Holidays in Awenia

I should not complain. This is the sort of job any faerie should be proud to have. But there are things about it that drive me up the wall.

For example, Her Majesty did not like that I chose a yellowish skin tone when she told me I needed a more exotic skin colour in order to impress the tourists. So I’ve now gone with something darker, of which she approves. “Oh, good: they’ll think you’re a svart alfar, like TAC, only more presentable to the public and nicer.”

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I did at least get to keep the rainbow hair

I did at least get to keep the rainbow hair.

Bran decided that I should help him shoot some holiday shots in the village square. “But it’s after Christmas,” I said.

“Nonsense, Angharad: it’s only the fifth day of Christmas, traditionally speaking, and our potential guests want to see what we do in the Realm at Yule time, and you know that’s not just one day. Even though many of them are mortal and Christian, tourists who come here will likely be a little more knowledgeable about the histories of their holidays than the ones we read about so often on those web papers.”

“Web pages, Bran,” I corrected gently.

He scowled. “You and the Queen, always ready with the corrections. Can I help it if I’m ignorant of these things? I do quite like video games, you know.”

Yes, you could help it, I said to myself. “Fine; let’s take some photographs of the Square all decorated for Yule,” I said, this time out loud.

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The Carousel

“Wait,” I asked, after about five minutes of Bran snapping photos of me all over the square. “Why do I have to be in all these photos?”

“It’s for the brochure,” Bran replied, as if it were the most natural thing in the world to say.

“The brochure? Nobody told me about a brochure.”

“Well, we do have to have promotional materials, and you are our hospitality co-ordinator,” Bran explained.

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This is fun, remember?

“This is fun, remember?” Bran wanted me to smile. He wanted me to smile a lot.

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Not that much fun.

“Not that much fun,” I retorted. “Do you want me to glamour some fangs or something?”

“Wrong time of the year for that, missy,” said Bran.

Missy? Seriously?

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Do faeries even need postboxes?

“Let’s get you by the postbox with all the presents,” he said.

“Faeries don’t even need postboxes, you know.”

“I know that,” said Bran, “and you know that, but this is a London postbox, and Her Majesty feels nostalgic about her home city, so we try to bring bits of it here for her from time to time.”

“You stole this postbox.”

Bran coughed. “Davey acquired the postbox. I didn’t ask questions.”

“Is that real post sticking out of it?”

“Of course: wouldn’t be authentic any other way.”

“But what about people’s letters?”

“Davey assured me he’d waited until after the last pickup for that day,” replied Bran. “If the postman was late on the pickup, the post can’t have been that important.”

I had no idea what to say to that, so I just let him move me along.

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Big finish!

“Now it’s time for the big finish! Lean back a little so I can get most of the tree in the shot, and, yes, big, big smile! Oh, that’s lovely!”

I rolled my eyes, but then I had an idea. “Can you take a close-up shot of me like this?” I asked.

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Getting in to the spirit?

“Are you finally getting into the spirit, when we’re almost finished, Angharad?” he asked.

“Nope. I’m going to send this to my parents back in Cymru. They will hate this hairstyle.”

Style Card
Lovely Town Dress: The Annex, Ingrid Dress (Available until the 18th of January at The Trunk Show)
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Gaia Bento Mesh Head
Skin: The Plastik, Elvenne in tone Chennus
Hair: Raven Bell, Chronos hair and Chronos Bento Braid
Ears: Swallow, Pixie Ears
Shoes: Breathe, Vivien Heels

Environment:
Carousel: IrrISIStible, Carousel (At SWANK until 31 December)
Christmas Trees: Half-Deer, Bottlebrush Christmas Trees
Deer: Love, Fantasy deer, winter prince of the forest
Adorable Weeble Gnomes: Balderdash, Gnome (At SWANK until 31 December)
London Postbox: Love, Christmas Post Box
Festive Lamps: CJ Creations, Winter Street Lamp
Holly Garland and Sparkly Bits: The Looking Glass, Our Festive Joy
Village Square Buildings: SOF Designs, Tudor Building Set
Poses: An Lar

 

My Well-Kept Secret

Yes, I have one. I know I frequently wax rhapsodic about ballgowns and the like, talk about beautiful venues, and explore exotic pocket universes.

But….

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Sometimes there’s nowhere I’d rather be than here

Sometimes there’s nowhere I’d rather be than here, Haven. Even though it’s my private home, and it’s not all that special, blah, blah, blah….

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Oh, who am I kidding? 

Oh, who am I kidding? This place is spectacular: that’s why I created it this way. I could sit on my outdoor tree daybed and just stare at the water for days. And then the stars. But seriously, sometimes all a girl needs is a comfy pair of pyjamas and a good book. This book is special, by the way: I’ll be telling you more about it in a couple of days.

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For now, I’ll just relax.

But for now, I’ll just relax, savour the feeling of flannel on skin, and not worry that I’m in a ponytail, have no idea which crown I’m wearing this evening, and indeed kind of want to ditch the whole runup-to-Yule craziness, stay in my PJs, drink a gallon of hot cocoa, and enjoy my beautiful interactive copy of Hansel and Gretl.

Style Card:
featured—
Comfy PJs: The Annex, Winter Jammies (This is new at The Annex Main Store)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Swoon (New at the Analog Dog Main Store)
everything else—
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Greer Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Lelutka Deia (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Eyebrows: Alaskametro, Glimmer Eyebrows
Eyes: Euphoric, Enigma Eyes
Environment—
Location: Awenia, Haven
Special Book: Albion ScriptWorks, Twice Upon a Time, Hansel and Gretl
Tree Bed: Trompe Loeil, Lysa Branch Bed

Finally, Awenia is open to the general public! You can arrive in Faerie itself, or you can start at our official landing point, The Great Awenia Forest. For at least the month of December, the region is open for exploration and photography. When you land at either of the two landing points noted above, please read the rules about rezzing stuff and being respectful and all that, and we’ll give you a few extra landmarks as well just to get your explorations started. Over the past couple of years. Dyisi and I have worked really hard on making bits of Awenia, and I hope you enjoy what we’ve put together. In January, Awenia will close to visitors, and we will re-open sometime in mid-May to take you through the Light Half of the Year and into the Darkness again. Please visit, take your time exploring, and if you’re so inclined, help us out a bit with the tier by dropping some coins into the tip jars scattered round the Realm. 

Small World

Every day’s the same. I get out of my beautiful bed with all the fluffy pillows. I attend to my personal toilette. I put on the single dress in the wardrobe. I make my way up to the tower roof to eat the breakfast that will be waiting on the table there. And then, I go down into the garden.

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Surrounded on all sides

I am surrounded on all sides, by walls, flowers, topiary, trees. This is my garden, or I’ve always thought of it as my garden.

There are times when I think I know it so well I’ll scream from the sameness of it all. But then sometimes, something changes.

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A new tree

Today, it’s this heart-shaped tree of roses. It’s just enough to delight me for a time, to make me reach for the familiarity elsewhere in the garden. There used to be a bench here, but now there are just the three identical benches around the garden’s central circle. I wonder if other things in the centre will change, and I wonder when.

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I must be a princess.

I must be a princess, yes? I know from the storybooks on the ground floor that only princesses get locked up in towers and taken care of by forces they cannot see. It seems the only explanation for why I’ve been here for as long as I can remember, why I see no-one. I know that princesses in towers are either being groomed for their destiny, or somehow separated from it.

There’s a loud beeping sound, something harsh and out of place. Three sets of two beeps: beep-beep, beep-beep, beep-beep. It stops for a few seconds, then starts again. Then, by some grace, it stops altogether. I hear a murmuring voice in the background. But by this time, I know that voice is just the wind, and I suspect the beeping noise is some trick wrought by the unknown magician who imprisoned me here, something to make me not wander round the garden as if sleepwalking. It’s not the first time it’s happened: it sometimes happens more than once a day, but always at least once. Although it’s been happening for as long as I remember, it still shakes me, still brings gooseflesh to my arms. It’s so different from the quiet rush of the waterfall, the chittering of birds, wind in the trees.

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My beautiful statues keep me company.

Throughout the garden, there are beautiful statues, and they keep me company. I sometimes talk to them. I imagine they answer back, but I don’t know how a real conversation works. If another person, someone like me, walked into the garden and began talking to me, I think I’d run. Or faint. Fainting might be more seemly in this dress.

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Here is what I would look like right before I fainted.

Here is what I would look like right before I fainted. I’m sure I’ve seen a picture of a Princess fainting somewhere, and she was definitely doing this with her right arm.

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Days grow longer and shorter.

Days grow longer and shorter; that’s how I can tell there are seasons here. I get up when it’s light; I go to sleep when it’s dark. It’s an easy way to keep oneself on some kind of schedule. I don’t know why I need a schedule, but it seems important.

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The flowers change more often than anything else.

After I talk to the two statues, I make my way to the flower beds. The flowers change more often than anything else, but they are always in bloom. I used to think if I somehow stayed in the garden all night, I would find the beings who plant and maintain them, but I never can stay awake all night.

Someone is crying; it sounds a long way away. Faeries in the wood, I tell myself. Trying to trick me into somehow scaling the walls and going to find the baby. It’s a trap I’ve read about many times.

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Is someone watching me?

Is someone watching me? I wonder what it would look like from afar, if they were. They’d see the beautiful garden all spread out before them, the pink and blue sky, the lighted trees—and the lone princess, about to sit down on the bench where she always has her lunch. Lunch arrives in a little box, and I never see them leave it. Today it is a fresh salad with tomatoes. I pick out the onions. I do not like onions. I rationalise my dislike by telling myself that when a Prince comes (and he undoubtedly will; it’s in all the stories), I do not want to have bad breath and scare him away!

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Is there more than this?

I sometimes wonder if there even is more than this. If one day I’ll wake up and there will be nothing outside: no walls, no trees, just a big span of nothingness, whatever that looks like.

Sound of murmuring voices. Sometimes they get a bit louder, but I can never make out what they’re saying. Crying. A shout. A series of beeps.

It’s time for bed.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Skin: Lumae, Catwa Cinnamon, Tone (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch) Top Shelf (Available at the Analog Dog Main Store!)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Crown, necklace, and bracelet: AvaWay, Pearl Diadem, choker, and bracelet
Dress: The Annex, Lilith Gown in China (a VIP colour) (Lilith is available at The Trunk Show until 18 November)
Lipstick and Nails: Cazimi, Ravishing Reds
Eyes: Song, Demi Eyes

Environment:
Location: Awenia, The Box
Tower: Poetica, Willow Tower
All Statues: By Nacht, various (Fallen Angel, Ladder Moon, Armillary Sphere, Forfax, Drawing Down the Moon, Proserpina, Brigid
Large Trees: HPMD, Garden Tree 09 With Lights
All Topiary and Topiary Benches: Rivendale, Fairy Labyrinth
Fountain: Rivendale, Fairy Labyrinth (rare fountain)
All bounding walls: Rivendale, Gothic Garden
Rose with Ladder: Boudoir, Painting Roses in Red
Background Trees: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods
Poses: All from An Lar (An Lar Poses is sadly closing its doors after several years of offering some of the most subtle, and most versatile poses in Second Life (in my opinion). Everything at the An Lar Main Store is 50% off through the 31st of October.)

Setting Up for Writing Retreat!

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

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Portal Cam!

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

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Automatic gates!

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

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

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Writing Area 1

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

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

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Living Area

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

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Sleeping areas

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

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Other downstairs writing areas

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

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Sweatshirt selfie!

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

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Fae Garden

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

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Garden selfie!

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

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OMG owl nails!

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Rain and Rain and Rain

Autumn comes early here. Engeland is known for its early autumns and late, short summers. I tell people, if you like rain, you should come here. And please make a space for me in your nice, warm country with all the sunshine.

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This? Is a bus shelter.

This? Is a bus shelter. You’d hardly know it from the lack of signage or anything resembling a bus map on the walls. No; our village is far too olde for that sort of practicality.

In fact, I’ve been standing here for what feels like an hour so is probably about twenty minutes now. Rumour has it that the bus comes every 45 minutes, but there’s no timetable that I can find, not even on t’Internet, as Mum calls it. Be kind: she’s from Yorkshire.

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Is this a mythical bus?

I look into the distance. Is this a mythical bus? It would be about right. Why did I come to visit Mum on the train and not bring a car? Why did she get rid of hers? Where are all my school friends? OK, I know the answer to that last one: they all moved the hell away from this place. Me, I’m just trying to get into town to do more shopping than you can do at Georgie’s Cash & Carry.

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Bus-summoning spell?

Great; it’s getting dark. Maybe there’s a bus-summoning spell in my grimoire.

So. Do I wait for the bus to come, or do I walk home in the rain (why did I wear these shoes?) and endure yet another roast chicken dinner?

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I did my hair and everything!

I did my hair and everything! Sometimes it seems like there’s just no point. And that is why I’m going to leave two days early and go home. In the mean time….

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Hooray. Another roast chicken dinner.

I’m giving up and going back to Mum’s. She’ll be so pleased; she never did like my cooking.

Hooray. Another roast chicken dinner.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Skin: Skin: Lumae, Catwa Neoma, T1 (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Song, Frost Eyes
Hair: Exile, First Dance
Necklace: Bliensen & MaiTai, Autumn Necklace
Dress: The Annex, Autumn Dress, Oranges (This is a new release at The Annex Main Store!)
Stockings: Big Beautiful Doll, Ombre Stockings, Green
Shoes: Rhude, Jani Heels

Environment:
Location: Awenia, The Box
Photo Background: 8f8, No Place of Ours
Tree: Heart, Illuminated Oak
Rain: {anc} Drizzle
Leaves: Hayabusa Design, Field of Autumn Leaves
Poses: Belle Poses, Gwen Series

 

More Glamour!

Bhánel wants more photographs! It turns out that Glamour, by Bhánel, will be marketed to different groups of people in different ways. The first campaign, which I showed you here, is targeted toward “sophisticated young professionals who want to project a classy, classic image.” The second campaign is targeted toward “younger, more adventurous women.” The idea is that Glamour can turn you into anybody. Here’s a still from the first shoot we did around the second campaign!

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Glamour—Get Your Halo Dirty

I love the whole concept of this photo. The deep red and pink tones give the distinct impression of something not quite “wholesome”, to use a human term, and juxtaposed against the neon halo and wings, the statement is about as risqué as I’m going to get in a photograph. This silver dress, by The Annex, is new for The Trunk Show wedding faire, which I think has already opened its doors to the public.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Poppy Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Berlin (Available NOW at The Secret Affair!)
Nails: Cazimi, Depths of Winter (Available at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Lipstick: Cazimi, Tinted Lipgloss (Naturals) (Available at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Ears Elf Dior
Eyes: Song, Luna Eyes (Available NOW at Kustom9!)
Gown: The Annex, Imogen Gown (Available NOW at The Trunk Show!)
Shoes: Rebel Hope, Tia Mesh Stiletto (Available at the Rebel Hope Main Store!)
Hair: Truth, Yuko (Yuko is the most recent VIP gift for the Truth VIP Group. You can pick it up at the Truth Main StoreIt only costs L$350 to join this group, and the rewards are worth far more than that! Why aren’t you a member yet?)
Necklace: The Plastic, Hallows (You can get this at The Plastik Main Store!)

Environment: FoxCity, Photo Booth, Halo Limited (Available NOW at Limit8!)
Poses: from Nina Rosario, Pose Set 70

The Appearance of Fitness

I don’t work out. Yes, I really do get up like this, and even if I didn’t, fae glamour provides me with the means to look any way I like. That said, I do like to dance, and sometimes muscle memory is nice. So when I discovered a faery-run dance studio in Nu Jyorck, I booked a couple of lessons to see how things would work out. Bran came along to photograph me. I swear, he’s like my personal paparazzo.

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I made a photo face.

So of course I made a photo face. Bran accused me of looking at too much Instagram. OK, maybe I have been overindulging a bit, but the faces humans pull when you try to take their photographs really amuse me!

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Steps

My tutor was of course a hot Sidhe guy of Scandinavian descent: in Nu Jyorck I wouldn’t have it any other way. We ran through some basic dance moves before working on some expression and flexibility.

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Expression

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Flexibility

Finally, we went into a cool down, though I argued that I really didn’t need it.

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Cool down

Best thing about this whole experience?

Dinner and dancing with hot Scandinavian Sidhe after class!

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Feet: SLink, Pointe Feet
Head: Vista, Lia Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Scarlet (Available on August 28 at Designer Showcase!)
Nails: Cazimi, Blustery
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears, High Definition
Eyes: Song, Luna Eyes (Available NOW at Kustom9!)
Top: The Nerdy Birdy, Bralet (Available NOW at LoveFest!)
Leggings: The Annex, Billie Leggings (A NEW RELASE at The Annex Main Store!)
Hair: Analog Dog (Natch) (Available NOW at The Gacha Garden! —this hair fat pack is a free gift if you join the Gimme Gacha group [free to join])
Shoes: Hopes Creations, Arren Tootsie Bows

Environment: FoxCity, Photo Booth, Dance Hall
Poses: FoxCity, Body Language, except for
Lotus Pose: SLC, Heat Sand