C is for Books

and that’s good enough for me.

c is for books

Thanks to my husband, for finding this on Fark and thinking of me. 🙂

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What’s the Password?

Hopefully, every week from now on you’ll encounter a password-protected post. These will be my Weekly Thingies, which I’m hiding for three reasons:

  1. Less performance pressure.
  2. Copyright protection, should I inadvertently create a work of true genius.
  3. They’re going to suck turnips, and the fewer people who can laugh at me, the better.

Weekly Thingies are going to be first drafts, and generally not fit for human consumption, but I do want people to read them from time to time to give me feedback and encouragement. I’d like to know what has promise, and what should have never been committed to electronic paper. What I screwed up, left unanswered, etc..

If you can figure out what my password is, you can have access to my Weekly Thingies. I’ll give you two clues:

  • My big gray kitty cat
  • Composer of a Brotherly whistle

The password is in all lower-case letters; it is case-sensitive. 

There may be some of you out there who are bosom buddies, but who cannot for whatever reason guess my password. If you think that’s you, drop me a line and we’ll evaluate the situation. 🙂

Anyway – keep an eye out for those protected posts, or ignore them completely.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled bloggery.

In Which They Discriminate Against Redheads?!?

Carrot-Tops: Being Red Not So Easy

In The British Isles, Some Redheads Feel Discriminated Against

July 29, 2007 —

 

Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman and Marcia Cross all have one thing in common. Besides being successful actresses, the three ladies are all redheads.

Some call them carrot-tops, copper-colored or believe stereotypes about feisty personalities. But in at least one country, being a redhead isn’t so easy.

The British Isles feature more redheads than anywhere else on earth. But some people who have the genetic trait said they feel discriminated against.

“It’s horrible,” one woman said. “I mean, I love redheads. But people are quite anti-them.”

In England, the flame-haired are called “ginger” or “ginge.”

Photographer Charlotte Rushton said people often yell at her in the street and she often feels like part of a minority.

“The nail that sticks out gets hammered down,” Rushton said.

The nation that gave the world Ginger Spice, the Duchess of York and Lily Cole may be ginger-phobic. And it is not a joke.

One British family of redheads, the Chapmans, told the British media it was driven from its home by abuse including anti-redhead grafitti, vandalism and physical assaults.

Even Prince Harry has said he was bullied at school because of his hair. Apparently, his army buddies called him the ginger bullet magnet and his girlfriend calls him the big ginger.

“Somebody with ginger hair will stand out from the crowd.” said Louise Burfitt-Dons of the group Act Against Bullying.

Waitress Sarah Primmer just sued her boss for sexist and “ginger” abuse and won $35,000 compensation.

“When you get older, you don’t expect people to say things about the color. It’s not nice,” she said.

Even TV comedian Catherine Tate highlights such absurdity with a fictional refuge for abused gingers on “The Catherine Tate Show.”

“We have all sorts of gingers here: Gingers in denial, confused gingers even militant gingers,” she joked on her show.

Rushton said when redheads see one another, there often is a sense of camaraderie.

“Redheads walk along the street and we nod or wink or smile at each other,” she said.

Rushton has photographed red heads for an as-yet unpublished book, “Ginger Nuts: A Celebration of Carrot Tops.”

“It’s a glorious color,” she said. “It’s amazing. Nature produced this color.”

Copyright © 2007 ABC News Internet Ventures

Birthday Hedgehogs

Yesterday was my sister’s 21st birthday. I’ve been promising her for a while that I was going to make her a fabulous handmade sketch book, and on Friday I started digging through some stuff in preparation to do so. I got a great idea for the book – and realized that I was in over my head. There was no way I could finish the book by Sunday evening.

I’m going to make that fabulous sketch book, but in the meantime I decided to make her a set of little portable notebooks for doodling and note-taking this academic year. It also gave me an excuse to try Jackie Poutasse’s Hedgehog tutorial. I love moleskines but rarely splurge on them, so the thought of making my own appealled. (Apparently if you make your own, they go from moles to hedgehogs – kind of a Kleenex thing, maybe?)

I ended up spending pretty much all weekend (at least eight solid hours, not including shopping for the perfect sheets of paper) on a set of six hedgehogs, each slightly different from the last. A couple of them turned out near-perfect; one may self-destruct at any given moment. (I think I forgot to loop my thread back around a previous signature on one go-around.) But I love the way they turned out, and I think she really likes them!


The biggest one was done with heavier paper for the text block and, although you can’t tell, there’s a lot of glitter and gloss to the cover material. I covered the edges of this book with book tape from Kimbooktu because the paper’s embellishments were cracking. The monkeys one was the first one I did, and it’s a bit plainer because it served as my “dummy.” Fortunately, it worked just fine! The next one was tricky because I had to laminate a sheet of Tinkerbell-themed vellum to cardstock without the glue showing. This one is different because I didn’t wrap a second sheet of paper for the cover – the cardstock was heavy enough that I thought it made an adequate cover by itself. It is also reinforced with book tape. The orange one has orange paper, just for kicks, and my sister’s name spelled out in alphabet beads. The clouds book was covered by some fantastic self-adhesive paper by blogger Elsie Flannigan – Elsie, if you’re reading this, PLEASE make more of that stuff! And finally, the last hedgehog is adorned with some terrific fabric stickers with a surf-shop theme.


A closeup of the orange hedgehog. I wasn’t sure how the white elastic would work – typically one uses black – but I really liked the end result.

I bought this little hamper-caddy at the dollar store. When I saw it, I eyeballed it and realized it was exactly the right size. Sure enough, they just fit!


Finally, in the interst of full disclosure, a photo that shows off the slight problems I had getting the spines to adhere properly. The fore-edges are uneven, too, but that was intentional.

They were really fun to make, and not that difficult. I highly recommend the tutorial, and if this is your first book, I highly recommend doing a few practice text blocks first. (Binder clips are your friend.) Let me know if you ever make one – I’d love to see pictures!

In Which Redheads are Cannibals

I found this paragraph on a (rather bad) website about the history/symbology of red hair. If it makes sense to you, please explain it to me, because I’m… well, because I’m laughing too hard to think.

It is speculated that nowadays 40% of all Scottish people are in possession of the ginger gene. This could be an explanation for the fact that Neanderthal men were cannibals and hunters, who most of the time eat their meat raw.

Don’t believe it? See for yourself!

In Which I Commit to a Weekly Thingy

Sometimes my husband lets down his guard and proves what a genius he really is. (Sidenote: is it ironic that I always misspell “genius”?) I was rambling on about not seeming to have the drive to write (off-blog) anymore, and he pointed out to me that I needed to take a page from Brotherhood 2.0 and Jonathan Coulton. If I force myself to write something on a schedule, without worrying about whether it’s good or trying to sell it to anyone, then I’ll rebuild the habit.

I have taken his words to heart, and have decided to commit to a WEEKLY THINGY.

This is for me more than anyone else, but I’ve found that the blogging community has helped me keep on track as a journaler, so I’m hoping it can similarly help me regain my obsession with creative writing. For me, and for anyone who is interested (whether to know what I’m doing, or to steal it for their own purposes), following are my WEEKLY THINGY GUIDELINES.

  1. Once a week, I must produce one piece of creative writing.
  2. For the purposes of the Weekly Thingy, “creative writing” is defined as:
    • fiction (either a complete short or short-short story, or a chapter in a longer piece)
    • essay or vignette
    • good poem (none of this “took me five minutes and wasn’t edited” crap)
    • NOT a blog entry
    • NOT a book review
  3. For the purposes of the Weekly Thingy, a week runs Monday through Sunday.
  4. It does not have to be good but it does have to get done.
  5. Weekly Thingies will be posted online to help my friends and family hold me accountable. However, they will be password protected to cut down on performance pressure and protect copyright of any inadvertant works of brilliance.
  6. I may save “backup” pieces for weeks when everything climbs into the handbasket and heads south, but it had better darn well be a seriously bad week, because the whole point is that I’m writing constantly.
  7. If I fail to post a Weekly Thingy, my adoring public may suggest punishments for my wicked misdeed. These punishments must be something that can be performed online (think truth or dare) and must not be anything that would break any laws or get me fired from a respectable profession. 🙂
  8. I reserve the right to revise these guidelines as needed to make the Weekly Thingy work! 🙂

I haven’t decided yet what to do about revisions. Revising work is the biggest, hardest, and most important part of writing, so maybe it ought to count… but right now my problem seems to be getting that first draft down, so maybe I ought to concentrate on that?

Hey – if I’m emulating Brotherhood in a way, particularly with Guideline #7, and they have NerdFighters, can I have WordFighters? 🙂

I am not sure if I will be able to get my first Weekly Thingy done in three days (although I am going to try) so next week may be the first week – we’ll see. I’m also not sure how wise this plan is, given that I’m going to be unbelievably busy come September, but hey – since when have I ever done the smart thing? 🙂

Weekly Thingy

Weekly Thingy Logo

Sometimes my husband lets down his guard and proves what a genius he really is. (Sidenote: is it ironic that I always misspell “genius”?) I was rambling on about not seeming to have the drive to write (off-blog) anymore, and he pointed out to me that I needed to take a page from Brotherhood 2.0 and Jonathan Coulton. If I force myself to write something on a schedule, without worrying about whether it’s good or trying to sell it to anyone, then I’ll rebuild the habit.

I have taken his words to heart, and have decided to commit to a WEEKLY THINGY.

This is for me more than anyone else, but I’ve found that the blogging community has helped me keep on track as a journaler, so I’m hoping it can similarly help me regain my obsession with creative writing. For me, and for anyone who is interested (whether to know what I’m doing, or to steal it for their own purposes), following are my WEEKLY THINGY GUIDELINES.

  1. Once a week, I must produce one piece of creative writing.
  2. For the purposes of the Weekly Thingy, “creative writing” is defined as:
    • fiction (either a complete short or short-short story, or 2,000+ words in a continuing longer piece)
    • essay or vignette
    • good poem (none of this “took me five minutes and wasn’t edited” crap)
    • NOT a blog entry
    • NOT a book review
  3. For the purposes of the Weekly Thingy, a week runs Monday through Sunday.
  4. It does not have to be good – it doesn’t even have to be clean or even remotely shareable – but it does have to get done.
  5. Weekly Thingies will be posted online to help my friends and family hold me accountable. However, they will be password protected to cut down on performance pressure and protect copyright of any inadvertant works of brilliance.
  6. I may save “backup” pieces for weeks when everything climbs into the handbasket and heads south, but it had better darn well be a seriously bad week, because the whole point is that I’m writing constantly.
  7. If I fail to post a Weekly Thingy, my adoring public may suggest punishments for my wicked misdeed. These punishments must be something that can be performed online (think truth or dare) and must not be anything that would break any laws or get me fired from a respectable profession. 🙂
  8. I reserve the right to revise these guidelines as needed to make the Weekly Thingy work! 🙂

I haven’t decided yet what to do about revisions. Revising work is the biggest, hardest, and most important part of writing, so maybe it ought to count… but right now my problem seems to be getting that first draft down, so maybe I ought to concentrate on that?

Hey – if I’m emulating Brotherhood in a way, particularly with Guideline #7, and they have NerdFighters, can I have WordFighters? 🙂

I am not sure if I will be able to get my first Weekly Thingy done in three days (although I am going to try) so next week may be the first week – we’ll see. I’m also not sure how wise this plan is, given that I’m going to be unbelievably busy come September, but hey – since when have I ever done the smart thing? 🙂