Learning to Say, “I am NOT OK.”

It’s R U OK Day here in Australia. I have mixed feelings about this day. I think it is a really good way of getting messaging out there about mental health and having a quiet concern for others.

But at the same time, I remember being asked that question and answering with a smile on my face, “I am ok”. Even though I wasn’t. Even though I was FAR from ok. I remember being asked that question and thinking, “No-one is going to believe I am actually NOT ok. Look at my perfect life, with my perfect family and my perfect husband and perfect loving mothers. Look at my perfect career and my perfectly lovely house and the perfect brilliance of my perfectly broken brain.”

Smoke and Mirrors
Smoke and Mirrors by Mangrovejane

I was mouthing the Words, “I am ok”, and yet screaming inside, “I’M NOT OK I’M NOT OK I’M NOT OK. LOOK PAST MY PERFECT SMILE AND SEE THAT I…AM…NOT…OK”. I thought I was going to break into a thousand tiny little perfect pieces and people would coo and smile and nod their heads in perfect unison and say, “What an incredibly perfect art piece you have made there. Look at the way the light falls on those pieces. Look at the abstraction. Look at that raw emotion.”

Then they would leave, while my pieces lying imperfectly on the ground murmured…

“But…I’m not ok….”

You are not a Writer2 WordPressfeatured image 1800x800 20190513_001
“You are not a writer”, by Mangrovejane

It was a perfect scenario to keep me perfectly locked inside my own head. To keep the perfect smile and the perfect answers. To nod my head with the other perfect people and ask the perfect question, listening with just the perfect amount of sympathy as they all explained that they too…just like me…were all ok.

Social anxiety by Mangrovejane

I remember the moment I broke through the perfect barrier and yelled in desperation, “PLEASE HELP ME. I’M NOT OK. I’M AFRAID OF THIS PERFECTION AND I’M LOST IN THE MADNESS AND I CAN’T GET OUT.” And that was the moment the perfection took a step back, as if shocked that I would dare mention its name and expose it. I started saying it more.

I said it to the doctor, “I’m not ok.”

I said it to my children, “I’m not ok.”

I said it to the clinical psychologist I was sent to, “I’m not ok.”

And then I said it to my friends, “I’m not ok.”

I would walk into the psych office and cry. I felt like I would never stop crying. That I would always be broken and raw and imperfect now. At first, I felt like I was the only imperfect person in a perfect world and I would never be able to step back in to that world and be whole and perfect again.

But…The more I said it…

“I’m not ok.”

the more those perfect people whispered it back to me…

“I’m not ok too.”

“Hey! Guess what? I was never ok.”

“I don’t really understand what ok is.”

“I’m a very long way from ok.”

And I saw them strip away their perfect skins and we stood…imperfectly together and apart. We were not perfect. And we were not ok. We may never get perfect back. But I know this…

I am WAY closer to ok now than I was when I was perfect.

So when you are ready…and when you most need it…remember this…

When someone asks, “R U Ok?”, it’s GOING to be ok if you tell them, “I’m NOT OK.”

It will take you some time. It’s going to take a lot of work and probably a lot of crying and being angry and understanding why you are crying and angry.

But one day, you will look back and see all those perfect skins left behind us and realise the day you learned to say, “I’m not ok.” was the day you found a way to be OK.


Groves by Cassandra Middles


The following resources are important. If you or anyone you know are having mental health issues please consider taking a moment and checking them out. Can’t hurt more right?

R U OK Day website https://www.ruok.org.au/
Beyond Blue website https://www.beyondblue.org.au/
Kids Helpline https://kidshelpline.com.au/

BlogVlog Week 1 (Week Ending 02/08/2019)


OK. I know you’ve noticed the date on this. I’ve backdated it. Now…listen…I actually wrote all these BlogVlogs in the weeks they are actually dated at, buuuttttt….Life got busy. My Dog ate my homework. An anvil fell on my head. LOOK OVER THERE!!!

Anyway…here is the Blog to accompany the VLog I put out a little while ago now. These BlogVlogs are my way of keeping a journal of my experiences in both SL and RL over the last few months of my postgrad degree. I want to be honest and transparent about what it is like for me, both emotionally and academically and I hope you will follow my journey as I write up my exegesis, finish and exhibit my final art pieces and stress my way into an academic meltdown…errmm…wait…


So firstly, CONSIGNMENT FURNITURE!! HUGE shout out to Consignment for sponsoring me through my last few months of building my installation in Second Life. Need Furniture? Decor? ALL THE THINGS?!?!?! Check out Consignment Furniture. Right NOW! actually…no…not now. Read my BlogVLog first and then go check em out!

What actually happened this week? Well let me break that down for ya! I did a whole lot of reading and notetaking for my exegesis, I met up with my supervisor Chari, I practiced some physical world drawing exercises and photography, I caught up on SL happenings through all the usual social media, and had a bit of a rant about the LEA sims closing.

That basically sums it all up, but if you want to see what I actually see, check out the vlog part of this BlogVlog that I have embedded above or on my Youtube Channel!


1. Metaverse Artist AM Radio On The Ephemeral, Communal Nature Of Digital Art https://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2019/07/am-radio-jeff-berg-metaverse-vr-art.html
2. What Makes A Virtual Reality Installation A Work Of Art, Rather Than Just A Fun Immersive Experience? A Veteran Art Critic Makes Her Case https://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2019/07/vr-art-aesthetics-cristina-garcia-lasuen.html
3. LEA is Closing http://lindenarts.blogspot.com/2019/07/lea-is-closing.html
4. Linden Endowment of the Arts Set to Close August 31 http://slnewser.blogspot.com/2019/07/linden-endowment-of-arts-set-to-close.html
5. Linden Endowment of the Arts to Officially Close https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/7920844/posts/87218
6. The Closing of LEA: My Thoughts https://kultivatemagazine.com/2019/07/22/the-closing-of-lea-my-thoughts/
7. Second Life Destinations – Moya Land https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkNbgPY3PqU
8. Moya Land SLurl
9. Second Life Destination Guide – Art https://secondlife.com/destinations/arts


The Unauthorised Banksy Exhibit and the Theft of Second Life Photography.

Another blog post you say?? I KNOW RIGHT??!?!?! Just enjoy the extra posting and don’t question it in case you scare me off and you don’t see me again for months! Sooooo…I was trawling through my facebook feed one day and came across this link to an unauthorised exhibit of the Art of Banksy.

It made me feel uneasy for a few reasons. Let me explain…

Firstly, Street art, and especially the art of Banksy is a reaction to this very thing. Street art is art of the people for the people and is meant to be experienced on the street, free of charge by ANYONE, not just the elite that can afford it, and these prices are ridiculous for an UNAUTHORISED exhibit put together by private collectors and curated by Steve Lazarides, Banksy’s FORMER manager and photographer. So the artist themselves is not profiting off this exhibit, the collectors, the curators and the gallery are.

The prices themselves are quite prohibitive for the average person, let alone if you plan on taking a family. The profit margin on these tickets must be quite large despite the fact that they are putting on such a large exhibit.

Ticket Prices for Exhibit

From $32 general access Monday to Thursday
From $36 Priority access Monday to Thursday
From $32 general access Friday to Sunday
From $42 Priority access Friday to Sunday

Source: https://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=BANKSDAI19&v=EQH&pd=2019/10/06

I know that people will say that at least it is a promotion of the artist and it allows people who wouldn’t normally get to see them, experience them and it legitimises the artist and the art form…but you know what? It is being promoted not for the artist, but for profit. It does allow people who wouldn’t normally see art like this to experience it…but only the people who can AFFORD it, not the people it was MEANT for. And lastly, it was already a legitimate art form and Banksy was already a legitimate artist. It all kind of smacks of elitism and underhandedness.

Next, Street Art is not meant to be viewed like this. It is meant to be viewed in situ. Street art has a context and it finds layers of meaning in its context. The mural on the West Bank Barrier separating Palestine from Israel has important meaning in the place it is situated. It is a direct reaction to the current social and political climate and unrest that is happening around it. If you took that mural and hung it in a gallery, it loses some of its meaning and importance. You take it away from the people and the context, you reduce it to something sterile and…less.

Brisbane Street Art Photo1
An original Lister Wall I found in the Valley in Brisbane. The photo is only the memory. Seeing it in its original context is everything. Knowing also, that one day it may go due to development or renovations is also part of what makes this important and special. 

The more I think about it, the more offended I am. While I would dearly LOVE to see an authentic Banksy, I would like to see them how they are meant to be seen, free and out on the streets because that is part of the experience of them.

Lastly, this kind of artistic rip off really upsets me. We see it happening in Second Life all the time. I can’t even count the amount of times I read a plurk saying, “Hey! Check out this link…this person has used my photo in their ad/in their blog post/as a stock photo and not even credited me.” I go by the principle, ALWAYS ASK. Most people are seriously generous and will say yes, for something as simple as a link to their blog or to the original photo.

Just like street art, most Second Life Photography has meaning in context. Each photo taken is taken for a reason. Whether it is a documentary type photograph holding memories of a person’s time in world…
Mondrian, Al and I at Rainbow Painters Art Gallery

or a bloggers photograph meant to market items by creators in world… The New Subscription Box  in Town
that photograph has MEANING. Words will change that meaning. Context will change that meaning.

If you profit from someone else’s art work, even if that profit is just by free use of their creative/intellectual property without their permission, you are a thief. You have STOLEN their intellectual property and STOLEN their time and thoughts and effort. Just because the original online world photographer or artist is not known to you or because they are an avatar, is not enough of a reason to justify your thievery.

So that is my thoughts for today. What are your thoughts on the subject? Have you ever had your Second Life photos used out of context by someone who didn’t ask your permission? What did you do about that? Comment down below and let me know…I would really like to hear what you all think about it and about your experiences!

A Moment of Serendipity on the Train

(PLEASE NOTE: This is not a Second Life blog post today!)

Today I was heading into the gallery to babysit the art at the exhibit and while I was riding the train in to Southbank, I saw to my surprise, this amazing guy, dressed in a pirate costume, softly playing a guitar. Now…I am fascinated by people who are a little out of the ordinary. I want to hear their stories. I want to find out who they are and what they are doing and know the details of their lives.

Normally, I wouldn’t take photos of people on public transport or on the street. I kind of have a bit of a moral conflict about taking photos of people without their permission, but I really love street art photos, which quite often have people within them. So, I took a chance, and asked the guy if he would let me take photos of him while we rode the train together and he was happy to be my life model for our journey. I have never wished for my camera SO much since I got it. I only had my phone (its a Samsung Galaxy S7…yes I know it is a bit outdated now…I have a problem letting go of my tech, ok?) on me so I had to take these on my phone camera.20190827_220450

Paul Hilder was a fascinating guy, he gifted me with his story as he let me take photos of him. He was heading into the city for a meeting for musicians. He had gotten into trouble recently at a Climate Rebellion protest and had a beautiful brood of children. He had this beautifully easy going manner and was a delight to listen to. He had this way about him that was endearing and I liked the way he drew people in to conversation. We talked about the act of rebellion and you know what? Sometimes, to me, just talking to people in unexpected places like the train feels like an act of rebellion these days.


But you know, its those moments of serendipity and chance that make life endlessly interesting…where for that moment you get to see inside someone and you connect. I’d like to explore more of those moments and maybe hold an exhibit next year revealing them in a way that is joyful, beautiful and serendipitous. I don’t know…I’ll see. But I will definitely continue on with exploring the idea for awhile and see where it leads me.


With thanks to Paul Hilder for his stories, his time and for allowing me to randomly take his photos on a train ride into the city. 

A Weekend With a Little Bit Less Creating.

Yes, I am continuing the posting about my RL art journeys. I know I haven’t done an SL post for a whole hot minute, but don’t you worry about that. They are coming. I’ve just been taking a small holiday from SL while I can because very soon, I will be in there pretty much 24/7 as I prepare for exhibition and final assessment.

I DO want to do a shout out to the very generous and patient Wavie Haller of Consignment who has sponsored my final installation piece by donating the use of a full Homestead Sim for me to work on and show my final installation piece on for a few months. I’m truly thankful for this generous donation and so here is an advertisement I did a little while ago featuring Consignment that Wavie never used….If you are reading this, which you will because I will link it to you and make you read it…Thank you and you’re welcome Sir Haller!

Consignment Motorcycles

And now I have done that, here is the…DISCLAIMER: This is not a SL post, but rather a post about my RL stuff. I hope you enjoy it anyway!

This past weekend was a weekend filled with…ummm…I’m not even sure any more. It just kind of…went by before my mind could even process it was happening. Saturday was a blur of chores and domesticity. Sunday, we attended a community celebration. I am sure that I have mentioned before how my community likes to celebrate itself. Well, this was one of those weekends. Community groups were out in force with their stalls. Local acts were playing on a couple of stages. Schools were selling crafts and home baked goods. Even my GP was on stage playing his guitar and singing. I basically live in a small country town in the city ok?

I visited a friend (shout out to Cath) Sunday afternoon, where, while we were chatting, I said the awful sentence, “Triangles are not my genre.” After we managed to stop laughing at my intensely sincere stupidity long enough to catch our breath, we decided that we needed to put together an exhibition next year based around that and then we spent the whole afternoon dreaming and making notes on what that exhibition will be and what pieces need to be put into it. Everyone needs a friend who makes you less serious about yourself and who will dream a whole exhibit with you that both amuses and inspires you.

In between moments were spent working on one piece. Which is how I actually managed to say the sentence about the triangles. I work a lot with circles and swirls when I am just drawing intuitively. So I thought I would try something a little bit different and work with some jagged triangles. I KNOW RIGHT?!?! Such a leap of thinking there.

Anyway..what I found out by doing this was basically that I hate drawing triangles. It’s annoying. It doesn’t flow well. It takes so much longer to do than the circles. It’s finicky. Its persnickety. Yeah, ok…I am just making stuff up now. But it still doesn’t change the fact that I don’t like it. I’m not unhappy with the results, but I prefer last weekend’s drawing.

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Title: Untitled
Artist: Alison James
Size: 42.0 x 29.7cm
Medium: Micron 0.4 & 0.8 pens, Faber Castell warm and cold
grey artist pen, green ball point pen.

Next week, I think I will do something I don’t usually do and go for some realism. I haven’t practiced realistic still life drawing in a really long time and I am feeling drawn (pun totally intended. I heard you chuckle.) to giving that another bit of a crack. It’s one of those drawing forms that makes you LOOK at a subject, tonality, shadow and light, composition…It’s so easy to take the basic principles for granted when you are working on pieces or exhibiting. You just kind of shove those basics to the side and work on getting the concept out there. Its good to be purposefully mindful of these things and I am feeling a quiet tingle of excitement to be going back to basics in my art practice for a while. Whether it is a small while, or a big while…we shall see.

Weekend Creating

Disclaimer: This is not a SL post, but rather a post about my RL stuff. I hope you enjoy it anyway!

Sooooo….as just about everyone here knows, I am an artist in my physical reality. I came to Second Life as part of my postgraduate studies and have dedicated a lot of time to learning a ridiculous amount of things in order to use the platform to create art. Sometimes though, I just feel the need to return to other mediums and I often do pieces that are not just online world photography or videos. I think I don’t talk about my other art work enough on this blog or anywhere actually, mostly because I have been focused on writing about Second Life things as what I am doing there has been my biggest project to date. Right now though, I feel like chatting about it and showing you some of the other things I do…so here we go…

I have just gotten a beautiful new camera (it’s an EOS M50) and as I have never actually done any serious photography in real life with anything other than my smartphone, I have been spending a lot of time playing with it. It is fast becoming one of my favourite things to do. I still have NO idea what I am doing or what half the settings mean but it has been SO much fun trying to find out. The photos you see here were all taken at a beachfront near me in the hour and a half before sunset as that was the time I had to get out and play.

I love that photography makes you LOOK at things. My second degree was in Environmental Science and I have a particular passion for tidal zone ecosystems, so a lot of the photos I have taken so far seem to highlight that. After spending so long cocooned in my studio at home looking at the outside world through my window, it has been so very lovely to be outside, especially since we have had some absolutely gorgeous days.

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On top of the photography, I have been doing some drawing. I have always enjoyed the physicality of scratching on paper with a pencil and I have a terrible habit of collecting pencils from just about everywhere. Don’t ever leave a pencil or a pen near me, ok? You have been warned…This piece was done over the weekend. It takes a bit of time to obsessively draw enough of those little circles to fill a page but I find it quite hypnotic and soothing.

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Title: Stars in the Sky
Artist: Alison James
Size: 42.0 x 29.7cm
Medium: 2B pencil

I actually wasn’t going to title it, but a friend of mine said it looked like Stars in the Sky and it felt appropriate given that we have just had a giant full moon here, as well as the 50th anniversary of the moon landing! I draw these types of drawings intuitively. There is more of an emotional connection to them than there is an intellectual one. I simply sit and draw and that is really refreshing after being submerged in an art project that is highly conceptual and has taken 3 years to come to fruition.

So that was the creating I did this weekend. It has been a fun expedition into real life. Tomorrow I will be back at uni asking the hard questions again about life, the universe and everything, but for today, I am just happy to be sharing some of the other works I have enjoyed making this weekend with you.

World Events and Community Cohesion – SL16B


In the 2002 article, “Community Celebrations as Ritual Signifiers.” by Deborah Smith-Shank wrote,

“Not only do community celebrations give us a sense of belonging, they can also serve as sites of inquiry. They can help us by answering significant questions about our histories, our communities and ourselves.” (1) P 57

I believe the same can be said of the celebration of our virtual communities. Events like SL16B are just as important for that sense of belonging, for place making and for connection. These celebrations tell us a lot about each other and they also tell us a lot about the teams of people behind the platform of Second Life.

Deborah Smith-Shank also states that,

“Community celebrations identify the character of the community that hosts the event..They are sites for affirming cultural identity, for renewing acquaintance with people and customs, and, of course, for commerce.” (1) P 58

We can see all of this happening in the current celebrations. Cultural identity is being celebrated in multiple ways, not just through the choice of theme but also through the exhibits and art installations where we see reflections of who we are and what our people want to tell us about themselves.

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We also see what is coming in the aesthetics of the newer parts of our world with the unveiling of the new style of Linden homes and the settings in which they sit so comfortably.

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The Tapestry of Time is an exhibit not to be missed. I look forward to this exhibit every year because it shows us really important aspects of our culture within the world…it reveals to us our history. For myself, I love this exhibit as much as I love the exhibits of the people of the world as I am so relatively new (I landed in world in 2016) that it pieces together parts of the world I missed out on experiencing and explains how we got to where we currently are. It makes me remember that we are all part of something…more. Something built on not only the shoulders of giants, but the dreams of ordinary people and over time, that has made something truly EXTRAORDINARY.

SL16B Tapestry of Time 20190620

We renew our acquaintance with the Lindens in a time honoured tradition of being able to Meet with the Lindens. Conversations with Ebbe, the CEO will be watched with great interest for any hint of where SL is heading in the future, what we will be working towards as a community and what new innovations will enter our world. (2)

Conversations with our very our Strawberry Linden and the effervescent Xiola Linden (3), Oz and April Linden (4) and Patch Linden (5) have taken place and been recorded as well and these can be found circulating around our Second Life Blogosphere. If you missed them then you can catch up with them on the Second Life Official Youtube channel or Daniel Voyager’s blog (6).

The shopping event, is of course, HUGE! Over 100 creators have participated this year over 5 incredible sims. They have left free gifts for you and if you want to see them, you should check out Naria Panthar’s video (7) where she shows ALL of them. They also have a whole lot of discounts on their items and some of the creators even have exclusive items out!

When you head to the welcome area, don’t forget to pick up you free SL16B gifts, your special edition avatars and also your swaginator HUD to claim all your birthday gifts. This year, they have released the gifts as a hunt over the SL16B regions, with clues that are announced in  your local chat as you click the HUD. So you can run around and collect them all at once.

And lastly, I want to mention a few of the vloggers and bloggers I have seen doing amazing things to bring you footage of what the celebration is like. These content creators are significant to the community and to engendering a sense of community as they record the events of the world as it happens, are sources of information and entertainment and spend a large amount of time marketing Second Life itself in positive and uplifting ways. If I have missed you out, please feel free to add your vlog or blog to the comments sections as I would also love to check it out!! I explain a bit more about these bloggers and vloggers in the video above, so I am just going to list them with their links here for you to check out for yourself:


Second Life Official Youtube Channel
Isabelle Cheren
Oema Resident
Maddie Wyatt
Olly Esel
Lexy Nexen
Emily Wand
Jenny Love
Bloodfang Clawtooth
Celena Troye
Quincy Robin

Cassie Middles
Cat Pink SL
Naria Panthar


Daniel Voyager
Inara Pey
Caitlin Tobias
Prim Perfect
Read Meri (who I have only just found out also has a youtube channel )
Magick Thoughts SL
Ricco Saenz
Kess Crystal
Oema Resident

Add to that long list, I have some important links for you to check out:

SL16B Landing & Info Page: http://secondlife.com/view/sl16b
SL16B Destination Guide Category : https://secondlife.com/destinations/sl16b
SL16B Music Faire Lineup & Schedule: https://community.secondlife.com/blogs/entry/2563-sl16b-music-faire-lineup-schedule Meet the Lindens Schedule: https://secondlife.com/destination/meet-the-lindens
SL16B Official Shopping Event – 5 regions and 100 creators to shop and receive gifts from- https://secondlife.com/destinations/sl16b/sl16b_shopping
SL16B Community Experiences to Explore: https://secondlife.com/destinations/sl16b/sl16b_community
SL16B Swaginator Gift Hunt:  https://secondlife.com/destination/sl16b-hunt

And last but not least…Some Important Dates:

  • SL16B Open to the Public: 10am (SLT) June 20th – July 8th, 2019
  • SL16B Shopping & Gift Event: June 20th – July 8th, 2019
  • Meet the Lindens: June 24th – June 27th, 2019 – 2pm (PDT)

Remember that you still have a few more days to go check out the celebrations before they are done for the year. The event finishes up on the 8th July so hurry up and get yourself in there!!! SL16B Welcome Area


(1) Smith-Shank, Deborah L. “Community Celebrations as Ritual Signifiers.” Visual Arts Research 28, no. 2 (2002): 57-63. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20716064.
(2) Meet The Lindens 2019 – Ebbe Linden https://youtu.be/-rTRYAprz5M 
(3) Meet the Lindens 2019 – Strawberry and Xiola https://youtu.be/mkAs2KXx4G8
(4) Meet The Lindens 2019 – Oz and April Linden https://youtu.be/1ePiNC0d8wE
(5) Meet The Lindens 2019 – Patch Linden https://youtu.be/tpyPocpzmK0
(6) Daniel Voyagers Blog – https://danielvoyager.wordpress.com
(7) Naria Panthar SL16B – ALL FREE GIFTS ON 5 SIMS – Second Life https://youtu.be/4ow7mloX8us

Every Great Dream Begins with a Dreamer

Soul, I Hear You Calling

Soul, I Hear You Calling.
Mangrovejane Resident
Digital Online Photography
6016px x 3316px

Some days I sit at my desk and I dream. Sometimes I dream of a new beginning, new people, new adventures. Sometimes I dream of lines and shapes and colours. Sometimes I walk forest paths or sit quietly on beaches. Sometimes I sit in libraries surrounded by the great repository of knowledge accumulated from the minds of people who can write much better than I. I once dreamed of a life filled with the practice of art and music and adventuring in worlds I could not even imagine…That was a great dream.

Mostly I dream of a peace so overwhelmingly thorough in its tender regard that I long wholeheartedly to sink into the rest it promises me in whispers. These dreams are wistful yearnings for a gentler existence perhaps. Or for just a moment to cease the hectic rush of the everyday. It is precious, that moment. Rare. Cherished for its infrequent visitations and beloved for its lingering embrace.

That, I think, is what is found in Chouchou. Horizons that stretch out endlessly and a minimalist aesthetic combined with beautifully produced and soulful music returning me to that space where I am for a moment at rest. A moment where as a dreamer, I can dream freely, thoughts wandering uninhibited and uninterrupted. It is also a moment where a dreamer DID dream and that vision is what we are privileged enough to experience here.

I read in a Oema’s Blog post, “Chouchou will be closed soon…unless…” , that as the title suggests, the Sim will soon be closed. It is the way of online worlds that the places within it are fleeting and ephemeral. They are the dreams and thoughts and visions of people brought for a moment into existence. Appearing, they wonder and delight us, and disappear again leaving their presence embedded within the reality that we hold within us.

We can see the vision within other people. Comments on social media, forums and Oema’s blog post attest to the many moments people have spent within this place, the memories and also to the grief people feel at the loss of the Sim. This place has been REAL. It has lived. It has had an existence and the possibility of its loss reminds us that the realities built within online worlds are tenuous and impermanent on a much quicker time scale than in the physical world. It conjures up an existential dread that we don’t want to acknowledge because if we acknowledge it, it breaks into the immersion we want from online worlds.

There may also be a chance that Chouchou stays for a little longer should the processes of the world be in its favour as we can see from this post in New World Notes. Or the cycle will rumble on and this dream will fade but somewhere, someone is dreaming of a new dream, a new reality, a new place with new moments…

But either way, we will be reminded that Every Great Dream Begins with a Dreamer…

Every Great Dream Begins With a Dreamer

Every Great Dream Begins With a Dreamer.
Mangrovejane Resident
Digital Online Photography
6016px x 3316px

You are Not a Writer

I listened to those words come out of a close friend’s mouth. It was said with a sneer and not long after she had read a recent blog post of mine back to me in a tone that conveyed ridicule and contempt. I don’t think I have ever claimed to be a “writer” but this sentence really kind of struck me to the core and I’ve been ruminating over it ever since. I write every day, just as I practice my visual arts everyday. Sometimes it works…sometimes it doesn’t. For awhile, those words stopped me from writing because what was the use of writing if it wasn’t good enough?

But why did those words affect me so? I usually just write with the expectation that no-one is reading. I’m just putting my thoughts and words out there and chronicling my journey. I am of the belief though, that if criticism hurts it is usually because you think there is truth in the criticism. So , I guess the truth is that I DO believe it. I am NOT a writer. Good, bad or otherwise.

I am having the same trouble writing my exegesis draft. I have a fear that it won’t be good enough or succinct enough. I am scared that I won’t be able to put in words that totality of the experiences I have had in the world of Second Life and in turn do a great injustice to the people of the world. I am afraid that I am not a writer and so anything I write about this topic will come out wrong and people will, like my friend, sneer and ridicule. I will fail. The world will break. I will prove myself a fraud and the people who love me will stop because I could not find the right words this time.

But that is not true is it? Even if I fail…the world will not break, it will just keep turning. The people who love me will continue to love me because they have already heard the words and they know that those words are only just a few in the very many that make my story.

And so…even if I am not a writer….the use of writing is in being able to express myself. Its using the words that are inside me, forcing them into coherence and reaching out to other people…to explain the thoughts and perspectives in my head. It is the same reason I chose to study and practice art.

I HAVE to.


And so…I will.Don't...Just Don't....

“Don’t…Just Don’t…”
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Digital Online Photography

The New Subscription Box In SL Town: The Second Life Syndicate Crate

I want to talk to you about this new subscription box that is coming out really soon!! If you are anything like me, you are still weeping over the fact that both Builder’s box AND Deco(c)rate have finished in world and there is no more monthly home and garden goodness to be had. I seriously LOVED both of these subscription boxes and was a regular purchaser. I loved being able to pre-purchase, check out the teasers, then finally opening the box was like Christmas EVERY TIME. The Deco(c)rate box was incredible. From it’s actual look to its animations…so SO good. But…while I can fill a whole post with the sadness and maudlin I feel at no longer having these to look forward to, that is not what this is about…

Second Life Syndicate are putting out the Second Life Syndicate Crates which are soon to be released! Each crate features 6 designers and sells for 1000L Preorder until the release date and then 1500L for the next 3 months after which the crates are officially retired.

SLS Upgrades Ad

The very first crate is one I am particularly interested in is called “Upgrades 1.0”, which is of course, Sci-FI Themed! SO let’s go through and check out who the first 6 designers to participate are:

  • Contraption sell Steampunk and cyber punk attachments (masks, prosthetics, etc.), as well as décor items, furniture and homewares. A lot of it is kind of horror/goth inspired and some of it reminds me of the story that you follow in the game Bioshock Infinite.
  • Deadly Nightshade sell Fantasy based Avatar Attachments (wings, horns), weaponry (swords Staffs, etc.), props and spell effects
  • Ex Machina have a variety of items on their Mainstore sim including Skyboxes, buildings and home décor. It’s all industrially themed based and seriously good quality original mesh.
  • Hilted. They also appear to have their own exclusive themed box in which you receive 5 items based on a theme for 500L preorder or 700L after. Hilted do a range of really cute home items, furniture and décor as well as some aimesh shoulder pets
  • This is Wrong do a range of truly exquisite handmade tattoos, clothing and shapes and makeup. I particularly liked their Dead Tree Body tattoo and the Moloch Makeup, both of which I HAD to buy while I was at the store.
  • Violetility. I had the best time in Violetility. Now they sell a range of props, homewares and fashion, as well as Kink adult props and tools. I actually spent quite a bit of Lindens in this store after I recorded there because I loved the statues and the overlarge book prop so much that I had to have them. You have to check this place out. I may have to do a Have you seen store exploration here because I loved it all.

Having such amazing designers in the first box bodes REALLY well for the quality of items we are going to receive and makes me look forward to this box even more. You can preorder your boxes at the Second Life Syndicate headquarters, SLS marketplace or participating stores from May 17th to May 31st. And also…the Second Life Syndicate headquarters is this great place to hang out and play some games. Its set out really nicely to encourage people to stay for awhile and meet people.

If you need any more information about this box, you can head over to SLS Discord Channel, Website, Facebook, Social VR, inworld group or their headquarters.

Let me know what you think of it when it comes out and also if you like Sci Fi and Cyberpunk Roleplay sims, check out Cocoon. I have been wandering around there as a visitor for a couple of weeks now and it looks INCREDIBLE!

The New Subscription Box  in Town
What the heck is happening in this photo: (Pose) Simple Bloom Poses Thinking Girl 07; (Head) Akeruka  Lulu; (Hair) !Oleander Tegan; (Skin) Lara Hurley Abby; (Body) Maitreya Lara; (Arm) Shu Mesh N.cc Nuada Arms Implant; (Monocle) Bauhaus Movement Verlaine Monocle ; (Wristband) Una&Mushilu Cyber Punk Wrist Band ; (Leg Band) :::SOLE::: GRPE C.Leg ; (Coat) Bakaboo Sora Top ; (Top) Alaskametro Karena Bralet ; (Pants) Stories & Co. Signature Vinyl Leggings ; (Shoes) Ingenue Britta Bootie

Second Life Syndicate Crates Webpage
Second Life Syndicate Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/SecondLifeSyndicate/
Second Life Syndicate Social VR https://socialvr.me/secondlifesyndicate
Second Life Syndicate Flickr Group

Cocoon Space Station Slurl http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Esperia/237/166/4086

Contraption Slurl http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Ministry%20of%20Invention/122/70/119
Contraption Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/waltonwainwright/
Ex Machina Slurl http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/ExMachina%20Flagship%20Store/107/205/25
Ex Machina Marketplace https://marketplace.secondlife.com/stores/16570
Ex Machina Flickr group https://www.flickr.com/groups/4479818@N24/
Deadly Nightshade Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/142985607@N03/
Deadly Nightsdhade Slurl http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Cult%20Grounds/195/226/1839
This is Wrong SLURL http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Chaos/157/163/1028
This is wrong Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/142007505@N03/
Hilted Slurl  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Kremlin/182/230/2557
Hilted Flickr https://www.flickr.com/groups/4484639@N20/