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Showing posts with label lacy muircastle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lacy muircastle. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Second Chance - Episode One - by Lacy Muircastle

Second Chance is book #2 in the Second Life© Love Stories series.  This book is taking the form of a serial.  I intend posting an excerpt of an episode a week in the SL Enquirer.

Here we go:

Second Chance
Episode One
Seb Livingstone
I teleported into the club as I’d done many times since discovering Second Life©.  I hadn’t felt this nervous for a while.  I enjoyed singing covers, but tonight would prove whether I could still hack it with my own stuff. 

My IM pinged.  Damn not now.

Stacey Windsong:  Hey, baby, how’re you? 
Seb Livingstone: Good thanks, Stace, just getting ready for BB’s.
Stacey Windsong:  Oh, I don’t have anything booked for you for today?
Seb Livingstone:  I made the booking myself.
Stacey Windsong:  I see.  And I’m not important enough for you to tell me what you’re doing?
Seb Livingstone:  Please don’t start.  Look, I have to go.  Come here if you want to, if not I’ll catch up with you later.
            More pinging.

Blue Benelli:  Hey, Seb, how're things swinging?
Seb Livingstone: Hey, B, do you really wanna know. Lol.
Blue Benelli: *Laughs* You ready then?
Seb Livingstone: Oh yeah.
Blue Benelli: Break a leg buddy.  Give me a yell when you’re ready for me to announce you.
Seb Livingstone: Cool.
BB’s was a simple, uncomplicated venue that has graced Second Life© since late 2008. It was Blue’s mission in Second Life© to provide one hundred per cent live music all the time.  I was following – The music whisper – Russell Eponym, and after my set, Pol Arida would be taking his thumping set centre stage.   I oriented my avatar on the stage behind the mic.   My breathing became rapid and shallow.  My pulse pounded in my temples.  I sat on the stool in the middle of my home studio. The laptop set up to stream my music in-world.  This was it, make or break.

I typed in Blue’s IM:

Seb Livingstone:  I’m ready to roll B.

Blue switched to voice -Hey everyone, good to see you all here.  Give a huge round of applause to my boy Dr Livingstone.”
Applause and cheers ran up my screen.  I looked out from the stage, at the packed club.  The buzz was invigorating.   It never got old seeing people waiting for me to start a set.  There was nothing quite like an enthusiastic audience to get the blood pumping.  I loved performing.  I was addicted to the adrenalin rush.  It made me feel alive.
How are we this afternoon?” 
The crowd erupted.   Chants of – ‘Dr Livingstone, Dr Livingstone’ and ‘Sing ‘Tears’ sing ‘Tears’ and applause rained down the screen again. 
Yeah, yeah J, it’s in the set, but today I’m launching two new songs. ‘Avatar’ is the first one I’ll sing for you.  No prizes for guessing my inspiration for this song.” 
Cheers flowed again. Then the crowd quietened as my music stream came through.

You’re beautiful, you’re gorgeous
You’re an avatar,
Lifelike, surreal
Ethereal, how bizarre
Here one minute
Gone the next

     The crowd applauded wildly. Catcalls and shouts of TUUUNE ran up the screen.
     On my own in my home studio, I fist-pumped the air.  Yes.  The feeling never got old.

     “Glad you liked it, and for my next new song.  No prizes for noticing a bit of a theme going on is called Virtual Reality.”

Humans will always be humans
Whether they be pixels or
Living breathing beings
Virtual reality no responsibility
What an opportunity

     Comments like - Dr Livingstone, is there going to be a new album?” and “Where can we buy those tracks?” ran up the screen like credits at the end of an epic movie.
     I felt stoked that my new material had met with such vocal approval.  I closed my eyes and let the crowd’s reaction wash over me.  It was the jump start I needed and how it was supposed to be.  I still had it. 
     I could take it into the real world.  My second chance was going to happen.           
     My computer continued to ping with comments and accolades — what a rush.
     To answer some of your questions, you can buy the tracks as singles off iTunes, and it’ll be on Genius and YouTube, and yes, I’ll be working on a new album.  I’m hoping to get signed to a label soon.”

     Requests poured in.

     Okay everyone here’s the one you’ve been waiting for.  “Tears”.
     I braced myself for the wash of emotion it always launched on me and clung to my microphone as though it could save me from being carried away.

Tears, tears, inevitable
Smiles there were a few
And when the tears ran out
We were numb and so blue

Why, why, why, shattered dreams
Why, why, why, shattered dreams

     The crowd roared in appreciation.  But this song would forever haunt me.  It was a constant reminder of the past, of disappointment and the despair that had followed.  

My IM pinged:

Stacey Windsong: You okay?
Seb Livingstone: Are you here at BB’s?
Stacey Windsong: Obviously.
Seb Livingstone:  Thanks. I didn’t see you. There are so many people here.  And yes, I’m okay.
Stacey Windsong:  Why do you keep singing that song?  You know it’s not good for you.
Seb Livingstone:  It’s difficult to say no to the audience.
Stacey Windsong: Oh, please, Seb, I think you're just masochistic.
Seb Livingstone:  What about the two new songs, did you catch them?
Stacey Windsong: I did.
Seb Livingstone: And?
Stacey Windsong:  They’re not bad.

     I frowned at my screen.  Hell.  Not bad, what the fuck?

Seb Livingstone:  Thanks for the vote of confidence.
Stacey Windsong:  You know that I don’t think you should still be singing after everything you’ve been through.
Seb Livingstone:  And you know that’s not going to happen.
Stacey Windsong:  I’m here to keep an eye on you, make sure you don’t fall off the tracks again.
Seb Livingstone: I can hardly forget since you remind me all the time.
Stacey Windsong:  You should be putting all your effort into getting a real job in the real world.  None of this virtual world malarkey.  It’s a waste of your time and mine.
Seb Livingstone:  I didn’t ask you to be here.
Stacey Windsong: Excuse me, that’s unnecessary.  I too have a vested interest in you, so I want to know that you’re okay.
Seb Livingstone:  There’s no need for you to be in SL to know that I’m okay since you see me in real life.  Please do us both a favour and leave.

For the rest of  Second Chance - Episode One - pop on over to Amazon.  You can pick it up for free on Kindle Unlimited.

Future Episodes will feature graphics by the extremely talented Skip Staheli, so be sure to look out for them

If you feel so inclined, please leave a review in the SL Enquirer, in the comments section.

I hope that you'll enjoy reading Second Chance - Episode One.  I'll catch up with you next week.


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Chicago - by Lacy Muircastle

Dear Readers

What follows is my interpretation of fanfiction in the form of flash fiction.

Musician, Mr Hudson, recently released a new album -  When the Machine Stops.  Chicago (featuring Vic Mensa,) is a single that was released prior to the album hitting the airwaves, and which is now included on said album.


As old blue eyes, himself said, Chicago was my kind of town.  I don’t understand why he didn’t get that.  Chicago was my kind of people too, people who smile at you while singing the blues. 

Music - house, electronic dance, blues, jazz… echoed through the streets of the city, as it echoed through the core of my being, it was the elixir of life for me.  If he knew me as well as he thought he did, he’d have known that.

Instead, he presented me with a band of gold.  As much as I loved him, I was not suburban housewife material.  If I put on that band, the music would die.

The old cliché about 20/20 hindsight drummed through my psyche. He was right; it was cold here at this time of the year. Could I go slinking back to him?  He said I’d run home.  Should I give him the satisfaction of being right?  Could I swallow I told you so?  I’d swallowed so much, what was a bit more?

            I should’ve known that dreams don’t come true for everyone.  New beginnings were not always all; they were cut out to be. 

It was my turn to face a closed door. Chicago had divided my heart.  Vic or Ben?

            Vic said, “come to me Missy; you got talent…”  How long I’d waited to hear those words.  I was on a high.  It was finally my time.

But the walls of the studio whispered “my misery is that woman,” and my heart shattered.  A thousand decibels were screaming. What had I done?

            He knew I loved company, and he knew how business went, he created it, created me.  I sat and stared out into the grey haze that was winter in Chicago. Everything had lost its definition, including me. One minute he was promising record deals and pots of gold at the end of the rainbow, and the next minute the warming glow of love and happiness were snuffed out.

He accused me of stringing him along and trying to play him like a symphony.  He said I did it just to fuck with him.  He has no clue.  For some reason he thought I was judging him, he said he could see it in my eyes.  He needed glasses.

Back home, there was a band of gold waiting for me.  I know he’d forgive me, but could I forgive myself? Could I live with myself?  What about my dreams?

He’s gone.  On the road, it was his happy place.  I’d thought my happy place was to be with him.  We all know what thought did…  He said he’ll see me when he got back to Chicago.

Blue eyes had got it wrong.  Chicago had let me down.

 Ben called again.  “You'll be back,” he said.  That piece of gold had magnetic powers.

“You'll see, sooner, later you'll run home.  You'll run home…”

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Love Made In SL - Lacy Muircastle reporting...

...And Second Life© is a wonderland where you can find the magic of love.  Linden Lab / @SecondLife and @draxtor have initiated a mini series - Love Made In SL - #lovemadeinsl.  Take a look at Draxtor's twitter feed for links to the episodes already aired.

Love Made in SL logo created by Marianne McCann with permission from Linden Lab

The series kicked off with the fabulous story of  residents, Teal and Wolf, whose love story crosses time zones and oceans to reach a very exciting chapter...  THEY'RE GETTING MARRIED in real life.

This makes the romance writer in me absolutely extatic.  Take a look:

We would love to hear your Love Made In SL story.  You can contact Draxtor - @draxtor via twitter or me at  We look forward to hearing about your #lovemadeinsl stories.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Inspiration Island – Curei’s Floating Gallery - revisited - Lacy Muircastle reporting...

"CUREI'S FLOATING GALLERY," gently meanders high above the beautiful educational sim, "Inspiration Island."

A wondrous adventure for your eyes awaits visitors to the gallery.  It features the panoramic photo work of the photojournalist "Curei" (pronounced: CURE-ee-eye,) and special guest exhibitors from time to time.

Curei hopes that you will take time to enjoy the Central Plaza area, the model sailboats, the serene Meditation Alcove, as well as the magnificent one-of-a-kind spiral fountain.  Watch out for the strolling peacocks.   Curei said they have a great Jazz Corner, and to listen out for the relaxing music stream on the rest of the "floater."   Keep your eyes and soul open, who knows what else you might discover.

Curei would like to thank so many without whom this creation would not have been possible.  In particular, Pluto Fairey, who gifted the basic "floater" as a beginning, and it was most certainly a wonderful place to start.

The gallery has been up and running for about a year, and during that time, it has been chosen twice as a "Featured Event" and once as an "Editors' Choice," with more of that sort of thing on the way.   The gallery has introduced Wolfman Jack who will be performing on the grand performance plaza. He will be presenting the great dance tunes of the 1950s every Saturday from 3 to 5: PM (SL time).  What’s more, there is a super giveaway for all visitors.  On Sundays, from 5 to 6: PM (SL time), the gallery presents the great Latin American Spanish guitarist, Joaquin Gustav, live and direct from Buenos Aires.  Both shows do a bang-up finish with the largest fireworks display that you’ve ever seen in Second Life©

Below this little floating paradise, you will find an exceptionally interesting place  the main Inspiration Island. It is a place to learn and to discover.  You will find a special Transportation Globe in the landing area of the gallery that will take you there.

 Curei's Floating Gallery is a place to renew one's soul.  A place for your relaxation and enjoyment.  This is a place to return to as often as you wish. Whether it's the panoramic visual arts or the varied performing arts, it’s a place not quite like anywhere else.  It’s friendly, sensitive and meaningful for all.  It is for you.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Between the Covers...
a book club that intertwines both Second Life and real life

“Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.” Dr Suess

Hi there.  This column intends to share book reviews (both from RL and SL) that ignite our cumulative imaginations and to interview writers in Second Life.

We invite you to make yourself a coffee or pour yourself a glass of your favourite wine and engage with us as you would in a real-life book club.  Let's talk about your favourite authors and their latest releases, or let's chat about the classics and what they mean to you.  How about comparing books to their TV shows, movies or games?

I'm kicking off the column with a review of a book called HOW TO BE FAMOUS by Caitlin Moran.  It's absolutely fabulous and resonated with me and my Second Life attempts at being a journalist albeit only virtually.

The review was written by Matthew Jackson and published in -


ISBN 9780062433770
Published 07/03/2018
A rollicking launch into adulthood

BookPage review by Matthew Jackson
Caitlin Moran has a gift—in both short- and long-form writing, in both fiction and nonfiction—that hits like magic when it lands in the lap of the right reader. It’s a rare, mesmerizing talent to simultaneously move a reader and make them laugh so hard they risk falling out of their chair. In How to Be Famous, Moran’s follow-up to How to Build a Girl, she works that magic again.
Moran reunites readers with Johanna Morrigan, a teenager from the Midlands of England who moves to London to further her music journalism career as Dolly Wilde. Once there, she is swept up in a world of rock stars, comedians, parties and in particular John Kite, a newly famous musician with whom she is madly in love. Though they’re close, her love is not returned at first, and through a series of adventures, Dolly becomes convinced that the way to draw John closer to her is to write her own way to stardom and seduce him with the power of her prose. Once she’s resigned to do this, things start to happen quickly for Dolly, and she must learn to deal with fame and infamy while also reaching out for the only person she’s really trying to touch.
How to Be Famous lives or dies based on Moran’s ability to render Dolly as an enchanting, vulnerable and hilarious guide through the mid-1990s London music scene, and Dolly’s charm immediately jumps off the page. Dolly is at once bitingly witty and achingly open, not just to the reader but also to the world she’s trying to find her place in, and it sets a tone that makes you both root for her and anticipate her next misadventure.
That might be enough to carry the novel on its own, but Moran doesn’t stop there. Her ambition, like Dolly’s, is to weave into this tale a kind of feminist manifesto that tackles love and sex, as well as the fine line between girlhood and womanhood. She succeeds throughout but keeps you waiting for the final, unforgettable exclamation point at the book’s hysterical climax.

This article was originally published in the August 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Renew your soul - Curei's Floating Gallery - Lacy Muircastle reporting

Curei’s Floating Gallery - Grand Opening this weekend Sat., Feb., 24th & Sun., Feb. 25th. 

Second Life is amongst other things a platform for individuals to set their creativity free.  Curei’s Floating Gallery is just that, creativity set free…

 "Curei's Floating Gallery"  is a dream that has come to fruition.  It floats high above Inspiration Island one of Second Life’s longest running sims.

 So who is Curei?  "Curei" (pronounced: CURE-ee-eye) Is a photojournalist in real life.  “Or, in what is left of photojournalism in the retreating form of current "hard copy" publishing,” she said.

She looked around at many of the galleries in SL and discovered that there was no shortage of them.  Curei found that some of the art and photography was original and very creative. However, it seemed to her that most of the works were still being displayed within the "other world" concept of pictures on a wall.

She wanted something different and to share her soul with Second Life, to reach for new vistas of creation and display.  The end result is exciting.  She has tapped into the talents and capabilities of other artists such as Gee (GeeJAnn Blackadder) who is a sculptor.  It is far from being all about Curei, she said, “often the best that can be done is not going to be all about me, but about a number of us together, working as a great creative team.”

Curei’s dream was made possible by many SL residents, and she would like to thank them as without them her creation would not have seen the light of day.  Pluto Fairey, of The Forest, gifted the basic "floater" as a beginning, and Curei said it was most certainly a wonderful place to start.

Wisdomseeker, the founder and director of the Inspiration Island sim, and the rest of the incredible leadership of the island gave them an exceptional home in their sky.

So many residents, from all aspects of SL, helped get the gallery up and floating.  There was Francisco Koolhoven, the tech expert of Inspiration Island, Wordsmith Jarvinen, the Chancellor of Oxbridge University, and Tooyaa from Inspiration Island.  And there was Ari, and Par, Catseye Tennen, Khamon Fate, and the hosting volunteers, and many others.

The team from Curei’s Floating Gallery hope that everyone will enjoy the fact that there will be much to see.   There is the Central Plaza area, the little model sailboats, a lovely Meditation Alcove, a magnificent one-of-a-kind spiral fountain, strolling peacocks, the Little Jazz Corner, as well as a relaxing music stream.  And who knows what else you might discover.

Speaking of discovering things, a mysterious object has been hidden somewhere on the floater.  It is an interesting surprise.  Come and see if you can find it?  Hint:  It’s a thing, and it has but one moving part.  If you find it, please don't tell anyone what it is and don't tell them where they can find it. Let them explore and find it for themselves.

This is a place to renew one's soul, a place for relaxation and enjoyment.  You are invited to join in the adventure of discovery and to return to as often as you wish.

Friday, January 19, 2018

How to make friends. Start a conversation - Lacy Muircastle reporting...

  1. a talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged.

    "she picked up the phone and held a conversation in French."


Second Life fulfils different roles for different people and that is how it should be, but at its very heart, it is a social platform. Socialising can and is interpreted in a variety of ways.  Unfortunately for many people, it's as tricky in SL as it is in RL to strike up a conversation with some random person.

Many of you will have had to attend cocktails parties or events in RL where you don't know anyone, and so you hug the walls sipping your Gin and eyeing out who's who over the rim of the oversized glass.

All you want to do is to meet new contacts and make connections. However, the problem is figuring out how to approach people, no matter what the situation.

In my opinion, it's even harder in SL to make new contacts.  There are no visual cues or body language to try and read.

I picked up the following threads in an SL forum:

Speaking from a guy's perspective, most guys would be happy to receive a random IM.  I have gone many months without a random IM and when I do get one I usually will ask the person if they are actually speaking to me?  Hehe.  I think the last random IM I received was in early 2017 from a horse avatar asking me where good grazing land might be in SL...  Jameson2001

I profile stalk... if I find one that has something I can start a conversation over, I might go ahead and send a message. But the thing is you never know if someone really wants random people messaging them. I really like when people state in their profile 1. If they are open to private messages from new people and 2. If they are only interested in platonic or sexual relationships. I don't like to waste anyone's time.  Nalytha

I think this is the sad part of SL that when a guy IM's a girl, it is only for sex.  Whatever happened to just chatting with someone about where they are from, complimenting them on their avatar, or asking them what is their favourite part of SL?  Conversations are fun between all different types of avatars:)  It seems to me that was not as much a problem back in the early days.

Usually, you can tell within the first two sentences if the person you are chatting with is a good conversationalist.  What amazes me is the diversity of people I have met this way and the enjoyable conversations that can be had.

If you can get a conversation going it is usually a whole lot of fun and who knows where it may lead.

Let’s take a look at how you can master your people skills to start conversations with anyone, anywhere, anytime in Second Life.

How can you make dazzling conversation with anyone you meet? There is both an art and a science of effective communication.

1. Be Anti-Boring
Everyone starts off conversations the same way. They say, “What do you do?” or “Where are you from?” Instead, ask someone, “What passion projects are you working on?” or “What gets you up in the morning?”

2. Start off Strong
Start off the conversation with a “how” or “why” question. People will give you more thoughtful answers and really think about why you’re asking them. Say, for instance, “How did you find this venue?” That way you’ll learn about the person you’re talking to, as well as possible other places for finding events.

3. Exploration and Adventures
Ask people if they have explored any interesting sims or have had any fun adventures in SL.

4. Foster Excitement
Ask people if anything exciting happened to them that day.

5. Stories
Tell a story. People love funny anecdotes, and it makes your conversation more personal right off the bat.

6. Break it Down
Break down a question for someone. Instead of being general and saying, “How are you doing?,” ask, “How’s Fall treating you so far?” Frame it in the context of time so he or she can thoughtfully answer the question.

7. Be the Highlight
Ask a person, “Have any highlights today?” Not only is this person going to feel good because he or she gets to talk about him or herself, but it also starts off the conversation on a positive note.

8. Like-Dar
Ask a “like radar” question. This is a question that will highlight what you two have in common. For example, you might ask, “Keeping up with [certain sport] lately?” or “What are your favourite venues around here?” These questions and things in common will foster instant connections.

9. Smile
How do you smile in SL (with Bento of course)?  Be positive  People are attracted to positivity, not negativity.

10. Authenticity
Be authentic in your interactions and not sarcastic. People want to start conversations with you because you’re being real, and not facetious.

11. From the Heart
When initiating a conversation, give him or her authentic compliments from the heart.

12. Be Passionate
Add excitement to your conversations. Talk about what your passions are both in SL and RL.

The bottom line is you have to take the risk to put yourself out there when initiating a conversation.  There will be those who rebuke your attempts, it will be their loss.

“Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all.” 
― Guy de Maupassant