Archive for the ‘LeLutka’ Tag

Encounter with Darkness   1 comment

As promised, here is the short story I’ve been working on with Jem’s and Conan’s help. It’s long by blog standards (nearly 3,000 words), and thoroughly illustrated, so I’ll be breaking it up into pages. (Which also gives me a chance to experiment with some WordPress tweaks.) Just look for “Pages” beneath the Related Posts section at the bottom of each page, and click on the next page to continue.

If you have questions, such as Ariel and Adam’s backstory, contact me in world, or write harper.ganesvoort at gmail dot com, and I’ll do my best to answer them.

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Visits to Terra were an extremely rare thing for Ariel Sherman, despite her dual positions as a successful performer across multiple modes, and head of the interstellar corporation known as the Cyborg Condominium. Most questions of business could be taken care of in a holographic quadcomm conference call, after all. Considering how far the distance was between the ancient mother planet and the Videra Sector, which contained the star Eta Pegasi and its inhabited planet of Videra, that was just as well. The Limlight Republic was spread across well over two thousand systems, and the trip between the two sectors, even in hyperspace, took nearly a month one way.

But some companies insisted on face-to-face meetings, and real sign-manuals on plaspaper contracts instead of electronic signatures, and so Ariel found herself far removed from the comforts of her home on the pleasure planet Videra, and from her revue show at The Land of Fantasy Theatre. Not that her surroundings were uncomfortable at the moment. The hotel suite she and Adam Sandhara, her husband, occupied for their stay in Old Manhattan was sinfully luxurious; and it should be … after all, it was owned by the Condominium. Even if most of the trip could be written off the taxes as a business expense, the bean-counters preferred keeping those expenses to a minimum.

The cost of the meal could still be written off, though, because Ariel had chosen to make a virtue out of a necessity, and ply her preferred trade in a new sector of the Republic. Before leaving Videra, she had informed the hotel manager that she would be bringing her nightclub act to one of the clubs inside their hotel for a surprise appearance.

Curtain time was approaching, and the ’borgs were finishing their meal with a few glasses of champagne, and a cigarette on Ariel’s part.  Glancing across the floor where his wife would soon be performing, Adam grinned and said, “There are times, Ari, when I don’t know why I indulge you as I do.  Coming over 200 light-years from Eta Pegasi to perform at a nightclub is a bit of a jaunt, even in this day and age.”

“Oh, I think I can come up with a few reasons why you indulge me, darling,” Ariel laughed as she blew smoke toward the ceiling ventilation ducts.  Soft lights shimmered off the silk of the lehenga sari from New Karnataka that she wore.  “Reasons which I heartily return, by the way.  That’s the reason we stay married, even after twenty-something years.  Anyway, you should blame this on the company that insists on face-to-face negotiations in a board room and an actual signature on a physical contract, signed in person before a roomful of lawyers and notaries public.  We could have solved everything from Videra with a few teleconferences and a blockchain signature.  This company doesn’t do that kind of thing, though.” 

She tapped off her ash in the ashtray, and added, “And don’t tell me you’re not taking advantage of your little ‘vacation’ here to meet up with old clients for Micronan, and maybe hunt up a few new ones.  That’s the only real reason you needed to come along, other than spending time with me when my meetings break.”

“I admit you have me there, lady,” Adam smiled, the lights of the club glinting off his metallic “skin,” as golden as his wife’s.  “I still say you’re giving in a little to ego here, looking for some applause even when you’re technically away from the stage.”

“I may grant you that one, lord.  But I see it more like I’m drumming up fresh trade myself for the revue.  Even without us on board as the constant star artists anymore, the revue is still hugely popular; but keeping the name out there in fresh areas helps keep the business up.”

“Mmhmm … that’s what they all say, I’m sure,” Adam said with another grin … and then he laughed as he caught the napkin Ariel threw at him.  He tossed it back as Ariel took a final sip of wine; she patted her lips dry, then kissed her husband, and trotted back to the dressing room set aside for her, to do a last repair on her makeup before coming on.

Unsurprisingly, the hour-long concert set proved a hit; even two hundred-some light-years from Videra, the star quality of Ariel Sherman enthralled spectators.  She accepted the enthusiastic applause of the audience, none of whom had known that she would be singing for them; as she bowed, though, she glanced around the room, and noticed that Adam had vanished.  It wasn’t unusual for him to meet her in the dressing room, however, and so Ariel worked her way “backstage.”

When she made it inside the dressing room, there was no sign of Adam.  She noted, however, a “message waiting” advice on the wall commpanel, and tapped it on.  Adam’s face appeared, and said, “Darling, I’m sorry, but one of those old clients of mine called with an incredibly urgent consultation request.  I can’t put him off, so I’ve gone down to the comm lounge to handle it.  I’ll meet you in the bar after we’re both done.  Sorry.”

Ah, the joys of running insanely successful corporations ….  Ariel grinned as she shook her head, cleared the message, and returned up the halls to the bar area, passing by the transsteel door to the businesspersons’ communications lounge.  A glance inside showed Adam still there, pacing back and forth as he spoke to an image on his digicomm.  Seeing he was occupied, Ariel moved on.

The nightclub’s bar wasn’t a large one – most drinks were served at the tables – and was tended by a single ’droid.  Ariel ordered a small white wine and turned to gaze idly toward the club’s outside entrance; then she started as she focused on the door, her lips falling from their smile and her optics locking on the woman who was entering.

Good Friends, Food, Gossip and Fashion

Juicy Gossip, Juicier Fashion 0

“So,” Harper said while we were having lunch together, “looks like you got to The Instruments.”

“Yeah!” I said as I sipped my lemonade. “I’m afraid I turned into a clone of you; I’m wearing the same dress.”

“Not quite,” Harper said.  A waiter dropped a small salad in front of her; I’d already eaten.  “You chose a pattern. I went for a solid. I’m not that much into patterns and prints, depending.”

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H is for — Hat

H is for Hat

Specifically, this nice old leather hat from LeLutka.  One good thing about Vanessa Blaylock’s challenge is that it’s making me dig through stuff I haven’t opened up for several years.  I have to take my hair into account, but the hat still works quite nicely!

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The Swordlady

Anika went over the lacings of her light lorica vest and trews again, making sure all the knots were tight and the tag ends were tucked in.  She wished she could remove the skirt she had worn in town as a deference to people’s more narrow-minded sensibilities, but the judges had insisted she fight this stupid duel as she was.  Trying to keep from tripping over the hem of her skirt was liable to be a distraction, and when you were in a fight, the fewer things distracting you or falling off you, the better.

Her father, a mercenary turned weaponsmaster, had drilled that into her when she begged him to teach her the ways of the sword.  It had taken her long months to convince him; he had told her straight out of the gate that the life of a mercenary sell-sword was a hard one, and a dangerous and often short one as well.  But Anika had begged and wheedled, and proved her determination by doing every smelly, discipline-requiring job Petron had thrown at her to dissuade her and wear her down.  When she stood in front of him, smelling of five days of stable leavings without complaining once, holding herself at attention despite a bone-deep desire to drop and fall asleep, Petron had sighed — but with a light of pride in his eyes that his daughter could see clearly — and told her to get bathed and eat.  Her first lesson would be the next morning.

That had been seventeen years ago.  Petron had taught her everything he knew about fighting and weapons in eight of those years.  The rest had been spent traveling as a freelance mercenary, slowly earning a reputation with clients and the Mercenaries’ Guild as one of the youngest, ablest sell-swords in the country of Lyritea.  She kept enough banked with the Mercs that she could choose the jobs she accepted now instead of having to take anything offered her.  And in all her working time, she had managed to keep her nose clean, never get in trouble with city guards, clients or clients’ husbands — or lovers — and never, never with nobles….

Until today, when she had walked by the shrine of Nelagha, a god or saint or something she had never even heard of before in a city near the borders, and had apparently failed to salute the statue resting beneath the stone archway.  Now here she was, gearing up for a judicial duel in the ring behind the courthouse.  And, judging by the swirling field of energy that made up the “floor” of the ring, it probably wouldn’t be an easy one.  Anika had heard about some towns in Lyritea’s southern border regions that were more influenced by the magic-bound traditions of the neighboring country than by the ways of Crown City, and this appeared to be one of them.  Swallowing her nervousness, she stepped down through the gate of the arena, which clanged shut behind her with finality, and started scouting around for her opponent’s entry….

I did a little scrounging around through the recent Fantasy Faire, and discovered this warrior outfit that was both fetching and potentially practical. Just remove a few extra prims -- which Anika has not been allowed to do here -- and you are all set to go into battle.

She didn’t have long to wait.  No more than a minute later, the gate on the opposite side of the catha opened to reveal a bearded man in the blue and silver livery of the city courts.  His hands glowed faintly as he bowed in ceremonial greeting.  She returned the bow, having little choice but to go through with the fight, and yanked her long sword from the scabbard on her hip.  Petron’s parting gift to her on her leaving home, he had sworn that this blade would cut down on problems with wizards and sorceresses.  It was time to see just how much those words would hold up….

The sword is a prop katana that can be worn or held in your hand in "warrior ready" pose. A simple HUD controls the pose.

She had time to pull the sword up into a ready position; and then the mage was throwing a ball of lightning-fire at her.  Reflexively, she swung at the stuff — and was mildly shocked to see the ball split in two and crackle into nothingness.  Anika smiled slightly then; this was going to be a more equal battle than she had feared.  As for the mage, she saw him goggling at her, then moving his hands as he readied another spell.  Taking no chances, she dodged behind the tall monument in the center of the ring, considering how to lure him around to where she could close the battle to where a blade would count more than slung spells….

The leather is textured with a Celtic-knot pattern, which extends even to the palms of my gloves. A nice effect!

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The details:

  • Skin:  PXL Candy SK SE, light eyebrows
  • Eyes:  Poetic sapphire eyes, gold flakes
  • Lashes:  LeLutka Photoshoot II
  • Hair:  Calico Ingmann Creations Temira (Burnt Copper, scripted)
  • Clothes:  MysticHope Anfaela Brown
  • Boots:  *RD* unisex tall leather boots
  • Jewelry:  EarthStones Crystal Elements suite (earth/gold — necklace 2 in the necklace pack)
  • Other:  Hanzo Blades Imperial Fury katana – hip sheathed

Photographed in Avilion Nexus combat sim — teleport to sim (in costume, as this is an RP sim) and go to magician’s dueling arena

2011 Oscar Fashion Photo Contest: And the Winners Are….

At last, it’s done!  After tacking on two extra weeks to the 2011 Oscar Fashion Photo Contest, it took almost another week of running through the entries and comparing, scoring and recomparing before I came up with the winners.  Now, I’m happy and proud to announce them to you all.

There were nearly 40 entries this year, down from last year as I’ve noted elsewhere.  A few Second Life entries were made from Koinup, but none came from other worlds, and so there is no set of non-SL winners to announce.  I need to get this contest better publicized next year; we may be able to do something about that.  Having said this, the time taken to judge these 40 photos was needed.  We have a very talented group of photographers, models and designers in Second Life, and the order of these winners could have been different by only a few points of subjective judgment.  I’ve tried to be as fair and objective as possible with the choices I’ve made here — a difficult job, though an enjoyable one at the same time.

For this year’s winners, click on and behold excellence….

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Cuddly Cozy Chic (via It’s Only Fashion)

Well, here’s one way I can keep this blog active when I can get to a working desktop or laptop — I can reblog some of my favorite items I see! For instance, I will remember this poncho when I get back in world. I’ve been looking for a fur like this since I first came in three years ago. As the fashion technology improves, so will our ability to create items that resemble things we wear without a thought in Real Life. (I look forward to the day when someone creates a real caftan with full arms!)

Enjoy, and head on out to Lelutka!!

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Cuddly Cozy Chic What’s soft, snuggly and so-so chic? My answer is the lovely fur poncho from Lelutka. Called Rea, it’s Rea-lly perfect for a chilly walk at Roche, the lovely sim where I shot the pictures. The dress is equally perfect for the chilly weather, a lovely striped sweater dress from A-Bomb called Cold Embrace. Isn’t it fun how A-Bomb names all their outfits after song titles? Lost in your cold embrace I’ll perceive your light Burning my life inside You … Read More

via It’s Only Fashion

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Relaxing at Phat Cat’s

Voyages Cape Town at PhatLand

Once in a while, you just gotta chill and listen to the music around you.  Especially when the music is as good as it is at Phat Cat’s dance club in PhatLand region.  The surroundings and the sim are beautiful, and hostess Mzchevious Nitely made me feel quite at home for my first time there — hopefully not my last time!

I shot only one photograph here, and that was because I was so impressed with the pose.  I can’t recall seeing a cross-legged pose before, despite being around the Grid for nearly two years now.  Since then, I’ve actually run across more chairs with a cross-legged pose, but this one is my first in memory.

The details:

Standard shape/skin type 1

  • Gown:  Prelude Voyages Cape Town cocktail dress, with stole
  • Mimikri black opera gloves, with prim cuffs
  • Shoes:  Detour Glamour Metallic Pumps (gold)
  • Hair:  Tukinowaguma Garry (gold)
  • Lashes:  LeLutka Dott lashes
  • No jewelry

Harper's signature

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