Category Archives: nudes

Nudist Notions

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This nudist camp is entirely fictional.  The actual camp in Clear Lake is a Methodist Youth Camp.

I have learned a lot more about nudists in the last few months than I probably ever wanted to know.  The book I wrote about a boy being invited to go camping with the family of a girl he liked, and then finding out it was a nudist camp, was written as rough draft back in the late 1980’s about life experiences I had in the early ’80’s.  Some things I learned back then have proven to still be true.  Some things have changed.  The things that have changed, are mostly about me.

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Nudist families in touch with nature are beautiful in ways I can’t explain.  It’s not the clothes the wear.

Naturists are happier than normal people.  They shed a lot of their hang ups and worries with their clothes.  Sunshine and cool breezes on bare skin have a healthy psychological effect.  I know this from having experimented myself.  Socially nudists are able to comfortably “live in their skin”.  Their confidence in self translates into sensible nude social behavior.  It is not about sex.  Sex is private behavior to a nudist, not public.  When nudists interact, the conversations occur eye to eye, not eye to somewhere else.  And the acceptance of how others look when naked is a critical factor in nude social interaction being beneficial.  Most nudists are not beautiful or ugly.  They are a spectrum of everything in between.  And they don’t talk about body parts or make comparisons.  Nudist men talk about sports teams and vehicle repair and politics the same way the guys in overalls at the Nutrena Feed and Farm Store.  Nudist women talk about… well, the stuff women talk about in the secret language of women that guys like me don’t understand.

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Sherry Cobble at the Sunshine Club

So those things about the nudist community have not changed over time.  True in the 1960’s is true today.  The thing most of you don’t realize is that there are lot more nudists in the world than you are reasonably ready to admit.  And the nudist community has a lot more old naturists than you probably thought possible.  Naked wrinkles and beer bellies are a thing.

What I have learned about myself by joining the nudist community (though only once at only one of the several nudist camps available in sunny Texas) is that the nakedness and thoughts about nakedness in my novels is there for a reason, and it will not go away.  I am trying to be a Young Adult novelist, which means my novels are basically aimed at a junior high and high school audience.  I have to dance a carefully straight line between the need to be honest with naked reality and Amazon’s prohibition of adult content in YA novels.  Sherry Cobble luring young boys into going camping naked with her family is on that borderline.  It is not sexual content.  But it is naked content and the barriers have been physically set aside.  The humor caused by sexual tension can’t cross the line into bawdy or lewd or pornographic.  Nor would I want it to.

But people who write fiction do it not because it’s fun.  It is necessary.  We have lived lives that leave us damaged in ways that can only be fixed through fiction.  The world has to be reshaped in words by people who can’t live with the world the way it was.  The truth is, I was sexually assaulted when I was a child, one traumatic event that clouded and warped my self-confidence, my sex life, and my self-concept.  Healing has been a life-long process.  In fiction, it means characters having to deal with the naked truth and make peace with it.  This I believe I have done in so many different ways as a teacher, a husband, a father, and a story-teller, that it simply has to be shared.  I will publish Superchicken on Amazon soon, and hopefully Edward-Andrew’s nudist adventure will pass the Amazon test.  I have some nutty nudist notions in my nerdy old noodle, but in a novel, they can all be made new.

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Doing Photos in Pen and Ink

Today I made an attempt to photograph some of my pen and ink stuff in ways that are less gray and gloomy.

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This pen and ink scene is entirely from my imagination.  Both the gnarled tree and the castle were taken from doodles on throw-away newsprint.  The Buffalo was an exercise in capturing an animal from a photo in pen and ink.  The whole thing is much too big to fit on my little scanner.  Last time I photogged it, it came out as mostly a pool of murky gray with black tattoos all over it.  This time I used my 300 Watt light and bounced it at an angle to get this less murky pastel gray photo of the scene.

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I am definitely not the world’s greatest photographer.  I am ranked somewhere in the top 3 billions, maybe, on a good day.  This blasphemy in pen and ink is Animal Town with its jarring forced perspectives and two-dimensional silliness.  Last time I photogged it, it came out looking pretty much the same as it did here.  Even photogging in natural Texas sunlight tends to make this composition into flat gray wallpaper.

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Here is an even worse experiment.  This one is an unfinished drawing of a nudist beauty pageant being hosted in Toon Town.  Besides being stupid and in poor taste, the pencil lines tend to totally disappear in the gray fog.  But, truthfully, I probably should have thrown this thing away long ago rather than trying to photograph it.

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This pen and ink is enhanced with colored pencil.  It looks better in many ways even though I didn’t change the light source, the filters, or the camera.  Color, I guess is the answer for me and my inadequate photography skills.  We shall see what we shall see as I continue to experiment and learn.  Maybe I can rise up to number 2,999,999,999… with about a million years of practice.

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Novel Nudists

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I have known nudists for a long time, since the 1980’s in fact.  I have recently dabbled my toes in the cold waters of being a nudist myself.  I did work on pool cracks this past summer while naked.  I made one visit to a nudist park and actually got naked in front of strangers who were also naked.  It is a certain kind of crazy connection to nature, my self, and the bare selves of others to be a nudist, even if it is for only a few hours.  I used to think nudists were crazy people.  But I have begun to understand in ways that are hard to understand.  And being a novelist, that was bound to creep into the piles of supposedly wise understanding that goes into the creation of novels.  I say “supposedly wise” because wisdom is simply the lipstick on the pig of ridiculous human experiences.

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The Cobble family appeared first in my novel, Superchicken.  It is a semi-autobiographical novel that uses some of my real life experiences and the real life experiences of boys I either grew up with or taught, mixed in with bizarre fantasy adventures that came from my perceptions of life as an adult.  So the Cobble family really represent my encounters with nudism and the semi-sane people known as nudists.  Particularly important to the story are the Cobble Sisters, twins Sherry and Shelly, who fully embrace the idea of being nudists and try to get other characters to not only approve of the behavior, but share in it.  Sherry is the more forward of the two, more willing to be seen naked by the boys in her school and in her little Iowa farm town.  Shelly is the quieter of the two, a bit more shy and a lot more focused on the love of one particular boy.

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In fact, the Cobble Sisters are based on real life twin blond girls from my recollections of the past.  The Cobble farm is out along the Iowa River and just north of Highway Three in Iowa.  It is a real place where real twin girls lived when I was a boy.  They were blond and pretty and outgoing.  But they were not actually nudists.  There was another pair of twin blond girls from my first two years of teaching who actually provided the somewhat aggressively sensual personalities of the Cobble Sisters.  The real nudists I knew were mostly in Texas.

The sisters appear in more than one of the novels I have written or am in the process of writing.  They appear for the second time in the novel Recipes for Gingerbread Children which I finished writing in 2016.  They are also a part of the novel I am working on now, The Baby Werewolf.   That last is probably the main reason they are on my mind this morning.  Writing a humorous horror story about werewolves, nudists, pornographers, and real wolves is a lot more complex and difficult than it sounds.  But it is hopefully doable.  And my nudist characters are all basically representative of the idea that all honest and straight-forward people are metaphorically naked all the time.  That’s the thing about those nudist twins.  They don’t hide anything.  Not their most private bits, and certainly not what they are thinking at any given time.

So as I continue to struggle with revealing myself as a writer… and possibly as a nudist as well, I will count on the Cobble Sisters to make certain important points about life and love and laughter… and how you can have all three while walking around naked.

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Filed under doll collecting, foolishness, horror writing, humor, NOVEL WRITING, nudes, Paffooney, photo paffoonies, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Dvorák’s Scherzo in the Nude

Another opportunity to visit the nudist park has passed without me being able to seize the day and do what I really wanted to do this weekend.  It was, however, a different set of reasons than last time.  Last time I was determined to go on a Saturday when more nudists would actually be present.  I got sick and it rained that Saturday.  So I set my sights on Labor Day weekend.

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This weekend the hurricane that ravaged Houston changed my plans.  You see, the storm also ravaged Port Arthur and the distribution points that local gas stations rely on for new shipments on a weekly basis.  I did not see the gas shortage coming in time.  The lines at gas stations and two hour waits for gas mostly all happened before I was ready to cope with it.  So I was not prepared to make the trip when the time came.  Gas stations are limited to selling chewing gum and promising that more gas would be available by the middle of next week.

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Yes, the boy in the picture is me naked as I might’ve been in a more sylvan youth than the one I actually had.

So I am left to sit here in my bedroom studio in the nude writing this and listening to Dvorák’s Scherzo Capriccioso on YouTube.

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A scherzo is, perhaps, the perfect metaphor for an essay like this one.  Most of what I write are really scherziplay (or scherzi if I hadn’t goofed on that typo in the definition) if you analyze them closely.  Sprightly and humorous idea flows (at least, they make me laugh) that wax thoughtful and slightly serious at certain points.  This one, the capriccioso, the capricious and mercurial idea that I have somehow turned into a nudist, is my attempt to make sense of the nonsensical, the whims and flimsy that led me to be a naked old man.

You may have noticed in my artwork a tendency to associate nudity with childlike innocence.  (At least, you should have noticed if I have any ability at all as a writer and artist to guide your perceptions.)   There is no sense at the nudist park that it is about sexuality and impending orgies.  Those things are completely against the rules and have no place among actual nudists.  You go to a nudist park and it is just you and your towel for sitting on talking to a bunch of naked people who just as fat and old and saggy and baggy as you are, each with their own towels for sitting on.  Nobody uses more than their first names, and more than that is not necessary.  Nudists are more open and honest than most people you meet in social situations.  They literally are not hiding anything.  And I have discovered that I fit right in there.  It seems like the most natural thing in the world.

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Once I got past the initial embarrassment that anyone would feel in that new-nudist situation, I came to the conclusion that I have always been a nudist.  Having been born a nudist, my parents and grandparents trained me not to be one, and being sexually assaulted at ten gave added horror to being naked around others that it took a lifetime to overcome.  But naked is how we were created.  There is a reason that Adam and Eve didn’t wear clothes in Eden.

I didn’t get to go back to the nudist park this holiday weekend.  I will never convince my wife and kids to go with me either.  In fact, I myself may never have another opportunity to go back there.  But listening to Dvorak’s Scherzo has confirmed in me that I am a nudist and always have been.  Sorry if I have frightened you with my naked ideas, but maybe you should listen to a scherzo naked and test whether you are one too.

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, goofy thoughts, humor, nudes, Paffooney, philosophy, self portrait, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Nudist Impacts

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I didn’t realize that nudists were going to have an impact on my silly blog.  But they did in a very large way (percentage-wise based on my embarrassingly minuscule successes with Catch a Falling Star).

It began when I offered my services as a blogger to a nudist website seeking blog posts about first time experiences as a nudist.  Which was a goofy thing to do considering I had no intention of being a nudist until I made that decision based on encouragement from friends who were already nudists.  If I wasn’t going to publicly take my clothes off and walk around naked, I shouldn’t have made such an agreement.  But, sometimes I deal with depression by doing things that set my adrenaline pumping.  So I agreed I would visit a local nudist park and write a blog about it.  That started my nerves vibrating and my heart beating again.

I went to Bluebonnet Nudist Park near Alvord, Texas on a day when my family went to a theme park in San Antonio without me because my ability to ride roller-coasters is a thing of the past (for a number of health reasons).   I put in some outdoor naked time with other naked people, and though it made my heart thump faster, it was actually an enjoyable thing.  I was wise enough to use a double layer of SPF 50 sunblock to keep my most personal parts from being toasted with Texas sunburn.

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A picture of me enjoying the shade at Bluebonnet Naturist Park  (I know I promised not to show you my scary bare carcass, but at least this portrait of a nudist doesn’t actually reveal any really scary bits.)

I then wrote a blog post about it here the day after, called The Naked Truth About That Idiot Mickey.  It was supposed to be cute and humorous, though slightly off-beat and risque.  Then, two weeks later when I cancelled out on a second visit, I wrote another essay called Becoming a Nudist.  Again I was trying for self-deprecating humor with a touch of tongue-in-cheek puckishness.  Then, a gentleman who goes by the name of The Militant Negro with a very eclectic and thoughtful blog decided to do as he usually does when re-blogging my blog posts, he picked the most embarrassing one he could find.  (He previously re-blogged a doll-collecting post about Beautiful Barbie Dolls.)  Somehow the bloggers of clothesfreelife.com got hold of that post, either from that initial re-blog, or from Twitter, and re-blogged it on the website I linked at at the start of this essay.  So my first nudist blog turned out not even to be for the website I had originally agreed to blog for.  (I have not heard back from that submission yet.)  But that nudist website was actually good for my blog.   Nudist-website-readers have been tuning in.  More than 50+ views every day since Becoming a Nudist was first re-blogged.  They also found such blog posts as Be Naked More and Why Do You Think That 4? All People Are Nudists Under Their Clothes and cemented them as among my most viewed posts.

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So, now I am inexplicably popular as a naked writer.  Who could ask for anything more?  It certainly serves as an unusual talking point in family discussions.

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When the Old Mind Wanders…

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When the old mind wanders…

They tell you you’re just too slow.

But thoughts like mine drift everywhere,

And the edges of the universe… are a place to go.

 

Maybe I should write in red.

And argue with the voices

That rhyme inside my head.

And break the rhyme scheme 

Here and there

Because of what they said.

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Or maybe I should write in blue

Because I’ve been thinking in the nude

And laying all my secrets bare

Which really might be rude.

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But the old mind wanders…

In the form of a poem,

And breaks and squanders

Tallest waves in mere foam.

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Filed under artwork, clowns, goofy thoughts, humor, nudes, Paffooney, poem, poetry, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Becoming a Nudist

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I have been to a nudist park and taken all my clothes off one time and one time only so far.  Yesterday was supposed to be visit number two.  On a Saturday there were supposed to be more visitors to meet and get to know… and I mean really get to know.  But it didn’t happen because of weather and poor health.  It rained.  And my blood sugar was a long way from perfect.  In many ways it was a relief not to go.  I was nervous about being with a crowd of naked people.  I was nervous about how to act and where to go, and especially, “What are the most embarrassing mistakes that beginning nudists make?”

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Because I figure I will probably make them.  And will it be extra embarrassing because I am walking around naked?  Probably.

But I do think it is not going to be a mere one-time experience that I will never do again.  I think I am committed to going back, not just because I am supposed to be writing for a nudist website, but because it benefits me health-wise, both physically and mentally.

To be specific, I have visited the Bluebonnet nudist park near Alvord, Texas. It is a beautiful campground and clubhouse facility.  I borrowed pictures from their website to post on this blog and give them a bit of extra advertising.

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Here’s the things that benefited me the most.  I got to meet some of the most welcoming and accepting people you ever want to meet.  They are polite, interesting to talk to, and just as naked and vulnerable as I am.  You can’t get much more socially equal than when you are talking to naked people.

The sunshine was also a very good thing for me.  The problem I have with psoriasis in old age is that the plaques and sores that result are never quite dry enough to heal when you are wearing clothes in the Texas heat.  But in the nude in the midst of nature, I felt cool and dry and hadn’t even a hint of the old itch that made me want to tear my skin off.

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They have a beautiful pool there, which I had all to myself during that first visit.  The picture with people in it is from their website.  It is one of two pools that they have there for weekly water-volleyball.

I didn’t believe it would be so relaxing and fun the first time I went, but I can safely say the feel of it, the sense of accomplishment of it, the feeling of self-acceptance it gives me, was worth all the risk of embarrassment I faced.  It was a stupid thing to do.  But I am not the only idiot drawn to it.  There are actually thousands of nudists in the United States.  There are even more  in Canada too.  I am actually glad I did it.  And though I didn’t make it back there on Saturday as originally planned, I do think I will be doing it again.

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