Thursday, November 21, 2013

Insomnia and NaNoWriMo

Hi! I wanted to be really organized, and wanted to blog about NaNoWriMo a lot, like on a daily basis, but that hasn't happened. But it might now.

Insomnia happened. Of course I'd be hit with the worst round of insomnia that I've ever faced. You'd think that not being able to sleep when I have a lot of projects that I want to finish would be good, but it's not. Well, the first couple days awake aren't too bad. But not being able to sleep, after day three, means not being able to think or do much of anything other than obsess about not being able to sleep or be unbearably angry about still being awake. It doesn't do much for productivity.

I've been holding my own against NaNoWriMo (a little behind, but I should be able to finish catching up today) and regular life-related stuff despite the insomnia other than the fact that I've been completely unpleasant to be around, but I think I've broken the insomnia. I slept five hours last night.

This is a breakthrough because I've had two nights of 5-6 hours of solid sleep in the past few days. Before that I had been sleeping 12-16 hours on Friday to Saturday, and then about 10 hours spread out during the week in half-hour to 2-hour long segments.

This morning when I woke up at a normal time, after sleeping for a rather normal length of time, I wanted to get up and exercise. I'm not used to having this extra energy at all. I'm especially not used to feeling focused... weird. I had been trying to push through the insomnia, and act like it didn't impact me that much, but it did. I see that now.

So, I'm ready to get back on track. And even though I'm a bit over 30k into NaNoWriMo, it's very disjointed, so I'm going to skim over what I've got and start filling in the missing parts. I have to do that or else finishing this novel is going to be much more difficult. Onward to 35k! And to 50k beyond that!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Context 26

I'm doing something writing-related--and I'm trying to blog more. Good for me!

I will be in Columbus, Ohio, this weekend attending Context 26, and hanging out with friends in the area that I haven't seen in a while. I'm a little nervous about going to Context just because my plan is to have very little by way of a plan, which is pretty standard, but something I haven't done in a while. But, it's only Tuesday and I do have more plan than I started out with this week, so it's all falling into place.

I'm already stressed thinking about the almost 5-hour drive, but I should be able to time that to miss the brunt of annoying traffic situations. I hope.
And then the thrilling drive back on Sunday.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting out of the mountains for a weekend, and hope to see some friends, make new friends, etc.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Favorite Writing and Editing Software

I usually use Microsoft Word--pretty basic, right? And I have Scrivener, but I haven't taken the time to figure it all out. It looks useful. (And they have a free 30-day trial) I bought Scrivener with a NaNoWriMo winner discount for $20--it's usually $40.

My favorite editing tool is SmartEdit. They offer a free 10-day trial of SmartEdit. I got a older, free edition of it somewhere (that was a while back, though). SmartEdit looks for repeated words and phrases, and also locates cliches. I like putting a number on repetition, so I scan documents with it before I start editing just to know what words I should watch out for. It's one thing to notice when a word is a bit overused, but it's an entirely different thing when you quantify that.

Do you have any favorite software for writing or editing purposes?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Editing Playlist for August 9th

I make playlists for just about everything. And usually, as I work and listen to music, I find that I pull the same songs or bands into a playlist over and over again during the course of a project. So, here is a sample of what I've been listening to while editing in recent days:

(And if you want any info on what novel I'm currently editing for Erato, then I'll send you over to Katie Young's blog where you can get all the updates on The Other Lamb)

--and, yes, I will post about my past editing projects soon. And I have other things to blog about, writing-related and otherwise.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Word List: Tornadoes and Summer Storms

I like words a little too much, and I often notice how people talk about different experiences, situations and events. I also like to make lists, so I figured that I might as well share some of my lists.
For descriptions! For vocabulary! For word nerdiness! Onward!

Oh, and the picture above shows my grandmother's old car that was damaged by last year's derecho, and not a tornado. But anyway... this list is a short examination of a variety of words that can be used to describe storms. I heard some of these words while listening to the news, and then decided to add some more.
You can add more in the comments as well.

Also, here's the Weather Channel's Weather Glossary.

Word List: Tornadoes and Summer Storms


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

HAHAT Winner!

Hi, everyone. My Hop Against Homophobia giveaway winner is Xakara!

So, she'll receive the $10 Musa Publishing gift certificate. I'll send her an e-mail today.

I want to thank everyone who stopped by my blog and thanks to everyone involved with HAHAT.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia: Identity

Yeah, I know I'm running a little late to this blog hop, but I've been looking at pretty pictures today. (You can follow me on Pinterest if you feel so inclined). Anyway, welcome to my spot on the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. I've decided to talk about identity. (Also, there's a giveaway at the end of this post, so pay attention)

People spend a lot of time involved in their identity--Finding it, affirming it, living it, etc. -- in the situation of GLBT people, identity can be a more complicated issue because sometimes identity must be fought for and defended. Society scrutinizes people based on an arbitrary set of rules that it has established as normative. Marriage equality and equal rights movements mark that GLBT people are making progress on being incorporated as whole members of society--which is great obviously. I've actually been surprised at how quickly some states (none of the states I've lived in, though) and countries are moving towards this realization and affirmation that GLBT people are part of society. It's not "just a phase," "a choice" or something done "for attention."

So, in this "society" context it's easy to understand wanting marriage equality, adoption rights, and various other protections (like not losing your job or housing due to your sexuality or gender identity, the list goes on and on...)--I'm not going to discuss these things in detail, but felt that I needed to acknowledge them because I'm not writing in a vacuum.

Identity can be complicated in general, but trans* identities can be more complicated. This is even more so if you're trying to place your own views and expectations upon trans* individuals. Going back to the normative society thing, it is easier to understand transgender people who want to make the complete physical switch between genders and appear on the binary. Trans women who look and dress in a feminine manner, have surgeries and hormones, and are attracted to men. Trans men who look and dress in a masculine manner, go through surgeries and hormones, and are attracted to women. It's not that simple, though. And you cannot ascribe your expectations onto others.

Even cisgender people, those whose self-perception of their gender matches the sex they were assigned at birth, don't have identity pre-sets and GLBT people should not be expected to either. It leads to pain all around. Saying that someone isn't "man enough" or "woman enough" is fucked up. Do we really need to get into a long philosophical discussion about what it is to be a man or woman? (I've had to do that in a college class once and it was annoying, but enlightening--too involved for this blog, though) We can decide what characteristics we think identify and affirm our own gender, but will everyone express their gender as we do our own? No. It's ridiculous. Identity is not a "one size fits all" kind of thing.

Some people don't operate on the binary at all. They might identify as Trans*, non-binary, genderfluid, bi-gender, two spirit, etc. How these individuals express this identity is up to them. Not you.

Here is a link with some general information on being a good Trans* ally.

And now for the giveaway portion of this post--I will be giving away a $10 Musa gift certificate so that one lucky winner can buy some books from our Erato and Pan imprints. (I suppose you're not obligated to buy from only these imprints, but this is a GBLT-themed blog hop so there you go.)

To be considered for the drawing just reply to this post and leave me your e-mail address so I can contact you. Entries close at 11:59pm EST on May 27th. I'll announce the winner on my blog on the 28th and will contact you directly that day. I will be using a random number generator to choose a winner.

Thanks for stopping by and check out the other stops--

Friday, May 10, 2013

Gender, Roadside Signs And Randomness

Well, I've missed a few posts due to having to go back to Ohio on short notice last week. I've been sick this week--flu-like fun. And I'll be heading back to Ohio to attend my great uncle's funeral at the beginning of next week.
Other than that, I do have some random things to share with you today...

There's been some debate about gender and book covers happening in many places this week...It was all kicked off by Maureen Johnson on Twitter, and has resulted in Coverflip: Maureen Johnson Calls for an end to Gendered Book Covers with an Amazing Challenge (Images), and this The Most Incongruous Book Covers of All Time--those are especially odd to look at.

And today I watched this video about Gender in Advertising-- I love the reversed gender roles portion at the end, especially the Marlboro woman...

And to round out our gender extravaganza I'm including Paul Richmond's Cheesecake Boys and I'll throw in The Hawkeye Initiative for good measure.

Unrelated to gender, but related to book covers--
Good Show Sir--the worst in Science Fiction/Fantasy book covers

Here are a couple roadsigns I've been meaning to share. These are actually to the south of where I live. I really didn't notice the elephant when I took this picture because everything was grey and it just blended into the surroundings. Yeah, really. I'm not sure if We Got Stuff is still in use....

...but this hotel is not. You could buy it though, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be a great business venture because there's not much of anything out that way. I really like that the sign advertises the presence of color TV's and phones in the rooms. Then there's the bright yellow roof which is probably the only reason I noticed it.

There's also a place with some signs advertising a hotel further up the road, but the hotel sign and an empty lot are all that remain once you arrive.

And this last picture is in honor of my birthday weekend. I'm turning 30 on May 12th and don't have anything much planned to celebrate it. I thought this picture was pretty absurd...
What I want for my birthday is for whatever viral illness I have to go away, and to find the presser foot screw for my sewing machine.The presser foot screw has earned the distinction of being the most annoying item that I've ever lost...And I've actually been to JoAnn Fabrics since it went missing, but it's so insignificant that I can't remember that I need to buy another....ugh

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Links and Deadlines--May 7th

Deadlines First--

Dark Bits--Horror flash fiction up to 500 words
Deadline--May 15th

Prospective: A Journal of Speculation--Theme: “After the Fall, Angels are Kind of Dicks”
Deadline--May 15th

Horror Without Victims
Deadline--May 30th

Litreactor's  May Flash Fiction Smackdown--25 words, 2 sentences, use the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as inspiration.
Deadline--May 30th

Gettysburg Review
Deadline--May 31st

Grain Magazine
Deadline--May 31st

Shock Totem
Deadline--May 31st

Dark Discoveries
Deadline--June 1st

World Weaver Press: Specter Spectacular II
Deadline--June 15th

Strange Critters: Unusual Creatures of Appalachia 
Deadline--June 30th

Deadline--June 30th

Crossed Genres: Fierce Family--
Deadline extended to June 30th

THEM: A Trans* Lit Journal--Writers must identify as Trans*
Deadline--July 15th

Dark Continents: The Sea
Deadline--June 1st to July 31st

Long Distance Drunks: A Tribute to Charles Bukowski.
Deadline--December 31st 

Crossed Genres Magazine
Different deadlines and themes

Links of Interest--

Food Timeline-- So much information useful for Historic Fiction

The Modernist Journals Project--Issues and art from the Modernist era

Litreactor: Stocking Stuffers: Thirteen Writing Tips from Chuck Palahniuk

Litreactor: Top 10 Storytelling Cliches Writers Need To Stop Using

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thrifting Thursday: Blood Remedy

I've been locked into editing recently, which will be my personal theme for the rest of the month (that, along with sending out poetry and short stories of my own), but I hope to offer some advice and reflections on the process.
I hate referring to anything as "The Process." It sounds mystical and mundane at the same time.

Anyway, today I give you Blood Remedy and other vintage pharmaceuticals.

I actually gave the Blood Remedy to my spouse for Valentine's Day...because it was used for syphilitic conditions, and nothing says "I burn for you" quite like a syphilitic fever.
Don't worry, we're okay...just a little odd.

And the Heart medicine still has a pill in it (look at it, lower, left corner of the bottle)...
Sometimes I hate being curious...
Currently, that single pill is just good for generating story ideas and questions.
Why didn't they take the last one?
Did they die? Did they get better?
Did they misplace it?
Were they reaching for the bottle in their final moments?

That final glass bottle, marked with "The Dill Medicine Co. Norristown, PA," is otherwise unlabeled, but I see that company sold things like "The Balm of Life," opium tinctures, alcohol-based cough syrups and extracts used for cooking.
I have no idea what was in this particular bottle, but I can think about it.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thrifting Thursday: Cute 1940's Valentine Cards

Well, this has been one of those weeks that has wrenched back and forth between depressing and inspiring. (And I'm glad I don't really have TV or I'd be even more freaked out--I've been listening or watching the news online)

I've seen people passing around pictures of baby hedgehogs or links to EmergencyKitten on Twitter, and I wanted to contribute to the arsenal of adorable. I was trying to pick out some object to feature that would be nice and distracting, but the closest thing I have to baby hedgehogs, kittens, sunshine and unicorns are these 1940's Valentine's Day cards.
I paid $5 for this set. They're mechanical. Not that they're machines, but they have parts that move. They're cute in a way, but they're almost creepy-cute. The three on the right are all in the realm of cute enough, but not creepy.
Also, notice the change in style--
The Jack in the Box card (bottom left) is undated, so ignore that one.
Just my Dish (top left) is 1940
Speed it Up (top center) is 1942
Did You Hear (top right) is 1944
The Sailors (bottom right) is 1945

So, we have pre-Pearl Harbor and 3 months after Pearl Harbor. Not too much going on with them, but notice the two from 1944 and 1945. More patriotic color schemes and themes.
I thought it was neat.

Have a closer look:
I found this poem amusing, and with the picture and poem combined, this is probably the cutest card of the bunch.The couple on the boat can be moved to rock back and forth, like the boat is rolling through the waves.

This was the creepiest one upon first inspection. I don't know why I think it's the creepiest, probably the face. Like a doll's face... I like the color scheme and the hair, and its arms move. It had a little bit of a sticker stuck to it, so I had to peel it away carefully. It still has some sticker on it, though.

The Jack in the Box card exploits its mechanical feature to make itself even stranger.

It's like clown-level creepy already and then...wink...

Hope you weren't too creeped out by that one.
 One more look at them--

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Visiting the grave of F. Scott Fitzgerald by happenstance...

About a week and a half ago I went to Maryland, with the intent of going to DC and wandering around the area a little. In the interest in saving money we booked a hotel with Hotwire in North Bethesda. Well, it was actually in Rockville, MD. Cheap, but pretty nice hotel, and not too far from the metro. Good enough.

We headed into DC on Saturday afternoon, and got back to the hotel that night. As we waited for pizza to be delivered to the room, I flipped through the hotel-provided book, Rockville: Portrait of a city. I was expecting to read about shopping or restaurants, or something along those lines, but this was a book featuring a fair amount of History--being a big nerd, I was pleasantly surprised.
The first random page I looked at had an article mentioning that F. Scott Fitzgerald (author of The Great Gatsby if you've forgotten, or if you never had to read it in high school--also, the most recent movie incarnation of The Great Gatsby will be in theaters on May 10th, so it can be watched as well) was buried in Rockville, MD, of all places.

I read the article in more detail, thinking that his final resting place had to be somewhere more interesting and less suburbia/strip mall extravaganza, but no, he was buried in Rockville.
Interesting. I figured it would be a big fancy cemetery, and I hadn't seen any cemeteries really, well, there was a tiny one across from the Metro station. Right by a busy intersection. After a little searching on the GPS, I realized that the cemetery by the station, and the eternal resting place of both Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald were one and the same.

So, on Sunday morning, we visited the cemetery by Old St. Mary's Church.

Here is the church itself, you should be able to click on any of these pictures so that you can see them better.

The church is right next to a newer and larger church...also St. Mary's, but I don't think they call it New St. Mary's...that would be odd. Anyway, the cemetery is tiny which made finding the grave that much easier. It was also the only grave with a headstone and a ledger stone. People leave coins and candles, and that hat off to the side had a martini-print on the band. Apparently some visitors leave gin...we plan to do that next time.
Here are some other Fitzgeralds...
And we'll round out our visit to Old St. Mary's with pictures of some interesting grave markers. This cross was pretty impressive--and you can see how close the cemetery is to the road...
This stone had the cross broken off of the top, but it's nice to see that someone hasn't run off with it.
This one was beautiful and especially sad because it was marking the grave of an infant.
I think it's even more sad to see these other stones. The mother lost three children (the previously mentioned son aged almost 7 months, a daughter at 5 years old, and another son at 18 years old), while she lived to be almost 100.
And I leave you with the gates of heaven.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Guest Post from Sarah Hans: Sidekicks! Mixtapes, Remixes and Editorial Process

Today, I turn my blog over to Sarah Hans, so here we go--

Hello everybody! For my last guest blog post, I talked a lot about how I selected the stories for my editorial debut, an anthology called Sidekicks! In keeping with the theme, I thought maybe this time I’d discuss a little more about the editorial process.

Author and editor Nayad Monroe recently compared editing an anthology to creating a mixtape (or playlist for you youngins). In many ways, this is apt comparison. The editor chooses which authors will submit to her anthology and then the stories that best fit her vision for the book. Like a mixtape creator, she arranges the selected stories in an order she likes and that she thinks readers will enjoy.

An anthology is, however, a bit more interactive than a mixtape. The editor not only chooses the stories, but can request that changes be made to the stories. So it’s more like the editor gets to remix the playlist songs in addition to choosing and arranging them. Which is pretty neat!

Sometimes the edits to a story are relatively minor. I don’t think I found a single edit in Alex Bledsoe’s story, “Hunter and Bagger.” Other stories needed more work. In one or two cases, I had to ask for major rewrites or heavily edit the text. That makes it sound like I’m some kind of dictator though, when nothing could be further from the truth. I try to make it clear to my authors that if I’ve committed to buy their story, I already like it. I don’t dictate that they must make my exact changes “or else.” For me, editing is more like collaborative storytelling, more like teamwork than a top-down structure. Rather than being like a coach demanding her players run 20 laps, or she won’t put them in the game, I prefer to be more like the team captain, leading everyone in a team effort to create a great book. We’re all here to publish the best collection of stories we can!

Sometimes the editor can’t see all of what an author intended. I point out something I don’t like and make suggestions, but the author is always welcome to discuss it with me, and frequently once I see their perspective I change my mind. A great example of this was a hyphenated word in Donald J. Bingle’s story, “Second Banana Republic.” I marked the word because it was in a sentence with a lot of hyphenated words, which to me just looks a bit funny, and because the word doesn’t need to be hyphenated. Don explained that he hyphenated the word because it was very long and the hyphen would break it up on ereader text, which would prevent the paragraphs from looking crazy. I agreed that this was a great point, and we left it hyphenated.

Another great example is M.E. Garber’s story “Worthy.” The story originally came to me with a different title, one that was too much like the title of another story. So the author and I emailed back and forth and brainstormed titles until we came up with one we both liked. I could have said “You must change the title to ‘Fantasy Story X’ or I won’t publish it.” Then the author would have been faced with a choice--slap a truly terrible title on her work, or pull it from the anthology. Because we worked together, with mutual respect, we came up with a great title that made us both happy. Win-win!

If you’re a writer and your story is accepted by an editor, but they want you to do a lot of work on it, don’t despair! They love the concept of the story. They just want to publish the best possible story for the book! Work with them. And recognize that even if your editor comes across as bossy or overbearing, they probably don’t intend to be. Talk to them! Communication is key to any successful relationship.

That said, I’m a bit more writer-centric than some editors. Many editors reserve the right (in the contract) to make minor corrections to stories related to typos and grammar without notifying the writer. I do not make any changes to my writers’ stories without obtaining their approval. This means that I use the tracking feature in MS Word to record my changes, and ship the edited version back to the author. They approve or reject the changes, leave me notes, and we go back and forth until we have a clean copy we both like that I can insert into the anthology. Is this time-consuming? Yes. It can take several weeks. Is it laborious, especially for the people whose stories need a fair bit of work? It sure can be. Is it completely worth it? Also yes.

It’s worth it because I never have to worry about publishing someone’s story with words they didn’t write or approve. This has happened to me on the other end, as a writer. It’s a pretty terrible feeling. There has to be a bond of trust and respect (however temporary and professional) between an editor and a writer in order to create the best possible work. If I were to change someone’s story and they were upset by it, they might never tell me they’re upset. They would simply never work with me again. And my work--my anthologies--might suffer as a result.

There are, of course, editors out there who would say “It’s just a story. I make whatever changes I deem appropriate, without the author’s approval, because I’m the editor. It’s my name that’s going on the cover.” That’s one way of doing business. But it’s also a great way to have some really stellar writers unwilling to work with you, because they can’t trust you with their words. If you’re comfortable rearranging sentences or deleting punctuation without their approval, what about bigger changes? Accidental changes? If we hadn’t checked and double-checked Sidekicks!, Neal Litherland’s story “Mask of the Red Planet” would have a repeated sentence because, in moving it from one paragraph to another, I accidentally copied and pasted instead of cut and pasted. Mistakes happen! No editor is immune to them, especially when she’s spent the last three days editing twenty stories and her eyes are starting to cross.

At the bare minimum, it’s industry standard for authors to review “proofs” of the book or magazine before it goes to the printer. This is the last-chance attempt to catch any errors before the book goes to press and those errors are inked eternally. If you’re an author selling a story, there should be a mention of proofs in the contract. If there isn’t, or you don’t get a contract, let the editor know about your misgivings. An unprofessional editor will become angry and aggressive when you mention your concerns, or may give you the brush-off. A reputable editor will want everything in writing for her protection and yours! And an excellent editor will care about the quality of the anthology, the integrity of the stories, and her relationship with her authors. It will show in her interactions with you and in the final product. 

I hope that after reading this you’ll give Sidekicks! a try--it’s on sale at right now for less than $10!. If you’d like to hear Sidekicks! authors read their work live, we have events coming up in Madison, Wisconsin at A Room of One’s Own (6:30 - 8:00 pm on Wednesday, April 24) and in Columbus, Ohio at the Whetstone Public Library (time TBA on Saturday, June 8). If you’d like to discuss the contents of this guest blog post, you can find me on my blog, twitter, or facebook! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thrifting Thursday: Decanters

Just a couple of thrift store decanters. The one with the green stopper holds homemade absinthe (it's one step above being rotgut), and the other contains whiskey with dried cherries in it. I think I paid about $5 for both of them. A lot of times when I find decanters at thrift stores the stoppers don't seal, but these two were okay.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thrifting Thursday: Silverish Things

These are some silver plated (or formerly silver plated) items purchased from a local antique store and flea market. I paid $5 for the salt and pepper shakers, and the tea pot was $16.

The teapot is International Silver Company, and I wish I knew what year it was from. It could use more cleaning.

The salt and pepper shakers are Peerless Silver Company, La France Reg 501. They were made in the USA, but I have no idea what year exactly. I've found that the company was in business from 1936 to 1959. These were filthy when I bought them, but have cleaned up pretty well. The silver plate appears to be flaking away in most places, but I like how dark they look.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Links at a free and reduced rate! 4/3/13

I actually have stuff going on this week, so I'm trying to stay on task while being kind of distracted by going to the National Cherry Blossom Festival in DC this weekend.

Free Kindle issues of Shock Totem this week only. Issue #3 is free today, then #4 on Thursday, and #5 on Friday. I forgot to post this earlier in the week, but oh well.

Sarah Hans' editorial debut Sidekicks! is on sale at Amazon. I don't know how long that sale price will stay around, so buy now! Also, she'll be guest blogging here later this week/beginning of next week...I suddenly forgot how the days of the week work because I'm not bound by such things.

I'm going to Context 26 Which takes place in Worthington, OH, and runs from September 27th to 29th

I'll also be attending the GayRomLit Retreat in Atlanta, GA, October 17th to 20th.

TransOhio has their symposium April 26-28, but I won't be going to that because I can't go to Ohio that weekend. I will be in Ohio the weekend before that.

Ok, I have writing to do...onward!

Monday, April 1, 2013

House Tour with Baby Dorian

I tried to take pictures of the new place but Baby Dorian--who is more of a toddler than a baby-- kept following me around. Imagine that, he likes to have his picture taken.

That's the foyer. I was standing by the front door. He first came over to see what I was doing, and then decided to say "cheese!" Also notice the trail of toys, well, actually one block and a cup in front of the fireplace.

And a book on the kitchen floor. He likes to chew on books. Not even board books are safe.

And this is part of the living room looking towards the foyer. I think Dorian was eating spaghetti that day because his face shows all the signs of tomato-based carnage. 
I have other photos, but will post those later. Trying to finish a writing project today. Story of my life...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thrifting Thursday: Old Photos (around 1910's)

Here is a set of pictures that I bought at a local antique store. I believe that I paid $6 for the whole lot. In general I think of older photographs as being a life contained in one image. We live in a world of camera phones and instagram. Everything is instant and digital. It's tough to imagine a time when people may have only been photographed a few times in their life, or not at all. Right now I could take a picture of myself with the webcam on my laptop...I could even take a picture of myself with the webcam while taking a picture of myself with my cell phone as well.

Anyway, here are the pictures:
What I found interesting about these two pictures was the differences between their suits and how each young man is posed. Same pose and everything, but the guy on the left has a poorly-fitting suit and his stance is more relaxed. The guy on the right was possibly named John, that's what is written on the back, but there's a question mark next to it and I can't read the last name.

I really liked the image of this girl because she's outside, and it has her name written on the back.

Baby pictures. The one on the left has a name and birth date written on the stand, but it also has the date of his death. Don't worry, he lived to be 82, attended college in the 30's and was a successful businessman--I found his obituary online. His picture is also the only one set into a frame, while the others are just glued onto the mounting board.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Recipe: Boozy Strawberry Milk

Other projects are taking over my goofing off with flash fiction time, but I'd really like to get into the habit of writing a flash fiction piece or some poems before dropping into the bigger projects I'm working on. Currently I have one editing project and two short stories of my own that I'm expanding on.

I've been trying some recipes from the Steamdrunks book--not any of the chewy milk punches-- and really enjoyed Gin Milk. My spouse was not a fan of Gin Milk, so he swapped out the gin in favor of Sweet Revenge and opted not to include the nutmeg. And so I decided to share the recipe:

Boozy Strawberry Milk

2 ounces Sweet Revenge
1 cup Milk
1 tsp sugar

Combine in a cocktail shaker with some ice. Shake it a bit to chill and froth the milk. Pour the drink, ice and all, into a glass.
I topped it with a little red decorators sugar, but it's not a requirement.
And you could probably add ice cream and real strawberries to it in order to make a pretty badass boozy strawberry shake.

Maybe that will be my next drink experiment.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thrifting Thursday: Early photo of trans* woman

 See what I did with that ultra clever title? Alliteration... anyway, on Thursdays I plan on posting my thrifting and antiquing finds, or just other things that I may, or may not have, bought.

This is actually an item that I did not purchase because I didn't have $125 to spend at the time (it may still be at the antique store, I don't know since I haven't gone back in the past couple weeks). I still wanted to document that I had seen it, so I took this picture through the case. The photo is labeled as "Early image of man dressed as a woman." Judging by the clothing style I tentatively placed this photo at around 1850 to 1860, but if someone else has a better guess then let me know.

What I found so interesting about this image was the dress, the formal-looking pose and the hair. I've seen antique photos of people cross-dressing before (usually wearing far less clothing and in a brothel-like setting), but not this early and not in a rather boring formal pose.

The mundane nature of this photo fascinates me because, in those vintage porn cross-dressing pictures the focus is on sex and playing around, but this image strikes me as being quite serious.

So, there you are, and I'm going back to writing.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Now for something completely different...

Basically since early January I've been tormented by back to back injuries and illnesses that would give me a couple days off and then launch into something completely different. I think the order was shoulder injury, muscle spasm in my neck, flu, sore throat, one day of laryngitis, bronchitis, sinus infection, pinched nerve in my neck again... I went through at least 100 cough drops, one bottle of ibuprofen, all of my flexeril, a fair amount of pseudoephedrine, and many shot glasses of NyQuil--it's more fun to take medicine that way.
I have been better the past week, but getting everything in order for writing and editing projects. I'm finding time to blog again, though.

The house is set up enough that I'll be posting some pictures of it next week.

And I'm going to start posting some of my thrifting and antiquing finds since that's all I've found to do out here in the middle of near nowhere. I'm usually looking for medical stuff, weird greeting cards, old photos and snazzy clothing, so it will probably be interesting.
 That starts tomorrow.

And I'll probably have some flash fiction to post later today or tomorrow.

Here, have some music:

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Settled in the new house, missed a Poe birthday post

The title basically sums it up. I'm at the house in Pennsylvania and it's quite nice. We have the dining room set up to serve the purposes of a dining room, library and bar. It's almost perfect, but we need a better table. I plan on posting some pictures soon.

Yesterday was Edgar Allan Poe's 204th birthday and I didn't post about it because I am infinitely naughty. I did spend the time working on writing a Horror story and drinking gin. I was too sleepy to bust into the absinthe, but that may well happen tonight.