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The Call of Stillness

I don’t usually talk about books I’m reading in this blog, or really talk in my own voice all that much. Usually, I’m portraying a character, usually Gwyneth these days (Sorry, TAC and TGD fans!). But today I want to tell you about a series of books by Seanan McGuire. These are the Wayward Children books, and they’ve touched me in a way that many of you who feel al little out of place in the contemporary world, for whatever reason, will understand.

Nancy, one of the protagonists in book 1, Every Heart a Doorway, has come back from a world where she spent much of her time as a living statue in the halls of the Lord of the Dead. Might sound weird to those of us who don’t embrace stillness as an art form or a life goal, but Nancy makes her longing to go back there understandable when she speaks of it. I’ve just finished book three of this series, Beneath the Sugar Sky, and it also features Nancy. I grew really entranced with her character and decided to do some virtual cosplay. Here’s what I came up with!

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Nancy on her pedestal in the Halls of the Dead

So here is Nancy, on her pedestal in the Halls of the Dead. When I first saw this dress, the Delicatezza Gown from Fellini Couture, I knew it was something Nancy would wear as a statue. The head bow maybe not so much, but it’s beautiful and I imagined the Lord of the Dead putting it round her head as lovingly as he could. I’ve had the dress and the idea for a while, but finding the hair was a quest in and of itself. You see:

“She was tall and willowy and couldn’t have been more than seventeen; there was still something of the unformed around her eyes and mouth, leaving her a work in progress, meant to be finished by time. She wore black—black jeans, black ankle boots with tiny black buttons marching like soldiers from toe to calf—and she wore white—a loose tank top, the faux pearl bands around her wrists—and she had a ribbon the color of pomegranate seeds tied around the base of her ponytail. Her hair was bone-white streaked with runnels of black, like oil spilled on a marble floor, and her eyes were pale as ice. She squinted in the daylight. From the look of her, it had been quite some time since she had seen the sun. Her small wheeled suitcase was bright pink, covered with cartoon daisies. She had not, in all likelihood, purchased it herself.

Excerpt From: Seanan McGuire. “Every Heart a Doorway.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/every-heart-a-doorway/id993589805?mt=11

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This hair is Bad Hair Day’s Lacuna.

This hair is Bad Hair Day‘s Lacuna, and it was available at last month’s Kinky event. It should be up in their main store soon. Most hair designers in SL are doing multicoloured hair as dip-dyes, but Bad Hair Day has a unique two-part HUD that allows you to texture dually. It’s not a perfect representation, but I loved the way the black streaks complemented the whiteness of the hair in a subtle way.

I’m in a great NEW skin from 7 Deadly s{K}insNena, in skin tone Powder. It’s not released yet and I’m not sure whether it’ll be in an event or a Main Store release, but it’s gorgeous, and you can find lots of great stuff at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store to go with it and complement it—there are so many offers going on I can’t even remember them all!

The pale-as-ice eyes come from Mesange, of course. They are the Manderley Eyes, and they should be available at the Mesange Main Store. I’ve mentioned before here how much I love Mesange eyes; they’re reasonably priced, come with Omega appliers, and Jadis Ashland, the creatrix behind them, really knows how to put colours together.

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I don’t imagine Nancy ever gets bored.

I don’t imagine Nancy ever gets bored. Her descriptions of how wonderful it was to be still and move slowly made me think of all those wonderful moments in life that just seem to stretch into infinity when they’re happening. In my mind, Nancy’s life may be like one of those moments.

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Here’s a super close up so you can see the hair strands.

Here’s a super close up so you can see the hair strands. Not perfect photography as there’s an imperfection where the hair meets her head over her right (human! omg!) ear, but I love the way the fringe (bangs, Americans!) comes down beneath the lace bow.

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A long shot of my mini-Halls of the Dead

Here’s a little longer shot, so you can see where I placed Nancy. I know the Halls of the Dead aren’t specifically Greek, but there was a classical sense to them that I wanted to recreate with the columns and stonework. The building comes from Tarte; it’s the Temple Pergola. I got it from SL Marketplace, and then sized it up so the columns were massive next to Nancy on her pedestal. Strictly speaking, there should be another human statue here, but my efforts to find a trusted friend who owned the same dress and was willing to cosplay a statue were quickly dismissed as too much trouble. 😉

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I imagine that Nancy could move fluidly from one pose to another, over hours or days, without anyone noticing her movement.

I imagine that Nancy could move fluidly from one pose to another, over hours or days, without anyone noticing her movement. She was capable of completely stilling herself and barely breathing. What a compelling talent.

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Lit after dark.

I don’t know if it ever gets dark completely int he Halls of the Dead: I imagine it’s sort of an eternal twilight realm. But if it did get dark, there would be some way to light the statues so they could be admired, I’m sure of it.

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Of course, Nancy thinks quite a lot.

Of course, Nancy thinks quite a lot. But I don’t imagine she has the same anxieties in the Halls of the Dead as she did when she had to come back to our “real” world.

As a denizen of Second Life, I push the boundaries of what is real all the time. I consider different realities whenever I teleport into a fairy forest or a post-apocalyptic desert or a life/avatar-sized art installation. I experience different realities every time I place Gwyneth or TAC or TGD into another situation so I can tell a story about their lives.

And really, is it so hard to believe that around some corner somewhere, maybe in your own house, there is a portal waiting to let you enter the place you were always meant to be? That’s what’s so magical about Wayward Children. If you like this kind of magic, you should give it a read. If it makes a difference to you, I could tell you that Every Heart a Doorway won a Best Novella Hugo last year, richly deserved by Ms McGuire, who is a powerhouse of imagination, twisty plot, and a prolific author with a large catalog of books that’ll take you places you never realised you wanted to go– or to places you always dreamed of; take your pick.

Get the Books:
Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children) (Amazon.co.uk)
Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children) (Amazon.com)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/every-heart-a-doorway/id993589805?mt=11 (iBooks)

No Style Card today; it’s all in the text. Muahaha! As always, I’m in a Maitreya body and the Vista Lia Mesh Head.

3 thoughts on “The Call of Stillness

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