Sunday, May 25, 2014

Your Beloved

What they see isn't always truth

There are things that I love, and there are things that I hate.   And sometimes they are exactly the same thing.  The path to this cap is a perfect example.  I love having complete freedom in creation (or at least close to complete freedom).  There isn't a story direction that I can go in that will cross a barrier or preference of the subject.  But on the same hand, it's incredibly difficult to pick a direction for a story when there are no guideposts.  That's where Dawn's preferences take me.

Without going back and reading them directly, here is the impression I have of Dawn's preferences.  She prefers not to have below the waist nudity.  She doesn't like seeing her cap self as being mean or using spicy language (no swears).  And that's it.  She does provide some 'likes' but she also de-emphasizes them, and allows the artist freedom in expression.

I've always found that type of freedom a little scary, but since my muse has left me lying crying in the dust, it's even more frightening.  You see, I can't even rely on my own muse to guide me into stories where men change into women.  And while it isn't stated directly, that IS the point of TG captions.

So... to start I let my mind wander and looked for images of beautiful women.   Google Images showers us with options and damns us with choices.  Many beautiful women, many beautiful images.... and so very few story ideas.  I actually found this image back when making "Don't Look Back In Anger" and saved it back as it's just an entirely transfixing photograph.  After striking out on Google Images this morning, I went to my folder of saved images and perused there for a while.   Most of the images are my old standard fare.... sex, sex, sex, blowjob, sex, bondage, sex and blowjobs.  Great viewing, but not inspiring at the moment.  When I saw this image though something just popped into my head.  Here's the raw image:

What I heard rumbling around the back of my head was a transformed man trying to explain why he's done this to himself to a friend.   He tries to explain that his current mistress didn't do this, he decided to do it in order to please her.  That's the 'eyes closed, looking away' feeling I got.  He's proud of what he's done, but at the same time he can understand his friends frustration.

Now, the original path I saw for this, was him explaining why he'd done this (glossing over exactly HOW he did it), and then admitting that part of his mistress's task was to say goodbye to his old life.  And to do that with his friend, he had to show that he was no longer his buddy.  Instead he would become his friend's lover... a sexy toy for his friend to use.

That idea stirred a part of me that hasn't been stirred in quite awhile... but I just knew that I couldn't make it work.  First and foremost, I find that kind of hard to write now.  Second, the image was great for the first part... but it wouldn't really work for the second part.  The seduction.

My solution was to drop the second part.  No seduction... hell, no friend at all.  Just a kind of free flowing open thought of why he changed for his mistress.  Here's what I wrote down before changing direction:

No one understood.  No one can understand.  They told me you were cruel.  That you were heartless.  But I saw through that.  I saw your heart and your soul.  I saw that you know what you want, what you need, and that you will accept nothing else.  And I wanted to be that.  I wanted to be that one thing that you loved.  They said you hated men.  You don’t.  You simply prefer women.  They said you need to dominate those around you.  You don’t.  You simply need your lover to submit herself to you.  

I knew this would need major editing, but what I really liked was the 'what they see, what I see' aspect of it.  I moved that paragraph down the page, and started fresh with the idea of just focusing on that.  Listing things that people outside of this relationship saw (she's dominating, she's ruining his body, shes stealing away his maculinity...) and contrasting that with what he (she?) sees (he's submissive, he loves his new body, he craves his new femininity...).  Once I got that back and forth going, I found myself in a groove and finished the story rather quickly.

When it came time to put the words into the image I thought about how to utilize the space provided in the image.  My first idea was to just pull a standard 'Caitlyn' and put the story in a box, and a title toward the bottom:

It would certainly work... but I thought that maybe I could do a little better.  One style that I've tried to imitate several times is a minimalist style.  I've tried (and failed) several times to do that with the story, but I often over flex on the design.  This image is so simple and elegant that I thought a more simple design philosophy would work great with it.

So I dropped the text box, and moved the story into t he center allowing for plenty of open space around it.  I must have gone to delete that text layer a dozen times before deciding that I liked it.  But the problem with simplicity is that there is no 'extras' to cover up anything that is less than ideal.  For instance I could get the text to line up with the overall image OR the woman... but not both.  So I had to crop the image.  The text in pure black was right, but too powerful.  So I spent quite awhile on jiggering with the color and opacity.  Lining up the 'your beloved' took even longer.  A few pixels to the left and it looked wrong.  A few point sizes larger and it was bad.  And once I had the text right... the photo now looked to stark.  To sharp and 'real'.  So I played around with various blurs and softening effects before settling only over blurring the photo and overlaying it with a slightly transparent sharp version.  Like the story it was both sharp and gossamer at the same time.

I finally finished playing around with it when I realized the differences I was creating were minuscule... I was striving for 'perfection' when 'good enough' had been accomplished long ago.

It's certainly something different for me, both in design and in story telling.  You all know I normally have trouble deciding if I've done well or not, and this is certainly no exception.  I hope Dawn as well as everybody else gets at least a little enjoyment out of this one.


  1. Dear Caitlyn,

    You are freakin' incredible! That's all there is to it. There is no one like you. I love you.