Reflecting on 2013, Envisioning 2014

As readers know, I’ve been kind of on-again/off-again with my second life since declaring it’s “Time to Say Goodbye” to Second Life. That was back in February and even though I’ve returned to SL to participate in a few events since then, the truth is I don’t know what will become of my virtual life, be it SL or InWorldz or Xbox or whatever.

“You’re Really Gone”

Even though I don’t know for sure what will become of my virtual life, a couple months ago my friend Leanna said to me, in her always insightful manner, “You are really gone”. She caught me a little off guard because I wasn’t so sure that I was gone, but LeLe was right. The spell SL once held over me had been broken, and I am both happy and a bit unsettled. There are times I wish I could just hurl myself back into the life I once knew.

But I’m Still Here

There’s no point in rehashing my reasons for leaving SL, I’ve done that ad nauseam already, and the truth I’m not sure there’s a single reason for why I chose to leave Second Life. And there’s no way of explaining why I still flutter into SL from time to time, then disappear again.

Yordie Sands Photographer

I shot this photo while messing around in my Linden studio.
It’s nothing special but it is proof that I’m still hanging around…
albeit mindlessly hanging around. *heh*

Wandering Down Every Byway

I’ve been a difficult person to understand over the past year, but I’m not trying to be difficult. Since leaving my Second Life, almost a year ago, I’ve struggled to create a new way of life that allows me to adapt to real world changes while still holding onto some part of my virtual life. Unfortunately, I’ve wandered into many forks in the road and at each fork I’ve tried to travel down both pathways.

Wandering down every byway, while often amusing, has been a frustrating decision making process. And changes in my real life have presented me with many choices I’ve been unable to make, such that with each choice not made (a kind of choice in itself) I’ve added to the complexity of my life.

Finding the Main Road

Regardless of how I got here, I’ve find myself at another fork in the road and this one seems to beckon me to make a choice or just walk away from my dream. On one side of the road is more aimless wandering and on the other, a very demanding road. Naturally, I’ve chosen the rough road. (*smiles*) Here’s the thing though, this will be my main road for the coming months, starting in 2014.

Breathing Life into My Novel

In the recent past I’ve mentioned that I’ve been researching a novel. I’ve been doing this research for well over a decade, it’s how I’ve spent many late nights and early mornings. Friends have told me that I don’t need to do all the research I’ve done, but the research fascinates me. And stories of others I’ve enjoyed most are those that don’t ask me to make too great a “suspension of disbelief”.

The truth is, my novel project is by far too ambitious for someone with my skill set and education. The historic, scientific and other technical subject matters take me far beyond my knowledge. But I love the story that’s brewing, it’s themes and characters and settings, and I’m not afraid of failure. However, I am afraid of not being able to finish the project.

Yordie Sands – A Second Blog

This blog, Being Yordie Sands, has been about my life in a virtual world. I’ll probably continue to write about my virtual life in the future but I’ve decided that my novel needs a blog of its own. The new blog is about the writing of the novel, nothing else.

Any way I look at this novel though, it’s time for me to pump up the volume around here and make the jump from research, character profiles, themes, entities, timelines, outlines and such, and to formalizing this story I’ve been carrying around inside me. The biggest concern I have is, I don’t have a truly satisfying ending for the story, yet!

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About Yordie

I'm an avatar in Second Life where I star as the heroine of a virtual fantasy life. In the real world, I'm writing my debut sci-fi novel.
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9 Responses to Reflecting on 2013, Envisioning 2014

  1. Mera Kranfel says:

    Exciting indeed!

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  2. lizziegudkov says:

    When you go for the NaNoWriMo later on this year, I encourage you to experiment with TPing to different locations in Second Life. It was very inspiring to me to simply sit somewhere and “soak in” the different people who walked by and the varied settings, details, even single objects. It’s an endless resource of character building and settings/time information! AND, very important, get a cheering-team, people who will be there to carry you forward when you feel you’re slowing down in your writing. *raises hand* Can I be in your cheering-team? 🙂 You’ll do a great job, writing! Go for it!

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    • Yordie says:

      I think your advice is good. I do need to spend time in SL looking at settings that are in the periods which the story is written. As for character building, this is maybe my biggest deficiency right now. I haven’t envisioned all the primary and secondary characters yet even though I know I’ll need them to fill necessary roles.

      I’ve read about “cheering teams” and am not sure how it works. Maybe we can chat inworld sometime? I’m still struggling with my schedule due to Football playoffs (long story), but next month I’ll have a lot more free time. I’ll send you an IM next time I’m in SL. I’d love to chat with you.

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  3. very interesting thoughts!! I too reached a wall with SL and left. I began with great enthusiasm and a sense of adventure but eventually had a bit of a burn out and some disillusionment with the role play world. I always appreciated the creativity and imagination but the universe tapped me and I felt that I needed to change direction in order to keep growing. I also popped in two or three times the last months for old times. I no longer feel the glow but I will admit that some of the art inspired me to move in other directions with my dreams. It’s all good.

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    • Yordie says:

      That’s very similar to my experience also. Also, I found myself a bit overwhelmed each time I logged in. I suppose it’s normal, but when you login and get a half dozen IMs within the first couple minutes, it is a big distraction. Even when I shut down all the “see you online” switches, it still happens; some people use these spy scripts. I started using an alt, but she’s not the identity I created, so it just didn’t work for me. Yeah, I admit I no longer “feel the glow” either. Still, every once in awhile I pop in and hope I’ll find a new inspiration.

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      • yes to all that. I still like the art and imagination of virtual graphics and all- like Bryn Oh’s work. You can read of my experiences on my wordpress blog ( if you can wade through it all lol) It was therapeutic for me to write of it. Most of my work now is on my travel and creative blog on blogger. I too enjoy writing! Thanks for your kind and thoughtful reply!!

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        • Yordie says:

          Do you go to Second Life to write? I’ve tried it in the past and know a couple of writers who feel very comfortable writing from within sl.

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          • It’s interesting isn’t it. I know people are creatively stimulated by SL. I can understand why as I too was inspired to write a few stories there -the dune mouse chronicles and a campfire tale( indirectly) and one other that was never finished. Some of the visuals in SL are like paintings and people have done some lovely building and photo work there. I was inspired but the inspiration actually took me away from SL interestingly.
            So…. I did pop in again the other day to check it out and I found myself getting bored more quickly. I do have very few friends there now- maybe 20 of which 5 or 6 might take time to chat. This might be a good thing lol!! The virtual social life is very time consuming.

            I think for me, the last few years of having the good fortune to do a bit of travelling and my interest in photographing nature and old stones etc have taken precedence over my love affair with the virtual visual world. Nothing beats standing on a cliff over the sea (we crossed the North Sea this last summer), feeling the wind spray and watching the silly puffins do their thing!!) or checking out old castles by moonlight and reading all their histories ( I love history) etc.
            But even here at home the natural landscape is phenomenal and I sleep so well after a hike!! Getting motivated is always a challenge though!!! But once I started seeing more things in real life and challenging myself to do different things, I don’t know what to say- it just changed it all for me.

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          • Yordie says:

            It sounds like we have had a similar experience since leaving or sorta-leaving SL. My real life rarely allows me time to visit SL now, but I still keep hoping I’ll find some inspiration for a new project. Last year I did create a Japanese teahouse and garden, and participated in Burn2 2013. I also visited with my best SL friend a few times. but mostly I feel trapped when I start reengaging. It will be interesting to see how we evolve. Have you tried using an alt to start over or anything like that?

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