Short Story Time: Folding Knives and Blue Eyes

My friend Christy wrote this short story based on an image that I recently posted. She’s an excellent writer. Please check out the story and her blog Poetic Parfait.

Poetic Parfait

This short story is inspired by a photo taken by Chris from the Milford Street blog. If you don’t know his photographs, I encourage you to go them check out in his posts! It was his recent Old Timers post that caught my eye, featuring the image below. Thanks again Chris for letting me use your photo for inspiration and permission to include it here.

Pocket knives at a flee market Folding knives. So many stories to tell. Like this short story. Photo via Christopher O’Keefe, Old Timer, used with his permission.

Folding Knives and Blue Eyes

The knives were folded on the table in front of Jude and, like them, she was without words. Where was the one that her grandpa had owned? None of these were calling out to help her.

She felt a dig into her left side.

“Oof,” she said, and her hands instinctively covered the sore spot. Looking over, she met…

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Graffiti Alley in Central Square

A friend and I parked in Central Square in Cambridge, MA for an evening of making images. We first wanted to check out some of the area’s graffiti and street art. A web search suggested Graffiti Alley, a place where people can paint the walls and such and it stays up until someone decides to paint over it. This man was kind enough to let me make some images of him at work, though I have to admit I did not get his name (shame on me).

E-Book Review: Dirty Blogging

I’m sure that all of my fellow bloggers have had this happen. You check WordPress and see you have a new comment from someone you don’t know. You’re kind of excited. Oh, someone new! Then, you click on it and find a comment that reads something like “Hey, check out my new post. I think you’ll really like it.” Now you’re mad because not only did they hijack your blog to promote themselves but they didn’t even say anything about the post they put their self-promotion on. And, of course, you go and check out their blog and get even madder because their post has nothing to do with what your blog is about. Arrrrgggghhhhh

Well, my friend Monica and her father have cataloged this type of person and all the others out there who don’t play nice on the blogosphere in their new book Dirty Blogging: 40 ugly traps that wait for you at every step. For those of you who are veteran bloggers, you’ll read it thinking “God, I hate when that happens.” Some parts of it are a bit funny because they are so true. It’s a bit like the comedian who gets a laugh by saying how bad something is. It’s funny because we can all identify with it. And Monica and her father give nicknames to the various sorts of people. For example, there are the “Followers Hunters.” Here is an excerpt:

THE FOLLOWERS’ HUNTERS – There is a category of bloggers who start hunting followers in the blogosphere. How does it work? They come on your blog, check to see how many followers you have, and if you have around 200, they follow you. All good and beautiful until, by common sense, you follow back. From that moment you’ve been burned. Because, shortly, they will run away, unsubscribing from your blog. I found out this simply by mistake. These hunters are probably sure that when you have about 200 followers, you can no longer check who followed you and who you follow. I tried to do this, but it’s pretty tough and I did not go all the way.

I hate it when that happens and tend to now only follow people when we’ve established a real pattern of a relationship.

Their book is also good for new bloggers. It will help you to understand what to expect. A good example is the fact that all the likes and comments dry up on the holidays. It also explains some of the behavior that one will see in the blogosphere.

Monica and her father are not angry and have no ax to grind. They love blogging and are on a mission to civilize. Here is another excerpt:

“The blogosphere is a complex world. Like in real life, here you can find all kind of people. You can find friends but you can also find people who want to take advantage of your innocence. People who attract you in all kind of traps to make their businesses with you. To use you for their own good.”

Their point is that there are times that people forget about reciprocity, or else don’t care about it. Granted there is no rule that one has to reciprocate and play nice, but the world is a better place when we all do.

It is a good, quick read and sells for $3 USD. I swear you will recognize experiences you’ve had if you’ve been blogging for even a few months. You may get angry remembering some characters that you encountered; you may laugh because what they say is so true, and you may see a bit of yourself in what they wrote. And perhaps if we see ourselves (as I admittedly did), we will act a bit better on the blogosphere and their mission to civilize will be realized.

If you are interested in ordering their e-book, click here

Thursday Doors: The Brattle Book Shop

The Brattle Book Shop on West Street in Boston is an antiquarian book shop. They have a wide variety and don’t specialize. You could get 10,000 books at $1 each – or – one book for $10,000. They have an alley next door that they use to put out books for sale. After hours, the books are kept in cabinets and the cabinets are painted to look like books and bookshelves. The second image in the gallery, that break in the books is an old chimney.

For the curious, here is a video about the shop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGlmXRAh5cE