Tuesday, February 28, 2012

As if the genderbend virus wasn't bad enough!

This was a donation caption for Taralyn .. every panel she receives, she'll pay 5 bucks towards the upkeep of the haven. I wish more people would make her a caption so we can keep the web host we have now, OR find a better one that won't crash as much. The Haven seems to get the short end of the stick when it comes to server issues, and the customer support reeks.

You don't usually see enough "its happening RIGHT NOW!" captions, since most people don't want to see mannish women, or femmed out men in their little caption fantasies. Unless you make the physical changes happen first, and write the caption as their mind changes, the writer is in a bit of a bind to make transitional captions.

This picture gave me a chance to play around a bit and create something that was an "in the middle of another change" slice of in the moment captioning. As soon as I saw the picture, it said to me, "guy is changing into a bimbo right now!" The face is obscured a bit, so it can be easier to see yourself in the caption too. It was a nice little moment, and I wrote it up hoping that no one else would find the picture before I had a chance to finish it up.

While not reinventing the wheel, I like the fact that there are multiple changes. First from boy to girl, then an adaption period before I spring the 2nd part from girl to airhead blonde. In a way, that is probably a worse transition than just from boy to bimbo.

I am not sure there is a universe out there called the genderbend virus. I just wanted something vague and generic that would move the plot along. Its more of a deus ex machina than something fleshed out. I apologize a thousand times if I inadvertently infringed upon any established fictional universe and their codes of law. Mea Culpa, Mea maxima culpa.


Few other things I'd like to note. First is that Caitlyn is taking time off to make sure she finishes up her professional training, so I am going to miss her until she gets back. Knowing her these past few years, she is usually "all-in" or "go home" .. no half-measures for Caitlyn! That also means, I don't expect she'll be gone TOO LONG! I'd like to take credit for bringing her to the Haven and making her a must see captioner, but if it wasn't me, I'm sure SOMEONE else would've tickled her fancy enough to get her to start making her own captions!

Also, I noticed that someone has recently created a TG caption site that is pretty much an aggregate of other people's captions. While I don't mind people saving captions I've made to their computers, etc .. and I have no issues with anyone posting my captions elsewhere .. I DO EXPECT that you give CREDIT and a LINK BACK to MY SITE here. The page says its a conglomerate of captions, but if you don't tell people WHO made them, the viewer have no idea who to seek out. Other people on the web do watermarks (like Steffimarie and Simone) but I would prefer to keep my captions free from distractions (and I am very ADHD and often end up staring at their watermarks instead of the caption cuz my eyes wander) so please don't make me rethink my policy on that. I'm glad you like my captions, but please abide my reasonable requests in posting them.

That being said .. if you come here often and DON'T belong to Rachel's Haven .. why the fuck aren't you a member yet?? There are THOUSANDS of captions in the trading area alone, plus a ton of archival sets in the gallery of old lycos and yahoo sites that have since closed shop. If you like to Role Play, you can find a bunch of people to mess around with, and its just a friendly atmosphere all around.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: What type of picture would you think best fits the "the transformation is happening as we read" type caption? What other ways could we write up a caption to use a more generic photo?

PS. You are ALWAYS welcome to ask other questions, make comments, or just sort of ramble if it fits in with something I've touched upon up above!

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Hidden Compartment, Pea Brain, and 1 million hits!

This was an "insta-caption" I'd done for Petra back in November of 2010. I think Pea had posted new pictures to her "photos for captioning" folder on the Haven, which Steffie had grabbed one and was having me proofread it, if I recall correctly. I figured I would check out what new stuff she'd posted (Petra has a great eye for gorgeous women in poses and situations that work really well for TG captions) and this picture just jumped right out at me.

I don't recall it taking more than 5-8 minutes from start to finish. I love making captions for people like Steffie and Petra because we are all good friends, and all enjoy goofing around with each other. Even more than that, we ENCOURAGE each other to be wacky and irreverent. Here's a small series I made for Petra, that I don't THINK I've posted here before.

I can't tell you how much fun it was to make, and get reactions to, this caption set. That is the main reason I wanted to post tonight. Sometime over the weekend, this blog will have hit the 1 million mark for page views.

I know that since this is more of a discussion site, I don't necessarily get the views that other sites get, and I have no problem with that. I think that my goal is to lift the curtain and show what is going on inside a somewhat creative mind, and get others to think about what they are viewing and/or creating. Its a earnest minded goal to be sure, and I do take the discussions seriously, but the main goal here, and in the Haven, is to have as much fun and enjoyment as possible. Not only that, but to make sure that everyone else comes along for the carnival ride.

I love what I do, and there is no mistaking the fact that I enjoy making captions. That is why I have this blog, and why I've probably not suffered any particular burnout creatively. Here is something that ended up being ironic .. its from the FIRST POST I ever made at the Haven:
As a lot of people that like TG, I am prone to disappearing and reappearing, and as such, it's apparent that it'll take me forever to get enough postings to see the real galleries, both here and at the (bimbo) sanctuary (I'm finally up to 70 or so there, only took me about 2 years for that!) I'll post a few things, then think I'm saying too much and revealing, then scurry away like a squirrel. Then at some point, when I have free time, I'll pop back in.

I envy those that really can just jump right into the communities and post away without any fears. Perhaps they feel they can be free to be what they want online, or that they are truly comfortable with laying it all out there.
Well, other than the fact I'd never MADE a caption at that point, once I hit the Haven, I never looked back. I made friends there, which meant fun, then made some captions, which was even more fun! Over time, I became more established, helped out in many facets (writing coach, librarian, links coder, then finally admin) and in every case, found something whimsical and charming about the whole experience. All that made me exactly the person I wanted to be online, and the person that I used to envy. What a wonderful outcome!

Long story long, since its my friggin' blog ... I hope that you can see the joy in each caption that I make and discuss, either here or on the Haven. I like to think that I leave a bit of the essence of "Dee" in all my works. I remember Bren saying that she would quit making captions once she hit 1k. I wondered why she was being so arbitrary. How can you stop if you are having a blast, or even worse, if you kept making captions if your heart wasn't into it .. just to make your goal. Luckily Bren kept on going after she passed 1k (I think she's over 1200 right now) but I know I'll stop only when it isn't fun anymore.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: When it comes to captions, what is it that makes it the most enjoyable? Is it the subject matter (like a certain fetish or genre) the picture, the mood, the design, the worldview of the creator, or something else? I'm hoping that I get lots of comments on this.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Welcome to the House of Fun!

Yes, its a mellow caption, but what do you expect? I've been out of commission for a bit now, and need to ease into naughtier captions, so consider this a palette cleanser.

Made this 2 days ago for Chelsea Baker, as she was one of the few people I had left in my debt chart. The idea was to make a oblivious caption, so I went to the web to see what I could find. I didn't want anything too over the top, so I limited it to leggy pictures. When I found this picture, a fun house setting struck me as a neat idea for a caption. It started as a "wouldn't it be interesting if places put fun house mirrors in their bathrooms?" From there though, it turned around as "what if the fun house made the changes, and the mirror was actually real, but he thought it was part of the whole experience?"

Juxtaposing the central idea appealed to me, as it almost puts conventional wisdom on its head, and gives a caption that is almost from left field. I used the stereotypical "chick idea of a great date" to drive home the changes made by the fun house, and threw in some that "guys think is a chick's idea of a great date" and "things that chicks do on girls night out."

Of course, while finishing up the caption, this song was playing in my head!

Speaking of that song, you'd think there would be more captions based around pharmacists and drug stores! I think I've only made a few captions dealing with that, and this happens to be the 1st one.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: Anyone thinking of making special Leap Year captions? Figured since it only comes once every 4 years, there would be some sort of magic involved that might be interesting for TG ideas. I am going to bounce some around my brain pan, though I'm not sure I WILL do something, I figured I'd ask if others had any thoughts on it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Scariest Show on Television!

Made this caption for no one in particular, so its a blog exclusive! Its not QUITE a body swap, officially, but more like a gender and social standing swap.

This was made a few weeks ago: the last time I really sat down with the purpose of making captions. I saw the picture (I think on the main screen of Yahoo) and thought it was a good photo for some sort of swap. I mean, the guy is holding a remote control, we can't see what is ON the screen BUT their reactions are somewhat extreme and a bit over-the-top. It really needed to be captioned by someone in my opinion! Might as well have been me right?

From there, it just needed to be fleshed out. Am I completely happy about it? Not really. I probably left some plot points out, and since it was towards the beginning of my medical crap, I definitely kept it PG rated.  Why haven't I kept it in the archives and reworked it later on down the line? To be honest, once I figured out it wasn't going to be for someone else, I kind of lost the burning interest in seeing it come alive. Looking at it now, the caption seems like me sleepwalking through the whole creative process, and going through the motions. Sometimes that is good enough, but not this time, I must humbly say.

Health wise, I am doing much better, and I have a followup on Thursday that should give me a much better idea of how things are going to proceed henceforth. I am not jumping in full throttle back into the TG game quite yet, but I hope to ramp up my involvement very soon. Perhaps I'll fire up my programs soon and see if I can muster up some compelling captions in the next week or so!

DISCUSSION QUESTION: How would YOU have handled the picture in the caption above? I'm really interested in what sort of story/plot YOU would have made to go along with the photo.

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Business Meeting ... or Just a Transaction?

This caption set goes back a LONG time ago, almost 4 years ago! Whoa! Where did all the time go?

Figured I'd post an update. A few hours after I blogged on Saturday, I ended up in the hospital with vomiting, etc ... and ended up with a big case of dehydration, which was bad due to my other medical issues. I ended up going into surgery on Monday to fix something, and a follow up procedure on Thursday, so I've been out of commission for quite some time now. Hopefully in the next week or so I'll be back to my normal bitchy self, and can pounce into the TG scene the way I was before all these life complications took place.

If you notice, I have tried to stay out of viewing actual captions, but will chime in when its a discussion ABOUT captions, though I really haven't popped on to anyone specifically .. its more of a "check to make sure my blog is working, oh Caitlyn has a discussion about ..." and I'll put my two cents in when the feeling gets me.

I've really missed the camaraderie of my captioner friends, and getting the inspiration to create new works. It pains me in many ways not to be able to participate the way I want to.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Working Sissy Monthly .. and Formspring Question

Well, I was messing around with Photoshop, mostly because I know that Facebook will soon make us all use their TIMELINE thing, which means a widescreen main picture. I wanted to try out some new techniques. Some of them worked, but others for some reason didn't, specifically selecting few layers to create a new layer group. I couldn't get my SHIFT + mouse click to work so I could pick more than one selected layer. Because of that, I gave up and went to a picture directory I barely ever view, figuring I'd find some pictures I could fuck around with.

This picture was one of the 1st ones I saw, since its quite old. I think it might actually be from 2002! For some reason, the composition of the photo and the subject matter screamed "Its a magazine cover for Working Sissies!" BINGO! From there, it just took a bit of time to come up with some topics. I can't wait to read the cover story about how Ron's company is doing so much better now that he's just another member of the secretarial pool instead of the head honcho. I even used the same font that Cosmopolitan uses for their magazine covers.

Is Screamo still around?  Hard to believe that THIS song is almost 10 years old now!

This song below is one of my favorite "tranny" songs. Hard to believc that THIS SONG is in JUST DANCE for the Wii! Get those future drag queens dancing in style!


This leads to a formspring question that I wasn't officially ignoring, but really wanted to put a conscious effort into doing it properly. It is from Simone:
Challenge: You're a woman for a day - what's the soundtrack to your girl day and why?
I would state my case that I don't really think I would change much about the music I listen to as a boy or as a girl. I'd probably want to go out dancing at a club, so some of it would have to be some mindless pop music, perhaps Born This Way by Lady Gaga would be an ironic musical statement to boogie my boobies around in a club.

However, upon thinking about it further, I wouldn't what style of music best represents transgender ideas and ideals? For me, its cabaret music. There is utter beauty in the performance, but the undercurrent is darker than what is apparent on the surface. And nothing represents that ideal with another of my favorite genres .. the punk cabaret duo of The Dresden Dolls.

Amanda Palmer is truly a force of nature, who never stops to think about why she shouldn't do something, even pissing off most of the gothy fan girls by marrying Neil Gaiman and releasing entire CD's of ukelele cover songs. Brian Viglione is an incredible drummer, and probably just behind Josh Freese in terms of talent (high praise indeed!) Brian is also an admitted straight man and a cross dresser, and doesn't give a rats ass who knows.

I can't begin to describe how much I love this fucking song! It moves me in ways that not many songs can, and its themes are both universal and strangely personal at the same time. It doesn't fit the standard Dresden Dolls song, yet its probably the MOST Dresden Dolls song as well.
Sing cause its obvious, sing for the astronauts sing!
Sing for the president, sing for the terrorists sing!
Life is no cabaret ...We don't care what you say ...
We're inviting you anyway ..
You motherfuckers you'll sing someday!
Who doesn't want to just open up and say what you feel, and show the world who you really are behind the masks we all build for ourselves. It is hard not to let your emotions run free when you are singing. It is probably the most intimate thing we can do in public. I mean, how often have you been embarrassed at a stop light or someplace, singing your heart out along to the car radio, when you realize that someone is watching you? Sometimes happiness is the littlest things in life, and those little things are the most freeing things we can do.

And unfortunately, I wanted to go to the video shoot, but my car broke down that day! Stupid transportation issues! No mater what though, I'll just sing!
DISCUSSION QUESTION: What style of music do you think best represents transgender ideas and ideals? What would you listen to on your day as a female and why?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Dr. Mentia Opens her Hypno Office

Well, I said I would post a hypnosis series, and I am pretty damn sure I haven't posted it here before.

I made this series for Samantha Hanley, who has sort of disappeared over the last few months (She hasn't signed onto the Haven since October 2011) and I really miss her work. She was really into two things that I enjoy in captions ... Hosiery and Hypnosis. Now and again, she'd come up with some really cool twists, but I'm not sure if she just got burned out with captioning or something else. Samantha dear, if you are out there, drop me a PM or something!

Anyway, I am a big fan of both, and wanted to make her something special, but wasn't sure where to go until I found a series of pictures that pretty much scripted what I wanted to say. By this point (April 2011) I was barely making anything longer than 1 panel. From my idea though, I KNEW that it had to be longer than that, since in my head, there were certain points I wanted to hit, and figured one panel per emphasis point would convey the story better, especially since the best pictures were aligned horizontally.

I like to think that I made it flow fairly well from panel to panel, especially since my ADD (or is it ADHD?) tends to kick in by the third panel if I try to make series. She isn't a fan of magic, so I had to create the whole "manipulating body tissue" to get the boobies to make sense, since the point was the computer and phone triggers were changing him from a "former college acquantence" to a secretary over the course of the morning.

Looking at it again, I realize that I was definitely making all the exposition flow through her stream of consciousness dialog, but I'm not sure how else I could have done it and made it flow the way I wanted it to be. I don't think its clunky, but I recognize the limitations I had imposed upon myself. Hypnosis captions tend to need more verbiage to get their point across. Even though it runs through four panels, I am not sure how much more I could whittle down and still have a completely coherent TG caption series.

In other blog news, I was bored the other night and tagged all the posts for February of 2011. That leaves March-May of 2011 without tags for the blog. I wrote up many posts for those months, but if I can do one Month per week, I should have ALL the captions tagged by the middle of March.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: What do you like about hypnosis TG captions? What things about hypnosis captions make you want to scream "I NEVER want to see THAT again!"? What things WOULD you like to see more of in TG hypnosis captions, that you don't see enough?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Welcome .. and you're welcome!

Here's a "lost caption" from 2009 that had never been posted anywhere on line until now. The staff and admins of the Haven were trying to figure out new ways to get freshly joined people more into the Haven, and ways to get lurkers out of their shells. This has long been a problem for many sites, including most of the TG blogs that are looking at their hit counters and wondering why the comments are so low.

One of my ideas, which was never implemented, was to make a boilerplate caption or two .. and the one that fit a persons profile the best would be sent to their private message inbox. We'd have some made up depending on some of the major draws of TG, like schoolgirl, BBW and pregnancy, bimbo, etc ... and we'd just plug in their male/female name.

The caption above is one of those boilerplate captions that I made. I can't find any others, so perhaps another staff person made a 2nd one, or the idea was dropped after just one? Another possibility is that I just recycled some of the others into a normal caption for someone else later on. Either way, the idea was to make something "generic" enough to fit the most widespread group of people that would be joining the Haven, while making it personalized enough that people would think it was just for them.

Yes I realize that the above description makes it sound like a TG form letter, but (1) there are a TON of people that have joined the Haven and continue to do so, and (2) no one gets paid to make captions .. could you imagine cranking out hundreds of captions for ANYONE that joined?

Long story short, we mostly worked on the Haven FAQ, and did some streamlining, all while keeping our core values and striving for continuing diversity along our previously designated matrices, while allowing for growth in unexpected allocated units.

This blog is slowly creeping up on 200 members, which is always a good sign. My goal is to always have more members than posts, so even a 1:1 ratio is ok. If it gets to a point where I've got 300 posts and 200 followers, I might have to readjust my goals or rethink what the impact the blog has on others. I also think I'm about 35k short of a million hits, so I'm guessing around the end of February, I'll hit that very cherished mark.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: Since I've gotten a decent bump up in members over the last few weeks, I'd like to hear from some new arrivals, but  as usual, all visitors are welcome to comment. What is the most inviting aspect of this blog and what drew you to it?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Making a few changes

My House .. My rules .. My God! .. My body!

This caption topic is my general theme for today .. changing up (hopefully for the better) things around you. In this one, Patrick soon finds out that you really shouldn't set a precedent you can't follow up with, especially when your offspring has magical powers. Even in real life, if there is a loophole somewhere in your reasoning, your teen daughter will find it, trust me!

This is what I said in a reply to a comment posted in the folder when this caption was originally posted to Rachel's Haven:

The loophole was sorta thought about after watching 10 Things I Hate About You" with my own dear sweet lawyer, well, until the phone call came along that she had to take "CUZ, OMIGODYOUAREKIDDING? WHATHAPPENEDYOUTELLMEEVERYTHINGHONEY! ITWILLBEOKISWEAR!"
Yup, she'll be an incredible Penny Mason in a few years!
Its an old caption, but I think its a good plot device, and one I hadn't seen much of since I made it. Of course, if I had made this recently, as opposed to 3 1/2 years ago, it'd look A LOT better visually .. but I'm not sure how much I'd change in the execution of the storyline or writing. Perhaps I'd make the ending slightly less clunky to read, but overall, I am happy with how it turned out.

If you didn't notice, I went and changed up the look of this blog somewhat. I didn't really make wholesale changes, and I reserve the right to mess around some more. Its really my first overhaul since I started this blog about 18 months or so ago. The main thing I wanted to change up was the banner at the top. I made it at work and was never really that fond of it. Its a bit more of what I want, and a bigger size so that I can make the actual blog wider .. since most people now have screens bigger than 1000 pixels across. Other than that, some of the colors have been tweaked, and I'm going to look into other add-ons to make the page better.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: How do you like the slight update? Any ideas that you think I should work on next? I am willing to listen if people have constructive comments to make!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Formspring Questions

This one is from Alektra:
I know that we can make funny or silly caps. And since we all have our sense of humour... how do you think it would be possible to introduce actual jokes without breaking a plot or the story of the cap?
I am not really sure what you are referring to in your question. I mean, many of my complete captions are actual jokes, well perhaps more of a comedy routine as done by a stand-up comedian, but funny. Jokes tend to be more pun-based, or rely on things like "Why did the moron throw the clock out the window? He wanted to see time fly!" I think the one good running joke for TG captions would be blonde jokes.

Jokes and pranks, in and of themselves, are also a pretty good plotline for TG captions, as evidenced up above. I've used them in a few captions over the years, and they are always fun, since its usually a "taste of their own medicine" justice served hot and steaming.


In regards to the actual question, are you looking to make a caption that is serious in tone, then introduce something "funny" then go back to the serious tone? I'm sure it could be done, but I think that captions tend to work best when you stay on a path, and follow through from the set-up to the pay off. Otherwise, you are taking attention away from the true point of its creation.

I guess that one way you could do that is to have a couple getting ready to be introduced as "man and wife" for the first time at their wedding reception, then having a little anecdotal chuckle about something that happened to them when they first swapped bodies, and end with them having their first dance on the floor in front of all their friends and family. That could be both sweet and funny.

This one is from someone with a request:
I wish you would do more hypnosis related captions :(
Could you do more hypnosis please?
Pretty much how I do this blog is to think about discussion questions and then find captions I've made that can further the discussion and/or elaborate on a point I have brought up, which a caption could shine light on more than just blabbing on about it.

Perhaps, if you phrased your questions in a context of something to do with hypnosis, it'd be a more likely occurrence that some hypnosis captions would appear in the blog. Maybe you have a hypnosis idea that would make a great caption, but you don't think you have the time, or skills, or would like to see me tackle your scenario? Things like that would definitely be a reason to post more hypnosis captions.

If the Pats win the Superb Bowl tomorrow, I will post a hypnosis/magic caption series I did about a year ago that I am pretty sure I haven't posted here on my blog. IF the giants win, you'll have to wait a bit longer!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mmmm, Painkillers!

Well, I am not feeling much pain right now because the meds haven't worn off from the medical procedure yet (HULK SMASH!) so I figured I'd give a quick little update.

I'm home and will be resting semi-comfortably soon.

There ya go! As concise as I strive to be in regards to my captions.

The caption above is one I enjoyed making for Jennifer a long time ago. I might've posted it here in the blog before, but if so, who cares! Its something for you to look at! Just look at it again! If not, hey, its something new!

Hope to have something posted either tomorrow if I feel up to it, or maybe next Monday.