I'm starting to think that I'll be posting photos from this PinUp Party all year. I'm pretty sure now that it's going to take me the year to get through them all.

In my defense, the night was pretty Epic.

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Ms. Laura Burns and I are creating a slideshow for a panel called "The Truth About Adult Content". Last year, the panel we created the slideshow for was called "The Truth About the Universe". You can view a video of that slideshow here: http://www.jaredaxelrod.com/main/2010/08/17/the-truth-about-the-universe/

The idea behind this panel is that Laura and I create a power-point presentation filled with strange, hilarious and weird words and images, and that the panelists must create a hilarious narrative that collects these things into a presentation - as if they knew what  was coming next - which they do not. The panel will address the topic "The Truth About Adult Content" mostly with untruths, fictions and right out lies. The point is to be shatteringly hilarious.

This year, having had one hilarious panel under our belt, I am convinced that it is going to be EVEN better. Jared and I recently went to a Donald Glover concert where he did some stand up and some music - but he kicked everything off with a powerpoint - thus, showing everyone who makes powerpoints for entertainment/humor HOW THAT SHIT IS DONE. Anyway, that has influenced what I've created this year, for the far, far, better. Thanks Donald Who Will Never Read This Because He is a Famous Actor/Musician/Writer Who Has More To Do Than Google Himself and Read Blogs!

Lots of charts to make tonight, because what is a power point without charts?

This time, Dr. John Cmar and Jared Axelrod are going to be joined by the hilarious Christiana Ellis. I am whipping up a monster of a power-point to get the most hilarity out of all these people. I hope that it is hilarious as a stand-alone presentation, but one where they have the space to add to it's hilarity.

It's at 3PM on Sunday at Balticon. If you are going to Balticon, I strongly recommend attending this panel. The whole panel is like an Inside-Joke-Machine. It GENERATES inside jokes, producing them for widespread consumption. So, if you feel like you've often been left outside inside jokes, and you want to get on the inside of that shit, THIS PANEL IS FOR YOU. Last year's panel resulted in the creations of a twitter feed that has over two hundred followers.Last year was very Cat/Spock/Explosion/Jesus oriented. This year seems like its going to be very Hamster/Chart/Swearing/Ponies oriented, though really, before the panel happens, it's hard to tell. Like, last year, Jesus came up A LOT and I had no idea that was going to happen. So who knows?

I do think my presentation needs more dinosaurs. I'll have to get on that.

Wait. . . isn't that?

Police BoxIf I could wrap this weekend up in a phrase, it might be "Wait, isn't that. . ." because that's the phrase I was continually repeating. "Wait, isn't that the same John that edits Craphound?" "Wait, isn't that Jenn's friend?" "Wait, isn't that the folks we met at that party in Delaware?"

In all cases, it was. The very same.

Jared and I went to the Steampunk World's Fair this weekend, where my Mom took a picture of us next to a Tardis. She called it "The Cool Box over there." I kept saying "Mom, it's a TARDIS." and she would say "Yes, the cool box!"

My mother loves steampunk. She made some vendors very happy on Sunday.

But Jared and I had a great weekend bumping into some wonderful people, Tee and Pip and Nikki and Peter and Megan and Steven and PJ - it was a weekend full of friends.

On Saturday, I had a glass of wine, and a rum and coke and then I went into one of the dealers rooms (which was also where the stage was) and there was this guy playing the accordion on stage. Usually when I hear performers my reaction is "that's nice." because I like live music, but it takes a lot for a musician to really interest me. But this guy was an amazing performer - his whole body was into it - he stomped his feet and waved his hands and maybe it was having a drink or two over my usual, but hearing his music I just wanted to clap and clap. Dispite the fact that it was only one person, this man had an epic feel to his music.

He played with such passion his hat kept falling off his head. "Jared," I said, "let's get closer."

He agreed, and we got in closer to the stage. One song after another, and this musician held me rapt. He played like we were the last people at the end of the world, and we ended his set, strangers with our arms around one another, singing a song we had never heard before together. Even before the end of his set, I said "Jared, we HAVE to get this guys CDS." so when he ended his set, I basically rushed to the front of the stage.

Getting closer, his face looked suddenly familiar, like I had seen him before. But I was certain if I had heard his music, I would have remembered him, so that had to be impossible, right?

"Can someone help me carry this stuff?" he said, pointing to his merchandise. I immediately scooped up a box and followed him out into the hall. Closer again, he was looking even more familiar. Then we put down the boxes, we bought two, and I told him how much I enjoyed his work, how we were pulled across the hall by the strength of his performance. As we walked away, the name finally clicked "Jason Webeley - Of course! I've seen his picture!" Sometimes the world feels very small, but small in the way that is it packed to the brim with talented, wonderful people.

Dr. Blackwell is Very Sorry About Teatime

"No, no," Dr. Blackwell said, looking sheepish, "it is true, I did SAY that I had a demonstration for you. But, ah, it appears to have run off." She grabbed his arm and looked up into his eyes earnestly. "If you wake up and find that parts of your body have been shaved, you will let me know, won't you?"

"I. . ." he stammered

"It's only that if your hair has been shaved in the pattern of a French hedge-maze, something has gone terribly wrong."

"French?" he asked.

"Of course," she said, "But don't worry yourself if it's English. If it's English, everything's dandy."


Engineer Agent Dr. Blackwell

"The skull?" she said, "Yes, I understand it may be unusual to have a skull on one's hat. The thing is, I always travel with fangs somewhere on my person, and today the usual places were occupied, so I was forced to go with the hat."

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I've been dreaming up a new game, possibly one to start running at the end of the summer. I wanted to create a game that could be run with whoever shows up - one of the most frequent issues I've been having in a game is that one or two of the players can't come - thus limiting what you can do in an ongoing campaign. But then I thought - what if the people playing were part of an organization where the characters go on missions - and each episode was a mission - and not all characters would go on every mission - that way you could have an ongoing campaign, perhaps with an arching plot, but if two players couldn't make it, you could still play.

It took me a while to come up with what the scenario would be for this game, but Jared and I have been watching a documentary called "Carrier" about life on an aircraft carrier, and I got an idea that just might work. I still need to figure out what system I'm running in - I've recently had a love affair with Fate, but I'm not sure it's right for this game. That, and recruiting players that would be interested in a monthly Sunday afternoon game, and, of course, interested in going for an experimental game ride with me and putting up with my silliness, and some research on the setting, making packets for the players, and I think I'll be ready to go by late summer.

I'm an odd game master. I know that. The first time I went to DexCon, I felt like a young director who had been making home movies with her friends going to a film festival for the first time. My mind was blown. All the possibilities! That's when I started to think of myself as a Director, with my own style of game - a style that not everyone would be into - but that I would enjoy running.

In a typical game for me, my sandboxes are closed, I limit the kind of decisions characters would make, I often make up the character sheets for my players - I don't ask them what kind of game they WANT to play, I tell them "This is the sort of game I am running, do you want to play that?". If they don't want to play that game, they don't have to play with me. I run games that are limited run - five to ten episodes, with a beginning, middle and a certain end point. I set up a lot of drama, I structure the action, I plan extensively,  I use very little in the way of NPC's, focusing the drama on the characters.

I like to run games that are about class systems, and how an oppressed people deal with social hierarchy and forces they can't overcome in a conventional manner. I am interested in themes of dominance, oppression, and making choices between freedom, love and your deepest desires. I want characters to make tough, regrettable choices. I want to make the characters suffer and I want the players to have fun.

That's not everyone's cup of tea, but it's mine, and I think it's delicious.

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Mortal Coil: Low Fantasy

Mortal Coil: Low Fantasy

Jared and I got up at 4am to drive to the park to take these shots, arriving about a half hour before dawn. We shot mostly in the pre-dawn light, and I'm very pleased with the results.

The armor Jared is wearing arrived about a month before, and I immediately had to put it on. It does not look the same on me as it does on Jared - though I have Amazonian shoulders, Jared's Conan-like shoulders fill out the armor much better. Still, I love the armor. I wish I could wear some leather armor to work. I think I'd feel much better about things if I could.

This site was chosen because of the beautiful landscape, and an hour before dawn, the light coming through the trees, the light that is the herald of sunrise, but without a visible source, that light was gently coming through the cover of the trees.

I shot about three hundred photos of Jared - on a bridge, near the waterfall, in the forest, and I’m very pleased with the result. I love Jared’s costume, I love that there isn’t much of it, I love that I’m married to the man in this costume, that after the shoot, he came home with me.

More from this shoot under the cut, and on my Flickr.

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Project MAGI

Project MAGI Project MAGI, a Mortal Coil supplement, came out last week, just days before I shot one of the last book covers I'll be doing for a while. It's going to be nice to take a little break from freelance work and really focus on my own shoots. I'm excited about the collaboration with photographers, artists, models and designers that I've been doing, and some of the location scouting I've been involved with has been a lot of fun.

Due to all the shoots I've been doing, I now have over four thousand photos to go through, sort, edit, and share with the appropriate parties. I also have a great deal of organization to take care of to get ready for the launch of Shelter In Place. Then I have two other shoots to arrange and some editing to take care of.

So, I don't think I'm going to be taking on any new projects anytime soon. I've had to turn down every new project that's come in since March. It really hurts to say no to stuff - I prefer to say yes.  I used to do this, and what I ended up with was being exhausted and having nothing I created actually belong to me.

Recently I've had to be very editorial about the projects I get involved with. I feel like a jerk saying no to people - I've actually been accused of being a bad friend for not wanting to take on a project - but I just can't do everything. Artists can do a lot when they collaborate, but I've found that working on my own allows me to fulfill my own vision - start to finish- without compromise - and at the end, all that I've created is my own.

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PJ PinUp


I owe a dozen people e-mails, I am behind on my writing goals, and I have two thousand photos to edit from a recent wedding, besides the fact that I am in a pickle that means that I really do need to pick up a few more jobs if I want to travel this month and what am I doing?

Editing PinUps.

They are just so fun to look at. They are like candy, and I mean that on levels.

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