Finding my groove

Day two of National Novel Writing Month (NoNoWriMo) and I am feeling stoked. The ideas keep coming, the words are flowing and I am on an absolute high. Of course I am aware that this is unlikely to continue for the entire month. For now though I am enjoying a whole new experience in the joys of creativity. I had not expected this challenge to be quite so pleasurable.

In other news, it has been a busy week for my little household. Having failed to complete the helmet of my daughter’s Loki costume I was required to dye her hair black to enable her to cosplay to her satisfaction at the opening night of Thor: The Dark World. This is her at our local train station, subjugating her first minion on her way to the cinema. Apparently, random strangers approached her asking to be photographed alongside the character she played – what fun!


The following evening was Halloween and she set out with friends to watch a showing of Frankenstein at our local cinema. I realised by the excitement I felt at these opportunities and experiences she was enjoying, that I was starting to live vicariously. Talk about a wake up call! I quickly put the brakes on that and returned to my own life. Much as I love to be involved in my childrens’ plans and activities I do not wish to invade their space. Plus I have my own life to live and I am fine with that.

Yesterday I made sure to take time out to go to the gym with my neglected husband, and then to hang around for a swim and a spot of relaxation with him in the sauna and hot tub. It is rather too easy to stay busy with the house and garden, or to get engrossed in our respective screen based activities (I write, he plays on line sudoku), and to neglect spending time interacting. I find swimming to be great for pulling my thoughts together and suspect I will go to the pool often in the coming weeks as my NaNo ideas inevitably start to wane.

When I asked my little family to grant me the time and space to write for NaNoWriMo I was gently mocked, but actually they have been very good so far about supporting me. My daughter is also taking part, this will be her third year as a participant, so we are comparing work counts and progress. She has been so busy socialising this week, and has a ton of homework to catch up on, that I am having an easier time of it for now. All the housework that I did earlier to assuage my guilt at spending so much time at my desk is paying dividends.

And my library, oh my library! What an inspirational space this is proving to be. What writer wouldn’t be inspired in such surroundings?


For those who voiced concern, my elderly, moulting hen seemed a little better today. Our weather continues to be unpredictable but my little flock were able to free range today and laid me a good number of eggs. Another storm seems to be brewing this evening so I hope that the noises made by the wind and falling debris do not distress them overnight. Even safely shut up in their coops they can be spooked by unexpected noises.

I have made pleasing progress today with my writing so shall grant myself an evening off to spend time with whichever family members choose to join me. The half term holiday is nearly over; I have enjoyed it enormously.


Supporting creativity

All around me people are talking about the goodies they are baking and the costumes they are making for Halloween. I have posted several times about my trials and tribulations in the kitchen, most recently, in the little series I did on The making of an incompetent cook. When I was at school, girls studied cooking and sewing as part of a subject called Domestic Science, whilst boys could take woodwork. I always thought that this was unfair. I would have liked to learn how to make things other than food that never seemed to turn out as it should, and clothes that I would never wear. Why I thought I would be better at carpentry I do not know.

I learnt to knit, crochet and sew when I was very young. I enjoyed knitting and made clothes for my dolls as well as stuffed toys from simple patterns in magazines. I moved on to sewing, again with some success. My parents bought me a sewing machine and I made bean bags for myself and friends as well as toys and a few things to wear. My attempts at dressmaking did not turn out as well as the other items I produced. The clothes would hang strangely or be tight where I preferred comfort. I think that I was making for the body I wanted to have rather than the body I had.

When my children were little I was expected to produce outfits for them on themed dress up days, for school drama productions or church nativities. These rarely turned out as I had envisaged. I had neither the skill nor the imagination to produce the amazing creations that other mothers seemed to manage. I was so happy when I discovered that I could buy character dress up clothes from the chain stores on the high street. Despite the obvious, social benefits, I dreaded my children gaining parts in plays.

When they moved on to secondary school I decided that, if dressing up for a themed day was desired, then they could sort out their own outfits. This successfully put paid to their participation. Feeling a tad guilty and a bit of a killjoy, I patted myself on the back for getting through a phase that had caused me such stress, and consigned it to the past.

Except now I have a fangirl who wants to cosplay.

For those who do not know, the latest film in the Disney/Marvel franchise, Thor: The Dark World, opens in the UK on 30th October, just in time for Halloween. Along with SupernaturalSherlock and Doctor Who, my daughter is quietly obsessed with the Avengers. Actually, that is not strictly accurate as her focus is on their nemesis, played by the rather cute (if someone so tall can be described in this way) Tom Hiddleston.

As soon as they became available, my daughter went on line and bought cinema tickets for the opening night of this film for herself and a group of like minded friends. If she can get the costume sorted in time, she hopes to dress as Loki.


Take a look at this character. I am being asked to assist in creating a look that is more than a simple dress up. To be fair, the trickiest and most important elements to get right will be the helmet and the staff which contains the mind gem that Loki uses to focus his power (I suspect my daughter would quite enjoy indulging in a bit of mind control). Elder son has been tasked with creating these; I am merely being asked to sort out a few items of clothing. Still, I cannot help but fear another blanket clad shepherd or sheet clad urchin (dress up disasters from their younger years). The simplified ideas that I have in my head rarely look as good as I had hoped in reality.

My daughter’s fangirling has introduced us all to fictional characters that we had not paid much attention to in the past but can now enjoy. Thanks to Tumblr and Fan Fiction she can interact with others around the world who share her obsessions. Closer to home she has found a niche in which she is comfortable and I am happy to encourage her participation. I still dread having to help produce an outfit though.

Ultimately, this is my daughter’s responsibility. She is asking for a little support and I will comply. I hope that she is happy with whatever is put together, and gains pleasure from her cosplay. I also harbour a hope that this is not the beginning of a new phase. It is lovely to see my daughter burdened with glorious purpose, doing what she wants; I do not wish to be the parent who lets her down.

Oh, and if you happen to meet her out and about over the Halloween holidays? Don’t forget to kneel…

kneel_before_Loki                    keep_calm_and_kneel_for_loki_by_ameh_lia-d50ru16