Fitcher’s Bird (in her own words)

I am not weak. Now I have brought my sisters back, alerted my brothers, and made myself a creature of legend, there remains only the long, long walk that will trap the monster who intends me to be his bride.

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See how I glitter.

See how I glitter? He will never know me. Am I clever? Oh, yes; yes, I am clever. I don’t even feel guilty about it, burning this man who wronged me and all his associates and posessions to the ground.

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His precious castle

Only a shell of his precious castle will be left. My brothers are thorough.

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But I feel beautiful, and strong

But I feel beautiful, and strong, like the bird I am emulating. This bird is a beautiful fantasy, a vengeful warrior, an irresistible decoy. I wonder, when he sees me, will he want the bird, too? Of course, he can lure me no longer with his worn-out ruse.

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Sure as the Spirit Maiden

Sure as the Spirit Maiden who watches over his courtyard (and I’m not above seeing the irony in that, by the way), I know my path, down from the steps, away from the carnage to come, down to the forest, where I will await him and his broken form as he returns from returning my own sisters to our home, as he greets my brothers’ hunting party (he does not know they are hunting him), as he begs for a scrap of bread and a cup of wine before he goes. How I would laugh if I could watch him.

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O Fitcher’s Bird, how com’st thou here?

Oh, and all the guests, they greet me in my glory as they pass:

O Fitcher’s Bird, how com’st thou here?
I come from Fitcher’s house quite near.
And what may the young bride be doing?
From cellar to garret, she’s swept all clean
And now from the window she’s peeping, I wean.

I have accomplished this by arranging a clean, white skull with a crude wig and placing it in one of the castle’s side windows. He’ll never know the difference.

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It was never me he saw

It was never me he saw, anyway. He saw only a woman who appeared to exhibit total obedience to him. My ruse. My trick. My pretence. I do not even shiver in the bitter cold; my rage and triumph warms me as I wait, wait, here at the crossroads, for my nasty little bridegroom with his bent back and his bathtub full of bodies up in the tower.

Oh, look: here he comes now.

This stunning dress, complete with wings and headpiece, comes from The Looking Glass‘ Sharni Azalee. Its inspiration is the Grimm Brothers tale Fitcher’s Bird. When I opened this box and saw the photo for this dress, I gasped, for real. It is absolutely stunning, properly fitted, easy to wear. Thank you, Sharni, for such an amazing dress. It felt as if it were made just for me, and I know loads of other fantasy fashion fiends will feel the same way. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka Spencer Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Lelutka Deia, Tone 1 (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store!)
Hair: Truth, Ciara (Available at the Truth Main Store, but only if you’re in the VIP group!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: S0ng, Demi Eyes
Stunning Gown, Wings, Headpiece, Snake Belt & Wrap: The Looking Glass, Fitcher’s Bird (Available Saturday, 10 November at Enchantment‘s Brothers Grimm round!)

Environment:
Castle: By Nacht, Forfax Castle
Statue: Titans, Spirit Maiden
Trees:
Birches, The Little Branch, Mystic Birch
Candle Cage Trees: The Roawenwood, Winter White Wedding Trees
Forest Trees: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods
Path: Happy Mood, Dirt Road
All Poses from An Lar

 

The Fae Duchess of Doncaster

Her Ladyship, Beatrice Canderiel, the Fae Duchess of Doncaster, spent a day in Dublin, where she was photographed with her prize dogs at Trinity College.

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Fae Duchess of Doncaster, with Dogs

After her formal photographic meeting, she invited the photographer to come with her to one of Dublin’s many beautiful parks, where she intended to show an eager class of primary school students how to find fairies in the wild.

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One can whistle

One can whistle, she explained as she put her lips together and blew, eliciting gasps of outrage from the primary school teachers (and possibly an assistant Headmaster or two). However, she said in a swift correction, there are those who believe that whistling is unseemly for ladies; she herself, she asserted, had never been bound by the sanctimoniousness of society.

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Sometimes, she said, a flick of the finger is enough

Sometimes, she said, a flick of the finger is enough. She proved this by attracting an amethyst fairy to come and sit on her hand, while its little friend hovered, watching with an animalistic curiosity.

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Eventually, she enticed a third fairy

Eventually, she enticed a third fairy. This one was robed in rose, and seemed to be more skittish than the rest; it flew and flitted all about her head as the children chortled. By this time, many of the children had found their own fairies to observe; Lady Beatrice was quick to remind them that snaring small supernatural beings is strictly forbidden by the Fae Concealed Commission, which oversees such oversights.

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Fond Farewell

In the end, she bid the students, teachers, assistant headmasters, reporters, photographers, hangers-on, and several gazeboed geezers who just happened to be standing (and we use that term loosely) on the corner as she retreated back to Trinity College to collect her pups and be on her way to the Fair Ferry, where she drifted back to Doncaster, no doubt to be greeted by gaiety wherever she went.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Keme Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Catwa Cinnamon, Tone (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store!)
Hair: Truth, Zoya (Available at the Truth Main Store, but only if you’re in the VIP group!)
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5
Eyes: S0ng, Demi Eyes
Necklace and earrings: Empyrean Forge, Minuet
Gown and Hat: Silvan Moon Designs, A Murder of Crows Gown Set (Available on 4 November at We Love Roleplay!)

Environment:
Trinity College Set:
Building: Sempiternal, Stone Eden Skybox (at Fameshed)
Dogs: {anc}, Flottante Puppy, milk

Lost Garden Photos:
Location: Awenia, Ruined Garden
Columns and Statues: The Looking Glass, Lost Garden
Foreground Trees: The Looking Glass, Dead Wood
Orange Grass: Balderdash, Rattlin’ Bog Grass Tufts
Fairies: all from HEXtraordinary, Faerie Maidens (at the Gacha Garden)

Small World, Part 2

Another day, another breakfast. I get the feeling the weather may be about to turn; there’s a generous bowl of porridge this morning, a pot of coffee in addition to the usual orange juice. I wish once again that I could have coffee every day.

Halfway through, it starts to rain. Great. This means I will spend at least part of the day inside. So. Not. Thrilled.

Down the stairs I come

And yet, down the stairs I come, because there’s even less to do up there. I’ll try reading for a while, and I might or might not just give up since I’ve read them all (well, almost all of them: there is this huge and bloody dry one called The Silmarillion that I’ve given up on more times than I’ve read most of the others).

This is my nap face.

Maybe I’ll spend the morning napping on the couch on trying not to think about things too much. I don’t really like napping. This is my nap face, though. It’s a good nap face.

But there’s that damn beeping noise again. Beep-beep; beep-beep; beep-beep. Am I crazy, or is it more frequent today? I’m probably crazy. Or perhaps it’s the sound of an approaching Prince. Let’s go with that.

No luck.

Aaand.. that-was an abysmal failure. Super. The windows are still rain-streaked, and I’m sure this break in the rain is only temporary.

I hear laughter in the distance. Perhaps the gods or goddesses of fate are laughing at my stupidity, thinking I could get a nap on a rainy day in my lonely little world.

The music-box shelf

I wander over to the music-box Shelf. Sure, I’ve heard them all before, multiple times. But somehow, even though I know in my heart there must be more music then I can imagine Out There…the familiar tunes are comforting.

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What does this stuff do?

What does this stuff do? I have no freaking idea. But I’m sure if I explored the much more dry books that reside in the cabinet below these shelves, I could figure something out. Of course, there’s no point in learning to make poisons if I’ve nobody to poison. Maybe this is all stock knowledge for the future. I could come away from this place with a stockpile of poisons, in case my Prince doesn’t turn out to be my perfect match. Then I’d be a widow with a really big dowry. This shelf is a relatively new addition to the tower, so I haven’t really explored it yet— but some of those bottles contain things that smell right nasty.

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Too much tea!

When I make my way back over to the bookshelf, possibly to read Gossamer Axe one more time, I see that someone or something has placed yet another tea service on the table. What’s with all this tea? No sandwiches, no biscuits, just tea. Obviously it’s not lunch time yet, but do they really expect me to drink all this tea? Three pots full? Perhaps it is some kind of tea test. What sort of test could you take with tea?

Beep-beep; beep-beep; beep-beep. Murmuring voices. A different series of beeps. Are they (whoever they are) trying to drive me round the bend?

I know: I shall ask the Wishing Fairy to take all these noises away.

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My closest companion.

Sure, she’s a silver cast statue— but she’s the closest thing to a full-size companion I have in this place of weirdness. “Hey,” I say, “Wishing Fairy.” (I don’t know if that’s her real name but I’ve called her that since I’ve been here and she’s never objected) “Can you make those noises go away? I’m really tired of them.” And suddenly I have a coughing fit. I don’t know why. Great. My handkerchiefs are upstairs.

I go up to retrieve the handkerchief, and I feel dizzy on the stairs: that’s unusual. On the way back down, handkerchief in hand, I have to use the handrail. Still a bit dizzy, and the fall would be pretty bad, I assume.

At the bottom of the stairs, I take a few deep breaths and look out the window. The rain appears to have stopped, so I can get out of this stuffy tower, at least for a little while.

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The reading bench

So, back to my favourite reading bench I go, copy of Gossamer Axe in hand. It’s one of my favourites, even though I don’t know the first thing about the kinds of music they talk about in the book. It’s my favourite first line ever, though.

“Chick with a harp.”

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Keme Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Catwa Cinnamon, Tone (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store!)
Hair: Truth, Yuko
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Eyes: S0ng, Demi Eyes
Makeup: Cazimi, Flushed Blush cheeks, Tempting eyeshadow, Pastel Petals lips and nails
Circlet: Ersch, Bethany Headband
Necklace: RealEvil Industries, Noelle Necklace
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Moonlight Dance Gown (Moonlight Dance is available at The Trunk Show until 18 November)

Environment:
Indoors
Tower: Poetica, Willow Tower
Stopped Clock: The Plastik, Waine Clock
Lights: Lucas Lameth, Glimmer of Hope and Crawling Lotus lamps
Ottoman with Crown: Nutmeg, Old Story Ottoman with Crown (at Shiny Shabby)
Couch: Trompe Loeil, Noelle Sofa
Music Box Shelf: The Looking Glass, Knick Knack Hutch
Top Shelf: The Looking Glass, Dawn’s Promise Music Box
Middle Shelf: HEXtraordinary, Rapunzel Music Box
Bottom Shelf: HEXtraordinary, Captured Faerie Light Lanterns, Absinthe and Rose
Creepy Potion Shelf: 22769, Witch Shelf Nature (At Salem)
Coffee Table: Silas Merlin, The Haze Metal Table
Teapots: The Secret Store, Folk Teapot (at The Epiphany), THOR, Teapot with herb tea, and 8f8, La Petite Joie, Tea Order
Bookshelf: 22769, Bookshelf (common)
Angel Statue (on wall): Quasi, Angels Wept
Fairy Statue: Lucas Lameth, Autumn Fairy, Female, Hover
Outdoors
Statues: By Nacht, Proserpina (L), and Brigid (R)
Bench, Topiary, and Walls: Rivendale, Fairy Labyrinth and Gothic Garden gacha sets
Yellow Brick Road: The Roawenwood, Yellow Brick Road

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.)

 

 

zOOm at Trick Or Treat Lane!

Now, I’ve never been a “picture + credits” blogger, but I did know I wanted to use this background, and I did know I wanted to photograph the zOOm “Sarah” dress (you can get it at Trick or Treat Lane!). But it’s a full-stop kind of thought, and I guess the story is up to you.

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Spell

Of course I was thinking of the song, because I don’t think it’s possible to see this phrase and not think of it if you know it. But you can think of any story you like.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Keme Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Catwa Neoma, Elentari Tone(All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store!)
Hair: Truth, Athena
Eyes and Eyeshadow, CowTea, Swan Lake
Lips: UniCult: Spooky Gloss (Available at Trick or Treat Lane!)
Gloves, Dress & Shoes: zOOm, Goth dress, gloves, and shoes(Available at Trick or Treat Lane!)
Leggings: Livid, Witchy Leg Violet (Omega applier)(Available at Trick or Treat Lane!)
Photo Background: Joplino, I Put a Spell on You Backdrop
Pose: Bauhaus Movement, Into the Deep Immerse Yourself, 21

Let’s Talk.

Who’s up for some navel-gazing? If you’re willing, put on your Real Life Glasses and let me take you through a little labyrinth.

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Why do I do this?

Why do I do this? 

It’s a question I’ve asked myself a lot, and I’m asking it a lot lately. I ask it before I apply for any sponsor or for any event. I ask it when I’m reshooting an entire set of photographs because I forgot to alpha out a bra strap. I ask it every time Gwyneth has a weird dream. I suppose the simplest answer is Because I like doing it. But that’s not very informative, is it?

I started this blog in November of 2012. That’s nearly six years ago. For the first two years, it was largely a chronicle of events in my role-play life, as Gwyneth discovered who she was and met a lot of cool people along the way. My first SL photographs were meant to represent Gwyneth’s drawings of the things she encountered in her strange new world(s). I needed an immersive creative outlet at that point in my life, because my husband had just been diagnosed with cancer. I’ve told his story here more than once over that time, and while I will probably tell it again next spring when Fantasy Faire rolls around again, I won’t do it here and now.

Speaking of Fantasy Faire, in 2014, I attended my first Faire. I have no idea how I somehow missed out in 2012 and 2013, but I did. That first Fantasy Faire began to change me from a role-play blogger who took photographs to illustrate stories to a (long learning curve!) Second Life photographer who by-the-by let people know about cool stuff she found on the grid, or what she was wearing, or where she got something, almost always in the context of how Gwyneth found something, which meant for lots of fanciful stories about travelling to far-off Realms to visit this or that Faire, or getting to know this or that skin painter or hair designer.

A year later, I applied to be a Fantasy Faire blogger, and Sonya Marmurek liked my profile picture and gave me a shot even though I’d never “officially” blogged anything before. I imagine a lot of SL fantasy fashion bloggers have a similar story. After that, I started picking up sponsors and doing more and more events, and I began to work seriously on improving my photography. I created two additional narrators, The Gypsy Davey and The Amazing Catwoman, both of whom have morphed into important pieces of what makes Three Twisted Knots. When I started picking up events and sponsors, I made only one rule for myself:

I only blog what I like.

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So how’s that working out for you, Gwen?

So how’s that working out for you, Gwen?

I guess the best and only answer is, “so far, so good.” It is absolutely possible to have a blog that includes sponsors who send me stuff and events that send me stuff and still manage only to blog what I like. How does it work? Well, most creators have a “x posts per month” rule, and I choose from their monthly releases so that I blog stuff I would buy anyway. The few times the rules have changed to “blog all our releases, full stop,” I’ve politely bowed out. While it’s possible that I’ve pissed off a whole bunch of people without realising, it, I think my track record is fairly good, mostly because I have a good sense of diplomacy, am not afraid to reach out and talk to people when there’s any kind of a glitch or problem, and my narrators’ personalities notwithstanding, I’m actually pretty doggone nice. As my readership and Flickr following has grown, I’ve also come to see this as a bit of a responsibility. Because, sure, I could blog that pretty looking dress that also happens to clip everything everywhere and is texture-challenged at lower LOD, and I could make it look great—but how would someone feel if they bought that dress based on my blog and then it turned out that it only looked good at the camera angle I chose and with graphics on “I can’t believe you put your graphics on that”?

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OK, so what do you like?

OK, so what do you like?

What I like runs the gamut from contemporary comfort clothes, like the ones I chose for this blog post, to frilly froufrou gowns and adorable baby animals. It might be simpler to run down the list of things I don’t like and for the most part don’t blog. And I’ll probably leave something out.

  • I really don’t do uber-smexy.
    I think there have been exactly two posts on this blog that showed any of my narrators in the altogether. One of them was a dream sequence, and the other one was a rescue scenario. The Gypsy Davey has appeared exactly once without a shirt on.

    • While I’m not a prude by most definitions, I’m really not interested in outfits that are super-revealing, exposed nipples, barely-concealed (or not concealed!) orifices, and the like.
    • If the skirt is barely below the bum but I like it anyway, well, that’s what leggings are for. Seriously, I wear a lot of things that are sold as dresses in SL as tops over leggings or jeans.
    • For the most part, I think SL fashion is geared far too heavily toward things that are sexualised. I have trouble finding things I like just generally when I’m out shopping, because I guess sexy clothing sells really well, far better than my (comparatively) modest style.
  • I’m not into sporty clothes.
    • Gwyneth does not exercise. She really did just wake up this way. The only time you can get her into something that looks like workout clothes is if you fool her into thinking she’s dancing. No joke. TAC’s idea of exercise has more to do with weapons training, and you will find The Gypsy Davey setting up camp rather than doing sets at the gym.
    • This rules out:
      • Trainers (OK, I think she owns like three pairs of trainers, at least one of which are made for SLink Pointe Feet).
      • Baseball caps (Ugh, baseball caps!)
      • Garments with sports logos on them (Unicorns do not count!)
  • I have an aversion to rompers.
    • Rompers are worn by children too young to dress themselves. They are best designed to have a set of snaps all round the inseam for easy changing.
  • I stay away from hair that has shaved bits.
    • Nothing political; it’s just not my style here, though I can and have worn such hairstyles in real life.
  • Believe it or not, I am not a big fan of high heels.
    • I gave up keeping Gwyneth mostly in flats because if a shoe can be made in SL, it can be made as a stiletto. TAC, however, less than politely declines. With Gwyneth, I try to stick with styles that are whimsical or have rose themes or high heels that do not actually have heels.
  • Perhaps hypocritically, I absolutely love my SLink Pointes.
    • But only when the shoes do not actually have heels and look more like dance shoes, even super weird dance shoes.
  • Clothes, skins, and hair that are not so subtly designed to make women look like preadolescent girls. No explanation needed here, though if you want to engage me on this point in a chat session, I will gladly go into detail. Let’s just say that Gwyneth has no desire to look any younger than eighteen, and usually she goes for a bit older than that.
  • Everyday human ears. Every single one of my narrators, unless they are undercover for some reason, appears in elf/fairy/pixie ears. I actually won’t go to places where I am not allowed to wear pointy ears.
  • Stuff that creeps me out, like:
    • Skulls.
    • Blood.
    • Floating eyeballs.
    • Creepy gelatinous things.
    • Cosmetic enhancements that look like injuries (unless there’s been a battle).
    • Zombies.
    • Firearms.
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Why are we having this conversation now?

Why are we having this conversation now?

I’ve recently been thinking about my reasons for blogging, particularly when I look around at other SL fashion blogs. I like my pleasant little story-blogging niche, but it does have a few unfortunate side-effects, namely

  • I am rarely able to make multiple posts per day, and when I’m working full time I’m lucky if I can make more than a couple of posts in a week; and
  • My Flickr average view per photo is below what most blog managers want, for the simple reason that I post between six and upwards of twenty photographs per post, and the average Flickr user is skimming on a mobile phone or a tablet and unlikely to view or fave anything other than the first three photos posted at any time by a single user.

There may be some changes coming to the blog pretty soon, but these are only sort of a vague idea in my mind right now. Davey needs more post time. Angharad wants her new voice heard as well. TAC is about to start a new job. Well, she’s always starting a new job, but this one is differently new.

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So what’s with the neon sign?

So what’s with that confrontational neon sign? Are you trying to make a point?

Nope; it’s just one of the bits of décor in my out of character office, which is honestly where I spend most of my time in SL. I thought if I were going to talk about the blog and me and go wandering down merry rabbit holes of how and why, I should probably photograph in my home territory. That just happens to be the loudest sign in the office at the moment. The other sign, which you might or might not be able to make out, says, “I’m too glam to give a damn”, and I love it. I momentarily set it to full bright for this post, but then I felt sick inside and changed it back.

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But isn’t this kind of like shouting into the void?

But isn’t this kind of like shouting into the void?

I hope not. This blog doesn’t get a lot of comments, except for in-character comments from Gwyneth’s IC husband, but if you want to talk, by all means leave a comment. Tell me what a prudish old biddy I am! Explain to me that my elf ears make me look like a pathetic fantasist! Compliment me on these awesome boots! Anything you like. We are all in this together.

I purposely wore only items that I purchased myself and are not sponsored by anybody for this photoshoot. The sole exception, and I realised it too far after the fact to go back and reshoot everything, are the ears that Gwyneth is wearing, and these are her ‘go-to’ ears; they’re on all her basic outfits and only change when I consciously change them. 

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Pink Bento Head
Skin: The Plastik, Elvenne Skin, Bonnen
Eyes: Song, Frost Eyes
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Lip colour: Booty’s Beauty, Lush Gloss
Eyeshadow: Arte, Fairy Eyeshadow
Eyebrows: Mai Bilavio, BrowEdit 3
Hair: Truth, VIP Reyane
Jewellery: The Plastik, Unicorn Kin Gacha, Armlets, Bracelets, Necklaces (Currently at the Lootbox event)
Nails: Nylon Outfitters, Art Nails, Unicorn Solo
Top: Neve, Altierre Wonderland
Leggings: ABC, Comforter Leggings
Boots & Socks: Eudora, Haloke Boots & Socks (Currently at Shiny Shabby)

The Big Tea

Well, it finally happened. Her Majesty, Queen Gwyneth, Mistress of All She Surveys, had one of her people invite me for a morning tea in the Remembrance Garden.

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Welcome, she said.

“Welcome,” she said, as if it were the most natural thing to be meeting up like this, after all this time. “I know I have promised you a face to face meeting for some time. In that time, I’ve had a lot of things to contend with, and that’s one of the reasons why I simply had you released from the Faery Realm in the Wylds. It had been too long.”

“I’ll say,” I muttered. “I hope you will forgive me for not using all the honourifics and proper forms of address, Gwyneth.”

“Under the circumstances,” she replied, “I think that’s quite understandable. Fenella. Fen.”

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Oh, I did not trust this woman.

I could feel my lips tightening. “How can you even call me that, after what you did to me?” Oh, I did not trust this woman. “You kept me a prisoner. That fucked with my livelihood. A livelihood I had to take up when I was catapulted from our home Realm into  whatever this is.”

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I know it must feel strange

“I know it must feel strange, for this to have waited so long,” Gwyneth said, “but in that time I’ve been busy building a new Realm after having had to abdicate the old one, putting together Awenia, so to speak. And I haven’t left other things out. I’ve searched, now that I have the Internet again, for Richard. For Emma.

“And what about Kevin?”

“Fen, I don’t think he made it,” Gwyneth said. “There was so much blood.”

“I don’t think any of us made it,” I said flatly. “I think we all died and were somehow transported. How else would you explain any of this?”

“Come and sit,” she said. “Let’s have some tea and discuss all of this— or as much as we can possibly get through in a couple of hours, OK? And then, then— I have a proposal for you.”

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Fine, I said.

“Fine,” I said. I came here for tea: might as well have some tea.

“I didn’t know what to do,” Gwyneth said, probably anticipating another angry question from me. “That’s why I’ve waited so long. I didn’t have anything to offer you, any information, any idea of what happened. I had nothing to give you that you’d have valued.”

“And you do now?” I drummed my fingertips on the table.

“What my adoptive Father said to me was that I could never have gotten to the Realm we were in, this series of Realms, without already having Faerie blood in me. I think that has to be the same for you; otherwise you’d have perished.”

Perished?” I snickered. “Who even says that?”

“Hello? PhD in English?”

Then we both laughed, and for a few seconds, it felt like it always did; like we were the best friends in the world and this was just another morning-after tea. And then, there was an awkward silence.

I broke it, finally. “So, you think Richard, Emma, and Kevin might not have had any Fae blood in them.”

“I don’t know what to think,” Gwyneth said. “I remember, not long after I first crossed into Jasper Cove, starting to receive some odd photographs; one was of Richard and me kissing.”

“But that had just happened, before we left the LARP,” I said. “How could you have a print out of something like that?”

“I don’t know,” Gwyneth replied. It felt heavy in the air.

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She’d heard nothing from the others.

“I’ve heard nothing from the others,” she admitted. “Not even a peep, not the slightest indication that they were out there. So, when I finally realised who you were—do you remember that awful radio show?—I had to keep you. I told myself I’d explain it to you, that if two of us were together, we might draw the other two—three.” She hastily corrected herself.

“You really think Kevin didn’t survive.” I looked down at my left hand, the one with Kevin’s ring on it.

Gwyneth leaned forward. “I don’t know,” she said. “I just don’t know.”

I considered.

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that like attracts like.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that like attracts like,” I said. “Somehow, no matter where I end up, other svart alfar find me. And for whatever reason, when I was so confused and upset and everything was going wrong, I ended up on your altar. What’s to say the others won’t, eventually, as well?”

“It’s been years,” Gwyneth said. “Then again, it had been years for you as well.” She rested her elbows on the table, put her chin in her hands. Such a Gwyneth-like gesture. I almost liked her for a minute there. “OK,” she continued. “I have a proposal for you.”

“Should I be scared?” I asked.

“I don’t think so,” she replied. “Awenia will open to the public soon—well, soon is a relative term—and I’d like you to stay here and help Wulfrich with security.”

“Captain Wulfrich?” I responded. “From the Wylds?”

“Yes. He’s a loyal sort,” Gwyneth said. “If what you say is true, like attracting like and all, let’s stick together. Let’s make our story public. Maybe we’ll get some bites if we put out a line with bait.”

“Public?” I said. “I know something happened and the Veils have fallen, but really?”

“Oh, good,” Gwyneth said. “You know about that.”

“Wasn’t hard to deduce,” I replied. “One day I’m operating under cover of secrecy, every Realm a potential landmine, and the next day government agencies are fine with hiring me and I’m allowed to be me, at least some of the time.”

Gwyneth shook her head. “I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for you.”

“No, you can’t.” My right hand clenched reflexively into a fist.

Svart will always be welcome here,” Gwyneth said. “I don’t have any illusions about anybody being more evil than anybody else, except in some isolated incidents where a being is more selfish and justifies horrible things more easily than most others. We are all the same, and the public must learn to see us as such.”

“So you put me in a position of some authority, and people will think you’re amazing and open-minded,” I retorted.

“So you stay here, you and I do some magick on the side, and maybe we scry Emma or Richard. Or Kevin.”

“Will you stop talking about Kevin as if he’s dead!” I couldn’t take it any more. “I’ve never taken this ring off, you know.”

“I suspected,” Gwyneth said. “So, do we have a deal?”

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I stood up.

I stood up. “Reservedly,” I said, “we have a deal.” Then I whistled for Harris (yes, I call the dark unicorn Harris), and I just rode away while Her Smug Majesty stood there agape.

I turned away as Fen, or TAC, or whatever I am to call her, rode away on a unicorn of all things. As if life couldn’t get any weirder. Then, I climbed the stairs of the Serenity monument.

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Halfway up, I stopped to think.

Halfway up, I stopped to think. What if she was right about all this? Could we find Richard, Emma and maybe even Kevin? I shook my head. Probably too much to ask for.

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Hope.

But, if there’s any one thing that’s gotta me this far in my unbelievable and fantastical life, it’s Hope. I shall hope.

Style Cards:

The Amazing Catwoman
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ Bento Mesh Head, Lulu
Skin: The Plastik: Elvenne Skin, Charcus
Ears: Illusions, Sylph Ears
Hair: Truth, VIP Gaea
Clothes: Noble Creations, Mama Erzule (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!) (includes hat!)
Eyes: Seydr, Versicolor Eyes, Autumn (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)
Necklace: Rozoregalia, Lezato
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife

Gwyneth
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Simone Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Monday (Available NOW at The Chapter Four!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears HD
Eyes: Seydr, Versicolor Eyes, Druid (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)
Gown: Senzafine, Elswyth (Available NOW at We Love Role-play!)
Hair: Truth, VIP Gwen
Head and Chest adornments: Bauhaus Movement, Susanne Set

Environment
The Serenity Monument: Kaelis Ember, Find Here Amenity
Tea Set: Trine Epiphany, Artisan Tea Set, Summer
Ground Cover: The Looking Glass, Harmony Garden Daisies (Available NOW at Swank!)
Tea Table and Chairs: The Looking Glass, Harmony Garden Tea Time (Available NOW at Swank!)
Bounding Trees (with birdhouses): Harmony Garden Birdhouse Trees (Available NOW at Swank!)
All Poses from The Black Tulip
Facial Expressions Created with Lelutka AXIS