Like an Orb

What am I known for? Tonight, I am putting apple-orbs in trees. Tomorrow I will put books on stumps. Sometime soon, there will be a remaking, inasmuch as there is ever a remaking.

I
The essential poem at the center of things,
The arias that spiritual fiddlings make,
Have gorged the cast-iron of our lives with good
And the cast-iron of our works. But it is, dear sirs,
A difficult apperception, this gorging good,
Fetched by such slick-eyed nymphs, this essential gold,
This fortune’s finding, disposed and re-disposed
By such slight genii in such pale air.

II
We do not prove the existence of the poem.
It is something seen and known in lesser poems.
It is the huge, high harmony that sounds
A little and a little, suddenly,
By means of a separate sense.
It is and it Is not and, therefore, is. In the instant of speech,
The breadth of an accelerando moves,
Captives the being, widens–and was there.

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The breath of an accelerando moves

What magical things are hands. What magical things are apples. We learn they are a forbidden fruit. We learn they keep the doctor away. We know that inside them there are five points. We know they may grant immortality. We know wands made from apple wood are superior. But these hands, my hands, now turn to the enrichment of places already established, the growing, the fruitfulness of it all.

And I, like so many magical beings, am full of surprises. Of course, you may see me as an apple-giver, and you will think, ‘O, it is too early for apples’, but this is Faery and I like apples. Summer at its height is the first breath of autumn, after all, and why then not be ready?

III
What milk there is in such captivity,
What wheaten bread and oaten cake and kind,
Green guests and table in the woods and songs
At heart, within an instant’s motion, within
A space grown wide, the inevitable blue
Of secluded thunder, an illusion, as it was,
Oh as, always too heavy for the sense
To seize, the obscurest as, the distant was…

IV
One poem proves another and the whole,
For the clairvoyant men that need no proof:
The lover, the believer and the poet,
Their words are chosen out of their desire,
The joy of language, when it is themselves.
With these they celebrate the central poem,
The fulfillment of fulfillments, in opulent,
Las terms, the largest, bulging still with more,

With growth comes distance; this is a lesson I have learned and taught, a lesson I am always learning, always teaching. And so today I have said goodbye to some things once and still beloved but no longer well-used, no longer well-useful.

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The distant was

You will miss the treehouse, and so will I. But in its place there will be something glorious; I can feel it growing in my spirit much like these very early, very ripe apples. You will wonder why the music shop is no longer visible: don’t worry; there will always be music in Awenia. What will you find in its place? Only the most beautiful and desperate longing for music itself, singing through the heartbeat of the world and of our Realm.

V
Until the used-to earth and sky, and the tree
And cloud, the used-to tree and used-to cloud,
Lose the old uses that they made of them,
And they: these men, and earth and sky, inform
Each other by sharp informations, sharp,
Free knowledges, secreted until then,
Breaches of that which held them fast.
It is As if the central poem became the world,

VI
And the world the central poem, each one the mate
Of the other, as if summer was a spouse,
Espoused each morning, each long afternoon,
And the mate of summer: her mirror and her look,
Her only place and person, a self of her
That speaks, denouncing separate selves, both one.
The essential poem begets the others. The light
Of it is not a light apart, up-hill.

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The light of it

But do not be overly concerned: creation is change and flux, and I am a creatrix. I am never tearing down but always rebuilding. I am watching the light reflecting from the great oak in the book meadow and seeing how it slants through the door to the fairytale forest. And beyond that, I am watching as the deeper myths weave a path and a pattern so much deeper and more twisted. Like these boughs, they harden and twist, they grow stories, and magic is in them at their very core.

VII
The central poem is the poem of the whole,
The poem of the composition of the whole,
The composition of blue sea and of green,
Of blue light and of green, as lesser poems,
And the miraculous multiplex of lesser poems,
Not merely into a whole, but a poem of
The whole, the essential compact of the parts,
The roundness that pulls tight the final ring

VIII
And that which in an altitude would soar,
A vis, a principle or, it may be,
The meditation of a principle,
Or else an inherent order active to be
Itself, a nature to its natives all
Beneficence, a repose, utmost repose,
The muscles of a magnet aptly felt,
A giant, on the horizon, glistening,

IX
And in bright excellence adorned, crested
With every prodigal, familiar fire,
And unfamiliar escapades: whirroos
And scintillant sizzlings such as children like,
Vested in the serious folds of majesty,
Moving around and behind, a following,
A source of trumpeting seraphs in the eye,
A source of pleasant outbursts on the ear.

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A Source

Please, take an apple. They’re delicious. And sustaining. And they came from my meadow. They are created of only love, which is the most beautiful and twisted thing ever made and lived. I am no evil stepmother, and so there is no poison here, only story, and story never ends. Like stories, they are immortal. Like stories, I am immortal. And who knows—after just one taste, you may never be hungry again. Or, you may always be hungry. These two things are the same, after all.

X
It is a giant, always, that is evolved,
To be in scale, unless virtue cuts him, snips
Both size and solitude or thinks it does,
As in a signed photograph on a mantelpiece.
But the virtuoso never leaves his shape,
Still on the horizon elongates his cuts,
And still angelic and still plenteous,
Imposes power by the power of his form.

The sun is rising over the Book Forest as I give these words to you, words heard once and then forgotten but never forgotten.

XI
Here, then, is an abstraction given head,
A giant on the horizon, given arms,
A massive body and long legs, stretched out,
A definition with an illustration, not
Too exactly labeled, a large among the smalls
Of it, a close, parental magnitude,
At the center of the horizon, concentrum, grave
And prodigious person, patron of origins.

The sun is rising over the Book Forest as I offer you these apples, apples made from love and grown from the infinite well of story. Both these things, love and story, are without beginning and without end.

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Ever Changing

XII
That’s it. The lover writes, the believer hears,
The poet mumbles and the painter sees,
Each one, his fated eccentricity,
As a part, but part, but tenacious particle,
Of the skeleton of the ether, the total
Of letters, prophecies, perceptions, clods
Of color, the giant of nothingness, each one
And the giant ever changing, living in change.

—Wallace Stevens, ‘A Primitive Like an Orb’

Notes & Credits
Poem: Wallace Stevens, ‘A Primitive Like an Orb’. Modern poetry may not be your bag, but go back and read it anyway. Really. Read it like prose, out loud, don’t pause at the end of a line unless you feel it’s necessary; this is iambic, in the rhythm of human speech, and read it again. Wallace Stevens was an attorney and a business executive. He worked in the American insurance industry. And he got into a fistfight with Ernest Hemingway once. There’s a story that might be apocryphal— the year he died, Stevens was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. And at his funeral, it’s widely believed that one of the men he worked with was heard to say, “Really? I didn’t even know Wally wrote poetry.”

Avatar—
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Lake Evolution Mesh Head
Skin: Ritual, Elspeth, Tone 1 (Get it at the Ritual Main Store!)
Tattoo Overlay: Izzie’s, Mermaid Scales (body and makeup)
Wings: Lovely Alien, Shimmer Fairy Wings
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Eyebrows: Simple Bloom, LivSpring Neutral
Hair: Exile, Yvette
Lips, theMARS, Sanity
Eyes: S0ng, Marina Eyes
Clothes: Les sucreries de Fairy, Eve, Red Apple Crown, Red Apple Dress, Red Apple Garter
Leg Wraps: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Ella Wraps (At the 1313 Mockingbird Lane Main Store, but 1313 also has a shop at the SL17B Shop & Hop event!)
Necklace: Kunst, Hummingbird
Environment—
Location: Awenia Faerie (not currently open to visitors, but things are in the works!)
Atmosphere: Fecund
Stuff: happening

Storm’s Coming

Dear Richard,

I got your email. I mean, obviously I got it; else I wouldn’t be replying to it. You can probably see your email at the bottom of my email or something. I don’t know. I guess it depends on your client and your preferences, but yeah. Hi.

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It’s morning here

It’s morning here, or I guess it is since I haven’t been up all that long and I’m still in my jammies. My jammies have unicorns. I have matching slippers. If I had to do all this myself, I’d never be organised enough to find my jammies, much less matching slippers, but there you have it. You say you’re lucky. I certainly have had a lot of luck over the past several years. Sometimes good luck, sometimes bad luck, but luck I have had.

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The family balcony

This is the family residence balcony, though I do have guests here from time to time: everywhere else is so formal. It’s comfortable this time of year, even though that sky’s beginning to darken somewhat so I’ll have to keep a look out for Weather. I’m a lot less bothered about weather than I used to be, though. There’s a daytime moon here, because I like the moon so I put one there. It just makes me smile.

Two paragraphs in and I’m rambling already. I don’t know what to say to you, if I’m honest. The answer is no; I haven’t Googled you. At first, it was because I was afraid to. If you can see back to the very beginning of the blog, when I first came away, you’ll see that I went to a place where I was discouraged from checking anything about my own potentially contemporary life out. So I left it, and so much was happening it just seemed the right thing to do, to let it all happen as it happened. I didn’t want to see my own funeral notices. I didn’t want to know if that life had ended completely, and where I was there seemed such a lot going on. The more I talk, the more I realise there’s no excused. I should have tried to find you.

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You are welcome

Of course, you are welcome to come to Awenia. If you coordinate with me ahead of time, I can offer you a place to stay. There’s space for guests in the Residence, but I don’t know if you’d like it. I’m thinking of one of the floating guesthouses; we have a few that are broken up into nice flats. I can’t put you in the Treehouse, because visiting Fae dignitaries get all puffy if they think that residence isn’t reserved for them.

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Floating

Yes, I think the sky is definitely darkening. Behind me here you can see the steps to the Treehouse, and just the edge of one of the floating guesthouses. They’re quite nice.  I can’t concentrate on my book. I don’t know why I brought it out here. Something about floating in the lagoon on a nice day, even if there’s a storm coming, makes me feel peaceful and I need a bit of peace right now. You’ve probably seen the statue on some of our literature: lots of people are referring to it as the Awenia Statue, but really he’s called The Last Hope. He’s a symbol of our Realm, I guess, even though he came from somewhere very far away.

You seem very far away, even though I’m looking at photographs of you now on my iPad, and thank you for the link to your author site: I’ll start reading the first one tonight.

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Dabbling

I’m so pleased you embraced writing. I’ve always been such a dabbler in things I never could choose a path to follow that wasn’t the one I stumbled on to while dabbling. And you’ve had a journey that I hope we can talk about when you come to visit Awenia.

“When” is such a funny word, isn’t it? You will have heard that time flows differently in different Realms, but it’s an odd concept until it smacks you in the face, I think. And there’s no easy way to say this, so I’m going to smack you in the face, I reckon. You say it’s been thirty years, where you are. For me, by my counting anyway, it’s just coming up on eight years since the last time we saw one another. That sounds like dancing about. It’s just coming up on eight years since the accident that led me to cross the river into Jasper and begin to discover myself as I was born and not as I was made. As for why I didn’t reveal my Fae nature back then, the truth is I didn’t know it, and that’s a conversation we can have over dinner or coffee or whatever you fancy, but it’s not something I can write down because it will make no sense written down.

Now, I am going to pop off the Rosé floatie and get myself a cup of coffee at the portal café before the rain comes. Then, I think I’ll settle down with a nice ebook I’ve just downloaded. After all, it’s nearly sundown and I’m still in my jammies.

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A hope

Our statue is called The Last Hope, but I have many hopes. One of them is that when you cross through our portal and into Awenia that you’ll find many things to like here, and that you and I will find many things to talk about. Probably I’ll wear something a bit more presentable than pyjamas, though.

Notes & Credits:
My jammies: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Flannels & Halter (Get them at the 1313 Mockinbird Lane Main Store!)
My slippers: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Flannel Slippers (Get them at the 1313 Mockingbird Lane Main Store!)
My Hair: Wasabi, Summer (Get it at Summerfest!)
My Skin: Ritual, Elspeth in T1 (Because NOBODY does pale and luminous like Ritual! You can get this and other Ritual skins at the Ritual Main Store. Elspeth comes in a host of tones, including some beautiful fantasy colours.)
My Eyes: S0ng, Marina Eyes
My Eyelashes: Shiny Stuffs, Bouquet Of Lashes
My Lipstick: theMARS, Sanity Lip
My Body: Maitreya
My Head: Lelutka, Lake Evolution Mesh Head
My Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition

Other Cool Stuff in these photos:
My Castle: Rivendale, Dreamy Castle (best contemporary faerie castle on the grid)
My Deck Furniture: Artisan Fantasy, Gazebo
The Visible Floating Guest House: 22769 / bauwerk, Somewhere Only We Know House
The Awenia Statue: Death Row Designs, Last Hope Statue
Lotus Flowers and Lily Pads: Rivendale
Partially Visible Treehouse: LAQ, Serene Tree & Windmill Home
Rosé Floatie: Granola, Salt Water Rosé Float (At Summerfest!)

Calling The Moon

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The moon wanted more of my night

The moon wanted more of my night
I turned off the engine and the headlights
The trees appeared as they’d never been gone
I promised the fields I’d return from now on
And the moon kept on rising
I had no more to say
I put my road maps away
And surrendered the day

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And I know you’ll be calling me soon

And I know you’ll be calling me soon
And if I don’t answer I’m calling the moon
Calling the moon
I was calling her then
I’m wondering will she take me again
Oh, I am calling the moon
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When I called the moon back to me

When I called the moon back to me
I thought she wanted my beauty
I shone in the best that vanity buys
I covered the path where my life turned to lies
And the moon kept on rising
But I felt nothing at all
She comes when the empire falls
And shines on crumbling walls
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Calling the moon By the name that she chose

Calling the moon
By the name that she chose
As Tennessee wandered in moth-eaten robes
Oh, I am calling the moon
Calling the moon
Oh I’m calling the moon
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Oh, make sense of me, night

Oh, make sense of me, night
I can see so much from this cold height
The moon said oh darkness my work is done
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I’ve poured out this bottle of light from the sun

I’ve poured this bottle of light from the sun
But their anger keeps on rising
And they don’t understand
I’ve shown them all that I can
That the world is at hand

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This one’s going out to the moon tonight

And I know they’ll be calling me soon
And if I don’t answer I’m only the moon
I can see by her light
This one’s going out to the moon tonight
Oh, I am calling the moon
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To tug at the seas and illume the earth

Calling the moon
Cause I know what it’s worth
To tug at the seas and illumine the earth
Oh, I am calling the moon
Oh, I am calling the moon
—Dar Williams
Style Card:
The whimsical, yet gothy-for-October dress: Senzafine, Yueliang Dress (Available now at Trick Or Treat Lane)
The always appropriate spiky Mary Janes: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Luna Mary Janes (Available now at Trick Or Treat Lane)
The perfectly painted skin: Ritual, Elspeth, T3, Huffle makeup (Available now at Magik Event)
The pointy eyelashes: Evermore, Jiao Lashes
The Whimsical Hair: YumYum, Ghost
The Really Cool Shadowbox Backdrop, Spyralle, Little Shadowbox Theatre, Halloween (at La Vie En Pose)

Gwyneth is styled on a Maitreya Lara Body and a Genus Project Baby Face Head. Today’s ears are Eclipse Art Studio, Dior Ears. Eyes: The Face, Clarity Eyes for Genus Project

Short Story Roundup

From The Author: Lately, I’ve not been inspired to write a lot of longish stories and have been sticking to single photographs. So here is a bit of a roundup of the last week or so in photographs. These have, except for one, already appeared on my Flickr feed, so they might seem familiar.

The Moth, or “Capture” and “Escape”

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Moth Working Shot

I knew Ritual was going to release a green skin for the Trick or Treat Lane event, but I didn’t have the skin yet. Now, green is not my favourite colour, and I only very rarely (like only when I want to blog one) wear green skin, so I wanted to find a concept that worked for me with a green skin. Luckily, I’d just been to the Lootbox event, where Devious Minds had this gorgeous moth outfit gacha. So, here is the dry-run shot that I took and edited before the eventual photograph with the skin itself. I’m including it here because it was fun to shoot and also because the character changed a bit in my head between concept and finished photo.

Quick credits: moth set is from the Devious Mind “Falena” gacha, at Lootbox. Hair is Magika, “Irene”. Avatar styled on LAQ Noelle Bento Mesh Head and a Maitreya body, with SLink Pointe feet.

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Capture

With the addition of the new skin (Ritual, Elspeth in tone Rheia for Trick or Treat Lane ), plus some brighter eyes (Cerebrus Xing, Uni Eyes), and dark lipstick (Pink Fuel, Dazzle Me-Haunted), and a change in hair (Tram, 0314), this character became, for me, a dark fairy captured, perhaps because she committed some crime or perhaps because of who she was. This is possibly her mug shot, although it might be a self-reflection from wherever she is incarcerated.

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Escape

Here is how the final photograph with the darker skin turned out. Whether she is re-captured, I do not know, but the story is somewhere in there! Even though I’d saved camera angles and lighting settings, things weren’t exactly the same, as you can see, and in order to soften the shadows I added an overlay in Affinity Photo to soften them. The Flickr version is cropped differently and I think more effectively.

I’d mentioned to the lovely Wren of Visionaire that I have been unsatisfied with a lot of the bloggy photography lately and felt like I was sliding in to some old habits (over-lighting, boring subject focus, and also over-lighting). Funny how when you talk about something, it suddenly seems to come clear to you? A lot of these pictures are partly influenced by that conversation.

Credits: Same as for the test shot, with the additions noted above. This great pose is from Le Poppycock‘s new Fairy Winds set.

Dignigoff

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Dignigoff

I’m still crazy in love with HEXtraordinary‘s adorable Lord Bartleby Von Tinkleton; isn’t everybody? I’d just finished the blog story about his visit to and planned takeover of Awenia, but I really wanted to put him in every photograph ever at the time, so here he is as Gwyneth’s travelling companion to some important Nu Jyorck function or other. This dress is 1313 Mockingbird Lane‘s beautiful (and versatile!) Delirium Dress, which will officially debut at The Black Fair on the 5th of October, and the shoes are also from 1313 Mockingbird Lane. They’re the Luna Mary Janes, and you can get them at Trick or Treat Lane , where there are many other amazing things, as well!

Credits from the Flickr Post:
The Dress: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Delirium (out soon at The Black Fair!)
The Shoes: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Luna Mary Janes (at Trick or Treat Lane !)
The Skin: Ritual, Elspeth in Tone 1 (at the Ritual Main Store)
The Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Zuna (Available at Lootbox)
The Bracelets: The Plastik, Phaen Cuffs (At Salem)
The Kitty: HEXtraordinary, Lord Bartleby Von Tinkleton, Esq. (At The Engine Rom)
The Headpiece: Zibska, Sammy (At Shiny Shabby)
The Backdrop: FoxCity, Grand Entrance (At Kustom9)
The Pose: An Lar, The Candi Series, 5m
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Keme

Glamour Shot!

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Glamour Shot

This is an unapologetic fashion red carpet style photograph of 1313 Mockingbird Lane‘s Delirium Dress, which will be available at The Black Fair. It’s not often I like a dress so much I want to photograph it twice, but something about the fall of the skirt and the fact that there was a cherry print for it made me wonder what would happen if you put a Goth girl into a 1950’s sitcom. So here she is, probably ready to go out for blood burgers and zombie shakes with all her friends from school! I’d also been wanting to photograph these Marcelina shoes from Bliensen + Maitai for ages, so long I don’t even remember where I got them, though the properties tab says I acquired them on the 5th of May this year, which probably means the May round of We Love Roleplay. Regardless, they’re gorgeous little witchy pumps, made for SLink kitten feet. I wish more people would design for kitten and pointe feet, but I’m weird. I searched far and wide for this cherry-themed jewellery and finally found it on the SL MP from Petit Chat. Searching for anything with the word “cherry” in the description on MP is…. yeah. We suffer for art, y’all. We really do.

Quick Credits for everything not. above: Skin: Ritual, Elspeth in T1. Body: Maitreya. Head: Catwa Keme. Ears: Swallow Elf Ears HD. Stockings: Sweet Tea. Backdrop Wearh0ouse, Drapes

I Woke Up Like This

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I Woke Up Like This

I’ll be honest: I didn’t mean to take this photograph. I was testing hairstyles for the moth photograph, and I came across this one from Tram (H0414) and considered it as a possibility. Then, when I was cam zoomed in on the avatar face, it struck me that this would make a really nice portrait, so I adjusted her expression and shot it. It ended up showing Ritual‘s beautiful Elspeth applier really well, so I decided to share it. And, really, don’t we all love living in SL where we really can wake up like this?

Quick credits: Eyes: ProFect, Moon Eyes; Head: Catwa Keme; Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears HD; Brows: Simple Bloom, LaraDawn soft arch; Hair: Tram H0414; Skin: Ritual, Elspeth in T1.

The News

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The News

Sometimes, a creation just inspires me on sight. That’s what happened with this evocative skin from Jeanette’s Joint, Chronicles. I knew it had to go with clothes from the Belle Epoque Undimmed Eyes set; I didn’t even consider any other outfits to photograph this. I wore this outfit for like three days, I liked it so much, and trust me when I say my Second Life is mostly full of costume changes! Once I had the avatar dressed, the character that emerged was an investigative reporter for the Nu Jyorck Ganger, a big daily newspaper. This is her byline photo. As for the rest of the story, I don’t know it yet. Maybe I never will. Some characters are ephemeral.

Here’s the text from the Flickr post:

Look at this quirky, whimsical, downright glorious skin from Jeanette’s Joint! If you’re feeling significant (and, indeed, topical!) and you want to take this baby for a spin, you can pick it up for L$249 at the Fallen Gods Twelfth Anniversary Zodiac event. And this isn’t the only super cool thing there! Not only is there great shopping, but this event also promises great parties, cool chances to find your One True Soulmate (and win a limited edition skin!), and the Zodiac Hunt.

  • The Amazing Skin: Jeanette’s Joint, Chronicles Skin. Comes with Catwa, Maitreya, and Omega appliers. At the Fallen Gods Twelfth Anniversary Zodiac event.
  • The Exactly Right Outfit: Belle Epoque, Undimmed Eyes (this was at a Lootbox event, I think, but it’s sure to be in the Belle Epoque Main Store now).
  • The Understated But Fetching Hair: Exile, Lily (I think I got this at Hair Fair, but my brain is catnipped at the moment; anyway, it’s in the Exile Main Store).
  • The Thoughtful, Yet Appealing Eyes: Heaux, Glaze Eyes (fatpack light), for Genus
  • The Ears Of Hopefulness And Newshounding: Lumae, Leevi Short Ears. (At the Lumae/Ritual Main Store)
  • The Fae-Means-Business Eyebrows: Simple Bloom, LaraDawn, High Arch. (At the SimpleBloom Main Store)
  • The Flirtatious Yet Forward Thinking Eyelashes: Michan, Cheryl Lashes (from the September 2019 Genus Project Powder Pack).

Gwyneth is styled on a Maitreya mesh body and a Genus Project Baby Face Bento Mesh Head.

I would say she never reveals her sources, but that would, verifiably, be what we call irony.

So, I guess that’s the news from this week.

Surgical recovery is finally done, so I go back to work on Sunday, 6 October. I will do my best to keep up the bloggity blogs.

 

 

Domus Novus

by Lord Bartleby von Tinkleton, Esq., Guest Columnist.

Of course there have been rumours that I’ve recently chosen to spend time in the Fae Realm of Awenia.

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I admit, I had lunch there.

I admit, I had lunch there. And in fact, I have grown quite fond of the Realm, which was first brought to my attention when an acquaintance suggested I consider interring my Grandsire, Lord Muffin von Tinkleton, in the delightful Cat Heaven that seems to have appeared there when The Author’s beloved cat passed away.

So, yes. I have been spending time in the Fae Realm of Awenia.

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And Her Majesty Queen Gwyneth gave me a lovely tour

And Her (more gothly than I expected) Fae Majesty, Queen Gwyneth, gave me a lovely tour.

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She was solicitous.

In fact, she was solicitous. Strangely solicitous. So solicitous, in fact, that I briefly wondered if she might be a collector of exotic, noble felines with a great deal of power and influence. Obviously, this has proven to be completely untrue.

However, the time I’ve spent in the Realm has convinced me that it’s a good place for me to be.

There. I’ve admitted it. Are you satisfied now, fae paparazzi? Are you satisfied now, FaeWatch? You and your cronies, always poking into my business. Cecilia, scratch this paragraph when you edit this, please? I don’t want to look like a raging lunatic; just a delightful eccentric. Thank you.

Yes, yes, and it was a convivial lunch with Her Majesty that convinced me.

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The Realm, she explained, could always use more cats.

The Realm, she explained, could always use more cats.

You do have some cats already, I said. You have many cats experiencing the joys of the afterlife, for example. And there are some… (I admit I held my nose) of those Forest-y cats in the island with all the book stuff.

The book forest, she said by way of correction.

Whatever, I said. You need someone like me. I will bring a level of jauntiness and sophistication to your Realm.

My mobile pinged. I ignored it.

Have you thought about where you’d like to live? asked Her Majesty.

Clearly, I explained, I must have the highest possible domicile. A place wherein I could look down on everyone, pouncing optional.

She pointed out what she described as the lovely little guesthouses they make available to some visiting dignitaries.

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You could have the top flat

You could have the top flat, she promised.

For at least half the year? I wondered.

Of course.

And that’s the highest point.

The highest point that’s really available as a domicile.

What, I asked, about that lovely treehouse there?

You mean the designated Residence For Foreign Royals? she asked.

I adjusted my hat.

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A few accommodations were made.

In the end, I agreed that I would live there, for at least six months out of the year, with a few small accommodations. The Salon now has a piano where a poor, shorthaired cat can sing the songs of our people.

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I have a proper cat tree, of course.

I must have a proper cat tree, of course.

And, after I only had to request it once, Her Majesty had her personal photographer, Bran, create this portrait of me that now hangs above the salon fireplace.

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Don’t I look dapper?

Don’t I look dapper? All in all, I am quite happy with how things are progressing, and I am sure we will continue in our mutually satisfying relationship, Her Majesty and I.

Cecilia, once you have transcribed this, would you please change my pesking phone number? I am very tired of those calls I keep getting from that fellow I hired to sort out the finances. He seems very predisposed to panicking over small things. I did tell him at the time that I didn’t care what happened to Mummy’s house as long as I had the patent on those catnip strains. How much more clear could I have been? And send up that boy who gives the nice chin scratches. Thank you.

Style Card:
Lord Bartleby von Tinkleton himself: HEXtraordinary, Lord Bartleby von Tinkleton, animesh cat available at The Engine Room until 20 October

The Dress: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Black Magic Woman, available at Salem
The Boots: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Riveter Boots, available at Salem
The Stockings: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Drusilla Stockings, available at Lootbox

The Skin: Ritual, Nimue, available at the Ritual Main Store
The Hair: Wasabi Pills, Astra, which is available now at Uber
The Eyeshadow: Veechi, Evil Queen Eyeshadow
The Lipstick, Pink Fuel, Silky Shine True Red
The Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
The Eyes: Tone 2, Autumn Mist Eyes (at Uber)
The Tattoo: Stardust, Misty (Night) (at Uber)
The Location: Awenia Faerie, Landing Point, Bridge to Remembrance, The Treehouse
The Poses: Bauhaus Movement, NoiseBastardZ series
The Body: Maitreya
The Head: Genus Project, Baby Face

Much of the decor is from The Looking Glass, including the bridges, the gazebo, lots of the trees, the furniture in the salon. The coffee cart is from Atomic, the Witches Brew Gacha. The treehouse itself is from LAQ.

 

Ghost

I watched through the window, I did. I watched clouds through the window, and below. It looked like a dance, like you were dancing with me and I was watching us but with us and then sometimes it was as if there was no separation between us, and I thought that was because we must have loved one another very much.

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Like a dance

What other things are like dances? I wasn’t thinking of those other things. But now, days later and from this void, I recall there was only one shadow. My shadow. Who was that little spark of light behind me, I now wonder.

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The tangle

When it replays like a film in my head, the not-a-dance, the whatever-it-was with that being, that light, that you behind me, it is clearer, even though we think of memories as hazy things, in retrospect. Or I am cloudier.

But look how it—how you — stand behind me. Are you a dancer, or are you an aggressor? I’m making theories after the fact, of course. I’ll probably never know who you are, or were, now.

I do remember the feeling, though, of being in those steps, and that’s from even another perspective, the perspective of the participant on the ground, on the rooftop, spinning in space, captivated by that light. What a little moth I was. What a little moth I may still be.

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The turn

And you. When I turn to confront you, fragile, cornered, trapped and angry, there are Words. And I am not yet angry enough, not yet, to say many Words, but just this once, I tthink maybe I will say a few.

The clouds make us look so beautiful don’t they? But look at how I turn away from you, from this light being, this — are you a partner? Are you a ghost? — other, and I know that in this moment, I am changing something. Something big. Something fateful.

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The confrontation

Something fateful. Yes, that’s it. I cannot be inside it now. Looking at it from the window is possible, but only for a moment.

I said No.

I said I cannot do that.

I said Now is not a good time.

And in that moment, in those eyes that were even then barely eyes but only flashes of light, the flash I saw was envy.

And then, the lights went out.

The lights never came back on.

You set me asunder, in the dark, and here I am in this cloud, looking through windows, through mist and memory, onto that scene, and it is the only scene I see, because I am severed and shattered and cast upon the wind while you, you have your distance and the empty space where I once was is only a little light you have put out, a little fragile thing that you think you have now happily rid yourself of.

But then I look at that scene again, and I see again that there is only one shadow.

I am the shadow.

You are the ghost.

I have the heartbeat, though for days at a time I do not want it.

And you?

You just turned off the light and left me in the dark, to remember that moment, over and over again.

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To remember that moment.

From the Author: Do us all a favour. Don’t fuck with my friends.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project, Baby Face
Skin: Ritual, Elspeth in Fantasy Tone Phyrra (This skin is a group gift at the Ritual Main Store)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch), Tuesday (At the Spoonful of Sugar Festival)
Makeup
Eyebrows & Eyelashes: Adored, Adorabundle, September 2019 Edition (in the September Genus Powder Pack)
Eyeshadow: Velour, Deborah Eyeshadow (in the September Genus Powder Pack)
Lipstick: Velour, Talitha Lipstick (in the September Genus Powder Pack)
Eyes: Tone 2, Strong Presence Eyes (At the Spoonful of Sugar Festival)
Tears: LAQ, Falling Tears
Necklace: Rozoregalia, Alugim
Dress: Belle Epoque, Vera
Foot Ribbons: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Giselle Leg Wraps (at the 1313 Mockingbird Lane Main Store)
Wand: Elemental, Spirit Magic Wand (At the Spoonful of Sugar Festival)

Environment:
Photo setting: K&S, On The Rooftop
Poses: Nantra, Illuminati

Unicorn Sanctuary

FAE LADY LETITIA LUPERCALIA:
Volunteerism is my calling. I believe it comes from a higher place, the desire to help those less fortunate than oneself, to bring them along in the world and lift them up. And who, really, is less fortunate than a poor animal?

Even mythical animals receive such terrible starts in life. They are born to godless herds, forced to fend for themselves, and so many of them do not realise what lively and indeed lucrative, contributions they might make to the greater world.

Thankfully, there’s The Unicorn Sanctuary.

INTERVIEWER:
We’re honoured to be speaking with Fae Lady Letitia Lupercalia today, about her life’s work of rescuing and rehabilitating young Unicorns and helping them find their places in the multiple Realms that make up our tangled universe. Who are these fine young foals?

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Some of our success stories!

FLLL:
You will of course have seen news reports of some of our success stories. These delightful twin unicorn foals, Pinkberry and Smoothie, have just brought home to their sponsors an outstanding win at this years Flutterfoal Bowl. We are so proud to have representatives of The Unicorn Sanctuary winning medals all over the multiverse. They now also command a lucrative sponsorship from the famous frozen yoghurt company. Our newest little celebrities spend so much time training, they are sometimes too tired to snuggle with their Sanctuary brothers and sisters when they come home, but don’t worry for them! We have constructed them a special pillow paddock so they feel snuggly and warm even when they’re too tired to cuddle.

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All our unicorns are on a journey.

I:
Tell us about more of the Unicorns you have at the Sanctuary now, My Lady.

FLLL:
All our unicorns are on a journey, their own special journey. This one matches my dress so well I have thought of taking her home, but really she will need a few more months’ worth of education. She is still being very deferential to this Giant Sleepy Cat, and believe you me, this cat does nothing but sleep and purr and eat and, well. You know what else they do. “Goldiebelle”, I tell her, “You’d better find someone better to bow to!”

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The Old Guard

The Old Guard is our one remaining adult unicorn. He expressed a desire to stay and watch over all the little foals, and while it’s lovely to have him here, I must also remind the foals of what a bad influence he is. He did once take an assignment away from the Sanctuary, but he was returned when it was found he’d been inciting other members of his Myth Zoo (yes, that Myth Zoo!) herd to unionise. It was quite the scandal back in the day! He assures us he’s too old for all that, but I do sometimes find him whispering to the foals. One cannot be too vigilant. An agreeable nature is so important to one’s well-being and contentment, don’t you find?

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Some are simply hopeless

I:
Oh, what a cutie-pie!

FLLL:
Some, it must be admitted are, sadly, simply hopeless. Of course, even for these poor unfortunates, there may be a salvation: I’ve wired the Fae Duchess of Doncaster to see if she might take this one in as a charity case. She does have her eccentricities, and they might extend to a Unicorn as fated for disaster as this one. I can’t even bring myself to name it.

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All Unicorns deserve a good home!

I:
Do you have some words that keep you true to your mission?

FLLL:
All Unicorns deserve a good home; that’s my motto!

I:
What about visiting the Sanctuaries?

FLLL:
Oh, we love visitors! I hope if you get the chance you’ll come and visit one of our satellite Sanctuaries or even our main Sanctuary (although, let’s face it, getting to Awenia is more hassle than most people want to go through in a lifetime!) for one of our Open Days.

I:
What should our listeners know if they are interested in adopting a Unicorn Sanctuary Unicorn?

FLLL:
Well, we make it as easy as we can, but remember that our passion is the Unicorns themselves and their well-being! You’ll need a plan for how you’ll make your special Unicorn productive in its life and your community if you wish to adopt a Unicorn who’s graduated from our rigorous training programme! You’ll need an Exotic Magical Pet license or a guarantee that your application in progress will be reviewed favourably, and of course there is a nominal donation to help keep our Sanctuaries running. Remember that because we are a Fae organisation we are not obligated to take currency, so we decline most Realm-centred currencies and credit. We also hope you understand that gold certified “Fae” must be authenticated by our in-house experts. We spay and neuter each Unicorn who leaves our loving Sanctuaries, and exceptions cannot be made. Before your Adoption Application is approved, our representatives will make several home visits to ensure you can offer an appropriate home to one of our Unicorns. Applications must be filled out in person on the grounds of one of our Sanctuaries; as the Application is lengthy, you may wish to stay overnight in one of our comfortable Unicorn Hostels: make sure to arrange your accommodation before your visit, as Unicorns are placed very quickly and we wish to avoid your disappointment should you be unable to book a long enough accommodation to complete the Application.

I:
Well, thank you very much, My Lady Lupercalia! I’ll let you get back to your work. Remember, The Unicorn Sanctuary is a Registered Fae Charity and as such operates under the Fae Charity Council as disbanded by Their High Majesties, the rules of which are duly revoked each year at the Annual Fae Charity Council Excuse For A Revel In Place Of An Annual Meeting.

The Unicorn Sanctuary: Where The Magic Can Be Yours!

Style Card:
Featured:
The Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Anastasia of Emeris Gown, currently at We Love Roleplay.
The Skin: Ritual, Elspeth, Tone 2, available at The Ritual Main Store.
The Hair: Dreaming Thicket, Rosemary Hair Gacha, Rose Queen Exclusive, available at The Imaginarium.
The Unicorn Foals: HEXtraordinary, Unicorn Foals Gacha, available at The Arcade.
Big Unicorn: Teegle, Fable The Unicorn
Big Unicorn Coat & Mane: Lunistice. Coat: Watercolor Wings; and Mane & Fluff: Ombre Mane and Fluff (now at The Ark).
Trees: The Looking Glass, The Shrine Tree Tapestry Trees and Twinkle Trees
Grass: The Shrine Tree, Grass Clumps
Sanctuary Walls: The Looking Glass, The Shrine Tree Walls
Giant Sleepy Cat: Half+Deer, Giant Sleepy Cat

Avatar:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project, Baby Face
Rings: Swallow, Princess Rings
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, Heritage Necklace
Eyebrows: Simple Bloom, LaraDawn Soft Arch
Lipstick: Pink Fuel, Silky Shine True Red
Eyelashes: Wednesday, Doll House Eyelashes

A-Five! A-Six! A-Five, Six, Seven, Eight!

 

Thanks, as always, to the genius creators behind some of these beautiful SL creations! I knew I had to blog the Unicorn Foals, but a TP in and out of my region while they were rezzed made me realise the animations reset and they would move in tandem, which is what inspired the story of the post. I also knew I must be a very posh and possibly out of touch narrator here, and the dress from Silvan Moon and amazing hair from Dreaming Thicket just made it all so easy. Teegle continues to inspire with their gorgeous equestria, and I would be nowhere, nowhere I tell you, without the goddess behind Ritual Skins. Heartfelt thanks also and as always to Half+Deer for all the cats, every single one of them. 

 

Don’t Look Down

Dreams are so weird.

I mean, I’ve spent large portions of the past few years explaining the vagaries of being a Fae Queen through dream sequences because sometimes they’re the only things that make more sense than trying to explain it all as a straight-up narrative.

But that doesn’t mean they make sense.

Sometimes they do at least have plots, and then I can tell them to you as a story.

But sometimes.

Sometimes they’re just images, seemingly disconnected from everything else in my life, startling and disruptive points of clarity that don’t make any objective sense.

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Don’t Look!

“Don’t Look!” It’s all I could say to myself, because I could sense I was standing on something that wasn’t all that sturdy, and the sensation of wind, everywhere, led me to understand that I was at some height.

But, first of all, whoever listens to warnings in dreams? And secondly, I’ve never personally expired from a dream, even though Dyisi used to warn me it could happen and I’ve heard, you know. Stories.

So of course I looked.

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Don’t Look Down!

OK, WTF brain? Who puts a train track with creepy American-style wired telephone and power poles up in the middle of the air? Who does that? Clearly, my brain does that.

I have no idea what the significance, if any, of this sharp-relief set of images that startled me awake just now, might be.

But I guess when the time comes, I’ll be unable to look away.

Style Card:
Skin: Ritual, Elspeth, Fantasy Tone Laele. This is a new release in the Ritual Main Store! Ritual has some other great fantasy tones in new releases, and I’ll be showing them all to you over the next few days! Ears come with the skin in matching shades, natch, because Moonmagik over at Ritual is fabulous.
Hair: Truth, Delirium. OMG I WON SOMETHING! Truth Hawks gave away some fatpacks of this hair via Facebook and Flickr, and I won one! I love winning things, and the fact that this hair is called “Delirium” is part of what inspired me to photograph it this way. Delirium is new in the Truth Main Store, and the textures are ah-mazing.
Photo Setting: Milk Motion, Cloudy Dream Scene. This is at Collabor88, and it’s super cool. I am imagining some other scenes I can create with it, but the scene itself is just so pretty I wanted to photograph it just for itself.
Dress: The Secret Store, Celeste Ruffle Dress. Also at Collabor88— it just fit the theme. Comes in lots of mix and match colours that you can customise using a HUD, which is super cool.
Necklace: Swallow, Key Friendship Necklace. This is at eBento. I’m a sucker for anything with a key on it!
Gloves: Supernatural, Crystal Gloves. I can’t even remember when I got these, but they’ve obviously been waiting for this post!
Shoes: Mosquito’s Way, Giselle. (I will use any excuse to break out the SLink Pointe Feet, and I wish more people would make shoes for them.
Lipstick: Pink Fuel, Dazzle Me (Haunted). PF put a set of their Genus lipsticks in a recent Genus Project Powder Pack, and I loved the ombre shades so much I went out and bought them aaaaall!
Eyeshadow: Mila, June Cosmetic Pack (from the June Genus Powder Pack).
Eyes: Lotus, Fable Eyes, at Spellbound, which you can visit for a few more days.
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project, Baby Face

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.