Archive for the ‘Literature’ Category

Our Lady of the Bloomenveldt   Leave a comment

Jem sent me some photos she’d squeezed in recently, but didn’t have the chance to write up.  As it happened, I’d recently re-read Norman Spinrad’s Child of Fortune, which I recommend to you at some point; and the size of some of the flowers in LEA15’s Gardens By the Bay reminded me of that book.  If you don’t get the context of the quotations, I suggest you buy the book.  It is fun, it is erotic, and it will make you think about what our society could be like if we tried out the social philosophy of Sunshine’s Second Starfaring Age.

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Edges of Autumn

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Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends

into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don’t say
it’s easy, but
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?

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So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day,

though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.

Lines written in the days of growing darkness, by Mary Oliver

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The details:

  • Body: Maitreya Mesh Body – Lara V3.5
  • Skin: Glam Affair Cleo (America – Clean B)
  • Eyes: Poetic Colors Opal (Sun Wave)
  • Hair: D!va Hair Gabriella
  • Attachments: SLink Avatar Enhancement Hands
  • Top: neve by coldLogic lively pull-over
  • Jeans and boots: PurpleMoon Penelope (available at current round of On9)
  • Jewelry: Maxi Gossamer Ariel Sun Pendant earrings and short necklace (available as separates on the Marketplace)
  • Makeup: SlackGirl Paola (02); {MUA} All the Ways eyeliner (Pack 2 – 4); Glamorize Innocent lipstick (09)

Photographed in Good Memories region

View the full-size photos (including a 1920×1080 wallpaper) in PNG in my Flickr album.

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The Spoils of Annwn

One of the book series I’ve enjoyed was the Copper Crown series by Patricia Kennealy-Morrison — The Copper Crown, The Throne of Scone and The Silver Branch (actually a prequel), which blend science fiction, medieval fantasy, adventure and romance into a fantastic whole.  Part of the story was derived from Preiddeu Annwn, or The Spoils of Annwn, a medieval Welsh song-poem.  There’s lots of puzzles in this piece, and it’s beauty holds up well in the translation I’ve heard recited of it.

I heard it recited here in Second Life, specifically.  An exhibit built by a class at the University of Rochester celebrates this poem in high style and multimedia.  Teleport to the sim and follow the instructions carefully to enjoy the whole experience!

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Hallowe’en 2015 — The Masque of the Red Death

The Red Death had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its seal—the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores…. The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim, were the pest ban which shut him out from the aid and from the sympathy of his fellow-men. And the whole seizure, progress and termination of the disease, were the incidents of half an hour.

But the Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious. When his dominions were half depopulated, he summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court, and with these retired to the deep seclusion of one of his castellated abbeys…. [Security was] within. Without was the Red Death….

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…When the eyes of the Prince Prospero fell upon this spectral image (which, with a slow and solemn movement, as if more fully to sustain its role, stalked to and fro among the waltzers) he was seen to be convulsed, in the first moment with a strong shudder either of terror or distaste; but, in the next, his brow reddened with rage.

“Who dares,”—he demanded hoarsely of the courtiers who stood near him—”who dares insult us with this blasphemous mockery? Seize him and unmask him—that we may know whom we have to hang, at sunrise, from the battlements!”…

…At first, as he spoke, there was a slight rushing movement…in the direction of the intruder, who at the moment was also near at hand, and now, with deliberate and stately step, made closer approach to the speaker.  But from a certain nameless awe…, there were found none who put forth hand to seize him; so that, unimpeded, he passed within a yard of the prince’s person….  It was then, however, that the Prince Prospero, maddening with rage and the shame of his own momentary cowardice, rushed hurriedly through the six chambers, while none followed him on account of a deadly terror that had seized upon all.  He bore aloft a drawn dagger, and had approached, in rapid impetuosity, to within three or four feet of the retreating figure, when the latter…turned suddenly and confronted his pursuer.  There was a sharp cry—and the dagger dropped gleaming upon the sable carpet, upon which, instantly afterwards, fell prostrate in death the Prince Prospero….

And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall….  And the flames of the tripods expired.  And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.

Excerpts from the short story “The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe (1842)

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In Search of Robert Louis Stevenson

“…For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.  I travel for travel’s sake.  The great affair is to move; to feel the needs and hitches of our life more nearly; to come down off this feather-bed of civilisation, and find the globe granite underfoot and strewn with cutting flints….”

Robert Louis Stevenson, Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes (1879)

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Welcome to the South of France!  I’m actually farther south than Robert Louis Stevenson got on his hiking trip, a self-imposed journey that resulted in his second full-length book.  And, really, I’m not even in France; this region, Flux sur Mer, does a good stand-in job for rural coastal France, though, and fits in somewhat with the theme of this month’s Uber collection, “Rustic.”

RLS

Stevenson was a traveler partly by inclination, but also partly for reasons of necessity; he suffered from wretched health for most of his life (though current conclusions are that it wasn’t tuberculosis, as often suggested), and made many journeys in search of a climate that would agree with his constitution.  This journey, however, was not one of those.  Rather, he was in part looking for material for a book, but also to forget about the married American woman, Fanny Osbourne, who he would eventually marry himself.  She and her son would end up following Stevenson in his travels, to America, and eventually to the place Stevenson settled and died in, Samoa; however, this was years in the future from 1878.

Travels-map In the Cevennes 2

My travel plans were nowhere near as ambitious as Stevenson’s.  This was a morning visit to a French country town, and I dressed appropriately for it:  a soft linen dress, sandals, a big floppy hat and a colorful bag.

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Last-minute discovery: I stuck my hand through the top of the bag (sigh). I want to show this lovely accessory to you, though, and here it is.

A stop for breakfast at a patisserie:

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and I was ready to explore the sim.  (I leave this as an exercise for the reader; just follow the SLurl.)

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The details:

  • Skin: Glam Affair Cleo (America – Clean B)
  • Eyes: Poetic Colors berlin nights (small, bright)
  • Hair: Truth Hair Armelle, with hat
  • Dress: Zenith minority long dress (milk) (available at July Uber)
  • Shoes: Pure Poison Katarina sandals (Colors) (available at July Uber)
  • Attachments: SLink Avatar Enhancement Feet (Mid); Slink Avatar Enhancement Hands (Casual)
  • Accessories: Eudora 3D Rustic Tote Bag, Maxi Gossamer Savannah earrings and bracelets (all available at July Uber)
  • Makeup: Blacklace Beauty Hi-Gloss Lips Clear 50%; Baiastice Rio eyeshadow (mod 2)

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Waiting…. (Republished with revisions)

Publisher’s note:  As you may know, I originally published this poem, written by me, in September 2011.  Recently, though, I’ve wanted to polish it up a little and take new, less muddy photos to compliment it.  This is my new effort, and I offer it to you, along with a brand-new framing story, for your consideration.  More speech on the details and other aspects afterward….

Turn the page to read….

Berry’s Book Meme

Book meme

Strawberry Singh does it again.  Her Monday Meme this week is based around books.  And so:

  1. Are you a bookworm?  Yes!
  2. Which do you prefer: hardcover, paperback or electronic?  No particular preference, although I’m carrying my Nook more than a bound book these days.  I can carry hundreds of books in a tablet, including the stories that I write, all collected together.  I’ve just recently received four books from online booksellers, though, including replacements for ragged copies of Dorothy Sayers’ translations of Dante’s Commedia.
  3. Which book is your favorite?  That’s always a tricky thing, as it changes from time to time; the most consistent one, though, is probably Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
  4. Which children’s book is your favorite?  Also difficult, due to the time passed.  But I’ve been thinking lately of a book that was read to us back in 2nd grade lo these many moons ago:  Paddle-to-the-Sea by Holling Clancy Holling, which gave me a true appreciation for the world of the Great Lakes — not just my home state of Michigan, but the entire watershed from Lake Nipigon, far above Thunder Bay, down to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence
  5. What’s the last book you’ve read?  Concealed in Death by J. D. Robb
  6. Name your top five favorite writers:  More than five, but I can’t really cut it down (grin):J. R. R. Tolkien, Mercedes Lackey, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Anne McCaffrey, Dante, Agatha Christie, David Weber
  7. Name a book that had a strong impact on you:  R. F. Delderfield’s To Serve Them All My Days.  I was turned on to it by the Masterpiece Theatre production long ago, and enjoyed it immensely while in college.  If there were any book that might have turned me into a teacher instead of a librarian and bookseller, this would have been it.
  8. Favorite & least favorite book genres?  Mystery / romance
  9. Favorite & least favorite book-to-movie adaptions?  The Lord of the Rings / The Count of Monte Cristo (Richard Chamberlain version; too many liberties with it)
  10. Have you ever bought a book based on the cover alone?  Not that I can recall, but it’s come close at times.
  11. Where do you usually buy your books?  When I don’t buy them on my Nook, I usually get them at Barnes & Noble.  (I get an employee discount, after all!  Although I also have a Membership; my discount comes off the list price, while the Membership works on sales as well.)
  12. Do you go to the library?  Yes
  13. How many books do you own?  Not as many as in the past, as I’ve had to clean off my shelves periodically at a used book store.  In the neighborhood of 300-500 books now, though, including E-books on the family Nooks.
  14. If you were to write a book about Second Life, which topic would you focus on?  What I specialize in here on the blog:  photography and fashion.

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