Showing posts from 2014

Celebrating The New Year

I plan to celebrate the New Year by taking a day off from virtual worlds.  December 31, I am going to take a personal retreat in real life.  I'll spend that day with my dog, my cat, and my partner, focusing on what really matters to me.  There will be candles lit, poems read, music listened to.  There will be good food and some time spent outside.  Mostly, I'll be taking deep breaths in preparation for the coming year's challenges.  2015 will be the year in which I publish my first full-length, illustrated novel, Escape From Pig Hill.  It will be the year I publish the first Ermengarde the Expansive story I have written in twenty years.  There will be a new collection of poems and at least two new short stories.  2015 is also the year I will begin publishing in Second Life, possibly elsewhere, and it is the year I will become much more deeply entrenched in RP.  There will also be changes in my personal life.  My daughter will finish high school and start college.  My pa…

Going Dark on Facebook

The first week of 2015 I will, be participating in a FB black-out.  FB has played bate and switch with writers and other artists who use FB as part of their media sharing platforms.  FB has benefited from our content for years.  Our content is part of what makes social media interesting and informative.  It is part of what fills the coffers of those who own this network.  FB has always made artists jump through some hoops to share our work via FB.  All of that has been a fair trade and no one begrudged it. 

Then FB started filtering who would see our posts and now they are flat out planning to ask us to pay to share most things and, even then, they will filter our audiences.  That is within their rights and no one is arguing that it is not.  It is just not in keeping with the deals they have previously used to get artists and authors to use FB in the first place. 

So I am joining throngs of authors and artists around the world in the New Year's FB Walk out.  You will still be a…

From The Virtual Diary of Hester Piozzi -- Joyous Reunion

30 December 1784 Rocca Sorrentina My love returned Christmas Eve, tired and in great need of rest, a bath, and sustenance, not in that order.  We attended mass together and it was all I could do to stop from blurting out my great news during the walk home.  Realizing Gabriel needed rest before being asked to deal with this unexpected excitement, I held my tongue.  It was Christmas afternoon before I shared with him the happy announcement.  I was very pleased to find that the news was indeed received as happy.  Neither Gabriel nor I anticipated becoming parents at this stage in life.  For several years, I have believed myself to be beyond any age where pregnancy was likely.  Of course, married to his nibs, there was not much opportunity for testing the theory.  Gabriel is a very different spouse indeed and here we are, not even one year married, and expecting to be parents by the time we celebrate our first anniversary.  Gabriel has already started referring to himself as Papa.

New Year, New Habit: Let's Get The Job Done Together

New Year, New Habit (Quiet Write-in)
It is so easy to let our eyes stray from the ball.  For me, the ball is writing.  For lots of you, it is too.  Let's start 2015 off productively. 

New Year, New Habit will be a month-long event that will allow us time and space for writing together daily in supportive silence.  If it works for a number of people, we'll run it again in February. 
I will be in my office daily at 4:30 a.m. slt and will stay until 6:30.  I'll spend that two hours writing and will be glad to have you join me daily or whenever you can.

Feel free to IM here or inworld with questions. 

Lulabelle Gimlin's Diary: Heximer's Last Attempt

December 29, 1900

I had yet another uncomfortable encounter with Mr. Heximer Thane today.  This time, he actually came calling at my room over the stable.  Luckily, I already had my hat on, intending to head straight out the door to do my marketing.  Mr. Thane told me right away he wanted to have a serious talk with me.  That set off my warning bells. 

I tried to tell him I was in a hurry but he said, "Miss Lu, it seems like you're always in a hurry to run off whenever we meet.  I can understand why, what with me being unemployed and having no home to offer a lady and all.  So I've come to tell you I am going to try to become a man worthy of a lady such as yourself."

"Uh," I said trying to think of what to say to cut him off.

"This very day, I plan to meet with the mayor and offer myself up to replace Philomenaville's constable.  I hear they been needin' an officer of the law in this little town for quite some time and the job's been done …

Haunted Holiday Party Sunday at Freda's Haunted Hideaway


The Life and Times of Lee Graham: Chapter Six, Part Three, Christmas With Mrs. White -- Santa Clause!

Chapter Six, Part Two, Christmas With Mrs. White -- Santa Clause! Snow was falling as Polly and her children walked back up Main St. behind Mrs. White and Esther.  This seemed like this was the Christmas Lee had always hoped for.  Here he was with the mother and sister he loved, in the company of friends.  The snow was perfect, making the whole of Alma look soft and fresh.  He didn't mind the cold at all, realizing that by morning this snow would be just right for sledding.  If only he had a sled!  Then it occurred to him to wonder if somewhere in her great big house, Mrs. White had a sled he could borrow.  Lee let go of his mother's hand and doubled up his pace until he stood between Mrs. White and her lady servant.  "I was just wondering, Ma'am...I don't mean to be pushy...but I wondered if maybe you own a sled?"  Mrs. White stopped dead in her tracks and Esther stopped in her own.  The both looked down at the boy who'd turned to face them.  "I&#…

Merry Christmas From Freda's Gal Gang!


A Virtual Letter From Fanny Burney To Her Father, Charles

Fanny's Virtual Diary and Letters are FICTIONAL.  They are also my sole property.  Fanny Burney's Virtual Diary and Letters are copyright (C) Stephanie Mesler 2014.  You may not republish these virtual diary entries and letters in any form.  

24 December, 1782
Haven, France

Dearest Father,

There is not time for me to write as much as I would like.  One of Lorsagne's servants is soon to post our letters and I want to be sure you receive this as soon as is possible.  Rest easy knowing your eldest daughter has arrived safely at The Haven.  Lorsagne is, as one would expect, a gracious and generous hostess and I am so very pleased to be again in her company. 

Your manuscript was well received by the monsignor and he sends his regards as well as payment in full.  He had already played through the composition before my departure and was most pleased indeed.   He will be playing it tonight for a crowded Christmas Eve congregation. 
I shall miss you for as long as we are parted.…

From The Virtual Diary of Fanny Burney -- Fanny in France

23 December 1782

I find myself grievously alone in a snow-laden land.  I miss my father, my sisters, Dr. Johnson.  I even miss Mother and that is statement I never expected to write.  I am bereft at spending Christmas so far from those I love, my only solace being that I shall soon see Lorsagne, my truest friend.  It is but a short journey from this place to her Haven.  There, I shall be blanketed in joy and soaked in warmed winter wine! You may read more of Fanny's Virtual Diary and Letters on this website.
Fanny's Virtual Diary and Letters are FICTIONAL.  They are also my sole property.  Fanny Burney's Virtual Diary and Letters are copyright (C) Stephanie Mesler 2014.  You may not republish these virtual diary entries and letters in any form.  

Lulabelle Gimlin's Diary: Missing Home at The Holidays

December 22, 1900

It's almost Christmas.  For the first time, I actually hope to run into Mr. Heximer Thane.  He will probably the last person from home I ever see.  Mother, I miss you!

From The Virtual Diary of Hester Piozzi

19 December 1784
Rocca Sorrentina

Why is it that the fewer days remain until I am reunited with my dearest husband, the longer each day seems to be?  I have received word that Gabriel has booked passage on a boat departing Rome in just two days time.  He will be back here with me in three.  It might as well be three years or three hundred, I am that impatient to see him once again face to face.  It is not just the momentous news I have to share.  More than that, it is the deep yearning of a wife for her husband. 

How will I while away the hours of waiting?  I will drink the tea and take the walks Miss Merry recommended.  I will shop in the village for a new hat, one I'll wear to Saturday's Feast of The Seven Fishes, a local festival of this season.  I will play the harpsichord, focusing particularly on the music Gabriel most likes to sing, and I shall work at my embroidery.  Mostly, I shall yearn. 

You may read more of Hester Piozzi's Virtual Diary and Letters on this web…

The Life and Times of Lee Graham: Chapter Six, Part Two, Christmas With Mrs. White

Chapter Six, Christmas With Mrs. White, Part Two
by Lulabelle Gimlin

The light supper Mrs. White referred to was the biggest meal Lee had ever seen. "That sure is a lot of food," the boy cried as he ran ahead of the women, little Livie racing after him equally delighted. 
"Lee!" commanded Polly.  "Livie!  I'll not have you running in Mrs. White's lovely home!  You both know better than that!" 

"Oh it's no worry," said Esther.  "The Mrs. and I are glad to see your children enjoy themselves, isn't that right, Mrs. White?" 

"It certainly is," she smiled.  "But Polly is a good mother trying to teach her children how to behave in company, so we must support her in laying down some rules for her youngsters." 

Then she turned to Livie and Lee, her eyes twinkling as she said, "You two know Santa Clause is coming here tonight, don't you?" 

"Santa?" asked Livie. 

"He is?"…

Freda Frostbite Gets Her Jingle On!

Freda Frostbite Does Live Lit Tonight! There will be presents for everyone and lots of Holiday cheer.  Freda will perfrom some recent works along with some of her greatest hits and some holiday writings from better known authors.  This event follows Tea Talk for Writers which will start at 4 pm.

Recent Land Aquisitions in Second Life and Inworldz

Lady Freda has purchased mainland in SL.  This land will be used to build Thane Hall in London.  Lady Freda will be in residence there when it suits her.  Her home will be a salon for writers, artists, philosophers, musicians, and other notable figures.  Look for this venue to open in early 2015. 

Freda has rented a small house in Philomenaville in SL. She is considering setting up a turn-of-the century literary café. 

Freda has also purchased land in the Maritimes in Inworldz.  She likes to sail there and would like to be more active in IW literary events. Freda keeps her ear to the ground where Virtual Worlds developments are concerned and likes to have homes everywhere.  She's just like that. 

Caledonia Skytower To Follow Tuesday Babble at Freda's, SL

Tuesday, December 16 at Freda's Place 1 pm PST -- Tuesday Babble Open Mic for performers in all genres In local voice Come to wow us with your talent or come to listen.  All welcome! 2 pm  -- Caledonia Skytower Does Live Lit! Caledonia Skytower brings her own works to Freda's.  Will she perform from one or both of her new books just released?  Coffee Shop Talk and A Trio of Traveling Tales are both less than a month old.  2014 has been a great writing year for Cale!

Both events will be performed in local voice.

Lulabelle Gimlin's Diary: Why Can't He Just Stay in Grey Corner?

Well, that Heximer Thane darn near ruined the potluck, at least for me.  He showed up at Miss Sister's house on Pine Street all laden down with boxes.  It seems he found himself a job out at Grey Corner and has money to spare now.  Why he can't just keep his money and himself in Grey Corner, I couldn't possibly tell you!  He was about three hours early.  Miss Trolley and I were in Sister's kitchen baking our selves half to death.  I swear we made enough cookies and fudge to fix up the whole town for a whole year of Christmases!  Miss Trolley had her head in the oven so I went to get the door.   There he was, big as life in Miss Sister's doorway.   He had about four presents to put under the tree for this party.  And big bunches of fresh cut flowers for Miss Trolley, Miss Sister and me.  Where he got those flowers I will never know!  The whole of Philo County is buried in snow and there is not a fresh flower to be seen!  Must be somebody in Grey Corner has a green…

Hester Sends For Help

Please deliver to Xiamara
Rocca Sorrentina

13 December, 1784

Dear Xiamara,
I have returned early from my trip away from this island.  I traveled only as far as Genoa before succumbing to fatigue and nausea.  I was unable to see Gabriel at all as he had commitments in Milan and Rome.  As soon as I was well enough to travel, I used what little energy I could muster to return to Rocca Sorrentina, where I now find myself in need of assistance. 

I remember in our last conversation you mentioned having had some experience as a healer of women.  Of course, you said you had not much training and very little experience in midwifery, but when I mentioned to the professor that I was seeking medical help, he suggested I contact you.  So it seems you have his endorsement and that is quite enough recommendation for me. 

I have not yet seen my husband and it is still early, so some discretion is called for.  I hope you will come to see me at the villa where I am held captive in my rooms by utter e…

The Life and Times of Lee Graham, Chapter Six, Part One: Christmas with Mrs. White

Chapter Six, Christmas With Mrs. White
by Lulabelle Gimlin

The Christmas before Livie died, Josiah Graham was away in San Francisco.  He left two days after Thanksgiving and stayed gone until the end of March.  That winter was the best of Lee Graham's life. 

Knowing Polly's husband was away, Mrs. White invited the young mother and her to children to spend Christmas in her home.  "You can bring your children to my place the afternoon of Christmas Eve and we can walk to church together."

She meant the little church in Alma.  Polly had never been there.  In Wellsville, she'd attended the Methodist church with her parents.  Since coming to Alma with her husband, Polly never felt church was a place for her.  She'd gotten married because she had to and most everyone knew it and her husband was not what one could call a "man of God."  Josiah Graham was more a man of the world than one destined for heaven.  Polly wondered if the church doors would seal the…

Live Lit With Trolley Trollup Thursday at 5 pm PST

Last month she brought turkeys and made us laugh.  The month before, there was a skeleton on her head and she made us laugh.  Not sure what props and wardrobe will be this time around, but you can count on the laughter!  Please join us for Thursdays edition of Live Literature.  Trolley will take the mic at 5 pm Pacific.

LLola Lane To Follow Tuesday Babble at Freda's Place

Tuesday, December 9 at Freda's Place 1pm Tuesday Babble Open Mic Come to perform or come to see others perform.  All performing artists in all genres welcome.  If it can be done in local on a moderate sim, we want to see and hear! 2pm Llola Lane Brings Holiday Picture Stories to Live Lit Llola is one of SL's favorite spoken word performers.  Join her as she brings some of her picture stories with a holiday theme from her place at Ozland to Freda's Winter Place.  Both events will be in local voice, so please have voice enabled in your viewer preferences.

A Virtual Letter From Fanny Burney to Lorsagne de Sade

8 December, 178?
Dearest Friend, Lorsagne,

Oh my dearest companion, how I have missed you these last months.  While I have been overjoyed at being home in London with Father and Susan and Hetty-- and while it has been good to see Dr. Johnson, though I am afraid I have to report that dear man has not been well of late, especially since that woman's departure.  He must feel adrift for lack of her presence and support.  I know it might seem I am jealous of her, but I assure you the opposite is the case.  Or was in the past.  Hopefully, now that she has run off to Italy with that new husband, she finds herself more focused on herself and him than on me and the foibles that she perceives in my character. 

In the meantime, I am happy to report I shall soon be in France and very near your home!  I am to deliver some work of father's to a monk set to translate his words into flawless French for publication across the channel.  Father himself is unable to travel just now, being utter…

Lulabelle Gimlin's Diary: Snoopy Snoops

December 5, 1900 I swear that Miss Trolley could talk the socks off a hobo's frozen feet in the middle of winter!   And I swear I haven't the sense to say no to anything that woman asks!  I have agreed to be in charge of a gift exchange to take place at the great big after-church Holiday Potluck to be held a week from Sunday.  What in tarnation was I thinking?  Everyone in town will be there!  Everyone!  That includes Mr. Heximer Thane from Wellsville, New York and the town-constable too, assuming he crawls outa his bottle long enough to stagger over to Miss Trolley's cousin, Sister's, place for the festivities.  I suppose I could go ahead and arrange the gift exchange in advance and then fake sick when the big day comes.  Of course, faking sick didn't work out so well for me last time, so that's probably not the best idea I ever had.  Maybe I should just leave Philomenaville, especially now that I know folks have been poking around my room.  How do I know th…

My Many Avatarred Life

This is me, Stephanie, the typist behind Freda and Lu, Hester and Fanny.  It's December and I find myself in the mood for Christmas this year, which is actually fairly unusual for me.  In the solid world, I live in Florida.  Yes, we do Christmas here, but it's just not the same as what can be done in virtual worlds.  The result is that this year, I'm doing Christmas up in style in Second Life.  Freda has a winter place, a cozy log cabin with a fire place and she's even decorated.  Believe it or not, Santa is there, riding his Harley!  Freda's Winter Place will be the site of several holiday events.  Freda is also re-establishing her haunted hide-away and has decided that will be a fine place for a Winter Dance Party.  Lu is also celebrating the season in Philomenaville.  In spite of her private worries, Lu is helping Miss Trolley, the lady detective, to plan a town potluck for the holiday.  This may not be the best idea for lu-- Miss Trolley has a way of worming…

Thursday at Freda's Winter Place

Thursday, December 4 at Freda's Winter Place, Second Life 4 pm Pacific Tea Talk For Writers Join us for this discussion of all matters writerly.

5 pm Pacific Winter Themed Open Mic Come to perform or come to listen.  If it can be done in local on a moderate sim, we want you to come perform for us!  All we ask is that your material be seasonal, related to either the time of year or the holidays.  All welcome!

The Life and Times of Lee Graham, Chapter Five: Polly Sets Priorities

Chapter Five, Polly Sets Priorities
by Lulabelle Gimlin

On Lee's ninth birthday, a telegram came for his Mama.  Polly had never received a telegram before and was apprehensive from the very moment she heard one had arrived.  The man behind the counter at Alma's general store told her when she came in that morning to buy fixings for a sumptuous birthday supper, which was to include an apple cake. 

"Missus Graham, that messenger boy from the Western Union Office in Wellsville was here a few minutes ago.  He brought something for you." 

The shopkeeper, a burley man named Ben Carver, reached under the counter and handed a brown envelope to Lee's mama.  "I was gonna walk it up to your place, but, since you're here..." 

Polly Graham read the telegram silently as all the shoppers and the shopkeeper looked on, waiting to see if she would be happy or sad when she finished.  It was impossible to read emotion on the woman's face.  That was nothing new.  …

Freda Paints Live Lit RED Tuesday at 2 pm Pacific


A Virtual Letter From Hester Piozzi to Her Husband

Please deliver to my most beloved husband and friend, Gabriel Piozzi
New Royal-Ducal Theatre alla Scala

29 November, 1784

Dearest Gabriel, I have come as far as Genoa and find myself too tired to continue the journey to Milan.  It is impossible for me to arrive in time for your Egisto.  I do apologize most grievously, Husband.  If I were more well, I would certainly be at your side and in the audience in Milan this week.  As things stand, I will take a few days here in Genoa and hope that my vigor is revived in time to join you for the trip from Milan to Rome. 

I will not say more now as I wish to post this note in time for you to see it before your premier.  Just know that all is well and I shall be at your side as soon as that is possible.  In the mean time, I think of you and yearn for your embrace. 

Yours, As Always and Ever, Hester

Click here to read more from Hester Lynch Thrale Piozzi.

More of Lulabelle Gimlin's Diary, Turkey Day Troubles

November 29, 1900

Mercy me!  I've just come home from sharing a most harrowing Thanksgiving dinner with that nice lady who owns the detective agency, Miss Trolley.  I was mighty glad to be invited because I woke up Thanksgiving morning feeling pretty blue. it being the first year without Mother to cook the turkey and spend the day helping her.  Of course, it's also the first year without my father to wreck the dinner she prepared, so that's the silver lining in that cloud, isn't it? 

I know it's a horrible, awful sin to be glad about someone's death but when Miss Trolley asked everyone at her table to say something they were grateful for on Thanksgiving, I thought in my head that I am grateful my father isn't here in Philomenaville (or anywhere else) to cause trouble and hurt folks.   That man was a mean brute and I will never regret what happened that last day before I left home.  He deserved to die and I will never forgive him for what he did to Mama.


Happenings at Freda's Place, December 2014

December will be another exciting month at Freda's.  We'll have some new events for you to participate and we'll be at Freda's Winter Place for many of them! 

This month at Freda's, Artwork in the small gallery is from IanLee Patton.  I do hope you'll drop by Freda's Winter Place to see his exhibit there.

**Quiet Write-Ins**
Times for writers to gather in silently supportive work times occur several days each week.  Watch Freda's Place announcements in Second Life to know when and where.  Freda's office is available anytime for folks who want a quiet place to work in sl.

**Tuesday Babble**
1 pm Pacific, Tuesdays, at Freda's Place Cafe
Open Mic for writers, musicians, actors.  If you can do it in local voice on a moderate sim, you are invited to do so.  Come to perform or come to listen.…

The Life and Times of Lee Graham, Chapter Four: Almost Thanksgiving

Chapter Four, Almost Thanksgiving
by Lulabelle Gimlin

The day before Thanksgiving the year Lee's mother was expecting his baby sister, Josiah Graham returned from one of his long trips out west. He  said California was the very best market for bibles.  He said all them Spanish conquistadors and the priests they brought with them had laid a fertile groundwork for modern-day bible salesmen. 

Evidently that autumn's trip west had been a particularly lucrative one.  Lee's father came home in a better mood then usual and he brought his family presents.  For Polly, there was a set of wooden embroidery hoops, along with needles and thread and cloth.  "A fine little lady who lives in Sacramento helped me pick them out for you, Polly.  I met that gal on the train from San Francisco and we had such a nice time and she was about your age, so I figured she'd know what you would like." 

Truthfully, Polly had never been much for sewing and had no idea how to use the items…

Live Literature Presents Trolley Trollop's "Voices From The South"

2pm, Pacific Today Live Literature Presents Trolley Trollop's "Voices From The South"
Trolley is great fun and a good judge of literature.  She will share "Jane Murray's Thanksgiving" by Rebecca Harding Davis as well as a wee bit of  O. Henry.    Trolley herself is a royal hoot, so you definitely won't want to miss this!

From Hester Piozzi's Virtual Journal: Planning a Trip and Seeking Assistance

23 November, 1784 Rocca Sorrentina My heart, soul and body yearn for my beloved husband.  At the same time, I dread the trip to Milan.  I am to leave later this day from the port of Rocca Sorrentina.  The boat trip will be blessedly short but grueling, the symptoms of my condition being worse now than a few weeks previous.   Then the boat trip will be followed by the long coach ride from Naples north to where Gabriel is rehearsing.  The few days in that city will not be restful and then we'll be traveling together to Rome.  I have always wanted to see that city but find now that I would much rather see the inside of my own rooms here at Rocca Sorrentina.  I met Professor Stern yesterday.  He was taking coffee in a public house on the waterfront.  I was so bold as to ask him and a lady also present if he could recommend a female healer, not necessarily a physician.  He seemed to think one could found locally and promised to send one to me upon my return from Rome.  Assuming all i…

From The Diary of Lulabelle Gimlin -- Lu Remembers Her Mother

November 22, 1900 Well, some good news finally!  I've now written three full chapters of  *The Life and Times of Lee Graham.*  If I keep this up, I'll have a complete novel in no time.  Then I can send it to get published and make a pile of money.  Hopefully, I'll manage that before the money I have stashed runs out!  Today would have been my Mama's birthday.  She'd have been 35 today if that depraved devil she married, my very own father, hadn't finally killed her.  Really, it's a miracle she lived as long as she did, considering how many beatings she took from him over the years.  I never will understand how Grandpa Zeb could have let that go on.  Seems like a decent man woulda killed my father with his own hands before lettin' him beat on his daughter and grandchildren year after year.  I know Mama was expectin' with me before she got married.  Grandpa Zed never forgave her for getting in that kind of trouble.  But, still, you'd think blood …