Friday, April 29, 2011

The Inner Slut ... and hello, you out there?

Something I made for Dalene awhile back. She wanted to be a total ditzy stupid bimbo .. so I decided to give it to her in spades. It seemed to be exactly what she wanted. It is always nice to give people what they want, even if they didn't know they wanted it at the time. Mick Jagger said, "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need." Why can't they always be the same thing, huh?

Speaking of what I want and/or need, I don't seem to get too many formspring questions, nor replies for simple requests. Am I not approachable? Are people that enjoy my work incapable of forming a thought without using more than 140 characters (That's right Caitlyn, I'm talking about YOU! LOL) Am I not posting blog posts at the right time of day, and they disappear down the blog lists of other sites? I am not sure if I am doing anything wrong, or are people that apathetic to saying anything, or so passive that they just want to be spoon fed?

I had approximately 3000 page hits in the last 20 hours or so since I posted the last post. I understand that the discussion questions are often detailed, and don't pertain to everyone. If a viewer reads it, at least there is a chance they'll think about what was asked, and it stimulates thought.

However, when I ask for a quick little, "tell me about a TG blog or two that I should be following" I figured to get a good number of replies. I certainly hope to get more than the 2 I've gotten so far. I am not calling out the "regulars" because they tend to comment anyway, but the random people that visit and revisit. I'd like to know some of their favorite blogs, so I can check out some good stuff too!

I've been around the Haven for a number of years, but there are many people doing TG captions that only have blogs. It'd be nice to see some of their work as well. Maybe I can find some inspiration from what they do, and they can pop in here and get them thinking more about the big picture when making captions. I know that I'm a much better captioner now because of discussions I've had with Simone, Bren, Jennifer, Caitlyn, and many others.

Instead of a discussion question, I want to direct you to my last post again, regarding TG caption blogs. I would like to see some recommendations for blogs you think I'd like. You can even cut and paste the following and just change things that are bolded to what you want to say.

"Oh Mistress Dee, Goddess of groan-inducing yet steamy captions. I want to tell you about a blog that I think you'll like called Barbie's Bacon Wrapped TG Captions. I'm sure you'll like it because their style is similar to yours, except there is always a piece of charred porcine flesh shown somewhere in the picture, which always makes me feel so submissive yet tingly. Thank you so much for allowing me to brighten your terribly exciting day with my mundane existence. Keep on rockin' in the free world, and for goodness sakes, stop quoting old Rolling Stones songs! At least pick a somewhat modern act, perhaps Green Day or U2."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Payback is definitely a ... Dee-otch!!

So here we are, back to normal! And by normal, I mean, guys being turned into hot women with lots of word play and sly winks at the audience reading this TG caption.While not a quintessential caption for me, it is definitely one that is representative of what I tend to produce over time. I think this was from some point in 2009, and was made for Davewashere25. I think I've had the privilege of captioning most of the people with folders in the Haven, and as I get spare time freed up hopefully soon, I want to tackle some of the newbies that have joined in the last month or so, along with those that migrated over from TF Media.

On that note, I would like to welcome anyone that has recently started reading this blog. We had a big influx within the last month that took the followers up from 69 to 92 in the space of a few weeks. I'm hoping to crack the 100 followers plateau soon. While I haven't seen a jump in comments, I have noticed a fair rise in daily page hits. This leads to my discussion question.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: I want to expand my list of caption blogs that I follow. I know there are some good ones out there, and I'll need visitors help. In the comments, I would like you to list ONE or TWO of your favorite TG caption sites that AREN'T already in the list to the left AND tell me WHY I should be following them. I don't mind self promotion as long as you can tell me why they should be in my left hand column. (and Alectra, you will be in the next update so you don't have to mention your blog!)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Be Prepared!

Well, since a few folks didn't like the wholesome caption that I posted on Easter, I figured I'd give the people what they want .. more feel good and clean TG captions! I'm nothing if not responsive to the masses that clamor to view my blog.

I had made this caption ummm, about 2 days before the Tsunami, and that is the main reason why I didn't post it before now, just in case anyone would get offended by the timing. The caption is very basic, and since it wasn't for someone specific, I decided to post it here. I saw the picture while viewing images for a caption that needed more than one person, and the idea of survival group meeting every year popped into my head. From there, the story came easily. I made it mostly to see if I could do it, without making it too maudlin, but still fall within the realms of a traditional TG caption.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: How many people is TOO many people in a TG caption, image wise and storyline wise? I, hopefully wisely, left the people as generic. I think if I had identified a few people in the pictures, I'd have made it WAY too unwieldy. The original plan was to make the story with the Scoutmaster as the center of the story (hence the orange border and text highlights) but it didn't work out the way I wanted.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Zombie Jesus Day!

Happy Zombie Jesus Day, and hope everyone got their fill of lamb, pig, or other beast!

We here at Dee-lusions of Gradeur decided to give you a perfectly wholesome caption for your viewing pleasure. There is certainly a lack of standards and decorum in most TG captions, and we endeavor to provide a balance to the barbaric and perverted imagery of our TG brethren.

Nah, fuck that shit! Just having some fun! I enjoyed making this about 2 years ago, as I wanted to do a Seinfeld "Opposite George" styled caption. Everyone in TG captions always end up slutty and oversexed. I figured it would be amusing to turn that idea on its ear. Other than Karen Elizabeth's stories from 1996-2000, I don't recall many sweet "no sex before marriage" tales. Perhaps that says more about us a community, but its probably more of a reflection of society at large. Then again, SEX SELLS!

If you keep saying your prayers and go to church, you could end up looking like this! Just get down on your knees at night and .. ummm, never mind! That could definitely make you a bad girl!

DISCUSSION QUESTION: Do you remember (or created) any TG stories or captions that involved a bad boy to good girl scenario? Make your recommendations or post some links to stuff you've enjoyed that are of the same ilk as the caption I've posted above. Maybe this is a category we can get moving and thriving again!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Questions? We Want Answers!

Well, since we only got 2 questions, I made a caption for both people!
First up ... Davewashere25

have any of your dreams you had while sleeping inspired captions stories or your TG personality?
Unfortunately, I am barely ever able to remember my dreams, though it might be for the best. My mind is quite unique and I’m not sure I really WANT to know what my subconscious is up to.

Most of the time, my real life is what inspires captions, stories, and the way I present myself in the TG community. A phrase, something I see, or anything, no matter how boring or mundane can work itself into what I create. Many times, the captions I make are often based on context, and just a slight juxtaposition can make a TG moment snap with possibilities.

Just look around the next time you are in a public place like a Target or Walmart. Think about all the TG things that could happen there. Could you accidentally walk into the ladies room and upset a witch? Could a malevolent being swap the genders of the dressing rooms and you end up trying on a dress and heels? Are they offering samples of something with a cute salesperson that won’t take no for an answer? Does a dominating woman see that little peak of nylon between your pants leg and shoes, or the top of your panties? Not only does it make shopping fun but it can certainly jog your creative juices.

Next up .. is Alectra

When you are building characters in a story do you tend to follow basics archetypes and traits for them? or do you try not to fall in the usual blonde equal to Bimbo / Brunette equal to dark mistress types as examples?

I tend to use archetypes mainly because they are a setup that everyone knows up front, without having to elaborate. If I was writing a story, I could take the time to flesh out characters, but when you’ve got one panel, or even a few … its best to get right into the action. Besides, I can always allude or slightly reference something that is different than the established norm if need be. 

However, half the fun of using established stereotypes is then breaking them down and/or playing off them. Breaking the mould is good for having a “GOTCHA!” moment, and turning a situation on its ear. When you balance the two equally, it makes things highly unpredictable. THAT is really the best setup of all .. when a reader comes into a caption without preconceived notions of what is going to happen, or if they do, deflating the scenario that they expected.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: How do YOU answer their questions?  I was searching for a picture for Dave's caption and found a ton I could have used, so I took one of the alternates and made a caption for Alectra. Do you think women in men's clothing is sexy? Just certain poses or articles worn? Please explain.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cat Scratch Fever .. and delays

This isn't going to be a long post, more of an apology. I knew that work would be slowing down after this week, but in the meantime, I've had more medical issues AND a close friend has been in the hospital so I've not really been around. I will answer the questions that were submitted hopefully by the end of the week, depending on factors possibly beyond my control. I had 2 questions so it shouldn't be to hard to pound them out when I get a chance.

I continue to pop in and out of the Haven, mostly to make sure it hasn't blown up, so for the rest of the week I am going to be more of a drive-by admin there. Luckily with people like Steffie and Pea keeping an eye on things, I shouldn't be missed when it comes to day by day stuff. If you made me a caption and I haven't commented, I will give it some attention as soon as I can.

Lastly, I am hoping that this post doesn't sound all dramatic and brooding or anything like that. Mostly I've wanted to post every 2-3 days or so and wanted to let people know that I'm still around. I am anti-drama and if there were huge issues, trust me, only a few would really know what was going on.

Friday, April 15, 2011

300K hits! You Got Served! and More!

Well, since we just passed 300k hits for this blog, I was in a mood to celebrate. Ask me a question this weekend (either on the Formspring box if its less than 140 characters, or PM me at the Haven, or comment below) and I will try to answer them all as truthfully as I can. Things like my likes, dislikes, thoughts on whatever comes to your mind, etc .. Whichever person's question elicits the best answer out of me will end up with a caption made for them, exclusive to this blog (It won't be posted to the Haven unless the recipient wants it there) .. offer good as long as I get at least 4 questions to answer.

THANK YOU to everyone that has visited this blog, especially those who make comments. I try to make this as interactive as possible, and when there is feedback, it is truly welcomed and vital to maintaining freshness.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

You kneaded Me!

Going through some medical issues again this week, and with the pain killers starting to actually work finally, forgive me if I am a tad loopy in my writing tonight. I still wanted to post something though for people to chew on.

I like this caption because I think it has the right mix of revenge, but with an underlying sweetness. I also wrote it more like a story, almost to prove that I could do so if properly motivated. I think the induction/hypnosis was interesting and panty steaming, at least I hope that people thought that. Everyone needs to relax, and just melt into words and images.

I know I didn't leave a discussion question to the last caption. Was hoping people would just leave some general thoughts. You can certainly still comment there, and THANK you to Simone for her kind words.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: Don't you think we need more hypnosis TG captions? What are some things that would make good ideas for future hypnosis captions?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Blog Exclusive .. Cerrdwen Is Watching Over You

Well, I made this one a Blog Exclusive, since I didn't want to corrupt my thoughts in dealing with preferences in making this caption, and I wouldn't want to burden anyone with being a subject of this either. It pretty much came out in one big wave, and I just wrote what I felt should be the text. I only did the minimum editing, in fixing spelling errors. I didn't worry too much about whether the words were just right, as I wanted to catch a moment that is awkward yet poignant.

The female name of Cerrdwen is the goddess or rebirth in The Goddess Oracles. I took it from a blog that describes her as the following:

Cerridwen’s appearance heralds a time of death and rebirth. Something is dying and needs to be let go of, so something new can be born. We know the earth’s dance of death and rebirth as the seasons. Matter cannot be created or destroyed, but undergoes transformation. So do we. To live fully and in wholeness we need to accept life in all that it is, which includes death and rebirth. Let go of what does not serve you and your wholeness.
Mark has found his rebirth, yet it troubles the few left behind. Simon doesn't quite get it, but over time, he will figure things out. Life has a way of keeping things in balance. Both are to be reborn; Cerrdwen physically, and Simon will more metaphorically. I know people who have transitioned. Getting people to see the current reality, and putting the past behind them when others want to keep dredging it up, or deny, or try to assign blame is hard for everyone involved. I wanted to see a happy ending, which unfortunately not everyone does. Isn't that what life is all about? Don't people truly want their stories read where the princess is rescued and every lives happily ever after?

I give you life
I give you death
it is all one
You travel the spiral path
the eternal path
that is existence
ever becoming
ever growing
ever changing
Nothing dies that is not reborn
nothing is born that does not die
When you come to me
I welcome you home
then I take you into my womb
my cauldron of transformation
where you are stirred and sifted
blended and boiled
melted and mashed
reconstituted then recycled
You always come back to me
you always go forth renewed
Death and Rebirth are but points of transition 
along the Eternal Path.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A JFK Quote .. and site news

I've been trying to bring my captions to their next plateau, and one of the things is making better backgrounds by making gradients with colors from the picture.  I can't do it for all of them, but probably 6 of the last 10 I've done all fall into the realm of playing around and seeing what works and what doesn't. I think that this caption is one of those where I got it right, and the fact that I didn't have to play around too much to get it the way I wanted makes me very happy.

This was just a fun little quickie that turned out way better than I expected, since I was winging it. I had no specific goal in mind, other than Tom was going to be a teacher. From there, I figured out that adults tend to judge their own generation as much more responsible and altruistic than those slackers growing up now. I wanted to see a pompous jerk get their comeuppance while being reminded that people have been shirking their responsibilities forever!


We are probably 5-6 days away from hitting 300k pages viewed. I probably would've hit that by now, but blogger's counter went down for about 3-5 days and we got no credit for any page hits then. We are almost at 100 followers as well. I am hoping to hit that by the beginning of May.

I also have a few captions that will be blog exclusives coming soon. Nothing spectacular, but I had a few ideas that were more generic and didn't quite fit anyone, but I still wanted to create.

Things will slow down in real life within the next few weeks, so I will try to get "Jennifer's Challenge" underway. I need to go back and find out exactly what the hell I am supposed to be writing for it again LOL

DISCUSSION QUESTION: Are the gradients distracting to you? What is your favorite part in the captions that I make? Overall style, the story lines, the wit, the marriage of the pictures and story? Any particular things you don't care for as much?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ruminations from the Grey Couch

And here is the other side to wishing. I would guess that occasionally you get it right .. incredibly right. I made this one for Rose Red the other day. I was just remember some famous people bitching about their wonderfully horrible life. Its all just so hard and that they wouldn't wish it on anyone.

Well, here is MY answer to that!

I am not sure I could have written a lousy caption to this picture. I could have pasted the phone book into it and no one would've complained. I found this picture and KNEW I had to use it somehow. The design was set up about 2 weeks before I actually captioned it, which is one of the few times I've ever done that.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: Make sure to check out the discussion question below. To follow up on that one .. Some people will just complain, no matter what happens in their life .. Would the best fate for them to be .. to have their wishes twisted .. or actually be exactly what they wanted?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fast and Furious Wishing!

This caption was actually inspired by the episode of Family Guy. At one point Peter wishes that he had a soundtrack for his life, so he has walking music, sexy music for when Lois and him are intimate, and when he's riding on the bus. Of course, he ends up boneless, but that is another story.You can find the whole episode on Netflix.

I figured it might be cool to have life that was officially recorded so you could watch anything that happened, rewind, etc ... From there, it became a porno life. After that, I saw this picture and the way Gwen is looking towards the lens brought this idea to mind my and I immediately had to caption it.

It certainly doesn't reinvent the wheel, with the misguided wishes, and whatnot .. but it sure is fun, isn't it?

I enjoy making little quickies like this, especially when I offer 2 for 1 deals, because I can try things I wouldn't necessarily do otherwise. I am working on different sorts of gradient backgrounds, and while I probably did a bit too much black in this one, it probably works better that way.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: If you had three wishes, would you try to wish them earnestly and hope they weren't twisted by the offering Djinn or Genie? Or would you deliberately make them obtuse so that you could get exactly what you wanted? I am expecting LOTS of comments here, even after I've posted the next topic. What exactly would you wish for?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The King's Throne .. and a question!

DO you ever worry about accidental plagerism? There are common threads thoughts, trends, and themes, in TG captions and a lot of people surf same or similar sites for inspiration and pictures... I always worry that I'm going to create something not like

Well, Joseph Campbell talks about a “monomyth” in his seminal book, “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” where story archetypes follow certain patterns. There are only a finite number of plots to go around, most people suggest seven (person vs. nature, person vs. person, person vs. the environment, person vs. machines/technology, person vs. the supernatural, person vs. self, and person vs. god/religion) while some would suggest only one, which is a person against conflict. Most stories/movies, etc .. mix and match as needed.

Everything is going to be recycled. Just watching a sitcom will make you aware of that. I’ve mentioned before that I could predict my daughter’s Disney Channel shows with such a degree of accuracy, she wanted me to stop watching them with her. Bewitched is a perfect example of a formulaic show .. Darren has some sort of presentation, insults Endora who puts a spell on him, he struggles with it, then Samantha saves the day by incorporating the issue that Darren has, and they make the sale, with the drunk boss happy once again … never mind that Samantha seems to be the only one keeping McMahon and Tate alive in a business and creative sense.

I am more concerned with switching up enough in my captions where people won’t be able to predict what I am up to next. That goes for both the actual caption AND the sequence of captions I make. If I make a silly one, do I follow it up with another silly one, or a sultry caption instead? If I make a sweet caption, do I then get sadistic and dominating for the next three that I create?

Pictures are a bit more problematic, though with Google image search, there are lots more photos to sift through now. A number of years ago, it was difficult to aggregate pictures by what you were looking for, so people tended to all fish from the same few sites, which could lead to redundant images. There are a few shots for me that are iconic, in that I’ve seen them used at LEAST three times in captions (I believe I’m the first to use the picture up above in March of 2009, and seen it used at least twice since.) I’ve even been reluctant to use famous pornography actresses / website stars because they could pull someone out of the story in seeing them. However, even using the same pictures can lead to hugely different captions, as seen in my experiment a month or two ago with five captions all using the same image and background.

I guess the whole point of plagiarism is knowingly copying someone else’s work. I guess there are degrees in what people would consider copying. Picasso is quoted as saying, “Bad Artists copy, Good Artists steal.” I think that Caitlyn is a great captioneer, and once, I saw something she created and I said, “Wow, it is a lot like a caption I made,” but after reading it, there was a unique spin on it. Whether she had read my original or not, there was a different overview to it that attacked the plot from a different perspective. In fact, she probably hadn’t read my caption, but came to the same realization that I had when I made mine. When Nirvana stole (and pretty much admitted to doing so) “More Than a Feeling” from Boston for "Smells Like Teen Spirit," they spun it into something totally removed from the original. They used the chords as a starting ground and expanded it to a different entity of its own.

What I do have a problem with is when someone lifts paragraphs straight from someone else’s work and does nothing with it. It can be glaring, especially when they are using source material that is quite distinctive. I know one captioner that straight up pilfered a picture from a caption that Petra made. How do I know? It was a trade caption made for me that had the “Playin Petra” tag she used to use at the bottom of the picture. That is just bad form!

I wouldn’t worry too much if you aren’t cut and pasting your captions from other people’s works. Since it seems like your question was cut off due to Formspring having that 140 character limit, I’m not sure where your question was heading. Feel free to PM me at Rachel’s Haven or post the full question in multiple boxes on Formspring if I haven’t fully covered what you wanted to talk about. Lastly, you could also post in the comment section.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: How do you go about making sure you aren’t copying someone else’s work when making a caption? As a reader, do you care if you are reading something that has been plagiarized? Since I mentioned both Campbell and Picasso in this post, how many dick and fart jokes do I have to add in the next post to balance the blogs intellectual factor?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Housewife .. more of "Snippets vs Big Picture"

This is a follow-up to the discussion we had in the last post. Wanted to clarify, and expand upon things that were brought up in the comments. Mainly that there is no wrong way to go about in making captions.

Back when I started, I tended to make captions with the big picture in mind, but after making MANY captions, I figured that there was probably no way I was really going to make something that was truly ‘new and fresh’.

Once I hit that wall I wanted to focus on small, little things that seemed like a snapshot in time. Something that could illuminate a piece of the puzzle that might be skipped over if we’d rushed through the story to get to the end.

I liken it to marriage. When younger, a teenage girl often thinks about getting married, then getting a house, and having kids, even wondering about how many to have and what to name them. Within that, she has the church picked out, who will (and won’t) be part of the bridesmaid’s, the wedding dress she’d like to wear, and the song that she’ll dance to with her future husband.

The fun part about that is most of the time, the fiancé is meaningless. It is a fuzzy idea of masculinity / Prince Charming, not necessarily directed at an actual person. You could take a mannequin with a sperm-laden turkey baster, and she could technically live out her entire dream without anything else changing.

Also, there is no real idea as to what being in a committed relationship entails, or the drama involved with not only raising kids, but the whole realm of pregnancy.

Herein lies the problem with captioning … for me, its hard to have a big picture AND fill in all the details. Even if you go with a multi-panel set, you are still leaving out some things. That leaves either giving a broad overview and summation, or picking a specific idea/moment to elaborate upon.

I will still do both, and I have no problem doing either. Sometimes it HAS to be one way or the other, depending on someone’s preferences blocking the path to do it in a certain style. Our choices in how to present the caption can also dictate this as well. Often times, I try to make it a point in time, and elaborate with some sort of back story, but I am very selective in what I use to fill in the gaps.

Anyway, its too late to make this post short and sweet, but pretty much, in my instance, I think I’ve mostly moved on from doing whole and complete stories through captions, and gone towards focusing on a small aspect of whatever theme I happen to be working on. Those captions will be the ones I really enjoy making and reading, and is something I can sink my teeth into and feel like I’ve accomplished something. One of the reasons I wrote this post is to use the term “sperm-laden turkey baster” somewhere and have it in proper context. Yeah, I know, but it keeps things interesting for me, so bite me!

DISCUSSION QUESTION: What challenges would you like to tackle as a captioneer? Do you even HAVE challenges and goals that you’ve set out for yourselves? When READING a caption, do you prefer a story arc, or a “slice of life” moment in time?