Monday, December 22, 2008

A Chat with Written Word’s Jilly Kidd

I've had the pleasure of knowing both Jilly Kidd and Hastings Bournemouth at the Written Word project for just slightly over a year now. Their activities within SL have been amazing, both working tirelessly to promote SL as a venue for all of us in the literary world. Besides being the hostess at the many events held on Cookie Island, she also does a weekly show from the SIM called "Meet the Author" which can be viewed on SLCN TV. I caught up with Jilly recently and chatted about what's been going on with her at the project.

"Hey Jilly ... I hope all is well with you." I said.

"Yes really good, I'm a guest writer on that Reed Media blog now so that's fantastic. Here's a link to my first article (What the Papers Don't Say) and I'll be writing regularly." She said in reply and then added, "The publishers are a new part of the project, and they'll all be offering something to writers - ways to submit without an agent from some awards with book contracts, a litzine from Canongate where you can post your own work. Picador will also be joining us soon and they aren't mentioned in that article. It's something very new on SL this combined venture - writers and publishers, RL/SL merge with them mutually benefitting each other. The publishers are really looking into how to do something different to fit into our project. Macmillan will be concentrating on their Macmillan New Writers scheme which lets first time novelists send their manuscript by email and without an agent."

"I'll pop out shortly to take a read of your posting. It does sound like there's a lot going on with Written Word. I know we chatted briefly about this a few weeks ago, I'm still planning to interview you when your book comes out." I said

"Yes that should be next month, not too long now anyway." She said and then continued, "It takes ages for the publisher to get books out. But there are a lot of processes to be done properly to bring a book out and have it distributed and promoted well. It takes just three weeks to actually produce the book but months of planning to have distribution and promotion organized."

'It all sounds great Jilly, I can't wait to read it and then of course meet for our interview." I replied.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Auction of Queen Elizabeth's Rainbow Portrait Dress in Second Life

One of a Kind Auction of Queen Elizabeth's Rainbow Portrait Dress in Second Life

Shakespeare, Second Life and Zoha Island E, Second Life: In support of the SL Shakespeare Company's SOS "Save Our Sims" Fundraising Campaign, historic costume specialist Naergilien Wunderlich has created a virtual rendition of Queen Elizabeth I's Rainbow Portrait gown for auction with all proceeds benefiting the SL Shakespeare Company. Finely and expertly re-created for Second Life, the dress will be a rare "one of a kind" prize for the highest bidder at 4 PM SLT on Sunday, Dec 21, 2008. The dress is on display on a mannequin at both the Wunderlich Main Store in Zoha Island E and the Shakespeare Island SIM.

The dress features photorealistic textures based on Issac Oliver's Rainbow Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I. The dress comes with a set of exquisite sculpted jewelry, rubies, gold, and ample pearls of virginity, manifest in earrings and a necklace. The outfit is worn with several symbolic talismen, notably the one protruding from her puffy sleeves, the serpent with a ruby heart hanging from its mouth, passion controlled by wisdom.

Ina Centaur, fashion consultant and artistic director of the SL Shakespeare Company, asserts, "This is, by far, the most meticulous rendition of any of Queen Elizabeth's dresses on Second Life."

The dress d├ębuted in a SLSC SOS Fundraising soiree in Caledon last Sunday, and had already garnered a high bid of L$10,000 before the event's end. Naergilien Wunderlich is collecting bids through note card and IM in a silent auction to culminate in a ballroom event on Sunday, December the 21st from 2 PM to 4 PM, in conjunction with the SL Shakespeare Company's Shakespeare on Ice.

>>> ABOUT the SL Shakespeare Company: <<<

The SL Shakespeare Company (SLSC) is a resident-funded and resident supported professional theatre company that embraces the best of what Second Life (SL) has to offer. Since 2007, we have been making history by providing extravagant and unforgettable theatrical performances on Second Life. With each show, we continue to shape the field by developing and re-leasing a new technology for virtual theatre on Second Life. Our vision is to make live Shakespearean theatre available to anyone anywhere with a computer to create new possibilities in entertainment, culture, and commerce for residents of a diverse, unbounded Geo-sphere. Those are the side effects of our mission: to make Shakespeare cool again!

>>> Latest News:

>>> ABOUT Wunderlich's Garb <<<

Wunderlich's Garb specializes in Elizabethan and Victorian clothing, and other eras that capture naergilien Wunderlich's interest. Stunning portraits and well made movie costumes also make their appearance in her shop. Ms. Wunderlich has been a fanatic real life costumer for the last fifteen years, and has had a decade's worth of experience in texturing for various 3d applications.

Shakespeare on Ice – in Second Life

Shakespeare, Second Life: On Winter Solstice 2008 (Dec 21), the SL Shakespeare Company endeavors on a last production of the year, a 24-hour ongoing festival of 'Shakespeare on Ice', to occur on the Shakespeare Island SIM, with a purpose of entertaining and educating.

The festival revives salient plots and character relations from past SL Shakespeare Company productions, as well as new ones created just for this, in the form of displays that replay through the brief segments persistently. Managing Director Complex Infinity states, "We're using bots since scheduling is too painful in this season, and also, this is a chance for everyone to—literally—drop by and get a glimpse of us at any time." Artistic Director Ina Centaur explains the purpose of this production, "It's a production, and we actually have it labeled as a SLBP—'Super Low Budget Production.' The 'scenes' or displays are set up somewhat like museum exhibits, where the audience can explore each one on their own. [Although no new animations and very few assets were created for this production,] We're maintaining our trademark for visual excellence while trying to give everyone a chance to see what we're about—even during these hard times as we attempt to raise funding to keep our islands." Though admissions is free, Centaur mentions that several relevant merchandises will also be available for the audience to purchase to help support the Company financially, "All proceeds for purchases of the skins of each character will help support our current SOS 'Save Our Sims' Fundraising Campaign. Also, we will be displaying a 'one-of-a-kind' photorealistic virtual gown based on Queen Elizabeth's Rainbow Portrait—the silent auction for this item would end at 4 PM on Sunday the 21st."

Centaur explains the reason behind each display, "Each exhibit is self-sufficient and does not refer to a particular scene, explicitly, but is true to the relations among the characters in the world of [that] play. They're basically a 'single-instance interpretation' or a caricature-like 'capture' of part of the essence of each play." The Company's Hamlet is back in the unlikely form: Hamlet is revived and stalking Lucianus down a path, leaving him with "what became of Romeo and Juliet", then coming back to pursue Claudius who had been arguing with both Polonius and Gertrude; Ophelia looks at the scene in a frozen expression of horror, and the Ghost loiters about. Although such script-programmed behaviors have not been used in a major theatrical production on Second Life before, Centaur waves off the technological innovation of this production, "We're really just digging through the attic and showing off some very old toys we didn't have to use before."

And, of characters not yet seen in past productions: Both Queen Elizabeth (incognito, dressed informally in her Rainbow Portrait gown, as Gloriana) and Henry VIII will make their appearance while roaming about on skates on ice paths on the Shakespeare Island. New 'productions' created especially for this display include a "single-instance interpretation" of Kate, the female lead from The Taming of the Shrew, and the triangular relationship of Romeo, Juliet, and the Apothecary. Kate is shown psyching out on ice (but the ice never breaks); Romeo and Juliet, dressed as ice skaters, are circling around a stooping and unmoving Apothecary, with a dagger to the heart protruding from Juliet's blood-stained body, and Romeo binging on a vial of poison potion.

Ina Centaur jokingly names the exhibit of "Romeo and Juliet (and the Apothecary)" as a tribute to virtual economist Edward Castronova, "We weren't lucky enough to get any external funding for our projects, so we had to do everything [referring to this particular display] with just L$250. Ed got a US$250,000 grant to create a Shakespeare world in Second Life, where people could 'learn' about Shakespearean plays presumably through such Disneyland-esque methods. But he didn't actually get to make his project on Second Life, so—not that I particularly cherish the theatrics of this one—we dedicate this display to his idea!"

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Video of "Children Soldiers" an HRF Festival Exhibit

I'd attended several of the many HRF events this past sunday. My last stop was at the one Siri Vita hosted. She had Al Hoffman in concert and her own exhibit focusing on "Children Soldiers". While there I was introduced to film maker Robertt Avro, who made a film of the exhibit. Here's the link:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Living Nativity at Candy Cane Lane

Jill Mackenzie, is celebrating the fifth anniversary of her Candy Cane Lane in SL with a special production. Jill has written for SL a "Living Nativity" play. I caught yesterday's performance and enjoyed the energy and commitment the cast had put into the twenty minute production. The actors appear on stage in a nicely built manger and in costumes created just for the production. While the acting is limited to poses and the use of text chat to convey their lines, the twenty or so avatars present enjoyed themselves and stayed around after to chat with Jill and the cast. There is one more performance scheduled for Saturday Dec 20 @ 5:00 PM PST (SLT).

Sunday, December 14, 2008

SLSC SOS Campaign Event

The picture and an update arrived from Ina Centaur via group notice:

"SOS Campaign Co-chair Fauve Aeon is holding a seasonal soiree... beginning with medieval-Renaissance music and dance, a brief monologue of the most strange transformation of Lucianus to Claudius, and a live auction of several limited and one of kind items."

Lucianus Messing @ Caledon Highlands.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lizbet's Picks: Skating Through Second Life

I got my first set of roller skates in Real Life when I was 5 years old and I was the last kid on the block in the ‘80s to give up my “quad” skates for roller blades. I still love to roller skate on the boardwalks in Southern California. But in Second Life, I’m a confirmed ice skater. It’s soooo much more elegant. And when you ice skate in a virtual world, weak ankles and those nasty freezing temperatures are never an issue.

Most ice skating parks have free or very inexpensive skates available. And most skates have a skating animation already built in. Unfortunately, while the available skates at a random park may be acceptable for the fellas, they’re not always the kind that a fashionable girl avie would be caught dead in. I prefer to wear my original white leather Paris 1900 skates with white fur boots :). If you don’t already have a favorite pair of skates, stop by Pick #1: Skate and Date Ice Skating and get a decent looking free pair there.

1. Skate and Date Ice Skating


Skates: Nice looking free skates available in a couple of different colors.

Music: Pop

I like this rink because it is a small, classic, traditional-style city rink. If you like to socialize, come to the Group Skate every Sunday from 7-8:30pm. The owners and regulars are very nice and fun people who will make you feel quite welcome. The rink offers a simple couple skate animation and a bunch of cuddle poses scattered upon the benches around the rink.

2. Blue Roan Skating


Skates: Free skates available

Music: Rock/Pop

There are free skates available from the little stand to the West of the landing point but I don’t know many girls who would be willing to ruin a pretty outfit by wearing them. This is a small ice pond with an intimate feel, completely encased in white fir trees. There are both single and couple trick skating animations right at the entrance. Most skating animations (like these) take you on a predetermined course around the park . If you hop on one of the “trick” animations, you will also display your impressive flexibility and dazzling array of Olympic-level skating feats.

3. Kounak Ice Skating


Skates: There are no free skates here. Stop by Pick #1 above first to grab a nice pair of freebies if you need them.

Music: Romantic pop

This is a particularly beautiful skating pond and my very favorite in SL. The twisting turquoise ice (wait for it, lol) is in gorgeous, undulating textures fading off into one of those fabulous SL moon-reflecting oceans and surrounded by glacial peaks. You’ll always be encased in a delicate sparkly snowfall. There are no skate animations here so you’ll need to be wearing skates to actually, you know, skate. But if you aren't wearing skates, there are still lots of dance pose balls. And dancing on this pretty ice pond is almost as much fun as skating on it.

4. Earthly Ice Skating Pond


Skates: There are no free skates here. Stop by Pick #1 above first to grab a nice pair of freebies if you need them.

Music: Reggae pop

Count on my landlady Lasla Mannock to create a truly lovely ice rink on a whim. A small rink smothered in snowflake flurries and surrounded by ocean and stars. You may also enjoy the pretty poolside bar and Jacuzzi while there.

5. La Musique


Skates: There are no free skates here. Stop by Pick #1 above first to grab a nice pair of freebies if you need them.

Music: Pop

If you’re following a landmark, you’ll land at La Romantique ballroom first. Use the TelePort sign to get to the ice rink. There, you’ll also find a cuddle rug by a roaring fire and an igloo hideaway. Musique Gable is a wonderful designer and there are so many charming spots throughout her SIM. Please explore and take the little train, too, if you can find the depot.

6. Mandalay Bay


Skates: Free skates available

Music: Romantic Easy Listening

Click BUY on the big poster of the couple skaters to get your free skates. Then drag your box onto the ground and click to OPEN your box and copy the skates into your inventory. You’ll be given a nice set of white skates for women or blue for men.

This is the largest of the ponds on this list and much of what is beautiful and interesting in the park isn’t visible from the entrance. Hop on one of the singles or couple skate animations and you’ll be taken on a fascinating tour of this surprisingly detailed and expansive pond. You’ll go through ice caverns and mountain tunnels and icicle forests and city parks. I guarantee you’ll be as amazed as I was at how athletic and graceful you are!

See you on the ice!


P. S. Most of my lists are also available as Notecards with regular Landmarks in-world. Just IM me! [I wish I could pretend I was one of those really popular people that you have to send notecards to! Someday maybe I'll have capped IMs, too...] ~LzL

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Universal Rights Celebrated in Virtual Universe

The 60th Anniversary of the Declaration of Universal Rights is being celebrated by a huge festival in Second Life. More than 60 concerts mark the 60 years and the talents of 100 artists and musicians are part of the celebration. More than 30 SIMs reflect the 30 articles of the UN Convention.

SL Human Rights Festival

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Benefit for Aleja Asturias

The note arrived from Gentle Heron telling me of Aleja's plight and that there was a benefit going on for her. Gentle asked if I could stop by.

The notecard read:

"Come to a benefit for Aleja Asturias, who is having some real life difficulties due to the death of her roommate and ex boyfriend/domestic partner. Muse Carmona who had already planned to hold a rezday party for herself on Sunday, Dec 7th, but when she heard about what happened to Aleja, she decided to donate all proceeds of her second rezday birthday party to help Aleja in RL!"

Gentle Heron: Aleja needs everything. She doesn't even have her adaptive eating equipment. How cruel is that? They took her utensils.

Nazz Lane: Jesus

Gentle Heron: I know. She has her wheelchair and bed. She has her computer but they took the modem, they isolated her.

When I left the party / fundraiser, they'd already raised $280.00 USD.

For more information on Aleja's situation please see:

To donate via paypal see:

Friday, December 5, 2008

You Can Vote to Help Families of the Missing and Unidentified

This just in from Kelly Jolkowski, president and founder of Project Jason:

Direct link at is

To vote for Project Jason at, the URL is


Most of you have heard of our Campaign for the Missing, a state by state effort to pass legislation which would positively impact how missing and unidentified deceased person cases are handled. (

We’ve been successful mentoring volunteers with the passage of legislation in 6 states, with several more active. These efforts will continue on.

I recently learned of an effort called Ideas for Change in America. This is a is a citizen-driven project that aims to identify and create momentum around the best ideas for how the 111th Congress can turn the broad call for “change” across the country into specific policies. The project is nonpartisan, and is not connected to the Obama Administration.

In this effort, the top 10 rated ideas will be presented to the Obama Administration on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009 as the “Top 10 Ideas for America.” The sponsor organization,, will then launch a national campaign behind each idea and mobilize the collective energy of a selected and related nonprofit, the millions of members of, MySpace, and partner organizations to ensure that each winning idea gets the full consideration of the Obama Administration and Members of Congress.

The “Top 10 Ideas for America” will be determined through two rounds of voting. In the first round, ideas will compete against other ideas in the same issue category. The first round will end on December 31, 2008, and the top 3 rated ideas from each category will make it into the second round. The second round of voting will begin on Monday, January 5, and each qualifying idea will compete against the qualifying ideas from all other categories. Second round voting will end on Thursday, January 15.

I have submitted “Establish National Protocol in Missing and Unidentified Person Cases” for consideration. It is now on the website and votes can be placed. It is listed in the Criminal Justice category.

As you can see by the posted information and link to the protocol, this is the 2008 revision of the Campaign for the Missing legislation. While we have never pursued federal passage, this seemed like a good opportunity to make an attempt, or at least bring attention to our plight if nothing more. Education is important, with so many not having awareness of the situation as it exists, and what those of us who live with this experience daily. If we do not try, nothing will be accomplished, that is a certainty.

What I ask of you is your vote. It’s as easy as clicking on the link above, and then on the Vote button. There is also a widget you can copy and place on your website, blog, Facebook, or MySpace page. It will, however, take more than your vote. It will take you forwarding the link to your friends and family, and asking them to vote. It will take many of you adding the widget to your page.

My son, and thousands upon thousands of other sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, etc, might be an unidentified body lying in a morgue waiting to be buried or cremated without DNA analysis done. When that happens, and it may already have, my family may never have the answers we desire. We need to put a halt to this tragedy on top of tragedy and take whatever steps are necessary to ensure everything that can be done in these cases is done. (There is much more to it than DNA, but that is one of many key elements.)

Please vote, and forward this email to everyone in your address book.

Collectively, we are the voice for the missing, speaking for those who are not among us but who are forever in our hearts.

Kelly Jolkowski, Mother of Missing Jason Jolkowski
President and Founder,
Project Jason

Help us find the missing: Become an AAN Member missing persons are loved by someone, and their families deserve to find the answers they seek in regards to the disappearance.