Wednesday, June 30, 2010

two, three, six, five

You can read my entry for the Two, Three, Six, Five project at this link.   That's all for today. :))

Friday, June 18, 2010

BBBC Day 6: It's a wrap

If this is your first BBBC... What did you get out of your experience? Do you think it will change the way you blog in the future?

I would never last doing the 365 bloggers project. Just doing this 6 day Big Bad Bloggers Challenge felt like a challenge to me. Ya, I know, I'm a wuss. Kudos to all those bloggers who are now over halfway thru the 365 project. You guys amaze me.

But I made it to the end of the week and what I discovered is I don’t like blogging everyday. One reason is because it is time consuming. Another reason is because I run out of interesting things to blog about. Still, I think it’s good practice to write everyday, to perfect your craft. I’m just not sure if anyone wants to read my daily rambles.

But, even though I felt I was lacking in my own posts, I really enjoyed reading everyone else's blogs this week. I'm interested in people and their experiences, and when I read blogs, I feel like I'm getting to know the blogger. I hope people feel like they have gotten to know me from reading my blog.

In RL, I’m a bit of an introvert. I mostly prefer to keep to myself and I don’t open up so easily to others. Sometimes I worry that people think I’m a snob or will label me as being shy, which always seems to feel like a bad thing. I’ve always been able to express myself more freely and openly through the written word, so it’s my preferred method of self-expression. 

Will it change the way I blog in the future? I don’t know. It’s hard to say just now. I suppose time will tell. I’m the type of person who kind of has to let things steep in my head for a little while before I can gain any ideas or insights.  

One thing I did learn during the week is that I tend to over think blogging too much. The times when I have had an idea and felt really inspired, writing a post came easy. In fact, my most popular blog posts are the ones that I didn’t spend hours thinking about and rereading and editing. So I think that will definitely have some sort of impact on the way I blog.  

I'm glad I did the challenge, and it's been fun having topics to blog and to see what everyone comes up with. I'm looking forward to more blogger challenges in the future...although I make no promises that I will be able to participate due to time, but I have good intentions to give it a try.  

Thursday, June 17, 2010

BBBC Day 5: Bloggers Choice: Meet the real me

I have nothing blog worthy to say today.  So instead, I'm going to post this snapshot I took of my avatar looking in the mirror with the real me reflecting back to her.  

I actually posted this here before and then I deleted it because I chickened out about showing my face, and I wasn't happy with how the snapshot turned out.  I played around with it too much in PhotoShop Elements and the colours came out looking all washed out.  Maybe I'll redo it one of these days, but for now here it is...

BBBC Day 4: Age is just a number, and a few more grey hairs

Is your avatar more or less your current biological age? Do you portray a younger avatar, or older? Why is this?

I've never really thought about what age my avatar is.  I don't know, I can't say that I really "portray" my avatar as any age or anything really, because in my interactions in SL, I'm just being my 36 year old self, so Carrie is just me...with perfect make up that doesn't smudge and no surprise grey hairs that pop up three or four at a time seemingly overnight.  

I definitely dress my avatar in a younger sort of style, but that's just because I like the style of clothing and it has nothing to do with trying to portray her as any certain age.  

In RL, I'm pretty happy with the age and stage I'm at.  My 20's were more exciting, but in my 30's, I'm enjoying a self-confidence I didn't have when I was younger.  Maybe I just never think about an age for my avatar because I never really think my age in RL, not yet anyways.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

BBBC Day 3: Relationships

How hard do you think it is to find a relationship in SL? If you have a SL relationship, have you met in the physical world? Would you meet them? Do you think it would change your SL relationship if you met?

When I first read todays BBBC topic, I cringed a little.  This topic is kind of a sore spot for me, and I'd rather not talk about it.  I talked about it enough here and here, if you're interested.  But, I'm not gonna let it stop me from finishing this blogger challenge...and a challenge it has been for me tonight in writing this post.  

In my experience, finding a relationship in SL is not hard, in fact, I think it's rather easy...the real question is, is it a lasting one and is it the kind of relationship that you are looking for and with the right person?  I think this the real challenge, and as challenging as it may be, I do know maybe two couples who found each other in SL and have made, or are making the transition from SL to RL.  I can only speculate on this topic, but I suspect they would have had to leave some space open for their relationship to change and adjust to the atomic world.

I'm married, so meeting a SL romantic partner is irrelevant to me.  But, if a relationship was something I was open to and looking for, then yes I would definitely consider meeting in RL.  I would be scared out of my wits to meet, but if it was something I really wanted, fear wouldn't stop me from that possibility.  

For me, a relationship is not what I'm in SL for.  There was a time when I thought I wanted that, and then there was a time when I had completely sworn off romantic relationships.  And then there came a time when the hurt feelings heal, the fear starts to subside and I'm starting to see things through different eyes.  What it all means for me, I don't know yet.   

I don't understand all the complexities of finding and maintaining a relationship in SL, or what it's like to bring a relationship outside of SL and into RL, but I do know this:  there is no right or wrong way for any one person, and if there is one thing I have learned from SL, is that anything and everything is possible.

Monday, June 14, 2010

BBBC Day 2: Focus on the Positive

Big Bad Blogger Challenge topic for today:  Write about three positive things going on in your SLife.

I'm usually a pretty positive person, and luckily, I haven't had too much drama in my SLife.  It's not been completely drama free, but it's been minimal and I try to keep it that way.  That's not to say that I haven't had any opportunities to open the door to drama and negativity, it's just that when trouble has come a knockin', I choose not to give it any more power and I walk away from it.  I don't mean I run and hide, it's more like, I just don't engage in it.  You see, in my 36 years I've learned that in the grand scheme of things, life is short, so I pick and choose my battles carefully.  I'd much rather invest my precious time in something positive that I feel good about.  After all, this is SL, and I get to choose exactly how I'm going to experience it.  

As for positive things, I've got a lot of things going on in SL right now, so narrowing it down to three seems like a hard thing to do.  I gave it some thought, and I can say that all the positive things going on boils down to three defining elements:  friends, creativity and a little bit of escapism.  

In-world, I think I can count on one hand the people I consider to be close friends.  Some of them I chat with often, and others I chat with only every now and again.  But no matter how much time goes by, we can always pick up where we left off.  In many ways, I consider these friends my SL family.  They are my friends who are always there for me, who never judge me and can always make me laugh.  Like my SL BFF Aubree.  I hate to differentiate between SL and RL here, but I'm pretty sure that if we lived anywhere near each other, we would be friend's in RL too.

My blog, which I wrote about in yesterdays post, provides me an opportunity to write again and to explore my creativity.  Blogging gives me little projects to do in SL, even if it is taking just one snapshot or keeping my eyes open for something to blog about.  And when it comes to creativity in SL, I think I've only just scratched the surface of creative endeavours in SL.  

From the time I could read, I always enjoyed sitting down with a good book and escaping for a short time to another world.  It's no wonder that I took to SL like a duck takes to water...a slow duck I'll admit, but a duck no less.  I have a busy and sometimes crazy life. If I made a list of all the things I do in one day, you probably wouldn't believe me.  On any given day, you'll often find me juggling work responsibilities, house renovations, parent council meetings, play dates, appointments, lessons, laundry and all the other usual household duties and so on and so on...are you surprised when I say that I log into SL to escape all of that for a little while?  And hell no, I don't feel bad about it.  Mama deserves some play time too. 

In the beginning of this post, I said I was lucky to not have so much negativity in my SLife...but on further thought, I think that has more do with well thought out choices(sometimes i make bad ones too) rather than just plain luck.  Thinking of it this way reminds me that my experience in SL, be it positive or negative, is in my own hands...and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

BBBC Day One: Why I Blog

I'm participating in this year's Big Bad Blogger Challenge run by Alicia Cheneaux.  This is my first post...

Early on in my SL, I discovered there was a vast community of SL bloggers.  I think I was maybe a couple of weeks old when I googled “second life help for newbies” or something like that, and it brought me up a ton of listings for SL blogs.  I was hooked on the blogs from the beginning.  I love reading about people's experiences in SL, and how it affects their real lives. 

I started my own blog in October, 2009.  My main reason for starting the blog was because I wanted to have a creative outlet in my life.  I wrote about that in my first blog post.

When I was in high school I wrote a lot.  I was this strange mix of geeky bad ass girl.  I played clarinet in the school band.  I wore army combat boots and thick black eyeliner with my catholic school uniform, and I thought I was gonna marry Robert Smith of The Cure.  I would skip afternoon classes and go to of all places...the library and write in my journal!  And when afternoon classes were finished, I snuck back into school to go to band practice.  

Now that I think about it, I was probably more than just a geeky bad ass girl...I think I was bordering on high school freak.  On a scale of 1 to 10 in high school freakishness, I was a mediocre freak scoring about a 5 or 6.  The real freaks were all in the drama club, that's just the way things were in my small northern town.

I loved writing and I would carry my journal around with me everywhere I went.  Thanks to an english teacher who saw a spark in me, I  had some short stories and poetry published in some local publications.   And it wasn't just my high school newsletter, they were literary publications with solid reputations.  I know, judging from my poor grammar, run on sentences and all my other technical errors, you'd probably never guess I was a published writer, haha. 

That was a great time in my life, when writing came so easily to me and I wasn't weighed down by the emotional baggage we inevitably pick up as we mature.  I thought that maybe I would make a living out of being a writer some day. But, shit happens and as a young adult, I made some poor choices which got me into some trouble, and due to low self-esteem and not feeling good enough, I abandoned my writing aspirations.

Eventually, I got my life back on track - I graduated from university, I travelled, I started my career, I met my husband and started my family, but creative writing fell off my priority list.  I still wrote a lot in my daily life– I wrote essays and thesis papers, and in my work, I read social policies and I write huge long ass reports on them…but none of that satisfies my creativity.  I wanted to write again just for the purpose of being creative, because it makes me feel good.

Second Life gives me creative inspiration to do that.  It’s not that I don’t feel inspired in RL, but SL also offers an opportunity where I can indulge myself a little and temporarily suspend RL responsibilities.  I think we all need a little escapism every once in a while. After spending a couple of hours in SL, I can log off and go back to RL and feel like I have fulfilled some creative desires inside me.  It’s a satisfying feeling and I am a happier person because of it.  

Another thing I have discovered since starting my blog is that I feel like I’m contributing something to the SL community.  I’m not a builder of anything in-world, I’m far too impatient for that.  There was a time that I thought that the only way I could contribute content to SL was to create stuff in-world.  But as I get more consistent with updating my blog and more readers find me, I feel like I’m making a contribution to the SL community…even if it is not content created in-world, I think SL blogs have meaningful content and have a huge impact on the SL community.  

Blogging about SL enriches my life because it gives me a place to express my creativity, it challenges me in my personal growth, and the best thing about blogging is that it has opened up opportunities to making new friends.  

I enjoy blogging about SL so much that I feel totally inspired to create a RL blog.  So now I have the inspiration, I just gotta find the time.  

Friday, June 11, 2010

A sombre day

I've always been "the cup is half full" girl, the eternal optimist, but since hearing the news the other day that Linden Labs was restructuring and letting go of 30% of it's employees, I'm struggling with finding an optimistic feeling about this.  This is a huge loss for the SL community, and it's a devastating loss to all those Linden's who are now unemployed.   My thoughts and prayers are with them.

So many questions, so much uncertainty.  Is this the beginning of the end?  What other changes are coming down the pipe?  What does this mean for us as SL users/residents?  What does this mean for the future of Second Life?  All I can do is hope that there is going to be a future.

Visit the Linden Memorial here

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

more on "community" in SL

I'm off work today because I'm sick as a dog.  I have a cold that is kicking my ass and at this point, I'm feeling really run down and exhausted.  I barely made it through the day yesterday and the only reason why I went into work was because I had a presentation to do.  The presentation went really well despite my illness.  DayQuil works wonders i tell you.

This morning as I was sipping a hot toddy and looking at my blog, I was thinking how funny it is that I don't get at all nervous about doing a presentation at work to a group of 25 representatives from government funders, but every time I hit "publish" on my blogger dashboard, I'm a bundle of nerves.  Isn't that funny?

That's exactly how I felt when I posted my "how to build *community* in sl" blog.  i don't know why I get so nervous, but I do.  So you can imagine how relieved I felt when i started getting positive feedback for the post.  And I was thrilled when another SL resident, Robward Antwerp, read the post and generously offered his skills to adapt the original RL "how to build community" poster, with the suggestions for community building in SL from my post:

If you would like a copy of the poster to hang on your wall in-world, i.m me and I'll drop one in your inventory.  Or you can email me at Sometimes my i.m's cap because of all my group notices.

By the way, I feel I should give credit to the original creators of the RL poster that I adapted for SL.  The painting is an original watercolour by artist Karen Kerney, and the text was written by the Syracuse Cultural Workers.  It was created in 1998.  The poster has been hanging on my office wall for several years and it has always been a favourite of mine. It's considered a classic in my field of work (community/social work)  All I did was adapt the poster for Second Life, so they deserve credit for the original message and spirit of the poster.    

So, since I'm off work today, I'm gonna head in-world to maybe clean up my inventory...or maybe i'll just crawl in bed and wait for this cold to pass.  

Have a great day everyone and have a fantastic Second Life!

Monday, June 7, 2010

A busy and exciting week

Last week was quite an exciting week for me in SL. I've got all kinds of exciting things going on:

* I graduated from my modeling course at Opium Elite Fashion Academy - my graduation fashion show will be coming up soon, I'll post details when I have them
* I was offered to join the pool of models at Opium Elite Fashion Agency
* I was invited to be a contributor on the agency blog
* my "how to build community in SL" post was featured on New World Notes and as a result, I have had a ton of traffic on my blog and some new readers.
* a reader, Robward Antwerp, is making a sign/poster from said blog post and he's going to be sending it to me in-world when he's done. I'll be sure to post it here as well.
* and, my favourite part of my week...I attended the Avatar Repertory Theatre's production of Alice in WonderSland...more on that later.

Big week for me. It feels great to be getting recognition for my blog from other bloggers that I respect and admire. And I never expected to see my avatar's face on New World Notes! That was such a surprise! It made my whole weekend. And an added bonus - I love getting random i.m's in-world from people telling me how much they like my blog. It means a lot to me.

But don't worry, I'm not gonna let my 15 minutes of fame go to my head, I promise. I'm much to shy and humble for that...although if you happen to fly by my parcel, you might think that I've let all the attention go to my head...
Believe me, this is not some big ole "look at me" shot of myself on my roof just because I think I'm some big SLebrity now LOL.  I was on top of my roof rezzing a photoprop (because the roof of my house also serves as my makeshift photostudio). And because I'm a queen multitasker (or so I thought), I was also putting together a notecard with some photos to send to a friend, making a snack for my kids, answering the phone, catching up on Plurks, trying to keep up with two im's, a few group chats, fixing the tire on my sons' monster truck, and putting barbie heads back on for my, while I was dragging the photo from my inventory to the notecard I ended up accidentally dropping it on the roof of my house, twice, which subsequently ended with my roof being retextured with two big damn gratuitous snapshots of myself.  At least my visitors will never get lost.

(By the way, you can get that Olive peacock dress from Orage Creations for a mere $10L. A real bargain for this cute little number. And if you're interested you can read more about it at the Opium Elite Agency Blog).

And since I retextured my house by accident, I have no idea how I actually did it, so undoing it is beyond my capabilities.  I think it might be a good time to look for a new house. I'm not sure if I can fit shopping for pre-fabs on my "sl to do list". But, if you have any suggestions of where I can get a nice low prim pre-fab, I'm all ears.

What else did I want to tell you about...

Oh ya, on Saturday I attended my first ever performance by the Avatar Repertory Theatre's production of Alice in WonderSland. It was awesome, I absolutely loved it. I'm amazed at the amount of talent and creativity we have in our SL community, and I really appreciate the amount of technical and creative effort that must have went into putting the production together. The costumes were amazing, the set design brilliant, the acting superb, and it was a real treat to see. And my favourite part about this performance is that my two children watched it with me. The play took place at our dinner time, and I really wanted to attend, so my solution to that dilemma was to order pizza and get my hubby to hook up my laptop to the big tv so we all could watch the play.

/me pats herself on the back for creative problem solving

My kids loved it and in the words of my 4 year old son... "that was really cool mommy, can we watch the real movie now?" LOL And what was really nice, was that after the play during the question and answer time, I discovered that there was another SL resident who had her kids watching with her too. One of the kids even went on voice and thanked the cast for the play. It was sooo cute!  I tried to get my kids to say something but they're shy like me.

I loved that because it reaffirms for me that SL is not just about all that negative stuff you hear about in the mainstream media. There is so much more than that. It's not that bad at all.

I don't know if there are going to be anymore performances of Alice in WonderSland, but if there are, I highly recommend you attend. if not, I'm sure there will many more performances of other plays to come.

Busy week. Not just in SL but in RL too...and speaking of RL, I'm off to play monster trucks and dress up with my kids before bedtime.

Bye for now!