Hair Fair 2014

The 9th annual Hair Fair is coming up in a few weeks and the build-up has already started with a Flickr competition. The theme this year is simply “music” which is a theme very close to my heart. Here is Indra again, with my competition entry.

The Melody Lingers On

Hair: Veronica – Wasabi Pills
Skin: Enigma Tiramisu – Cupcakes
Makeup: Glamorize
Shape: model’s own
Eyes: Deep Sky, Molasses – Mayfly
Dress: Meryl – Purple Moon
Location: Club Noir, of course

For up to date info about the fair itself, there is a blog.


Twenty Questions meme

Strawberry Singh’s meme this week is Twenty Questions.

  1. When and how did you discover Second Life? – in May or June 2006 when I read an article in the BBC website about U2 and Duran Duran playing gigs in SL.  Being a huge U2 fan I had to sign up, but I never did find the U2 gigs, I think I missed them.
  2. Did you know about virtual worlds before or was this your first experience with them? – I knew about World of Warcraft and had played that a bit, but only occasionally and casually. I don’t play games much except for the casual sort like Bejewelled.
  3. Has Second Life met your expectations? – Exceeded them and more.
  4. If you could teleport back to the first ten minutes of your avatar’s slife, what would you tell yourself? – Keep that first avatar, go premium and keep that L$500 a week stipend. For ever.
  5. How long did it take you to master avatar flying and driving vehicles inworld? – Flying was pretty easy but driving vehicles still sucks because of sim crossings. It’s better now than it was in 2006 though.
  6. Do you have a mystery alt? – I have a few alts. Madison knows who they are and I think my daughter knows most of them too. I don’t keep them secret but at the same time, I don’t friend everyone with my alts either. It’s nice to have some quiet time sometimes.
  7. Is your SL avatar a reflection of you, or someone you wished you could be? – If you’ve watched The Matrix you’ll have heard Morpheus speak of “Residual Self Image”.  That’s what my main avatar is to me. He doesn’t look entirely how I look in RL; I would kill for naturally ginger hair and a ginger beard.  But sometimes when I dream, even before I heard of Second Life, that’s how I looked in my dreams.
  8. Is there an individual you met in SL that inspired you in your RL? How? – There is one person I met early on in SL who gave me the confidence to come out to my partner and family as transgendered. Without that person’s support and encouragement I might never have started transition. I might not even be alive today.
  9. Do you feel it is easier to create stronger bonds/relationships with people you meet inworld as opposed to the real world? – Easier and harder, both. It’s easier to meet people and make that initial contact in SL. It’s harder to maintain though, because SL is so limited.
  10. Did you ever imagine or believe people could fall in love with someone they never met before Second Life? – Yes of course. It was happening online and offline long before Second Life existed.
  11. How has your perspective of dating changed (or not) since you started playing second life? – It hasn’t, really. I am in a long term relationship in RL and I haven’t dated in the real world for a long time.
  12. How has your perspective of employment changed (or not) since you started playing second life? – A few years ago I though it was amazing that people could make a real living by making things for SL. I am sad that the bar has been raised out of the reach of most people now, and it’s no longer possible for the majority of SL users.
  13. Name three things in both your lives that overlap each other significantly. – Love of art, love of music, love of Madison.
  14. If you could live your life more immersively in a virtual world, would you? (Kind of like the Matrix) – Not if it involved putting my real body in some kind of suspended animation or something like that. That seems dangerous.  But if I could simply move into the virtual world as if it was real, more like how it was in Tron, I’d do that.
  15. How do you think behavior changes for people if they’re inworld vs in real world? Why do you think that is? – Anonymity gives people the freedom to do what they dare not do in the real world. For some, that might be to chase a dream that would be impossible in the real world. For others it’s sexual freedom and exploration, being a prostitute or exploring kinks.  For others it’s being rude and aggressive, trolling, griefing.  The virtual world is the opportunity but it’s their own personalities that choose what they do with it.
  16. How has second life consumerism changed your perception of spending habits, the value of money, the need to be “bleeding edge” with fashion? – Second Life has actually got me more conscious of how I present myself fashion-wise in the real world. I will sometimes buy something in the real world that my avatar would wear and look good in. I don’t need to be “bleeding-edge” in either world, but I like to dress well, within my own particular style.
  17. Do you think virtual worlds like SL drive and redefine human interaction or do they narrow and limit it? – At the moment I think it’s trying to redefine them but I don’t think it’s quite got there yet.  In all honesty I think the main thing driving and changing human interaction these days is Facebook.   It will take some big changes for any virtual world to become that influential.
  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 I would find it rather frightening. The last thing I want is to have other people throwing all of their emotions at me.
  19. Name three skills you attribute to having learned or honed in second life alone. – There’s only photoshop really. I used it before but I’ve become much better at it.  I can’t think of anything else.
  20. If your grand kids googled your Second Life Avatar’s name, would they be intrigued, disgusted, proud or something else? – I think they’d be intrigued and amused, but by then, there’s probably something much better than SL and they’ll think it all terribly quaint and old-fashioned.

Strawberry Singh’s Friends List Meme

This week’s meme from Strawberry Singh is all about the friends list. She suggested grab a friend and ask each other the questions but I am currently in the middle of reinstalling everything to a new hard drive and I have to keep closing everything down to do yet another batch of tedious Windows updates, so I’m not inworld right now. So I’m asking the questions just to myself.

  1. What is the number of contacts on your Second Life Friends List? (visible in firestorm viewer or your web profile)  93.  Not many, really. 7 of those are my alts.
  2. Are you picky about who you add to your list or do you usually add most people? I’m picky and I tend not to add people that I don’t already know from somewhere.
  3. Who is your oldest contact? (check your calling cards) I don’t keep my calling cards but I think my oldest is Suzanne Pascale, who befriended me in my first week or so. Another really old one is Mabb Dilweg who passed away last year. I don’t have the heart to delete her and I probably never will. I am pretty sure those two are my oldest.
  4. Who is your newest contact? (check your calling cards) A guy called Drop, who I added last week.
  5. Do you know every single person on your list? I know who they are and where I know them from.
  6. How many do you speak to on a daily (weekly) basis? Daily, one. Weekly, maybe up to about 8
  7. How many do you see/get together with in-world on a daily (weekly) basis? Again, daily, only one and that’s Madison.  A lot of the people I get together with on a weekly basis are friends from Club Noir.
  8. Who on your list do you have the closest relationship with? Madison of course. Second-closest is Aphrodite Atlas, my wonderful landlady.
  9. Who do you wish you knew better? Quite a few actually, especially old friends from SLU.
  10. Who on your list is the funniest/most entertaining?  Matty, if I ever saw him online these days, which I hardly ever do.
  11. How did you meet most of the people on your list? (work, parties, etc…) I have two main “chunks” of friends; SLU people and people who come to Club Noir. A handful of other vintage fans from Swing Times, a few from mentoring, a few from the transgender groups.
  12. Do you ever clean out your list? Yes. I delete people when I’ve forgotten who they are.  I sometimes befriend newbies when I’m mentoring, and I usually delete them a couple of weeks later if they haven’t spoken to me since.
  13. Do you have a crush on someone in your list? Yes. Oh, you mean as well as Madison?… Yes…
  14. Is there anyone on your list that you would trust with your password? Only one.
Friends - me, Madison and Amethyst

Friends – me, Madison and Amethyst



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.


A Picture in Purple

This is another post for Strawberry Sing’s Colours meme, only this time it’s my partner Madison modelling and her favourite colour is of course, purple.  We headed over to Siyu Suen’s lovely sim Carnivale, but if you’re going to visit you’ll need to be quick as it’s going away in a couple of weeks. (Don’t worry, Illusions isn’t going out of business, just relocating to a smaller place).

Madison is wearing:

Dress: Lilac Wine from Icing
Shoes: Judy from Ingenue
Hair: Gloria from Amacci
Jewelry: Krystal from Behira



Last week I took some more pics at Carnivale: here are just a few. You can see the rest on my Flickr stream.






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

The Grid is Not Enough

Strawberry Singh has been running a movie poster blog challenge and I thought I would have a go.  I just had to be James Bond of course.  I had a hell of a lot of fun making this and it’s taught me more about using GIMP than anything I’ve done previously.

Re-do of a James Bond movie poster with SL avatars

Lewis is wearing:
Hair by Truth (Nathan)
Skin by Le Lutka (Caleb)
Beard by Discord Designs (Vlad)
Gun by Okari (Desert Eagle)

Bailey 1 is wearing:
Vest by Project Puppet
Pants by Immerschoen
Hair by Amacci (Shauna)
Skin by Coca & Wolf (Boxing)

Bailey 2 is wearing:
Dress by Soul!
Hair by Damselfly (Dove)
Skin by Tuty’s (Nadia)