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It was on this day twenty years ago (give or take a day) that I first published the Body Inflation Home Page to my web space at America Online. That site would grow and evolve and eventually become BodyInflation.org.

I should have planned something with a bit more fanfare, but 2016 has been a rather hectic and unpleasant year. I had my doubts as to whether the site would make it to this milestone, but here we are. It’s kind of mindblowing.

I’d like to extend heartfelt thanks to all those who have walked with me on this journey. Going for another twenty years seems overly ambitious. Then again, we inflationists do tend to aim high.

  • Watching: Sense8
  • Playing: Life is Strange
  • Eating: Pistachios
  • Drinking: Bourbon

“Some enthusiasts favour inflation. It's cheap, simple and as near as your local filling station. But there's a very serious risk of being carried away, as many inflation writers have discovered. Many promising young ladies have exploded at the hands of the inflation addicts. That's if they haven't drifted away over the rooftops…”

   Research and Development newsletter, Issue #1

A shocking state of affairs, to be sure, but largely apocryphal. Best as I've been able to determine, this issue went out sometime around September, 1995. At the time, popping stories were pretty much non-existent. Certainly there was a lot of talk about it, and writers would often hint that an explosive outcome was a possibility, but it never actually happened. The first popping stories wouldn’t appear until 1997.

Nailing down the timing of various “firsts” in the inflation community is admittedly tricky. In many cases I’m writing purely from memory, since I have very few records of what happened twenty years ago. So I’ll do the best that I can, and I fully acknowledge that the passage of time has likely introduced inaccuracies into my account.

“Where’s the kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom!”
    — Marvin the Martian

It wasn’t until I met Champagne Moon that I seriously considered writing a popping story. Miss Moon was a big fan of popping and quite disappointed by the lack of such stories. We discussed the subject at length, covering much of the same ground that I had with others in the past.

Inflation fiction was rife with mechanical malfunctions, magical mishaps, accidental overdoses, and other unfortunate happenings that resulted in people blowing up to absurd sizes. It seemed odd that none of these situations resulted in anyone doing what overinflated balloons so often do. Despite so many instance of people inflating out of control, control was always regained before anything too unfortunate happened. There were definitely people interested in such stories, but the subject was controversial enough that nobody was willing to cross that line.

At least that was the case until I encountered Champagne Moon. She had written several stories already, although she hadn’t posted any publicly at that point. She asked me for feedback on her work. The first story she sent me was The Reunion. I highly recommend reading it if you haven’t already, as it’s a wonderful piece and spoilers lurk ahead. Although if you haven’t read it in the nearly two decades since its release, you’ve nobody but yourself to blame.

She asked me if she’d made it clear enough that Jamie was going to burst. I had to go back and reread it. In retrospect, the hints at Jamie’s impending explosion barely even qualified as hints; it was pretty clear that Bob was out for revenge and Jamie was going to go boom.

What shocked me was that I’d completely missed it. Despite the obviousness of it, it never occurred to me that Jamie might burst because that simply never happened in inflation stories. Any indication that a character might burst carried no weight at all; it was a threat that no author would follow through on.

I encouraged her to release her stories. She encouraged me to write a popping story. In the end, we both prevailed. I convinced her to let me post one of her stories anonymously (eventually she would let me add her name to it). The Ballad of Joe and Moira became the site’s first popping story. She convinced me that popping was a subject worth tackling, helped to a great extent by my reaction to The Reunion. When someone shouted, “Look out, she’s going to explode!” I wanted my readers to be concerned that it could actually happen. This resulted in The Stargazer, the site’s second popping story.

That's how it got started. Afterwards, popping stories began to appear fairly regularly. The rest, as they say, is history.

  • Watching: Orphan Black
  • Playing: Warframe
  • Eating: Cashews
  • Drinking: Bourbon
BodyInflation.org is online again. Crossing fingers in hopes the fixes stick.

FYI, I usually post updates to Twitter before. In the event of a catastrophic Internet meltdown, posting there is easier.

Luther Kane's Twitter
  • Playing: XCOM 2
  • Eating: an orange
  • Drinking: Cranberry juice
As I'm sure some of you have noticed, BodyInflation.org is offline. I don't have an ETA for its return yet, but it may be a while. I'll post updates when I can.
  • Playing: This War of Mine
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Tea

I’ve reached a milestone.

Roughly 20 years ago I released my first inflation story, The Pageant. I can’t really nail down the exact date. The modified date on the file is November 8, 1995. It first appeared in Issue 4 of the Research and Development newsletter.

The story was inspired by the wet t-shirt contest in the game Spellcasting 301. It’s a standard-issue inflation fiction plotline: woman inflates herself to enhance her figure but something goes wrong and she winds up huge. Today I would call it cliché, but I’m not sure if it was back then. There weren’t all that many inflation stories going around at that point.

What a long, strange trip it’s been.

  • Playing: This War of Mine
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Tea

Sometimes I’ll write a story almost entirely around a gag that I (and likely few other people) find really amusing. Conspiracy: Peer Pressure was built around the line “Tanks for the mammaries.” I’d wanted to work that one into a story for a long time. Gassing Up is all about “I’m up here.” It was inspired by a scene from Lost that has absolutely nothing to do with inflation, but my imagination took it there. And of course there’s the one that started it all: “You’re fired” in Donna’s New Look.

I recently wrapped up the first draft of a story that was originally going to be quite dark. Then partway through I realized that the premise was rather ridiculous and my text was reflecting that. It actually happened when I was writing dialogue and one of the characters saw fit to point out how silly the situation was. And while there’s nothing wrong with silly stories, but you can’t treat them the same way as dark stories. The story I’d planned ended with the protagonist’s explosive demise. As the story turned out, I couldn’t kill her off for one very important reason: The story had turned into a joke, so she had be there at the end to deliver the punch line.

I find these stories to be particularly fun to write. Kind of cheesy, but fun. I do find it kind of annoying when story doesn't end up like I originally intended, but that bothers me a lot less now than it did in my early years of writing.

  • Listening to: Birds outside my window
  • Reading: Draft of a story I should probably never post
  • Watching: Boobs on Facebook
  • Playing: Pillars of Eternity
  • Eating: Leftover chow mein
  • Drinking: Rye

Carnatic has announced the latest incarnation of the contest, Prose that Blows 11 - It's All About the Feels. The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2015.

Details here: Prose that Blows

  • Listening to: Computer cooling fans
  • Reading: Idiocy on Twitter
  • Watching: Boobs on Youtube
  • Playing: Saints Row IV
  • Eating: roast chicken
  • Drinking: bourbon
Still a few kinks to work out, but mostly everything's running.
  • Listening to: Computer cooling fans
  • Reading: Drupal documentation
  • Watching: Elementary
  • Playing: NEO Scavenger
  • Eating: cheesesteak
  • Drinking: bourbon
No clue what the issue is this time, will post updates when I have more info.
  • Listening to: Computer cooling fans
  • Reading: Network hardware specs
  • Watching: Amy Andersson, looking hot as usual
  • Playing: Torchlight II
  • Eating: medjool dates
  • Drinking: tea
Or rather it will be as soon as your DNS server updates.
  • Listening to: Computer cooling fans
  • Reading: Network hardware specs
  • Watching: Amy Andersson, looking hot as usual
  • Playing: Torchlight II
  • Eating: medjool dates
  • Drinking: tea
Nothing to be alarmed about, just making some network changes around here.
  • Listening to: Computer cooling fans
  • Reading: Network hardware specs
  • Watching: Sophie Reade's cleavage
  • Playing: Torchlight II
  • Eating: medjool dates
  • Drinking: tea
I tried to post this last week, but DeviantArt was being problematic and wasn't posting any new journal entries I tried to make.

But for those who have not yet noticed, Bodyinflation.org is online again as of last Tuesday October 2. For those interested in the unfortunate details, I've recounted the issues here.
  • Listening to: Gangnam Style
  • Reading: Catching up on my Twitter feed
  • Watching: Amy Andersson, looking hot as usual
  • Playing: Borderlands 2
  • Eating: Chicken Tikka Masala
  • Drinking: Bourbon
So it seems that in recent years the only thing I use my DA journal for is to announce significant site outages.

In short: the domain has expired and I'm having some issues renewing it. I'm optimistic that this will be worked out in the relatively near future. In the meantime, bodyinflation.org will be pointing at a rather unattractive list of "Related Searches".
Many of you have noticed that BodyInflation.org has been offline for a while.  This seems to happen with alarming regularity when I'm away; I only noticed fairly recently.  My current theory is that my server misses me so much it becomes inconsolable and is unable to function.  Or something like that.

The site will be coming back eventually, but I can't provide an ETA just yet.
  • Reading: Two weeks of email backlog
  • Drinking: Tequila
There's only two songs in me and I just wrote the third.
Don't know where I got the inspiration or how I wrote the words.
Spent my whole life just digging up my music's shallow grave
For the two songs in me and the third one I just made.


Number Three, by They Might Be Giants


I posted another update to The Laws of Body Inflation.  I get the feeling that this gag has been dragged out a bit too long.  But I'm still having fun with it, so I keep at it.  I work on it when I'm trying to write an actual story but can't make the words flow.  Performing absurd analyses on the genre sometimes helps.  And even when it doesn't help, at least I get the satisfaction from having written something, even if it's just a few words in a list of silly observations.

Looking at the list as it stands along with the rejects that I haven't quite polished enough to make laws from, I'm guessing that there's possibly enough material left to justify a version 1.3, but probably not a 1.4.  And I might just leave it at this and be done with it.

After all, there are plenty of other opportunities for making humor about this funny little pastime of ours.
  • Listening to: Sacred, by Blind Guardian
  • Playing: Sacred 2
  • Drinking: Manhattan, straight up
After receiving several invitations, I figured I should give it a shot.  When you update via twitter, is it called 'twittering' or 'tweeting'?

Apparently it's quite popular with a large number of people, very few of whom I know.  I'm admitting from the outset here that I don't really get it.  Someone as prematurely curmudgeonly as I am would probably be better off confining himself to his own section of digital lawn while drunkenly admonishing those significantly younger than he to keep off of it.

Near as I can tell, twitter provides an outlet for brief snippets of communication, which seems to lend itself to a sort of stop-action stream of consciousness sort of effect.  What I find most interesting is that the service seems to be designed to act as a venue for those fleeting, ill-formed thoughts that we might normally consider to be too trivial to share.

This is an observation, not a criticism.

It has the potential to be worthwhile, but I don't know how well I can work with it.  Generally speaking, if a particular form of communication doesn't offer the opportunity to ramble then I'm not likely to use it.

I am, quite predictably, at twitter.com/LutherVKane .  Currently there is nothing of note there.
People who complain about inflation art hold a special place in my heart.  And now they even have a special place in my Favorites section.  Now I can keep some kind of record of the people out there who wish I would die in a fire.  I think a lot of them have vanished.  If you run into any entertaining rants, please send them my way.  They're always good for a chuckle.

Amusing observation Number One:  For most of the people who have posted deviations expression their objections to inflation art, that criticism is their most popular work on DeviantArt.  How much must life suck for you as an artist if the most notable piece you've produced is one that mocks a genre that you despise and believe is unworthy of attention?

Amusing Observation, Part Deux:  The Laws of Body Inflation is both the most viewed and most faved piece in my gallery.  It's far more popular than any of my stories.  Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony.  Well played.
I've decided to post some of my old stories here.  They're all available at bodyinflation.org, but I think it's a good idea to have them available in at least two places.  The inflation community has lost a lot of material that was only available from a single source when that single source suddenly and unexpectedly became unavailable.

And maybe there are a some newcomers to the scene who haven't read these already.
Continuation of a chain of thought started in a previous entry, But Is It Art?  Yeah, I'm slow with the sequels.

It's a classic dilemma:  Imagine you were given the choice between being a pauper in heaven and being a prince in hell.  Which would you choose?  Or would you rather not have the choice?

I understand that plenty of people don't care for inflation art.  I'm sure plenty of people think that it's sick and disgusting.  Different people have different tastes, and that's fine.  But a number of people at DeviantArt take it to the next level.  I've seen many claims that inflation art isn't really art.  People have accused it of being a sickness, a joke, a blight in need of removal.  But there are a few out there whose hatred seems to run a little too deep; there's something driving it.  And it's these few people, those who seem a bit too fixated on their hatred of the art form, who fascinate me.

It would be dismissive, condescending, and not at all enlightening to simply write them off as being jealous.  It is, at best, a small piece of the puzzle.

Fetish art is limiting by its very nature.  In most cases, you can't show it off to your friends.  You can't put your real name on it, for fear of being branded a pervert.  And unless you happen to subscribe to one of the more socially acceptable perversions, it's highly unlikely you'll ever make a living from creating it.  And if you're a professional artist, you're best off not doing it at all lest you be recognized by your style.

But creating in the inflation community has its advantages.  Because the community is so small, and so little material is created, it's relatively easy to gain a certain amount of notoriety.  For the most part, the material is produced by amateurs for amateurs and made available for free.

If your art is more conventional, you have the advantage of wider acceptance.  You can show your art off, you can talk openly about it, and you can claim to be an artist without worry that people will question whether what you do is really art.

The downside of conventional art is that it is conventional.  This effect is magnified on DeviantArt, which attracts a particular demographic.  The artists tend to be young, and much of the art spans a fairly narrow range of styles and subject matters.  There's a very good chance that there are a thousand artists just on DeviantArt doing art very similar to yours.  Given those numbers, it's highly unlikely that you're the best, or even notable.  You can be better than 99.9% of the deviants on deviant art, and there will still be thousands better than you are.  You can have a great deal of talent, and still not gain recognition.

Most people accept this.  They post their art, they share it with friends, and don't have any issue with the idea that they'll never be a household name in the households of any strangers.  The vast majority of talent never gets much attention.  This becomes a problem when someone with talent has difficulty accepting this reality.  They imagine themselves worthy of being princes, but they possess neither the greatness to hold a post in heaven and nor the darkness to take a throne in hell.

I don't find these people to be terribly interesting.  The world is full of people who don't believe that life has given them their due and would tear down those whom they see as having fame of which they are more deserving.  The bit about a dilemma that makes it fascinating is that there are two viable options; these people have no such choice.  And if they ever put any thought into the matter, they might realize they're better off that way.

Yes, there's more.  Yeah, it'll probably be a few months before I get around to writing it.
Anyone with a reasonable grasp of statistics understands the correlation doesn't prove causation.  But anyone with a reasonable grasp of reality understands that it's a pretty good place to start looking.

In the past month, I've received several emails from people requesting that I draw pictures for them.  I find this curious.  There was a time when I tried my hand at drawing, but that was years ago, and the results were quite crude and not widely distributed.  So it's kind of odd that after all this time several people would suddenly and simultaneously get it in their respective heads that I'm an artist.  I imagine that something must have happened to trigger this, but I can't imagine what that could have been.

Who knows, maybe the universe is trying to tell me something.