Posted in Daily Post Photo Challenge, photos, Second Life

Expressing Myself in a Virtual World

I have been in Second Life since September of 2006. I have met very good friends there, learned things, taken part in amazing events (Relay for Life of Second Life being the main one). I build, I teach, I entertain. And I take photos!

Entertainment on my part is mainly through dance. Melding different dance animations together (hopefully seamlessly!), fitting them to the music, and then writing “emotes” to help tell the story of your dance where facial expression and more minute movements would suffice in real life is how dance usually works in Second Life.

A photo from a story dance I performed.
A photo from a story dance I performed.
Dancing with a group to benefit the American Cancer Society's breast cancer awareness.
Dancing with a group to benefit the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer awareness.

Obviously this isn’t what I look like in real life. But I’ve had many people claim – and I am in agreement – that our avatars reflect who we are on the inside. It’s true, too. You can “feel” how people are in real life by how they look and act in a virtual world. (This does not include avatars that are strictly role-playing entities. Those are fictitious and are meant to remain that way.)

I think every one of us is a bit vain when it comes to our avatars, and selfies happen quite often because of this:

At "The Far Away" in the field...
At “The Far Away” in the field…

And a perk of all this selfie-snapping is being able to experiment a lot with Photoshop and Corel PaintShop Pro.

Snapping away at "Art Box".
Snapping away at “Art Box”.

There are so many different types of sims (simulators) in Second Life – I’ve found Battlestar Galactica, Gallifrey, the Enterprise, the Serenity Firefly-class vessel, the world of Game of Thrones, and all sorts of science fiction and horror places. If you want to go back in time, there are tons of eras and places, too, from 1700s Venice to the American Civil War, Ancient Rome, Johnny Cash’s boyhood home, Lakeport Plantation, New Babbage (which is steampunk), and one of my favorites: 1920s Berlin Project – Weimar Republic. Berlin is one of those things that needs its own entry! But first…

Last winter in New Babbage, wandering through the snow.
Last winter in New Babbage, wandering through the snow.

 

My character, Julie Sanders, standing outside the Clarrington's Delikatessen in Berlin, where I work.
My character, Julie Sanders, standing outside the Clarrington’s Delikatessen in Berlin, where I work.

 

Inside Clarrington's Delikatessen, trying to scrub away some wine from a bottle broken the evening before.
Inside Clarrington’s Delikatessen, trying to scrub away some wine from a bottle broken the evening before.

 

So tired... sitting behind the counter at Clarrington's, head in hands, the building where I lived at the time seen through the front store glass.
So tired… sitting behind the counter at Clarrington’s, head in hands, the building where I lived at the time seen through the front store glass.

 

That was the springtime... this is october. In my flat, getting roaringly drunk on Fat Baker Schnapps (from Clarrington's, of course!) with my cousin, Dee.
That was the springtime… this is October. In my flat, getting roaringly drunk on Fat Baker Schnapps (from Clarrington’s, of course!) with my cousin, Dee.

 

And this was taken just this past weekend: Me as The Eighth Doctor, my sister/cousin Dee Pudding (she'll kill me for that silly name) as Some Hawt Space Chicky, and the wonderful Aiden as a Cyberman, all dancing at a birthday party inworld.
And this was taken just this past weekend: Me as The Eighth Doctor, my sister/cousin Dee Pudding (she’ll kill me for that silly name) as Some Hawt Space Chicky, and the wonderful Aiden as a Cyberman, all dancing at a birthday party inworld.

 

It’s fun to roam around in different places in virtual space, meeting people, exploring. It’s not just some game – it’s a group of communities within a larger community, and it’s simply amazing.

 

 

 

Daily Post’s Photo Challenge:

Express Yourself

 

 

 

 

Posted in Daily Post Photo Challenge, Friday Photography, Ohio, photos

Friday Photography: In The Fog

Last August, I woke to a thick blanket of fog just beginning to be lit by the rising sun. My camera was grabbed, and as I was dashing out to take some photos, Hims suggested we go to one of the lakes so I could get a few shots of the mist rising off the water. On our way out there, we passed the Museum of the US Air Force, where the field was shrouded and the planes on the other side of the buildings not even visible from the road. Perfect. (Note: Please click on the photos to open larger versions of them; they will look better that way!)

 

The closest of the line of planes. The large one with the black nose is the Hanoi Taxi.
The closest of the line of planes. The large one with the black nose is the Hanoi Taxi.

 

It was nearly silent that morning, and what little noise I could hear was muted, like the fog was muffling everything as it wrapped around me.

The treeline quite a few yards from the planes, fading in and out.
The tree line quite a few yards from the planes, fading in and out.

The fog began to lift a little, allowing me glimpses of a tree line in the distance, and every so often an oddly echoing honk of a goose could be heard.

2014 08 23 Geese in fog

Walking between these huge machines, I could look up and see birds waiting for the sun to appear and dry out their feathers. Some were on the tail of the famous Hanoi Taxi, and others rested on propellers that hadn’t moved in decades.

Birds on the tail of the Hanoi Taxi Starlifter.
Birds on the tail of the Hanoi Taxi Starlifter.

 

Birds on the propeller.
Birds on the propeller.

In the silence, voices from the past tickled my imagination, from a troop carrier from the late 1940s to a Vietnam-era Hercules transport (which had a bit of a creepy feel about it).

A Northrop Raider with a Lockheed Hercules behind.
A Northrop Raider with a Lockheed Hercules behind.

Even the drive home seemed surreal.

On the way home.
On the way home.

I guess I can find serenity is some of the oddest things, the quiet of a foggy morning among the ghosts of the past being one of them.

 

(In response to the Daily Post Photo Challenge – Serenity)