After The Opera

It’s All Here

I remember everything. From the first haunting strains, through the climax of Act I, and into the tears of Act II.

I Dream The Details

The details come to me in dreams: the places we went, the melodies we shared, the deep red of roses, the underpinning of music, and the love of music, and the longing for the end of that phrase, the reach for resolution, and the coda, and the bar line.

And now, the story.

But why tease you with these murmurs and adjectives? So what if it haunts me still? So what if they all suggested it mustn’t really have happened. No, no: I think it’s time.

Are you ready to hear my story?

To Be Continued….

Enchantment’s Phantom of the Opera Round opens Today, 15 November, 2020!

Featured Enchantment Items:
Hair: KMH, F149
Gown: Poet’s Heart, Prima Donna Gown
Jewellery: Kunglers, Emmy Necklace & Earrings
Mirror: Old Treasures, Phantom’s Mirror
Sofa: Old Treasures, Phantom’s Opera Lounger
Get all this and so much more at Enchantment, and start your story.

Everything Else:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka Evolution Fleur Unbound|
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Skin: Wyrd, Edda
Eyes: Arte, Lolly Eyes
Eyeshadow: SlackGirl, 50
Lipstick: TheMars, Apple Crush
Moon & Stars: Landscapes Unlimited, Off Sim Starry Night


Pond Side

Some Days, all I want is to relax and not think about anything heavy. As the Queen in Awenia, days like that are hard to come by, but I managed to schedule one, yesterday in fact.

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Summer needs a pool

Summer needs a pool, and Faerie provides. At the far end of the Sacred Grove, there’s now a rock-lined pond, with clear water and the best exposure to the afternoon sun. So that’s where I spent a good part of yesterday. I felt like — well, I didn’t feel like a Queen; I can tell you that.

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Kicking Back

When I picked up this beautiful bathing suit from 1313 Mockingbird Lane, the pond hadn’t appeared yet. I thought I was going to have to go find some retro clue in Nu Jyorck or something, put on some 1950s rock and roll, and just glam out on a beach towel. Now, though, I don’t have to do that, and given that much of the multiverse is dealing with a pandemic, it’s probably for the best. I can philosophise about that situation later: what I want to do now is smile smugly and tell you that Awenia Faerie is Almost Ready.

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Almost Ready

That’s right: in a matter of days, we’ll be reopening Awenia Faerie to tourist traffic. Of course, for tourists from Realms affected by the pandemic, we’ll be requiring health checks prior to authorising travel. Although the Fae are not susceptible to this disease (or any human diseases, really), we want all our tourists to enjoy a safe sojourn in Faery, or at least a sojourn safe from those things that might cause them worry or stress in their home Realms. That’s what a holiday is for, isn’t it?

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So…. ready—

It’s been stressful getting ready, but now I think I’m ready.

And as steady as I’ve ever been, so let’s say I’m steady as well.

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Time to Leap!

Time to leap! And there’s nothing better than just jumping right in to something, you’ve longed to do for many, many months now.

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Whee!

Whee!

Awenia Faerie Will Open To Visitors For The First Time In Over A Year In Just A Few Days. Watch This Space!

Notes and Credits:
The properly retro polkadot bathing costume (including the blowing skirt): 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Margot Swimsuit (get it at The Epiphany!)
The I kinda want to be Audrey Hepburn hair: Magika, Prudence
The glam apricot skin for proper 1950s beach babes: DeeTaleZ, Cora, in Nordic
The matte orangey-red lipstick required for beachy blondes: theMARS: Chapped Lip
The eyes of clearest blue: Heaux, Smoothie Eyes
The kitty pearl necklace and earrings: RealEvil Industries, Kitty Pearl
The mascara-full lashes: Michan, Rachel Lashes
The yummy brown eyeshadow: Voodoo, Summer Matte
The oh-so-pointy ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
The Body: Maitreya
The Head: Lelutka, Lake Evolution
The Pond: Two Moon Gardens, Shimmery Pond

Days Like These

Because The Author isn’t OK with showing you all where she sits and cries for her world, she’s asked me to do it for her. The song’s from Billy Bragg, released in 1985. History marches on.

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Whose world is it, anyway?

The party that became so powerful by sinking foreign boats
Is dreaming up new promises because promises win votes
And being resolute in conference with the ad man’s expertise
The majority by their silence shall pay for days like these

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Silent

The right to build communities is back behind closed doors
‘Tween government and people stands the right arm of the law
And shame upon the patriot when the mark of the Bulldog Breed
Is a family without a home and a pensioner in need?

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Next move?

Those whose lives are ruled by dogma are waiting for a sign
The Better Dead Than Red Brigade are listening on the line
And the liberal, with a small L cries in front of the TV
And another demonstration passes on to history

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with a small l

Peace, bread, work, and freedom is the best we can achieve
And wearing badges is not enough in days like these
—Billy Bragg (YouTube link below)

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Peace, Bread, Work, and Freedom?

Notes & Credits:
The Dress That Makes Gwyneth Beautiful Even In Despair: Oubliette, Cordelia Skirt & Top, in Periwinkle (get it at Midsummer Enchantment—hurry, the event closes on 26 July!)
The Tats: White Widow, Music Box
The Jewellery: Romazin, Barta Necklace
The Stockings: Alaskametro, Wanda nylon stockings
The Shoes: Ingenue, Haru Flats
The Body: Maitreya
The Head: Lelutka Evolution, Lake
The Skin, DeeTalez, Jane for Lelutka Evolution, in Celtic
The Hair, Raven Bell, Neried
The Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
The Eyeshadow: Cazimi, Cruel Summer
The Eyebrows: Cazimi, Cruel Summer
The Blush: Cazimi, Cruel Summer
The Lips: theMARS: Apple Crush Dark
Environment:
Location: Awenia, The Box Studio
Photo Backdrop: Minimal, Versalles Corridor
Mirrors: Candle & Cauldron, Magic Mirror
Poses, Couch, Rain Cloud: Le Poppycock, Rough Patches

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.

 

 

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!)