Friday, July 30, 2010

Marney Wolfhunter to Hold Reading Event Series at Book Island

Recently, I was invited to Book Island by Selina Greene and introduced to Marney Wolfhunter. Selina introduced Marney as a writer whom will be “starting a series of events on August 3rd and every Tuesday, reading chapters from her books, but also inviting other published authors along to talk about aspects of writing and reading their own work.”

Marney introduced herself as not only a writer but a publisher, “My company Diiarts (Dragon International Independent Arts) has been going nine months, and we have published seven novels and had a hand in a yoga DVD since. In the future, we have two novels to come out this year, and a varied list going forward into 2011.”

Of the upcoming event, “On Tuesdays I plan to read from my book Custard, Cats and Consequences, which I plan to launch for the Christmas market this year. But I want to invite my authors to come down and give us some readings.” The book is not about pets, “It’s a romantic comedy, ‘Dicklit’ if you will (referring to the old Dick and Jane jokes). I always wanted to know what goes on in the guy's head, and I was tired of heroines on sofas with boxes of tissues, so my ‘Chicklit’ is told from the guy’s point of view, hence ‘Dicklit.’ “

She also had several other works in progress, “Some gay romance, a gay thriller, and a couple of other works that are a little more mainstream ... I write quirky stuff ... my stuff is acknowledged to be very quirky indeed. My writing partner and business partner, Jason, is sometimes slightly unnerved by the overall weirdness of my imagination.”

“But the main event I really hope is going to be the monthly input from my published authors. Paul House (Common Places and Harbour) is particularly keen to take part, and he will do a very good talk on writing. MM Bennetts, who has written our Flagship Historical Fiction work, May 1812, is a critic and historian. ... May 1812 is the story of the home front at the time of the Peninsular War (Napoleon’s invasion of Spain). The Spencer Perceval assassination (the British Prime Minister) tips the government into crisis. M's second book ‘Of Honest Fame’ will be published at the end of the year, concentrating on the spy crisis leading up to Waterloo.” A notecard by MM Bennetts described the book as, “mainly a slice of life novel of historical fiction, a month in the life of a Foreign Office Codebreaker.”

”M's books are always impeccably researched, and she has a true love of the period and the places in the book. ... We also have a romance coming up, ‘Ask Me If I'm Happy,’ from Kimberley Menozzi.”

Of the books planed to be read from at the event, three are historical fictions, “two with a historical background, and two thrillers. Our authors come from all over the world.” Talking further, among the books she was working on was “Mutiny and the Bounty.” This had nothing to do with the incident on Captain Bligh’s ship, but was done in response to the recent movie “the Bounty Hunter,’” about a man on a mission to arrest his ex-wife, which she didn’t like, “In this story, the bounty hunter goes after his former brother in law.”

Marney’s publishing company Diiarts was launched last year on November 14, 2009. The website describes itself as a “farmers market” of the publishing industry. A note card from Marney stated, “I wanted to be able to offer an option to those writers who had a good story--which perhaps the mainstream publishing apparatus didn’t feel they could handle--but for whom self-publishing would be a dark and scary place. I also believe very strongly in the power of the multiple voice. One person alone can’t always do the job.”

The website of her company Diiarts is at:

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Glistening Treasures

I looked in at the Jewelry show at The Village International several times so far and am really impressed. The designers have set out some wonderful pieces for collectors.

The jewelers are Narita Rayna of Ticky Tacky, Lake Swords of Bodywear Jewelry, Ninja Petion of Digital Dragon, Tjake Kearny of Jewelry by Jake, Carrie Granti of CGUK and NIRVANA, Mericatherine Quinnell of Exquisite Jewelry, P4Designs of Milady’s and Tommy Angon of Culture Fine Jewelry. A wonderful collection of jewelry designers.

There is a HUNT going on with wonderful gifts hidden throughout the sim. Don’t miss it!

They will all be there until July 31st so don’t miss a change to see so many in one place at one time!. Take a walk around the sim to see the art exhibits while you are there. There might be a party going on.

The Jewelry Show is at The Village International sim at (134, 18, 25)

Gemma Cleanslate

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tart Gallery Celebrates 3rd Anniversary

It's hard to believe Tart Gallery is 3 already! The Gallery, owned by artist ByrneDarkly Cazalet, is a gallery with an aim toward showcasing new artists, both from RL and SL.

Artists have showings on a quasi-monthly basis, with some exhibits holding over into a second month. Each new exhibit is highlighted by an opening party to browse and meet the artist, complete with DJ music and dancing.

On 14 July, the Anniversary Party took place. This month's featured artist is Lisa Petrucci with her exhibit "Kickass Kuties."

Lisa was a gallery curator in Portland, Maine and Boston, Massachusetts, eventually relocating to New York City where she was the director of the Pat Hearn Gallery and later the Bess Cutler Gallery. Disenchanted with the contemporary art world, she moved to the west coast, where she got involved with the burgeoning lowbrow art scene and eventually settled in Seattle after meeting her partner in crime and soulmate, Mike Vraney.

Over the years Lisa’s obsession with pop culture grew. Collecting old toys, pin-up art and vintage magazines ultimately inspired her own artwork and she found the perfect format for her imagery – the round bark border of the souvenir wood plaque. "Each slab of wood is lovingly painted with the things she enjoys most and celebrate femininity and all that is cute."

Lisa is now considered to be a part of the Pop Surrealism movement and has been featured in many diverse publications, including her own deluxe art book “Kickass Kuties – The Art of Lisa Petrucci” published by Dark Horse.

For more on Lisa Petrucci, visit her website at Her paintings can be viewed inworld at the Slustleria sim at (68, 234, 28).

Shellie Sands

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Roselinda’s Paradise Party

Roselinda’s Paradise was the fantastic setting for a whole day of party on Sunday July 18th. Eymerich Lane and Roselinda Mayo graciously opened their home for the event. There was music from an array of DJs including Arcangelo Hellmam, and Qwark Allen who entertained the guests with their music for dancing. In between Eymerich Lane himself took to the airways with his streaming.

The elegant sim was open for visiting. The private Art Gallery is amazing, filled with a collection of pieces gathered over the past four years. After the DJs, there was a live performance by Skye Galaxy, songster, whose music is lovely and enthralled the guests.

There was more to come! PA DeCosta sang next and was well received. He was followed by CraigLyons Writer. He was ready at the top of the hour and the crowd started to build up right away. The large screen over the lake was set up for CraigLyons live video feed of his real life performance.

The affair began at 8am and went on until 5pm. All enjoyed visiting the sim and listening and dancing to the wonderful music.

Gemma Cleanslate

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Relay For Life: Walking the Walk

I’ve done the Second Life Relay for Life walk before, every year since after I got here, but this was the first I did so as a part of a team: the Passionate Redheads.

On Saturday July 17th, I ported to the Opening Ceremonies just before they started at 12 Noon SL time. The leader Sabine McGettigan along with officers Daaneth Kivioq and Dusk Griswold stood out by waving the team flag, which was probably the largest of those used by the RFL teams. The leaders of Relay addressed the residents gathered, thanking them for the funds already raised, and encouraging them for the main event in the Relay, the Walk.

As the Opening Ceremonies came to a close, we (and the other Redheads there) ported to the Redhead camp at RFL Hope (125, 74, 22), where Rita Mariner, Treminari Huet, and a few others. It was named “A Readheaded Fairy Tale: Nothing is quite as it seems. The place had an overall storybook theme, with a little red riding hood (nontransfer) available for free. There was also a game, get a HUD by donating 100L, and search for gems, each representing a theme of the Relay. Get them all, and one would get a special prize. Various tales from Alice in Wonderland to Rapunzel were depicted. The build was mostly done by Shockwave Yarearch and Lomgren Smalls.

11 AM had been designated the “Survivor’s Walk.” Redhead leader Sabine McGettigan and someone whom I didn’t know was with the team until today, Elphias Kojishi, got onto the track, and began their lap around. About the time the started, we heard a song playing, one that would repeat again and again:

And did you think this fool could never win,
Well look at me, I’m coming back again
I got a taste of love in a simple way
And if you need to know while I’m standing, you just fade away

Don’t you know that I’m still standing, better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
I’m still standing, after all this time
Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

I’m still standing, yeah yeah yeah
I’m still standing, yeah yeah yeah

As other survivors passed, we would wave to them, some cheering. And the survivors would wave and cheer back. At 12 Noon, came the Caregivers Hour. Dusk Griswold, and Skylark Lefavre got onto the track.

As 1 PM approached, Sabine and Elphias came back to the base. A few more of the Redhead team were arriving for the team walk. Rita bragged the teams numbers would strain the servers, “Let’s crash a few sims.” And so at 1 PM it was our turn all at once to walk as participants, one sticking behind to keep the base manned. I had on the team shirt, and that huge flag waving in front of me as I stepped onto the course to join my friends. To help, we each had a “walker” on our backs that would allow us to follow someone, hopefully keeping going if lag ever hit.

With so many other avies, lag was a persistent problem. Sometimes I couldn’t see most of those around me. Sometimes it looked like there wasn’t much around me but a green field and segments of road. The lag also broke us up, how our different computers handled it slowing our progress at different rates. A couple times Daaneth teleported those behind to catch up. Once a sim was down for several minutes before it was finally open.

But other times most around me were visible, and I caught sight of some of the great builds. And the people I happened to encounter. There was Dione Kohime, the DJ whom went bald for the Relay last month. There was Glitter Xeltentat and Breezes Babii, former reporters of the old newspaper. And there was the lady who talked me into coming into Second Life to begin with, Kamilah Hauptmann, whom became Caledon’s Vicereine. When the lioness saw me, she roared with approval.

At 2 PM SL time, it was International Hour and we were still on the track. I put on a blue jacket and white pants, the coat of hair on my avie providing the red. It was about this time that we made it back to the Redhead base. For the first time, I had completed a lap at Relay. Other times, I had been too busy exploring the sights to finish.

As the day went on, I split my time by exploring a few of the sights, meeting up with some old friends here, and hanging out at the base chatting with friends. I caught sight of an enormous variety of avatars, from tinies to ferrals to nekoes to furries, and of course normal humans in a variety of hair styles shapes and clothes. There were various groups represented from the Victorian-age Caledonians, to the Sail 4 Life boating group, to the infamous Goreans, and many more.

At 9PM SL time was the Luminary. The atmosphere became more subdued as we were asked to keep a respectful tone for those friends and loves ones lost to cancer. Some among us felt close to tears as we thought of them. I didn’t attend the main ceremony, but did hear whom among the Redheads was honored. Artistic Fimicloud and Littledove were among those passed away honored. Those honored for their work with the Relay included Sabine McGettigan and Alleara Snoodle.

Yours truly couldn’t stay up for the late night/early morning events. I logged on briefly in the morning, Sunday July 18th, to catch some of the “fight back” hour, with people running the track in purple capes. There was also the “Caring & Curing Hour,” which had people dressed up as doctors and nurses. And with the Redheads’ sense of humor, there were a few “helllloooooo nurse!” quips. Sorry to say real life kept me away from the closing ceremonies and fireworks, but I got enough pictures to see it was quite a show.

Sabine had the following closing statement in an announcement:

Relay for Life of SL is officially over, The Kiosks will stay active until the end of the month, and the Campsite will stay up until Tuesday evening (tear down Weds & Thurs). We may add a bit to our totals, but we raised 1,643,900 L - or a bit over $6,300 USD. With our convio donations, we should hit $7,000 USD - which given the economy, is an outstanding performance.

But its about a lot more than the money. Its about the healing, the love, the sharing we have been able to do.

Thank you all!!

The Redheads also got a trophy, "Longest Running Team" in the Relay for Life.

The Redheads were just one of many teams. The official website stated over 1500 avatars in 139 teams took part in he Walk. Over 52 million Lindens had been raised to this point, for a total of over $219,000. For the first time, an amount less than the year before, which is thought to be because of the economy.

Even though the Relay was over, people continued to hold events in the sims, and of course explore around. There are still a few more stories to be told, a few more souvenirs to collect, a few more sights to see, and a few more memories to gather.

Cancer might not be beaten tomorrow, but we took pride in that we helped make it’s demise a little close, and for those among us who suffered, they reminded themselves in spite of what was thrown against them, they were still standing.

And did you think this fool could never win,
Well look at me, I’m coming back again
I got a taste of love in a simple way
And if you need to know while I’m standing, you just fade away

Don’t you know that I’m still standing, better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
I’m still standing, after all this time
Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

I’m still standing, yeah yeah yeah
I’m still standing, yeah yeah yeah

Bixyl Shuftan

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The 2010 Relay for Life Walk

Continued from Main Section

These activities will be happening around the clock:

Live Music - 4 sims are dedicated to stage area where all of our favorite Secondlife live music artists will perform. A specially designed stage for the performers and a large open dance floor and dance machines for all to enjoy! Watch posted signs for scheduling!

The Scavenger Hunt - Hidden on each of the 4 corner sims on the Relay track (Dedication, Acceptance, Imagine, & Survive) are clues with a question related to cancer. Find the clue, answer the question correctly and get a prize. You may even learn a few things you did not know. Each question has 4 responses and you get 4 tries to answer it correctly, so keep trying till you get it right. You will then receive clues about the location of the next hidden question along the way.

Auctions - Silent Auction and Art Auctions. Silent auction will be going on from 10am - 10am, a full 24 hours!- Make your Bids! Incredible art items by some of the best artists in SL are up for bidding at the Silent Action. Memorable pieces honor survivors, caregivers, victims, and the fight against cancer itself, along with other pieces. The Silent Auction features clothings, one of a kind items, and so much more! If you have something you would like to see auctioned, please contact Mike Burleigh, all proceeds go to this year's Relay for Life!

Fishing - You know a diet healthy in fish is good for preventing cancer, so come catch your virtual dinner. Design has set up a beautiful area for fishing in our Water Sailing and Fishing sim. Visit the vendor on the dock, buy the supplies you need and fish! You may even amaze yourself with what you catch and the stories are good for a year about the one that got away! All proceeds go towards the Relay total, and it's FUN too!

Mining Roller Coaster in the Sky - Located on the Wish sim. Many cancer patients feel like they are on a roller coaster when they first discover they have been stricken by the disease. Take a ride on this wild coaster in the sky and see for yourself what it can be like.

Storytelling Play in the Park (4pm, sim to be determined)- An hour and a half of story telling fun. "The Fire is a haunting 18th century tale of murder, mystery, and mayhem. Follow American brat Frankey and Pete the peasant as they visit 1789 during a famine. Will Frankey redeem himself?" This play sends a message of strength and willpower, much like a cancer survivor, these traits are not an option, but a necessity.

Surfing - Catch a wave and ride it through! The tide is high and and perfect for a surf board to sail it to the end. Cancer patients can experience some rough waters as they work their way through weeks, months, and sometimes years of treatments. This also signifies the waves of emotion that come along with surviving these treatments.

There will be a few other attractions as well, such as a Riverboat on the sim named Treatment, and Water Slide Tubes on the Unity sim! Be sure and check it all out!

* * * * * * * *

Hour by Hour in Detail

10am - 11am - Opening Ceremonies

11am - 12pm - Survivor Hour - Survivors Are the "Spirit Of Relay" They Are the Promise Of Hope! Please Line the Track and Celebrate Our Heroes, Our Friends who have heard the words "You Have Cancer"

12pm - 1pm Caregiver Hour - The Caregivers are Backbone of the Fight. They hold the hands, they care for and support their loved ones as they walk their cancer journey. Once Again Line the Track and Support the Ones who give so much to help our Survivors Fight Cancer!

1pm - 2pm - Team Spirit Hour - Team Shirts and banners. Walk the track with pride for all you have done to help find a cure for cancer.

2pm - -3pm - International Hour - Dress in your counties colors for an hour of fun

3pm - 4pm - More Birthday's Hour - The American Cancer's Theme for 2010 Relays is More Birthdays. What do we do at birthdays? Make Wishes - Wish On A Cure. Put on your Party Hats. Carry your balloons. Maybe you are a big present. Wear a titler with your Birthday Month, or Birthday Wish. A world with more birthdays is a world with less cancer.

4pm - 5pm Hillbilly Highway - Country tunes and bluegrass will keep you kicking up your heels, so dress in your best Yeeee Hawww outfit.

5pm - 6pm Get Active Hour - football, rugby, hockey, yoga, swimming, any sports or exercise clothing. The Great American Get Active Challenge encourages us to get 30 minutes of exercise a 5 plus days a week over and above our usual activities.

6pm - 7pm - The Tacky Tourist Hour - The name says it all..

7pm 8pm Beach Hour - Dress for a day at the beach. Always remember to protect yourself from the sun on land and sea even on a cloudy day

8pm - 9pm Dress Up Hour - Put on a Nice Dress or Suit as you walk the track and Celebrate Relay for Life

9pm - 10pm - Luminaria Ceremony - (done quiet reflection with poetry and inspirational music; sims are darkened for reflection and remembrance of those and their loved ones who have lost their battles to cancer or are still battling it; all are invited to participate)

10pm - 11pm Meet a new friend hour - say hello to someone you don't know and walk a bit with them

11pm - 12am - Heath Matters - Maybe you are a banana, or an orange, or a carrot? Or simply dress in a healthy food color. The Great American Eat Right Challenge encourages us to aim for a healthy body weight and eat a well -balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetable and whole grains.

12am- 1am - Midnight Masquerade - Wear a Masque and Dress as a Creature of the Night

1am - 2am Fantasy Hour - Wings, Tails, Furries, Fairies, Wizards and Magicians

2am - 3am Silly Hats Hour

3am - 4am Favorite Decade - Did you love the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's or maybe way back to the 40's or the flappers or the roaring 20s? Dress in your favorite decade outfit and show it on the track

4am - 5am Walk Like A Pirate - Arh Maties ... dar be pirates on the track dressed in their swashbuckler attire with parrots on their shoulders and a swagger in their step. (Please Limit use of Scripted Items!)

5am - 6am Curlers, Coffee, PJ's & Slippers - time to wake up and smell the coffee

6am - 7am - Fight Back Ceremony - (Pick up your specially made RFL HOPE Cape and Fight Back Flags - available at the Relay Stations, and join us as we make our fight back pledges to save a life this year -your own, a friends, a family member, or someone you don't even know yet. Together we all can FIGHT BACK.

7am - 8am = Caring & Curing Hour - Doctors, Nurses, Scientist - Working together to beat cancer. The Great American Health Check encourages you to find out what cancer screening tests are appropriate based on your age and family history... discuss them with your doctor. Screening can prevent cancer or detect it at is earliest, most treatable stage.

8am - 9am Formal Wear Hour - The Last Lap or Relay For Life 2010 - Join us in your Finest formal attire (but try to keep it low prim please) and walk the track as you prepare for the closing ceremonies of Relay 2010

9am - 10am - Closing Ceremony

10am - 12pm Thank You Hours - Walk the track and meet the Relay Committee. Celebrate YOUR Relay!

* * * * * * * * * *

Second Life Newser got a chance to talk to some of the Relay officials at the Welcome Center in the Relay for Life sim at (235/28/22). A purple square at the exit will teleport residents at random into one of the 34 Relay stations across the track. Unlike previous Relays, there is no official start and finish like. The decision was made to minimize congestion, "pile-ups," and lag for those entering. There's also notecards of all the team campsites so one can teleport to any desired, plus one of the designer builds.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Prieview Scenes of the RFL Walk

The Relay for Life Walk isn't officially open yet. But Second Life Newser got a chance to look at a few places on and off the track.

Pictures by Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, July 2, 2010

Creative Challenges and Innovative Ideas at the UWA

The University of Western Australia (UWA), founded by Sir John Winthrop Hackett, is a leading Australian research university and has an international reputation for excellence, innovation and enterprise. A member of the Australian 'Group of Eight' research universities, it is also among Australia's leading research universities. Sitting on the banks of the Swan River, the UWA Crawley campus is the oldest in Western Australia and among the most picturesque in the nation with its grand sandstone and terracotta buildings sitting among elegant heritage-listed gardens. The UWA in SL consists of three sims, including UWA, University of Western Australia and WASP Land.

Two competitions are running simultaneously through August 2010, the Imagine Challenge and the Flagship Challenge. The Imagine Challenge focuses on Arts and Design, while the Flagship Challenge focuses on Architecture. The competitions are taking place monthly with prizes awarded each month.

I recently visited the 3D Art & Design Challenge for the Imagine Challenge segment of the competitions. Even the landing point is unique in it's design with a swirling circle of color and an image resembling an eye. The Imagine Challenge focuses on limitless imagination. The challenge is to create a work of art using any form, shape, influence or medium. Awards are given in multiple categories. All non-winners will receive a share of the monthly pool beginning with $L6000 and increasing with donations to the tip jar at the Imagine Gallery.

The artwork is absolutely incredible! The designs range from ethereal to surreal to abstract. Skillful use of color and sculpties applies to these magnificent creations. There are sculptures both real and abstract, 3D pictures, a solar system complete with rotation and sound, and a piece which at first looks like colored pole lamps but is really shapes connected to five the effect of flowers in glass--at least that was my interpretation, perhaps not the intention of the artist. There is even a cosmic egg with what looks like an circular embryo in the center. All are very ingenious and creative pieces of art and a must see for all.

Shellie Sands