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Friday, September 15, 2017

Reader Submitted: Breezes Babii and Tombstone


By Adrian Wise

An intrepid gal arrived in Tombstone and sidled into the Crystal Palace Saloon.  In the days to come she would serve up a drink or two, wipe down the bar and even step up on stage to dance the night away, greeting folks as they meandered in and out of one of the many landmarks that identify the Town Too Tough Too Die here in Second Life. Miss Breezes Babii would gather her tips, whisk off only to return in a brand new finely tailored dress, chapeau ... or gown she'd eyed somewhere in this amazing Second Life; sure to be searching for the next.

It wasn't before long the dust shook off the gal, and a Lady walked Allen Street in search of her next wild west adventure co-starring everyone in Tombstone.

If I had to recall her first days here- That would be that.

If I had to retell of Miss Breezes days in Tombstone, I am far from over.

If I had to let you in on a little secret to her magic... I just may be persuaded to do that.

One footprint at a time~

"Miss Bree" steadily gobbled up folks hearts daily as she journeyed the dusty landscape living in the town of Benson until finally settling in Black Diamond Hills for her Role Play home. There she would become that town's Doctor, Owner of the Cantina "La Cantina de la Brisa", Baker for the Orphans of Tombstone and some how or another went head to head with the most outrageous Outlaws as Teller in the Bank of Benson... later- Head Teller of the Territory.  It was no secret she had her eye on a young sturdy Calvary Officer and would be seen at dances and Meet and Greets with him.


One Prim, two prim, three prim MORE~

Tombstone celebrates each and every holiday likewise "Miss Bree" saw to it that garlands or flags flew, appropriate flowers bloomed, treats were baked, candies distributed and (naturally) her surmounting wardrobe matched. Yes.. that "Santa that gives Hot Cocoa" was ever present. Be it Dias de los Muertos or Mardi Gras Each holiday perfectly sparkled to match her eyes.. after all- it was another reason to go shopping!

The Genuine Article~

We will forever remember "Miss Bree" to whom no goal was set too high.  No challenge left unabated.  No Storyline incidental.  In court as Witness or Juror, patching up folks after Small Pox outbreaks, Apache raid the town or attend their Pow Wow (In full regalia I must add) Rodeo, Round-Up or Posse; Hunting, Fishing; Celebrating Wild West Life.. she wore so many Hats... so many.

It's a Kind of Magic~

When you reside in a Sim garnished for roleplaying it's rare to know the typist for who they are beyond the well constructed words on your monitor, that is unless you have the passion "Miss Bree" had for everything going on around her.

Typically referred to as "OOC" or "Out of Character" it is the moment you echo the thoughts & experiences of the typist to share who you really are. In real life, our Outlaw characters do not kill people, our Judges do not sentence folks to hang and our Doctors do not tend to mass quantities of Children with the Small Pox. I myself, although known to be long winded, am not a politician.

On rare occasion the tale of a rattlesnake (for instance) would surface prompting "Miss Bree" to not only instruct the townsfolk how to kill it, but offer tasty recipes and advice on how to tend to the skin and bones for jewelry ... something we'd come to find out she'd practiced in her youth for survival. Thus a new chapter unfolded.  For most of us, the Wild West is our dream world, for Breezes Babii it's where she grew up, educated and raised a family.  It would not be long before many of her musings were stripped away to reveal the genuine article- the strongest of beautiful women battling though thick and thin only to chose to grace us with what laughter and free time she had left after years of various challenging illnesses.

When Tombstone joined the Second Life "Relay For Life" Breezes recalled the "Relay Rockers" Team to us- another of her HUNDREDS of fond memories on the grid. She was simply never short of compatriots who about her cannot say a discouraging word.  "Miss Bree" had a simple code of ethics. You need not try so hard to befriend her.. you just already were and possibly always was....

Her friend....
A. Wise, Mayor

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Interview with GoSpeed Racer (GoSpeed Rasere)


By Deaflegacy

GoSpeed Racer, best known for being the owner of KONA Radio, the DJ for many of Bay City's events, and a display name matching the name of a Japanese cartoon character, was recently crowned Miss Bay City near the end of it's "Hot Bay City Nights" yearly summer car show. GoSpeed had been Djing the Miss Bay City Contest for the past few years and had entered once before.  “I figured I'd give it a shot this year,” she explained.

I asked GoSpeed why she chose her particular account name. She answered, “When I first signed up in 2006 I was going through the list of available last names. As I scrolled past Racer, I saw the GEICO Insurance commercial featuring Speed Racer (on TV). So, on a lark I chose GoSpeed Racer.” Recently, she has been using the display name "GoSpeed Rasere." She explained,  “This past year I changed it to Rasere because I am using GoSpeed as a character in my writing and I wanted to avoid intellectual property issues with my name.”

GoSpeed does have a "Mark-Five," the car her cartoon counterpart drives, which was in the Newser for a cartoon in 2011. When I asked her if she had ever raced with it, she said, “No, it's a very fast vehicle and that often leads to crashes and horrible sim crossing snafus.” She won a nice sports car from 2Zm as a prize for winning the Miss Bay City Contest. That it had a "5" painted on it, GoSpeed smiled, calling it "Pure coincidence."

When I asked if there are any other peaks to winning the Miss Bay City Contest beside the title and bragging rights, she answered, “Nope, nothing else!” There are no specific events she has to attend, or/and responsibilities of the title, but GoSpeed intend to attend as many Bay City events as possible. Of the crown, she says she will wear it mainly at these events. GoSpeed has been attending events in Bay City since 2009.

GoSpeed would like people to know that KONA Stream is still alive and kicking after nearly 11 years inworld, "Our homepage is www.konastream.com . It's (been) doing quite well the past year. Listenership in and offworld has increased.”

GoSpeed is also a budding novelist, who has completed the drafts to two novels  She is working on a third.  When asked what they were about, she explained, "They are novels about a futuristic simulation where SL avatars are reconstituted as living AI. Our social media presence is preserved and then used with computer algorithms to synthesize personalities." That is, their personalities are based on how their users used the avatars in actions and virtual speech, and, "on how the algorithm interprets the imagery, blogs, etc... You may have read an article where researchers say that based on a person's lifelong Facebook and other social media postings that an somewhat accurate represntation of their personality can be emulated. So, our avatars live on, but they won't totally be us.  I hope to self publish by the new year."

You can go to her personal Second Life blog at https://gospeedracer.wordpress.com/  to read more about her stories and other things about her.  The link to GoSpeed's blog as well as her other media sites is:  http://about.me/GoSpeed_Racer .

Pictures from Bixyl Shuftan and GoSpeed Racer.

Deaflegacy

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Remembrances of an Angel


By Gemma Cleanslate

“I know I don't walk so well , but hey I do love SL for keeping me dry even underwater.”

“Bang   figure out the rest sometime
survived and decided  mmm what have I decided. 
Oh well look at me and  then you will see I didn't make a good decision. Mercysakes”
 


That was Breezes!!
 

A wonderful friend for over 10 years, a writer for the SL Newspaper and for the SL Newser for some time. We spent many hours almost every day talking and camping together in the old camping days. We went to parties together and once in a while shopping.

Early on she found a home in Samarkand, a roleplay kingdom that had tourneys, knights, and a Queen. Breezes loved it there, and I was invited to watch a tourney and have lunch with the Queen, whom she loved. It was a splendid place.Breezes made many loving friends there. I thought at the time it would be her long time home in SL.  But the queen died and Samarkand was no more. Breezes was heartbroken and wandered for a long time searching for a new home that she could love as much. 


She loved fashion, and made sure she was always dressed in the latest fashion, why we camped so much!  She shopped the best designers and never threw out the boxes. She worked for Chigadee London in her hat shop, but I will let her tell you about that, and was a shoe model too. 



Finally she found a new home that she loved and has spent the past few years in, Tombstone, that is based on Tombstone Arizona in the late 1800's, as a role player. Her favorite time there was being in the bank, especially when the cavalry came with a deposit. I went to some trials in the town where Breezes was a witness to a crime and it was always fun to listen to her testimony.  I will let the Mayor of Tombstone, Adrian Wise tell you more about her life there. 

When I first met Breezes it was at a party where my then partner, now absent, Qwark Allen, was djing. He invited her and, wow, was I jealous. Here was this gorgeous avatar with spectacular clothes. I thought she was after him (laughter), We became friends though, and when  she learned about my first thoughts she and I had a good laugh. Bree is the one who introduced me to Dana Vanmoer, owner of the SL Newspaper and started me on my way to reporting. 


She  loved dancing at parties and made an effort to stop by at least when she got a call and came in her Tombstone clothing to any kind of party . She came and went like the wind that she was.  Early in our friendship I learned that she did not have any audio, until much later, and never heard the music but was always there gamely dancing.


She was never very good with prims so I helped her move to new homes several times and placed the furniture and moved curtains for her. If you came to visit before I got there you would find furniture and decor in one big pile and curtains everywhere.
 


Her friends,Perry Krell and Leigh Elton Krell , planned a new sim that included animals. So Bree became a lion and greeter for that sim. It was one of the only times that I saw her not dressed in finery but the lion was meticulously groomed!! She was also active with the Relay for Life  for many years and dearly remembered for her involvement.

There were so many aspects to Bree, some of which I even do not know though we had many long conversations about life, real and Second Life. 


“Many obstacles in my life .We all have them..With my loving friends they will help guide my way.May any who read these words have the same good friends around you.  The Lord above will watch over us, the angels will wrap their wings around and help guide."..... Her words...


For almost her entire Second Life, her health has not been good. And there were several crises. But she revived so many times after a bad spell I think we all expected her to just  have infinity here. I did get to talk to her for a bit on June 26 for the last time and am happy for that since.  I know it was her last visit to Second Life, and she told me so. As Dolleyes Barbosa of Tombstone said, “  she will be a beautiful angel, and the best dressed one too.”  I will miss her deeply as I know her many friends here will.
 


 A poem by Saadi, a knight of Samarkand, who wooed Breezes.

"The day was hot under a cloudless sky‭

The air was still and heavy o’er the city it lie

The city it lay silent sleeping in the heat

Until a gentle breeze came by.
 


She whispered o’er the city awakening all she touched

With gentle cooling fingers softer than a dove

She stirred the air around us and made us smile and sigh

And made up feel so happy that a gentle breeze came by.
 


We took her to our hearts and bade her always stay

And hoped the love within her would never go away. 

Whe touched out lives and souls with her gentleness that day 

When that gentle breeze came to stay."  

Thanks for the memories and “Thoughts “, Breezes Babii. I hope you have found your Samarkand.  We love you.  

Gemma Cleanslate

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Duets With Ari


By DeafLegacy

Something special was happening at Ari's concert.  I was given a chance to play the violin as Ari plays the piano.  It happened at the Whole Brain Health.

As Ari and I played the duet, not much was being said.  But some people do have something to say while the music was being played.

"I love to play duets with you." said Ari (arisia.vita)  "The violin adds another dimension to the music."

"That is a great... :) always love it with violin and piano together in a beautiful duet." said Minya.

"Well, all I can say is that I think your music just saved my Second Life!" said Krip Lyter.

But nothing would change my mind that Ari makes the most beautiful music, with or without the violins.  I stayed until the end as I played the violin and Ari played the piano.  I can only hope to one day play the duet with Ari.

* * * * *

This is a chance for me to come out with something to say about Ari (Arisia Vita)'s special talent.  Only this time, he had shared the stage with me.  I was the violin player, and Ari was the piano player.  He had agreed to let me be a part of the duet that happened at 10:30 AM that day.

There was a few people at the concert.  It happened at a small cafe, Romany (135/30/22). 

When Ari arrived at the cafe, and started playing the piano, I got the violin out and started playing as well.  The music that came would get a few comments from people at the concert.

“Together, you and Ari are making magic!” said Gaia Maria (mariaseconda).

“The magic is in each of you here.” said Ari.  “The music just sets it free.”

Ari was right. As the music continued, so did the comments.

“This is indeed a great piece. And you two are doing a wonderful job with it.” said Whys (docwhy).

When we started playing a piece called “Claire de lune,” Gaia Maria said, “Oh, I have very special memories of this piece, involving Nice, my honeymoon, and something delightful that happened.”

It's not just about the music that we were playing as it turned out. “When I was a little boy and saw my first violin concert, I kept expecting the bow to cut the violin in two.” said Ari with a smile.

“That makes sense in a way, Ari.” said Whys, smiling.

As the concert came to an end, Gaia had something special to say, “Ari and Deaf, this has been an absolutely lovely concert ...thank you so very, very much! And thank you all for being who you are, and for helping to make this event so special.”

“Thank you all for coming, and Deaf for playing with me.” said Ari.

Thank you, Ari, for letting me play with you.  It was something that I will never forget.  I hope that one day, Ari and I will get to play the duet again.  Who knows?  As I am concerned, the concert was the unforgettable and the best I have been to in which I was a part of. 

Deaflegacy

Friday, September 1, 2017

Interview With Snowy Sugar Blossom (Skylark LeFavre)


By Deaflegacy

I went to interview Snowy Sugar Blossom (Skylark Lefavre).  Snowy Sugar Blossom is a General Manager and DJ at the Happy Vixens Club.  She is also a backup DJ at the same club.  Snowy Sugar Blossom is also a DJ at Eternal Desires and Club Cutlass.  Sundays and Wednesdays are her days off.

When asked what part of DJ does Snowy likes the most, she has this to say, "Sharing my passion and likes which is top ten hits of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, plus some songs after. What I enjoy pleases me when others enjoy it. I try to stick to a theme. Love and Feel Good music. DJing also makes me feel good personally as music is the medicine that makes the world right and perfect. It can cure many problems or help me work harder. DJing is an outlet that allows me to take my medicine.  My world since I was a toddler was built on music since my mother set me in front of the TV to watch Bobby Goldboro I think his name was."

I asked Snowy which album does she play the most while she's DJing at the club.  "There are messages in each song a tale and story. Each story has power power to influence your day and your life. I take those with a happy message that instill faith and hope too and play them. This is why you don't hear me play songs of breakup and love loss unless requested." said Snowy Sugar Blossom.  "I believe songs speak feelings better than people can with their mouths.  There is a song for every single situation and then some.  You just have to open your ears to the lyrics and interpret it the way it was intended.  Music inspires me when I DJ so I choose my song list carefully."

The music Snowy plays is her inspiration.  She said that she feels what is sung, and she understands the emotions of those sung about. It's hard for Snowy Sugar Blossom to choose whom is her favorite singer, but if she must choose one, it would be The Eagles.

Snowy has been DJing for about a year, feeling she had evolved and gotten better quickly.  There is always room for improvement, she says.  Snowy plans on being a DJ for as long as she possibly can, "Trying to please everyone is hard enough, like walking on a path of broken glass without cutting up your feet. Its not impossible just hard as you have to learn your audience."

"I'm not the first person to carry the name DJ Snowbuns, and I may not be the last as another will take the name." Snowy told me. She has a number of avatars from fox, to bear, to human, to pony, but is best known for her white bunny, "The bunny is my identity, my personality, the way I live, the way I eat, the way I love, the way I think. I am a bunny yes, as it chose me not the other way around. I hope while I carry the torch I can be as good as those before me who had the DJ handle."

Snowy and I talked some about bunnies, which included my own rabbit doll in real life named "Bun-Buns."  Snowy told me, "Some call me this a lot."

We started talking about inspirations.  I asked Snowy if she feels that she is an inspiration to the others.  "That I'm not fully sure of, but some have told me I am inspiration to them." said Snowy,  "I have a  lifetime to give. To be one person's inspiration if only, its enough for me to know I am making a difference." The memorable part of being DJ is the comments on how much people enjoy Snowy Sugar Blossom's music she play, or the love and adoration they share with her.

Snowy Sugar Blossom has something to say about being the DJ. "I DJ to make people happy not for the money. The money is a luxury, but not the reason I DJ. It comes in handy yes, but the reward is seeing people happy and loving and enjoying my passion. That is the best payment I could ever get."

Deaflegacy

Monday, August 28, 2017

Interview with Helvis Xue, Prez of Cobras MC


By Wesley Regenbogen 

Helvis Xue is the current President of the Cobras MC motorcycle club in Second Life. In real-life,hHe is from England. He runs the club on a daily basis, and also has a good team that helps him to fulfill his tasks as it's leader. I have found him to be a nice guy, and he tries to help people whenever and wherever he possibly can.

Helvis Xue and myself met somewhere on the Cobras Coil tracks to do this interview. I asked him how he got started in Second Life. He told me that he saw a documentary where an ad was presented about Second Life. He decided to give it a shot and since he is a biker in real life, he wanted to do something similar here, and thus he found out about Cobras MC and joined them. He bought his first bike in Second Life when he met the owner of Q Customs, a bike maker in Second Life from Germany. Helvis met him shortly after when he just arrived at Second Life.

Next I asked him if his real life biker experience helped him as a Second Life biker as well. He replied that it does help him to be a good biker here, and also to find similar minded people inworld.

When I asked him if it’s difficult to get people online in Second Life when they live in different time zones, he told me that it is indeed difficult to get people online at the same time, because on one end of the world it’s morning, for another person it’s midnight and for someone else it’s another time during the day. He tried to make a group picture of Cobras MC with all members, but it’s very difficult to do so.

Then I asked if his job is not the easiest job in Second Life. He replied to me that it isn't, but he is privileged to have a very good team at his disposal to make his job much easier. Their jobs range from being a scriptwriter, looking for money to keep the sim active, to his personal secretary and also people that organize things and see to it that everything runs smoothly. He tries to do a different kind of motorcycle club presidency by offering compassion, listening to people, and trying to keep everyone happy. It is not that easy, but he tries to do his very best to do so. He also changed the period of a Prez to twelve months and after that they vote, if he gets enough votes, he can continue for another year.

When I asked him how he sees the future of Cobras MC, he replied that he hopes that the club will get bigger in the future.

I wished him the best of luck with his being a President of Cobras MC and I thanked him for taking the time to do the interview.

Wesley Regenbogen 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Interview With Grace Devin (Grace Loudon)


By Bixyl Shuftan

Among those in the Relay Committee this year was Grace Devin (account name Grace Loudon) Grace has been with the Relay for the past several years, and this year was on the Committee. Recently, I had a chance to speak with her about how she ended up in the Relay for Life in Second Life and some of the things that's been done here.

We met up at the American Cancer Society Island, just outside the main building. But sitting down at a table proved slightly complicated, "(laughter) I don't like it when there are so many sitting options. Just give me a sit for goodness sakes."

When I asked her about how she found out about Second Life, Grace answered, "Oh my gosh;  that's a long way back to remember (laughter). I was playing 'There,' and friends started talking about a new place to check out: Second Life. You had to sign upm it was still in Beta. I didn't make the BETA cut but I got in soon after and made a short, squat little woman named Edna Thereian. I lasted a month (laughter). Then I left for awhile, and thought one day, 'Let's give this another try,'  and I never left!"

I asked her, "When did you return, and what was the difference?" Grace told me, "I started Valentine's Day in 2004 - I remember I had such a hard time figuring out how to move around and function...and yes, I got a box stuck on my head...that I decided it just wasn't for me.  I'd say maybe 2 months later I came back, made a new avatar and dived in.  Had to have a little more patience. I also had to have a little money. Seemed to make it more of an amiable place to be in."

"How did your first days after your return go?" I asked. Grace answered, "Oh great!  I don't think my experience was any different from any other person new to Second Life.  When I was new, there were no regions.  It was all mainland and it was very small.  The population was a fraction of what it is now.  There were maybe five shops, four clubs. It was easy to make friends and just hang out and goof off all the time. It was fun."

I then asked her, "When did you first come across the Relay in Second Life?" She replied, "I spent a good six years in Second Life without ever having heard of Relay For Life of Second Life.  I didn't even know American Cancer Society was represented in SL.  I spent a great deal of my time building.  I got to the point where I was building for a living:  roleplay regions, stores, etc.  I joined up with a really good friend and we started a virtual business that pulled in real life companies - we built region representations for them.  Smirnoff Vodka, The Tourism Board for Mexico, we did a representation of Cocos Island for its entry into being a new Wonders of the World. We had just finished that build actually, when my friend went into the hospital for surgery.  The night we finished she went in.  She never came home - she passed from complications from treatment for endometrial cancer."

"I'm sorry to hear that," I responded. Grace went on, "Yeah, it was pretty heartbreaking.  She was only 23.  From that, I learned about the American Cancer Society. And a friend was involved in Relay For Llife, and she asked if I would help out with a couple of things. And viola - sucked in!" "So you came in around 2011?" I asked. "Yep," she answered, "right around them.  Just finished my 6th year with Relay"

My next question was, "How did your first season with the Relay go?" Grace replied, "My first season, I was asked to build a Designer Region.  So I did - and I remember that there was some fuss over the fact I built a castle (bottom of page) and it was right in front of the water region where activities were going to be held, (laughter) 'and Grace makes her entrance.'  But it all went well in the end and it was great fun. The next year, Charlene, who took care of the track setup, asked me to be her assistant and I said 'sure, what could go wrong?' (laughter)"

After a chuckle, I asked, "Heh, so what happened next year?" Grace answered. "The next year I ended up, through a series of circumstances, being the person in charge.  And thus I became the "track boss" for the next few years.  This year or this past year I ventured into being a part of the Steering Committee. Though I still got to be on the track, which I love. 'On the track' meaning I made sure it was there, along with all the tools and fun things.  And (I) coordinated the Designer Regions, as well as Activities."

I then asked Grace, "What would you say your best accomplishments as 'track boss' were?" She answered, "Not beating anyone up? I kid! I don't really think of any of it as an accomplishment to be honest.  Everything is just a list of things that need to be done so we can have an awesome Relay Weekend.  If everyone has a good time and complaints are minimal, then I guess I could call that an accomplishment. But I never do that by myself. There is a whole gang of people who are integral to every bit of it."

"For those who don't know," I inquired, "what is your position on the committee?" Grace replied, "I am the Relay For Life of Second Life Co-Lead !  That means I'm like Nuala (Maracus)'s (The Lead) assistant.  One of them, there is also Leala Spires.  We are both Co-Leads. So we're backup, the posse, the crew (laughter). Relay this year was split into three areas - Bring the People, Bring the Fun, and Fund the Mission. I was the 'Bring the Fun' person.  Or as we like to refer to it:  'Bring da Funk.'" "So there was lots of funky music?" I asked. She answered, "Every chance we got! (laughter)"

"It was great being the lead for that area, truly," Grace went on, "Lots of creative thinking, brainstorming sessions, party planning, making things, And the people were phenomenal." I asked her, "What were some of the best examples of creative thinking?" She explained, "Every time we had to plan an event, something awesome came out of it.  We were all about 'breaking that box,' so we strived to create things that were new and never done before, or at least not done the way we did them.  For example, our Paint SL Purple and Kickoff events, normally two separate events.  We combined them into one and made it a Purple Kickoff.  Recognition was a ,department, this year, and we had to think of new, fun ways to recognize people like our volunteers, survivors, etc.  From music playing, eggs, to giant greeting cards that said 'cow in the heck are ya?'  Also, we created the Passport Hud for tools and links that everyone used.  Lots and lots of stuff for Relay Weekend as well."

Grace added, "I have to give a lot of credit to my real-life/Second Life partner as well; Sean.  He put up a lot of the funding that came up for specific script needs that were above my pay grade.  He created some tools for our use and generally exercised a great deal of patience and understanding the entire season." "Nice. Did you both come to the Relay together?" I asked her. She answered, "We did!  He doesn't like titles or being held to a position of responsibility so he has always been my background support.  Doing what he needs to do to help and watch over things when I ask him to: Big, strong silent type (smile)."

"Going back a bit," I told Grace, "you described yourself as into building and roleplaying. What kind of building did you do, and what roleplaying group and area?" She answered, "Well, when I got my first region I created a place called Laura, which is a location known to those who roleplay Gor.  I played a panther chieftess. If you're not familiar with Gor. it's sort of a female native/tribal type.  I was one of the first to play that role too by the way - little feather in my cap.  Anyway I did that for a long time, and during those couple of years I learned a lot about building and terraforming.  Then I got pretty good at it, so I started building for other people.  Eventually, I switched my own roleplay to Medieval Fantasy and built a place called Everwind, which became wildly popular.  By then I was building outside of roleplay quite regularly for a fee.  Roleplay regions for other people, shopping districts, started my own business of prefabs and furniture, etc.  Then got into the building that I told you about with my friend who passed."

"There was a time I was turning business away!" Grace told with enthusiasm, "Then Second Life grew and grew and before you knew it, there were twenty of 'me' out (in) their building regions." "Twenty people who were doing much the same work as you?" I asked. "Well, they may not have built in the same style I did," she answered, "but there was suddenly a lot of people building and it was not longer me among a few.  It was now me among a whole lot.  So the competition to get business increased, as it does regularly in Second Life, and eventually I lost interest.  Especially after the death of Katherine (my friend), I just lost the zeal for it."

I brought up, "What happened with Everwind"? Grace answered, "I closed Everwind after a couple of years and created a Steampunk Roleplay Region called Rivet Town! This also had some moderate success and I really enjoyed building it.  I can't sit still most of the time - my mind is always thinking about what I can do next (laughter). After Rivet Town, I did Everwind 2 - again, had a lot of success. But eventually I grew tired of roleplay and just stuck to Relay." "Sounds like some events, such as the Fantasy Faire, bring back some memories," I suggested. "Oh yes indeed," Grace responded, "I'd love to create for that. Maybe this, next year."

Grace then told. "In fact, as far as big-scale building goes; this island, ACS Island, is the first I've done in a long time." "So you made the builds for ACS Island?" I asked. "Yes," she answered, "What you see here I did.  I asked to do it, and yay!  I was allowed." I panned around, looking at the various structures, "Which of these places required the most planning and work?" "The Memorial Garden, she stated "by a landslide. It was so important to keep it subtle, yet significant.  To make it a place of importance, but not the main feature of American Cancer Society (Island)." "The Catt Gable Garden?" I asked. "Yes," she answered.

Grace explained of the memorial garden, "Catt started the garden on ACS, and she did a lovely job of it.  The problems we ran into however were the abundance of gifts that were left in memoriam.  Also, people felt like the setup created a bit of a maze, which was not intentional but the space was small for it and Catt worked hard to achieve that subtle aspect. She didn't want it to be so obvious when you landed. So I tried to keep a lot of her idea when I re-did it.  And I had to create a system to pay respects with flowers or candles, but not have those items just remain indefinitely. I also wanted to ensure it was a place to reflect, remember, to sit and feel at peace. And of course, memorialize Catt (smile). If you notice, along the path as you walk on the region, there are small portraits lining the walk. Those portraits are all of survivors.  To remind anyone who visits or comes for support, that there is hope. And it doesn't become about a memorial garden or a tribute to those who have passed.  Because many are still here - surviving!"

I then brought up a question that had been on my mind since the Relay Weekend sims first appeared, "Going back to the Relay, you mentioned you were once the 'Track boss.' There were a few people who noticed about the track for this one being several sims shorter than last year." Grace answered, "Yes, we took off some regions this year.  We tried to be smart about the expenses and thought every bit that we spend on what we don't truly need, we take from the donations.  So we dropped regions that just weren't necessary this year. We ended up with every region being sponsored, every region being paid for and not one penny had to come out of the fundraising totals to cover Relay Weekend. The same applied to events like Halfway There and Wrap Up - we decided not to rent a region for any events that really just didn't need it. It's nice to have and pretty to look at when decorated but is it truly necessary?"

I then brought up, "Also, for the first time in a while, the theme for next season wasn't announced at the wrap-up. When will it be announced?" Grace confessed, "Well honestly, I don't know!  We truly don't have the answer yet. There is a lot that we want to put on the table and sort out for next year.  A lot of responsibilities, things that we do or have done that are somewhat unnecessary or obsolete.  We want to try to knock out what takes a lot of time with no real measurable results.  And want very much for the people involved in putting it all together to be able to step away, sleep, not stress (laughter)." "Sounds like there may be some big changes next year," I wondered. Grace responded, "Stingray is an important part of that decision making so at this point we are all just taking a breather then we'll get together and sort it out, figure out the structure for the next year and how/when to proceed.  Some changes may be big, and there could be only one or two small changes.  It's just really, really up in the air at this moment.  But decisions will be made very soon.  I'm sure we'll have a theme!  We just might ask for suggestions later than the norm."

I then brought up the two off-season Relay-related events later this year, Making Strides for Breast Cancer, and the Christmas Expo. Grace smiled, "Absolutely!  Strides is planning a walk soon and I know Nuala already has her Christmas Expo laid out (laughter)." I smiled, "What does she have in store for us?" Grace answered, "Oh gosh, I have no idea!  I don't think I'll be working on it this year, unless she plans to surprise me with a request to help.  We may just have to wait and see!"

I then asked, "So what are your plans for next year?" Grace responded, "I suppose more of this!  (laughter) Every year I keep telling myself I have to turn it over to someone else now.  My world outside of Second life is busy, busy!  I have two kids, I sing, and have a band and we travel a lot, I actually have to curb my schedule for Relay season; my plate is quite full!  But then here I am, right back in the thick of it all (smile)  It's not easy to just step away when you see how much of an impact what you do has on the progress made in finding a cure. I feel like I might miss something if I'm not in the middle of it all."

I finally asked, "Was there anything else you wanted to add?" Grace thought for a moment, "I think there is just one more thing.  I think that everyone gets tired.  We get tired of staying up late, we get tired of trying to make everything right and perfect, we get tired of trying to work with the different personalities of everyone involved in Relay.  We get tired of doing things certain ways, we get tired of changes, we get tired of fighting, of dealing with pain, illness, losing loved ones.  I know that tired - I feel it too.  But the moment we give up because we're tired, is the moment everything we have worked for and want to continue to work for becomes to big to defeat.  I hear this said in a movie once:  'What can you expect to accomplish if you are just one drop in an ocean?' he answer was 'But what is an ocean but a series of drops all together.'  That is Relay, and that is us.  We need to never stop being those drops in the ocean." She paused for a moment, "I may not have gotten it word for word but close enough!"

It was about then we parted ways, "Thanks, Bixyl (smile).  I appreciate that you wanted to hear from me."

Image Credits: IshtarAngel Micheline, Softpaw Sommer

Bixyl Shuftan