Dancing Under the Lantern Tree

From Gwen Enchanted: Some of you know that my real life is very busy. This has been one of those weeks with work, and I’m sorry not to have been blogging more. I’m going to try to up my pace in the weeks to come, but things are very busy where I work, and I can’t promise my post-work exhaustion level is going to improve any time soon. I remain hopeful, though. On to today’s post!

It’s been a quiet week in Lake White Owl Island… wait. 😉 No, really; things have been very quiet. Arahaelon has been away, presumably talking with our Bureau of Supernatural Affairs contact. I haven’t been to visit Saoirse in a few days, but I do feel sorry for her. I know selkies can survive for whole lifetimes without their skins, but it has got to be annoying not to have it and be able to just splash down and hang out with all the other selkies.

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I can’t seem to stay away from the Lantern Tree.

I can’t seem to stay away from the Lantern Tree. It’s such a beautiful spot, and I love the oasis feel it has to it, especially with the river of faerie there in the background. At dusk, or just past, when everything is starting to blend down into blues and purples, is my favourite time to be there.

At the same Enchantment event, I found this beautiful dance ensemble from Silvan Moon Designs. It comes in an array of bright colours, so of course you know I had to go with the red. Glamoured my hair (a new style from Queue Marlowe, the genius behind Analog Dog Hair) and my eyes (painted by Jadis Ashland of Mesange) brown and just played in the lamplight for hours last night.

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Even as an “adult” (hahaha!) I never stop playing “let’s pretend”.

Even as an “adult” (hahaha!) I never stop playing “let’s pretend”. Of course, at the moment I can’t get the captive faeries out of my head, so I was thinking what if you had a racket like that going in some quasi-Gorean world where there was this idea that all women, be they faeries or amazons or goblins, are meant to be slaves. What would happen to someone like me in a place like that?

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How do we get the idea that we’re not beings of power?

How do we get the idea that we’re not beings of power? I mean, I get the concept; I do. I did sociology in secondary school, and I recognise the classic signs of abuse, and I know why abused people don’t “just leave”. But there’s something intriguing about stories of entire races, groups of people, people who were formerly empowered, being enslaved or overcome by another group of people (where “people” is really “any kind of sentient being” here; we could even be talking about an alien invasion, I guess). I guess as a much younger woman I read stories like The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty and was intrigued by them, but in my life, I keep ending up being the person who has to make the decisions. Maybe it’s like that line from The Handmaid’s Tale: “There are two kinds of freedom, ladies: freedom to and freedom from. You are now being offered freedom from. Don’t underestimate it.”

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Whom do I trust?

I wonder now. Whom do I trust? Who could I give away my decisions to? Not Nathaniel: He is burdened enough, and he overthinks everything, which means that things seldom get done on his watch.

Arahaelon? Well, he’s great to look at, but he’s a bit of an egomaniacal arse, and he and Skel seem to have something going. I can certainly ask him for help with Island things: he’s pretty much in charge there, anyway.

Dyisi? Gods, no. She hands back any responsibility you give her with a smile.

Memories of the past? Janus. I could have given everything to Janus, but he left us, and I haven’t heard from him since the children were born. Mornoth. If I hadn’t been so soured on the Wylds by the time he came along, maybe we could have had something. I don’t even think about people like Richard any more, unless someone asks to be told the story of how I ended up away from the Realm where I was raised, anyway. Side note: must really look up Fen/Tac and apologise to her at some point. There are rumours that she’s in the Forest somewhere, but they are just rumours, I’m sure.

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Nevertheless, I’m in this life now, and I suppose I have to live with it.

Nevertheless, I’m in this life now, and I suppose I have to live it. No matter how weird that sounds to say out loud. Dyisi says I always run away. Well, I’m trying not to run away, but the prospect of Great Adventures elsewhere (not to mention shopping) usually takes me at least a bit farther afield than most of the White Owl Island residents.

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Still, the whole question of how someone like Saoirse could be so badly used by another is haunting.

Still, the whole question of how someone like Saoirse could be so badly used by another is haunting. And, frankly, depressing. What kind of person uses another’s very nature to enslave and subdue them against their will? I suppose all those stories that titillated me as a kid were about people who chose their fate, or at least found that once they’d been placed in the situation they were in, they found it satisfying. The real story of someone stealing Saoirse’s skin and then blackmailing her with it is significantly less romantic.

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We must get Saoirse’s skin back.

So, I shall set myself a task. While Arahaelon is working on the legal ins and outs, I will talk with Dyisi— and we, we will get Saoirse’s skin back.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Analog Dog, Theory (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Eyes: Mesange, Dandy Eyes (Available NOW at Hipster Men Event!)
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Studio Elf Ears Dior
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Destiny (Full face and body Omega applier)
Clothes: Silvan Moon Designs, Princess Parizade Dhoti, (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Collar: Footpaw Industries Celtic Filigree Amythest Collar (attached rose from Footpaw Industries AeLan necklace)
Shoes: Supernatural, Opulent Anklet

The Lantern Tree, from The Looking Glass, is available as a gacha NOW at Enchantment!

Location: White Owl Island Faerie. If you’re looking for a great contemporary fantasy roleplaying sim, why not check us out? White Owl Island, Where Everybody Knows Your Shape.

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The Beautiful Age

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I decorated the Parlour in the Tree House.

I decorated the Parlour in the tree house. I found some beautiful salon furnishings from The Looking Glass at another one of those faraway shopping faires. This one is called The Secret Affair, and I regularly do a multi-Realm hop to get there whenever I hear that it’s on. And of course I found a beautiful new gown from those geniuses at Silvan Moon Designs. It comes in many beautiful colours, but I thought given the salon décor, I should go with red! I got a new hairstyle from Queue Marlowe over at Analog Dog Hair as well, and I love it so much: It is so bohemian and freeing. I also went to a couple of antique markets and found some beautiful photos of courtesans, actresses, and ladies of the night, mostly from the Belle Epoque, the Beautiful Age. They decorate the walls of the parlour.

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Parlour, View 1

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Parlour, View 2

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Parlour, View 3

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Parlour, View 4

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Parlour, View 5

All the furniture, the candles, the chandelier, the bar, the privacy screen, it’s all from The Looking Glass. What a great job Sharni Azalee did on this beautiful décor set. I love this room now! And of course because I loved the room so much, I had to invite a friend over.

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Meet Myst!

Meet Myst! Myst is a lovely friend and a designer of beautiful clothing. We had a lovely conversation, and lots of fun!

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We shared some secrets….

We shared some secrets….

Myst and I are discovering we have a lot in common.

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And isn’t she beautiful?

And isn’t she beautiful? Look at those eyes.

Myst helped me place some of the beautiful pictures that are on the walls; I really love how the pictures go with the décor.

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We decided we would do this more often!

We decided we would do this more often!

After Myst left to go home, I settled down on one of the settees and fell asleep. And I had a dream….

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Once upon a time, there was a captive faery.

Once upon a time, there was a captive Faery. In her own land, she had been the daughter of a King. But there was a club in Old Nu Jyorck in that time catered to rich mortal men who had, well… they had a lust and love for the Fae.

One of their members was a powerful magician, trained by famous hermeticists from Italy. He devised a spell that would subdue even wild Fae energy and keep it contained, making the Faery an indentured servant to the magician’s will. And so they kept them there, and used them for the entertainments of their various guests.

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Sometimes, the captive faery’s countenance was so sad.

Sometimes, the captive faery’s countenance was so sad. Her wings felt clipped. Sad songs were made more sad by the little glamour she could use to enhance her performances.

You may ask, why did the faeries work when they were essentially slaves to the magician’s will? Well, I can only tell you the story of this one faery. She cried and begged to be let free, but the magician would only tell her that if she served him there for seven years, he would release her. And so she did what she was told, and suffered along with the rest of the faeries, none of whom would talk to her about their agreements with the magician, whatever they were.

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Like all faeries, she had a voice that could rival the mythical human angels.

Like all faeries, she had a voice that could rival the mythical human angels. On nights when she was singing, the club was full of wealthy men, all of whom listened, rapt, as she sang.

Night after night, she fended off the advances of the mortal men, knowing there were other faeries at the club who welcomed that sort of work.  And year after year, she watched those faeries come and go, She knew that if she went to the magician and asked him, he might change her contract. But she just couldn’t imagine herself in that position, so she continued to sing.

What happened to her? I do not know. The story handed down to me didn’t say much else. I like to believe she was eventually released, that she went back to her life in Faerie tougher and sadder, and that she kept her family safe from threats ever after.

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I do know that she was famous, in her way.

I do know that she was famous, in her way. There is a series of postcards (postcards were very popular in this time) that feature her. Some of the other faeries are featured as well, but none so often as this one.

Her name was Glorian.

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When I wake up, I am in the same red dress in which I fell asleep.

When I wake up, I am in the same red dress in which I fell asleep. I feel somehow that I have been shown a little piece of unknown Fae history, something that I need to investigate. I wonder if Sharni got her inspiration from that club, or maybe I just superimposed it on to my dream.

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I looked back on to my dream, thinking of Glorian.

I looked back on to my dream, thinking of Glorian. How can I learn more of her story? What about the Fae underclass in Old Nu Jyorck? Perhaps I should visit there again, maybe find where the club was. But I don’t even know its name. My dream didn’t tell me that. Maybe I will ask Dyisi to help me with a vision quest.

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Yes, I think I will ask Dyisi about that, the next time I see her.

Yes, I think I will ask Dyisi about that, the next time I see her. How to tell that story. How to experience what Glorian experienced, the dark side of The Beautiful Age. How to bring it to life somehow. And how to find out if there are other Realms where Faeries are treated this way. I consider, for a moment, how different my life is from hers. My privilege. My power. My influence. What can I do for those less fortunate than myself?

And all the trouble surrounding White Owl at this time. The influx of refugees. The worry that there is a HS operative in our midst. The boat on fire. And tonight, the vandalism around Camlann and the word “Bloodsucker” written on the wall. We are entering a time of struggle and strife, my Islanders and me. But we will get through it. We will. I will find a way to help, to lift my people up and bring them further in to the light.

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I can’t wait to see Myst again.

I can’t wait to see Myst again. What a beautiful soul she is.

Style Card:

Salon Furniture and Décor (except for wall art): 
The Looking Glass, The Torch Singer Gacha Set, Available NOW at  The Secret Affair!)
Sharni Azalee’s stunning set of parlour/boudoir furniture inspired this entire post, inspired me to go looking for those actresses and courtesans to create the wall art for this parlour, which in turn inspired the story about Glorian. This is not one of those photoshoot sets I build and take down: this is now Gwyneth’s upstairs parlour in Faerie, the place where she greets intimate friends and guests. The only room more private in Gwyneth’s Treehouse is her actual bedroom, which is just down the hall from this beautiful parlour. Thank you, Sharni. Without your designs, my Second Life would be less beautiful.

Gwyneth in the Red Dress:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Analog Dog, Hyacinth
Eyes: Mesange, Arum Eyes (Available NOW at Hipster Men Event!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: Lumae, Ruby (Catwa Applier) (Available NOW at The Lumae Main Store!)
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, The Courtesan Gown (Available NOW at The Secret Affair!)
Arm Roses: Death Row Designs, Ravishing Roses Body Jewellery
Headpiece: Zenith, Spring Rose Crown (Red)
Shoes: Illi, Maitreya Rosalyn Rose Heels

Gwyneth as Glorian:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Analog Dog, Hyacinth
Eyes: Mesange, Arum Eyes (Available NOW at Hipster Men Event!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: Lumae, Ruby (Catwa Applier) (Available NOW at The Lumae Main Store!)
Dress: Fallen Gods & Faida, Ars Amandi, Aurelia Intense (Rare)  (Available NOW at The Epiphany)
Jewellery: Earthstones, Mystic Bracelet and Necklace
Headpiece: LODE, Bellflower Crown (Light Violet)
Wings: BareRose, Fairy Bento Wings, Colour
Shoes: Saga, Bohemian Sandal

Myst:
Body: Slink Hourglass
Head: Catwa, Catya Bento Mesh Head
Hair: [DUE] After Monday V2
Eyes: IKON Triumph Eyes – Fjord
Skin: Pink Fuel – [PF] Sora <Alabaster> – Special Edition
Dress: Senzafine .:SF:. “Araceli” Gown – Dusk (Fitmesh)

Location: White Owl Island Faerie. If you’re looking for a great contemporary fantasy roleplaying sim, why not check us out? White Owl Island, Where Everybody Knows Your Shape.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never give Gwyneth disturbing dreams about enslaved Fae without it!

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Threats

Every day, a new threat. The whole Island is jumpy over it. At first I thought maybe it was one of the children pulling a prank — some objectionable graffiti; nothing we couldn’t handle.

And then, they set a boat on fire in the harbour. One of our new residents put it out, with the help of Aodhan.

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And I? Well, I fled to Faerie.

And I? Well, I fled to Faerie. There does not seem to be much for it, except to wait until this storm, whatever it is, passes, though I recognise that we are no more safe here than are the souls on the Island proper.

I will send a Wisp tonight to let Dyisi know. And Bran says he can make little signs, but only if I let him use the colour printer.

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As always, there is so much to think about.

As always, there is so much to think about. I thought I’d left things like this behind in the Wylds, but I guess every place comes with its own challenges. And I think I’d rather be dealing with this threat than handling mad demifae queens and sadistic ghosts of faerie kings past.

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Nothing’s ever black and white.

Nothing’s ever black and white (see what I did there?!). It all comes down to our thinking, our responses, our strength.

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Still, there are so many variables.

Still there are so many variables. Who is the culprit? How did they get on to our Island? What’s the end game? Does it matter? How are we to keep hundreds of souls from being exposed to a hostile world?

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I notice with some trepidation that the Faery Throne has relocated into my garden.

I notice with some trepidation that the Faery Throne has relocated into my garden. This probably means I’m going to need it.

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I don’t know what I think about that.

I don’t know what I think about that. But I do know that sooner or later I’m going to have to step up and be at least seemingly responsible. Or get Bran off the Nintendo and get him to be responsible. That actually sounds much more fun. Maybe I’ll hide it while he’s making those flyers.

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Just a harmless little prank, right?

Just a harmless little prank, right? I’m sure it’ll all work out somehow. And if not, well, I didn’t manifest this Realm-hopping ability for nothing, right?

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Analog Dog, Ima (Available UNTIL JULY 16 at Hair Fair!)
Eyes: Mesange, Elixir Eyes (Available NOW at On9!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Savory (Omega all-in-one applier) (AVAILABLE NOW at Mesh Body Addicts!)
Tunic: Pixicat, Breeze Tunic
Jeans: Graffitiwear, Art Jeans (Maitreya appliers)
Headpiece: Bauhaus Movement, Aurora Necklace and Forehead
Boots: Sweet Lies, Ragnarok Boots

Poses: All from An Lar, The Julia Series

Location: White Owl Island Faerie. If you’re looking for a great contemporary fantasy roleplaying sim, why not check us out? White Owl Island, Where Everybody Knows Your Shape.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never make Gwyneth tell you how irresponsible she is (again!) without it!

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Queen of Summer

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Coming through the portal from Faerie….

Coming through the portal from Faerie, I felt the shortness of the night. My full power, now concentrated at two times of the year instead of just one, welled up inside me, and I remembered all the previous years, the push and pull of two Courts, so much drama. But this night, this night, I just felt good, positive, secure within my power.

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Lifting to Fly

Lifting myself to fly, I felt the connection with the Earth of White Owl Island as surely as I ever felt it in the Wylds. I reached out and touched Arahaelon’s wards, warmed them with my energy. Felt the influx of refugees from the apartment house fire in Seattle, all those people, so sorrowful and so afraid.

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Can we show them a better life?

Can we show them a better life? I think we can. I think our Island is ready. And as we welcome them all in, the spirit of love falls over us like the Mists of Faerie, always there an always above and beneath us.

Sky, Land, and Sea are so close together here. One has only to stand on the forest shore, or the beach, and there are all three Realms come together. A sunrise of fire, Three Realms so beautiful together, and a troubled population that needs lovingkindness and strength of spirit.

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I am ready.

I am ready.


Much of what Gwyneth is wearing in these photographs is from the Midsummer Enchantment Event, which if you haven’t been to is full of amazing stuff! I love this dress from Senzafine; it’s the Melianthe Gown, in Green for the Summer Queen. The Psycho:Byts Pixie Bento Wings come in an array of colours; this is Black. Gwyneth is wearing Zibska‘s beautiful Lethia headpiece: roses and antlers together; what’s not to like? The makeup is also from Zibska. The Vengeful Threads Arcana Necklace rounds things out nicely; the colour change HUD makes it easy for you to customise it to go with just about anything. The forehead jewels are from Lumae; the ever-creative Lumiya Rae has released several of them for Midsummer Enchantment; this one is Leena, in Emerald. These eyes are from Mesange (natch!); they’re at On9 until the beginning of July! Gwyneth is wearing Analog Dog‘s Eliza hair, which you can pick up at the Analog Dog Main Store. As usual, she is wearing the Maitreya mesh body and the Catwa Lona mesh head.


I know I’ve not been blogging much recently. Work has been brutal, opening up a new roleplaying sim takes up a lot of time, and of course some of you know that I Met A Boy in SL who just might be taking up a little bit of time, as well. Thank you so much for bearing with me, and I’m so grateful and happy for all the people who follow and support this blog. I’ll do my best to keep fun things coming! And of course HAIR FAIR is coming up!

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The 2017 Hair Fair Photo Contest!

I’ve been busy over the past few days, while recovering from this annoying injured thumb on my left (dominant) hand, working on some photographs for the 2017 Hair Fair Photo Contest.

Hair Fair is one of my favourite events of the year. Because duh! Hair! And I’m lucky enough to have early blogger access again this year, so I’ll spend lots of money and show you super cool hairs!

Every year, Hair Fair sponsors a photo contest, and I often enter it. This year I’ve done five photos, and that’s the limit. I’m sorry, judges.

The link above is to the official notice about the contest; the theme was “Wild”, and the idea was to picture hair colours that aren’t in the usual, naturally available human range. This post has been half written for two days in hopes I could get it done ahead of the contest deadline, but I’m afraid I haven’t managed it, and I’ll just have to do a better job next year.

Here’s the first of my Hair Fair Photo Contest entries for this year.

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Joy!

Hairstyle—Corumel (Summer Hair Play)
Hair Store—Tableau Vivant
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Lona
Skin: Lumae Adore Ianthe
Eyes: Mesange Iskander
Ears: Lumae Leevi Long Ears
Silks: Axix, Heaven Silks Purple
Butterflies: Nantra
Location: White Owl Island

I initially wanted to photograph Gwyneth scrying something, with her hair all over the place, but the minute I put this hair on I knew I wanted her in the water somehow. There were numerous false starts with this photograph, because I kept wanting her to be attacked by a sea monster– but things kept going wrong. And we just won’t talk about that time the giant undulating tentacle ended up off the shores of White Owl Island….

Here’s number two:

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Who Shall I Be Tomorrow?

Hairstyle—Joga
Hair Store—Analog Dog
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Farrah
Body Glitter: Izzies, Rainbow body glitter
Eyes: Mesange, Iskander
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Dress: This Is Wrong, Owls Dress
Wings: BareRose, Black B Wings
Jewellery: EMO-tions, Falcon Earrings and Necklace

So, most of you guys know I love Analog Dog Hair. I knew I wanted to showcase at least one of Queue Marlowe‘s beautiful hair designs in these photographs. I picked this one, Joga, because it’s relatively new, and because it’s whimsical without being silly, and because I loved the way the green and red work together in this colour. Beloved took me on a date to Calas Galadhon, and I remembered having taken some photographs there yonks ago. I came back there for this one, and I was so pleased with the light (and the fact that “The Owls are not what they seem” shows up pretty well in the photograph on this photo. Of course, after I’d taken it through the whole editing process, I discovered that the hair is clipping the wing. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t noticed that… I’d already entered the photograph when I suddenly saw the imperfection, and now I can’t unsee it. So it stays, because otherwise it’s a good photo, and I love so many things about it.

Miles Away

This third photo features hair from another one of my favourite designers, Wasabi Pills. Raven was released for this years’ Fantasy Faire, and I’ve worn it a lot. I wanted to do something like a portrait for one of the entries, and I wanted to investigate a region I hadn’t shot in before. So off I went to Phabolaois Stran. I love water sims, rain sims, and this one did not disappoint. I will be back again, I’m sure. I spent a lot of time waiting for this group of birds to un-clump so I could photograph them recognisably, which is probably why I left them in, rather than cropping them out to yield a stronger photograph. I still like the way the hair colour looks against the landscape.

Hairstyle—Raven
Hair Store—Wasabi Pills
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Skin: Lumae, Ruby
Eyes: Mesange, Iskander
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Clothes: Yasum, Boho Skirt and Top
Necklace: The Plastik, The Grolda Necklace
Circlet, Cae, Lasa Circlet

Pink

Pink, like most of these, is not the photograph I started out trying to take at all. Elikatira‘s Lalora, don’t get me wrong, is every bit as gorgeous today as when it was released last year. I did want to take at least one photo in White Owl’s Faerie, but the original plan was for this shot to have some softness to it, and I’m not sure it does, in the end. She looks determined, maybe even angry. Her hand is tense. The sunset lighting makes her look if anything more like she’s just made a battle plan. That said, while I know a lot of SL people who do not like these wings, I absolutely love them, I have them in every colour they were released in, and I do not get the chance to photograph them very often. I love how perfectly they match the pink of her hair, how they echo the makeup. And I like the way she really does pop against the landscape.

Hairstyle—Lalora
Hair Store—Elikatira
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Skin: Lumae, Ruby
Eyes: Mesange, Iskander
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Wings: Alegria, Wings of Cotton Pink
Dress: MoonAmore, Sugar Branches Dress
Makeup: Picchi, Sweet Fairy Makeup

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Take Off

Some things I cannot resist, and one of those things is going back and hoping to fix my mistakes. The thing is, Calas Galadhon doesn’t allow object rezzing and I couldn’t find a group to join that would let me do that, so placement wasn’t and couldn’t be perfect. And, you know, there’s only so much time in the day, and so I decided to go with something different. I love that this shot gives you the whole scope of the wings, and I did at least remember the windlight I used, which is a far sight better than I usually do here in Chaos-land. There were some birds around, as in previous shots, but I didn’t worry about them overmuch as they were a long way away and the focal bird would be the one wearing these beautiful wings from BareRose.

Hairstyle—Joga
Hair Store—Analog Dog
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Farrah
Body Glitter: Izzies, Rainbow body glitter
Eyes: Mesange, Iskander
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Dress: This Is Wrong, Owls Dress
Boots: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Gypsy Boots

Style cards are above in the text. Farrah is available at Vintage Fair!

 

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Still Standing in San Mora

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You know what? I don’t care any more.

You know what? I don’t care any more. I’ve been living in this city for gods know how long, and I’ve watched the people come and go, and I’m just not interested in any of their bull any more.

I will walk where I want, dress how I want, eat what I want, go out at night without a burly male escort, and if anybody wants to stop me, well. They’ll have to go through me first.

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Dyisi came to visit yesterday.

Dyisi came to visit yesterday. I think she was pretty impressed with my new squat. I’m on the tenth floor of a mostly burned out building, so I have this amazing balcony that’s like half a floor, just exposed to the outside. And there’s nobody above me because those levels got melted, I think. Metal’s all bent, anyway.

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“You see that dome?” she wanted to know. “Super creepy.”

“You see that dome?” she wanted to know. “Super creepy.”

“Huh.” I frowned. “I can’t remember if it was there yesterday or not. I mean, looks like it’s meant to be there, right?”

“Are you fucking kidding me? That thing is a menace. It looks like the scariest part of a circus met the scariest part of a steampunk horror novel, and they are both converging on us. You mark me, tomorrow it’ll be closer and there’ll be some weird music coming from it or some shit like that.”

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“Frankly, I think those creepy metal birds are worse,” I replied.

“Frankly, I think those creepy metal bird things are worse,” I replied. I half-turned to point out the window (well, OK, the wall) behind us to point out one of the improbable things, which at the moment was just making lazy circles around an incongruous lake. “That is a cage on wings, and I keep having these nightmares they’re going to come over here and enslave us all.”

“Yeah; all thirty of us,” Dyisi replied. I think she just likes to piss me off by saying completely ridiculous things like that. There are at least 250 of us here in San Mora, surviving in the best way we can. Some people say there are even more if you count the other side of the city, but I’m not so sure. I only trust what I can see, which I think is the best way to survive in the world. Well. In my world, anyway. I sighed. “Come on; let’s go down to the roadhouse and see if we can score some beer.”

“I’d rather have a joint.”

“You always say that.”

I’ve rigged up a series of ladders to take me down the whole ten floors in a rush, ladder by ladder. I slide down them with one foot on either side of the ladder. Dyisi kept yelling at me to slow down, but I just ignored her. I’m sure I flipped her off more than once. And I have no idea what that last finger gesture she replied with was. The fact is, if Dyisi and I aren’t constantly bitching and moaning at each other and insulting each other a mile a minute, that’s when the apocalypse has actually happened. Laughed in a guy’s face last week when he called San Mora “post-apocalyptic”. Had to explain that truth of the world. I am not sure he believed me, but what can you do? I keep trying to explain to people that hope doesn’t have to die just because we’re certain now there is no god, given what we’ve been through. This is when we need hope most. I was telling Dy this story as we reached the roadhouse. Downstairs was too crowded, so we climbed up to the second level. Nobody likes it there because a wall got blown out in one of those firefights from last month. I’m not bothered. Ceiling’s still working, which means the floor’s all good. Right?

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Would you believe it: she found a fucking ukulele.

Would you believe it: she found a fucking ukulele.

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Seriously?

Seriously: I just turned away and pretended I didn’t know her. By this time my wings had come out: I don’t know why they only do that when I’ve had a little bit to drink. “You are not going to actually play that thing.”

“Nah; I was thinking I”d just sit here and hold it like I’d just finished a beer and my best friend was about to go down and get me another one,” she said.

I sighed. One more trip down the stairs in four inch heels. Some of us have hooves and are much better at going up and down things, but no; Dy must have me serve her beer. Sometimes she’s a right bitch, but she’s the only friend I’ve got, you know? Pays to keep on her good side. I went for the beer.

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“You know what I did earlier today?” I asked her when I got back upstairs. “I went to the old park, and I danced on the dead wall.”

“You know what I did earlier today?” I asked her when I got back upstairs. “I went to the old park, and I danced on the dead wall.”

She laughed. “Does it make you feel better about life to do shit that pisses everybody else in the whole universe right off?”

I shrugged.

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“I’m tired of being careful.”

“I’m tired of being careful,” I said.

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“Besides, it’s not like anybody is out there looking for me.”

“Besides, it’s not like anybody out there is looking for me. You ever seen my face on one of those missing posters?”

Dy sighed. “I guess not.”

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“Well, maybe if I make a big enough fuss, somebody’ll care enough to look for me if I go.”

“Well, maybe if I make a big enough fuss, somebody’ll care enough to look for me if I go.”

Dyisi frowned. “I’d look for you.”

“Assuming you weren’t gone first.”

“In which case you’d look for me.”

“Yeah, probably.”

“Probably? You’d be out there morning noon and night, because you love me.”

“Do not.”

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“Anyway, it was nice to be alone, even if I did have to go to the dead wall to do it.”

“Anyway, it was nice to be alone, even if I did have to go to the dead wall to do it.”

Dyisi snorted. “I still think it’s silly to call it ‘the dead wall’. For all we know, they are all alive and well, somewhere better than here.”

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The Dead Wall

“Nobody’s seen or heard from any of them,” I replied. “I think if my picture were up there, it would mean I have died, too.”

Dyisi shook her head. “Cynical, cynical.”

We wandered out into the street. It was one of those sunny, dusty afternoons, the kind of afternoon you always get in San Mora.

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Dyisi on a police car.

At one point, Dyisi jumped on top of a police car and yelled something about how the PoPo couldn’t get her any more because there weren’t any… I think she might have been a bit drunk.

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“You know this isn’t real, Gwyneth.”

“You know this isn’t real, Gwyneth,” Dyisi said.

“Are you having a moment of existential ennui?” I wasn’t even sure what ‘existential ennui’ was, to be honest. It just sounded good.

“Nope,” Dyisi said. “Towers of Nope. You’re stuck in a Fairelands Realm.”

“What are you talking about?” I shifted uncomfortably on the gazebo floor.

“You’re not actually a street urchin in a post-apocalyptic novel, you know.”

“I’m not?”

“Nope,” Dyisi said. “Towers of Nope. You wandered in here because this is one of the Realms that’s part of the Great Fantasy Faire this year. You got lost in the story. It’s a common hazard.” She blew across her nails for absolutely no reason.

“You mean I could just get up and walk out of here? And I’d find somewhere else?”

“Yep,” Dyisi said.

“Right! Let’s do that, then.”

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So, we got up and just walked out of San Mora.

So, we got up and just walked right out of San Mora. The closer we got to the fence, walking with purpose to Another Place (where, we didn’t know), the more I remembered.

“Have you noticed that we keep having stand-alone adventures this year? It’s like we’re episodic.”

I lifted a brow. “Wow, Dy; that’s awfully meta for you.”

“I am the epitome and the ultimate representation of meta. Then again, so are you.”

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Towers Of Nope

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Analog Dog, Merida (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Eyes: Mesange, Iram Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at On9!)
Ears: Eclipse Arts Studio, Elf Ears Dior
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Opal, Omega Appliers (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Necklace: Otherskin, Mashallah (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Dress: Syren’s Song, Ursa, Purple (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Shoes: Violetility, Luna Heels

Location: The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire, San Mora, Sponsored by Death Row Designs and designed by Jaimy Hancroft, Eowyn Swords, and Morbid Deceit

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never blog Fantasy Faire without it!

 

Changes and Accomplishments

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Ever have one of those mornings where you wake up and say, “Hey; I want to be a redhead!”?

Ever have one of those mornings where you wake up and say, “Hey, I want to be a redhead!”? Well, I mean, unless you’re a redhead already, in which case the point is kind of moot. But that’s how I woke up this morning. The mist was thick on the ground as I made my way through the book forest. I noticed a few new things there, but I didn’t have time to investigate. I had a sense of purpose.

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Somehow, I knew the bower would be there.

Somehow, I knew the bower would be there. Of course, it looks different here from the Wylds. It’s bigger. But here’s bigger, you know? The trees are bigger. They feel older. Maybe it’s because I’m older. And the structure that’s defined my bower for the last several seasons is here, too. It’s comforting, like a church, but for someone like me, whose windows look out into eternity and whose walls don’t shut out the world, the wood, the flowers.

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I took a deep breath. And for a moment, I found serenity.

I took a deep breath. And for a moment, I found serenity. But my new Realm wasn’t out of surprises for me yet: I knew there was yet more for me to discover.

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I took a moment to centre myself.

I took a moment to centre myself and take in the ambiance of the oak tree. I could feel the growing forest behind me: DI felt no need to turn and look, but of course I wanted to turn and look. Then, I rounded the oak tree to come closer to the Green, and I gasped at what I saw.

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Tucked beneath that giant oak tree was a little boho paradise.

Tucked beneath that giant oak tree was a little boho paradise. Pink ivy leaves covered the trunk and roots of the tree, set into which was a shelf with a beautiful clock. And floating parasols!

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Who could resist sitting here for a while? Not me.

Who could resist sitting here for a while? Not me. I found the morning drifting in to noon. As always in a magical Realm, time moves differently here. I recalled how the raven tower had made me think of my bower in the Wylds, and I smiled as I thought of those gorgeous windows, open to the sky, behind me. I longed for a book, a good book, to appear, and I found myself holding a book by Neil Gaiman I didn’t know existed. Apparently he’s retelling Norse myths now! Well, that ate up a few hours, as you might imagine.

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Eventually, as the sun moved into afternoon, I wandered back in to the flower meadow.

Eventually, as the sun moved into afternoon, I wandered back in to the flower meadow. How large it seemed, how open. So different from how it had been almost completely enclosed by forest in the Wylds. I wonder if this is my new mindset: an open-ness to things, a receiving, an acceptance. The flowers glowed with their own light as the hazy noon wore into afternoon, and I took some pleasure in feeling small inside my bower. A bower that will be open to everyone, a place for all to visit.

Oh, and then I felt tired—as if I’d done some act of creation just by walking through the flower field. I made my way back toward the beautiful couch and that book of Norse myths. Suddenly I was struck by a thought, and `I nearly laughed aloud.

What would that ludicrous reporter, Cherish Gelato, think of this place? I imagined her poking around, putting her nose into places it doesn’t belong, wondering why there were unfinished places that just look like vast fields of grass, and my explaining to her that this was not a Realm that came in to being overnight; that it must grow like a garden.

And then she’d ask me: “Are you proud of what you’re creating here?”

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Am I proud? “You bet your sweet arse I am.”

Am I proud? 

“You bet your sweet arse I am.”

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch), V (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Eyes: Mesange, Hiraeth Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at We ❤ Roleplay!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Wednesday, snow (Full body skin and head applier, Available NOW at Skin Fair! These are 7 Deadly s{K}ins’ NEW. body appliers, and they are amazing and easy to use, and so fast!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Necklace: Earthstones, Flight of Fancy Necklace (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Peaches and Cream Dress, Blue (Available SOON at Shiny Shabby!)
Shoes: Ingenue, Gretchen Flats, Dove (Available NOW at The Arcade Gacha!)

Scenes:
Book Path: Una, Book Path
Book with trees: BananaN, Story Book Gacha Scene 3
Table and Chairs, Wishing Well: Raindale, Maplemoor Set
Grass: Alirium, Downy Grass
Birch Trees: The Little Branch, White Birch Cluster
Windowed Structure: Kaelis Ember, Find Here Amenity
Big Tree: Cube Republic, Auchmore Oak
Magical Flower Field: The Looking Glass, Ichi Fields
Boho Hangout Spot: The Looking Glass, In My Boho Garden (Available NOW at The Secret Affair!)
Background Trees: Various trees by Studio Skye, The Little Branch, Happy Mood, Heart, Trompe Loeil
SimSurround: Landscapes Unlimited, Rolling Hills Large Skybox Environment

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never create an organic magical realm without it!

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