Here we have it, the sad, sad truth about my life. Not the glamorous cliche with whips and chains and lingerie, but a pre-dawn wake-up call and a blank page. Still, I love my job. Beats working at Micky-D’s.
I actually feel like the goddess of Hell fire today. The kids and I spent all day yesterday at a beach in Kitty Hawk, NC. We went with my best friend Mary and her family. We brought sunblock and I swear we used it, yet somehow the only one of us that didn’t end up looking like a crispy critter was Sam. The blonde pixie is as brown as a little nut, but Cassie and I are toasty red. Mary’s stepson has it worse though. Poor kid is Irish – red hair, fair skin, freckles. Only now he’s got red hair, red skin, and you can’t tell his freckles from his sunburn. I swear, before yesterday, that boy would have glowed in the dark he was so white. Nice kid though. I was hunting for seashells all day to take home to photograph. Would have photographed them on the beach but Sam + Ocean = Imminent Disaster, so I couldn’t really juggle the camera and watch the kid. I could hunt for shells though, especially with everyone else in the group helping out. Mary’s stepson dove under the waves a lot and kept brining up these incredible shells. And before I left, I scooped up a bucket of sand from beneath the water. The plan is to take a glass backing dish, lay a layer of sand in the bottom, put the shells on top of that, and then add water. Then I can photograph the shells the way they’d look best – in their not-quite-natural habitat. If only I can figure out how to get the lighting just right, so that it looks like sunlight streaming through the water over the shells. You know those wriggly lines of light that play on the sand beneath the waves? That’s what I want.
That and a vat of aloe vera gel. Ouch.
I’m late, I know. I had to check the URL that I included in the cartoon. This is both a true story and a bit of shameless promotion for a project that has become near and dear to my heart. Coming Together is a series of erotica anthologies put together and sold for charitable causes. I have a story in Coming Together: With Pride. The proceeds go to AVERT.org to support HIV and AIDS research. There are a number of other books in the series, some of them award winners, all of them good anthologies put together for good causes. You can find out more at the Coming Together website. Alessia Brio, the editor, will be a guest tomorrow night on Passion Internet Voices Radio. That’ll be at 9PM-11PM EASTERN time. She’ll be playing audio excerpts of some of the stories, including mine, and some of the writers will be joining her for interviews. If I still have a voice tomorrow after fighting with a nasty cold, I’ll be there.
I’ll get to work on another cartoon right away, I promise. It looks like it’ll be a couple more weeks before I’ve got a website set up for the cartoons, but once it’s up, I’ll be sure to let everyone know.
Does this sort of thing really happen to me? Yes and no. I’ve done the stand up and announce I’m an erotica writer bit, but most people don’t seem to want to confront me about it. Apparently I intimidate a lot of folks. I have no idea why. I’m a really nice person. I am. Stop laughing. I know where you live.
I noticed today that Google’s Picassa will not put these toons in order, so if I’m doing a series, like I am right now, they’re going to be all jumbled up. But that’s okay. I’ve taken steps toward getting a web comic account set up, and by next week, I should have a page dedicated to just the comic strips. I’ll link to that page from here and from my erotica website, and probably from my podcast, so that wherever people find me, they can go look for the comics as well and find them all in one place. The web comic page should have a nice archiving function that will let people scroll through the comics by calendar dates. But that will happen next week. For now, enjoy the mixed up mish-mash on Picassa!
True story! This has actually happened to me on a couple of occasions. Thus I no longer join mommies’ groups. Not that I don’t have a mommy posse. I do, but we’re all too weird to be a proper mommies’ group. We’re more like a murderous gang of heathens and freaks. Seriously, don’t piss any of us off. We might have to rub you out. Or else let Mary jab you with a hypodermic needle. She’s a nurse, she can do that. She can give you a colonoscopy too, so watch it pal…
We had a fun weekend at La Casa Madden. On Saturday morning, after going through karate and swimming lessons, Cassie suddenly came down sick – temperature of 103 degrees, chills, sore throat, aches and pains. I promptly put the Princess to bed and babied her with juice, sherbet, Disney movies, whatever would keep her content while she rested. She puked once, all over the couch and herself, and complained of being cold and unable to sleep, but otherwise she was okay. Well, not **okay** okay — she was looking pretty pale and scrawny — but I knew with enough viewings of Beauty and the Beast, she’d live.
Cassie’s illness sort of threw all our weekend plans into a tailspin, however. We missed her best buddy’s birthday bowling party that afternoon, and I have heard nothing but, “But I wanted to go bowling!” and “I LOVE bowling!” ever since. Cassie doesn’t even know what bowling is, but man she sure wanted to go to that party. Michael did get some house work done that he’d been planning, but since I spent so much time tending to Cassie, my plans to rapidly accomplish my work went down the tubes real quick. Tasks that should have taken an hour tops took five. I just couldn’t concentrate when all I could hear is this tiny, whiny little voice in the background going, “But I LOVE bowling!” Mary, if you’re reading this, we are taking the kids bowling SOON. Otherwise I may just have to throw myself through a window to escape that sound.
So I was all discombobulated as usual this weekend… the weekend that I had to proof my final novel galley, the weekend that I had to do up promo materials for a convention I’m headed off to in a few days, the weekend I had hoped would go so smoothly. Nothing new. Just another day in the office.
I did this cartoon as a Mother’s Day present for my mom. When I was three, she found herself trying to run me to ground so she could kill me for something I’d done (yes, I was trouble even then). That was when she decided she really needed to go back to work. I work at home these days, so I don’t have my mom’s options for getting out…
Welcome to ‘The Adventures of Cynical Woman!’ This is the official home for the Cynical Woman cartoons, written and drawn by Helen E. H. Madden. Basically, this is my life as a stay-at-home mom and erotica writer. If you like the cartoons, feel free to print them out or pass them on to your friends. These cartoons are protected under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. That means you can share it, but you can’t sell it or take credit for it. Thanks!