Val, Chapter Two: Why Don’t You Ever Write Your Äiti?

Dear Mum,

I wanted to wait until at least two interesting things had happened so that I would not be writing you letters as short as text messages. That way you could not text me and say my letters were too short! Also, I wanted to have my flat as finished as possible before I wrote this first letter so you could have some pictures of where I am writing from. Then, in the next letter, I’ll send more pictures of the shop and pictures from around town. That way, you can get to know the town I’m living in.

The End!

So, I’ll kind of start from the end, because look! This is where I’m writing you from! I had the day off from the shop, and I’ve spent it putting this monstrosity together! Had to sweet-talk the landlord into opening the roof access panel so I could get the flatpack up here more easily: otherwise I’d have had to somehow hoist it out my window and up the ladder access. I mean, I could have done it obviously, but it would have been more difficult and I might have had to buy a stranger a pizza. Anyway, it all arrived yesterday, and after four hours of remembering enough school Swedish to curse IKEA in it, I have this very serviceable covered table. I added the string lights (and I’m slightly miffed they don’t call them fairy lights over here) myself.

Fun fact: Our elevation here in Myserie is 4,190 ft in weird American reckoning, which makes it 1,277 m. That is only 88 metres shorter than Ridnitšohkka! So you know what I had to do, right? I had to get a flat on what they call here the 7th floor because they don’t believe in the ground floor. I’ll measure it properly at some point, but if we assume that each living-space storey is roughly 3m and the commercial space storey is, say, 3.5m, I’m only 66.5m short of that summit when I’m in the flat, and up on the roof, you could subtract 3 more metres. No wonder I feel so dizzy all the time here: it’s not like I’m used to even hills where we live. I have more photographs from the roof, but I know what you want to see first, so I’ll show you the flat itself.

I will get better lights soon

I took this picture really early in the morning with my iPhone on a tripod using my Apple Watch. You can see that I used the flash: I hate doing that, but it was really dim in the room. I like being far enough up that I won’t need curtains, and it’s not like they have three months of round the clock daylight here, anyway, so I won’t need blackout blinds. I’ve only met one witch so far with a familiar who can fly, and he likes me: I taught him how to say Perkele.

Now you can see my little face

Look, I even moved the tripod closer so you can see my face: You always tell my can’t see my face in pictures. I promise I am getting enough to eat, even if mostly I am not cooking very much.

Now, here is my little kitchen!

I like my little kitchen: Thank you for the Moomin poster. He is keeping me company every morning when I make my first cup of coffee before I go to the shop for my second cup of coffee. And yes, that’s the Eiffel Tower stool from my bedroom at home. I took it apart and brought it with me because I wanted something to be familiar here. I’ve had it for my whole life, and it just makes a place feel like home, you know? I know there’s not enough art on the walls yet, but I like that picture of the Aurora, makes me think of the elevation here at least. And you can’t see it in this picture, but there’s also a photo looking onto Pirkkala from the water.

I have a bed!

You worried I would just sleep on a couch or something, but no, I got a proper bed and everything. It’s even on casters so I can turn it to face against the winter if I like. And a clock that doesn’t rely on scary technology, just electricity, see? I do listen, Äiti. I was going to put a rack on the wall to hang stuff, but somebody told me they charge you money if you put holes in the wall, so I didn’t do that and just went for those little containers there. I will get something bigger maybe in time. And look, there’s my Ukonvasara I made in uni. I’m glad we kept the print of it all this time. Maybe I will see about inking it differently and seeing about making some reproducible prints. There seem to be a lot of pagans here, though they are predictably mostly Wiccans. I wish First Nation culture had held on here a bit better, and maybe we will see it rise with some of the unmaskings lately made. I only hope that like so many other American risings it will not need to become contentious in order for sides to be heard and acknowledged and not erased.

So high up!

And now for the pictures you’re going to hate!

You know I have to do this part, mum! Like that time I went zip-lining in north Wales and sent you the video without telling you what I’d done? Yes, well—the best thing about living up here is that I can do this!

Now, don’t be afraid: you know we have excellent balance, mother.

Look, I’m smiling!

And here I’m even almost smiling! You always say I should smile more!

Hey—if you look down onto the street below me, you can see the coffee shop where I go for my second cup of the day. Too bad I didn’t catch the odd old guy who’s always wandering around there.

Of course I miss you.

Do I miss you? Of course I miss you. I miss everybody. I miss Tampere. I even mis Ula. I miss Iivo and the Kalevala shop and I will miss going to Lapland for Midwinter if I can’t make it back. And I will miss the ice castle and the winter market, too. My path, though. Remember? My path. It’ll lead me back to you one day, and I know that every time my path leads me back to you, there will be song and camaraderie and the sharing of all things good.

Love,
The youngest of yours,
Valoisa

Notes & Credits

Val is a role-play character created for Myserie City RP. While I started roleplaying in Second Life something like nine years ago, I haven’t been on a straight-up role-play sim in a few years, and I’m having a lovely time enjoying just immersing myself in role-play and working with a new and different character for the first time in a long time. All these photos were taken on-sim, and I’ll take more inside the city itself once Val gets her bearings and I have a few more regular places where she hangs out.

  • Body: Maitreya
  • Head: Lelutka Evolution: Fleur
  • Skin: Wyrd, Alva in T1
  • Eyebrows: Simple Bloom, LivSpring Neutral
  • Chin Dimple: Izzie’s, Chin Dimples
  • Ears: Lumae: Leevi Medium Ears
  • Tattoo: Nefekalum, Embellishment, Titanium
  • Piercings: All From Lelutka, Fleur Facial Piercings, except
  • Septum: Venge, Kelpie Nosering; and
  • Forehead Crescent: Punch, Trine
  • Tank Top: Shovelheads, Women’s Viking Tank
  • Trousers: Neve, Minnie Pant
  • Boots: Eudora 3D, Thar Boots
  • Covered Table (on roof): Chez Moi, Applewood Picnic Table
  • Couch: Fourth Wall, Saga Sofa
  • Coffee Table: Fourth Wall, Hala Coffee Table
  • Kitchen: Merak: Happy Kitchen
  • Eiffel Tower Stool: BackBone, Breakfast In Paris Stool
  • Bed: Bazar: Stockholm Bed
  • Cabinet: Bazar, Stockholm Bedroom Cabinets
  • Lamp, Clock, Stool: Bazaar, Stockholm Bedroom

Val, Chapter 1

I don’t really know what chapter this is, so we’ll start with one since that’s where everybody else starts and I might as well fit in in some way.

I am Valoisa Saga. I am from Tampere, in Finland. I am ninety, very young for an Elf, but you didn’t hear me say that. It is more fashionable on the Internet to say otherkin, but then that also translates to nerd, so I guess I can say that too.

But really, call me Val. It’s easier, and I guess it’s true that not even Finns all speak good Finnish.

Yesterday was my first day working at Immortal Ink in Myserie, Oregon. I’m glad I got a job in the Pacific Northwest. The rest of the USA seems a little too crazy. I mean, everybody back in Tampere thinks I’m crazy for wanting to come back here at all, but weed’s legal, and The Netherlands is a shithole. Just sayin’. OK, probably not all of The Netherlands. But definitely Amsterdam. Amster, Amster, dam, dam, dam, dam.

There’s plenty to hate about Immortal Ink, but I’ll improve it over time, and Old Jimbo (OK, he’s actually called Deadeye, but I’ve already named him Jimbo) is only an arse on days ending in ‘y’. Fact is, it’s nice to be the best artist in the shop. OK, the only artist in the shop. I’m laughing. But enough snark. Still laughing. There is never enough snark. History time!

My last day in Tampere

So, this was my last day in Tampere. Iivo said he was sorry to see me go, but he also was sorry he didn’t have a place for me at the studio; since the old owner was packing up most of the operation and moving to Spain, he expected business to go down a bit. I like Iivo, but he’s a bit limp when it comes to taking chances. Then again, he’s got a full house for tattooists and I’m only just certified in body mod. I guess, given the area, it’s a buyer’s market.

Goodbye, Iivo. Goodbye, Kalevala, Goodbye, drunk Finnish boys who want bears inked on your arses.

My last day, and it was August, so it stood to reason: sataa kuin Esterin perseestä. That’s vulgar, so I’ll just say it was raining cats and dogs. I don’t mind the rain: I’m not a stupid film witch, and I never met any real ones who melt anyway.

Mum planned to take me, even though Iivo said he would if I wanted him to. Nearest portal is Kangasala; Tampere is a magical wasteland, which I guess is probably why so many fae businesses do well there. Half the coffee shops are run by us elves, and of course being Finland elves are the majority of the Fae population, with a pretty good divide between Lios and Svart, not that we make much of a distinction these days. It’s the stupid western colonials who continue with their uppity pomp and circumstance and Victorian made-up stories about Seelie and Unseelie courts. We laugh about this, you know. Brits, Americans, they all had so much great mythology to draw from, and they picked Scottish words from the North of Scotland, which OK, are at least derived from Scandinavia where we like to think the first elves came from (yeah; that’s probably cultural superiority; people think Santa Claus comes from here, too), but give me a break. Seelie and Unseelie. Just because I am prohibited by blood from outright lying to you doesn’t mean I won’t outright fuck you up if you give me reason to. Why not fucking you up for sport makes me part of some special and different clan, I have no idea. My older sister Ula will fuck you up for sport: does that make her Unseelie? No fucking clue.

Anyway, that’s what I was thinking about on the drive to Kangasala, because Mum had to give me a lecture reminding me that American Fae have this antiquated system, and I’m all, ‘Mum, I picked a place that doesn’t do that, I looked it up, they don’t do the stupid winter and summer court thing, there’s no Queen Of Air And Darkness,’ And I totally did the funny voice. The look she gave me!

There’s no Queen of Air And Darkness

I should have let Iivo take me. At least there would have been beer. Mum wasn’t even going to let me vape in the car.

“You call me the minute you get there,” she said.

“Mum,” I said. “It’s a portal. It takes seconds.”

“You still call me.” She started to tear up.

“Mum,” I said. “You can come visit.”

Her mouth opened, then closed. “I am not made for America,” she said. She walked round the back of the car and grabbed the big suitcase and a smaller bag. Oh paska, Mum, you did not. “Here. You’re taking it.”

“Mum.”

“You’re taking it.”

“Fuck’s sake, Mum.”

She folded her arms across her chest. “And you’re kissing me goodbye.”

You know what? My mum is sixteen hundred years old. I am her youngest child, her baby. She averages one child every other century or so. It occurred to me it was not wise to say no to her at this time. I opened my arms, palms out in the universal gesture of surrender. I put my arms around my mother and felt her arms around me. I kissed her goodbye.

And I took the suitcase, and the goddamn kantele, and I walked through the sithen gate, knowing she’d follow, knowing she’d watch, knowing she’d cry before and after, but not during, that all-important, “Yeah, mum, I made it,” phone call.

And that was the end of my last day in Tampere

And that was the end of my last day in Tampere. And, I guess, the start of the new chapter.

Notes and Credits:

  • Val is a role-play character for Myserie, a Second Life roleplaying region. You can learn more about Myserie on the Myserie Role-play Site.
  • Val’s tank top has artwork designed by me, The Author, (Gwen Enchanted) and made into a lovely tank top by the amazing Mystie (Mystical Edenflower) who is MishMash Fusion. This tank top and some other tank tops inspired by Val’s journeys may be for sale soon. All artwork is original and designed by me. The translation of the Finnish text is, “My Hovercraft Is Full Of Eels”. I kid you not.
  • Body: Maitreya
  • Head: Lelutka Evolution, Fleur
  • Skin: Wyrd, Alva, in T1
  • Tattoo: Nefekalum, Embellishment, Titanium
  • Eyebrows: Simple Bloom, Liv Spring Neutral (tinted)
  • Ears: Swallow, Pixie Ears
  • Eyes: Arte: Skjoldmøy Eyes
  • Eyelashes: Cazimi, Tidy Lashes
  • Hair: Stealthic, Rebellion
  • Facial Piercings: All Lelutka piercings for Fleur head, except;
  • Septum piercing: Venge, Kelpie Nosering
  • Jeans: LaPointe & Bastchild, Swear Daisy Jeans
  • Boots: Eudora3D, Morgan Boots

Sweet Disillusion

Get involved with a mortal, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. You’ll get to see all sorts of amazing things, they said.

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Is this amazing?

Is this amazing, or what? I’m gonna go with, or what.

I swear, you have a beautiful whirlwind courtship following your debut at Queen Charlotte’s, a classy wedding in Tuscany (cost a quarter of a million pounds; that’s classy, right?), and a honeymoon in the Maldives, and then he tells you it’s time to get back to “real life”. Real Life?

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Sorry, what?

Sorry, what?

Real Life is apparently when you move into a tiny flat in Nu Jyorck and he has to spend the whole weekend setting up a new office for his dad’s business while you…

Unpack?

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Unpack?

Unpack? You have got to be kidding me.

And he’s all, ‘Honey, you’ll love the place; it’s so retro! Fittings and fixtures from the early 20th century tween war peace’!

It’s turquoise. I talked one of the moving guys into helping me unpack one box, but then he goes on about labour laws and since I’m Fae why don’t I just do it all with my magic, and then laughs at me because he think I’m some kind of skank who married a mortal for money.

Which I did not.

I married a mortal for sport; that’s a completely different thing.

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It’d be enough to make a regular girl sad.

It’d be enough to make a regular girl sad. Luckily, for me at least, I am not a regular girl.

Because I’m such a dutiful little wifey, I put three bottles of champagne in the (delightfully retro) fridge to chill so we could have a lovely celebration when he came home at the end of his oh-so-long day to a completely unpacked, tidy little domicile. Do-fucking-mes-tic Bliss.

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Yeah, forget that.

Yeah, fuck that noise. You know, now that I think about it, this whole thing might have been a big mistake.

This is really good champagne, though. At least he got that right.

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Haha! How do you like me now, Mortal Boy?

Ha-haha! How do you like me now, Mortal Boy?

You know what? There’s hundreds of fae princes who’d have me! I didn’t need this adventure! I didn’t need this little lark! And I don’t need you!

You and your mayfly lifespan. You and your ‘Oh, let’s play house in a tiny flat even when we could afford a condo on Innsjøen. Oh, won’t it be fun if I go in and set things up on my end and then you set things up at home and cook me a nice dinner’?

You know what I think?

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You’re in for a big surprise

I think you’re in for a big surprise when you get home. I’ll leave that last bottle of champagne: you’re going to need it.

Notes & Credits:
The Retro Bombshell Dress: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Delirium. Polka dot edition, updated for Summer 2020 with new textures & a Legacy rigging (get it at the 1313 Mockingbird Lane Main Store!)
The Sassy Retro Hair: Magika, Sierra
The Perfect Shoes: Reign, Kitty Heels
The Appropriate Pearls: EarthStones, Vintage Pearl (bracelet, necklace, earrings)
The Pointy Pointy Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears, High Definition
The Blue Eyes: Avi-Glam, Siren Eyes Gacha, 04 (at The Epiphany)
The Perfect Pink Lipstick: Nonnative’s Studio, Sora Lips
The Perfect Pink Nail Polish: Cazimi, Too Cute
The Expressive Eyebrows: Simple Bloom, ShieldsHunter
The Stunningly Freckled Skin: DeeTaleZ, Jane in Nordic
The Extra Freckles: VYC Femme, The Natural Freckles
The Body & Head: Maitreya, Lelutka Evolution Lake
The Shimmery, Glimmery Wings: Lovely Alien, Shimmer Fairy Wings
Environment: Shot in Awenia Faerie, The Box Studio
Photo Environment: Paparazzi, Urban View
Kitchen Fixtures: Trompe Loeil, Retro Kitchen
Dish Cabinet & Dinette: Eclectica, Curiosities, Formica & Chrome Kitchen Dresser, Kitchen Table, Turquoise
Canisters, Pots & Pans, Coffee Pot, Coffee Cup, Eclectica, Curiosities, anodised aluminium and green
Moving Boxes: Red Columbia, New Home Moving Boxes
Champagne Glasses: T-3D Creations, Gold Line Glass
“Make Tea Not War” graphic downloaded from Flickr: Personal Posters 4U (no information on how to purchase and they didn’t respond to queries)

 

Show & Tell

It was my favourite part of primary school. Show & Tell Day. At our primary school, it was on a Tuesday, and you had to tell the teacher ahead of time if you were going to bring something and it couldn’t be alive or have any allergens, so that peanut-eating hamster was totally out.

‘Who has something to show the class’?

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Show & Tell: ‘I do! I do’!

That’s me, always the one with her hand raised. Other kids giggled. It was years before I knew I should mind when other kids giggled.

Today, I have a lot of things to show you!

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Seventh Oracle Gown

First of all, because you have to talk about the dress, there’s this gorgeous Seventh Oracle Gown from Silvan Moon Designs that I’m wearing! It comes in six colours, but today I felt purple, so there you go! I love these puffy sleeves! You can get this dress later today at We Love Roleplay, which opens at I think 1pm SLT.

I’m here at the new Awenia Faerie landing point, because I had to inspect the cafés, of course, and because we’re oh-so-close to being able to welcome you in to take some photographs and enjoy the scenery. Do be sure and follow the food guidelines.

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Don’t mind the hecklers in the back

As for what those three are up to, I wouldn’t hazard a guess. But I’m sure those books they’re sitting on came from my Book Forest. That’s Studio Dire’s plush Kenku plotting something with Lord Bartleby Von Tinkleton and that pesky little Book Mouse. Whatever’s about to happen, it cannot be good. Well, it’ll be good for them, of course. The rest of us might be wise to steer clear.

The new Awenia Landing Point promises everything you might wish for in a Fae Tourist Trap Landing Point: You can get food! You can, um, get food! Also, there’s food. And books. And some ruins. And helpful signs to show you where to go.

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But this is only the beginning—

But this is only the beginning! Here’s your portal arch: if you visit us, you’ll see it first of all. It’s well-lit, so you should be able to find it if you need to make a quick exit, though why our benign little corner of Faerie would make you want to flee, I’m sure I cannot imagine.

Behind me of course is the famed ‘Awenia Statue’, which is really known as ‘The Last Hope’. It was created by Death Row Designs and was part of their Dangarmon build from the 2016 Fantasy Faire. It’s a focal point of every big build I do.

And all around us, making the atmosphere perfect and beautiful, is this amazing surround from Landscapes Unlimited. But wait until night falls and you’ll see even more wonder.

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The night sky is particularly captivating.

Somniel Edelman over at Landscapes Unlimited has outdone himself with the Off-Sim Starry Night surround that is also in place here. Those are his clouds in the background as well, but you can only see bits of them in this photograph. Lovelies, this is a working, moving, changing, star system. The moon changes phase. There are meteors. Stars twinkle. Sometimes I just stare up and look at it because it’s so beautiful. Thank you for creating such a wonder, Som.

On the island behind me, you can see the Queen’s Gallery, which is the next and smaller phase of the little vanity gallery I used to keep at Haven. Haven doesn’t exist any more, so don’t take that landmark unless you fancy falling to the unfinished ground-level far below! The gallery was created with the ruins building kit from Fanatic because it’s easy and awesome, and I’ll take you on a better tour once it’s all finished.

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Of course, there’s a Book Forest.

It wouldn’t be Awenia Faerie without the Book Forest, and it’s in the works and almost ready, I promise! It has a new entry arch and you can see just a bit of what’s behind that arch in this photo.

About the Avatar:
Today, Gwyneth is in a really beautiful skin from Mignonne, Abbey. It’s in her lightest Albino tone. The brows are from Simple Bloom, the Liv Autumn Neutral brows in the lightest blonde tone. The eyeshadow is recent from Tone2, Petals, and it’s at their main store with lipsticks and eyes in complementary shades. This lipstick is from theMARS, Apple Crush, though it’s blended a bit using the Lelutka head tools. This is a Lelutka Evolution Lake mesh head, and I’m still crazy in love with it: it takes skins and shaping beautifully. All the jewellery is from Rozoregalia: the necklace is Uzyum (Hakurei), and you can get it at Fameshed. The headpiece is Gyuria (Last Note) and it’s at their main store. The hair is from Monso, Jennie, and it’s also at Fameshed. Body is Maitreya, ears are Swallow’s Elf Ears High Definition, which are pretty much my favourite ears. These eyes are from Amicale+Oliviari, Glisten Eyes, and I picked them up at the WIP event just this morning. Earlier photos show different eyes, the Unexpected Journey Arwen eyes from Seydr. And of course the gown is Silvan Moon Designs’ new Seventh Oracle Gown, and you can get it at We Love Roleplay in a few hours!

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A Magical Vista

There is nothing more satisfying than calling such a beautiful place as Awenia home, my friends. I hope you’ll be able to visit us once we’re totally open. Of course, the whole of Faerie is overseen by The Looking Glass’ stunning Shrine Tree; its lanterns can be see far and wide, and they echo in the lanterns you’ll see on Awenia’s bridges as well. On the left is our Sacred Meadow, and I hope you’ll find plenty of space in your visit to Awenia to let your mind find a calm spot there. The Queen’s personal residence is visible in the distance on the right, but please do us the courtesy of choosing to visit her lovely home (sometimes known as Rivendale’s Dreamy Castle) only during a planned tour.

Notes & Credits:
Most things are credited in the blog post above; please ping me in-world if you’d like to know about something else. Huge thanks to all the amazing creators who make their vision real and give me the building blocks to put together spaces like Awenia Faerie, including but not limited to:
Somniel Edelman, Landscapes Unlimited
Sharni Azalee & Marcus Inkpen, The Looking Glass
Corwin Lacourte, Hextraordinary
Nodnol Jameson, Kraftwork
Kadaj Yoshikawa, Harshlands
LRRiven, Rivendale
Banana Mellow, BananaN
You guys make my life more beautiful.

 

 

Top of the City

“Top of the City” by Kate Bush; YouTube link below.

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One More Step

One more step to the top of the city
Where just a couple of pigeons are living
Up on the angel’s shoulders
I don’t know if I’m closer to Heaven but
It looks like Hell down there
These streets have never been paved with gold
Welcome to the loneliest city in the world
It’s no good for you baby
It’s no good for you now

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Keep Looking Up

Keep looking up for the ladder

I don’t know if you’ll love me for it
But I don’t think we should suffer this
There’s just one thing we can do about it
Take me up to the top of the city
Take me up to the top of the city
Take me up to the top of the city

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The Angel’s Shoulders

And put me up on the angel’s shoulders

See how that building there is nearly built
There’s a big fire over on the north of the city
I see you walking down the street with her
I see your lights going on and off
She’s no good for you baby
She’s no good for you now

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Here With The Ladder

Look I’m here with the ladder

I don’t know if you love me or not
But I don’t think we should ever suffer
There’s just one thing we can do about this
Take me up to the top of the city
Take me up to the top of the city
Up to the highest point of the city
One more step to the top of the city
Put me up on the angel’s shoulders

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I Don’t Mind If It’s Dangerous; I Don’t Mind If It’s Raining

And I don’t mind if it’s dangerous
I don’t mind if it’s raining
Take me to the top of the city
And put me up on the angel’s shoulders
Take me to the top of the city
Mmm yes, one more step to the top of the city
And put me up on the angel’s shoulders

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Mm, Yes

 

Notes & Credits:
Clothes: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Flora (Get it at Lootbox!)—outfit includes white bodysuit, white body braids, white arm bands, white braided belt, and white thigh braids
Sandals: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Le Fleur Sandals (Get them at We Love Roleplay!)
Wings: BentBox Feathered Wings with Barn Owl mod by Birchteeth
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Noelle
Hair: Argrace, Haruka II
Skin: Fallen Gods, Frost in Pearl
Feather Tattoo: Fallen Gods, Feathers, Dove
Eyebrows: Simple Bloom, LivSpring Neutral
Eyes: Madame Noir, Feline Eyes
Environment: Milk Motion, The Roofs Of Paris

Calling Spring

So much time alone. Even here in Faerie we are touched by the current human pandemic; our tourism has ceased for the foreseeable future, as we are not a wholly magical set of Realms like the Fantasy Faire, and our tourist base is largely in Realms where travel is heavily controlled.

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We get depressed, too.

Now, of course, we’re lucky here in my little pocket Realm: if we were a big tourist destination like Awenia, we’d see even more isolation. But, being the stewardess of a tiny Realm has its positives, as well.

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I called Spring

It’s not like you can just get on the horn and go, ‘Yo, Spring! Get me some flowers, immediately‘! You have to concentrate. You have to see the flowers in your mind. You have to be in a space where, if magic did occur, flowers could in fact appear in some way or another (like through this window, for example).

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Being Delighted

And then of course it’s only polite to be properly delighted when Spring does in fact send you exactly what you were asking for.

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And more!

When that happens, of course, there’s only one thing to do:

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Let Spring know you love it

Let Spring know you love it, in no uncertain terms. Make sure it knows. Even if you whisper it completely to yourself, Spring will hear: trust me.

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Send It Forward.

Then, send it forward, far and wide, everywhere you can reach. Don’t worry: Spring knows you can’t reach everywhere. But there are plenty of others who will help you pass Spring along. We’re everywhere.

Credits and Notes:
My friend Mystie, also known as Mystical Edenflower, has a little shop in Second Life called MishMash Fusion. She will be the first person to tell you that she is not a super amazing original mesh creator, but the woman is a goddess with style and texture, and when she showed me a photograph of this dress (in another colour), I knew I had to photograph it.

She called the dress Unchained Melody, and I love that song: it’s part of the soundtrack of my childhood. It was released the year before I was born (so now you all know that I am super old). The most famous woman in that year was apparently Julie Andrews, and while this isn’t a perfect Julie Andrews avatar, it gives a nod to her.

Dress: MishMash Fusion, Unchained Melody (You can get it soon at the Garden Of Hope event, which is a Relay For Life event, so a percentage of what you spend there will go to the American Cancer Society.) Garden Of Hope opens on the 29th of May!
Shoes: Ingenue, Audrey for SLink kitten
Body: SLink Physique Redux
Head: Lelutka, Evolution Lake Mesh Head
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Skin: DeeTaleZ, Cora in the European tone
Brows: Simple Bloom, Liv Spring Neutral
Hair: Tableau Vivant, Luminay
Earrings, Necklace: RealEvil Industries, Kitty Pearl

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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.