Saturday, November 09, 2013

NaNo 2013 or how I learned to ignore my word count and love my novel

So I discovered something about myself and NaNoWriMo.

I did my first NaNo in 2009 and began then - and have continued each year - to work myself into a frenzy over word count.  It was a race, my mind insisted, and if I didn't do X amount of words a day I sucked! I was an epic failure!  I didn't deserve to write!  If a buddy of mine was writing over word count, that was a direct reflection on my own worthlessness.  I must write more!  I must catch up!

Now, recall that I have an anxiety disorder.

I'm obsessive, a hoarder, a chronic insomniac, compulsive, subject to rages, depression, and paranoia.  Pretty isn't it?

Now imagine my doing NaNoWriMo.

I came to dread November, yet I did NaNo every year.  I did not enjoy it.  It was another compulsion, a whip with which to lash myself.

Last year (our Year From Hell, if you have been keeping up), we opted not to do it at all.  Then came November 2013.  I have a husband, five kids under the age of 12, a farm, and I work two jobs outside the home.  WTF?  NaNoWriMo?


I couldn't not do it, due to my compulsive urges.  It's gotta happen.  I also started on day 2.  Neither my husband nor I got a word written on day one.  Cue disaster, right?

Not so.  I had a revelation.  See, the cool thing about my working outside my home now is that it keeps my broken brain occupied.  I can't spend so much time fretting, worrying, going over stuff over and over and over.  No time.

So I was working November 4th - a Monday - and had written maybe 600 words thus far.  I couldn't write until I got home and I was on my break and chewing over my novel in my mind and chewing, and chewing when I thought: "I'm really liking my novel this year.  Oh, hey, that's new.  Normally I'm hating my novel by now."

So when I got home and sat down to write I plunged in and it was still there, the delight.  Characters I never knew existed were pouring out onto the paper and getting up and walking and talking. Cool!

And so I thought "Fuck this shite.  Fuck word counts.  It's only day four.  I have plenty of time to get my words in.  I'm just gonna enjoy this."

And I have.  I couldn't care less how many words someone else writes.  Some people have is much easier than me, some people have no jobs to go to, or one kid who spends half his time in day care. Some people have it worse: school during the day plus a job at night, or a disabled partner or child who requires constant care.  Everyone's situation is different and we are all only responsible for our own word count.

In the meantime I'm enjoying the crap out of my 2013 NaNo and I hope you are enjoying yours too! :D

 No talk now. Writing. Funny t-shirt for writers doing nanowrimo

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 9:41 am   0 comments

Thursday, October 31, 2013

So I just sent five kids off in their Halloween costumes for a night of trick or treating.

There was The Convict:

The Grim Reaper and The Mummy:

The Ghost and the Cowgirl:

(In order: Boy - 11, THCTD - 10, Fiver -6, Bulk - 8, and Bitty Girl -9).

And in other news, I signed up for NaNoWriMo for this year!  This will be my fourth year, YAY!

Now to think of something to write ...

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 6:22 pm   0 comments

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Thought I was never gonna get here, folks!  I got stopped by the (I found out, infamous) "You have logged out from another location. Do you want to log in again?" Blogger error message.  I couldn't log on and talk to you lovely peoples!

But, The Internet Is Good.  Bless and preserve the signal.  You can't stop the signal, Mal.

David Krumholz as Mr Universe in Serenity. Love Joss Whedon and Firefly!

So I jumped on the 'net and asked the folks out in the 'verse for help.  If you've had this error message, try Mr. Portman's lovely fix - scroll down to the update - over at 1stopIT.

Right.  On to today's post!

I am SO not a cook.  I can cook, but I am NOT a cook. I have loads of internet friends who are really awesome cooks - even extraordinary bakers (and grillers!)  You know who you are.

But not me.  I refuse to load my kids up with fast food or pre-made food.  I cook breakfast and supper almost every day, but I like things that are quick, and simple, and easy, and other words like that.

I don't want box food or frozen food but real foodz.  Real ingredients, nothing fancy, no weird or exotic ingredients, just stuff you probably have in the pantry right now.  Old fashioned stuff, I guess.  I adore many of the traditional British and German dishes!

As I am a ravening Pintrest and Tumblr addict, I get to see oodles of pins and posts about food from the real cooks out there.  It never occurred to me to, for example, have a food or recipe board on Pintrest.  I'm not a cook, am I?  So there are literally thousands of people who have already covered the whole food/recipe thing.

Then I found a recipe very similar to my own recipe for Egg-in-a-Basket*, and I thought: "Hey.  I'll bet there are some pressed for time, or inexperienced, or (like me) just lazy cooks out there that might like a quick,easy recipe Pintrest board!"

Long story short: I've started one.  If you have any really quick and / or easy recipes you'd like to share, I'd love you to send 'em to me!  I'll give you linky love!

Speaking of linky love, if you've only ever followed my craftsy stuff here's today's featured T-shirts from my store.  Yep, ai iz grafik designer!  Check 'em out:

candy me, funny, cute, halloween, candy corn t-shirt from Evil Genius Tees!

Funny, pumpkin smuggler, maternity, pregnancy, belly print t-shirt from Evil Genius Tees

One more, promise ...

For my darling Husband who teaches Middle School English Language Arts:

Funny, english, ela, teacher warning sign grammar

English Teacher warning sign!  I also have MANY other subjects, history, math, science, art, etc!

*Egg-in-a-Basket is NOT, I repeat NOT the same as Toad in the Hole!  I don't care what you've always heard!  Egg-in-a-Basket is an egg cracked into a hole in a slice of bread and fried (or the above baked version).  Toad-in-the-Hole is a traditional British dish involving bangers and Yorkshire pud all baked together.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 11:17 am   0 comments

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

First day of school mommy blues

So ... yeah.  First day of school.

My kids (five of them, ages 11 down to 6) have been driving me mad all summer.  See they LOVE school.

This is a good thing, of course.  All five are - despite my dumb-arsed blunderings - very good students.  Boy and Bitty have never been off the honour roll, ever, and Boy, Bitty, and Bulk (say that three times fast) are all in AGP (advanced / gifted blah, blah, blah). THCTD is a consistant A/B student and tests well. She just skates riiiiight under the line to be AGP.

Oh and did I mention that one (Bitty) is autistic (PDD NOS) and three of them are Dyslexic (THCTD, Bitty, and Bulk).  Bulk suffers the most - sometimes flipping whole words mirror image when he writes them - AND he has attention issues.

Yet they are all happy, well adjusted, keen students.

Wow.  How did Bodog and I do this?!

Both of us were mediocre students at best.  I could do English and Science passably without studying at all (and so I did not) and struggled with maths so badly i had to be tutored at one point and take summer school at another.  I hated school.

So when my freshly minted middle schooler, Boy, acted nervous this morning, I was floored.  After all, I have taken him to class the first day of school for 6 years now and walked blithely away, leaving him - and me - relaxed and confident.  This morning he was clearly upset and acted as if he was on the verge of tears.


Long story short, I told him I loved him and I left.  Like I always do.  I despise those moms who cling and cry and beg their kids to be brave - whether it's first day of school or getting a shot at the doctors office - thus upsetting their kids even more and perpetuating another generation of crybabies and drama queens.  You gotta learn to stand on your own two feet.  The folks at the middle school will take good care of my boy, I'm sure.  I want to mother him but like the professor in Pokemon always says "there's a time and a place for everything, but not now!"

Have a good day, guys.  Momma loves you!

L to R; Fiver (yes he asked me to put his hair up like that), Bulk, Boy, Bitty Girl, and The Human Crash Test Dummy,

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 9:04 am   0 comments

Friday, August 09, 2013

So I've been experimenting with some fabric art ideas gleaned from teh interwebz (Specifically Pintrest.  I am ADDICTED to Pintrest!  There are so many folks out there with shocking amounts of innovation and talent.  I'm definitely a wee fish in a big, scary [but awesome] pond.)

I started with some white glue resist, and combined it with this tye-dye with sharpies technique.

The glue did just fine with the sharpies (which you drop rubbing alcohol onto to make them bleed). In fact it was wonderful except for two stupidities of my own.  #1: I tried to crosshatch the colour on with the sharpies (to save time) but you could still see the lines after bleeding and it looked crappy.  The lovely dots in a circle that the Moments With Maisie folks did looks MUCH better. #2: I am an eejit and I failed to read the line in the instructions that said "let the alcohol dry".  I foolishly washed it wet and (DUH!) all my sharpie colour washed out. :(

Next I tried this spray bleach technique and had a world of problems.  Lil Blue Boo's stuff SO awesome and mine went south.  I first tried cutting my own stencil:

That's just thin cardboard.  And it worked out OK - I sprayed the bleach on it with a squirt bottle - but there was a lot of bleeding.  I expected some, but the bars on the bottom half of the kanji character were almost indistinguishable.

I also attempted the bleach stencilling that she did with a sponge and made a mess of it.  The stencils that I used were plastic (that might be the problem) but despite careful dabbing on my part the bleach bled all up under the stencil and just left a blob!  Below are the shirts my daughters made for themselves. We used the same plastic stencils and fabric paint on top of the 'ruined' attempts.  If you look carefully, you can see the pale halo of where the bleach stenciling failed!

fabric art, crafts, fabric paint, stencil, tee, t-shirts, evil genius tees

Do any of you crafters know what I did wrong?  I just love the idea of bleach stenciled lettering but I don't know how to get clean, sharp edges.  Any ideas from those of you who do fiber art?  Help!

And now your random kitteh pic from Cool Shade Farm Cat Sanctuary!

L to R: that's Georgie, and his 'sister', Scarlet.  Scarlet and her brother, Pinky, were the only survivors of a litter that Old Momma had, and Georgie was abandoned by his still feral mom after all her other kittens died.  He was filthy and - literally - starving.  He was a wee bag of bones covered with yellow fur.  Now he's grown a huge amount and you can no longer feel every rib and bone in his spine.  He clearly loves his adopted sister, too!

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 12:03 pm   0 comments