Rage Quit?

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The Atrium was eerily quiet when I returned.

The Atrium was eerily quiet when I returned. I wanted it that way, or that’s what I thought. I was surprised to see four tiny unicorns—well, three alicorns and one unicorn, but who’s counting? I had a lot to think about.

See, I think I mentioned I was planning on leaving the Wylds. And I know myself well enough to know that if I spend too much time dithering over something, I just won’t do it. So… I mean, it wasn’t even a plan. I had to show up at the Mallorn Tree in the Wylds to facilitate the transfer of power, even if it was weirdly from Winter Queen Gwyneth to Summer Queen Gwyneth.

But everything about being back there made my stomach hurt. Clutie was bugging the shit out of me. Bran was openly hostile that he couldn’t have his new Nintendo Switch with him: I made him leave it on White Owl because I’ve seen an iPhone disintegrate inside of a day in the Wylds, and I really didn’t want to deal with trying to replace that. Seriously, his Zelda addiction is becoming a bit of a problem. And Wulfrich? He was armed to the teeth and had half a dozen Knights stationed in strategic places around the edge of the Mallorn dais. It was like he expected someone to attack us.

I did tell them what I was going to do.

Well, I suggested I might decide to retire from Queening. I decided a clean, fast break would be the way to go, because frankly, I could see Mornoth becoming more and more dependent on me. And you know, the sex might be great, but I’d far rather have a quiet night on the couch with Nathaniel than some dramatic otherworldly encounter at this point in my life. Maybe it’ll change later, but to be honest, being Queen is a little piece of hell, especially in a world where it’s all drama, all day, all night. I mean, seriously. It’s like a Mexican soap opera up in here. I had no idea how long it was going to take, or whether I’d have to go through some crazy sex ritual with Mornoth (not that I’d complain about that) in order to cut myself loose. I just figured I’d declare him King and get the fuck out of Dodge before the Seelie Nobility decided to fry me in butter.

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I already feel so different, and it’s only been a few hours.

I already feel so different, and it’s only been a few hours. Confused. Some residual anger. But beneath it all, I feel free.

Residual anger, yes. Because nobody saw fit to tell me that my daughter Bronwyn was apparently imbued with the spirit of the former Unseelie Queen, Faermorn. Which of course would be why the former Unseelier King, Gwythyr, kept following her all over the fucking universe. What a disgusting pair, those two. I mean, of course it was impossible to dislike Faermorn, blah, blah, blah, so seductive, blah, blah, blah, forget about any male fae  (or mortal for that matter) attention when she was within a hundred mile radius, blah, blah, blah, so wise, blah, blah, blah, such a grand and lovely goddess, blah, blah, blah, couldn’t fucking stay dead.

So basically, I said to Mornoth, “Ah, my friend, my Unseelie Seneschal. I come not to command you, but to abdicate. Surely you all know how to bring spring to the land without my ineffectual leadership and assistance?” Once he let me in on the truth about Faermorn possessing my daughter, I just lost it. “The spirits of Gwythyr and Faermorn have never wished to know peace. Their marriage wasn’t cursed enough: they had to curse everybody else—including my daughter? If it weren’t for those two, I’d blame myself: after all, I created this Realm, at least half of it. But every single time I’ve tried to smooth the way, every single time I’ve reached for even a season of peace, it’s war this and mayhem that and curses this and bad magic that and mad demifae queens—and I’m sure the Undying Gwythyr must have had something to do with that, aren’t you?—and I. Am. Done.”

I clapped my hands and brought down power from the Mallorn tree, and I pronounced Mornoth King of Faerie, and I kissed the fuck out of him, and then I just disappeared.

And you know what? I don’t think I’m going to miss all that drama. Seriously, if, years from now, you hear the words, “I’m so bored and I wish I were back in the Wylds fighting yet another pointless war,” you (all of you, anybody who’s reading this) have my permission to burn me alive. That at least won’t be boring.

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Of course, the moment I moved from the Portal Room into the lounge, my jaw dropped.

Of course, the moment I moved from the Portal Room into the lounge, my jaw dropped.

“Bran!” I shouted. “Why the fuck is there a feast laid out on my dining room table? Do not even tell me I am expecting visitors!”

There was no response.

“I am not kidding around here! I will put on a pair of stilettos just to put 1,500 psi onto that fucking Gameboy of yours!”

Oh, that got his attention. “It’s a Nintendo Switch, Your Majesty!” he called, presumably from the guest quarters. “I’m having a bit of a break in the hoovering and just trying to level up.”

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I gritted my teeth.

I gritted my teeth. “Why, Oh Seneschal Mine, do the guest room floors need hoovering?” Butter wouldn’t fucking melt, I promise.

Bran emitted a high-pitched squeal of glee; he must have got his level. Either that, or it was a shrewd ploy so he could put me off for a few more minutes.

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I turned away from the door. “Whatever,” I muttered.

I turned away from the door. “Whatever,” I muttered. “It’s not like this decision can in any way be changed or reversed, Bran!” I shouted back to him. “We are staying in White Owl where there are hot showers and microwaves and espresso machines and Nintendo Switches and the Internet!”

Just then, I hear the familiar chime that indicated someone was about to invade my space by appearing in the mirror that hangs over the feast table. Well, that was just great. Who the fuck could possibly be foolish enough to want to get in touch with me now?

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“Gwyneth? Love? We need to talk.”

“Gwyneth? Love? We need to talk.”

Oh, this was shaping up to be a great night.

Style Card:
Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: GA/EG, Barbara Bento Mesh Head (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Blake (Available NOW at Uber!)
Eyes: Mesange, Manderley Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at Lost & Found!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears, High Definition
Skin: Lumae, Misty, for GA/EG Barbara Bento Mesh Head (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Crown: Olive, The Joanna Crown (Available NOW at The Loot Box Event!)
Clothes: Pink Rayne, Esmerelda Skirt and Top (Available NOW at Inspiration SL!)
Belt: Sweet Poison, Alanna Belt
Shoes: Sweet Lies, Ragnarok Boots

Scenes:
Portal/Throne Room:
Tiny Alicorns/Unicorn: Jian, My Lil’ Equine (Available NOW at The Loot Box Event!)
Grass: Garden of Dreams, Grass Type A
Bench: Elysium, Fridtjof fantasy bench
Rose Curtain: Half Deer, Fairy Curtain

Lounge:
Feasting Table: Noble Creations, Antique Dining Table and Chairs (Available NOW at The Secret Affair!)
Candle Table: Second Spaces, Frozen Elegance
Hearth: {e}lusive design, Fireplace
Knicknacks: O.M.E.N., Fairytale Villains
Tree Artwork: Lybra, Quasi-The Tree
Magic Mirror: Black Light Studios, Star Mirror
Photo of Nathaniel Ballard: Nathaniel Ballard, Portrait at Desk

Atrium: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never rage-quit (I mean abdicate!) without it!

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Sixteenth Night?

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I know there’s something I’ve forgotten to do.

I know there’s something I’ve forgotten to do. The days go by so fast in this season, as if we’re hurrying Winter out the door. Which I guess, in a way, is what we’re doing, what with all the bell-ringing, sun-waking, clock-starting traditions.

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Oh, yeah!

And of course: that’s what it is. My human mother always, without fail, took “Christmas” decorations down on Twelfth Night, the sixth of January. And here we are, four days late, and I still have a Yule Tree and all these beautiful cards tacked up over the hearth. Right. Needless to say, those traditions don’t matter as much to me now as they did when I was a kid in school, but it would do the reception room good to have a bit of a clear-out, and it’ll help potential visitors to think I’m on top of things (ha!).

Trouble is, Clutie and Danae have buggered off somewhere for the day, and Bran is in a meeting, and Kern, well. Gods know where he’s got to, so I’m all alone in the Atrium this evening.

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But I am mighty!

But I am mighty! Just because, as Queen, I let other beings do lovely things for me because they are my devoted subjects does not mean I cannot do them for myself when duty calls. And so…

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Ah! Just like that.

Ah! Just like that. I’m lucky Fae magic doesn’t have a lot of reagents and spell components, unless it’s something super-important: if everything required equipment, I’d never get anything done. But here we have no cards on the hearth and no book tree.

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Now, I just have to figure out what to put in this space.

Now, I just have to figure out what to put in this space. Not a clock. Not a posh lamp. Oh! I have just the thing!

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There. Table, decor, candles, whoosh!

There! Table, décor, candles, whoosh! Ah, I’m not half bad, for a lazy old Queen, am I?

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And yes, let’s update the chandelier to this one.

And yes; let’s update the chandelier to this one. Many twinkling lights, fewer little birdies.

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And now, I’d say my work here is done….

And now, I’d say my work here is done….

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Until Imbolg, that is.

Until Imbolg, that is. The advent of Spring will require a major redecoration on my part. I might even change houses. Move everything two feet in one direction or another: won’t that please Nathaniel! Or maybe… maybe I’ll just colour everything pink.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Catya Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Alexa (COMING SOON to The Season’s Story, which opens TODAY, 10 January, 2017)
Eyes: Mesange, Sekhmet Eyes (Omega eye appliers) (Available NOW at The Chapter 4!)
Ears: Bent Box Elf Ears (with appliers by the amazing Lumiya Rae)
Skin: Lumae, Ruby (for Catwa heads), Tone 1 (Available NOW at the Lumae Main Store!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Necklace: Minimal, Camera Necklace (Available NOW at The Project Se7en!)
Dress: Baiastice, Lya Slip Dress (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Poses: Most from An Lar, the Rory Series (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Hand Poses: All from Nantra, Show of Hands (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)

Scene:

Book Tree and Hearth: Book Tree: {e}lusive designs, Book Tree
Tree Art: Lybra, Quasi- The Tree
New Table: Second Spaces, Frozen Elegance Table (Available as part of the January DecoCrate!)
New Chandelier: Hextraordinary, Winter Chandelier (Available as part of the January DecoCrate!)
Sofa: Libertine, Justine
Paintings: All by Erin Wylde (Available on Marketplace)

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never give Gwyneth a day off without it!

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A Dream of White Owl

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Gwyneth:

You know how sometimes you have this dream that just seems completely disjointed when you try to remember it later, but at the time, it all seems connected, like nothing could ever be out of place?

I guess most dreams are like that.

What’s odd for me is the image of the white owl that keeps fluttering through these dreams. I’ve never had a particular affinity for owls. I mean, they’re lovely, and I enjoy watching them, but they are creatures of air and I am a creature of water, inasmuch as I can be a creature of anything except pure magic.

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It began in a Winter Garden

It began in a winter garden. I found myself dancing in front of a crescent moon. Not that that’s unusual or anything: I remember thinking at the time that it was probably a symbolic dream and this was all allegorical. Yeah: I even edit my own dreams. I’m an intrusive and unreliable narrator. It’s like the cast of a weird paranormal fantasy novel up in here.

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And of course the scene changed, like they do.

And of course the scene changed, like they do. I was descending this weird staircase, which obviously led nowhere, but it made perfect sense at the time. Then I noticed this white owl around my neck, which only clocked because I keep noticing white owls turning up in my dreams everywhere.

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Then, another crescent, and a sense of profound disorientation.

Then, another crescent, and a sense of profound disorientation. Where was I, anyway? Why was everything covered with snow? It’s summer. Obviously, not in Australia. But that was “real” world geography, something I shouldn’t even be measuring things by any more. So, yeah. Some kind of dream world and me all underdressed as I often am in dreams, but at least feeling comfortable. I’m sure I was wearing sandals, though I don’t think I ever looked at my feet.

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And speaking of disorientation….

And speaking of disorientation….

The scene changed again, and I was on some kind of pier, watching a ferry disappear into some kind of mountainous distance. Why was I even watching a ferry? Is that how I got tot this place?

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Frankly, it was even weirder than my usual dreams.

Frankly, it was even weirder than my usual dreams. There was nobody around; the whole place seemed deserted.

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I made my way up a set of steps to a boardwalk.

I made my way up a set of steps to a boardwalk. In the distance, there was this gorgeous house, and I promised I’d made my way there. On the boardwalk, it looked like there should have been a market in place, but again, there was no one to be seen. Stuff was just lying around as if all the inhabitants had just disappeared.

So strange.

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I walked further up into the town.

I walked further up in to the town and flicked my hair back from my— yeah, everything had changed again. The clothes notwithstanding, I felt completely out of place in this odd, deserted town. Where were all the people?

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I made my way to sort of an observation area that led to a smaller boardwalk.

I made my way to sort of an observation area that led to a smaller boardwalk. I couldn’t keep my eyes off the house on the beach. It seemed so familiar, as if I should know who lived there, only again, there was no movement except for the waves against the rocks. I could hear birdsong, but I saw no birds.

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I let myself look out over the ocean for a few minutes.

I let myself look out over the ocean for a few minutes. It really was beautiful.

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But then I got this strong feeling it was time to move on. More to explore, I thought; more to see.

But then I got this strong feeling it was time to move on. More to explore, I thought; more to see. Again, the world seemed to spin.

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And it was the middle of the day, but I was dressed to the nines. And nervous.

And it was the middle of the day, but I was dressed to the nines. And nervous. It felt like I was waiting for someone, someone important, but I couldn’t have told you who it was. The house in the background, again, that feeling of prickly familiarity, that I should know who lived there. And wasn’t there a house like that, sometime, some time ago, in the Bower? My old Bower, lost now to Faerie’s intermittent remaking of itself.

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The feeling of anticipation was heady, like that feeling you get when you’re waiting for a first date.

The feeling of anticipation was heady, like that feeling you get when you’re waiting for a first date. What on earth was I doing in a little seaside town — at least I thought it was the same town, dressed like that and feeling like that? I’d even brought out my best jewels for the occasion. I smelled something; was it moss? More than the flowers all around, this was a wet smell. As if everything was wet.

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And then I was walking out the door of a grocery store?

And then I was walking out the door of a grocery store? What was that all about? And wow, torn jeans, and a feeling of comfort, of belonging, like I lived here… and yet still there were no people No one.

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Fresh fruit and veg for days, and no one to buy it.

Fresh fruit and veg for days, and no one to buy it. What was that about? I felt comfortable just picking something up and taking a bite, though. I think it was a cherry. No pun intended.

So. That house. I had to find that house.

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I spotted the chimney in the distance and plotted a path.

I spotted the chimney in the distance and plotted a path.

But before I got there—just before I got there, as a matter of fact, I stopped short. There in the front garden, or what might have been the side garden, of this house, was a statue. My statue. The one I bought at the Great Faire auction for … well, for quite a lot of gold, and I won’t say how much. The statue of the harper, called “The Last Hope”. What was it doing here?

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It felt like I stood there for hours, wondering.

It felt like I stood there for hours, wondering.

Then, I turned and walked toward the house, which appeared from a short distance to be completely empty.

And I woke up. Without ever seeing the house up close. So much for the mystery of why my  statue was outside.

Style Cards:

Winter Garden Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Jessica
Ears: BentBox, Sylvan Ears
Skin: Lumae Eirtae, Tone 3, Bluebell (Available at Enchantment!)
Hair: Damselfly, Finch (Available at Hairology!)
Circlet: Independent Objects, Mearwen Circlet
Dress: Moon Amore, Wild & Free (Available at Collabor88!)
Shoes: Bubble, Mithril Sandals (Available at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, The Dreamer: Enlightenment, Barn
Setting: The Outer Garden (Another great find from Ziki Questi’s Blog!)

White Owl Pier Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Jessica
Ears: BentBox, Sylvan Ears
Skin: Lumae Eirtae, Tone 3, Bluebell (Available at Enchantment!)
Hair: Analog Dog, Julieta (Available at Hairology!)
Clothes: DE Designs, Escape Top & Nina Capri (Available at Mesh Body Addicts!)
Shoes: Bleich, Mesh Rey Sandals (Available at The Chapter 4!)
Necklace: Spell, Branch Choker (Available at The Chapter 4!)
Setting: White Owl (which shall remain a mystery for now!)

Town and Observation Pier Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Jessica
Ears: BentBox, Sylvan Ears
Skin: Lumae Eirtae, Tone 3, Bluebell (Available at Enchantment!)
Hair: Runaway, Sophie (Available at Hairology!)
Clothes: Jangka, Corset, Pants & Short Boots (Available at The Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)
Setting: White Owl (which shall remain a mystery for now!)

Garden Pavilion Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Jessica
Ears: BentBox, Sylvan Ears
Skin: Lumae Eirtae, Tone 3, Bluebell (Available at Enchantment!)
Hair: Amacci, Astra (Available at Hairology!)
Dress: FurtaCor, Giovanni (Available at The Instruments!)
Shoes: KC Couture, Huelva
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, Aglaea’s Splendour
Setting: White Owl (which shall remain a mystery for now!)

The Last Hope Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Jessica
Ears: BentBox, Sylvan Ears
Skin: Lumae Eirtae, Tone 3, Bluebell (Available at Enchantment!)
Hair: Phoenix, Janet (Available at Hairology!)
Clothes: Lybra, Ada Leggings & Tunic (Tunic is rare) (Available at The Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)
Boots: Illi, Blue Medieval Archer Boots (Available at The Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, Aglaea’s Splendour
Setting: White Owl (which shall remain a mystery for now!)

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never have disturbing dreams without it!