Needful Things

No this isn’t another blog post about how I need more prims.  Well, ok, maybe a little bit LOL

One of the stores in the Zombie Popcorn Hunt I mentioned in the previous post is called Needful Things.  A clever name for a store really and it reminded me of the book of the same name that I read some time ago.  Though the store is super cute with some really fun things that I do in fact need to have, I was inspired to take a photo of it that was a bit darker, something that captured the vibe of the Stephen King book.

I’m experimenting with shadows and Depth of Field so this seemed like a good opportunity.  Depth of field can be a subtle effect and I’m still learning about the different sliders so  you might not be able to really see it here.  Basically the focus is on the  jackolatern pumpkin head dude and not on the foreground, so the balloons are slightly out of focus.  

See it now?  How about now?  LOL  Like I said, it’s subtle, and I’m still learning so there is some room for improvement.

In any case, semifailed photography experiment aside, I was thrilled when I discovered Needful Things.  I did know that when I saw the dozen or so group gifts I needed them.  It only cost $70L to join the group and the gifts more than made up for it.  Yes, I did need a lip piercing shaped like a garden watering can.  The Slushie Slurpie?  Why yes, I needed that too!  It’s strange now that my avatar isn’t a roleplay character I don’t know her style, what she looks like, she’s sort of a blank canvas to me.  I can read blog posts or see things in stores and immediately think “Oh that’s perfect for Linx” or sometimes “I have to get that, it’s totally Sorpa” but now that I’m just me?  That I can be anything?  I have no clue! 

I have gravitated to paler skins and more often than not am wearing neko ears and a tail, but my look totally changes every day, right down to shape.  I don’t think it’s a bad thing, sometimes we get stuck in a rut of how we see our avatar or character and don’t explore a fraction of the possibilities out there so I’m enjoying recreating her every day.

It does make it tricky to shop though.  Ask me where to get a camisk and I’ll be full of ideas.  Medieval  Fantasy gowns?  No problem, I got you covered.  Now though?  Where there is no limitation to what I wear or where I shop?  Dammed if I know where to start.  The fashion feeds help a bit, I do occasionally see something and go look at the store and it feels like “me” though I couldn’t possibly tell you what that criteria is. 

A good example is Miel.  Love, love, love Miel.  I’m actually glad that I’m not roleplaying as often anymore because it gives me ample opportunity to wear things from there now.   Miel is getting in the Halloween season spirit as well and the subscribomatic gift if this adorable pumpkin outfit and hat.  I think it went well with the zombie popcorn hunt prize I got at Needful Things which is a tattoo that says “Beware of me.  I’m very scary”.   I took a bunch of pictures but this one turned out sort of strange. Again me playing with shadows and this one could be called a mistake but … I like something about it.

 

I know right?  Despite the sort of darker pictures I’ve been showing of my avatar in previous posts I don’t actually look like a psycho zombie day to day.  For some reason I’m gravitating towards cutesy/dorky.  I think I’m just slutted out to be honest and enjoying discovering my inner geekette.

So as I tour around SL trying out some of the corn mazes before the season wraps up, looking like a pumpkin, my thoughts turn back to Needful Things, the phrase anyway.  What are the things we need in SL?  Are there any really?  Or are they just wants?  I do think there are certain things I need in an RP sim or genre, probably certain things I need in order to consider someone a friend, definitely things I need in a partner.  I suppose one needs animations for their AO, personally I need hair LOL though some go bald quite well.  Almost daily I say I need more prims, but I do realize that’s a want, no one is forcing me to house and breed my flutters.

Speaking of… I went to another Papillion Auction at The Borough on Saturday.  Someone remind me next time to take a chaperone.  I was bad, very very bad.  Twice there were lots up for bid that were within my budget, both times I bid, only to lose to this guy, the same guy who outbid me each time at previous auctions I’ve gone to.  I’m sure he’s a delightful man, but man alive… grrrr.  Anyway, half way through the auction this amazing pair comes up.  They have incredible genetics, and something about them I just NEED to have.  So as the bid starts $900, $1000, $1100…. Eeeee it’s THAT GUY bidding again!  I felt like I was in an episode of Storage Wars.  Does anyone else watch that?

Long story short, the pair now live in my skybox with me.

Did I need them?  Um… well, let’s just say they were worth it.  Sooo, sooo very worth it.  In ways that don’t need to be discussed here and probably are only funny in my own imagination, but I know and that’s more than enough.

Needful Things  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sezuan%20Moloko/189/162/22

Miel  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/miel/116/127/26

Zombies

When I started this project and asked for ideas of things to do in SL, the suggestion of doing hunts was brought up.  I have done various SL hunts before, off and on, it’s a great way to supplement one’s inventory if you are on a budget, but I never seriously considered it in any other light.

Depending on the hunt, it can sometimes be quite a time commitment to go to over a hundred stores, find the item, unpack it, sort it, but if you think of the hunt as an activity, something to do in SL, that becomes half the fun.  It’s not really about the gifts, though some of them are great, it’s more about the experience, discovering new places and if you join the groups you can meet all sorts of other hunters who do this as an almost full time hobby in SL.  Quite a lively bunch some of them are.

There is always a hunt of some sort going on in SL and I found the best way to keep track of them was  through the SL Freebie Hunters site.  http://slfreebiehunters.blogspot.com/  They do a good portion of the hunts and then show the items available.  There have been times where I just went to pick up one or two items from the stores I usually shop at, but taking the time to do the whole list you can discover hidden gems you’ve never been to before.

This time around I decided to do the Zombie Popcorn Hunt that you can read about here http://zombiepopcornsl.com/zombiepopcorn-hunt/zombiepopcorn-hunt-5/

I really got a kick out of trying on all the items I found, and certainly wished I had more prims to use some of the great props and household items I picked up.  The look I came up with, combine with the upcoming Halloween season inspired me to try my hand once again at a photoshoot.

 

After visiting a handful of Halloween or horror sims and taking pictures, I realized I felt I was being a bit too literal with it.  I imagined taking my zombie girl and placing her somewhere out of context would make for more interesting pictures.  This being my feeble attempt at “art”.

The first name that comes to mind for my when I think of SL Art, or sims in which to photograph SL Art, is Bryn Oh.  If you aren’t familiar with her work, have a look at her website. http://brynoh.blogspot.com/

So I took my zombie character and brought her to Immersiva http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Immersiva/28/126/21

The starkness and surreal nature of the build really inspired me.  I must have filled my desktop with various photographs and I could have gone on for hours more.  I stopped to see what I had and this one jumped out at me right away.

 

I think I will call it `The Elephant in the Room`

Overall I have to say doing this hunt, especially with a new purpose of not only getting free stuff, but of exploring and socializing, was a lot of fun.  I think I will plan to incorporate maybe one hunt a month into my SL time.   The spin off effect of it inspiring me to do a photoshoot again was a bonus, but I am glad it did.  I am really liking this idea of exploring my creative side.   If you are looking for things to do, try your hand at a hunt, and definitely visit Immersiva, even if you’ve been there before.  If I’m reading Bryn’s blog correctly, the build that is there now won’t be for long.

Three More Months

It’s been a busy few weeks for me in SL, though none of it seemed blog worthy at the time.  I suppose it’s my blog with only a handful of people I know checking in to read periodically, but I guess nothing really inspired me enough on it’s own to write about.  That’s probably a better way to put it.

I decided to renew my premium membership for three more months.  I know, LL is evil, blah blah, I can get a better deal renting private blah blah.  I actually didn’t have a premium account for the vast majority of my time in SL but I decided to go this route during the summer when I needed somewhere to live.  I had always lived and paid rent in RP sims, or to friends, or with my partner, I never really had a place of my own.  When I was looking, I found most were outside of my budget so I got a premium account, which allowed me to buy a little plot of mainland for almost nothing and I pay no tier on it.  I also get a weekly stipend.  It isn’t much, but it does the trick most of the time.  When I calculated it all out for myself, buying a three month membership gave me somewhere to live for free and a bit of spending money, if I used the same amount of RL money to buy $L I’d have to use it on rent which wouldn’t get me very far and I’d still probably have to buy additional for spending money.  So it works for me.

Shopping for a mainland plot was also quite the experience.  I’ll have to write about that one day when I go on another mainland tour.  There are downsides though, my little mainland plot only has 117 prims, definitely a disadvantage with my Papillon butterfly habit.  I currently have 5 breeding pairs on my plot, plus a few accessories for them like food, which leaves me… basically an empty sky box LOL.  I could give them up, but for right now I’m still enjoying them and I don’t really have anyone over to my place anyway so it isn’t a big deal. 

The butterflies have given me about 40 cocoons now.  I’m shocked how quickly it’s added up.  Most of the cocoons are stored in my inventory as I don’t have the prims to rez them into butterflies.  Each pair will give me 12 babies before they can’t breed anymore, then I pick the best two of those babies to rez and mate.  Sounds kinky, I know.  However, in the breedables game mutations are what’s valuable and the best chance of getting mutations is to breed siblings.  I did get two babies that each had a double mutation, I was tempted to try to sell them at auction just to see how it would go, but in the end I decided to keep them and breed them to each other.  Here’s hoping they give me something amazing.

 When I’m not calculating prims or trying to figure out butterfly genetics, I’m often dancing at Organica.  You’ll remember I said I met some Happy Clams at Burn2?  Well their home sim is Organica and they regularly have DJ’s there.  I’ve become somewhat addicted to the Goa psytrance music that they play.  I suppose I was aware of it before, but that “click” moment I had when listening to it at Burn has me hooked and I’m often popping in on them to get another fix.  It’s funny because I don’t chat too much when I’m there, although everyone is really friendly, but I do find just watching my avie dance and listening to the music a really relaxing and enjoyable past time.  I’ve told them I’m worried my renoobed project and my SL bucket list will suffer greatly, as I never want to leave when I’m there.  Apparently I’m not the only one, a few people I’ve met now have stories of stumbling onto Organica and never leaving.

 I’ve also been dipping my toe back into roleplay, as I noted with the log I posted below.  It’s a hesitant thing, because I have this feeling that if goes badly I’ll be done with roleplay for good, but so far I’m pleasantly surprised.  I find it so strange now that I’m not roleplaying full time, how many people want to roleplay with me.  Not just scenes either, offering full stories, my choice of sim.  I just want to smack them and scream “Where were you before I left!?”  Quite a few people are playing in Game of Thrones sim, which has some appeal to me as I loved the books, but the RP could ruin the genre for me.  It’s also the kind of roleplay that takes a pretty intensive and regular availability, big plots require a level of commitment I just don’t have right now.  Some of my favourite writers in SL are in Ascension now, a vampire type of roleplay sim.  That’s tempting too, I’ve never played in a vampire sim, but something keeps holding me back.  Myself.  I can’t think of a character I’d like to play.  Perhaps one day.

So I’ve just dusted off my gorean character and popped into the sim her storyline moved to while I was on my break.  It’s a light role, one I can do easily on a part time basis, with no pressure.  I somehow fell into an intriguing storyline, the depths of which I haven’t experienced in a very long time but it’s also making me nervous.  I’m jinxed you see.  As soon as I start looking forward to things, the rug gets ripped out from under me.  The writing is fabulous, the story intense, but I don’t know the player at all.  I think that’s what’s keeping me on the edge of my toes, at the same time that voice is warning me that he could vanish any day and the story could stop cold in it’s tracks, so not to get too comfortable in this.  For now though, I’m pretty grateful and just rolling with it.  When we run into each other, it flow like magic, when or if we don’t, that’s cool too.

I’ve also had a few well loved friends pop in to write with me.  You can’t beat that.  Whether it’s picking up and continuing stories that I’ve always enjoyed, or meeting players I like and seeing what happens, it’s working well for me to flex the old writing fingers a few days a week.

It’s a good balance, between the butterflies, Organica, roleplay and some exploring I’m doing I can’t get burned out on any one thing.  Nor do I find myself logging in and uncertain what I’d like to do, the opposite in fact, I often have too much to chose from.  

I’ve also been doing some hunts, but I’m saving that for my next post.

So where was I?  Oh yes!  I renewed my SL premium account for three more months.  I think that’s a pretty good sign that I’m starting to find reasons to continue doing this and this time, I’m actually pretty content where I am in the present and excited about where I might find myself next.

Linx Arrives in Tarnwald and Meets Dust

After six weeks out of roleplay, I decided to pop onto my Gorean character and have a look at the new sim where she lives now.  I wasn’t sure if I was ready to go back to RP full time, I’m still not, but I was pleasantly surprised to be drawn into a story right away with an incredible roleplayer.  What better way to knock the “dust” off the old fingers?   It’s an usual post for this blog I suppose, to share my RP logs, but why not?

Intro – Linx finds herself alone on the docks, away from the bustle of the tavern, enjoying a rare solitary moment under the nights sky of her new home.

Linx shifts her weight from foot to foot, swaying slowly as her head tilts to one side. A slow smile curls up the corner of her mouth as if she her mind is lost in some secret memory. She raises her arms and gathers her hair up, holding it at the top of her head and letting the cool breeze brush against the back of her neck. She’s glancing up at the moons now, and her sway becomes a bit more pronounced, as if she’s near dancing by herself.

Dust watches her curiously as she gazes up toward the moons and begins to sway..there was something familiar in the way she did this.. and he had to smile as he understood what it was.. his own head tilted as his eyes took in the woman who had in his own thought..been free once.. free, and dangerous. He had to wonder how she felt about her new life..even if he didn’t care in the end what she felt, he did wonder what she thought.. he lowered his hand to his lap and took his own deep breath as he appreciated her movements..believing herself to be unseen.

Dust: he cleared his throat then so he could speak..and uttered to her in his ruined voice..”do you miss them”.

Linx lowered her hands and let her hair fall against her shoulders and cheeks. Her eyes were partially closed, lashes fluttering as her hands began to move down her body. Slowly, painfully slow she pressed them over her breasts forcing them down as her hips continued the sway. The hot flush rose on her cheeks and then she heard the voice. She froze, a shudder running through her body as she tried to compose herself before turning, but there was still a near feral look in her eyes “Miss who?”

Dust: his head tilted slowly to the other side as he regarded her..how she stood there..caught off guard as she was..he saw the women under the one she presented..and had to offer a rare if small curl to his lips..what some would call a smile.. he spoke to her again answering her.. low toned..yet not missing a beat.. “the others of your band.. the ones you hunted with.. do you… miss them”.. that hoarse whisper of a voice not lacking curiosity.

Linx flinched as she noticed his smile, realized how much he had seen and the significance of his words. She shook her head, then lowered it, rising to look at him again only when she felt she had properly hidden it all but her smile seemed forced. “I never did formally join a band. I couldn’t risk it. There were a few that I had tentative alliances with but I was primarily a loner” she shrugged “I don’t miss them, no” answering but not completely answering, a habit she was good at.

Dust: he understood her reluctance to tell him the whole truth of it.. he had no idea what part of what she said was untrue..but he could tell she kept something close to her sleeve.. this would upset some men, but he understood survival all to well..and what it took to to just that.. someplace inside he almost admired her for having the guts to do so.. but that was an unconsious thought.. for now he would simply accept her answer and leave it be, why should he even care.. but he could not leave the whole conversation go..he was too curious now..and somewhat intrigued.. “then what is it you miss girl.. if not them.. is it the moons..the trees.. “..he coughs as his voice runs out..and then continues..”or is it the hunt you miss.. that..I could not blame you for..”

Linx studies him and begins to pace, lifting a hand to take a single curl and wrap if around her finger over and over again as she tried to read his intentions. Her eyes were narrowed, cautious, and in that moment although he was seated and she was pacing it was clear who was stalking who. Her chest rose and fell as her breath quickened and she swallowed hard to push down the panic. Few, very few, ever questioned her, ever took a moment to see beyond her coin box and it had been so long she had forgotten how to side step the questions or perhaps no longer wanted to. “The hunt, yes. The feel of my bow on my back, my dagger… here” and with that she ran her fingers along her thigh, over her an old and long healed brand. Shaking her head again to clear those thoughts she flashed him her best most practiced smile, placing her hand on hip and waving a hand dismissively “But what important are the musings of slave girls. Can I get you a drink Master?”

Dust: he nods to her and lowers one of his hands..waving it idly toward the opening of the den.. his voice still low.. although to be truthful it would never bellow again despite any effort..if he had such intention.. “a bottle of paga.. ” he answered simply..not nearly over with his talk with her.. but allowing for her to collect herself some..and fetch his drink.

Linx nodded and gave him one last glance over her shoulder, an unspoken, an unspeakable look of gratitude as she went inside to get his paga.

Linx stopped in front of the counter and placing both hands on it she bent over and hung her head, breathing deeply through her nose and exhaling slowly past pursed lips. “Don’t do this” she chastised herself and then stood and straightened her back reaching for a bottle almost angrily.

Linx took a moment to adjust her camisk, tugging it this way and that not to cover herself but to show more cleavage and a little extra of her rounded thigh. She reached for a bowl and walked out of the tavern.

Linx stood before him with a wicked grin, cocking her hip she held her arms out, the bottle in one hand the bowl in the other “Shall I open it and pour for you Master? Or do you prefer to do it yourself?” If he didn’t know better, if he hadn’t seen her earlier, nothing about her might seem beyond the ordinary average tavern girl.

Dust: could faintly hear her as she rummaged for something..and noticed as she walked back out that she was bringing him a bowl as well.. he reached for it without saying a word and took it in his hand as if plucking a flower..and tossed it back into the den unceremoniously.. he then plucked the bottle from her fingers and motioned her to to floor near him.. he spoke then.. “what you will do is keep me some company while I drink.. “.. and moved his hand to open the bottle

Linx followed the bowl with her eyes and watched it hit the floor inside. She chuckled and made no move to retrieve it or clean up. She inclined her head politely as he made his request, as if the exchange between them was somehow formal and she had the option of granting his request by choice. With one hand on the crate for balance she lowered and knelt, leaning back on her heels to make herself comfortable before looking up at him. “I can’t sing and I’m terrible at jokes Master. I usually provide company naked and on my back. Did you have something else in mind?” she winked at him saucily, hoping that their earlier conversation was behind them.

Dust: his eyes followed her through her charade without emotion as he took a drink from the bottle.. he did once more openly appraise her body, as would any man presented with such in his view.. as he lowered the bottle from his mouth he regarded her for a moment longer and then reached into his coin pouch.. he pulled out 4 copper bits..and motioned her closer to him saying “I don’t need songs,,or jokes.. or a dance… ”

Linx placed her hands on the wooden planks and leaned forward, giving him a full view down her camisk at her cleavage, and bringing her coin box closer to him. She glanced up at him with a raw openness that she rarely allowed herself “Then what is it you need Master?” the question was loaded, but it wasn’t part of her act. The mood that had compelled her to dance on the docks earlier still had her in it’s grip.

Dust: he dropped the coins into the box one by one..allowing each to come to full rest before dropping the next.. as he did this he leaned closer himself and looked her unabashedly in her eyes.. his voice was ruined and not pretty, but it was also not threatening.. he had no use or need to act in such ways anymore..the days of youth and unsurety long since passed..”we will talk.. this is what I wish.. you are not like others.. you interest me.. and I would talk with you. “.. as he finished speaking..he lifted the bottle again and took a drink..and then offered it to her.. it was not a request..and he made that clear as he pressed the bottle slightly against her cleavage..”drink”..

Linx reached down to take the bottle from his hand and lifting to him as a toast she brought it to her lips and took a long swallow. She had little reaction to it, no grimace, just wiped her lips with the back of her hand as if she’d done this a million times. She held the bottle for a time and rocked back on her heels as she pondered. “I am not like others, no, but this was not something you were meant to see. The collar entitles any free to treat me however they wish, use my body as they wish, kill me if they wish, but my mind and my heart are my own. If those are what you want access to, they don’t come at the price of a coin in a box” She glanced up, aware that her words were inappropriate, but there were some things her slavery couldn’t change about her. “I will talk to you as a woman, to a man. Not a slave, to a Master”

Dust leans back in the the chair and watches her take a decent pull from the bottle..his brow lifted in approval.. he moves to rest one of his arms against the armrest of the chair ..and places the hand against his face..index finger splayed and tapping at his cheek.. he listens to her words and nods slowly.. “very well then.. so tell me…woman..what is your name so I know who I speak with..” he asks this knowing she had already told him her given name..and was curious to know if she had another.. he coughs slightly to gain his voice again and continues.. “and tell me, why would you think I wish to take your mind..or your heart..or anything from you for that matter”… his eyes never leaving her as he speaks..

Linx widened her eyes and looked at him in complete shock.  She really had expected a different reaction, one that would have ended the conversation right there and had her nursing an ugly welt if not more.  “ugh…” lost for words was something she rarely was so she took another long pull off the bottle and then held up her arm to him to give it back “My name is really Linx.  I called myself that when I first ran to the forest.  Victor, my owner, he took it from me and gave it back as my slave name”   she tried to cover how much that shook her up “I figure that’s what you want because men come in three categories.  Those who don’t notice me, those that want inside my body, and those that want inside my head.”

Dust: he half shrugged but not in indifference…it was simply a movement one has when disregarding part of a given answer.. he takes a breath and lets it out as he leans only slightly to take the bottle back and lift it to his lips.. after a drink..he sets it against the arm of the chair and rights himself into a half slump…relaxed.. “very well.. Linx it is..”..he takes another drink still watching her and adds.. “there is a fourth kind of man.. one who wants to know things about those he finds interesting..”.. he coughs to gather his voice again.. “you..are interesting to me.. I know somewhere behind that smile is a woman who..perhaps not long ago.. had her own reasons for losing herself in the sky.. as I have been known to do..for different reasons..”..

Linx spread her legs slightly, not seductively, just to get more comfortable. Though kneeling was something she did often, holding a perfect position was straining and letting her legs carry more of her weight eased that. The alcohol was relaxing her already as well and she laughed at his comment “I find you interesting too, Master” her smile, like her laugh, was genuine this time. She nodded in agreement of his assessment, sighing wistfully “I had reasons for losing myself in the sky, in the forest, in the disguises I wore when I snuck into small towns that bordered the forest. I have reasons now to lose myself in this” she curled her fingers and flicked at the bell on her coin box.

Dust: he nods and chuckles very softly…almost to himself..this he understood.. he takes another drink and then leans to hold the bottle back out to her saying in that voice which sounds like gravel being ground together.. “hiding yourself..even from yourself..is an art some of us have become.. well versed in.. would you agree Linx”.

Linx reaches up to take the bottle and holds it a moment too long with arm outstretched as the weight of his words hit her. Perhaps it was the effect of his voice, or the strange mood this night had her in, but for a moment it seemed he knew too much and her arm trembled. “Aye Master. I would agree. The risk of hiding so well is that you sometimes forget how to find yourself” she made a strangled sound close to a sob and then quickly brought the bottle to her lips and tilted her head back for a long drink. When she lowered it again, she held it in two hands, staring down at it and not risking a glance up or trusting her voice to say more.

Dust: he took the bottle back from her hands..noting her unease.. he had a brief moment of feeling he should leave her alone to collect herself.. but then thought better of it.. it would not serve her at all to get used to that kind of relief.. “Don’t fear that Linx.. the way back home always becomes clear when the journey needs to end..”… he drinks again and touches her face with the tips of his fingers for an ihn only..before sitting back in the chair again.. “so tell me woman of the woods.. which..is home for you to return too.. the forest.. or that collar on your neck..”

Linx barely moved when he took the bottle from her hands but when she feels the tips of his fingers on her cheek a shudder goes through her body. She rubs one hand over her forearm, to counter the tiny hairs that stood on end, and then pulled at her camisk to better cover the involuntary hardening of her nipples. “Therein lies the issue Master, exactly that. Neither suit me completely, both have their pros and cons, but at the end of the day a woman here cannot have both. Not even a free woman of standing. Most would agree that I’m suited to the collar, and I rarely do much to convince them otherwise anymore”

Dust: he nods at her answer..and would have to agree.. but then again he was a gorean man and felt many women would be better suited for the collar.. this did not mean he felt them less of a woman..or a person for that matter.. he only understood his own nature to desire a slave more than a free woman..because a slave would..and could..share all of herself.. which then allowed the man to do the same.. “I believe you are suited to the collar Linx.. it is clear that part of you at least desires to feel that freedom.. it is likely the same part that enjoyed the freedom you felt in the forest as well..”.. he swallows as his voice gives out..takes a drink..and continues again.. “both are freedoms of the heart and mind.. not so much the body.. and while any free can demand service from you..they cannot demand your will to serve..that..is also always your own free choice..”

Linx looks up when his voice gives out, a passing look of concern on her features that eases when he begins to speak again. She kneels before him giving him her undivided attention, no plots brewing in the back of her mind, no ruses or ploys or masks, simply the woman she is in this moment for some reason she herself hasn’t allowed herself to question. She frowns as he says the last, drawing her bottom lip behind her top teeth and biting down to chew in thought. “Master….” there is a subtle change in the way she says it, one she couldn’t consciously do if she tried “Why are you telling me this? These aren’t the lessons most men teach slave girls. These aren’t the things we’re supposed to think about”

Dust: he looks at her as she kneels there..his own thoughts not contriving or plotting.. just simply sharing his thoughts with another in a way he had not done in too many years..since before his life became a dark shadow of its former self..before his body had been broken..his throat slit.. and left for dead by the hand of the one he sought doggedly even now.. he answered her evenly.. “I am not teaching you anything Linx..this is not a lesson.. it is only words you yourself already know and understand..well.. you need no lesson from me on such things.. do you..”..this last wasnt a question at all.. more of a statment of what he believed to be fact.

Linx looked over her shoulder as the man from earlier drew the slave into the tavern. Her attention was drawn back to the one in front of her when he spoke again, and she never took her eyes off him as she took in his words. She shook her head slow from side to side, still keeping her eyes fixed on his . “You are correct Master. There was nothing in your words that I didn’t already know, even if I rarely think on them, and never risk speaking.” She lifted a hand to her face, drawing with her finger on her cheek an imitation of his own scars “Might I ask about them Master? Courage scars?”

Dust: he takes another drink..the bottle more than half empty now..and hands it back to her once again.. his free hand lifts to his face and he traces the scars there with his fingers.. “the red..is for courage.. the rest..are for other deeds.. things important only to the one who wears them..and the one who gives them..and those who know their meaning.. “..

Linx takes the bottle and another long drink, the alcohol was most certainly affecting her to have made her ask such blunt questions. She leaned forward to return the bottle, high on her knees and her hand outstretched for a moment and hovered over his face as if she might herself trace them but then she pulled it back. “I would like to have such scars. Maybe not there…” she chuckled “But something visible. Something that only I knew what it meant”

Dust: he has to smile that small cornered smile once again when she says this.. as he takes the bottle..and feels her as close as she was.. he had a brief twinge from her scent.. he drank to regain his thoughts..and answered her.. “marks such as these are dangerous to get Linx.. they are cut deeply..and packed with colored bosk dung..and then closed.. many men die just from the infection that can come from it.. I would suggest..another method..for such a pretty woman..”.. he coughed again..and took another drink..

Linx placed her hand on the arm of his chair when he took the bottle back, and stayed high on her knees, as close to him as she could get without touching him. “I’ve been cut deeply” her voice lowering “Perhaps I bear scars after all, they just aren’t as visible” the corner of her mouth curled up much as his had “I suppose that’s a good though right? It would be hard for me to earn my quota if they did”

Dust: he tilts his head some and reaches to brush some of her hair from her face.. looking at her closely.. and then runs one of his hands..open palmed down her side along her curves.. looking her over as he does.. and then sits back again.. “I would say you have little difficulty earning your coin Linx.. if you were in the wagons..I would wager for you..”

Linx responds to his touch as naturally as he might expect, leaning into his hand, the very muscles of her body relaxing in waves as his hand moves down her side. When he leans back she still doesn’t move, doesn’t touch him, nor pull away. High on her knees as she was on the wooden planks would be the most uncomfortable she could probably get but she never made a move to lower herself. “I do usually make my quota, and I was lucky last night. One of the men paid a full silver for an unusually harsh use and certain irregular extras so I’m not under as much pressure tonight” she tilted her head then “Wager for me?”

Dust: he nods and drinks again..almost finishing the bottle..and handing it back to her.. it had of course been a compliment..and one he had given a few days before to another girl of this village.. not as a blanket statement.. he never said things he did not mean .. “In the wagons..when a man sees a slave he wants.. he will wager for her.. it can be a wager over many things.. with the winner if the wager earning the girl.. some wagers have been as serious as death..and yet others as slight as predicting the number of seeds in a tospit..”

Linx took the bottle and started to drink but when she heard him she quickly lowered the bottle. She tilted her head in puzzlement, a brow raising and then she chuckled “Why not just buy a slave you want? Not that buying makes sense either when you can have use of so many public slaves. I’ve never heard of wagering for a slave” she did lift the bottle then and take a long drink, careful to leave just enough so it couldn’t be said she finished it. “Perhaps one day I’ll tell you about the wager I made. Using Tospit no less. A wager for my freedom”

Dust: he reaches and takes the bottle back from her ..and drains the contents.. as he tosses it aside he leans and places a single kiss on the side of her neck..his lips brushing her skin.. he whispered then near her ear.. “I will enjoy that story.. woman from the woods”.. he leans back then and moves to stand.. as he looks down at her from there he reaches and touches her face once more.. “you have earned your coin well with me Linx.. and you have pleased me..”..he looks up at the moons which still hang in the sky and then back to her.. “never forget how to dance”..he says..and then begins to wander toward the dock to find a semi dry place to sleep..

Linx placed her hand over the spot where he had kissed and slowly stood. “Thank you Master. It was a pleasure to serve”

Lamplighter

Yesterday when I mentioned to some friends that I’ve been spending time at Burn2 this week, one offered to come join me as she’d been a Lamplighter in other events in the past. The more the merrier in this type of environment so I welcomed the company. Fast forward a few hours and I read that they are looking for more volunteers to serve as Lamplighters. I swear I’m naming my next avatar Serendipity.

What is a Lamplighter? Don’t worry, I asked the same. They have some information on the Burn2 website about it.

Each night, when the sun goes down at the annual real life Burning Man festival, men and women in white, flame-trim robes and turbans appear, carrying long poles laden with kerosene lamps. They make their way from Lamplighter Village out through Black Rock City, hanging glowing lamps along the virtual city’s byways, to illuminate the night for festival goers.

Their work done, the Lamplighters congregate at Center Camp, in the heart of Black Rock City, where they are joined by drummers, fire dancers and other members of the Burning Man community to drum and dance and celebrate fire throughout the desert night.

At BURN2, a virtual recreation of Burning Man in Second Life, there is also an active Lamplighter group. Like their real life counterparts, the BURN2 Lamplighters build a nomadic village on the playa which serves as their home during the festival. It also serves as a kind of community center for the broader BURN2 community, a place where anyone can drop in, anytime of the night or day, to play drums and fire dance, or just to socialize.

So Thyri and I found the Lamplighters camp, signed up and were promptly given everything we would need from drums to robes.  The robes look so much like the ones I researched about RL Lamplighters that I was a bit taken aback even wearing them.   I was really nervous actually because I hadn’t even heard of a Lamplighter until two days prior and I didn’t want to mess up the ceremony. Everyone was so friendly though my nerves were quickly settled.

It was so much fun! The procession from the Lamplighters camp to the temple was a bit chaotic. A few of us got separated or stuck in the lag monster but that was part of the laughs. Eventually we all made it to the temple and the dancing and drumming began.

One of the major highlights of my Second Life and I will always remember this.

Each night Lamplighters don their robes, form a procession at Lamplighter Village and make their way north, lighting lamps as they walk, through Center Camp, past The Man to The Temple where they will drum and dance and celebrate fire until dawn. BURN2 is meant to be a participatory event, not a spectator event, and in the Burning Man spirit of radical inclusion drums are always available for anyone who wants to join in.
 

You can catch the Lamplighters procession and dance every night for the duration of Burn2. They start at the Lamplighters camp around 7 pm SLT and arrive at the temple around 7:30 pm SLT for the dancing and drumming. Everyone is invited to come down and watch or even join in. It’s really something everyone should witness at least once in their SL.  You can find the temple and join the drummers and fire dancers at the end of the procession here

 http://slurl.com/secondlife/Burning%20Man-%20Black%20Rock/211/191/24

Updated:  I had a chance to do the walk, the lamplighting as well as the dancing and drumming afterwards for a second time again tonight.  Some of my friends took time out of their roleplay and Gor to come down and watch me and lend their support.  I know this Renoobed project that I’m doing doesn’t make sense to some people so your support meant the world to me especially as this was the last night I’m able to attend Burn2.  Thank you all.

I have no idea where next week will be taking me, but it’s good to know I have friends, both old and new, encouraging me along the way.

Burn2 Happy Clams and a Gypsy

Well I didn’t win the Papillon photo contest, but I never expected I would.  The winners had flutters that were at least twice the point rating value as mine and well deserved the prizes.  I’m really glad I participated though and I hope to enter more photo contests at it gave me a reason to try my hand at a new things, much like this blog project has.

I was telling a friend the other night how proud I was of myself and my pictures and that perhaps I have a creative side somewhere in me after all.  After he finished laughing at me, he pointed how I’ve been creating characters and writing stories for them for years.  Duh!  I guess that IS creative isn’t it?  It’s just that this new blog, the people I’m meeting, the things I’m doing are really tapping into a sense of creativity that I never really explored before.

That is a big part of why I wanted to attend Burn2, not just as an item on the SL bucket list, but to see if I could be inspired, find my mojo again. 

If you aren’t familiar with Burn2, think of RL Burning Man festival and then imagine a world where anyone can be, do or create anything and you’ll be close.  You can read more about it on their website, including the lives stream and the schedule of events.  http://www.burn2.org/

It’s important to note that Burn2 is NOT a Linden Lab supported event.  It is entirely resident driven which to me makes it an even bigger statement about who and what we are as SL residents.  It also means donations are welcome and appreciated.

I read one comment somewhere that compared Burn2 to walking around the mainland.  I think that was meant as an insult?  I’m not sure, but I have to say there is some merit to the comparison as you can ride a giant tricycle past an abstract object d’art next to a meditation tent next to a towering elephant statue next to an outhouse but that’s the best part!  Each individual camp or build may or may not appeal to you, some I admit I cocked my head stared for a while and still didn’t get it, but as a whole these four sims provide a remarkable display of what and who SL residents are.

It is, as should be expected, laggy.  I would recommend finding a good central place to stand or dance and camming around.  You can also explore the sims using the hot air balloon guided tour or rez one of the many vehicles provided.  The only “complaint” I might have had is that it was difficult for me to photograph individual builds that I wanted to show you because of the proximity, but this was one of my favorites.

If you are going to attend Burn2 you need to do more than just look at builds though, you really need to partake in some of the events in order to get the full experience.  Experience.  Hmmm.  You know, that’s the perfect word for Burn2 and it seems like a simple enough word right?  It’s quite telling though if you think about it.  Although there are many things to do, and many of the displays are interactive, you don’t “play” Burn2 anymore than you “play” Second Life.  You experience it, at least I do.

I had the pleasure both nights I’ve attended to catch the lamp lighting procession and subsequent drum ceremony.  It was breath taking.  If your stream is on, and I highly recommend it, you can also hear the music coming from the various stages, everything from DJ’s to live music.

As I was walking around on Monday the stream changed and I heard this husky sounding guy and a guitar.  I was intrigued so I investigated it.  I came into tent to see none other than Gypsy Quixote.  An odd coincidence to be sure as I follow Gypsy on Twitter, not because he’s a performer, but just because I find him interesting.  I’d never heard him perform before and was blown away.  I took this picture of him and I’m including one of his videos if you’ve never heard him.

I had so much fun Monday that I returned on Tuesday and this time I managed to drag out a few friends.  There is something positively comical about flying in a hot air balloon with a Gorean Assassin.  After he left I continued to explore and saw a group of dancers with fire batons.  As I approached the stream changed once again and I was immersed in a world of electronic trance music.  The music along with the dancing and costumes and being in a desert at midnight surrounded by these surreal builds was just too much fun.  Again I had to drag a few more friends out of Gor to join me.  They said the needed a moment to change and I had to laugh, because if there is one thing there isn’t at Burn2, it’s a dress code.  I have seen every kind of avatar I could imagine and then some.

The group that was having this event were called the Happy Clams and I have to say they were probably the friendliest most welcoming group I’ve ever met in all my years in SL.  I definitely plan to return a few more times this week and I’m fortunate that they gave me a LM and a group invite so I can keep up with them after Burn2 is over.

In preparing this blog post and looking at the Burn2 website something caught my eye.  The theme this year was “Rites of Passage” which I guess I had noticed but hadn’t really thought much about, not until I read the description. 

There are moments of crisis and frisson in our lives which inform us that we’ve somehow crossed an inner threshold and are changed. Thus moving from one state of being into an unknown other obliges us to face our innermost insecurities, and it requires faith, a willingness to leap off the ladder of ordered existence. Our theme this year invites participants to join with others in creating rites of passage.

I don’t think I could have come up with a more fitting tie in to my renoobed project or my feelings about my time at Burn2 if I tried.

You have a few days left to come check it out and I hope you have as much fun as I did.

 http://slurl.com/secondlife/Burning%20Man-%20Deep%20Hole/242/61/25