Wow, it’s been a while. I’ll spare you the lame excuses.

But did you know we have a rather brilliant writer in InWorldz?  Really! Graeme Smith’s first e-book “A Comedy of Terrors” was released yesterday.

You might be familiar with his inworld name Bard Elcano, maybe you read a post or two on the official IW forum. If you’re familiar with that name, don’t let his forum posts fool you. His  stories are much more understandable, you don’t have to study Shakespeare and Jonson to make sense of his writing.

In fact, A Comedy of Terrors is a brilliant fantasy story, spiced with wit and humour. If you like to laugh, you will love this book from the first line to the last. If you like fantasy stories with a humorous twist you will love this book, too. If you like to read about an Idiot who struggles to understand women, you will love this book.

“Segorian has woman trouble, and he’s the only person in the castle who doesn’t know it. Because to Segorian, women are an open book. The problem is, he never learned to read.”

By the way, his next e-book “Road Like a River” is due to be released in January 2013.

And what has that got to do with InWorldz? Well. There will be a release party on Monday, 18 June. An epic party. 12 hours of live entertainment from some of the best artists and DJs we have in IW. And in between, when you need a break from dancing, the author will read from some of his works.

In other words, you should come or you’ll miss a truly great event.

Here’s the line up:

12:00 – 13:00 Prowess Rayna

13:00 – 14:00 Red Hot Chili Pipers

14:00 – 15:00 Book Reading – A Comedy of Terrors

15:00 – 16:00 Ceci Dover

16:00 – 17:00 Page hunt competition and Author round table – free questions and ‘the life story of a book’

17:00 – 18:00 Chance Paneer

18:00 – 19:00 Book reading – Road like a River or A Comedy of Terrors

19:00 – 20:00 DJ – Jim Tarber

20:00 – 21:00 Book reading – Jack Shadow or A Comedy of Terrors

21:00 – 22:00 TBA

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At the end of last year I got myself a sim on OSgrid.
The offer sounded too good to be true but hey…5.95 US$?! I gave it a go and a day later I had my sim!
A huge, quiet, remote playground. Or a test lab where nobody can see the mess you’re creating.
Don’t get me wrong, I love InWorldz. Their own IW viewer is the one that works best for me – no crashes, no lag. The only thing that disturbs me is that I can’t drop out of group chat. Even if I uncheck the “join group chat” box, it will still scroll across the lower left half of my screen. For people who can easily focus and have the ability to just ignore things, this isn’t a problem. But me, I’m too easily distracted. I’ve been struggling to focus lately even though I have so many things in my head that I want to build.
So a sim on a grid where I know only a handful of people is the perfect solution. When I get the urge to build or be alone (and I can be quite the shrewd loner) I log in to my OSgrid sim and enjoy the silence.

OSgrid_002

Now you can’t compare OSgrid to InWorldz. The latter rocks, no matter what. But if you just want to be alone and play with a whole sim, practice terraforming, need quietude to work on a project then this is for you. Another solution is to have your own sim-on-a-stick . If you’re patient enough, have the technical know-how and are not (like I am) afraid to break something in your machine. ( I tried but there was something utterly strange and way above me going on in the DOS console.)

Yes, it’s cheap, it’s almost free so don’t expect the stable experience you’re used to from InWorldz (or SL  for that matter). As I said, you can’t compare OSgrid to grids like InWorldz.

For those of you thinking “Zomg yay she’s gonna leave IW!” Nope :P Let me put it like this: InWorldz is the strong, black, aromatic coffee that I need and can’t live without while OSgrid is more like banana juice –  a bit thick but tasty once in a while.

Oh and before you ask, my sim is private, only a handful of people have access so I can run around naked. Ha.

 

So another year is almost over. While I’m not a big fan of end-of-the-year-posts (like everybody else) and believe you shouldn’t dwell on the past but look ahead I will do it anyway – like everybody else.

The past year has been eventful, at times more so than I anticipated and at the moment I pretty much feel like I’m stuck in a place I don’t get out of if I don’t consciously and actively deal with what happened so I can move on.
Because man is simple. We need rituals. This is mine.
The only problem is, writing a (pointless, let’s face it) review of the past year involves thinking.
Yeah, I know.

I have learnt a lot in 2011. I’d be lying if I said I’m thankful for each and every experience I’ve made, for every mistake I made (and I’ve made a lot). Some of them I really didn’t need and my mistakes? Well, most of them are simply too recent and I haven’t probed and poked them enough to gain valuable information. Yes, I do tend to over-analyse. I try not to but I often fail.
One thing I’m learning is to accept myself the way I am. But at least I am honest with myself. I am me. You are you. Either we accept each other the way we are or we each go our separate ways. I can’t and don’t want to change for anybody in the world, neither in the virtual realm nor in the real physical world.
What you see is what you get? Hmm.
I don’t leave my workshop without my pointy ears but am I your typical fae? I guess I’m not. I prefer Tolstoy over Tolkien. I love War and Peace, I could read it again and again but I didn’t make it through the Lord of the Rings. While the story itself is extremely intriguing the way it’s written bored me to death. But I totally enjoyed The Hobbit!
If you can accept a fae rocking out to Kyuss and brooding over Sartre, then what you see is what you get. Simple, yes?
I guess what I’m saying is this: I don’t want to apologise for who I am. Nobody should ever have to apologise for who they are.

And now I have to comment on a quote I read on Mera’s blog (http://eternalmetaverse.wordpress.com/2011/12/28/broken-people-in-second-life/ ) :

”Also – and few people want to admit this publicly – Second Life attracts ‘broken’ people. I don’t mean this as an insult in any way, as I am absolutely one of the broken ones. Second Life gives many of us very crucial things which are lacking in our own lives. For some, it’s the ability to socialize in ways that are difficult or impossible in real life.” (Marx Dudek)

For me, that totally hits the nail on the head.
Yes, I am “broken”. If broken means that I’ve been struggling with depression and “issues” since I was 16.
One of my bigger problems in the physical world is social anxiety. I have been diagnosed with it and I try to overcome it but sadly, it’s not as easy as it may sound.
Virtual worlds give me the chance to be who I really am – never mind the pointy ears, you know what I mean. Granted, I am not too social, I will never be the life of a virtual party when I’m not around friends or people I’ve known for a while. I’m awkward. I say inappropriate things.
I am a textbook example for the foot-in-mouth syndrome.
Luckily, I have found wonderful friends in virtual worlds, people who make it easier for me to simply be who I am. In virtual worlds I can do all the things that I can’t do in RL. I can attend parties without getting drunk. I can meet new people without the help of some substance or other that drown the anxiety for a while.
I have met the most amazing, most brilliant and creative people that I would never have known otherwise. I have also met other “broken” people. We all have our cross to bear. But it may become lighter if you can share it with someone.
For me, sharing isn’t always easy. That’s why I haven’t blogged for a while. I have been morose and depressed and sometimes bitter. But I reckon you’re clever enough to hit the “unfollow” button when I’m getting on your nerves.

Anyway, thank you to all my friends in the virtual realm. While 2011 has in some aspects been full of crap I am very thankful for my real friends.

We’re going to have a party tomorrow (13 Dec) because we can. And we should. It’s been a while.
The excuse:
It’s Santa Lucia (or Saint Lucy’s Day), a day celebrated mainly in Scandinavia but also in a handful of other countries.
With DJ Lady S on the turntables and starring as Lucia: the fabulous Miso Susanowa!
Noon IW time, hope to see you there!

If you’re interested in the history of Santa Lucia, read on below the picture.
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Winter in Midsomer.

Traditionally, there’s a procession of women led by a girl wearing a candle-wreath (seriously) and a long white dress with a red sash around her waist.
According to Christian stories, Lucia lived in the 3rd/4th century in Syracuse. She was supposed to marry a pagan man but herself being Christian she refused and insisted on giving her dowry to the poor. When the bridegroom got wind of it he denounced Lucia as a Christian. She was taken before the magistrate who ordered her to burn a sacrifice in front of the emperor’s image. Since she didn’t have anything left to give away she offered herself but not to the emperor but to her god. She was sentenced to work in a brothel but she refused so ultimately she was sentenced to death but the flames at the stake wouldn’t burn her. I think (but I don’t know for sure) the executioner then cut her throat.

So the candles carried by the women in the Lucia procession symbolise the fire that refused to kill Lucia as well as the light with which she overcame the darkness.
Lucia is the patron saint of the blind. Reasons for this vary. Some say it’s because of her name which is a form of the Latin word for light, lux. Other stories (especially medieval) tell of Lucia’s eyes being gouged out prior to her death while yet others say she tore them out and gave them to her betrothed who admired her eyes.

Midsomer has a cafe again, it’s called “Lilla Cafe Hus” which is Swedish for Little Cafe House.

When I came to Midsomer for the first time there was a cute little cafe but somehow it vanished. I don’t recall why but a few weeks ago I decided we had to have a cafe again. So I took one of Mera’s small cabins and played with it. The good thing is, no matter how much I messed up it still says Mera is the creator. Heh.

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The sign for it was painted by ArtWolf Eternal who also has a gallery on Midsomer.

The cafe is open 24/7. Right next to the fireplace is a truthball so bring your friends and have some fun! I plan on adding beanbags or cushions, hopefully in the very near future.

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Trying to distract myself from a nasty UTI and something else, I worked a bit on Midsomer, did some terraforming and decorated the empty parcels.
Future renters can use the houses or replace them with their own but for now they’re there to give people an idea of the parcel size and what kinds of houses the sim feels good with.
Midsomer is a Scandinavian, light fantasy themed sim, an archipelago in the Magellan Sea. Waters will be sailable once we get physics (we’re close, be a bit more patient it’s worth it *nods*).
We also have a bar that you can use for your parties!
At the moment we have 4 empty parcels, all are 4096sqm and support 2812 prims. The price is 703 I’z per week or 2812 per month, terraforming is allowed and joining parcels is not a problem.

Midsomer rental

Midsomer rental 2

Midsomer rental 3

Midsomer rental 4

Midsomer rental 6

This parcel is a bit bigger, 5776 sqm with 3966 prims, 991 I’z per week. Stunning view over the sim is included and free of charge. ;D

Midsomer rental 5

Contact me inworld if you have questions :) Welcome to Midsomer! \o/

I don’t know about you but I have always enjoyed a good scare. Needless to say Halloween is one of my favourite holidays.
This year preparing for the spooky season has been extra awesome.
Why? Because I’m lucky enough to know some wonderful people who don’t hesitate to donate a huge part of their spare time to charity.
The following text is copied from the official press release, kudos to krsna

“LA VILLE MACABRE

The nights are getting longer and the leaves are starting to turn… Autumn is upon us, and we all know what that means! It’s time for tricks, treats, and hair raising chills! This year have tons of spooky fun and help a great cause at the same time. The folks that brought you the Alchemy County Fair are back, and are proud to present IW’s horror extravaganza La Ville Macabre, an interactive haunted village, complete with Spooky Forest and Asylum of Terror. La Ville Macabre will be open to the InWorldz public on Chryssalis beginning October 15 through November 1, and will feature a variety of events for your enjoyment winding up with the Masque Ball, not to be missed! Be sure to visit our talented vendors while you are here! Remember, 100% of all proceeds go to Let Us Learn!

Sponsored by: OutOfWorld Forums (OOW) http://s15.zetaboards.com/Iforumz/site/ and Virtual Helping Hands (VHH) http://www.virtualhelpinghands.org/.

“Virtual Helping Hands is a non-profit organization helping individuals from all over the world by coordinating virtual and non-virtual resources to assist with mental, physical and spiritual health. The organization networks via the Internet to work within a global community that reaches out to impact the world around them.” http://www.virtualhelpinghands.org/

“Let-Us-Learn is an international project that aims to investigate the potential of a 3D virtual learning environment (3DVLE) designed to engage learners in collaborative, creative problem solving activities in which numeracy, literacy, life skills and creative activities are embedded in a motivating game-like environment. Projects are currently located in developing countries such as South Africa and Uganda, but our vision is to apply this technology to other developing countries. As technology grows more powerful and costs continue to drop, Let-Us-Learn sees enormous potential for 3DVLEs to play a significant role in the delivery of effective models for facilitating teaching and learning, especially in developing countries where both human and physical resources are scarce.” http://www.let-us-learn.org/

Please take a few moments to check out the Let Us Learn exhibit that’s part of La Ville Macabre while you’re there, and join their group, Virtual Helping Hands, in InWorldz for updates! For this event again they have submitted both paperwork and a charity avatar to Inworldz LLC. All donations will go through this avatar and proper documentation will be provided.

CONTACTS:
Forum: Welcome to post there and read up: http://s15.zetaboards.com/Iforumz/topic/7065139/1/
Direct in-world contacts for more information: Leanna Caerndow, Moon Satoshi, Cryptic Quandry, Freedom Astheta
Virtual Helping Hands contacts in InWorldz: Saxet Uralia, Charles Mountain ”

 

Most of us will be selling wares at Chryssalis but if you, dear reader, want to be a vendor at the Halloween fest, too, or of you know a merchant who might be interested, don’t hesitate to contact me inworld!

Information for volunteers:
Can you help for La Ville Macabre? Everything is appreciated and everything really does help the Let Us Learn project and InWorldz itself in a very real way. It’s not just a good cause that we’re helping to raise funds for, it’s about virtual worlds and using them as a vital resource to accomplish, improve, and solve problems – globally.

Below are some specifics of how it works to be a vendor, donate entertainment, etc., but honestly, every action from blogging, including the event in your picks, putting up a poster board at your store, mentioning it to others, coming to the event – everything individually makes a difference and added together becomes much larger and grows.

Thank you in advance for your contribution!!!

For helping us advertise in picks, blogs, putting up posters, etc, enclosed in the folder is a texture. Feel free to take a copy of the poster board if you can put it up on your land/in your store.

Vendors: Have something to sell or auction you’d be willing to donate the sales from to the charity? This can be anything, small to large that you’ve made. We’re again putting up vendor spaces and using pre-scripted vendor boxes, which will be available prior to set up (basically we’re working with signage selling). The script handles the sale in amounts of your choice and forwards it to the charity -simple as that. We also have an auction vendor that works independently in the same way. Contact us to get signed up!

Entertainers and event planners: Can you donate some time to DJ, plan a party, organize an RP event, perform? We’d love to have you – please contact Tormie Baarer, who is coordinating all things eventful! As with the vendors, proceeds from scripted tip jars forward to the charity (in fact all tip jars on the sim).

If you can volunteer for any or that or just want to donate some time to help out, we’d be most grateful for it! Please contact any one of us: Leanna Caerndow, Moon Satoshi, Cryptic Quandry, Freedom Astheta for more details and a group invite.

We’re trying to keep as much information as possible collected in one place, so please also see this thread in the OutOfWorld Forums, sponsors of La Ville Macabre with Virtual Helping Hands: http://s15.zetaboards.com/Iforumz/topic/7065139/1/