Monday, November 30, 2015

Winter Scenes 2015

By Gemma Cleanslate

The rest of November and all of December there are so many wonderful places in Second Life to go skating, skiing, sleigh riding and so much more! I thought I had better get going on checking them out for you. My first visit was to the region called “Winter Scenes 2015," and I loved it! 

I found so many fun things to do there: Skating, rezz a horse and ride, cuddle with your honey, or try something new. I have never before bungee jumped in Second Life and found myself dangling on a rope plunging toward earth, and it was great fun! Many avatars were in the sim enjoying the fun. I got into a really good snowball fight by the igloo with a quick little avatar, SanderCohen1 Aeon. I'm not sure who won. It was a good start to my winter tours. The sim is the work of  Incendia Outdoors group owned by ĹυςĨё™ (Lucie Scorbal). I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

I thought for my second tour I would take a look at Mrs Santa's Christmas Market in Kikai. It is a delightful fair with lovely shops and  kiosks full of goodies, decorations and clothing and more. If you want to roam the town square and shop here is your place. Santa sits patiently waiting for visitors with wishes he will try to fulfill. 

I  took a sleigh ride which gave me a tour of the sim pointing out points of interest, a living manger , a chapel to stop by and light a candle or leave a prayer intention. There is a skating rink with free skates and a sweet carousel to ride. There are so many different creators here with such great outfits for the season. I succumbed to the temptation of some good bargains!! 

I found a few freebies around and discovered that there will be a hunt beginning in December.” In EVERY stall you will find a CHRISTMAS BAUBLE WITH A DATE ON IT. These baubles are part of the Hunt. Starting on Friday November 27. From this date until December 8  there will be TWO GIFTS available each day from December 8 until December 24 there will be even THREE GIFTS per day. Find the bauble(s) with today's date, click it and unpack your gift!”

In one large corner of the marketplace any designer will be interested in the shop called Trendy Templates for all kinds of outfits- amazing things I have no idea how to use . Before I left I took a turn on the skating rink and found Santa there skating around too.
Gemma Cleanslate

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Nirvana Island

By Becky Shamen

This writer is well known, to friends, as an old hippy. I have always strived to spread peace and goodwill to all living things. At a recent "Video games" theme party, I came in a Tomb Raider costume. With music from various games and talk of playing at war and shooting other players proceeded, I began to feel agitated. Instead of complaining or preaching, I decided to go find a more rewarding adventure and write about that. I opened the Destination Guide and immediately lit on a place that sounded peaceful and uplifting.

Nervana Island: Spiritually based... diverse traditions and systems are harmoniously connected. Lovely starter homes free in your first 30 days of SL  residence up at Spirit Path, Nirvana Island, New Paris . Notecard please to Sky Wildmist.

This sounded like a couple of other personal favorites, so off I went. Arriving and waiting for everything to rez, the first thing you notice is the peaceful music. As your eyes adjust, you find yourself in a beautiful garden sim. Many tame creatures walk about you, peacefully. Straight ahead, we see the Spirit Park Welcome Center. It contains a large map of the sim and TP buttons to each area. From above, the island looks like an eye. In the center are some large rocks, where you can meditate, surrounded by special effects. This is surrounded by a circular pond with a circle path that leads to odd shaped side paths, to other areas. Seen from the air, the paths look like letters in some Eastern alphabet. There could be a message, written in the landscape. See if you agree.

 The various areas each have their own flavor and purpose. They even have a nightclub, called The Lunar Lounge. In one building, I found their weekly event schedule. There is something for every day of the week. For those that want to take a piece of the peace home, there is a small shop, for incense burners, chimes and gongs, Buddha statues and wall art. All proceeds go to maintaining the sim. I snapped a few photos of wood carvings and a useful poster about types of feelings, for my own use.  I also got the URL for their music stream;

Just off the circle path, there's a beach with a memorial poster for Michal de Fuego, the island's beloved gardener, who passed into spirit, 11,11,2015.
I found Nirvana Island to be uplifting to the soul and added it to my favorite places. If you feel stress, from SL or real life, that's making your light grow dim, come to Nirvana and let it do it's magic. You'll be walkin' on air in no time.
New Paris, (177, 127, 1111

Monday, November 23, 2015

Torley Island

By Bloodykitty Rresident

This colorful place is called TORLEY ISLAND, if you did not know. Basically it's just a place to explore around or relax when you want time away from other people or friends, and trust me the times I been here there isn't anyone around really. Sadly there isn't a lot of information in the tp besides a description and name, so from what I assume it must be one of the linden locations around in Second Life. Even though there's barely any life in this sim it's still a interesting and colorful place to look around and chill in.

Like I  said previously I recommend hitting it up whether or not there's activity here because of the colorful scenery of greens and pinks, Torley's favorite color, especially because he likes watermelons. This place basically has a futuristic and modern vibe to it as well as a bit of techno to on the side. The great thing about this place is that he has up a sign called, 'What is Torley?' It is sort of a built in browser but for me it doesn't seem to load anything. I assume if it does work it basically tells you, well Torley tells you who he is. Of course there's always the way of Youtube and looking up the official SL Youtube channel or his private one where he does music and tutorials. I recommend you checking those out!
Overall I have no real problem with this kind of sim despite it being dead as dust. Sometimes places that are dead and not filled with so much life are places worth going to to relax, or even being there to be idle when your doing something in real life. Even though it's rare, sometimes I come and sit in the sim just to chill because I can't find many places to head to that aren't the same that's saved in my landmarks folder. I hope you enjoy your visit to TORLEY ISLAND!

Torley, (173, 151, 57)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

"Watercolors In The Rain"

By Gemma Cleanslate

When I arrived back at the LEA Welcome Center from "The Bridge," one poster really intrigued me so I went over to Lea29 to check out the installation there. It is "Watercolors in the Rain," and I am so glad I did. This is a wonderful demonstration of real-life work rebuilt in such a successful way in Second Life. "In the real life novel, 'Watercolors in the Rain' (which this sim is based on), a tale of suspense, intrigue, fantasy and mystery unfolds.  As they say, "Art imitates life" and why would it be any different in Second Life? In the book, Watercolors in the Rain, Sorsha, is a very special, mysterious, and rare, white raven from Russia. She and her twin brother, Sasha, are an inseparable team that may not always get along, but come together to help their friends, Moxxie and Crud, solve the mysteries put before them,” is the back story of the sim. 

When you arrive you will be in an outer courtyard where you can just walk across a bridge into a part of the story, or you are offered a tp to various venues all of which you will want to visit. A story tree in each area will help you understand the theme going on there. One big plus to your visit will be a hunt going on. You look for a white raven and by clicking on it will get not only a gift but also a clue to where the the next white raven is found. I came home with a cartload of stuff even though I am not good at hunts.  I will let you follow the story boards as you go along. I went first up and down Main Street checking out the quaint shops, bookstores, kiosks along the street and looking for the raven. I took a carriage ride that offers you tours in that area, to the farm, the top of the hill where a  raven also await you. There is a balloon ride that will take you to another venue. Each has a story tree and its own charm. 

At the last venue I was lucky enough to run into the real-life author who goes by the Second Life name of Surreal Skytower. His name is David J. Lavigne in real-life and he wrote the novel "Watercolors in the Rain." He told me a team put up the installation : 5aba1 Resident ,55aaa Danick, Mollie Tison,  Gearboxclock and himself.  Of his real life book he says, “My novel was published earlier this year. If you are into vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, Victorian London and Jack the Ripper, this may be the read for you. If not, thanks for checking me out anyway! “ You can find it on Amazon and it looks like it is not his last! I hope you enjoy your visit as much as I did mine. 

The courtyard:

Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Mayflower Exhibit

By Becky "Sha" Shamen

Last November, our Editor, Bixyl Shuftan, wrote an article about the Mayflower and Plymouth Colony Exhibit. ( ). Recently, Bixyl told me they had taken the exhibit down after Thanksgiving, but might have restored it, for this season. He suggested that I go and see if I could do an update on the story. When I visited the site, the exhibit was indeed restored and was exactly as his article had described. To add to the story, I would need to write about my own impressions about what it would be like to be one of those early American pioneers. There are numerous signs, around the exhibit, that give information, but, to fuel my imagination, I search the Internet for additional details.

  The first thing discovered was how small the Mayflower was. Excluding the bowsprit, the ship was only 80-90 feet long. Today, that might be a good size for a personal yacht, but how many passengers could endure spending months packed together, like sardines in a can. The exact number of passengers is unknown, but is estimated to be, counting Pilgrims and other adventurers, crew and Captain, 135. Of that number, only about 30% of them were actually pilgrims. 

  The cargo hold offered no additional space for passengers. It was filled with all the things needed to build and feed the new community, at least until their first harvest.

  Due to a late start, bad weather and rough seas, that nearly wrecked the ship, they could not build houses in time for winter. The ship served as a winter home, for everybody, until the following March.

    These pilgrims were committed to dropping out of conventional society, to live in a hostile wilderness, to better tune into a higher calling. Tune in, drop out? They remind me of the hippies, living in communes, that we knew so well, in the late 60's. Makes one wonder what else they planted, besides corn, beans and pumpkins. Having lived in hippy communes and spent much time helping develop communities, one gains respect for these Pilgrim hippies. Crazy as they might seem, they helped improve the goodness of life, for the whole world.

  When we visit historic re-enactment sims and imagine being a part of it, we form an eternal link with it. Becoming eternal is a joyful experience. If you want to be a joyful part of history, I invite you to come explore the Plymouth Colony.
  As I sit down to the thanksgiving feast, I imagine myself giving thanks, for finally getting off that crowded boat. Next time, I'll travel by VW bus.
Zundra (230/69/21 )

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Creations Park Revisit

By Gemma Cleanslate
I have not been over to Creations Park in a long time, though I had it in mind to get there soon  to include the Winter Wonderland  in my winter sports articles. I saw that there was a reopening of the Art Gallery so I made my way there to see it. Bryn Oh had some pieces for auction for the benefit of Team Fox  in the Gallery. Creations Park is here for the purpose of raising money for Parkinson’s Disease Research through Team Fox. The gallery is lovely and is filled with many Second Life artists’ pieces.  
I had not gone through this delightful sim in a long time so decided to hang out there for a while. There are TP boards through out the ground area where you click and end up in a cute taxi that carries you to the location you choose. I used it several times just for the fun of sitting in the taxi. I did walk and fly because there is so much to enjoy in the decor of the sim itself. The views are lovely with many trees, flowers, shrubs everywhere. The  quaint boutique area has many of your favorite merchants shops (a portion of the sales go to Team Fox). I succumbed to buying several outfits but also found some lovely gifts in several shops. 
I took the taxi over to the cafe and spent a few minutes sitting in the comfortable setting there with a cup of coffee. Next I went over to the beach and wandered around where there are places to relax and enjoy the sand and sun. I spied the hot air balloon so took off in that to gaze down at the whole town and surrounding venues. On one side there is a Castle and on the other a Palace. So my next trip was to climb the steps of  each and get a different view of the region. There is a Stable where you can get a demo horse and ride the lanes. I saw someone sitting in the lovely gardens for a long time, meditating I assumed . It is a soothing place.  
There is a TP center where you will be able to reach the other wonderful areas . Down under the waters there is a magnificent merfolk place where parties are held sometimes, so dive in to see it. The Ethereal place is well named as it is ethereal. Paths lead to different ‘temples’ where you can enjoy dancing, hanging out, waters and more surrounded by magical color . Peace Place is an outdoor venue with tepees , totems, homesteads and buildings remeniscent or the Old West. Waterfalls and ponds make it another place to relax and meditate .  The Winter Wonderland area  is a favorite of mine and it is always there regardless of the season . So if in July you want to ice skate you can. 
I was able to visit on Sunday when ‘The Drum’ was performing for the benefit of Team Fox. This amazing group performs rhythms on various drums and setups in great costumes . There are always activities and events going on in this wonderful region. I recommend you get over there to visit if you have not been before. I wrote about this lovely sim several years ago but am happy to revisit and discover anew. Bixyl interviewed the owner , Barbie Alchemi  several years ago too. I am so glad to see the project remains in Second Life.  will put you at the TP center where you can choose your next destination. 
Gemma Cleanslate

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


By Becky "Sha" Shamen

As I began to plan on which adventure to entice my readers with next, I remembered buying an outfit and making props for my previous article, "Once Upon a Cure". I had intended to show that whether or not a thing is true, it can still lead one to finding truth. I included a picture of a white rabbit, wearing an Alice costume, pondering which way to go, to get to the real Wonderland. Alas, I did not write that into the article.

We all know, from reading Alice in Wonderland, she wakes up from a dream, so no amount of scientific evidence will ever convince us that Wonderland can be located in real life. But, what about in Second Life? Sure enough, using search, inworld, brings up "Dysphoria Wonderland", located in the Oxygen Island sim. It was described as "The Best" version of Wonderland, that Second Life had to offer. If that's true, I needed to go there and write about it. I changed my av and costume and clicked to TP to Wonderland.
As the scene rezzed, at the landing, we see a large tree, with a white rabbit and a hole at the base. A message, in local chat, tells us to walk to the hole. Doing so, we fall down a deep hole. About half way down, we land on a platform, with objects floating about it. Somehow, the place feels familiar. Have I been here before? I knew I needed to step off the platform and continue falling. At the bottom of the hole, we find ourself in a large round room. On one side, there is a small door. In the center of the room is a large glass top table, with a key. At the base of the table, we see a box, labled "Eat Me" and a bottle, labeled "Drink Me". Flying is not allowed here, so clicking the box puts you on top of the table. I took the short-cut and just panned my cam to the table top, to get the key. Now I know why this place seemed so familiar. To get the key, you have to join a group and it costs L$200. I had been this far before, but, at that time wasn't interested enough to pay the fee.
This time, I had a story to write, so I joined. Any future visits will be free. Key in hand, I click the small door. The door opens to a blank texture which, when clicked, puts you in a crawling animation and switches to a view of crawling out the other side, in Wonderland. A note, in chat, tells you to stay on the path, continue to the end and then stop. In places, the path is a bit hard to see, but as long as you proceed around the sim in a counter-clockwise direction, you will see everything, even if a few water hazzards slow you down. We are reassured of having gone the right direction, as we spot the Cheshire cat, sitting on a tree branch ahead. As we approach, he slowly fades from view, leaving only his familiar grin.
Before we proceed, I should tell you, try clicking on any interesting objects and furniture you spot. Many of them contain gifts or surprises.
Our next landmark is a house, the home of the white rabbit. Be sure to go up to all the floors, to see what little tricks he has placed there, for your entertainment.
Proceeding down the path, we next find it blocked by a large black widow spider and her web. Clicking the web will get you stuck in it, with the spider inching it's way closer. After getting free, try going around and getting back on the path, on the other side.
Next up, we come to a windmill. In the front yard, there are tables and chairs. We, instantly, recognize this as the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. The other guests seem to have left, leaving a mess behind. As we sit, for a bit of tea, we discover one of the guests is still there. A sleepy doormouse sticks his head out of the sugar bowl. You may decide to drink your tea, unsweetened. We get up and go inside the windmill. Click everything, as there are many free prizes to be had here.
Moving along on the path, we notice a forest of giant mushrooms and think we know what will be found here. I start looking for a giant caterpillar. He wasn't there, but a butterfly was flying around a large mushroom and there was smoke coming from the top. Clicking it put me seated on top, next to a hooka. Knowing there was still adventure to be explored, I decided against trying to inhale any smoke, (laughter). While there, I took one of the best snapshots ever, as seen at the top of this article.
After panning the camera around, to get the best shot, I found myself lost, when I got down. I could see, on the top of a nearby hill, a castle with red trim. I knew what that was for, but just couldn't find the path to it. Fortunate for me, I spotted a balloon. Guessing that it might be the only way up, I clicked on it and began floating off in the wrong direction. In the chat window, I was instructed to use the left and right arrow keys, for direction and the page up and down, for elevation. I quickly mastered piloting the slow moving balloon and steered my way to the castle's courtyard. Before entering the castle, I walked around it and posed for a picture with a couple of aces, from the queens army. This place is called Dysphoria, for good reasons. I felt an abnormal feeling of anxiety, as I entered the castle. I was glad to see that the Red Queen was not at home. I went right up to the throne and sat on it.
Having satisfied that royal fantasy, I got up to search the rest of the castle. I found a side chamber, where a queen might entertain guests. I sat down, at the pipe organ and played a bit of Bach, before exploring farther. Pulling a curtain open, I found a stone wall, where a window or door should be. I thought it might be a secret passage and clicked to see if it would open. When that didn't work, I looked at the wall on both sides and found the button. The wall slid open, revealing an external stairway. At the top of the stairs, there was no door, but it had the same button, so I clicked it. Now I was in the queen's bedroom. Naturally, I went straight to her bed....and danced on it. From there, I found her private balcony at sat down to enjoy the view and sip some champagne. I had gone as far as one can go here, so I stopped. A word of advice, if you're going and get all the way to the balcony, you'll see a pidgeon that says "Don't click me". DON"T click on the pidgeon.
Overall, Wonderland is a great adventure. The graphics are great and the sounds and scenery did produce some anxiety, like what you feel when getting on a roller coaster. It was worth the L$200 fee.
I took 10 pictures at Wonderland. The full set can be seen at .