEEEEE, and that is a true fact.

So that is "ee"

Now, about "Augh!"

When your son comes to tell you that a many legged thing is on the wall, and it's too high for the cat to get, otherwise the cat WOULD HAVE gotten it, because the cat has been eyeball stalking it for fifteen minutes, "Augh!" is not the appropriate response.

You want your son to feel safe, and he can't feel safe if he sees you jump up and down and scream and do the oogie dance.

It just won't work.

However, if, after attempting to mash the thing with a shoe when it is too far above your head to get enough leverage to mash, it is THEN appropriate to use this very different vowel sound.


Then it's appropriate to rush up to your husband and whisper, "I didn't get it!"

And then when your son asks if it's dead, say, "Yes. Very dead. So dead. So dead I can't even. Deader than dead. I killed it. With fire."

And not tell him, ever, that it's probably in your closet having babies with even more legs.

So there you go.

The difference between "EEEEEEEE!!!" and "AUUUUUUUUUUGHHH!!"

The more you know.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


So, it was sort of an ordinary average day, really... but even the most ordinary, average days have their share of quirkiness...

* Yesterday Squishy wore her birthday clothes to school, and I took a picture of her in her finery. Because she'd had an 80's party, she asked for me to put her hair up in an "80's way."  I managed, and she's adorable, but oi--I can't believe I used to have that exact hairstyle.

* Chicken went to get her teeth looked at (since she's still on our insurance) and texted me while I was on my walk, asking me to bring her coffee.  I did, and we toasted and split two English muffins while talking about her coming day. I realized that I liked this arrangement--she and her brother close enough to drop in, and yet far enough to be independent. I wish there could be a handbook for emerging adults listing this as one of the options, because it's got definite perks.

* The terrible two are getting slightly less horrific on the walk around the park. Part of that is I pull them off the walk and we let joggers and other walkers go by, and part of it is they're starting to respond to a command I didn't set out to make. I say, "That dog does not exist," and their barking subsides. I'm not sure if I'm executing a Jedi mind trick or if the dogs are just getting trained to not bark when they see another dog because I say this while jerking on their leashes. Either way, it's such a relief, because they are by far the smallest, most obnoxious dogs on the walk.

*  Yesterday, while on the phone with my stepmom--and walking at the park--I pulled off to the side to let a group of three older folks, each with a large dog, go by. My mom was signing off on me, because dogs barking and me yelling at the dogs and chaos and shit, and suddenly one of the older women said, "You're right. He's not my president either!"

My jaw dropped and I looked down, realizing that I'd thrown on the T-shirt I'd had made right after the election, the one that basically wrote a novel and finished with, "He is NOT my president!" I gaped after the woman as she and her entourage disappeared and thanked my lucky stars that I didn't end up confronting a trio of elderly Trump supporters as we all wrangled dogs.

And gave a little prayer of thanks for salty spry elderly women who weren't afraid to say, "He is NOT MY PRESIDENT!" in front of a total stranger.

* Today my folks brought spaghetti dinner for Squish, so she could get a dinner made by grandma--she was very pleased. While they were here I remembered that, for Squish's school fundraiser this year, we'd had a cutting board made with one of  Squish's art projects on it. We'd actually had a LOT of stuff made, but this thing we saved for my folks. I remembered to get it for them and they said, "Hey, you could have waited for two weeks from now, right?" Cause Easter, AND my stepmom's birthday, right?

Anyway, we all looked at each other and I said, "Uh, the odds of me actually remembering this for a real birthday or holiday are, you know, slim."

"Yeah," Mate said, "that wasn't going to happen."

"And then," my stepmom added, "it would just lay around the house for another year before you broke down and used it yourself."

We all nodded our heads in agreement, and it was funny--apparently that's a grownup thing to do and not something specific to Mate and I. Who knew?

*  So, at the grocery store today, as I walked in, there was a man walking out PAST the checkstands--as in, he never went to checkout.

He was not wearing a shirt.

Instead, he was holding his shirt like a bag, and it was stuffed with boxes of granola bars and breakfast bars and non-perishable stuff.

I stared at him and he just walked right on by me out into the parking lot.

Not a soul stopped him--or even seemed to notice him.

I made my way to the produce section, and one of the nice checkout women was there--we know each other, sort of, because I've gone to this grocery store for nearly twenty years and she's worked there for nearly that long.

"Hey, how are you doing?" she asked, smiling.

"Did you see that guy?"  I proceeded to tell her about Mr. Shirtless Shoplifter, and she was surprisingly nonchalant.

"Yeah, that happens--every day, actually."

"Huh. I didn't expect that here." I grinned and quoted Bill Murray. "Other chains, maybe, but not a Safeway."

She seemed to think that was hilarious, and I was glad that I brightened her day,  but seriously.

The guy just took his shirt off, stuffed it with food, and walked out.

Balls of solid rock.

Monday, April 3, 2017

*Kermit Flail* April!!!!

All right, y'all, we've got a MASSIVE show for you today!

First of all, thanks to everyone who wished my Squishy happy birthday via yesterday's post--that was really awesome of you-- thanks. Both kids went to bed early tonight--and I think the adults won't be far to follow!

Anyway-- dang, did March go by SUPER FRICKIN' FAST, right?  Part of it is I think the March Kermit Flail was on, like, the 6th of March, but part of it was just WHEEEEEEEE.... all the things to do in the spring!

But super fast or not, this month's Kermit Flail is WAY BIGGER than I anticipated--and that makes me really happy. 

We have some frequent visitors here--and treasured friends--Kate McMurray and Rick R. Reed. Kate's here with a paranormal story which looks aMAZing, and Rick his here with a super-intense contemporary--good stuff, both of them, and I'm SO happy to have them back on the flail!  Sean Michael is new to the flail, I think, but not new to ME--I've been enjoying Sean's powerfully sensual and sexy stories for years, and I was so excited to feature one of those stories here!  (And it's about FAIRYTALES, so double WOOT!)

Sophia Beaumont is a new to this site author-- she was so sweet on Twitter about, "Uh, do you post ANY author who wants to be on the flail?"  And I'll probably draw the line somewhere, cause it's MY blog, but for the most part yes. I love diversity here, and her paranormal stories look like shivers-up-the-spine goodness.  

Ashavan Doyon is one of those people I got to know on social media first, and then met in real life at the DSP workshop--and I adore him. We've managed to sneak a couple of stolen hours for conversation in the last two years, and I'm always so proud to call him a friend as we're talking. He's featuring his newest, and it looks delicious!

Wendy Rathbone and A.E. Wasp are also social media buddies--and I'm always so happy to see them online!  I'm even more happy to feature them here with their new releases, as well!  

And oh!  E.J. Russell and Anne Tenino are here too!!!  They've combined on a new BlueWater Bay book, and as someone who's written in this series, I"m delighted to see it continue in the hands of two AMAZING storytellers--and also very pleased that E.J. asked me to feature them, because Anne has been one of my oldest friends in this business and E.J. is an absolute delight. It's awesome to have them both. 

And as for Amy? She's got her own section at the bottom, but I'll talk about it there.  In the meantime, everybody give a HUGE welcome to all of my distinguished and welcome guest. It's gonna be a GREAT spring!


The Spider's Web

by Sophia Beaumont

After being released from a Toronto psych ward, Evie decides that her life needs a drastic change. Moving 500 kilometers east to stay with her aunt in Montreal, however, is not turning out as expected. Though she loves the city, she can’t outrun the problems that drove her to the edge in the first place.

Recovery might be a little easier if not for Micha. Handsome, kind, always willing to help Evie or cheer her on--and completely invisible to everyone else. He seems to think he’s some kind of guardian angel, and she might need one now that things have gone from bad to just plain weird.

It started with the spiders. Then the owls started following her. Ghosts, goddesses, and secret societies are just the icing on the cake. She’s going to need help from some very powerful friends if she wants to make it to her next birthday, but when one of those friends is the goddess of the underworld, her guardian angel might have to start working overtime.

The Spider's Web is an #ownvoices story about using rock bottom to build a foundation for something greater.

The Spider's Web on Amazon

The Night Wars

by Missouri Dalton and Sophia Beaumont

A collection of thirteen Night Wars short stories from Missouri Dalton and Sophia Beaumont.

Devilry Done by Missouri Dalton
An Eye for Trouble by Missouri Dalton
Poisoned Spirits by Missouri Dalton
In Defense of Mushrooms by Sophia Beaumont
Happy Halloween by Missouri Dalton
Foxtrot by Missouri Dalton
Ame by Missouri Dalton
This Time of Year by Missouri Dalton
Feumaidh Mi Ruith by Missouri Dalton
The Ten of Cups by Sophia Beaumont
Fiends in Low Places by Missouri Dalton
The Raven and the Wolf by Missouri Dalton
L’Ilse des Soeurs by Sophia Beaumont

The Night Wars Collection

Fairytale Shifters: Little Red Riding Hood

By Sean Michael

Cardinal shifter Red works his tailfeathers off as a waiter at The Woods. He doesn’t mind working hard at the diner, but some of the customers have mean streaks and he’s an easy target. When wolf shifter Growler comes in one day for his lunch, he’s immediately taken by Red and even defends him from the porcine bullies giving Red a hard time.

Red’s boss Reisha warns him about getting together with Growler. The guy is a wolf and Red’s kind are nothing but a light snack to wolves. Still, Red likes to make up his own mind, and sometimes a little danger is fun to flirt with, especially if it gets him what he needs, so when Growler offers to give him a ride on his motorcycle, Red is quick to accept.

Predator and prey usually make uneasy bedfellows, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for Red and Growler. Will they be able to fly in the face of convention and find the perfect nest together?

Buy at Amazon

Show and Tell

by Kate McMurray

Dan is a superfan of the TV show Junk Shop, hosted by the handsome and charismatic Malcolm Tell. When an old music box turns up, Dan’s sister encourages him to try to get on the show and meet the object of his affection. He does, and everything changes.

When Dan and Malcolm first meet, they have a sudden vision of something horrible that happened years ago. Is it a glimpse at a past life or something else entirely? They agree to work together to find answers and discover a forgotten Celtic myth that may explain everything. If the myth is true, then Dan and Malcolm could be a pair of lovers who have been reincarnated over two thousand years. That seems impossible, but it’s hard to deny that something very strange is happening.

As Dan and Malcolm work to find the truth, they fall for each other hard. But searching for who they really are puts them both in grave danger, and they find themselves racing against time to keep their happily ever after.

Kate's Website

Loving Aidan

by Ashavan Doyon

Samuel Riley is gorgeous - tall, muscular, and intelligent. The girls love him. And so does his roommate, Aidan Flemming. Secretly, of course, because even the out and proud Aidan knows there are limits to Sammy's acceptance. Cursed to watch as Sammy dates half the co-eds on campus, a lonely Aidan spends his time writing, helping Sammy and his friends survive literature classes, and recovering from a disastrous love affair that left Aidan heartbroken.

But when happiness finally comes for Aidan in the body of his roommate's fellow rower, all that changes. In Steven, Aidan finds happiness and romance. The rower, a blond, blue-eyed Adonis, makes Aidan feel desired and appreciated. But their very public courtship stirs up controversy and violence, and Aidan's life gets very complicated.

Attacks rock the campus community, and in the middle of the upheaval, Aidan finds himself noticed by the last person he'd expect. Samuel Riley, his roommate, his impossible dream, and just possibly, a very jealous suitor. But the jealous suitor has a girlfriend. And she is not happy.

Buy at Amazon

The Android and the Thief

by Wendy Rathbone

Will love set them free—or seal their fate?

In the 67th century, Trev, a master thief and computer hacker, and Khim, a vat-grown human android, reluctantly share a cell in a floating space prison called Steering Star. Trev is there as part of an arrangement that might finally free him from his father's control. Khim, formerly a combat android, snaps when he is sold into the pleasure trade and murders the man who sexually assaults him. At first they are at odds, but despite secrets and their dark pasts, they form a pact—first to survive the prison, and then to escape it.

But independence remains elusive, and falling in love comes with its own challenges. Trev’s father, Dante, a powerful underworld figure with sweeping influence throughout the galaxy, maintains control over their lives that seems stronger than any prison security system, and he seeks to keep them apart. Trev and Khim must plan another, more complex escape, and this time make sure they are well beyond the law as well as Dante’s reach.

Buy at DSP 

Buy at Amazon 

The Perils of Intimacy

by Rick R. Reed
Jimmy and Mark make an adorable couple. Jimmy’s kindness (and clean-cut cuteness) radiates out of him like light. Mark, although a bit older, complements Jimmy with his humor and his openness to love.

But between them, a dark secret lurks, one that has the power to destroy.
See, when Mark believes he's meeting Jimmy for the first time in the diner where he works, he's wrong.

Mark has no recollection of their original encounter because the wholesome Jimmy of today couldn’t be more different than he was two years ago. Back then, Jimmy sported multiple piercings, had long bleached dreadlocks, facial hair, and was painfully skinny. And he was a meth addict. The drug transformed him into a different person—a lying, conniving thief who robbed Mark blind during their one-night stand.

Mark doesn’t associate the memory of a hookup gone horribly wrong with this fresh-faced, smiling twenty-something… but Jimmy knows. As they begin a dance of love and attraction, will Jimmy be brave enough to reveal the truth? And if he does, will Mark be able to forgive him? Can he see Jimmy for the man he is now and not the addict he was? The answers will depend on whether true love holds enough light to shine through the darkness of past mistakes.

Pre Order at DSP 

Bronze Star

by A.E. Wasp

Chris Dobbs is used to getting what he wants, and what he wants now is his boss.
Everything about the dangerously handsome enigmatic older man drives him to his knees in more ways than one, ways Chris is realizing he’s always craved.

Giving Jay-Cee his body is as simple as breathing, but when Chris smashes through all of Jay-Cee’s hard earned control, he learns Jay-Cee demands more than just his obedience. He wants things Chris can’t give him - his heart, his soul, and his trust.

Jay-Cee offered his brilliant young protégé everything. In return, Chris took only the pieces he wanted and rejected the rest, leaving Jay-Cee reeling.

But the deep connection between them isn’t easily severed, and it promises to heal them both of the scars of their pasts. If they are to build a sanctuary from the rubble of their broken hearts, they’re going to have to risk everything.

Buy at Amazon

For a Good Time, Call…

by Anne Tenino and E.J. Russell

Thirty-seven-year-old Nate Albano’s second relationship ever ended three years ago, and since he’s grace—gray asexual—he doesn’t anticipate beating the odds to find a third. Still, he’s got his dog, his hobbies, and his job as a special effects technician on Wolf’s Landing, so he can’t complain—much.

Seth Larson, umpteenth generation Bluewater Bay, is the quintessential good-time guy, content with tending bar and being his grandmother’s handyman. The night they meet, Seth’s looking for some recreational sex to escape family drama. But for Nate, romantic attraction comes before sexual attraction, so while Seth thinks they’re hooking up, Nate just wants to talk . . . genealogy?

Dude. Seriously?

So they declare a “just friends” truce. Then Seth asks for Nate’s help investigating a sinister Larson family secret, and their feelings start edging way beyond platonic. But Nate may want more than Seth can give him, and Seth may not be able to leave his good-time image behind. Unless they can find a way to merge carefree with commitment, they could miss out on true love—the best time of all.

Buy at Publisher

Amy's Corner

Okay-- so my releases got a little out of hand this month.  Bonfires came out about a week ago, so that still gets featured--and wheeeeeeee!!! People seem to really be loving it, and I'm very proud. 

Also-- I have a new audio book out this month. Summer Lessons is out in audio, and this pleases me no end because the amazing and inimitable Nick J. Russo did the voice work, so I'm super excited. 

And also...

This book is 7 years in the making, so I was going to give it a little advance notice. Quickening comes out in May, the 5th Little Goddess book, and I have SO much to say about these stories that I needed to start with the refresher right now!

So Amy's Corner is a little full right now, and it's sort of all BIG stuff, so I had to make it it's own deal.  *waves madly*  Thanks everyone for reading!


by Amy Lane

Ten years ago Sheriff’s Deputy Aaron George lost his wife and moved to Colton, hoping growing up in a small town would be better for his children. He’s gotten to know his community, including Mr. Larkin, the bouncy, funny science teacher. But when Larx is dragged unwillingly into administration, he stops coaching the track team and starts running alone. Aaron—who thought life began and ended with his kids—is distracted by a glistening chest and a principal running on a dangerous road.

Larx has been living for his kids too—and for his students at Colton High. He’s not ready to be charmed by Aaron, but when they start running together, he comes to appreciate the deputy’s steadiness, humor, and complete understanding of Larx’s priorities. Children first, job second, his own interests a sad last.

It only takes one kiss for two men approaching fifty to start acting like teenagers in love, even amid all the responsibilities they shoulder. Then an act of violence puts their burgeoning relationship on hold. The adult responsibilities they’ve embraced are now instrumental in keeping their town from exploding. When things come to a head, they realize their newly forged family might be what keeps the world from spinning out of control.


Summer Lessons


Mason Hayes's love life has a long history of losers who don't see that Mason's heart is as deep and tender as his mouth is awkward. He wants kindness, he wants love - and he wants someone who thinks sex is as fantastic as he does. When Terry Jefferson first asks him out, Mason thinks it's a fluke: Mason is too old, too boring, and too blurty to interest someone as young and hot as his friend's soccer teammate.

The truth is much more painful: Mason and Terry are perfectly compatible, and they totally get each other. But Terry is still living with his toxic, suffocating parent and Mason doesn't want to be a sugar daddy. Watching Terry struggle to find himself is a long lesson in patience, but Mason needs to trust that the end result will be worth it, because finally, he's found a man worth sharing his heart with.


Quickening Part 1

by Amy Lane

Cory thought she’d found balance on Green's hill—sorceress, student, queen of the vampires, wife to three men—she had it down! But establishing her right to risk herself with Green and Bracken had more than one consequence, and now she’s facing the world's scariest job title: mother.

But getting the news that she’s knocked up takes a backseat when a half-elf hunts them down for help. Her arrival brings news that the werewolf threat, which has been haunting them for over a year, has finally arrived on their doorstep—and it’s bigger and more frightening than they’d ever imagined.

Cory throws herself into this new battle with everything she’s got—and her men let her do it. Because they all know that whether they defeat this enemy now or later, the thing she's most afraid of is arriving on a set schedule, and not even Cory can avoid it. The trick is getting her to acknowledge she's pregnant before she gives birth—or kills herself in denial.

Pre Order at Amazon