Sydney Writer’s Festival

Sinister’s school class had an excursion yesterday. All the way over to the Sydney Writer’s Festival.

His teacher was rather considerate and even gave us a list of writers appearing on the day, including Liz Pichon.

For those minions who do not have pre-teen spawnlings reading and doodling all over the notebooks, Liz Pichon is the author of the infamous Tom Gates series.


Tom Gates is your average year-5 spawnling, just surviving every day by regularly escaping through his daydreams and doodles. According to Sinister, it’s pretty spot on with the inner dialogue, and the presentation within the book is unique and refreshing. 

He’s not the only one who thinks so – Liz Pichon was very popular at the Festival; boys and girls alike.

The Sydney Writers Festival is an awesome opportunity for writers to share their insights, and for readers to support the greater literary community.
For kids, they learn about some basic creativity skills – and get a day out of school grounds too. 

It was good thing the teachers gave us a heads-up about attending guests; gave me extra time to ensure Sinister had his book ready to be signed.


Of course, now he has devoured that book again, we need to work our way through the current family stack again.


I don’t think we’ll be obtaining any more autographs just it… Unless Mr Riordan is up for some travel?
The Sydney Writers Festival ends this Sunday with a huge kid-friendly event: Glowtopia. It’s held at the Bangarra end of the Rocks, filling up the entire length of Pier 4/5 with artists, music, authors, storytelling and roaming book characters to find (Hello, Waldo…) 

Fun starts around 10am. Liz Pichon will be there around 1.30pm, along with many others. Check the website for more. 


Forensic Friday #7 – Archaeology

Life skills. It’s all about the life skills.

And with spawnlings, it’s all about how you SELL those life skills.

Today, let’s focus on cleaning.

*that choking, warbling sound you may hear in the background is EG Dad as he cracks up laughing, then stumbles across the EG Lair, stepping on the many carefully placed Lego mines before collapsing in a fit of disbelief, mumbling “reality has finally imploded”*

Obviously, cleaning is not an easy life skill to sell to spawnlings … until now. 😀

Introducing Archaeology 101 – Toddler edition

IMG_8192[1]

Curious George’s Dinosaur Discovery – Zaltu’s 2nd favourite cosplay

Even if you are new here, surely the moustached lady would indicate to you how much we like to cosplay.

Either that, or I’m Maltese. Which I am – about 1/4. But I digress.

So it should come as no surprise that the spawnlings love to dress up, almost every chance they can. Zaltu (the 2yo) is currently enamoured with Curious George. Loves the monkey – loves the mischief. Good fit really. Her current favourite is Curious George’s Dinosaur Discovery.

For today’s Forensic Friday (because I really want to get back into this particular theme), I decided to give Zaltu her own mini Dino Dig Site. Problem being, I don’t have any real sand or dirt to use. And she has her 2yo-molars playing around, so we still have a “mouth-obsession” thing going on.

While I was thinking around the supplies in the Lair, Zaltu decided she wanted to bake a cake… and pulled out one of the bags of flour. All over the kitchen floor. Followed by a toppled bottle of Canola Oil.

Now, clearly I am a bad blogger. I cleaned up the mess before realising the photo opportunity. BUT as I was cleaning up the mess (*yes, EG Dad is still giggling about me cleaning*) I noticed the change to the flour.

IMG_8184[1]

When the oil and flour mixed to together, it didn’t clump disastrously. It sort of smoothed the flour a bit. Like a silky coating. So I mixed some in a container. And added a little powdered colouring (the colouring you would use for chocolates or other oily based things).

And look at that! I made some lovely soft “sandy” flour!

Next step, adding a few dinosaurs in. Then, give it another shake around to cover the dinosaurs and we have our own mini dinosaur dig.

Before you go “that’s not very forensic”, you need to realise it doesn’t stop there. In fact, all of this is preparation work. Any true EG Parent or Mad Scientist (or both, if you’re really special) will tell you the hardest work is in the preparation.IMG_8193[1]

And any archaeologist will tell you their job is 90% cleaning up, 8% saying “I think I found something!!” and about 2% being something worth finding.

“Oh , well,” the scientist said. “It’s not a bone. Just a rock.”

The lesson that comes out of this little Dino Dig Set is to teach the spawnlings about the attention to detail required in this area of science (being both archaeology and paleontology). It involves: digging; sifting; brushing; cleaning; analysing; cataloging. It is a painstaking process and can be quite boring for a long period of time. But when you DO find something, it is amazing, exhilarating, and down-right awesome.

IMG_8189[1]With a few extra pieces of equipment (like a brush, mini-scoop and a notebook filled with dinosaur stickers to tick off her finds), Zaltu has already started learning about this process. At the same time, she has been learning the life skills of cleaning every nook and cranny of her dinosaurs. She has been loving the cosplay of this particular book. We even catalogued the dinosaurs she found.

Now I’m just waiting for Nefarious and Sinister to come home and tell me off for putting Jurassic dinosaurs (like Stegosaurus) with Cretaceous dinosaurs (like Triceratops). That’s fine – this is where the Paleontology is going to kick in. Way to give yourself more work, spawnlings.

All in all, I was able to clean up a mess, start my “Forensic Friday” posts again, give Zaltu a lesson in how to work a dig-site/crime scene AND teach her how to clean up.

I think I’ll go and eat some chocolate now.

Ingredient List

  • About 4 cups of flour (I used Self-Raising Flour because it was spilt over the floor at the time, but any flour will do. I don’t think the SR Flour will create zombie dinosaurs, but one can hope)
  • About 1/2 cup of oil
  • About teaspoon of powdered colouring
  • Small dinosaur toys to bury

Mix it together. Really well. That’s it.

Competition: Matthew Reilly’s Hover Car Racer

Being Evil Genius Mum, I am all about inspiring spawnlings to create, invent and dream!!

Now, I know there were a lot of dreams bursting with this news of Tony Hawk’s Hoverboard prank but it made me realise – there is still the dream.

What better way to inspire dreams than the creative process?
IMG_6294.JPG
So I have in my hot little hands a signed copy of Matthew Reilly’s Hovercar Racer.
IMG_6296-0.JPG
This book is for spawnlings, and it is a massive turbulent adventure all the way. This is the book that captured my youngest EG brother at 12 – and he is still a huge Reilly fan to this day.

It’s about kids who race hovercars – Formula 1 style. And kid mechanics. Kid engineers. And of course – kids scheming.

So that means the comp is aimed at kids. Anyone up to the age of 18. Anywhere in the world (delivery included). And it’s by my rules. Because I’m EG Mum and I have taken over at least this slice of the world.

To win this signed copy, draw me a picture of your dream Hovercar racer. Tell me about it. And email me: evilgeniusmum@hotmail.com

I will choose the most inventive and exciting, with the help of Sinister and Nefarious.

All pics will be shared on Facebook and Twitter, as well as in a blog post here.

And competition ends November 30 with the winner announced December 1. So you should have time to receive it before Christmas.

So get drawing!!

IMG_6250-0.JPG

One Valentine at a Time

If I see one more rose chocolate or pink sugar candy, I’m going to hit somebody with the closest book to hand. And I know many would love to see that.

20140209-234951.jpg

However, saying that – Valentine’s Day is another example of evil genius.

Mix together the power of loneliness, the guilt of comparative romanticism, and the susceptibility to marketing madness, and you end up with a diabetic coma that protects you from the credit card shock you will receive next month – on top of the fact you still didn’t get laid because the baby-sitter charges extra for ignoring the bouncing car in the driveway.

Now is the perfect time to TAKE OVER THE WORLD!! One pathetic, lonely heart Valentine at a time!

And I found just the way to do it: International Book Giving Day.

20140209-235416.jpg

While millions of minions drown their Valentine sorrows following their inevitable failure to obtain Hallmark Happiness, I will be giving books around the world to those easily malleable to my evil ways. Books like this beauty:

20140209-235646.jpg

The concept is easy to follow: give the gift of literacy to family, friends, schools, or area in need. But while they read, I will easily convince them they can achieve so much more – if only they use their power for evil, rather than good. Feed their dark thoughts on this coveted day, and convince them to bring others down into the anti-Valentine’s by giving a book.

And then soon minions all over the world will be too busy being evil to bother with companionship!! Mwahahaha!

20140210-000500.jpg

So, what do you have planned for February 14?