You Chose Wrong

I will admit, I have never read a “Choose Your Own Adventure Novel,” as this ds106 assignment describes. However, I love the idea of writing the end of a story, the gruesome ending, not the happy one. So here we go!

The little imp told you the gold was buried here under this tree. You keep digging but soon realize the chattering birds above are more likely laughing Moorfolk, giggling at your misfortune. You swear and turn around, hoping to snatch up the tiny bearded man before he scampers off, but he’s nowhere in sight. In fact, you no longer see the path he took to lead you here. The moor has gone eerily quiet. You peer into the darkening late afternoon light and catch glimpse of a wavering twinkle, like a lantern. You take a few steps toward it, away from the soft soil beneath the trees. You’ve heard that will-o’-the-wisps can lead you to your fate, but to what fate will this glimmering glow guide you? You take another step toward the faint receding wisp and are immediately sucked down into the depths of the bog.
You chose wrong.
One of my favorite books as a kid was called The Moorchild, about a “changeling” named Saaski. “Changelings” are figments of European folklore said to take the place of children stolen away in the night before they were christened by fairies or pixies or elves. The magical creatures (in this book called moorfolk) would replace the child with an enchanted piece of wood or bundle of sticks, or occasionally one of their own that didn’t fit in or do their work. The whole book was ridden with folktales about getting lost on the moor and the dangers that could befall you there – a bit creepy for a children’s book, but still one of my favorites!

Hope you liked it! I’ve creeped myself out so much now I probably won’t sleep!

You’re Doing it Wrong

Sarcasm is at the heart of this ds106 assignment, which speaks to me on a cellular level. Maybe I’m stuck up. Maybe I think I’m better than other people. Or maybe I just don’t know how to handle other people’s stupidity. I blame food service. Regardless, I love the idea of this post, and I will probably start saying, “You’re doing it wrong,” on a daily basis.

Essentially, the point is to find a funny picture of something used improperly, spelled incorrectly, or something generally stupid, and use the caption, “You’re doing it wrong.” The example on the site was using a bike lock to secure a car to a pole. What? Really?

I didn’t go quite as caustic with mine. I searched for funny pictures, stupid pictures, dumb pictures, etc. I found quite a few grammar pictures with restaurant signs and the like that I considered using, but when I found the kitten… I had to.

I present, “Kisses: you’re doing it wrong.”


Illustrating Odd Autocompletes

The example for this ds106 visual assignment was of a cat priest hissing while preaching, which immediately caught my eye. I first input “I love it when…” into the google search bar, and then typed a few random letters after it. I tried to choose letters that were less frequently used to (hopefully) get more interesting results. V yielded “Voldemort” and when filling in the rest of that word, I was supplied with “I love it when Voldemort uses my shampoo.” How could I not? Since I am inept with photoshop, I chose to use MSpaint and Let It Gogh. I have to admit, I was both surprised and impressed with the end result, although I wish I could have thought of a more clever way to do the shampoo suds.

But really. Quit using my shampoo, Voldy.



I also made a tutorial that can be found on YouTube or here on the blog.

PSA Billboard

After a particularly infuriating trip to target, I decided to use the DS106 PSA Billboard assignment to vent my frustrations (Why do people think they can just walk around shopping, playing horrible music LOUDLY on their iphones?!). To accomplish this submission, I messed around with Gimp – a free photo-editing software. Although graphic design isn’t my strong point, I’m still pleased with the results. This project was rather therapeutic.

Directions for the DS106 assignment can be found here.


Historical Selfie

When I saw that DS106 had an Historical Selfie option, I was so excited. I knew I had to use one of my favorite historical figures -Marie Antoinette. To make this project happen, I had to download Gimp (basically, a free and less-user-friendly version of Photoshop). After about an hour of cursing and throwing things at my computer, I finally made a halfway decent post. Note – this project isn’t exactly for the photo-editing novice.

Assignment instructions can be found here.#beheading #goodhairday#beheading #goodhairday #atleastilookhot

Phake Tweets Tutorial

In this assignment, you will generate tweets from historical figures in order to create FanFiction.  Before I take you through step-by-step, take a look at the assignment instructions.  If for whatever reason you do not want to check out that link, I’ll copy them for you below:

Use the Twister tool from ClassTools ( to generate a series of images representing the voices of past figures if they could express themselves in twitter.  Notch it up, and recast a historical event with a new plot line, and notch it up again, but it a back and forth between two figures (use@person!) . . . 

Here is how I suggest you work on this assignment:

1. Decide what historical event you would like to use for inspiration.  It could be something like the Hamilton-Burr duel, Jackie Robinson’s first game with the Dodgers, whatever you want!  The point is that you will need to decide what event you want to reframe in order to make the next few steps worthwhile.

2.  If you are not already an expert on that historical event, research the event.  This doesn’t have to be complicated.  A quick Google search will probably give you all of the information you need.

3. Take note of the dates, major players involved, any relevant quotes, etc.  These will help you generate your content.

4.  Come up with some clever user names for your major players. In my example, I gave John Wilkes Booth the user name “Wilkes510.”  I’ll admit that’s not terribly clever, but his nickname was Wilkes and 510 represents his birthday (May 10.)

5.  Write your first tweet!  It can be whatever you want.  For my example, I condensed a sentence from John Wilkes Booth’s diary that said how he was feeling.

6. Now that you’ve done all of the creative pre-writing, let’s start fiddling with technology.  Fortunately, Twister is very straightforward.  All you have to do is fill in the blanks.  The site will ask you for the following information:

  • User name
  • Real name
  • Tweet
  • Date

7.  When you are finished filling in the blanks, click submit.  You should get something that looks like this:

John Wilkes Booth on Twitter


Create Your Own Character

For my third post, I chose to complete the assignment titled Creating Your Own Character.  The instructions asked me to write about a paragraph of backstory, including the following information:

  • The character’s appearance
  • The character’s likes
  • The character’s dislikes
  • The character’s personality
  • The character’s place in the world

I sat down to a blank Microsoft Word document and thought about how I could cram all of that information into one, not-so-boring paragraph.  Then I stopped worrying about that and just daydreamed about my character.  I decided to write my description in first-person and considered the relationship between the characters.  My narrator was a woman doing community service at a senior center, and the character I was describing was a passive elderly woman estranged from her family.  Focusing on the disgust of the narrator allowed me to easily create several paragraphs that answered all of these questions.  Here’s what I wrote:

Evangeline Sullivan had deep-set eyes and a large forehead that stood out prominently under a wispy layer of blue-tinged ringlets.  She had carried the same tube of Revlon Cherries in Ice lipstick in her purse since 1996 because she despised the Walmart where she’d purchased it.  There had been a gum-chewing boy there with tattoos who called her “lady.”  I think he reminded her of her daughter’s ex-boyfriend, but regardless, she hated tattoos and vulgarity of any sort.

      I told Evangeline multiple times that she could purchase that lipstick from anywhere—Walgreens, CVS—but she refused to shop anywhere but Walmart.  Her loyalty was only hindered by my inability to answer this question: Will that boy be there?

       I had been playing Blackjack with Evangeline and the other senior citizens on Wednesdays for three months now.  Evangeline was the quiet one, the one who never screamed “hit me.”  I always had to ask her twice if she’d like another card and she’d nod eagerly and smile an adorable, denture-enhanced grin at me.

        So one day Evangeline and I got to chatting over Jello. (Evangeline loved Jello—unless it was green or pudding could be made available.) As always she told me how much she liked it when I visited and said I reminded her of her daughter, who lived in Vermont.  This Vermont daughter seemed like quite the piece of work: Apparently, she had moved Evangeline down to Florida “for her own good.”

         See, Evangeline’s husband was still alive.  He had Alzheimer’s though, and the Vermont daughter thought it would be best if poor Evangeline didn’t have to watch him suffer.  So she shipped Mrs. Evangeline Sullivan off to the Sunshine State without so much as an “Is this what you want?”  But Evangeline never complained.  She liked the sun, I suppose, which was good for her joints.  And now here we were playing Blackjack together as if everything in the past no longer mattered.

10 Seconds of Thanks

For my second blog post, I chose to complete the 10 Seconds of Thanks challenge.

In accordance with the assignment directions, I set a timer for ten seconds and using pen and paper, then wrote down everything for which I was thankful. (There was way more that I could have listed, but ten seconds went by very quickly.)

Afterward, I set the timer for another ten seconds and drew a picture of myself. (Yes, the assignments specified this as well.)  I took a photo of it to insert here.

Since very few people can read my handwriting, I have transcribed my list for everyone:

I am grateful for family, friends, life, learning, opportunity…

photo 2