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Aug. 9th, 2015 07:23 pm

... Wow.

idleleaves: (Default)
On the 24th of this month I will have been on LiveJournal for fourteen years. And knowing that has made me all weird and nostalgic, remembering how active some fandoms used to be – even just my own little corners. I remember not being able to keep up with my flist if I was away from it more than a couple of days – kinda like Tumblr is now, but none of it was reblogs/reposts. Some of it was fic posted to multiple communities, but most of it was people talking. A lot of chatter and randomness, but so much interaction. So much. Tumblr sometimes feels like its default ways to interact are more passive than active.

I don't think it's entirely a coincidence that my most productive writing years were also the years that some fandoms were overwhelmingly active on LJ. That's not the only factor, but it definitely helped. There was always something sparking one idea or the other.

Writing is coming slowly, these days. I'm struggling with this year's AinA more than I've struggled with any other SS exchange in the last few years. I feel strangely disconnected with the material, which is odd because it's not like my love for it has decreased at all. I wish I had time to go back and just re-read the Silm from start to finish, taking my time, sinking into it all over again. And then go read some good fic. And see where that gets me.

My issue, too, is that I want to fit it all in. I want to spend enough time with my camera to be excellent at what I do. I want to write. I want to make things out of yarn or paper or wood or ceramic or whatever else I have in my craft stash. I want to read. I want to spend time online with the people I adore and have things to talk about rather than just rambling about the same things over and over.

I'm not sure what this ramble is, anymore. It started out as one thing and it's morphing into something else.
Aug. 8th, 2015 07:51 pm


idleleaves: ((default))
I sat in the boys' room at the shelter today blowing soap bubbles at the cats. Little ChooChoo seemed particularly enraptured.

idleleaves: (fandom - arda - like gold)
To those of you who sent cards to me via SWG's birthday – thank you times ten million. It's been so hard to eke out any time online and in fandom lately, and I've been feeling like I've been so long on the sidelines I might be stuck there even if I had all the time in the world, and then the cards came and just... yes. So much just what I needed right now. You are all wonderful.

♥ ♥ ♥
idleleaves: (fandom - arda - magical)
... is ridiculously gorgeous.

photo )
idleleaves: (Default)
Sooo... Femslash February is almost upon us. As far as lady-centric writing goes, I have both old WIPs and new ideas I'd like to poke – most of them are actually gen and not femslash, but that's fine too. (In my books, at least.)

I always seem to have either no ideas or too many. I get in one of those "I don't know what to wriiiiiiiiite!!!!1" moods, start up one of my prompt generators... and then don't have the sense to stop when I get a good one and keep parsing out ideas until I'm mired in them. Heh. I did that last night, and all it resulted in, in the end, was me flailing around that I've never been able to figure out how to be even a semi-prolific writer since I put words down at the speed of a turtle in a lake of molasses.

Some writerly issues never change. :D

Right before I went AWOL I had posted a meme/question-and-answer thingbob in regards to ficcing and I think I may just go back and actually answer the questions that were asked of me. Yep.

But before I go, here are some cats:

Reid and Parker lazing around. A standard afternoon where felines are concerned.
Jan. 26th, 2015 12:12 pm


idleleaves: (canadian mittens)
So I tried this recipe (chocolate chip cookie dough truffles) and nnngh. Delicious. The only thing I'd change next time is the type of chocolate – I used white chocolate baking drops with a bit of pink food colouring so they'd match my liners and sprinkles, but I guess I'm not as much of a fan of white chocolate as I thought I was. Next time, dark chocolate and screw the colour coordination.

They're coming to work with me tomorrow because the recipe makes four dozen and if I keep them home I will eat them all myself.
Jan. 26th, 2015 11:21 am


idleleaves: (Default)
I keep trying to come up with comparisons or metaphors for what it's like when, after months of just existing, you actually begin to start living again, but there aren't any that fit or that even come close. I'm not out of the tunnel, but ahead of me there's a brightening, something pale in the dark that might be a light.

It's a start.

I have that itch, again – that must-create drive that only entirely falters when things go pear-shaped and/or otherwise become too much to handle without shutting down all but basic functions. I taught myself to crochet, so I've been making a lot of washcloths to experiment with stitch patterns. But, of course, my brain wants words, too – something beyond journalling.

I know I said this on Tumblr already, but... the part that sucks most about ‘recovering’ from a months-long writing/creative hiatus is that every time I have to build my confidence up all over again. Every time it’s like starting from scratch.
idleleaves: (fandom - arda - screw this)
Trying to distract myself from reality tonight, so I'm pondering headcanon while crocheting turtle-shaped washcloths. Am also going to post that fic meme quiz thing, because I am a sheep and talking about writing is an enjoyable distraction.

* * *

Pick a couple and I will answer:

A. Describe your comfort zone—a typical you-fic.
B. Is there a type of story you’ve yet to try your hand at, but really want to?
C. Is there a type of story you wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole?
D. How many fic ideas are you nurturing right now? Care to share one of them?
E. Share one of your strengths.
F. Share one of your weaknesses.
Lots more questions under the cut... )

* * *

(... I just realised the Semagic function that posts entries to both here and LJ hasn't been working properly for a while. Oops. Stuff is missing here!)
Jul. 19th, 2014 08:03 pm


idleleaves: (Default)
To my father, who has continually scoffed at the idea that my camera is anything but an expensive toy (much the same as the reaction to any other artistic/creative endeavour I've ever enjoyed): Take this week's edition of the regional newspaper. Then look at the front page headline. Then look at the photo beneath the headline. Then look at the photographer's byline underneath the photo.

Expensive toy, my ass.
idleleaves: (Default)
So as an explanation (of sorts) as to why I haven't been online much at all in the past couple of months, here's what my schedule's been like for the past four days.

Thursday 8am – 4pm: Suffer through day job.
Thursday 5pm – 9pm: Attend tech/dress rehearsal* for local studio's Junior/Intermediate dance recital.

Friday 8am – 4pm: Suffer through day job.
Friday 5pm – 9pm: Attend tech/dress rehearsal* for local studio's Senior/Adult dance recital.

Saturday 7am – 8:30am: Photograph warblers** at local nature reserve.
Saturday 9:00am – 12:30pm: Photograph furballs at shelter.
Saturday 1:00pm – 4:30pm: Attend/photograph local studio's Junior/Intermediate dance recital (including pre-show backstage chaos).
Saturday 6:00pm – 9:30pm: Attend/photograph local studio's Senior/Adult dance recital (including pre-show backstage chaos).

Sunday 8am – 10am: Work with feral kittens at shelter.
Sunday 11am – 12:30pm: Photograph Pawsitive Thinking dog obedience class 'graduation'.
Sunday 1:00pm – 4:30pm: Attend/photograph second showing of local studio's Senior/Adult dance recital (including pre-show backstage chaos).

* AKA test shoot. I like to know what I'm getting into, lighting-wise, especially when stages are involved.
** Pretty (and fast!) little birds that are only really observable for a few weeks each spring – the reserve needs photos for tourist literature.

It's not that insane all the time (thankfully), but definitely much less time on my hands than I used to have. I do miss people, and I miss writing, but I also know this is how things have to be for the time being if I want to continue getting my name (and work!) out there.
idleleaves: (canadian mittens)
I'm at a frustrating point with my photos right now. The basic issue is that my current camera isn't capable of taking the photos I'm trying to take. People have been asking me for my business card, wanting to get photo sessions done with their pets like the ones I do for the shelter, but those photos only look nice when viewed on a computer screen. The print quality isn't good enough for me to even think about charging people.

I have my new kit all picked out, but there's that whole issue of spending money to make money, and I definitely don't have any extra to spend right now. I've just come off my gradual return to work and am back full-time, so my budget isn't flexible at all. Frustrating. I can save up the funds, and I will, but the waiting is annoying me more than it should.

It's stormy outside today – our yearly St. Patrick's storm – so I'm cooped up in the house with a bunch of storm-wired, over-hyper cats. Last weekend was beautiful, so I spent four hours trekking through the new, as-yet-unmarked trails at the local nature reserve. All of the landscape photos are awful, but I did get this good one of a friendly squirrel:

Feb. 21st, 2014 07:08 pm


idleleaves: ((default))
The kittens are three weeks old today, and little Piper is getting cuter by the second:

Baby Reid is literally half her size - he's quite thin and not as energetic, but since I started bottle-feeding him he's been getting stronger. His eyes are starting to clear up, too. I have hope. He's a determined little one.
idleleaves: ((default))
So this is what has been distracting me this weekend:

The little ones were born Friday night, and not without some drama. Millie's a first-time mama; two of the kittens decided to be born backwards so I had to help her deliver them, then she was so exhausted by the hours-long labour that I had to clamp and cut the cords on all three kittens and wash the last one for her.

Mama and fluffs are all doing fine, now, and the little tabby in the middle (Piper) is already shaping up to be a hellion. She can't even walk and she's already squirming halfway across the room when she gets a chance, making her mama come and retrieve her. The little cream ones (Reid and Emma) are less adventurous – and there's a pretty good chance they'll develop colour-points as they grow. Maybe lynx-point like their mama or maybe closer to standard Siamese markings. Either way, if they have colour-points, they'll be adopted in nine seconds.

And now back to work on my MSV fic. This one is not coming together easily at all.
Dec. 26th, 2013 08:26 pm


idleleaves: (fandom - seeker - angst!)
I came thisclose to not going to my parents' house for Xmas, and I wish I hadn't. An ice storm knocked out power (plus water and sewage) to thousands of people in their area so I spent my four days there freezing and in the dark. And in mourning - my grandmother died Xmas morning.

Power might not be restored for another several days and temperatures are in the minus twenties. My grandmother's funeral is Monday but I've chosen to not go - she didn't want a funeral or a viewing or any of that, but my father's brothers have explictly ignored her wishes in favour of what they want. I'll grieve on my own and in my own way. I hardly know that branch of the family, anyhow - except for my grandmother, who was one hell of a human being and the world is a little darker without her in it.

I'm home, now, surrounded by kitties inside and thigh-height snow outside, and I don't plan to get out from under these blankets anytime tonight.
Dec. 10th, 2013 11:23 pm


idleleaves: (canadian mittens)
Starting with a random photo I took a few days ago - it's one of our local shelter babies. Cutie!

And now... I have something to think about.

So the shelter's Santa Paws fundraiser was this past weekend – lots of dogs and cats getting their photo taken with santa. Heh. I was the photographer this year, and I had a great time. I'd much rather take photos of pets than people, honestly.

A lot of people asked me for my business card, thinking I did this pet-photography thing as a living. I also got a lot of comments (and am still getting comments) on the quality of the photos. It delights me – but it also gets my brain-wheels turning. It was my first time working with studio equipment (not a lot, but some lighting and umbrellas and such) and it didn't take all that much time to adapt my usual shooting techniques to work within the studio environment. I'm sure I can do better given time to experiment, but for the time being... yeah. Anyhow. It made me think. It made me wonder if I shouldn't be doing this, on the side. Not full-time but just once in a while. Even if only one weekend a month.

It'd be an investment (although not as much as I'd imagined) to get some equipment of my own, but I'm really considering it. It's something I love (and I have the patience to wait and take twenty photos to get one decent shot of a pup or kitten), and it might generate a little extra money. I have no idea where I'd set up, though. Someone suggested I do it at people's houses – which would work in some ways, since the pets would be more comfortable in their own homes – but how do I know that when I get to the home there'll be a place with enough space to set something up? Blargh.

Either way, it requires a lot of thought and planning. But I'm interested.
Dec. 7th, 2013 11:47 pm


idleleaves: (canadian mittens)
How the heck has it been more than two months? O.o I haven't been here, I haven't been on Tumblr, I haven't been... well. Anywhere, for a while. Those blasted health issues of mine have been on-again-off-again since the summer, and in October they took a nose-dive and I ended up having to take an extended leave of absence from work. (And life in general, really.) I've been off for six weeks already and I'm not set to return until mid-January. I've been doing some serious self-care, and am now at the point where I'm done the rest-and-recover part and am onto the part where I start to head back to becoming a functional human being again. As much as I hated to take that amount of time, I realise now that I needed it.

I haven't had the brain to write but I've been doing a lot of knitting. Also a lot of going to the shelter and sitting amongst the kitties (no cleaning/climbing around like I used to do), giving them love and letting them swarm all over me. And I have a litter of foster kittens again who came to me feral and terrified and are now bouncy playful purr-machines. They're still skittish around loud noises and/or new situations, and they may always be – but considering how wild they were at first, I consider it awesome that they've come as far as they have.

I've spent very little time on the computer (except for Ravelry, when I'm hunting for yarn information or new patterns or whatever), and while I'm anxious to get back to my normal internet-ing, I think a temporary disconnect was good for me, too. It's harder to push away all my issues when I'm not so focussed on staying caught up with all sorts of things.

I have a new family member. She was a foster, and my furballs fell in love with her. I did bring her back to the shelter when her foster time was up, but after a stress-filled week for her (and a daily-visit-to-kitty week for me – sometimes you don't realise how much you've come to love something until it's not there) she came home with me for good. Afterward, one of the shelter ladies told me that the staff was collectively shocked that I'd brought her back in to begin with, because from the video clips and photos and her personality and how she clung to me they thought she just seemed like she should be my cat instead of anyone else's.

Meet Georgia:

She's a boneless lump of purr, basically. Absolute little sweetheart, and just melts onto you when you pick her up.

Finn has continued to grow at an alarming rate. Pretty much confirmed that he's part Maine Coon, now – he's fifteen months old and fifteen pounds. And none of that is fat. He's just a big boy.

The thing about my cats is that they all get along incredibly well. They share food and toys and sleeping spots without a problem, and while they all like to have attention they don't get jealous or pushy about it. I think if this wasn't the case this herd would be hard to handle (and I probably wouldn't have as many as I do). But they're basically little hippies, and that makes it easy for me.

Aaand I need to keep knitting. I've knit four sweaters in the past six weeks along with assorted other smaller projects, and I'm in the middle of a vest right now. Then I think I need a new pair of wool socks. And possibly some mittens. And another sweater. I like sweaters.
idleleaves: (canadian mittens)
The shelter's in crisis mode, right now – there are almost a hundred cats admitted. They've sent out emergency calls for foster families and are trying to place as many cats in temporary homes as possible (to avoid having to put any to sleep, which is not something they do lightly but sometimes they're pushed to it). As a result, I have a couple of extra fosters. I'm used to having one or two at a time, and once in a while an entire litter, but right now I have... eight. Yep. Lots more cleaning to do but otherwise the house is surprisingly less chaotic than I expected. Shelter kitties – the ones that have been there a little while, anyhow – are used to sharing space with other kitties, and my boys are super laid-back when it comes to new furries. Still, though... so. many. cats.

Adoptions are on an upswing, both because of the time of year and because the shelter crisis has been well-publicised, so some of the fosters will be making their way back there soon enough. One of my co-workers came over to immerse herself in fuzzballs and ended up falling in love with one of the fosters – she's in the midst of moving house but when she's settled miss furball is going home with her. \o/

I've been trying to think of ways to raise money for spay/neuter sponsorships – already-fixed cats have a really good rate of adoption. I pulled some overtime at work and managed to get the money together for two little girls to be spayed and one little boy to be neutered, but I want to do more. I need to come up with a fundraiser idea.


So I freely admit I've been a little prickly lately, online, mostly because it seems, lately, like I'm seeing a lot of sweeping judgements of people based on what sites they use to communicate. It doesn't seem to matter whether it's LiveJournal, Dreamwidth, Tumblr, Wordpress, or anything else - there are people saying 'all people on X site are (insert insult here)'. Generalisations like that tend to push my instant-irritation button.

And it probably irritates me more because some of my co-workers seem to be more judgemental than usual, lately, and I'm tired of feeling attacked by them, even if not directly. But the situation with the bullies is well under control. Two of them were suspended without pay, and now that they're back they've been on their best (if chilly, but that I expected) behaviour.

And also. Also also also. One of my former college instructors contacted me – she's retiring and the college is looking for someone to take her place. She thought I might be interested. It both delights and terrifies me, but I refuse to psych myself out – the least I can do is apply. The salary is better than I'm getting now, the benefits are comparable, the schedule is great, and (maybe best of all), it's in the city I spent a year in and never wanted to leave. As flailtastic as I am over the whole thing, I really think I'd love teaching pharmacology. I'm not sure that I'd be any good at it, but that's a worry for later, not right now. This could be a really good thing. This could be something that would make me happy.


(I'm sorry I've been such a crap friend, lately. I'm so far behind on my flists IDK if I'll ever catch up. If there's anything you really want me to see, please point me to it.)
idleleaves: (fandom - arda - like gold)
I have ten million tabs open in my browser – SinS fics, all of them. I keep trying to manage uninterrupted reading time and keep... well, not managing. I want to read all the delightful things, and soon.

I had this lovely thing written for me: Love? by fordofbruinen. Aredhel/Elenwë and Maedhros/Glorfindel and Finrod and Maglor and Amarië and yes. So many of my favourites all at once!

I wrote Old Growth. Fourth Age, Glorfindel/Erestor; I don't hate it but for some reason I was crazy anxious (more than usual) about posting it.

There's only a few weeks left in the Season of Writing Dangerously. I've fallen far behind in my goals – but I did re-calculate how much I'd have to write daily to manage to achieve my goals despite the slump. I don't know if I'm hopeful, but at least I'm not convinced I can't do it.

* * *

My newest foster kitties are precious beyond all reason. Three four-month-old little girls – one tortoiseshell, one shorthaired ginger tabby, and one longhaired ginger tabby – with very distinct personalities. The tortie (Gracie) is the little princess, the shorthaired ginger tabby (Fiona) is the happy-go-lucky bouncy one, and the longhaired ginger tabby (Autumn) is the sweet quiet one who purrs as soon as you touch her. Finn seems to have decided that Autumn is his kitten now:

photo... )

I don't have a good photo of Fiona yet, but here's Gracie: ... )

And here's a link to a video I found again the other day: Baby Finn with cream cheese. His ridiculous little tongue and ridiculous wagging tail and ridiculous initial recoil before he decides cream cheese is tasty. Adorable.
idleleaves: (fandom - arda - like gold)
First, there's that Social Attitude test thing... )

* * *

Write write write write write write write. Still working on SinS, and am of course getting to the point where I'm convinced I'm writing precisely the wrong thing for my recipient. Am pondering pulling a marathon tonight to finish the draft – I'm the furthest thing from a night owl, but when I'm tired and it's super-late at night my inner editor tends to be quieter. Of course I'm also telling myself that it's not a good idea because I'm wanting sleep already, but, duh, this is how it works. If I wasn't wanting sleep that inner editor would have me firmly in everything-I-write-sucks mode.

And I have to remind myself that stories don't have to be about Things. (This is particularly a problem for my brain in Tolkien-based fandoms, because there's so much space for epic.) They can just be about things and still be good and readable. Slice-of-life, missing scenes, small moments, things that do not span decades, things that aren't life-changing, things that are limited in scope instead of bringing in details from everywhere, things that aren't a hundred thousand (or even ten thousand) words long. I've always loved these kinds of stories, but for some reason, when I write them, I struggle a lot with whether or not they're 'worth it'.

Pretty sure that the whole 'limited in scope' thing is the reason I don't tend to have to do much research for anything I write - small references, sure, but nothing sweeping.

Pretty sure I'm rambling, too.


idleleaves: (Default)
Idle Leaves


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