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"So lose some sleep and say you tried."

Y managed to sleep an amazyng 7.5 hours last nyght, whych, the way thyngs have been goyng lately, seems lyke a lot.

Um....well. I was going to try writing the whole entry substituting Ys for Is, because, you know, Dave what'shisname, over at the "SyFy," channel says that Ys are waaaaaay hipper and "textable" and all. But I just can't do it. So, no gold star for me. I must remain unhip and literate.

Nothing was written yesterday, thanks to the effects of this recent bout of insomnia. I had Spooky read me what I'd written on "As Red as Red" on Tuesday, and it was much better than I'd expected. Then I sat in front of the computer, trying to write, jacked up on caffeine. I sat here maybe two hours. I wrote nothing. My mind was like a jittery, zombiefied mud puddle, and I just kept wanting to put my head down on the desk and sleep. Finally, we got dressed and went back down to Spooky's parents' place in Saunderstown. Being out in the sun did me good, though the wind was bitter. We talked to chickadees and refilled bird feeders, visited with Spider Cat and the relocated steamsquid, looked in on the chickens, watered the plants, and so on. I think we made it back home sometime after six p.m. Last night, I did a little rp with the Alpha Institute in Nor. But not much. I was just too entirely fucking sleep deprived. I logged off about eleven p.m., and Spooky and I watched three episodes from Season Three of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, until I was finally sleepy enough to, you know, sleep.

That was yesterday. Today, it's colder and cloudier. I'm having to adjust to a late March that looks more like early February. It's not as easy I'd hoped it would be. I weathered November and December and even most of January's extended snowpocalypse just fine. It wasn't until the start of February that this winter really began to wear on me.

If you haven't, please check out the latest round of eBay auctions. And/or pre-order a copy of the forthcoming trade paperback of Alabaster. Thank you.


On the subject of werewolves, which are on my mind, because "As Red as Red" is mostly a werewolf story, and specifically regarding werewolves in Second Life: When I say "werewolf," or "lycanthrope," I mean a supernatural being that spends part of its life as a woman or man, and part as a wolf, or as a human/wolf hybrid, living out a cycle generally dictated by lunar phases. Sadly, in most of the SL dark-fantasy sims where werewolves appear, they are, in actuality, played by furries, using the whole werewolf thing as an opportunity to trot out their anthropomorphic "funny animal" avatars. That is, if you're lucky, they look like Wile E. Coyote. More often than not, though, they look a lot more like people wearing those cartoonish sports-mascot outfits (available in many pastel shades). And the reason that I bother to complain about this is two fold. First, werewolves should be kind of creepy. Wile E. Coyote is emphatically not creepy. Or spooky. Or even a little macabre. He's funny, and cute, and more than a bit pathetic. Hell, I'll even readily admit that a good werewolf can be very sexy, but, even as objects of my deviant sexuality, I want them to retain their inherent, traditional creepiness.

The other reason has more to do with suspension of disbelief, which I need in rp the same as when I'm watching a movie or reading a book. If I'm in a good rp scene, and suddenly come face-to-face with the mascot for the local soccer team, it blows the whole thing, boom, right out of the fucking water. I suddenly find myself too busy laughing, looking for the zipper, and wondering where the SPH (strategically-placed hole) is located to actually rp. Never mind that the tension inherent in the lycanthrope/moon relationship is tossed aside. And it's not like there aren't very good, scary werewolf (male and female) avs readily available in SL. There are. I even own one.

If we have werewolves (or any other sort of lycanthrope, or "therianthrope") in the Alpha Institute (so far, we don't), they will not be furries by another name. And they will only appear in their wolf form when the moon is full in RL (as the moon is always full in SL), or during some other predetermined time. I know I'll likely catch flack for saying this, and someone will call me a "hater" and point out that being a lycan isn't a curse, it's a lifestyle choice or something like that. But I just can't handle the fursuit avs, or the 24/7/365 "otherkin." No roadrunners, either. Or wisecracking bunnies. Or yiffy "foxes" masquerading as kitsune. I don't have many rules, but that's one of them. And there are plenty of other Nor factions that do accept furries and call them lycans.


Time to make the doughnuts. And here are the last few photos from Monday's trip to Newport, shots of the Redwood Library and Athenaeum:

All Photographs Copyright © 2009 by Caitlín R. Kiernan and Kathryn A. Pollnac


( 20 comments — Have your say! )
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 19th, 2009 05:34 pm (UTC)

I looked and looked for werewolf avs in SL and eventually gave up. I could only ever find the cartoony/team mascot kind ... usually with hysterically oversized genetalia.

I can't recall the name of the the person who makes them, or the shop. It's been a while. I assume the good ones are still available. I'll try to remember.

I miss good, dedicated RP. I'm too shy to approach any of the established groups on SL that look like they might be serious about playing

Maybe you should give the AI a shot.
Mar. 20th, 2009 10:23 am (UTC)
avatar sources
"Werehouse" and "Grendel's Children" both stock "realistic" anthropomorphic werewolf avatar's, and quadrupedal canine avatar, both realistic and horrific (dire-wolf and hell-hound looking)
Mar. 19th, 2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
On the subject of "furries"...
Otherkin vs. Otakukin (round 2).

To wit, "I'm really a dragon, you're crazy for thinking you're really a cartoon character".
Mar. 19th, 2009 05:45 pm (UTC)
Re: On the subject of "furries"...
To wit, "I'm really a dragon, you're crazy for thinking you're really a cartoon character".

I just wasted a small portion of my life actually reading what's on the other end of that link.

Edited at 2009-03-19 05:45 pm (UTC)
Mar. 19th, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC)
Re: On the subject of "furries"...
I just wasted a small portion of my life actually reading what's on the other end of that link.

I did tell you what you'd find...

Mar. 19th, 2009 06:05 pm (UTC)
Re: On the subject of "furries"...

I did tell you what you'd find...

Yes, you did. I accept full blame.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 19th, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Photographs

Are the trees as wondrously creepy in person as they are in your photographs?

Mar. 19th, 2009 06:26 pm (UTC)
Re: Photographs

Oh, at least.

Some of my favorite trees are in Newport. When the weather gets warmer, and before the tourists arrive and parking becomes less easy, we need to do some serious walking around that area.
I spent a lot of time in Newport, when I was in High School, but never photographed much.
Mar. 19th, 2009 06:28 pm (UTC)
I've never been in SL, so I don't know if this is how it works, but if I were rp'ing a complicated character in a dark story and was confronted by one of those mascot'ish pastel furries, I'd probably stay within the story and gut it on the spot. Can you do that?
Mar. 19th, 2009 07:07 pm (UTC)
I've never been in SL, so I don't know if this is how it works, but if I were rp'ing a complicated character in a dark story and was confronted by one of those mascot'ish pastel furries, I'd probably stay within the story and gut it on the spot. Can you do that?

Well, in good rp sims, combat is contextual. It has to roleplayed and shouldn't come out of nowhere. If your character had a history of sudden homicidal acts, maybe. And you'd have to deal with repercussions from the inevitable angry "pack." Also, there's always the chance that you'd be the one who gets gutted. Mostly, I just do my best to look the other way.

Edited at 2009-03-19 07:08 pm (UTC)
Mar. 19th, 2009 07:15 pm (UTC)
That sounds even more annoying than the real world.
Mar. 19th, 2009 07:09 pm (UTC)
Mar. 19th, 2009 07:10 pm (UTC)

Cool! Thanks.
Mar. 19th, 2009 07:19 pm (UTC)
I love the way the roots are growing around the fenceposts. Apparently trees are more welcome to ramble in your new home than they were in Atlanta (or here, sadly).

"SyFy" being easier to text is just moronic. I suspect anyone texting about that channel would just use SF, but I'm a luddite and mostly prefer to text in full sentences with punctuation.
Mar. 19th, 2009 09:33 pm (UTC)
Internet Scavaging came up with this bit, which you might find familiar.
Mar. 19th, 2009 09:37 pm (UTC)
I agree with you about furries and Weres. Jesus. I mean, different strokes for different folks, but when one is trying to write something more true to the original idea of a myth or legend that is supposed to freak people out...it's better to keep objectivity in mind for that, I guess.

I like your rules about your RP, though. They make sense, and they're refreshing. (UGH FOX AS KITSUNE REMIND ME OF ANIME FANS THAT DON'T KNOW JAPANESE BUT THEY THINK THEY DO UGH UGH UGH.)

Speaking of anime fans, I really should get my translation on with a manga/light novel that hasn't been licensed yet. But only after I file for unemployment and renew my CA state ID. u_u
Mar. 20th, 2009 05:56 am (UTC)
werewolves filing in the empty patches of the moon...
Speaking of werewolves... an interesting perspective on shapeshifting and such is revealed in the lovely titular story from Victor Pelevin's collection 'A Werewolf Problem in Central Russia,'

here's a link to an excerpt... http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/p/pelevin-werewolf.html


Mar. 20th, 2009 05:59 am (UTC)
Re: werewolves filing in the empty patches of the moon...
didn't seem to work... maybe this instead...


sorry to take up so much space.
Mar. 20th, 2009 03:13 pm (UTC)
People actually RP in SL? I tried SL very very briefly, and found myself getting hit on by random people who "liked my booty". And I doubt they were role playing pirates. I found SL very confusing though and spend most of my time wandering aimlessly, which was obviously rather boring and didn't last long.
Mar. 20th, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC)

Problem is it's so huge, and finding RP is not easy. A huge percentage of SL is pure crap. There are some really amazing things being done, here and there, and it always makes me happy to see people using SL to it's fullest potential, be it in building or storytelling.
I think if I hadn't spent the time to look around online and find out about a few places, Babbage being one of them, our time in SL would have been very very brief.

( 20 comments — Have your say! )