Friday, August 24, 2018

Interview with Treacle Darlandes

By Deaflegacy

I met recently with Treacle Darlandes.  The first question I had for her is to tell us some details about herself.  “Well, I think my inspiration comes from the tools, textures, scripts and other things we can all use to make beautiful things in Second Life,” she told me,  “My father in the real world is an artist.  He paints with various mediums.  Maybe I have some of his art genes.  As for my artworks, they just kind of develop when I make or see things that I like.”

I asked Treacle about the Walk of Art.  “Yes.  I use a lot of colours, and moving fractals.  Often the real intensity of the colours and movements are lost out in the open, such as garden, or where there is a lot of light,” she replied, “I felt the need (for myself mostly in the beginning) to look at the fractals and things I made at Midnight setting, or in dark places, so I could feel the intensity of the colours.  Then I decided to make them against black backgrounds.  I like it so much that I made the Walk of Art with a complete black background so that anyone who visited would hopefully feel the same power from the intense colours as I did.  That too just grew as my ideas for it unfolded.  People who visit often say that the 'Walk' gives them peace.  Or a spiritual feeling.  Or makes them emotional.  I am very flattered that people feel that way.  That is why I try to get everyone else who wants to visit to actually do the walk and not be camming about, as that spoils the whole meaning of why I created it.”

The next question was what the inspiration behind the Walk of Art.  “Some I made from things I had created previously and were my favourites, or other peoples favourites.  The rest just sort of grew as I worked on it.  Always though the theme was the power of colour.  I believe colour, like music, can have a powerful effect on how we feel.  I wanted people to feel the way I did when I looked at rich colours,” answered, Treacle, “There is nothing for sale in the Walk of Art, it is simply there as a journey for people to see should they wish to visit.  So, I suppose the inspiration was pleasure, and feelings.  Hopefully good feelings.”

I was wondering if Treacle is planning on keeping the Walk of Arts around for a long time.  “As long as I am in Second Life, or as long as Second Life is here, or as long as I can still pay for my land it will be h ere, yes.  It is part of who I am in Second Life,” she replied, “Some day I may build more.  We will see.” 

I asked Treacle about the other projects.  “Well, I take care of my art gallery where my things are for sale, and I also help Meredith Staheli with her gallery, which is called Triglav Gallery and can be found through my profile,” she told me, “Other than art, I like to help newcomers to join Second Life, or older residents who may like some help with things.  I also like to visit the Buddha Centre as it is a very relaxing and unique place in Second Life.  My art gallery was made to feel relaxing and comfortable.  This is where people can buy what I make.  I do not make art from mesh, maybe I will one day.  For my art, I prefer the traditional tools.”

I also asked Treacle for the landmarks, and here they are.

To the art gallery:

To the Walk of Art:

to the New Resident Island:


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Reader Submitted: On Gallery Graine Closing

 From Graine Macbain

   I arrived in SL in March of 2009, and spent most of my first year just wandering about exploring, shopping, and listening to music. Wanting to actually do something creative and productive, in April, 2010, I took over the Azure Jazz Club and Gallery from Dem Uriza, and hosted both DJs andlive musicians like Joaquin Gustav, Melodee McDonnell, Ichie Kamachi, MoShang Zhao, CECI Dover, and many others, and exhibited artists like nessuno Myoo, KIcca Igaly, and Edward Vintner. We also featured Trivia and Tunes every Thursday night, hosted by Clancy Huckleberry with music from DJ Sparrow Letov-Meredith. I even dabbled with a poetry night and a comedy night.  I closed the Azure in May, 2011, frustrated that I was unable to break even let alone make a profit. But mostly it was too time consuming.

   I intended to spend the rest of my SL time doing nothing, but sometime in 2012 or 2013, I was bitten by ambition again, and I opened the Riverside Cafe and Gallery Graine on the same sim where I lived, at first just to revive Trivia and Tunes, but then began to host regular live music events again, and even started hosting weekend-long, multi-artist music festivals, The Riverside Ambient/Classical Music Festival, and a second festival that was more pop-rock and vocalist oriented and usually named after the time of year it happened in (the Riverside Summer Splash, for example, and I always had a Christmas Holiday Music Festival).

   In my new gallery I featured such artists as Kayly Iali, Masako, Mathilde Vhargon, Aruba DeCuir, and most recently, photographer Anibrm Jung. (I even had my own amateurish stuff on display once.) Sometime in this period, I can't even recall exactly when, I heard that Scottius Polke's otterly fantastic interactive art pieces, mushROOM and The Docks were going to be taken down for good. A big fan of Scottius (all his fans are bigger than him, actually), I offered to host it free in the sky above my sculpture, but only had enough prims for mushROOM. I have been honored to showcase this SL classic until, and hope it finds a new home soon. I believe that the Lindens should accommodate it as part of their SL historic preservation program.

   Around the same time I took over the Azure, I began hosting Djs and live music at Avian Retreat, a nature preserve for birds and bird lovers, created by my friends LadyDi Andel and Zoezoe Xue, in an effort to bring tips and traffic into their mainland sim. Mostly, I hosted the same performers who played at the Azure, with some even preferring to play the "outdoor" venue with its round stage floating on the bay.  Health problems caused both of them to be absent for long periods of time, and eventually my dear friend LadyDi passed away in 2015, and Zoe also has left SL due to illness. But before she passed away, I purchased Avian Retreat from her to prevent her from having to close it, and I promised her and Zoe to keep it up and running as long as I could.

   Eventually, I stopped hosting music events, including the festivals. I stopped featuring new artists in my galleries, and continued with only Trivia and Tunes on a regular basis. It got to the point where it became too expensive in both money and time to own so many pieces of SL real estate, and RL was starting to make more demands on my time and money.

   Then on April 29th of this year, our longtime Trivia and Tunes DJ, Sparrow Letov-Meredith, passed away suddenly, followed recently by our trivia diva Clancy Huckleberry announcing her retirement from SL and the end of our nearly ten year run of trivia. I had been contemplating closing the cafe and galleries at Blue Curacao, and moving trivia to Avian Retreat in order to save expenses, but now I felt that RL was forcing my hand.

    And so it ends. Or maybe not. I am not leaving SL and Avian Retreat still exists, so who can tell what the future holds?

Graine Macbain

Monday, July 9, 2018

Interview With Bixyl Shuftan

By Deaflegacy

Bixyl Shuftan

Bixyl Shuftan is the editor for Second Life Newser. He had been working for the Newser since its beginning in June 2010. Before that, he was with JamesT Juno's Second Life Newspaper. Bixyl  has been an editor and head of the Newser team for eight years now. He writes some of the articles himself, but the paper has always been a team effort.

I asked Bixyl Shuftan what his biggest accomplishment is. “In Second Life, at first thought, it would be the formation of the Newser,” replied Bixyl, “But starting a business is one thing. Keeping it going is another. And if it wasn't for certain individuals, it probably would have closed by now. But thankfully, it's still going. And becoming a part of a community here that I feels I do a lot for them.”

I wanted to know if Bixyl would continue being an editor for a long time. “Yes. I think Second Life will continue to be around for some years to come. So yes, I expect the paper to be going," said Bixy, "If some real life emergency makes running the Newser impossible, I would try to put someone else in charge.”

We started discussing about Bixyl's goals on Second Life. “When I started the Newser, it was to keep the team together and give our readers the best job we could on delivering the news about Second Life, big and small," he told me, "Today, that's still the case." He mentioned another goal, "I've become a regular part of a virtual community, the Sunweavers. So naturally I want to do my part in keeping things happy and active there as well.”

I asked Bixyl  if he knows that he is an inspiration to some people. “Some have told me that, and that makes me happy.” he replied with a smile, “I've had people say they are thankful for the Newser, not just to me, but the whole team and what they do. So I suppose you can say the whole team has become an inspiration to others." I also told him that he is a mentor, too. I just wanted to know if he is aware of that as well. "Thank you. That's very nice of you to say that," replied Bixyl, "I have had a lot of practice in writing. If others use my work as examples to write better well, that means a great deal."

When Bixyl was asked what he would say to someone who wants to be a writer, he replied, “There's a lot I could say. I guess the key to being one is writing regularly, even if it's just a private journal. Writing better, you can read examples of what others do, and see over time what works and what doesn't. There are also writers workshops to see how you, and others are doing, including some here in Second Life. Back to writing. One artist once remarked good artwork requires doing hundreds of bad artwork first. Perhaps an exaggeration. But it does emphasis the importance of practice. You, I would say, got the less than quality stories out before coming here. (smile)”

My next question to Bixyl was if he is proud of how things have been going for eight years. “Yes, I am proud to have lead a great team of the best journalists here in Second Life,” he said with a smile,“The stores we've done. The adventures we've had. And what will will do and have had.”

I pointed out to Bixyl that there are also others who are proud of him, what he had accomplished. If I don't say it, then I should say that now. He has accomplished a great deal. I asked him if he has an inspiration and who would that be? “I have a number of close friends whom help keep me going. Nydia, Skylark, Cynthia, Shockwave, Dusk, Little Spirit, Nikki, Rita, and many others we don't have the ink to mention... But of course there's the Newser team, Gemma, Klause, those in the past such as DrFran, Shelly, Grey, and of course there's you. (smile)” I told Bixyl that he had done a great job over the years,and have made the paper what it is today. “Thank you,” he told me with a smile.

My last question to Bixyl are what is his hobbies. “I read fiction and nonfiction. I also try to keep up with the news. I've also played computer games for years, strategy as well as shooting, and more recently survival games. I've also been a writer of fiction, I'm currently writing a sci -fi novel on the side. I thanked him and wish him luck on his stories.

As you have it, Bixyl Shuftan who had been an editor and head of the Newser for 8 years. I look forward to working with Bixyl on the Newser for years to come. He did teach me a lot and opened the door to being a writer. I owe him a lot of thanks. Thanks, Bixyl Shuftan, for giving me a chance to be a writer. I'm glad I took that chance. That was and still is my lifelong dream coming true.


Friday, July 6, 2018

Interview with Six String

 By Deaflegacy

Editor's Note: Six String is Deaflegacy's partner in Second Life.
Six String (roleplayismylife)

I met Six String (roleplayismylife) in a comfortable room. My first question was, “What is your favorite hobby?” Six  replied, “Playing, writing, and performing music.” I wanted to know what Six write about. Six answered, “Anything that springs to mind, really. I've written a song about John Lennon, another about September 11th attacks, and quite a few that were inspired by my experiences of growing up with autism, and the difficulties that came about as a result of that. I'm in the process of writing a song inspired by my love of history, particularly the Civil War. It's about a disgruntled Union soldier who had been fighting since the beginning of the war, and has had enough of all the death, violence, and destruction. The war is ever referred to in the chorus as a 'stupid uncivil war.'”

 In real-life, Six uses WiFi at the library as well as other places so he would be able to come on Second Life.

I asked Six what kind of music does he perform. “I write my own songs, but I perform music by other musicians spawning over multiple genres, and styles of music. The next question was what would he like people to know about him. Six replied, “I also write poetry, and short stories, in addition to being a self-taught musician. I write songs, and poems inspired by my Faith. I'm even more of a caffeine junkie than DeafLegacy. As Rick James, the singer of the song 'Superfreak' once said, 'Caffeine's a Helluva drug!'” Six String has been a musician since May 21, 2000. He started teaching himself just two weeks prior to graduating from high school.

When Six was really young, he used to write a bit, but they weren't very good, and as time went on, he started doing it more, especially once he moved out to live on his own. “In character, of course, my pony was forced out of his home due to their closed-mindness.” Six  added. As for writing My Little Pony stories, Six has been writing since 2016, saying, “I started writing it sometimes over the winter of 2016 – 2017, and posted it in May of 2017.”  Six started using a pony avatar when he first got his Second Life account 3 years and 7 months ago. Six suggested that if anyone is interested in checking out his MLP stories that he has written, the link is “'First, Last, And Only Letter' is the first story in the trilogy,” Six told me. I asked him if he would be interested in reading my stories about ponies if I ever get a chance to write about them. Six replied, “Absolutely. I enjoy reading the ponyfics that other authors write.”

I asked Six what inspires him to be a writer. “My Faith, and people through our history who have had great influence on me," replied Six, "such as Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy, John Lennon of The Beatles, others who were advocates for peace, such as Martin Luther King. My friends, and family, as well as members of the Congregation of my Church, and other supportive people in my community also inspired me. The Senior Pastor from my Church. He was a positive influence on my life as well.”

I did have one last question. “Would you continue to play music and write for a long time?” I asked. Six String replied, “Until I'm called home to be with God again.”


Monday, July 2, 2018

Captain Jarak Panther

By Deaflegacy

Captain Jarak Panther (jarakpanther)

I had a chance to get together with Captain Jarak Panther (jarakpanther) and his partner, RealCoffeeCat at their house. They have just became partners. Jarak's RezDay was on February 12, 2013. CoffeeCat hasn't celebrated her first RezDay yet.

 I mostly chat with people in the different sims around the grid,” said Jarak, CoffeeCat nodding in agreement.

I asked Captain Jarak Panther if he is a captain of a Starfleet ship. “Just in character," he replied, "I don't have a ship in Second Life, and am not a part of any Star Trek role play groups.”
I then asked Jarak  if he roleplays. “One on one, yes. I used to be a part of a few role playing groups, but they didn't work out very well.” he replied.. “We are thinking about roleplaying with each other.” RealCoffeeCat said with a smile. I wanted to know what Jarak's hobbies on Second Life. He answered, "Being a bad kitty. If you don't believe me about that, just ask RealCoffeeCat.” . That got CoffeeCat to chuckle.

I asked Jarak if it's true that he doesn't have wifi at his place. “Yes. However, if I had Internet at home, I would be able to use voice chat, and would possibly be able to play guitar for people over voice chat,” he replied.

We started talking about Jarak and CoffeeCat. Of when he first met her, he told, “Here, actually in Cape Heron. We became really good friends right away, and not too long after that, we were partnered to each other.” 

The next question is what Jarak's goal on Second Life is. “To meet new friends who share similar interests.” he replied.

The next thing we talked about got Jarak surprised. “Do you know that you are an uncle on Second Life?” I asked him. “No, I didn.'t That surpurrrrrises me,” he replied. When Jarak was told that one of his nieces is a Pegagsus and another niece is an unicorn, he has this to say, “Wow.”

The last question is if Jarak ever felt that he had accomplished much. He answered, “Yes. From being a small, and frail child who was supposedly 'retarded,' and would never be able to sit upright, or walk, or talk to a self taught musician.” With that, I looked at his partner, CoffeeCat, who was nodding in agreement. She did not talk much during the interview, it is clear that she is there for partner. 

At the last moment, I found out that Jarak has a DeviantArt page. I asked him if I can mention the fact that he has a DeviantArt page. He answered yes. Jarak is not just a musician. He is also a creative panther. 

Captain Jarak Panther's DeviantArt page is


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Interview with SLB Exhibitor Kimble

By Deaflegacy

Kimble (kimblecoles)

I met Kimble (kimblecoles) and her partner, Disgo Coles (disgo) at a nice lot. The first question is about Kimble working with emergencies and catastrophes on global scale. “Yeah, well, my real-life job is in climate change. And so I made my Sec exhibit around that. ” replied Kimble, “It's generated some heated debates!” I wanted to know if Kimble knew why her exhibit generated heat debates. “And yeah, well, my exhibit lays out the facts, the evidence. And I have a poll running there about whether people think it's all a hoax or not,“ Kimble answered, “Some of the visitors, well, they got into arguments and they get quite passionate. It's a touchy subject for the USA's people it seems. Not so much the rest of the world.” Kimble continued on to say that it was her intention to make people think. So I think I go that!” Kimble She grinned. I told her that it's a good intention.

After I asked her how long she has been working in the field Kimble replied, “Well, I'm a programmer, and have been in the topic for a while. But last year I started with some big data analysis and it really fired my passion for it. And scared me, too.”  Kimble added, saying that the next generation is in big trouble.

“Second Life has been so special for me personally. I have some real-life history. And so this have been a way of giving back to SL,” said Kimble, “I think it's fair to say SL has been a huge factor in getting my real-life life back together.”

We started talking about the Second Life Birthday. For her, it was scary and exhilarating. We then changed the subject to Second Life. “Would you say that you have learned a lot about being on SL?” I asked. Kimble's response was, “Flip, yeah... in so many ways. I mean... there's the tech side.. building scriptings, etc. but there is the personal side... It's been a place to learn about myself, about other people. And I've met so many people who like me, have found SL a place to do the same.”

I asked Kimble  if it is a good thing to learn about herself, about other people. She replied, “Well, I was caught in an abusive relationship in real-life. So yes! I vowed to learn about myself and others so that this did not happen again. I wanted to understand how people can be caught up, and can find control again.

The next question is if Kimble would say that she's doing good. “Yeah, sheesh, you should have seen me a year ago. I was a mixed up mess," said Kimble, "And although a few deeply trusted friends, and with Dis here, I've rebuilt thing. I have to say though, my early years in SL were a mess. Because I've made a lot of bad choices. But trusted friends... makes all the difference. And Dis here, she's my reference!” Disgo, whom was still close by listening,  smiled.

“I think the biggest way I've learned is through challenges,” said Kimble, “I call it jumping off a cliff. Gee, my friend in SL, throws me over cliffs, like, “Hey exhibit at the spring art faire.” And the latest we're making a two person theater production. IT's all challenges that stretch me, and teach me about what I can do, and be. All it takes is an attitude of, … “I can try, I can learn” or “I can be scared and do nothing.”

I asked Kimble  how long she think she's going to keep doing this, the challenges and helping people out.She  replied, “I don't see a reason to stop. I guess if I run out of challenges. But for now, I see no end. The theater will be a long term growth. I like helping people, and with my real-life history, I keep finding people with similar of much much worse experiences, who simply want someone to listen. Scripting is a desire, because I program in real-life (I'm a nerd), and I”d like to do more arts. Exhibits are fun. Hey, the opportunities go on. But I do try and do it on the cheap. I've not much funds to put into it. So that places some constraints.”

I told Kimble that I think she's doing a good job so far from the sound of it. I asked her what she thinks. “Hmmm ... well .... two answers I guess," she replied, "I know that I am a far more whole person than I was after my real-life experience. And I put a lot of that down to my close friends here. So I think personally I'm doing well. For more measurable things, I've made art, and it sells, so that's good. I'd not built before, and my exhibit has had great positive feedback, so that's good. and I have wonderful people who love me, so that's good. and the theater, wow, I'm excited about that. “So I think I'd doing good. I'm loving it basically!”

Kimble makes her own version of fractal arts where she brings in some real image component with the fractal image. That's what Kimble exhibited at the Spring Faire. Kimble's big hunt gift at the SLB exhibit is one of her arts piece, "Yeah, I make my own version of fractal art where I bring in some real image component with the fractal image. That's what I exhibited at the Spring Faire. And my big hunt gift at the SLB exhibit is one of my art pieces."

Before I left, Kimble gave me one of her big hunt gift. I thanked her before I left. The interview was fantastic. We could learn a lot from Kimble about what's happening in the world when it comes to weather.

Kimble's exhibit at the Second Life Birthday, "Dystopia or Utopia," is located at SL15B Electrify (137/236/23).


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

What Is A True Friend In Second Life?

By Deaflegacy

As we go on in our lives, we would know one thing - best friends are one thing and true friends are another. That's what this article is all about: true friends. I had a chance to interview four people about the meaning of true friends. I am very happy to say that all the interviews have been a success. This is about true friends and how four people came to see true friends as.

Ari (arisia.vita)

I had a chance to ask Ari (arisia.vita) a few questions about true friends. I asked him, “What would you say when someone says that you are a true friend?” He responded, “I would say that they are a true friend too, it takes two.” I told him, “You are not just a true friend, you are also willing to help people out and have pictures taken of you, right?” Ari replied, “Yes, gladly.”

I wasn't finished. I went on, asking him, “In other words, you are a kind, caring man with a big heart, big enough to fit everyone inside?” Ari answered, “That is my goal, and friends like you help me achieve it.” I couldn't stop because Ari (arisia.vita) is my true friend, “You helped me to reach my dream of becoming a writer, that is what I meant to tell you today.”He was  so glad to hear that.

As Ari and I continued the interview, it turned out he had been playing piano for around two years. I have been on Second Life for almost three years. It is almost like we were meant to meet as true friends. That was not all. “How do you feel when someone tells you that you are an inspiration?” I wanted to know. Ari replied,“I tell them I just mirror the inspiration I see all around me, including them.” 

I did ask Ari another question, “How would you feel if someone tells you that you are a true friend?” His response was, “I tell them they are a true friend to me, and a true friend is one who cares.”

Before we went our own ways, I asked Ari if I could use his quote about if I'm the problem and he said yes. It was, “You are not the problem. You are a part of the solution.” That was his quote. I took him aside, and said, “Your music is so relaxing, so calming. You really do help people, do you know that?” He replied, “That is my goal.” I told him, “Your goal have been reached.” Indeed, Ari is a true friend.

Bixyl Shuftan

Bixyl Shuftan and I met. Bixyl is the editor at SL Newser but he is more than just an editor. He is a true friend and I got a chance to interview him. But before I started the interview, I thanked Bixyl  for giving me a chance to be a writer. “You can if you like, but I only pointed out the way. You're the one who made the decision to step forward,” he replied with a smile.

Six String (roleplayismylife) got a chance to point out something to him, “Yes, Bixyl. The fact that you gave her the opportunity to be a writer has definitely made a difference in her life, and it's quite noticable.” That's so true!

My first question in the actual interviewing was, “How do you feel when someone tell you that you are a true friend?”  Bixyl replied, “In one word, happy. I feel like I've truly won over a friend's confidence." I asked him to say in his own words, what a true friend is. He replied, “Someone you know very well whomyou can always count on to look after your best interests.” 

I wanted to know if Bixyl thought that a true friend is a very good thing to have, and that knowing that there is always going to be someone you can count on. “Yes," to told me with a smile, "A true friend is a very good thing to have.” That's indeed true.

Six String (roleplayismylife)

Before the interview got started, Six String (roleplayismylife) had a quote about true friends to share with me. The quote is, “Damn, that was fun! Let's do it again?” I asked Six if I could put this quote in the article and he told me okay. Six said that the quote came from a sign on the wall where he goes to once a month to do music. Thanks, Six String. 

The interview got started after that. I asked Six, “How do you feel when someone tells you that you are a true friend?” He replied, “It makes me feel really good. After enduring such hardships for most of my life, and pseudo friends who were only using me, it feels nice to know that somepony like me would think of me as a true friend.”

I asked Six what is a true friend in his words.He  replied, “Someone who sticks by you no matter what, even when things seem bad.”

The next question is, “Would you say that a true friend is a very good thing to have?” And Six String  said, “Yes, I would,” before adding, “Well, I think it varies from one pony to another, because everypony has their own definition of what a true friend is. But for me personally, a true friend is somepony that you're so close to, that you consider them to be family. And as such would do anything for them, including sacrificing your own life, if it means saving theirs.”

Snowy Sugar Blossom (skylark.lefavre)

I met Snowy Sugar Blossom (skylark.lefavre) at the club where she was working. She is my sister and true friend. The first question was, “How would you feel if someone tells you that you are a true friend?” Snowy replied, “I would be flattered, honored, and happy. It would mean I have done something right to deserve such a friendship and that I should keep being as best of a friend as I possibly can be and never do anything to jeopardize it.”

I asked Snowy  to say in Snowy Sugar Blossom her own words what a true friend is. Her reply was, “Someone who is a friend to you despite whatever quirks or abnormalities one has that would drive (away) others in a heartbeat. It is someone that accepts you, good and bad, and loves you despite them. A best friend is someone you can always count on no matter how bad things get.”

The next question was, “Would you say that a true friend is a good thing?” Snowy said, “Yes because true friends are a dying breed in this world, SL and real life as everyone is out for themselves and their own. True friendships can be hard to find. True friendship should have no strings attached or conditions.”

The last question was, “What is your definition of a true friend?” Snowy Sugar Blossom (skylark.lefavre) responded, “Someone you want to be with everyday and can't live without and love to do things with. Someone you are so close to consider them family.”

Now you have it. I have interviewed four people about their feelings on the topic of true friends. It is true that it's hard to get a true friend, but in the long run, when someone gets a true friend, it turns out to be worth the wait.