Bad Pics

6:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 38 Comments

It's bad picture day. 

And it's an IWSG post.

Yesterday was my cyber twin's book launch for his awesome, you should own it by now biography, Revival, the true story of Donald Braswell, Texan opera singer.

Anyhow, I allowed my brother* to have a respectable launch day.

But I wouldn't be doing my job as pain in the arse sister if I didn't share this:

This is Mark in his happy Hawaiian home. See how he's enjoying the sweet life? Sipping his Pina Colada and soaking up the sun? Well, all good things come to an end, and Mark had to move to the US mainland. Now, I realize the coconut bra outfit didn't quite work on the East coast and a change was in order...but I'm not sure Mark quite understands East Coast fashion...

Check out the IWSG! 
IWSG Anthology Contest (open until November 1) 
Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and this month's co-hosts!

When life needs an edit. 

Wouldn't it be nice if our scenes in life could be edited? 

Take Senior Night. 

I'm 46, with four kids. 

So, when pictures are planned- I always have a plan. 


This year, senior night was early in the season, so the first-preferred, mom-body-camouflage coat was off the table. 

A nice blouse would have been good. 

But it was supposed to be raining, and a rainy night in West Virginia means it would be cold when the wind blew from the west, and warm when it came from the south.** 

Blouse was vetoed. Unless I added a rain coat. 

Ooh, a rain coat! Genius idea. 

But the blouse may not be thick enough for the westerly winds, so maybe add a sweatshirt?

A sweatshirt would add bulk, so forget that. 

The answer? A thin cotton/cashmere blend sweater. It's great for layering, but not so great at concealing the tummy roll. It's the opposite. It's a clinger and a highlighter of flaws. 

No worries about that. I'd just zip the rain coat before walking out. 

Boom. Perfect plan. 

Then it all went to bird crap. 

As I stood in the line up, a bird flew over head and dropped a doodie on the tip of my nose. 

In my napkin wiping, Purell smearing attempt to get myself ready, I totally forgot my picture planning: 

I didn't zip the jacket, didn't square my shoulders, didn't suck in the gut, didn't realize my online purchased jeans were gapping in the crotch, and that my Wal Mart bra wasn't quite the tensile-steeled-underwired contraption the girls count on. 

It was a picture perfect fail. 

If I could edit real life, I'd go back and make sure I wasn't standing under a sparrow with a bowel problem. 

But I can't. 

So, you know what?

Screw it. The perfect moment wouldn't have made a blog post. 

Don't worry about your insecurities. Exploit them. 

Thanks to our hosts LexaL.G, and Tonja Drecker for this weekly good things check in! I'm posting this early, since I won't be posting Friday. 

1. Swept Away is finished. Sent it back out to writer friends for their input. 

2. The weather here is supposed to be beautiful this week. 

3. I have all the football fundraiser t-shirts out of the back of my van. Woo hoo! I can unstow and go my seats.                              

*Mark is not really my biological brother. We've spent so much time giving each other online noogies, we're certain we're twins who were separated at conception by the Atlantic Ocean
**I'm no weather hair isn't blond enough, so I don't really know which way the wind blows. I just know that in West Virginia the temperature can change as quickly as a NASCAR pit crew changes a flat (that's really fast).


  1. Mark just doesn't get it.
    That's why I don't even try with photos. I can't make it look better anyway.
    And you are too hard on yourself!

  2. Photos I tend to run from, they rarely turn out good. I'll stick to using the cats.

    1. Even my cat gets those creepy, glowing eyes. I guess bad pics are universal.

  3. I don't know if I'd be able to exploit my insecurities - I'm not that brave! - but I definitely agree about letting them go and not worrying about them so much. :)

    1. The really scary ones are kept hidden- half the time even from myself!

  4. Bwahahaha. I love the pumpkin photo(shop). The placement of that stem is hilarious!

    Don't slap me or label me a cougar, but--of the three people in that photo--I'm not looking at you, honey. :P

    IWSG #115 until Alex culls the list again

    1. LOL!!! I knew there was a reason I loved you.

      Photoshop? Who me? Bwahaha

  5. I love the pumpkin pic!

    I think you look just fine as you are. I even looked at the picture full size and don't see any of that junk you're talking about. Your crotch looks fantastic. Amend that. It doesn't look all gappy like you suggested. It looks normal. There. Whew.

    Exploit your insecurities. I need to think on that one.

    1. You're the best.

      Seriously? You don't think they look odd there? Hmm. I guess that only goes to prove that we can see way more flaws in ourselves than other people do.

  6. I think your picture is great! Mark's are a bit questionable though...

  7. Exploiting insecurities is what makes us writers. Cherish them for handing you material to write about.

    1. Exactly. If we were perfect, where would we get all the tragic story lines?

  8. Drinking tea and scrolling down to the pumpkin picture did not mix very well - tea spurted all over lap!!

    In years to come, you'll look back at that photo on senior night and remember the event... You probably won't even notice the not-quite-perfect bits :-)

    1. Apologies for the tea covered screen. :)

      You're so right. I look back at high school photos and wonder what I was whining about.

  9. Thanks for such a great post Elizabeth. You made me giggle. Fab pics, super story. Sorry, I don't mean to laugh at your mishap - nothing personal, honestly - but reading this has really lifted my mood. Thank you!

    1. It's good to laugh. And no worries, you're laughing with me. One of the bonuses of being 46 is not really caring about those sort of things quite as much. It's easier to laugh and keep a proper perspective.

  10. LOL!! Hey, at least the picture fail made for some pretty awesome blogging material. =)

    Happy launc to Mark!

    1. You just wait for part two. You think the bird pooping on my nose was bad- just wait until I tell you what happened the next week!!

  11. Hey,

    Why is everybody talking about Photoshop?

    That is a legit picture of me that I paid many pennies for... I love my well-positioned pumpkin muscles!!

    Okay I better stop there!! there may be children reading this:)

    Liz, you never fail to crack me up!! and I really love that picture of me....

    and I agree don't be hard on yourself.... like you said if it was picture perfect you wouldn't have posted... And look at all the awesome comments :)

    Love ya, Twinny :)

    1. Seriously? Can you believe people think I have the skills to photo shop that well?

      Hugs and love to you too, cyber-bro, may this launch be as amazing as your style is questionable ;)

  12. Congrats on your book finish of Swept Away!!!
    And, you know I didn't see any of that stuff in the picture. When I first saw it on facebook, I thought it was just awesome! You are a beautiful lady!

    And . . . oy, Mark. Those photos. Just speechless. :)

  13. Eek pictures freak me out lol That pumpkin one is hilarious!!! Mark . . . hmm he IS rocking those coconuts lol

  14. Is that Mark Koopman? Eh, I've seen worse. of him. I'll send you pics.

    Stephen Tremp
    November 2015 IWSG Co-host

  15. BWAAA HAAA HA! Mark, that's funny. Also, he should make pie the way he's smokin' hot in those pumpkins! Also, pictures... ergh, not my favorite of late. Couldn't we all just go around inserting our book covers for us in pictures? That seems totally reasonable.

  16. Love the new look for Mark! Seriously, he could be a trend setter, lol. I agree, exploit those insecurities and don't worry about editing the real life. $$it happens, and we move along. The weather here has been stormy, sunny, windy and rainy; all in turns. I don't mind, I'm looking forward to winter. Hopefully I can sit in the house several stormy days in a row and read book three in the Song Of Ice and Fire series. The books are very long.

  17. The embarrassing stories are some of the best. Although the picture looks fine.

  18. Hi Elizabeth and the dude who is also known as Sir Mazza,

    Suddenly, Sir Mazza is everywhere, yep, even on Farcebook! I might even be jealous because he has more Farcebook friends than me in only a couple of days :)

    Ah yes, doesn't Mark get around? If he ends up in Ireland, I shall get worried because then we will be getting rather close to my neighbourhood, or "neighborhood". Apologies to my English, English spell check.

    And yes, why worry about your insecurities, I shall exploit them. Hang on, I think I got that wrong :)

    Congrats to Mark to you, Elizabeth and what the hell, congrats to everybody who has the delight in knowing me, yes me, shy and humble Gary.

    Thanks for being a part of IWSG aka "I Was Seeking Gary."

    Um, Gary :)

    1. Hey Gary:)

      Don't you know that Fartbook has a system where anyone who likes Men in Pumpkins (MIP) can sign up to be my special friend.

      (Gawd, that sounds soooo wrong!!!)

      Liz, what have you started- again :)

  19. I had a bird crap on me when I was in junior high--WORST possible time. I was on the way to school. I just got the bird poop out of my hair as best I could and hoped nobody would find out. Yikes. But I wrote a piece for Creative Live with a photographer's advice to stop avoiding the camera. She said we all do it at various points in our lives because we think we don't look our best...but the best gift we can give our older selves and our ancestors is to have photos of ourselves to look back on later.

  20. Giggling all the way while reading. Taking this post deeper - We can make a great plan in place, but we cannot guarantee the great plan will work.

  21. This is HILARIOUS!
    Thanks for the laughs!!!!
    Never a dull moment with Mark around!

  22. You're such a hoot! You made me smile all the way through the post (tensile strength? LOL!!). You're gorgeous and have a wonderful family to boot. No complaining! Yay for finishing Swept Away and getting it off to betas. Have a lovely weekend! :)

  23. That was priceless! I certainly know the WV weather. It will get you every time, girl.

    Like you, I experience many picture fails. The main issue I have with them is that they actually look like me. :-/

    Great post! Have a good weekend, Elizabeth!

  24. I always like unplanned pictures better than planned ones. Probably because I end up using some forced, cheesy smile that just looks awful when I know I'm being photographed. I've never been crapped on, though, so I can see how that might ruin your photo op. :)

  25. That pumpkin picture is hilarious!

    I wish I could edit real life all the time.


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