Arrival

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A Small Place

“I know this must look like a small place to you. You see what you can perceive with whatever perceptions were given you by the gods. I cannot convey to you the vastness of it, not really; you’re not equipped to handle it. That’s not meant to be patronising, or belittling, I promise: it’s just an explanation.

“Fine, Fine. This is your dream, and I’m not required to explain it to you, but your dream form and level of consciousness suggests human. You beings usually like an explanation.

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Hello? Ears?

“Ah. of course. My apologies. Humans and fae look very much alike to us here, and I hope you’ll understand that’s not intended to be any sort of slight, either.

“Why don’t we start over? Let’s take it as a tour, shall we? There are two Watchers here, the winged cat on the tree root, and the big sleepy cat.

“Yes, I know, both of them have their eyes closed. If you don’t want human-style explanations, stop making human-style observations.

“Are we good? Good.

 

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The Spirit Summoners

“Each cat is specially called here by the Spirit Summoners; they build a unique calling altar for each cat, and depending on the cat, they may meditate at this altar for different periods of time. Not all cats are able to come away in good time. We’ve been summoning this particular cat, your cat, for a good long while, but she was very worried about you and wanted to make sure you were in a safe place before she came to us. The visual representation isn’t important to them, but when one of you gets chosen to experience an arrival, we place it there so you feel connected in your own way.

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Elsewhere

“What you observe elsewhere is a representation of what happens here simultaneously in each overlapping moment.

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So there is playing, and flying

“So there is playing and flying and cuddling and napping. There’s play-fighting and stalking and more than a little hilarity.

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Taking the wings

“Cats arrive here as kittens, and some of us choose to stay that way. Some of us like our old world forms. Eventually, most of us decide to take the wings and help other cats. Giving back is important here, and while it may come as a shock, one cannot simply chase butterflies in perpetuity.

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You are not alone in your sadness.

“You are not alone in your sadness. As I told you, the cat we are awaiting stayed overlong in her physical life with you. It takes some time, especially when a relationship between human, er, fae, and cat is as long as yours was in cat lifetimes, for a cat to separate from their earthly family. In special circumstances like these, we arrange for you to be here to dream-see your cat’s arrival to our shore. Familiar smells, as you will know, are very helpful to us.

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Their Own Boat

“Each cat travels in their own boat, piloted by a winged cat used to traversing whatever afterlife river will bring them here according to their belief systems.

“Ah! I think I see them. Yes, she will be a kitten, maybe younger than you remember her. But she will remember you.

“Yes, that’s why you’re here. You’ve been summoned to dream-see this cat’s arrival into the next life.

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The Catcher

“No, no; don’t mind me. I like my perch here. The cat waiting to grab the light rope is our Catcher, and of course it’s OK if you run. She needs to know how important it is that she join us here.

“Of course, you can stay a little while. And if you’re good at dream-walking, you might visit us again. But we do change. She will change. And— no, I cannot tell you what happens after this Realm for us. It is not permitted to tell, and it is not permitted to know.”

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Goodnight, Minerva.

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Minerva

From The Author: Minerva, most beautiful kitty of kittiness, was adopted from the Battersea Dogs and Cats’ Home, the world’s oldest animal shelter, in November of 2005 by me, my late husband Joe, and my then-13-year-old son, Gavin. On Sunday, 8 September, she left this life. All cats go to heaven. She gets a special one.

Credits:
Special thanks to the beautiful people at The Looking Glass, who created The Shrine Tree. I won this region build in an auction at the 2019 Fantasy Faire, and as it takes a while to place these perfect things in world, I was not sure where The Shrine Tree itself belonged. Turned out, it belongs as the focal point of the Cat Summerlands. The trees, the grass, the butterfly flowers, and importantly, Minerva’s Summoning Altar, were all designed by Sharni Azalee and Marcus Inkpen of The Looking Glass. 

The Cats:
Narrator Cat: Pixicat, Bastet Sphinx Cat (Sit)
Spirit Summoners: Left, Half+Deer Winged Cat, Crouch. Right, Jian, Forest Cat, Static-Stare.
Winged Cats: All by Half+Deer, Half Deer Wing Cats (various)
Big Sleepy Watcher Cat: Half+Deer, Giant Sleepy Cat (at Collabor88 and another inspiration for this post; thank you Halogen Magic for the beauty you have brought to my world.
Kitten who looks a bit like Minerva (in the boat): Jian, Kitten Collection.
Catcher Cat: Fashionably Dead, Cat 12 – Curious
Boat: Raindale, Ethemelle Boat
Bridges: The Looking Glass, Dawn’s Promise Bridges

Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project, Baby Face
Skin: Ritual, Elspeth (freckled) T1
Eye Makeup & Tears: Amis, Ali’s Sorrow
Eyelashes: auNaturel, Crybaby Lashes
Ears: Ritual, Fae Ears
Hair: Exile, Lily
Ear Adornments: Axix, Angelic Whisper
Hair Adornment: Bauhaus Movement, Amanda Headband (1)
Clothes: Una, Bloom (Jacket, Shirt, & Skirt)
Shoes: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Kammira Sandals (available at We Love Roleplay, and why I picked this outfit– because I wanted to photograph these shoes!)

Location: Awenia Haven. Awenia isn’t currently open to the public, but if you want to PM me in-world, I’ll let you come visit Minerva’s Cat Summerlands if you like.

 

 

The Rainbow House in the Stained Glass Grove

I’m beginning to think this little Realm is really one of those list songs. You know, like, “There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea,” or “The Rattlin’ Bog.” Because I swear there was no rainbow house in the Stained Glass Grove when I found myself there before.

What does a rainbow house look like?

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The Rainbow House

Obviously this is what a rainbow house looks like! There it was, right across what seemed like a decorative bridge over a snowbank. The first thing I noticed (after its rainbow-ness, of course) was the beautiful carving on the front doors. Someone must have put a lot of work into that. Even though our Fae artisans can put up a house in a matter of minutes, it still takes some skill, whether magical or physical, to create such a wonder. And look at that beautiful solstice star above the door. It felt homey already.

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Whimsical trees!

And here we go with the song again: There are trees on the porch of the rainbow house in the stained glass grove (it’s really hard not to add ‘at the bottom of the sea’, there; it would just scan better). Also, peeking in the windows was fun.

Now, I’d brought Clutie along this time, because you never know when you’re going to have to send her back with some kind of message or reply, and also because Bran told me off royally (pun intended!) when I got home after my first visit to the stained glass grove, both for not telling him where I was going and for not bringing an assistant with me. I told him he wasn’t my real dad and I didn’t have to listen to him, then flounced, but really I did listen to him, at least enough to know I didn’t want another lecture of that magnitude.

Clutie is one of those demifae who can move into a larger, more human-sized form when she wants to, so I assigned her to camera duty and told her to take a photograph of me by those lovely doors.

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I claim this house for Faerie!

I raised my arms and shouted, “I claim this house for En— I mean, Faerie!” Sometimes I still drop back into old habits, you know. Clutie rolled her eyes at me, but she did figure out how to focus my iPhone camera on the third try. I suspect there will be lots of shots of her little shoes in my camera roll.

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Should we go inside?

“Should we go inside?” I asked. It was a rhetorical question, but Clutie answered it anyway.

“Your Majesty, of course we all know that everything in Faerie is under your command and by your leave, but perhaps entering folks’ private homes is a little disrespectful,” she said. Mother of the Moon, she is a proper little thing, isn’t she?

I informed her that it was a rhetorical question and let myself in.

She followed me, swearing under her breath (OK, years serving me has made her a little less proper), but I think she was just as interested in looking inside as I was.

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Altar and shelf

“Oh, will you look at that alter,” I said. “such a well-placed little stone labyrinth. I approve.” Clutie, meanwhile, was fascinated by the shiny crystal on the shelf next to the altar. I thought she was going to be absorbed by it somehow, she was staring so hard.

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Purple Tree, Purple Me!

“This tree matches my dress!” I squealed.

“That tree is a fire hazard in a wooden house,” Clutie retorted.

“It’s Faerie, Clutie,” I said. “I don’t think the house is going to burn, not from plain fire, anyway.”

She sniffed.

“The Author has one very much like it in her little retreat, you know.”

“Well, aren’t you the hoity-toity one, hanging out with The Author and being all special and precious.”

My eyes narrowed. “And you need to watch your tongue, Miss demithang,” I replied.

“Why? Is it burning?”

I always forget what little literalists demifae are. “Come on; let’s get back to the castle,” I said. “We can come back and explore some more later.”

Clutie tossed my phone at me and shrank to her normal size. “Make sure you bring me,” she said. “I’m sure I saw marshmallows over there.”

Style Card:
Items featured at the Winter’s Hollow event:
Rainbow House: Dragon Magick Wares, Elemental A Frame
Whimsical Trees: Raindale, Whimsical Topiary Tree
Solstice Star: Raindale, Yule Star
Lovely Purple Dress: Senzafine, Eirwyn Gown
Crown and Choker: SynCo, Ice Witch Choker, Ice Witch Tiara
Antlers: Spyralle, WinterGem Antlers, “Snow” Special Edition
Altar: The Roawenwood, Winter Solstice Altar
Shelf with mesmerising crystal: Velika Rituals, Winter Solstice Shelf
Purple Tree: [QE Home] Handcrafted Christmas Tree

Other stuff:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Noelle Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Elvi, T1 (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store)
Eyeshadow: alaskametro, Astral Eyeshadow
Eyebrows: alaskametro, Glitter Eyebrows
Hair: Truth, Teila
Eyes: Euphoric, Enigma Eyes
Environment:
Skybox Environment: IrrISIStible, Never-ending Winter Mesh Skybox
Poses: SD, Ice Queen

 

 

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.)

 

 

Book Forest Expanded (The Changing Landscape of Awenia, 4)

I watched out the window as the boundaries of the Book Forest expanded. It’s funny, when things like this happen: you don’t actually see things moving—it’s just that a few seconds, or minutes, or hours later, you note that something has changed position.

The Book Forest is its own entity. It began as a concept in my mind, I admit, and I did have something to do with the first little iteration of it, but since then, as with all the wild places of Faerie, it has developed a mind and soul of its own. I noted the changing boundaries for a few days, but I stayed away because I knew the Book Forest would take care of itself. When the boundaries seemed to settle (or at least have been in the same place for a couple of days), I took Bran and his trusty smartphone camera, and we went down to take a look at the new Forest.

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The Book Forest

This is my favourite photo that Bran took as we explored the remade. Book Forest. He took so many pictures!

This entry is going to be image-intensive: there are 26 photos of the book forest. I’ll do my best to keep the text within reason!

As with all the best forests, the first thing I felt when I walked into the Book Forest is this wonderful silence. The outside world just falls away.

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The outside world fell away.

The outside world fell away, and suddenly we were in the world of “once upon a time”.

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Joy and wonder

I was overcome by a sense of joy and wonder. The first thing I noticed was this beautiful area that looked like a homage to writing and to books themselves.

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Stop shooting me!

“Stop photographing me and concentrate on the forest!” I admonished. “Bran, seriously; look where we are.”

Bran looked at me and winked. “I am looking, Your Majesty,” he said.

“Perv,” I shot back.

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Look at all the little chairs!

“Look at all the little chairs! Some of them are even shaped like books!” I couldn’t resist the urge to play storyteller.

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Bran seemed to like it too.

Bran seemed to like it too: he just kept photographing me as I laughingly told him to stop. I loved that the statue behind me was supported by two armloads of books, that the mushroom table had a stack of books on it. There was just so much to see.

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I wanted to tell stories here forever.

I wanted to tell stories here forever; there was something about the ambiance of the place, magical, removed, and yet so solid.

But there were many other things to see, so I stepped down from the tree stump podium and we walked further in to the forest.

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The next stop was a tiny house.

The next stop was a tiny house with books on the steps as if somebody had just run in to make a cup of tea.

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A mysterious air….

There was a mysterious air about the little cottage, as if magic occurred there. I wondered if it was the residence of some Author or other.

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Seriously, stop photographing me!

“Seriously, Bran—stop photographing me! If you do it again, I will make a photo face!”

The camera clicked. Again.

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I warned you!

“I warned you, Bran!” I shouted. “You know not to test me!”

To my embarrassment, there was no other sound than the electronic click of Bran’s mobile phone camera.

I sighed. “Fine. Let’s see what’s in this house.”

Bran insisted that it was rude to just walk into someone’s house, even if nobody was there. Some part of me, the part that grew up in Southeast London where places have bars on the windows, knew that. But Queen Gwyneth, you know. She goes anywhere she likes.

In the end, I folded. “Fine; but let’s look through the window at least.”

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It looked like someone was just moving in.

It looked like someone was just moving in: there was an empty bookshelf, and the only inhabitants were two cats. I do like cats.

“Maybe we could get to know whoever lives here,” I mused.

“Maybe,” Bran said. “But there’s more to see.”

“Yes, yes, yes,” I said.

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Beautiful trees behind the house.

There were beautiful trees behind the house. “You know what?” I said. “I really like that all the paths are made from books.”

“Oh, you noticed that, huh?” Bran smirked. “Your powers of observation are truly staggering, Your Majesty.”

“I don’t think you’re allowed to talk to me that way, Bran.”

“I have a photograph of you making a very rude selfie face, Your Majesty.”

“Fine.”

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Signs everywhere

There were also little signs everywhere; I liked that touch. And there were beautiful lamps, even though we didn’t need them in the bright sunlight of Faerie during the day. The fairytale books with their pop-up paper castles and other little touches gave us something new to look at every time we turned.

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Book Fort!

“Bran, Bran! Look! It’s a book fort! Take a picture of that!”

“I already did, My Lady.”

He was way ahead of me.

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Happily ever after

Once again, I was caught by these signs. Up ahead, there was this amazing glowing door set in to a rock.

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Another “strange” sign

There was another “strange” sign in front of the glowing door (See what I did there?). I wanted to go through it, but Bran resisted. I won, of course, but when I tapped on the door, nothing happened. How annoying.

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Somewhat changed, but still recognisable.

The book forest had kept some of its old features, and this little ruin was one of them. There were new features here, of course—and weirdly, some of them seemed to have come from my Frog Prince dream a couple of weeks ago. How very odd. The moon on a stand was here, and the little figuring of the frog prince himself looking into a mirror. I just shook my head.

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Candy Apple Tree

I loved this candy apple tree, next to another one of those beautiful pop-up books. It was hard to keep all the little details straight: I could see I was going to have to come here again and again.

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Stump House

This little house made from the largest stump I’d ever seen, had also been a feature of the old forest, but the surrounding roses and trees were new. I guess the book forest’s expansion provided more room for beautiful things. And I’m never one to discount the appeal of beautiful things.

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Book bed and bridge

The little area with the bed made from a book and the table full of interesting things was till there, as was the bridge. But there were new book piles, even a large book arch.

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Then I turned around, and this little house took my breath away

Then I turned around, and this little house took my breath away. When I checked, it was empty. “It’s just waiting for someone small to move in,” I told Bran.

“Like… Clutie, for instance?” Brian asked. He was smirking.

“She’d never leave me,” I said.

“How wonderful for you.” The expression on his face said everything. Bran and Clutie… yeah; they don’t get along.

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Wow, look at that book arch!

“Wow! Look at that book arch!” I couldn’t wait to stand under it. “Bran, Bran! Take a photograph!” I shouted.

Brian smirked. “I thought you didn’t want me to make any more photographs of you, on pain of your selfie face,” he said.

“I changed my mind.”

Bran rolled his eyes.

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Rose petals, like a kiss

Now, sometimes funny things happen around you when you’re a Faerie Queen. In this case, it was hundreds of rose petals, just falling from the big book arch. So I blew them at Bran. To thank him for the photograph, of course.

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The Narnia Wardrobe

I call this the Narnia Cupboard. It’s been here since the Book Forest first sprang out of the surrounding woodlands. I like to think it was the first thing that appeared here, and maybe everything else sprang from it. It’s special.

But we were approaching where the paths converged, nearly back to the Book Forest’s entrance. I couldn’t help but feel a little sad. I only get to discover a place for the first time, once.

Until it remakes itself again, that is.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Seattle (Available NOW at  Ultra!)
Nails: Cazimi, August VIP Nails (You can pick this up at the Cazimi Main Store!, but only if you’re a member of the Cazimi VIP Group)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: AviGlam, Doll’s Eyes
Gown: Junbug, Pippa Gown (Available NOW at Equal10!)
Hair and Antlers: Analog Dog (natch), Doe (Available FOR JUST TWO MORE DAYS at The Gacha Garden!)
Autumn Necklace & Earrings: Bliensen & MaiTai, Augumn (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Book of Shadows Necklace: Maxi Gossamer, Soul Catcher Book of Spells
Rose Petals: Persefona, Floating Rose Petals 2

Location: Awenia, The Book Forest
There are so many things to credit here that I know I will leave some out and possibly put some in that aren’t shown properly in photographs. If you have questions or would like to know more about any item, just leave a comment here or message me in-world (Gwen.enchanted), and I’ll give you whatever information I can. Also, some of the items have stories around them, and I am not able to resist telling a good story, ever.

Book Paths and Forest Bounding Books: Una, Book Path. (This is now a group gift at the Una Main Store!) Una Daxter sent me this, I think because I played her Alexandra gacha about a million times at a Fantasy Gacha Carnival. It’s one of the coolest things anybody has ever given me, and I have blogged and photographed and credited it more times than I can count. It was absolutely the inspiration for the Book Forest, and I cannot thank her enough for that small gift. Although it’s been in every blog post featuring the Book Forest, I haven’t told this story before. I love it very much.
Forest Entrance Book, Brown Book Scenes, Leaf Book, Book Bed Fae Swing (with a tree): BananaN, all from Story Book Gacha except the swing. (You can find this at the BananaN Main Store!)
Tree Stump Chairs and Podium, Mushroom Seats, Tree Spirit With Books: Merchants of Dreams, Writers’ Place. This was a live auction item from the 2015 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire. It’s not available. It was given to me by the people who won the auction so that it could be placed at the Milk Wood Writers’ Colony, and there is a copy of it there in Gossamer Down so that anyone can use it to hold workshops and meetings.
Cabin, Doors of Durin, and Pink and White Pop-Up Castle Book: Spell, A Forest Tale Gacha, Cabin; Spell, Middle Earth Gacha; and Spell, Once Upon a Time Gacha  (You can find all of these at the Spell Main Store!)
Butterfly Tree with Faeries: Simply Shelby, Butterfly Tree (Available at the Simply Shelby Main Store!)
Lighted Book Tree: {e}lusive Designs, Book Tree With Lights. ({e}lusive is in between stores at present; however you can find their stuff at the {e}lusive Marketplace Store.)  Dema Fairport, who created this beauty, is a SL creator, DJ, and photographer. She was in my Visionaire class, and we’ve been friends ever since.
Lanterns, Wishing Well, and Bridge: Raindale, Maplemoor Gacha. (You can find this at the Raindale Main Store!)
Signs: All these signs are from the stunning 8f8 Storyteller’s Burrow gacha. (You can find this, and lots of other amazing stuff, at the 8f8 Main Store!)
Big Book Fort: Cheeky Pea, Book Nook gacha, Book Fort (You can find this at the Cheeky Pea Main Store!)
Ruins: Ionic, Sacred Ruins (Available at the Ionic Main Store!)
Décor in Ruins:
-Silver Moon on Stand:
Air, Frog Moon Silver (Available NOW atEnchantment!)
-Table:
Dust Bunny, Autumn Calling, Wooden Table (You can find this at the Dust Bunny Main Store!)
-Book on Table With Rose:
Konpeitou, Beauty and the Book w/Rose (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
-Frog with Mirror (on table)
Konpeitou, Frog Prince Mirror (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
-Alchemy Book Scene: Stormwood, Alchemy Book Scene!)
-Story Book on floor (and many other story books scattered around the forest): Divine Creations, Tell Me a Story (It looks like Divine Creations has some Real Life and isn’t active in SL at the moment, but you could probably find pieces of this gacha on the Marketplace.)
Candy Apple Tree, Fairy Tale Chairs, Table, Parfaits, Daisies & Ladybirds, Will-O-Wisp Tree, Glam Poppies, Persian Carpet Grass:  (Available at The Looking Glass’ Horizon Dream Region!) I’m a proud Looking Glass fan.
Stump House: Since 1975, Fairytale Garden House (Available at the Since 1975 Main Store!)
Magical Tree House: Kazza, Abode Tree (I couldn’t find this at their main store; it was an ultra rare from a fantasy gacha. You can find it on the SL Marketplace, but it’ll cost you.)
Roses: {anc} Sugar Rose Field (Available at the {anc} Main Store!)
Giant Book Chair and Wonderland Book Arch: Boudoir. (Available at the Boudoir Main Store!)
Trees: There are so many different trees in here I’d go nuts listing them all for you, but they’re from places like Rivendale, Harshlands, Keke, and Happy Mood. You can go to every single one of these places and find the most amazing stuff ever.

Thank you to everyone who previewed the expanded Book Forest and gave suggestions, reactions, or just was nice to me while I went through all my obsessive stories about Cool Stuff. These people include, but are not limited to: Mystical Edenflower, Nyza Stillwater, LLRiven, and Nathaniel Ballard.

The Gypsy Davey’s First Awenian Tour

That makes it sound as if I am going on tour in Awenia. The Author is a bit florid with language today, methinks. (Really? I would never say ‘methinks’.)

No; the fact is, I’d heard through the grapevine about what Queen Gwyneth is doing with Awenia, and despite the fact that we are no longer… well, you know… I still like to check up on her.

She’s made the entry point for Awenia’s faerie in the big dancing square—at least, I hope that’s what it is—and although parts of it remain unfinished, I think she’s done a really passable job so far.

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Her Majesty has done a passable job so far.

I was pleasantly surprised, really. I guess in the standard stereotypical view of Queens, Her Majesty isn’t exactly a ‘detail’ person. So the fact that she’s concentrated on getting the big picture worked out first and is obviously waiting to concentrate on the little bits and bobs—or perhaps getting her many minions (not the yellow kind) to do that for her—makes a kind of sense.

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View from the Dancing Square

Here is the view from the Dancing Square. Now, I notice all kinds of little things, but as you can see, the big trees are all in, and the landscaping has been done. Of course, she’ll eventually add some ground cover and possibly some smaller trees, but structurally it looks passable to me. And yes, ‘passable’ is a compliment as far as I’m concerned.

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I’m glad she kept the music shop.

I’m glad she kept the music shop: it seems to be one of the only features of the previous faerie incarnation that has held on. Now there’s even a little stage propped up on a green near the shop; presumably she will sponsor some performances there—or the music shop will, I guess. I recall there also being a small stage setup inside the shop itself; I wonder if there’ll be differences between the kinds of acts that get booked for one or the other. Something to think about.

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Of course, they’d never book me there.

Of course, they’d never book me there. The stampede of women would be unmanageable, given the relatively small size of the green and of Awenia Town itself.

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So… where to next?

So… where to next? I ambled down the High Street, passing by a couple of shops and a couple of residential buildings, until I got to the end, where one can turn a corner and find themselves in such unsavoury places as the offices of FaeWatch (how could she allow that rag to have an office in her Realm?), a psychic (obviously not a proper Gypsy psychic), a craft store (seriously?) and a pub, which is more like it. But it was the scene across the wide farm-facing street that caught my eye.

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Now this? This is a kissing tree.

Now this? This is a kissing tree if ever I saw one. It’s too bad the Faerie Realm is almost deserted at the moment: I can imagine just standing here and, you know, whistling or singing. I could collect dozens, maybe hundreds of kisses in the span of an hour. Perhaps I shall suggest a Gypsy Davey Kissing Station for a village féte or something.

This little park was truly lovely. It has everything one needs for a good park: beautiful flowers, trees, an ancient structure to bound it from the nearby light forestland, and of course restful benches.

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Restful Benches

I can imagine myself, having taken off my coat and letting my shirttails go where they will, reclining, just enjoying the breeze. Hm… I probably need a book here to look more legit, but let’s be honest—I don’t think I even own a book. I’m a lover, not an intellectual.

Ahh… I ended my reverie, as another detail caught my eye, this one completely silly.

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The Line Forms Here, Ladies!

Why of course my castle is “This Way”! Ignore all those other signs.

The line forms here, Ladies!

Style Card:
Body: Signature Gianni
Head: Catwa, Skell Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Brent (Brent is this month’s group gift for men at 7 Deadly s{K}ins! You can pick it up at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Ears Dairon
Eyes: AviGlam, Dramatic Eyes
Clothes: Noble Creations, Prince Lawrence Outfit (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Shoes: Avatar Bizarre, Crowley Boots
Hair: No Match, No Offence
Hairbase: Unorthodox, Good V2 Hairbase

Location: Awenia Faerie
Kissing Tree: The Looking Glass, The Kissing Tree (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Thisway Thatway Tree: Titans, Thisway Thatway Tree
Bench: Raindale, Heathergate Bench

Revisiting the Book Forest

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Would you go?

Would you go? Would you walk into the wardrobe and take your winter coat and travel to Narnia in winter?

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Entering the Book Forest makes me ask such questions of myself.

Entering the Book Forest makes me ask such questions of myself. It is a place where there are no limits to the imagination. As small as it is, it seems dense and immense when you’re inside it. And it brings so many lovely things back into my head. Although my duties in Faerie are many, particularly now that we are having such an influx of people who are a bit afraid of being on the Island. I’m beginning to wonder if I shouldn’t try to separate it from the contemporary Realm it lies in and try to rewrite history.

Then again, rewriting history is a dangerous practice. Dyisi would surely warn against it.

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Is it running away, if you are recreating?

Is it running away, if you are recreating? Again, Dyisi would probably say yes. But then she thinks I run from everything.

And, OK, maybe I’ve been prone to do that… in the past. But I love this Realm, this little town, these whimsical shops and pathways. And the Book Forest, more than anything, is the centre of the whole idea. You can put anything together. Everything can be juxtaposed. You can have a bakery next door to a magic shop. You can have an Amsterdam canal front in sight of a princess tower. You get what I mean.

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I was always fascinated by juxtaposition.

Even in London, I was always fascinated by juxtaposition. And I guess it’s no surprise: London’s sense of history rams gracefully (yes, really!) up against its boldness, its newness. The reflection of society and history, the calling-out of the ages, many ages all together, is nowhere more apparent than in London.

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And of course it’s true that nowhere looks less like London than the Book Forest.

And of course it’s true that nowhere looks less like London than the Book Forest. But there are books about London here, I’m sure of it. Somewhere along the book paths or in the book stacks. They must be here, because there’s always a book about London.

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It’s funny. When I was a little girl, I used to imagine that I could turn a corner in St. Martin’s Passage and find myself somehow in a magical realm.

It’s funny. When I was a little girl, I used to imagine that I could turn a corner in St. Martin’s Passage and find myself somehow in a magical realm. That mindset, that life, that me seems so far away now. As far away as a story. As far away as a book. A character. Something I just read about. Even my (adoptive) parents are a faded memory now. It’s so much like a store that I wonder if I should write it one day, get it published in a mundane Realm without obvious magic, where people long for stories like mine. But there are many stories to live, I think, before it’s time to tell mine properly.

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And then, from the Paradise Lost statue, pages fly as if escaping the book.

And then, from the Paradise Lost statue, pages fly as if escaping the book. Should I return them? Or are they going somewhere special?

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I decide to follow.

I decide to follow them, and they lead me past the book hourglass as if they’re searching for something.

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Chasing book pages is every bit as fun as you think it is.

Chasing book pages is every bit as fun as you think it is, which is to say it isn’t fun at all, unless you like chasing things. Now would be a good time to have a dog, I guess. We run past a replica of the Doors of During that appeared here last week, and the pages pause, as if considering whether to enter. I hope they don’t: I haven’t been through that door myself yet.

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They pause and turn toward the book steps.

They pause and turn toward the book steps. There are other fluttering pages here: maybe they long to be with their own kind? Oh, great; I’m now ascribing sentience to a bunch of floating pages. Perhaps Faerie has finally driven me mad? That bitchy little Demifae queen would be so happy.

Make up your minds little pages!

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Maybe I should just accept the fact that they’re not going anywhere.

Maybe I should just accept the fact that they’re not going anywhere. Stand here, juggle them a bit, look cool. I look cool, right? I mean, here I am juggling papers. Because that’s a cool thing to do on a Friday night. It’s not like there could ever be anything better to do. I’ll bet they just want to stay here. I take a deep breath and try to give in to the pages, stay still with them.

But then, they’re off again, and of course I’m compelled to chase them.

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They fly over to the door of a house that’s made from a tree.

They fly over to the door of a house that’s made from a tree. Wait– when did that appear? Faerie changes so rapidly. I know it’s a mirror of my mind, but am I so flighty? Maybe I am.

Under the door of the house they all go, but there’s a light on in the window, and I swear I smell pipe smoke. I don’t think now’s a good time. Hopefully the inhabitant, if there is one, will be able to find a place for the pages.

As for me, I wander back toward the front of the forest.

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And there I find… a wardrobe.

And there I find… a wardrobe. Again. And it brings us full circle. I’ve been so many places, but will I go here? will I just walk through?

It’s a portal like any other.

All I have to do is step through.

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But… not today.

But… not today. Today I’ll just curl up with a book and a kitten. Books and kittens. There’s no better way to end a day in the book forest. And maybe tomorrow I’ll see what’s behind those doors. Both of them.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: No Match, No Again (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Circlet: Venge, Anisa Head Adornment
Eyes: Mesange, Artic Eyes (Available NOW at On9!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s[K]ins, Vyra, in a NEW SKIN TONE, Dew, which is lovely on Gwyneth! Poster with more information below!
Tattoo: Misschievous, Chandelier Tattoo (faded)
Nails: Cazimi, Whimsy Nails (Maitreya Appliers)
Dress: The Muses, Daphne (Available NOW at We ❤ RP!)
Collar: Footpaw Industries Celtic Filigree Amythest Collar (attached rose from Footpaw Industries AeLan necklace)
Boots: !go!, Fay Brown Boots

Props:
Wishing Well and Bridge: Raindale/Maplemoor
Paper Books with cardboard pop-ups: Sepia book with castle: BananaN, Story Book Gacha
Paradise Lost Statue: by Nacht: Paradise Lost (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
House made from a Tree Trunk: Since 1975, Fairytale Garden House
Book with Floating Letters: Violatility, La Literature Surrealiste Light
Hourglass and Book with Steps and Pages: Disorderly, Timed Literary
Ruins: Ionic, Sacred Ruins
Doors of Durin: Spell, Lord of the Rings Gacha, Doors of Durin (Chap4)
Book Paths: Book Forest Door, Una, Book Gacha
Wardrobe: 22769, Imaginarium (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)

Poses:
Poses with Pages: Elephante, Story of Love (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Pic with Cat: Le Poppycock, Book Lovers (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Standing Poses: An Lar, the Bronte Series (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)

Many of the new Book Forest items are from the current round of The Liaison Collaborative, which has a literary theme! The wardrobe in particular is worth a mention: it’s 22769‘s Imaginarium

As always, thanks for reading. I love you guys.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never visit the Book Forest without it!

POSTER-September-2017-NEW-SKIN-TONES         skinlogodiap   Hairology Logo - 1   MESANGE LOGO 2017   raindale-logo

Blink, and you could miss it….

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This month’s GENRE theme is Victorian!

There is always so much going on! If you’re not careful, you could miss stuff. For example, this month’s GENRE theme is Victorian! Genre is one of those events that has been going on for a few years and has had a few spikes and dips, but the last couple of months have been amazing. Last month was Viking, and I forgot to tell you about it, or I had too much other stuff to talk about, or my work schedule got out of hand (likely), so I didn’t get around to that. This time around, I promised myself I’d talk about Genre. I also haven’t got a chance to talk very much about what’s happening at Hairology this month, so I want to show you three different outfits in this post. Don’t worry: I do have an epic story post coming, hopefully tomorrow! But tonight is all about Fa-fa-fa-fa-fashion!

This dress is Senzafine‘s Zenobia gown, and her textures are really striking, no matter what colour you choose. I can never choose, so I tend to fatpack her gowns, but that’s because I have a hard time with, you know, choices.

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Here, you can see a glimpse of the bodice detailing.

Here, you can see the glimpse of the bodice detailing; I love the smocking on the front. The skin I’m wearing is another of the new offerings from 7 Deadly s{K}insIzara has really hit it out of the park for the SL Skin FairMaliThe skin is built around 7 Deadly s{K}ins’ new body appliers, and they are so easy to use. Mali is a Lelutka face applier. I kept Gwyneth a redhead for this post, because I love the red eyebrows on this skin. The freckles are also great.

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Stealthic hair from Hairology!

The hair here is Stealthic, for Hairology, which closes in a few days. The hairlines and textures on Stealthic‘s hair have been impressing me since I first discovered them at the 2015 Hair Fair, and this is one of my favourites to date: Cadence. This is Lelutka’s new Cate Bento mesh head, which is a little softer than the Simone. The ears are Swallow‘s Elf Ears High Definition, the eyes are from Mesange: the Bering eyes are available for a few more days at We ❤ Roleplay. I found the Earthstones Velvet Rose Choker at The Liaison Collaborative.

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Another great hair from Hairology!

This next outfit features another great hair from Hairology, Runaway’s Jasmin. The skin is another of 7 Deadly s{K}ins‘ releases for Skin FairWednesday. These are the same eyes from Mesange: I just loved the purple colour with this dress, and I kept the rose choker on her as well.

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Beautiful furniture from Raindale adorns this set for the whole shoot.

Beautiful furniture from Raindale adorns this set for the whole shoot: these items are from the Birdside gacha. It was at the February Crossroads events, but you can find it at Raindale’s main store now. The gown is from BareRoseTasha in purple. The gown comes in sections, and it’s beautifully shaped. it comes with boots, but here Gwyneth is wearing the Harriet Booties from Wicca’s Wardrobe, which are also available at Genre, along with the dress.

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No shoot featuring this dress would be complete without a picture of the amazing BOW.

No shoot featuring this dress would be complete without a picture of the amazing BOW. When I tried this dress on, the first thing I noticed was that I had a huge bow on mah butt! And I kind of love it!

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Not everything at Genre is formal Victorian.

Not everything at this month’s Genre is formal Victorian: this is Poeme‘s Neo-Victorian in Damasque, here worn with some black legging appliers and the Wicca’s Wardrobe boots.

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This is the new Catwa Lona head.

This is the new Catwa Lona head. One of my favourite styles from the March Hairology is from Iconic; this is Esme, and I’ve been wearing it around just casually for weeks now. This is a Lumae freckled applier for Catwa, Ella, also available at Skin Fair. The eyes are once again Mesange; these are the Capriccio Eyes, which you can get for a few more days at The Chapter 4. The necklace is from Empyrean ForgeBreccia.

So, yeah; not a lot of my usual scintillating content here, but do take a trip to Genre. You’ll be glad you did. And don’t forget to visit the Skin Fair before it closes!

No style cards for this post: everything’s in the text, and I’m kinda tired, and it’s Dyisi’s RL birthday, so I have to think of her right now. 🙂