As the sun rises over Awenia in its still-incomplete form, I’ve been thinking about the Realm Rebuild and why it’s so important to me. First of all, Awenia continues to be a popular tourist destination, and I want to make sure our visitors always get an authentic experience. I mean, I’m always thinking about that; that’s why we’ve been as successful as we have. But the fact is, recently I’ve read some comments about the Book Forest that did not please me. People said it seemed tired and somewhat cramped. That’s what made me take the decision to close the book forest temporarily as well, because I’ll place it into its own realm-sized space and expand it, make it easier to navigate.
TAC is sitting with me at my desk as I write this, and she’s laughing at me. ‘You and your pocket universes’, she says. ‘I guess you want a security plan for the new book forest as well’?
I shrug. ‘If you and Wulfrich think we need it, sure. And they’re not pocket universes; you could not fit this place into your pocket’.
She’s laughing at me again. ‘It’s a blanket term for little realms like this. I’m into the term mostly because Ian Walden’s new book is full of little pocket universes’.
‘You and your contemporary authors’. I smirk. ‘If it weren’t for me, you probably wouldn’t even read books, you know’.
‘I know’, she replies, suddenly more serious. ‘I’d never have survived. I am grateful for our past association, even though our current one did not begin on such friendly terms’.
I wave this response away with a nose wrinkle. ‘You’d have survived’, I assert. ‘You’ve always been a survivor. You just wouldn’t have adapted so quickly or in quite the same way’.
‘Whatever’, she replies. That’s one of her favourite words. ‘You better go start enchanting books if you’re going to have enough to make a whole new Book Forest’.
Ugh, don’t remind me. I just rolled my eyes, but I think TAC, weirdly, still understands me the same way she did when we were teenagers back in London.
She’s not wrong, of course, I do have a veritable tower of books to enchant, and I won’t get them all done in one day.
And it’s not like I can do them in big clumps. I mean, I could if I wanted an enchanted pile of books, and I probably will do a few enchanted piles. But with so many magical things being fashioned out of books, it’s important that there be enough already-enchanted books on hand when I begin working on the expansion of the Book Forest. Otherwise, I will tired myself out before I’ve completed even one day of work down there.
So for now, the plan is to enchant maybe fifty or sixty books every morning, rest, work on the Awenia rebuild, have lunch, rest, work on the rebuild some more, have dinner, enchant fifty or sixty more books, nice cup of tea and a sweet, and then bed.
If it sounds boring, that’s because it is boring.
I mean, it never lasts for very long, but sometimes, yes, I do wonder why I put myself through this. Of course I do. Then I start thinking something new needs to be done on the High Street and that train of thought leaves the mental station altogether. I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t love it.
My favourite part so far has been putting the Wizard Gnomes in charge of the toy store. A stroke of genius! We’ll start the rumour that no-one really knows who owns the toy store, but the Gnomes are always around. And they truly are clever! You should see these tiny horses they got in; they’re the spitting image of some of our Awenian Steeds.
Lady Mystie’s Uncle is already doing good business with the locals, which makes me happy. The Astrologer is getting off to a slow start, but she’s not worried. The tourist trade, she promises, will bring it all together.
Bran has convinced me to put an apothecary in one of the remaining storefronts, and Nathaniel lobbied so hard for a pub I’ve already added it. The rest of the village, aside from the major attractions, will be up to the residents. Clutie is in charge of their efforts, and she assures me there will be a good number of experiences that will feel different enough from the high street, waterfront, and Sacred Grove that tourists can feel they’re off the grid without, she promises, ever being in actual danger. I didn’t test her on what ‘actual danger’ means to her and her band of demifae; it’s probably better if I don’t know.
Well, that tower of books isn’t getting any smaller (seriously; they get replenished every morning; it’s always the same size!).
It gets boring and tiring, enchanting all these books. I work in a few stretches whilst I’m at it, but there’s no way to make it exciting.
I should laugh: twenty years ago, if someone had told me I’d be spending my time enchanting books, I’d have been so excited at the prospect. Wow! I could seriously enchant books? That idea would have been so exciting to me, just the notion that I could do it. Now I have to keep myself from yawning halfway through. Bran brings me more coffee so I can concentrate a bit better; making a mistake might cause some of the enchanted books to become … unruly. And we wouldn’t want that.
Unruly books? Perish the thought!
Notes & Credits
I have been so busy rebuilding Awenia, there have been a lot of days where I’ve done absolutely nothing else. On those days, I have gotten into the habit of wearing things that were made by my friends. And that’s why the outfit in this post is special, because so many of the items were made by people I love and spend a lot of time with, people I’ve laughed and cried and bitched with, people whose shining talents and sense of style never fails to inspire me. Now, not all the things credited here were made by personal friends, but they were all made by amazing and talented people. And so…
- Gwyneth’s Radiant Skin: ND/MD, Cea, available now at the Reborn Event.
- Gwyneth’s Stunning Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Zen. You can get it at the Analog Dog Main Store.
- Gwyneth’s Whimsical Camera Necklace: Mini A Chuu, Millennium Camera Necklace. It’s free to everybody at the SL19B Shop & Hop event.
- Gwyneth’s Gorgeous Crown: Rivendale, Branch Crown, Silver. Available now at The Darkness.
- Gwyneth’s Magic Hands: Cole’s Corner, Heavenly Ranger Hand Dancer. Available at the CC Main Store.
- Gwyneth’s Take-No-Prisoners Shoes: Mishmash Fusion, Luna Heels. You can get them at the MishMash Fusion Main Store.
- Gwyneth’s Fab Red Nails: Eventyra, Heart & Soul. You can get your own at the Eventyra Main Store.
- Gwyneth’s Mysterious Eyes: Reverie, Hinami Eyes. They’re at the Reverie Main Store.
- Gwyneth’s Perfect Skirt: Toksik, Sweetish Skirt. Available at the Toksik Main Store.
- Gwyneth’s Magnificent Wings: Egosumaii, Fae Wings. They’re at the Aii & Ego Main Store.
- Gwyneth’s Special Ring: On A Lark, Cypress Ring. You can find it at the On A Lark Main Store.
- Awenia’s Magical Lanterns are part of The Shrine Treee, a one of a kind item from the geniuses at The Looking Glass. You can’t get it at the Looking Glass Main Store, but you should go there anyway.
- Enchanting Books Backdrop: IrrISIStible, Wild Library Backdrop. It’s at the IrrISIStible Main Store.