hakuna matata

Preschool and the One Ring

My subject line makes this sound so much cooler than it is. Sorry, such is the world.

Today I got the paperwork to enroll the Mouse in preschool. I'm so excited. I've been eager for this step for a while now - not because I'm super gung-ho about my kidlet growing up, but because I think she deserves to have regular friends to play with on a nearly-daily basis. I had a brother and a sister growing up - I learned plenty from interacting with them every day: how to negotiate, how to share, how to talk to other people without sounding completely crazy. Plus, I was never lonely (though sometimes I longed for it, lemme tell you!). Moira has none of this. She doesn't socialize regularly with anyone under the age of thirty.

I tried a Mommy & Toddler group last year, hoping to get some good playtime for her. Clearly, I found the wrong one; it sucked. Hard. I was miserable, Moira was miserable. It was just awful. More for me, no doubt, but still. I'm not good with strangers, but I figured we'd pretty much talk exclusively about our kids, so it wouldn't be too awful. So. Wrong. No one wanted to talk about kids. They wanted to know why I worked. Full time? :gasp!: Even "'Cause the world's so expensive, right?" didn't work. They looked at their manicures and started talking about people I didn't know. I tried one more meetup, figuring I must've gone to the snobby one. Nope. Same deal. I guess I could've tried to find another group, but by then I was completely freaked out.

So, then, preschool. We're going to one through the YMCA. Partly 'cause the program looks cool, partly 'cause it's close by. Mostly 'cause we can afford it. It starts in late August, three days per week for only two and a half hours per session. She'll be cool with that kind of transition, I think. Plus, she gets to swim. Two days per week are swim days. I wish I had two swim days each week. The only real catch is that, due to my work schedule, I won't be the one dropping off or picking up or doing much of anything with preschool, including volunteering for field trips and stuff. :( I guess I'll be the Mom that no one knows. Ugh. I'll get to schedule one weekday off per month. I'll just have to choose wisely, I suppose.

On a totally unrelated note, q_sama and I finished The Second-Breakfast Club yesterday. Now we're letting it sit, with a plan to revisit on Monday for the first of the edits/revisions. I don't think it's gonna need much, but we'll see. It finished at over 60,000 words. Not bad for only two months' writing, huh? Last time I wrote something long (about 10K shorter, in fact) it took me six months. Clearly, collaborating with Li is the way to go. Anyway, we plan to release it in six chapters - one per week starting this coming Saturday. So mark your calendars, Tolkien fans. Well, maybe not Tolkien fans - they might be outraged. Let's say, fans of cracky-but-not-really high-school AU fics featuring LOTR characters sometimes acting like they did in the book/films instead. That covers it better. So mark your calendars! If you exist.
/ shameless plug

And I've already gone back to working on my Eowyn story, which actually surprised me, as the mood is so altogether different that I thought I'd have to abandon it forever. She's making me sad, though. Poor Eowyn. She has to suffer a lot before she gets to happy, doesn't she?
  • Current Mood: pleased pleased
hakuna matata

My brain on LOTR

So I have errandofmercy's "To the Sea" stuck in my head. It's been there a lot lately - I think it might be planning to move it. Luckily, I'm a step ahead - I already bought it a toothbrush. <3

q_sama and I are very close to finishing The Fic that Ate Our Lives. It's a very exciting time to be Angela. An exciting time to be Lisa, too, I imagine. Right now, I need to take Aragorn from "vaguely pissed" to "Arwen Bliss" and then we'll be basically done. Sure, a few things have to happen to ensure that transition, but it's all mapped out, and I'm shooting for it to happen in less than 1500 words. There's seriously no reason why I can't get it done tonight or tomorrow.

And then! And then! Then we'll edit the hell out of it, come up with more inside jokes that make us spit various drinks through our noses (but might get only a polite chuckle from readers), and post it over six weeks or so. It's the biggest fic either of us have ever written, I think. So. Damn. Excited.

Part of the reason tonight's so good for writing: Moira is having her first-ever sleepover! She's at my parents' house. It's a trial run for when I go to Virginia in a couple of weeks. She won't be staying with them the whole time, but Tom wants to host a game night while I'm gone, and we only barely manage those with both of us when the Mouse is home. (She's a handful.)

On the one hand, I'm tickled pink that my little girl is taking such a huge step. On the other, I'm afraid I won't sleep a wink. >_< I hate to admit it, but this "trial run" might be as much for me as for her. Still, I hope she has an awesome time. Mom and Dad are certainly excited. :)
endless light

(no subject)

I've lived in my house for almost four years. And today I *finally* got rid of the crappy carpet in my bedroom! Tom is on vacation and it's my day off, so we decided to yank up the carpet at long last. The floor looks great. Not perfect, but much better than a floor its age ought to. And so the last of the stupid carpet is out of my house. Now the only carpeted place is the finished basement, and as I'm fairly certain that there's no pretty hardwood beneath that, it's staying. At least until we can afford a new floor. :)

It feels nice to accomplish something. I wish my garden was more like my house this year. It got hot here so early that I basically lost my first spinach crop and half of my broccoli from early flowering. (Who knew broccoli flowers were so pretty? I have some in a vase on my table right now.) My herbs went all crazy, too. I have a banana pepper growing, though. And my carrots look healthy. But I still think the tomato plants might not give us anything at all, and only one of the ten or so cloves of garlic even sprouted. Still, we have a lot of shallots and the sugar snap peas are happy with their trellises. The best might be my cabbage and brussels sprouts. They look really happy to be alive. Maybe I have a cabbage-y touch.

Gods, my lj entries have gotten dull. Sorry.
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Garden! And other stuff!

I spent most of the day outside. It was hot, but wonderful. First I mowed the lawn, which isn't so interesting, except that it definitely has fewer dandelions than it did last month. Other weeds, like clover, seem to be taking over. And I don't mind clover. I actually quite like it. If I could have all clover instead of grass, I'd do it.

Then I weeded the flower beds. And weeded and weeded. The flower bed around our trees has become a haven for that weed that looks like a prickly dandelion. Their only saving grace is that their roots are shallow and straight. While pulling them, I stumbled across an ant nursery. Ugh. I hate ants. Ant larvae and ant eggs are even worse. :shudder: I don't want to kill them, but I really want them to leave. I was told that white vinegar will make them move away without actually killing them, but I'm sort of afraid it will kill the plants nearby.

My raised bed garden is proving to be more of a challenge than I expected. First, the stray cats of the neighborhood seem to think of it as a communal litter box. I've planted eucalpytus and lemon grass because they're supposed to keep them out. Now that the plants are maturing, it seems to be working (of course, all the plants are maturing, so maybe the cats just don't have room to paw around anymore), but the lemon grass is spreading like wildfire. So yay - I deliberately introduced a weed into my vegetable garden. Also, my tomatoes look pretty grim. Everything else is pretty stout and healthy, but the tomatoes not so much. Today I bought some trellises for my snow peas and was delighted (I mean tickled pink like a five-year-old) by how very quickly they coiled up and climbed. Peas are amazing because you see evidence of movement after only a few minutes.

After all the garden work, Mouse and I went to the park. We wanted to fly her kite, but the wind had died down. She was happy enough to play on the playground, and then we waded in the creek. It was freezing and too pebbly for my poor toes, but Moira loved it. She ended up drenching her skirt while picking up rocks to throw. Luckily, she's young enough that I take a change of clothes everywhere. Unfortunately, all I had were jeans. Though it was really too hot for them, she didn't seem to mind.

So tonight I plan to write. Yesterday I got absolutely no work done on the fic q_sama and I have been writing, so I hope to make up for it tonight. I want to write all of Frodo's section tonight and tomorrow, and maybe get Legolas knocked out on Monday. After that, we'll be offically half done. And the last half will be easier. Less groundwork for plot and more action. Also, the rewarding <3 stuff comes toward the end, too. The Gigolas Big Bang is coming up, and while Lisa and I have no intention of posting until after that, I'm sure it'll be a *huge* distraction if we're still writing at that point. Huge. We're having trouble reining in our Legolas/Gimli tendencies as it is - give us an avalanche of fic and we'll fall off the wagon in a heartbeat. :)
  • Current Mood: satisfied satisfied
  • Current Music: WALL-E in the background

(no subject)

Everyone should post your most ten CRUCIAL CRUCIAL - ASS movies, like the ten movies that explain everything about yourselves in your current incarnation etc...

1. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
2. Dogfight
3. Cat Ballou
4. The Fellowship of the Ring
5. Some Kind of Wonderful
6. The Princess Bride
7. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
8. Out of Africa
9. Dead Poets Society
10. The Pirates of Penzance

(and a few that didn't make it: Life as a House, Empire Records, Clue, the Goonies, Lady Jane)

On Fanfiction

This story I'm writing with q_sama is definitely the most fun writing I've ever done. Even when it's work (Boromir!), it's fun. Nothing keeps you on task and motivated like daily discussions about character backstory, future plot-development, and the instant-feedback that comes from collaboration. And we really need to stay on task with this one! We just (very roughly) finished chapter two, and this beast is already over 20K words long. We're not posting anything until we finish, due to the "OMG! If we put in a line the first time Frodo narrates, it could set up for this perfectly" kind of stuff that keeps happening.

In related news, I feel bad about abandoning my Eowyn story. >_> I fully expect I'll get back to it, but at this point, my mood is so far away from it that I'm pretty sure it's not still simmering on the back burner. It's still back there, but the flame is off. Hopefully, it's the sort of story that reheats well.

Well - I have this awful thing called a job to get to, so I should flee. Also, I have to call Li so she can help me drag Sam out of his melancholy.
endless light

(no subject)

One of the many perks to working in a bookstore: On my luxurious, one-hour lunch break, I was working on the LOTR fic that Li and I are writing together. I needed to research one of Tolkien's sources (for a tongue-in-cheek reference in said fanfic) and my so-named netbook is broken and can no longer access the internet. But - oh happy day! - I was in the midst of a store full of those pre-internet reference materials called books. And I knew exactly which book I needed and which display it was on, being the lady who makes displays. :) And so, with a bit of help from a tome called Tolkien's Ring (a gorgeously illustrated creature full of fabulous source mythology) I was able to construct my five-or-six word reference with ease. Yay for the printed word! And yay for working amongst it!

On a totally unrelated note, I am craving sugar like it's about to go extinct. Every third thought in my brain is "cake." I've had a handful of M&Ms to try to curb it, but to no avail. I've had my one allotted can of Pepsi for the day. Nope. Cake. That's all my brain wants. Cake. Cakecakecakecakecakecakecake.

astrokender? You feel this way sometimes, yes? How do you quell it?
  • Current Mood: chipper (cake-starved)

I'm the one with That Kid

So today I confirmed what I'd been suspecting since Moira started this round of soccer lessons back in March. I have the Bad Kid. At first I told myself each time that it was an isolated thing, that she'd be better the next week, that it was actually kind of cute. Well, the cute has worn off. It started innocently enough - she was excited and needed some extra prompting (by both the coach and me) to get her to listen and follow directions. She would talk or sing or roll around on the turf while Coach Chris was explaining a game. She would freak out if she didn't get *exactly* the ball she wanted to play with. She would yell "Mommy, look!" as she disregarded the rules of the games to build towers of cones or to throw the ball over the half-walls surrounding the pitch. Each time, I admonished her to listen to the coach, to behave, to follow directions. And usually she did.

And then the other kids started following her lead. :facepalm: Now she has a gaggle of peons - particularly a little girl, L., who adores her and is always seeking her approval; and a little boy, E., who holds her hand and flips her ponytails around. The others are less consistently loyal, but there are always one or two more who are eager to do whatever it is Moira is doing. I can see the coach's patience wearing thin and I'm too afraid to evaluate the expressions of the other parents. >_>

On the one hand, she's the polar opposite of meek little me at that age, and a part of me is proud of her for being so charismatic and bold. But the rest of me really wants a good kid who behaves and actually learns the lessons we paid (kind of a lot of) money for. Every week she promises that she'll listen to the coach and do what he says, and each week, the first thing she admits as we walk to the car is "I didn't listen to Coach Chris today." She says she understands that this is bad, but then she's so pleased with herself at the same time.

Lisa suggested that maybe I should pull her out early next week if she's being awful. Tom says that, at the very least, I should refuse to let her receive the end-of-lesson sticker that Coach gives everyone. Both are right, I'm sure. But then there's the hard part - wondering if I'm being too harsh a mother, knowing that she's only three and maybe I should let her be a toddler. But I can't stand the idea of her continuing with being disruptive. Argh!

Well, I guess I have a week to think on it.
  • Current Mood: frustrated frustrated


I'm getting sick. My tonsils feel like they've been sanded. >_<

On the other hand, I've just finished the first chapter of a new multi-part (read: epic) Lord of the Rings fic. This one is about Eowyn. I had no idea how much I had to say about her, but it looks like it's quite a lot. Also, by the time I'm done, I may just be an expert in the House of Eorl. Seriously, I have to research just about every line Eomer utters. And I've pretty much memorized the timeline of all things Rohan. Next thing you know, I'll be wanting to raise horses....

It feels pretty amazing to be writing again after so long. I thought I didn't have time with Moira, but it turns out that I lacked inspiration. Now I have it. :)
  • Current Mood: sick sick
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endless light

how long has it been?

I was struck with the urge to write today. I've written a bit of LOTR fanfiction in the past few months, but I suddenly missed my lj and the ability to ramble like this.

I've been stuck on Legolas/Gimli for a bit now (thanks, Li!) and I'm trying like crazy to write something original within the pairing. Let me tell you, this is easier when you don't read much. I've been reading just about everything posted on AO3, so all my ideas are colored by what's already there.

I've never played much in a big fandom. It's a whole different game. And for once, I'm not sure I want to stay anonymous. I mean, I have no ambition to become a fandom bigwig or anything, but it would be nice to find something of a home there, since my Banana Fish fandom is basically dead.