For a few weeks I have been planning a light-painting excursion as a way to get back into wanting to take photographs again. Putting the camera down for extended periods of time is nothing new. I just can’t seem to keep at it without proper inspiration. By the by, I loathe the word inspiration. As if it takes something outside me to get motivated; it’s not. I’m talking inner inspiration. Ideas. Awesome ideas.
One photographer I know that had an extended break is Morpheous. There were just no ideas. Nothing was screaming ‘Take Photos Of Me Dammit!’ to either of us for a while. It took a particular light in a place with a certain model to snap him back into it. For me, it took the black ice cream idea.
Lately I have hit a rut with photos. Tonight served as a fun distraction, camera in hand, while I ran a recon mission for some of the light painting subjects. I brought no tripod and didn’t attend to ‘shoot’ necessarily. I just wanted to play with a camera like I used to when I was in high school. No agenda. No goal. Just play.
So, here are the Fire Weavers performing as part of the Tulip Festival.
I have a load of writing on the go and I hope this jars something loose. There is a mostly written Ottawa Horror review of ‘The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh’ as well as ComicCon images and stuff. Two shorts are in the works, though I am taking another break from Nightface II. Two draft blogs are in stasis here, largely dealing with beauty-involved women, goth culture, or sexuality. So, for those who think I dropped off the face of the earth… I suppose kinda did.
By the time you see this, it will all be over. My first, and what could be my last, appearance on stage in a burlesque routine. Most of the few people I told beforehand were surprised. Happy, but surprised. My sister figured it was about time. I’ll go with my sister’s take on it.
I have specific issues with anything that puts women on display. I’m not a fan of the giggle and wink. I’m not a fan of comedy. That leaves a very narrow slice of this art form that I relate to. Sparkles and I do not necessarily get along. Tolerate. I tolerate sparkles. See the tension?
I like the history. Also, the fact that under the victory-roll and feather boa routine, there are some really inspired costuming and moves. The one thing about burlesque I like the most is plain exhibitionism. Those in the know, know. I am no stranger to flashing, grabbing, and changing clothes in public. Usually, there is nothing generally cute about it though. Edgy, carefree-cute, if any.
Anyhow, we have rehearsed a lot and I’m pretty excited to walk off the stage and heave a loaded sigh of relief. There will be video and photos so I am excited to see those. In the future, I am excited to act as manager for acts with the two wonderful girls I have the great fortune to work with. So, yeah, let’s see how this goes!
Meet my pal, Bendy LaRule…
My hair wasn’t done, but you get the idea. 1888 prostitute with a heart of coal.
Sure, I like twitter. I use it a lot and I have since it’s inception. It’s great for local stuff like traffic or breaking news; even what cafes are open on a holiday. It’s a promotional tool combined with a very plain social media and message centre. I keep up on a lot of really rad horror news, authors I love, musicians I adore, and people who are fascinating.
For years I’ve read articles on others opinion of the site, let alone ‘tips’ on how to use it. Most of it goes in one ear and out the other, but I am very interested in what people think of social media since that tends to shape it eventually.
Recently, I read a few do’s and don’ts that came across as a ludicrous Ten Commandments on how all should ultimately use it and what Twitter ‘actually’ is. I won’t link it since this isn’t about arguing opinion, rather, it was one line that prompted me to write this. These cranky notes have been piling up for a while in my head on their own, but a lot of what irks me were things he suggested people should do. So, take this post and read it bizarro-style and you will have the article I read.
The line was an ultimatum. Something like ‘people think twitter is a social site but it’s not.’ Very narrow minded. Very typical coming from someone who only uses it to bot-tweet endless promotional links. Pretty anti-social really. Last I checked, twitter is largely a social media site and not a digital business card collection.
Anyway, there are counter-intuitive things everyone does on any social media, myself included (like drunk tweet endless photos of tacos… maybe… for one), but at the end of the day Who Really Cares. It’s Only Barely Real Life. Keep that in mind. These are just a few things that people do on Twitter that may drive me to unfollow them, never follow them in the first place, or wish every day that I could unfollow them without hurting little tiny feelings.
Hall of Mirrors
Okay. These tools exist and people use them. Is it laziness? Do they feel they are saving time and being enterprising? Using apps that auto-post from one platform to another only work half-right on Twitter. The 140 character limit cuts your post short before you actually say anything, then you insist your followers leave twitter to read your full post. Nine tenths of this is asking too much, especially if your post is cut off before explaining what the link is. There is no appeal. This is compounded when your friends or fans follow you elsewhere. What you have created isn’t a useful and enterprising duplicity, but an annoying hall of mirrors that says nothing. This is worse when the account is entirely unused except to mirror your Facebook wall. Why follow you on twitter at all? If your post elsewhere incorporates hashtags and is short and interesting, let ‘er rip. That makes sense. Most cross-posts don’t and it seems you give it no thought at all.
Oversharing and Oversharing
Sure, that tweet is cool. So is that one. Okay, the next ten… wow… have you posted anything yourself? If not I may rather following all the cool people you re-tweet over you. Sadly, I wanted to follow you, not them. It’s nice to re-tweet relevant and not-to-be-missed content but really think before you share. This becomes the record of your content in a way. If ‘your content’ is really just a bunch of other people’s notes, I’m eventually gonna cut out the middle-man.
Then, if ‘your content’ is nothing but griping about your wife/kids/bowels I honestly wonder why you turn to social media. That is really coffee talk to be shared with those close to you that can really provide input on your specific domestic situation. Or your doctor. Or your lawyer. A divorce lawyer. Or babysitter. It’s one thing to share tidbits of your personality and things important to you but when Every Single Post boils down to your wife hovering over your shoulder… yawn.
My new favorite… Nuff Said… Check this out… Made me chuckle… yeah, you know what? On a wall of succinct and interesting content, all these cryptic links get ignored. I’m not intrigued by the internet version of crying wolf. Hint at what the link contains at least, please. It strikes me that the only person who would click on it is probably in the room with you sharing some kind of conversation we can’t hear. I have no idea what you are on about, so this is static noise to me. What ever gave you a chuckle remains a mystery and I’m fine with that. Tease people into clicking your link. I’m not going to click on a link with no preface and if the preface is unimportant to me, I’m not going to click through hoping the link content redeems your weak tweet.
When people follow you, assume they actually read what you write. Also, many people scroll back in time to read what they missed. Using a bot to auto-tweet all day long is plain annoying. I know you wrote that book or cut that album or took that photo. I maybe followed you due to that. Maybe I even bought a copy. No amount of daily robotic copypasta is going to make me buy it again. If I shared the info once, I ain’t gonna do it again no matter how many times I read the exact same tweet over and over for months. Sometimes years. Don’t insult your friend’s intelligence. Don’t ask them to insult their reader’s senses by sharing your never-ending stream of diarrhea. This is just as bad as asking your followers to follow you… It also makes me think you are not present (as in the hall of mirrors) and aren’t reading anything I write either. Why follow that? I also know (or hope) you are a witty and bright person who would still be allowed on the internet if they had a mandatory intelligence test every time you logged on, so why not write custom posts? It’s not hard. Considering your feed is half pictures of beer and you bidding the ‘twitterverse’ goodnight at 9 p.m. it’s not like you don’t have time.
The Great Wall of Chirpa
Okay, sure. You got a life. Great. You only have x amount of time to spend on Twitter. I hear that. Sitting down and plastering 50 rapid fire tweets is doing it wrong. Who does that? In real life, do you do that? What do you do when you see a feed that is all one person? Do you honestly read that? If it’s a bot it’s even worse since you know it’s a hall of mirrors that isn’t even sentient. If it’s a live person, then it’s insulting due to lack of regard. I follow hundreds of people posting really cool stuff, then all of a sudden your impenetrable wall of 50 tweets carpet-bombs my feed with what might as well be napalm crap. Even if it’s all gold, due to the sheer amount, I feel like I’m expected to go panning and read every single one looking for a gem. Forget it. Magazines and some news agencies are really bad for this. Timing a slew of auto-posts or an RSS feed turns into a full wall or ten. I tend to unfollow the faceless feeds and just grumble when my friends do it…
… until Now. Now you know. Now you see the tip of that big cranky iceberg my personal Twitter Fail Whale swims around every time I peruse my feed. No need to change what you do, as I likely still follow you if you are reading this. I don’t follow all of my followers since I honestly read my feed like a news ticker and not everyone posts content relevant to my daily life. Most of the people I follow I have met and shared some success, art piece, journalistic feat or drinks with. A few are those I just plain adore. Or, like Bad Joke Cat or Sockington, are cats. This is the internet, after all.
Since I had started taking photos of myself on a more regular basis (the past year) with my lights, I realized how much I liked a plain black t-shirt. For some events and photos I dress up, but really prefer the shirt and jeans thing.
When I did the photo for a blog about my article in Xalt, a friend commented that I should do a photo essay like that. Wear a different shirt for each publication and take a similarly styled photo. Easy enough. Sure.
Much later, I posted some instagram photos of a new shirt and (stalker aside) got nice comments and views.
During a shirt-related conversation the other day, I decided I might as well do it. Yesterday, since I had my camera set up I thought I’d do a vlog instead. So. Here we are. Typicalshirts.
Two select shirts did not make it in. My glow in the dark Michael Myers shirt, and my SickOnSin Poe shirt. Maybe next time?
More about the shirts…
The Frightlight shirt was a gift from Johnny Pints. The Ramones shirt was a gift from KeeKee. The Haddonfield High shirt was a gift from ZombieInfo.com. The Ottawa Horror shirt was one of many; a gift for hard work. The skull beater came from the 2$ rack in the kids section of a dollar store. The Mad Hatter Tattoo crest tank I helped screen-print with KeeKee one night. The Mad Hatter Tattoo geisha beater was likely a gift as well, from Polly. Germany was bought at Rock Junction in the market, Ottawa. The Frank Turner shirt was a gift from Dawn when Turner played here in October, 2011. I wore it when I met him accidently in April of 2011.
The Destroyer Scene shirt was a prize/gift from Blackie Blackout. The Bondage Fairies was a gift to myself, as was the Alternative Tentacles shirt. I likely bought the Patron Saint of Plagues shirt to support the band. I used to have about 15 other band shirts that I have lent away or are put away. The Spider shirt I pretty much explain. It is one of my favorite shirts, though the Haddonfield High shirt is pulling a close second.
‘You’ve Got The Score‘ by All Out Assault is one of my favorite songs of all time. Glitchy and bitchy, it features old friends Sterling, Tony and Roy, and the song is likely fifteen years old now.
* also, the video quality is low due to a preset I neglected to change in Premiere. ah well.
So many good things have been whirling around. From publishing Pray Lied Eve (which is getting fine reviews), being read aloud on a podcast, doing a reading of Chrisitan Larsens work, being on Kettle Whistle Radio for a two-part interview, seeing a photo I took of Opi Saint make it into the Globe and Mail and having that slim, tall, gorgeous boy with the black mohawk walk past me twice in the last week, let alone the other amazing things i just don’t broadcast – I don’t know how i contain myself most days.
oh. wait. yeah i do. near-crippling depression. that’s how.
this is a pity party of one, so move along if you have books, concern, jokes, or advice. besides, in about ten minutes, the weather will change and i will be right as rain. perhaps ever righter and i’ll bust out something so entirely cheerful it would put a fluffy baby chicken napping on a warm sunflower to shame.
yeah, i’ve never trusted the infectiously cheerful so i am glad i will never join their ranks. just rest assured that if you catch me in a moment of not-stokededness, it does not mean i am not grateful or not excited by and proud of the things i do. i am. a lot of the time that i am in an ‘infectious’ good mood it is a manic episode and not a fun ride for me. both pass. i’m used to it.
i’d really rather be stuck in the stoked/not-stoked numbness that i feel more myself in. overcast. moderate. calm.
For those that have a favorite book trailer or have made one themselves, this is for you! I am now writing for Dreadful Tales the horror review site. Aside from books, I am covering novel trailers. If you want to see what a review of a trailer made for a book looks like…
I cover horror specifically. No fantasy of science fiction unless it revolves entirely around a horrific element like monsters, slashers or other terror.
Strong preference to authors who have made their own or who have professional filmmakers create their trailer. No slide shows! There are several companies out there who (in my opinion) prey upon authors and create very plain and unappealing slide shows. Those I chose to ignore.
Great sound, strong acting, and dark shadows catch my eye!
I really want to review trailers I fall in love with so please let me know of any.
The weekend of Postscripts to Darkness launch parties has wound down. Three parties for volume three; certainly appropriate. At the Ottawa launch on Friday, I read the first story in the collection, Thirteen Seconds, by Christian Larsen. You can read more at his blog, exlibrislarsen, or the preview coverage at Ottawa Horror. Here is the audio of my reading, and I will be editing the other stories shortly. Enjoy this, but do excuse the background noise! Avant Garde was packed that night!