Monday, November 28, 2016

Chasing Jane: Pursuing Jane Austen is Always a Pleasure

Having first discovered Jane Austen as a child means that I've been pursuing her for many years now. I distinctly remember being enchanted by the fairy tale aspects of Emma; beautiful heroine, dashing hero, wealth, luxury. etc, etc.  I also remember trying to figure out what the heck a "fortnight" was.

Her penchant for happy endings was also appealing.

All-in-all I perceived Austen's world as something very "Disneyfied" where beautiful damsels were aided by kindhearted helpers something like this ...

It wasn't until much later that I came to appreciate the real grit of Austen's writing.  I rediscovered Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility only because they came as free content on my first eBook.  Turns out that the reality underlying the fairy tale can often be a bit grim and I can now appreciate how Austen's delicious irony manages to reveal a wealth of social hypocrisy, highlight the plight of women being dependent on marriage for economic security, and be most entertaining at the same time. No mean feat that!

Having reestablished my relationship with Jane I chased through the rest of her portfolio and, eager for more, started branching out.

Longbourn by Jo Baker, a tale told by the servants of  Pride and Prejudice, kept me in the world of the Bennets while emphasizing that those "kindhearted helpers" previously mentioned were actually flesh & blood servants with difficult lives of their own.

I'll never again think of Elizabeth Bennet walking purposefully through the mud to visit her sister Jane without considering the grueling work of the laundress to clean her clothes afterwards.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was actually a whole lot of fun.  I haven't seen the video yet but I most enjoyed reading about the Bennet women and their slaying skills.  Where Austen used words against her foes Elizabeth can now use a sword!

Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James provides a more traditional extension to P&P and throws in a murder mystery to boot.  It was lovely to catch up with these old friends and see what they've made of their lives after the "happily ever after".

Turns out that I'm still a sucker for happy endings!

Those residents of Second Life that enjoy Austen and Regency Literature in general should check out the Foray Literary Society.  They meet once a month with their next session scheduled for December 4, 2016 where they will be discussing Pride & Prejudice along with some of the other books mentioned here.

Chasing Jane by  on 2016-11-28 Pursuing Jane Austen is Always a Pleasure

Title Image: Tatiana Dokuchic

Monday, November 21, 2016

Skyrim SE: The Demure Dragonborn Level 05 Lakeview Manor

When it comes to Skyrim, I'm definitely a homebody and not a wanderer.  I know from experience that being homeless is painful; having to haul ingredients and travel to forges, alchemy & enchanter stations; having to sell my loot immediately.  As I mentioned in my last post, one of my first priorities this time around is building a home, adding all the amenities and then sticking to it.

I choose Lakeview Manor for its beautiful location.  The most southerly of the three homes that can be built, it's also close to my favourite town, Riverwood, and city, Whiterun.  Living in real-life Canada, I appreciate a place that's as far away from snow as possible!

I did hear rumblings that Lakeview Manor was also the most dangerous location for a home but I turned a deaf ear and went ahead and bought my plot.  After all, being the Dragonborn should mean being able to defend your home, shouldn't it?  Shouldn't it?!  More about fending off various attacks later ...

Monday, November 14, 2016

Skyrim SE: The Demure Dragonborn Level 01 Strategy

I love the open world of Skyrim and all the vastness of its possibilities. Unfortunately, as I mentioned in my previous post I'm "a bit of this - a bit of that" kind of person.  In my first go-around I found myself spread too thin with regards to my character build and it became a tad confusing. This time I've narrowed down my focus to those things I really love and though I'll probably never follow one of the character archetypes I know it's going to be a lot of fun.

Defining My Style

Given that I've identified myself as the "Demure Dragonborn" it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that I'd much rather craft than fight. Smithing, Alchemy and Enchanting are not only a pleasure but are going to bring me both wealth and protection.

Speaking of protection, I definitely don't want to wander around Skyrim as a defenseless fool.  I also want a modicum of magic in my life, I mean who wouldn't!

I intend to be fleet of foot using light armor with a sword in one hand and spells in the other.  I'm also going to rely on my potions & enchanted items to pick up any slack where my spells and/or skills are lacking.

During my initial researching (something I never even thought to do the first time around)  I was pleasantly surprised at the wealth of Skyrim Character Builds that are out there.  The time & effort people have spent analyzing & documenting their characters is amazing.  Hopefully I've managed to incorporate some of the best ideas into my own strategy.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Vermeer: View of Delft

"Although there exists a plethora of Dutch 17th-century cityscapes, none are able to transport the viewer back in time and convey the material sense of water, air, brick and mortar as much as Vermeer's View of Delft.  When we stand in front of this picture it is almost as if we had been projected in a time capsule to the southern ramparts of Delft's city gates in the early 1660's"

Which is exactly why I picked this Vermeer masterpiece as the banner for Living History via Virtual Worlds.  What a wonderful way to provide some amazing atmosphere for a social network dedicated to historical adventurers!  Imagine yourself  talking to those people on the river bank, exploring the city, or boarding a ship for destinations unknown.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Skyrim SE: The Demure Dragonborn Level 01

I was sorely tempted to call this Skyrim SE: More Brains than Brawn but though I'm certainly not playing a "brawny" Skyrim character it still remains to be seen how "brainy" I turn out to be.

Here's the backstory.

I've once again found myself waking up in that cart, bumping down the road in Skyrim that's heading towards my execution.  I've been here once before, back in 2011 when The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim first came out, and the whole experience was a bit of a hot mess.

Apparently though I spend a considerable amount of time in Second Life, a true gamer I'm not.  I'm clumsy, hate killing things, and would rather spend my days crafting than hunting down vampires.  I loved being immersed in the world of Skyrim but was rather overwhelmed by it all.  According to my statistics, I played 170 hours, reached level 37 and unlocked 24/75 achievements before I threw in the towel.

When the Skyrim Special Edition came out in October I saw an opportunity to start again, using my hard-earned knowledge to create an experience more conducive to a "demure" Dragonborn.  I thought I'd blog a bit about this endeavour in the hope that it might encourage others of my ilk, if only by illustrating what not.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

"Absurd, creative & debauched"; Guess Which One I Am!

Absurde, créatif et débauché : dix ans après, « Second Life » est t...

I have not failed on a desert island, but on Second Life . Like me, some haggard and clumsy beginners landed on this strange beach to discover what remains of this game that occupied the headlines there about ten years. I expected to find , a decade later, a deserted world, aging technology and a few cobwebs in the corners.It was exactly the opposite.
** Morgane Tual, translated from the original French by Google **

When I was first contacted to be interviewed for this article I truly didn't know what to expect and I cringed imagining some of the possible outcomes.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Tatiana's Tea Room: Setting up Shop on the Kitely Market

I'm delighted to announce the latest online location of Tatiana's Tea Room on the Kitely Market!

I've been busy setting up shop and porting products over from my main store in Second Life. Everything sold from this location will be marked as Export allowing purchases to be transfer to their owners in other grids.

It really is exciting to be plugged into the Hypergrid!

Needless to say, it's going to take a while before I really feel established but I feel I'm off to an excellent start.  Though there's still a lot to learn, I found the Kitely Market very easy to use and I absolutely love the option of creating product variations.

Kudos to the Kitely team for making merchandise setup so painless.

Have you made the jump to the Kitely Market?  How did it go?  I'm really interested in hearing your stories, tips & tricks.  As a newbie I could really use all the advice I can get.
Tatiana's Tea Room: Setting up Shop on the Kitely Market by  on 2016-02-11 I'm delighted to announce the latest online location of Tatiana's Tea Room

Images: Tatiana Dokuchic (click to enlarge)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Petit Trianon: Tea Time

Taking a moment to enjoy a well-deserved cup of tea in the Salon of the Petit Trianon before starting my early spring gardening.

It's been a very busy winter (which is fading fast in my SL but, alas, is not over by a long-shot in my RL).  I'm making good progress on Maison Margaux and really enjoying playing with contemporary design.

In my "spare" time I had a lot of fun putting together the shabby-chic Louis XVI "Deer" Chair & Table Set with it's hot chocolate & snowflake cookies.

This snowballed into the revamp of all my Louis XVI chairs.  I've always loved these chairs and so I'm delighted to be able to update them with more textures & more animations for less LI & less L$.

The "Petit Trianon" variety has just been released with plans for more NEW & REDUX in the near future.

Now I have to go and melt some more snow in Provence Coeur.  Soon the tulips & daffodils will be popping up.  Can't wait!
Petit Trianon: Tea Time by  on 2016-01-31 It's been a busy winter; time for tea!

Images: Tatiana Dokuchic (click to enlarge)