Senior photos

7 copy blog

Some things for your senior think about: what places are especially important to her. They can be anything from a backyard garden or pool, to a grandparent’s farm, to a high school field. It’s best to decide on a minimum of three locations, although one of them can be my little favorite outdoor space here in The Hideout (there’s a stream and boulders, etc). Also, she’ll need to pack a suitcase – it’ll help if you have a spacious rear seat and a sheet for changing (I strongly recommend a mom, sibling, or best friend be present to help). Six or seven changes are common, even for senior boys. And don’t forget the shoes.

Again, the most critical part in making these HER unique session are the locations. Sit down with a her and a pad and pen at the kitchen table. Props: absolutely bring props. Athletic gear, musical instruments, stuffed animals (live pets, too). Buy her a small bouquet or cut some wildflowers from your backyard. Six or seven props are common. Also, I need her to finish this sentence: “My favorite thing about me is my … ”

Senior pics take from three to four hours to come up with 400-600 raw photo choices. I like to take advantage of late day sun, so depending on locations, they happen over a two day period about half the time. So have a sit-down with your senior, decide on locations and outfits, and we’ll see if we can set a date(s).

The session is $199. Travel beyond your house is 50 cents per mile. You receive 400-600 images on a CD/DVD, at least 12 are Photoshopped for blemishes, and a variety of special effects are used at my discretion (these include Splash and HDR). You’ll own the full copyright to all images and therefore are free to print them, post them, or upload to a commercial printer such as to get the wholesale price on images (it takes out the middleman fee for you – currently, 8x10s are just $2.99). My guarantee is that you’ll love them, or hand the discs back for a full refund. I don’t want anyone to ever not say ‘wow’. Western Wayne seniors/parents can contact me for an invitation to view prior senior albums on Flickr, where photos remain private and unsearchable to the public.

Oh, and, 100% of the proceeds from my senior shoots fund soccer programs for kids in Haiti.


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Soccer Balls for Haitian Orphans Campaign

Here’s the GoFundMe link to kick a few bucks toward a really awesome cause. Thank you!

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Is Caitlyn Jenner a hero?


Here’s the reason some otherwise very kind and open-minded people have it wrong about Bruce Jenner. And I only use her former name instead of Caitlyn to be sure they know who I’m writing about. But let’s first find something we agree about: America is a great nation, the land of freedom and opportunity. Now we might diverge when I say it hasn’t always been that way.

We spit on soldiers returning from a nightmare war into which they were drafted.

We turned dogs on people only because of their skin color.

We did not allow women to vote.

We arrested people of the same sex for consummating their love.

The list is pretty long, and there are people like Louis Farrakhan who will happily extend it indefinitely.

So I’ll continue with my four examples, and ask you what we’ve done to correct what most Americans have come to see as grievous wrongs. Recent Presidents have awarded posthumous Medals of Honor to soldiers’ families. We have channeled billions of dollars into education and inner city programs. We passed the 19th Amendment to our Constitution. Laws have been changed and the US Supreme Court has spoken about same-sex marriage.

It took Presidents, the SCOTUS, vast treasure, and changes to our founding document to BEGIN to right some of our country’s historical wrongs.

So what do we do with people whose self-identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender? We’ve beaten the tar out of them in grade school. We pissed on them in the gym shower. We refused to hire them and we failed to protect them from crime. We tried to make them commit suicide, just like we did all the fags and dykes in high school. Often we were more like Adolph Hitler than, well, Adolph Hitler.

But America is a great nation, and the land of the free. We are imperfect, but we keep trying to fix things. America is great because it wants to get things right.

Naming Caitlyn Jenner a HERO is not a slap in the face of our nation’s veterans. Those men and women are still heroes. America is simply trying to fix a wrong. We treated transgender people like “coloreds” and “slant-eyes” and “queers” and “baby killers” since we first discovered they had the audacity to lurk among us. This has been a moment for a bit of hyperbole in order to grab the Adolphs of this great land, shake them hard, and say “knock it off.” You don’t have to marry Caitlyn Jenner, you just need to quit pissing on her, because there are countless more generations of transgendered kids yet to come into this world, and they have one crucial trait that matches everyone else: they are human beings. Caitlyn Jenner is a hero because future generations needed someone as badly as we all needed Rosa Parks not to give up her seat. It’s that simple. Jenner said here I am, and Parks said no I won’t.

This is America. A great nation, the land of freedom and opportunity. We just need some polishing from time to time.

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Necessary Fiction review of Dash

A friend messaged me with a link to a new review at Necessary Fiction earlier tonight. ‘Nuff said …

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to my skier friends


I’m posting here instead of on the ski message boards because I’ve not wanted to seem to be encouraging anyone’s support. Not to say I don’t appreciate it

Anyway, guys and girls, if you’d like DASH or any of my books in your local library where you can read it for FREE, the best thing to do is pay them a visit and fill out a purchase request form. This is also a perfect opportunity if you don’t already have a library card, which is also why it’s better than trying via phone or email. Even if your library is small, there’s a great chance you can get any book delivered from your county, and there are even more opportunities for ebooks.

Now back to some spring skiing.

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Dash with Paris.


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A free book?


Okay, here’s the deal for my closest friends and allies … I have a couple dozen advanced copies of my new novel available. It’ll be first come, first serve for anyone in exchange for an honest review on either Amazon (to review on Amazon you need an account and to have made a minimal purchase at some point), or Second caveat is that the (however brief) review be posted during the first week of April. Send me an email at, or private message me on Facebook.

What’s it about? Well, here’s the review from ForeWord Magazine in its entirety:

“Surely Dash’s run of bad luck must be winding down. He’s lost his job and fiancée and finds himself alone on what should have been his honeymoon flight from Vermont to Australia. What else could possibly go wrong? Lots of things, as it turns out. In Cole Alpaugh’s darkly comic and richly layered Dash in the Blue Pacific, the defeated Dash never makes it to Sydney but instead crashes in the South Pacific. What seems like a near-death experience at first is actually the beginning of a mind-bending, life-changing journey for a man at the end of his rope.

Dash’s adventures begin with a familiar trope: a man washes up on a remote island’s beach, worries that the natives will eat him, and plots his escape. In Alpaugh’s hands, however, the story is anything but stale. Instead of building signal fires and rafts (though these will come), Dash is preoccupied with a tribal chief who wants to feed him to a volcano, women who want his help to make the island’s first white baby, and a young girl who hopes to escape the island with the “soldiers” who sometimes come to her shores looking for the prettiest among them. And then there’s the former god Dash spends many hours consulting with, a half-fish, half-man mind reader named Weeleekonawahulahoopa—Willy for short—who has resigned his godly role after failing to save his people from drowning. It gets weirder after that.

The weird parts work because Alpaugh integrates them into a story that is physically raw and wickedly funny. Dash is as incredulous about all that is happening as anyone, and his self-conscious skepticism keeps the magical elements from seeming off-the-wall. Little by little, Dash’s conversations with Willy reveal Dash’s deeper emotional wounds, and offer another interpretation for his dreamlike visions.

Taken simply as a comic adventure story, Dash in the Blue Pacific is thoroughly entertaining. When you consider the other elements—racial tensions, human grief, and spiritual redemption—it takes on new levels of meaning. Book clubs will be talking about this one.” – Sheila M. Trask, ForeWord Magazine

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The year in repeat.

My predictions for 2015:

A plane crash will kill lots of people.
A politician will get caught in a bold-faced lie.
Hamas rockets will land in Israel.
Israel will bulldoze a Palestinian home.
Dozens will die from an exotic disease.
Someone will have their head cut off by a man in black.
A black kid will be shot by a white man.
Gay people getting married will be called queers.
A mining accident will trap workers.
Iran will almost have a nuclear weapon.
There will be record heat.
There will be record cold.
A tornado will kill someone in Oklahoma.
A controversial statement by the Pope will be walked back.
Scientists will clone something.
An American ski racer will be injured.
A lunatic will open fire in a crowded [fill in the blank].
Old people will die.
Babies will be born.

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A beautiful creature.

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