Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Twitter Impersonation. Not the Highest Form of Flattery.

Last Wednesday, for some reason, I decided to Google myself. As you do.

Only this time, instead of Googling my full name, I searched for the initials that I go by in the blog and twittering world: L.M.Leffew.

Lo and behold, what did I find?

A twitter account that has my face. My background image. And my location.

Do I have a twin I never knew about?


What I do have is a Twitter impersonator. And from the looks of it, not a very clever impersonator. Actually, it looks a lot like a bot that is scraping off pieces of other people's statuses. Why or how am I the lucky one who got to be the fresh face of this particular spammy page, I don't know. (At least it's tame.)

For comparison's sake. Here's my Twitter. Robust, fleshed out, lots of tweets. You'll find the link to my Twitter account in the side bar under the bird icon.

And here's the impersonator/spammer. Note the misspelling of the last name in the username, "Lefewf."  The very random tweets. And I have a feeling the followers are largely spam-and-scam accounts, as well.

I've already contacted Twitter and reported the impersonation. Today marks a week since I've done so.

I've been looking for information from other people to see how long Twitter took with their impersonation reports and the timeline is looking anywhere from a week to, possibly, a year. (And several people noted that they never got a response from Twitter. They just checked the impersonator account and found it had been suspended. I guess you do get what you pay for. Yes, that was sarcasm. Well, at least they got the right result.)

So could you do me a favor, those of you out in readerland? Would you mind hopping on over to Twitter and reporting this account as the spam that it is?

Here's the link:

I'm not picky about whether the account gets suspended for spam or impersonation. I just want it gone.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Music Mondays: Angels and Demons Edition

Let me start out this Music Mondays post by stating that for the forseeable future (that is, until about Summer 2016), this blog will be updated very sporadically. And, I hope, with bits of fiction during those sporadic updates.

Grad school takes up a lot of my time. And the time I'm not spending on readings and homework during each semester, I'm spending hanging with those creatures that share my home (one CompSci guy, four cats) or scribbling on various projects, or taking needed mental health breaks which involve playing in other people's sandboxes (video games, fanfiction). So, blogging gets the short end of the stick.

This week's music post is inspired by a collaboration my friend and I are poking at. We're both a bit lost in the miasma of work, life and creative blocks at the moment, but we're trying to do something with - you guessed it - angels and demons. My writing supporting her art and vice versa. (Should we ever gain traction, we'll be sharing the works here and other places online.)

I've been looking for sources of inspiration, some place to garner ideas. Music is an obvious pit stop. (My angelic artbook by Ruth Thompson and my A Field Guide to Demons is next.) So, here we go. As to that last could I not add something from City of Angels (and my 90s music pot)?

Lay Your Hands on Me - The Mission

Locked Out of Heaven - Bastille (Bruno Mars cover)

Falling - Florence + the Machine

Iris - Goo Goo Dolls

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top Story Posts

For New Year's Eve, I decided to compile a list of my favorite story oriented posts that I made this year.

Some are singular pieces, others want to be a blog series, still one or two come from novels or novellas that are constantly percolating in the back of my mind.

Consider this my (Blog) Fiction Year in Review.

One Night in LA
An artist checks into a rather infamous room at the Highland Gardens Hotel in Hollywood, California. The room is already occupied.

The Work
Eva has spent a number of years doing what her family calls "The Work," helping people cope with the deaths of loved ones. Even when those loved ones haven't moved on.

The King is Dead
The aftermath of an abusive relationship.

An Almost Adult Conversation
An overdue conversation between lovers.

A Morning Pick Me Up
A young man meets the one at a coffee shop.

That Time Of Year
That three month stretch of the year that all of us hate.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How To: Make Arm Warmers out of Socks (in Two Steps)

I finished my first semester of grad school!

In celebration, let's talk about something creative....that's not focused on words. (I'll try to get back to words later. I still need to see where my series The Work is heading. Those ghosts are calling my name.)

I digress. On to arm warmers!

Have you ever had a favorite pair of socks that you just can't bear to throw away, even though your toes are poking through the ends or your heel's hanging out the back? Or have you ever bought a pair of really cool socks only to find out they don't fit (or don't fit without stretching out the interesting graphic)?

Cute, interesting, and oddball socks have long been a passion of mine. At one point, I think I had socks for most of the well known holidays not to mention socks with random characters, animals and text on them.

Of course, they wear out, but typically, the most interesting part of the sock remains intact.

It seems a waste to chuck them in the trash bin, so I choose to go green and recycle.... Below is a pair of wrist warmers created out of some raccoon socks that I couldn't bear to part with. (They're just too damned adorable.)

For this tutorial, I have a pair of Harry Potter Slytherin House socks (they're sized for Juniors, so I knew they wouldn't fit when I got them).

Step 1.

Determine where you want to cut your sock.

I usually do it just above the heel so I don't get that weird pouch that interferes with folding and hemming. As always, measure twice, cut once. If you're not sure where to cut, just cut the toes off first, then slide your arm inside and see how they look.

Th Slytherin socks had the heel pouch colored black, so it was easy to trip a bit past that.

Step 2. Fold and stitch.

Some people recommended folding twice and then stitching. I say, do whatever looks/seems best. Usually one fold works for me. (And depending on the size of the sock, I may not want to fold more than once.)

I tend to sew small things by hand (partly due to the fact that I'm still not used to my machine), but do it however you want. I usually use a back stitch for these arm warmers.

And that's it! Apply a hot iron to help the edges stay down, if you like. Slap on your arm warmers and go. (There is an optional Step 3, which includes making a thumb hole, but I usually don't bother. It's one more step without much of a return on investment.)

The completed version. (And apparently I forgot to take a picture of my left arm, so you get the same arm warmer, repeated. It looks just like the other one.)


There you have it. Two step arm warmers. Put those old and interesting socks to good use.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Music Mondays: Slipping into Fall

The wind has shifted, the sunlight is at once strong and weak, bright against the backdrop of the sky, not quite warm enough to chase away the chill of the recent autumn breezes.

On the campus where I work, the leaves have been falling off the trees for the last month. They're just now starting to change color, a starburst-bright array of orange and yellow and red. There's a crispness in the air and on some days I can detect the smell of wood smoke, of leaf piles burning.

And just last week, the TPMS light went off in my car.

Without a doubt, autumn is here.

Much as I try to hate this time of year, much as I long for the warmth and softness of spring, there's a prettiness to the season that I can't ignore. Potential for revelations in the too bright days, a moment for nostalgia in the cool nights.

I had to accompany the season with some music.

"Into the Mystic" - Van Morrison

"Wake Me Up When September Ends" - Green Day

"The First of Autumn" - Enya

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

WWR: Rogue Effigy

It had taken them all afternoon to build the dummy. Her arms were tired and scratchy from stuffing pine straw inside the old jeans and button up shirt.

But it was worth it.

The dummy sat upright in a rocking chair on the front porch. The feetless jeans were shoved into a pair of cowboy boots, the handless arms tucked into a pair of workman's gloves. And an old cowboy hat, hung from a piece of fishing line, hovered just over where a head would be.

Running back inside to drop off her tools (a rake and a pair of scissors), she grabbed the big bowl of candy and headed for the porch to join her straw man companion.

On the porch, the once occupied rocking chair sat empty, slowly creaking back and forth as though someone had just pushed out of it.

What happens next?

This is your prompt, should you choose to accept it. Scary, sweet, funny? Run with it as you will. Come back before next Wednesday to share a link to your work in the comments. I'll tweet about it.


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