Month: November 2009

Travel Prep

Speaking of mobile blogging, posts are going to be a bit sporadic until the end of the year. Matt and I just got back from Pittsburgh, and over the next several weeks we’ll be more scattered. Matt’s got a trip to Malta coming up, and I’ve got trips to Cincinnati and Eugene (Oregon).

blog_ornamentThe holidays are always hectic, and even though Thanksgiving is less than a week away, I’m not quite mentally there. Last year I did holidailies during December, and it was a lot of fun, but I’ve decided not to do it this year. I met some cool bloggers through it, but I can do that just as easily by visiting the site without contributing. Forcing myself to put out a post each day spread the quality a bit thin, and maybe more importantly, made me not want to blog for quite a while after, which sort of defeats the purpose of frequent posting.

I did hope to get my webcomic up and running (yes! I really have one… sort of) by December, but now that December is looming surprisingly close, that’s seeming less likely. I’m aiming for the beginning of the year instead, since that seems like a good starting point anyway.

2962762666_93a2027078And as long as we’re talking about signing up for more things than I’m really prepared to do, I’ve started writing for Technorati and Blogcritics. I thought I’d write two or three times a week, and then I thought maybe just once a week, and then I CAME TO MY SENSES and decided I’d write for them whenever I got a blog idea that fit better on one of those two sites than my own. I’m hoping to start doing book reviews for Blogcritics which I may or may not repost here depending on my whims at the time. Anyway, most posts so far have just been review-y media style articles (and a republished piece from this blog for blogcritics) but I did a satirical review of Tweetie and TweetDeck that you might enjoy if you use or understand twitter. If you aren’t familiar with twitter, it probably won’t make as much sense, but the tone might be entertaining anyway. Check it out, and if you hate it, you can throw virtual tomatoes at me on Facebook, which I won’t accept, because what

I haven’t forgotten about my novel or my other priorities. My novel is currently with readers, once I hear back from them I’ll start looking for publishing opportunities, with any luck in January. I’m also still plugging away at the overall website design, trying to get my portfolio updated so I can start sending out feelers for illustration work without hanging my head in shame for showing nothing but 5-year-old work (that’s art that’s 5 years old, not art by a 5-year-old). Wish me luck and*Tomato photo by The Ewan. Other images by me.

Posted by Meagan in tangents, 5 comments


My day in photos:

I brought my friend Kim a sampling of my favorite breakfast teas.

I enjoyed playing with her kitten for a while…

Then headed to the pet store to get cat food for MY cats.

I saw some ferrets that looked dead, but I promise, they were still breathing.

Actually, I know you don’t care. My being stuck in traffic is of no interest to anyone unless it provides useful information, say about a badly designed intersection. I am writing this from my cell phone, to illustrate a point.

It seems like every form of new media has gone through a phase of self absorbtion, where the primary thing it was used for was self description, rather than self expression. In its infancy, the web was made up of government pages and countless personal websites saying “this is who I am!” Twitter has been accused of being a format that encourages drivel, “at the store,” “in the can,” and while there is still some of that around, it is now finding a unique niche for microblogging in the communication age. I don’t Twitter that I’m having dinner, but I might send out a twitpic of a beautifully presented plate or a restaraunt’s funky lights.

Mobile blogging could emerge as “this is what I’m doing now, how bout now?” The inane use however does not mean that mobile blogging doesn’t have real uses, like quick thoughts about a craft or cooking project at a friend’s house or photos on the scene of a breaking event.

I use mobile blogging when I’m travling too far or often to sit down and write a real post. News bloggers can use mobile blogging to give more instantaneous reports than a computer allows, because even a laptop requires setup and space to think. Meanwhile the mobile journalist has the room for more in depth reactions then you’ll find in 140 characters.

Posted by Meagan in technology, 0 comments

Creepy Coraline

As soon as I saw the movie, I decided to go as Coraline for Halloween. As you might remember, I am a big fan of Neil Gaiman, so it seemed appropriate.

blue_1Part of the reason for this is that it gave me a great excuse to dye my hair blue. For as long as I can remember, Halloween has been my favorite holiday, and that’s half because I love the spooky and half because I just love costumes. I take my costumes very seriously. When I ordered my yellow rain boots online, Amazon gave me this screen:blue_9

So it’s clear I’m not the only one who had the idea to dress as Coraline. But wigs are for the weak!

blue_2Anyway, I’ve dyed my hair blue before, and it did not go well. I followed online instructions rather than what was on the bottle, and ended up with crappy looking blue hair for about a day and a half… and seaweed green hair for another 6 months. In spite of past experience I ended up choosing the same dye (Raw Colors’ True Blue from Hot Topic) and this time I followed the instructions on the bottle.

blue_3It seems to have worked much better, but the dye gets everywhere.

blue_4I have a blue tub and a blue pillow case (inside out fortunately) and the only reason my face is no longer blue is because I scrubbed it off with Gojo. Note: when dying your hair, don’t bother using Vaseline on the outside of your ear, because they’re going to get dyed no matter how much you use. Put the Vaseline INSIDE your ears. This color seems to be fading to a dark teal color, and though I’m sure it will eventually get to that unlovely seaweed hue, I’m a bit more optimistic about the fading. We’ll see.*

blue_5Costumes are all about details, so I replayed the movie over and over to figure out what I needed. I was surprised at the lack of dragonfly barrettes (I found only a really crappy one, for $10 and decided it wasn’t worth it), so I thought I’d use the costume as an excuse to try my hand at some wire jewelry. Then I ran out of time.

Instead I dug through some of my old jewelry and found a dragonfly necklace from who knows when, and pinned it over a plain white barrette and called it close enough. I did manage to find a small purple messenger bag like the one Coraline carries when she’s outside. It’s not exactly the same color, and it’s got more to it then the one from the movie, but I liked it, and it looked like something Coraline would pick out if she had the option.

Of course the ultimate Coraline detail would be the spy-doll.

blue_6I don’t really sew, but this seemed like a good chance to try. I don’t think the doll appears at all in the book Coraline, but I’m all about costume details, and I thought the Coraline doll would add just the right bit of creepy.

blue_7I started off well enough, but once I stuffed it, the whole thing fell apart (not literally). The shape was completely wrong, and when I added in fabric paint it looked creepy… but in entirely the wrong ways. I also just didn’t leave enough time, so finally the night before Halloween I had to call the doll a fail. I left it on the table to dry, where it completely freaked out Matt when he got home from work, so, you know, I got SOME Halloween satisfaction from it.

blue_8This year was the first time I’ve been in town to celebrate Halloween with my friends in about five years. While I worked for the Vindicator, I ended up going to a student media conference every year and then last year, I was of course on our honeymoon. I wore my ceramic horns and Matt and I went reverse trick-or-treating on the train (we gave out candy) so that was lots of fun, but it’s not the full-costume Halloween I’ve missed. Overall I think Coraline was probably one of my more successful costumes, probably because it was extremely simple. It was also one of my more economical costumes since most of the elements were either something I could reuse, or things I already owned.

Plus, I still have blue hair, so OBVIOUSLY it’s a costume winner.

*The background in this photo comes from one of the tunnel scenes in Coraline. It is owned by whoever owns it (Henry Selick? Neil Gaiman? Not sure, but certainly not ME) and I have no idea whether it’s legal to use it in this context. If someone from Coraline land (no I don’t mean the OTHER world, I mean author, director, frothing lawyers etc.) wishes me to take it down, I will do so.

Posted by Meagan in life, on creation, tangents, 9 comments