Renewing a hobby: Instagram

I am a latecomer to the Instagram party. I thought about setting up an account dozens of times, but the thought, “I have to learn another social media network,” held me back.

This past month, I took the plunge. I want to learn more about it, because my kids will be on there. Also, I want to get back into photography and this seems like a good place to share work. Instagram has motivated me to make better use of my phone as a legitimate camera, capable of creating artistic shots, and not simply quick snaps because I cannot reach my digital SLR before the moment passes. I have a lot to learn, but I love this shot of a grasshopper.

A guest in my reading nook. #insectsofinstagram

A post shared by Lola Karns (@lolakarns) on

I have yet to post the obligatory #authorsofinstagram post of my work space.

In the meantime, there will be cat photos. And nature shots, and food, and whatever else tickles my fancy. Follow me, @lolakarns, on Instagram

Redefining Thigh Gap

The magazine and modeling world exist to sell products and ideas. Last week, they sold plenty of people on the idea of full-frontal Kim Kardashian. Hopefully by now, most mere mortals are aware that those stunning images of amazingly human beings are often less than real.  The one that gets me is “thigh gap.”

For the uninitiated, the illusion of thigh gap, prevalent in oh so many ads geared toward tweens, teens and young adults, dictates  that the inner thighs of a female must not touch.  Perhaps this exists on a few people naturally, but in most cases, thigh gap is created through the magic of Photoshop. One classic bad example comes from a Target ad.

I propose a new definition of Thigh Gap.  The idea came to me while walking the kids to the bus stop this morning. They were appropriately dressed for the zero degree temps in snow pants and coats. I was not. Sure I had my coat, and layered long socks under my jeans, but I neglected the snow pants for the five-minute trip.  Only one layer of cloth protected two inches of my thighs from the elements and, let me tell you, wind whips through jeans.

I hereby suggest Thigh Gap be redefined as the awkward distance between ones under and outer layers. Although this type of thigh gap will be harder to Photoshop, but should be avoided.

What do you think? How would you redefine Thigh Gap?

Photo anxiety

As soon as I came down from the thrill that Crimson Romance will publish my contemporary romance, Winter Fairy, I realized the next roadblock on my path to publication.  Actually, photos are less of a roadblock and more like a giant pothole that you will somehow get around, but the process will be painful and traumatic.

I hate to get my photo taken.  Usually, I’m caught unaware and I look half drunk, half asleep or angry. Even in a number of professional photos, I look awkward and I want to curse at the photographer for letting me stand “like that” in the group photo.  I put off getting author photos for as long as possible, but knew I had to do it, because if you, my dear reader, are anything like me, you want to know what the author looks like.

My anxiety was for naught this time. The photographer I worked with was wonderful and managed to make the whole experience fun. For once, the hardest part was selecting one of many great photos.  So here I am and I almost look like this in real life. Almost.