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


 Blog Challenges, Images, Monday Memes  Comments Off on Smile!
Jan 082015

Wow, it’s dusty in here. I was surprised to see how long it had been since I blogged anything, but sometime in late summer it slipped away from me. I could contemplate the reasons why, but I’ll save that for another day. I’ll just sweep the dust bunnies aside and jump back in! 😀

Of course it was easier to start posting again when I noticed Strawberry Singh has posted a brand new blog meme and will be back with new challenges.  Yay! This week she’s asked us to do our best yearbook smile.  How could I resist?
It’s always a challenge to make the default smile look somewhat normal, but after playing with my face sliders a bit I think I’m ready to start off 2015 with a cheery smile.

Hooray for new blog challenges! Thank you Berry!


Out for a stroll

 Images, Monday Memes  Comments Off on Out for a stroll
Jun 212014

This past Monday at Strawberry Singh’s blog, Edie Sedgwick brought us a new meme for the week:

Your challenge this week is to imagine your own avatar demise. Choose a sim, a pose, and wardrobe. Snap a photo of your avatar corpse and blog it! And of course, add your link in the comments below so we can all grieve over the loss of someone so beautiful.

I would never kill off any of my avatars in the sense of deleting them, but I was very tempted to retire Ravensong after my husband died because bringing her in world without him felt too lonely. I did put her into semi retirement for a while, and let her take some time off while I used a different account for a few months until it felt right to bring her back. Now I don’t think I would ever retire her for good, but if did for some reason it just seems logical she’d return as a zombie.

  1. What would you eat for your last meal?  I think I would have something from Chipotle. Zombie Raven says any avatar that doesn’t run fast enough is fair game.
  2. Where do dead avatars go? Well, today Zombie Raven thought a stroll on the pier would be fun. And she had to stop and take a selfie, of course.
  3. Have you ever been to a cemetery in SL?  No, and right now I’m not sure I could bring myself to. I’m still taking baby steps to deal with my own loss, seeing the emotional losses of others would be hard to bear.
  4. What would you like them to do at your avatar wake?  I don’t think any of my avs would require a wake, they’d just quietly transition to their next stage of existence.
  5. What would you like it to say on your avatar tombstone? “Watch out, I’m right behind you.” }:D
  6. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you? When they move away. Usually if you are losing touch with people nearby it’s because you’ve begun to grow apart and don’t have a lot in common anymore.
  7. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today? Zombie Raven will just hang out and wait for her friends to turn.
  8. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do? Sometimes we have to do things we don’t enjoy a lot because we need a paycheck, and we don’t do as many things as we’d like because we can’t afford it.
  9. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be? Hang in there, kid. And watch out for zombies.
  10. What color is your underwear? Underwear?


May 272014

Everybody loves questions! Well, I love questions. I used to love reblogging the “ask me” posts on Tumblr, where readers pick from the list and drop the question number in your inbox. I don’t see those as often anymore and I miss answering them, dorky as some of them tended to be.  Tumblr hasn’t been much of a social space for me in quite a while, even though I have more followers than ever they are all very quiet. I really miss the interaction and community I used to see a couple of years ago.

At the same time I have noticed the SL Tumblr community seems to have really taken off. At the moment I only follow a handful of SLers and haven’t used the Tumblr counterpart to this blog in a good seven months, but it’s fun to see so many posts in the SL tag these days. I sometimes think I should make a new primary account to follow only SL blogs, because right now when I follow them they probably wonder why and assume I’m fishing for followers since I don’t post anything related to Second Life. On the other hand even if I make a new SL Tumblr I suspect I’d always forget to log into it, because that’s what always happens whenever I’ve tried to make an SL-specific account on any social network.

In the end I think I’ll just dust off the little neglected Tumblr mirror blog and see if I can pay more attention to the SL community. The Strawberry Singh Monday meme for this week asks Twenty SL Personal Questions, which seems like a good post to start with if I begin publishing back to the other blog again, right? 🙂

And once again: Yay! Questions! Jumping right in to the long list.

  1. When and how did you discover Second Life? • My husband saw tech blog articles about it, when it beginning to get a lot of attention in 2006 as a place to make money and create things. As an artist he thought that was pretty cool, and he was also intrigued by the idea of buying and selling land. But at the time we were too busy being newlyweds so we didn’t get around to thinking of signing up until January of the following year. Since we were both hopeless researchers we bought the Official Guide to Second Life, studied it cover to cover, read everything we could find, and were probably the most prepared newbies to hit the grid in early February of 2007. We were ready to create!
  2. Did you know about virtual worlds before or was this your first experience with them? • Although they were not shared virtual worlds I was hugely addicted to the Sims and Sims 2 games, so I was familiar with a 3D environment and was pretty instantly comfortable with SL. This also probably explains why I mostly just wanted to decorate houses and dress up my avatars when I joined. I was aware of online virtual communities well before I heard of SL, but because they were for social interaction they scared me off. I preferred a single player experience.
  3. Has Second Life met your expectations? • I didn’t have any expectations to start with, so I’d say it’s exceeded them and has made me very happy.
  4. If you could teleport back to the first ten minutes of your avatar’s slife, what would you tell yourself? • Can I go back to the first ten minutes of registration instead and head myself off before I create my first account? At that point I will be shouting in my ear, “No! No! Give the name more thought! You can’t change it, ever! Pick something you really like!”
  5. How long did it take you to master avatar flying and driving vehicles inworld? • Flying was pretty easy, I got that right away. I still can’t drive any manner of vehicle without looking like I’m drunk. You should’ve seen me trying to steer a bike around Frisland recently. xD
  6. Do you have a mystery alt? • I have several alts, but usually I only log them in if I want to take a pic with more than one av, or to take them shopping to spruce up their wardrobes. Most of them were created to make cute names, to be testing alts, or to see what was going on with the new user process.
  7. Is your SL avatar a reflection of you, or someone you wished you could be? •  Actually just yesterday a friend commented that he thought I’ve done one of the best jobs he’s seen of matching my av’s looks to my human, lol. I feel he’s being pretty generous, but I have spent a lot of time trying to tweak my avatar’s  features to be a reflection of me. Well, at least as much as one can do with sliders. I wish my RL self was as thin and pretty as Ravensong, she’s me, but definitely an idealized twenty years younger version of me. Personality wise she’s entirely me, I’ve never attempted to create a persona and unique avatar identity that is distinct from my RL identity.
    Actually in some ways Ravensong is someone I wish to be, in that as I tweak her shape a bit I’m using her to visualize my fitness goal, as she’s right around what I aspire to reach ultimately, if I can stick to my plan for a year or so.
  8. Is there an individual you met in SL that inspired you in your RL? How? •  Although I’ve never met them, a lot of the SL photographers I see on Flickr are amazing and inspire me creatively in SL and RL. 😀
  9. Do you feel it is easier to create stronger bonds/relationships with people you meet inworld as opposed to the real world? • I don’t think it’s any easier, actually I’ve found that my social anxiety is a little worse in SL than it is in RL. I’ve seen other people make a similar statement and I have no idea why this happens. Maybe it has to do with not being able to make eye contact, and read a person’s body language and hear their voice. Now once that social anxiety hurdle is crossed I think it’s as easy to make good friends in SL or elsewhere online as it is offline, and the closest friendships I have at the moment are with people I met in online communities.
  10. Did you ever imagine or believe people could fall in love with someone they never met before Second Life? • Sure, as Strawberry mentioned, you used to hear about people who fell in love as pen pals long before there was any such thing as the internet. I was never a bit surprised to hear about online romances.
  11. How has your perspective of dating changed (or not) since you started playing second life? •  Not really.
  12. How has your perspective of employment changed (or not) since you started playing second life? •  I don’t think so.
  13. Name three things in both your lives that overlap each other significantly. • I love photography in both worlds. I love to create things in both worlds, albeit with entirely different tools! I keep in touch with some friends in both SL and RL.
  14. If you could live your life more immersively in a virtual world, would you? ( Kind of like the Matrix) • I don’t particularly want to plug something into myself physically because ouch, I’ll just wait for the singularity and download my consciousness lol. Actually what I always wanted was my own personal Star Trek holodeck so I can make my wish fulfillment fantasies come true. Okay, yes I do want to live more immersively, at least sometimes. 😀
  15. How do you think behavior changes for people if they’re inworld vs in real world? Why do you think that is? • If somebody keeps their real life identity a complete secret then they can do whatever they want in world, whether it’s good or bad, because they are totally anonymous and there won’t be real life consequences.
  16. How has second life consumerism changed your perception of spending habits, the value of money, the need to be “bleeding edge” with fashion? • I budget a little fun money for SL each month, though not a lot, and I’m stingy with my Lindens when it comes to buying clothes and stuff. I don’t really care about how bleeding edge fashionable I am, I do like to read fashion blogs and pick up new things, but I also still like to wear my regular system layer clothes sometimes. (Horrors!) I am far more likely to buy clothes in SL, RL me is totally the opposite of fashion forward… I’m content to putter around the world in jeans and tee shirts, and when I do see something cute in a display at the mall the first thing I think sometimes is “I wonder if I can find something like that in SL?”
  17. Do you think virtual worlds like SL drive and redefine human interaction or do they narrow and limit it? • I think they present a fun, new dimension to human interaction.
  18. If technology progressed tomorrow to allow you to send emotions to people the way you’d send text or voice messages, would it enrich your SL experience or infringe on it? •  I think you’d want to limit that to only receiving ‘feelings’ from people on a very restricted friends list. A sensation of loving emotions from your partner would be pretty cool, or sending someone a feeling of joy, or something uplifting. Not sure I’d want to be the recipient of an emotion sent by a friend who was mad at me though. And certainly not from random strangers, imagine an emotion IM from somebody who thinks your avatar is super hot and wants to let you know just how attracted and excited they are about you… *shudder* O.o
  19. Name three skills you attribute to having learned or honed in second life alone. • The only thing would be 3D building, because I never attempted that before SL. But everything else I’ve honed in SL has also been applicable to and practiced on real life hobbies, such as practicing on how to compose a nice photo, or becoming more comfortable with Photoshop.
  20. If your grand kids googled your Second Life Avatar’s name, would they be intrigued, disgusted, proud or something else? •  If I ever had any I suspect they’d be amused.


Nov 192013

I’ve actually been doing a lot of self-reflection lately. Part of it comes from a strong need to write my way through this month and vent every feeling I’ve had  so far as I try to come to grips with losing a spouse. Part of it is a tendency to ask myself these sorts of questions from time to time anyway.

One of the things I’ve thought about is the relationship between myself and my avatars. I’ve only logged Ravensong into SL once since my husband passed, and it was extremely difficult for me to be in world. I hadn’t realized just how closely we had associated ourselves with our avatars, we always joked that they were us as we’d like to be, but I think the identification was much deeper.  Raven is Melony, Natureszen was Jeff, there was never a division where we’d see them as characters and ourselves as the typists controlling them. SL was our shared experience, it was ours in much the same way a favorite restaurant was ours, the park we went to most was ours, and even watching certain TV shows or listening to a particular band was our thing. I’m finding that with all of these activities, even if it is something I’ve enjoyed on my own from time to time, I am having a hard time imagining it will be possible to enjoy it without him. I am so closely tied to Raven that logging her in to explore is almost the same in my mind as considering going to a favorite RL place by myself. It just feels wrong, and lonely. Continue reading »

Feeling Halloweeny

 Chatter, Images, Monday Memes  Comments Off on Feeling Halloweeny
Oct 292013

Halloween is nearly here, so it’s only fitting that Strawberry Singh meme this week is The Halloween Meme! I tried to find something costume-y to wear for the pic, but this year I haven’t really bought any outfits that are Halloween related and I can’t afford to replenish the Linden supply for at least a couple weeks, so no shopping for me. Undaunted, I used the same costume finding method I have in RL: dig in the back of the closet and see what I can put together, and add wings. I think it turned out well considering that everything except the boots and hair is from 2008-2009. Continue reading »