Keeping You Blushing On

I don't think I could take it if I was judged. I wanted to proclaim loudly that I just read those books when my brain wants a break, or when I want to read something I know won't disappoint in its mediocrity. Who wants to admit they read something for the s3x? Not that I am saying I do. I like my happy endings and predictability. I am not my Aunt who reads romances by the bucketful to avoid her own marriage that seems completely devoid of any of its own romance (dirty family secrets alert). So what excuse can I use that doesn't sound like I am covering? I feel as if I need to supply one. One of my other aunts actually was trying to tell me and my sisters (Nora Roberts fans themselves) that the romance in the books they/we read is a fantasy (this aunt being married multiple times herself... I would tend to believe her advice if I didn't already know the truth of it). To have people question your grip on reality, to have people comment that romances are nothing but s3x in fancy wrapping (which I agree with a bit) can be tiring.

Will there be a time when I can read romances in public, if I want (which I probably won't), and not be embarrassed? I doubt it. Everyone seems to have an opinion too. And if someone actually is a big romance fan they aren't going to readily admit it. I had a class last week where the professor asked us (the students) what authors/books we read. They were silent. And the books mentioned were by well-known authors or foreign ones. Maybe kids nowadays don't read as much, and maybe they don't actually have a favorite author and haven't read anything beyond what they have been assigned to read (and even then you know they probably don't read it... I have that habit too). Perhaps they just can't talk about what doesn't exist. Or they just don't want to spill about books others consider publicly as "trash" and secretly gush over in the privacy of their own home. All this reasoning has lead me to think that romance books should not leave the safety of my bedroom. Not that that conclusion is the most satisfying. But in my case in might be for the best.

Romances: Keeping You Blushing

I was thinking lately, despite reading more and more romances, I am still embarrassed when caught reading one. I don't mind mild ribbing by my family, but basically they ignore my reading choices, or don't have much to say. The exception, of course, is a racy cover. Naked mens (intentional misspelling) will always bring comments. But due to a very recent incident (yesterday) I am examining my feelings about romance novels. I have always liked romance, but really romances contain a little more than just, "Aw, how sweet!" romance-y subjects. My constant comment to my sister (Mar) is that I am basically waving a big red flag and shouting, "Yo, I am reading about s3x, s3x and more s3xing! Hell yes!" I don't think I'd mind the reactions of others if it was something beyond creepy smiles and silence, which I usually receive (I think my mum still doesn't like the fact that I am an adult and can read "silly" books if I want to). Well, the incident in question was with my uncle, who had always been inquisitive about what I am reading. He never liked my manga (Japanese graphic novel) phase, saying I was just wasting my money (which I was, but hey, I was a ignorant baby then... and libraries were for oldies, well okay libraries just did not have lots or any manga). 

So he extends his hand and I reluctantly hand of over book. I do tend to tuck my book away whenever he comes around now, but this particular day I slipped up (I'd add a big "of course" in caps and a eye roll and maybe a shoulder shrug here). I actually started blushing when he picked the book and read the title, out loud! At least the title wasn't something like, The Man Who is Hung Like a Horse Seduces an Innocent Virgin (This actually sounds more like a title to a news article than a book title). Oh my Gat! It was cringe worthy just the same though. So my face is the same temp as the sun now and I am watching dear old uncle actually open the book; he likes to read some of it sometimes. He also has this bit where he tells me the "ending," which is something he makes up on the spot, trying get make me worried or make me laugh...not too sure which it is. So he flips through the pages. Now, this is a romance that has a pretty mild cover but a hugely steamy cover insert page. This one of course had the usual couple making out in an almost horizontal pose (ack), and they are in a certain stage of undress, their clothes exceedingly rumpled. Now, my uncle, most of the time, has something to say about the book. This time: nothing. Nothing at all. I ran. 

Hearing from Old Friends

Well, the theme this past twelve, eighteen months or so seems to have been “hearing from old friends”, and now i hear these old friends are coming out with a new album that is a “return to form”. Also, hearteningly, it seems Michael is as disappointed in their last album as i was, or nearly so. Maybe he wasn't disgusted like i was. I’m one of the untold thousands of people with an “i met them before they were famous” story (yeah, i know) but it’s been interesting to follow their career! Has it really been 26 years? And see how they have managed wearing the heavy mantle of “multiplatinum multimedia important artist / celebrity” status.

Even to the point of appearing on The Simpsons. Right up there with al gore. And the counting crows... Ed. But was al gore ever on sesame street? I ask you. Anyway, I went through being a friend, to being a fan, to being formerly both, and have come to rest maybe as somebody who has a history with them but can just observe them calmly and perhaps appreciate what they are doing in an abstract sense. i mean, none of us is ever going to be quite the fist-pumping, screaming REM fans we were around about “lifes rich pageant”... and shit, i’m old, the last thing i was fist-pumping and screaming about was guided by voices, or maybe a good sandwich... but from everything i’ve heard so far, “accelerate” may actually be worthy of, yikes! Going out to the store and buying. Must do that... I am old school what can I say...

Thoughts on a T-shirt

Work has been positively crushing lately, and my to-do list at home as been rather full as well - so I haven't had much in the way of free time. That doesn't mean that I haven't been thinking about, and planning for the t-shirt challenge. I've been gathering supplies and materials for my run at a few ArtOrder t-shirts that I can take to IlluxCon. I'm going to try a few different techniques... I've got my screen printing gear primed and waiting to get swiping. I've grabbed a big bottle of bleach and a couple spray bottles and am planning a few distressed style ideas. I procured a fresh lino block, and have a stamping idea kicking around in the back  of my head. I pulled out a few sheets of plastic and talked with a friend that creates signage about cutting me some stencils (might just hand cut though). I've got some spray paint waiting in the wings to make it's appearance. The biggest issue I've got is time. I've seen a few ideas posted in the discussion forum for the challenge, and I'm looking forward to seeing more ideas and in-progress shots. Don't forget, the deadline is coming up fast. And in case you missed it, here's a look at Christopher Burdette's t-shirt design on TeeFury that prompted this whole challenge. Yeah I ordered my own bug shirt. Friday will feature a new challenge, one that can get published! Until then I'm off to dig through email and chat with the gang in the ArtOrder chat.