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Looking back on my little part of 2013

December 27th, 2013 by Marianne McCann

Out on the Solstice

Out on the Solstice

In looking back at 2013, one really can just note that — not including this one — I managed to get a whopping two blog entries up here within the year. It’s just been that kind of year.

I helped get the Second Life tenth anniversary community celebration, otherwise know as SL10B, down the aisle. In some ways I was behind the scenes, helping to arrange for the regions, preparing the corn field and bear island — yes, that was a part of my collection out there this time — and doing infrastructure work.

Most noted was my SL10B History Walk build, which I did with Pygar Bu and Harlequin Rhode. It was a year by year breakdown of notable portions of Second Life™ history, the good and the not as good, as well as a large selection of items emblematic of each year. It was an honor to put that together.

My Year!

My Year!

Little known fact, though: I had about 8 or so builds at SL10B. As well as the history walk, I built the Bay City History Pavilion, co-built the SL10B welcome area (which used original vintage items from the very first Second Life welcome area in Natoma), created a sculpture garden featuring works by Starax Statosky and others, presented a display of items from Greenies Home, put up a vintage infohub display, and did a temple to Mount G’al.

This wasn’t the only big event for me this year: at Burn2, I was the lead on The Man, working with a small team to recreate The Man and Man Base from the 2013 Burning Man event. It was a difficult build at time, particularly as hopes to have the actual blueprints fell through, but it came together fairly close to the real thing. I also worked on Inner Child Camp for Burn2, and did a build focusing on the “Leave No Trace” principle for Burn2’s “Conception” event.

Meanwhile, on the Playa...

Meanwhile, on the Playa…

Bay City is very much my home, and there too I found myself with plenty to do. As well as leading the Bay City Alliance in its weekly meetings, I helped arrange for the Fifth Anniversary parade and celebration, the annual Mole Day event, our fashion week and “Hot Bay City Nights” events, the Hallowe’en Hay Maze, Oktoberfest, and our Annual Tree Lighting charity event. I also built up one of my Bay City lands into The Pen, a Beatnik coffee house with regular open mic nights and other random events.

Bay City's 5th Anniversary

Bay City’s 5th Anniversary

One of my other priorities for 2013 has been Livingtree, Robin Sojourner’s island I share with her and Pygar Bu. Early on in the year we decided it was time to update the overall look and feel of the island, and I took point on refreshing everything. There is still a couple things we wish to do, but the heavy lifting ended around August and September. I think it’s overall turned into a lovely and photogenic place. I also did my usual Summertime fireworks shows on the island, and helped with the hosting of fishing contests.

Autumn comes to Livingtree.

Autumn comes to Livingtree.

Beyond these, I hosted fishing camps at the 7Seas fishiversary and the Fall Fishing Festival, I attended the Summer and Winter sessions of Camp HardKnock, I took a role as Head Moderator for the popular Arcade gacha event, I attended Oceanside Elementary, and I did an awful lot of flying in SL in a growing collection of aircraft. I got interviewed a couple times for Designing Worlds, appeared in several of the Drax Files: World Makers episodes (most notably the Rodvik Linden and Robin Sojourner episodes), and was seem in a few other spots besides. Oh, and I started to learn mesh, added a couple things to my store (many less than I intended), re-dressed some of my other locations, and took scores of photos.

So, as you can well imagine, I did not get a lot of down time. Some parts were too busy, and a busier first life will mean cutting back on parts of my second. I’ve yet to decide what form that might take.

But was it fun? You bet it was. I worked alongside some great folks, and met all the more. More than that, I helped a great many others get to know each other, learn, and grow. Totally worth it if only for that.

And now, onto 2014!

On family

March 22nd, 2010 by Marianne McCann

Okay, this one is gonna be long. Settle in, grab something t’drink, an alla that.

Not long into my Second Life, and shortly after I grew down, I ended up in a family. I did not go through any of the early adoption agencies (this was before MAW, etc.), but a RL friend of mine was part of this family, and I happened upon her aunty while exploring her treehouse. Later that day, her Aunty and Uncle, Sazzy Rosebud and DJMike Glitterbuck, asked to adopt me. I agreed about a week later.

I Said Yes!

DJMike did not hang around long, and for the first few months of my SL kidhood, I was an only child to my single mommy. in the course of a year or so, this changed, with the addition of my brother, Pygar Bu, my sister Robin Howe, and a new, improved daddy, Laurynce Book.

Being in a family for an SL type kid can be the bestest. That’s why – if you look at the profile of SL kids – you’ll usually see “I have the best parents in the world” in there somewhere. It can truly complete the character, and create a next-to-perfect RP environment for one to just be a kid.

It means having someone there when you are at graduation at HardKnock Elementary, or when you get promoted at Kid Scouts. It means having people to write home to from camp, or attend parent and family events with. It means someone who gets that dreaded letter home from school, or who is there when your avatar gets a boo boo on the playground. It can also mean having someone there when you are facing hard RL times, and each of us in our family went through a few of those.

In my SL family, one regular occurrence – nightly or near nightly for the course of about two years – our little avatars would be gently tucked into bed my our parents. So no matter what, we still had that ‘family bond,” that little bit of time that would be ours as a unit. Sometimes it was a tender moment, sometimes it was silly, but it was nearly always good. It is one of a great many things I miss from then.

Family Tuck-In

I miss my mommy’s sense of humor, and I miss my daddy’s quiet wisdom. I miss hanging out (literally) at the family tree behind our old house. I miss getting care packages and letters from home while at Camp HardKnock. I miss that whole thing.

So you may ask yourself this: what happened?

The trouble with SL families as a whole is that they rely on all parties to keep them going. Each person brings something to the table, and plays a part on it all. When things are good, they’re good — but when things turn sour, it’s not so much.

I’m not going to get into details or air any dirty laundry here. Suffice it to say that the relationship between mommy and daddy turned sour, and fell apart. call it unreconcilable differences. Both considered dropping their SL personas, and both have all but retreated from the Grid. I might see mommy online once a month, maybe — and to her credit, her First Life has seemed to be too busy to really allow her the time she once had in her Second. Daddy is on rarer, largely over on a fresher account and making a new Second Life for himself.

What of us kids?

Well, no one ever truly told us “this is over.” For the longest time we remained with the family house out in Hundertwasser, but found it to have lost it’s spark. It was just us there, in a far too big home. A christmas tree and unopened presents beckoned from the large family room for a year, remnants of a Christmas day that never quite happened. My brother took to spending his days in his workshop rather than coming home, and my sister tended to just stick to the bedroom — and not go downstairs at all. Me, I eventually found some land elsewhere on the grid, and tried to make a house that we could get away from all the old ghosts. Never mind that I could not afford to keep the tier going on the land we once had.

My folks remain listed in my profile, albeit only on one panel in my picks. I think my siblings did much the same. The old home is now go, for nearly a year now, and the three of us share a much more modest place in Shermerville. There is no parents’ room there, though much of the house outside our rooms is decorated more to the tastes of an adult.

We delved into other things to take up our time. I became much more involved in exploring, and made my way into Bay City and its goings on. My brother focuses on his building work. My sis is simply not on as much as she used to be.

Why not get new parents?

It’s a good question, and there’s a lot of answers.

First off, like I said above, no one ever said it was over. For all intents and purposes it is (and it certainly could not be what it once was), but it remains an open, unfinished chapter. We remain the “Flying Rosebuds,” an affectionate term coined by my daddy that plays off my mommy’s last name.

We are a trio. We’re like a civil war chess set from the Franklin Mint, and you simply can’t break us up. You can’t take one, you take three.

Holiday Portrait

Each of us are not the usual. We’re all pretty knowledgeable about SL an how it works. Each is a pretty good content creator and usually knows what is going on in SL on a gridwide basis at any given time. Any of us could be called away to do projects here and there. We’re all storeowners. And while we can indeed fit into our role-play selves just fine, there are going to be times where we simply will have to be somewhat out-of-character.

We’d also be pretty particular about parents, in part due to the issues of our old family, and in part due to things that we know would make us a better fit. We don’t need folks who will be there 24/7, but we do need folks who are going to be here. We’d need distinct family times, and would prefer to at least have some “at home role play times” (tuck-ins, family dinners, etc.) as well as things like attending talent shows or parent-teacher conferences. We’d need stable people in stable relationships who aren’t going to abandon us, and we’d need people who could embrace our quirks.

In short, I don’t see it happening. Not easily. I’m certainly not going to put all this in a panel at an adoption agency.


June 16th, 2009 by Marianne McCann

My, it’s been an interesting 24 hours or so.

Yesterday ’round 6 or so, I received word that the adult continent, Zindra, was open for preview. So — as I’d told many that I would — I went to check it out.

My logic on this is simple. When the support tickets go in and when the land sales start, I’d not really going to want to be there. I chose those words carefully: it’s not an issue of rules, but desire. Many of the locations that will be there will be full of sexual or violent content, and neither hold my interest in the virtual world.

What does hold my interest, amongst other things, is exploring. In my three years in Second Life, I’ve managed to explore several of the new land masses in their earliest states. I rose my horse on Corsica, Gaeta, and Nautilus (I think Satori too, but I’m not 100% sure) before they were populated. I explored Bay City and Nautilus City by land and air. I sailed the Blake Sea, the Gulf of Lauren, the DeGrand Channel, and the channel in Jeogeot when these were in their earliest moments. I watched the Linden Memorial Garden and the Bay City Municipal Airport as they went from flat land to fully built.

I love exploring new lands, enjoying the bare fields that will one day be covered with Resident builds, or poking around Mole builds to see just what they’ve hidden this time. To be honest, I usually enjoy this more than seeing the land after. I remember when one of my only LMs in then-new Nautilus got sold and became a sex club, or the flat, terraces, “for sale sign” festooned land of Gaeta, or seeing dark, modern skyscrapers in Nautilus City. Such is the march of progress, to be sure, but that’s when I tend to lose the interest of exploring.

So last night I got my chance to explore the new continent, Zindra. my first stop was where everyone else was, the sim of Mosh, right at the Port of Kama City building. It’s a beautiful building. Under other circumstances, I would even be half-tempted to have land there.

Port of Kama City

Anyway, I hung out there for a while. Watched a parade of Linden Lab staff come and go, even including M Linden, their CEO. Talked with some of the other folks Im friends with from off the SL Forums and elsewhere. Eventually, Blondin Linden tossed some music in on the parcel’s stream, and we all had one of those random dance parties that spring up. It happens.

Meanwhile, some of the other avatars there played with their avvies, doing the “my avatar is bigger than yours,” including some sort of stone indian, a Tiamat-style dragon, an anthropmorpic elephant thing and, yes, a cartoon penis that was one avatar for about five minutes.

So it was interesting when, a couple hours later, some guy told me that I was featured on a particular blog, because I was “dancing with a penis on the Adult Grid (sic.).” I was informed that this proved I was a fraud or whatever. At the least, that it pulled into question the purity of my actions over the last three years in Second Life. Hogwash.

Here’s what the place looked like that I was at.
Meeting in Mosh

Shocking, huh? So thick with sexual innuendo and rife with adult content. Avatars. Fully clothed. Standing around.

Anyway, there it is, the shocking story. FWIW, I think I’ll write another post here, on the more general issues.

Edited to add: here is a photo, courtesy of 3Ring Binder, that can give a real good idea of the proximity of said penile avatar to my avatar (and the elephant thing, and Tiamat). I wasn’t exactly close — or even within camera range. I was definitely there at that time.

By way of introduction…

March 15th, 2009 by Marianne McCann

Welcome to my little blogspace. 

My name’s Marianne McCann, but you can call me Mari. I’m just some kid in Second Life. I’m also a storeowner there, a citizen of Bay City and Shermerville, one of the people behind Livingtree island, and someone who tends to get very involved with things at a whole lotta levels. I’m one of the high muckity mucks in Second Life Children, write for the Metaverse Messenger, an do a lot of other stuff too.

The name of the blog? Feted Inner Child. It’s a group tag I wear often. It’s a play off of “Feted Inner Core,” the theory that there is a small number of Residents who negatively control the actions of Linden Lab. Or maybe it is more a play off the lampooning of that theory.I get around a lot inworld, and a lot of that is with Lindens and others. Hence why I would invoke “FIC.”  It’s also a play off of “inner child,” not just the name of a mall in Fletcher, but also a real world term for what a lot of us kids are doing in SL.

I’m a bit of an inworld photographer, so dun be surprised to see more than a few photos in this blog too, as the mood strikes. For me, photos are part of telling the story.  A thousand words, and all that.

What am I going to write about here?  I don’t know. Probably a few deep thoughts, people some silliness. I’ll take it as it comes, y’know?