Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Hope everyone is having a pleasant Halloween, watching the little goblins wander around begging for candy, and all the other fun associated with such a ghoulishly wonderful holiday.

Figure I'll leave you a little musical treat as well. Michale Graves (formerly of the Misfits) doing a compelling acoustic version of one of the best songs from Famous Monsters.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is it just me, or did there seem to be a dearth of Halloween themed TG captions this year? I mean, with all the various angles, is everyone burnt out on the idea of Halloween being a great tool for stories and captions?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy Halloween .. a few days early!

It was 70 degrees a few days ago, now we are expecting a few inches of snow! My daughter is curled up with her boyfriend watching Saw IV right now, eating popcorn. A perfect pursuit on a Saturday evening right before Halloween. I'm not too happy about the boyfriend part of the equation, but at least she's not wearing a slutty costume right now at a party somewhere! Slutty Halloween costumes are supposed to be for ME, not her!

This is the costume she wants to wear for Halloween!

I am pretty sure that everyone that reads this blog knows that I'm a huge fan of Halloween. When I was growing up, my house was always the one that went the extra mile in giving out "tricks" along with treats (which was a piece of candy and a pencil.) After my mother died, other people in the neighborhood took up the mantel, so even 17 years later, there is always at least one house having fun, whether its a haunted garage (with sink that has bloody water flowing through it) or a campfire with scary stories being told by a wizard or witch. Because of this, I always go back to the old neighborhood and hand out candy with my dad. Even though we don't do anything special, it is something that links us back to my mom. Some of the parents still tell us about how we scared the hell out of THEM when they were their children's age!

I love Halloween, but I wouldn't want it to be Halloween everyday. I think it would tend to cheapen it somehow. I like it being SPECIAL! The first time I walk into a store and see a Halloween display, or hear commercials for a haunted train or hayride ... Getting ready for a horror movie marathon, or creating a Halloween mix CD for the car ... Catching good deals on candy, fishnets, and other things like skulls, headstones, weird flavors of Jones soda.

I am not sure I'll be posting on the actual date of Halloween. Depends on how busy I am at work. If I don't, I hope that everyone that reads this, and all those close to you, are safe and happy on Halloween. For those who celebrate Samhain, a Merry Meet to you my friends! Call out the elements in peace! Be blessed!

DISCUSSION QUESTION: What are your favorite Halloween memories? DO you enjoy Halloween more or less than when you were younger?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Auto-closets and TG Universes

While this caption was made for Elly, I wanted to stretch my creative wings a bit, and do a caption that was pretty much set up in an established TG universe, specifically one that I'm not that fond of. The only one I really like is Spells R Us, and that is because its so open ended AND the guy in the bathrobe seems rooted in the ways of Kokopelli, the trickster and fertility deity.

I was/am pretty sure I'd never done an Auto-closet caption, and this picture fit the idea I was looking to make. I thought that the best way to work with it was to make it totally accidental, and the idea of looking for gifts came to mind, since I remember having my cousin look through my mom's closet rummaging for Christmas gifts .. all so I'd have a plausible denial if I was asked, "Did you go through my closet?" ... I hadn't but my cousin certainly did! I did reciprocate for him as well. My mom had much better taste in clothes than my aunt!

The further twist was my take on an O Henry type irony, just to rub the feminized wounds a bit more.

So I used this caption as a way to force myself to be creative with something I wasn't that enamored with as an exercise to make my overall writing better. Did I succeed? Well, I think I did, as I ended up liking this caption a lot more than I should have.

The main point is that we do need to stretch out and try different things so we don't get stale in our creative endeavors. Just because we have a certain wheelhouse zone for our captions, doesn't mean we can't wander around the landscape from time to time. Breakaway and level off the rut you find yourself in, and break free from your own expectations once in awhile!

DISCUSSION QUESTION: Perhaps this was discussed before, but What is your favorite TG universe and what is your least favorite? How often to you read/write captions with topics you don't think you'll like? Has it ever swayed you to like it any more than you used to? I will try to follow up on your responses in the next post or two.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

... and Don't Call Me Shirley!

This is one serious piece of fluff I made yesterday. I figured that Caitlyn would be stressing a bit with school, and would enjoy the distraction. I even named it "Caitlyn picked the wrong week to stop making captions" since that referenced another famous line from the movie.

I know that most captions are made to titillate, or evoke another emotion ... but I like making captions just to let others know I'm thinking about them. Its cheaper than Hallmark, and much more seductive too, huh?

Of course, the jokes are all from that classic 1980 movie, "Airplane" which I recently watched again on DVD, and then caught Airplane 2: The Sequel on Netflix. I love both movies, even though the Zucker brothers had disowned the sequel, and still haven't watched it. Watch them both if/when you can, it still holds up well now over 30 years later, and it never fails to lighten my mood.

I had the "Surely you must be joking" line in my head, and since Leslie Nielsen played a doctor in "Airplane" I thought of a nurse saying that line in a TG caption. From there it was easy to find a sexy nurse outfit for Caitlyn to be wearing, and it pretty much wrote itself. I wanted to follow up that line with another joke from the movie, so I played it through my head, and the "its a blank .. but that isn't important right now" just popped out at me. They actually use the "its a building with sick people in it .." so that worked just fine for me, and related back to a nurse and doctor speaking about what had happened.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: If money and situation weren't an issue, what would you dress up as for Halloween? Have you and someone else ever dressed up as partners of the opposite sex for a Halloween party? What was your best Halloween experience?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Question Answered .. and Ikea Furnishings!

I LOVE this caption, probably because I used some of the most amusing dialog I've ever thought up. I honestly had saved the photo because of the items in the background, and specifically the painting on the wall. The caption itself fits in with what I wanted to talk about today.

Let us see if I can answer this formspring question that was submitted months ago it seems. Alectra writes the following:

Can you imply the way someones talks in a cap? if so can you tell us how you do that?. For example: a character that uses broken sentences or talks without breathing(run on sentences)talks with a funny accent.Do you think that's difficult to add on a cap?

There are quite a few different ways to do what you are asking. One though has to deal with content, and the other has to do with formatting.

When it comes to making people speak broken English, as though they have been changed into a different ethic background, you first have to make sure you aren't stepping on too many toes. Stereotypes can be played with, but you have to be careful about going over the top and not being racially insensitive. For me, I usually go WAY over the top, so that no one knows there is any chance I am serious in what I am creating. Also, the protagonist in this caption is pretty much fulfilling what stereotypes HE believes in, so it softens the insensitivity a bit. At least I hope it does!

As I mentioned in a blog posting below, when I was doing the bad spelling/grammar in the Jillisa caption, I started with a correct version of what I wanted to say, then I adapted it from there. Its the same here when trying to figure out how you want the dialog to sound. Knowing how ESL people speak (English as a Second Language) helps when trying to whip up accent. For instance, French people (especially French Canadian) tend to have trouble with plurals. Perhaps an order from Dunkin Donuts might sound like, "I'd like a dozen glazed donut to go. Eet is aboot the best you can get, eh?" Yes, its a tad bit over the top, but most Boston accents aren't quite bad as "Pahk the Cah in Hahvud Yahd" either. After you work on grammar (like plurals, pronoun misusage and word order "throw the baby down the stairs a kiss") you should go through and find words that need to be pronounced differently and make a phonetic adjustment.

When it comes to elements like HOW they are talking, its a matter of how you wish to format and highlight it. For me, the best way to convey it is to adjust the font size and group the the words accordingly.

If it is in broken sentences, I would use the "..." between words and phrases to indicate a pause ("It was ... you .. all along .. wasn't it? I .. should have ... figured it out .. but I ... NO!")

To make a run-on sentence showing a lack of breath, I would probably make the font smaller and either group words into one chunk at a time ("whadoyoumeanIdunnowhatizgoin'on? Shaddupyouboogerhead!") or use many prepositional phrases slammed together without punctuation ("of course I knew what was going on with you and Steve behind the school after football practice while I was getting tutored by Jake for the French assignment I missed cuz my mother's car broke down on that stupid off ramp next to the mall with the really lame mani/pedi salon that does my toenails in friggin' pink like I'm some Hannah Montana watching, Beiber drooling mall rat like Becky! I mean, as if!")

If I can find a caption when I'm at home to illustrate this, I'll edit this post and add it in. If not, I think you hopefully get the idea.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: Anything I may have missed, or not quite clarified? I made this post while working, so I'm not sure how well it flows, since it was written in fits and starts over the last 2 hours or so. For those who create captions .. I don't notice as many captioners using dialog as much to show changes that happen in the storyline. Any reason why they, or you if you don't, use it more often?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Robyn's Turn in the Barrel

Many captions I make are either based off of pop culture references, or come from some other sort of "shared collective".. and this caption was based on an old joke. I don't know the official etymology of where exactly it came from, but I know that its been told about the navy for a LONG time, and possibly comes from Britain. Can any reader back up that claim?

Here is a basic telling of the joke. In fact, I might first heard of it when reading "Gross Jokes" back in the late 1980's. You remember those books (the ones with dead baby and Helen Keller jokes) right?

This guy decides to join the Navy. On his first day of service, he gets acquainted with all the facilities around the ship he will be serving on. The guy asks the sailor showing him around, "What do you guys do around here when you get really horny after months of being out at sea?", to which the other replies, "Well, there is this barrel on the upper deck, just pump your cock in the side with the hole."

Weeks pass, and the new guy is getting real horny and remembers the barrel. He climbs to upper deck and sees the barrel. Flings his shlong out and starts fucking the barrel. Its simply the best feeling he had ever experienced, it was truly a success!

After he was done, zipped up and merrily walking along, the guy who originally told him about the barrel walks by. "That barrel really was great! I could do it every day!"

To which the other crew member replies, "Yeah, you can every day except Thursday." Confused, the new guy asks why, to which the other guy replies, "Because its your turn in the barrel on Thursday."
The punchline became slang in certain areas of work. Here is what the urban dictionary has for a definition...

(one's) turn in the barrel: 
    Signifies a dirty or unpleasant task that one must do since it is part of their share of the work and that others have taken their turn doing before them.  It sometimes referred to doing KP, but in times of combat might have been used to mean taking on a very dangerous chore (like walking point on recon). There is a vulgar joke associated with the phrase about soldiers putting their penises through a hole in a barrel to receive oral sex. When a new recruit asked who was in the barrel he was ordered to shut up. Several days later he was told it was his "turn in the barrel." This vulgar joke is the source of the phrase. In spite of its crude references I have heard Generals and Admirals on CNN use the term to describe taking their turn at an unpleasant task.
This caption pretty much leaped out of my fertile imagination while looking at ladies costumes online. When I saw the photo, for a moment I thought about the whole Milton Beryle "the IRS took everything" but then went right to the more smutty barrel idea. It wasn't too hard to figure out how to make it work as a TG caption. I think it is a fun, burlesque type caption, and my only real complaint is that the model is smiling too much, almost like she likes what she is doing, which perhaps she does! Of course, there is a very punny zinger tacked on at the very end. I know that quite a few people groaned, but hey, that is what puns are for!

DISCUSSION QUESTION: We've mentioned folklore here in this blog before, but what "historical" jokes and riddles could be used to make TG captions? I know there HAVE to be a few "farmer's daughter / traveling salesman" captions out there. Have you seen any of those? What other humor chestnuts can you think of that would translate well to the TG genre?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Wishing peepulz a Hoppy Birfday

I don't think I've posted this one before. Its hard to figure out sometimes if I've duplicated a caption. I had no real topic that came into my mind for this blog, and I did post yesterday, so I went into the Haven and just randomly picked a caption out from the pile.

One of the things I like to do is acknowledge peoples birthdays from time to time, especially those that make a difference on the Haven. Usually when I make them, its with humor, and addresses the actual person that hangs around the Haven, not their persona/namesake. They are, I guess, 'semi-meta' in that I take their real life and their on-line life and sort of mesh them together.

Jillisa is a stickler for spelling and grammar, and always has a strong opinion. I have no problems with that, though I know it makes it hard on some others, especially some newbies. However, I think she's harnessed that streak into becoming one of the best proofreaders out there. I know that she has helped quite a few of the people reading this blog.

That being said, it is fun to tweak her and how she presents herself sometimes.  The above caption is a good representation of how you can tweak in a pleasant way. I mean, look at her! I'm not sure the REAL Jeff would give up his smarts to be and look like that, but I wouldn't necessarily bet against it either! As someone like Jillisa, I am quite adept at proofreading and it was quite hard to make that last paragraph at first. I got around it by writing it first correctly, then degrading it as best I could. Thinking like a bimbo can be like ... umm, totally hard and stuff *giggle*

Though not an actual birthday caption, this falls into the category of a 'semi-meta' caption I made for Jennifer. She loves Mila, and loves blow-jobs. However we also know that she wouldn't just take ANY offer that was presented to her! She's has to do her due diligence before just hopping in any guys car. I mean, what if they weren't large enough, or able to produce enough cum for it to be worth her time and effort?

And yes, its a caption I did in Comic Life (made about 3 years ago!) I never really got comfortable with the program and quickly went back to Photoshop. Maybe I'll post the others at a later date. I do think that Comic Life did work well for this caption, if I do say so myself.

DISCUSSION QUESTION:  The leaves SHOULD be changing color soon here in New England (it was actually 85 on Sunday!) so ... How would you like to change over the next year? It be can in real life, your online life, habits and/or ruts, whatever. Do you resist change or embrace it?

PS. I was proofing this, and its fun to see that Mozilla Firefox knows that "blowjobs" is NOT a word, and suggests either "blow-jobs" or "blow jobs".

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Working for the BoA

This was something I wrote for Bren, who has probably been my friend the longest on the Haven. We both started around the same week or two, and figured out many of the intricacies of the Haven on our own.

I posted this one to the blog because I've noticed a few people are posting on the Haven that they are currently in the middle of a writer's block, and hope to get over it soon. I figured I would hit upon a few things that might help others.

I don't want to admit this because some people might be pissed that I've made a shit ton of captions and it might sound like a brag, but I rarely get writer's block. For me, the delay is mostly imparted by a lack of time and availability to make captions. I think there are 2 main reasons why I am not often stumped for ideas when it comes to creativity.

One is that I don't usually put much pressure on myself to (a) make a caption, and (b) make a GOOD/GREAT caption. If the thing sucks, it sucks, and oh well, I'll get 'em the next time around. I think I've gotten to a point that, at worst, my caption is going to be rated "meh" and I can live with that LOL Most of the time, I won't even stress that much if its not flowing well. I will just save it, and try to revisit it another day. There has been quite a few captions that I've rescued out of the old graveyard and re-purposed with either a newer picture, or a modified story. Talk about being green and recycling, huh?

The other thing is that I tend to make things that are a moment in time, and nothing that has an overreaching arch. I find an anchor point, and craft everything else around it. I will let my mind meander around that point to flesh out something in my mind, but I don't have to include all those details IN the caption. That way there is always a focus.

Since I often do "a moment in time" captions, I can do use just about anything that happens in my life, or in the life of others that I know. Just reading the web for information, I can jog my mind to see a TG moment lurking somewhere underneath the surface of the story. In the above caption, I took a real life and current happenstance, and related it into a TG plot line. For those that don't know, Bank of America is instituting a monthly bank fee of 5 dollars for most of its customers, just for using a debit card. This is on top of whatever other fees they collect for the individual transaction and other fees. Naturally there is an outrage among customers.

Banks piss people off. I would imagine they piss off magical beings as well. Doesn't seem like a stretch to think that THIS scenario would happen and happen fairly often in the Haven realm of worlds. I took it up a notch by showing that it was getting tiring for Bren, and that this thing has happened before. I wanted to show the drudgery of daily life, where even a TG magic event was just another annoyance in an average person's day. "So yeah, I was stuck in traffic, the network went down, I was turned into a girl, and they were out of hummus at the deli! Thank god I'm home!"

DISCUSSION QUESTION:  Do you need the TG element of captions to be fantastic, life-changing and the complete center of the whole thing, or do you like them to be a sub-plot or piece of a whole puzzle? What is a good percentage of "actual change" to "rest of the story" when you are reading (and/or creating) a caption?

Friday, October 7, 2011

(Wo)man of La Mancha .. and questions

A few "questions" to get to today.

First up is this one ..

Which would make you happier to create? A cap that you don't think is very good, but is VERY well received, or a cap that you think is great, but receives no comments whatsoever?

  Well, I thought that Simone gave a pretty good answer on her blog, though for the life of me, I can't remember exactly what she said. That's actually a good thing though, because I don't want to rip off her answer.

I like this caption, quite a bit actually. At the Haven, it only received one comment, and that was from the recipient, Kaitlyn. I don't mind though, because I don't think it would appeal to anyone other than some other captioners. It doesn't have a typical plot, and other than Kaitlyn's name, I went out of my way to only use some monologues from "Man of La Mancha". I really made this for myself, and since Kaitlyn is someone that enjoys the 'art' of caption making, I think she realized how hard it was to do.

I really think that if you want to increase your skill, in no matter what you do, you have to think outside the box sometimes, and rage against conventional thinking from time to time. This was my way of restricting myself, hoping to push my creative boundaries. I wanted to take the words and apply them to a TG story and make them at least feel organic. Part of the story is based on "The Impossible Dream" and for many people, becoming what they truly are is just that .. and that they are "really just tilting at windmills" to relate it back to the caption. I tried to tie that all into this caption, without much explanation, and stay true to what I was making.

Happiness is twofold in the way I make captions, since 99 percent of them are created for another person.

The main thing is that if the recipient doesn't like what I've created, then I can't be happy about that. I must say that I have created crappy captions (in my mind) that the recipient LOVED, along with many other people. I KNOW they are crap, but they are right in the wheelhouse of many other readers. It makes me happy that people enjoy it AND perhaps they'll check out something more oddball or offbeat I've created that could blow their minds and make them think outside their normal realm, all because they remembered me from that other work I created.

The other sort of happiness is when I feel that I have set a goal and accomplished it. Using an odd picture that no one else would think to use, or picking a topic that most would NOT even touch (for instance, the JFK assassination, or 9/11). Something that will stretch my captioning prowess and keep me interested in doing this. I've made over 1k captions, and somewhere around 1300 panels. I've done that consistently over the last 3+ years, without little in the way of burnout or many leaves of absence. I try not to repeat myself too much, so it is the twists and turns that keep me from falling into a rut. When it stops being fun, that it when I'll step aside. God bless those that can crank out hundreds of captions all dealing with the same theme! I need to wander around the landscape or my ADD will kick in!

Here's two that I combined into one ...

I LOVE HYPNOSIS!!! PLEASE DO MORE!!! This is the same random hypnosis fan, and I can truly say I love it. A change on what I'm used to, but I look forward to more hypnosis from you :)

There will definitely be some more on the way, but I was sort of disappointed in the lack of response to an offer of literally, "I will MAKE a caption if you give me a idea I can work with, specifically in one of these genre's that people keep asking for." If any of those people in the left column said to me, "Hey Dee, got any ideas about a caption you'd like to see?" I would probably jump all over that and probably reply "Well, I've never seen a caption based on welding, how about that?" Honestly, I thought this was the perfect time for someone that hadn't made a caption before to get a first hand look on how it can be done. Oh well!

There is one question left in the queue, which is Alectra's .. a posting all its own, and one that I am going to have to go through the archives to pull out a few captions that will illustrate what I want to talk about. Since it is quite a bit of work for that, it will have to wait for another day.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: Can you appreciate a caption for what it was trying to do, even if you didn't really enjoy it? Also, what is the best way to handle a caption you've received that you just had no connection with? Should you tell the person in a comment, an instant message, or just parse your words in such a way that it sort of seems like a compliment but with less conviction?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Haven Quarterly - Issue II .. Now Available!

This issue is packed with over 70 (!) pages of TG captions, stories, and other wonderful distractions!

Everything inside the eZine is EXCLUSIVE and won't be seen on anyone's blog, or even on the Haven itself. It contains creations by :  Alectra, Ashley M, Caitlyn Masked, Dalene, Dementia, Entrancing Kayla, Jennifer, JPL Debi, Kaitlyn, Madcap McGee, Martha, Mistress Simone, Nadine, One eyed Pirate, Playin Petra, Rhianna Nichole, Sammie, Sarine Davis, Sci-Fi Kara, Shysteffie, Smitty, Terri, Total Ditz, and Victoria Hyde.

Honestly, if you can't find at least 2-3 people in there that just makes you all melty when looking at their work, you really shouldn't consider yourself a TG fan. The Haven Quarterly costs $10, ALL proceeds will be used to keep the site online. The eZine is loaded with EXCLUSIVE captions and stories from some of your favorite contributors on the Haven and is available no where else!

My contribution consists of a caption (one of five) where a picture was supplied, and each captioner put their own spin on it. It is fun to see what each person came up with when the source photo is the same.

I also wrote a reply to an "Ask the Mistress" column, which apparently was too risque for the normal section, and ended up in the "Smitty" section! And I was just having fun, not anything TOO naughty! Well, maybe just a little evil! For those that say I don't present as a Mistress or Domme that much anymore, you NEED to check out this eZine!