Hi Everybody

 
Hello everyone!

I've been absent for a long time, and I left quite abruptly, I know. Early last year my step-father was diagnosed with cancer, and it kind of threw our entire family into hell for a long time. We had some good news just before Christmas though, and things are looking good in that respect, and now things have calmed down a bit for us. So I feel up to coming back to fandom, and I thought I'd dip my toes by chatting to you all again!

Good things that happened in 2018:
  • Eryn turned 18! She took her A Levels, did fantastically well, and she is now a student at Goldsmiths University of London, studying Sociology and Anthropology! Leaving her there in the middle of London was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life, but she loves it there. She's made loads of friends, is enjoying her classes, and having fun learning to live with a bunch of other 18 year olds who also have no idea how to adult. Look at this gorgeous thing; I must have been incredibly good in a past life to have deserved her:


  • Madison came top in her year at school! She got all the GCSE options she wanted, and is currently participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Award, because she's a little over-achiever, haha! 
  • We had a chat with Imogen's teachers, who are happy to use male/neutral pronouns for them, which has made Imogen feel a lot happier. We're currently trying out new names.
  • Ben got the all clear after his second surgery (oh yeah, that was a thing that happened to us as well), and he's back at work and happy.
  • I gave up my job! It wasn't making me happy, because I kept getting refused a move into the sector I have TRAINED FOR, and I spent most of my time frustrated and biting my tongue against yelling at everybody. I feel much happier now.
And now I'm going to ask you a question (a sneaky way to get you all to talk to me again, haha) - for the writers out there: Is there a particular fic of yours that you go to when you're feeling a bit down about your writing, because the comments make you feel like a fic-writing genius and make you want to write again? If so, which one is it? I need a rec list, basically, lol. Mine is Five Weddings and a Funeral, because the comments on that one make me feel as though I am floating on air.

Anyway, hope your start to the new year have been awesome for you all, and I'm glad to be back! xx

 
This entry was originally posted at https://lauren3210.dreamwidth.org/47507.html. Please comment either there or here.

Update and a meme!

So, I missed my last couple of weekly check ins, but I haven't really had much to report - I'm still writing, still reading, still working, still parenting, and there's not much happening with me other than the usual. BUT, [personal profile] smirkingcat tagged me in this meme, so I figured it was a good opportunity for a catch up with everybody, so:

Post 10 facts little known about you and tag 12 other people with it.

1. Other than my piercings and my engagement ring, I don't wear jewellery. I don't like things hanging off me, so necklaces and bracelets are annoying. Plus they tangle in my hair, which is already tangled enough, thanks very much!

2. I also never wear a watch, mainly because I can't tell time on a clock face. 

3. I don't own a handbag, and I have a terrible tendency to put my keys and/or purse in whatever shopping bag I've picked up along the way. I've accidentally binned my keys on more than one occasion due to this.

4. Although I write left handed, I am right handed for everything else. I also have really nice handwriting for a leftie, everyone comments on it!

5. I don't like wearing things on my feet; as soon as I come in the house, my shoes and socks come off and I walk around barefoot.

6. I'm allergic to pepper. It doesn't cause anaphylaxis, but it does make the back of my throat itch if I swallow it, or breathe it in while it's being ground. It makes eating out a bit of an uncomfortable experience.

7. I have an irrational fear of tomatoes. I don't like the taste, or the texture, and the sight of thoses seeds just sort of hanging there, suspended in that jelly like substance turns my stomach (I've given myself goosebumps just typing this!).

8. I love action films. The more explosions or extended fight scenes a movie has, the more I'm going to enjoy it. 

9. I am the same height as my father and brother, while my mum is a tiny person (only 5' 3"). My oldest daughter is also a tiny person, so I look like a giant next to them, haha!

10. I can be super controlling. I hate it when Ben tries to clean around the house, because he doesn't do it right. He tries to tell the kids to do their share so they learn some responsibility, but I always take over because I can't stand watching them do it wrong.

I'm not going to tag people, just gonna open it up to anyone who hasn't been tagged yet and fancies joining in! xx This entry was originally posted at https://lauren3210.dreamwidth.org/47355.html. Please comment either there or here.

Weekly update

 Hello everybody! I am back as promised, to keep you all up with the scintillating goings on at Chez Lauren! (Mainly ironing, to be honest.) As I was saying in some email exchanges recently, I'm hoping that these little updates will help me keep the doorway for communication open for me, because I have a tendency to withdraw if I don't do something regularly, and I kind of dropped the ball last year, so. Here I am! *waves dorkily*

I've been writing this week! I've been writing H/D! I was persuaded to sign up to the Harry/Draco Big Bang, and I got so excited that I managed to knock out 13k words in just two days! I'm very excited about this fic, to be honest. I just have this feeling that it will end up being really good (for me, anyway), as long as I can manage to pull it off. So, watch this space!

I'm also writing original stories, as I do. I have a few ideas for some short stories, so I'm thinking that if I manage to knock a few of those out, it might give me the confidence to finally finish one of the novel length ones. Who knows, it could work...

So, Imogen's school managed to make it into the national newspapers this week *headdesk*.  The head teacher has been accused of "student segregation", and I had no idea it was even happening! Apparently, the school asked for a donation from each student for some lunchtime play equipment (skipping ropes, bats and balls, that kind of thing), but only 80 or so of the 450 pupils actually paid it. And so the teachers decided to put the 'paid' kids in one playground to play with all the toys, and the 'unpaid' kids in another playground without it. And everyone went nuts over it. I was one of the ones who hadn't paid (because they put the call out over Facebook and I'm not on fucking Facebook so I had no idea it was even a thing), so when I heard what was happening I asked Imogen why they hadn't told me. They said that it didn't matter to them, because the 'paid' kids were allowed to invite one 'unpaid' kid to go play with them, and Imogen had always been picked. So like, on the one hand, yay for me having a trans kid that's so fucking popular, but on the other hand, how dare this school do that?? I have myriad issues with this school, but Imogen is happy and accepted there, which is the most important thing for them at the moment, so I don't really kick up too much of a fuss. But I admit to being a little vindictively amused when I showed up at school one morning to find Press from the Guardian, the Independent, and the fucking BBC there to get soundbites out of some of the parents, haha! Good Lord, what a mess.

Oh, and Eryn is starting to get responses from universities! So far, Exeter, Bournemouth, and Goldsmith's in London have sent out conditional offers - she'll need three Bs in her A level exams, which she should get no problem. We're just waiting on Kent and Oxford Brookes universities to respond now. I'm very excited and also feeling slightly sick, with a very definite urge to wrap her up in a blanket and refuse to let her go, lol!

Love to you all, and hope 2018 is starting out well for everyone! <3

This entry was originally posted at https://lauren3210.dreamwidth.org/46851.html. Please comment either here or there.

Happy New Year Everybody!

 
This is me, popping in to wish all of you a wonderful 2018!!


Last year wasn't so awesome for me. There were hospital appointments, scary surgeries, my favourite cat died unexpectedly. And then, to end the year, my last grandmother died just 3 weeks before Christmas. It would have been her 98th birthday on Boxing Day, and she had a long and wonderful life, and she passed away peacefully in her sleep, but I am really going to miss her. I had the flu over Christmas, and am only now getting back on my feet, and I am woefully behind reading all of the wonderful Erised fics - so many long fics this year! I am catching up slowly, though.

I managed to reach my Goodreads goal of 200 books last year. I actually read more, but I kept forgetting to update on GR. But to be honest, roughly 90% of those were m/m romances, and some of them were quite short, so I feel as though I cheated a little. So, this year, my new goal is 25 books, but I'm going to limit those to classics, or best-sellers, things like that. The first books on my list are Atonement and Wide Sargasso Sea, and that second one will probably prompt me into rereading Jane Eyre, so there we go.

I'm also gong to try and start posting once a week on here, just to try and keep up with everybody. I kind of let it slide last year; there was a lot of RL stuff going on and so fandom felt like a little too much pressure on top of that, but I think now it might have been a little uplifting, instead. So, with that in mind, I'm going to sort of keep a little diary on here, about what I've been up to and how family life is going, to try and keep the doors of communication open.

I have a couple of resolutions, of course! I want to stop smoking finally (she says, holding a cigarette while typing), and I want to lose a bit of weight. Ben is taking me to Peru in a few years for my 40th birthday, and I want to be able to hike all the trails without dying. Who knows, maybe if I start now, I'll get there in time?

I'm also going to continue writing, of course. I have a couple of ideas for some multi-chaptered fics, as well as the original stories I have languishing in my gdoc files. My goal is to complete at least one of each this year, maybe more if I can manage it.

Anyway, I hope 2018 brings wonderful things for all of you, and that everybody stays happy and well for the rest of the year! <3

This entry was originally posted at https://lauren3210.dreamwidth.org/46723.html. Please comment either there or here.

Sometimes, life really sucks

 
The past couple of months, I feel as though the universe hates me. Like, I've done something really terrible, something so bad that karma can't wait to get back at me and just needs to throw all of the shit my way just to make things even.

Ben had his surgery. And everything went as well as it could possibly go, and he's well on track for a full and complete recovery. Which is awesome, and so NOT a bad thing, but it was really fucking stressful for a long while, and I just didn't have a lot left over to deal with everything that's come since.

So my cat died, and part of me is very logically minded so I'm like it's just a cat, but then the other side of me can't stop crying myself to sleep at night because he's no longer laying on my feet.

I was at the hospital myself while Ben was there, because I've had a lot of gynaecological issues and I was hoping to get them sorted. I was originally going to have ablation therapy (they stick a balloon up into your uterus and burn away the lining, giving relief for a few years), but when I got there, my consultant told me it wasn't a good idea because of my blood clotting issue. So then I had to go back to someone else and go all through my history again to work out something else. I used to be on the combined pill, because it was the only thing that worked, but when I had my pulmonary embolism during my second pregnancy, they told me I couldn't go back on it. So I've been suffering from all these issues for 13 years. However, it turns out that what they wrote in my patient history was that I had experienced a deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in the leg) rather than the blood clot in my lung during pregnancy, and THAT was the only reason why I couldn't go back on the pill. So, I have been suffering from heavy cramping, periods that last 10 days or longer, such a heavy flow that I literally can't stand upright without a cascade down my legs, clots the size of my palm, FOR NOTHING. So I'm back on the pill, which is a good thing, but I'm so angry about it I can barely articulate it.

Then, last week, I started getting pains in my right shoulder. It got so bad, pain radiating down my arm and making it all numb and tingly, that my mum took me to the hospital to get it checked out. Turns out, I have a herniating disc on the C7 vertebra, putting pressure on the right brachial nerve. I had to stay in hospital for a couple of days while they monitored the swelling, because if it didn't go down, they would have had to perform spinal surgery before I completely lost the use of my right arm. It did eventually go down, but I am still in pain and on drugs, which makes it really hard to do stuff around the house, which I am still doing on my own because Ben's still recuperating.

Fuck 2017, to be honest.

Oh, on the plus side, I have 2 brand new kittens, who we've called Samson and Jackson - Sam and Jack for short - and they are just adorable! Sam is a grey tabby who can get into anything if he just tries hard enough. I found him in the washing machine yesterday. Jack is an orange tabby (with orange spots on his tummy!) who is an angry little ball of fluff - he hissed at the tv cable this morning when it got in his way. They are just 2 wonderful spots of brightness in a dark November, and I love them. This entry was originally posted at https://lauren3210.dreamwidth.org/46381.html. Please comment either there or here.

I'm so sad

 
My cat died yesterday. I woke up to the sound of him crying, and found him on the floor at the bottom of my bed. By the time we got him to the vet  he was barely breathing, and although the vet tried everything he could, my baby died a few minutes later from heart failure. It all happened so fast; he was fine the night before, yelling at me because it was raining, chasing after the laser pointer with the kids, forcing the other cats to wait until he chose a bowl before they were allowed to eat. And then he was just... gone.

He was just... the loveliest cat. He was 3 feet long and weighed 21 pounds, when he sat on your lap he made your legs go numb. He slept around my baby bump when I was pregnant, and would corral me into bed every night. He slept between my feet, and would curl one paw around my toes. He liked to snuggle under my chin and purr in my ear until I fell asleep. He hated the rain and would check every door in the house, then shout at me when I couldn't make it stop. He liked to be carried around under my arm like a baby, and would shove himself between me and Ben at night, just in case Ben got any ideas. He used to jump on my kids when they got back from swimming lessons and suck their hair because he loved the smell of chlorine. 

Birdie was my black and white angel, and I miss him so much my heart aches. 

This entry was originally posted at https://lauren3210.dreamwidth.org/46204.html. Please comment either there or here.

Good News!!

 
So I've been kind of absent lately, I know. There have been birthdays I've missed, emails I haven't replied to, friends' important moments in their lives that I haven't taken a moment to comment on. Please know that I know this, and that I'm sorry, and that even though I haven't been around, I have been thinking of all of you.

Ben had his operation yesterday though, and so far all signs are pointing to it being a total success. He's awake and talking, only slurring a little, which the doctors insist is just leftover from the anaesthetic (16 hour surgery!), his memory seems fine, and all his movements are coordinated and good - he can even walk already, even though he's a little wobbly. His fine motor skills are a little bit off still (he dropped a cup this morning), but even though Ben's concerned, his surgeon assures me it will go back to normal while he's recuperating. He's going to be in hospital for the next week, and if everything continues as it is, he'll be back at home by next Friday and back to work by the new year! 

So yeah, that's a HUGE weight off my mind! And hopefully, once he's home again, I will feel settled enough to do more than just lurk in fandom. I know you've all got important stuff going on too, and I'm sorry that I've been too preoccupied with my own to offer you all my support, but I hope you know that you have it, whether I'm able to express it or not.

<3 <3 <3

This entry was originally posted at https://lauren3210.dreamwidth.org/46021.html. Please comment either there or here.

Hello!

 
I've just written my first 1k for my hd_erised  fic!! I'll admit, I've been moaning a bit about this one, because the things my giftee loves are just a touch off the mark with what I usually write. Not that I'm complaining or blaming the mods or anything, because I know they work really bloody hard to give something to everyone that they can feel comfortable writing, and it's not always going to be perfect. And, after 3 years of truly excellent match-ups for me, I'm absolutely okay with this one being a bit more of a challenge. It's just, a bit hard to get it going, and to get really enthusiastic about the process. But I've started it, which is always the hardest part, and I have a cheerleader to keep me going, and even my trusty beta has promised to hold my hand, even though she's no longer involved in fandom, which is really sweet and encouraging, so I'm sure I'll find my excitement again soon!

So, I came back from holiday a couple of weeks ago, and it's taken me this long just to get back to normal. I must tell you all my experience, because OMG was it a rollercoaster! Okay, so some friends of ours convinced us to go on a coach trip to Spain. They went last year, and they had loads of fun, meeting new people during the 26 hour (!!) drive across France and through the pyrenees (I think? Some mountain range, anyway). So we decided to give it a go, because all the kids would keep each other amused (they have 3 too) and us grownups would have some other adults to talk to. And everything went fine, it was chucking it down with rain on the ferry, Eryn abandoned us to go chat up a boy (because of course), we all watched some movies on the private TVs on the seats, and we chatted and tried to fall asleep and everything was good. Until 1 in the morning, somewhere in Northern France, when the fucking coach broke down! So we were stuck there, on the top floor of this bloody double decker coach, for NINE HOURS OMG. It was boiling, we were swimming in our own sweat, and Imogen (plus a few other younger passengers) ended up being sick due to dehydration. The French police brought us food and water (because the trip organisers couldn't be bothered), and we ended up arriving at the campsite 13 hours later than we should have. I basically had to play I Spy for 12 hours as well, because the replacement coach they found for us didn't have the TVs, and the seats didn't recline, so I had to amuse Imogen for the entire trip through France. It was a fucking nightmare, omg.

Spain was lovely, though. It's been a few years since I've been, and I'd forgotten just how hot it gets there! I even managed to get sunburn (Me!!) on my boobs - ouch! - because I sorted out the kids and Ben and totally forgot about myself, as you do. Imogen went just about able to swim, and came back able to dive like a dolphin and knowing how to snorkle with the fish. We all got lovely tans, Eryn lost her favourite bracelet in the sea, and we all discovered a new Dutch dish that we all absolutely love (it's called 'patat oorlog', and it's chips with raw onion, mayonnaise and satay sauce, which sounds like it really shouldn't go together but it really does and it was amazeballs omg). So yeah, other than getting there, we had a great time, and I'd love to go back again another year - although probably not via coach, haha!

The kids are still at home for the summer, and they're all starting to get on each other's nerves (and mine), so I can't wait for school to start up again. Eryn got her AS level results yesterday, and she got an A and 2 Bs! She's very happy, and ready to buckle down and get even better results next year, so she can get into a good university. She wants to go to London, which is going to be expensive for us, but if she wants it, we'll sort it for her. 

I'm writing a new HD fic, as well as the Ersied one. It was an idea I had, and I don't know if I'll ever finish it, but it would be nice to write a fic again just for fun and because I feel like it, rather than for a fest (although those are always fun too!). Plus, I'm in the middle of rewriting one of my older HD fics into an original story. Well, I say 'middle', but what I really mean is that I'm right at the start. I'll get there though. Maybe...

And... I think that's it? Hope you guys are all happy and well, and I'm going to try commenting on people's posts again - I'm constantly reading them when I don't have time to reply, and then I forget to come back, but I'm working on fixing that!

Love to you all xx This entry was originally posted at http://lauren3210.dreamwidth.org/45669.html. Please comment either there or here.

Placeholder?

As you all know, hd_erised will be opening up next Friday for claiming a spot, and I'm so excited!! The only problem is, I'm going on holiday really early the very next day, and I'm not sure I'm going to be able to sit down at the moment the post goes live - I'll have last minute packing to do, passports to worry over, kids to corral, etc., etc. I should have some time at some point to write my likes/dislikes and all the rest of it, but I'm not sure I'll be free at that exact time (and you know those spots always go so fast!), so I'm looking for a lovely person willing to post a placeholder for me.

Please, please, please?? I'll love you forever :DDD