Enough about me, let’s talk about you
What do you think of me?
You must feel such gratitude
that you will get to read
“My Autobiography,” written and performed by Janis Ian
Peace be to all beings!
If you’re stopping in here, you must be a little curious about who’s writing all those other pages out in the blog section — well over 1,100 at this writing — and so here I am. Hopefully this will answer some questions.
I first rezzed up in Second Life on October 11, 2007, and began this blog about a month later; since then it’s been an interesting, occasionally rocky ride for me across the shining sims of the Linden grid. Sometimes I’ve been painfully short of cash to do things, but I always found a way to pay my in-world rent and keep an apartment over my head, to where I am today.
Second Life has changed since that time, too — not surprisingly, of course, since it exists inside of thousands of computer servers. 2007 was close to 2/3 of the way through the years of the Great Hypefest, when everyone thought that Second Life was destined to be the new look of the World Wide Web. For that matter, I’m still of the mind that, when the gaudy self-selling aspects of SL are stripped away from us as avatars, the Internet will end up as something similar to Second Life, and the world of Neal Stephenson’s Metaverse that Second Life was modeled on. As for what Second Life is like today, that’s always a matter of debate, some sure that the place is going down the pipe, some worried about Linden Lab’s plans for the future. As for me, as long as I get a decent heads-up on things (something I wish the Lab would do better) and I don’t lose my wallet or Inventory, I’m having a good time.
I referred to the Metaverse out of Stephenson’s Snow Crash above, and implied about the personal aspects of an avatar’s life. That includes the ability to change what you look like at a whim. Of course, mutability in personal appearance was always part of the Metaverse’s appeal, and it has been a great interest for me as well. At heart, I’m a fashion and hair and cosmetics hound in world, because it’s so damned easy to be, for comparatively little money most of the time. I’ve tried to occasionally report news from my perspective as I’ve encountered it, and the early years of this blog contained as much news as clothing. As time has gone on, though, the clothing has taken over to more like 85% of what I write about, if not more. So go the best intentions of men, women and avatars, I guess.
I will claim this for myself: I shoot for quality in what I do in world. I’ve gotten gaudy at times — sometimes you can’t resist piling the junk on, though it eventually catches up with your senses. But I’ve almost always tried to choose quality clothing, with an eye to style; accessorize with quality as well; and always, always photograph and write with quality. I never appreciated writing until I did nine years of it in college for my bachelor’s degree alone. Since then, I’ve tried to produce stuff that people enjoy reading whenever I pick up a pen or put my fingers to the keyboard. (I certainly hope it comes out that way in this blog! I’ve tried to write at least one article a week, and it’s been more difficult at times than others.)
Writing is more than reportage and commentary for me; it’s also an expression of creativity, which I unite with in-world photography. I had thought of doing creative photography long ago in RL; that dream is easier to achieve in Second Life, and I’ve, again, looked to produce photos that speak to thoughts and emotions. Hand in hand with the tools available for photographers , I’ve I’ve tried to capture not just a look, but a mood, an emotion, that’s appropriate for the story (once again) that is in my mind. It works best, of course, when the story is in my heart; and then the writing becomes more than writing. The story actually comes forth onto the page then — sometimes in good writing and reporting, sometimes as an actual story or poem. A few of them are very good; a few more, in my humble opinion, are excellent! (Or I’m purely in love with them, and can’t see the flaws myself [grin]. Your mileage may vary.) Sometimes a dress I’m modeling inspires a mood, and I search until I find a poem or a song that corresponds with the lyric.
Creativity has always been a part of my real life. I started off as a determined reader, which branched off into a love of other traditional art forms over the years. Photography was an early passion, as I’ve noted; I can also appreciate an excellent painting or piece of sculpture, as much because any attempts I’ve made at those are unqualified disasters. And, of course, music. I didn’t choose the first name Harper for my avatar persona because I live in Alabama; it was because of my love of the Masterharper Robinton from Anne McCaffrey’s Pern books. You can’t carry a painting or a book around; but you can always sing, even if the song be only in your head. My memory for songs is not as encyclopedic as it once was, but that’s because there’s been a lot of time passed since the earliest songs I can still remember consciously, from my childhood in the early 1960s. Music speaks to the heart, and the heart speaks to the mind in its turn, hopefully bringing peace and joy and an understanding of things great and small around us, from God above to the creatures beside us and the people we love who hold our hands and hearts. If I can use that to communicate with, then I’m truly touching the best inside me, and I give thanks for that privilege.
I hope you, as readers, will enjoy my attempts here to entertain and inform and charm and impress you, and sometimes hopefully to make you think a little. Please “turn the pages” of this blog, and let me know when something strikes your fancy. Comments disappear as time goes by and the blog’s control software locks them out, so please write to me in world as well, or leave messages for me on Plurk, Flickr and Facebook (assuming Facebook doesn’t do one of its occasional mass deletions of “non-real” persons), or whatever other social media the future brings to us.
Thanks for stopping by!