ceelove: (serendipity)
I just got the last arrangement done of Fire and Ice, two and a half years after I first set out to make-there-be-music such that other people could hear how it's supposed to go.

Seventeen songs, people. And in a couple of weeks, the contests open (and one closes again after three weeks): the big-name contests of the music theatre world, with money and prestige and recognition attached, almost always won by men (and teams of men at that). To coin a phrase, if I can make it there, I can make it anywhere. The best-known contest requires 45 minutes of music submitted with an entry - and I have 56 minutes.

There's everything-else happening in the last few weeks, with high drama, huge emotions from Sylvana, a resumption of the land search, and all the late-spring grubbing a girl could ask for. But I can't begin to get a handle on it, so I'll leave it at this: I shared The Princess Bride with Sylvana, and it was awesome.
ceelove: (Default)
Where any random half hour might be spend convincing one's child that there is an absolutely zero chance of a rabid opossum climbing in her window to eat her head.

This message brought to you by a slaughtered quail hen and internet sleuthery, not to mention a whole lot of patience.
ceelove: (Default)
It's occurred to me, in the midst of reading a shelf full of chapter books to S this past year, that there are more Strong Female Leads (tm) in kidlit than I would have guessed. Like, everybody knows it's next to impossible to find good role models for young girls, the best we can do is screen out the worst of the BarbieDisneyprincessy idiocy, right?

But with S being all about Oz and Ramona Quimby, it's made me stop and think. What enduring kidlit can you think of that features a strong girl? And what do I mean by "strong"? Well, I'd say, self-aware (or at least growing in self-awareness), curious and inventive in figuring out her world, able to balance kindness and assertiveness. And by "enduring," I'd say, still resonates with a generation other than the one it was written for.

examples:
Dorothy, Ozma, and others in the Oz books
Pippi Longstocking
Laura and others in the "Little House" series
Beezus and Ramona
"Anne of Green Gables" etc
Heidi
Mary from "A Secret Garden"
Fern in "Charlotte's Web"
Aerin in "The Hero and the Crown"

What kidlit can you name that features a strong girl? a strong boy? a strong ensemble? Which doesn't just mean, whatever kids in classic kidlit. For example, the kids in Mary Poppins don't really do things so much as experience stuff - the stories are kind of picaresque, but with the adventures coming to them instead. The kids in the Narnia books (or the Half-Magic books), on the other hand, take their fates into their own hands in their pursuit of magic.

bwahaha!

Feb. 19th, 2011 09:46 am
ceelove: (Default)
Me: ...blah blah blah that sounds like a politician...
Sylvana: What's an apologician?

Unfortunately, there was no one else around with whom I could make all the obvious quips, but feel free to take it from there.
ceelove: (Default)
Sylvana came into the world four years ago today - at 5:12, actually, when the light begins to go out of the sky. It was a long, long, hideous day, but at the end of it was her. Strong and solid, a mohawk of dark hair, a single cry before staring in amazement around her.

Today, she is gallivanting in the Rocky Mountains with her daddy. She is still strong, clambering her way loudly through the universe. She still, when hurt, cries for just a moment; then she is more interested in whether her wound merits a Hello Kitty bandaid or her personal ice pack. She is sweet and generous, clever and articulate, expressive and loving, curious and amazingly observant. She understands stuff that I didn't until my early twenties. She plays and sings with such wonderful creativity and abandon. She demands and deserves from me such patience, flexibility, and commitment to my own growth.

It is a commonplace miracle that she is here, but a miracle nonetheless.

Happy birthday, my child.
ceelove: (Default)
As anyone who has spent ten minutes around Sylvana can tell you, she talks enormously. About everything, whether or not anyone else is listening to her, with a huge range of inflection and gusto. One of her long-term favorite activities is reading books to dolls, which must be the best of all worlds to her: books, dolls, talking, being in control of the situation, exactly mimicking the grown-ups...

More than her volubility, though, what gets me is her speech patterns. I learn a lot about what I say, hearing it from her. Boy, am I onamatapoetic. I apparently make sound effects for everything, at least with small children.

She loves big words. She wants to know the names for everything. Just ask her, sometime, what my tattoo says, I dare you. You will die of the cute.

Where she gets the reflexivity, though, I don't know. If I ask her, say, does she want to go outside, she will never just say, "No." More likely, something like: "'I do not think this little girl named Sylvana wants to go outside right now,' she said." Quotating herself. She will say to me, "I was thinking about..." frequently. "I was just wondering..."

I'm not saying she talks exclusively in convoluted sentences. She often babbles, makes silly sounds, talks with great repetition, tells her dolls what she's doing to them. But there are times when conversation with her has the same flow to it that I would expect with a grown person. It's sometimes the tiniest bit scary, how very far she's come in, what, two and a quarter years? Most of the time, I'm thrilled with every bit of growth I see in her, but sometimes, it's intimidating, wondering where this is going.

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