Nag, Nag, Nag!

I swear, sometimes I wish I actually had to do everything myself, because then I would not be surrounded by dozens of demifae, all twittering at me to do this or that, or make a decision about that other thing, and why don’t I want a big formal dining room in the treehouse, and on, and on, and on!

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“It’s not finished!”

“It’s not finished!” Clutie is jabbering in my ear as I survey the Treehouse living room. “You need a rug, another sofa, and what about something more formal in here? You never know who might be coming to visit!”

I sigh. I roll my eyes. “Clutie,” I say, “how many times do I need to tell you that this is my private home. There will be no diplomatic visitors. Friends come here, not dignitaries or emissaries. All that stuff will take place down in the pavilion.”

“But the pavilion is so open, Your Majesty.” She is whinging now, and right into my ear, and the timbre of her voice is beginning to drive me mad. Why did I pop to the Wylds and save her from the ire of the Unseelie Court, again?

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Now I’m pacing.

Now I’m pacing. “Look, the kitchen is finished.”

“There isn’t a spice rack,” Clutie says.

Her constant companion these days is Arabelle. All Arabelle ever seems to do is nod and voice her agreement with Clutie. She does this now.

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“Will you two shut up?”

“Will you two shut up?” I’m losing patience now. “Blah, blah, blah! How many times do I have to tell you: I cannot be in ten places at once. I have a town to finish, a Realm to polish, and then I have to go to the Supernatural Paranormal Whatsis Agency to apply for Open Fae Town Status, which is just dumb if you ask me. While I would love to spend the majority of my time here in the Treehouse snuggling up to my husband and entertaining you lot, I do have more important things to do.”

“It’s the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, Your Majesty.” Clutie’s smile is smug as she corrects me. “But we do really need a rug or something in here. These wooden floors are so cold.”

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I stalk back into the kitchen.

I stalk back into the kitchen. “And Bran insisted on a mediaeval kitchen in here, so I can’t even toast bread! I’m going to designate one corner of this kitchen as belonging in the twenty-first century, and I’m going to get a toaster and a proper electric kettle and a microwave in here, and Bran can bite me.”

“I don’t think Bran would ever bite you, Your Majesty. I mean,” and her smug turns sly, “unless you really wanted him to.”

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Now I’m angry.

Now I’m angry. “My relationship with Bran, and it’s none of your business anyway, is purely platonic and he’d probably drop dead of embarrassment if I ever tried to make it be anything more.” Great; she’s made me raise my voice. I take a deep, calming breath.

“That’s right, Your Majesty,” Clutie says, as if there’s nothing for her to worry about in the world. “Calm yourself down, and then let’s go talk about rugs for the living room.”

I actually growl. “Clutie.” And now my voice is soft, even, possibly dangerous. “You and Arabelle need to find something else to do. Right now. You are both dismissed, and I don’t want to hear another word from either of you until I’ve had two cups of coffee and some French Toast. Bran!”

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Rood
Hair: No Match, No Return (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Headpiece: Una, Tiara Leaf
Suit: M.I.X., Autumn Jacket
Shoes: Empire, Xyris

 

House: LAQ, Serene Tree and Windmill House
Living Room Furniture: Libertine, Viscount Set
Kitchen Fixtures: Artisan Fantasy, Kitchen Collection
Kitchen Table and Chairs: Cheeky Pea, Modern Farmhouse Dining Set

Faery Companions: Ohmai, Gerbera Fairy Companion (Clutie); and Tulip Fairy Companion (Arabelle)

Wall Art:
“Now I’m Pacing”
Black and White Photo: Starfall 04, by Bear Silvershade
Kitchen Painting: The Last Dance, by Eucalyptus Carroll
“Will you two shut up?”
Foreground: Music in my Mind, Part 2, by Kody Meyers
Background: Ilse of Serendipity, by Sandi Benelli (top); and
Winds of Change, also by Sandi Benelli
“I stalk back into the kitchen”
Kitchen Painting: The Last Dance, by Eucalyptus Carroll

I try to buy the photographs of artists I admire when they have gallery shows and put their stuff up for sale. It seemed only right that I decorate my personal space with the photos I love the most, those of my peers. Kody Meyers is a particular favourite: He and I were classmates at the Visionaire Institute, and his style and the elegance of his compositions never cease to amaze and please me. I’m honoured to know so many talented photographers, and I hope I’ll be able to talk about that side of my Second Life a little more in blogs to come. 

skinlogodiap   hairology-October

 

Eve of Destruction?

OK, I am fucking nervous about this “Art Teacher” gig. You can laugh ’til you spit, and I will still be nervous about it. Because I know what secondary school children are like: I was one not very long ago, and I was a holy fucking terror.

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Is this what an art teacher looks like?

Is this what an art teacher looks like? I’ve got the slouchy jumper. I’ve got skinny trousers. I’ve got sensible shoes. I’ve got silver jewellery with amethysts and some leather bracelets and bangles. My hair is carefully uncared-for. And when the fuck did I ever care what I look like anyway? Well, as long as they don’t dress me up like the cover of a bad fantasy novel, that is.

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Is this what an art teacher does?

Is this what an art teacher does? I keep imagining myself staring at a blank canvas and being completely frozen, unable to do anything with it. I mean, that’s what would happen if I were an actual art teacher.

Which I will be. Tomorrow morning at 8:30 in the fucking morning. And you can stop laughing, right now. Because I certainly won’t be. I will be marching in with a double flat white and I’ll probably put a pack of cigs in my pocket just so I look cool to art students (because they all probably smoke anyway).

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How does an art teacher even think?

How does an art teacher even think? I know Owen picked this cover because he’s pretty sure I can pull it off—but the truth is, I’m shaking in my sensible shoes. And it doesn’t matter how many times I go over it, I am pretty much convinced that I come out of this either exposed as a fraud or on my way to the nuthouse in the special huggy jacket.

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I am so lame, I even practiced standing in front of the class and introducing myself.

I am so lame, I even practiced standing in front of the class and introducing myself. “Good morning; I’m …” and then I forget my cover name and have to go look it up in the dossier. Because that is the kind of fuck-up you can’t recover from, in front of a bunch of 11-16-year-olds who probably know more about art than you do right now.

Right. I need two shots of bourbon, neat, and a sleeping pill. And a really fucking loud alarm clock.

Wish me luck. Or, at least wish that I get through tomorrow alive.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Simone Bento Head
Eyes: Mesange, Don’t Speak Eyes (Omega Appliers)
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Meilin, in tone Taupe (This is the February Group Gift at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!) Taupe is a little light for TAC, even in human guise, but I wanted to try out the new Omega body appliers that Izara Zuta has made! These will be released at the upcoming Skin Fair, and they are wonderful! So easy to use, and so fast!
Jumper and Trousers: Salt, Carla Pants, Carla Wooly Jumper (COMING SOON to The Gacha Garden!)
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Tara (COMING SOON (tomorrow, in fact!) to Fameshed!)
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife
Shoes: Ingenue, Marlene Oxford, Ebon

TAC’s flat:
Skybox: Vespertine, Reykjavik Loft
Couches, tables, light easel, and curtains: CLAVv, Light Studio (Available NOW at The Epiphany!)
Easel, stool, rolling shelf with canvases: Artisan Fantasy, Art Studio

Poses: Seated, XXY, both from the Thinking of You Pack (Available NOW at Shiny Shabby!)
Standing: Vanity, Cool Stance 1 (F)

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never make TAC soul-search without it (or the F-bomb)!

7ds   wasabi_logo_2012_512x512

Long-Term Contract

Owen didn’t come. He sent some minion of his. I stood out in the fucking rain. On the fucking roof. He sent a minion, some half-grown boy.

“We’ve got a job for you,” says this boy.

“Do we,” I responded.

“Owen needs you to come to his place, as a human, tomorrow evening. Here’s the address.” He handed me a card. Luckily, it was laminated, so it didn’t get nearly as wet as I was.

“And if I don’t want to come?” It was a half-hearted challenge: frankly, I needed the work.

“He says tell you you’ll be mentoring a young svart alfar in a Realm where we must hide ourselves.”

I sighed. Owen still knows me, I guess. “Fine.”

Then, the kid just walked off the edge of the roof and disappeared, and I took myself back to the B&B, took a shower, and sat up half the night figuring what kind of human I wanted to glamour myself into.

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Owen was exactly as I remembered him.

Owen was exactly as I remembered him. Well, aside from some fashion updates. “You’ve gone hipster,” I said once I’d shaken off the cold. His London is very cold this time of year.

“Nah, not really,” he replied. “No shaggy beard. I just can’t handle that level of hair upkeep.”

We both laughed. Even though it was smalltalk, it felt OK to talk to him again.

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“So I’ve got you a flat near the school where you’ll be teaching.”

“So I’ve got you a flat near the school where you’ll be teaching,” Owen said, as if this were the most normal thing in the world.

What?” I balled my hands into fists. “That kid didn’t say anything about teaching.”

Owen scratched his head; his hair flopped into his eyes again. “I figured you’d get that when I said you’d be mentoring,” he said.

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“No,” I replied evenly.

“No,” I replied evenly. “No, I did not.” I really needed the work, though. “What kind of teaching?”

“I’ve got you set up a teacher in the comprehensive this kid is about to start attending.”

“A teacher.”

Owen nodded.

“In a comprehensive.”

Owen nodded again.

I turned to walk out. “Look; I can get jobs in elf-safe areas where I know what I’m doing, even if the risk of my getting killed is pretty high.

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“Tacey! Don’t!”

“Tacey; don’t!” Owen struck a pose that reminded me vaguely of Saturday Night Fever. “You’re the only one who can do this job! The only one!”

“Oh, ffs, Owen,” I said, pronouncing the letters instead of the words. “You know I’m going to hear you out, but a teacher? Seriously, stop being so dramatic. Pull yourself together and let’s talk about this. I am no teacher. I don’t have the credentials, which I know you can fake, but I also don’t have the knowledge, which I know you can’t. What’s your solution?”

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Owen visibly relaxed.

Owen visibly relaxed. And he smiled a little smile. “Yes, credentials we can fake, and knowledge we can’t, but—” and here he spread out his arms wide as if he had the solution to everything. “You’re going to be an art teacher.”

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I exploded again.

I exploded again, and Owen drew back before I even finished my breath. “An art teacher! Owen Gentry! I do not know the first thing about art!”

“Neither do most secondary school art teachers,” Owen said grandly. “That’s why you’ll be perfect for this.”

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“You’re kidding me,” I said.

“You’re kidding me,” I said. “Secondary school art teachers don’t know much? That’s your spin? That’s your selling point?”

“Tacey. Take a breath.” Owen always thought that saying that name — a name my family never even used — would calm me down. It rarely did. “Tacey. Look. You know how to impersonate almost anybody. You can give yourself a crash course in art and art history, get a couple of little projects started, that kind of thing, over the remainder of this week and the weekend, and you’ll be just fine on Monday. First week of school is mostly reception, anyway.”

I frowned. “What kind of a Realm starts the school year in the middle of January?” I asked.

“The kind that has a Saturnalia festival up to the ninth and gives people two weeks to recover,” Owen replied smoothly.

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“OK, that’s different.”

“OK, that’s different.” I tapped the toe of my shoe against the floor. “I feel weird in dresses. Am I allowed to wear trousers in this position?”

“You are,” Owen said. He relaxed yet more, put his relieved smile on. “Can I ask, why’d you make your human glamour like that? You could have looked like anybody, but you chose a short, tiny woman who’ll just blend in to a — ah, ok. Yeah; I get it.”

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I winked.

I winked. “See? That’s the difference between you and me, Owen; I don’t always have to be a pretty boy.”

Owen looked thoughtful. “You may be right,” he said. “You may be right. Let me take you out to the flat?”

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“How far out is this place?” I asked as I turned toward the door.

“How far out is this place?” I asked as I turned toward the door.

“Just south of the river. Deptford. You know it?”

I gaped. “I grew up on Telegraph Hill, in New Cross.”

“OK, then, you’ll be familiar with some of the surroundings.”

I wasn’t so sure: going back to “my” part of London and seeing it the same but different, as all close realms keep many of the same attributes, always gave me the willies.

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“Yeah, OK,” I said.

“Yeah; OK,” I said. “Take me to the flat.

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Yowza.

Yowza; Owen sure knows how to make a girl feel like an artist, I thought as I entered the converted warehouse space. “You’ve got that fox picture on your wall as well,” I observed.

“Yeah; I own all these places; put a few things I like in each of them,” Owen replied. “Same kitchen, too.”

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“I kind of like this kitchen,” I said.

“I kind of like this kitchen,” I said. “Hang on— I had the same one when I went to that Mabon festival in — oh, I don’t remember the name of the town now.”

“Yeah; those belong to me as well,” Owen said. He put his hand in his pocket; I knew he was itching for a smoke, or a vape, or whatever he did in this Realm.

“So you…”

“Your usual fixer works for me,” he said. “Listen; I gotta go, but text me if you need anything? I hate voice calls.”

And then he was out the door, just like that. Fucker. Drop a bombshell like that on me? How long have I actually been working for Owen, anyway?

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Then, again… fuck it.

Then, again… fuck it. The prospect of spending the next six months in a posh art studio in southeast London, even if it would be a little creepy and require way too much research on my part… not so bad. And, you know. Helping a poor little svart not go through what I went through. OK, OK, I’ll take it. I texted Owen to say I had decided to take the job.

“Knew u would! Nite

Great. He even texts in textspeak, I thought.

Style Cards:

TAC:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Simone Bento Head
Eyes: Mesange, First Date Eyes (Omega Appliers)
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Fajen, in tone Sand (Available NOW at the OMG Gacha Fair!)
Hair: Wasabi Pills, London (Available NOW at Ultra!)
Dress, stockings, shoes: Mignon, Mia, Black
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife

OWEN (portrayed by Ben Ballard):
Skin – 7 Deadly S{k}ins – Jager, Cotton V2
Eyes – IKON “Sunrise” eyes, Light Steel Blue
Hair – no.match – NO_OFFENCE Blonds (Macchiato)
Outfit – hoorenbeek Mesh Outfit – Kimmel

TAC’s flat:
Skybox: Vespertine, Reykjavik Loft
Couches, tables, light easel, and curtains: CLAVv, Light Studio (Available NOW at The Epiphany!)
Brown art table, bench, bowl, and tea towel: Apple Fall, Artists Collection
Large easel, stained art table, stools, rolling shelf with canvases: Artisan Fantasy, Art Studio
Kitchenette: Trompe Loeil, Finley Kitchenette
Kitchen Lighting: {e}lusive, Shapes Pendant Lights (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Mirror: {anc}, Looking-Glass, Magic Mirror, Heaven

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never put TAC in yet another crazy situation without it!

skinlogodiap   wasabi_logo_2012_512x512

Positively Faux Street

New Blog Headers - 11

The Amazing Catwoman:

Pocket Universes all have this feel about them, like they’ve been stamped onto a sheet of paper about a dozen times, only nobody’s bothered to re-ink the stamp. You spend as much time as I have in this business, you get to know them the second you step in to one.

Now, granted, not all pocket universes are bad. Some of them are perfectly decent club and shopping districts. Some of them are decent hideouts. In fact, I’ve even been to one or two pocket universes I actually liked. But the fact is, when you get hired to do a job in a pocket universe, you’re doing something illegal (almost always), or you’re doing something somebody doesn’t want somebody more important than they are to know about (always always).

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One thing I can guarantee: if you land in a pocket universe that has as its portal a pair of Big, Impressive Elfin Doors and you’re not then in Elf Land, it’s not one of the good ones.

One thing I can guarantee: if you land in a pocket universe that has as its portal a pair of Big, Impressive Elfin Doors and you’re not then in Elf Land, it’s not one of the good ones. Just a bit of wisdom from your old buddy TAC. Because damn. This pocket universe was really not one of the good ones. I could tell it the moment I stepped through the Massive Elfin Doors.

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And whether you’re in a good pocket universe or a bad one, it always takes a moment or two to get your bearings.

And whether you’re in a good pocket universe or a bad one, it always takes a moment or two to get your bearings, but that’s true of all portal travel. Worst portal sickness I ever had was on a trip to Manchester, I kid you not.

Anyway, the fixer had set me up with a place to stay, which was a blessing, since the whole PU (I love that abbreviation) seemed to be made up of one street of shops and a lonely little city park, bordered by forest on one side and God Knows What on the other.

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As luck would have it, it was upstairs from an art studio. Or maybe it was a gallery. I get those two mixed up.

As luck would have it, it was upstairs from an art studio. Or maybe it was a gallery. I get those two mixed up. Never gave a fuck about art anyway. I put my shit away and started to settle in for the night, but since I was meant to report for work in the morning, I figured I’d take a look around, see what there was to see.

As it turned out, there wasn’t a hell of a lot to see. Every place except the art studio/gallery/whatever was locked up tight, even the address I was meant to report to the next morning. Come to think of it, the clerk at the art studio/gallery/whatever hadn’t been there when I’d come back downstairs, either.

Great. I’m in a two-bit pocket universe with only one street, and the only unlocked building is a fucking art studio. Gallery. Whatever.

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The park was a disappointment, too.

The park was a disappointment, too. Not even a fucking bench. Just a lit up tree with lights all in it (because it’s never too early for Christmas in Pocket Universe Land), a big clock, and some weird statue of a girl apparently losing a battle with a dandelion. Awesome. I went back to my special room, probably the only living inhabitant of the whole universe, such as it was, and I just meditated until I fell asleep. Because damn. The least they could have done was bought me dinner, you know?

Fucking bright sunlight woke me the next morning. At least there was a shower, and since I was the only person in the universe, plenty of hot water, booyah. And when I got out of the shower, I noticed somebody had left a styrofoam cup of coffee (really? do they even make styrofoam in pocket universes?) and a shabby-looking croissant on the table in my room. Delish.

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They told me I’d meet my contact in the coffee shop.

They told me I’d meet my contact in the coffee shop. Luckily, it wasn’t shut tight in the morning: I hoped the coffee would at least be better than that swill I’d swallowed with the croissant (because fuck knows when I’d get another meal, you know?).

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It did not take me long to realise this was not the sort of coffee house I’d been thinking of.

It didn’t take me long to realise this wasn’t the sort of coffee house I’d been thinking of. For fuck’s sake, the whole place looked like some teenager’s dream of what an Amsterdam coffeehouse looked like, except of course the teenager’s from somewhere in Ohio….

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Oh, hell no. I turned to walk out.

Oh, hell, no. I turned to walk out. Figured I’d ring my fixer as soon as I could get a signal and let him know there was no way there could be any good work in a place like this.

“Tacey! Wait!” I stopped dead. Nobody’d called me that in years. And the voice was familiar. Jesus fuck.

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“Owen?” I stared at the fellow who’d materialised in front of me.

“Owen?” I stared at the fellow who’d materialised in front of me. “What the fuck do you want?”

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Trinity
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears, Naturals
Eyes: Avi-Glam, Elysian Eyes, Chocolate
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Lexy (Freckled), in tone Chestnut (Available through 30 November at TWE12LVE. Additional appliers, including body appliers, available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store.)
Hair: Emo-Tions, Maureen (available at Hairology!)
Top: Jangka, Hyperia Jacket (Available at We❤ RP!)
Belt Pouch: Noble Creations, Medici Pouch (A prize for the 5th Fantasy Cream Hunt!)
Trousers: Lassitude & Ennui, Hand-Stitched Leather Leggings (Maitreya Appliers)
Boots: JustDesign, Ara Boots in Earth
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: Emo-Tions, Precious (Available at We❤ RP!)

Big, Impressive Elfin Doors: Violetility, Ultimate RP Door Elven (Stone)
Streetlight: BlackJack, Amsterdam Gacha, Streetlight (Available at 6 Republic!)
Street: BlackJack, Amsterdam Gacha, Straight Road (Available at 6 Republic!)
Art Studio Building: Death Row Designs, The Joint Coffee Shop, Coffee Shop (Available at 6 Republic!)
Art Studio Interior: Artisan Fantasy, Art Studio Gacha (Available at 6 Republic!)
Clock:Mistero Hifen,  Il Tempo Perfetto
Dandelion Status: Mistero Hifen, Dream 2
Light Tree: Happy Mood, Garden Tree 08 With Lights
Corner Trees: Roawenwood, Autumn Fire Tree (Available at We❤ RP!)
Coffee Shop Interior: Death Row Designs, The Joint Coffee Shop (Available at 6 Republic!)

Poses: All from An Lar, some from the Daydreamer Series, some from the Layna Series

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never subject you guys to cliffhangers involving The Amazing Catwoman without it!

hairology-november   [NC] - Noble Creations - LOGO   7ds

A Dream of Winter

Gwyneth Blog Header

Gwyneth:

My dreams grow more intense. I had the most haunting dream the other night, and I wasn’t sure about all the messages there seemed to be in it at the time, but now I think it must be about protection, and unity.

 

 

 

 

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I was standing in a place that I knew to be my Bower, though it was much changed.

I was standing in a place that I knew to be my Bower, though it was much changed. There was new snowfall everywhere, and I came to myself in a little copse of trees, all alight by some magic. How beautiful, I thought. I noted the house behind me, but it seemed obvious that I had just come from there. And there was a path, and you know how sensible these things seem in dreams: I walked down it.

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Everywhere, there was the mist that I have come to associate with thick, Fae magic.

Everywhere, there was the mist that I have come to associate with thick, Fae magic. To my right, I spied a gazebo that I was sure I’d seen before, and two little houses were on my left. I knew instinctively that these were Drysi and Eilian’s residences, and I wondered for a moment why there was no residence for Bronwyn. I made a mental note to ask Dyisi whether or not she’d seen anything about Bronwyn’s future. Perhaps Bronwyn is in some kind of danger. Then again, half the time I don’t know where she is anyway. At least, now that the number of injured we have just seen come through the Bower has convinced Eilian that books are more interesting than pretending to be a warrior, he can be counted on to be in his room studying most of the time, and I have some hope that he might turn out to be more sensible than I’d feared. And Drysi, well. I just hope our relationship continues to improve.

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But something else caught my eye.

But something else caught my eye. At the end of the path, there was a circle of purple flowers. I laughed to think of flowers in the snow. In their midst, there was a statue of a spring goddess, or I assumed she was some aspect of spring or summer: she certainly wasn’t dressed for the snow. I found that I was holding, somehow, five votive candles, which I placed around her feet and lit: three for our Realms of Earth, Sea, and Sky, one for the creative initiator of Fire, and one to the Shining Ones.

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Then I turned and saw what looked like  a garden wall.

Then, I turned and saw what looked like a garden wall. But no ordinary garden, no. I could already see what peeked over the edges. It was our somewhat wilful Sithen Rose. I smiled to myself to see that someone had made it a much more secure enclosure than Davey’s well-meaning stonework, but then as I got closer I saw the gypsy’s mark on the gate post and smiled to myself.

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I swear, if ever there were a more menacing plant, I have not met it.

I swear, if ever there were a more menacing plant, I have not met it. Nor would I want to. As I entered the garden, one of the roses lifted up and followed my progress round the still-existing stone enclosure, and I could swear I heard a hiss. The Sithen Rose at the old Seelie Sithen in Ashbourne was a much more benign plant than this. I wonder if it’s exposure to Maric’s roses that has made it so, well, odd. I left the walled garden quickly, resolving to have that very structure built the moment I woke up.

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When I left the walled garden, I found the familiar field of flowers, blooming even in the snow.

When I left the walled garden, I found the familiar field of flowers, blooming even in the snow, and my beloved reading house. As I walked round, I saw that Wren’s treehouse still looked intact, so no need to worry about her future, at least for the moment.

The paths, now covered over with snow, seemed the same, though the central one now pointed toward the gazebo I’d rounded on my way to the Sithen Rose.

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As I drew closer, I realised the gazebo was more than just a decorative piece of the garden.

As i drew closer, I realised the gazebo was more than just a decorative piece of the garden. Beneath its mosaic roof was a council table with many seats.

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Of course, as with everything in dreams, this felt significant.

Of course, as with everything in dreams, this felt significant. Reflexively, i reached for the necklace I wore, then discovered that it felt unfamiliar. I looked down to find I was wearing an exquisite, perfect dragon, with a crystal clutched in its talons. The workmanship was so familiar. How odd that I didn’t remember purchasing this dragon necklace from anywhere, and how odd I’d have a dragon symbol at all: I just don’t think all that much about dragons, unless they’re Lilacor. Was I now being protected somehow by a dragon?

Dream of Winter BLOG - 9

I couldn’t resist a little play when I finally got to the beautiful and impressive looking council table, with its big wooden chairs.

I couldn’t resist a little play when I finally got to the beautiful and impressive looking council table, with its big wooden chairs. “Oh, Lord Daecharion. How awful to see you. Do please take a seat: I’ve iced this one specially for you.” This made me cackle like a madwoman in my dream.

Dream of Winter BLOG - 10

Still, there’s no denying the beauty and workmanship of this table.

Still, there’s no denying the beauty and workmanship of this table, even if all I could think to do with it on first glance was insult that stuffed old prick Daecharion. I did wonder what it meant, though: are we to be at war again? Will we be drawing up treaties? Are we to come together with other Fae royals from different realms and try to make sense of the cosmos?

All these questions started jumbling together in my head, and then next thing I knew, I was waking up in my own familiar bed.

Dream of Winter BLOG - 11

Well, the bed was at least familiar.

Well, the bed was at least familiar. Nothing else was. Oh, joy: a new season, a new Bower. I went to explore to see if my dream was true, and I found a magical ladder, similar to the ones that we had in my lovely Treehouse, to take me down to the new Residence’s main level.

Dream of Winter BLOG - 12

I descended in what I could only imagine must be intended to be Nathaniel’s office.

I descended to what I could only imagine must be intended to be Nathaniel’s office. It was full of dark wood and purple and old books. Not that I don’t like old books, mind.

 

Dream of Winter BLOG - 13

Of course, my eyes lit up when I saw the kitchen!

Of course, my eyes lit up when I saw the kitchen! No more sneaking to a different building to get a midnight snack! And the table is the same one from the coffee pavilion in the old place, so that’ll be familiar at least to the children. I must go round and inspect their little houses later on.

Dream of Winter BLOG - 14

And the rest of the main level!

And the rest of the main level! Such huge windows, and my beautiful desk, and a big window seat, and an artist’s corner with an easel! I suppose this means the Shining Ones want me to explore art again. I haven’t been painting in such a long time.

Dream of Winter BLOG - 15

And now I imagine the bower as a snow globe.

And now I imagine the bower as a snow globe. A little circle of light. How funny it would be, to live in a snow globe.

Dream of Winter BLOG - 16

There are dragons, and wolves, above the fireplace.

There are dragons, and wolves, above the fireplace. And I’ve been a brunette since I woke up from my dream. I don’t know what that means, either. But I am so happy not to be asleep again, like last year. I never want to sleep through another season. I think, had I not been sleeping, My King Janus might still be with me. I miss him every single day.

Style Cards:

Gwyneth in Red
Body:
Maitreya Lara
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Vlinder, version 8a, Catwa Applier, in skintone Apricot (Available, along with Maitreya and SLink appliers, at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store)
Head: Catwa Jessica
Hair: Calico, Theia (Available at The Secret Affair)
Crown: Noble Creations, Gold Crown (Group Gift at the Noble Creations Main Store)
Ears: BentBox, Sylvan Ears, Medium (Available at We Love Roleplay)
Eyes: IKON, Spectral Eyes, Gold
Dress: The White Armory, Crystal Solstice Gown, Ruby
Necklace: Otherskin, Gaurdians Mercury Tigereye (An Advent Calendar Gift at the upcoming Fair Play [opens 1 December])
Wings: Deviance, Sidhe Wings, Briar Rose (Rare)
Shoes: Junbug, Valkyrie Sandals, Red (even if you can’t see them!)

In the bower:
New Seelie Queen Residence
: LAQ, Picturesque Cottage
Children’s Houses: KTZ Houses, Pashoot
Statue: Paper Moon, Visage Stone Statue (Rare)
Flower Ring: The Looking Glass, Dream Fields Circle
Sithen Rose Walled Garden Enclosure: Spargel & Shine, Jardin Marisol (Available at Cosmopolitan)
Sithen Rose Inner Enclosure: Artisan Fantasy, Maiden Tor Stone Wall
Sithen Rose: The Looking Glass, Hearts Like China Roses
Flower Field: The Looking Glass, Ichi Fields
Stone Circle: Gor Con, Menhir Circle (Ultra Rare)
Storyteller’s House: 8f8 Storyteller’s Burrow (Rare)
Gazebo: Cerridwen’s Cauldron, Seelie Gazebo, Wide
Council Table & Chairs: Noble Creations, The Round Table (Available at  We Love Roleplay)
Trees: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods
Signposts: 8f8, Storyteller’s Burrow, Sign Post and Direction Post
Snow-Covered Paths: Happy Mood, Dirt Road
Cobbled Paths: [DDD] Stoney Path

Gwyneth in Jeans
Body: Maitreya Lara
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Vlinder, version 8a, Catwa Applier, in skintone Apricot (Available, along with Maitreya and SLink appliers, at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store)
Head: Catwa Jessica
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!) Gwen
Ears: BentBox, Sylvan Ears, Medium (Available at  We Love Roleplay)
Eyes: IKON, Spectral Eyes, Gold
Shirt: Kitja, Nile Shirt, Grey (Available at Uber)
Jeans: Spirit, Abba Jeans (Available at Uber)
Boots: aDiva, Kenya Moto Boots
Necklaces:
Otherskin, Gaurdians Mercury Tigereye (An Advent Calendar Gift at the upcoming Fair Play [opens 1 December])
BAMSE, Moon Necklace (Rare) (Available at The Fantasy Collective)

In the House:
Bed
: Tarte, Enchanted Slumber
Nathaniel’s Office
Bookcases: 8f8, Storyteller’s Burrow, Grand Cabinet, Double Bookcase
Furniture: Artisan Fantasy, Valezquez Set, Hacienda Reading Bench
Kitchen
Table, Chairs, Benches: Trompe Loeil, Laney Table
Back Kitchen Fixtures: [DDD], Victorian Little Kitchen
Coffee Decor: Kunst, Coffee Gacha (Available at Shiny Shabby)
Food Prep Table: Ginger Line: Double Wood Basic Counter
Lamp: Velvet Whip, Moon Lamp (ultrarare) (Available at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival)
Fireplace Shield Decor: Artisan Fantasy, Symbolic Shields Triple Wolf (ultra rare) and Dragon Triquetra (rare)
Living Room
Couches, tables, and candles: Artisan Fantasy, Hacienda Living Room
Desk: Tia, Diplomat’s Desk
Easel: Solarium, Medhir Woods Easel and Painting
Artist’s Table and Bench, plus decor: Apple Fall, Old Stained Table and Old Stained Bench; Red Tea Towel, and Liberty Sketchbook
Curtains: ASO, Vintage Curtain (Available at The Fantasy Collective)
Kitten Painting: Antique Artistry, Yard Long Painting, Kittens
Lamp: Velvet Whip, Moon Lamp (rare)

Snow Globe: Turnip’s Skydome 2.0

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

Fair Play opens on the first of December and runs through the seventh of January. Make sure to check out the Advent Calendar there, where you can get a beautiful free item every day!

I’m absolutely chuffed to have been selected to blog for Noble Creations, whose beautiful things I’ve bought and enjoyed for some time now. I only blog stuff I love.

7dsFair Play Logo[NC] - Noble Creations - LOGO

Faewatch: The Goblin War!

Faewatch - 1

Presented by Cherish Gelato

The Goblin War

[Theme Music, Fade up, and….]

Voiceover: Welcome to the Faewatch radio programme, with your presenter, Cherish Gelato!

[Glissando]

CG: Good morning, all you Faewatch listeners! As you know, we’ve had a lot of secondhand news lately about a war being fought between the combined courts of the Wylds and what we estimated to be an immense goblin force, tens of thousands of them.

CG: Of course, we hear so much about what happens in the Wylds of Faerie secondhand that we sometimes don’t know what’s true and what’s a fabrication. But you know Faewatch always tries to give quality information, the best quality we can get, so we’ve gathered together four individuals who were actually involved in the war and put them in to the same room to give us a run-down of what occurred from several points of view. On my left here, we have The Gypsy Davey, who helped prepare the Queen’s Bower to receive the all-important Sithen Rose. On my right, we have Tac, who is an archer in the Seelie forces and was present at the battle. Next to Tac, here’s Princess Drysi, one of the three Royal Children, and the first time we’ve had the chance to interview one of these enigmatic Fae. Next to The Gypsy Davey is seated Dyisi, Seer to the Wylds. And of course, seated just down at the end of the table, Seelie Queen Gwyneth herself. Thank you all for coming.

CG: Your Majesty, you’re looking radiant today. Your beauty eclipses the sun. I’m honoured to be in your presence. Can you tell us a little bit about the conflict and how it all played out.

SQG: For most of the major battle, I was in our makeshift infirmary, tending to the wounded. We were unprepared for the number of wounded we’d have during the first wave of the battle. However, some of the other people here were there, so I’d like to direct this question to Dyisi, who has been invaluable in the war effort. I also understand you have one of my archers here as well, so she might be able to answer a little better than I could.

Gwyneth in the infirmary

Gwyneth in the infirmary

CG: Thank you, Your Majesty. Let’s redirect that question to Dyisi, and Tac, if you feel the need to put in any details, just let me know.

D: It was a war, nai.  Noht unlike other wars that I have seen.  Though I can noht say that I had as much of a hand as others may choose to see it.  There was those who sought to bring such unbalance, and thus I lent what I could to correct such being a thing.  Ah.. nai..  But it was just as any other war that has existed as long as such unbalances are too exist.

CG: I understand all wars have similarities. Can you give us an idea of whether the goblins were vanquished? My listeners are very interested in how the Fae of the Wylds are faring.

D: I would guess they had been, nai..  we are still here are we noht?  I would think that had a different outcome have been met, this ah.. interview.. would noht be within this parallel.  Though had this been another parallel, I would noht be here.   As for Fae, I would think asking they who are fae would be.. ah as they say..  better down payment?

T: If I can answer that, at least partly, I can tell you that at the end of the battle the goblins retreated back into their hold, their numbers much diminished. Commander Wulfrich did a good job of making sure that our forces were where they needed to be at the right times.

Here's a reference photograph of Tac, dressed for archery.

Here’s a reference photograph of Tac, dressed for archery.

CG: That’s excellent news. Thank you, Dyisi, and thank you as well, Tac. Princess Drysi, what was your role in the conflict?

PD: Due to my youth and inexperience, and so as to not put myself or anyone else in danger, I was not able to participate  in the battle. I instead worked to hone my fighting skills so I may be better prepared  for any future attack on my people.

CG: You show a real flair for leadership, Your Highness. I hope I’ll be able to speak with you and your siblings at length sometime soon! But let’s get back to the conflict. Your Majesty, you said there were many wounded. Can you give us an idea of numbers?

SQG: I’m afraid I can’t at this time. We have only a few beds in our infirmary, so it was reserved for the more serious cases, while those who could be moved were patched up and sent back to their families for convalescence. Our healers will be looking in on all the wounded over the days and weeks to come. Numbers in Faerie, as you know Cherish, are always subject to change.

CG: I understand there were some fantastic beasts helping out during the battles. Oracle Dyisi, can you tell us a little bit about the Jabberwock?

D: Aahh nai nai..  One who I have summoned from Tulgey Woods.  I had sent him to help Maric and those of his command.  I have been told that Jabberwock had ..mn..  what was said.. melted faces?  Nai…  Did as he would.  From what had others also gave told of, he frightened goblins to flee.  Which, according to many.. is hard to do. He has returned though to his home.

SQG: I didn’t see the Jabberwock, but Dyisi nearly scared me to death when she showed up in my Bower with the Bandersnatch.

Gwyneth reacts to the Bandersnatch.

Gwyneth reacts to the Bandersnatch.

CG: The Bandersnatch? Dyisi, are you in command of every character from Wonderland?

D: Last I was aware, two beasts do noht an entire land of Wonder.  Mmmn..  excuse.. three.  However, Bandersnatch and Jabberwock were given to me as summons to help during another.. war.  One I shall noht go within details of.  If that is of mind to you.  Nai?  But, they protect White Bishop and who I ask of them to.

CG: Of course; my journalistic integrity is impeccable, and I shall never question you about things you don’t want to talk about. Well, listeners, it seems that even Satyrs have secrets they’d rather not reveal, and Dyisi’s revolve around a little girl named Alice! Now, let’s take a quick break and I’ll see you all back here in a moment.

[Glissando]

CG: And welcome back to the Faewatch Radio Programme, a very special panel interview with key players in the Goblin War: Seelie Queen Gwyneth, her daughter Princess Drysi, the Seer of the Wylds, Dyisi, Tac, an archer in the Seelie forces, and The Gypsy Davey, who has been preparing the way for the Sithen Rose to be replanted in the Queen’s Bower.

CG: It looks like most of the major players on the side of the Seelie Forces have survived the war. Your Majesty, how is King Maric faring?

SQG: My Lord King has retired to another realm to rest and recuperate.

CG: That sounds ominous. Let’s move on.

CG: Tac, you’re the only foot soldier here: can you give us a glimpse of your view of the battle?

Tac: Well, it was like most other wars I’ve been in: I guess I agree with Dyisi on this point. As an archer, I wasn’t in the midst of the fray, but rather above watching it. There were some beautiful moments, like when Princess Thalia threw this massive ball of water at the goblin forces with her trident, and then the Jabberwock just came and mowed them all down and the rest of them went running. We were picking them off like rabbits at that point. [she laughs] Honestly, unless it had been a complete rout with the goblins winning, there was no way any of our forces could have been overrun. We had too much protection on the ground with warriors like King Maric and Arahaelon and Commander Wulfrich fighting for all they were worth, and the little guys like me up in the trees taking care of oncoming onslaughts.

CG: Tac, thank you for a brief and informative overview. How is it a clever girl like you is stuck in the archery forces and not commanding a regiment of your own?

PD: Good question.

Tac: [after a brief pause] Well, I’m sort of not from the Wylds. I landed here and have been held here against my will, for something I have no idea about what I did, and I can’t go home until I have a conversation with Her Majesty, and she never has time for me. They’re not about to let me command a regiment, even if I’m smarter than half their section commanders. They don’t want anybody who can realm-walk getting out of their realm. All I want to do is go home to my house and get started on my work again.

[A strangled chuckle can be heard]

CG: Princess Drysi, did you have something add to that? And, Your Majesty, we try to have an open forum here; perhaps you could have your conversation with Tac right here on our radio programme!

[Audible laughter and an air of amusement permeate the room]

PD: No, no thank you; I’m all right.

SQG: While it’s true that I did intend to have a conversation with Tac, I’m afraid my schedule has been very full and….

Tac: Your Majesty, I’ve been here since Midsummer, and it’s now past Samhain and heading toward Yule. I would really like to get the hell out of this backwater realm and get back home.

SQG: I’m sure we can arrange a meeting very soon. [a brief pause] You know, you look very familiar. Are you sure we haven’t met face to face before?

Tac: Your Majesty, if we’d ever met face to face, I would already have asked you about my incarceration in your Realm and I would have asked you to let me go home.

CG: Well! It seems you two have a lot to talk about, but that’s not really the subject of our discussion today. I am sure, Tac, that Her Majesty will meet with you just as soon as she has a little time in her schedule. Princess Drysi, your hair keeps changing colour! Is that something that happens to you when you get anxious?

PD: I, well… on top of the combat training my mother has also taken a moment to teach me a little about glamouring; so far i’ve only really figured out how to change my hair.  I guess I’m so used to it now it just happens without me thinking.

CG: That’s a good trick and a great skill! No doubt many of our mortal ladies would love to be able to accomplish this. Your Majesty, how easy is for a fae to change your hair colour with a glamour?

SQG: Due to a curse I sustained years ago, I’m unable to change my hair colour. But the concept is very simple for the Fae. As we are made of magic, magic course through us. And Drysi, I remember when I first learned how to glamour clothes and nail colours and things like that: for several weeks I just kept changing them, but there was a point where it became so normal to me that stuff just kept changing on its own.

Tac: I had to learn glamour in a hurry, because when I left my home Realm, I ended up as a being who was illegal in that world, and my housemates had to teach me very quickly how to become anybody I wanted to be. [she laughs] Can you believe I went from being a massage therapy student to an archer in the Seelie Army?

SQG: Wait. A massage therapy student?

Tac: Yeah.

[There are 5 seconds of complete silence.]

CG: Davey, what can you tell us about the Sithen Rose?

TGD: The Sithen Rose is traditionally the heart of any Fae Sithin that exists within a larger Realm. The Wylds Sithen Rose needs some tender loving care, so I was summoned by Dyisi to come and create a place for it, then help get it planted in the ground.

Davey with the Sithen Rose

Davey with the Sithen Rose

SQG: Fenella. Fenella Wallin.

Tac: How the *censored* do you know that?

CG: Why don’t we take a quick break, and we’ll be back in a moment.

[Glissando]

CG: Welcome back, listeners! Well, it seems we have a few revelations today! I will look forward to getting you all back on to the show to answer some more questions and talk more about your lives in the Wylds. But for now, that’s all the time we have! Thanks so much to our guests, especially Her Majesty Seelie Queen Gwyneth, who was so kind as to come across to our studios today and bring these lovely people with her.

[Theme music]

Style Cards:

Gwyneth in the Infirmary:
Head:
Catwa Jessica
Skin: Pink Fuel Morgana Catwa Applier in Porcelain, Maitreya and SLink appliers for body and hands
Ears: BentBox, Sylvan Ears (Available at We Love Roleplay)
Body: Maitreya Lara
Hands and Feet: SLink
Eyes: IKON, Triumph Eyes, Nymph
Corset: Cila, Shara Elf of Luna, Silver *rare* (Available at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival)
Hair: Emo-tions, Tariel
Crown: The Annex, Snow Queen Crown *rare*
Necklace: Aisling, Lavi Necklace
Wings: Remarkable Oblivion, Eternity Wings, Innocence
Boots: Schadenfreude, Amargosa Boots
Tattoo: Things, Airell
Apothecary Cupboard & Contents: Artisan Fantasy Apothecary Gacha (Available at the Artisan Fantasy Main Store)
Apothecary Chest of Drawers: PPK, Healer Small Cabinet
Apothecary Box: Artisan Fantasy, Portable Apothecary
Infirmary Beds: PPK, Healer Exam Bed

Gwyneth Meeting Dyisi and the Bandersnatch in the Bower:
Head: Catwa Jessica
Skin: Izzie’s, Catwa Taleah Applier, Frost, Maitreya and SLink appliers, Frost
Ears: BentBox, Sylvan Ears (Available at We Love Roleplay)
Body: Maitreya Lara
Hands and Feet: SLink
Eyes: IKON, Triumph Eyes, Nymph
Circlet: Junbug, The Sabrina Circlet
Hair: Analog Dog, Gwen
Necklace, Cae, Cernunnos
Leggings and Sweater: M.BIRDIEstory, Loozy (Available at Uber)
Boots: 22769, Jika-Tabi Red Leather
Flower Circle: The Looking Glass, Dream Fields Circle (New from The Looking Glass)
Trees: Studio Skye, Enchanted Wood

The Amazing Catwoman:
Body, Hands, & Feet
: SLink Physique (original)
Hair: Elikatira, Brenna
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, November Girls’ Group Gift (Available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store, SLink and other appliers also available there)
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears
Eyes: Mayfly, Luminous Mesh Eye, Deep Paris
Necklace, Otherskin, Selene
Boots: 22769, Jika-Tabi Blue Leather
Clothing: Azuchi Archer, Shirt Pants and Vest (Available at We Love Roleplay)
Bow: Gauze, Huntsman Bow & Quiver
Forest: Studio Skye, Enchanted Wood

The Gypsy Davey:
Body, Hands, & Feet: SLink Physique (original)
Hair: EMO-tions, Michael
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Damien Box 5, Smoked (Available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store, SLink and other appliers also available there)
Ears: BentBox, Sylvan Ears (Available at We Love Roleplay)
Eyes: IKON, Sovereign Eyes, Electric
Sweater: Body Factory, Schott Sweater, (Available at Sad November)
Jeans: Ar2 Style, Biker Jeans
Necklace: Earthstones Celtic Claddagh Necklace
Boots: 22769, Jika-Tabi Black Leather
Rose Wall: Artisan Fantasy Wall Building Kit
Sithen Rose: The Looking Glass, Hearts Like China Roses
Surrounding Roses: {anc} Sugar Rose Field

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

7ds

What I Did After My Summer Holiday, by The Amazing Catwoman

The Amazing Catwoman:

The Amazing Catwoman:

Well, first of all, those fuckers in New Brighton fired me after one night on the job without so much as a “fuck you very much, TAC.” Fucking vamps. I mean, at least you’d think a crowd like that would be up to date on whether or not women could be badasses, but no; I was too small, not intimidating enough, why on earth would anybody hire a little girl like me as a bouncer, blah, blah, blah, she’ll be somebody’s ghoul by tomorrow midnight, blah-ti-blah. Fuck you, vampires of New Brighton.

So they sent me to Ironwood Hills, because there was apparently a ghost problem.

So they sent me to Ironwood Hills, because there was apparently a ghost problem.

So they sent me to Ironwood Hills, because there was apparently a ghost problem. I mean, seriously. Ghosts? Fine, fine, fine. I loaded up with anti-ghost herbs and took the notes from the fixer. It was a weird realm jump: I materialised outside a fucking cemetery over a sewer drain, and the steam was godawful. Well, fine. I’m not one to be a complete idiot, as I’m sure you know by now, so instead of heading immediately into the cemetery, I got suited up, then made my way into town to find out what was going on from the locals.

Town, wouldn't you know it, was deserted.

Town, wouldn’t you know it, was deserted.

Town, wouldn’t you know it, was deserted. It was a ghost town. (See what I did there?) So I sat on the steps with an abandoned teddy bear and planned my next move.

As it turned out, most of the houses were boarded up: this one even had the word HAUNTED on it in big letters.

As it turned out, most of the houses were boarded up: this one even had the word HAUNTED on it in big letters.

As it turned out, most of the houses were boarded up: this one even had the word HAUNTED on it in big letters. Of course, everything was fine until I actually did hear a loud moaning sound coming from…. well, from everywhere, really.

I took off at a run to see what there was to see in the rest of the town.

I took off at a run to see what there was to see in the rest of the town.

I took off at a run to see what there was to see in the rest of the town.

These things always have a source. That moaning continued, though, from just fucking everywhere. It was unnerving. It would stop, then start again, like a crazy sentient wind. Once I got further into town, I noticed signs for a carnival. Oh, great. Carnivals are hotbeds for weirdness, so I figured it’d be worth checking out as a possible source of the trouble.

When I got to the carnival site, I was gobsmacked.

When I got to the carnival site, I was gobsmacked.

When I got to the carnival site, I was gobsmacked. It was half full of water, there were crows everyfuckingwhere, all this stuff looked like it had been dilapidated for decades, as did the rest of the town, really, and you don’t even want to know about the creepy dolls: those little things are seriously unnerving.

Then, a freaky thing happened: a rift opened in the sky, I kid you not. And I fucking froze. My heart rate went up, there was a pounding in my head and my ears rang and all my nerves started to tingle, and I knew, just knew, that I had to get away from there, and fast. Fuck my fee, fuck the job: there was no saving Ironwood Hills. As a realm, it is a goner, there is nobody here except creepy dolls and a strange brigade of little children playing in the refuse, and just forget the whole thing, I was running. Out of there. Fast.

Then, everything went dark.

Then, everything went dark.

Then, everything went dark. Only I was still frozen in place. Fucking paralysed. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before; what the fucking fuck. I know, I know, I’m cursing too much. Blame her: She made me a potty mouth.

Dizzy, dizzy, dizzy, and then blackness.

And I woke up on a fucking beach.

And I woke up on a fucking beach.

And I woke up on a fucking beach. On a beautiful day. With my heart still pounding. I wasn’t wearing my same clothes, and something had gone crazy with my hair, and there was one of those floaty planes—what are those things called, anyway—over the sea.

When I looked in the other direction, sharks. I started to get dizzy again.

When I looked in the other direction, sharks. I started to get dizzy again.

When I looked in the other direction, sharks. I started to get dizzy again. Great. This was just fucking great.

Then I remembered an old trick the Gypsy Davey taught me, and I reached for my shadow.

Then I remembered an old trick the Gypsy Davey taught me, and I reached for my shadow.

Then I remembered an old trick the Gypsy Davey taught me, and I reached for my shadow. Take me, take me, out of this place. Take me away, lady goddess.

Then, with dizziness and bonus nausea, not to mention a feeling of constriction everywhere, I found myself in some kind of mediaeval castle.

Then, with dizziness and bonus nausea, not to mention a feeling of constriction everywhere, I found myself in some kind of mediaeval castle.

Then, with dizziness and bonus nausea, not to mention a feeling of constriction everywhere, I found myself in some kind of mediaeval castle. There were lutes playing. Servants quietly scurried around with their eyes on the floor. Nobody remarked on my sudden appearance: they just all said, “My Lady” whenever I passed them. “My Lady” would like a fucking dirty martini with extra olive juice, thank you very much.

I did not much like this world.

I did not much like this world.

I did not much like this world. It seemed to me that if this was some alternate life for me, I would be a very bored “Lady”. And half a dozen people explained to me that the purple of my dress complimented the red of my hair, which had been bound up in some admittedly impressive braid thing. The one thing I’d have loved to take away from this existence, which frankly reminded me all too much of her, was the necklace I found around my neck when I materialised. Such a beautiful thing. Perhaps I’ll see if… no. I am not taking any more favours from her than I have to. And why was I here, anyway? What possible impulse could have lead my shadow to bring me to such a place, unless it was just looking for something as far away as possible from a beach? I did note, when I looked out this window, that we were absurdly high, on some impossible peak. The castle seemed accessible only by a bridge that it would have been impossible to cross even on horseback. I did not waste much time wondering how supplies got in: enough of the servants were sporting pointy ears for me to imagine this must be some sort of an elfin or faerie kingdom. Still, it was terrifying to be on a beach one minute and then trussed up in a corseted dress the next. Ugh. I reached for my shadow again.

OMG, that day was so horrible.

OMG, that day was so horrible.

OMG, this day is so horrible. Late night / early morning mist, and my dad shouting from the doorway and my mum looking out the kitchen window and crying, but fuck them. Rusty and I are going to Cornwall to surf and live a life like God intended people to live, free and not tied down to stupid parents.

And my dad yelling,

And my dad yelling, “I knew that little arse was trouble from the first time he came driving up here in that hippie van!”

And my dad yelling, “I knew that little arse was trouble from the first time he came driving up here in that hippie van!” And the fight going on and on and the mist burning off and Rusty just lying down to sleep in the back of the VW because he didn’t want to deal with my parents, and me fighting my way into the house again to grab a few things: I mean, how is a girl meant to survive without an iPhone, anyway?

And my dad stormed out of the house to work, and my mum just stood there crying, and all of a sudden all I could think of was being a little girl again.

And my dad stormed out of the house to work, and my mum just stood there crying, and all of a sudden all I could think of was being a little girl again.

And my dad storms out of the house to work, and my mum just stands there crying, and all of a sudden all I can think of is being a little girl again.

And I’m overwhelmed by this sense of loss, and Rusty finally gets fed up with waiting and starts the engine, and so I turn to get in…

And everything starts spinning.

And everything starts spinning.

And everything starts spinning, and nothing makes sense, and I see stars and have to grab for the van’s open window so I won’t fall over….

And then I find myself jerked abruptly away, and that life spins in tatters away from me.

And then I find myself jerked abruptly away, and that life spins in tatters away from me.

And then I find myself jerked abruptly away, and that life spins in tatters away from me. I land with a thump on her fucking altar, in the middle of the Great Seelie Forest, surrounded by giggling demifae and gossipy little will o’ the wisps, and it’s late morning and I’m stark fucking naked, not that it matters here, but what the fuck just happened to me?

I stretch and try to stand.

I stretch and try to stand.

I stretch and try to stand. “Don’t do that, Tacey,” says Clutie—you’d guess she’d be around, it being her domain and all. “You’ve had quite a shock. We’ll get a healer to you soon as we can: we think you’ve had a panic attack and spun yourself round several realms on your way back home.”

“This is not my home,” I snap, and it’s “Tac, not Tacey.” I fucking hate that name. “Tacey” means “quiet”. I mean, seriously. I am not Tacey. I am The Amazing Catwoman. Tac.

I try to stand up anyway and end up losing my balance and falling backwards.

I try to stand up anyway and end up losing my balance and falling backwards.

I try to stand up anyway and end up losing my balance and falling backwards. “Whose crap is this on the altar, anyway?” I mutter as I fall. But when you’re in the Magnificent Fae Queen’s back garden, there are always demifae ready to catch you when you fall over, even if they pull the shit out of your hair.

“Fine,” Clutie says, and there’s a hiss in her breath. “Tac, then, and it might not be home but we think you ought to stay for a little while, just until you get your realm-walking feet back. We’ll take you to see Dyisi if you want, though our healers can repair most of the damage.” Her voice softens as they settle me back down onto the altar. “It’s leftovers, by the way, from the Queen’s handfasting. It was just last week.”

“Oh, great,” I groan. “All this and I have to put up with her married bliss on top of everything else?”

“Oh, do calm down, Tacey—Tac,” she corrects herself before I can correct her. “So you don’t like Faerie. Well, you’re going to stay here for a little while, so shut your gob and get used to it.” Wow, she’s as bad as my dad back in…. what was the name of that town again?

“I was somebody else,” I say quietly.

“Probably several somebodies,” Clutie replies as if I’ve done the universe some great harm. “Now settle yourself, ground and centre, and let us help you.”

What happened to me?

What happened to me?

What happened to me? I rise up on my toes, breathe in the (admittedly) sweet air of Faerie, and let my feet feel the altar, the altar to the Earth, the earth to the Water, the water to the Sky, the sky to the sun, the sun to the great initiator, Fire. The sun of Faerie is like nowhere else, and I bathe in it, breathe it in, let myself go calm. I was a savage on a beach. I was a queen in a castle. I was a teenage girl running away from home. And for just a moment, goddess knows how long it’ll last, this does feel like home. I just hope I don’t have to deal too much with her.H

Style Cards

Hair Fair is opening as I write this, and the sensational Queue Marlow has outdone herself with this year’s offerings from Analog DogThe Amazing Catwoman is wearing all the new Hair Fair styles, plus one style that’s new in the Analog Dog Main Store, in this post. There’s also some great stuff from The Season’s Story and Oh My Gacha as well: check out the detail style cards below for lists and links!

Ironwood Hills, first photo:
Body: Maitreya
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Tavia v1 Natural RARE (Available at Oh My Gacha!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!) Theresa (New at the Analog Dog Main Store!)
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears
Clothes: Faida, Jeanne, Brown
Boots: Lassitude & Ennui, Hellebore Boots, Brown
Eyes: Avatar Bizarre, Cheshire Cat Gold
Necklace: Otherskin, Selene, Black
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife

Ironwood Hills, Subsequent Photos:
Body: 
Maitreya
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, Tavia v1 Natural RARE (Available at Oh My Gacha!)
Hair: 
Analog Dog (natch!) Theresa (New at the Analog Dog Main Store!)
Ears: 
Gauze, High Elf Ears
Eyes: Avatar Bizarre, Cheshire Cat Gold
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: Otherskin, Selene, Black
Clothes: Fashionably Dead Designs, Cirilla (blouse, boots, corset, and pants)

Timeless Memories (beach) Photos:
Body: 
Maitreya
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, Tavia v1 Natural RARE (Available at Oh My Gacha!)
Hair: 
Analog Dog (natch!) Sassafras (New at Hair Fair!)
Ears: 
Gauze, High Elf Ears
Eyes: Avatar Bizarre, Cheshire Cat Gold
Ring: 
Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: 
Otherskin, Selene, Black
Clothes: 
Fashionably Dead Designs, Cheeky Ranger (Tunic, Boots)
Tights: Izzie’s Cozy Tights
Tattoo: White Widow, Tombstone (At AnyBody)

Castle Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, Tavia v1 Natural RARE (Available at Oh My Gacha!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!) Molly (New at Hair Fair!)
Ears: 
Gauze, High Elf Ears
Eyes: Avatar Bizarre, Cheshire Cat Gold
Ring: 
Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: 
Otherskin, Salvation (At Fair Play!)
Dress: Les Encantades, Grace (At the Medieval Faire!)

Suburban England Photos:
Body: 
Maitreya
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, Tavia v1 Natural RARE (Available at Oh My Gacha!)
Hair: 
Analog Dog (natch!) Psylocibin (New at Hair Fair!)
Eyes: IKON, Destiny Eyes, Moor
Skirt: Wimey, Dark Denim Skirt RARE (At The Season’s Story!)
Tops: Wimey, Summer of Fandom Gacha commons (At The Season’s Story!)
Minivan: Bad Unicorn Clothing, “Prop” Summah Minivan RARE (At The Season’s Story!)
House: Breno, The Smith House (At The Fantasy Collective!)

Great Seelie Forest Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, Tavia v1 Natural RARE (Available at Oh My Gacha!)
Hair: 
Analog Dog (natch!) Sassafras (New at Hair Fair!)
Ears: 
Gauze, High Elf Ears
Eyes: Avatar Bizarre, Cheshire Cat Gold
Ring: 
Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: 
Otherskin, Selene, Black
Stone Circle: Artisan Fantasy, Maiden Tor Stone Circle
Trumpet Mushrooms: Cerridwen’s Cauldron
Flower Field: The Looking Glass, Ichi Fields

Locations:
Ironwood Hills, a beautifully creepy sim with open rez-rights, is a fantastic location for photography and just to explore. There’s loads to see, so go back often, and pass a few Lindens their way: it costs money to keep a sim open of course, and making it available to the public like this is such a beautiful gift.
Timeless Memories, fairly recently redesigned with a Mediterranean flair, is a gorgeous place both to visit and to photograph. I’m sure I’ll be back and grab more than just a few beach photos to scare TAC with sharks!
Skye Neist Point, part of the Studio Skye sims, is one of my favourite places to go when I need gorgeous landscapes and beautiful buildings. Studio Skye will also make you long to design your own forests and gardens with their meticulously and elegantly designed landscapes.

Other Locations: The suburban street was built in a sandbox, because I couldn’t find anything out in the Wide Second World that met my needs for this part of The Amazing Catwoman’s journey, and of course the Great Seelie Forest is part of Wicked Wylds, a private, invite-only roleplaying sim that invites good writers who want to create great characters.

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