The Horse Is Good

Some of these are old pics, but I wanted to share:














As I’m a writer, I’ve lurked on and off in the “Virtual Writers Inc” inworld group on and off for a while.  They run a twice-daily challenge at 6am and 6pm called “Writers Dash” which involves writing for 15 minutes (and no longer) on the word-prompt provided.  This week’s prompts can be found here.  I am rarely (never, it seems) online at the right time but no-one said I can’t do the challenge at some other time.  And it might be a fun thing to post the results here, now and again, especially if they’re SL-related.

So here’s this morning’s prompt; Bumfuzzled featuring yours truly, and Casteylan who is an alt (and an account that actually pre-dates my main one).

“Bumfuzzled? What the hell kind of a word is that?” I asked, looking at Casteylan incredulously.

He gave me a sheepish kind of lopsided grin and shrugged.  “Actually I don’t know, I just heard someone use it while I was hanging round at some Zindra infohub and I liked it. Like gobsmacked. I like that one too. You know me and words.”

I lay back on the cushions in his hollow tree-house somewhere in the middle of Elderglen, drained the wine from my cup; Cas reached over and filled it again.  He certainly did have a love of words and languages; he was fluent in half a dozen, knew a few phrases in twenty more and he collected unusual words like other people collect stamps.

“But you’re an elf,” I pointed out. “You’re supposed to be all regal and refined. You’re not supposed to use words like gobsmacked and bumfuzzled.  Besides, your bum doesn’t have any fuzz on it.”

“Yours does.”

“Thank you for pointing that out.” I stretched a leg across the cushoins and gave him a kick. “Remind me why I’m your friend again, I forgot.”

“Because you love me, Ginger. You know that.”

I opened my mouth to utter another witty put-down but I stopped. He was right. We’ve been best friends for seventeen years and I love him like I’d love a twin.  I know him almost as well as I know myself.

But sometimes, you know, he just completely bumfuzzles me.


There’s a story behind Casteylan.  He started off as a role-playing character and a character in some of my early stories, as far back as 1986.  I have his entire life-story (all 800-odd years of it) mapped out in my head, though I’ve never successfully managed to turn it into a full-length novel despite several attempts. Over the years, Cas  developed into a separate personality sharing my head. This has happened since with other characters I’ve written but never so strongly or so persistently.

When I joined SL with my original first account in 2006 the avatar was based very heavily on Casteylan but I lost interest with that one and didn’t come back until a year later when the perfect last name “Hawker” appeared on the list, so Cas got an account of his own. (his name Casteylan means Red Hawk in his native language).  I don’t log him in in very often these days but I notice when I do that he is distinctly separate from me. We have similarities and we are essentially the same person but he is also separate from me and has his own “voice”. Logging in with him is most definitely not the same as logging in with my main avatar.  I have made other alts since then, but none of them really have such a strong internal presence as Cas does.



Colours Meme

Strawberry Singh’s meme this week is a simple one. Just wear your favourite colours.  Now, being a redhead, naturally my favourite colour is green. But I’m no model and my inventory is pretty dull when it comes to clothes. After all, one green t-shirt looks much the same as any other. So I decided to let my alt, the lovely Indra, model for this one.

Indra - Green Sari

She’s wearing this gorgeous sari from Zaara in rich emerald trimmed with gold, which happens to be Indra’s favourite colour. At least, that’s the colour she looks best in.  This is one of six colours; all of them deep jewel or earth tones.  I think saris are very sexy – must be something about that exposed tummy.

Indra - Green Sari

The location you can see in the background there is Shektawari, an opulent and highly decorative sim in the Indian style, where she had an encounter with a painted elephant which appears to have gotten itself lost on the wrong continent…

"You do realise you're an African elephant, don't you?"

“You do realise you’re an African elephant, don’t you?”

Did you know you can tell African elephants from Indian ones by looking at their ears and comparing them with a map? An Indian elephant’s ears are the same shape as India, and an African elephant’s ears are the same shape as Africa.

Indra is wearing:

Sari – Zaara – Menaka Sari Deep Green

Skin – Cupcakes – Enigma Tiramisu

Hair – Wasabi Pills – Veronica Nightshade

Jewelry – Eclectica Elizabeth Emerald (necklace & earrings)

Jewelry – Yak & Yeti – Wax Bangles Green

Eyes – Mayfly – Deep Sky Molasses

Shape – model’s own

My “RL” alt

You may remember a few years ago I made an alt to resemble how I looked in real life?  Well, times have changed and I’ve changed, so I’ve been working on him and upgrading his look.

Now that I look more masculine in RL, I have found it much easier to get a male skin that looks right (though finding one that lacked washboard abs and didn’t look like a twink was hard). I eventually found one at Egoisme.

New look

New look

I only wear clothes with this avatar that I own in real life too.  This is a mesh jeans and shirt combo from Hoorenbeek.

Face fuzz

Face fuzz

Just the right amount of facial hair, in exactly the right place. This is part of a tintable set from SAAL.

Surgery scars

Surgery scars

I even made an attempt at surgery scars but they look more like I’ve been drawing on myself with a sharpie.

Finally (and no pic for this cos it’s way NSFW) Janzoe do a set of “herm” genitals that totally look like what a pre-op FTM has.  They’re old and I’d love to see an updated, better-textured version (or a mod version that I can retexture myself), but to exist at all in SL is pretty remarkable really.

Finally here’s a recent pic of me in RL for comparison. Sorry it’s so small, I had to crop it from a family shot.

RL me - Sept 2013

RL me – Sept 2013

Furry! No, feathery!

Back in 2006, Casidy was a part time furry. Specifically, a gryphon.  I forget where the avatar was from but I put it on today and it looked so dated.  So I trawled the marketplace and found a new one by Black Feather Designs, and gave him an upgrade.

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Here’s the 2006 version

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And here’s the upgrade. Much better.  I might keep him like this.

Madison asked me why he’s wearing pants. That’s because he’s a civillised gryphon.

Blast from the Past

My first avatar was born on 20 June 2006 in Nova Albion Infohub.  I used it on and off for a few months but I got bored and forgot about it, finally coming back in late 2007 with a mainly roleplay alt, and finally in August 2008 with the avatar that became my main one.  Over the years my original avatar languished, a forgotten victim of the Grand Password reset of 2009. I was pretty sure I’d lost the email address and I apparently couldn’t remember the password, and an attempt a couple of years ago to recover the account through Support failed because I couldn’t remember the name of some random friend.

A few days ago I decided to try again and this time I actually answered the security questions and I got the account back. (The kicker is, the email address on file was one I still had).

The first thing I did was take some pics, because, oh my god, this guy seriously needed a makeover.

Meet Casidy Craig…


See those shoes? Those are system shoes. There were actually no prim shoes in his inventory at all.

Here’s a family shot with me and Madison.  He badly needs an AO too.


A few days and a few L$ later, he’s looking much better:


The skin is Nomine, which is due to close at the end of the month. Some skins on the marketplace are reduced to L$100 each and this is one of them; Nephilim in Apricot, with a tintable facial hair add-on, also from Nomine.  Who says elves don’t have beards? This one does, apparently.  The hair is Wasabi Pills (Orion, Gingerbread) and the shape is my own. I scrapped Casidy’s original shape because it was so awful, and made a new one based loosely on Lewis’s shape. You wouldn’t know but the face is exactly the same, only the body shape has changed.

So I took a trip down Memory Lane to Nova Albion. I don’t have a pic from Casidy’s early days here, but I mocked one up, and another one to compare, as he is now.


And I couldn’t resist a scenic shot of the old place. It’s empty now, but it hasn’t really changed much since 2006.


I’ve made Casidy a premium member, that’s a no-brainer since he’s grandfathered into the L$500-a-week stipend. That will help with my rent for Club Noir, if he doesn’t spend it all on new clothes.

Finally in case you’re wondering why his name is missing an “s” in Cassidy – when I first made this avatar, no matter what surname I picked from the list (remember those?) it would tell me that “Cassidy” wasn’t available. Eventually I gave up and settled for an alternative spelling, it still shortens to “Cas” and that’s good enough for me. It was only later, when I realised there was no-one in SL at all with a first name of Cassidy, I figured out that the profanity filters must have been working overtime on Cassidy’s ass.

King of the Faeries

On Saturday 22 June, Swing Times is having a “Midsummer Night’s Dream” themed event.  I have decided to go as Oberon, so I spent some time today putting together a costume.




Outfit: Bare Rose, Elf Type 2, L$180

Wings: Material Squirrel, Tattered Wings – Wasabi Envy, L$99

Antlers: Warbug, Oak Tree Antlers, L$10 (Marketplace)

Headpiece: Chaotic Neutral, Beltane Crown, L$20 (Marketplace)

Hair: Amacci, Anthony – Natural Copper

Skin: Le Lutka, Caleb Ginger

Location: Wonder Oaks

Water Horse Mesh avatar

I have had the original Water Horse avatar for quite a long time and I was very excited about the release in April 2013 of the new mesh version.  As with all other mesh items, you need a mesh-enabled viewer but most viewers are now. If you’re using the newer verions of the official viewer, or Firestorm, then you’re good to go. Users of old style viewers can try Cool Viewer or Singularity. Phoenix is not mesh-enabled and will never be.

Technical details aside, this is a beautiful avatar. It’s hard to top the original but Tyrian Slade has done so, and impressively.  The basic avatar is almost infinitely customiseable straight out of the box, and for even more options there are add-ons that can be purchased both in the main store and from third party suppliers.  The standard avatar comes in three body styles; refined, sporty and stocky. Each one has four basic body colours plus options for leg, body and face markings and other options. Just about everything is infinitely customiseable for colour, glow, shininess and even transparency, so it’s possible to make both natural and un-natural colours.

Here are some of the stock defaults, plus a few of my own.

whmesh_002 whmesh_003 whmesh_004 whmesh_005 whmesh_006 whmesh_007 whmesh_008 whmesh_009 whmesh_001

A Draft Horse mesh avatar is available separately. Avatar can be purchased from Water Horse