Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye and Thank You 2011

I just wanted to shout out the achievements of my family in 2011.

Mr Xbox put his hand up to be a cub leader and is currently undergoing training.   Hopefully in 2012 we'll be able to bring cubs back to our town rather than travel to the neighbouring town's Scout Hall.

Mr Paleo completed grade 3 and a huge achievement for him this year was his participation and major role in his school's J-Rock entry.    He also joined the local Cubs group which was the catalyst for Mr Xbox to join himself.

See the dance here  (he's the bug wearing the crown)

Mr Maker completed and loved his first year of school!   He'll be an even bigger school boy in 2012 and not one of the littlies!  His adjustment to school has been fantastic and he seems to be well liked by his teachers and peers.   I think he saves his attitude for after school's finished. 

Mr Comedy completed three year old kindergarten.   Off to four year old kindy next year and preparation for big school!  His speech and toileting have also come along in droves.   He is very much a fast growing little man.

My own achievements this year were obviously my two first drafts, completing my first NaNoWriMo and I'm also very proud to have participated in the school PFA and kindergarten committee.

So thank you to 2011 for being kind to us and here's to a fabulous 2012!  (I'll be the one slumped on the couch drinking the homemade Baileys.)

I love this song...

 For some strange reason cannot find the video to add it into my post so I will just put up the link:

Jagwa Ma - Come Save Me

Enjoy and have a fabulous new year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Completing the NaNo Novel and other crappy first drafts

I didn't announce it on here as it happened, but around this time last month I completed my first NaNoWriMo with 50,508 words.   Yay!

A few months ago I finally finished the shitty first draft of my first novel.   It only took um, about six or seven years give or take.  But at least now it is done: ready for improvement, tweaking, changing completely.  The most amazing thing about this particular journey is that for around seven years I have stuck to the one thing!

So I have not one but two novels to rewrite, edit and polish!

One of the prizes for winning NaNoWriMo is 5 proof copies  of your novel so my goal now is to have something finished so I can take advantage of the offer.

Of course being the Virgo I am this is going to to take blood, sweat, tears and loads of other cliches to get it done so that it is 'perfect'.

Here goes....

Thursday, October 27, 2011


This year will be my first NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in which the object is to write a shitty first draft of 50,000 words in 30 days.  I say 'shitty first draft' (aren't they all?) because the focus is on quantity not quality and editing as you go only wastes valuable time as well as words.

My main reason for participating is to get into the habit of writing a lot in a short space of time (considering my first novel's first draft took seven years of me fart-arsing around with it so I want to do this one in a more reasonable time frame).

So the next question is, what will I write?   I've got two more stories worked out in my head, vaguely plotted and characterised.  One is a fantasy and the other a horror.    I'm thinking of going with the fantasy story, mainly because it's the most worked out as far as characters are concerned, and also for the simple reason that horror writing for me can't be done at night :-)  I'm a wuss. 

Anyway, I've committed myself now.   And really looking forward to it!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Raising Stewie Griffin

It would appear my youngest, Mr Comedy wants me dead.    Firstly, about a week ago as I was getting out of the shower he said to me "Mummy, you're going to die!".
Because he's four years old, I understand that it was going to come up eventually so I replied brightly with "Yes, I will one day but not today!"

I knew for a fact that he hadn't been watching any TV that morning, nor was he pissy with me like he often is because I'm so mean and don't let him have chocolate first thing in the morning (I didn't let him have it that morning either, just sayin', but he really wasn't pissy with me at that point in time)

His answer:  "You're going to die and I'll have to get a new mummy."  Then he kind of laughed maniacally.

Oooookkkkkaaaaaaaay, not freaked out at all.


So I spent most of the week at home (being very careful to not do anything silly like handle knives more than necessary or stand on a wobbly chair)  due to being a tad concerned about meeting my demise should I leave the house.

Then the other day I'm putting some towels away in the linen cupboard and I hear in a quiet voice behind me, "I'm going to kill you."   I turn around and he's pointing his water bottle at me like a gun and grinning. Maniacally.

I'm hoping he's just trying to be funny.

**The title of this post for those who may not know 'The Family Guy' is related to the youngest in the family who schemes to kill his mother, Lois.  I'm sure most people do understand the reference in which case I'm wasting my time writing this.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Anti New Years Resolutions

It's a good thing I didn't actually make any new years resolutions this year as I otherwise probably would not have achieved half as much as what I have this month so far.

Firstly, I didn't make any resolutions to do more blogging.  And here I am (admittedly, a couple of weeks have passed since the last post) having written more posts in a week than I did last year over the course of several months!

I didn't actually make a resolution about improving my health and fitness, exercising more, eating less crap, drinking less alcohol, skipping dessert but for some inexplicable reason I've been doing just that.  It probably helps that my hubby didn't make a resolution to do it either so of course, is doing it too.

So for this year I am not going to make any resolutions about finishing a novel (writing, not reading), nor will I promise to paint the kitchen and refurbish the vintage pantry cupboard.

Maybe I won't say anything about winning lotto either, just to see how it goes!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Lost Girly Girl

I finally watched the second Sex and The City movie recently, by myself, with some icecream. No, I wasn't fighting with my husband, he was downstairs playing his xbox -  of course.   The children were in bed, most likely dreaming about cowboys, dinosaurs or robots, and while I was fascinated by the many outfit changes of SJP and the girls, and admiring the gigantic wardrobe in Carrie and Big's apartment I realised how ungirly I've become.

In the last few years I've swapped skirts and high heels for trackies and flats, practical undies instead of sexy lingerie and although I was a makeup artist until recently, even my box full of makeup  brought me as much excitement as I'm sure a box of fish brings to a vegan. (sadly that makeup wasn't even technically for me. It was for 'clients' aka 'other people'. How much does that suck?)  It's not that I ever lived much of a SATC life, I was just well, more girly than I am now.

So what was this change?  I live with four boys; my husband and three sons, I don't have any daughters and as yet no nieces.  So I think perhaps many of the things I enjoyed  have taken a bit of a back seat, especially since I'm the only one in the house to enjoy them.

I first noticed when we decided as a family to go out to the closest big shopping centre.   Now a past shopping trip often would at least put me in nice, out of home clothes, makeup and brushed hair (I've never been one to style my hair - I prefer the sexy carefully-tousled-look-that-doesn't-look-like-I've-carefully-tousled-it thank you very much) but in the times since living with the boys I've barely had time to shower before I'm 'humphed' at for taking 'too long' - usually as I'm getting socks and shoes on as I haven't painted my toenails and my feet look like shit.  (Mind you, all four of my fellas walk past in sandals  - life is so unfair!) Makeup is a quick travel brush foundation, mascara and lip gloss at traffic lights.  Where's the love?

It appears I wasn't prioritising myself anymore. However after watching SATC2 (It's been quite some time since SATC1), as much as I've never been into wearing designer dresses or $400 shoes (holy crap they're nice but where would I wear them? Cleaning the loo perhaps?) I realised there was a part of me that I had let slip when absorbed in my day to day duties and hanging out with the boys.

Besides with all the unglamorous female shit I have to put up with I think I deserve it!  And I will make the boys under this roof understand that these things are very important indeed!  (If they give me any attitude I'll just take a cue from Samantha and pretend I'm hormonal! :)
Thanks Carrie and Co xx

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

And you shall hereby be referred to as...

With my newfound commitment to blogging (for a few days anyway) it occurred to me that from time to time I would have write about my kids.  From reading various other blogs it appears that the 'in thing' to do is give your children different names, aliases if you will, and seeing that I am really uncool and follow trends I will do the same.

So Gryphen shall hereby be known as Mr Paleontology because he loves dinosaurs. Mr Paleo for short because I sure as fuck am not going to be writing Mr Paleontwhatever when I could just write 'Gryphen'.

Why not Dinosaur Boy? I hear you ask.  Well, in his last report it was stated that he likes to tell people the scientific names of animals so my thinking  (other than wtf?) was that if he were to see his name as Dinosaur Boy in print he would immediately say, "But Mum, they're really called Paleontologists."  And it would have to be Man anyway rather than Boy as he may be stuck with the moniker for quite some time.  He may not realise the name only pertains to him and as he is also quite PC he would very likely point out that women too study  dinosaurs (I didn't want to write paleothingy again) so it would be wrong to write 'man' instead of 'person'.  To which my answer would be "I have seen Jurassic Park so I did notice that Laura Dern was the one sticking her hand in Triceratops poo!"

Anyway, the point is I don't wish to look like a tool.

Jasper's new name is Mr Maker because he likes to make things, funnily enough and he likes Mister Maker.  Notice that the 'real' Mister Maker spells it with the full "Mister' not 'Mr' so don't come at me with that copyright bullshit.

In case you're wondering, in five years time when he says, "Mum, why did you name me after some guy I liked in preschool  when I'm now ten? That sobriquet is like, soooo lame." ?  I would reply "Should you not still be called 'Mr'?" to which he will obviously answer, "yes." And then I would say "Do you still make stuff?" and I know the answer to that would also be 'yes' as he would still be at school in Grade 4 and I'm pretty sure they make things at least until Grade 5 in which case I have an extra year to make up a new name.

Finally we have Evil-Insolent-Naughty-Spawn-Of-Satan.  Otherwise known as Einsos which has a Greek God ring to it.  Or we can call him Kynan.  Or Mr Comedy. I don't know why.

Finally, a blog alias would not be complete without a suitable name for my husband.  How about Mr Xbox, because... you get the picture.

So although  my family sound like extras from Reservoir Dogs you will now know who I am talking about!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Book Review Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James

It can often take me weeks or months to finish a reading a book, between household duties, school and kinder run, my own writing and websurfing. Beautiful Malice however I could not put down and was read within 24 hours.

I first read about Rebecca James and her debut novel in The Age. She was hailed as the 'next JK Rowling' due to being an unknown picked from the slush pile and the subject of bidding wars.

Here is the description from publisher Allen & Unwin:

'Truth or dare?' she asks.
I hesitate. I have so many secrets, so many things I don't want to reveal, but this is only a game, only a bit of fun. 'Truth,' I say finally. 'I can imagine one of your dares, and I don't fancy running down Oxford Street naked tonight.'
'Truth,' Alice says slowly, drawing out the vowel sound as if she's savouring the word. 'Are you sure? Are you sure you can be completely honest?'
'I think so. Try me.'
'Okay.' And then she looks at me curiously. 'So. Were you glad, deep down? Were you glad to be rid of her? Your perfect sister? Were you secretly glad when she was killed?'
Katherine has moved away from her shattered once-perfect family to start a new life in Sydney. There she keeps her head down until she is befriended by the charismatic Alice, and her life takes her in new directions. But there is a dark side to Alice, and as we learn the truth of Katherine's sister's death and Alice's background their story spirals to an explosive finale.
A potent, intense and simply unputdownable psychological thriller from an exciting voice.

As I said I also could not put Beautiful Malice down. It's in the Young Adult genre although works well as an Adult Fiction novel due to its dark themes and because the main characters don't seem to be typical teenagers, not as I have known them to be anyway.

I understand from reviews that some people had a problem with the switching between times as it goes between Katherine in Sydney upon meeting Alice, Katherine as Katie a couple of years earlier with her doomed sister Rachel, and Katherine as a 22 year old with a daughter, but I had no trouble following it.

There were a couple of parts which left me confused; some character motivation which I either didn't understand or need to read again (or maybe it's just that I'm not psychotic!)

Overall it was an interesting and compelling read, some twists were predictable, some were complete surprises, and although I felt one or two characters to be a bit weak they were more than made up for by the main characters.

But the most interesting thing I discovered was that I was still thinking about it long after I'd turned the last page. So regardless of the hype and expectations to me that is a good read. I look forward to Rebecca James' next book.

Monday, January 3, 2011

50 lashes thanks

After much umming and ahhing (and using birthday money) I did the most awesome, antiaging, time saving thing I have done in ages.

I got my eyelashes permed.

In my now unused Buff blog here I mentioned how unruly my eyebrows are and my lashes are pretty much the same - dead straight and hard to do anything with. To get more than two minutes of curl time it takes squeezy curler, followed by mascara (waterproof works best) followed by the heated curler which is pretty dumb really when all that extra time could be spent on something useful like eyebrow preening (necessary as mentioned above) so I felt it would be a good idea to try and bypass the eyelash curling part of the routine altogether.

The procedure was fairly scary - perming solution right next to my eyes (the smell gave me 80's flashbacks) so I was wondering if it perhaps were not the smartest thing in the world to do. It was basically the same as with hair; perming solution, then equally smelly neutralizer, a thorough rinse and - ta dah! Lovely curly lashes!

Like all new perms (although I mention this grudgingly - it is showing my age and admitting to once having had a perm) the results when first seen were a bit of a shock, all sticky uppy eyelashes which as first glance look really fake but after awhile they either a) settle down or b) I got used to it and decided they didn't look too bad after all. Either way, it was better than a) twenty fartarsey odd minutes wasted on eyelashes or b) perfect makeup looking less than perfect due to stupid straight lashes!

I've always been up for new lash tricks and have also succumbed to the lash extension but alas, hanging out washing in my trackies with all dressed up lashes and nowhere to go was a bit of an expensive indulgence which I had to let go of after the first refill. (Not to mention that pretty, long, curly lashes are apparently not as important as something like say, food and mortgage repayments)

However, I was hooked when it came to the lash curl; it's a subtle change with eye catching (pardon the pun) results.

Unfortunately when I had them done again a few months later , the perming solution didn't work, they stayed straight and I had to take comfort in the fact that they were pliable enough to curl the conventional way in a few seconds rather than the necessary 20 minutes.

Ho hum and so the journey continues...