Sometimes a Story

Sometimes, a story…

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…doesn’t need words.

Style Cards:
Style Cards:
Gwen:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Perla (Available NOW at the Hipster Fair! The Fair closes on 3 March, so hurry up!)
Eyes: Song, Nagi Eyes
Gown: Infinity, Bella Princes (rare!) (Available NOW at  Enchantment!)
Shoes: Infinity, Ballerina (rare!) (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Hair: Runaway, Cindy
Headpiece: Bauhaus Movement, Bella Headpiece Yellow (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Bracelet: Bauhaus Movment, Bella Bracelet (Available NOW at Enchantment!)

Nyza:
Body: Belleza Jake,
Head: GA.EG Evan,
Hair: NO MATCH_NO.PAST B.
Eyes: Mesange Killarney Eyes, 11,
Pants: Clermont Blue Breeches,
Shoes/Tights: Clermont 18th Century Shoes,
Shirt: Noble Creations Beastie Jacket Blue (Available NOW at Enchantment!)

Environment:
Ruins: 3rd Eye Perceptions, Forgotten Ruins Set (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Garden: The Looking Glass, The Beast’s Lair (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Poses:
Photo 1: Luanne’s World, Bento Poses, I Give You My Heart
Photos 2 & 3: K&S, Souls
Photos 3, 4, 5: Poses embedded into the Beast’s Lair set by The Looking Glass
Photo 6: I am so sorry: I didn’t make a note of it, and I can’t find it. If you recognise it, please leave me a message.

The Call of Stillness

I don’t usually talk about books I’m reading in this blog, or really talk in my own voice all that much. Usually, I’m portraying a character, usually Gwyneth these days (Sorry, TAC and TGD fans!). But today I want to tell you about a series of books by Seanan McGuire. These are the Wayward Children books, and they’ve touched me in a way that many of you who feel al little out of place in the contemporary world, for whatever reason, will understand.

Nancy, one of the protagonists in book 1, Every Heart a Doorway, has come back from a world where she spent much of her time as a living statue in the halls of the Lord of the Dead. Might sound weird to those of us who don’t embrace stillness as an art form or a life goal, but Nancy makes her longing to go back there understandable when she speaks of it. I’ve just finished book three of this series, Beneath the Sugar Sky, and it also features Nancy. I grew really entranced with her character and decided to do some virtual cosplay. Here’s what I came up with!

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Nancy on her pedestal in the Halls of the Dead

So here is Nancy, on her pedestal in the Halls of the Dead. When I first saw this dress, the Delicatezza Gown from Fellini Couture, I knew it was something Nancy would wear as a statue. The head bow maybe not so much, but it’s beautiful and I imagined the Lord of the Dead putting it round her head as lovingly as he could. I’ve had the dress and the idea for a while, but finding the hair was a quest in and of itself. You see:

“She was tall and willowy and couldn’t have been more than seventeen; there was still something of the unformed around her eyes and mouth, leaving her a work in progress, meant to be finished by time. She wore black—black jeans, black ankle boots with tiny black buttons marching like soldiers from toe to calf—and she wore white—a loose tank top, the faux pearl bands around her wrists—and she had a ribbon the color of pomegranate seeds tied around the base of her ponytail. Her hair was bone-white streaked with runnels of black, like oil spilled on a marble floor, and her eyes were pale as ice. She squinted in the daylight. From the look of her, it had been quite some time since she had seen the sun. Her small wheeled suitcase was bright pink, covered with cartoon daisies. She had not, in all likelihood, purchased it herself.

Excerpt From: Seanan McGuire. “Every Heart a Doorway.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/every-heart-a-doorway/id993589805?mt=11

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This hair is Bad Hair Day’s Lacuna.

This hair is Bad Hair Day‘s Lacuna, and it was available at last month’s Kinky event. It should be up in their main store soon. Most hair designers in SL are doing multicoloured hair as dip-dyes, but Bad Hair Day has a unique two-part HUD that allows you to texture dually. It’s not a perfect representation, but I loved the way the black streaks complemented the whiteness of the hair in a subtle way.

I’m in a great NEW skin from 7 Deadly s{K}insNena, in skin tone Powder. It’s not released yet and I’m not sure whether it’ll be in an event or a Main Store release, but it’s gorgeous, and you can find lots of great stuff at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store to go with it and complement it—there are so many offers going on I can’t even remember them all!

The pale-as-ice eyes come from Mesange, of course. They are the Manderley Eyes, and they should be available at the Mesange Main Store. I’ve mentioned before here how much I love Mesange eyes; they’re reasonably priced, come with Omega appliers, and Jadis Ashland, the creatrix behind them, really knows how to put colours together.

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I don’t imagine Nancy ever gets bored.

I don’t imagine Nancy ever gets bored. Her descriptions of how wonderful it was to be still and move slowly made me think of all those wonderful moments in life that just seem to stretch into infinity when they’re happening. In my mind, Nancy’s life may be like one of those moments.

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Here’s a super close up so you can see the hair strands.

Here’s a super close up so you can see the hair strands. Not perfect photography as there’s an imperfection where the hair meets her head over her right (human! omg!) ear, but I love the way the fringe (bangs, Americans!) comes down beneath the lace bow.

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A long shot of my mini-Halls of the Dead

Here’s a little longer shot, so you can see where I placed Nancy. I know the Halls of the Dead aren’t specifically Greek, but there was a classical sense to them that I wanted to recreate with the columns and stonework. The building comes from Tarte; it’s the Temple Pergola. I got it from SL Marketplace, and then sized it up so the columns were massive next to Nancy on her pedestal. Strictly speaking, there should be another human statue here, but my efforts to find a trusted friend who owned the same dress and was willing to cosplay a statue were quickly dismissed as too much trouble. 😉

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I imagine that Nancy could move fluidly from one pose to another, over hours or days, without anyone noticing her movement.

I imagine that Nancy could move fluidly from one pose to another, over hours or days, without anyone noticing her movement. She was capable of completely stilling herself and barely breathing. What a compelling talent.

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Lit after dark.

I don’t know if it ever gets dark completely int he Halls of the Dead: I imagine it’s sort of an eternal twilight realm. But if it did get dark, there would be some way to light the statues so they could be admired, I’m sure of it.

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Of course, Nancy thinks quite a lot.

Of course, Nancy thinks quite a lot. But I don’t imagine she has the same anxieties in the Halls of the Dead as she did when she had to come back to our “real” world.

As a denizen of Second Life, I push the boundaries of what is real all the time. I consider different realities whenever I teleport into a fairy forest or a post-apocalyptic desert or a life/avatar-sized art installation. I experience different realities every time I place Gwyneth or TAC or TGD into another situation so I can tell a story about their lives.

And really, is it so hard to believe that around some corner somewhere, maybe in your own house, there is a portal waiting to let you enter the place you were always meant to be? That’s what’s so magical about Wayward Children. If you like this kind of magic, you should give it a read. If it makes a difference to you, I could tell you that Every Heart a Doorway won a Best Novella Hugo last year, richly deserved by Ms McGuire, who is a powerhouse of imagination, twisty plot, and a prolific author with a large catalog of books that’ll take you places you never realised you wanted to go– or to places you always dreamed of; take your pick.

Get the Books:
Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children) (Amazon.co.uk)
Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children) (Amazon.com)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/every-heart-a-doorway/id993589805?mt=11 (iBooks)

No Style Card today; it’s all in the text. Muahaha! As always, I’m in a Maitreya body and the Vista Lia Mesh Head.

Short Stories

Fog and the Garden

Some mornings are just full of possibility. You rise, you dress (And what a dress! Those miracle workers at Silvan Moon Designs have done it again!), you meet an owl along the substantial walk from the castle to the Garden, and you consider.

“Do you think I should move the Garden closer to the castle?” I mused. “It seems an awfully long walk to come here every morning to pay my respects, and Court days will feel interminable.”

“I think that’s a foolish idea, Your Majesty.” Oh, great. That talking cat was back in the Garden. Where was Dyisi when I needed her? The owl was no help (they never are), and I’m pretty sure the cat just wanted a piece of the dress (but who wouldn’t?) There were two bunny rabbits and a faunicorn wandering around with me as well. I”m pretty sure the dogs were just planning on sleeping til the cat came down from its perch (which was of course never going to happen).

I sighed. “Why’s that, Your Cheshireness?” I tried to sound distantly pleasant.

“Because this way you have to look at everything—well, most everything—at least once a day, sometimes twice,” it reasoned. “And you wouldn’t want to miss anything, would you?”

“No, I suppose not,” I said with a frown.

“Smart lady,” said the cat, but just then his scruffier ginger relative finally jumped up to get a piece of that dress. I’m lucky it comes in an assortment of colours.

Late Journey

Coming home so late, you’d think I would be more worried about stalkers and drunkards than I would be about the decision I’m currently making. And despite the relative wittiness of London tube adverts, I really do have more important things on my mind.

Escalator, or steps? Hm… The thing is, if I lost this costume, I’d have to reimburse the club. And the club, conveniently, had nowhere to store it that seemed safe. And I, not-so-conveniently, didn’t exactly carry peacock-costume-sized garment bags with me when I left home for rehearsal this afternoon.

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I’m so tired. All the dancing, fifteen girls just like me in identical costumes, struggling to make sure our feathers don’t touch. So much easier to take the moving steps. But the tail feathers and the train…. it was hard enough knowing I couldn’t sit down on the Tube. But now, two long flights of stairs, and then more stairs to my second floor flat, seems almost more than I can bear.

But I’m young, and I know I can bear it. I will bear it. I do bear it.

With a last look at the train-eating escalator, I turn to walk slowly down the stairs and into the dark.

The Awakening of Silence

No light except the Lantern Tree, and far above, the moon. I am here again, helping the organic growth of Awenia along, suggesting a house, a tree, a path, a fountain.

There was a time when I’d have said, “This is too much for one person.” I’d have been glad of Faermorn, of Saone. Now, I welcome this stillness, the silent waiting that is January, secure in the knowledge of Imbolg, so soon now, and the promise of spring in the womb of the world.

Oh, great mother, guide my hands; guide my heart. Help me see what the Land wants to be.

I used to wonder, are you there? I used to wonder about a lot of things.

Now, I stare in wonder at the moon, the dark sky sparked with flickers from the Lantern Tree, and I watch as fragrant blue flowers spring from my fingers.

There are few times in our little or long lives when we are not waiting for something. Now, I sink into the silence. I think of my Land, Awenia, and how lucky I am to have this influence I do, this ability to shape it.

A long winter’s night. An incandescent moon. Silence is the womb of the world.

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Style Cards:

“Fog and the Garden”
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Clarity (Available NOW at Ultra!)
Eyes: Izzie’s, Winter Eyes
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Daphne of Mistborn Gown (Available on 4th February at We ❤ RP!)
Hair: Truth, Teanna (January 2018 VIP Group Gift! Why aren’t you a member of the Truth VIP Group?)

Location: Awenia, Faerie Garden
Cheshire Cat Tree: HEXtraordinary, The Cat’s Favourite Tree
Sleeping Huskies: Jian, Sleeping Husky Gift
Norwegian Forest Cat: Jian, Forest Cat Static—Catch
White and Brown Bunny Rabbits: UnRepentant, Twitchy Bun
Owl: HEXtraordinary, Snowy Owl, Flying
Faunicorn: Jinx, Faunicorn 3
Ground Cover: The Looking Glass, Dawn’s Promise Blue Flowers
Birch Trees: The Little Branch, White Birch Cluster, Mystic Birch Cluster

“Late Journey”
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Clarity (Available NOW at Ultra!)
Eyes: Mesange, Argos Eyes
Clothes: The Annex, Shake Your Tail Feather (Available at Pocket Gacha! [link is to HUD on SL Marketplace])
Hair: Truth, Apple

Photo Set: Mesh India, Mi Bon Voyage Escalator Background (Available NOW at Limit8!)

“The Awakening of Silence”
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Clarity (Available NOW at Ultra!)
Eyes: Izzie’s, Winter Eyes
Hair: Argrace, Sayo (NEW at the Argrace Main Store!)
Jacket and Sweater: Fame Femme, Leather Jacket and Sweater, Brown
Trousers: The Muses, Ariane Legging Pant
Boots: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Gypsy Boots
Circlet: Lightstar, Celtic Trinity Knot Silver

Location: Awenia, Faerie Dwellings
The Lantern Tree: The Looking Glass, The Lantern Tree
Poses: Argrace, Sayo (NEW at the Argrace Main Store!)

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“Woefully Underdressed”

As Fae Awenia comes more into focus, I’m spending more and more time in the newer parts of the Realm and letting others do the last-minute items in preparation for when the paperwork’s all filed and we have an adoring public to think about! So many mundane Realms have opened themselves up to the Fae community; I can’t think why there are there aren’t more places like ours springing up.

Anyway, I had been so busy working on the trees in our little residential settlement I had barely seen the town centre in weeks, so I made arrangements to meet Nathaniel at one of the new, posh restaurants off the village green. Bran assured me when he made the reservation that the place was now fully staffed with professional (fae) waitstaff directly from Nu Jyorck, so I was looking forward to m visit.

The moment I walked in, I knew which table had been reserved for Nathaniel and me. I was only a couple of minutes early, but he was nowhere to be seen (no big surprise there).

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“Madame, I’m sorry, but this table is reserved.”

“Madame,” said a soft tenor, “I’m sorry,” (he did not actually sound sorry), “but this table is reserved.”

“Yes,” I replied. “I know it’s reserved.” Oh, this was going to be fun.

The impeccably dressed waiter looked down at me. He had the soft features of a half-elf, possibly raised in a large enough city that his instincts about the blood wouldn’t be as well honed as ours in Faerie are. Or possibly he was just ignorant. He pasted on a smile. “Yes, Madame; we are expecting a very important guest tonight, and I’m afraid this table is reserved for that guest and their companion.”

I nodded. “Yes, I can see that,” I replied. “The table looks beautiful, by the way: well done.”

“And I’m terribly sorry, Madame,” (Again, he did not actually sound very sorry), “but I’ll have to ask you to choose another eating establishment for this evening. Our dress code is…” he searched his mind for a descriptor. “Well, you are woefully underdressed.”

I stood, and for the first time the waiter appeared slightly more relaxed. Perhaps he was relieved that I was going to comply with his request that I vacate the premises.

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“So,” I said. “I’m woefully underdressed for the establishment?”

“So,” I said. “I’m woefully underdressed for the establishment?” It was hard not to laugh. The poor waiter was now worried he’d got the town nutter. Which, I suppose, I am.

“That is correct, Madame,” he said. He was starting to act nervous.

There was whispering from the kitchen; I suspected there were those who knew me in the ranks, taking bets on how the encounter might proceed. I heard a soft titter. Nobody approached the table: it was just me and the waiter.

“So if I changed my attire?” I fiddled with the button of my jeans, just to make him more nervous.

His eyes went wide. “Not here, Madame!” he exclaimed. “But certainly, if you wanted to perhaps go home, freshen up…..”

I stared into the nearby candle flame. “You mean….”

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“I should look more like this?” I asked. 

“I should look more like this?” I asked.

And then of course the penny dropped. There were high-fives and guffaws from the kitchen; the waiter’s face turned first purple, then red. Before he could catch himself, he said, “Oh, shit.” He swallowed. “I’m … I beg your pardon, Your Majesty.” He went down on one knee.

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I moved closer to him. “Don’t worry,” I said. “Happens all the time.” 

I moved closer to him. He took a step back. “Don’t worry,” I said. “Happens all the time.”

He looked up at me and swallowed. “If you’re sure, Your Majesty.”

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“Of course,” I replied. “No harm done. Well, except for insulting your Queen, but that’s hardly serious, right?”

“Of course,” I replied. “No harm done. Well, except for insulting your Queen, but that’s hardly serious, right?”

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“It’s not as if there’s a painting of me here, yes?” I gestured casually to the painting of me on the opposite wall.

“It’s not as if there’s a painting of me here, yes?” I gestured casually to the painting of me on the opposite wall.

“Yes, Your Majesty, but you were…” He glanced up briefly.

“Yes, I know. Woefully underdressed. Tristan, is it?”

“That’s right, Your Majesty.” His knuckles were white against his britches.

“Bran!”

“Yes, My Lady?” My majordomo is so good about coming when he is called.

“This one needs to come and work for us, I think.”

The waiter (Tristan) turned even more pale.

“As you wish, My Lady. Come along, young Tristan.” Bran held out a hand to the young waiter, and when the fellow took his hand, they disappeared immediately.

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“What?” I directed my remarks to the kitchen now. “It’s hard to find good help!”

“What?” I directed my remarks to the kitchen now. “It’s hard to find good help! That young man was ready to toss a Fae Queen out onto the streets, in order to protect the experience of the Fae Queen! I’ll have him as a footman for at least the next fifty years.”

Just then, Nathaniel came into the restaurant, having missed the whole scene (not unusual). “Don’t you look beautiful, my love!” he said, his eyes warming as he smiled at me. “I feel woefully underdressed next to you!”

Now, no one does bemused like my Nathaniel, so when the entire staff erupted into hysterics, he was the most bemused Husband and Consort ever.

Dinner was excellent, by the way.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Helana
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes
Sweater: Noble Creations, Winter Furry Shirt (Available NOW at The Season’s Story!)
Jeans: Semller, 25 Point Jeans
Boots, Reign, Palia Boots
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Hannah (NEW in the Analog Dog Main Store!)
Posh Dress: Witch)O(Craft, Music of the Night Dress (Available NOW at Garden of Shadows Fair!)
Posh Crown: Shanghai, Nymph Crown

Restaurant Background: Cubic Cherry, Lovely Corner (Available NOW at The Season’s Story!)
Table, Chairs, and Yummy Cake: Kalopsia, Gold and Roses (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Clock: The Plastik, Waine Clock
Sparklies: DDD, Wisp Spirits, Color
Trees: Roawenwood, Winter White Wedding Trees (Available NOW at The Trunk Show!)

Happy New Year!

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Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: The Plastik, Golha Skin
Eyes: Mesange, Argos Eyes
Dress: Paper Moon, Desire
Shoes: The Plastik, The Filvina Heels
Hair: Truth, Tinsley (VIP December Gift)
House: Rivendale, Dreamy Castle
Christmas Tree and Decorations: The Looking Glass, Our Festive Joy
Books: Stormwood
Goblet: Artisan Fantasy

 

Dreams of the Journey

While it is true that the Fae year ends and begins at Samhain, I was raised in the mortal world with parents who had no idea of my heritage and a Welsh granny who wasn’t telling. And so despite the lack of real evidence around great things happening on the thirty-first of December, my own psyche still remembers that day as a time of beginnings and endings. And so, sometimes, a little vision will intervene, whether it be of the future or the past or something completely bizarre and weird. That’s what happened last night.

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My head hurt. 

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And my feet hurt. Not surprising: these boots were way too big and not fitted at all well.

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And where *was* this place, anyway? Think, Gwyneth. You need to think. This smug kid isn’t going to help you.

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Yeah: nobody up *there* is going to help you, either. Why is there a horn stuck to your forehead?

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OK…. and that’s a tail. And… let’s check… great. Extra ears. So. Not only are we wearing boot hooves that are too big, we are apparently some kind of unicorn.

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We have no desire to be a unicorn. And why are we talking in third person?

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Oh, look! Other denizens! Hey, flying denizen! Watch out: Green denizen is about to throw something at you, I think. Did that help?

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“No, I am not kidding you. I never had a tail and ears and a horn before today. Well, except for that one time back in Jasper Cove. But that was a long time ago.”

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“Well, fine. I’ll call someone who cares, then. These boots are really beginning to hurt my hoov– I mean, my feet.”

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If we stand like this statue (there we go with the third person again), maybe we will adopt his obvious nonchalance toward everything. Worth a try. 

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“What? Can’t an ordinary faerie queen who is apparently dressed up like a unicorn have a perfectly reasonable conversation with some sort of flying monkey or perhaps demon? I’m just trying to fix my boots here.”

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“So anyway, if there’s some sort of a deal we could make, whereby I get better fitting boots and, I don’t know, you get … something? No, no; I get it. You aren’t interested in my immortal soul. How do you feel about Mint Imperials? I have a friend with an endless supply. Nope, not making this up.”

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It was pretty obvious to me that Peter Pan dude had been bullying the other two for a long time. But what was that hand coming out of the ground for?

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At least it was giving one of them a place to rest. I would really like to get out of these boots now.

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The boots haven’t disappeared just because we can only see me from the waist up now, you know.

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Oh– I can wake up now? Well it’s about time. Yes, I promise to make sure the hoof boots fit. Like I’m going to end up with hoof boots.

Well, that was weird.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Romie Freckled (Coming soon to 4Mesh on 12 January, 2018!)
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes
Unicorn Ears, Tail, and Horn, The Plastik, The Amalthe Unicorn Set
Dress: Paper Moon, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Earth Corset
Boots: Otherskin, Lucky
Hair: Truth, Halona (Available NOW at Uber!)

Poses: An Lar

Location: The HazeThe Haze is this amazing art installation, with a wonderful story around it. Please visit there, and please drop something in their donation box, and if you can afford it, make it a big donation. SL artists survive on the donations people give when visiting their projects, and this one is a beauty.

 

 

 

 

Reflection

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Even I worry about the passage of time.

Even I worry about the passage of time. Of course, we Fae do not age as humans do, and a human’s lifespan is much longer than that of an animal’s, and so on down the food chain. But even so, days pass, and time passes. We are ageless, but we are not immortal, or so Father always said. Father whose life trips on wherever he is, far away from mine, and whose silence still hurts sometimes.

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Why am I thinking about this now?

Why am I thinking about this now? I couldn’t tell you. And that’s because I actually do not know. It may be because the turning of the human year is upon us. And by upon, us, I mean tonight.

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Never looking back?

Never looking back? I suppose it’s a good aspiration to have, but I think I could never actually do it. I’m bad enough at running away from everything as it is: if I had the ability not to even dwell on what I’ve run away from, I work that I’d become some sort of monster.

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What kind of monster would I be?

What kind of monster would I be? The sort that everyone would be friendly and kind to, because they felt they had to be. The sort who would wake up to find herself having been poisoned someday.

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Well, that was an uplifting thought. I think I’d better leave this place.

Well that was an uplifting thought. I think I’d better leave this place: all these candelabras and gothic windows are engaging my inner Emo and turning it into an outward-facing Emo. And we don’t want that. Besides, I have a different person to become.

Don’t spend too long reflecting on 2017. Instead, wish for yourselves and your loved ones this wish from me. May we all have a peaceful and prosperous 2018, and may our best memory of it be that of love.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Helana
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes
Gown: Infinity, Gothiel Gown in blue, violet, and exclusive
Hair: Phoenix, Madeline (Available NOW at Hairology!)

Setting: Focus Poses, Gothic Backdrop
Poses: West End Poses, Strike-a-Pose Profile Poses