Don’t Go Into the Basement!

I vaguely remember this phrase as something we used to yell as primary school kids when we were watching one of those ridiculous horror movies where the characters do all the stupid things, like split up, follow the scary sound, and of course, go into the basement.

If only I had thought of that bit of wisdom before I got it into my head that I should explore the Castle’s basement yesterday.

Of course, it’s my castle, but I haven’t bothered to enter every single room: that would take me a month! I’m much too busy with realm building right now, anyway, but yesterday I had a few quiet hours, and so I went down into the basement, marvelled at the glorious kitchen that Bran has put together, and began checking what all was in the various basement rooms. One was empty—maybe I can convince Nathaniel to us that one as a workshop so I don’t have to build him a man-cave as an outbuilding. Another was clearly a pantry, stocked floor to ceiling with stuff that is apparently very important for the smooth running of a castle.

But it was the third room I entered that gave me a bit of a turn.

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I entered some kind of a workshop.

It was some kind of a workshop. Only the weird kind, not the kind Nathaniel would have. It was full of things that resembled robotic body parts.

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Wing models?

If I had to guess, I’d say these were models of some kind of steampunk-y wingcraft. But I didn’t have to guess, and besides, that wasn’t the weirdest thing in the room.

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The walls were covered with weird prints.

The walls were covered with weird prints, some disturbingly of human anatomy. But it was the shelf full of various body parts made of metal that really got me. Arms, legs, even a face. Where was I?

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Where am I? Come on, steampunk brain girl, answer me!

“Where am I? Come on, steampunk brain girl, answer me!” Not that I usually talk to wall paintings, mind. The room was just creepy enough that I thought she might answer. But, no luck.

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I moved on to the desk, which was easily as creepy as the shelf.

I moved on to the desk, which was easily as creepy as the shelf. Well, if you didn’t count the body parts, that is.

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Stuff was left here as if someone had been interrupted while working.

Stuff was left here as if someone had been interrupted while working, including a glowing hand made of metal. Did I even want to know? I certainly didn’t go delving into the little mini-file that was on the desk. I had no desire to know what someone who had a shelf of metal body parts might consider “odds” and “ends”.

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This mechanical heart was pretty despite its creepiness.

There was one thing that was pretty despite its creepiness. On the back of the desk was some kind of mechanical heart. And although I couldn’t see any way for it to be turned on or off, the gears were all moving. It also had an eerie blue glow about it. I wondered how it was made, and indeed, why anybody would make such a thing.

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Extra gears?

At least one of my questions was partially answered: there was a sheet of parchment upon which had been placed a variety of metal gears. I guessed that at least some of these would find their way into other hearts at some point? I glanced back at steampunk brain girl. Maybe they would find their way into some metal steampunk robot person’s brain? I shuddered.

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Finally something that didn’t creep me out!

Well, hello! As I turned from the desk, suppressing a shudder at the anatomical charts on the wall—one of them was just a bunch of surgical instruments. I mean, really? Who wants that on their wall?—I saw something I’d only ever seen before in pictures. An original Macintosh computer, complete with cheery hello screen. An ancient Mac, still running. At least whoever put together this macabre little workshop had some good taste inside them. It was rather odd, I thought, that there was absolutely nothing else on the computer desk. Almost like whoever hangs out here really didn’t spend much time at the computer. Then again, we’re talking about a machine with 128K of RAM that shipped with only a 3.5″ floppy drive for storage. Can you imagine?

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I thought, briefly, about just taking it.

I thought, briefly, about just taking it. After all, it is my castle, and whoever put all this stuff in here obviously did not go through Bran or me for permission. Perhaps Nathaniel authorised this? Of course, anybody who collects and presumably tinkers with stuff like mechanical hearts and glowing metal hands might not be kindly disposed to someone liberating their stuff, even if someone is the Queen.

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Well bloody shaken

I was well bloody shaken by the whole experience, even though I doubt I was in that room for more than five minutes. And I didn’t look back when I left: I’ll have nightmares for a week about that disembodied metal hand.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista, Lia Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Bloom (Bloom is this month’s group gift at 7 Deadly s{K}ins! You can pick it up at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Nails: Cazimi, Depths of Winter
Ears: Swallow, Noldor Elf Ears
Eyes: Song, Luna Eyes (Available NOW at Kustom9!)
Clothes: Sorumin, Modern Princess Gacha (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Shoes: Reign, Ballet Flats, Thigh High
Hair: Stealthic, Haven (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Circlet: Coquette, Fairy Crown
Necklace and Armlets: RealEvil Industries, Anabella Set (Available NOW at Fameshed!)

Location: The Castle, Awenia
Building: Rivendale, Dreamy Castle (Available at the Rivendale Main Store!)
Everything in the workshop that is not a print, a chalkboard, or a Macintosh: Rivendale, Tinkertopia Gacha (Available NOW at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!) See below for specifics of the gacha pieces.
Lonely Little Macintosh: Insurrektion, Back to the 80s Gacha

Tinkertopia SL

 

 

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

 

Dressing Room

I love my castle. Designed by Riven (of Rivendale), it’s a joy to live in. I was never so happy to see a building appear in the Realm than when I saw that castle out the window of the (almost) equally beautiful Treehouse. I think in time we shall use the Treehouse for community events as it’s more suited to a Fae tourist destination than the castle. With Enchantment in the air, I of course had many new gowns to wear, and I’m stocking up for autumn. Faith tells me autumn is just around the corner; really it is, and even though it almost always appears to be summertime in Faerie, we do have temperature fluctuations.

The one drawback to the castle is that it’s so big I get lost in it sometimes! And the fact is, it’s not completely decorated yet, even though it’s been in the Realm for coming up on nine months now. Imagine my delight when Bran told me as we made our way home from the Enchantment faire that he’d given instructions to some of the staff to decorate the parlour just below our bedroom tower as a dressing room for me!

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My Dressing Room

My dressing room is full of mirrors and comfortable seating, in case I ever end up with a large enough Court that there are ladies who wish to come and assist me in getting dressed. Bran made sure I knew he’d gotten the seating from The Looking Glass, so of course it was pre-approved before I even entered the room itself. One wall is covered with a large wardrobe, and another holds a generous vanity. As you can see, the windows have bookshelf seating, from Noble Creations, which means the room has a bit of multipurpose built in. I can imagine reading on a rainy day (yes, we do have those!) while a lovely mortal musician gives us all some soothing background music. Just the thought of that makes me smile. Mirrors from Refuge and anc adorn the walls, and there’s even a copy of the beautiful clock from Erstwhile Station. The only thing I’ll add after the fact is possibly a rug, although the floor designs are so beautiful in this part of the castle.

Now, those of you who follow this blog (all two of you!) probably know who my go-to dress designers are. You’ll recognise the delicate, detailed, and altogether competent hand of Junbug on this gown I’m wearing. I picked up the Storm Violet gown at the Enchantment faire, and I must admit I got it in more than one colour, so I’m sure you’ll see it again, because September is just around the corner.

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Exquisite sleeve detailing

The detailing on these sleeves is exquisite, isn’t it? I also love the necklace, which is a quick-stop find from Swallow. Those marvellous ladies at Little Bones did my hair, and I’ve never been so happy to have extensions braided and waved; it’s given my hair such a loft and lustrous texture.

I loved the dressing room so much I made Bran bring all the folks who’d had a hand in decorating it straight to me, and I gave them all a kiss! Nothing like seeing a Sidhe blush. So cute!

I confess I was so tired of Bran taking photographs of me on this day that I just threw my hands up and told him I’d have no more photography of the dressing room, thank you very much; I wanted to curl up with a book in my new safe haven. I think he was a tad miffed. But since I’ll be spending an awful lot of time in this room, I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities for photographs in the months and years to come.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista, Lia Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Brooklyn (Available on August 28 at Blush!)
Ears: Swallow, Noldor Elf Ears
Eyes: Song, Luna Eyes (Available NOW at Kustom9!)
Gown: Junbug, Storm Violet Gown (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Hair: Little Bones, Poison (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Necklace: Swallow, Magic Necklaces (Available NOW at Kustom9!)
Crown: Dreaming Thicket, Ladies Crown, Countess (Available NOW at The Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)

Location: Awenia, The Castle
Castle: Rivendale, Dreamy Castle (Available in the Rivendale Main Store!)
Chairs: The Looking Glass, The Encounter Chairs (You can pick these up at The Looking Glass main store!)
Mirrors: Refuge, Fairy Tale Mirror Silver; and
{anc}, Looking Glass Magic, Heaven
Bookcase Window Seats: Noble Creations, Fantasy Sofa Relax (Available at the Noble Creations Main Store!)
The Looking Glass: Will-O-Wisp Tree (You can pick this up at The Looking Glass main store!)

 

 

One Step Forward

Another mystifying dream, in which I seem to be working for some charity? Let me try to remember it in more detail for you.

It’s my first evening on the street. That’s what they call it anyway. I have to stifle a laugh every time my pod leader says it. But no matter how long we “supernatural creatures” (creatures? really? who says that?) are visible to Earth’s dominant population, we still seem to be seen as some bizarre alien presence. Never mind that history just doesn’t reflect any of the things my parents told me.

So that’s why there has to be a MaVoST. And that’s why people like me, who with less effort can “pass” amongst humans, get picked to go out and knock on doors.

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I don’t like knocking on doors.

I don’t like knocking on doors. It feels so 20th century. All I need is a perky visor and a big suitcase and I could be a Depression Hoover salesperson. Well. And a penis.

My handler is across the street. She’s waving at me. “Go on, Gwynnie, you can do it,” comes her voice through the magically enhanced earpiece I wear (with convenient panic button just in case I end up talking to any of those people).

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I half-turn toward the street.

I half-turn toward the street.

“OK,” I whisper. “OK.”

“Just do it like we practiced.”

“Hi, good evening! I’m Gwynnie Thlessaliel, and I’m a faerie.”

<pause>

“Good, good. Keep going. Rehearsal is good for the soul.”

“Now, I know you probably see a lot of faeries around town. We run your cleaning services, we do a lot of service work, some of us are involved in the arts and entertainment sector, we help create great technology—you know, now that I think about it, we’re actually a lot like you.”

I take a deep breath, then continue. I am taught to wait for some protestation.

“I am part of MaVoST. Have you heard of us? I have some literature here, if you want to read it on your own time. My work number’s on the back, so if you have any questions…. Yes; it stands for Magical Voices Speaking Together.”

<pause>

“Remember, you never enter a house on the first passthrough. Pod tier two will be through in a couple of days.”

“No thank you, Mrs Jones, but it’s a lovely offer. Anyway, read that over, and when you feel like it, give us a call, and we’ll help you get to know more magical and supernatural beings right in your own neighbourhood!”

“That was great, Gwynnie. Just like in practice.”

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Now all I have to do is knock.

Now, all I have to do is knock.

And that’s when it always happens.

Redneck with shotgun opens the door. “You get off my porch.”

Creeper in a Satan Lives jersey opens the door. Grabs my wrist.

Nice looking guy in a suit opens the door. “You people always—oh, no, wait; you’re not a person, are you?”

(voice through the door) “No pointy eared freaks! Get out!”

My hand shakes.

“I’m right here, Gwynnie.”

Kid I went to high school with, thirteen years ago, opens the door. “Oh, I remember you. Blew the fucking bell curve in politics and now you’re going door to door for some creepy supernatural club, right? Yeah; that just goes to show that no matter how uppity you are, you will never amount to anything.” Door slams.

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I can’t.

“I can’t.”

“Third strike, Gwynnie. You have to do it this time.”

I can’t breathe. I hear a high-pitched noise. Everything turns blue. I gasp for air.

“You’re hyperventilating. Take two deep breaths, turn around, and knock on the door, Gwynnie. I am right here.”

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I really, really can’t.

“I really, really can’t.” My voice breaks.

“Right. Let’s go back to the pod office. See if Justin will reassign you, but we really do want all new lobbyists to start with the grassroots work.”

I cross the street. Mariclar puts an arm around my shoulder.

I’m crying.

“Look, he probably will just reassign you. You graduated with a first. I’m sure there’s some office work.”

I’m crying harder.

The curtains across the street part. I can’t make out the face.

“Look, we don’t want to make a scene. Let’s just pop back to the office, OK?” Mariclar takes my hand and leads me around the corner to her car.

It’s too late for Justin to be in the office, so she drives me home.

Then, I am staring at my computer at an email from MaVoST.

Hey, Gwynnie—
Sorry it didn’t work out, but no hard feelings. I’ll talk to Marcus about reassigning you, but for now I’ve got no choice but to suspend you without pay.
—Justin

That’s the third one this year. What is wrong with me?

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Romina (Available ON 1 AUGUST at The Mesh Body Addicts Fair!)
Nails: Cazimi, BOtM Dan’s Metallics and Glitters (Available NOW at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Musa, Apatite Eyes
Dress: zOOm, Lilla Dress (Available NOW at the Gothic Garage Sale!)
Tights: Moonlite Cat Creations, Saon Netting Stockings (Available NOW at the Gothic Garage Sale!)
Shoes: Apple May Designs, Thorned Flower Heels
Necklace: Spyralle, Chaos Breaks Out Necklace (Available NOW at the Gothic Garage Sale!)
Hair: Little Bones, Geist (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Bag: QE Designs, HexenBag

Environment: Paparazzi, Townhouse Backdrop
Rain: anc, Stardustrain

Recreational Realm-Hopping?

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The Sea of Ennui

Look. I get tired. I get tired, when I’m at the height of my summer power, of everybody coming to me like, “Oh, Your Majesty, couldn’t you please get to work on the new Book Forest?” Or, “Gosh, Your Majesty, we could use some small houses over here by the park’s edge.” Or, “Your Majesty, not that it’s all that important to us, mind, but could you please finish the pathing between the castle and the village and the Book Forest?

It is wonderful to be needed. It is. But there comes a time, particularly when the days are so hot I would like to scream and immerse myself in water at the same time, which would not end up drowning me but would make the pesky mermaids snicker, when I just want to get the fuck out of town and go hole up in someplace different. The Sea of Ennui is nowhere near as nice as the briny variety.

With that in mind, I informed Bran I was off to look for some rare minerals (it was as good a plan as any) and hopped off to a Realm with different weather.

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Well… at least it wasn’t a desert.

“I don’t remember requesting, ‘deserted, mountainous wasteland,'” I said upon nearly crashing into a mossy statue of a book that I judged to be at least four or five hundred years old. “But whatever: at least it’s not hot.”

I judged there was a cave on top of the ridge behind me, and I headed that way. “I was really hoping for a beach,” I muttered to myself.

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Will you look at that.

Well, well, well, I thought to myself as I landed near the cave opening. Will you look at that. Possibly the Realm Hopping Powers that Be Powerful or whatever you want to call them were not just pernicious asshats after all. The whole cave system looked to be made out of that granite Bran was falling all over himself to find. Kind of bluish, but whatever floats his boat. I tapped the control button on my bluetooth headset.

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You will never guess what I’m sitting on!

“Oh, Bran!” I sang sweetly into the mic, ignoring his grousing both about the signal and the fact that my singing voice doesn’t travel well over whatever compression they build into bluetooth microphones. I did once have this guy I dated who would have looked that up for me and had an answer back before I could type it out. He was German, obviously. “Bran! You’ll never guess what I’m sitting on!”

“Resisting the urge to answer, ‘My face….'” Bran said.

I laughed. “You know that blue granite you’re always going on about?”

“You are shitting me.”

“You keep picking up this vernacular, Bran. We’re going to have to teach you to speak Posh Sidhe all over again before the tourists start coming in.”

“I don’t suppose you would be willing to offer me transport to wherever you are?” He was just going to ignore all my teasing.

“I’ll send a wisp. Not sure how long I’m staying here, but at least it’s not hot.”

“Thank you, Your Majesty.”

“Of course, Bran. You know I’d do just about anything for you,” I said smoothly, then sent a little transport wisp his way.

Now, I only had to decide whether I was going to wait here for him, or if it would be more fun to find somewhere, anywhere, with a beach, or at least a lake of some kind.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Romina (Available ON 1 AUGUST at The Mesh Body Addicts Fair!)
Nails: Cazimi, BOtM Dan’s Metallics and Glitters (Available NOW at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Musa, Apatite Eyes
Wings: BareRose, Fairy B Wings
Clothes:
Shirt: Ghee, Slogan T-Shirt, Feminist
Trousers: The Annex, Paisley Pants, Purple Available NOW as a new release and part of the Saturday Sale at The Annex Main Store!)
Shoes: Baiastice, Gemstone Sandals
Necklaces: Violetility, Persephone Necklace;
and The Little Bat, Luna Necklace (Both Available NOW at the Gothic Garage Sale!)
Headpiece: Lode, Summer Garden Wreath, Pink (Available NOW at Shiny Shabby!)
Hair: Exile, Aina (Available NOW at Collabor88!)

Environment: Bearded Guy, Medieval Spring

 

 

Daily Commute

That air of difference, the sense of it, never really leaves you. It works its way out to the surface in ways you won’t even see ’til one day you’re discussing it all with your hypothetical future therapist/healer/priest/take your pick. Sometimes you can still save the memory, if that happens. You can gloss over the prickly bits, change a detail, tell the story that suits you. And of course in dreams the strangest things make sense anyway: you could be having a perfectly ordinary conversation with, say, your long lost cousin who happens for no discernible reason to be a pair of scissors.

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Obviously I’m on the Tube with a bunch of commuters, two anime girls, and a rogue.

Obviously, I’m on the Tube with a bunch of commuters, two anime girls, and a rogue. Because that’s just the way things are. All the usual rules of rush hour commuting apply: in the priority seat there’s a white guy in a business suit, aggressively reading a newspaper in case someone disabled gets on. The pregnant woman across from him is more likely to give up her seat. Women sit with their knees crossed together, taking up as little space as possible; men need to air out the crotch and provide standing passengers with obstacles to make their daily trek less boring.

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“That man is staring at us”

“That man is staring at us,” says Anime Girl With Black Hair. “It makes me uncomfortable.

I can feel the rogue and I roll our eyes in concert. “They always stare, sister,” says the rogue.

Anime Girl fans herself with her fingers.

“You’d best get used to it, sister,” the rogue continues. “Especially when you go around being all different.”

There is a collective intake of breath. All the signs say London enforces diversity. All of them say that. But newspaper man is ruffling his tabloid in a way designed to call attention to itself and not the fact that he can’t take his eyes off any of us, and super tall guy pointedly looks away, as does repressed white lady in black tank dress. Pregnant lady is the only one who’s really not paying us any mind: she’s asleep. Lady in pink looks like she’s going to pretend she must get off at the next stop, even though it’s probably nowhere near home.

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It’s not going to rub off, you know!

And maybe it’s the heat; maybe it’s some kind of post-experience editing, but I can’t take it any more.

I flick my hair behind my shoulder, giving newspaper man’s defensive shield a thump with my nail in the process. “It’s not going to rub off, you know,” I say, in a voice pitched to carry. Nobody is going to wake up with demon horns or pointy ears or an unfortunate proclivity to change into an adorable kitten who also kicks ass on some kind of otherworld battlefield tomorrow just because they had the misfortune to end up on the Central Line with more than the usual complement of weirdos.”

People are pointedly not looking at me. I’m definitely making an impression.

The rogue half-smiles; I wouldn’t be able to tell if it weren’t the way all rogues smile in fantasy novels. Anime Girl in blue turns around and blows a raspberry at tall guy, then prances toward the train exit. The other Anime Girl brings her delicate fingertips to her perfect, cherry lips. “Oh! You are so brave!” she exclaims, then blushes furiously, apparently because she spoke.

I pull a paperback out of my back pocket. Now that I’ve said my piece, I feel like I can get back into this fascinating bit of chick lit I’m reading.

Back when I was in postgraduate school, I used to be good at making connections. In some ways, I still am. The dream of that girl in the jungle, though—the was and wasn’t me one—that one threw me. And then the next dream came and I got an inkling.

But really, subconscious: I already bought into the many worlds hypotheses. I did. You don’t have to keep hammering me over the head.

Anime Girl and the rogue get off at the next stop. Anime girl hides her face as they exit; the rogue turns back to me to indicate that they are absolutely not together, then hands me a rolly and a business card with her name and mobile number written on the back.

Score.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Romina (Available ON 1 AUGUST at The Mesh Body Addicts Fair!)
Nails: Cazimi, BOtM Dan’s Metallics and Glitters (Available NOW at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Ears: Swallow, Magic Pixie Ears
Eyes: Musa, Apatite Eyes
Clothes:
Blouse: The Annex, Maria Top: Available NOW at The Annex Main Store!)
Jeans: Fame Femme, Terry Jeans, Black
Shoes: Illi, Nana Canvas Sneakers
Rings: Yummy, Unicorn Ring Set (Available NOW at Uber!)
Hair: Lamb, Ari (Available NOW at Uber!)

Environment: Fox City, Destination London

The Changing Landscape of Awenia, 3

After Bran suggested home, I couldn’t get there fast enough. Of course, Awenia is a small Realm, so it’s not difficult to fly from town to the castle, particularly when there’s a great swath of empty land beneath you. I wonder what I’ll put there. Hm.

Once I’d changed clothes, Bran had one of the footmen bring me a chair and a table, with the promise of tea to come. The Senzafine dress was a little bare on the arms and the front, so I took my hair down and added some new gloves I found at Fameshed.

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“It’s hard to see anything from here!”

“It’s hard to see anything from here!” I called out. Could Bran even hear me from the kitchen? Where was he, anyway?

“Yes, Your Majesty,” came the reply from just a little ways away on the balcony below. How clever! Bran had set up a little temporary food and drink preparation area there. Given that the kitchens are actually about three floors below, I suppose that makes sense. “It’s because of the mists. We are so close to the mountains and so much higher than the landscape you are viewing that the mists stay here almost all the time.”

Great. Bran, my majordomo, is Elfsplaining atmospheric conditions to me. “I never had this problem in the treehouse,” I grumbled.

“Similar elevation, farther from the mountains,” Bran offered.

I looked across to the treehouse. I missed it a little bit. “No; I think it’s actually higher,” I said, thoughtful. In my head, I suddenly heard Valene‘s voice in my head. ‘You want to be where it’s the highest. That’s where the top CaitSidhe usually are.‘ I sniffed the misty but surprisingly not moist air. “Bran? Do you think we should move back to the treehouse?”

CLATTER

“What, Your Majesty? Dweezil, could you clean that up, please? Few more moments on the tea!”

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Comfy Chair

“Ooh, this is a comfortable chair, Bran.” I decided to ignore his obvious negative reaction to moving back to the treehouse. “Wherever did we get it?”

“You picked it out at Noble Creations,” Your Majesty, Bran replied without a hitch. “It’s only just arrived.”

“Well, I love it,” I said. I leaned forward to gaze into Awenia Town. I picked up small changes occurring: some brickwork added here, a new sparkle bush there…. “I wonder what I’ll put in between here and the town: right now it’s just an open field. The nursery and the farmhouse are all gone.”

“You’d mentioned expanding the Book Forest,” Bran said.

“Oh, yeah; I did,” I replied. “How’s that tea coming?”

“Slowly, I’m afraid, Your Majesty. You know magical prepared tea is not as good, and I didn’t think to bring the electric kettle up here.”

I sighed. “No matter; I’m thinking on… ooh, what is that?”

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Well, well, well….

Well, well, well. If it wasn’t my old best friend Fenella, also known as The Amazing Catwoman, for reasons I never could discern. Running about in a leather dress with a raven on her shoulder.

“Bran, looks like we have a TAC sighting!” I said. “See if you can send someone down and get her an audience with me, finally? We really do need to talk.”

“Is this the right time, Your Majesty?”

“We always ask that and it never is, which means that now is the best time for it,” I replied. “I’m tired of saying, ‘I’ll get to that when I’m less busy,’ and then having her disappear for another year.”

Bran sniffed. “Shall I send Clutie?”

“Gods no,” I replied. “She and TAC will hate each other. Send that new footman, the one from the restaurant. No; he’s a snob. Um, Send Dweezil and a couple of pixies. That ought to get her worked up.”

“Good as done, Your Majesty,” Bran replied. His voice came closer. “And look, here’s your tea!”

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Ferna (Available NOW at The Chapter Four!)
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Elf Ears Dior
Eyes: Cazimi, Mandala Regular Eyes (Omega) (Available NOW at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Dress: Senzafine, Arabian (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)
Hair: Exile, Long Beach (Available NOW at Summerfest!)
Nails: Cazimi, Solids, Sea Sand (Available NOW at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Lipstick: Cazimi, Nude Matte (Available NOW at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Foot Jewellery: Curb! Laina Footjewelery
Necklace: RealEvil Industries, Passion Collar

Chair, Table, and Rug: Noble Creations, Noble Sitting Place (Available NOW on the NEW midnight madness board at the Noble Creations Main Store!)

Castle: Dreamy Castle, by Rivendale, designed by LRRiven. This continues to be one of my favourite castles ever, as it was built with living in mind! It’s so huge I haven’t decorated it all yet, but that gives me great opportunities to, I don’t know, buy more furniture….! 🙂

 

The Changing Landscape of Awenia, 1

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“Take my portrait, Bran.”

“Take my portrait, Bran.” It was a simple enough suggestion. We were walking through what I can only describe as the New Awenia. We’d reached a lovely town square, graced by my beautiful Last Hope statue: for all my riches and advantage, it’s my most treasured posession, and it’s everywhere that I am. For me, it’s a symbol of Faerie and Fae sovereignty. For the Author, it’s something more, but this is my story.

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It might see odd that I would walk through Awenia wearing… this.

It might seem odd to you that I, a fairly modest Queen as Faery Queens go, would wander my Realm dressed in such a way. But it’s high summer, I’m in the height of my power, and frankly, the Realm itself is almost deserted except for some support staff (and the cats, of course). And Bran loved this little number I picked up at the We Love Roleplay faire last week: it’s from The Annex, and honestly, most of the thing I wear that people would consider sexy come from The Annex. The designers there just have a way of making things look both fetching and classy, which I know I’ve said before, but anyway. It’s called Astrid, in case you’re curious.

Bran has become quite a shutterbug and has got himself a DSLR. He swears it takes better photographs than the iPhone, but I don’t see much difference. This, apparently, is because I am a Philistine. He loves to follow me out wherever I go and take photographs, which is fine with me, but I think he has some kind of aspiration to be a fashion photographer. He’s been following me to modelling shoots as well. Sometimes I have to order him to stop asking the photographers and directors questions.

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I don’t think he’s quite there, though.

I don’t think he’s quite there, though. This is his idea of a sexy pose! When I looked at this photograph I laughed out loud. “I look like I’m about to fall over and hit my head on the wishing well,” I said.

To his credit, he didn’t pout. “Perhaps next time,” he said, “I shall just push you in.”

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It was clear the town had been restructuring.

It was clear the town had been restructuring since Midsummer’s fires blazed just a few weeks ago. No wonder I have been feeling so tired recently! All my magic’s been going to the Land, and the Land wants a complete refurbishment before we open Awenia to the public, paperwork willing, in the autumn.

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Imagine you’re home.

“Just look toward the castle,” Bran said before snapping this photograph, “and imagine that you are already there, that you’re already home.”

As it turned out, I really did want to go home after that. “Let’s just sit up on the tower,” I said, “outside mine and Nathaniel’s private apartments, and watch the changes from there.” Already I could feel wings straining against my shoulder blades. “It’ll be all misty up there, so I’ll have to put something on my legs,” I continued.

“Ooh!” Bran said as his own wings stretched out behind both of us. “Why don’t you get into that new Senzafine we got at the same faire?”

“That is a very good idea, my darling,” I said. And then we were airborne and I had no more time to consider my wardrobe. I’ll have so much to tell Nathaniel when he pops back in from wherever he’s been this week!

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Ferna (Available NOW at The Chapter Four!)
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Elf Ears Dior
Eyes: Cazimi, Mandala Regular Eyes (Omega)
Clothes: The Annex, Astrid (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)
Hair: Monso, Sua (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Nails: Cazimi, Solids, Sea Sand
Leg Wraps: Una, Sakura Leg Belts
Necklace: RealEvil Industries, Passion Collar

Town Buildings: Tudor City Builder Kit, by SOF Designs, designed by Firstleviathan Resident. There will be more photographs of what we’ve done with this kit to make Awenia even more special as it already is in the days and weeks to come.

The Last Hope statue is a one of a kind (well, two of a kind!) work of art from the amazing minds and hands of Death Row Designs. I had the good fortune one year to have enough money to spend a crazy amount on this item in the Fantasy Faire live auction. It really is my most prized possession in Second Life. 

 

 

Glamour

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This whole “model” lark is great fun!

This whole “model” lark is great fun! After becoming the SpokesFae (their term, not mine) for Bhanél‘s MadBhanél decided they liked the image I was portraying: a real Fae Queen representing their product. So they’ve created a new fragrance, and they’ve based it on the Fae lifestyle their customers are so enamoured by.

And, get this: It’s called Glamour. I’m sure there’s been another fragrance named that, somewhere out there. But the company says this one will be different, based on Fae Glamour, of course. Although as far as I know, there is no actual magic in the perfume formula: that would be quickly stopped by the various national boards that control drugs. Those poor agencies have now been tasked with overseeing irresponsible and manipulative uses of magic. I don’t even want to think about the inter political relationships inside those departments now.

Anyway, I love the scent, believe it or not, so it’s easy to stand around with big bottles of the stuff and look as if I want nothing more than to bathe in it.

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Here is the first shot from the pre-release campaign!

Here is the first shot from the pre-release campaign! It will just feature the word Glamour”, and I think one sentence, but I have no idea what their marketing department will have that sentence be. Would you believe it took nearly four hours to get these two photographs? There are other angles and poses as well, but this is going to be the one everyone associates with the product. And it’s not like very many people read the blog of the Queen of the Back 40 Faeryland, right?

And now I have to get on to the business of summer, which is going to mean changing some things around in Awenia. That of course means you’re going to see some landscaping photographs in the very near future!

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Emerald, in Snow (Available NOW at Lost And Found!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Clothes: Silvan Moon Designs, Miss Fisher Gown (Available NOW at Vintage Fair!)
Hair: Maraschino, Daisy Hair
Nails: Cazimi, Fade To White
Shoes: Astralia, Half-Pointe
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, Heritage Necklace
Armbands and Gloves: RealEvil Industries, Arwen Gloves and Arm Bracelets
Backdrop: Ersch, Gatsby
Roses: E.V.E, Chained Roses
Perfume Bottles: Tres Blah, Jolie—Vintage Bottle
Stars: E.V.E, Dancing Stars Fireflies, White
Clouds: Air, Nebula
Poses: Black Tulip, Pose Up! set

Invasion of the Steampunk Cats!

It was a pretty ordinary Friday night, the sort of Friday night I spend in Awenia when Nathaniel has business in Mysthaven.

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Ordinary in that I was the last person out the pub.

Ordinary, in that I was the last person out the pub. But some of the brownies and the other Sidhe and I had got into a debate about — do you know, I can’t even remember, because it wasn’t important, even though it seemed vitally so at the time — and we weren’t afraid to drink an awful lot of mead while having this debate. We never are.

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I looked out across the flower meadow.

At this point, I’d said goodnight to everyone, sent them on their way, and then, completely by chance, I looked out across the flower meadow.

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Hey! You can’t park that thing in my meadow!

“Hey!” I screamed. Not my most sober or Queenly moment ever. “You can’t park that thing in my meadow!

I don’t know how I expected them to hear me through all that…. well, here is what I saw:

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Oh, HELLS no.

Oh, HELLS no. No way was a dilapidated airship setting down in my flower meadow.

Except, of course, it was.

Well, obviously I did the most intelligent thing ever. I stalked right the fuck over there to check it out.

Once the thing had settled down, I banged on the door (rather loudly, I admit — and it did make a satisfying clanging sound).

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Don’t get your panties in a wad: I’m comin’, I’m comin’.

A strong American accent came through the crack in the door. “Don’t get your panties in a wad: I’m comin’, I’m comin’!”

The door swung open to reveal a very large and, if I’m honest, ugly ginger cat. I mean, ugly is perhaps a strong word. He was ungainly, perhaps. Or maybe just unbeautiful. My search for adjectives notwithstanding, I just stared at him for a moment.

“Well never mind, then,” he said. “Forget that: it seems you’re not wearing panties at all, young lady.”

Oh, that was it. Ugly and cheeky? This cat was about to get a piece of my mind.

I drew myself up to my full height. “I may look like a young lady, O Ginger One, but I am also the Queen and ruler of this land, Awenia. And I would very much prefer that you not park an unsightly airship in my flower meadow.”

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The night wind picked up as another cat poked his head round the door.

The night wind picked up as another cat poked his head round the door. This one was black with eerie yellow eyes. “We heard,” said the black cat in a much better-modulated voice than Mr Ginger over there, “that Awenia was a new Realm we could come and explore and possibly find a home in.” She rubbed her cheek against the edge of the airship door. “We have a clan of sorts, and we search for the right sort of place to settle.” She looked up with her big eyes; I could have sworn there was an imploring smile there.

I thought for a moment. “Well, how many of you are there?” I asked.

Ginger shrugged. “See for yourself,” he said, nodding his head into the interior of the airship.

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Only nine?

“Only nine?” I said. “That seems a small number for a clan of cats.”

“Two of us are expecting kittens,” said the black cat proudly. “The black ones are all my children, except for that one lying on the floor: that’s my sister; she’s never been right.”

“I heard that!” yowled the floor-sitter. “You just don’t believe these kittens came from aliens!”

“No, darling; I do believe it,” said the black cat. “In any case, Felines and Fae work well together, do we not? And our initial survey of Awenia shows very few cats here. Why is that?”

I considered. The night wind was sobering me up nicely.

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I haven’t really given the matter much thought….

“I haven’t really given the matter much thought,” I said at last. “The truth is, I love cats and I’d love to have more cats about. But the fact remains you can’t leave this ship here. I have a little pocket universe we can stash it in if you are amenable to that.”

“Oh, pish-posh,” said Ginger. “For that matter, we’ve got our own. No need to come barrelling down on us like the Realm Police.”

I sighed. “I am the Realm Police,” I said. “We’re a small Realm, only just getting started, but I have great plans for us. Those plans could include you, if you like. Tell you what. You take the remainder of the night to look around the Realm, see if you find what you’re looking for, and in the morning we’ll discuss airship storage Is that all right with you?”

The black cat started purring her head off. I guessed that was a good sign. Of course, I didn’t want to insult them by offering them pets or treats, but when she butted her head against my hand, I couldn’t resist a little cuddle.

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Town’s that way, I said.

“Town’s that way,” I said. “Pub’s just closing so you’ll likely find food. Sheep and cattle behind the pub in the green, please don’t terrorise. We have a lot of birds, and I can negotiate a hunting schedule with you if you prefer live prey. Queen’s gardens in front of me; you’re welcome to roam there though you may find more pixies than anything edible. There are residences throughout, a nice book forest if you like to read, and my castle is on the opposite Realm corner. You never know what you’ll find there. I only ask that we meet again tomorrow, decide whether you’ll stay for a visit or a trial at living here, and work out what to do with the airship.”

“Agreed!” said the black cat, perhaps a little too quickly. “We are indebted to you for your hospitality.”

I frowned. “Hospitality is a right, not a privilege; there is no need to claim debt.”

The black cat wiggled her ears at me. “Different rules for cats, My Lady; different rules for cats. We’ll talk more tomorrow.” She let out a little screech, and the other seven cats came scurrying out the door. She and Ginger stayed behind to watch which directions they ran in; then the two of them went off in another direction entirely.

And they left the damn door open. Like a mug, I closed it behind them, making sure it wasn’t locked. I had a feeling this story would be continuing.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Java, in Marshmellow (Java was the Group Gift for May at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store. It should still be available there for another day or so!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Clothes: Noble Creations, Desert Princess (Desert Princess was at last month’s We ❤ RP event, and should be up at the Noble Creations Main Store soon!)
Hair: Tableau Vivant (in order of appearance), April I, Tempest, April II
Foot Jewellery: Astralia, Queen Legs
Circlet: The Plastik, Evenida Circlet
Wings: Naminoke, Rose Wings White

Airship: Death Row Designs, Steampunk Airship (Available NOW at Uber!)
Cats: Cica Ghost, gingers and light cats from the 50 Cats exhibition; black cats from the black cat family, all available at C I C A !)

Location: Awenia, just off the high street, sometime after midnight.