Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The 500 Word Snatch

By Grease Coakes

I was upset that the micro writing event at Book Island was gone when Jackson Arthur left Second Life. I always wrote things about my characters or made random nonsense in 100 words or so. However I lucked out as I found another writing event. In Second Life you can find a writing event here or there. Looking at my notices one day, I happened to see a writing event. I warped in and found out about a writing area at

The event I found on Saturday afternoon happened to be helping authors with their writing and plot and story. I remember helping a lady with her story about a woman who committed suicide and the police who were looking to solve her murder. I offered a suggestion that a janitor good be the POV or point of view she needed.

But what the host told me was that the 500 word snatch was held Monday through Friday 6am and 6pm SLT hosted by different hosts and hostesses throughout the week. In 15 minutes or so you have to write 500 words or so with a word in mind. I cheated and didn’t use peel for the time I stopped by but the other writers such as Artemis Danube enjoyed my short story nonetheless. I explained it was a backstory for one my characters and why he did nefarious things. Here’s part of Ranger’s backstory.

“You deserve it! But somehow deep in my heart I know there’s a way to get the money and to give you a second chance. I saw an email from my friend that maybe be able to save you. That is if the casino agrees.”

The Casino boss a black wolf in an Italian suit nodded. “We’d much rather have the money back instead of ending his life. Much better business that way. Tell you what Ranger right?” Ranger nodded yes. “We’ll spare Jimmy’s life and instead you owe us the money. You’re right no way Jimmy will get $100,000. But be warned if you don’t get the money now your life is in jeopardy. Since you’re putting the life on the line for your brother I’ll give you extra time. If today is August 22nd you have until October 22nd.”

Gwen’s story was fantasy in a woodland setting where the character Abigail strolled through a forest every night.

His strides were easily half again as long as her own; Reynardine had no trouble catching up with Abigail. He took her arm. “My lovely Abigail,” he said. “I’ve brought you a gift.”

“Oh?” Abigail stopped in one of the many small clearings ahead of the meadow. “What kind of gift?” 
The Hunter reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a red apple. “Shall I peel it for you?”

Abigail shook her head. “No— and why on earth did you bring me an apple?"

Another story by Deva was about a pirate close to death.

The Surgeon placed his hands on the edge of the table, exhausted. The Captain was a very unhealthy colour and he had no idea if he would survive. Blood seemed to be everywhere, the table, the floor and even himself. He let his eyes wander to the severed leg on the floor and he managed to find his voice to order one of the men “Throw that overboard! He will not want to see it.”

For readers who use twitter you can follow the writing events at @virtualwriters and learn more about the various events that happen at the small writing area by visiting this website

Even if you’re not a writer and just want to hang out and read other stories feel free to stop by. Perhaps it may inspire your inner writer for you to create characters and to write short stories or the like. Stop by the 500 word snatch and give it a shot. It couldn’t hurt and it’s doubtful you’ll run into a bad situation like Ranger, The Pirate Captain or Abigail. The writers I hung out with were pretty nice but they were pretty malicious towards their characters.

Grease Coakes

Friday, March 20, 2015

Club Cutlass' Grand Re-Opening

By Bixyl Shuftan

Almost since it's beginning, the main club for the Sunweaver community has been Club Cutlass. Starting out as a pirate-themed club, since then the popular hangout has seen four transformations, most having an open-air dance floor with no ceiling. These included a Meso-American pyramid style and a steampunish/pirate themed round design, labeled "The Donut," that saw regular performances three times a week every week from February 2012 to it's final performance last week on March 14, 2015.

But just as the "Donut" was being taken down, a new club, Cutlass Six, was being readied for action. Larger than the previous club, this one is a steam-powered airship with four levels, the service deck with engine room, the hangar, the activity deck, and the bridge.

The club was built by Cynthia Farshore and Shockwave Yareach. A number of details were worked in, such as flickering fires for the boilers, an elevator that could take people (or planes) back and forth from the hangar and service deck.

In front of the dance area is a sitting room for a more relaxed social gathering. It's also where there are several Relay for Life kiosks for "Bid Me" and other events.

On Wednesday March 18 at 6PM SL time, the new club was finally ready for it's first official event. The LM and SURL were given out in group notices and group instant-messages respectively. The theme: steampunk.


Cynthia addressed the crowd, "Well ladies and gentlemen it has been a grand effort to bring this ship from dream to reality. Tonight we launch and even though the ship is underway there will be much left to do. In the coming days months even year improvements and additions will be made . It was a labor of love and tears. Much was learned during the build along with my partner Shockwave Yareach we brought this together. So now Shocky you have anything to say?"

Shockwave's response was, "Through the trials and the pain, we have brought this into being from nothing.  Long may this ship serve its crew and their friends!" Hearing the music, he grinned, "And we're launchign to a Genesis song too."

Cynthia then asked Sunweaver chief Rita Mariner to do the honorary breaking of the champagne bottle, "Rita Mariner captain of the airship Cutlass please christen your ship." Rita wryly commented, "If Gil was here, she would pee all over it." Then swung the bottle, where it shattered against the DJ stand, "I broke it!?!, Sweepers, man your brooms!"

And with that, the party began. Cynthia spun her tunes while the crowd danced away on the floor, or a few people on the dance poles.

The party went on past the end of the contest at 8PM to a bit past 9 (Midnight EST).

The 1000L prizes that night went to Crim Mip for the men and for the ladies Sheila Lapine.

And so, a new chapter has begun for the main club of the Sunweaver Estates. It will have regular events on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 6PM to 8PM, sometimes going on for an hour more or longer.

Sunweaver Bay (115, 107, 157)

Some pictures from Cynthia Farshore.

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, March 13, 2015

The 2015 Relay for Life Kickoff

By Bixyl Shuftan

It was Sunday March 8 that the Relay for Life fundraising season offocially begun. At 10AM, close to 150 avatars had gathered at the two sims RFL Kickoff and RFL Kickoff2, both which were south of the permament American Cancer Society sim. This year's sim. This year's theme, "The Future is Now." This marks the eleventh year the Relay has taken part in Second Life.

The landmark I was given took me to a spot some distance away from the stage. Getting there required me crossing a lightbeam bridge. Then approaching the stage.

Over the radio, Trader Whiplash of T-1 Radio would stream inspirational songs and speeches. "Everyone's been busy, we have 134 teams ... Registration Day's been something of an event in itself." And in the audience were various members of those teams. I counted about 140 avatars in the two sims, and someone stated the number at one point was 170.

On the stage were the members of the 2015 Committee. There were a few new faces on it.

"Another change is ACS Island," we heard on the radio. There had been some changes on it, which Gemma wrote about in her story about the location. Places about Breast Cancer and an International area would be added in the future.

 A number of teams for the Relay were represented at the Kickoff. For the Sunbeamers, the team of the Sunweaver Estates where the main Newser office is located, there was me and Cynthia Farshore.

The Newser's DrFran Babcock was there representing the Relay Wizards for Spunky.

 Gemma Cleanslate was also there, though under a Relay-wide title.

There were a number of noted Relayers present such as the Dark Unicorn Avariel Falcon.

So were Panza and Bain Finch.

IshtarAngel Michaeline, the official Relay photographer, was there in an orange tiger neko look, instead of her normal white.

Wildstar Beaumont, sporting his team's flag.

Noted blogger Daniel Voyager was also there (click here for his article).

There were many others there, some standing out in their own way.

The captain of a Klingon Team.

Over the radio, Stingray talked about a number of things, such as the radio sponsors which began appearing last year, ""whatever we did last year, it was good enough so they came back." Also listed were some accomplishments by those doing cancer research over time, such as new treatments and new ways to test for cancer earlier and more accurately. There were also improvements just for the quality of life, "We've created a world in ... where so many people survive cancer, it's not if but when you survive." Overall, the survival ratio has improved from 1 in 10 to two in three.

Also mentioned was how much has been done by the Relay for Life's chapter in Second Life, having raised $5,000 USD in it's first year to over $400,000 last year. Then came someone singing "No Time Like Now." Finally, the season was declared open with the list of teams, large and small.

Besides the kickoff, there were other events that weekend, plus the exhibits on the track around the kickoff stage. Those will be in the next article.

For the recording of T1 Radio's stream, Click Here: .

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, March 12, 2015

"The Little Prince"

By Gemma Cleanslate

I have been trying for over a  month to get to see the play,   The Little  Prince, in Second Life. Finally I did make it over to Paris Eiffel where there was a performance in French . In the midst of all the madness of the Relay for Life opening I took an hour to sit and enjoy a marvelous show. The Producer Xavier Thiebaud attended with his wife RAFTwet Jewell , both old friends of mine.  The director of the show is Andy Loon who also plays the Prince. Andy also created all the settings which are amazing. It was fitting to view it in the French language since it is based on a story by  d'Antoine de Saint ExupĂ©ry. If you are not familiar with the story  you can read a summary at

The sl setting is enchanting , little planets fill the stage which is the starlit sky. The prince meets the narrator in the Sahara desert where he recounts his adventures on all the planets and the strange people he met on each. Though written seemingly as a children’s story it is not. The visits to the planets are filled with metaphors of life. DameLessage Igaly greeted everyone as we entered and gave us warning of the beginning of the play. The audience is requested to wear low script attire and I can see why. The Little Prince and other actors must contend with many changes and movements during the play.  

The entire play takes a little over an hour and I will definitely go to see it again in the English version . It will be performed several more times over the next months. The audience was most appreciative of each act and expressed themselves in much applause and exclamations over the scenes as they passed. I look forward to seeing it again. The A List group owned by Xavier and Raftwet send out notices when the Play is showing.  You can contact Xavier for membership. I hope you will get a chance to experience it. You will love it! 

Gemma Cleanslate 

Editor's Note: After Gemma wrote this article, it was announced that the next performance would be on March 15 at 2PM SL time at Oceanea (63/104/30). Formal dress is required.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Scenes From the Science Fiction Convention in Second Life 2015

From Friday February 20 to Sunday March 1, the Science Fiction Convention in Second Life took place. There were a number of exhibits among several sims. This was a chance for a number of sci-fi roleplay groups to get more players. It was also a chance for fans to meet up and chat with one another. The event raised money for the Relay for Life, one of the last RFL related events to take place before the start of the official season.

There were six sims of exhibits, Fhloston Parside, Pern Sound, New Vegas, Risa, Shinon, and Margalthea. Fhloston Parside and Pern Sound were mainly water and walkways over and across them. One could also walk to the American Cancer Society sim, which was next to Fhloston Parside.

Dropping by the ACS sim, Trader Whiplash of T-1 radio was there, among with a few others. He was broadcasting from there, and happy to help out at another fundraiser for the cancer charity. One of my neighbors from Sunweaver, Shadow (the naga) showed up to look around as well and joined me.

There were a few events going on, such as a cake baking contest. No doubt a few involved some unusual varieties of wheat for the flour and eggs.

An amusement park area, complete with a ferris wheel.

Stargazer Creations, one of the shops.

The thing about science fiction conventions is many of the visitors look like part of the exhibits themselves, such as this lady whom in real life was an ethnic Indonesian living in Ireland.

The Apollo 17 Visitor Center by the National Space Society's Second Life chapter,

 Part of a Dr. Who exhibit.

Chatting with these two convention-goers took on a roleplay theme. The lady in slacks described herself as from a space station run by her parents. The pink rubbery bunnygirl described herself as once being human, but ended up being tricked into undergoing a procedure that changed her into what she was. Fortunately her memory was restored.

 A classic "little green man," or in this case a female.

 A reptilian huntress trying to hold a conversation with a small android.

A statue of "Kahless the Unforgettable," in Trek lore the man who founded the Klingon Empire.

Going on a dragon ride.

After the passing of Leonard Nimoy, the actor behind the Star Trek character Spock, many exhibits put up a tribute to him, notably some Trek ones.

 The "Alien Culture Dating" event. At first I thought this was a discussion about concepts of dating in science fiction. It turned out to be a roleplayed speed dating.

 Shadow and I trying out a shuttle.

Flying it proved to be a little tricky.

The "BSG-82" exhibit, a Battlestar Galactica roleplay group. Talking to Ito Naminosaki who was there, he described the group as one of two remaining roleplays based on the science fiction show remaining, "our sim has more Combat Elements ... but still (an) RP Sim." Their own roleplay involved elements of both shows, "the Colonial fall in (the) Miniseries (had) not happened ... so we are in an still running second Cylon War."

What happened to other Battlestar Galactica roleplays? Ito seemed to be saying the actions by Universal against them a few years ago had a rather chilling effect on morale, even though there was an agreement and the company backed off. Ito did say that a third was around when the convention was being planned, but dissolved before the sci-fi con began.

Another exhibit I stopped by was Black Gaza Prison. Talking to one of the people there, Spirit Wolf (wraith.solo), he described themselves as, "We're SL's oldest running sci-fi themed prison RP. We're mainly furry, but we accept all regular size AV types, furry, human, alien, neko, etc. We have several roles within, medic, guard, robots, inmates, K9 units for feral avatars: We also have mechanics guild." He thought they had been around for six years.

So what were the challenges of a prison roleplay? " Not knowing what is going to happen. As an inmate, it is all about loss of personal control. Every encounter with a guard, you never (really) know what is going to happen. As a guard, it's rolling with the flow, and trying to guide things along ..." Taking a look at the notes, the setting was a rather dark one, described as being influenced by a corrupt corporation. "White knight" behavior by guards was discouraged. Still, they have their chuckles, "especially late at night. Everyone has late night typos, and your brain isn't working 100%...things come out wrong or you don't describe everything like you had invisioned in your head, and it begins to turn out like that old game, 'Mad Libs.' "

For more information on the Second Life Science Fiction Convention, one can check out their website at . Daniel Voyager has a few more on his Flickr page.

Bixyl Shuftan