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WORKS BEST IN FULL SCREEN.

 

Music: Bob Marley -- Sunshine Reggae

The danish band "Laid Back"'s popular summer song.

 

Sigma DP1 camera for recording the interior of the housing.

 

The house is a ramshackle house located close to the airport of Aalborg in Denmark .

I have long thought of shooting and seen the old house from a distance.

The house has been unoccupied for many years.

Around the house, the vegetation meters high.

 

The woman who sits in the living room, is photographed sitting on a sofa many years ago, with a film camera, scanned and copied into the picture as she sits on a plate in the corner of the room, with all the construction mess.

 

Processing: Sigma / PhotoFiltre.

 

FICTION.

Ducks have many economic uses, being farmed for their meat, eggs, feathers, (particularly their down). They are also kept and bred by aviculturists and often displayed in zoos. Almost all the varieties of domestic ducks are descended from the Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), apart from the Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata). Many domestic breeds have become much larger than their wild ancestor, with a "hull length" (from base of neck to base of tail) of 30 cm (12 inches) or more and routinely able to swallow an adult British Common Frog Rana temporaria whole; the wild mallard's "hull length" is about 6 inches.

FAO reports that China is the top duck market in 2004 followed by Vietnam and other South East Asian countries.

In many areas, wild ducks of various species (including ducks farmed and released into the wild) are hunted for food or sport, by shooting, or formerly by decoys. Because an idle floating duck or a duck squatting on land cannot react to fly or move quickly, "a sitting duck" has come to mean "an easy target".

Wild ducks of many species and domesticated breeds are widely consumed around the world.

Ducks as pets are fairly uncommon due to the cost and demands of raising and caring for them and whether local animal control laws permit or forbid the public selling and private ownership of ducks, ducklings, and fertilized duck eggs. Ducks are usually kept outdoors or inside a cage since it is unsuitable to let them roam freely indoors due to the risk of eating carpet fibers, which can be a health hazard to them, and their lack of sphincter muscles which would require carpet-less flooring and frequent cleaning up after them.

Cultural references

Roman spout in shape of a duck's head, found at Derby racecourse and now at Derby Museum and Art Gallery.

In 2002, psychologist Richard Wiseman and colleagues at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, finished a year-long LaughLab experiment, concluding that of all animals, ducks attract the most humor and silliness; he said, "If you're going to tell a joke involving an animal, make it a duck."The word "duck" may have become an inherently funny word in many languages, possibly because ducks are seen as silly in their looks or behavior. Of the many ducks in fiction, many are cartoon characters, such as Walt Disney's Donald Duck, and Warner Bros.' Daffy Duck.

 

He could see it all in his mind - his escape.

 

He'd pack a few things. Commune with the cat. Sit waiting in the dark till the wife got home... and then just tell her, flat out.

 

There would be no drama. No conflict. No fighting. He would just tell her, flat out, "I'm leaving." And that would be the end of that.

 

She would be stunned. Would stand in the light from the hall in her pink waitress uniform... apron greasy... hair damp, frizzing out around the edges... staring at him... uncomprehending. Maybe she would shake her head. Or raise one hand to the fake gold locket at her throat. Or, with both hands, clutch at her apron.

 

He could see her hands... red, raw, big boned... calloused from all her long years of drudgery. Remembered those hands on his fevered forehead... on his arm... on his chest... clawing at his back. Remembered all the times she had cared for him... nursed him... seeing him through his illness. And supporting him. Working evenings at the diner, and extra shifts, and cleaning houses on the side... while he stayed home, finding himself, surfing the Internet, playing with his camera.

 

"Why don't you ever take pictures of me?" she asked him once, shyly.

 

He was kind enough to not say "Because you're unattractive." But she knew from the way he looked at her.

 

She had seen whom and what he did choose to photograph. Models. Long lean sexy women. On billboards, on bus shelter ads, in magazines.

 

He didn't care that someone else had done the real work - acquiring the models, setting up the shots... getting the look and the lighting and the tones and everything else just right.

 

He didn't care. When he shot them himself, they became his property. And there on his computer screen, when he downloaded the images, they were undeniably and absolutely "his" girls... His because he'd taken them - stolen them, captured them for his own private use, his own enjoyment.

 

The wife, by comparison, was old, soft, lumpy... sinewy in all the wrong places. He pictured her standing there, her face in shadow, speechless... stunned... as he pushed past her, out the door with his little overnight bag.

 

He wouldn't ask for anything. She could keep the rented apartment, the black and white TV, the second-hand furniture... even the computer. He had his discs, his photographs, his girls... right there in the hard-sided cloth overnight bag.

 

He had cash, too. He'd been socking away his "allowance" for months... and had enough, he thought, to buy his own computer.

 

He really hadn't thought about how he would support himself, or even where he'd go, although... in his mind... he saw himself living in a penthouse apartment with big shiny skylights and see-through curtains and a panoramic view of the river. He pictured the girls from his computer discs with him... lounging on leather couches... bubbling in the bath.

 

He sat in the dark, clutched the overnight bag, stroked it gently, smiling to himself, waiting for the sound of her feet on the stairs, her key in the door... fantasizing. Pictured the wife from the back... her broad hips... her blue-veined legs... her nurse shoes. Pictured her doubled with grief, receding from him as he made his escape.

 

And then she was home.

 

He sat up, alert.

 

He could hear her fumbling in her purse for her keys.

 

He held the overnight bag and lined up the words inside his mouth: "I'm leaving."

 

The door opened and the wife walked in. Weary. Preoccupied. She walked right past him in the darkened living room, didn't even see him sitting there.

 

He heard her in the bathroom, running water. Brushing her teeth. Flushing the toilet.

 

Then he heard the squeak of springs as she lowered herself into bed.

 

"Honey?" she called from the bedroom. "Are you coming to bed? It's late."

 

In the livingroom he closed his eyes, breathed deeply, hugged the overnight bag to his chest.

 

"Yes," he called back to the wife. "I'm coming. Just a minute." And he rose from the couch.

 

And before he went to bed, he slid the overnight bag back into its secret place at the very back of the closet. With his discs. With his girls. With his freedom; his escape.

  

The Milky Way with a geothermal house in Iceland in the foreground.

 

Thank you for viewing and your kind comments...

 

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I shot this today with Logan Skytower present...and he took my image and decided to add his own not-so-little touch. We were laughing at how clean Kitti was in the original, how calculated and justified her spree would be, and Logan's carried that on with his oh-so-considerate blood placement.

 

Music to kill to?: www.youtube.com/watch?v=WY0NEQd3_co

Living near Stuttgart I'm thinking that this is definitely the most photographed place in this city since the last two years.

 

The new build public central library. It looks a lot like a post modern science fiction book prison. It's quite big, quite white and way to clean.

 

I for myself, I prefer my libraries old and dark, with lots of wood and really big bookshelves.

Here is an updated version of the survivinator. cleaner design and smaller butt.

 

Bricksafe

I always regretted the fact that OK Motor Services (or OK Travel to use its later trading name) never acquired any Volvo-Ailsas. Had it bought any new then it would most likely have had them bodied by Northern Counties of Wigan, as it did for its long-wheelbase Leyland Atlanteans and solitary Dennis Dominator.

 

This image depicts a Northern Counties-bodied Ailsa in the final, simplified OK Travel livery. It was in fact the style that had preceded the 'stripey' version but without the black edgings between the colours. Like all the OK liveries it looked extremely smart when clean, although sadly standards of turnout fell towards the end.

 

STRICTLY COPYRIGHT: You may download a copy of any image for your personal use, but it would be an offence to remove the copyright information or post them elsewhere without the express permission of the copyright owner.

Canon EOS 40D + Canon EF-S 17-85mm F4-5.6 IS USM @17mm

 

Danube

The Danube is the longest river in the European Union and Europe's second longest river after the Volga.

 

The river originates in the Black Forest in Germany as the much smaller Brigach and Breg rivers which join at the German town Donaueschingen, after which it is known as the Danube and flows eastwards for a distance of some 2850 km (1771 miles), passing through four Central and Eastern European capitals, before emptying into the Black Sea via the Danube Delta in Romania and Ukraine.

 

Known to history as one of the long-standing frontiers of the Roman Empire, the river flows through—or forms a part of the borders of—ten countries: Germany (7.5%), Austria (10.3%), Slovakia (5.8%), Hungary (11.7%), Croatia (4.5%), Serbia (10.3%), Romania (28.9%), Bulgaria (5.2%), Moldova (0.017%), and Ukraine (3.8%).

The English language has, since the Norman conquest of England, used the French word Danube.

 

In addition to the Danubian countries, the drainage basin includes parts of nine more countries: Italy (0.15%), Poland (0.09%), Switzerland (0.32%), the Czech Republic (2.5%), Slovenia (2.2%), Bosnia and Herzegovina (4.8%), the Republic of Macedonia, and Albania (0.03%). The highest point of the drainage basin is the summit of Piz Bernina at the Italy–Switzerland border, 4,049 metres (13,284 ft).

The Danube is navigable by ocean ships from the Black Sea to Brăila in Romania and by river ships to Kelheim, Bavaria, Germany; smaller craft can navigate further upstream to Ulm, Württemberg, Germany. About 60 of its tributaries are also navigable.

 

Since the completion of the German Rhine–Main–Danube Canal in 1992, the river has been part of a trans-European waterway from Rotterdam on the North Sea to Sulina on the Black Sea (3500 km). In 1994 the Danube was declared one of ten Pan-European transport corridors, routes in Central and Eastern Europe that required major investment over the following ten to fifteen years. The amount of goods transported on the Danube increased to about 100 million tons in 1987. In 1999, transport on the river was made difficult by the NATO bombing of three bridges in Serbia. The clearance of the debris was finished in 2002. The temporary pontoon bridge that hampered navigation was finally removed in 2005.

 

At the Iron Gate, the Danube flows through a gorge that forms part of the boundary between Serbia and Romania; it contains the hydroelectric Iron Gate I dam, followed at about 60 km downstream (outside the gorge) by the Iron Gate ll dam. On 13 April 2006, a record peak discharge at Iron Gate Dam reached 15,400 m³/s.

 

There are three artificial waterways built on the Danube: the Danube–Tisa–Danube Canal (DTD) in the Banat and Bačka regions (Vojvodina, northern province of Serbia); the 64 km Danube–Black Sea Canal, between Cernavodă and Constanţa (Romania) finished in 1984, shortens the distance to the Black Sea by 400 km; the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal (about 171 km), finished in 1992, linking the North Sea to the Black Sea.

The Danube Commission is concerned with the maintenance and improvement of the river's navigation conditions. It was established in 1948 by seven countries bordering the river. Members include representatives from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, and Serbia, It meets regularly twice a year. It also convenes groups of experts to consider items provided for in the commission's working plans.

 

The commission dates to the Paris Conferences of 1856 and 1921, which established for the first time an international regime to safeguard free navigation on the Danube.

Along its path, the Danube is a source of drinking water for about ten million people. In Baden-Württemberg, Germany, almost thirty percent (as of 2004) of the water for the area between Stuttgart, Bad Mergentheim, Aalen and Alb-Donau (district) comes from purified water of the Danube. Other cities like Ulm and Passau also use some water from the Danube.

 

In Austria and Hungary, most water comes from ground and spring sources, and only in rare cases is water from the Danube used. Most states also find it too difficult to clean the water because of extensive pollution; only parts of Romania where the water is cleaner still use a lot of drinking water from the Danube.

Important tourist and natural spots along the Danube include the Wachau valley, the Nationalpark Donau-Auen in Austria, Gemenc in Hungary, the Naturpark Obere Donau in Germany, Kopački rit in Croatia, Iron Gate in Serbia and Romania, and Danube Delta in Romania, the Srebarna Nature Reserve in Bulgaria.

 

The Danube is mentioned in the title of a famous waltz by Austrian composer Johann Strauss, An der schönen, blauen Donau (On the Beautiful Blue Danube). This piece was composed as Strauss was traveling down the Danube River. This piece is well known across the world and is also used widely as a lullaby.

 

Another famous waltz about the Danube is The Waves of the Danube (Romanian: Valurile Dunării) by the Romanian composer Ion Ivanovici (1845–1902), and the work took the audience by storm when performed at the 1889 Paris Exposition.

 

Joe Zawinul wrote a symphony about the Danube called Stories of the Danube. It was performed for the first time at the 1993 Bruckner festival, at Linz.

 

The Danube figures prominently in the Bulgarian National Anthem, as a symbolic representation of the country's natural beauty.

 

The German tradition of landscape painting, the Danube school, was developed in the Danube valley in the 16th century.

 

The most famous book describing the Danube might be Claudio Magris's masterpiece Danube (ISBN 1-86046-823-3).

 

The historical fiction Earth's Children series by Jean M. Auel refers to the Danube as the Great Mother River.

 

Jules Verne's "The Danube Pilot" ("Le Pilote du Danube"), published 1908, depicts the adventures of fisherman Serge Ladko as he travels down the river.

 

The river is the subject of the film The Ister.

 

Parts of the German road movie Im Juli take place along the Danube.

 

Noted horror writer Algernon Blackwood's most famous short story, "The Willows" concerned a trip down the Danube.

 

The Blue Danube was the name of the first nuclear weapon of the British army.

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danube

THANK YOU everyone for your visits, comments and favs!

I appreciate your invites and awards very much!

 

© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Use without permission is illegal.

  

~ Donna Andrews ~ is an American mystery fiction writer of two award-winning amateur sleuth series.

 

A hawk seen at the Baby Owl shower at the Maitland Audubon Center ~

 

Maitland Audubon Center

 

All Funds raised from the "Baby Owl Shower" help offset the cost during baby bird season. Funds are used to buy food, medications, medical care and other essential supplies. To give you an idea of what it takes to care for these youngsters, a typical season looks like this:

 

FOOD…287 pounds of fish, 148 quail, 595 chicks, 679 mice, 93 rats, 5000 crickets and 4000 mealworms. We went through 2 knives and three pairs of scissors cutting it all up into baby-size portions!

HYDRATION…12,000ml of fluids were administered.

CLEAN-UP…we washed 956 baby blankets and used 150 pounds of newspaper.

LABOR…500+ volunteer hours were donated to rescue, feed, clean cages and care for the babies.

 

The fact that her husband bought her underwear for Christmas was not, in and of itself, the problem. The problem lay in the nature of the underwear - control-top panties and something called a shaper.

 

"A what?" she asked, holding up the garment, which was made of heavy flesh-coloured latex.

 

"A shaper," said her husband, leaning forward, genuinely excited... anxious to appreciate his wife's appreciation. "The girl in the store said everyone's wearing them, even women you'd think are thin."

 

The wife was skeptical. Kneeling on the floor, surrounded by scraps of paper and ribbon and empty cardboard boxes, she turned the garment inside out and looked at its label. She pretended for some time to be absorbed in this. The husband assumed she was memorizing the washing instructions. In fact, she was trying to control her emotions. She was somewhere between bursting into tears (especially since the shaper was size XL) and having a full-blown, toddler-style tantrum.

 

What the fuck had the husband been thinking?

 

She glanced over. He still looked excited. "Put it on!" he said. "Let's see how it looks."

 

"Um," said the wife, still holding the garment. "Maybe tomorrow." Her voice was unsteady. The husband didn't seem to notice.

 

"No," he said. "Try it now! Please?" And she was baffled. The shaper was, as far as she could see, decidedly unsexy. It was, in plain terms, a girdle. And a heavy duty one at that.

 

She sat silently, looking at the thing, and wondering about her husband's excitement. "I know it doesn't look so hot in the box," he said, "but on, it's a whole 'nother story. Trust me!"

 

"How would you know?" the wife asked.

 

"Because," he gushed, realizing even as the words were coming out that he'd regret them, "the sales girl tried it on for me."

 

"Oh," said the wife.

 

"Yes," said the husband, feeling the air around her cool but still too lost in his own happy memories to take real notice.

 

"Yes," he said. "She tried on a whole bunch of stuff for me - fancy lacy stuff, and stringy things, and see-through things...."

 

The wife stared in disbelief. But he was on a roll.

 

"She looked soooo good in all those things," he said, "and I wanted to buy them for you. But she asked about your body type and we agreed that it just wouldn't be the same on you."

 

The husband was now staring into the middle distance... brain and other body parts still in the department store.

 

"She was tall and had these lo-o-o-ng legs," he said softly. He didn't have to add "Not like you."

 

And the wife really didn't need to hear any more.

 

As he continued recounting the tale of the long-legged sales girl in the change room with the lingerie, the wife got up and went to the kitchen and rifled through the drawers for the measuring spoons. She found the old plastic ones and, bracing them against the counter, cracked off the business end of the 1/8 teaspoon.

 

Back in the living room, she found her husband still staring off into the distance, mumbling something about see-through panels. Or maybe see-through panties. She couldn't hear him clearly.

 

"Here," she said, rousing him from his reverie. "For you."

 

He jumped a little and looked down at the tiny bit of broken spoon.

 

"What's this?" he asked.

 

"A cup," she said. "For when you next play hockey. I figure you can fit your gear and your common sense in there. And... here," she bent down and picked up the shaper. "You can hold it all together with this."

       

Firm believers in the power of knowledge and science, the members of the Vaalderie Coalition funded the construction of many orbital research facilities. These giant vessels are capable of research in many fields. The 3 massive biospheres allow for study and creations of ecosystems while the ship in itself is a giant support for a myriad of antennae and scanners that can detect the slightest cosmic fluctuation. With scientists from different fields being in constant contact, discoveries and theories were significantly boosted.

 

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This was built as a 'Tribute to nnenn'. The colorscheme is similar to his Azura Class Capital Platform.

I tried to honour his memory by engaging in a controversial aspect of MOCing that he defended: the fact that the end result justifies the [non purist] means.

 

In this MOC the domes and some other small bits are MegaBloks. And the dark grey sphere in the rear of the ship is actually a spray painted SW planet. Most stickers are also non-lego.

 

Was an interesting experience.

 

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On a side note this is me trying to get used to the new Flickr design. The title has been made bigger, and I will seperate the main, dynamic view from clean multiview pictures.

Nothing shows a man's character more than what he laughs at.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

Nada demuestra más el carácter de un hombre que aquello de lo que se ríe.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  

Super Me :DDDDDDDD - Video available

 

"You are being tagged.. Post a picture of you...

tell 16 things about you and then tag 3 of your contacts LOL !!

~~wv~~ (Mary)"

 

"Has sido etiquetado .. Publica una foto tuya ...

16 cosas que decir acerca de tí y, a continuación, etiqueta 3 de tus contactos :))))

~~wv~~ (Mary)"

  

I've been tagged group

  

Sixteen Random Things About Me:

 

1. I'm male, Capricorn, so I am a goat:)

2. I look like a serious person ... but I am not.

3. I am the husband of Carolina for almost 20 years, father of Rebecca for 13 years, godfather of two, the uncle of 10, the brother of 3, the brother-in-law of 19, son of Elsa and Elias for 43 years ...between other things.

4. Married and happy ...! Carolina I love you !!!!!

5. I am crazy about reading

6. I am crazy about reading science fiction

7. I am crazy

8. I love my dogs, even though I scratch around the car ... three dogs.

9. I hate stupidity, lies and liars.

10. I love the moonlight, the sea, and Santa Fe (my hometown)

11. I am a bit manic about order, cleanliness and timetables. I do not like to sort my things, I do not like cleaning. Whenever I come to time ... always.

12. I enjoy the solitude. Not the crowded places.

13. I'm very curious, loving, responsible, anxious, quiet, partner, friend, lover.

14. I like to drive my car. In another life I was a champion in F1 and Rally:)

15. I hate stubborn people, I'm stubborn in that! :)

16. I love life!

  

Dieciseis Cosas al Azar sobre mí :

 

1. Soy varón y Capricornio, así que soy un macho cabrío:)

2. Parezco una persona seria ... pero no lo soy.

3. Soy el esposo de Carolina desde hace casi 20 años, padre de Rebeca desde hace 13 años, padrino de dos, tío de 10, hermano de 3, cuñado de 19, hijo de Elsa y Elías por 43 años, entre otras cosas.

4. Casado y feliz ...! Carolina te amo !!!!!

5. Estoy loco por la lectura

6. Estoy loco por la lectura de ciencia ficción

7. Estoy loco

8. Amo a mi perros, a pesar de que me rayan todo el auto ... los tres perros.

9. Odio la estupidez, los mentirosos y las mentiras.

10. Amo la luz de la luna, el mar, y Santa Fe (mi ciudad)

11. Soy un poco maníaco sobre el orden, la limpieza y los horarios. No me gusta ordenar mis cosas, no me gusta limpiar. Siempre llego a horario ... siempre.

12. Disfruto de la soledad. No de los lugares concurridos.

13. Soy muy curioso, cariñoso, responsable, ansioso, reservado, compañero, amigo, amante.

14. Me gusta conducir mi coche. En otra vida fui un campeón de F1 y de Rally:)

15. Odio la gente obstinada, soy terco en eso! :)

16. Amo la vida!

   

This version of the TARDIS exterior 'blipped' into existence when the Doctor was in his 9th incarnation and didn't change again until the Doctor's 11th incarnation.

 

The windows were white with a thin blue border.

The telephone panel had a white background.

The exterior was a 'clean' version of the previous model.

This is first in a series of stories written by past research programmes students in our Criminology Department…

These stories are based on journals and other letters kept on file in the departments’ archives.

Students have been encouraged to complete stories as a method to relive stress and to also acquire a better understanding of their source material as an aid to their future field work…

They have been reprinted here with the understanding and approval of the student.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

 

Pursuing the Posh

Written By Samantha D. MA

June 16, 2011

 

From the files of Chatwick University Criminology Department.

 

C.B. Case Study 13 , File B

 

Subset Source: Journal

 

Subject “Harley Q” -- Real name?

  

Synopsis:

 

The young lady was approaching sweet sixteen if I estimated accurately. She was clad in a tailored dress of bronze velvet that shone richly over her lithe figure. Her long blonde hair tied in back, flickered like a horses’’ tail. She had come bounding from a ladies powder chamber, one of several located at either end of the grand ballroom that sat off the formal dining rooms.

 

I fell in step behind her, watching as her splendid jewelry bounced merrily as she pranced along like some untried colt, sorry filly. Her pearls were lovely things, a matched set, double strands all, real diamond clasps, shone gleaming with a pristine whiteness that reminded me of fresh snow.

 

The pearls were a sweet lure, of that there was no doubt; but apologies if I am prattling n a bit about them, for after all, what is a jewel thief who fails to notice a ladies jewels? A starving bugger, that’s who.

Now I have found out during my times here on the earth that I can make quite a profit from burgling the safes of wealthy ladies whilst they slept peacefully within their fancy chambres. But I had started out walking my morally tainted chosen path by picking the pockets of the unwary along the way. It was my fate to eventually discover the delightfully chilling sensation that was experienced when lifting the very jewels displayed by unsuspecting female targets. And this was still my guilty pleasure, to the point that I would still take that far riskier venture of lifting worn jewelry whenever opportunity arose, which was quite often in my travelled circles.

 

So, that is why I habitually started to follow this meandering youth, only because of her jewels, which I found to be quite vexing. Especially her earrings, a dangling set held to her ears by genuine diamond studded hinge clasps. I had seldom attempted sets of worn earrings, not for the lack of desire, and with this one’s head just reaching me chest, it was a very tempting prospect to try and pluck em both off just to see?

 

Fortunately, for her (not me), this pretty miss was a bit too young for my standards to make any attempt to lift from her any of the swinging pearls, earrings or otherwise. I do prefer my marks to be a bit older, a bit wiser, a bit more of a challenge to my abilities, thank you very much! Besides, I had already had my eye on a few other, challenging female prospects wearing some rather nice pieces in their own right. Including one sapphire laden Lass in a silky frock that had greatly provoked my attentiveness.

 

So I just followed this young one while she skirted the ballroom and entered a dining area. There she rejoined, what were quite obviously, her parents.

 

There were, it appeared, just the three of them, no older jewel laden siblings in sight. But, speaking of appearances, the Mother certainly presented a rather nice one, and so I stopped to drink it all in.

 

The mother/wife was fluidly clad in an all so elegant purple satin number, poured rather snugly along her still quite lovely figure. Said figure had been made even more eye catching (especially for me) by being emblazon with a matching set of jewels, all set with small 1 caret white diamonds, encircling her neck, wrists and fingers with energetic ripples of fiery colour.

 

She was with her husband, a distinguished looking gent in tails who may have passed as a Barrister, for which all I knew he was. Now Sandwiched in between was their charming young daughter, who was happily chatting away without a care in the world. Her pristine pearls still dangling, mocking me it would seem, to just make the one exception and attempt to take them home with me. I just smiled to wickedly to myself, maybe someday I would I promised them, once their young mistress had grown up a bit, then we would see who was mocking whom from the wickets!

 

But I did not dwell too long on such thought’s , or on the pretty family either, for, like I have revealed, I had other fish frying, and only am mentioning this particular incident because of what would occur in two days hence. So after a bit I turned and began wandering off.

 

But then, speaking of starving jewel thieves, I observed at the precise moment I turned away, a most stunning red head wearing a long black gown that fluttered about, here and there, in a most alluring fashion. She was making a beeline towards the very same powder chamber I had just passed. She was obviously in a rush to reach it, and once I laid my eyes on the pearls she was wearing, I moved towards her in an equally purposeful stride. I intercepted her, letting her bump against me, as I stepped on the hem of her long gown. She stopped abruptly, and I momentarily placed an arm around her smooth waist, steadying her as I apologized and begged the ladies pardon for my clumsiness.

 

She begrudgingly accepted my apologies, and I watched as she scurried off, having already pocketed the pearled bracelet I had slipped from her red satin gloved wrist, and made my own path. I smirked to myself that the bracelet was some consolation for not having an unscrupulous go for the pearls that had hung around the young daughter’s throat, hung from her ears, and encircled one petite wrist, as I stole one last look back towards the pretty families’ table.

 

I walked away, turning my attentions back to relocating a certain lady elegantly wearing a silky frock, displaying those magnificent sapphires. I was watching, waiting for her to leave, in order to follow to her next stop, eventually hoping to be led to her last, having decided to acquire the fair damsel’s collection of jewels enmasse!

 

***** Two productive evenings later ****************

 

It was at a wedding reception the 2 evenings later that I again, quite un-expectantly, spied the Barrister and his entourage.

 

I had been having a delightful chat with the newly minted wife of the titled Scion of a rather old family. I had won the sweepstakes of receiving a dance with the charming Miss. But alas my chat was cut short as she was whisked away to dance with yet another admirer. I watched as she swept off, my hand reaching into me breast pocket, fingering a still warm diamond brooch. That jewel had been merrily dangling down from her satin gowns’ cleavage, over shadowed by her ample bosom. As we had danced, I had managed to work open its silvery clasp, and lift the brooch cleanly away. My hidden vest pocket also contained at the time a rather pretty ring with a blue carbuncle surrounded by sparkly diamonds. Said ring had been wrapped around the finger of a rather vexing long raven haired lass. I had admired the silken dress she was wearing, and as she had happily swirled and twirled to give me a better look, I had taken the opportunity to relieve her finger of its burden. Since I was only allowing meself a couple of prospects with an affair this small, I now made my way, leisurely, contentedly, towards an exit (stage right as they say in the trades).

 

But, no sooner had I put me back to the dance floor, than whom do I spy across the room? That rather delightful miss with a long blonde ponytail, who was now dressed elegantly in cream lace, that I had spied at dinner a few evenings back. It was the very same young lady, wearing the same set of mocking white pearls, and as I discreetly draw near, I soon spied her parents.

 

The “Barrister” was dapper in crisp white shirt and tux, with a fancy gold pocket watch and fob at his waist. The daughter’s look alike mother was now smartly encased in a fitted red gown that shimmered delightfully as it swished about. She was also wearing a nice display of brite emeralds to boot.

 

This time I took closer notice of the Mothers Jeweles. Between the emeralds today and the diamonds the night before, this lady in red could be a nice meal ticket if the stars were aligned properly. And so it turned out they very happily (for me) did.

 

With a few discreet questions from some acquaintances quickly garnered for just such information, I found out where my “Barrister” and his family were spending their late evenings asleep. It so happened that they were staying in a penthouse suite 3 floors above my own modest single. So instead of leaving the reception to scout out a way to gain easy access to their rooms, I could stay and enjoy myself, already being all too familiar with the place. Which I did, later acquiring a gold jeweled bracelet from a charming maiden attired delightfully in teal satin, who had kept flaunting her jewels in me face as she told me all about her perfect self. Another jewel added for my growing collection of the evening.

 

Now, don’t ask me why I was so familiar with my hotels’ penthouse suites, being a cat burglar, the reasons should be quite clear! So when the pretty family left the reception early, around 9 pm returning to their rooms, I was able to follow them with less discretion then I usually do, but still with growing eager anticipation. Also, even more remarkably, they were in bed and asleep by 10:30 pm, which allowed me a much earlier window of opportunity than I had grown accustomed to having.

 

And so it was, that soon after the stroke of midnight, with the happy family deep in their slumbers that I, wearing my black burgling attire, climbed onto the balcony of their rooms. After jimmying open the double glass doors with my Fairborn dagger, I found myself in a small sitting room. Carefully allowing my torch to search around I spied a door on the far end. Opening it cautiously, the first thing I see are the daughters pricey pearls piled loosely on a vanity by the bed where she lay sleeping, dressed in white, looking ever so like the angel she is. I picked up the necklace of pearls, eyeing them as I watch the slumbering figure on the bed. But I passed the pretty things up, for even though I am a thief by nature, I do possess some scruples, albeit maybe a little warped! Besides, those taunting pearls had led me to the small treasure trove that was awaiting me in her Mothers’ chambers. So with a silent thanks, I replaced them upon the vanity, and move off…

 

The parents were found in the next room, soundly sleeping off their alcohol induced haze. The mother was draped over her husband, fetchingly clad in a long satin nightdress that looked almost like an evening gown. Her vulgarly large wedding diamonds flickered pleasantly from her finger as I let my torch sneak up along her shimmering figure. On the bed stand laid the “Barristers” gold watch and a rather pleasing selection of his wife’s gold “day” jewelry, but I passed the lot up, my eyes looking for the good stuff that would be snuggled inside the small room safe that I knew would be behind a false door in one side of the oak dresser ( having already discovered that fact a year previously in a different room of the same hotel)!

 

I went directly to it, and opening the cabinet door, began to use my finely attuned skills to crack it. It was a simple American lock and only took me a minute to have open. I than emptied the small collection of jewel cases ( lovely things) placing them into my small sack. I also find inside the mothers small clutch purse made expensively of red silk and rhinestones, that had been at her side all evening. Out of curiosity (why in the safe?) I placed it inside my bag with the jewels. After checking that the parents were still out cold, I closed the safe, flickering my torch around one last time, it settles upon her red gown, and its emerald rhinestone clips coming blazing into lively flame. I passed on them, and headed back out towards the door. I had almost regained it, and my freedom, when the husband let out a loud snort, and I heard rustling going on in the bed behind me. I froze and carefully looked back. Neither had woken, but the wife had turned onto her side, and her left hand was now hanging limply over the side of the bed. I watched as the diamonds set in the gold ring encircling her slender finger blazed into life (the ring was somewhat loose I keenly noticed)! Blimey, there was enough dosh in the value of that ring that would have paid for all the expenses of the Cardiff C.C. for an entire season, perhaps 2! But, Bird in the Hand, I am always telling meself, so I left the pretty thing dangling there, and finished my careful retreat. I made it out without further incident.

 

Passing the daughters room ( and her pearls again), I checked in. The young filly was still was sound asleep in her own pleasant dreams, her taunting pile of pearls still on the vanity, where they would remain. I regained the balcony and slipping over, made my way down to the window of my own room.

 

Back in my room I empty my sack, the pile of jewels flickering in a frenzy of colours. I admire the little darlings briefly before stashing them. I than pick up the purse and open it. Inside amongst the usual feminy items, I found a letter. Looking at it my heart, already beating quickly from the exhilaration of being on the prowl, skipped one beat, for it was addressed to the lady whose jewels I now possessed, and it was an address of an area I knew quite well. I thought about her address, the house she presumably shared with husband and daughter, the house which should be empty seeing its owners were sleeping just three floors above me. A house that was little over an hour away, only about ¾ of that hour by driving my Lotus. It was a house that I figuratively knew; being in the same neighborhood (relatively speaking) of a house I had reconnoitered and quite lucratively burgled the previous spring.

 

It was perfect. While the family was asleep snug in their beds here, I could reach their abode, with its jewel laden safe ( they all had jewel laden safes in that area), ½ hour to creep the place, an hour to do the job proper and I would be back in time to catch a two hour kip and be checked out and on my way before the pretty family have had breakfast. It, bears repeating, was perfect.

 

I looked at the envelope, was its contents that valuable that she felt the need to lock it up. More than mildly curious, I pulled it out and read it. It was from someone named Samuel. In no uncertain terms, he was informing the lady that for only ₤5000 sterling he would leave for the States and never bother her Daughter Claire again. I thought of the young girl asleep in the suite I had just left. What kind of Scoundrel would lure a young girl like that into his clutches with the intent of extorting her parents! For a moment I pondered this bit of information, before deciding that the opportunity was too ripe to pass up just because I felt a small twinge of compassion. Besides, if the parents could afford to cough up a cool 5 thousand, they weren’t hurting in the financial department.

 

I changed, and quickly gathered my things and headed out quietly via a back entrance. Placing my burgle kit (containing the ladies jewels) into the boot of me two seater, I fired up the lotus’s engine and was off on my little undertaking!

 

A half hour away I turned down a little used rutty road/path. Pulling over I grabbed my burgle kit and headed down to some ancient stone ruins. Checking to make sure none of my warning snares had been tripped, I entered a small stone building. Going down into one of its old, crumbling basements, I uncovered a small cubby and added the jewels to the growing collection of my recent takings.

 

Included in the collection were sets of pearls burgled from a coach stop overnight room occupied by a pair of fairly insufferable spinster sisters. Other burgled items were a rather pretty , if not vulgarly large, diamond set obtained from a naive damsel who thought hiding them under the pillow she slept on was safer than a safe, (always happy to enlighten someone upon the error of their ways that’s me), and of course the sapphires that the lass in the silky frock had been wearing 2 nights previous ( along with some rather nice sets of rubies and diamond adorned amethysts that had lain in the same safe, located above her soundly sleeping figure! ) The rest of the lot consisted of items I had “picked up” while on the prowl: a nice collection of brooches, rings, bracelets, and an eye-catching sapphire pendent hanging from a diamonded chain.

I than closed everything up, rechecked my warning snares, and headed back to my Lotus.

 

Another 30 minutes and I had reached my destination.

 

The house itself was pretty secluded, located by an intersection of two lanes. I drove its perimeter than doubling back found a pull off. I backed up and turned down and off the road hiding the small sports car in a grove of pines.

 

Already wearing some of my burglar attire, (black military trousers and sweater), I placed a hood over my head, pulled out my small kit, fastening a torch and military knife to my belt, I was off. The house appeared to be deserted, I found the servants quarters located at the back of the house over a small barn, the only cars were a small sports car in a shed, and a roadster sitting out front. A large garden surrounded by hedges lay to the west of the house, a larger Tudor, with several porches and balconies. Using the hedges as cover, I shimmed up an old tree located by a balcony, and slipping onto the balcony proper, I made my way to the door. Shimmed the latch with my Fairborn commando knife, and then entered into a side bedroom. I was looking for the master suite, and this was not it, the daughter’s by all appearances. I spied a small ornate silver box on a table, but passed it up , on the search for bigger game!

 

Turning on my torch I opened the door and stepped out into the hallway. At the end was a set of double mahogany doors and this is where I set my sights. Along the hallway wall were several rather nice paintings (not copies) and I let the pool of my light flicker along them. Included in the lot was a small painting of a young fox, half asleep, eyeing something in the distance? I stood for precious seconds admiring it, and then turned my attention to the mahogany doors. They were not locked, and I cautiously, very slowly, opened one. Pay dirt! A large empty canopied bed stood in the middle of the room, a love seat to one side, a settee on the other, and directly across from the bed a large ornate sideboard with mirror. Along one side of the wall was a series of chains with different rooms labelled underneath, presumably connected to bells in those rooms. It definitely belonged to the mistress of the house, and, hopefully, her jewels.

 

I let my light flow over the room, avoiding the window and glass door that led out onto another balcony. I soon spotted the location of the safe; it was behind an old painting of a Harlequin. Said Harlequin was standing on a black and white checked tile floor, as he looked inquisitively into his own reflection from an ornate wall mirror. The painting was located on the wall between the corner and the intricately carved oak sideboard. I slid back the painting on its hinges, exposing the small safe.

 

It was exactly the same safe as their neighbors, the ones I had burgled clean in the spring. Quickly getting to work I spin the tumblers, listening intently for the correct paths of clicks. Bingo! , it opened up like a dream. Inside I found a bonanza of about a dozen small jewel cases handedly printed with the jewelers names (Cartier and Tiffany’s amongst them! ) I quickly open and empty their contents into my kit, pouring out a delightfully pricey array of colorful gems of all types and styles. Replacing the empty cartons, I rummage around, finding a small stack of gold and silver coins and a couple of bundles of notes, currency of the realm. I favorably pocket the lot.

 

Suddenly I freeze, hearing the unmistakable sounds of muffled giggling from down the corridor. Closing the safe and picture I back off and hide inside a closet, wishing I had had the foresight to have opened the balcony door to see if that had offered escape, but I had been so sure I would be alone that evening that I had let me guard slacken a bit. I hoped that whoever it was they were heading off to bed.

 

They were off to bed, problem was it was the bed in the room I was in for which they were heading. I heard the door open, and from the crack in the closet door, I saw a young couple come in, tipsy and fondling the heck out of one another. The female was obviously an older daughter of the house, a mini version of the mother and her sister. She was resplendent in a long flowing cream satin evening gown; her paramour was a beady eyed, weasely faced chap in loose fitting tux and tails. It must have been his roadster outside; the couple must have been snogging in the garden, and drinking wine, judging from the smell and the way they were acting. Again I kicked myself for not checking the grounds more thoroughly. But why hadn’t the bloody twit of a daughter been at the wedding with her family where she belonged? But a bit later I was to reason that if she had, I would have been tempted to lift a diamond bracelet, and me path may have ended there. Missing out entirely, the opportunity to burgle the contents of 2 bedroom safes, master and penthouse!

 

They headed right to the bed, (doing it on the parents bed, and old cracker that was) the lady not even taking off her long satin gloves, just falling onto the bed with her doe wide eyes gleaming, while her beady eyed lover was falling all over her. Oh god! Samuel, I heard her mummer in passion. My eyes were opened, this must be the daughter Claire, and the beady eyed bloke was the infamous Samuel. Now it made a little more sense, but not any less wicked. I watched them in a new light, my mind going a full mile a minute trying to see a way out of the situation. . “Si vous voulez faire rire Dieu , faire des plans” I muttered an old saying in French, chastising myself inwardly for taking on such a gamble rushed for time.

 

Now, I am certainly no voyeur, and my belief that some things private, are, well private! But actually, in this instance, there was no choice. I tried not to watch, but the couple’s raw, animal like lovemaking and all its trimmings were happening just feet away. I began to amuse myself by watching the flashy show put on by the daughter’s sparkling jewels and the fluidly movement of her shiny, slinking gown as they were caught in the moonlight that streamed thru the glass of the balcony door. It was the type of show that engrosses any jewel thief worth his salt (hell, any bloke worth his salt for that matter). My mind also kept going back to the letter that I had found in the red silk purse and I hoped that a way would open to cause “Mr.” Samuel some sort of grief.

 

Beady eyes comes onto her, driving her mind off everything but what he is doing, as her eyes are closed tight, his are open, looking about. I slink in a little more into the shadows, keeping his face in my view. Occasionally a white satin gloved hand appears, rings and bracelets sparkling in a frenzied flickering as her fingers grip his face. Suddenly his eyes open wide as he looks towards the painting of the Harlequin. Cripes I mutter as I look there also, for on the floor lies a diamond bracelet, the fancy bugger must have slipped out as I scurried to my hole. I prepare to bolt like a fox hiding close to where the hounds are heading (my mind went to the painting of the watchful fox in the hallway outside the bedroom).

 

But beady eyes says nothing..

 

He finished the job, with her squealing like a piglet, before she slumps back exhaustedly onto the bed. Her eyes were closed, her breathing became heavier as she lost all drink induced conscious. I watched as her lover’s half closed eye stayed focused on the bracelet, as he listened to her breathing become heavier. When he was sure she was asleep he slipped off and heading to the vanity scooped up the bracelet and placed it inside a pocket of his tux’s vest. He then crawls back next to her, gently fingering her diamond rings before (finally) joining her into heavy, wine induced sleep alongside.

 

It seemed like hours, but the whole episode, by me watch, lasted only a ¾ of hour, but it was a precious time I could ill afford to have lost atoll.

 

I was running late, but knew what I had to do next. Walking over to the pair I watched them for a few seconds, plotting my next course of action. Her jewels were flickering nicely in the moon’s light.

 

I reached down an lifting ever so gently one still gloved lifeless feminine hand, I slipped off a couple of sparkly rings from satin clad fingers, and unfastened a tight cuff bracelet emblazon with diamonds from around her wrist. Then I lifted the other hand, easily gliding off another brace of glistening rings from her fingers, and a second diamonded bracelet from her limp wrist. Than lifting her necklace of diamonds, I pulled it gently around admiring the way they rippled fire along her throat, till its jeweled clasp was exposed. Then I slowly pry open the jeweled clasp, and slipped the necklace away, watching it sway in the moonlight like a glistening snake. They were both still out cold, It wasn’t really very much of a challenge, not that I was complaining mind you.

 

I happily pocketed the lot, except for a cheaper ring. I swapped that ring for the diamond bracelet in Samuel’s vest pocket, hoping that the outcome would prove interesting. In the process of placing the ring in the Sammy boy’s vest, I came across his fat pocketbook, which I gladly lifted and added to the collection in my own now bulging pocket.

 

I then left the room, leaving quietly by stepping upon the soles of my feet. As I pass the small painting of the watching fox, I pull it off and stick it into my kit, a bonus for me extra worries. I than slip back through the daughter’s bedroom, its door now slightly ajar.

 

In a corner of the room lay the small silvery jewelry case I had passed up earlier thinking it was the younger daughters. But, I hesitated, wondering to which daughter the room belonged, for someone had slightly opened the door for a reason? I shook my head, no chances. But, wait a minute, I grinned as my thoughts grew ever more pleasing. I walked over to the small table that held the ornate silver jewel case (casket was what my Gram had called hers), above it was a small picture of the family daughters in full riding regalia, the older daughter, Claire, had a small pin of a fox in her shiny white satin caveat.

 

I bent down and opening the small case. There on top was the fox pin, glittering with brownish Sardonyx gemstones and bright red ruby eyes. I plucked it up and added it to my sparkling collection. Then I admired the shimmery collection of gold and pearled jewelry (no lowly silver for this lass). Selecting the better ones I placed them with the fox pin and the Mothers jewels in my kit, then scooping out the rest, I placed them in unceremoniously in a side pocket.

 

I then went back out the balcony and down the tree. I headed over to the roadster out front and taking out a few of the lesser jewels I had scooped into me pocket, and I began placing them in and underneath the passenger seat of the vehicle.

 

Finished I admired my handiwork, then looking leisurely around, let out a deep sigh of absolute relief, mixed with exquisite feelings of pleasure of an adventuer winningly pulled off, before melting off into the shadows of the woods. I soon reached my lotus, gunned the engine to life, and then proceeded to slowly drive off without headlights until I reach the main road.

 

I once again stopped at my hidden cubby and deposited my burglar’s kit and purloined jewels with the rest of my stash, reset my snares, and headed quickly back to the hotel.

 

I reached my destination just at cock crow, went upstairs and finished packing. It was later than I had anticipated, so no kip for the sinners. I just loaded my luggage into the boot of the two seater, checked my key in at the desk, settled my bill, and headed for a quick breakfast.

 

But I wasn’t quick enough, for about halfway through my breakfast The “Barrister” and his family came down to have the same. They appeared to be calm, so I knew that my activities earlier that morning had not been exposed yet.

 

I pushed aside my almost finished plate and standing, walked past them, allowing the daughter, who was clad in a silky skirt and matching satiny top, and wearing those taunting white pearls of hers, to bump into me as she pranced to their table. Steady girl I says, catching her as I eye for the last time her dangling jewelry. So sorry sir, she replied apologetically. I complimented her parents on their charming daughter. The father, in a formal suit and tie, grunts his thanks. The mother, in a scintillatingly swishing long red skirt, and heavy cream silk blouse, blushes prettily. I look over her plentiful “everyday” jewelry as I take their leave. What she was wearing for a normal day of activates was expensive enough to catch any thief’s desire to acquire.

 

As I walked away, a vision of her walking the streets, dressed as she was, back in Dickens London formed in my thoughts. She attracted the notice of a small street urchin, his devious heart pounding as he left huis vigil from the wall he had been leaning against too closely follow her as she swished by. Catching up to her in the hopes of brushing against her and with a sorry ma’am, walk away with some of it.

 

This was actually from a memory of mine ( long after Dickens time though) about an incident I had witnessed while working at my old uncles “eel and mash” shop.

 

A finely decked out young couple (the long haired lady wearing pearls as it so happened) had been inside the shop and finishing their meal, had walked out across the street. A street youth had been hanging out by the shop and had followed them across the street close on their heels. They all turned a corner, so I never knew what had happened, if anything ( which I sincerely doubted)! But that image had plagued many an unsettling adolescent dream with images of finely dressed ladies bending down to a begging young grimy faced lad, well ringed fingers and bracelets jangling as a coin was offered, gold lockets or pearls swaying out from tightly satin clad breasts to just within the reach of his grubby fingers….

 

I have come to believes that it was the seeds planted in my mind by those dreams that may have very well guided and nudged me onto the course I have continued following to this day.

 

So, naturally I guess, as I walked away my train of thoughts took a similar course as those dreams/nightmares. I imagined the mother I had just left, walking along a street alone, dressed as she was last evening, the jewels that were now in a cold small cubby, once again upon her figure, glittering their fiery beacon. Then suddenly her daughter, dressed as she was now, was strolling alongside her. The street urchin I had seen that morning so long ago was here also, following close, eyeing the ladies reflected jewels in a storefront window as they walked past……

 

But at that point in my daydream I realized that I had reached and was standing beside my two seater, and shaking my head clear of such thoughts (once again, sadly not seeing the outcome) I happily hopped over the door and into the driver’s seat, firing up the engine, and quite eagerly pulled away from the hotel and roared down the road.

  

I stopped by my secret cubby, and without haste, fully on the alert, made my way down to the basement. I collected my stash and made it back to the Lotus without incident. Lighting me pipe, I smiled to meself, promising a nice stiff one once I got back to the abode. I pulled away, slowly, cheerfully, driving down the warm sunlit road. I was now on to new quests, filled with promises of many lucrative acquisitions.

 

One of those quests was wrapped around a young lady in Soho, who recently had inherited a jewellery collection worth ₤25,000 which she loved wearing out in public, flaunting the richly jeweled pieces all about whenever she could. The quite, almost vulgarly rich, young lass had so many Beaus seeking her affections that she was being invited out almost weekly out to some special dress up affair. This all made her overly ripe for the plucking by some jewelry procurement minded thief. And being one meself, a jewel thief that is, I intended to be the first in line.

 

Once I returned home, I first visited my London banks strongbox to deposit my newly acquired ” glittering with fire” trophies to let them “cool” down a bit. Then I made sure the Yard received an anonymous post. Said post containing a red silk evening clutch, inside which was beady eyes’ pocketbook( sans money) along with the letter incriminating one certain rogish gent by the name of Samuel for attempting extortion of 5000 pounds sterling from the fair Claire’s Mother. I know how the chaps in the inspector’s squad so love a mystery!

 

And so, for now dear journal, I bid farewell, adieu.

************************************

 

Si vous voulez faire rire Dieu , faire des plans

 

Roughly translated:

If you want to make God laugh, Make plans

 

Courtesy of Chatwick University Archives

 

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All rights and copyrights observed by Chatwick University, Its contributors, associates and Agents

 

The purpose of these chronological photos and accompanying stories, articles is to educate, teach, instruct, and generally increase the awareness level of the general public as to the nature and intent of the underlying criminal elements that have historically plagued humankind.

 

No Part of this can reprinted, duplicated, or copied be without the express written permission and approval of Chatwick University.

 

These photos and stories are works of fiction. Any resemblance to people, living or deceased, is purely coincidental.

 

As with any work of fiction or fantasy the purpose is for entertainment and/or educational purposes only, and should never be attempted in real life.

 

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The Big Blast came.

And they built the dome.

A dome to separate the doomed from the blessed.

A shield protecting the safe ones from the insane one.

A shell preserving a clean inside from the toxic outside.

A shelter for some survivors lost in the endless storm falling on the world.

 

La Grande Explosion survint.

Et ils bâtirent le Dome.

Un dome pour séparer les chanceux des maudits.

Un rempart entre les malades et les intouchés.

Une coquille entre un intérieur sain et l'extérieur toxique.

Un frêle abri protégeant quelques survivants de la tempête qui se déchaîne sur le monde.

 

Boudewijn Park, Bruges (Belgium)

For clean up the city where I live.

 

At San Mora

 

Outfit:

*COCO*_Lace-UpCropTop(Black)_Maitreya

FashionNatic - Rok Black Gothic Skirt Maitreya

#EMPIRE - Pulled Sock Overknee Side - Maitreya - L

 

Sword:

[CX] Bloodbone Cleaver (Blood)

 

今回DRDさんのFantasy Faire会場で撮ってみました、えらいこっちゃですね~、もう違うゲームみたい^^

 

Okay, so I'm in a cloning mood.

This blanket makes it hard for me - it has lots of random lines and details. But I think I do ok?

Had to wake up early and clean my room because the cleaning lady was coming. Anyone else see something wrong with that? Well, tell my mom that. She's kind of-sort of crazy. Kind of like me.

Heading to work soon ... just need to figure out what to do with this terrible messy/still wet from shower hair.

How are you today?

Oh, p.s if you go to original size you can see all the neat artwork on my wall (:

 

All images copyright © Zoe Campbell / ©ZoeCampbellPhotography. All rights reserved. Use without permission is illegal.

 

Twitter ,MySpace, and Tumblr

  

Canon EOS 40D + Canon EF-S 17-85mm F4-5.6 IS USM @17mm

 

Danube

The Danube is the longest river in the European Union and Europe's second longest river after the Volga.

 

The river originates in the Black Forest in Germany as the much smaller Brigach and Breg rivers which join at the German town Donaueschingen, after which it is known as the Danube and flows eastwards for a distance of some 2850 km (1771 miles), passing through four Central and Eastern European capitals, before emptying into the Black Sea via the Danube Delta in Romania and Ukraine.

 

Known to history as one of the long-standing frontiers of the Roman Empire, the river flows through—or forms a part of the borders of—ten countries: Germany (7.5%), Austria (10.3%), Slovakia (5.8%), Hungary (11.7%), Croatia (4.5%), Serbia (10.3%), Romania (28.9%), Bulgaria (5.2%), Moldova (0.017%), and Ukraine (3.8%).

The English language has, since the Norman conquest of England, used the French word Danube.

 

In addition to the Danubian countries, the drainage basin includes parts of nine more countries: Italy (0.15%), Poland (0.09%), Switzerland (0.32%), the Czech Republic (2.5%), Slovenia (2.2%), Bosnia and Herzegovina (4.8%), the Republic of Macedonia, and Albania (0.03%). The highest point of the drainage basin is the summit of Piz Bernina at the Italy–Switzerland border, 4,049 metres (13,284 ft).

The Danube is navigable by ocean ships from the Black Sea to Brăila in Romania and by river ships to Kelheim, Bavaria, Germany; smaller craft can navigate further upstream to Ulm, Württemberg, Germany. About 60 of its tributaries are also navigable.

 

Since the completion of the German Rhine–Main–Danube Canal in 1992, the river has been part of a trans-European waterway from Rotterdam on the North Sea to Sulina on the Black Sea (3500 km). In 1994 the Danube was declared one of ten Pan-European transport corridors, routes in Central and Eastern Europe that required major investment over the following ten to fifteen years. The amount of goods transported on the Danube increased to about 100 million tons in 1987. In 1999, transport on the river was made difficult by the NATO bombing of three bridges in Serbia. The clearance of the debris was finished in 2002. The temporary pontoon bridge that hampered navigation was finally removed in 2005.

 

At the Iron Gate, the Danube flows through a gorge that forms part of the boundary between Serbia and Romania; it contains the hydroelectric Iron Gate I dam, followed at about 60 km downstream (outside the gorge) by the Iron Gate ll dam. On 13 April 2006, a record peak discharge at Iron Gate Dam reached 15,400 m³/s.

 

There are three artificial waterways built on the Danube: the Danube–Tisa–Danube Canal (DTD) in the Banat and Bačka regions (Vojvodina, northern province of Serbia); the 64 km Danube–Black Sea Canal, between Cernavodă and Constanţa (Romania) finished in 1984, shortens the distance to the Black Sea by 400 km; the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal (about 171 km), finished in 1992, linking the North Sea to the Black Sea.

The Danube Commission is concerned with the maintenance and improvement of the river's navigation conditions. It was established in 1948 by seven countries bordering the river. Members include representatives from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, and Serbia, It meets regularly twice a year. It also convenes groups of experts to consider items provided for in the commission's working plans.

 

The commission dates to the Paris Conferences of 1856 and 1921, which established for the first time an international regime to safeguard free navigation on the Danube.

Along its path, the Danube is a source of drinking water for about ten million people. In Baden-Württemberg, Germany, almost thirty percent (as of 2004) of the water for the area between Stuttgart, Bad Mergentheim, Aalen and Alb-Donau (district) comes from purified water of the Danube. Other cities like Ulm and Passau also use some water from the Danube.

 

In Austria and Hungary, most water comes from ground and spring sources, and only in rare cases is water from the Danube used. Most states also find it too difficult to clean the water because of extensive pollution; only parts of Romania where the water is cleaner still use a lot of drinking water from the Danube.

Important tourist and natural spots along the Danube include the Wachau valley, the Nationalpark Donau-Auen in Austria, Gemenc in Hungary, the Naturpark Obere Donau in Germany, Kopački rit in Croatia, Iron Gate in Serbia and Romania, and Danube Delta in Romania, the Srebarna Nature Reserve in Bulgaria.

 

The Danube is mentioned in the title of a famous waltz by Austrian composer Johann Strauss, An der schönen, blauen Donau (On the Beautiful Blue Danube). This piece was composed as Strauss was traveling down the Danube River. This piece is well known across the world and is also used widely as a lullaby.

 

Another famous waltz about the Danube is The Waves of the Danube (Romanian: Valurile Dunării) by the Romanian composer Ion Ivanovici (1845–1902), and the work took the audience by storm when performed at the 1889 Paris Exposition.

 

Joe Zawinul wrote a symphony about the Danube called Stories of the Danube. It was performed for the first time at the 1993 Bruckner festival, at Linz.

 

The Danube figures prominently in the Bulgarian National Anthem, as a symbolic representation of the country's natural beauty.

 

The German tradition of landscape painting, the Danube school, was developed in the Danube valley in the 16th century.

 

The most famous book describing the Danube might be Claudio Magris's masterpiece Danube (ISBN 1-86046-823-3).

 

The historical fiction Earth's Children series by Jean M. Auel refers to the Danube as the Great Mother River.

 

Jules Verne's "The Danube Pilot" ("Le Pilote du Danube"), published 1908, depicts the adventures of fisherman Serge Ladko as he travels down the river.

 

The river is the subject of the film The Ister.

 

Parts of the German road movie Im Juli take place along the Danube.

 

Noted horror writer Algernon Blackwood's most famous short story, "The Willows" concerned a trip down the Danube.

 

The Blue Danube was the name of the first nuclear weapon of the British army.

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danube

I cried his feet clean, caressed him dry with my hair.

and he touched me,

and he blessed me,

and he walked away

 

left me to my life.

As she waited for whatever was about to happen to happen, all she could think about were the perfect lines that showed up on the caramel carpet of her childhood home as her mother vacuumed the floor. Nothing was ever perfect in her life, except for those damn lines. She regrets never telling her mother how wonderful she was with vacuum cleaner.

"Hi Doctor Blue," said the man on the phone. "I'm 55 years old and I'm a compulsive masturbator."

 

"How compulsive?" asked the radio psychologist, a woman in her 60s with more than a little experience with the subject at hand.

 

"Oh," said the man. "It's pretty bad. Five, six, seven times a day."

 

"Oh," said the psychologist. "And do you have a job?"

 

"Yes," said the man.

 

"Are you successful?"

 

"Yes," he said, sounding somewhat incredulous. "Believe it or not, I am. But I'm sure I could be a lot more successful if I wasn't... you know. Taking matters into my hands all the time."

 

"Right," said the psychologist. "Here's what I want you to do. Are you okay financially? Do you have a partner? Does your partner work?

 

"Yes," said the man. "Yes to all of the above."

 

"Good," said Doctor Blue. "Here's what I want you to do."

 

"Hang on," said the man. "I need to get a pen."

 

"Don't bother," said the doctor. "This is easy to remember."

 

"Okay," the man said. "Shoot."

 

"What I want you to do," said the doctor, "is schedule a vacation. Take six or eight or... hell... even 20 weeks away from your job. And do nothing but masturbate... all day, every day."

 

The man said nothing in response so the doctor said, "Are you still there? Did you hear what I said?"

 

"Uhh, yes," said the man. "I heard you."

 

"So?" said the doctor. "Can you do that for me? Seriously. Just try it, alright? And call me back when the time is up, and see how you're feeling."

 

So the man took the radio psychologist's advice. He cancelled all his work obligations and, for the next six months, did little other than eat, sleep and masturbate. His world grew very small and dark, lit only by his fantasies.

 

At the end of this period, his penis was rubbed raw. Even with the slipperiest lubes he could find, his skin couldn't handle the friction.

 

There was friction in his relationship, too. His partner soon grew tired of his "therapy," not to mention having to be the household's sole provider. On top of that, the partner wasn't getting any sex because the man was too busy (and sore from) masturbating.

 

When the six months was done, the man called back to Doctor Blue and her radio show and reported what had happened. He was not feeling happy. Not at all.

 

"Good," said the doctor. "See?"

 

But the man didn't see. "What do you mean?" he asked. "What am I supposed to see?"

 

"Well," she said. "How do you feel about masturbating now?"

 

He paused. "It hurts."

 

"What else?" she prompted.

 

"Well," he said, "it's ruining my relationship. And, after months of not working, not bringing in any money, I feel like a loser, like a parasite."

 

"And what do you have to show for your six months off?" she asked.

 

"Other than a VISA bill the size of Mount Everest? And a bad case of chafing? Not much," he said.

 

"See?" she replied. "You've learned your lesson."

 

"Huh?" he said. "I don't follow. What, exactly, do you think I've learned?"

 

"That anything done to the exclusion of everything else soon loses its attraction."

 

"But," he said. "I still want to masturbate. Every day. All the time."

 

"Yeah, well," said the doctor. "That's life. And that's your other lesson from all of this. You are who you are, and you do what you do, and the way you've found to cope with it, all on your own, is probably the best you'll ever do."

 

The man was silent.

 

Not because he had nothing to say. In fact, he had a lot to say. He was angry. And let down. And frustrated. And chafed, dammit. But no one in the listening audience got to hear that part, because, as soon as the man had said "I still want to..." his phone line had, courtesy of Doctor Blue's producer, gone dead.

 

So the man went back to work, and back to his old routines, and that was pretty much that. He got over his anger, and his chafing healed, and he started having sex with his partner again, and masturbating half a dozen times a day again.

 

One afternoon, as he was rushing to squeeze one more in (or out, as the case may be), he felt his brain go back to a place where it hadn't been in a long time. He found himself, fleetingly, wishing he could just chuck everything else and do nothing but masturbate, forever.

 

And then he remembered: he had tried that. And six months had been too long. So, surely, forever would not be a good thing. And speaking of things, his apparatus was suddenly limp in his hands. As if it had, finally, lost its allure.

            

THIS LOOKS GREAT LARGE | There is a story in this old house -- a novel, if you will -- about a family beset with pain and hopelessness. I can see the father returning home from one of his many jobs. Back then the yard was clean and the grass was mowed and the rose bushes bloomed carefree and without ceasing.

 

One day dad didn't make it in to dinner. His tired and overworked heart just gave out. He laid on the dusty ground at the tail-end of his old Chevrolet parked in the little driveway breathless and in the uniform of his night job. His three children barely saw their dad and his wife always complained of the same thing. Now he was dead. And the Mrs. followed not long afterwards, stricken with grief and hoplessness over the future of her children. They were inducted into the foster care system and were split up-- never to see their old house again.

 

Although the story is fiction and still being written, the house is real. This is my interpretation.

Living near Stuttgart I'm thinking that this is definitely the most photographed place in this city since the last two years.

 

The new build public central library. It looks a lot like a post modern science fiction book prison. It's quite big, quite white and way to clean.

 

I for myself, I prefer my libraries old and dark, with lots of wood and really big bookshelves.

Also known as the crocodile bird because of its symbiotic relationship with the Nile crocodile. According to legend, in the tropical regions of Africa, the crocodile will lie with its mouth open while the plover flies in and feeds on bits of decaying meat stuck in the crocodile’s teeth. The plover gets a meal and the crocodile gets his teeth cleaned. However, according to Wikipedia, there is no evidence of this interaction actually occurring and states that it is most likely mythical or allegorical fiction despite numerous references to it on websites, including being mentioned in 1986 by National Geographic.

The Mars 2 through Mars 7 launched spacecraft in 1971-1973, like failed missions Mars 1969A and Mars 1969B in 1969 and Mars 1971C in 1971, were of a new, heavy design, weighing approximately 5 metric tons and requiring the heavy Proton booster for launch. They were designed to deliver an orbiter and a lander to Mars.

 

View On Black

via

 

Ugh, it happened again.

 

Another week or month has passed, and you’ve made zero progress on your writing goals.

 

Deep down you know your writing is important, but you can’t take consistent action.

 

What’s really going on here?

 

The truth is, you don’t feel inspired.

 

You can’t help but marvel at other writers who do persist, and have a large body of work you can’t even fathom achieving.

 

How do you get there?

 

How do you find the inspiration you need to stay the course long enough to become the prolific, popular, and successful writer you dream of becoming?

 

The Dirty Little Lie You Tell Yourself About Inspiration

 

If you’re struggling to find inspiration, you might be guilty of “believing in magic” when it comes to your writing career.

 

People who fail to do the things they say they want to do believe in fairy tales, like this one:

 

One day, for no reason whatsoever, I will find the ultimate source of inspiration that will carry me through to the end of the writing career rainbow. It will happen in an instant, and I’ll never have to “start over” again.

  

They believe successful writers have “made it,” and have no problem staying motivated because they’ve “arrived.”

 

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

Regardless of how successful you are, there will be days you feel uninspired. In fact, what once seemed like a passion-filled calling can turn into a bit of a slog after a while.

 

Professional athletes love the game, but they don’t necessarily want to train their bodies every single day.

 

Business owners love money and recognition, but they don’t necessarily enjoy the process of getting their business off the ground.

 

You love expressing yourself with words, but you won’t necessarily enjoy each and every writing session.

 

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.” — Zig Ziglar

 

You have to learn to inspire yourself every day if you want to turn pro and become a popular author or successful writer. To keep your inspiration fresh, you’ll have to find various unique ways to get inspired.

 

Fortunately, I have 101 different ideas for writers — use them whenever you’re struggling to turn intention into action.

 

So here’s how to get inspired to write:

 

1. Do the One Thing They Always Tell Writers Not to Do

 

Watch T.V. Some of the best writing in the world can be seen in the scripts of your favorite shows. Pay attention to the dialogue, listen for the clever storytelling methods, and use them in your own writing.

 

Use the ideas of the show creator and the personalities of the characters to get inspired. Think about what goes through Don Draper’s mind when he writes an ad on Mad Men or the way Carrie Bradshaw wove her own life into her daily column on Sex and the City.

 

Once I paid attention to the writing in my favorite shows, I drew inspiration from the stories and turned a seemingly useless activity into creative fuel.

 

2. Read Your Old Love Letters

 

If you’ve been writing for a while, you must have gotten a compliment or two about your work. Keep a file with positive comments you’ve received about your writing. Whether they’re emails or blog comments, reading over compliments you received and hearing how you’ve helped people will motivate you.

 

3. Embrace Your Insignificance

 

Realize the universe doesn’t care about you. Oftentimes, we lack inspiration because of fear. We’re afraid because we feel like the world is waiting for us to fail, like there’s a spotlight shining on our inadequacy. We live on a planet that’s one of billions of planets in one of billions of galaxies, each of which contains billions of stars. In the grand scheme of things, you’re insignificant. Nothing you do “matters,” except that it matters to you. Go for it, because you have nothing to lose.

 

4. Make the Subtle Shift from Goal-Setting to Habit-Forming

 

Goals give you inspiration by providing an end point, but habits weave inspiration into the core of your being and make it automatic.

 

Instead of saying, “I want to finish my manuscript,” say “I want to write 30 minutes per day.” The second statement comes without the pressure of expectation. You’re just putting yourself in a position for continual inspiration.

 

Habits trump goals every time. The most prolific writers aren’t the most goal-oriented. They’re built to show up every day and do the work.

 

5. Tell Yourself You’re Not Good Enough

 

I once heard a story about a successful real estate agent who was constantly asked about how to break into the industry. He gave them all the same answer, “Don’t get into real estate. You’re not cut out for it.” He gave that answer because he knows it acted as reverse psychology for those who were cut out for it, and filtered out those that weren’t. Try a little reverse psychology on yourself. Try to convince yourself you’re not good enough, and then get offended. Of course you’re good enough! You were born to write. Trick yourself to put a fire in your belly and get inspired.

 

6. Start a Chain Gang

 

Buy a calendar. Mark an x on the calendar each time you complete a writing session. When you complete a few days in a row, the x’s start to form a chain. The longer the chain grows, the more inspired you are to keep writing. Picture a calendar with 29 days marked off. You’d almost certainly write on day 30, right? Visuals and imagery are powerful. Seeing a representation of the work you put in will inspire you to keep working.

 

7. Become the G.O.A.T.

 

Focus on becoming so great you can’t be ignored. Most writers are worried about what the competition is doing and idolize their favorite writers. Instead, you’ll focus on being so good the competition will start to watch you. Embrace the attitude of Michael Jordan in his first few seasons. He knew the league was going to belong to him before it actually did. He put his head down, did the work, and demolished the competition to become the Greatest of All Time. You can be the same. Put your head down, write, and one day people will say “Who is this?”

 

8. Take a Dump

 

Have a bowel movement. I first learned this unusual writing tip from James Altucher. He says if your body isn’t “clear,” your mind won’t be either. You may also come up with some interesting ideas while you’re, erm, indisposed.

 

9. Embrace Your Inner Hulk

 

Get angry. Anger is easy to express. When you’re angry you know exactly why something pisses you off. What pisses you off about the world, your niche, or life in general? Vent your frustrations and the words will pour out.

 

10. Become a Better Writer Without Becoming a Better Writer

 

Have you ever seen a professional athlete who’s in a slump? Nothing about his routine changes, he plays with the same quality teammates, and the team is run by the same coaching staff. Later, you find out he was having personal issues and that was the source of his decline.

 

Look at Tiger Woods. He never recovered from his personal scandal. What does that tell you? It tells you life outside your craft is just as important as practicing it, if not more.

 

Think about how many aspects of your life can affect your writing. Your diet, exercise routine (or lack thereof), relationships with friends and family, and stress level are a few among many factors influencing your writing. When you lack inspiration for writing, look at other areas of your life. If those aren’t going well, your writing will suffer.

 

11. Make It Impossible to Edit While You Write

 

Write with the monitor off or with white text. This is the definition of writing a crappy first draft. When you can’t even look at the words on the screen, you won’t be able to enter into self-editing hell while you’re writing. You’ll let loose and write with reckless abandon. Afterward, you can clean up the carnage and make it pretty.

 

12. Imagine Your Worst-Case Scenario

 

Think about the worst-case scenario in terms of your writing career and decide you can handle it. Fortunately, the negative consequences are more emotional than tangible or financial in terms of things like writing a book. At the very least, you’re out of a small investment and your ego will get a little dent. You can’t sell negative books. Your worst pain will be the feeling of rejection. Although rejection is a tough pill to swallow, you face bigger dangers in life without fail, like getting in a car and driving it, without batting an eye.

 

13. Start Acting Like a Child

 

What advice would a five-year-old give you about your writing? Would they tell you to focus hard, create solid outlines, and hit your daily word count? No. They’d tell you to have fun. Remember fun? When you were a child, you only cared about exploration. You didn’t waste time worrying about the future. The present was all you knew. I get it. You have “big dreams,” but if you take yourself too seriously, writing will get rote. If you’re feeling stuck trying to edit your manuscript, write something ridiculous. Write something totally unrelated to your niche for pure fun with no intention of publishing it. Act like a child and watch your curiosity and creativity flourish.

 

14. Dumb It Down

 

Stop trying to sound smart. Once you realize you don’t have to write with tons of flowery language and words that could be replaced with simpler words, writing gets easier. People enjoy straightforward writing better anyway.

 

15. Make Money Your Muse

 

Take writing jobs as a freelancer if you’re looking to get writing without having to come up with your own ideas. As a freelancer you’ll work within the guidelines of what your client wants. This offers the benefit of money, plus you’ll develop a writing habit along the way.

 

16. Use your 9-to-5 to Fuel Your 5-to-9

 

Scott Adams, most known for his cartoon strip Dilbert, used real-life experiences from his job as inspiration for his work. Charles Bukowski wrote a novel loosely based on his own experiences as a post office employee. Even mundane jobs like these can inspire you to write something interesting about them. Some say you should write what you know. What do you know better than the activity you perform 40 hours per week?

 

17. Discover the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

 

Create an immaculate space for your writing. A cluttered environment clutters the mind. When you’re in a clean space, you can feel it. That feeling can translate into a calm and focused state of mind while writing.

 

18. Don’t Believe the Myth

 

Remember this phrase from Jerry Seinfeld: “Writer’s block is just a made-up excuse for not doing your work.”

 

19. Sign Your Life Away

 

Create a contract with yourself. Make an actual signed document stating what you’re going to accomplish with your writing and place it somewhere prominent.

 

Imagine you’re sitting down to write and you look up to see an agreement you made with yourself, not just mentally, but physically. Wouldn’t that inspire you to hold to your commitment?

 

These little “nudges” might seem trivial on their own, but combining them changes your environment and makes it more conducive to productivity and creativity.

 

20. Make Your Writing Career a Family Affair

 

Communicate your goals with your family and friends. Writing takes up time, and if you’re not clear about your intentions, your spouse or loved ones can start to resent and even become jealous of your writing. Let them know it’s important to you, set boundaries for when you’ll write, and when you’re not writing make sure you’re 100 percent off, meaning you’re spending time with the people you love and not in your head.

 

21. Get Meta

 

Write about how you feel about your writing. One of the most successful posts I’ve ever written talked about my struggles with writing. It was meant to be a venting session, but I realized it was worth sharing. Like anger, frustration leads to expression.

 

22. Converse to Create

 

If you listen carefully, the conversations you have with other people can inspire you to take something they’ve said and run with it. Listen intently, and see if there’s anything in your dialogue that sparks interest or could be used as a writing topic. Cormac McCarthy said he used actual conversations with his son in the bestselling novel The Road.

 

23. When Inspiration Fails, Try Desperation

 

Turn your pain into passion. If you feel the dull monotony of sitting in a cubicle every day pushing papers, working in a factory on the assembly line, or any other job that isn’t being a full-time writer, use that desperation as fuel. Sometimes inspiration isn’t enough. Sometimes you have to get fed up to do the work.

 

24. WWJD

 

Ask yourself, “What would Jon do?” If you’ve been following Jon Morrow’s work for any amount of time, you know he has a no-excuses attitude and is driven to succeed. Would Jon give up on a writing session if he wasn’t “feeling it?” Would Jon cry in the corner about someone leaving a negative comment on his blog post? When in doubt, do what Jon does and bang out 1,000 words per day no matter what.

 

25. Create to Connect

 

It’s easy to get caught up in numbers — how many subscribers you have, how many views your website gets per month, and how many comments you receive — but remember, you’re writing for real people. Even if you have just a few readers, get to know them. Send out an email to your tribe telling them they can each get 15 minutes on the phone with you to talk shop. Add prompts to your blog posts to encourage readers to share their lives with you. When you create with the intention of connecting with other human beings, it inspires you to work that much harder, because you can feel the person on the other end of the screen.

 

26. Become the CEO of You, Inc.

 

Come up with a name for your publishing company. Perhaps you don’t have to go as far as creating an LLC, but do something to establish what you do as an actual career and not just a hobby. If it means spending $25 to get business cards printed, so be it. Something in your mind has to transition into feeling and acting like a pro.

 

27. Don’t Follow in the Footsteps of Great Writers

 

Let go of your need to be the next great author. When you compare yourself to the likes of Hemingway, Plath, or Murakami, it’s hard not to get discouraged about your own writing. Focus on becoming the best writer you can be. There are plenty of successful — and financially independent — writers who aren’t legends, but are pretty damn good. Become pretty damn good.

 

28. Do the Math

 

Remind yourself: each time you sit down to write you’re ahead of 99 percent of other aspiring writers. Most people do nothing. They talk, wish, and wonder. The mere fact that your fingers are touching that keyboard makes you special.

 

Inspire yourself by reminding yourself you’re part of an exclusive club — the doers. I get inspired when I realize the steps I’ve already made go way beyond those of most people. Once your foot is in the door, step all the way through.

 

29. Answer Random Questions from Total Strangers

 

Answer questions on Quora. Users on Quora ask questions about topics ranging from personal development to health to what Kim Kardashian’s favorite color is. Other users on Quora answer these questions. Many authors and bloggers use Quora to practice their writing by answering questions. You’re also allowed to leave links in your Quora responses, and many people drive traffic back to their websites through using Quora.

 

30. Get Zen, Then Pen

 

I meditate for 20 minutes every morning before I write. When you wake up, you usually start the day feeling anxious. The practice of meditation helps relieve stress and clears your mind of negative thoughts. You’ll feel refreshed before you pen your first word.

 

The headspace app comes with a series of guided meditations you can use to start fresh every day.

 

Leo Babauta of Zen Habits has a great introductory post on how to form a daily meditation habit. He also happens to be one of the most prolific and successful bloggers in the world. Coincidence? I think not.

 

31. Choose Quantity Over Quality

 

Write ten ideas per day around your writing. They could be ideas for new blog posts, book titles, and book sections or chapters. By the end of the year, you’ll have 3,650 ideas. Most of them will suck, some will be good, and a few will be amazing. Your creative muscles will be strong, and you’ll have endless material to write about.

 

32. Teach an Old Draft New Tricks

 

Revise an old piece of writing. This has a two-fold benefit. First, you’ll realize how much you’ve grown since writing that piece, which will give you the confidence to know you’ll improve in the future. Second, if you really add some beef to it, you’ll have a brand new piece of writing to share with the world.

 

33. Surround Yourself with Great Work

 

I once visited an art museum that had a photography section. It was filled with famous photos of famous people by famous photographers. I lost complete track of time and was immersed in the photos. When I left the display, I felt almost dizzy. That day, I went home and wrote a couple thousand words in a way that seemed effortless. Seeing great art in other forms can inspire you to create great work yourself. Visit a gallery, go to an opera, or watch a play. Feel the passion and inspiration from the artists you just watched, and use it in your own writing.

 

34. Put a Pot of Gold at the End of Your Rainbow

 

Setting goals doesn’t often work. The reason why they don’t work is because we don’t like to work! We want results. It’s why workout DVDs are called Beach Body or Six Pack Abs in Six Weeks instead of Exercise Regimen for your Core. You know you’ll have to do the work, but the results are what compel you to get started. Create statements around the rewards you’ll reap from your writing and the results you want, e.g., “Writing my book will give me the money, attention, and sense of accomplishment I’ve always longed for. ” When you think of setting goals and building habits in terms of the rewards they’ll afford you, you’re more likely to follow through.

 

35. Drink Rocket Fuel to Skyrocket Your Inspiration

 

Drink coffee. Coffee has fueled the creative inspiration of writers for centuries. I’m not sure if it’s even possible to write well without it.

 

36. Journey into the Wild

 

Go for a walk in nature. There’s an odd connection between walking and inspiration. There’s something about wandering about that stirs up random thoughts in your mind. Ideas come to you when you aren’t so focused on them. A walk in nature will distract you with its beauty enough to make room for the muse to sneak up on you.

 

37. Switch Your Scenery

 

Imagine you’re lying back in a hammock in Bali. You’re surrounded by warm weather and a fresh breeze with a coconut by your side to sip on. You also have your laptop in your lap. That sounds like an inspiring environment to me. There has long been a link between travel and writing. Seeing new parts of the world is inspiring in and of itself, plus it will surely give you new material to write about as well. And even if you can’t make a physical trip, just spending a few minutes visualizing an exotic destination can provide valuable writing inspiration.

 

38. Devour People’s Brains

 

Read. Read. Read. You can’t be a great writer without being a great reader. Read a wide range of material. If you write non-fiction, sprinkle some fiction into your reading and vice versa. Reading widely opens new doors in your brain and helps you make odd connections between ideas.

 

I just finished my second book. I pulled and wove in ideas from billionaires, dead Roman emperors, and Harvard psychologists. I didn’t go searching for the information. I conjured it from the recesses of my mind while writing, because I’ve read 100 books in the past two years. It’s like Neo in the Matrix where he “downloads” the ability to fight in Kung Fu style.

 

With reading, you can “download” hundreds or thousands of years of human experience and use it at your disposal.

 

39. Write in This Insanely Inspiring Environment

 

Write in a bookstore. Writing in an environment surrounded with words is inspiring. Go to your favorite section and browse the titles. Seeing the names on book covers will cause you to picture your name on your first or next book, and you’ll be ready to pen your masterpiece.

 

40. Put a Gun to Your Head

 

I submit guest post pitches to various blogs before I feel ready to write them. Once my pitches get accepted, I can’t quit. As you know, it’s a big no-no to flake on a guest blog owner, and I’d never want to ruin my reputation. Finding situations that force your hand can keep you from sitting on the fence.

 

41. Search for Instant Inspiration

 

A quick Google search can give you inspiration by spoon-feeding you endless ideas for your writing. If you’re stuck on a topic to write about, do a search about your subject and run with the results. You don’t have to come up with new ideas by yourself all the time. You don’t even have to use the ideas you find to create a finished result. The process could serve the purpose of getting your fingers moving, which is the most important step.

 

42. Chase the Muse

 

Inspiration can be tricky to capture. To maximize your chances of spotting the muse, come up with clever traps. For example, you can come up with a writing problem you’re trying to solve right before bed, let it stir in your subconscious mind while you sleep, and wake yourself up in the middle of the night and jot down what comes to mind in your hazy subconscious state. You can set prompts on your phone to randomly write whatever comes to mind at the exact time. Carry a pen and paper with you everywhere you go to capture ideas as they come. It seems mechanical, but careful planning can inspire you to create more.

 

43. Star in Your Own Montage

 

Visualize yourself putting in the work it takes to become a great writer. Visualizing the type of outcome you want is effective, but visualizing becoming the type of person capable of achieving those outcomes is even more powerful. Take a few minutes every day and visualize yourself being in a state of flow and writing effortlessly. It’s like picturing yourself hitting the game-winning shot. If you can see it, you can believe it.

 

44. Find a Tango Partner

 

Find a writing partner to keep you accountable. Working with someone who’s “in the trenches” like you will help both of you inspire each other. There’s strength in numbers.

 

45. Find Inspiration in Your Rearview Mirror

 

We’ve all had moments in life we cherish. Why not use those moments as inspiration for your writing? If you’re feeling stuck, try to remember an amazing moment in your life — time spent with your children, a vacation you went on, your wedding day — and write about that. The moment will inspire you to write because the moment itself is inspiring. If it was a pivotal moment in your life, you can recall how you felt and what the atmosphere was like.

 

46. Eviscerate Your Excuses

 

Find examples to eliminate your excuses. The undisputed heavyweight champion of blogging, our very own Jon Morrow, isn’t able to use his hands, and has written blog posts read by millions. Stephen Hawking moves his cheek muscles to write. You have writer’s block? Boo hoo.

 

If seeing examples of people with legitimate obstacles thriving at what you do doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what will. You’ve been blessed in one way or another. Regardless of what you don’t have, you have something someone else would kill for. Be grateful and use your gratitude as a well of inspiration to create.

 

47. Join a Local Gang

 

If one partner isn’t enough, you can join groups of writers to increase the effectiveness of group support. I’m part of a local writers’ club where we meet in person, and I’m a member of an online community of writers. We share insights and tips, and keep each other motivated.

 

48. Fake Your Own Death

 

Write your obituary. This exercise provides a two-fold benefit. First, you’re putting words on the page. Second, you’re thinking about the type of legacy you want to leave. My guess is you want “renown writer,” or at least “writer,” somewhere in the description. It will remind you of your ultimate mission and the fact you’ll regret it if you fail to follow through. As best-selling author Stephen Covey says, “Begin with the end in mind.”

 

49. Tune In to Tune Out Writer’s Block

 

Listening to music boosts your effectiveness in many areas such as exercise. It’s also a great tool to inspire your writing, as long as you don’t make it a distraction. Some writers have been known to play the same song on repeat while they write, saying it gives them a calming sense and the music fades to the background while they write. Music has been known to “set the mood” in more ways than one. Pick an inspiring song and let it inspire you to write.

 

50. Choose the Opinion You Like Best

 

Have you ever looked at the same piece of writing at different times and had two different opinions?

 

We’re quick to look at the negative opinions of ourselves and our work and believe them to be true. We accept negativity with alarming ease. Our mind can just as easily believe the good things we tell ourselves about ourselves. The next time you swing between both opinions of your writing, choose the one that inspires you. It’s okay to toot your own horn (in your mind) when you’ve penned some damn fine words. In fact, you should do it every time you feel good about your writing to keep the inspiration going.

 

51. Let Your Fingers Do the Talking

 

Get your fingers moving. The act of typing itself can lead to a flow state and productive writing. Sometimes I’ll start by typing “I don’t know what to write about,” just to get my fingers moving. The staring at the blank page without typing contributes to writer’s block.

 

52. Get Back in Touch with Your “Why”

 

Remember your why. Did you get into writing because you wanted to improve people’s lives? Do you have interesting stories to share? Do you want to entertain people? Go back to the source of inspiration that made you want to write in the first place. Revisit it often.

 

53. Find Writing Inspiration in Dark Places

 

Life throws curve balls at you. While you can’t avoid certain situations from happening to you, you can use them as sources of inspiration to create.

 

In an extreme example, Viktor Frankl used his experience in a Nazi death camp as inspiration to help others through his writing with his book Man’s Search for Meaning. You can let negativity overwhelm you, or you can use your experiences to inspire yourself in a cathartic way through your words.

 

54. Remember that Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

 

Have you ever had a loved one go on an extended trip? When they come back, you’re overjoyed to see them, and you cherish the moments you have together a little bit more than usual. Why not create instant inspiration by doing the same with something you wrote?

 

Take a draft you’ve worked hard on and “lock it away” for a week or two before you revise or add to it. If you distance yourself from it for a bit, you’ll be inspired to jump back into a relationship with it, just like a loved one coming back from their trip.

 

55. Look Back and See How Far You’ve Come

 

Think about something that was once hard for you to do, but you now find easy. When you’re struggling to put together an introduction, edit the chaff from your sentences, or transition between points, remember that practicing these things will lead to a point where it becomes second nature.

 

56. Picture Your Name on a Best-Selling Book

 

If you’ve never written a book before, go on Canva and create a cover for an imaginary book and put your name on it. Stare at it and imagine how it will feel to have a published book with your name on it in the future. The first time I held a copy of something I created, I was euphoric. I continue to chase that feeling each time I write.

 

57. Let Life Inspire Art

 

Many imagine successful writers as people locked up in cabins with typewriters, toiling away at their work in isolation until they resurface with their manuscripts. Some of the best writers, like Hemingway, spent as much time living and adventuring as they did writing. If you want to make your writing more interesting, make your life more interesting. If you’re feeling frustrated, step out into the world, enjoy it, and let your experiences compel you to write again.

 

58. Keep Your Eye on the Prize

 

Enter a writing contest. Writing contests often pay for top prize winners. There’s one incentive.

 

The popular writing blog The Write Practice hosts writing contests multiple times per day. During its most recent contest, the blog partnered with Short Fiction Break, which displayed every single piece submitted to the contest. They encouraged writers in the contest to comment on each other’s pieces and get to know each other, which created a hotbed of inspiration.

 

Knowing you’re a part of something larger than yourself can be inspiring. Use a writing contest to show the world what you’ve got.

 

59. Act Like a Hollywood Script Doctor

 

Rewrite a dissatisfying ending of a popular movie or book. It’ll get you in the mood to write because you’re familiar with the subject matter. If you have the gall to rewrite a popular story, you should be confident enough to create your own.

 

60. Don’t Fall into the Routine Trap

 

Write when you’re most creative. You don’t have to be a morning person to write well.

 

Some people are more creative at eleven at night. Blindly copying routines that don’t suit you is a surefire way to fail. Create an environment and schedule that aligns with your strengths.

 

61. Make a Creative Pilgrimage

 

This may seem a bit drastic, but moving to another city can inspire you to be more creative. In his book Where Good Ideas Come From, Stephen Johnson claims that moving to a more populated city fosters creativity through “superlinear scaling,” which is a fancy way of saying that the more people you’re exposed to, the more creative you are. Maybe you’re not in a position to move, but if you’re young and mobile, perhaps you should take your talents to the Big Apple or out West.

 

62. Exercise Your Neurons

 

Your brain needs exercise like any other part of your body. If you’re not feeling inspired, try playing some games that involve words. Hitting a triple word score in Scrabble can remind you of your writing prowess. The education company Lumosity has a line of brain games that help you increase your vocabulary.

 

One of my inspirations for writing is the words themselves. I was one of the weird kids who looked forward to vocabulary tests, because new words excited me and stimulated my brain. Play brain games with words to inspire yourself to pen them.

 

63. Cast Yourself Away

 

Go on a thinking retreat. Bring books to read, but no electronics. Spend time alone to be with your thoughts and consider what steps you want to take in your writing career. Bill Gates does this for two weeks every year to crystallize his vision for Microsoft’s future as well as his charity foundation. You’re not a billionaire with unlimited free time, so a day or two will suffice.

 

64. Use These Two Words as Inspiration

 

Interesting questions lead to interesting answers. Many of the best pieces of writing started with the phrase, “What if?” Use hypothetical questions to inspire new ideas. For example, you could ask, “What if I wrote a piece saying the exact opposite of what most people believe about _____?” or “What if we lived in a world where everyone was bluntly honest all the time?” These types of questions create open-ended areas to explore, giving you new material to think about and write about.

 

65. When in Doubt, Ship

 

Seth Godin has written 18 books, and has been quoted as saying, “I feel like a fraud as I read you this, as I brush my teeth, and every time I go on stage. This is part of the human condition. Accept it. Now what?”

 

Other creative people like Neil Gaiman and Tina Fey have reported feeling the same way, regardless of the amount of work they’ve put into the world.

 

What’s the difference between them and the people who let their inspiration die? They ship.

 

They put their work into the world regardless of how they felt about it, and it paid off. If they can create while plagued with doubt, so can you.

 

Look far and wide for examples of successful writers and you’ll find one common denominator — shipping. Let their stories inspire you to do the same.

 

66. Let Technology Lend a Helping Hand

 

Use idea-generating tools from companies like Hubspot and Portent’s Content. With ready-made ideas and headlines, you should have everything you need to get started.

 

67. Be a Little Creepy

 

Have you ever looked at a couple across the room at a restaurant and wondered what their lives were like? Have you ever walked past an older person at the park and thought about what crazy experiences they’ve had? People-watching can be great inspiration for writing. You can observe people you don’t know, and let the mystery of their lives inspire you to write a story about what they could be like. It’s part writing exercise, yes, but knowing you can draw material from anywhere is inspiring.

 

68. Eat a Sh** Sandwich

 

Charles Bukowski once said, “Find what you love and let it kill you.”

 

He was referring to what many, including bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert, call a “shit sandwich.”

 

If you don’t love something enough to go through pain for it, you don’t really love it. Your shit sandwich is the one thing you cherish so much you can endure for it. How is that inspiring? Well, if you’re capable of going through heartache for something, it has an inspiring quality drawing you to do so, or else you wouldn’t do it.

 

Is writing your shit sandwich? If so, get really hungry, because life is going to give you an all-you-can-eat buffet.

 

69. Say “Hi, My Name Is _____”

 

Attend a conference for writers in your niche. You have to be careful with conferences because they’re a waste of time if you go without any predefined goals, but they’re great for meeting industry insiders and the atmosphere of the event will make you want to perform well when you get home.

 

70. Go to the Source

 

Reach out to your favorite writers and ask for advice. Many people do this, but they do it the wrong way. First, send them a message simply thanking them for the work they’ve done and leave it at that. Tell them how you’ve implemented something they’ve taught you. After your initial outreach, come back later and ask a specific question regarding a situation. Don’t just say “let me pick your brain.” Most are willing to help if they’re not too busy. Some won’t respond, but others will. Use their words as inspiration, follow up with their advice, and let them know when you’ve implemented it.

 

71. Get Yourself Some Education

 

Take an online course on writing. I took Smart Blogger’s Guest Blogging Certification Program. Before taking the course, I wouldn’t have had the guts to pitch big-name blogs. I thought they were “off limits.” Seeing examples of people who went through the course, some of whom built million dollar businesses with the course being the catalyst for their growth, inspired me to level up my game.

 

Finding the right online courses by the right instructors makes a world of difference. Having a laid-out blueprint for success gives you confidence to follow through with the steps required to build something valuable.

 

72. Pat Yourself on the Back

 

Take a piece of writing you’ve done and evaluate it based solely on what you like about it. Even if it’s just one sentence. Find something to highlight as inspiration to keep writing in the future.

 

73. Follow The Artist’s Way

 

Use stream-of-consciousness writing like Julia Cameron’s famed morning pages to get your creative juices flowing. Many writers swear to this strategy, saying it unlocks the creativity hidden in their subconscious minds.

 

74. Find Inspiration in Everyday Heroes

 

I once listened to a podcast by serial self-publishing author Steve Scott. He was recapping the strategies from his latest book launch, which resulted in $60,000 in royalties. Hearing his story was inspiring because he isn’t Malcolm Gladwell. He started self-publishing books and kept doing it until he figured out how to become one of the best. He’s what you would call an ordinary person doing something extraordinary in the publishing world. There are many examples of self-published authors you can use as inspiration. Find them on Amazon and read their stories. Once you know it’s possible to make a killing without the gatekeepers, you’ll be inspired to do it yourself.

 

75. Embrace Your Inner Barbara Walters

 

Interview people in your niche about a topic you’re interested in. Creating profiles of other people might seem less daunting than coming up with a topic from scratch. You can use their stories in your books or blog posts.

 

76. Dare to Be Different

 

Embrace your inner weirdo. Your idiosyncrasies and strange ideas are what make you you. Don’t be afraid to show them. The more personality you put into your writing, the better.

 

77. Throw Your Big Hairy Goals in the Garbage

 

When I encounter someone who has a puffed-up chest and talks about what they’re going to do, I know they’re going to fail. Most “grand missions” end abruptly. To stay inspired, gain momentum. To gain momentum, create the smallest goals possible. Your brain likes to “win.” If you set laughably achievable goals and succeed, your brain equates it with making progress. A series of small wins is better than no wins.

 

For example, if your goal is to write 250 words per day, and you reach it every day for a week, it will inspire you to either write at the same pace again or up your word count. If instead, you’d started out by setting a goal of writing 1,000 words per day, you could’ve gotten discouraged and quit. The first goal inspires you to continue, while the second is demotivating.

 

78. Stop When You Hit the Sweet Spot

 

Cut your writing short right when you’re in the groove. Pick up where you left off the next day. You’ll be inspired to dive back into the page because you’ll have been thinking about where you left off.

 

79. Sleep with the Enemy

 

Make friends with fear. The sooner you stop expecting fear to go away, the better off you’ll be. Remind yourself that fear is a sign of you doing something amazing with your life — something most others won’t do.

 

Fear is the enemy of inspiration, but thriving in spite of your fear is inspiring. If you’re afraid of being criticized, hit publish anyway and feel inspired from overcoming the hurdle. If you fear your writing won’t be captivating, press through and ship, because one day you’ll write something people will love.

 

Action is the best deterrent to fear, but it never erases it. Each step you take forward alongside your fear will inspire you to do it again and again.

 

80. Bore Yourself to Death

 

You stare at the blank page and nothing comes to mind. You feel blank and stuck. You’re bored. Good. Boredom filters out the pretenders from the contenders. Sometimes inspiration won’t sneak up on you until you stop looking for it. If you stop trying to force the situation and let the words come to you, they’ll come. Those writing sessions where you’d normally quit after ten minutes of boredom may bring a creative breakthrough at the eleventh minute.

 

81. Literally Write for One Person

 

The idea of writing for one person has been offered time and time again, but what if you went into insane detail about the person you’re writing for?

 

Instead of writing for “a member of your target audience,” come up with a customer avatar even an experienced marketer would find a bit obsessive.

 

Something like:

 

“Mary Elle Christiansen is a forty-year-old woman with two children — Jeremiah, 14, and Deanna, 11. She lives in Cranston, Rhode Island. Every morning after dropping the kids off to work she visits her favorite breakfast spot, Harriet’s Kitchen, and has a pecan maple danish with a Venti caramel iced macchiato — with an extra “half pump” of caramel.

 

After her meal, she settles in, opens her computer, and writes. She’s working on a memoir. Her late husband, Jim, was an air force veteran. She was an air force wife. Her entire family traveled the world together, moving from base to base. The constant motion was turbulent at times, but Mary was a supportive wife through and through. She wouldn’t be happy if her husband wasn’t. After Jim died — during a tragic flight exercise gone wrong — Mary was left with a large life insurance settlement, a pit of loneliness in her stomach, and an unrealized dream of becoming a writer she suppressed for her family. It’s just her, her children, and her laptop now.“

  

It wouldn’t be hard for me to write a blog post to inspire Mary Elle. Get insanely specific about who you’re writing for to the point of absurdity, and get inspired to benefit that person’s life.

 

82. Have an Affair

 

Many of the world’s most successful creators had extra hobbies that had nothing to do with their main craft. Try drawing, playing music, or making pottery. Take time to express yourself creatively without writing. Creativity fuels you regardless of its source. Add some creative gasoline to your tank to use in your writing.

 

83. Create a Monster in Your Lab

 

If you’ve been writing for a while, you have a hefty list of unfinished drafts. Instead of discarding them for good, you can find inspiration by taking pieces of each unfinished post to build a “Frankenstein piece.”

 

84. Don’t Trust the Opinions of Losers

 

Fear of ridicule kills inspiration. If you’re worried about what a reader will think of you, consider this question from the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius: “You want praise from people who kick themselves every 15 minutes, the approval of people who despise themselves?” People who don’t even think highly of themselves don’t have the right to hold a negative opinion about your work.

 

Get your inspiration back by seeing “trolls” for what they really are — people who hate their own lives so much they want to criticise what you do in yours.

 

85. Stop Telling Yourself You’re a Writer

 

Stop only identifying with being a writer. If your identity is closely tied to being a writer, you’ll take your failure in writing as cracks in your personal character. You write, yes, but you do lots of other things, too.

 

86. Turn Trials into Triumph

 

You know what’s more inspiring than believing you can overcome obstacles? Actually overcoming them, because knowing you have the strength to do it inspires you to do it again.

 

Most writers fail because they avoid difficulty. Most don’t grasp the hidden inspiration in defeat. When a team loses by one point in the championship, they work even harder the next season, because they know they’re on the cusp of victory.

 

When a piece you write gets rejected, get inspired to prove the editor wrong. When your blog post or book falls flat on its face, get inspired to write ten times better the next time.

 

Real inspiration isn’t warm, fuzzy, and cute. The truly inspired are gritty, tenacious, and walk directly into the flames of disappointment and setbacks.

 

87. Con Your Way to Success

 

Become an impostor. Impostor syndrome is the feeling of being a fake, phony, or fraud who doesn’t deserve success. A great remedy for impostor syndrome is embracing the idea of being one. Write under your guise of falsehood. Realize nobody knows exactly what they’re talking about, and give up your need for appearances. Fake it till you make it.

 

88. Appreciate the Fortunate Timing of Your Birth

 

Consider the fact it’s ten times easier to become a successful writer than it used to be. A few decades ago, to get published you needed to throw your needle into the haystack of the publishing world and hope someone discovered you. Now you can publish your own books. With the click of a button, your words can potentially reach millions of people. Technology has empowered us all. I call this the excuse-free era because there are more opportunities than ever to find exposure.

 

89. Realize You’ve Already Put in “10,000 Hours”

 

Think of how much writing you’ve done in your life. From papers in school, to emails, to social media updates — you write all the time. When you focus on building a writing career, it’s more of a focused effort, but it’s writing just the same. Remember how much you effortlessly write in other areas of your life, and take some pressure off the writing you do for an audience.

 

90. Make a Mountain Out of a Molehill

 

Focus on doing one thing a little better each time you write. If you only get one percent better every day, you’ll be 37 times better by the end of the year.

 

Growth in writing is exponential, not linear, which means your practice won’t just make you better little by little. One day, after several weeks and months of getting better inch by inch, your skills will explode. You’ll enter a higher plane of creativity and the words will come out of you as if possessed by a wordsmith demon who scorches the keyboard with its fingers.

 

91. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

 

Making an investment in your writing inspires you to create because it shows you’re serious. Being an “amateur,” isn’t always inspiring, but “turning pro” is.

 

How do you turn pro? You do the work, but you also treat your writing like a business instead of just a hobby. Making financial investments in your craft inspires you to live up to the image you create for yourself.

 

A telltale sign of someone who isn’t serious about their writing is a lack of willingness to spend money. Invest in tools to grow your website. Invest in your writing education. Invest in tools to create high-quality books. The more you invest, the more you’ll feel invested in your work.

 

92. Stop Robbing the World of Your Creativity

 

Think about your readers. What if the scientist who was meant to cure cancer decided medical school was too hard? She isn’t only robbing herself, but the world. Your writing belongs to your readers. Your words can help educate, entertain, and inspire people. I once had a reader comment on a lull I had between blog posts. They were relying on my words to help their career. Your words matter, and we need them.

 

93. Pay Your Debt

 

Earlier we talked about the idea that your writing isn’t for you, but for other people. This is true, but at the same time remind yourself that you owe yourself. Sure, writing can be a bit of a slog at times, but you owe it to yourself to push through the pain and see what’s on the other side, especially if you’ve already invested time into your writing career. Don’t let what you’ve done go to waste.

 

94. Harness the Curious Power of Envy

 

Have you ever been jealous of another writer for their accomplishments? You can use your envy as fuel to inspire yourself to improve. Oftentimes when I see someone else do something I want to do but haven’t done, I turn my envy into curiosity. After seeing green for a bit, I think to myself, “How did they do it?” Then I trace their steps and reverse-engineer what they’ve done. I’ve used this strategy to get featured on popular blogs, come up with headlines for blog posts, and add more substance to my work. Don’t just get jealous, get better.

 

95. Hit the Reset Button

 

I once wrote 15,000 words of a book and quit. I just wasn’t feeling it. I struggled over the words over and over again, but the project just didn’t seem like a good fit. I started over completely and wrote my second book. The experience of having a fresh start was inspiring because I was re-energized with new material. You don’t want to fall into the perfectionist trap, but you can inspire yourself by carefully choosing when to start over.

 

96. Create Your Own Turning Point

 

In every book or movie, there’s the moment where the unassuming protagonist takes the call to adventure. For most of her life, she’d been somewhat of a nobody, but opportunity arises, and she finally begins the chapter of her life that changes everything.

 

Will this moment happen in one instant for you? Maybe not. But you can embrace the idea of taking action and starting your journey today. Get inspired by the moment, or the idea that life is fleeting. Dig dip inside yourself and conjure up whatever energy is inside you and make today the day that’s different.

 

97. Curate an Inspiration “Museum”

 

We come across inspiring material all the time, whether they’re quotes, places we visit, pieces of art, or experiences we have. What if you created a place to document and store all of this inspiration, so you could use it later in your writing? This could be in a form of a journal or scrapbook where you collect inspiring ideas. You could keep track of things you’ve thought to yourself or heard from other people that inspire you. When your creative well runs dry, you can look to your journal for the jump-start you need.

 

98. Set a Finish Line

 

With the first book I wrote, I gave myself a specific deadline to publish it. I woke up every day, hammered away at the keyboard with reckless abandon, and looked forward to the last lap.

 

I relaxed a bit on writing the next book. I told myself I’d get it done without any pressure of a deadline. The result? I worked on it on and off instead of being consistent. I didn’t get back into the swing of writing until I put a deadline on my work again.

 

Give yourself deadlines for your writing projects. They might seem arbitrary, but deadlines help you stay motivated to push through, and they make you treat your writing like a business instead of a hobby.

 

99. Boil it Down to This…

 

Each one of these points ties into the central message behind becoming a great writer. You have to write. Get inspired by your own deep love and need for putting words on the page. You’re the best source of inspiration for yourself. You have the itch, the pull, the call. Use it.

 

Get Busy Writing, or Get Busy Dying

 

If you really have the itch to write, it’ll never go away,

 

You have two options — get inspired and get to work, or let your anxiety and insecurities grow and fester.

 

I know what it feels like to get stuck between the feeling of knowing you have something important to say and wondering whether you’re cut out for the task at hand.

 

It’s been two years since I started, and I never imagined I’d be where I am today. The same can happen for you, but not without putting in the work day in and day out until you get what you want.

 

Remember, whether you write or not, the time will pass anyway.

 

You are cut out for it.

 

You can make all of your writing dreams come true.

 

You got this. Now go.

 

About the Author: Ayodeji is a writing coach who helps aspiring writers develop the confidence and habits they need to make an impact and and income. Visit his page to get three free writing guides, plus a copy of his bestselling Amazon book.

 

smartblogger.com/how-to-get-inspired-to-write/

Dad's note on the album page says "Ed's 'fort' and gremlins." I recall building several such "forts" in the back yard of our Roswell house, and perhaps even the Riverside house a year or two later. The forts were constructed from old wooden boxes, scraps of old blankets, and other such junk.

 

*****************************

 

Most of the photos in this album were taken nearly 40 years after we first moved to Roswell, as part of some research that I was doing for a novel called Do-Overs, the beginning of which can be found here on my website

 

www.yourdon.com/personal/fiction/doovers/index.html

 

and the relevant chapter (concerning Roswell) can be found here:

 

www.yourdon.com/personal/fiction/doovers/chapters/ch7.html

 

Before I get into the details, let me make a strong request — if you’re looking at these photos, and if you are getting any enjoyment at all of this brief look at some mundane Americana from 60+ years ago: find a similar episode in your own life, and write it down. Gather the pictures, clean them up, and upload them somewhere on the Internet where they can be found. Trust me: there will come a day when the only person on the planet who actually experienced those events is you. Your own memories may be fuzzy and incomplete; but they will be invaluable to your friends and family members, and to many generations of your descendants.

 

So, what do I remember about the year that I spent in Roswell? Not much at the moment, though I’m sure more details will occur to me in the days to come — and I’ll add them to these notes, along with additional photos that I’m tweaking and editing now (including some of the drive from Roswell to Riverside, CA where our family moved next), as well as some “real” contemporaneous photos I’ve found in family scrapbooks.

 

For now, here is a random list of things I remember:

 

1. I discovered roller skates while I lived here — perhaps aided by the presence of nice, smooth, wide sidewalks throughout this whole area of town. Sometimes my mother sent me on a small shopping expedition to the local grocery store, about two blocks away, to buy a quart of milk or a couple of other minor things. The shorts that I wore had no pockets (I have no idea why), so I put the coins that my mother gave me into my mouth, for safekeeping. That way, I had both hands free in case I tripped and fell … but if I had done so, I probably would have swallowed the coins.

 

2. For Christmas that year (i.e., Christmas of 1953), I was given a .22-caliber rifle. Even today, it would cause only a shrug in many rural parts of the U.S.; and it was certainly unremarkable in the 1950s. My dad felt that every boy should have a rifle, and should learn how to shoot it, clean it, and take care of it in a responsible fashion. I think his intention was to take me out into the open area outside of Roswell, to shoot at rabbits or gophers; but we ended up shooting at cans and bottles in the local dump.

 

3. In 1953, Roswell had not acquired any fame or attention for its proximity to the alleged alien landing in 1947. Trust me: if there had been even a hint of a rumor, the young kids in that town would have heard about it. Whatever may (or may not) have happened there . If you have no idea what this is all about, take a look at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roswell_UFO_incident

 

4. For young boys, it was great sport to shoot at moving creatures. Dogs and cats were considered off-limits; and as implied above, we were not allowed to wander the streets with a .22 rifle. But we all had slingshots, and there were an infinite number of lizards in the area. Unfortunately, lizard were far too quick to hit with a relatively inaccurate slingshot (especially if shot with an unevenly-shaped rock; and it was only a year later, in California, that I began shooting marbles). Our greatest success was actually with slower creatures: horned toads, usually referred to as “horny toads,” or just “horns.” Indeed, they were slow enough that you could capture them with bare hands. You probably have no idea what I’m talking about, so take a look at this National Geographic article: animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/reptiles/horned-toad/

"I like water. It's fun, relaxing, and all around out of the way. Combat in liquid environments though, that's what I'm not fond of. I received brief ARC Training for this from Alpha back on Kamino, but that's it. We only covered the section for a week or two. Yankee Company, they haven't had anything in the genre. That sets me up for a different assembly of men, some of the boys from the 21st Marines, only recently deployed. They're inexperienced. Sloppy. Obnoxious."

 

Squad Members >

 

Left to Right >

 

'Pyne'

 

Number: CT-6377

Name: Pyne

Rank: Major Grade I

Legion: 707th

Primary Weapon: Modified DC-15x Precision Blaster Rifle

Secondary Weapon: Modified DC-17s Side Arm Blaster

 

'Moses'

 

Number: CT-0012

Name: Moses

Primary Weapon: DC-15a Blaster Rifle

 

'Spank'

 

Number: CT-0004

Name: Spank

Primary Weapon: DC-15a Blaster Rifle

 

'Pudd'

 

Number: CT-0021

Name: Pudd

Primary Weapon: DC-15a Blaster Rifle

This is one of three pictures on a page labeled "July 1951." The house in the background is where we lived (at 1927 Kenton St.) in Aurora, CO. This picture says "Some handsome people!"

 

I have no idea where I was at this point, but it's safe to say that I was not the one who took this photo.

 

**********************************

 

Some of the photos in this album are “originals” from the year that my family spent in Denver in 1952-53 — i.e., the period before Omaha, before Riverside, and before Roswell (which you may have seen already in my Flickr archives). I went back nearly 40 years later, as part of some research that I was doing for a novel called Do-Overs, the beginning of which can be found here on my website

 

www.yourdon.com/personal/fiction/doovers/index.html

 

and the relevant chapter (concerning Denver) can be found here:

 

www.yourdon.com/personal/fiction/doovers/chapters/ch6.html

 

Before I get into the details, let me make a strong request — if you’re looking at these photos, and if you are getting any enjoyment at all of this brief look at some mundane Americana from 60+ years ago: find a similar episode in your own life, and write it down. Gather the pictures, clean them up, and upload them somewhere on the Internet where they can be found. Trust me: there will come a day when the only person on the planet who actually experienced those events is you. Your own memories may be fuzzy and incomplete; but they will be invaluable to your friends and family members, and to many generations of your descendants.

 

Actually, I should listen to my own advice: unlike my subsequent visits to Roswell, Riverside, and Omaha I did not take any photos when I tracked down my old homes from the 1952-53 period in Denver. I did locate the second house, and I was stunned to see how it had changed over a period of 40 years: as you’ll see in the photos in this album, it was a new house, under construction, when we moved in. The only “trees” were a few scrawny saplings that my Dad planted in the front and back yard. 40 years later, the trees towered above the house … but the house itself seemed tiny, in comparison to what had seemed like an enormous mansion to an 8 year old boy.

 

While most of our residential occupancies last just a single year, the period in Denver lasted roughly two years. But it felt almost like two separate cities: first we lived in a rented house in the Denver suburb of Aurora; and then we moved into a new house that my parents purchased somewhere on the south side of Denver. So, as usual, I ended up going to two different schools, and developed a fairly superficial set of friendships with two different groups of kids.

 

So, what do I remember about the two years that I spent in Denver? Not much at the moment, though I’m sure more details will occur to me in the days to come — and I’ll add them to these notes, along with additional photos that I’m tweaking and editing now.

 

For now, here is a random list of things I remember:

 

1. While living in our first home, I finished off my second-grade school year. I did reasonably well in school on most subjects — it was a couple years later, in Roswell, that I announced at breakfast that I had mentally calculated the number of seconds in a century, in the hope that it would help me fall asleep. I rattled off the number, and when my Dad repeated the calculations on his slide rule, he shook his head and told me that I had forgotten to account for leap years. Anyway, in Denver, my 2nd-grade teacher told me I had a much more serious educational problem: my penmanship was atrocious. The school authorities insisted that I spend the summer practicing penmanship, and strongly suggested to my parents that the *real* problem was that I was left-handed. Several attempts were made to make me start writing with my right hand — all of which were dismal failures. I eventually gave up on penmanship, and began printing everything … a habit that continued until I was given a hand-me-down manual typewriter by my parents at the age of 12.

 

2. The summer of 1951 was hot and humid; and like many other families in the area, my mother took me and the older of my two sisters (the other one was born a year later) to a large public swimming pool (it seemed enormous at the time, but it was probably pretty small). Anyway, it was a great breeding place for germs of all kinds; and sometime in the late summer, everyone but my mother came down with polio. We were all taken off to three different hospitals; and the neighbors were so panicked that my mother might be infectious that they stopped speaking to her altogether. Miraculously, all three of us had gotten the least-virulent form of polio, and we all recovered sufficiently within a week or two that we could come home. I was fairly weak for the next couple of weeks, and had to take a hot bath every day; but aside from that, none of us suffered any no permanent effects.

 

3. It was late 1951 or early 1952 when we moved into the house that my parents had purchased in another part of town; I remember that my younger sister was born there on St. Patrick’s Day. As usual, I was allowed to wander anywhere I wanted, on foot or on bicycle, as long as I came home on time for dinner. One day I took a long section of rope, climbed way up into a tree a mile or two away from home, and then way out on a long sturdy branch. I tied one end of the rope around the branch, and then wrapped another part of the rope twice around my (left) hand. I swung down from the branch, intending to descend in an orderly fashion, just like I had seen firemen doing it in the movies. Unfortunately, it didn’t work: I slid helter-skelter to the ground, landing in a heap, and the rope around my hand cut through the skin, almost through the tendons, and all the way to the bone. I had to have my hand wrapped in bandages for the first month of my 3rd grade school year; and once again the Authorities tried to use the opportunity to get me to use my right hand for penmanship. Once again, they failed.

 

4. In the summer of 1952, I was sent off to a sleep-away camp for two weeks, somewhere in the mountains of Colorado. I have no idea why, but it was a lot of fun … until I was thrown off a horse and knocked unconscious. The camp authorities decided there was no reason to inform my parents, though my parents were rather curious when I subsequently refused to climb up on a horse wherever we went. They also noticed that I was limping when I came home from camp, which the camp authorities had apparently not noticed; I had hiked all the way to the top of a mountain with my fellow camp-mates, and I had a rock in one of my boots. It caused a blister, which got infected, and I was probably lucky that they didn’t have to amputate my foot. All in all, the camp experienced was deemed a failure, and I was never sent away again.

 

5. I got my first slingshot in Denver. It was not a “professional” Wham-O slingshot with natural rubber and ash wood; instead, Dad made one for me from a Y-shaped chunk of plywood, and with strips of rubber from an old automobile inner tube. I thought it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen — and immediately began shooting at every bird I could see on a telephone wire or branch of a tree. I never did hit a single one of the. (By the way, Wham-O eventually went on to achieve even more fame with its hula hoop, frisbee, and hack sack. You can read all about them here on the Internet: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wham-O )

 

6. The next best thing, besides a slingshot, was the top of a coffee can. They tended to have fairly sharp edges, but if you held it carefully and threw it just right, it would sail for miles and miles … at least it seemed that way. It wouldn’t return to you, a la boomerangs (which every kid had heard about, but none had ever actually seen) — but it was just like throwing a flying saucer. Unfortunately, coffee-can-tops were not readily found, especially since we kids never drank any coffee. We had to wait patiently for our parents to finish off an entire can of coffee, and then scoop it out of the garbage can when it was thrown out.

Wingbalde is a character I created when I was a kid, he hasn't changed much through the years. Though I did create an alternate costume on the DC Universe Online game, you can view it in minifig form on Mike/ryffranck029's stream.

 

Here's a quick bio for him:

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nathaniel Steven "Ven" Solis, was born to a poor family. His mother worked as a cleaning maid. Ven's father was a brilliant mechanic, but his addictions and abusive behavior ruined any potential he could have had. One night, his father's abusive behavior turned for the worse. Ven's mother told him to hide and remain hidden no matter what he saw or heard. That night, young Ven witnessed his father murder his fragile mother. His father was arrested and Ven was placed by Child Protection Services to live with his maternal grandmother who lived in the slums of Gotham City.

 

After a year of living with her, she was accidentally killed during a turf war between rival street gangs. With no other family members willing to take care of him, he was placed in foster care. Ven was a brilliant kid with eidetic memory and a knack for building gadgets, but the trauma he witnessed in his young life has left him angry and distrustful of others. Thus he could never remain in a fixed location, he jumped from foster home to foster home until he completely fell with the wrong crowd. He became what he hated, an instrument used by gangs and crime bosses for drug trafficking, after all, no one would suspect a kid, right?

 

On one of his nights, Batman and Robin took down an operation he was involved in. Robin almost couldn't believe a kid younger than him was involved in such things. So he talked and tried to persuade him to turn a new leaf before it was too late. As a parting gift, Robin gave him a batarang to remember this day. Change did not come overnight for Ven, though he did begin to attend school and a program run by Ted Grant (Wildcat). Wildcat saw potential in this brash kid, took him under his wing and exposed him to a whole new world.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

As you can see, it's a real rough bio. I haven't really worked on it for years. I'll polish it one of these days and post a proper profile for him.

 

C&C welcomed

Scene V - Robbery

#flickrnovel #novel

 

When we got back home the door was open. I knew I hadn’t left it open so I asked if we should call the police because there probably had been a robbery. Sebastian said that he will first check if something valuable has been stolen or would it be better to leave it without messing the police with it. After all, it would have taken long before they even got there and the investigation would have taken another hour or two. He didn’t notice that anything special was gone, but the home looked like a disaster. Still, he looked worried and looked like something had disappeared even if he tried to assure me that everything was fine. The apartment was messed up and there were papers on the floor. Even the book that I had been examining before was ripped apart. I wonder what they had been looking for but apparently they didn’t find and there for there was a mess of frustration. We cleaned the place until we were too tired to continue and finally fell asleep. He was sleeping in his bed and I was sleeping on that old velvet couch.

 

At night I woke to the sound of someone knocking on the door. I saw that Sebastian was in deep sleep so I quietly walked to the door. I saw a paper sliding under it and then I heard steps. Whoever he was, he left before I got a chance to open the door. Hallway was dark so I didn’t see anyone when I tried to look from the spyhole. I took the paper and saw it was for Sebastian. I walked back to the bedroom, put it on his nightstand and went back to the couch without getting any sleep at all. It had been a long day and night. I couldn’t wait for tomorrow to find out what was in that paper and maybe I would also find out what the letter I found earlier was all about.

  

To be continued...

Read the other scenes here: www.flickr.com/photos/neya365/sets/72157625025686050/

___________________________________________________________________

 

Text & pic all rights reserved Neya

September 27.2010 Finland.

  

Berlin

Mitte

 

Potsdamer Platz

Mendelssohn-Bartholdy-Park

 

Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L@Canon EOS 5D Mark II

 

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Versión final. Original, lapiz de color sobre folio 80 de gramos A3.

Podeis ver y comparar esta con la versión original aqui.

 

Despues de dos años y medio he podido escanear a una buena resolución el original, y despues de una buena sesión de Photoshop, aqui lo teneis :)

(Y aquí en alta resolucion)

 

---

##Drawn with colour pencils on A3 paper. Digital retouching for cleanup and colour enhancement in Photoshop. Clean version, here.

second one...

 

This was the first time, that I tried to build somthing like that. needed a couple of hours for the buildings. But the sky (even the horizon) is processed from the original raw-file.

 

live long and prosper...

 

Info:Info:

+ Nikon D300

+ SB800 into shoot-through umbrella on stand to the right, with 1/4 CTO-gel, triggered with CLS

+ SB800 into silver umbrella on a lightstand that was held by assitant, with 1/4 CTO-gel, triggered with CLS

+ postprocessing: cleaning (there were lots of flys and mosquitoes).We used latex-spock-ears, but I also had to clean them in postprocessing. I tweaked the colours and played with contrasts...

  

klick here to see more of my portraits

Dad fishing somewhere in New Mexico -- no notes or explanations in the album. But they sure don't grow fish very big in New Mexico!

 

*****************************

 

Most of the photos in this album were taken nearly 40 years after we first moved to Roswell, as part of some research that I was doing for a novel called Do-Overs, the beginning of which can be found here on my website

 

www.yourdon.com/personal/fiction/doovers/index.html

 

and the relevant chapter (concerning Roswell) can be found here:

 

www.yourdon.com/personal/fiction/doovers/chapters/ch7.html

 

Before I get into the details, let me make a strong request — if you’re looking at these photos, and if you are getting any enjoyment at all of this brief look at some mundane Americana from 60+ years ago: find a similar episode in your own life, and write it down. Gather the pictures, clean them up, and upload them somewhere on the Internet where they can be found. Trust me: there will come a day when the only person on the planet who actually experienced those events is you. Your own memories may be fuzzy and incomplete; but they will be invaluable to your friends and family members, and to many generations of your descendants.

 

So, what do I remember about the year that I spent in Roswell? Not much at the moment, though I’m sure more details will occur to me in the days to come — and I’ll add them to these notes, along with additional photos that I’m tweaking and editing now (including some of the drive from Roswell to Riverside, CA where our family moved next), as well as some “real” contemporaneous photos I’ve found in family scrapbooks.

 

For now, here is a random list of things I remember:

 

1. I discovered roller skates while I lived here — perhaps aided by the presence of nice, smooth, wide sidewalks throughout this whole area of town. Sometimes my mother sent me on a small shopping expedition to the local grocery store, about two blocks away, to buy a quart of milk or a couple of other minor things. The shorts that I wore had no pockets (I have no idea why), so I put the coins that my mother gave me into my mouth, for safekeeping. That way, I had both hands free in case I tripped and fell … but if I had done so, I probably would have swallowed the coins.

 

2. For Christmas that year (i.e., Christmas of 1953), I was given a .22-caliber rifle. Even today, it would cause only a shrug in many rural parts of the U.S.; and it was certainly unremarkable in the 1950s. My dad felt that every boy should have a rifle, and should learn how to shoot it, clean it, and take care of it in a responsible fashion. I think his intention was to take me out into the open area outside of Roswell, to shoot at rabbits or gophers; but we ended up shooting at cans and bottles in the local dump.

 

3. In 1953, Roswell had not acquired any fame or attention for its proximity to the alleged alien landing in 1947. Trust me: if there had been even a hint of a rumor, the young kids in that town would have heard about it. Whatever may (or may not) have happened there . If you have no idea what this is all about, take a look at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roswell_UFO_incident

 

4. For young boys, it was great sport to shoot at moving creatures. Dogs and cats were considered off-limits; and as implied above, we were not allowed to wander the streets with a .22 rifle. But we all had slingshots, and there were an infinite number of lizards in the area. Unfortunately, lizard were far too quick to hit with a relatively inaccurate slingshot (especially if shot with an unevenly-shaped rock; and it was only a year later, in California, that I began shooting marbles). Our greatest success was actually with slower creatures: horned toads, usually referred to as “horny toads,” or just “horns.” Indeed, they were slow enough that you could capture them with bare hands. You probably have no idea what I’m talking about, so take a look at this National Geographic article: animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/reptiles/horned-toad/

"I just hope I can clean his tie..."

she's adorable and deeply in love for her strong Arthur.

 

"J'espère que je vais pouvoir nettoyer sa cravate..."

Elle est adorable et profondément amoureuse de son Arthur.

Moving back in time again! After I recently found a NIB Takara kit of the Duey attack helicopter, I decided to salvaged the same kit I had already built about 20 years ago and had been resting in the basement in pieces for maybe 15 years.

 

This specimen was released in 1985 or 1986 by Revell, in a set called "Assault Squad" together with an 1:72 scale "Ironfoot" robot and the company's hodgepodge 'Robotech' label. I found the Duey's design cool at that time, and you can clearly tell that the AH-1 HueyCobra was the most prominent real combat helicopter around and the AH-64 pure science fiction. But you can find many design influences of these real helis in this mecha's design. Additionally, the experimental YAH-56A Cheyenne obviously had major impact on the Duey's look and concept, even though the Duey is surprisingly stout and compact. An AH-1 is much larger, esp. longer!

 

This kit has already seen one build OOB and was later re-painted, with doubtful colors, paints and methods. With rising personal execution standards, the kit disappeared from the “public collection” about 15 years ago, legitimately. But now it is back with a vengeance!

Fortunately, the disassembled kit was 90% complete, just some parts missing, but I would do some conversion, anyway, to have a personal variant. The NIB kit would be built in the official livery.

 

But before anything could be done, the thick(!) color coat had to go. Sanding was no option, so I used the slow method of bathing the parts in brake fluid for about one week, with frequent scrubbing with a tooth brush. Patience paid out and the original, bare surface was revealed with only minor suffering, and paint residue could easily be scraped off later.

 

Since some parts were missing, some modifications were made:

 

The original rotor was still there, but not its axis. Besides, I wanted to add a display to the kit to show it in flight. I used the original rotor head, but replaced the blades with a self-made disc from thin clear plastic, which mimics the rotation blur. The same technique was also used for the stabilizer rotor.

Since the original gatling gun part was missing, I decided not to build one from from scratch but implant a three-barreled 20mm turret from an AH-1W. The orginal gun cowling could be used, though, and the small turret blends well with the Duey's lines. The AH-1W's sensor turret from its nose was salvaged and implanted on the Duey, too.

Ordnance was changed, too, but not the hardpoints. Instead of the massive 7-rocket-launchers and the twin missile starters I went for classic ordnance: two huge FFAR starters (Russian style) and six Hellfire missiles, mounted on a TER. This is not "authentic", since the TER is supposed to hold just bombs, but, heck! It looks cool - and justifies the small sensor turret in the Duey's nose as a target designation instrument.

The clear canopy was in bad shape, poor painting. I wet-sanded the piece, and later polished. Even though this cleaned the clear piece, the canopy still is a bit milky, but overall O.K.

The pilot figures could not be saved. Searching for replacements I found them to be VERY small - they seem to be 1:100, not 1:72 scale! I tried fitting 1:72 pilot figures, but there was no space, so I went for slightly converted 1:87 scale (HO gauge) soldier figures from Preiser, which also offered some posing options and were much more slender than the original pygmies.

 

For painting, instead of the "official" Dougram livery (all sand with some contrasts in dark green and with red rocket launchers), I wanted a true desert camouflage scheme. Since I find the USMC livery for helicopters from the 80ies quite attractive (a wrap-around scheme in light grey, olive and black), I decided to use the respective paint scheme from the AH-1 and replace colors, which became Middle Stone (a WWII RAF tone, very yellow-ish - I like to call it mustard yellow), Leather (for a red earth tone, but different from FS30219) and Brown Bess (Humbrol 225, 62 and 170, respectively). Pretty harsh contrasts, but together with the paint scheme this effectively breaks up the helicopter's lines, and later, weathering would tone things down anyway.

 

After basic painting, a light ink wash with black was applied, some weathering through light dry painting, and letters and stencelling from an aftermarket A-10 decal sheet. A matte varnish coat sealed everything in place, and, finally, exhaust stains and guns moke were simulated with grinded soft pencil mine. Some light dry painting with silver emphasized leading edges.

 

The display is a soft iron wire, which is attached to a heavy base. The respective female plug is a simple polystyrene tube hidden in the kit's belly, which allows simple detachment and is almost invisible.

 

A simple kit, nothing complicated. It is not as crisp as if built right from the box, but I am happy that I finally resurrected this one, too, since these kits become more and more a rarity ;)

 

Terraforming Mars would entail two major interlaced changes: building the atmosphere and heating it. A thicker atmosphere of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide would trap incoming solar radiation. Because the raised temperature would add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, the two processes would augment each other.

Weird name right??

 

Dreaming my reality

where truth and fiction don't seem to exist

Confusion is home here, but believe in you is what you insist

 

Well I try and i won't get far,

i'll die and i won't get far

i'll try and know that everything's ok

 

So I guess this is where I lie

where the days are endless and the nights, they just don't belong.

  

Lyrics: Senses Fail

    

Uhm....

 

Well...intresting weekend....

 

I awoke on saturday morning facedown on my little pull out bed..

  

at about...6:49 a.m.

Drug myself out of bed at 7:25 and creeped down stairs to take my shower and pack my little pink bag for our trip ahead.

 

Came back up stairs an sat on my bed awaiting for erica to awaken.

 

then arounf 7:50 i put my phone under her ear...

it went off at eight ;)

  

then began our journey walking to point of rocks...

 

from 8-12

  

and we about died..

 

Then that night i met this little girl

(the frog ofcourse)

I was supposed to kill her for another photo...

at first i was thinking

 

Impale her, smack her against the diving board, use a rock.

 

Something that'll be fast..

 

then i was like

 

i can't do it i don't have the heart...so i was going to keep her overnight to see if she'll die if not i'll release her.

 

the little girl made it...

and i'll get my dead frog when we clean our skimmers on sunday..

if not there will be plenty that meet our pool :/

  

But i named her jeshikah

(because i name all my frogs)

and i almost kept her till i relized...what if that was me??

 

and i set her free :)

only to be eaten -.o

 

oh well....

i wasn't ready to play god yet anyways.

Berlin

Mitte

Potsdamer Platz

 

Grand Hyatt Berlin

 

Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L@Canon EOS 5D Mark II

 

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At the height of the science fiction craze during the 1950s, this was one of the low budget films that has since become a classic of the genre. It concerned a group of astronauts on a rescue mission to Mars where a previous mission met with disaster. The sole survivor of that mission described an alien terror that murdered the rest of his crew. As they depart for Earth, they are unaware that their ship has picked up the alien creature and that soon, they will be trapped in space with it and have no escape. The film would resonate with teens seeing it at the drive-ins and it would eventually become the basis for the classic horror/sci-fi movie Alien. This features the original art used for some of the posters for the 1958 release of the film. And although it's unsigned, it may be the work of Joseph Smith, an illustrator who worked on many of the sci-fi and horror films of the 1950s. Smith certainly liked to do his concepts in charcoal and that appears to be the media used here. Illustrator Joe Smith stated, "Many times they (the studio heads) liked the "rough" so much, they used it as the original art." That certainly appears to be the case here. Concepts (or roughs) were frequently done in charcoal and then finished works would be done in full color. It appears this work was used on the insert, half sheet and title card and then had additional color added at the printers, however, it is also possible that there was another finished work that went to the printers as well.

  

youtu.be/9rDd-yfZbQ0?t=1s

 

Title: It! The Terror From Beyond Space

Year Of Release: 1958

Running Time: 69 minutes

DVD Released By: MGM Home Entertainment

Directed By: Edward L. Cahn

Writing Credits: Jerome Bixby

Starring: Marshall Thompson, Shawn Smith, Kim Spalding, Ann Doran, Dabbs Greer, Paul Langton, Robert Bice

Taglines:

1. It breathes, it hunts…It Kills!

2. IT!...Reaches through space!...Scoops up men and women!...Gorges on blood!

3. The revelation shocker of things to come!

Alternate Titles:

It! The Vampire from Beyond Space (1958)

The Terror from Beyond Space (1958).

Review Date: 12.12.04 (updated 1.1.10)

 

The film opens with a thundering musical theme and a title that threatens to bust out of the screen and into our third spatial dimension. After the credits end, we get a view of the Martian surface. In the distance we see the wreckage of a crashed rocket ship. A voice belonging to Colonel Edward Carruthers begins to narrate, relating how the ship he commanded cracked up on landing six months previously and how he is now the only survivor from that doomed expedition, the crew encountering some strange force on the Red planet they came to know only as death. The camera slowly pans over the landscape and a second rocket ship is revealed, albeit intact and standing erect. Carruthers says that he will now be going back to face his superiors on Earth and possibly another kind of death.

Now we see the capitol building in Washington D.C., which quickly fades to a door marked, “Science advisory committee. Division of interplanetary exploration.” No doubt down the hall are the offices for the division on Radiation-Enlarged Insects and Lizards. Inside this room a government official is conducting a press conference and releasing information on the second rocket ship sent to Mars. He talks about how Colonel Carruthers has been found alive, but is the only survivor from the initial expedition. The Colonel will be returned to Earth to face trial for the murders of the rest of the first ship’s crew.

Back on Mars, we see the Challenge-142 preparing to lift off. Before they can depart, Van Heusen notices an open compartment. It seems Lt. Calder was dumping some crates (littering) and forgot to close it. The open hatch is closed remotely, but as it slides shut, an ominous shadow moving about nearby alerts us to the fact that something has managed to get aboard while it was open. We hear a few growls and even get a close up of IT’s feet as it moves about. I gotta say, this guy needs some serious corrective footwear. Talk about a slewfoot! What is even more hilarious is that the shadow we see on the wall seems to be made by the actor in the monster suit, but not the monster mask. His facial features seem pretty clear in silhouette.

After a name check, Van Heusen begins the launch countdown at ten, while strapped into what appears to be a lawn chair! Where was the budget blown for this ship? No trash recycling systems and cheap chairs! The contractor must have spent it somewhere, but it obviously wasn’t on this ship!

Once in space and safely on the way home, Van Heusen (who will henceforth be referred to simply as Van – some of the characters did it, why not me) begins acting like an asshole, ridiculing Carruther’s story of a monster. He tells Carruthers (seemingly with great delight) that they have enough evidence to put him in front of a firing squad. They head up one level and Van shows him a human skull they found on the surface of Mars. Dental records revealed it to be a Frank Kenner, one of Carruther’s crew. The skull has an obvious bullet hole in it and Van says, “There’s only one kind of a monster that uses bullets.” There is an ominous musical cue. Carruthers walks away and the film fades out.

 

Sometime later the crew is cleaning up after a meal. Correction: the women are cleaning up after a meal. Yes, in this futuristic year of 1973, women – despite being doctors and presumably vital members of the crew – are still assigned the laborious task of cleaning up after meals and making sure all the lazy, fat-ass males have fresh, hot coffee in their cups and are supplied with cigarettes. I wonder if these guys made them cook the meal as well.

So this group has finished a meal and are relaxing. The usual light banter is exchanged before the topic of Colonel Carruthers and his monster comes up. Royce (the other Royce will always be referred to as Doctor Royce for purposes of this review) says that he doesn’t disbelieve or believe the story. Along about that time Carruthers arrives and is greeted with a smart-ass comment from Van. He gets some coffee from Ann and retreats back up one level. Van then states that before they reach Earth, he will have Carruthers’ confession on tape. What is he going to do, beat it out of him?

Some more time passes and Ann brings Carruthers a plate of food. She admits that she has only heard the story of what happened to the crew of the Challenge-141 from Van and would like to hear it straight from Carruthers. He relates to her how they landed, went out exploring and then got caught in a sandstorm. Something in the storm began taking the crew and in the confusion shots were fired, one apparently killing Kenner by mistake. Carruthers was the only one who made it back to the ship. Subsequent searches turned up no signs of his crew or the thing that took them.

Van continues to act like a dick. Ann - with whom he seems to have some sort of relationship beyond work - tells him that he owes it to Carruthers to treat him like a fellow officer and not an animal, and that it is not his place to decide whether he is guilty.

More time passes. Royce and Carruthers are playing chess while Van looks on, smoking a cigarette. Calder is nearby scribbling in a notebook – probably “I won’t leave outer hatches open before lift-off” a hundred times, enforced by Van for his lamebrain mistake. Elsewhere, Keinholz is sitting alone at a desk, looking bored. He hears their stowaway bumbling around the cargo hold. He goes to investigate and is killed, the attack shown as shadows on a wall. The monster lifts Keinholz over his head and brings him smashing to the floor, where he proceeds to pelt the unfortunate crewmen with a barrage of blows…or in this case, cartwheeling its arms and bitch-slapping the guy to death.

Above, Carruthers has heard the commotion and wonders what is going on. No one else seems to have heard anything. He still insists on performing a head count and when Keinholz comes up missing, everyone begins searching the ship for him. While everyone is split up, Gino Finelli is captured by the beast when he stops to pilfer some cigarettes from a storage locker.

 

Everyone convenes again and Van is in disbelief as there just isn’t a place on the ship a man could hide. Carruthers asks where Gino is and Bob says that he was right behind him. He looks back down the ladder to the deck below and calls out to Gino, but all is silent below. He, Van and Carruthers all go back down where they find Gino’s unused cigarette on the floor, but no Gino. Now everyone is calling out for Gino in addition to Keinholz. Soon after, Keinholz’s body is located in an air duct.

Everyone comes running and arrives as Keinholz is removed from the duct. Bob wonders if Gino is inside the duct, but Carruthers looks and sees nothing. Major Purdue volunteers to go in to look for Gino as he claims to know the layout. He crawls on in, but doesn’t see anything at first. Then he re-orients himself and sees Gino at the end of the passage. Gino is looking pretty bad, like he was in a fight with an Avon lady who applied her make-up samples to him. Purdue yells out that he found Gino and begins to crawl toward him. He shakes Gino, trying to rouse him but Gino just shakes his head limply. Then there is a shadowy movement nearby and IT arrives on the scene, no doubt pissed to find someone playing with his food. IT growls and claws at Purdue, who screams before pulling out a revolver and squeezing off a few shots. This makes the monster roar and outside in the storage room, Carruther’s face is one of dread – he knows that roar all too well, it seems.

Purdue comes barreling out of the duct and Carruthers sneaks a glance inside before he and Van replace the cover over the entrance. Bob, naturally has a fit, upset that his brother is being left behind. He is removed by Royce and Carruthers yells to the cowering women to run and get a head start. A head start for where? You’re on a spaceship, not the open plains of Iowa. Carruthers then spots a crate of grenades and suggests that they wire them up to the hatches, thus blowing IT up if it decides to leave the duct. So Van, Carruthers and Calder wire up these grenades, then gather up Keinholz’s body (which seemed to magically aid them in picking itself off the floor) and retreat to one of the upper levels.

Next we see a table loaded with guns, rifles and ammunition. It looks like a NRA convention! It is at this point that I must point out the sheer stupidity of these people. They are on a spaceship, which is traveling through the vacuum of space. Rupturing the hull of the ship in any way would be extraordinarily bad. I’d imagine that great pains would be taken to minimize the chances that such an event ever took place. Yet these fools insist on firing projectile weapons within the confines of the ship. Not only that, but they have grenades ready to detonate below. Now, what kind of tests did these people have to pass in order to be selected for this mission? Cuz smarts don’t seem to be a requisite. Not once does any one of them stop to consider the chances that such an explosion might actually harm the bloody ship! No, they just fire away. Either these people are colossal idiots, or they are confident in the construction and engineering of the ship – but given the lawn chairs adorning the place, I would not exactly be willing to bet my life on the latter possibility.

So the men are taking stock of the weapons while the ladies apply the most idiotic looking bandage to Purdue’s head. Royce tries to console Bob by telling him there was nothing they could have done for Gino, but Bob is pissed that they didn’t even try to rescue his brother.

Meanwhile, Van is asking Carruthers if he knows what IT is. This must have just galled the guy to no end. Here he was all ready to break Carruthers and get a confession, and now he must admit that the other man was right all along. Time passes and the gang is pacing up and down, waiting for IT to leave the ducts and trip the grenade trap. They all gather around the intercom and listen as IT busts through the grate covering the duct and sets off the grenades. All those grenades detonate and we are treated to an explosion that looks like it was made by a box of firecrackers.

 

They still hear the monster growling, so they know that the plan has failed. Without a word, they hoist their firearms, open the central stair hatch and head down to investigate further…well, all the guys do. The women stay up above, no doubt prepping coffee. The guys gather around the door to C and open it up. A lot of smoke passes through the doorway, obscuring their vision. Calder, who is carrying the biggest gun, goes in first. Well, actually Van was in the lead, but when he couldn’t get the lights activated, he motions for Calder to go first. Chickenshit bastard. Calder barely gets through the door when IT lunges out of the smoke, grabs his rifle and bends it, Superman-style, over its head. Calder, Royce and Bob then run like hell up the stairs while Van and Carruthers fire their pistols at the beast. They retreat up the stairs, firing all the way, while IT tears the door to C compartment open wide enough to get through. Once safely up the stairs, the crew closes the central stair hatch.

Next gas grenades are used in an attempt to kill the beast. This fails to work as well and Van comes out of the engagement with an injured foot, scraped up something bad when the monster grabbed him.

Dr. Royce has completed the autopsy on Keinholz, discovering that “there is not a molecule of oxygen or a drop of water” left in his body. Blood, bone marrow, glandular secretions – everything, is gone. She theorizes that since there are no puncture marks on the body, that this was accomplished through some type of osmosis process. Keep in mind that the Human body is sixty to seventy percent water. Now, we got a pretty good view of the dead Keinholz earlier. Sure, his body was shriveled, but if all the moisture in his body had been removed, then would not he have looked more like a dried up prune, and been the size of a cabbage patch doll? Van Heusen hasn’t joined the cadaver club yet, though his wound is infected and nothing Dr. Royce can do helps it any.

They open the central hatch and peer down. IT is two levels down, but they can see it breaking through the center hatch onto the level directly below them, which will grant it access to the next level. They realize that if IT can get through the center hatches, they are royally SCREWED. Ann approaches Carruthers and tells him that he was right and they were all wrong. They hold hands and share a Kodak moment.

 

Royce pipes in about now with an idea he and Bob have worked out. He proposes that two men exit through the control room airlock and then space walk down the side of the ship and re-enter through the airlock on the motor level – below the current location of the creature. This would enable them to surprise the monster, but they aren’t sure what to surprise it with. Carruthers says he’s been thinking and has an idea, so he and Calder suit up and make their way down the hull to the bottom of the ship. They reach the airlock on the motor level and the others above begin talking loud at the proper time, distracting the monster from what is occurring below it. Carruthers and Calder sneak out onto the motor level and set an electrical trap on the stairs that lead to the upper level where IT is located.

 

The two then take cover behind some induction pumps and open the center hatch, which is noticed by the creature. It begins to descend the stairs and when it gets to the appropriate spot – ZAP. Nothing. The monster is not affected. Carruthers is able to make it safely to the airlock, but Calder takes a blow to the head that tears his vinyl “helmet” and stumbles back, his foot getting caught and the fall breaking his leg. He fires up an acetylene torch and uses it to fend off the monster every time it gets to close to his hiding spot.

Carruthers returns to the others where they try and think of a way to rescue Calder, who can be heard over the radio. Meanwhile the Doctor approaches Royce and tells him that the alien bacteria are attacking bone marrow, resulting in a leukemia-type condition. The drugs she has been using are working too slowly and she needs fresh blood to keep Van and Purdue alive – but there is no more on this level. They will need to descend to the cargo level and retrieve some more.

Royce is preparing to make a run for the blood and Bob decides that it his “turn” now to go. What is this, a ride? I suppose he feels the need to do something in helping kill the monster that murdered his brother. Carruthers decides to accompany them. Calder promises to keep them apprised of the creature’s movements via the intercom. A shadow on the wall tells us that IT is still dragging dead Gino around, and has wandered into the reactor room. After Calder reports this, it gives Carruthers an idea. He remotely closes the reactor room door and asks Calder what the monster does. When no odd behavior is reported, the three men make their descent in search of the blood supply.

 

Meanwhile Van has awoken again and is trying to get up from his cot. The women try to restrain him but he yells and pushes past them. He has an idea – by unsealing the reactor, the radiation will kill the monster. He flips some controls while the ladies still try and talk sense into him. In the reactor room, the creature is banging on the door to get out when the reactor is unsealed and it gets a face full of radiation. The women call down to warn the men what has happened, inciting Carruthers and Royce to speed things up. Below, Bob is helping Calder up the stairs when IT breaks out of the reactor room. Calder dives back into his hiding spot and Bob fires off his pistol at the beast. He then tries to run up the stairs, but IT is too fast. The monster reaches up and grabs him, pulling him down to the floor and bitch-slapping him to death. Royce and Carruthers haul ass back up the stairs with the blood, having to leave Bob behind. They get back to the laboratory level and then everyone heads on up to the topmost level – the control room.

Everyone is now huddled on the highest level. For some IDIOTIC reason, Carruthers is carrying a bazooka. A bazooka! They pile some heavy crates over the hatch in the floor, hoping to keep IT from busting up through the opening. Nearby Ann and Van are talking and the ever more disconcerted Colonel is remarking on Ann is now “with” Carruthers and how it happened out of the blue. She tries to dismiss it and wants to talk about it later, but he insists that there may be no later considering how their situation is degenerating rapidly. She walks off to help Carruthers and Van continues to mutter to Dr. Royce.

  

They contact Calder down below, who is still alive. He can see the monster still bumbling around on the motor level. About now IT has decided to find out where everyone else has gone. IT ascends the stairs to the first storage level and begins banging around. Calder warns Carruthers that IT is on its way up. The gang up top makes ready, turning the lights off and preparing for the last fight. Carruthers tells Calder to make his way to the airlock now that IT is no longer nearby and hide there. Then Carruthers picks up the bazooka again and aims it at the hatch.

While waiting, Carruthers happens to glance at a dial on a nearby instrument panel and notices that the oxygen consumption on the ship is far in excess of what it should be. He points this out to Royce and the two theorize that it is due to the monster. With the thin air on Mars it would need a gigantic lung capacity and has thus been hogging all the oxygen on the ship with its Darth Vader breathing style. Carruthers suggest letting all the air out of the ship to kill it. Royce agrees, saying they can build it back up for themselves later.

 

A mad rush is on now, everyone trying to get into his or her space suit. The monster tears his way up onto the laboratory level, doesn’t even hesitate and then heads up the latter to the top level. IT bangs on the hatch, causing all the boxes sitting atop it to topple over, and then IT peels back the metal of the hatch like wrapping paper and pokes up through the opening like a jack-in-the-box. Everyone has their spacesuits on now, but Carruthers cannot reach the controls to release the air because the monster is in the way. He calls to Royce, who is now holding the bazooka, to drive it back down so he can make his way to the proper control panel. Royce fires the bazooka, but the rocket just bounces off the monster before bouncing around the floor some. No detonation at all! It must have been a dud. Carruthers is trying to reach the controls, but the monster is preventing him from getting too close. Van then jumps up, runs to the controls and hits the correct button. The airlock doors open and the air begins rushing out. The monster has grabbed Van and no doubt given him the squish treatment, as when next we see Van, he is stretched out on the floor.

The ship begins diving. Well, not really…but given that the emergency klaxon blaring away to warn everyone of decompression and air loss sounds just like the diving bell in some old WWII movie, and one can see why it seems like the ship is diving. Everyone hangs on for dear life. Papers start flying around the room, but very few actually get blown out the airlock. The monster growls, writhes around and finally stops moving as the last of the air is removed. Carruthers checks on both IT and Van, but both are still and quiet. I have to wonder how Van didn’t get blown out. Everyone was hanging on, but Van was out cold (or dead). It seems the monster is finally dead. Everyone seems relieved, and the camera zooms in on Ann and Carruthers as they hold hands before fading out…

…Into ANOTHER freakin’ shot of the ship flying through space (number nine). This fades into the room in Washington D.C. that we saw at the very beginning of the film. The same government official is conducting another press release. He has more information to add to the story he gave to the reporters the previous evening. He reads a message from the Challenge-142 received less than an hour ago:

“This is Eric Royce talking. Of the nineteen men and women who have set foot upon the planet Mars, six will return.”

Six? Let’s see…Carruthers, Ann, Royce, Dr. Royce, Purdue and…Calder, I suppose. Calder was hiding in the airlock on the motor level while Van Heusen got beat up by the monster and was laying there pretty still at the end, so I guess he was the one who died. The message continues:

“There is no longer a question of murder, but of an alien and elemental lifeforce. A planet so cruel, so hostile, that man may have to find it necessary to bypass it in his endeavor to explore and understand the universe.”

 

Well, at least Carruthers has been cleared, but Royce makes out like the planet Mars is so damn dangerous. Excuse me, but were not you guys all safe until you got back on the ship? The planet seemed pretty harmless. It is the native life that proved to be so deadly. Big difference. The message (and the movie) concludes:

“Another name for Mars…is death.”

Fade out. The End.

   

Structurally, this movie is most similar to The Thing From Another World in that it deals with a small group of people trapped struggling to prevail against a deadly organism from another planet bound and determined to make a snack of them all. Aside from the opening and closing segments set on Earth (which most people conclude were added in order to stretch out the film’s running time) the movie never leaves the crew of the Challenge-142. Once things get rolling, the movie rarely lets up and moves along at a brisk pace, rapidly pushing its characters through one bad situation and into another. While not as intense as later films would be, the approach taken works very well and the viewer begins to detect the sense of danger and desperation that builds as the film progresses.

Sadly, the character development that was so well executed in the Howard Hawk’s The Thing From Another World, is sorely and quite obviously lacking here. We are quickly introduced to a number of people, who for the most part, will be expanded upon very little and examined only long enough to form the vaguest of impressions. With the exception of Carruthers and Van Heusen, who these people are and what motivates them was just not important to the producers. Those two are plainly set up to be at odds with each other, though the conflict is really all on the part of Van Heusen, who is resolute in his belief of Carruther’s guilt. Yet, the film sets up this adversarial dynamic and goes no where with it. Early on during the monster’s rampage, Van Heusen takes a hit and is restricted to bed for the rest of the film, offering up only smartass remarks and a failed attempt at killing the creature thereafter. I suppose one could say that Van Heusen was shown to be in error when it came to the veracity of Carruthers’ story, and that he was pushed aside to make room for latter to take the lead and redeem himself. There could not be two leaders, so one was removed.

While the characters might not be the most fleshed out in film history, they certainly make up for it with their actions. After viewing this movie, one has to wonder what kind of idiots these people truly were. How they ever graduated from some type of training program and granted a position on a ship to Mars is beyond me. In fact, the entire organization seems lacking. There is just so much that betrays them as morons. Like smoking. These people are nicotine fiends who are lighting up non-stop. Someone missing? Have a smoke. The monster kills someone? Have a smoke. Time running out and death looking certain? Have a freaking smoke! I must say that the Challenge-142 must have one HELL of an air recycling system. These folks have the oxygen scrubbers working overtime with all the smoke they exhale.

On top of that, these guys are gun toting, trigger-happy morons who make the Montana militia groups look like the boy scouts. They start squeezing off rounds at the drop of a hat, no worries about ricocheting bullets or friendly fire. I guess the ship, on top of having a first rate air recycling system, also has the sturdiest hull ever manufactured by mankind. It must have, as these guys don’t give a single thought to accidentally rupturing the hull. And they don’t stop with guns! They haul out grenades by the dozen and detonate them and then move on up to firing a bazooka in their ship’s control room!

 

As far as visual FX are concerned, this film doesn’t have too many. What we do see is adequately done by the standards of the day. The most ambitious shot is the view of Carruthers and Calder walking down the side of the ship as it traverses the stars. Back then it might have looked awesome, but now it is very easy to notice that the actors don’t seem to be covering any ground, despite taking numerous steps as well as the obvious signs of matting them into the footage of the rocket. I’d venture to say that the best looking thing we see, though it is just for a few seconds at the film’s beginning, is the painting that represents the surface of Mars. Sure, it looks nothing like what Mars really looks like, but it is still executed pretty darn well.

 

Now we come to the one aspect that is both one of the best as well as one of the worst things about the movie: The monster. The monster costume is a glaring source of both potential embarrassment and possible fun. The costume is a rather bulky, rubber affair that bends in all the wrong places, heightening the “cheese” factor and lending a certain air of ridiculousness to the film. The way it lumbers, stumbles and plods around the ship is laughable considering the dire circumstances and danger it supposedly represents. The face is static, except for the tongue that is often protruding from the sizable mouth. This effect was produced by the actor’s chin pushing the “tongue” through the creature’s maw.

Since the movie was filmed on a mere handful of sets, with a single set used to represent the various central chambers of the ship – just re-dressed for each one, director Cahn makes good use of the limited space he has. Thanks to the camera work and the set dressing, the ship comes across as being fairly good sized. Another thing he does rather well in conjunction with cinematographer Kenneth Peach is to hide the monster and utilize shadows to create an atmosphere of dread and creepiness. Whether this was done for artistic reasons or to help hide the often silly-looking monster suit is open for debate, but since the creature is shown quite well on several occasions, and the suit holds up pretty darn well to scrutiny, I personally believe it was the former. There are numerous occasions where all we see is the beast’s shadow on the wall, or a foot moving across the floor. More than one assault on a Human is shown as nothing more than shadows on a wall, which, while lessening the onscreen violence, only makes the attacks more horrifying. This method really helps in firing the imagination, as what the mind conjures up is almost always more frightening than what we ultimately see on screen.

Still, despite all the apparent flaws...indeed, perhaps because of those very flaws, this film has a sizable “fun” quotient. Taking it too seriously will only lessen the enjoyment derived from the proceedings. An enormous grain of salt, along with a large suspension of disbelief will come in handy here, and will help transform the film from an “old 50’s monster movie” into a “classic B-Movie experience.”

 

Identifier: typographyofadve00farr

Title: The typography of advertisements that pay : how to choose and combine type faces, engravings and all the other mechanical elements of modern advertisement construction

Year: 1917 (1910s)

Authors: Farrar, Gilbert Powderly, 1886-

Subjects: Advertising Type and type-founding Typesetting

Publisher: New York London : D. Appleton and company

Contributing Library: Duke University Libraries

Digitizing Sponsor: Duke University Libraries

  

View Book Page: Book Viewer

About This Book: Catalog Entry

View All Images: All Images From Book

 

Click here to view book online to see this illustration in context in a browseable online version of this book.

  

Text Appearing Before Image:

. Fancy typefaces are difficult to read at best and the smallsizes are still more difficult w^hen not properlyleaded or spaced. CHAPTER VII PICTURES AND ENGRAVINGS The Forceful Educational style of advertise-ment is really a little story from real life and,therefore, a good picture should be used with thisstyle of advertisement whenever possible. Ithelps attract the reader and also makes the read-ing easier. Some advertisement stories are very far-fetched, and for that reason should be treated asthe magazine editors treat fiction—use washdrawings. Whether the picture should actually be a washdrawing, a crayon drawing, a photograph or a linedrawing is something that must be decided by thenature of the appeal and the medium in which itis to appear. It is simply a matter of taste as to whether thewash drawing in the Valspar advertisement isbetter than the crayon drawing in the AlexanderHamilton Institute advertisement. I prefer thecrayon treatment because it is not so common-place. 147

 

Text Appearing After Image:

& me by Yalmbne & Company He wanted to make surethe Varnish was Valspar! ILTE had seen our advertisements■*• •■• picturing a man pouring boil-ing water on a Valsparred table so hedecided to maie t/ie.iame test on his oiLmnewly vamiihed floor This little scene actu-ally took place. VALENTINES SEAR The family was very much startled — but they survived the shock. And so did the floor for it really iviJi Vahparred. Therefore, even the boiling water could not spot it white or harm it in the slightest. Thats why Valsparred floors are sodesirable—to clean them you simply The Vvmsla TTiar Wont Turn Whit* wash them with hot water—even hotsoapy water. Thus our friend thoroughly satisfiedhimself on two points— Fint, that our adver-tising claims for Val-spar are true, andSecond, that he gotValspar Varnish on hisfloor ai ordered. And so, this man, like many others who havetested Valspar, decided then and there to usenothing else when varnish was needed.Valspar may be had

  

Note About Images

Please note that these images are extracted from scanned page images that may have been digitally enhanced for readability - coloration and appearance of these illustrations may not perfectly resemble the original work.

I was having a hard time choosing a movie. My dilemma was if I should do a well-known one, or just something I like even if people do not know it.

 

I turned down Suspiria, because lately I have been getting too many “I like that you are bitchy” and “I love your creepy photos” type of comments and I am gonna start scaring people. I am much sweeter in real life!

 

I turned down the fountain scene in La Dolce Vita, because….errrr… I have no fountain and because Anita Ekberg’s bewbies were double mine. I turned down Psycho, Pulp Fiction and Amelie because I was convinced that a few people would do them.

 

I ended up with this.

 

I think good choice, bad, bad photo. Remember my point-and-shoot? (well, I do not let you forget, do I? LOL). Well, it’s not actually even mine. It’s my boyfriend’s and now he is on a trip and he took it with him. So I borrowed my mom’s. I think this has got be the lowest point so far. I mean, this is the photographic equivalent of living in your parents’ basement. So this camera sucks. I got the poses the way I wanted them after 20 takes or so, and intended to desaturate in PS. It was a disaster. It looked so crappy. Obviously the settings were all wrong. Crap. Plus I shot at night with crappy lighting. Crappity crap. I had meant for a “clean” image, but there was no way I could pull it off. So I was forced to use the texture. At least, Bergman himself was sort of muddy-destructive in this film (at least emotion-wise) and this gives me an excuse (or so I convince myself).

 

---end of rambling---

 

oh yeah, this is for FGR's "reinventing Movies" and this is the link to the original screen shot:

www.luebeck.de/filmtage/02/press/fotos/images/persona 1.jpg

Porcelain Gods - "Paul Weller" - Play this track here.

 

?Whats this iPod Shuffle set all about? Read about it here

 

I remember discovering this on the Stanley Road album when Weller was being confirmed in Q etc as 'The Guvnor'. His Style Council days were thankfully by then behind him. This is pretty much a perfect album. Collaborations from Steve Winwood, Noel Gallagher and Steve Cradock of OCS (that's Ocean Colour Scene, not Office Cleaning Services in case you were wondering) pepper the album and (hope you like the link), the classic cover was designed by Peter Blake, designer of The Beatles' Sgt Pepper's album.

 

Paul Weller was actually born 'John William Weller' 25th May 1958, in Sheerwater, near Woking, Surrey. Weller was born into a working-class family. His father worked in the building trade as a scaffolder and a bricklayer, and his mother worked as a cleaner. Weller was brought up in Stanley Road, Woking in a Victorian council house, which had an outside toilet but neither hot running water nor central heating.

 

Woking is the town in which the Martians first land in H. G. Wells' science fiction novel The War of the Worlds. If you have ever been there you will realise why.

 

------------------------

 

The Philharmonic Dining Rooms in Liverpool, England is situated on the junction of Hope Street and Hardman Street, diagonally opposite the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. Locally it is referred to as the Philharmonic Pub or simply the Phil. Designed by Walter Aubrey Thomas for the brewers Robert Cain & Company, it opened in 1898. The exterior is in the Art Nouveau style.

 

As requested here is a shot of the famous Adament urinals. These can be visited by women by request. No trip to Liverpool is complete without a visit here. The architect of the Phil, and other pubs was Walter Thomas.

 

NB: Like all the images on this stream, full size prints up to 30x20inches are available, Check my profile for how to contact me.

 

Checkout more cool stuff from my photostream.

 

Keep in touch, add me as a contact www.flickr.com/relationship.gne?id=33062170@N08 target="_blank" so I can follow all your new uploads.

 

(c) Hotpix / HotpixUK Tony Smith - Hotpix.freeserve.co.uk WDCC

 

()

"Put on your Sunday clothes, there's lots of world out there ..."

 

(' WALL-E' by Thinkway Toys)

 

Diorama by RK

Suspended Animation Classic #247

Originally published September 19, 1993 (#39)

(Dates are approximate)

 

The Silver Surfer

By Michael Vance

 

“The Silver Surfer” #s 86 & 87/$1.25, 22 pages, from Marvel Comics/words: Ron Marz; art: Andy Smith/available everywhere comics are sold.

 

In an industry fascinated with fads, a superhero on a surfboard seemed inspired in the 1960s. Almost twin in appearance to the Academy Awards “Oscar”, this mercurial hero seemed silly on the surf … er, surface of the Earth, speaking in stilted dialogue that was excessive even for comic books. So, The Silver Surfer was quickly forgotten.

 

Thou fool. Not so.

 

Actually, twenty seven years after his first appearance, he’s still a gnarly dude if you’re, like, into superheroes, you know.

 

The Silver Surfer began as a cosmic herald for a creature that ate planets. Now exiled to Earth for past sins, he still battles evil with his “power cosmic”, which “none may stand before”. Er, before which none may stand. The stilted dialogue is still a trademark as is the energy the Surfer uses against his cosmic foes.

 

The Silver Surfer now battles Thor, a mythological Norse god that joined the superhero union even before the Surfer. Thor is temporarily insane, and therefore, a bad guy. The war is waged in epic proportions with epic dialogue because Thor also talks in stilted Old English. Verily, forsooth.

 

Surfer’s art is excellent – clean, distinctive storytelling that’s light years ahead of the crowd, The exaggerated, incorrect anatomy that makes superheroes dynamic is here, subtly. Faces are too much alike, but artist Andy Smith didn’t create these faces, and rightfully holds true to established likenesses.

 

The writing for “Silver Surfer” is also much above average. The characters (that Ron Marz, writer, didn’t create) remain true to long held characterizations. Marz’s plot is simple, but clear and entertaining. Originality isn’t epic, and almost non-existent, but Marz still writes words worth reading. He even downplays the Surfer and Thor grandiose verbiage.

 

Therefore, ‘tis well enough to stand firm, sayeth Thor, thou who wouldst cosmic clashes. Purchase anon “The Silver Surfer”.

 

Folks who don’t enjoy superheroes can stand firm with Faulkner and Hemingway. As for me … I stand with both.

 

Though it looks like summertime in this picture, the actual print has a date of "Oct 1954" on it. Patrice and Aleda are standing in their "floaties," at some public pool in the area -- I have no idea which one. This was a particularly affluent time, nor did we live in an affluent neighborhood: we did not have a pool in our backyard, nor did most others in the neighborhood. Indeed, I remember only one neighbor who did have a pool, and their kids were extremely popular as a result...

 

********************************

 

Most of the photos in this album were taken nearly 40 years after we first moved to Riverside, CA, as part of some research that I was doing for a novel called Do-Overs, the beginning of which can be found here on my website

 

www.yourdon.com/personal/fiction/doovers/index.html

 

and the relevant chapter (concerning Riverside) can be found here:

 

www.yourdon.com/personal/fiction/doovers/chapters/ch8.html

 

Before I get into the details, let me make a strong request — if you’re looking at these photos, and if you are getting any enjoyment at all of this brief look at some mundane Americana from 60+ years ago: find a similar episode in your own life, and write it down. Gather the pictures, clean them up, and upload them somewhere on the Internet where they can be found. Trust me: there will come a day when the only person on the planet who actually experienced those events is you. Your own memories may be fuzzy and incomplete; but they will be invaluable to your friends and family members, and to many generations of your descendants.

 

So, what do I remember about the year that I spent in Riverside? Not much at the moment, though I’m sure more details will occur to me in the days to come — and I’ll add them to these notes, along with additional photos that I’m tweaking and editing now (including some of the drive from Riverside to Omaha, where our family moved next), as well as some “real” contemporaneous photos I’ve found in family scrapbooks.

 

For now, here is a random list of things I remember:

 

1. I attended one school, somewhere in downtown Riverside, when my parents were looking for a house; and when they finally found a house out at the edge of town (at the base of the San Bernardino foothills), I was switched to a different school. This was typical; I usually attended two different schools in every city we lived in, and I attended a total of 17 schools before heading off to college.

 

2. While I eventually rode my bike to and from the second house to my school, I started off riding a school bus. A bunch of us kids would wait on a corner for the bus to arrive; and it was at the edge of a huge orange grove that seemed to stretch on forever. There were always a few rotten oranges lying on the ground, thoroughly rotten, and these substituted nicely for snowballs. There is nothing like the experience of being smacked in the stomach, of your fresh clean shirt, with a rotten orange.

 

3. Like most other suburban kids in the 1950s, I was allowed to do all sorts of things alone — as long as I returned home by dinner time. I could ride my bike anywhere I wanted, alone; I could hike way up into the hills alone (as long as I had a pocket-knife, which my father insisted I carry in case I was bitten by a rattlesnake). And I was allowed to sleep outside in the back yard, in a sleeping bag, virtually whenever I wanted to. The weather was always quite mild, the skies were clear (Los Angeles smog had not reached us in those days), and the stars were utterly amazing. There were shooting stars to watch, an experience I have never forgotten.

 

4. I discovered that marbles were excellent projectiles to shoot with one’s slingshot, and that they would actually travel in a more-or-less straight line. I became pretty good at shooting lizards with my slingshot; all I needed was an endless supply of marbles (because you could only shoot them once, at which point they would generally disappear somewhere). So I began practicing quite hard, played competitive games of marbles every day at school, and eventually amassed great quantities of the little round things.

 

5. Even better than lizards were spiders; they were everywhere, and they were relatively easy to catch. I don’t think any of them were dangerous, and in any case, none of them bit me. I sometimes put them in my pants pocket for the day, and I often brought them home. And I would put them in the dresser drawer with my socks and underwear; it seemed like a good place for them to relax. My mother discovered a couple of them one day, and was not impressed.

 

6. We had relatives in the city of Los Angeles, and made the 50-mile drive to visit them once or twice a year. We also made a 50-mile drive once or twice to visit San Juan Capistrano, which my parents thought was the most wonderful place in the world — mostly, they told me, because of the famous swallows that migrate each year from someplace in Argentina. In fact, I think they were impressed because they were old enough to like a 1940 hit song, “When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano,” which I couldn’t stand. If they had told me the place was the locale of the first Zorro novella (“The Curse of Capistrano,” published in 1919), I would have been much more impressed.

 

7. Riverside is where I got my first dog—a mutt named Blackie, that was part of a litter produced by the next-door neighbor’s dog. It provided an open invitation for me to visit the next-door neighbors whenever I wanted, and swim in their pool (a rarity in those days). At the end of our year in Riverside, Blackie moved with us to our next location — traveling all the way in a little house/bed that had been made for him in the World War II Jeep that Dad hitched to his Chevrolet.

 

8. Riverside is also where I had my first exposure, at school, to kids of other ethnic backgrounds. There were Asian kids, and black kids, and Latino kids (whom, sadly, my father referred to generically as “Mexicans,” but whom he also held in high respect because he remembered watching their comrades working harder and longer than any of the “white boys” in the rough mining and ranching camps on the Utah/Colorado border, where he had grown up). All of us were thrown together in the same classroom, all of us traveled to each other’s houses and neighborhoods after school, and nobody seemed to think it was unusual in any way.

 

9. I learned, to my enormous delight, that I *was* different in one special way: I was left-handed. During the pickup baseball games that we played constantly during recess, lunch, and after school, there were never enough baseball gloves for everyone, so everyone simply shared with everyone else (after all, if your team is at bat, you don’t need your baseball glove). But I was the only left-handed kid around, apparently the only one in the whole school; so nobody ever wanted to share my glove.

  

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