Pulp magazines are inexpensive fiction magazines published from the late 1800’s through the 1950’s.
Printed on cheap paper, the typical pulp magazine was about 7 inches by 10 inches and 128 pages long……just the right size to fit in a pocket. Because they were published so cheaply, pulps usually had ragged, untrimmed edges. There was little advertising for these cheap reads, so the cover had to do all the attention grabbing. They were most often covered in scantily clad vixens with gravity defying blossoms.
As y’all can see here, even the horror stories benefited from the lure of the fairer sex.
Like this beauty right here, from the grocery store…..Can you believe it?
Isn’t it just a stunner?
$4.99, (with my reward card….of course)
You should see how long it takes me to pick out a pumpkin.
Since this ones is wayyyyyy too pretty to just carve into a Jack-O-Lantern……..I’m gunna fill this thing with flowers.
Pumpkins are great for making lanters…….not so much for holding water.
After rooting around store for water-holding options, we found this trick-or-treat bucket in the candy isle for 99 cents.
It’s just the perfect size to fit inside my pumpkin.
I flip it upside down and use it as a template.
Marking my line for cutting with a sharpie.
Not sure if y’all know this or not, but always carve a pumpkin with a serrated knife. It makes a world of carving difference.
After scooping all the innards out, (I’ll save those seeds to roast later) I’m left with a perfect hole in my pumpkin for the plastic bucket.
Here’s a little-known florist’s trick.
Use a piece of chicken wire as a guide for holding all your flowers in place.
Just crunch it a little……
……. and shove it inside the bucket.
Then fill ‘er up with water.
For flowers…….sure, I can go to the wholesaler. But wholesalers only sell in bulk. I don’t need 24 roses, and a dozen for 10 bucks is a pretty good deal.
Here’s what 26 bucks got me at our local grocery store.
I went with a mixture of colors and textures. You’re probably thinking, “Why not all orange flowers for Halloween?”
What could be more boring. My pumpkin is orange, and I want my flowers to really stand out….not blend in.
Start any arrangement with the largest flowers, like these white mini hydrangea.
They’ll make a good base for holding the other flowers in place.
OOOOhhhh, be sure to always cut your flowers at an angle so they can soak up as much water as possible. Especially hydrangea.
My roses really opened up overnight.
(I remove all the floral packaging and give everything a fresh cut. Then fill a bucket with cool water and let the flowers soak it up for at least a day before doing an arrangement.)
I add the “Conga” roses in small groups.
These orange spray roses will fill in any holes.
The last thing I add is the goldenrod. Usually bright yellow, pretty sure this has been dyed orange……and I like that.
That’s about all there is to this….
Pretty stunning for a 32 dollar investment.
(from our humble, neighborhood grocery store)
A few months ago I got an email from a young man in the UK asking about a picture that I took and posted on our blog.
It’s a typical vacation picture of Jamie’s footprints on the beach in Cabo.
He’s always several paces ahead of me determined to get to the next location and I’m usually lagging behind easily distracted by shiny things or bits of hazy sea-glass.
The young man, Michael, was asking my permission to use this picture for the cover of a book he was writing. He couldn’t offer any money, like I would take it anyway, only an acknowledgement in the book.
How could I refuse?
Here’s his cropped and edited final cover……..The Diary of Nicholas Oldman by M. G. Atkinson
Y’all can download a copy from Amazon here.
As a self-published writer, his book is currently only available as an E-book. (God how I dread E-books. I need to hold a tome in my hands, use a boarding pass or random receipt as a bookmark, then hoard the finished book on our bookshelves as a trophy.)
This, dear readers, is the first E-book I have ever read.
Setting my fear of electronic-books aside, I was still a little hesitant about reading it. What if it wasn’t any good?
No worries about that, 3 pages in and I was definitely hooked. This book could be the next classic. I enjoyed it that much.
The plot is pretty simple; our main/mostly-only character wakes up one day several million years in the past. Surrounded not only by dinosaurs, but a myriad of undocumented insects, plants and harsh environments……Danger lurking around every corner and that sort of thing. Michael is inspired by all the same adventure/fantasy writers that I was as a young boy; H G Wells, Jules Verne, and Robert Lewis Stevenson; but there are elements of more contemporary writers as well; Michael Crichton, (well, yeah…..of course), and even Peter Benchley. (You’ll recognize the Jaws quote when you reach it) It’s also pretty easy to see a connection to characters like Robinson Caruso. (A man alone with just his thoughts and all)
When I read this part, I knew why he choose my picture.
“When the sun had almost reached the western
horizon, I turned around and looked back, my
footprint’s snaked off into the distance and were
lost from sight. The first footprint’s of man.”
It’s always a good thing to make a new friend, but a new friend who happens to be a talented writer?
That’s even better,
Now Michael hurry up with those two sequels that you promised.
Looks like I have 2 more E-books in my future……
Just the thought of that sound makes your skin crawl a little……….doesn’t it?
You may have never heard of photographer Mark Laita, but I guarantee that you’ve seen his work.
He’s shot imagery for some of the big dogs; Apple, Coke, Crown Royal, Budweiser, Gatorade, Nars, Neutrogena, and Perrier.
When I stumbled on his amazingly stunning snakes……I just had to share.
Aren’t they simply stunning?
And, yes, maybe a little ……frightening.
Makes me want to check under the covers before I climb into bed tonight.
I wasn’t involved in anything extracurricular my freshman year of high school.
I was pretty shy and just didn’t feel any connection to my high school yet.
School was just a place I had to go.
But my sophomore year, I stepped out a little and enrolled in the journalism class.
The journalism students at our school were responsible for chunking out a bi-weekly school newspaper, as well as the class yearbook.
I was thinking of a career as a writer – still am, by the way – and creating a yearbook sounded like fun. So why not?
We learned about fonts, how to set and meet deadlines, page layout, and editing, editing, editing. (All skills I still use today; especially on this blog)
The entire journalism department at my high school was just a handful kids in one 55 minute, daily class, taught by Ms. Clark.
Ms. Clark was about 5’2″, with huge glasses that covered most of her experienced face……and a “chili-bowl” haircut that outlined the rest of it. It was hard to gage her exact age. At 15, everyone over 30 seems old, and she didn’t really bother hiding behind a lot of make-up. But I would say she was probably just a little north of 45. She only wore pants…and occasionally vests, channeling all the androgynous energy of a youthful Linda Hunt. She had been an actual working journalist for the associated press and traveled around the world with her best-friend/room-mate, Pam. Her travel stories, and there were many of them, usually ended with the 2 ladies trying to find an American baseball game on a transistor radio in whatever mudd-hutt they were stuck in at the time.
This was her first year of teaching at my high school. Ms. Clark was much more of a “doer” than a teacher. But fate had landed her in Flower Mound, Texas where she dusted off her teaching certificate and tried her hand at relating to 30-35 hormonal 15-year-olds 6 times a day.
Of the 15 kids in my class, I was the only one wanting to take pictures….so naturally,
Head Photographer I was so deemed.
Ms. Clark had a professional camera of her own that I could borrow. It was a big intimidating one – pretty similar, in fact, to the digital that one I have now. She showed me how the shutter speed works to let in more, or less, light; and how to use the tripod to keep it steady. (I’ve never taken a true photography class, so if you like the pictures that I take now, I can assure you they are the result of Ms. Clark’s wise instruction). I remember that while she stood over me, watching me load the film by myself, she placed a hand lightly on my shoulder. Not at all in a “Bad Touch” sort of way that teachers have to be fearful of nowadays…….It was comforting; I knew it meant that she was proud of me.
I specialized in taking pictures of just my friends, but Ms. Clark wasn’t having that. She told me that the school yearbook had a responsibility to represent every student, and not just the popular, Arian ones. (I had to get a dictionary later and look up the word Arian) From that day forward, I made a concentrated effort to take pictures of classmates that I didn’t know. (Especially the non-Arian ones) The camera forced me to introduce myself to them, I needed to know names for the captions after all, and that broke me just a little bit more out of my shyness comfort zone.
I think that may have been Ms. Clark’s plan all along.
Thumbing through that 30 year-old yearbook last week, I can still tell the candid pictures that I took.
Apparently, I have a style.
At our journalism Christmas party we played “Secret Santa”……..and as luck would have it, I drew Ms. Clark. I remember that I bought her a crystal-cut glass jewelry box and filled it with gummy bears; her favorite treat. But when one of the other girls in the class was left without a gift, Ms Clark gave her the gift from me, so that she wouldn’t feel left out. I was more than a little upset that Ms. Clark wouldn’t get to enjoy the gift that I specifically picked just for her. But I knew that she would get more joy knowing that someone didn’t have to go without one. That’s the kind of woman that she was.
One time, when I said that I would try to do something, she replied, “Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.” (My jaw hit the floor) She actually quoted Yoda to me. Can you believe that?
Ms Clark’s camera was always with me. It was my responsibility to document football games, pep rallies, and general school mayhem. But one day I was goofing off and the camera slipped off my desk, and with a crunch, it smacked the floor. Bits of glass rained out of the hole that used to be a lens when I picked it up and there was now a huge dent in the front.
I stopped breathing.
Normally, I would have denied anything about breaking it and just claimed that I found it that way, but I knew that Ms. Clark deserved more than that. With tears welling-up in the corners of my eyes, I took it to her, told her that I broke it, and offered to pay for it. (I’m not sure what the camera was worth, but I made about $40 a week working after school at a dry cleaners and that money just went towards Swatch watches and Molly Ringwald posters.)
But Ms. Clark wouldn’t have it. She looked me square in the eyes and said, “It’s just a camera.”
These were her bullet points on the situation:
- I hadn’t done it intentionally.
- The camera was merely a thing.
- Things can be replaced.
She hugged me and never mentioned it again.
Her logic knocked me on my ass.
She was the first teacher I’d had that knew there were great things in me; something no other teacher before her had ever done. (And honestly, only one other teacher since then)
I’m not really sure where Ms. Clark is now,
……….but there’s always a tiny bit of her that’s always with me.