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Far From Home: Amarantis Belfire’s Blog

Although the telling of my “Far From Home” tale has now ended, you can still read Amarantis Belfire’s wonderfully written posts connected to it (and my previous tale, “Lost & Found“) on her blog, YAFJ. I’d like to say a HUGE thank you to Ama’s typist for helping me with these tales and allowing me to drag her into my RP 🙂

Here is Ama’s latest post in which she tackles Dr Roundtree about Nurse Rain and is cleared of any involvement in Sister Grace’s death by a mysterious man with a strange, bookish lapel pin…

Writing Style Tag Game and I’m IT!

I never do memes. Except the ones I like, of course 😀 This fun one about writing styles is from A Steampunk Reverie by Calista Taylor.

1)What’s the last thing you wrote? What’s the first thing you wrote that you still have?
Last thing is the current thing, “Far From Home” and is about HBA’s plight at the hands of a serial killer loose in Caledon Hospital and his escape from Shade City in a Blue Mars inspired world overtaken by The Great Erase. It’s been fun, but I’ve found the latter part has dragged a little – I want to move on to something new and have ideas backing up in a holding pattern in my head 🙂
First thing? Not sure, but I remember a story I write at school based on one I’d read in the 2000AD comic about a man trapped inside a computer game. Oddly enough I recall the teachers comments which said something like “Great idea, strong start but you rushed at the end as you wanted to finish”. Blimey. I’ve just surprised myself with that link through the years…

2) Write poetry?
No as I suck. Well, my few Hiakus are OK, but poetry, like ballet dancing and bear wrestling, is not a strong point with me 🙂

3) Angsty poetry?
See above. And I don’t really do angsty.

4) Favorite genre of writing?
Erm, not sure. I love writing silly smut as Lady Heady, but I also loved the steampunk-noir Dr Beck story “Goodunnit?”. Mind you, that had some silly smut in too. Is silly smut a genre? If so, that’s the chappie for me!

5) Most evil character you’ve ever created?
Although he’s not featured much (yet) I think the most evil would be the leader of the Formorians who thinks nothing about gutting live fairies to weave his magic 😉

6) Best plot you’ve ever created?
Lost & Found”. I’ve loved them all, but “Lost & Found” has been my fave so far. I loved the way I used it as an intro to Steelhead and then poured on the pressure until HBA’s fragile mind cracked like an egg – I think I handled it quite well (even if I do say so myself) and the epilogue chapter is some of my best, most honest, writing yet. Special mention has to go to Sally the Crab and her battle with the evil octopus in “The Lost Journal” as that came out of nowhere and was so much fun!

7) Coolest plot twist you’ve ever created?
Killing of Jeremiah Mason like I did – I bloody loved that last post. The whole portal snapping shut and Jeremiah dropping back to the island just as the nuclear warhead hit was so much fun to write!

8) How often do you get writer’s block?
So far not often. It’s not writers block I get as much as ‘can’t be arsed-ness’. Such spells don’t last long 🙂

9) Write fan fiction?
Nah, I don’t have any heroes so can’t write about them 🙂

10) Do you type or write by hand?
Type – mainly on a PC, but sometime laptop and sometime on my QWERTY keyboard phone (that actually works out quite well).

11) Do you save everything you write?
Yup – backups in multiple places too 🙂

12) Do you ever go back to an idea after you’ve abandoned it?
Yep – “The Lost Journal” was a reworking of “The Island” (only with better pace and an ending :-D) and a re-use of a series of in-world notecards I’d written to generate a suitable mood for a horror-themed party I threw way back in 2007.

13) What’s your favourite thing you’ve ever written?
Either the bit with Jeremiah buys the farm, or HBA blows himself up – I like big, bold dramatic scenes 😀

14) What’s everyone else’s favourite story you’ve written?
Not sure. Either Lady Heady’s *ahem* body of work or Dr Becks adventure under the streets of Babbage in “The Mysterious Note” judging by the comments.

15) Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?
Nope – neither to my taste really. Give me something to blow up or make double entendres with and I’m happy. I’m just a big kid really ;-D

16) What’s your favourite setting for your characters?
Whatever Second Life has I’ll use but I like to explore my characters pain and confusion, so I’ll say their inner-worlds mainly.

17) How many writing projects are you working on right now?
Gawd, too many! Lemme count… five I think, three of those are very active.

18) Have you ever won an award for your writing?
Nope, not doing it for that 🙂

19) What are your five favourite words?
All of them swear words. Bad ones.

20) What character have you created that is most like yourself?
Both HBA & Ryne have me in them, but I’m trying to move away from that. In HBA’s case because his connection from me has been severed so he is an avatar without a typist, and in Ryne’s case I want him to ‘live’ in Steelhead in a universe that is not SL.

21) Where do you get your ideas for your characters?
Christ! I dunno, I pull ‘em from my arse mainly. They evolve so much when you begin to write them I’m sure they aren’t created by me anyway, I just find them 😀

22) Do you ever write based on your dreams?
Nah, my dreams are *never* that interesting. Filthy, but not interesting.

23) Do you favour happy endings?
Yes and no. I like good to win, but I like it to happen at a high price.>?0I can’t imagine killing of my main characters – it’s more interesting to see them living with the damage I think.

24) Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?
Yes, but forgive my own and other’s mistakes easily enough – the story’s the thing!

25) Does music help you write?
Not really. If I’m in the mood, I just write 🙂

26) Quote something you’ve written. Whatever pops in your head.
So many things come to mind, but I loved this opening from “The Ocean of Night” which was chapter 1 of “Lost & Found”:

It was night, a dark sky wrapped around him like a heavy coat. The water was cold and full of thick weeds. He swam through the cold and the weeds and the night, but it was hard and tiring. The cold sapped his strength and the weeds snatched and pulled at his limbs. He had long ago forgotten where he was swimming to or even why, he just knew he had to keep swimming, never stopping, not once, just swimming in the dark night against the cold, against the weeds pulling at him, swimming always.

Now, who should I tag?

Dio, Rhia, Darien, Lunar and Fuzz I think – come on guys, do me proud ;-D

My Steampunk Test

Lord knows I’m not much of a Steampunker, so when I took the Steampunk Test after seeing it in an old post of Fuzzball’s, I was hardly shocked with the result 😀


Your result for The Steampunk Archetype Test…

The Mechanical Fian

55 Swashbuckling Engineer, 0 Crazy Clockwork Tinkerer, 13 Charming Noble, 17 Roguish Pirate, 77 Mechanical Fian and 0 Aetherist Bodger!

Not all clockwork devices are autonomous, for some like you, clockwork devices replace parts of your body. Missing limbs get replaced with clockwork prosthetics that tend to be stronger and faster than the original. Eyes get replaced with special starlight optics that let you see in the dark. You serve the Brehon in the streets of London, making sure the Code is followed, handing out your violent form of justice when needed. Few want to cross your path if they can avoid it.
Take The Steampunk Archetype Test
at HelloQuizzy

Edit 7th Oct 09: God alone knows what that picture is – I took the test about two months ago and have long since forgotten. I like to think it’s a mechanical claw for scratching backs…

Event RP – What is it and how is it done?

It struck me today (quite out of the blue – I wonder why our minds work like that, suddenly popping an idea or memory up when everything else about us in engaged in thoughts and activities totally unconnected) that I had missed off an important definition of roleplay in SL from my list. Doubly important when I realised that I actually don’t know how it works.

Event RP: Where people get together to take part in a pre-planned event that is in itself an act of semi-staged/semi-improvised RP (as opposed to people at an event deciding to undertake RP).

A good example of this would be the naval battles staged by Steelhead’s very own Master of the Waves, Hotspur O’Toole. Another good example, and one that has always stuck in my mind, is the Martian attack on Caledon in 2007 (one blog extract to illustrate what I mean here).

I can see the end result of the Martian attack in the plethora of Caledon and SL Steampunk blogs (around July 2007) to piece together how people fitted in to the RP, but what I am less clear on is how such an event was organised. Specifically I’d like to know:

1) How many people were ‘in’ on the gig? Was it just a few of the boss/management team or was it a large affair with many organisers?

2) How were people assigned roles? Was it just a free for all come-shoot-at-the-aliens affair, or did people have to report in and be assigned a task?

3) How did the mechanics work? Were the Martian craft scripted bots or were there people behind them? How did combat & damage to people & property work, if at all?

In short, if I (by “I”, I mean Steelhead as just “I” on my own couldn’t do it) wanted to stage a similar event – let’s say a Godzilla style attack on the city – how would we go about it?

If you have any ideas or tried & tested solutions, please be so kind as to drop them below 🙂

Steelhead Memories (Part 1)

Since moving into Steelhead a mere month or so ago (although it both feels shorter and longer than that – it’s been a strange few months for me in RL 🙂 ) I have been reading back through various resident’s blogs to learn more about my new home and the events that have shaped it.

I started with Elle’s blog and moved on to Darien’s blog because I am playing one of his characters at the moment and needed to at least look like I knew a little of the amazing and complex backgrounds he had created. As with pretty much all blogs like ours, he mixes his tales with news of SL day-to-day events and it was through these latter posts I began to understand a little of the early days of Steelhead’s existence (a time often referred to a the Dark Times).

But (and I know you shouldn’t start a sentence with a ‘But’, but…) it wasn’t until I started reading Fuzzball Oretga’s blog (this post specifically) that I not only got some idea of how close Steelhead came to not coming out of these Dark Times, but also what a vital role Darien played in ensuring it did.

I hereby propose that Steelhead sets up an award for citizens whose work ensures the city and environs are a happy place to live for all – the Dr Darien Mason Good Citizenry Award!

p.s. Darien, in the comments, says he was involved in many of the events of the Dark Times and the award is not a good idea. Pity I’ve already posted about the idea on the Steelhead Ning… another politcally sensitive clanger dropped then :-/

SL Wierdness: Sculptie Lag

I love how the small section of folks I know and half-know in SL and SL Blogsville know so much useful stuff! Thank you to Emily Orr for this great comment reply about sculpties and the lag they cause (which even on my slightly old but still powerful desktop PC can take many many minutes to rez).

Blogs I Lurve: Darien Mason

Jeremiah/Darien MasonI’m on holiday as I type this (today is a Sunday so I’m resting up – this is me resting up and not wasting my holiday as Mrs Burro would have you believe) and since the start of my holiday I’ve passed the idle moments (hours!) in airports and hotels and the like by reading Darien Mason’s blog from the start. I’m up to Dec 08 from April 07 and as most monthhs are around 20 posts I can tell you that’s a hell of a lot of reading (although not as much as Osprey’s blog which I also read from the start over several weeks couple of years back). But not only is it a lot of reading, it’s a lot of GREAT reading! Frau Lowey warned me, when I told her of my intention to read all of Darien’s blog, that it would twist my brain more than string theroy. She was right!

The basic premise of his blog is his character’s struggle with an ancient curse involving a demon from Hell called Bloodwing. But saying that is like saying the basic premise of spaceflight is about shooting people at the moon, or the basic premise of cricket is hiting a ball, or the basic premise of politics is about looking after number 1 – none of these examples do their subject justice and I fear I can not do Darien’s works justice either. He runs with several storylines at once, he crosses blogs and sims and realities several times over without breaking a sweat, he throws more brilliant concepts in to one post than some people have in an entire blog. And then there is time travel. If anything is designed to make you cry at the pain in your noodle, it’s reading about a doll split by time into an infinite army of herself and returning one by one to a new vision of Hell to be enslved by a clone of Darien’s father (who is himself a clone several times over and a clone of his father too boot!)

Seriously, you will not grasp everything at first – some tales seem to rise from nowhere and others sink without a trace, but the answers are out there, eithger crossed over into other people’s blogs or, more often than not, lurking between the lines just waiting to be found by only the boldest of readers. What are you still reading this drivel for – go NOW and read his works from the start. And then email the bugger with questions because if he wants to make our brains ache, we should return the favour and demand explanations! 😀

p.s. I should point out that Darien has now gone from SL but that hasn’t stopped the Mason Mythos living on and traveling to us from other worlds – you can’t keep a good writer from writing, you know 🙂

Blogs I Lurve: Osprey’s Mighty Atomic Raygun

I’m sure you know Osprey by now – she has featured in such a huge part of my life and therefore this blog over the last two years that if you hadn’t read her name or seen her picture here I’d be very surprised.

Catalyst, instigator, firebrand, all-round creative genius Osprey is a one-woman ideas dynamo responsible for some of the fun-est things in world, including the sublime vaudeville show “The Show Must Go On”.

Her blog is a daily meditation on anything and everything – from some of the most complex ideas generated by possibilities offered by SL to memories and observations from her rather singular and fascinating life. Once you start reading you’ll not only be hooked (luckily she posts daily, unlike me :-D) but you’ll want to read back to find out more.

Osprey is a true exponent of virtual worlds and what they can offer and is always positive about the direction of SL, that in itself is a refreshing change in Blogland 🙂 Go now and add her to your links.

Blogs I Love: Enjah’s Coyote

I’ve been meaning to cover Enjah & Osprey’s blogs in this occasional series for ages, but it’s taken me ages to get around to them. Enjah first as I’ve just found out that she has combined her many blogs into one that covers her RL as well as her many lives in SL. Philosphical thoughts blend with step by step descriptions of her artwork mix with explorations and tales of her extensive (and I mean HUGE) family in-world. So hop over to their new home here and immerse yourself in a wonderful mix of RL and SL gems 🙂

A Nish in Luskwood!

Nish’s travels have reached Lusk – catch up with her latest adventures amongst the furries over on her great blog here 🙂