Changes and Accomplishments

redhead BLOG - 1

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

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

redhead BLOG - 4

Somehow, I knew the bower would be there.

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

redhead BLOG - 5

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

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

redhead BLOG - 6

I took a moment to centre myself.

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

redhead BLOG - 3

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

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

redhead BLOG - 2

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

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

redhead BLOG - 8

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

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

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

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

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

redhead BLOG - 7

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

Am I proud? 

“You bet your sweet arse I am.”

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

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

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

7ds  Hairology march    mesange-logo-noir   silvan-moon-designs-logo-full

Thoughts Are Things

So I took a walk down to the other side of my small Realm, because I had this idea in my head that perhaps the Gypsy Davey had listened to the boys and the other Rom who live here and decided to take up residence in the special (and it is pretty amazing) vardo they have set up especially for him. I haven’t asked them what they’ll do if he says no, though I think I might talk Dyisi into moving up here if I let her live in that.

greenhouse BLOG - 1

The mist was just about to burn off when I got near the vardo site.

The mist was just about to burn off when I got near the vardo site. And there, sitting next to the amazing Rom Castle, which is what some of the neighbours are calling the place, was a vardo I’ve seen him travel in before. So. I could walk up and just knock on the door, I guessed….

Or I could notice that suddenly, a greenhouse with a flower shop has appeared not too far from there, across from the red cottage; just the kind of flowers I like, and a greenhouse filled with roses. I remember once as a young woman I wrote a series of stories for a guy I loved more than I thought I could ever love anyone, about a house where things only had to be wished to be brought into reality. I haven’t thought about those stories in so long. But now, it got me thinking. Thinking about the way things spring in to being. I wonder if I wasn’t somehow foreshadowing my life now, all those years ago. All those years ago. It wasn’t all that long ago. And if I think of that guy, I still miss him. And I wish he could see all this. But then, flowers.

greenhouse BLOG - 2

I just sat there and thought, for a long time.

I just sat there and thought, for a long time. About how things manifest. About why there was an Oxford Circus tube station sign on the front of this greenhouse. I thought a lot.

greenhouse BLOG - 3

I thought about getting up and marching over to that vardo.

I thought about getting up and marching over to that vardo and just knocking until somebody came to the door, and if it was him, great, and if it was some little Rom girl, also great, and welcoming them to the Realm, and maybe offering to treat them to dinner down the pub or at one of the little cafés on the green. I thought about that a lot. And the roses smelled wonderful, and the sunlight shifted and shifted.

greenhouse BLOG - 4

And then, do you know what I did?

And then, do you know what I did?

greenhouse BLOG - 5

I turned right the fuck around and skipped all the way home.

I turned right the fuck around and skipped all the way home. Davey, and whatever (and whoever!) he’s doing—can wait for another day.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: GA/EG, Barbara Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Danielle (Available NOW at The Chapter 4!)
Eyes: Mesange, Tikal Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at We ❤ Roleplay!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Skin: Lumae, Misty, for GA/EG (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Top: The Muses, Blackwork Top, Ivory (Available NOW at We ❤ Roleplay!)
Jeans, Spirit, Paola Jeans, Light Blue
Shoes: Ingenue, Gretchen Flats, Noir (Available NOW at The Arcade Gacha!)

Scene:
Fresh Flowers Gate: Hive, Fresh Flowers Gate, Light
Sunflowers: Botanical
Birches: The Little Branch, Mystic Birch Cluster
Flowers Behind Gate: Heart: Wild Flowers, Campion, pink, white, blue, lilac
Boxes on Greenhouse: BlackJack, Neighborhood Gacha, Wall Flower Boxes
Geeky Direction Sign: HopScotch, Which Way?
Greenhouse: Keke, Old Garden Greenhouse (part of the March 2017 DecoCrate)
Davey’s Vardo: Trompe Loeil, Tiena Caravan, Sylvan
Tall Pink Tree: Hayabusa Design, Sakura Tsyu Kosade
Fairytale Sign: Hive, Her Own Fairytale Sign
This Way Sign: {anc} This Way Sign
Nope Sign: Death Row Designs, Rustic Garden Signs (gift available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Oxford Circus Sign: Boudoir, Oxford Circus Sign
Wheelbarrow Flower Display: Death Row Designs, Rustic Garden Decor, Wheelbarrow Display (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Steps Flower Display: Death Row Designs, Rustic Garden Decor, Step Display (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Roses Inside Greenhouse: LovedWarrior Quan, Mesh Rose Bush Planter (various colours)
Background House with Bay Window: Scarlet Creative, Mockingbird Nook

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never have Gwyneth be typically Gwyneth without it!

mesange-logo-noir   lumae-logo   wasabi_logo_2012_512x512

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.

art-teacherblog-1

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.

art-teacherblog-2

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).

art-teacherblog-3

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.

art-teacherblog-4

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

My Trip to Nu Jyorck!

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

I know, I know, it was ages ago. But so much has happened. Now that Mabon has come and gone and I have some free time, I’m sneaking cross-world to share the memories of my trip to the alternate New York City with anybody who might be reading this. I know it seems ridiculous, my need to share all this. I guess it comes out of my former life. I mean, if I were going to write a novel. If I were. It would be like this.

So, Father set me up with this very eligible Fae bachelor for a date to a charity ball in an alternate version of New York City. He needed someone on his arm who was a Royal Fae but not connected to any of his political affiliations. I think I only accepted this invitation because there was so much going on at home: goblins, witches, rabid Cwn…. yeah.

Clutie and Dani were only a little upset that I didn’t go with the blue gown they’d chosen previously. Once they saw the kind of shopping there is in Nu Jyorck– which is this amazingly interesting version of New York with an alternate history I’ll get in to later, they aren’t upset at all.

My date, David, turned out to be a total dud. All he wanted to talk about was financial planning. I was bored at “Hello.” Luckily, there were a lot of interesting people to be met at this party! In this version of New York, Fae are an out class, and some of them are upper-class. Mortals love mixing at Fae parties, and some of them will do, well, wow. Just about anything to get invited to a Fae party. It was quite an education, and totally different from the mortal versions of New York I’ve seen on other world hops. But, the politics are brutal, according to what little of David’s prattle I listened to.

The high point of the night was meeting Arahaelon. Wow. Talk about your Nordic elf hotties! This guy, whoa. He knew how to dress, he knew how to dance, he could talk literature and movies, and we started in on alternate universes and the differences between his world and mine. I was completely captivated by this guy. If we’d been in Faerie, I’d have … well. I’d have asked him to be part of my family, if you know what I mean. A Queen is only as powerful as her Consorts, or so they say. But, sigh, I was at this event with David, so I had to spend the evening with him. I figured I’d never see Ara again. And no matter how hard I tried to ditch David, he was always there to take my arm and lead me into another dance.

Before I had a chance to get a phone number or an email address for Ara, we all went back to an acquaintance of David’s for an after-party. But, you know. Fortune was on my side— it was Ara’s place! Apparently he and David have some kind of familial or political connection.

Here's a photo of five of us at the after-party.

Here’s a photo of five of us at the after-party.

Here’s a photo of five of us at the after-party. That’s Arahaelon on my left. Isn’t he gorgeous? The other guy is David, and the woman next to him is his sister Gael. The woman in the front is a mortal: she was all decked out in Fae-fan fashion, an implanted unicorn horn that can apparently be removed very easily, and some beautiful silver sylph ears. I don’t remember her name, but she was funny, very funny, and I could understand what they all saw in her. Everything she did was hysterical: she was the life of the party, even if it was Ara’s house.

The photographer didn't like the first pose and made us all re-pose for a second one.

The photographer didn’t like the first pose and made us all re-pose for a second one.

The photographer didn’t like the first pose and made us all re-pose for a second one. I’m afraid he took me a little off guard: Ara and I were deep in conversation about something, as we were for most of the night, and once the event was over, David wasn’t nearly as omnipresent. Apparently, he expected me to be a firebrand like my adoptive father and not my intellectual, imaginative self. I think he … well, I think he thought we’d end up in the sack. And while David was certainly attractive, ih. I’m much more interested in guys who are smart and excite my imagination than, yeah. David is richer than god, which I guess makes him feel like women are more of a commodity than a necessity in life.

Eventually, it was like nobody else was there. Ara and I just spent the rest of the evening, well, talking. He never once made a move on me, but I got the feeling he was interested. We did end up exchanging contact information.

Just before I went back to my hotel, he made a suggestion.

Just before I went back to my hotel, he made a suggestion.

Just before I went back to my hotel, he made a suggestion.

“Listen,” he said. “I’m thinking about heading down to the Ericksson Pier tomorrow morning, check out the street market. I’ll be there around ten, if you want to come. Leave the sparkle brigade at home; if you want, we can make a day of it, have some lunch, make a memory or two before you head back to your Realm.”

I took down the address.

You know how, sometimes, when you meet someone important, the world just kind of collapses?

You know how, sometimes, when you meet someone important, the world just kind of collapses?

You know how, sometimes, when you meet someone important, the world just kind of collapses around you? Colours seem brighter, stuff slows down? Yeah. This was one of those moments. I knew in a day I’d be on my way back to Faerie though, and I can’t imagine cosmopolitan Arahaelon wanting to come spend time in a Faerie Realm which is at the back end of nowhere.

But I showed up at the Eriksson Pier the next morning at ten o'clock sharp.

But I showed up at the Eriksson Pier the next morning at ten o’clock sharp.

But I showed up at the Eriksson Pier the next morning at ten o’clock sharp. And no Arahaelon. Oh, well: I could enjoy the Pier all by myself, and — oh, no; there he was!

Here we are trying to decide what to do with our day!

Here we are trying to decide what to do with our day!

Here we are trying to decide what to do with our day! We ended up buying stuff for a picnic lunch and then heading over to the Offentlig Eng, the public meadow, which is in about the same place and about as big as most New York’s Central Parks.

So we had a wonderful day, one of those days that gets stuck in your memory and won’t go away. He’s not contacted me since, but you know. Time works differently in different realms. Maybe it’s only been a day in Nu Jyorck.

Style Cards:

Group Shots:
Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa
Skin: Lumae, Adore Tulips
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Dress: PurpleMoon, Elwing Gown in Pearl
Shoes: Aisling, Enchanted Rose Heels
Wings and Crown: Muse, Miss TWA Wings and Crown in Gold, Warm (NEW at the Muse Main Store!)

Arahaelon:
Jacket:
::: B@R::: White Norblood Top & White tie 
Pants & Boots:
TURB – The Rogue – Assassin boots & pants (available in mainstore gacha)
Hair:
NO.MATCH – NO HUNT (blacks and whites)
Headdress:
.aisling. Savage Winter Horns {Snow}
Skin:
-NIVARO- Ichero Skin – Ghost Tone
Eyes:
IKON Sovereight Eyes – Ghost
Ears:
[MANDALA] Steking ears (Season 5)
Body:
SLink Physique Male Mesh Body

Eriksson Pier Shots:

Gwyneth:
Body: 
Maitreya
Head: 
Catwa
Skin: 
Lumae, Adore Tulips
Hair: Olive the Sharni Hair
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Dress: Zenith, Autumn Long Dress, Blue
Bag: Zenith, Debris Bag, Blue (Available at Shiny Shabby!)
Shoes: Ingenue, Pandora Sandals (Available at Shiny Shabby!)
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, The Dreamer, Barn

Arahaelon:
Jeans:
Slink Physique mens Stovepipe Jeans (black)
Jacket:
GizzA – Moto Jacket [Black]
Hair:
Tableau Vivant Summer wind Hair  – Gents
Shoes:
REDGRAVE – Benito Sneaker – Black
Skin:
-NIVARO- Ichero Skin – Ghost Tone
Eyes:
IKON Sovereight Eyes – Ghost
Ears:
[MANDALA] Steking ears (Season 5)
Body:
SLink Physique Male Mesh Body

Many thanks to Moxy Macbeth, PrinceEilian, and Dyisi Oppewall for lending their avatars to be extras in the group shots! Also thanks to Moxy for finding the right skybox to take the after-party shots in.

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

The Amazing Catwoman: A History, Part 2

The Amazing Catwoman:

The Amazing Catwoman:

Right, so I have a few hours before I have to go down and do Goblin Guard Duty for Her Seelie Won’t-Let-Me-Out-Of-Her-Realmness, so I guess I’d better record a little bit more about what happened to me in House Geasan and how things went after the five people who lived there (yes, even Shari!) accepted me into their occasionally merry and always interesting band of mayhem.

Shari spent weeks teaching me how to glamour my skin. Every day, we’d get it a shade or two lighter and more human looking, and every night it’d go away, and every morning she’d throw something at me because I hadn’t made the glamour strong enough to hold up overnight.

“What are you gonna do,” she used to ask, “when the Secret Police come crashing through our doors one day and discover you’re a Svart? You’ll be sent off to Faerie, tortured til you can’t stand up, or worse!”

I often retorted that House Geasan would be in even more trouble for harbouring a Svart than I would be for being one, but she didn’t really buy it.

Anyway, the morning finally came up when she didn't throw anything at me.

Anyway, the morning finally came when she didn’t throw anything at me.

Anyway, the morning finally came when she didn’t throw anything at me. I was sleeping on an old couch that belonged to some relative of David’s by this point, in a room that used to be a cellar closet but, once we’d (well, I’d) scrubbed all the damp out and cleaned up the walls, added an old trunk and an armchair, a couple of lamps and an ottoman, most of which were already in storage in the cellar anyway, David said I could have the room for myself, and Shari became much nicer to me after that—except for the throwing random shit at me in the mornings bit.

I stretched. There wasn’t a window in the cellar, so there was no way to tell what time it was.

“Breakfast, you pale bitch!” Shari finally called from the kitchen. I went upstairs to find that she was actually cooking breakfast. I don’t think I’d ever realised Shari ate anything but crisps and seaweed before this. “And you can have the day off,” she said. She even smiled at me.

So I spent the day mostly lounging on the couch.

So I planned to spend the day mostly lounging on the couch.

So I planned to spend the day mostly lounging on the couch. It felt good!

My respite didn’t last long, though.

“You want to start learning some magic?” Owen asked.

“You want to start learning some magic?” Owen asked; it was probably some time after noon. Owen was the resident magic expert in the House, and he did things like help the team hide themselves when necessary, provide distractions, that sort of thing. Back then, I didn’t know what they all did for a living, but, yeah. I knew it was probably not completely on the up and up.

“I thought it was my day off,” I replied.

“I thought it was my day off, I replied.

“Smart-arse. Nobody gets a day off,” Owen said.

“Shari said I could have the day off!”

“Shari is an idiot,” Owen said. “Nobody gets a day off. Here.”

He threw a stack of notebooks at me, which my memory says I caught neatly.

He threw a stack of notebooks at me, which my memory says I caught neatly.

He threw a stack of notebooks at me, which my memory says I caught neatly: goddess knows what actually happened.

“What am I meant to do with these?” I wondered.

“What am I meant to do with these?” I wondered.

“You’ll need them for writing shit down.” Owen came and sat down in the arm chair. He handed me a ballpoint pen. “Now, you want to start simple. Write down all the steps you go through to glamour yourself. And,” he squinted at me. “You really ought to do something about your eyes. They look weird.”

“Look,” I said. “I already told Shari. I’m not changing my ears, and I’m not changing my eyes.”

He shrugged. “Your funeral, but you should learn to glamour them for when you start running jobs with us. Lios Alfar have light eyes, green, grey, blue, doesn’t matter, but they’re always light.”

I rolled my eyes.

“Yeah; yours are still yellow even when you do that,” he said, unaffected by my sarcasm. He pointed at the notebooks. “Start with your glamour. How you manage it. How you make it strong. Writing it down will help you remember.”

Yeah, I remember that pretty clearly. After that, there was a lot of writing and writing and writing.

Once I’d got the knack of writing down spells, David took me through physical training, which was rough, but fun. After that, I started doing small jobs with the team, mostly light corporate espionage, but at least I was able to earn my keep.

And I'll never forget the day I bought my first actual for-me outfit.

And I’ll never forget the day I bought my first actual for-me outfit.

And I’ll never forget the day I bought my first actual for-me outfit with the money I’d earned. Oh, the feel of leather again, instead of charity shop stuff and hand-me-downs from girls who’d long passed through the House.

I remember that day because that was the day Owen came down into the cellar again.

“I brought you something,” he said. And he pointed to the crate.

“I brought you something,” He said. And he pointed to the crate.

“What the fuck is that?” I said, staring at the small mountain of books he’d placed there.

“Your next lesson,” he said as he settled in to the arm chair. “Those are grimoires.”

“Grimoires?” I said. “You mean books of magic.”

“Grimoires?” I said. “You mean books of magic?”

“Go to the head of the class,” Owen said. “Now, put away that novel, and if I ever see you put down a grimoire like that, I’ll beat you with it before I make you straighten each page magically and mend the spine.”

“So…. You want me to read these.”

“So…. You want me to read these.”

“I want you to study them. Somewhere inside those books, and those are all the grimoires we have at the house, you’ll find things that you can and can’t do, and we’ll ascertain and develop your personal magical style from what you come up with.”

“But there have got to be like twenty books there!”

He nodded and smiled. “And some of them are handwritten, so this won’t be an easy task.”

“Couldn’t I just do more physical training and let David beat me up again?”

Owen snorted. “And why should David get to have all the fun, hm? There are only seventeen books, by the way.” I think he had to count while we were talking.

I sat down on the couch and stared at the books as if they might attack.

I sat down on the couch and stared at the books as if they might attack.

I sat down on the couch and stared at the books as if they might attack. “You know I don’t like to read, Owen,” I said evenly.

“Says the girl who’s got A Wizard of Earthsea propped open on her night table,” Owen said.

“That’s different: it’s a novel.”

“Think of these as novels too,” Owen suggested.

“Think of these as novels too,” Owen suggested. “Only they’re novels written by people, about their real lives. It’s a little like reading someone else’s diary. There’s all kinds of personal shit in therm.”

I still wasn’t convinced. But I did know I was losing this argument.

“Fine,” I snapped. “Just start with the one on the top, I presume?”

“Fine, I snapped. “Just start with the one on the top, I presume?”

Owen sighed. “I don’t care which one you start with. But I want you to study each and every one.”

I knew it was foolish to ask the next question. “And then?”

“And then,” Owen said, with a smug smile, “you can start writing your own grimoire.”

“And then,” Owen said with a smug smile, “you can start writing your own grimoire.”

Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

Style Cards:

First set of photos (cami and jeans):
Body: Maitreya
Hair: Mina, Elin (Available at Tres Chic!)
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Malika, Chestnut (Available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store; Maitreya and SLink appliers also available there!)
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears
Eyes: Gauze, Paradox Cat Eyes
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: Otherskin, Selene
Clothes: Echo, Seri Cami, Hali Skinny Jeans (Available at the Echo Main Store!)
Shoes: Ingenue, Pandora Flats, Noir

Second Set of Photos (leather jacket):
Body: 
Maitreya
Hair: 
Mina, Grace
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, Malika, Chestnut (Available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store; Maitreya and SLink appliers also available there!)
Ears: 
Gauze, High Elf Ears
Eyes: 
Gauze, Paradox Cat Eyes
Ring: 
Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: 
Otherskin, Selene
Clothes and Boots: Flippant, Sometime (Available at the Flippant Main Store!)

Scene:
Couch, Rug, Crates, N4ARS, Bombay Set
Lamps: What Next
Armchair:
Atelier Visconti
Ottoman: Trompe Loeill

Special thanks to Moxy Macbeth for lending me some lamps! Even though she was super fine!

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

WLTB 500x500

skinlogodiap

A Conversation with Dr Gwyneth Evans

by Chrissie Sanderson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Six,” she says without missing a beat.

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

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

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

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

“Which Hugo are you most proud of?”

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

“That’s your latest one?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Tell me about this photograph,”

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

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

“What about John?” I asked.

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

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

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

“We’re lucky you did, too,” I reply.

Once again, Dr Evans looks a bit wistful.

Once again, Dr Evans looks a bit wistful.

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

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

“See you at the World Con!” I say.

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

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

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

Style Card:

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

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

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