Tag Archives: artistic inspiration

Dog tired but glad to get a dose of Thorin

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Have you ever been so tired you could barely hold your head up? Part of it’s physical and part of it’s mental and emotional. We have a humane society pet calendar due two weeks from tomorrow and I haven’t been able to meet with the publisher yet due to issues for both of us. She’s been swamped and I’ve been sick. Thursday should finally be the day.

She has all the photos and stories and info in her possession that I have put together and supplied to her and I have complete faith in her ability to lay it all out and I will step in and supply captions and proofing. I’ve known her for years, I know her skill set and ability to meet deadlines. But the humane society president doesn’t know all these things and I feel him breathing down my neck because this isn’t the way the previous printer and the previous project chair did things. *sigh*

Of course, the previous printer, who undeniably did good work, was charging us so much for the print job we weren’t making a lot of profit. And the previous project chair got burned out and also managed to alienate some of the people submitting photos by more or less insulting their precious pets. As someone confided to me, “No one wants to hear their dog’s too ugly to be in the calendar.”

No, indeed. Don’t bite the hand that shells out the dollars for the calendars, dear.

Anyway, I am on my second round of antibiotics now and I think the remaining lesions are beginning to fade a bit. I haven’t had a weeping blister in several days and should definitely be past the contagious stage. I think the meds are starting to really sap what energy I have, which is never where I would like it to be.

I was able to go out in public and cover two events Saturday with normal makeup and just a little extra concealer. I didn’t scare the children or farm animals (Old Time Farm Day was one of the events). My skin’s still itchy and tender and molting a bit, but at least I don’t feel so ickily leprous. There’s improvement; I guess I am just too impatient. Today, I’ve been nauseous and dizzy and overwhelmingly tired.

And then something came tonight after dark via the UPS lady, who calls me “sugah” and “darlin'” but keeps a sharp eye out for our GSD (“Once you’ve been bitten, you just extra careful, ya know?”)
I do know.

The parcel, heavy for its size, contained the final Weta Chronicles book on the Hobbit films and it completes my collection. I haven’t had the money to splurge on some of the Hobbit merchandising but I always seem to find room for books.

And these books are something special, handsomely bound with lavish illustrations and copious photographs, so much detail about the costuming, makeup and prosthetics, set design and decoration, and the artists and craftspeople who painstakingly create worlds upon the screen that only previously existed in the imagination. These are keepsakes and the sort of books I love to revisit from time to time.

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Naturally, the first thing I look for is anything related to Thorin and Richard.

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There’s more I’d like to say about Richard’s own thoughts and impressions recorded in this volume and those of the individuals who worked with him, but my brain is too sludgy tonight to even attempt it. Maybe tomorrow . . . tomorrow is another day.

Happy Halloween from The Dark Side . . .

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“You are still such a temptation . . .”

A single saturnine brow is raised.

“Oh–am I?” A husky purr from deep in his throat.

“Ummmm-hmmmmm.” Her lips curved into a teasing smile.

“So many of us ready to fall at your feet . . .”

A flash of white teeth in the semi-darkness.

“Including–you, my lady?”

A soft sigh slowly exhaled. “Always . . .”

A velvet chuckle. “Well, then—I shall see you on the dark side, my angel.”

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Happy Halloween!

Happy Guyday Friday! It’s Fur-Tastic!

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“You’ve added to the family, I see. More orphans in need of–what do you call it?–a FUR-ever home, Ladywriter?” Sir Guy raised a single brow as he gave her a lopsided smile.

LW glanced over at the three kittens cuddled up next to her. “Benny saw them on his way to work the other day and asked me to go on a kitten rescue mission after work.” She shrugged and added sheepishly, “You know I’m a sucker for furry little baby animals.” Ladywriter’s mouth curved into a besotted smile as she looked at the threesome playing together. “And these babies are so—SWEET.”

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The dark knight gave a chuckle. “Apparently that’s not what Scarlett thinks. I believe she said in Katteese they were ‘The Spawn of Satan.'”

LW sighed. “Yeah . . . jealousy and the whole territorial thing’s been rearing its ugly head since we brought off the deck and into the house yesterday.” She grinned up at Sir Guy, a mischievous gleam in her bespectacled eyes. “You big cats can be very territorial at times, you know.”

Sir Guy sniffed and shot her one of *those* sideways glances.  “If your heart wasn’t so divided amongst my CReAtor’s ChaRActers, both living and So Not Dead, perhaps we would have no need to have those feelings, my lady.”

“Sir Guy—you know perfectly well that you are THE number one ChaRActer for me, I just happen to have a big heart with lots of room for compelling  ChaRActers and cute little furry creatures, ” she replied in a chiding tone.  Ladywriter spun her laptop around so that her raven-haired visitor could see the screen and tapped its edge with her finger.

“Look–I even worked on some new edits of you last night!”

The flash of white teeth was dazzling as he gave a deep, rumbling laugh of approval.

“Well–wait until Soldier Boy and Chewy Man hear this!”

Chewy Man?! Oh, riiiight.

Happy Guyday Friday!

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The Big Charity Auction is Underway with Bounty of cRAfty Booty to Bid Upon!

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Just a few of the RA-licious goodies up for auction right now . . .

 

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Guylty has organized an online auction featuring wonderful RA-related items hand-crafted and donated by RA fans around the world. The very worthy cause is a fund aiding the youngest of the Syrian refugees via Save the Children. I have links to all of the auctions below. If you don’t wish to bid on an item, you can also contact Guylty about making a donation through some other channel. So browse the offerings and make your bid(s)!

https://guylty.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/craftingforcharity-auction-1-sinnamins-plushie-doodle-package/

https://guylty.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/craftingforcharity-auction-2-lilys-red-dragon-tapestry/

https://guylty.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/craftingforcharity-auction-3-picnic-raps-package/

https://guylty.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/craftingforcharity-auction-4-armitage-tote-bag/

https://guylty.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/craftingforcharity-auction-5-pats-thornton-thorin-package/

https://guylty.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/craftingforcharity-auction-6-guy-raps-package-2/

https://guylty.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/craftingforcharity-auction-7-kellys-crucible-package/

https://guylty.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/craftingforcharity-auction-8-dolarhyde-raps-package/

https://guylty.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/craftingforcharity-auction-9-your-custom-raps/

The Visitor

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“You’re writing about me again.”

There was such underlying warmth mixed with surprise and–was that the faintest hint of reproof?–in that deep rumble of his.

He was sitting there at the foot of her bed, that glossy raven head tilted to one side quizzically,  hands clasped around one bent knee folded casually across his leg. A dark knight from a different age decked out in his version of fancy-dress: well-worn, boot-cut jeans encased those never-ending pipes of his, a black V-neck t-shirt and a black leather jacket.  His trademark stubble was heavy enough to be called a beard and there was just a hint of kohl encircling those bottomless blue eyes.

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She wanted to fling her arms around him, bury her face in that broad chest and breathe in his scent. Leather,  sandalwood soap and–chocolate.  Instead of embracing him, she leaned forward and ever so gently brushed his chin with her fingertips.

“You’ve been into the chocolate animal crackers again, haven’t you, Sir Guy? If you’re going to keep that rather fetching beard, I shall have to buy you a brush and comb for it, I suppose.”

Sir Guy caught up her fingers in his hand. So warm. He radiates warmth.

Turning her hand over, he raised it palm upwards to his mouth. His eyes closed, he pressed kisses, light as gossamer, to the surface of her palm.

Oh my.

“You’re crying.”

“So are you.”

He smiled.

A beautiful bearded angel in black leather.

“Perhaps–we’ve missed each other, Ladywriter?”

Perhaps we have.

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What do you know? Mr. A and FD have inspired me again.

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So, yes, I did watch the first episode of “Hannibal” featuring Richard as Francis Dolarhyde last Saturday and I was going to post about it. However, I got so wrapped up in the humane society calendar project and trying to get some photo galleries up before the recital DVDs go out so that I can pimp my stills, that I just never go around to posting. Life’s been busy, but in a largely positive way. Hopefully, my efforts will pay off for the humane society and fatten my own bank account–two things that would be awfully nice.

I have managed to work on a few Hannibal-related photo edits in between editing submitted pet photos and I thought I would share them with you, along with a few thoughts.

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I am not sure what the diagnosis for Francis’s mental illness would be (I think we can all agree he is mentally ill). Paranoid schizophrenia has been suggested and it seems a fairly spot-on diagnosis.

However, seeing Francis’s struggle with his inner demons and how unhappy he is with life, his desire to reinvent himself–to Become–his battle with those voices in his head–I could only think of the word “fractured.” He’s broken inside and looking to be put back together. Sadly, he seeks that wholeness in such horrific ways.   It’s amazing how much Richard telegraphed about the character without dialogue.

I remember Sir Peter Jackson talking about the quality of stillness Richard brings as an actor, how one can be captivated by this man when he isn’t even speaking a word. We saw that in this episode introducing us to Dolarhyde. Whether still or moving in that sort of stylized dance,  straining and contorting his muscles in an almost tortuous way as part of his terrifying metamorphosis into the Red Dragon, I simply couldn’t take my eyes away.

dolarhyde demons hideI find words from “Imagine Dragons” songs running through my head when I think of this character, too, and used some quotes from two of their songs in the photo edits.

francisbeastinsideedit2francishidetruthRichard has talked about the tragic romance between Francis and a character that will enter the picture in the next episode, Reba. This blind co-worker manages to get under his skin and awaken tender feelings inside.

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I admit I am very much looking forward to the episode featuring the visit to the zoo and the opportunity to touch the sedated tiger, a visit arranged for Reba by Francis. I suppose it was my favorite passage in the novel “Red Dragon.”

FRANCISREBAWAKINGUPI don’t think I can be considered a “fannibal,” but I am impressed with Richard’s interpretation of this complex character, a serial killer for whom one can feel some pity and compassion, even as you are repelled by his heinous crimes. Yes, I am actually looking forward to the next episode–although I won’t be able to watch it until later that night. I have an event to cover for the paper and hopefully, I will also sell some more stills. Fedoralady wears a lot of hats.

 

I will leave you with one more image that I simply lightened so we could enjoy all the hard work Mr. A put into having that muscular physique described in Harris’ book.  Thank you, Richard. Even when a role you undertake isn’t a first choice for many of us, you make it worthwhile to watch on a number of levels.

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So I haven’t been hiding under a rock . . . Fedoralady’s been wearing her other hats

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Well, hello out there, if anybody is still listening! In spite of my quietness, I am still to be counted as an Ardent Armitage Admirer. If you are on Facebook, you know that I have been posting at my RA page, “The Richard Armitage Effect.”

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Richard-Armitage-Effect/ (Although there have been days when the posts have been “slim to none.”)

It’s been ages, it seems, since I have been here at TAE.

I confess I am behind on reading other bloggers’ posts. I’ve saved my notifications so I am hoping to catch up at some point. However, my good intentions may fall short. Mea culpa.

Real Life has been BUSY. Busy with volunteer work for the humane society, busy with assignments for the newspaper, where I am now a regular contributor of one to two stories, along with photos, each week, and busy with our video production company, shooting year-end school events and community theater, dance recitals and more. After the shoots comes the really time-consuming process of editing both stills and video. Rather than go into great detail about the events, I am simply going to share some of my photos . . . .

2cailynthompson I love it what I do. Oh, yeah, I get tired. Cricks in my neck. Eye strain. My back hurts. IBS strikes. Restful sleep is forever eluding me. Yet, I feel as if am in my element. I am helping document the milestones of my community and its inhabitants, giving back to it.  And making some money along the way while I’m doing it. Getting a chance to be creative.  That is very important to me.

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I love it when mamas make the photos I’ve taken of their young’uns their profile photos on FB, or proudly share them on their pages. I love promoting some of the amazing talent we have in this county.

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It’s been a season of celebration–endings and beginnings. A lot of smiles and a few tears along the way.
Now we are gearing up to cover my friend Sonya’s year-end dance recital. To call this ambitious production a recital doesn’t really do justice to all the creativity,P1090524 (2) imagination and scope she incorporates into these shows. I can’t wait until this weekend. Tomorrow I go and shoot some video and stills of rehearsal. These are from the other day, picture day for the Pink class–mostly five-year-old budding ballerinas. Funny, sweet, sometime rambunctious.

Unpredictable.

P1090567editI love when I can capture the little ones *not* giving me one of those cheesy grins. Said toothy smiles look fake and give you squinty eyes, and these eyes are too lovely not to get their proper due.  Thank you for bearing with me through all these photos and keep in mind, I actually took a few thousand or so . . .  so I am actually sparing you! 😉

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Catching up on things and choosing one’s soul. Fedoralady’s back! (with RA, too)

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After this long period of silence from me here at the blog (largely due to constant outage issues with our internet which seem to be resolved for now, *fervently crossing fingers* not to mention a serious case of the winter blaahs), here I am!

 

8bbf660788c85c0584c79319afcde2d2I used to be called the “Hat Lady “around town. I hope to be a lady worth knowing . . . hat or no hat.

Things finally seem to be looking up. I have been asked back as a regular contributor (as in once or twice a week, instead of once or twice a month, if that) at The Greenville Advocate . I will also assist with copyediting and writing for the quarterly “Camellia” Magazine. Tracy wants to see my byline more often, and judging by the response I got when I posted about it on FB, quite a few others do, too. I won’t get rich–that wasn’t happening when I worked full-time–but it will be nice to have more of a regular income to look forward to.  And so far this year, I haven’t had to go back to the doctor. Still paying off bills from last year, so this is good!

 

We did a community service video for Healthy Kids last month, tailoring it to their “Superheroes Unite” theme for the year. We don’t charge for this kind of project, but that doesn’t mean we don’t work just as hard to make it good. Lisa, the director for the group, was thrilled with the results, especially since we didn’t get a huge amount of advance notice on the project (a week and half, roughly).

 

 

A YT version should soon be up so everyone who didn’t attend the HK sponsorship luncheon can also enjoy and learn from it. Sometimes, (moving) pictures and captions, along with some brief interviews and voice-overs, are worth a thousand words! 😀 And I think it will be good advertising for our video production company. I am also proud of the fact I shot and edited ALL the footage for each segment of this 10-minute video, except for the superhero fx integrated into it by Benny *giving myself a little pat on the back.*

 

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Spring is in the air here–although it can’t quite make up its mind whether to stay yet. I feel as if I need to come out of hibernation, shake off my winter malaise, and–write. Create.  Connect. Keep choosing my soul. And try not to beat up on myself quite so often. I ran across some posts on Pinterest that spoke to me . . . maybe to you, too.

 

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And lest you think this will be an RA-less post, au contraire, mes amies! Scroll on, my darlings, scroll on!

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RA in black & white (with a smidgen of color) & more. Collages & Photo Edits.

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Just seeing that scan of the RA-as-Byronic-young-actor photo from LAMDA the school tweeted today reminded me (1) how much I love looking at images of Richard from throughout his career and (2) how much I love RA in classic black and white. So I did some editing and some plundering of my stash of old edits.

Of course, being me, I also had to play with that lovely black and white image of our handsome floppy-haired Richard and tweak it a bit. I simply could not resist. Call it theRApy of sorts.

And speaking of therapy, tomorrow I see the local orthopedic surgeon and have him take a look at me, my MRI and my EMG results to see what he recommends re the wrist.  In the afternoon I am traveling with the newspaper publisher to a neighboring county to tour one of their historic old homes and surrounding property. She’s shooting the photos and I will take notes to write the copy for the upcoming edition of the Camellia Magazine. I LOVE old homes, so although I know I will be tired afterwards, I am very much looking forward to it (and getting paid to write it).

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What and who I want Richard Armitage to be.

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I want Richard Armitage to be fulfilled–in terms of his work, I want him to be cast in the kinds of roles he truly desires to play, to be able to dig into characters he finds intriguing, juicy, an exciting challenge that will flex his acting muscles.

 

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I want him to keep finding satisfaction in practicing his craft. If he chooses to go into directing, writing and producing at some point, I am all for that, too–although, selfishly, I hope he never chooses to leave acting behind altogether.  He’s much too good at it.

I also want him to be happy and satisfied in his personal life. He believes in nourishment and nurturing; I want Richard to have friends, family, lovers who give him the nourishing and nurturing he so richly deserves.  People with whom he feels truly at home, no matter where his career may take him, because they are always there in his heart.

I want Richard Armitage to know he has many, many admirers who appreciate him for all he has given us, and not just through his performances.  We appreciate all the stage door appearances, no matter what the weather, all those autographs signed, photos posed for and happy moments provided when fans get to look directly into those beautiful eyes and be on the receiving end of one of those stellar smiles.  He speaks so kindly of us in interviews and never seems to take his little community for granted.  I don’t want him to ever feel he owes his fandom a thing, except, perhaps, to bring his best to his roles–and he hasn’t failed me yet.

 

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Yes, I want Richard to be happy, satisfied, fulfilled in all facets of his life, to keep learning and growing and being the special human being that he is; to love and to be loved.

I want Richard to be himself. Bright, talented, funny, thoughtful, kind, generous, talented, versatile, and just a little mysterious.  To reveal what he choses to reveal, and to keep private that which he chooses to keep to himself. It’s his right and privilege as a fellow human being.

I consider myself most fortunate to have been his admirer for seven years, seven years of experiencing masculine beauty coupled with an amazing and always evolving talent, a delightful sense of humor and a gentle and humble spirit.

What he brings into my life is more than enough for me, and I regularly say, “Thank you, God, for creating such a wonder as Richard Armitage.”

 

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“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image.  Otherwise, we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.

~ Thomas Merton: No Man is an Island

 

Just chillin’ right now with Thorin edits. Surgery may loom.

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I had therapy today and the wrist is starting to feel very sore and tingly again. Everything is improving–the elbow, the tendonitis–except for the dratted wrist; the PT said I’d probably have to end up going through the nerve conductivity test and having surgery anyway. Id already more or less reconciled myself to that idea. C’est la vie.

Anyway, I just needed to sort of kick back tonight and play. I have work to do tomorrow on a collaborative project and then more therapy Friday. We are covering an event (I will also cover for the paper) for PRP Friday night. I like getting those extra dollars, they come in handy.
And here’s what I did while I played tonight.

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Catching up with Fedoralady; thoughts on moving out of comfort zones

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(Blogger’s note: I started this post this morning and then decided to take a nice long nap. Turned out to be even longer than I planned.  Yeah, I was tired.)

My physical therapist told me to take it easy this weekend and I would hate to let her down.  We are out of cereal so I had cold pizza for a late breakfast. It’s really very tasty. I’m catching up on some of the movies and TV shows I have DVRed while thinking seriously about a nap. My husband will chide me for being a couch potato when he gets home this afternoon, but just call me “Spuds Fedora” today.

Pain kept me up well into the night.  I keep reminding myself that sometimes things get worse before they get better and it’s not as if I am unaccustomed to pain and discomfort, right? The tennis elbow (more like photographer/videographer’s elbow) and tendonitis have improved, I think; the ulnar nerve, on the other hand, has given me absolute fits.  I suspect a nerve conductivity test will be unavoidable (with minor surgery to relieve the nerve compression to follow).

 

72165WThe above illustration pretty much explains what is going on.

Speaking of nerves, my car has broken down five times in the last two weeks, forcing me to miss my much-needed therapy last Friday.  It’s getting on my last nerve, that big, comfy old (emphasis on “old”) tank.  It’s not the battery or alternator, apparently; sometimes it just decides it doesn’t want to crank. Well, I feel the same way some days, so perhaps I shouldn’t be too hard on the Crown Vic.  And I have to be thankful for cell phones and the kindness of the local police force, who obligingly moved The Old Tank out of the roundabout and into a safe spot last Friday . . . it could be worse.

I have been thinking a lot about comfort zones of late, too; dear friend Judit, aka the Hungarian Honey, is writing about her Crucible experiences and sharing them here with us at my blog. For Judit, writing something for publication, putting it out there where anyone online could potentially see it, was scary. Unnerving. Those feelings are perfectly understandable.

 

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A few years back, when I wrote my first fan fic, a one-off story with Lucas, I was very apprehensive about publishing it. And keep in mind, I was a working newspaper reporter and columnist at the time. But this was something different; this was fiction, not fact, not an area I had a great deal of experience in writing-wise. I was dealing with a whole new group of potential readers. I knew the horror stories about “flamers.” Who wants their creative efforts to be ripped apart?

So yes, I had some butterflies in the stomach before I hit that “publish” button at Live Journal.

After some initial technical glitches, it all went pretty well. Better even than I expected.  So I kept at it, started writing longer multi-chapter fiction. I had a lot of fun and felt a definite sadness when a project came to the end and I had to say “goodbye” to the characters.  I can understand better how actors can become attached to and protective of their characters, too.

I even moved on to writing a novel with my own characters, although for various reasons it’s languishing for now, its inhabitants still knocking at the door of my imagination from time to time. The point is, writing fan fiction gave me the opportunity to flex some creative muscles in ways I hadn’t used them before. As the graphic above says, I had to be willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable along the way.

 

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I did worry about what people would think, what they would say, when I first started sharing my creative efforts within the fandom. You know what? I have learned you have to leave those worries behind, too, as you step outside the static safety of the comfort zone. I love this quote you see above. You can never, nor should you ever try, to please everyone. Haters are gonna sit on the sidelines and be haters. Always have been, and always will be.

Jealousy and envy have been around as long as humankind; don’t let it stop you when others display theirs.   If you feel the desire, the need, the passion to share your creativity and imagination and dreams through writing, drawing, painting, photo editing, video making, blogging, dancing, singing or other means, DO IT.  And look for like-minded people who will encourage and nurture and inspire you along the way!

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Even though life I am still relatively poor, with a chronic condition affecting me mind, body and spirit, no longer a cute young thing and driving a vehicle the reliability of which is suspect–I think it isn’t over yet, that I still have something to say, something to share, someone to inspire, new things to learn, growing to do. I am still looking for the magic . . . it’s the attitude I believe the man who inspired/inspires me would champion, the one who has kept pushing against the boundaries of his own comfort zone.

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Mr. Armitage, my ardor for you only grows, it seems. Thoughts & Photo Edits.

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ardor (noun):  (1) Great warmth of feeling; fervor, passion. (2) Intense devotion; eagerness or enthusiasm, zeal. (found on Dictionary.com Word for the Day)

Every time I read or hear or see your cast and crew mates talking about you with such obvious respect and affection; every time another fan account of watching you perform in The Crucible pops up and I discover once again how utterly amazing they found your powerful and intense performance, and how sweet, how completely affable and approachable you are to your fans at the stage door,  and each time you are interviewed and remain Armitage the Unflappable, courteous, good-humored and thoughtful in your responses . . . each and every time my ardor grows for you.  It’s not just your amazing talent, your off-the-charts charisma or your distinctive masculine beauty. No, those are fantastic, but that isn’t what has kept me around for seven years.

It’s also your brains, your wit, your kindness, your generosity, your good manners, your natural elegance and grace,  your humility, your groundedness . . . all the goodness I find inside and out when it comes to you. It’s your willingness to face your fears, to step out of your comfort zone.  It’s your desire to bring your best to each and every role, no matter the size of it, no matter the prestige (or lack thereof) of it.

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Yes, you do something to me, Richard Armitage. And I like it. I thank you heartily for it.
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You have that mysterious, alluring quality that I can’t quite define. And that mystery is part of why I have such ardor for you. Why you are under my skin, in my heart, bouncing around in my brain . . . inspiring me, exciting me, delighting me . . . me and so very many others.

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I should be resting my arm/wrist. But. Oh, well . . . it’s RA.

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Saw the new Dan Forti pics Serv posted and said to myself, “Hmmmmm. I want to play . . .”  Yeah, yeah, I’ve probably got both tendonitis and ulnar nerve compression. My left hand has a third of the strength and capacity of the right one. If you want to torture me, all you have to do is push my middle finger back towards my shoulder. I WILL cry “uncle.”

 

But those eyes . . . those–thighs . . . the slightly enigmatic quality of that expRA edit Dan Fortiression. The leather . . . the masculinity of it all . . .

 

I couldn’t help myself.

His image sings a sort of siren song to me . . .

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