Memory Lane: Another Dream of Shining Lands

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

These dreams of Shining Lands are not unpleasant: I’m just not sure where they’re coming from. Remembering my past is not always pleasant, but remembering the LARP is. It was such an important part of my life back then, and I got to play so many wonderful roles. In some ways, I think it prepared me for the next phase in my life better than anything else could have: I had the experience of being so many people through roleplaying that sometimes my role here feels like an extended game, although I have found, sometimes in violent and unpleasant ways, that it’s really, really not.

On our way back from Nu Jyorck, the strange city where I attended a charity banquet on the arm of one Duke Taliyen (I’ll tell you more about it later, promise!), I had a dream about Shining Lands. The dream took place during the last year I was there before everything changed, before the accident, and I was playing a sorceress.

We needed to secure this beautiful garden for the Light Elves.

We needed to secure this beautiful garden for the Light Elves.

So I was there in my travelling gown, because we were meant to be on our way from one place to another, when Kevin noticed this bridge and said it would be perfect to drop a couple of wards here so the enemy couldn’t get us. I don’t even remember who the enemy was meant to be.

The closer I got to this garden, the more I loved it.

The closer I got to this garden, the more I loved it.

The closer I got to this garden, the more I loved it. We were playing in this ruined abbey in Cornwall, and  guess they just let this garden grow right into the bridge. It was amazing.

Once I got into the garden, after I'd dice-rolled for the wards, I was totally enthralled.

Once I got into the garden, after I’d dice-rolled for the wards, I was totally enthralled.

Once I got into the garden, after I’d dice-rolled for the wards, I was totally enthralled. Flowers everywhere. Richard refused to do anything but walk through really fast, because he’s allergic to everything. He was allergic. I keep having to correct that recently: I thought I’d got over it. Both Fen and me were spinning around in the garden like a couple of idiots, and then she started singing, “The hills are alive, with the sound of music,” and then we giggled so hard Kevin actually grabbed her by the shoulder and kissed her to shut her up for fear the other team would hear us laughing.

It was a good dream. I don't know why it seems so weird that I had a good dream.

It was a good dream. I don’t know why it seems so weird that I had a good dream.

It was a good dream. I don’t know why it seems so weird that I had a good dream. Well, OK. I might have some idea about why it seems so weird.

It's the sense of foreboding these dreams always end with. As if they're trying to tell me something.

It’s the sense of foreboding these dreams always end with. As if they’re trying to tell me something.

But there’s this sense of foreboding these dreams always end with. As if they’re trying to tell me something. And I’ve learned enough about dreams since I fell in to Faerie or whatever that I know it has to be significant when I’m spinning and laughing with my best friend and then the dream is sucked away and the last thing I hear is Richard’s voice screaming, “Gwyn, no! Don’t get up! Don’t get out of the car!”

So, yeah. That happened. It was a pretty good dream up ’til then.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Chastity, in Pineapple, with Maitreya Appliers (Chastity is a NEW skin line available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store, where you can also pick up the Maitreya Appliers!)
Dress: Independent Objects, Catherine in Black (Available at Fair Play!)
Hair: Exile, Sugar (Available at the Arcade Gacha!)
Ears: Kahli Designs, Faux Elf Ears, Silver
Necklace: The Forge: Bodicea’s Necklace
Belt: The Forge, Bodicea’s Belt
Staff: The Forge, Aura Moon Staff
Shoes: Aisling, Tess Orty Shoes

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never leave home without it! 

Fair Play Logo

skinlogodiap

Autumn on the Wind

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

I feel Autumn on the wind.

From the greens of late summer Unannounced, she comes Blow, winds, blow

From the greens of late summer
Unannounced, she comes
Blow, winds, blow

Through the blues of the water Waves begin to thrum Flow, stream, flow

Through the blues of the water
Waves begin to thrum
Flow, stream, flow

Now the sky blends to purple Clouds begin to form Blow, winds, blow

Now the sky blends to purple
Clouds begin to form
Blow, winds, blow

And the pinks of the petals Fly into the storm Flow, stream, flow

And the pinks of the petals
Fly into the storm
Flow, stream, flow

Soon the rain comes down dashing Turns the world to grey Blow, winds, blow

Soon the rain comes down dashing
Turns the world to grey
Blow, winds, blow

As the world turns to Autumn Fine and brown and strange Flow, stream, flow

As the world turns to Autumn
Fine and brown and strange
Flow, stream, flow

Autumn BLOG - 4
Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Skin: DeeTaleZ
Clothing: Evie’s Closet, Siofra, in Green, Blue, Purple, Pink, Grey, and Brown (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)
Jewellery: Ellabella
Makeup: Madrid Solo
Hair Tableau Vivant, Editorial hair, various styles (Available at The Arcade Gacha!)
Foot Tattoo: Jalwa
Words by me.
Once again, Evangeline Miles inspired me with her gorgeous sense of design, colour, and attention to detail. I’m crazy about this dress. 🙂
Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never leave home without it! 

A Conversation with Dr Gwyneth Evans

by Chrissie Sanderson

Dr Gwyneth Evans is disarmingly charming as she greets me. I’m a bit breathless from the ferry trip over to Bainbridge Island, and the following drive took me down lots of winding roads. When I finally get to her cottage, she’s sitting on the front doorstep, vaping and reading a book.

She chose the cottage near Agate Point, she says, “because it reminded me of my granny’s house in Aberydyfi (that’s pronounced ‘aber-dovey’ and means, ‘mouth of the river dovey’ according to Dr Evans) from when I was small.”

Once we're inside, she invites me to have a look around.

Once we’re inside, she invites me to have a look around.

Once we’re inside, she invites me to have a look around. My photographer is having a field day with all the first editions of classic science fiction and fantasy that grace the bookshelves, but I’m more interested in where it all came from.

She explains that the books were shipped over from the UK when she started her visiting professorship at the University of Washington three years ago. “Everything else I found at antique shops, well, except the artwork on the walls: that’s my hobby when I have free time.”

“So you’re a painter as well?” I examine the large framed work on the bare wall to my left.

“Not really. Some are altered photographs from an online game,” she admits. “I spend time playing dress-up online and making pictures.” She shrugs. “A couple of them are photographs that I digitised years ago, mostly from the time I spent playing LARPs when I was a kid.” She laughs. “Of course, at my age, everybody feels like a kid. I turned 60 this year; can you believe that? I can hardly believe it.”

“So a milestone year for you,” I say as I take a look at her cluttered desks. “What time will you be checking in to the Hyatt?”

She checks her watch. “Probably around four, I think; I need to get some rest time in before opening ceremonies.”

“How does it feel to be a Guest of Honor at a Worldcon?”

“It’s exciting. I’ve been attending Worldcons since….” she pauses to think. “I guess my first one was Glasgow in 2005? I would have been, what, nineteen?”

“Wow, every single Worldcon since 2005? That’s 41 years of World Science Fiction Conventions. You must have seen a lot of stuff.”

“Well, I missed a couple,” she admits. “I was in a terrible car accident when I was 21 and I lost a leg. Took a lot of work to get back in to the swing of my studies and my teaching after that. I was in a wheelchair for 15 years before they developed the technology to rebuild limbs. Now most people say they can’t even tell.” She lifts her skirt to show me the implant marks on her right knee. “Looks like a zipper, right?”

I laugh. “How many Hugos have you won?”

“Six,” she says without missing a beat.

By this time, we're comfortable ensconced on her couch.

By this time, we’re comfortably ensconced on her couch.

By this time, we’re comfortably ensconced on her couch. “And you’re teaching creative writing and the history of science fiction and fantasy?”

“That’s right. When you’re as old as I am, you get to teach the good classes.”

“Which Hugo are you most proud of?”

“Well– it’s not really a Hugo, but I’m most proud of the Campbell Award.”

“That’s your latest one?”

She smiles. “Last year. After all these years writing criticism, I finally got a novel in my head, and I’m so proud that it was well-received.”

“I loved it,” I admit. “The Prince of Jasper Cove kept me on the edge of my seat, and I can’t wait to read the next instalment.”

She gestures back to one of the desks in the back of the living room. “It’s on its way, I promise. Teaching keeps me so busy, particularly with a new lot of excited creative writing MA candidates every term.”

We move to the bookshelves, where she proudly shows me some first editions she's collected.

We move to the bookshelves, where she proudly shows me some first editions she’s collected.

We move to the bookshelves, where she proudly shows me some first editions she’s collected. “I come across these in all sorts of weird places,” she says. “Even though it’s getting harder and harder to find paper books these days.”

“You released The Prince of Jasper Cove as a paper book, didn’t you?” I say as I run my hand reverently across the covers of books I’ve loved for years. “How did it sell?”

“We sold out!” she says with some excitement. “Of course, the print run was only like, 500, but collectors snapped them up.”

“Tell me about this photograph,”

“Tell me about this photograph,” I say, gesturing to the one on the back wall next to the drafting table.

She smiles, and a wistful look crosses her face. “That’s my LARP group, from back in the 2010s. That was the year I got to play the Faerie Queen. It was so much fun. I was crazy in love with that guy I’m standing next to, John. We were quite an item once.” Her eyes crinkle up when she smiles. “And that’s my best friend there, sitting on the log. She played a satyr. We’re still good friends today.”

“What about John?” I asked.

“He died,” she responds. “In the car accident. Along with everybody else in that photograph, except Chrissie.”

“Same name as me,” I say. “And I’m sorry.”

“It was a long time ago,” she says, quietly. “I like to imagine they’re all living somewhere, in some alternate universe, lives they love and want to live. I was lucky, so lucky, to live through that.”

“We’re lucky you did, too,” I reply.

Once again, Dr Evans looks a bit wistful.

Once again, Dr Evans looks a bit wistful.

Once again, Dr Evans looks a bit wistful. “It’s thinking of them, imagining what alternate lives they might have had, that inspired The Prince of Jasper Cove, and all the rest of the books I’ll write about that group of characters. So in a way, they’re all still alive.”

Her phone rings; it’s her World Con liaison, saying he’s about 5 minutes away by car. “Well then, that’s all the time we have,” Dr Evans says briskly. “I need to stuff a suitcase and pack my laptop. Marisol will be cross with me; I said I’d be ready in plenty of time.

“See you at the World Con!” I say.

“See you at the World Con!” she responds.

And that’s what it’s like to spend an hour with Dr Gwyneth Evans. I’ve attached her World Con schedule to the bottom of this article, so you know how to find her this weekend at the 104th World Science Fiction Convention in downtown Seattle.

by Chrissie Sanderson, for The Stranger, Seattle’s oldest online arts newspaper!

Style Card:

Body, Hands, Feet: SLink Physique
Skin: LAQ, Gun, tone 1, with Maitreya and SLink appliers* (new at the LAQ Main Store!)
Hair: Truth, Ami
Eyes: Poetic Colors, Summer Sky Eyes, Pool Blue
Clothes: Valentina E, Rebecca Lace Top and Maxi Skirt
Shoes: Ingenue, Pandora Sandals
Glasses: EarthStones, The Countess (Available at the Cool and Vintage Fair!)
Jewellery: EarthStones, Belly Crystal, Katya Bangles, Krishna Harmony Ball, Krishna Pendant, Tumbled Stones Earrings

* I have rarely been so excited about a new line of skins before, but Mallory Cowen of LAQ has created Gun, an aged skin, on the heels of an ageing tattoo that actually works and looks good and comes in various intensities! Well done, Mallory— this skin inspired a story of an alternate Gwyneth and an alternate world for her altogether. Thank you for making such cool stuff!

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never leave home without it! 

Off on an Adventure? And, A Tree Grows in the Treehouse…. That’s not weird, is it?

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

I woke up in the middle of the night to do the sorts of things that even Fae Queens must do in the middle of the night, and there was… well.

There was a tree. In my bedroom. Like, right at the foot of my bed. It wasn’t the sort of thing I could miss, especially as there was a large lantern hanging off a branch positioned directly above my pillow.

Seriously, Universe? A tree? In my bedroom?

Seriously, Universe? A tree? In my bedroom?

Seriously, Universe? A tree? In my bedroom? I mean, obviously I live in a treehouse. But a whole extra tree? And this one comes with books, all written in a foreign language. I don’t even recognise the text. Dyisi took a look at them earlier, and she just sort of ‘meh’ed and then we moved on to talking about boys and clothes. Yes, Dyisi and I talk about boys and clothes. Stop laughing.

So when I got back from the place where even Fae Queens have to go....

So when I got back from the place where even Fae Queens have to go….

So when I got back from the place where even Fae Queens have to go… after the moonlight had clothed me in autumn, I did what any sane Queen would do upon realising there’s a strange tree full of books growing in her bedroom.

Because, duh. That’s what trees are for, right? You climb the tree, you have a think, you climb down off the tree, and it disappears from your bedroom, yes?

No.

What does happen is you go over to your little makeup table and you find an invitation. To a ball.

What does happen is you go over to your little makeup table and you find an invitation. To a ball.

What does happen is you go over to your little makeup table and you find and invitation. To a ball. In a far-off realm.

Apparently some relative of Father’s needs a Royal Sidhe on his arm for some charity event. He needs someone who’s unknown and a bit exotic. Of course, the invitation doesn’t say this, but I picked it up from touching the scroll.

It’s a more contemporary Realm than ours, much more contemporary. And it has an openly Fae upper class. Should be an interesting trip. I think I’m going to go: Father wouldn’t have given my name to anyone if he thought there’d be trouble. Certainly he wouldn’t do a thing like that.

I did spend some time thinking about it, though.

I did spend some time thinking about it, though.

I did spend some time thinking about it, though. Should I, or shouldn’t I?

There is so much going on in our Realm. A plague we don’t understand. Demifae uprisings. Goblin wars. But– a chance to ride in a limousine, have my nails done for real instead of just glamoured, check some email, post to my ‘blog’ openly instead of hiding out in an Internet Cafe in a nearby realm where they don’t like Fae at all.

And I could use the break. I think I really could.

Getting Dressed

Getting Dressed

Clutie and Dani are all excited about the trip: they want to dress me once beforehand so we can see what I’ll look like on the night. They’re hard to refuse, those two.

So Clutie and Dani do my hair and fix me up in a dress that will work in a modern realm.

So Clutie and Dani do my hair and fix me up in a dress that will work in a modern realm.

So Clutie and Dani do my hair and fix me up in a dress that will work in a modern realm; : we’ll take this one, though I reserve the right to buy something new if it catches my eye! I do like what they did with the beads and the braid, though. They’re the best hairdressers ever, these two. I’m taking Clutie with me, for sure.

Should I worry about the children? About the plague? About the war? I know I should, but I want to get away. I need to get away. Does that make me a runner? Am I a running runner? Maybe I am. But I’m going. Going to have a nice time with a guy I don’t know at a party in a Realm where I’ve never been before, and the Court is just going to have to deal with it, because I’m the Queen and I say I’m going, so there.

I will be gone IRL from Friday-Monday, at a music conference with friends in Darkest Somerset. So while Gwyneth is away dancing her feet off, I’ll be singing my head off with friends old and new. Enjoy the long weekend, everyone, and I’ll see you when I get back!

Style Cards:

Seriously, Universe?
Body: Maitreya
Skin: Fallen Gods, OpalFae (Eden) (Available at the Illumination Point Event!)
Hair: Olive, The Powder Hair
Ears: Soul, Uni Ears, High Elf
Undies: Erratic, Fiona, Nude
Tree: HarshLands, Fantasy Book Tree

Autumn Fae Photos:
Body: 
Maitreya
Skin: 
Fallen Gods, OpalFae (Eden) (Available at the Illumination Point Event!)
Hair: 
Olive, The Powder Hair
Ears: Soul, Uni Ears, High Elf
Outfit: Flippant: Cicada Fall Fae (This was the August Group Gift at Flippant’s Main Store,so you only have a few more days to get it: after that, it goes up to 179L.)
Tree: HarshLands, Fantasy Book Tree

Getting Dressed:
Body: Maitreya
Skin: Fallen Gods, OpalFae (Eden) (Available at the Illumination Point Event!)
Hair: Olive, The Powder Hair
Ears: Soul, Uni Ears, High Elf
Undies: Erratic, Fiona, Nude
Shoes: Deviance, M’Lady’s Slippers, Sapphire
Dressing Table: Aisling, Coquette (Available at Festival of Sin!)

Hairdressing with Clutie and Dani:
Body: Maitreya
Skin: Fallen Gods, OpalFae (Eden) ((Available at the Illumination Point Event!)
Hair: No Match, No Siren (Available at Enchantment!)
Ears: Soul, Uni Ears, High Elf
Dress: Mistique: Elora Gown, Blue (Available at the Illumination Point Event!)
Shoes: Deviance, M’Lady’s Slippers, Sapphire

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never leave home without it! 

WLTB 500x500

The Princess in the Forest

The Amazing Catwoman:

The Amazing Catwoman:

Once upon a time, there was a brave adventurer, and her journey took her to many far lands. And in these far lands, she came across many wondrous beings and experienced many wondrous things.

But one thing, she did not like very much. One day, she was out hunting ghosts and got herself all turned around. And because she knew what she was doing with her realm-hopping skills (and they were mad skilz!), she zapped herself into another realm to get away from the Bad Ghosts. Only this realm had Sharks. So then she zapped herself into a quieter realm, but in this one she was a freaky Queen with weird servants in a very quiet house with music that had no backbeat. So of course she hopped out of that realm too, and then she got really confused.

And she isn’t sure what happened next, because after that the only thing she really remembers clearly (aside from some guy named Russel and a VW minivan) is landing, on her back, on an altar. In Faerie.

Problem was, it was the Faery Queen’s altar, and the Queen found out about it, and apparently there might have been some sort of temporal rift or some shit like that.

So then she got stuck in this realm because the Queen put a Geas on her to stay until she sorted her shit out. As if.

She got this gig guarding the Queen’s Realm against Goblins, and she wasn’t sure there were any goblins, and she spent her days off out in the Great Fae Forest, hunting and fishing and generally exploring.

And then one day she came upon the Wyld Weald. Which is some sort of scary old forest.

Anyway, in the Wyld Weald, she met a girl. A very skinny girl.

Here is a picture of the very skinny girl.

Here is a picture of the very skinny girl.

Here is a picture of the very skinny girl. Well, this is a picture of the very skinny girl after she’d hurriedly pulled her clothes on and made a move to step out of the water.

You see, the bold adventurer had surprised the very skinny girl while she was bathing. Now, the bold adventurer was very smart, so when she heard splashing sounds and humming coming from the pool up ahead— oh, fuck it.

Right. I heard these splashing sounds from the pool, so I knew there must be a (very unwary!) sentient being there, particularly as she was humming something I almost recognised. I mean, it sounded a bit like an Adele song. But then everything sounds a bit like an Adele song sometimes, doesn’t it? Stop staring at me blankly: you know what I mean.

So I snapped a twig loudly and swore or something, just so she’d know it was a humanoid coming up on her. I might even have shouted out a hallo or something: I don’t remember.

Anyway, she called out that she was just getting dressed, and could I please give her a minute, so of course I did.

With no fear whatsoever, she stepped up out of the pool and greeted me.

With no fear whatsoever, she stepped up out of the pool and greeted me.

With no fear whatsoever, she stepped up out of the pool and greeted me. She was right cheeky! I liked her immediately. Said no way could I steal her campsite, but she’d welcome me to stay there for a bit if I wanted, as she hadn’t seen another soul in days.

I gave her my name and some tips about keeping her little fire going.

I gave her my name and some tips about keeping her little fire going.

I gave her my name and some tips about keeping her little fire going. I was surprised that a woman alone out this far into the Unseelie Woods and into a place stranger even than that would be travelling without a weapon: she seemed completely fearless and said she’d been catching fish with her hands. That’s a nice trick, but I thought she’d do better with an arrow, so I gave her one.

She seemed suspicious at first of my gift.

She seemed suspicious at first of my gift.

She seemed suspicious at first of my gift, but then I remembered that some Fae who are into protocol and such have these rules about gift-giving. I briefly explained that I don’t follow those bullshit rules: an arrow would work as a makeshift spear and keep her from freezing her hands off in the cold water of the lake. I guessed its tributary river would be the one that flows through the middle of this Realm of Faerie; I’d follow it to get back to my post the next day I had guard duty, but til then, I had nothing to do, so it seemed like as good an idea as any to spend some time with this chick.

You know how girls talk: we ended up sharing some stuff about our lives.

You know how girls talk: we ended up sharing some stuff about our lives.

You now how girls talk: we ended up sharing some stuff about her lives. Turned out she was estranged from her mother, whom she said didn’t care about her but was more interested in her two more ‘perfect’ siblings. And then she said she was grown from a crystal.

Fuck. I realised I was talking to one of the Princesses.

Fuck. I realised I was talking to one of the Princesses.

Fuck. The penny dropped at that point and I realised I was talking to one of the Princesses, Drysi. And her mother was the Seelie Queen I’d been going on about. I’d told her about the Geas, see, I don’t know why she seemed so easy to talk to, but I will tell you she didn’t remind me of any Royal Sidhe I’ve met in any other Realm. She seemed quite casual, not concerned with my parentage or heritage, which to my mind puts her probably more on the Unseelie side of the spectrum. Then again, the gossip in the guard’s mess says that nobody really knows who the sire of these kids is, except that both King Janus (missing in action, presumed busy in another Realm) and the Queen’s Consort, Nathaniel (apparently some sort of vampire-fae hybrid, if you believe rumours), claim to be their fathers. So they have two fathers (and there’s some question about a former Unseelie King, whose name nobody will utter, having had a fling with Queen Gwyneth—ye gods, how the Royal Sidhe do get around!—before she and Janus became a couple, so there are rumours about him as well. Nobody will say his name, but the guards mostly refer to him as HUM (His Unseelie Majesty), and there are whispers that he’s come back from the dead. I swear, this Court is seriously fucked up. It’s like Dark Shadows up in here.

“Look,” she said, kind of awkwardly, “I don’t think you have all that much to fear from my Mother.”

“Look,” she said, kind of awkwardly, “I don’t think you have all that much to fear from my Mother. She’s all full of love, like people say, and she’s kind and gentle and stuff. She just believes I’m the born troublemaker, dark to the core, from before birth or whatever you want to call it.” And she rolled her eyes! She reminded me of nothing so much as my older sister when she used to have fights with my parents as a teenager. Luckily, I was the younger sister, so they went easier on me. Though I still think my mum would shit bricks if she saw me now.

I explained that I just didn’t know what to expect from Queen Gwyneth. I figure I’ll fall in love with her like everybody’s supposed to, and then I’ll forget any grievance I had against her. That’s how Royal Sidhe work, you know. They get inside your head and fuck around with your thoughts and feelings til you can’t see straight. Honestly, the way she was talking about her siblings, you’d think they were both shining with Seelie Goodness and she was marred with the Dark Mark or something.

I didn't tell her much about my past, but I did think about it.

I didn’t tell her much about my past, but I did think about it.

I didn’t tell her much about my past, but I did think about it. She was just so easy to talk to. Then again, maybe I fell into Royal Sidhe glamour full force and don’t even know it. She can’t lie outright: none of us can, but we all learn how to bend the truth to suit our purposes. It’s the only way to get by in the world if you’re fae, dealing with mortals, who fucking lie all the time. I was never very good at lying, come to think of it, even back during my mortal life. It was something Gwyneth and I bonded over: she was shit at lying as well and always got caught because she couldn’t bear to tell an untruth to her parents, or to our teachers, anything like that. I did mention to Drysi that I’d had a good friend with the same name as her mum. Not like it’s all that uncommon a name.

Anyway, we stayed up talking long into the night.

Anyway, we stayed up talking long into the night.

Anyway, we stayed up talking long into the night. Drysi seems lonely. She did say the Satyr, Dyisi, was really all right and I could trust her, but I’m not so sure about that.

I brought down a pheasant with the bow and showed her how to pluck it. We roasted it over the now hot fire and ate it on the stick, passing it back and forth, while we talked.

And I’ve got one more day before my next guard shift, so I think I’ll choose to spend it hanging out with Drysi. i think she’s a good kid. Heh. Kid. She looks my age but is really only a couple of months old. How fucked up is that?

So I like Drysi. I really do.

So I like Drysi. I really do.

So I like Drysi. I really do. How bad could her mother really be? No; don’t answer that. I have, after all, met Kevin’s mother. We called her The Iron Mum. Probably we shouldn’t have done that, but we did anyway.

Here's a picture of Drysi up close.

Here’s a picture of Drysi up close.

Here’s a picture of Drysi up close. Sure she’s super skinny, but I think she has a beautiful face. And just about the coolest ears I’ve ever seen: she says she inherited them from her father. I tactfully didn’t ask which one.

Style Cards:

The Amazing Catwoman:
Body: 
SLink
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Unicorn Dark Grey Smooth (Available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store: SLink body appliers also available there)*
Hair: No Match: No Exception (Available at the No Match Main Store)
Clothes: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Nirenil (Featured at the July 2015 Fantasy Collective and now available at the Wicca’s Wardrobe Main Store)
Necklace: Otherskin, Selene, Black (Available at the Otherskin Main Store)
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears (Available at the Gauze Main Store)
Eyes: Gauze, Paradox Cat Eyes, Amber (Available at the Gauze Main Store)
Bow: EZ Storybook, Heartseeker Bow (Available at EZ Weapons/The Forge Main Store)

Princess Drysi:
Skin
: The Plastik
Hair: Magika
Clothes: Fashionably Dead Designs, Tissa (Available at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)
Eyes: Gauze
Ears: Gauze

*Note: If ever there is a skin from 7 Deadly s{K}ins on the blog that you can’t find in the Main Store or on Marketplace, all skins can be ordered direct from Izara Zuta in Second Life!

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never leave home without it! 

skinlogodiap

Back to the Boys

The Gypsy Davey:

The Gypsy Davey:

The few days I spent with Dyisi were some of the most relaxing I’ve had in some time. Yes, I was thinking about getting back to the vardo and the boys, but I knew they’d function perfectly well in my absence, and to be honest, I even had a good idea of where they’d gone. Dyisi’s calm approach to life makes it easy for a man to breathe. She disappeared sometimes for hours at a time, and I have the feeling she was spending this time in Faerie, but of course she wouldn’t say anything unless I asked, and I wasn’t about to ask. And after three or four days were up, I knew it was time for me to get back. She did a little seeking of her own, and of course I’d been right: they’d gone back to Eclectica, probably to help the old man with some more books.

At first, we landed in a waterfall. It might have been romantic if it hadn't been so ... wet.

At first, we landed in a waterfall. It might have been romantic if it hadn’t been so … wet.

At first, we landed in a waterfall. It might have been romantic if it hadn’t been so, well, wet.

Dyisi quickly corrected the problem and we ended up in this bizarre living room somewhere in East Eclectica.

Dyisi quickly corrected the problem and we ended up in this bizarre living room somewhere in East Eclectica.

Dyisi quickly corrected the problem, and we ended up in this bizarre living room somewhere in East Eclectica. From there, it was easy to make our way round to where the old fellow lived, but she said she had to go soon, something about meeting a guy about a dragon, or maybe it was meeting a dragon about a goblin: her words sometimes get garbled in my head right before she shifts away.

So I walked to the ballroom gazebo and gave myself some time to think before returning to the boys.

So I walked to the ballroom gazebo and gave myself some time to think before returning to the boys.

So I walked to the ballroom gazebo and gave myself some time to think before returning to the boys.

For weeks, I'd been completely alone.

For weeks, I’d been completely alone.

For weeks, I’d been completely alone. Getting back to the constantly moving, constantly noisy environment of the vardo and the travelling lifestyle might be a bit of a transition.

And then there is Dyisi. I’ll miss her. She’s among the more compelling women I’ve ever known.

If I were a thinking man, a reflective man, I'd wonder how this experience has changed me.

If I were a thinking man, a reflective man, I’d wonder how this experience has changed me.

If I were a thinking man, a reflective man, I’d wonder how this experience has changed me.

But of course, I am the Gypsy Davey, wanderer or the worlds and wooer of women, singer of stories, dancer of songs, breaker of hearts.

And it's time to get back to the vardo.

And it’s time to get back to the vardo.

And it’s time to get back to the vardo. Roll on, next adventure. Take me with you, worlds, sing through me, stories, dance through me, songs, break through me, hearts. Oh, especially break through me, hearts.

Style Card:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Damien, Box4 V3 (Available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Hair: Calico, Caden
Clothes (Jacket, Trousers, Boots): Yasum, Vintage Suit (Available at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)
Hat: Yasum, Mesh Steampunk Hat, Mod A
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears, Season 5
Eyes: Poetic Colors, Pearl, Aurora, Medium Bright

Thanks to Dyisi Oppewall for agreeing to be part of the Gypsy Davey’s story.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never leave home without it! 

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Remembering Shining Lands

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

My first LARP, I guess I was eighteen or nineteen years old. It was my first year at uni, and some of the people from the science fiction society got me into a tabletop gaming group and then suggested I come to this LARP with them. They had some stuff I could use for a costume and I didn’t need much of a character description, just something I could work with for the weekend. OK, I said, I’d go, on the condition that we stay in the lodge and not in the campground, because I hated camping. My parents sent me on an adventure holiday once when I was a kid and I was camping with three other girls in a tent, and there were spiders, and I think a badger tried to eat us. Anyway, I don’t camp. I said I’d pay the lodge fee for the three of us, and they were sold. I mean, who wouldn’t choose running water and a bed, no matter how narrow and uncomfortable, over being attacked by badgers in the middle of the night. Right?

The first thing I discovered when we got to the LARP site, naturally, was the Rialto.

The first thing I discovered when we got to the LARP site, naturally, was the Rialto.

The first thing I discovered when we got to the LARP site, naturally, was the Rialto. We arrived early, and not all the merchants were set up: this was one corner where everyone seemed t have their wares out but they were all in the business of loading and unloading and none of them were open for trading yet.

As I was weaving my way in and out of the stalls, a guy asked if he could take my picture; I said sure, because I didn’t mind being photographed even back then. I was always a bit of a ham, to be honest. So he snapped a couple of pictures and I thought nothing more of it. Later in the weekend, it turned out he was the court photographer: this picture made it into the LARP newsletter. And that’s how I met Kevin, who ended up being Fen’s fiancée.

By the time Kevin was done taking my photograph, the jewellery seller had appeared.

By the time Kevin was done taking my photograph, the jewellery seller had appeared.

By the time Kevin was done taking my photograph, the jewellery seller had appeared. She was amazingly costumed and had painted her face and body with the most amazing designs. I remember asking about them and she was only too happy to show them to me. She was more interested in showing me her jewellery, of course, and all of it was lovely. I wished I could buy one of everything, but I’d spent most of my pocket money on the lodge fee, so I didn’t have much left for extra food, much less jewellery. That’s when she slyly told me that even though it was a LARP of course she took credit cards….

So I ended up buying a necklace and a pair of earring then and there.

So I ended up buying a necklace and a pair of earring then and there.

So I ended up buying a necklace and a pair of earrings then and there, and over the two years I played LARP with this group, I’m sure I bought a dozen more pieces from her. She had excellent taste and just knew where to find the best stuff. She didn’t make it herself; said she didn’t have the talents or skills it took, but once I saw her working on a beading project that made me think otherwise. I never said anything to her about it, though now I kind of wish I had. It’s funny, when I think of my past, I always think of how I’d interact with the people from my past as I am now. Gwyneth the Fae Queen could tell Elayne from My Pretties to take a year off the jewellery cart circuit and take a course in metal casting or something, help her turn into the artist she wanted to be. Gwyneth the uni LARPer just made supportive noises and kind of wished she could help more people.

This stall with the swords and Greek gods was always at the LARPs as well.

This stall with the swords and Greek gods was always at the LARPs as well.

This stall with the swords and Greek gods was always at the LARP rialto as well, though I didn’t meet the guy who ran it til much later: half the time he parked next to Elayne and asked her to run his stall. I don’t think he made much money except on the swords, but Richard said he made quite a bit; I just didn’t see all the people who bought swords from him.

I’m laughing at myself now because you know how when you get into memories, you start remember this or that and then your brain goes all chatty with the things you remember and the details, even insignificant ones like whether or not that guy sold lots of swords, keep coming back to you?

To be honest, I don’t even know why I’m thinking of Shining Lands today. I’ve been thinking about my past a lot over the past couple of months, and today I suppose it’s just al coming out. For the last couple of weeks, if I’m honest, I’ve had this disconcerting feeling that things from my past are just going to pop up anywhere and everywhere I turn, as if my past is just around the corner. Even things that I’ve not thought about in ages, like the time those photographs of Richard suddenly appeared in my chamber at the old Seelie sithen. I remember being convinced at the time that he was going to somehow re-enter my life and that things would get very complicated. It never happened though, and that thread of my history remains unexplored.

At the end of the weekend, there's always a ball.

At the end of the weekend, there’s always a ball.

At the end of the weekend, there’s always a ball. Doesn’t matter which weekend it is or what the theme of the LARP is, the ball gives everybody a chance to dress up and not be crossing swords with the other side, even if just for one night. Everyone had to come down this staircase to get in to the event, and they positioned a photographer (Kevin, of course) at the bottom of the stairs who’d take your photograph if you wanted.

This is my ver first “Nerd Descending a Staircase” photo. Kevin laughed at that when I told him that was my immediate name for these pictures.

Aw, there I am again, close-up this time.

Aw, there I am again, close-up this time.

Aw, there I am again, close-up this time. I wanted him to take the close-up so I would remember that it was at this event where I bought this wonderful necklace. I don’t know where Elayne found it, but the tag by the clasp says, “Cae”.

And omg, that was the year I let them talk me into going to a VtM party near campus.

And omg, that was the year I let them talk me into going to a VtM party near campus.

And omg, that was the year I let them talk me into going to a Vampire: the Masquerade party on campus. I was never much into vampires or vampire games, even though they were all the rage at the time what with the backlash against the Twilight books.

The party was in this old church in Cambridge, and I remember feeling really uncomfortable.

The party was in this old church in Cambridge, and I remember feeling really uncomfortable.

The party was in this old church in Cambridge, and I remember feeling really uncomfortable, as if there might be real vampires lurking somewhere there. At the time I thought I was just being paranoid, but now…. well, now I don’t know. Now I think maybe there might really have been vampires there.

And why do I even think of that? Oh! I know: I’m thinking of that because it was the very first time Fenella came to visit me at my digs in Cambridge, and she came along to the party. Unlike me, she had great time. But unlike me, she met Kevin and he immediately asked her out on a date. From that night, they were together. Those two, wow. I always wanted to have someone like that in my life. And now I guess I do, and of course the great irony is that Nathaniel actually is a vampire, while Kevin was just pretending to be one.

Memories are such weird things. Anyway, after my first LARP, I decided to get serious about costuming.

Here I am in my standard Elf-Clan forest outfit.

Here I am in my standard Elf-Clan forest outfit.

Here I am in my standard Elf-Clan forest outfit. This photo was taken a couple of years after my first LARP, probably just a few months before everything changed. I didn’t make any of this stuff, of course, but I met this guy from Reading, Peter, and he and his fiancée did a lot of custom costuming work for LARP people. He really liked working with leather, so I got him to make this for me. It took ages, but I loved it so much. I was wearing one like it in brown when I got dumped in to Jasper Cove, so this black one I think is lost forever.

And ha, there I go again, talking vaguely.

And ha, there I go again, talking vaguely.

And ha, there I go again, talking vaguely about “when everything changed” or “getting dumped into Jasper Cove.” It’s been three years now, and Alec and the Boatman are a distant memory. I believe I must have died in the accident and then moved into another life here, wherever “here” is. I know enough of realm-hopping that I know it’s also possible there’s a version of me back in London, recovering from the accident, going on to live a good life, or dead, or in a coma—but I don’t believe I am that person any more. I remember thinking when I first arrived in Jasper Cove that I must be in a coma back home and this weird place was my coma dream. I don’t think that any more, because a coma dream wouldn’t go on for as long as this one has: my parents would have pulled the plug on me in deference to my lost quality of life. And then I’d have died in two worlds. I just don’t think that’s possible.

No: I think my life line split.

No: I think my life line split.

No; I think my life line split, somehow, when the accident happened, and my consciousness flew into Jasper Cove and created this me. I’ll have to ask Dyisi if such a thing is possible, but I can hear her already telling me that everything is possible and she doesn’t know everything and blah blah blah Dyisi talk, but how I love her anyway.

Well, that got maudlin and reflective all of a sudden, didn’t it?

Let me show you instead my favourite Court dress.

Let me show you instead my favourite Court dress.

Let me show you instead, my favourite Court dress. Peter and Katy didn’t make this, but they did introduce me to the seamstress who did. And I loved this antler headband so much I think I wore it to class a couple of times!

Kevin made me pose so you can see the slashing on the dress' arms.

Kevin made me pose so you can see the slashing on the dress’ arms.

Kevin made me pose so you can see the slashing on the dress’ arms. Even though my body’s different since my Quickening ages ago at the old Seelie sithen, I can imagine myself now wearing a dress like this (not the antlers, natch, or not at the moment anyway). I shall have one of the Court tailors look into recreating it for me.

Here I am reaching out, once again a request from Kevin.

Here I am reaching out, once again a request from Kevin.

Here I am reaching out, once again a request from Kevin. He really did like those sleeves.

But now the clock is striking 5:00. I’ve spent too long lingering over old memories today, and I’m still not sure why: I haven’t thought of these things in so long. I have a strategy meeting with Bran and Wulfrich over dinner, and I have to get dressed and ready for that. I’d better put my old life back in the drawer and remember that in my present life I have duties and responsibilities that can’t be avoided.

But I can’t stop thinking of the moment I introduced Fenella to Kevin and what happened when their eyes met. I wonder what happened to them. They were in the front of the MPV when it flipped. I hope they’re recovered, happy, married, expecting a baby. I wish that for them.

Yes, yes, yes. 5:00. I’m late. Strategy and tactics, not eyes across a room a lifetime ago.

Style Cards:

Gwyneth’s First LARP Costume Photos:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Grazia (Available at the Summer Sale Event at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Body: Maitreya
Hair: Lelutka, Kayla
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5
Dress: Whymsical Marketplace, Wiccan Maiden Medieval Dress (Available now at the Whymsical Marketplace Main Store!)
Shoes: Aisling, Tess Orty Shoes
Necklace: Aisling, Wilow Necklace
Eyes: IKON

Elayne of “My Pretties”:
Skin: 
Fallen Gods
Body: Belleza
Dress: Sweet Lies
Tattood: Fallen Gods
Collar: DeSSion
Hair: Moon

Gwyneth’s First LARP Ball Photos:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Grazia (Available at the Summer Sale Event at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Body: Maitreya
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5
Eyes: IKON
Shoes: Aisling, Tess Orty Shoes
Elf Ears: Kahli Designs Faux Elf Ear Silver
Hair: Elikatira, Piper
Gown: Mistique, Beitris Dark

Gwyneth’s Elf Clan Photos:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Grazia (Available at the Summer Sale Event at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Body: Maitreya
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5
Eyes: IKON
Hair: No Match, No Flowers
Clothes (dress, skirt, jacket, boots, bracers): Fashionably Dead Designs Stories, Amaelle

Vampire Party Photos:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Grazia (Available at the Summer Sale Event at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Body: Maitreya
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5
Eyes: IKON
Hair: Truth, Freya
Necklace: Le Forme, Aegon Necklace Lover Gold
Clothes (boots, jacket, pants): Yasum, Vintage (Available at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)

Gwyneth’s Experienced LARP Ball Photos:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Grazia (Available at the Summer Sale Event at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Body: Maitreya
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5
Eyes: IKON
Headpiece: Bauhaus Movement, Fly to the Angels (Available at Collabor88!)
Hair: Exile, Come What May (Available at We Love Roleplay!)
Dress: Junbug, Aria Azure (Rare) (Available at The Gacha Garden!)
Elf Ears: Kahli Designs Faux Elf Ear Silver
Necklace: Cae, Hedera
Shoes: Aisling, Tess Orty Shoes

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never leave home without it! 

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