Tayzia Abattoir: Can you believe what an amazing community of beautiful, talented and GIVING people we have here in second life!
My answer no i did not believe it, but i was proud to be amongst those that support relay for life in SL and go along at the invitation from Nevar Lobo and Pips Fetid to the closing ceremony.
With so many people crammed in obviously there were problems but no-one minded being grey or losing attachments with Trader1 Whiplash keeping it all together with T1 radio those that could not 'see' inworld were kept up to date through the radio.
The support was incredible and the organisation flawless from the comittee members and volunteers:
Fayandria Foley, Chantal Fielding, Timeless Prototype, Tayzia Abattoir, Christopher Sterling, Nuala Maracas, Synergy Devonshire and of course the volunteer angels to name just a few.
Together with your help over L$30,000,000 ($115,000 USD) has been raised so far and of course the donations continue.
This years winning team were McDunnoughsRFL gang which included Pips Fetid, Nevar Lobo, Rebel Hope, RH Engel amongst many others who raised over L$1,000,000 this weekend alone!
Congratulations to all involved for another fantastically organised event.
Please remember you can continue to donate at the thousands of vendors all over SL.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Tayzia Abattoir: Can you believe what an amazing community of beautiful, talented and GIVING people we have here in second life!
Posted by DV at 8:13 PM
Posted by DV at 12:35 AM
Saturday, July 28, 2007
This letter states the opinion of one of our loyal readers
How the new policy effects you
New & Existing Residents:
CAMPING - 98% of all camping was funded & brought to us by casino's running
slot machines.. New residents as well as existing residents camp to pay
tiers on their homes, buy clothes, furniture & other objects.. Slot machines
were first introduced to Second Life by Philip Linden.. NOW BANNED
SPLODERS, RAFFLE BALLS & GAMES OF CHANCE AT CLUBS - every club in Second
Life has or had sploders, raffle balls & games of chance allowing anyone to
enter for a small fee & trying their luck at winning a piece of the pot...
though not specifically listed they all fall under the broad description of
the new policy.. NOW BANNED
KENO, SLINGO, TRINGO, ZYNGO etc. - all lotteries relying on a random number
generation to pick a winner.. all a major source of many residents income in
SL. These games were something everyone could do & many paid their tiers off
the prizes & profits... though not all specifically listed they all fall
under the broad description of the new policy.. NOW BANNED
EMPLOYMENT - Casino's & Poker Houses employed thousands of residents in
Second Life.. Dealers, Hosts, Security, Scriptors, Builders, etc..
Legitimate employment, a job you could be proud of & didnt have to hide from
your Real Life family.. a job that didnt force you to sell your avatar for
anothers pleasure or be nude/nearly nude to work at.. a job where people
respected you & didnt treat you like a piece of meat only there for their
pleasure. These employees purchased millions of items, houses, clothes etc
in second life.. NO INCOME .. NO PURCHASING..
LIVE MUSIC - think the new policy & lack of lindens flowing in SL from
gambling, casino's, poker houses, wont effect it.. think again.. each live
artist charges an average of 3,000L or more per hour they play at a venue,
most listeners dont tip the venues or tip very little.. they give it to the
artist.. the average venue doesnt even recoup 1/3 the cost of the artist
back in tips/donations.... most places live artists play are in some way
supported by some form of gambling, sploders, raffle balls, games of chance
& those gamblers, owners & employees of casino's & poker houses.. the
lindens are no longer flowing, the casino's & clubs are closing or reducing
thier overhead.. fewer places for live artists to play & even fewer that can
afford to bring them to thier venues. .
All this because of the law in some states of the US not all i might add.
The reason for this law has nothing to so with tight assed christian
faux-moralists. It is simply that the gambling industry in Las Vegas and
Atlantic City went to the US Congress, to whom they are a major comapign
contributor, and asked for the law because they felt online gambling might
cut into their revenue. Simple as that.
Please sign this petition http://www.thekonstrukt.com click on the picture
for gambling and any others you may come across, if we stick at it and dont
spend any lindens it will hit LL hard they may have to weight up this
against cost of moving servers offshore from the police state supposed to be
land of the free USA.
by Phredre Biziou and Anthonymark Alcott
Posted by J.T.J. at 8:22 AM
Friday, July 27, 2007
Please help me Bella!
In real life, I am a very moderate person, but being in SL just makes me want to do wild things!!!! I want to drink and smoke and have sex with strangers. This is just not like me. I go to church and don't do anything outlandish, so I'm worried that God will punish me for being wanton.
I don't like the smell or taste of cigarettes and yet the other day, when someone offered me a joint, I thought, "Why the hell not!" Now that's something I would never, ever, ever do in real life. But I DID think, "Why the hell not?" It's not as though I am REALLY doing it, so what's the harm?
But still, I'm worried that I will be punished for doing these things. I'm in conflict with my conscience, but I can't stop.
Oh you poor pet. We are all faced with moral dilemmas in SL. This is, after all, the place where all our fantasies can come true. Some people dream of finding true love and others dream of having sex with a rabbit.
Your conscience IS your best guide though (even if it has been tainted by religious teachings). In your heart of hearts, what do YOU really think? Is having a drink such a bad thing? Smoking a cigarette? What law are your breaking? What moral law?
The sex dilemma is really between you and your husband and your conscience. I know couples where one partner or the other has a greater sexual appetite than the other and SL is the perfect solution to their differing needs; other partners would be horrified at the thought of their wife or husband being sexually 'intimate' with anybody else. That one you will have to solve for yourself.
But you are not alone in your moral deliberations. Why, just the other day, I came across a collection of fur coats in SL. Now this is something I would MOST DEFINITELY NOT WEAR in real life. I mean, in all conscience, how could you feel glamorous in the skin of a murdered animal?
But the thought did cross my mind, "Oh how luxurious - I wonder what I would look like in it?" But my next immediate thought was that the animal liberationists would come down on me like a ton of bricks! But still, I was tempted.
Should MY behaviour be moderated by someone else's conscience? And before all you vegetarians and animal liberationists out there come pelting me with eggs - I am no better or no worse that anyone else when it comes to weighing up my desire to eat meat with the philosophical argument of not killing any other living creature. You look after your morality, and I'll look after mine.
Sinner, if you are sincerely troubled by the decisions you are making - maybe they are the wrong ones for you. Just because there is a banquet out there, doesn't mean we HAVE to stuff ourselves.
I wish you luck in your moral deliberations.
Posted by J.T.J. at 12:40 PM
Thursday, July 26, 2007
From now on BellaTheWise Jewell will be reporting in this section. Her Wise Advice column will appear from time to time under the new Bella The Wise Logo.
Welcome Bella. Make yourselves at home.
Posted by J.T.J. at 9:40 PM
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
I have read very good stories in different blogs about being new in SL, but still haven't read one by a newbie. So I thought I would write some while I'm still fresh. It may not be that useful as a guide, but it maybe shows a new perspective of things.
I entered the world a few days ago, but I have done quite a few things. I absolutely love it. I'm afraid I already have become addicted!
So far the experiences have been great, with a few exeptions. I have been pushed a few times and one guy tried to sell me a weapon even though I wasn't interested. The worst thing I have done so far was when I, by mistake, entered some private area. I was going through lists of where to find moneytrees, and teleported criss-cross over the world. I don't now how it happened but suddenly I got alot of messages about being at restricted area. I left the place as fast as I could and thought nothing more of it. Several ours later I got IM:ed, and it wasn't any pleasant reading! I was accused for being somebodys alt, trying to access the area. They wouldn't believe me when I told them what happened. I also apologised. However, after several messages I didn't here more from them.
Since then I have stopped hunting for trees. I have dicovered camping! And instead of just sitting there I use the time reading note cards, managing my inventory and things like that.
Posted by Trinity Dechou at 1:01 PM
Sunday, July 22, 2007
RENOWNED BATCHELOR jt Till threw off his 'playboy' status earlier today when he took the beautiful Shantell Jewell as his bride in a beautifully poetic ceremony by Wedding Officiate, Rick Wake, at their Kittyland residence.
Everything was exquisite - from the lovely little castle invitation; the greeting at the venue; the magnificent setting, emotionally-charged music; beautiful bridesmaids - Nickyla Sands, Summer Deadlight, Trinity Angel Carnell, Iraie Jewell, and groom's attendants Kitty Tully, Anna Spearman, Mrs. Stallion and best man, Maxx Bourne.
(jt is the only person I've met whose attendants were mostly female!)
The bride was fashionably late and people started getting teary before the bride even walked down the aisle when Enya sang "Only Time".
The wedding vows were especially moving and are worth repeating (in part) here:
"We're gathered not to witness the beginning of what will be, but rather what already is! A deep respect, friendship and love between two people. Marriage is a promise, made in the hearts of two people who love each other. Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life's most important relationships.
"A wife and a husband are each other's lover, teacher, listener, critic and best friend. It is the sharing of experience, and an adventure in the most intimate of human relationships. True love is the soul's recognition of its counterpoint in another. It is a rare thing and something to be valued.
"To love, is to see things other people do not see. To see beneath the surface, to the qualities which make our beloved special and unique. To see with loving eyes, is to know inner beauty. To be loved, is to be seen, and known, as we are known to no other.
"Always remember ... the one who loves us, is giving us an exclusive gift - a piece of themselves, and that piece is something only they could give us.
"It takes more than love to make any relationship work. It takes trust. To know in your hearts that you want only the best for each other.
"It takes dedication, to stay open to one another. To learn and grow, even when it is difficult to do so.
"And it takes faith, to go forward together without knowing what the future holds for you both. It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and having a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
"It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
"It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.
"You are each receiving a gift - the life and love of the other. Cherish it forever."
So it was with these profoundly moving words, that Wedding Officiate Rick Wake pronounced Shantell Jewell and jt Till man and wife at exactly 18.42 on 21st July 2007.
At their reception, where the music of Beethoven and Vivaldi could be heard, the happy couple very graciously gave me some time for a quick interview.
"I fell for Shantell at our first meeting," said jt, "but didn't propose for ten days. An eternity in SL. And then another month til today's wedding."
"And it means this confirmed bachelor is no more."
jt explained that he always reads people's profiles when he meets them and when he met Shantell, hers said that she wanted to fulfil fantasies and so he challenged her to fulfil his.
"As you can see from my profile, I've been around SL for a long time and I'm a well known, or was a well known, playboy, but no more."
For Shantell's part, the romance began when she accidentally tp'd into jt's Bacchus Mall club just over a month ago. "He IM'd me before I rezzed, " explained Shantell. "So I had to stay." (Well, we all know she didn't HAVE to stay, but there was obviously some chemistry there, because she did.
I asked whether she had any reservations about getting involved with someone who was so generally acknowledged as a "playboy".
"Mmmm, no, I wasn't wanting to settle down," explained Shantell, acknowledging my comment that jt had obviously fallen hard for her. "He did ... I'm still surprised how much so every day,"
"I wasn't expecting the sweetness from him," she added. "jt is a very very sweet guy .... more than a fantasy."
And their plans for the future? "I'm only thinking about our honeymoon coming up .. after that, Gates is building our dream castle .... and after that, jt and I just get to enjoy our life." (jt is planning the honeymoon as a surprise gift to his bride).
The couple paid tribute to their staff who had helped put the wedding together, especially Kitty Tully and Gates Lucerne who had been involved in erecting the wedding venue, which was absolutely divine.
An amusing anecdote of the wedding was that throughout the ceremony, whenever the officiate typed 'hide' for the poseballs (so they wouldn't interfere in people's photos), another cushion would disappear from a seat. Organiser Gates Lucerne soon realised that he and the officiate had used the same script!
Guests included Freya Mokusei, Dev Carnell, Tobira Vanbeeck and her new husband, Spence Slade, LilMari69 Babii, FallOutBoy Ajax, Craig Stallion, Piper Pawpaw, Gates Lucerne, Luther Carfagno,Caon Chadbourne, Kyte Iuga, Lori Nicholas, Raffian Shepherd, Misha Otaared, Ionnes Jacobus and Fatel Mission.
And because the banquet was THE best looking spread I've ever seen in SL, I'm also reproducing it here. This was the most impressive looking event I've been to in SL!
Saturday, July 21, 2007
TAM HYUN's twin sons Menashe Boruch and Efraim Simcha have the distinction of being Second Life's first babies to be circumcised in a traditional Bris Milah ceremony last week.
Rabbi RebMoshe Zapedzki conducted the rites (which are held eight days after the boys' births) and were well-attended by the Jewish community of SL.
"We all considered this to be the first bris milah in SL," said Tam Hyun, "and as much a significant part of Jewish life as synagogues, services and holidays observances."
"It is a commandment in the Torah as a welcoming of a boy into the "tribe" of Jewish souls and a major event in all observant parent's life."
Tam explained that her son's names are very traditional Jewish names - Menashe and Efraim are the sons of Joseph in the Torah and this is part of the traditional blessing given to boys.
"Those attending were a mix of people familiar with the ceremony and those who had never seen a bris milah. Of course, the ceremony was just that - a ceremony, since it was designed to represent what is done in real life."
In the afterglow of the ceremony's celebration party, Tam reflected on her new role as a mother and said she is finding it "fantastic!"
"I've never had so much fun with the two guys. In SL, all it takes is a push of a button to satisfy their every need. But the real fun for me is just holding them and imagining that this is what real life could be."
(Photo is of Jieux Shepherd holding Efraim while Rabbi RebMoshe conducts the bris. Mother Tam (in white) is holding Menashe).
Posted by Miralee Munro at 2:55 AM
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Try as hard as we can to forget them we all painfully remember our newbie days. You create a name and an avatar and away you go. All googly-eyed and ready experience this Second Life thing. It is confusing when you first start. Everybody looks the same you get pop up messages from linden telling you how to fly, change clothes, change your appearance and build.
Looking back to my days as a newbie I was like everyone else. I struggled with terms and actions (I mean who thought of teleporting?!). I found it very hard in the old days to look unique with freebie clothes. Freebie clothes that most other newbie’s had too (and I notice they still have!)
I like to help newbie’s as much as I can I remember some people helping me when I first started. I have noticed however a scary trend start to appear recently. A lot of Newbie’s seem to assume that older players will help them and give them money.
Really we all remember but I am afraid there are no quick get rich schemes out there. As embarrassing as it is we all did our fair share of camping in the old days. It’s boring, it doesn’t pay well but it gives you a start.
I thought it might be a good idea to give you an insight to newbie life. In this 2 part story I will give newbie’s some hints and tips and the second part is from a new sl player. We can read all about SL through the eyes of a newbie.
Yeah it’s boring and pays terrible, but really can anyone complain for sitting on your tush and earning money? If it was that simple in real life things would be a lot different! Use search and popular places to find camping spots. Rates vary a lot and some places require you to join groups etc. Camping can be a good way to meet some friends also; you will find as you build your friendships you will build your enjoyment in SL.
These are scattered all over the grid, basically members pay into the fund and newbie’s (up to 30 days old) can go and get a few lindens. Anything from 1-10 linden usually at a time. Again not much but it does appear money does grow on trees! We have our very own tree at sl-newspaper go there now.
Second Life Job
Really this is an extremely mixed bag and to be honest will take time and patience on your behalf. A lot of places want people to have some SL experience before you can, build, write, design, sell and stitch designs together to sell in SL.
Best luck to all newbie’s, it’s ok I assure you, you will come out the other side relatively unscathed!
Check back in a few days for the newbie point of view.
From the beginning, I believed that showing my creations in one of the sterile cube buildings that were so prevalent at the time would never do them justice.
The building of my store ultimately led me into building stores and homes for others in Second Life.
In both my shop and in my building business I have always maintained a certain set of values that I feel are important. That people in SL should be able to find items that are well crafted without costing them a fortune. That my commitment to quality in everything I make is something I take seriously, and that I will back what ever I sell for as long as I remain in Second Life. I try always to treat my customers in SL how I wish I were treated by Real Life businesses - where every customer is treated the same no matter how much they have spent. In the end, I am happy when my customers are happy - as it is happy customers that become repeat customers.
Posted by DV at 8:57 AM
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
It would be extremely hard for someone to have not heard of The Holocaust and have feelings about it. Usually people make the mistake and think that The Holocaust only refers to the slaying of Jews during WWII. The Jewish community was mostly affected by this atrocity but not alone in its suffering. The Nazi movement murdered anyone who they deemed to be socially unacceptable. This ranged from Roma Gypsies, disabled people and homosexuals.
Within a larger community at Provincetown sits the GLBT Holocaust Memorial a permanent memorial for those who have been murdered because of their sexual orientation.
The memorial allows people to leave small gifts, flowers and toys in memory of those slaughtered. There is a note-card giver with a small yet growing list of those from the gay community who have lost their life. GO THERE NOW
I spoke to Kamael Xevious who was the creator of this memorial here in SL.
Trinity: What made you want to do a memorial in SL?
Kamael: One of the most common questions we get about the memorial is this one, but honestly, I can’t answer the question the way it’s framed. We didn’t exactly set out to build a memorial—it was an idea that came to me while constructing the Provincetown Region, the idea of a memorial of some kind was something in keeping with the idea of the sim. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t go into the project because of any special desire to build that monument—the desire to build that monument came out of architectural necessity first, and commitment to the ideal as I did more research on the topic.
Trinity: What kind of feedback have you had from it?
Kamael: We really don’t get a lot of people providing us verbal feedback on the monument. Occasionally, someone will thank us for having it on the sim. The real feedback we get, and I think the best indication we’ve had of how effective the monument has been, is that which the people have left scattered at the steps of the monument.
The memorial itself is tastefully constructed and really is a beautiful way to remember the victims.
Posted by Trinity Dechou at 10:37 PM
Saturday, July 14, 2007
AUSTRALIAN JAZZ SINGER and radio show host, Paisley Beebe is the 'Cool Cat of Chat' in her new weekly television show "Tonight Live" which airs on the Second Life Cable Network (SLCN) each Sunday night at 6pm SLT.
Paisley interviews three interesting guests in her half hour show and always features an entertainer to raise the profile of singers and musicians in Second Life. She presents what she regards as a "very Parky meets Kerry Ann Kennerly" type show. (Parkinson of course is well-known, but Kerry Ann Kennerly less so as an iconic Australian tv show hostess, probably best known for getting the rather humourless Australian Treasurer, Peter Costello up and dancing the macarena).
Guests featured so far on "Tonight Live" have included Jeffronius Batra, an Amazon web services evangelist; "heavenly pianist" Heath Elvehjem who enthralled the audience with his piece "In The Spirit"; Natalia Basiat, award-winning fashion designer; Sandy Clymer from 'Pillow Talk' who is credited with having "the most beautiful" sim in SL; SL's first musician Astrin Few and Arkady and Bella Yost who married in SL and are now set to marry IRL despite living on opposite sides of the planet!
Last Sunday's programme was the official launch of the show and featured entrepeneur and event planner Jayed Jewell; 'The Funkalicious' Dexter Ihnen, credited with being "one of the best vocalist performers in SL"; and property developer Elliot Eldrich.
(Photo above - Paisley Beebe with her guests Elliot Eldrich, Dexter Ihnen and Jada Jewell on her lovely set).
"The show will be an extension of my current live music show," says Paisley, "with light, informative and fun people from all walks of life - builders, designers, celebrities, radio announcers, dancers, corporate CEO's - anyone who has a story to tell of interest to SL'frs."
So what prompted an already busy woman into doing television? "I have an extensive knowledge of the musicians here, so that helps," answered Paisley. "Marrying my radio host experience with performing and basically being a born show off!"
"I've been in the entertainment industry all my life. I started out as a bit part player in films and tv back in the early 1980's and was encouraged by Hayes Gordon (a well-known Australian actor) to become a singer."
"People think I'm completely mad, but then I've met plenty of mad people like me here, so I'm right at home!," she laughed.
Paisley came to SL in November 2006, built for awhile, settled in and then started singing live in world in February 2007. She met Noel Finney and Wiz Nordberg who are the owners of the Australian based Second Life Cable Network at this time also.
Not content with being an actress, jazz singer, radio and television presenter, Paisley also took a leading role in decorating the studios for SLCN, which were built by Wiz, the show's director. Personally, I think her set is THE BEST I've seen and that includes real life sets. "I wanted a lounge room look, hotel vogue," pointed out Paisley, "stylish, but cosy." The studio includes a green room for guests, individual dressing rooms, a studio of course and an entertainment area for after show parties.
(Photo above - studio audiences are welcome and are encouraged to get there early as the show is filmed live).
Studio audiences have been steadily increasing from around 25 at the first show, to 45 at the second and an almost packed studio for the opening celebration show in the third week.
"There is no one else doing a weekly televised show like this," stated Paisley. "There are some other interview shows around, but they are not live and done through chat. We will be doing all of this in real time, with a live audience, so there are no retakes. We go straight through!"
SLCN is a professional video network, designed to expand SL's in-world audience, as well as delivering virtual entertainment to the real world. The network was begun by Wiz Nordberg, and is quickly growing to become a virtual entertainment conduit. Its inaugural programme broadcast live coverage of six bands, with interviews and news to in-world and real life viewers.
"Tonight Live" is filmed in front of a live Second Life audience on Sunday nights at 6pm SLT and streamed within SL and on the SLCN.TV website into real life, then podcast for later viewing. It uses "Soundreach" technology pioneered by Cattlepuppy.com to stream live voices by teleconference.
Previous shows on the station have covered an interview with "Die Hard's" Bruce Willis and "Transformers".
Shows are available for viewing on www.slcn.tv/tonight-live-paisley-beebe and www.tonightlive.blogspot.com and also include "That's Life" - a five minute "What's On?" segment, with several more shows in development.
During the course of our conversation, Paisley had said she had a staff of six people - two assistants for her singing shows and four for the television show. There is a Public Relations person and a producer and two production assistants to keep it all going.
As we toured, Sandy Clymer, Rena Mayne (who also built some of the studio furniture) and Cadyn Slade finessed poses to ensure the audience members avatar looked realistic and did not block other people's view.
It's a lot of work to keep it going," said Paisley. "You have to find your guests, research them, rehearse, make sure they can all be here, check other schedules, advertise the show and then we have staff changes sometimes because of RL commitments etc. And then after every show we have a production meeting and try to tighten it up."
"The aim is to produce a show by SL'fers, not blow ins and also expand it to the web, with an aim for it to reach an out of world audience and offer viewers the opportunity to see the good things that SL can offer - not just porn and casinos and virtual sex."
"We will feature ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, who are using SL to do things they cannot do or achieve in RL and SL celebrities and RL companies who are using SL to great advantage."
Check out "Tonight Live" yourself by being part of the studio audience on Sunday night at 6pm SLT (obviously get there early to make sure you get a seat!)
(Photo above - And when the work was done, the partying started with Dexter providing the after-show entertainment).
Posted by Miralee Munro at 10:44 AM
Friday, July 13, 2007
WHEN THE CALL GOES OUT for opinions on hair, the girls come running! And they did just recently when Tigerlily Koi of Calla Hair sent out a request for some feedback on a couple of new hair colours.
My esteemed colleague, BellaTheWise Jewell joined the happy throng of opinion-givers in studying the fine distinctions between hair colours at Calla's creativity hub.
These doyens of fashion and style included Sakito Paine, Francesca Balogh, Hands Mensing, Daphne Abernathy and Klaudia Taurog.
The group were asked to study three hair samples and discern the differences in their bangs. "I need VERY close scrutiny," requested Tigerlily and true to form, the girls furrowed their brows and zoomed in close.
Fantastically, for a group of six women, all agreed on the preferable style, even though there was such a minute difference in the hair's appearance.
Tigerlily explained the distinctions between the three styles and then brought out the blonde version. Again, another unanimous decision on which style everyone preferred. No arguments, no debate - complete agreement.
World peace should be attainable if six women can agree on two occasions, don't you think?
Bella tells me that all the women were rewarded for their input with a generous offer of free hair, which made it a total joy of an evening for all.
Looker Lumet is an amateur photographer, who will try to inform everyone about his experiences on the grid with pictures of avatars, views, buildings etc....
Make sure you check out his journal on : http://lookerlumet.blogspot.com/
Posted by J.T.J. at 8:41 AM
Sunday, July 8, 2007
A while ago I was privileged to attend a live, in-world, interview with Diane Hunter (SL name Diana Allandale) at the SL Literary Events Centre. To a large audience, this well published author entertained us with a reading from her latest novel, “Submission Revealed” a book involving the sometimes taboo subject of BDSM.
During the interview with Secundo Dharma , Diana was forthright in her answers, much to the amusement of the audience (who were IM’ing at a rate of knots), and proved to be quite open in her views of the BDSM subject.
Following a Q&A session (quite entertaining to hear the views of the crowd) and much applause, I was able to interview this charming and witty lady.
BD: What kick-started your writing?
Diana: I’d been writing on scraps of paper and at odd moments for most of my adult life. Shortly after the birth of my children, my husband said I didn’t really need to work through the summer (I’m a full-time teacher from Sept. to June) and that maybe it was time I put up or shut up.
I kissed him and then took the entire summer to write several hundred pages of a fantasy novel (that is still in my cupboard if anyone’s interested). But I cut my teeth on it, making mistakes and then learning from them to go onto write better works. And of course, selling your first book is a great incentive to keep writing!
BD: Your books have the dark theme of BDSM running through them. What made you decide to use it as a subject matter?
Diana: It was a dare, actually. I’d had a long-standing interest in the Lifestyle, but all the fiction pieces I found on the web were mostly porn (focused on the sexual aspects and nothing else). I complained to a friend who turned it around and said, “Well, then…write one of your own.” I did…and Secret Submission was born!
BD: Who are the books mainly aimed at, men or women?
Diana: In my mind, my audience is a generic reader…one who picks up the books looking first for a good story and second, for a bit of titillation. The gender doesn’t matter to me. That said, the majority of my readers are women, but I have an increasing number of men who have discovered that the written word can be very powerful indeed!
BD: Some people would think that this sort of subject is best not ‘out in the open’. How would you answer them?
Diana: Bondage fantasies have been around for…as long as people have been having fantasies. The very taboo nature of the activity is what gives it its fascination. Is there a concern that bringing it mainstream will strip that fascination? Sure. If it isn’t taboo anymore, no one will be interested. But I suspect that’s not what you’re asking.
I agree with Stephen Hopkins in the musical 1776: “in all my years I never heard, seen nor smelled an issue what was so dangerous it couldn’t be talked about” (Stone and Edwards, Act I; scene 3). Bring it out in the open, talk about it…discuss it…dissect it. We are afraid of the unknown. So make it known!
BD: What gave you the idea of making your work available on SL?
Diana: I heard an article on NPR about SL. The host was talking to representatives of several companies that were beginning to create in-world presences. I figured if Toyota and IBM could do it…so could I!
BD: What was the idea behind combining your novels and using the themes/objects in SL?
Diana: Actually, the idea for the serial, As the SL World Turns, was born in a conversation with Ravishal Bentham, owner of KONA radio. He and I were talking one day about the fact that I didn’t really have anything to “sell.” All my books are available in RL only…and the excerpts in SL are free. Somehow we got to talking about the fact that SL is a land of a thousand stories…that evolved into talking about a serial, and…it was off and running!
BD: What sort of response have you had from SL Residents?
Diana: LOL…decidedly mixed. Most people love the fact that I’ve made my work so available. My shops are designed to be comfortable places to sit and read or chat and I can often be found in my home shop in Mystic.
When it comes to readings, the response has been a little more varied. For two months, I hosted live readings of excerpts from my books at my shop and in other locations around Second Life. Let’s face it, some passages can get pretty explicit. I found that not all the members of my audience wanted to hear the hot stuff, while others clamoured for more…and hotter. Finding that balance has proven elusive.
Lately, however, I have offered a series of writing workshops on Book Island. These are geared for both beginning writers and those who have more experience, and those are going great guns. I started with four topics, added two more and have been asked for three others on top of those. Then in August, the entire set will start again for those who missed a workshop or two the first time around.
BD: During the recent SL Live interview, which I loved, some audience members were quite vocal in support of what you are doing whilst a few were against. What is your response to those against your work?
Diana: To each his or her own. Let’s face it, no writer can please everyone. William Shakespeare is my favourite writer, but I’m pretty darn sure there are people who don’t care for his work either.
BD: Are you going to do more live interviews and do you enjoy the SL ‘set-up‘?
Diana: LOL…I’ll talk to anyone who wants to talk to me! So yes, I’ll do more live interviews if anyone wishes to sponsor one.
I love the SL set-up…it’s a wonderful way to interact with readers and get immediate feedback on your work. There are so many possibilities!
BD: Has anyone contacted you saying that your books have helped them in their own lives or even the opposite?
Diana: I have several couples who have written me to say ‘thank you’ for my books. In fact, one couple told me they would read a chapter aloud to each other as foreplay…and didn’t always make it through the chapter!
I also have had several people (women mostly here) write to me to say they enjoyed my books because it made them feel not so alone in their fantasies. Each of them thought they were alone in their desires. Because I deal with BDSM in a straight-forward, non-judgmental, romantic way…they found they could relate to the characters.
BD: Would you consider your work as Erotica or Pornography?
Diana: Erotica. Porn is sex for sex’s sake. Erotica must have a plot and meaningful characters who go on some sort of emotional journey. The sex must further the plot…it cannot exist as an ‘extra.’
That said, most of my books are in the ‘romantica’ genre (a term coined and trademarked by Ellora’s Cave Publishing)…in addition to the erotica definition, the stories must also adhere to the rules of the romance genre, namely…they have to have a happily ever after ending. (smiles)
BD: BDSM has, at times, been seen as a violent & often demeaning practise against mainly woman. How do you respond to that?
Diana: There is a thin line…a VERY thin line between BDSM and abuse. The key word is ‘consensual’. In fact, “safe, sane and consensual” are the keywords of the Lifestyle for many people. A sub must come to a D/s relationship from a place of strength…he/she must know who he/she is and be confident in that before even thinking about submitting to someone else’s will.
Notice my pronoun use…you mention BDSM is mostly about women as the submissive…but that’s a media misconception. Submissive women get the most press. I’ve met more submissive men in my travels than I have women, to be honest. Would be interesting for someone to do a study and determine if the numbers are closer to 50-50 (which would be my hypothesis).
But a further word on abuse. If ANYONE is doing something against your will…THAT IS ABUSE! Pack your bags and head for the nearest shelter…go to a friend’s house…do what you must, but GET OUT. If you haven’t given permission, then you are being abused by a bully and you need to leave NOW.
Does that take courage? You bet it does! But I have faith in you. You can leave…and I don’t care if you’re a man or a woman…abusers come in both genders. Take pride in who you are, and get away from your abuser.
BD: Would there be things that you would not write about in your work.?
Diana: Nothing involving kids, animals or waste products. Yuck!
BD: Without being too personal, do you draw on real life experiences for your novels?
BD: I know that your parents are extremely proud of you as a writer, even if they do not read the books, being encased in glass. How do you feel about that?
Diana: Are you kidding? I’m pleased as punch! I LOVE the fact that they think enough of me to be proud, even if they don’t like the subject matter! Talk about open-minded! They teach me to accept people for who they are…and that it’s okay if you don’t agree with absolutely everything that person says…or is!
BD: What influence do you think SL is going to have, if any, on your career as a writer?
Diana: LOL…well, if I don’t behave myself and gear up the will-power…it’ll have a detrimental effect! I’ll spend all my time in-world playing and not at my laptop slaving away and creating new stories!
BD: ‘Rosie’s Story’, the note card novel, has started off in a light-hearted way. Is there going to be a darker side to poor Rosie? (without giving too much away)
Diana: I’m afraid I write by the seat of my pants. That means, I have no idea where her story is going to go…only that as I learn, so will Rosie.
BD: Lastly, can you tell me anything about your future plans for both SL & RL ?
Diana: In SL I plan to get back to work on the serial (I took a too-long hiatus while editing a novel for RL). I also will continue the writing workshops at Book Island and will probably give a reading or two…for mature audiences only!
In RL, I’m just finishing a new novella that is still in search of a title. It will probably come out the Exotica line of Ellora’s Cave, as it isn’t so much a romance as it is an internal exploration of BDSM on the part of the hero and heroine. But that will be for my publisher to decide.
BD: Well thank you for your time and I look forward to finding out what happens to Rosie & also to any further in-world events you attend.
Diana: Thanks for the questions…hope I answered enough (and not too much!).
Footnote: The content of Diana’s books and at the locations listed are of an adult nature.
Passionate Books can be located at Mystic ( 223, 124, 23 )
Diana’s website address is http://www.dianahunter.net/
From the pen of Baron DeSanis
(many aopologies for forgetting to add your name baron. Dana)
Posted by DV at 6:12 PM
Saturday, July 7, 2007
SL resident and RL artist Kevin Holehan, (aka Barone DeCuir ) co-founder of the Repost Gallery, has added another talent to his repertoire.. That of poet!
The poem, ’A Little Mad’ has reached the semi-final stage of an international competition organised by Poetry.com.
Kevin told me:
“I was asked by an Australian friend, Darren Quinn, to look at some of his poems that he submitted to an internet site.
Having never heard of the site, I checked it out, found his poems and was intrigued by the whole idea.
I have a folder (somewhere) that has lots of poems and ideas written down on scraps of paper. As I couldn’t find it, I decided to enter one that I could remember from about 20 years ago..
‘A Little Mad‘.
I didn’t think any more about it until today, when a letter from the company arrived telling me that I had reached the semi-final stage of the competition and that they wished to include the poem as part of a collection they intended to publish in Autumn 2007.
The collection has a ‘working title’ of Immortal Verses. To be honest, I was completely surprised, I had forgotten all about it. It has inspired me to find that folder!!”
(The poem is printed below with Kevin Holehan’s kind permission)
A Little Mad.
I’m a little mad
A little sad
I’m clever too
I have a dream
I have a scheme
And I love you
So now you know
And it does show
I’m a little mad
A little sad
Copyright © 2007 Kevin Holehan
from the pen of Baron DeSantis
Posted by DV at 11:52 AM
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Regular readers of this paper may remember back in May, I did an article on the “Justice List”, an effort to bring more democratic governance into SL, through uniting land owners through agreement to conform to laws and judgements laid out through democratic means (http://15timez.blogspot.com/2007/05/virtual-arms-of-law.html). In that piece, I pointed out that our current community leaders, The Lindens, are in many ways “unelected officials, answerable to no-one, personally enforcing what laws they decide upon, if you can find one.”
Recently a group called the Concerned Citizens, who had become frustrated with recent Linden policy regarding cracking down on what was vaguely termed as ‘inappropriate and offensive content’, decided shine a satirical spotlight on this meta-political situation. They sent a letter, distributed by member’s blogs, and the Flickr SL photo groups. The letter read as follows:
"Concerned Residents of Second Life do hereby declare a new election process for Governor.Governor Phil Linden has held the office for four years and the seat is now deemed up for re-election.Interested parties should file a Petition of Candidacy in accordance with SL 22.141(A)(4) with the Concerned Residents of Second Life Board of Elections no later than June 14 to be eligible for this election ballot.Voting will be open to all residents and will be held on July 1, 2007.
The Concerned Residents”
From this point, the gauntlet was thrown down, and many people, including our very own weatherman Khamudy, posted their posters, and made their cases for why they should become the new supreme pontiff for our virtual world. Some addressed serious issues, like Grid Stability, or the inability for inhabitants on the main and teen grids to innocently socialise (as led by Teen Gridder Smiley Barry), while some took the opportunity to entertain, and some just seemed to like to fantasise about what they would do with the almost limitless powers in the virtual world.
Then came the ballot, and once the votes were counted the following announcement was made:
Thanks for participating in the 2007 SLelections for Governor. Before we announce the winner and the new Governor of Second Life, we would like to thank all the residents who participated in this SLelection. Your candidacies were strong, your platforms inspiring, and your campaign posters excellent! You have shown us many excellent paths for Second Life’s future.
However, we had some minor problems with returning the SLelections 2007 voting boxes into our inventory. They were, um, lost. Luckily upon contacting Live Help, the Lindens were able to tell us the following:
“We were pleased to see all the Residents participating in the democratization of Second Life. After discarding the votes of the residents that are not registered with our Identity Verification System, it is clear that the community wishes to re-elect Philip Linden Governor of Second Life. We are very happy with that, as this means we can keep our current jobs in the Linden Administration. Thank you for voting.”
Congratulation to Phil on his reelection. Please note that any protests of election results will be considered broadly offensive and offenders will be Abuse Reported. Despite any discrepancies you may think you see, we stress that this does not represent a change in our position, and we remain committed to the same democratic principles we have held from the start.
The Concerned Residents
It seems the more things change, the more they stay the same. However, no one can say that good people say silently while censorship and limitations of our inworld freedoms were going on. For although the administration has not changed, people have shown that they are not happy… and if things continue as they are, this may prove to have been less of a satire, and more of a test run.
Posted by Brutha Voodoo at 2:14 AM