Tag Archives: humor

Birth Order Theory & The Georgian Family Portrait

I haven’t posted many Georgian family portraits, mostly because they tend to show domestic affairs in a retiring light, but I do enjoy John Lee and His Family by John Russell. Unlike many portraits of listless heads, John Lee’s Family appears bursting with personality.  This is despite the fact that a) the children are dressed in today’s equivalent of white t-shirts in group photos, and b) they share outgrown bowl style haircuts.  Kinda cute, actually.

Although there aren’t any definite indicators of sex like we would use today, I’m inclined to say the three central children are male while the remaining three are female.  The two golden haired children around the mother also look like twins, but again, reckless speculation.  You, readers, will simply have to give me your take as I have thrown research out the window and had my fun labeling the children with their respective (and imaginary roles).

John Lee and His Family by John Russell (1809)

click to enlarge

What do you think?  Have I got it all wrong and maligned the children?  Is birth order theory a sham?  And what about Dad?  Do you have a read on him or another interpretation of the family?  Leave me your comments. I’d love to hear them!

Susan Ardelie is the author of Shadow Fire Lady, the first book in the Incorporeal Lords series, a historical paranormal romance.  

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Poking Fun at Georgie

In the words of JT on your birthday…

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George Washington by Valentine Green after Charles Willson Peale (1785)

This portrait just makes me laugh.  There are lots of problems I could point out, but I think you guys can discover them on your own.  Unfortunate aspects aside though, our oldest president almost pulls off dashing, especially when compared with “I’ve lost me teeth” portrait we all know and probably don’t love.

Today’s historical trivia

Is today George Washington’s birthday?  My ICal says it is but sadly, it’s wrong. Georgie’s birthday actually falls on February 22nd.  So why do calendars (and many people) still think it’s George Washington’s birthday today?  Read here.

The Cupid Seller, 1763

Isn’t this cheeky?

The Cupid Seller by Joseph-Marie Vien, 1763

Not familiar with Joseph-Marie Vien’s work?  He replaced Fragonard’s paintings commissoned by Du Barry on the Progress of Love:  See Du Barry and the Louveciennes Panels.

Ode to Bad Romance

During my friend Abby’s last visit, we were sitting around flipping through some romance novels, looking all serious and contemplative as though we were reading Dostoyevsky, until all of a sudden, I couldn’t stop cackling. I had been thrust into the “the love scene.”

Don’t get me wrong. These passionate interludes can be erotic and scintillating (and oftentimes are) but they can also induce clutching-your-stomach-while-crying hysterics. I’ve never stopped reading a book in objection to a love scene or amusement over what it entailed, but I have found myself randomly texting to share the latest and greatest.  Electric bolts of quivering sheaths and twitching members come to mind, but lucky for you, there’s already a site ribbing romance novels with bad (subjectively bad!) sex quotes.

I stumbled across Uncle Walter’s Bad Romance Novel Quotes yesterday and I know, I know, from the cheesy covers to the sometimes dubious plots, the genre endures enough brow raises, but this collection of quotes is hilarious. And hey, even writers of romance need to heckle themselves once in a while.

11 Ways to Increase Writing Productivity

1.  Make your computer smarter than you

Step 1: Work on a computer that does not connect to the internet.  What????  Yes, tweety, delete your network setup so you won’t be tempted.  Also, ensure that your internet capable computer is a) on a shelf taller than you AND requires either a ladder or a chair to reach, or b) located on the other side of the house.  If you have seperate wings in your house, all the better.  Laziness will triumph.

2.  Deal with distractions and delegate

Dirty dishes in the sink?  Barter with your partner.  I’m sure you have something he/she wants more than not wanting to do the dishes.  At least you better hope so.

Dog barking at the door?  Install a doggie door and don’t cry when Bubbles goes missing. She’ll come back eventually.  Or not.  It’s okay.  Really.

Ecstatic when the mail person comes?  Install irretractable blinds in your office window.  Not only will this stop you from watching enrapt as a robin hunts worms in your grass, you won’t react like its christmas when the post comes. 

3.  Take a hike.

You can’t always work in the same location.  That would make you a hermit and we all know what happens to hermits, especially ones who own cats. 

4.  Acknowledge that you are a facehooker and that does not make you special.  It makes you easy.  Good writing should be difficult, not easy.

5.  Stop creeping so much

I know it’s important to update yourself on the latest gossip about the 42nd time Brad and Angelina are allegedly breaking up, but who cares?  Do they care about you?  That’s a big no.  They’re beautiful, rich, and successful.   Most of us writer types can’t even touch one of these!

On second thought, indulge.  Anecdotes about rearing 6 children and ho-running (Angelina, duh!  She was married to Billy Bob and once stated she wanted to taste the world) is the best vicarious living you’re gonna get this side of West Virginia.

6.  Get yourself a real live muse.  And no, if you’re a middle-aged male, make that male, the teenage ingenue next door doesn’t work. 

7.  If you must write agents hate mail to re-invigorate your writing (because yes, you are a superstar and they are just stupid to reject you), please do so with an invisible ink pen.  Better yet, don’t do this.  Does the word gatekeeper mean anything to you?

8.  Commit to eating one food all day to avoid unnecessary hunger pains.  Especially baby carrots.  When you turn orange, you will have the perfect excuse to call in sick to your actual job. 

9.  Make like Bella and write longhand in a pristine, mountain meadow.  Hey, don’t knock it.  It worked real good for Stephanie Meyer.

10.  If alcohol motivates you, develop a reward system, kind of like a punch card.  One drink for every 1,000 words.  If that doesn’t cut it, consider the substance abuse-talent paradigm.  Ernest Hemingway? Stephen King?  Why the hell not you?  When you think about it like that, you’re just one alcohol induced coma away from your breakout book.  God, I don’t know why I didn’t think of that earlier!

11.  Stop expecting me to tell you 11 ways in increase your writing productivity.  Don’t you know that top ten lists are the ones with all the answers?

Got a snarky tip of your own? Do share.