Friday, August 1, 2014
Rita Mariner and the History of the Sunweavers
By Bixyl Shuftan
Every community in Second Life has a history, and this includes the Sunweavers. Living in the sims Sunweaver Isle, Sunweaver Bay, Sunweaver Space, Sunlight Bay, HV Community, and Pacific Waters, the "Sunnies" as they are sometimes called go back several years. They've been the home of some noted persons in Second Life, such as Artistic Fimicloud, Lomgren Smalls, and Alleara Snoodle. Also the Second Life Newser's office is in the Sunweaver sim of HV Community.
Recently the Sunweaver leader Rita Mariner and I met up to talk about the history of the group.We met up in the Southwest corner of the Sunweaver Estates in the sim of Sunweaver Bay, on top of the tall apartment building in the sim.
"So, how did the idea for the Sunweavers come about?" I asked Rita.
"And whom was the core group?" I asked.
Rita replied,"Jenni Greenfield, Dusk Griswold, Shockwave Yareach, Windy Lurra, Brolly Field, Robin Hyacinth, and me." She handed over a couple images of the group, "Not the best pic, all I have." Then came one of an area, "One of the Sunweaver's First creations, Sunweaver Park. The group lived on one side of the road, in MUD, we used the land on the other side as a park to get creative and built a park."
It was about this time we were joined by one of the Sunweaver Estates' residents, Becky "Sha" Shamen, after some friendly greetings, she stuck around to listen, "loves the community."
Rita continued, "Anyways, while we lived in MUD, we were having fun calling ourselves 'MUD's Women,' spoofing the Star Trek episode."
"So all girls, except for Shockwave?" I asked.
"Pretty much," Rita answered, "One of the early conditions I put on the Sunweavers to set us apart from other groups, was we did bellydancing, therefore, we all needed to get at least, one set of decent silks, preferably EROS silks, even though, at the time, they were pricey. ... We would then showup at various dance clubs, in our silks and dance, getting a lot of praise, those silks were very nice. But when EROS stopped selling the silks, I dropped the requirement."
"What year was this?" I asked.
"2007," Rita answered," Long time ago. Once we maxed out on how much Land we could get in MUD. I started looking elsewhere. I settled on POCKWOCK, and slowly started to buy up land there. Once we had a decent amout of land there, we created Club Cutlass and Club Zero Gravity. Shockwave had a blast creating the scripts for Zero G," Rita described the space club then, "you could dance on the walls, the ceiling, float in the air and still dance."
I asked, "They looked much different then, did they not?"
"Yes," she answered, "we built our first shopping area there, airfield, pirate ships, fort, etc. secret tunnels, we had fun."
"Mostly secret escape or entrance," Rita answered, "Just for fun. We liked to get creative. ... I almost owned the entire sim, but there were a few holdouts, and they wanted ridiculous amounts of lindens for their land. Of course all of this was taking place just prior to LL pulling the plug on gambling."
"So after the gambling ban, land was cheaper?" I asked.
"Land prices dropped into (the) trashcan," Rita answered, "Casinos no longer were profitable and people were bailing out of SL so fast, they didn't care. That's why today it's hard to get renters, (the) aftermath of the land boom and bust."
"At that time I decided it was about time to get a private estate. They weren't cheap. (But) the idea of having total control over it and no neighbors with banlines and PORN everywhere appealed to us. Sunweaver Isle was our first estate."
"How fast did the community grow?" I asked
"Once that was filled up, we had alot of demand for another," Rita answered, "so soon we added Sunweaver Cove. Still more demand, but for public sims. I then added sunweaver Air, Sunweaver Space, Cape suzette and Buccaneer Bay. I had enough renters to at least keep the bleeding from my checking account manageable. (I) Never had enough to break even. Then when LL decided to add the Homesteads I had several folks approach me about getting one."
"How did that go?" I asked.
Rita answered, "I said, 'you pay for them, tell me where you want it. I'll order it.' So I had three different people order them. That worked out fine, until LL changed the rules on them. Raised the tier and limited the use. People started dumping them."
"Did any of the Sunweaver homesteads close?" I asked.
"Only one," Rita answered, "I gave up one Homestead."
"I recall the Sunweavers have included some creative people whom were known elsewhere," I brought up, "such as Lomgren Smalls and Alleara Snoodle."
"Yes, Alleara is still around," Rita told, "but as for Lomgren, not sure what has happened to him. I guess real life got him."
"And Artistic Fimicloud," I also brought up.
"Yes, we still remember Fimi," Rita reflected, "she is one of the inspirations for why we Rally in the RFL. She used to have a nice treehouse on Sunweaver Cove, across from Tremi. We had hoped to put the treehouse back up on Sunweaver Bay, but not sure who has it."
Rita handed me a few pictures. I noticed one in particular, "Oh yes, I recognize your house."
"The house next to mine was a co-worker and friend," she told me, "He was a skunk on SL."
"Is he still around?" I asked.
"No," Rita answered, "he passed away a few years ago."
"Oh, sorry." I told her.
"Eugene Chandrayaan (was his) SL name," Rita told me, "(his) profile has been wiped."
"Dusk brought me here," Rita informed, "and when I was going to Furry Cons alot, I use to let folks on SL know and we had Sunweaver Parties."
"How many from Second Life, and the Sunweavers, would you meet there?" I asked Rita.
"Varies," Rita answered, "I have had anywhere between 5-10 showup, say Hi and then some of us would go out to dinner. Met Kaarla, Twilight, Shockwave, Zorro, Fyremane, Lomgren, Dusk, probably many others whose names I have slipped my mind."
"You mentioned Dusk brought you here?" I told her, "How did that come about and how were your days before the Sunweavers?"
"I knew Dusk from meeting her at the Warner Bros Store, In Chicago," Rita answered, "I had driven up there to meet the voice over actors for the Animanics. During over chats, Dusk invited me to try out SL, It was a stepup from E-Muck. a Muck with PICTURES!"
"I started out in Nueltin. I had to borrow the Lindens from Dusk and Twilight to buy my first land, house, etc. Since I was on probation, with LL. for the first 30 days. My land was out in the bay, so I floated my house. It was the same house I still have, by the way."
"Oh really? How did you come up with the design?" I asked.
"I didn't," Rita answered, "I bought it. I like it, the inside is an open layout, so you can install walls and stuff as you like. The idea for the Group didn't come about till we needed it for Land Purchases. Then I thought about it. Sunweavers came out from that and we decided to have fun with it too."
Rita thought for a moment, "I think it was members of the sunweavers that mentioned it. Probably Dusk, so I joined up. Being both a survivor and caregiver, I fit right in."
"What year was this?" I asked.
"2009," Rita answered, " I keep all my stuff in folders, and 2009 is the earliest RFL stuff I have."
I continued, "As I recall, quite a number of Sunweavers joined up with the Redheads."
"Yes, The Redheads was a great team," Rita added, "lots of us were in it. Pity that it had to disband, but I understand why and I support Sabine's decision."
I nodded, "What were some of your favorite events that it held?"
"Heck, I don't remember that far back. You would have to ask Dusk."
"Yes," Rita answered, "Someone needed too. Pity that I haven't been able to attract all of the old Redheads back."
Becky Shamen, whom was nearby, commented, " ...and somebody...ahem...made clothes for the new team (smile)."
Rita briefly glanced over, then commented, "Yes, we have to thank Becky here for the classy Team Clothes she made for us."
"One group that often gets mentioned in the same sentence as the Sunweavers are the Angels" I brought up, "Do you consider yourselves the same community in Second Life, or two close ones?"
"Two close groups," Rita answered, "Nydia created the Angels for her own purposes, as I created the Sunweavers for mine." There was a slight typo, followed by an odd gesture, "Oops. Darn caps lock, didn't even notice until after (hitting the 'Enter' key)." Rita laughed, "I guess I was too busy staring at Sha's chest."
After a few jokes and snickers between the three of us, Rita got back on track, "but the Sunweavers are family. We look out for each other, help each other, care for each other. Like right now, several of us are working to get Jenni's PC working again."
"It's been having trouble?" I asked.
"It died, or at least the video card part," Rita answered, "but nothing we sent her as far as cards, worked. Her PC is just so OLD! I looked at my PC, the motherboard is $22, the processor $14! My PC was bought in 2006, Gateway GM5076E. One is a Dell, the other a HP."
"Besides the Relay," I brought up, "recently the Sunweavers have recently gotten a place in the InWorldz grid."
I chuckled, "Oh yes, your everyday avatar is a purple kani ... was there a special reason for this look?"
Rita answered, "When I saw the Kani bunny I loved the look. And since I am not a lover of PINK, I chose purple for me, just to be different. I have several other colors too, I can put on if needed. I wear pink, only on special occassions. ... I don't mind Pink on others, just doesn't work for me."
Rita then turned to another subject, her squad of alts, "As for the Sawyers, when I decided to create them, I went totally Black for them."
"Oh yes the Sawyers, Why were they made?" I asked.
"Primarily to help out on Tiny Empires and Tiny Empires 3000," Rita answered, "To give folks with no subjects or subordinates someone."
"I've noticed there's often a few around at Cutlass parties," I commented.
"And dressed in theme, I've noticed," I recalled.
"Oh, each sawyer represents a major investment in time and Lindens." Rita informed.
I commented, "I've noticed a few different avatars among them, bunny, bat, pony ..."
"Each Sawyer has a Kani, EP Pony, Felis," she told me, "plus I am trying to find them a unique avatar for themselves, but it needs to be available, in black. Plus I send them out for clothes shopping too."
Becky, who was still nearby, wryly remarked with a grin, "I think Rita likes the smell of burning money."
Rita laughed, "They burn 5-6,000 (Lindens) in clothes. So by the time I am done with each Sawyer with avatars, AO, clothes, etc, I have 20,000 lindens in them. Also the Tiny Empire HUDS they aren't cheap, when you get the compacts and fed hud, plus bookkeeping add-on. So my Sawyers are a major investment. And a couple of them have already been claimed," she laughed again, "Momma Gil has Claimed Sawyer 017, and Brandi has claimed Sawyer21."
"So when they're claimed, what happens," I asked.
"In a way, they are like their pets and/or sister/cousins," she answered, "Sawyer21 is my mouse and looks like Brandi."
"I imagine the Sawyers must mean quite a bit of multitasking," I commented, "and computer power.
"I have two desktops running," Rita explained.
"And the newer one handles the most?" I asked.
"Both desktops are roughly the same," she stated, "one has a little more RAM than the other. I bought the second one off eBay for $600."
Rita brought up a slideviewer show she was working on, "I try to talk those Sunnies who haven't contributed a photo of themselves, to do so. So I can put them in the slideviewers."
Becky brought up another issue, "You recently mentioned another trolly line. Albert and I were hoping for a road that connected the estate sims."
Rita answered her, "I would have to check with landowners about putting a bridge across the sims to their land."
"Most have cars or bikes," Becky expressed, "It would be fun to drive between all the sims."
"I will have to check with Nydia too," Rita stated, "She might build a road, don't know. ... they don't have the extra prims for a road."
After that, Rita got a call, "Well, Jeremiah needs my help, she is moving to here." She then gave her farewell, and we went our separate ways.
If you want to meet up with the Sunweavers, drop by one of their parties at Club Cutlass on Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday at 6PM, Sunweaver Space (176/62/125). If you want to live at the Sunweaver Estates, contact Rita, Shockwave Yareach, Dusk Griswold, or Nydia Tungsten for information.
Image credit: Rita Mariner, Artistic Fimicloud