Short Story Roundup

From The Author: Lately, I’ve not been inspired to write a lot of longish stories and have been sticking to single photographs. So here is a bit of a roundup of the last week or so in photographs. These have, except for one, already appeared on my Flickr feed, so they might seem familiar.

The Moth, or “Capture” and “Escape”

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Moth Working Shot

I knew Ritual was going to release a green skin for the Trick or Treat Lane event, but I didn’t have the skin yet. Now, green is not my favourite colour, and I only very rarely (like only when I want to blog one) wear green skin, so I wanted to find a concept that worked for me with a green skin. Luckily, I’d just been to the Lootbox event, where Devious Minds had this gorgeous moth outfit gacha. So, here is the dry-run shot that I took and edited before the eventual photograph with the skin itself. I’m including it here because it was fun to shoot and also because the character changed a bit in my head between concept and finished photo.

Quick credits: moth set is from the Devious Mind “Falena” gacha, at Lootbox. Hair is Magika, “Irene”. Avatar styled on LAQ Noelle Bento Mesh Head and a Maitreya body, with SLink Pointe feet.

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Capture

With the addition of the new skin (Ritual, Elspeth in tone Rheia for Trick or Treat Lane ), plus some brighter eyes (Cerebrus Xing, Uni Eyes), and dark lipstick (Pink Fuel, Dazzle Me-Haunted), and a change in hair (Tram, 0314), this character became, for me, a dark fairy captured, perhaps because she committed some crime or perhaps because of who she was. This is possibly her mug shot, although it might be a self-reflection from wherever she is incarcerated.

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Escape

Here is how the final photograph with the darker skin turned out. Whether she is re-captured, I do not know, but the story is somewhere in there! Even though I’d saved camera angles and lighting settings, things weren’t exactly the same, as you can see, and in order to soften the shadows I added an overlay in Affinity Photo to soften them. The Flickr version is cropped differently and I think more effectively.

I’d mentioned to the lovely Wren of Visionaire that I have been unsatisfied with a lot of the bloggy photography lately and felt like I was sliding in to some old habits (over-lighting, boring subject focus, and also over-lighting). Funny how when you talk about something, it suddenly seems to come clear to you? A lot of these pictures are partly influenced by that conversation.

Credits: Same as for the test shot, with the additions noted above. This great pose is from Le Poppycock‘s new Fairy Winds set.

Dignigoff

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Dignigoff

I’m still crazy in love with HEXtraordinary‘s adorable Lord Bartleby Von Tinkleton; isn’t everybody? I’d just finished the blog story about his visit to and planned takeover of Awenia, but I really wanted to put him in every photograph ever at the time, so here he is as Gwyneth’s travelling companion to some important Nu Jyorck function or other. This dress is 1313 Mockingbird Lane‘s beautiful (and versatile!) Delirium Dress, which will officially debut at The Black Fair on the 5th of October, and the shoes are also from 1313 Mockingbird Lane. They’re the Luna Mary Janes, and you can get them at Trick or Treat Lane , where there are many other amazing things, as well!

Credits from the Flickr Post:
The Dress: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Delirium (out soon at The Black Fair!)
The Shoes: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Luna Mary Janes (at Trick or Treat Lane !)
The Skin: Ritual, Elspeth in Tone 1 (at the Ritual Main Store)
The Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Zuna (Available at Lootbox)
The Bracelets: The Plastik, Phaen Cuffs (At Salem)
The Kitty: HEXtraordinary, Lord Bartleby Von Tinkleton, Esq. (At The Engine Rom)
The Headpiece: Zibska, Sammy (At Shiny Shabby)
The Backdrop: FoxCity, Grand Entrance (At Kustom9)
The Pose: An Lar, The Candi Series, 5m
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Keme

Glamour Shot!

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Glamour Shot

This is an unapologetic fashion red carpet style photograph of 1313 Mockingbird Lane‘s Delirium Dress, which will be available at The Black Fair. It’s not often I like a dress so much I want to photograph it twice, but something about the fall of the skirt and the fact that there was a cherry print for it made me wonder what would happen if you put a Goth girl into a 1950’s sitcom. So here she is, probably ready to go out for blood burgers and zombie shakes with all her friends from school! I’d also been wanting to photograph these Marcelina shoes from Bliensen + Maitai for ages, so long I don’t even remember where I got them, though the properties tab says I acquired them on the 5th of May this year, which probably means the May round of We Love Roleplay. Regardless, they’re gorgeous little witchy pumps, made for SLink kitten feet. I wish more people would design for kitten and pointe feet, but I’m weird. I searched far and wide for this cherry-themed jewellery and finally found it on the SL MP from Petit Chat. Searching for anything with the word “cherry” in the description on MP is…. yeah. We suffer for art, y’all. We really do.

Quick Credits for everything not. above: Skin: Ritual, Elspeth in T1. Body: Maitreya. Head: Catwa Keme. Ears: Swallow Elf Ears HD. Stockings: Sweet Tea. Backdrop Wearh0ouse, Drapes

I Woke Up Like This

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I Woke Up Like This

I’ll be honest: I didn’t mean to take this photograph. I was testing hairstyles for the moth photograph, and I came across this one from Tram (H0414) and considered it as a possibility. Then, when I was cam zoomed in on the avatar face, it struck me that this would make a really nice portrait, so I adjusted her expression and shot it. It ended up showing Ritual‘s beautiful Elspeth applier really well, so I decided to share it. And, really, don’t we all love living in SL where we really can wake up like this?

Quick credits: Eyes: ProFect, Moon Eyes; Head: Catwa Keme; Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears HD; Brows: Simple Bloom, LaraDawn soft arch; Hair: Tram H0414; Skin: Ritual, Elspeth in T1.

The News

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The News

Sometimes, a creation just inspires me on sight. That’s what happened with this evocative skin from Jeanette’s Joint, Chronicles. I knew it had to go with clothes from the Belle Epoque Undimmed Eyes set; I didn’t even consider any other outfits to photograph this. I wore this outfit for like three days, I liked it so much, and trust me when I say my Second Life is mostly full of costume changes! Once I had the avatar dressed, the character that emerged was an investigative reporter for the Nu Jyorck Ganger, a big daily newspaper. This is her byline photo. As for the rest of the story, I don’t know it yet. Maybe I never will. Some characters are ephemeral.

Here’s the text from the Flickr post:

Look at this quirky, whimsical, downright glorious skin from Jeanette’s Joint! If you’re feeling significant (and, indeed, topical!) and you want to take this baby for a spin, you can pick it up for L$249 at the Fallen Gods Twelfth Anniversary Zodiac event. And this isn’t the only super cool thing there! Not only is there great shopping, but this event also promises great parties, cool chances to find your One True Soulmate (and win a limited edition skin!), and the Zodiac Hunt.

  • The Amazing Skin: Jeanette’s Joint, Chronicles Skin. Comes with Catwa, Maitreya, and Omega appliers. At the Fallen Gods Twelfth Anniversary Zodiac event.
  • The Exactly Right Outfit: Belle Epoque, Undimmed Eyes (this was at a Lootbox event, I think, but it’s sure to be in the Belle Epoque Main Store now).
  • The Understated But Fetching Hair: Exile, Lily (I think I got this at Hair Fair, but my brain is catnipped at the moment; anyway, it’s in the Exile Main Store).
  • The Thoughtful, Yet Appealing Eyes: Heaux, Glaze Eyes (fatpack light), for Genus
  • The Ears Of Hopefulness And Newshounding: Lumae, Leevi Short Ears. (At the Lumae/Ritual Main Store)
  • The Fae-Means-Business Eyebrows: Simple Bloom, LaraDawn, High Arch. (At the SimpleBloom Main Store)
  • The Flirtatious Yet Forward Thinking Eyelashes: Michan, Cheryl Lashes (from the September 2019 Genus Project Powder Pack).

Gwyneth is styled on a Maitreya mesh body and a Genus Project Baby Face Bento Mesh Head.

I would say she never reveals her sources, but that would, verifiably, be what we call irony.

So, I guess that’s the news from this week.

Surgical recovery is finally done, so I go back to work on Sunday, 6 October. I will do my best to keep up the bloggity blogs.

 

 

Queen In the North

This is how you show care for your people.

You ensure that they will not live under the thumb of any King, even if he is your brother.

You keep their sacred groves, you keep their Old Gods, you give a nod to the New Gods, though they are not yours.

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You walk among the Weirwood Trees.

You walk among the Weirwood Trees.

You hold the leaves in your hands.

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You watch the wind turn.

You watch the wind turn.

You watch the leaves blow your sister out to sea.

You watch the leaves blow your heart brother to the Wall.

You watch the leaves blow your little brother to Kings’ Landing.

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And you? Are Queen in the North.

And you? You are Queen in the North. Not a bad ending. Not at all.

Style Card:
Items available at the current round of Enchantment (closes 31 May!)
Dress, Cape, Dress Corset, Chain Corset: Devious Mind, Sansa, in Hare
Tree: The Roawenwood, Weirwood Trees (small)
Leaves: 3rd Eye Perceptions, Relics & Reliquaries, Weirwood Leaves
Other Stuff:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Korina Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Lelutka Deia Applier, T2 (All current Lumae Skin Lines are only L$100 at the Lumae Main Store!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Avi-Glam, Joy Eyes
Hair: Wasabi, Prudence
Environment: Studio Skye, Enchanted Wood

This round of Enchantment is so much fun! The theme is Game of Thrones, the very last episode of which aired just a week or so ago as I write this. But people are still talking about it, and they likely will be for a while. Enchantment closes on the 31st of May, so get there as quickly as you can to see both the great products on sale and another glorious Enchantment build!

I think I’m Paranoid….

Have you ever had that feeling, the one where you’re sure someone is watching you, or following you, but then when you turn around, there’s nothing there?

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I think I’m paranoid

I think I’m paranoid, or at least I was in last night’s dream. I was walking down this completely unreal corridor, because no one would paint an actual corridor that shade of teal. I mean, if they did, I wouldn’t know them. And I was certain, just positive, that I was being followed, except when I turned around there was nothing there.

Now, I’ve lived in the magical universe long enough to know that it’s possible for something invisible to be following me. But I’m also magical enough to know when something invisible is following me. And there wasn’t a thing there, I swear.

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And complicated….

To make it more complicated, every time I turned back forward, I’d get the feeling again. There wasn’t anybody else around. I could see no one. Feel no one.

And it was another one of those dreams where I didn’t look like myself, but i had to admit I was pretty hot with the purple-grey drow skin paint job. And the wings felt like heaven.

Still, that unsettling feeling, though.

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I think I’m paranoid, manipulated…

I really do think I’m paranoid, manipulated probably by my own turncoat thoughts. Because every I turned around there was absolutely nothing behind me.

Strangest thing.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ Bento Mesh Head, Scarlet
Skin: Lumae, Elvi – Kialaya (Available ON 1 AUGUST at The Mesh Body Addicts Fair!)
Nails: Dark Passions Koffin Nails, Dark Orchid (Available NOW at the Gothic Garage Sale!)
Ears: Eclipse Art Studios, Nepthune
Eyes: Musa, Apatite Eyes
Dress: Pixicat, Ava Dress
Tights: The Little Bat, Lia Stockings (omega applier) (Available NOW at the Gothic Garage Sale!)
Shoes: Cult, Desire Heels
Necklace: Devious Mind, Cassia Forest Necklace
Hair: Sintiklia, Mbali
Wings: Material Squirrel, Thethys Wings

Environment: CYMK Time For the Moon Night, 2
Large Invisible Unicorn: Heartistic, Midnight Unicorn

Preparing for Samhain

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

I could tell something was up; Clutie and Dani were chittering like mad this morning. I mean, more than they usually chitter. And usually they know better than to enter my bedroom before Bran has brought me my first pot of coffee; speaking of which we’re running out of the Kona I got when I was in Nu Jyorck; I’m going to have to go back and replace it soonish. And eventually I’ll have to tell you all what happened while I was there. It wasn’t anything huge and spectacular, but Nu Jyorck was a very interesting place.

Anyway. I could tell something was up. And then it dawned on me. Autumn has come to the Bower and to the Realm. Mason is swift approaching. And that means… shit.

“Your Majesty, Your Majesty!” Finally, Clutie could no longer contain herself. “The first wave of Samhain gowns is here for you to try on!”

Oh, Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Samhain gowns. It’s about to be masqued ball season, and the Fae are very, very serious about Samhain parties. Now, I love parties as well as the next girl, but back in my old life, Halloween was never my favourite holiday, and don’t get me started on British vs. American customs. But the fact is, the Fae seem to celebrate Halloween (Samhain) far more in the spirit of the Americans than the British. Which, OK, is fine, but a lifetime of being told that “we do not dress up and go door to door in this country, well not at Halloween, anyway,” will stick with a girl, you know?

I tried to roll over in bed, but that little bitch landed on my head. Her feet were all wet from dew, and she practically stuck a toe up my nose. Ew.

“Fine, fine, fine,” I said finally. “Where do you want to do it?”

“Ballroom!” she and Dani chorused together. They’d obviously been planning this since before the sun came up. So I got up and didn’t bother doing anything with myself, since they’d be poking and prodding at me all morning anyway. Let them worry about whether or not there are knots in my hair.

The first dress they had me try was surprisingly regal!

The first dress they had me try was surprisingly regal!

The first dress they had me try was surprisingly regal! And I have to admit, I loved the jewellery Dani picked out. The dress designer is Dark Water Designs, and the jewellery is from Devious Mind. Dani did my face with some more of those designs she gets from Madrid Solo, and Clutie pulled my hair back in to a simple design from Rezology which I actually rather liked.

"It might be too formal," Clutie said critically.

“It might be too formal,” Clutie said critically.

“It might be too formal,” Clutie said critically.

“What? What are you talking about? I love it!” I wrapped my arms around my chest, unwilling to have them remove the dress. “It’s perfect! We don’t have to try any of the others: let’s just pick this one!”

Dani clucked. Clutie kissed her teeth. “Your Majesty,” she said. “My Lady. You know there are no less than seven separate masqued balls you’ll be expected to attend this season? You can’t wear the same dress to all of them.”

I groaned.

“No, you can’t send regrets to any of them,” Clutie said sternly. “Put your big girl wings on and lift your arms so we can get you out of this dress and into the next one. Put it in the ‘yes’ wardrobe,” she said to Kern. Why do they always pick him to do the heavy lifting? Then again, he does look stunning without a shirt on.

“And when you’re done with that,” I said, “send a message and cancel my brunch with the children. They won’t mind.”

"The children need Samhain outfits too," Clutie said as she straightened the mermaid skirt on this dress.

“The children need Samhain outfits too,” Clutie said as she straightened the mermaid skirt on this dress.

“The children need Samhain outfits too,” Clutie said as she straightened the mermaid skirt on this dress. Dani nodded as she deftly attached a butterfly made of black titanium to the dress’ headband.

I just shook my head. “Let’s really not think about the prospect of getting Bronwyn to wear black this morning.” The two Sidhe footmen pulled the mirror around so I could see myself. “Oh! I love this one too! I look like a goth flapper! A Gibson Girl without the boobage!”

This dress is by Beyond Persuasion Designs, and Clutie explained (she was translating for Dani, whose only human language is Portuguese, of all things) that the raven tattoo pattern came with the dress, but that it was her idea to match them with the face paint design from Mon Cher and the jewellery from Alchemy Immortals. She was quick to point out that she’d chosen the hair design from Lelutka when I praised it. I had to laugh at that. “Right,” I said. “Yes wardrobe for this one too: next!”

"Next!"

“Next!”

Clutie giggled. “That’s the spirit!” she said as the two footmen came round to help me shimmy out of the dress. (Yes, of course they were cute. There are no ugly footmen in the Seelie Court!)

"It's purple! I love purple!" I said, when I saw this one.

“It’s purple! I love purple!” I said, when I saw this one.

“It’s purple! I love purple!” I said, when I saw this one.

“It has purple accents, Your Majesty.” Clutie always gets more formal when she is correcting me or telling me how to do something, I’ve noticed.

“Whatever.” I rolled my eyes. “What? Drysi’s not here to do it: somebody has to be the teenager here.”

Clutie clucked. “Do you know where Her Highness is, Your Majesty?”

Uh, oh. Two formal titles in one sentence. “I do not,” I said tightly. “Dyisi would only say she’s somewhere safe and she’ll come to me when she’s ready.”

Clutie sniffed and visibly chose not to say anything more on the matter. “Kern, put the Facepalm dress into the ‘yes’ wardrobe, and note that we’re using the MOCK makeup and the Eden Moon jewellery with it, please? Hair is…” she flipped through a set of index cards big enough that she had to use both hands. “Oh! Rezology again.”

Kern sighed the sigh of the long-suffering and complied. As the two footmen moved to remove this dress, he did manage one comment: “Why are you always sending me out of the room when the Queen’s undressed, hm?” There were giggles. They might have been from me.

I gave the dress a final twirl and waited for them to bring on the next one.

I gave the dress a final twirl and waited for them to bring on the next one.

I gave the dress a final twirl and waited for them to bring on the next one.

“It’s not really a ‘room’, Kern,” Clutie muttered while she went through designer cards to decide which dress would be next.

No sooner had they put the next dress on me than a small murder of crows appeared.

No sooner had they put the next dress on me than a small murder of crows appeared.

No sooner had they put the next dress on me than a small murder of crows appeared. “Well, I guess this means Nemaine approves of this one,” I said.

"Would you cretins get off me? And don't be taking any more of my hair back to Nemaine: she's got plenty already," I grumbled.

“Would you cretins get off me? And don’t be taking any more of my hair back to Nemaine: she’s got plenty already,” I grumbled.

“Would you cretins get off me? And don’t be taking any more of my hair back to Nemaine: she’s got plenty already,” I grumbled.

Clutie ignored the crows and asked Kern to make a note that the Moeko dress included jewellery by Glint and another facepaint design by Madrid Solo, lipstick by MOCK. I asked about the body paint, and she explained it was a design that actually came with the dress, from the dress designer. “Tableau Vivant for the hair,” she whispered to Kern.

“When did I start handling the notecards?” Kern asked.

“You complained about not seeing the Queen naked,” Clutie responded. “So I’m handing off the wardrobe job to….” she flung her hand out in a seemingly random direction. “him!” A surprised steward’s assistant came running from the ballroom’s edge. “Yes, madam; of course, madam,” he said. Clutie rolled her eyes at him, but I don’t think he noticed: Clutie’s eyes are very small, of course, and he only had eyes for me. Of course.

I liked the dress a lot better once the crows had been shooed away at last.

I liked the dress a lot better once the crows had been shooed away at last.

I liked the dress a lot better once the crows had been shooed away at last. “Hey, you can see my shoes!”

GizzA,” Clutie informed. “You’ve been wearing them all morning.”

“I know, I know!” I said. “But now I can see them!”

Clutie sighed. “Next dress, please?”

“Next dress, please.”

"Now, this," I said, "really makes me feel like a Gothic Samhain Princess. And Dani, what have you done with my hair?"

“Now, this,” I said, “really makes me feel like a Gothic Samhain Princess. And Dani, what have you done with my hair?”

“Now this,” I said, “really makes me feel like a Gothic Samhain Princess. And Dani, what have you done with my hair?”

Dani chittered excitedly to Clutie. “Analog Dog, she says,” Clutie informed. “Best curls ever, she says.” Clutie turned to Kern. “Necklace is from Cae, armlets are from Earthstones, dress is from Deceitful Innocence.” Kern grumbled that she was talking too fast, and she grumbled back. “Makeup is Madrid Solo and MOCK again.OK, strike a Gothic Princess pose for us, Your Majesty, and then we’ll move on to the last dress for this morning.”

"Only one more dress?" I moaned. "Oh, the humanity!"

“Only one more dress?” I moaned. “Oh, the humanity!”

“Only one more dress?” I moaned. “Oh, the humanity!”

Everybody laughed. Some of the footmen applauded, luckily not the ones who were holding up the mirrors.

“Right, Your Majesty. Keep your eyes closed for this next one: I want you to get the whole effect immediately!” Clutie had a wicked gleam in her eyes.

“Am I going to hate it that much?” I asked.

Clutie smirked. “I have absolutely no idea,” she said, wide-eyed.

So I closed my eyes, because after all, these are my trusted advisors, right? Clutie would never steer me wrong. I felt — ooh, definitely raw silk. I heard the swishing of fabric, the engaging of buttons and clips. Someone slid my shoes off and added stockings—felt like fishnet! I love fishnet. On my feet, definitely boots (I love boots). And… was that a hat they were putting on my head? Oh, help.

"Open your eyes, Your Majesty," Clutie said.

“Open your eyes, Your Majesty,” Clutie said.

“Open your eyes, Your Majesty,” Clutie said.

I couldn’t stop myself: I squealed! I screamed with delight. “It’s so, so, so, Purple!

Clutie fell backwards in the air, she was laughing so hard. She managed to get out, “It’s So- So- So- Souled Out, actually!”

We were all laughing by this time. “The hat too?”

“Yes, the hat too.” Clutie grinned widely. “I knew I was right to save this one for last. Kern– did you get that? Dress is by Souled Out. Makeup is Madrid Solo. Hair is Olive. Boots are Lassitude and Ennui, and the necklace is Maxi Gossamer.

Kern scribbled furiously— at least he could almost manage the notecards.

I turned sideways. "You have no idea how much I love this outfit," I said to no one in particular.

I turned sideways. “You have no idea how much I love this outfit,” I said to no one in particular.

I turned sideways. “You have no idea how much I love this outfit,” I said to no one in particular.

Several different versions of, “Oh, yes, we do, Your Majesty!” came from various voices.

"I'm not taking it off," I declared.

“I’m not taking it off,” I declared.

“I’m not taking it off,” I declared.

“Yes, you are, Your Majesty,” Clutie replied. “Because it is not Samhain yet, and this is for a Samhain party.” Demifae logic. Gotta love it.

“But I don’t want to take it off!” I protested.

“Would you like me to ask the guards for help?”

I smirked. “I can’t decide whether to say ‘yes, because then I’d have sexy Sidhe men holding me down,’ or ‘no, because the jacket might get torn in the process….'”

In the end, I let them take it off me and went back to my chambers with a spring in my step and a smile on my face.

But the HAT. Oh, sweet Lady of Summer, I love the HAT!

But the HAT. Oh, sweet Lady of Summer, I love the HAT!

Style card for items not mentioned specifically in the text:
Body: Maitreya
Skin: DeeTaleZ
Ears: Lumae
Eyebrows: Dead Apples
Hands (and feet, even when not visible): SLink

All these clothes, and the Glint jewellery, are available at Endless Love of the Night: A Gothic Wedding Eventhosted by Hidden Sanctuary Events. Many of them are exclusives; for example, only 20 copies of the Beyond Persuasion gown Gwyneth is wearing in the second set of photos will be sold. 

Endless Love of the Night: A Gothic Wedding Event is OPEN NOW!

Hidden sanctuary events sign

See you at Hidden Sanctuary!

See you at Hidden Sanctuary!

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