Setting Up for Writing Retreat!

OK, so I just got here and have taken a couple of hours to put things together, and you guys are not going to believe this place! We’re going to have the best week ever.

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Portal Cam!

I met the Air B&B owners at their place in Awenia, and they showed me to the portal. I don’t know if all you guys have travelled by portal before, but hold on to your stomachs. I set one of the drones up outside the front gate so you’ll be on portal cam too when you arrive.

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Automatic gates!

The gates open automagically when you approach them, which I guess would be a problem if we were anywhere but in a hidden B&B that one can access only via portal. Luckily, we are in a hidden B&B that one can access only via portal.

So you all keep asking me what the place looks like, and I can finally tell you since I’ve now actually seen it.

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Writing Area 1

This is the one writing area that’s upstairs. So whoever likes the breeze the best and needs a typewriter instead of a tablet or a notebook might really like this spot.

Everything else is downstairs; you all will love it: you have to go through a secret door to get to the living space. Just push the candle, and the panel will slide to reveal the stairs.

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Living Area

For the four of us, I think this space is huge, and it has such a cool vibe! There’s plenty of couch and chair space to stretch out on, and I don’t even think you’ll mind that it’s self-catering: the kitchen looks pretty nice, as well.

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Sleeping areas

There are four of these lounge-style daybeds. One of them is in an alcove just out of sight here, on the left. I took that one: sorry, ladies! The other three are separated by the pillars. I took it this way because I love that bookshelf. So much of the decoration here, even though it’s sparse, is really, really cool.

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Other downstairs writing areas

The picture doesn’t do this justice: once you get here, take a look at that amazing root system in the corner here: it looks like it was made for that nifty bowl of crystals, yeah?

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Sweatshirt selfie!

And just so you guys don’t think I’ve lost my marbles and been replaced with some sort of estate agent-style pod person, check out this sweatshirt! I saw it and couldn’t stop laughing, so I knew it had to be mine!

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Fae Garden

The garden is not shabby, either, and I think if you wanted to write outside in nature—well, whatever kind of nature this is, anyway, you could really enjoy it up here. This is a little fae garden display, just tucked into one of the building’s corners. I heart it!

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Garden selfie!

See, I’m not a pod person at all! The trees out here are really cool: you will love them. And the sky—I don’t know if it comes across properly, but the sky is amazing, sort of pink and blue at the same time with the pink not being to obscenely girly.

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OMG owl nails!

Also, I got these new nail wraps from Koffin, and they are so cool! I don’t know if you can see properly in the photograph, but they have little owls on them. I squeed.

Right: I’m going to portal back down into Awenia, now that I’ve got my stuff put away and sent you guys all these cool photos. I figure I’ll do some grocery shopping so when you all get here tomorrow we’ll be mostly stocked. Don’t forget to bring stuff you really like from home: Awenia is like the smallest Fae Realm I’ve ever seen, so I don’t think they deliver pizza out here.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Cate Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Lelutka Deia face, Lumae skin Tone 1 (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Hair: Truth, Daphne
Glasses: EarthStones, The Flower Child
Tattoo: Juna: Kat tattoo (At The Liaison Collaborative)
Nails: Dark Passions, Koffin Nails, Halloween Hoots (Available at Trick or Treat Lane!)
Clothes:
Top: Jackelope, Sara Outfit (without skirt) (Available at Trick or Treat Lane!)
Trousers: The Annex, Janae Leather Crops (This is a new release at The Annex Main Store!)
Shoes: Gos, Hi-Tops

Environment:
Location: Awenia
Outside:
Building: Rivendale, Witchy Lair (Available at Trick or Treat Lane!)
Glass Pumpkins: Vespertine, Illuminated Pumpkins (At Collabor88)
Portal: Spell, Galactica, Portals to other dimensions
Garden Wall: Stormwood, Cobblestone Wall
Fae Fountain: Atelier Visconti, Fountain Fiora
Faery Tree: !go!, Elven Tree
Inside:
Downstairs Living Area

Couch, chairs, coffee table, end tables: Trompe Loeil, Cobble Hill
Round table and crystal ball: Raindale, Shadewoods (Available at Trick or Treat Lane!)
Wall art: Oubliette, familiars (Available at Trick or Treat Lane!)
Star lanterns: Spyralle, Halloween Star Lanterns (Available at Trick or Treat Lane!)
Daybeds: DaD, Vintage Paris Daybed
Nifty crescent moon bookshelf: Circa, Midnight Coven Moonphase Wall Shelf (Available at Trick or Treat Lane!)
White desks: MadPea Writer’s Corner (desks, blotters, typewriters, phones, chairs)
Kitchenette: Tia, Olivia Kitchen
Bowl of crystals: MadPea, A Tale of Two Sisters, Bowl of Crystals
Upstairs Writing Area
Wall Candles: Rivendale, Wall Candles (Rivendale’s trick or treat gift for Trick or Treat Lane!)
Desk: Violetility, Lorkyn’s Desk
Books: Stormwood, Literati Book Set
Red-Eyed Owl: Contraption, Wainwright’s Toys, Messenger Owl
Cat with Witch Hat: HalfDeer, Requiem Moon, The Essentials (At the Arcade)
Lavender Spell Book: Birdie, Little Witch, Magic Book, Mystic (At the Arcade)
Typewriter and Lamp: Aisling, Bric-a-Brac Desk
Sun and Moon Statues: MadPea, Return of the Light
Kitteh in a bag: MishMish, Kitties Go To Market, Princess
Poses: All from An Lar (I’m saddened to see that An Lar Poses is closing its doors after several years of offering some of the nicest, most subtle, and most versatile poses in Second Life (in my opinion). Everything at the An Lar Main Store is 50% off through the 31st of October.)

 

 

Midsummer Enchantment!

The Midsummer Enchantment Event opens tomorrow, 15 June, at 1pm SLT, and I’m proud to take of the storyblogger hat for a moment and tell you that this is one of my favourite events to blog for. So plan to wander round this event and enjoy the beautiful setting: Dark Passions Events creates such a beautiful atmosphere that the event is like a journey, rather than just a trip to a big room where you can Buy Stuff. Having seen some of the stuff that’s going to be at this event, I can tell you that you’ll be gobsmacked by the whimsical, gothical, magical, and otherwise enchanting (see what I did there?) things you’ll find.

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Aurora Dress from Oubliette

One early favourite for me is this Aurora Dress from Oubliette.

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Also New Lumae Catwa Applier!

I’m also in a (YES!) new Lumae Catwa Applier, Cinnamon. What a beautiful, soft look, designer Lumiya Rae has given this skin!

Anyway, there’s your quick teaser for Midsummer Enchantment from me, and I’ll be showing you lots of other things at this lovely event in the form of story blogs over the rest of the week and next week as well. The event closes on the 30th of June, so make sure you pop over while you can.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Bento Mesh Head, Lona
Skin: Lumae, Cinnamon Catwa Applier (Available TOMORROW at Midsummer Enchantment!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Earrings, The Little Bat, Luna Earrings (Available TOMORROW at Midsummer Enchantment!)
Dress: Oubliette, Aurora (Available TOMORROW at Midsummer Enchantment!)
Hair: Exile, Strange and Unusual
Nails: Cazimi, Fade To White
Shoes: Violetility, Luna Heels
Necklace: RealEvil Industries, Passion Collar
Backdrop: Glam Affair, Dark Stage
Poses: PosESioN, Nefer Editorial Set

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Why Haven’t You Been to Ostara’s Altar Yet?

Because I’m recovering from cataract surgery and under multiple deadlines at the same time, here’s a straight-up blog post from me. These photos were taken last weekend and should have been posted on Friday, but my eyes were one day out of surgery and I’ve not been looking at computers much because they are bright and full of colour! (My new cyber-eyes are amazing, btw.)

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There’s so much to embrace about the coming of Spring.

There’s so much to embrace about the coming of Spring, and Ostara’s Altar has a lot of it! Gwyneth is frolicking in a field of flowers, my favourite flowers ever, the Ichi Fields from The Looking Glass. The ruins in the background are an amazing set from Delirium, called Ancient Temple. This is permanently on Awenia (well, as permanently as anything is on Awenia!), and I love the gothic arches and the atmosphere of the place. I put lime trees from The Little Branch all around the temple, but you can’t see them in this photograph: check the ones below!

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But let’s get on to the important stuff! What is Gwyneth wearing?

But let’s get on to the important stuff! What is Gwyneth wearing? The dress is from Oubliette, and you can get it at Ostara’s Altar until 1pm SLT today, so hurry it up! It’s called Maia, and it comes in an amazing array of ombre colours, something for everyone, and the textures are fantastic! This hair is from Limerence, called Lamiya, and it’s still available at Lootbox. The amazing nails are from Dark Passions (natch!), and they’re the Odin’s Pride set, also available at Lootbox. The skin is Lumae‘s wonderful new Neoma Catwa applier, here on the Catwa Lona head, and the extra makeup is from Adored; it’s the Unicute Shadows, which you can pick up at The Secret Hideout. I went crazy at that event this time around. Unicorn theme. You guys know how I am! Eyes are the Gem Eyes from Amara Beauty. Gwyneth’s ears are these great new ones from Swallow, the Noldor Elf Ears. I love the jewellery on these ears; I just wish they took Omega appliers (hint, hint, Swallow!). 🙂 The boots are from Luas, the Skadi boots, which are at Lootbox. Trousers are a standby from The Muses, the Laced Leather Pant. Body as always is the Maitreya mesh body, though I’ve been experimenting with the Tonic body lately and may do some photos with that one soon.

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Leaping!

Leaping! Gwyneth loves Spring, because as a natural Summer Queen, Spring is the beginning of her rise to power, which peaks at Midsummer. These poses are all from Grafica, by the way; they did some amazing dance poses a couple of years ago that I still use frequently. That said, I have been to Pose Fair, so be expecting some new ones in the weeks to come!

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Happy!

This pose is from the Hela-Miyo Happy series, which is just a lot of fun. But look at the textures on that Oubliette dress. Yum, yum. I love it when things just look perfect and I don’t have to work too hard to make them perfect.

I’m not including a style card with this post, as everything is described under the photos, but I will tell you this: Ostara’s Altar is closing at 1pm SLT today, so get yourself down there and do some last-minute shopping, because some of these exclusives are discounted and you don’t want to miss that!

Confined Spaces and the Consilium Arcanum

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Meditate, Breathe, Centre.

Meditate, Breathe, Centre. It may be that I am nervous. My contact is Arcturus Treem, who’s a Consilium Arcanum …. would you call him a civil servant? I guess he is. We’re to meet later today at his magic shop, Cave of Wonders, to discuss the opening of Awenia up to humans and other magical beings. The townsfolk have been pretty open to it so far; they want to encourage passage between beings, and now that the walls are down, we can do this. I’ve done some research on the few other Realms that have taken this course of action, and they’re mostly coming from the other direction: human Realms who want to open themselves to other beings. I can’t help but wonder about their reasons, but I suppose that’s what Treem wants to talk to me about as well.

I’ve been here since last night, in a Seattle where I used to have to travel glamoured— but when I arrived, no one batted an eye at my obvious differences. The staff at the hotel were very nice, but the room is very small, which I suppose I should have expected. It’s not like this is a diplomatic visit from a Queenly sort of viewpoint. One plus for the staff: the moment the concierge saw me, he asked if I’d like a large mirror put in my room. Of course I said yes: if Nathaniel or Wren or even (gods help me) Drysi want to get in touch, the mirror is the easiest way for them to reach me when I’m so far away. Will O’ the Wisps get… well, they get distracted sometimes. I am so happy I met up with the talented Queue Marlowe and got her to braid my hair over at Analog Dog before I hopped back here and boarded a ferry to Seattle, because they still don’t have great Fae portal service here.

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The truth is, I’m impatient.

The truth is, I’m inpatient. You never would have guessed that about me, I’m sure. Our meeting is set for two o’clock this afternoon, and here I am, awake at barely ten, already full of a dazzling hotel breakfast that included Belgian waffles and syrup and so much whipped cream. It’s a good thing my body can function completely off carbs and fat!

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I know what I have to do.

I know what I have to do. Basically, I have to convince this guy that I’m opening up the Realm for positive and legal reasons, namely better communication among different types of beings, and of course the tourism dollars won’t hurt. And I need not to go off on tangents about love and light and all that stuff. I need to speak as a town representative and not a Fae Queen.

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Barely ten minutes after I embark on this train of thought, there’s a chime from the mirror.

Barely ten minutes after I embark on this train of thought, there’s a chime from the mirror.  I stand up, compose myself.

“Who?”

“Arcturus Treem, Miss…. I’m sorry; I don’t know your last name.”

“I don’t really have one any more, Mr Treem. Most people who address me formally use “Your Majesty”, but I’m not coming to you as a Queen. Gwyneth is fine.”

“In that case, it’s Arcturus or Art if you prefer.” He is an older gentleman, with crinkles around his blue eyes and the weathered look of a man who’s seen many seasons. “I only wanted to check in with you and see if we were on track for our meeting this afternoon. I see you’re settled in nicely. Is that the Abbot House?”

I smile. He’s not difficult to talk to, which is a good thing. “Yes; that’s right. They’ve been lovely here. Such a surprise after…”

He raises a brow. “Have you had bad experiences elsewhere, Gwyneth?”

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“Um…”

“Um…” I swallow. Not everyone has the same set of memories as I do now, but I expected the magician might be a little more informed. Then again, he is human. Maybe I need to put Skeleton or Nathaniel on research which folk have two different sets of memories, and which folk do not.

There’s that eye-crinkling smile again. “You remember the Cataclysm. Good. Not all Fae do, of course: those who are confined to their own realms mostly, but it’s important to make sure before we begin any conversation.” He nods as if I’ve passed a test.

I exhale. And I smile. “Great. We’re on the same page. So yes, walking into Seattle last night, unglamoured, was very interesting. And while I recognise that whoever perpetrated the Cataclysm has been a very bad boy or girl, I can’t say I’m altogether displeased with the result.”

He laughs outright at that. “Very diplomatic, Your Majesty. I begin to see some of that Sidhe charm I was expecting from someone like you. Did you know, the flowers on the paintings in your room look as if they’re alive?”

I glance back to the now super-saturated paintings. “I have that effect on things. It’s part of being what the Fae call a Life-Bringer, but I don’t claim that title. I believe just about anything can be accomplished if the challenges are met with love, rather than trickery, greed, violence…. That’s one reason why I want Awenia to be a Fae town open to everyone: I want different beings to see the good in each other, learn about their differences, learn to co-exist. Because even if they think they have co-existed for a long time, there are bound to be problems.”

“No need to launch into your sales pitch right away,” replies Art with another one of those smiles. “I can’t keep the mirror communication up for long: for me, it requires a rather difficult spell. One thing I’d love to acquire from you in Awenia, as a Fae town where trade will be encouraged, is a proper magic mirror. Do you have a mirror smith?”

“Of course we do, and a good one too,” I reply. “I think we can make that happen for you.”

“All paid for, of course,” he is quick to reply. “I could not accept a gift from you, for many reasons.” He meets my eyes. “But before we sit down in the shop to do business this afternoon, I was wondering if you’d like to have lunch with me, just so we can get to know one another a little better, lay some ground rules for future interactions, if you will.”

I smile. “That sounds like a great idea.”

“Wonderful. I’ll pick you up at your hotel around eleven thirty, and then we’ll have a while to natter about whatever we like before we get down to business. Now I’ll bid you good morning, and thank you very much for your time.”

I don’t wrinkle my nose at the ‘thank you’; I know it’s a human custom and I used to do it myself. But I’ll have to make sure Mr Treem knows what’s meant by ‘thank you’ to one of us. “It is nothing,” I reply. “I’m happy and honoured to be here, and I look forward to our meeting later.”

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I even blow him a little kiss before I dismiss the mirror communication. Can’t hurt.

I even blow him a little kiss before I dismiss the mirror communication. Can’t hurt.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: The Plastik, Golha (Amethyst) (Available NOW at Season of the Witch!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Moira A (Available NOW at The Epiphany!)
Headpiece: Cae, Lasa Circlet
Bracelets: The Plastik, The Aeliora Cuffs (Available NOW at The Season’s Story!)
Dress: Oubliette, Royal Vega Dress (Available NOW at  Season of the Witch!)
Boots: !go, Fae Boots Brown

Photo Backdrop: Mary Etc., After Hour Background (Available NOW at Designer Circle!)

Thanks are always due to the incredibly talented Queue Marlowe of Analog Dog who created such.a lovely set of hairs for The Epiphany. I’ll be showing you the other versions soon!

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