Yearbook photos and random chatter

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May 092016
 

For Strawberry Singh’s 9th rezday she is doing a yearbook photo challenge!  Happy Rezday Berry!! She’s three months younger than me. Hard to believe I’ve been wandering around Second Life for nine years now, and despite my aging and increasingly grouchy laptop it’s still just as much fun as ever.  😀

yearbook_pic

Lately whenever I am logged in as Ravensong I have been sticking to tiny-ish avatars, most recently the unbelievably cute patchwork toy elephant from Abranimations, but I thought I’d be my old self for a few minutes to get a good pic. It was a bit odd to put the regular av form back on, lately I’ve felt a bit disconnected from Ravensong. I’m not sure what it is… though I suspect that part of my reluctance to be in world is that in recent months I’ve had the occasional mildly flirty guys begin to chat with me, and while they’ve all been unfailingly polite for some reason it freaks me out. I do occasionally enjoy having a nice chat, but it still makes me want to log off and hide (or I start talking nonstop about my late husband until my conversation partner finds a reason to dash off.) I’ve no idea why I am this way. Perhaps I associate this account so strongly with the time my hub and I spent in world that I can’t ever consider interacting with someone who might flirt, even in the most innocent fashion. A good friend once told me one of the reasons she chose to avoid human avatars in favor of being a full time tiny was because she had no interest in getting hit on. I suspect that’s what is driving my desire to find cute little avatars. I can log in, talk to my friends if they are on, tend to my landscapes, and all is peaceful.

On the other hand I can’t give up my shopping addiction, so I have been spending far more time in world with my alts, who have no friends beyond my RL connections, and who spend most of their time at shopping events, or standing around the house looking adorable, or trying out dances. 😀 They thought, since this was a yearbook meme, that they’d throw in their go at a fabulous shot, and said they were off to the prom. I hope they don’t stay out too late.

thenightout

 

Credits…

The yearbook pic

Hair: Dura Boys & Girls 48
Skin: League –  Erin Medium
Sweater: Purple Moon Creations
Eyeglasses: K_gs
Eyes: Ikon

The Couple:

Him:
Hair: Mina –  Gael
Suit: Deadwool – The Dandy
Skin: Nivaro –  Cunov Summertone
Eyes: Ikon

Her:
Hair: Magika – Honey Whiskey
Dress: Candy Doll Lara
Necklace: Maxi Gossamer Alexa black pearl choker
Body: Maitreya Lara
Hands: Slink
Skin: League Isla Medium
Eyes: Ikon

How to Relax

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Aug 192015
 

Relaxation level: 100%

For the majority of my Second Life I have been extremely fortunate to be associated with Kannonji Zen Retreat, a beautiful little sim that holds daily meditation sits, occasionally hosts talks from RL Buddhist teachers, and is home to two live music venues. Over the years I watched with great joy as my late husband and his close friend, Kannonji’s founder, shifted prims around, reshaped the landscape, occasionally battled over some feature one of them wanted to add that the other kept returning, and did their best to make Kannonji a beautiful place to visit. When the current owners, whom I’m lucky to count as my best friends in Second Life, gave me a free hand to do any updating I wanted I was delighted.

Life’s a beach \o/

Much of the sim remains as lovely as ever, and I admit there is still a lot of reluctance on my part to delete anything that my husband did before he passed, but it was fun to add new little touches. In the past couple of weeks my offline life seemed determined to throw stress at me right and left, and SL has been a refuge. Coming in world and having the opportunity to create spaces where others can hopefully escape a little of the daily stress of their offline lives has just been wonderful. Landscaping has to be one of the best forms of relaxation I have ever found. It will always be at the top of my list of things I love to do in world.

Finding the quiet spaces

I wouldn’t begin to put my efforts in the same category as those of SL’s many well known, talented sim architects, but I’m still quite proud of my modest little spots. Creating a hidden beach here, a quiet little camping spot there… bliss. Hopefully others will stumble across these little spots and it will erase a little of the stress of RL for them as well. 🙂

Visit Kannonji Zen Retreat at Snowlion Mountain 

Moments in Time

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Jul 102015
 

It’s been rainy today. It seems fitting, because it’s been a melancholy day so far. Ten years ago on this day I was on my first date with my late husband. We’d talked online for a couple of weeks, but it was the first time we’d met in person, at a bookstore coffee shop. Every year we marked that day, either by going back to the bookstore, or stopping off for burritos at the site of our first dinner.

I’ve been going in world quite often in the past few weeks, I’m not sure why but I’ve felt a need to rejoin Second Life after keeping it at arms length for so long. For much of that time when I did log in I did so as an alt, wanting to distance myself a bit. Ravensong was tied so closely to NaturesZen, my husband’s av, that seeing her in world without him around was actually depressing and stressful. It was like going to our favorite places in real life alone. It just wasn’t the same, I missed having him with me.

Lately I’ve been logging in with Raven again and rediscovering my bond with her. I’m trying to be more social. I’ve been feeling driven to start taking pics again and remembering how much fun it is. I’ve also been logging in one of my hub’s alts simultaneously, I’m not sure why but just having his alt online is comforting. Maybe it makes me feel that my husband is still with me, even though his alt looks nothing like either my hub or his main. Maybe it’s just that with that other avatar there I can enjoy the illusion that I’m a little less alone in virtual space.

I was laughing with one of my friends the other day that I feel like I’m up to something because I’ve stolen my alt’s partner so I can enjoy cute cuddle poses. I have no idea if this is just a random distraction as I move through the second year of grieving, or if it’s helping in some way. I know there must be many, many people who’ve gone through similar things as me… other SLers who lost a partner who they shared both their real and virtual lives with. I often wonder what their journey is like, how they view the world now, how they move forward.

For now I think I’ll just go out for my first date anniversary burrito.

 

Contemplating this whilst visiting Leka.

 

I found my muse, she was in the gazebo the whole time…

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Jun 222015
 

Night writer…

Where did the time go? It seems like I rezzed my little studio at Medici University only a few days ago, and now it’s near the end of the MU year. I wish I’d attended more events and made an attempt to interact so I could have met my talented classmates and perhaps made some new friends, but I was just a little too distracted by RL to visit SL very much. It’s still all good, and I’m glad I’ve tried to take part.

Even though I wasn’t in world very often, I did my best to log in now and then to visit the campus to see what others were creating. When everything was quiet I’d wander around and look for interactive things, as one does. 😀

Taking a break from writing to be fashionable on Paypaback Writer’s pose stand 😀

Most of the time I parked my avvie at my desk, and while SLme typed away on a virtual laptop, RLme  thought I’d work on my creative writing. I didn’t manage to take part in any of the programs on campus, yet just sitting in the little gazebo I found myself rediscovering my muse. I pulled out old stories, I rewrote, I explored new ideas, I lost track of time as I recaptured the joy I used to feel in creating something.

My little corner of the world

Even if it’s currently for my eyes only it has reminded me just how much I love making my own worlds and filling them with people.  As a source of creative inspiration I’d say MU has been a resounding success for me!

Thank you Izzy and Vanessa and all the amazing and talented folks who built such a wonderful place!

Yay, MU!

May 022015
 

I’m the worst learner at Medici University. Seriously. I signed up, rezzed my little gazebo studio, wandered around for the first week to a couple of events, then I got distracted and wandered away.

Okay, some of it may have had to do with various aspects of RL distracting me so much that I couldn’t focus on SL. Some of it has to do with my laptop suddenly deciding that half of my favorite sims are going to send me into a downward spiral of lag that will seize control of my viewer and kick me out if I so much as dare to cam around looking for good camera angles.

But even with somewhat valid excuses for not logging in, I’m still the worst learner at MU. I signed up for creative writing, but I’m barely writing.  Well, I take that back, I’m writing a lot, but it’s mostly been journaling in notebooks, I’ve been bad about keeping up with blogging. To to remedy this I think I’ll make an attempt to do Ryan’s May 1-2-31 challenge. A blog post every day? Related to numbers? (Which I presume should be in sequence…) Ahahahahahaha! I’m completely insane. But hey, I’ll give it a shot. I want to be a good student who participates in something before the term is up.

Now, of course, I have a month worth of posts to consider and I haven’t the foggiest idea what I’ll talk about. I’ve read a lot of advice about finding your blogging niche, but I’m still adrift here. I think my biggest challenge when blogging about SL is trying to stick to SL topics. I often struggle with whether or not I should blog RL thoughts here because I still see so many people talk about keeping a strict divide between SL and RL, and I find that when I’m not sure what to say I just abandon my thoughts entirely. I really suck at splitting my interests up between different accounts so I have SL here, RL there, music to the left, crafts upstairs, and spirituality down the hall. On the one hand, I enjoy reading blogs that pull everything in, because it’s an extension of people watching for me, and I enjoy writing about whatever pops into my head. But, on the other hand, I know that not everyone wants to read about Every Single Interest you have.

As if trying to figure out what to write about isn’t enough, lately I struggle to figure out my place in Second Life. Sometimes I feel like I cling to SL because my late husband and I shared so many happy adventures there, and I’m not ready to let experiences like that go. I’m beginning to wonder if I keep this blog going because it anchors me to Second Life and gives me a reason to keep going back in world on a regular basis. I still love being in world, I still lose hours just wandering around, or trying on outfit after outfit, but occasionally I feel like I should be doing more, I should be having adventures, I should be taking advantage of all the fun and exciting things people can do in SL,

Maybe I need to stop trying to figure out the right way to do Second Life, and the right way to blog, and just go merrily forward being me, one step at a time.

Feb 092015
 

Taking important photos for blog.

This was a weekend of birthdays. Thursday was my main avatar’s 8th rezday, Friday would have been my late husband’s birthday. My rezday was quiet, I logged in, bought myself a couple of presents, and puttered around a bit. The birthday was a bit harder, and will probably always be a challenge, but I keep trying to move forward and be the confident person my husband always believed I was becoming. He is still my muse, silently encouraging me to push beyond my comfort zone, to do more things, follow my dreams, be more outgoing. Sometimes I listen, sometimes I still withdraw into a shell.

I think the Slelfie turned out well!

I’m trying to push beyond my comfort zone this month by taking part in Medici University at LEA23. I was on the fence about trying any new projects, but an IM from Vanessa Blaylock prompted me to go for it. I had such fun with her Avatar Blogger challenge a little over a year ago that I thought this would be fun as well, and so I set up my little studio space and decided to list myself under creative writing. I’m not sure if that’s the best classification for me right now, while I used to write stories all the time, and hope to do so again, for the past year I’ve mostly just done therapeutic writing to help myself get through the days. I’m still not sure I’m in the right headspace for creative writing, but for me writing in any form is good. Perhaps just being part of this will urge me to sit down and do it more often.

MU looking very colorful, with my gazebo in the lower right.

I still must explore the MU campus and meet some of my neighbors.  While being around creative people might be good to get me back into a regular writing mood, just being around people might be as helpful. In my offline life I tend to be a bit introverted and shy, but I have no trouble being chatty and making small talk. Online, and in SL in particular, my social anxiety goes off the charts. I’ve never been sure why that is, but any time I have an opportunity to try to work on that I try to take it. Hey, being at a university is all about learning new things, right?

A room with a view.

Besides, how great is this little space? I’ve always wanted a little gazebo studio to write in. The entire sim is full of wonderful spaces, and from my front door I can look out over LEA22 and the colorful build that appeared recently. I’ll have to learn more about that too. 😀

Learn more at  Medici University or visit the campus at LEA23

Love

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Jun 152014
 

I’m still lost in memories.

Eight years ago tonight we were making the last preparations for our wedding. We were getting things ready, picking up my maid of honor from the bus station, and looking forward to the big day. I was a nervous wreck, but he was calm. He was always calm. Tuesday will be, or would have been, our eighth anniversary. Thinking about that has been extremely hard, and this is going to be one of the toughest days I’ll face, but I’ll try to make the day special, and maybe try to get out and do something we enjoyed. And maybe I’ll go in world for a bit, and tour some of the places we liked to visit together.

Now and then I entertain the idea of logging his avatar in and just sitting with him. I’ve logged his av in a few times to do some account maintenance and if I have need of his inventory, and a couple times I’ve logged Raven in to stand beside him, or cuddle on the couch for a few minutes. It’s one thing to do that with one of the alts, but when it is his own main avatar it’s a strange feeling. Strange and lonely and sad. It’s quite surreal to watch his av standing there, moving around on screen, while knowing that he will never be the person behind that avatar again. I still haven’t completely grasped that he won’t be a part of my real life again either. I still think I’ll hear him come in the door, and everything will be normal again. Full acceptance is a long and hard journey so far, I’ve still barely gone more than a few steps.

Amidst all my musing about love and memories, I noticed that the weekly blog challenge that went up this past Monday over at Strawberry Singh’s blog, is about love. It comes courtesy of Edie Sedgwick, who is keeping the lights on while Ms. Berry is vacationing. Edie asks us to grab an avatar we love, a friend, a partner, a colleague, and take a selfie. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m not terribly social in SL, I never have the courage to friend people and I rarely get friend requests, so any of the “grab a friend” memes have been a bit challenging.

(As an aside, I thought I had actually added a new person the other day, after a brief pleasant chat… I would swear to you that I clicked ‘accept’ on the friend request… but when I logged in there were no new names on my friends list. I don’t know if the other party thought better of it after I logged out and unfriended me, or if I just somehow manged to mess it up, and I’m too embarrassed to send an IM asking if it was my mistake. Oh well.)

There were actually a couple of people I could think of that I might have grabbed and photographed, but as always my thoughts go straight to my husband. You’d think that since I have another blog created just to work through this widow thing that posting there would be enough. Nope, I still must talk to anyone who will listen. He will always be the first person I think of when I hear the word “love” in any context. He was and will always be the love of my life, so I thought I’d answer the questions and gaze at his pictures.

  1. How did you and the person in the photo with you meet? • Via match.com. Sometimes the online dating things work. Or, at least they did several years ago when we tried them. I’d never have the courage to do it again.
  2. How long have you known each other? • Next week would have marked our 8th anniversary, and about 9 years together.
  3. What do you love about this person? • His creative spirit. His calm. His confidence. A million other things.
  4. What place in SL do you love? • I always seem to fall hardest for the scenic, natural landscape sims.
  5. What clothes or shoes in SL do you love? • L&B jeans, they just have such nice butts! Looking through my inventory, I probably have more clothes from Sn@tch than any other individual designer, especially when it comes to texture clothes. I also used to love Artilleri a lot. For mesh clothes I like Cold Logic, and I’m trying to branch out a bit and learn some new designers.
  6. What does love mean to you? A shared joy in each other’s company. Or a particular attachment to something, like nutella. No really, I love the stuff. 😀
  7. What is your biggest regret? The past seven and a half months have been filled with “What if?” moments. What if I’d done this differently? What if we’d been more in tune with our health? What if? What if? What if?  It’s hard to shoo the what if’s away.
  8. Which is the one event that has had the biggest impact on you and your life? Meeting my husband.
  9. What do you love and hate the most about the human race? We have such capacity for compassion and joy and friendship. Sadly, it seems many also have a great capacity to be cruel.
  10. What color is your underwear? • Blue ^_^

Thanks to Edie for the meme! 🙂