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And I feel fine!!!!

Apologies to REM for doing that.

Anyway.

Hi, peeps! Andi here. R.G. is currently in an undisclosed location, working feverishly on her novel, working title “Twice Bitten,” that was just picked up by Regal Crest. CONGRATULATIONS, R.G.! (full disclosure: I, too, am an RCE author) Want to know more about R.G. and her writing? You can find her on Facebook and Twitter (R.G. Emanuelle) or here, at her website. More full disclosure: R.G. is co-editor with me on the women pirate story anthology Skulls and Crossbones.

So keep yer eyes peeled for that one.

Okay, on to another subject. I’m a big fan of photography. Not that I can do it very well, but I can appreciate an awesome image. To that end, I always like the end of the year photo collections that are put together by various news services and other sites (like National Geographic) because they offer an overview of the year we’ve just been through, whether painful, moving, tragic, brutal, heartwarming, or celebratory (sometimes all intertwined). Photography, after all, is another way of telling stories, which is something I do through another medium. So I’d like to offer these links to you so that you, too, can engage in stories the world over, and reflect on what some of us in the human condition have weathered, and what you and your friends and family have been through, as well.

Boston Globe’s Year in Pictures, Part 1
Boston Globe’s Year in Pictures, Part 2 (note: They’ll be posting more tomorrow in Part 3 — Dec. 23rd).
National Geographic’s best photos, 2011
Reuters (this one works well if you select the “View All Images” option instead of “Slideshow”
Buzzfeed’s 45 most powerful images of 2011
And for the fashionistas among us.

I also want to call your attention to the photo below, which I think is one of the most romantic, heartwarming, sexy, and historically affirming photos I’ve seen in years. This is the type of photo that becomes iconic, because it represents a sea change (pun intended) in how same-sex couples are viewed in the U.S. military. Perhaps it’ll have ripple effects beyond. Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta (left), based on the USS Oak Hill, greets her sweetie (I don’t know if they’re married or not), Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell (who is based on the USS Bainbridge) after 80 days at sea. The Oak Hill held a raffle to see who would be the first person off the ship to greet a loved one. It’s a tradition called “first kiss,” and Gaeta bought 50 tickets, which she claims “wasn’t as many as some others bought.” She won the raffle, and as she greeted Snell, there were cheers and applause. And Brian Clark’s super fabulous and amazing photograph:


source: LA times

This image makes history, friends. It’s the first time a same-sex couple has done the “first kiss” Navy raffle/tradition and it would not have been possible without the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Here are Gaeta and Snell chatting a bit about it. And, in case you were wondering, here’s that other iconic image of a Navy man and his kiss in Times Square on V-J Day in 1945.

And that’s what photos are all about. They move you. They make you laugh, cry, get angry, feel pride, and make you think. They document events and they mark changes in contexts and cultural shifts. They are visual stories, and yes, they are worth at least a thousand words.

Thanks for another year, readers, and may your 2012 shine.

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