Archive for May, 2010

May 30th, 2010: Horrid Twine

May 30, 2010

Like many of the authors who decided to participate in this blog, I struggled a bit on what I should write about. I could whine and complain all day about the negative things I have seen while avataring my way across the Slgalaxy, but today, I chose otherwise.

I have decided to pay tribute to the people closest to me, and celebrate  what they have meant. This is a love letter to my circle.

These days are very much the same. I am dealing with and watching, from a distance, a most beloved grandmother succumb to Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, and kidney failure.  Rather than take her quickly, these things are eating away at her body and mind while eating away at my heart and soul. I am half a country away and it feels like nothing takes my mind away from this. Then, when I least expect it, someone I love manages to take my head away from where it currently is. Usually, it is one of my friends.

Knowingly or not you have helped me to deal with what’s happening with compassion, comedy, and love. Your constant barrage of silliness, laughter, insight, and friendship has been there as a light when it has felt so damn dark. I never assumed nor expected that in this virtual world I would find such real and concrete connections. All of you are as close to me as my “RL” best friends are. You have become a very tangible connection that bridges both worlds, real and virtual.

Thank you for your brutally honesty and true friendship. For  kicking me in the ass when I need it, and being an inspiration. Thank you for always maintaining your potatohead like ways and being such amazing rocks of sanity (Yes, oddly enough, you guys have moments of the sane).

Without the support of you weebles, I am certain life would be far less interesting under this rock. I hope that I have been there for each of you, too.

To Putrid, Munch, Mad, Apatia, Sic and Babyhoney, this letter is for you. I love your faces even though you all smell like old, woolen socks. Someone has to.

<3 H.O.Twine

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Horrid Twine is a 31-year-old female who, in SL, is the proud owner of Horribaubles and Pretty Squeezles. When she is not building, she can usually be found doing the noob run around her friends, thinking up inventive ways to e-kill herself or looking for an SL trailer park to live in. Don’t judge. The RL Horrid resides in the South East, particular location refusing to be admitted. Aside from being Bubbles The Chimp – Star of Stage & Screen, she works her way through life as a Graphics Designer. In her spare time she DJ’s, attends college, the symphony and is constantly overtaken by three crazy dogs who would declare a thumb war if they could.

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May 29th, 2010: Putrid Gloom

May 29, 2010

2.52am

A cool breeze reaches my head from a half open window, as the warmth of my comforter cocoons me defiantly against the night air in a wonderful dichotomy, and I find myself wondering what to write here.

I have a phrase running around in my head

‘Above us only sky’ – John Lennon

The Beatles have always been significant in my life. Firstly I’m from Liverpool, where Soccer is our religion and Beatles tunes are our hymns. Secondly my Father is a musician, and Sundays were ‘Beatles Sunday’ where we would listen to the Beatles and play guitar and dance and sing.

Happy times.

Today whilst embarking on the seemingly insurmountable task of reducing my inventory, I watched the Linda McCartney Story on the true movies channel. None of this seemed significant until I came to write this blog.

I started to think about how events that occur in one day can change the world. I live around the corner from the church hall where The Beatles (then the quarrymen) played their first gig. That one night would lead to the face of music and popular culture being changed forever.

JFK was born on this day 29th May. One day to change history

Jeff Buckley died

In second life we are in the fortunate position of being able to meet people from all around the world. Unencumbered by constraints we may experience in our real lives, we are free to live, love, collaborate, work, laugh, sing, comfort and nurture the people we choose as our virtual friends and family. Anything is possible. Who knows what your support will help someone go on to become or achieve.

A number one record

A cure for cancer

The confidence to leave an abusive partner

Maybe…

I encourage you to live each day in both worlds as if it may change history. To embrace each chance meeting and opportunity.

‘Come together’

Above you is only sky

I want to dedicate this blog to Horrid Twine and Munchflower Zaius.  Two friends who inspire me to rule the world someday.

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Putrid Gloom is a 37-year-old mom of a 16-year-old girl. She has 5 imaginary Chihuahuas, a pretend boyfriend and an unhealthy interested in taxidermy. She is currently writing a children’s book. She can usually be found at her sim Gloomy Creek, which houses her store Show me on the Doll. Read her blog at http://prophecyofgloom.blogspot.com/.

May 28th, 2010: Sonatrix Dench

May 28, 2010

Four more days, only four more days until what has been affectionately coined The Summer of Spud. It feels like forever since I last saw him, but really it hasn’t even been two months. But when you’re away from someone you just feel like you belong with, it’s tough and time drags on. Now that the day is coming so close everything feel so surreal, like really? I’m going to be there all summer? I don’t have to pack up and leave 5 days later? I’m so excited!

But with the excitement comes the anxiety, and all of my worries have been boiling to the surface. You see I’ve done this before, I’ve packed everything up and moved across the country for love. And it didn’t end well. Not many people know that I was married before, and I was super young when I did it. It was a horribly abusive relationship and has bred a lot of worries, paranoia, and even phobias.  That’s in the past though.

I’m so thankful for Spudgy, he’s dealt with all of those worries and paranoia and kept on truckin’. He’s a trooper I tell ya, cause it’s not easy to deal with me and the emotional baggage I carry everywhere I go. Even this summer we’re just calling a trial because I don’t want to make the same mistake and just leave everything behind all in one shot. But I have a really good feeling that I won’t be coming back home. But it’s nice that I still have something to come back to this time, and I’m not just leaving it all behind.

I never thought I’d find “The One” in SecondLife, but here I am sitting on the perpetually unfinished sim we call home writing to you all about how I met the love of my life in SecondLife and soon I hope to be with him forever. I don’t think we would have made it this far without the friends we’ve made along the way, SL is great for long distance that way… because even though you’re not in the same community in real life, you still have this in common.

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Sonatrix Dench is a 25-year-old Preschool Teacher in Clarksville, Tennessee. That is, for the next three days she is until she’s bound for Iowa where she hopes to spend the rest of her life with the man she met and fell in love with in Second Life. In SecondLife she flits from here to there doing a bit of this and that, but nothing much in particular. She loves to explore, play dress up, and take lots of pictures. And right now she’s sitting on her toukus playing around in Second Life while she should be packing, but… Second Life is so much more fun.

May 27th, 2010: Sesi Ackland

May 27, 2010

It is quite an anniversary for me, one year ago today I was at the Neurologic and Orthopedic Hospital of Chicago for a long day of pre-op testing. I was preparing for a Posterior-fossa Decompression, the removal of a piece of skull and the first vertebra to relieve pressure on my brain. Pressure caused by a Chiari Malformation. Simply put, my skull was too small for my brain causing the base of the brain to descend into the spinal canal pressing on the spinal cord.

I had many painful neurological symptoms throughout my life but things became worse in 2008-09. Eventually I quit my job and my contact with the outside world ended. I had been in Second Life™ for two years but my time inworld increased out of loneliness. I spent most of my days with my best friend, Toxic Menges. We did things I was not able to do in RL, danced, shopped tirelessly and produced a wild music video. I laughed, a lot. I forgot the pain.

Oddly enough, Toxic was visiting us in RL when the testing that led to this event began and shortly after her return home, I had a diagnosis and date for brain surgery. Both of my worlds came to a screeching halt. I floated through both lives keeping people all around me at arm’s length.

My real life would never be the same but I had no idea my SL would be effected so greatly. Not much matters when you’re facing something as serious as brain surgery and a virtual world was the least of my worries. Sadly, so were as the people in it. When RL is out of control it’s very easy to forget the connections and friendships in SL are real, they are important.

Recovery was difficult and I was unable to be fully present in either life until early fall. My return to SL was not as easy as I expected, I couldn’t reconnect with anyone. I was and still am confused. I’m still struggling a year later. A lot of isolation, time, patience and understanding has been necessary. I’ve changed, as has my avatar. While very different, my lives carry on.

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Sesi Ackland is 38, she lives in Chicago with her RL and SL husband, Winston Ackland. Sesi is adjusting to a new way of living as a proud Zipperhead, a nickname given to Chiarians because the incision on the back of the head looks just like a zipper. She loves to cook and watch Winston’s belly grow as a result. Sesi has become involved in promoting Chiari awareness, support and research as Chiari is a rare and often misdiagnosed disorder as many doctors have never heard of it. In SL, Sesi was an important member in many aspects of SL music for nearly two years. Winston and Sesi both “retired” from the SL music scene in April to build houses for their newest venture, Little Boxes.

May 26th, 2010: IndiaRose Muircastle

May 26, 2010

It’s May 26th. Still a chance of a late frost, too early for the neighbor to open his pool, too early to put in the air conditioner… of course the temperature hits 90 degrees. I wilt.  My cats move from one section of the wood floor to another; the feline equivalent of finding the “cool side” on a pillow.

Perhaps SL can offer a distraction. I log on, change into a bikini, and find a beach.  I lay back and hear the waves… maybe in a few minutes I will go for a swim, perhaps spot a mermaid.

I grew up spending summers on the Jersey Shore.  I still love the ocean but I now live hours away.  Nights ruined by sunburns and days of disliking my hips ensure that I shun bikinis and opt for huge t-shirts.

And I cannot swim.  Since childhood I panic when I put my face in the water, and I have never been able to overcome it.  My family calls me an “ankler”; once the water is just over my ankles I go no further.

But right now, my avi looks darn cute in this bikini.  I have no worries about blisters or even tan lines.  Swim?  I can walk along the ocean floor if I feel like it. Maybe I will be the mermaid this afternoon.

For a moment I think that this is such a little thing.  I am not skydiving or building a replica of a cathedral or morphing into a dragon.  I fear water (and bikinis), but there are people with agoraphobia who use SL to cope or help conquer that.  There are paraplegics who log on so that through their avatars they can walk for a little while. I am just lying on a beach.  What does that really matter?

If it makes you happy, it matters. For a few hours, I found some cool and quiet, some happy memories. I had a chance to do exactly as I wished; maybe only a tiny bit of fantasy, but enough to make me smile.

More and more, a swim sounds like a great idea.  Now where did I put that mermaid outfit?

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IndiaRose Muircastle will celebrate her second rezz day on June 29th, and is still in awe of the talent and creativity that she sees in SL every day. She is an aspiring jewelry maker and owner of IndiaRose Designs, and after having been tortured by many tiny prims she is happy to say she may be gaining the upper hand and learning how to torture them first. She finds great joy in the family and friends she has found in SL, and can often be found on the sim at ceilidhs and parties. She also models from time to time for her friends, owners of Shazwren Photography.  Her favorite thing to do in SL is to go dancing and exploring with her partner, Boneyard, whom she describes as “one of the most amazing people I have ever met.”  In RL, India is 41 years old, and lives in the suburbs of Boston.  She holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology and spent fifteen years working with adults with chronic mental illness. After losing her job due to a loss of state funding (a subject about which she will still rant for hours if allowed to, be warned) she has taken some time off to obtain her license as a therapist and is also planning to become certified in personal coaching. In addition, with three long-haired cats in her home, she is qualified as a fur removal expert and bowl filler.  In her spare time she loves to read (Sherrilyn Kenyon and Christine Feehan novels are a particular addiction), as well as cooking and attempting to establish a rose garden.

May 25th, 2010: Daphyne Kweller

May 25, 2010

4:33 am…It’s officially the 25th of May, It’s a day for decisions and a day for answering questions and calming myself for the road that lays ahead. Today is day I start a new journey in both SL and RL, because my SL is one with RL. Today I have my first interview with a Magazine in SL and I take on the task of becoming a full-time writer/photographer with this magazine one task I take with great pride. And Today is an exciting one week before I start my college classes, After getting my GED last year.

But as I sit here a bundle of nerves and a little groggy from a lack of sleep due to all the excitement flowing around. I sit back and think of what once was…Of when I was nothing more than a commoner in the virtual realm, Of when I would sit around for hours and wait for a spark to come along, That spark that would ignite my life into what I really wanted…I got tired of waiting.

I set out a little while after I joined SL, ok 3 years after I joined (spent the first 3 years in Gor, which is known by many locals as “ stuck up central”) To find what I had always thought SL to be, the fun wonder’s of the place I heard of whispered in rumors and hushed tones. I did the club thing, I did the host thing, I did the random sim hoping thing…Nothing could keep my attention for longer than a few months, Until I met the man I call “ Daddy” He opened my eyes to what SL could really be, The fun times, The support I needed to ensue my adventures I wanted so desperately. And he’d tell you different, But HE gave me the power and the support I needed to find my confidence that so many others had stepped on over the years.

So to finish this off…Today I step into the path I have been working towards for all these years.

Thank you Daddy.

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Daphyne Kweller is an aspiring photographer/blogger with the help of her friends and a soon to be Mother, In RL she twiddles away the hours working on her RL photography in the state of Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plains (couldn’t resist). She is a soon to be student going for a degree in Graphic Design. When she isn’t running around snapping pictures she is parked in her chair reading a book or panting her toenails…the one quality pleasure she allows herself.

May 24th, 2010: Winter Jefferson

May 24, 2010

There’s no more effective alarm than a pair of boney knees in the small of your back. Daddy, wake up. I groan, feeling as if I’d only been in bed for a couple of hours. Probably because I have. I inwardly curse at least thrice before my left eyelid gets pried open by insistent fingers. Daddy wake UP! Those giggling brown eyes are relentless in their demands for cornflakes and I’m ousted from my warm bed.

We arrive at the school a good ten minutes after the bell rings. Mr G; late again! – I’m scolded by the humorless harridan that meets me at the classroom door. Yes, I tell her silently. But. There was a dragon waiting at the top of the driveway. It was pretending to be the neighbour’s cat, but we knew better. As it curled around my son’s legs we spotted the iridescence of fur-hidden scales, glistening in its steaming breath. You can’t walk past a just awoken dragon without pacifying it, everyone knows that. You get to spend the next six hours beating the mundanities of the curriculum into his head, my glowering eyes inform her as she ushers him clucking to his seat. Please don’t begrudge me the time I need to educate him in the realities of the unreal.

I can feel the fangs creeping their way past my lips – no, not yet. Wait. I key in my password and as I hit enter everything changes to the wonderful world of the Lord Winter. Adult conversation, walls with no scribbles, clothing without grubby handprints from where children have been tugging on my shirt tails……

… and then it’s time to depart this digital dream. To go line up with the other Daytime Dads, all hunched over in the peculiar position of the man that knows that a small tornado is about to hurl themselves at their gonads. Later on this evening I’ll kiss my wife and these two centres of my universe goodbye as I leave for work. And it occurs to me… although Second Life gives me everything want, I have everything I need right here.

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Winter Jefferson, blogger of “In Cold Blood” is a non-sparkly vampire knight fashionisto who fights for the headspace of some poor beleaguered bastard who lives in Western Australia. He enjoys playing mind games with his pet chickens, tormenting foreigners with tales of the dreaded Drop Bear and writing incredibly bad poetry. He wants to be reincarnated as any of the Davids Bowie; Attenborough or Tennant and comes back from the market with magic beans every single time. If you really want to torture him, then get him to write but confine him to just 365 words. Winter also really hopes Mrs Tucker never finds this blog, but if she ever does… would it hurt to lighten up just a bit you old bag?

May 23rd, 2010: Thorgal McGillivary

May 24, 2010


” You can be better than you are
You could be swingin’ on a star”

Frank is right, as usual – although I’m pretty sure he didn’t had this crazy world on his mind when he wrote that. Now  I’m not very special,  this life aint that special – but still I feel like a star whenever I’m dj-ing, dancing or just hanging out and talking to my friends.

Sundays are special though, Sundays is when I play at Phat Cats. I still remember the first time I visited and the “wow” that escaped my lips. I only just started to dj back then but I knew this was where I wanted to play. So I decided to just ask and to my surprise they let me. So here I am,  every Sunday – playing songs, talking too much, trying to entertain and getting to dance with some mesmerizing lady if I’m really lucky…

Thorgal McGillivary pulls you close, gently kisses your neck and playfully runs his fingers over the smooth fabric of your beautiful dress, feeling you shivering…

I love life! Life is demanding, life is addictive – the shear possibilities offered in here to try, fail and succeed at “being better then you are” simply are overwhelming. The attention, I guess, is addictive too.

There’s that annoying inner-voice again, reminding me not to promise, not to raise any expectations – hold back, keep my distance and in control, don’t let go. In 10 minutes he will again take control of me… arguing that there’s a very early morning up ahead…  yes I know its 1am in your world, now leave me be with my music and longings…

As I start the last song of my set I can’t help but feel a little sad. It’s time to say goodbye again, goodbye Phat Cats, goodbye lovely lady who got stuck dancing with me tonight and inevitably goodbye crazy world I like so much… at least for now…

Sunday definitely is the best day of the week… unless of course you’ll ask me again tomorrow – when playing at that ladies-only club…

“And in this world, where nothing else is true
Here I am, still tangled up in you”

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Thorgal McGillivary (www.twitter.com/mcgillivary) is a SL party dj, stripper and escort who refuses to grow up and generally doesn’t have a clue what he is doing. He plays weekly sets at Phat Cats, Heavenly Male and Xperience but he would love to be a club owner, photographer, builder, designer, scripter, role-player, musician or just a better friend to the ones who are dear to him in what he calls his crazy world. Sometimes it seems to him like he is the only one with such an annoying real-life avi behind the keyboard; a 39-year old male from the Netherlands who can be pretty demanding when it comes to inworld time. Thorgal is jealous of him because he already has all he could wish for; he is living together with the woman he loves (who surprisingly, seems to love him as well), has 3 great kids and a mostly fun and not too boring job.

May 22nd, 2010: Clark Bowenford

May 22, 2010

When I got in touch with Trace to write a post, I figured there’d be scads of people clambering at a chance to be on this blog and I’d have plenty of time to write. As it turns out he tells me, “Oh there’s never enough people! You’ll be on for tomorrow.”
So, here I am. I’m Clark, nice to meet y’all.

I started playing SL after Thanksgiving of 2008.  It’s a weird place. It’s full of everything that you thought you’d be escaping in real life… jealousy, drama, happiness… any emotion you can feel can happen in SL. Who ever thought that one could cry, laugh, and fume over a video game? I mean, I’ve seen people play their Xbox, and scream at it, and throw their controller down. The difference is, when they’re done pitching their fit… they press the “off” switch and all that anger and frustration is over.
“So I didn’t beat the boss at the end of the level. I’ll try again tomorrow.”

Can’t really do that here. I mean, sure. You can close out of it, but for me, I go to sleep thinking about the people of SL. I think about my close friends and the people I care about. I think about the people that have hurt me and have made me cry on here. It’s not just a game that entails putting down the controller and walking away.

You experience things here that make you say, “This is just a game though. Why does the hurt feel so real?”
Because it is. You share these genuine feelings with people that aren’t tangible. I continuously try to tell myself that there is no spoon, but how do you convince yourself when everything feels so real?

“Better never to have met you in my dream than to wake and reach for hands that are not there.”
-Otomo No Yakamochi

I’m not asleep and yet, I’m still reaching.

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Clark Bowenford is 29 years old living in South Carolina. In RL, she is an aspiring effects makeup artist for film and television and is a college student majoring in theatre. In SL,  she DJ’s at the Crow’s Foot, the Velvet, and hosts SL Karaoke at Mixtape. She is the sole writer and photographer for http:// whencuteattacks.wordpress.com and is a contributor for Rance Alva’s blog, Hidden Track. She is also an amateur clothing and tattoo designer and is owner of the store “kent”.

May 21st, 2010: Willow Zander

May 21, 2010

Hi!  I’m Willow, or as most people know me.. Willis!   It’s my 6th rezday tomorrow, SIX!  I don’t know how I’ve lasted this long in SL, as I do pretty much bugger all!

I’ve been a “fashion blogger” since the beginning of time (around 4/5 years) and I’ve had my ups and downs with both blogging, and SL.  I’ve been on numerous breaks to gain ground again and each time, I’ve always returned feeling stronger and more refreshed than before and thankfully with my friends still waiting for me, aren’t they the best?

I like to describe myself as an “adorkably shy lemon lover” and it’s all true!  I am shy but social, adorkable but serious and honestly? Who doesn’t love a bit o’ citrus??  I know I do!  I like to think I have the best friends in SL, some dating back to ’04, others more recently added to my collection of awesome people and they, I think.. no wait, KNOW.. are what keeps me coming back.  That and I like to play Barbie and breed bunnies I can’t sell.  Fun times!

In all seriousness, SL has been a rollercoaster for me, but then who doesn’t have ups and downs in their SLife?  There have been times I’ve despaired over things and times I have been so happy I could have pee’d (I didn’t, don’t worry!), but the main thing I love about SL is that it led me to realise that everything I could ever want was already right in front of me in RL.   I won’t go into details, but RL hasn’t always been as happy as it is now, much like SLife, Life has its ups and downs and when I first found SL, it was down down down, but I truly belileve that what I’ve experienced in SL has led me to be where I am today, living a life in Happy Town!

So thank you, SL.. thank you for making me stronger and wiser, thank you, from the bottom of my lemon loving heart.  I owe you my happiness even if at times I want to stab you and those that sail within you with a spork!

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Willow Zander has just begrudgingly turned 30, and lives with her partner of 12 years (who is 11 years older and absolutely no wiser), 10-year-old football mad tomboy and 2-year-old hilarious pumpkin, oh and dog that likes to tap out morse code.  She works for a University in RL and spends most of the day flicking between work and Plurk.   She is always looking for rad new people to talk to, so feel free to IM her, although she’s very boring and will just talk about pancakes and/or waffles.