Archives for September 2010

Geek Dad – Book Review

I’m a geek.

There. I said it.

I am.  I have a yearly pass to the Art Gallery.  I think it’s cool to a book store or the library and take an hour to pick a new book to read.  I’ve taught myself to embroider though the step by step picture guidance of how to books.  I get excited when I find new foodie haunts. I will happily go through every single page of your photo album of your world trip and thrill at each story you tell.  I’m the artistic kind of geek.

But I wasn’t the kind of geek that was able to make the most out of the ideas from the book “Geek Dad – Awesomely Geeky Projects and Activities for Dads and Kids to Share”    I think it may be that it’s a quirk of genetics than anything else. But hold your horses. Just because the book wasn’t a perfect fit for me doesn’t mean I’m going to write a negative review.

Ken Denmead has produced a book that bends creative ideas so that they become truly twisted – and what kid doesn’t enjoy that from their parents?

This book has been entertaining reading and has certainly challenged me to think of new activities to do with my girl child, and for that alone, the book gets a brownie point.  It is written in an lively, engaging manner and it certainly made me laugh out aloud. It isn’t difficult to imagine a truly geeky parent getting very excited and investing time over the projects in this book.

I was first drawn to the activity of creating my very own colouring book for Bronwen who has a rather artist bent of character. But I confess that I couldn’t work my way through the instructions, as logically as they appear to be written. Take it to be a personality flaw within me; ask me to read anything vaguely related to technical jargon and my eyes glaze over and my brain slows to the speed of molasses on a winter day in Ottawa.  Suffice to say, the idea will have to remain as such until a tech geek can help explain the ‘techno-babble’.

As a confirmed foodie with a daughter who occasionally enjoys playing with Lego blocks the next activity I attempted from this book was creating a model building out of cake.  What’s not to love in that twisted idea?  Of course, I didn’t attempt to recreate the Eiffel tower (maybe that’s where I went wrong?), but creating a 1960’s concrete tower with Bronwen was fun. One point that Denmead neglected to mention was how incredibly easy clean up of cake crumbs and icing splotches are when you are the proud owner of not one, but two daschund dogs. An important omission you would agree.

One issue I would have with book is that it is touted as being a low cost book of fun. However, spending $25 to over $100 to complete some of the projects did not sit well with a parent living on a single wage.   Even $25 can be a lot for a family to spare and unless you are friends with similarly minded geeks, borrowing tools and equipment really isn’t an option.  But it’s my only quibble.

Don’t let the name of the book “Geek Dad” and the obvious gender bias of this book turn you away. If you have a techno speaking, ‘eyes light up at the idea of going to a tech store’ person in your life who enjoys playing with the kids…. then unreservedly I would say this is the book for you!

This book was sent to me by Jessica Chun from the Penguin group to review.

Geek Dad: Awesome Geeky Projects for Dads and Kids to Share
Gotham paperback original 2010
Pages: 222
ISBN- 9781592405527
Language: English

Whooooshing and Writing a Sex Scene


Did you hear that?

It was the sound of a (self imposed) deadline rushing by. Look at that. It’s September 9th and I haven’t finished editing my novel. Damn. First time I haven’t met my deadline and I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t feel good. So now it’s time to apply the thumb screws. Feel free to email me that you twisting the bolt one more turn as you see fit.

Onto other writing updates.

I really prefer it when the critique group I’m part of reads my first drafts and ticks each sentence with red ink as all perfectly formed. “Yeah! I got it right. I’m a writer!” I think to myself with exclamation points!   Last meeting I went to they read my new scenes and worked them over but good. “I suck at this. I can’t write for nuts!” is the thought running through my head.  But the killer came when every single member of the group (all women) all agreed on One. Vital. Point. during my hour long torture fest.

I have to follow up a wedding scene with the wedding night sex scene.

Of course, just thinking about such a topic tends to get me giggling or blushing, or worse, saying terribly suggestively inappropriate things to people. Keep in mind that I was writing the piece last night, so today as I was working out with my friend at the gym, I kept bursting into laughter as she tried to get me to focus on different body movements.  Most of the time she was the innocent party.

Within the blog Kinda Sassy I’ve written about the erotic writing course that I went to. But doing a course and writing a sex scene before the next critique meeting , during which one particularly cheeky member insists I need to read my work out aloud (yeah right-that’ll nevah happen!)  has really done a number in my head.  How on earth do you get into a mental head space to write romantic erotica? Isn’t it terribly hard to get to a point of sitting down and writing racy stuff?  I mean, I’ve managed to write a couple of errotic-ish paragraphs for another section of the story… but this scene….?  Repeat after me… Gaaaaah.

With the deadline for the next group staring me in the face (Wednesday!)I started working it (small snicker) last night. It took two attempts at starting the piece before I began to actually get into the head space of writing the scene. And I discovered that there is one thing that Opal Carew never explained in her workshop; how clinically technical you have to be when you are writing a sex scene.  Oh sure, it’s easy to image the scene, to get lost in the fantasy of it (oooh la la), but then as a writer you have to pull yourself up and start to think through each and every movement.  You have to describe every sensation of the senses with the action. It’s exhausting, not to mention the work involved in thinking about terms of endearment other than ‘throbbing manhood’. 

I cannot believe that I just wrote ‘throbbing manhood’ on my blog. Because seriously, who was the first person who thought that was a good way to describe a particularly arousing bodily function?  On that note, I think I will go and watch some Vuelta a Espana – get my fix of cycling and boys in lycra. Oh! How easy that was…?  I’m right back to the erotic head space.