The Arcade is coming, and I’m considering a career change!

It’s been a long, hard winter, but it’s giving way to spring! (Pay no attention to the winter storm behind the curtain.)

The next round of The Arcade in Second Life is coming, and I’m going to be in it again, with a set I’m calling “Warm Home.” Because even though spring is coming, where I live, in Michigan, the next few weeks are going to be wet and windy. It’s the kind of weather that chills you to the bone, and makes a Warm Home a haven.

If you’d like to see, I have sneak peeks up on Flickr. The potholders that are the Featured Image for this post are also from the set.

Making the 11 objects for this round, most of which are interactive in some way, pretty much sucked up every minute of my time for the last six weeks or so.

But now that it’s over, I’m looking ahead to other things I would like to do.

To begin with, I’m going to get some more things up over on my store at Zazzle. Today, I put Cat Dancing there!

Cat Dancing Poster
Cat Dancing Poster by RobinWoodEnt
View Robin wood Posters online at zazzle

Not to mention working on this blog more.

I’m thinking of changing my career, here in my sixty-second year of life, and becoming a writer.

I’ve written for many years. I have a couple of non-fiction books in print, and I’ve worked as an editor and tech-editor on several software books. I’ve even written for a software manual! Not to mention a bunch of articles in gaming magazines, decades ago.

But I’m talking now about writing fiction. I started late last week, and I’ve already gotten a 2500 word short story done, and I’m writing one 300 word exercise piece a day. The thing is, I’m not sure how to get them out there.

Would you like me to post them here, on my blog?

Let me know in the comments. (If I don’t hear from anyone except spammers, I’ll assume no one actually reads this blog, and I won’t bother. So if you are reading this, and you want to see more, please do comment!)

Thoughts on my Day Off

Its Monday. The day I spend “blind for tax purposes”. I’m extremely myopic, and have worn contact lenses for more than 40 years. I’d like to wear them for the rest of my life, so one day a week I let my eyes rest, and go without them.

My glasses are heavy and uncomfortable, and don’t come anywhere near correcting my vision, so mostly I just walk around my house with my eyeballs all nekkid. Which means anything I can’t do on my phone, (which I can hold the necessary two inches from my eyes,) I simply can’t do.

So I take the day off.

Which is the only thing that keeps me from working seven days a week, since I’m self employed.

Last week I finished the Texture Tutorials in Second Life, and put them  out for people to use on my sim, Livingtree. I also got set up for Trunk or Treat, which is open now. And put the annual Halloween Cauldron with freebies in it out for the SL Kids.

Next week, I start to work intensively on the things I’m making for the Arcade, which will open December first.

But today is the day between, when I rest, and read, and study, and do a lot of thinking.

Mostly, I’ve been thinking about how to become … I’m not sure what to call it. Someone filled with kindness, compassion, joy, passion, curiosity, humor, common sense, intelligence, wisdom, perspective, and patience, all laced through with love and honesty.

I’ve been working at this for most of my life, really. I think a lot of us have, but that might be “the usual error.” (The one where you think other people are more like you than they really are.

Right now, I’m doing a lot of thinking and reading about body acceptance, and about bias in general. About how people treat other people, and about intersectionality. (More than one thing that causes people to be marginalized in this society. Like being both black and trans, or being both poor and gay, or being three or four or even more things all at once, like a fat lesbian trans-woman of color, and how they all add up to make life more and more difficult, even when none of them are anything anyone has any control over.)

When I’ve thought about it enough, I’ll probably write something here about it.

Anyway, that’s the kind of thing I’m doing on this gorgeous October day.  What are you doing?


Updates on Many Things…

So much happening, I’m not sure where to start.

As you may know, my friend Vince Frost, known in Second Life® as Lumiere Noire, died last month. As a way to deal with my grief, and a memorial to Lumi, I’ve been working to update the Texture Tutorial.

The Texture Tutorial is a build on my sim, Livingtree, in Second Life. I first built it back in the early days, when textures were far less complex than they are now, to help people who were coming from other places and platforms and starting to build in SL™.

SL has always had its own idiosyncratic way of doing everything; so it was necessary even for people who were familiar with 3D texturing to find out how the platform handled it. It was even more necessary for people who had no background in 3D texturing at all.

I’ve updated it once before, and kind of updated it again a few times (mostly by mentioning on the Notecards it gave out that this or that had been changed, and the notecard was out-of-date.) But now I’m starting all over again, and rewriting everything. When it’s done, people will be able to visit and find out how to optimize images for SL, what all the fields and things on the Texture Tab are for, what you need to know about normal maps, specular maps, and UV maps in general, animating textures for SL and putting textures on the SL avatar.

The last two haven’t changed much. But the rest has changed a lot. When I first did the Texture Tutorial, we had no normal or specular maps at all. SL still has its very own way of doing things, too, which need to be explained. For instance, who would think to look for the specular value map in the alpha channel of the normal map? That’s… yeah…

Meantime, while I’m working on that, a lot of things have been happening in First Life as well. Mostly things about the health of my extended family.

My niece has been going through a really rough spot, health wise. She’s only 26, but she started in June by passing kidney stones, went into a series of illnesses, and wound up unable to sit or stand without feeling faint, and going into tachycardia. Even when lying perfectly still, her heart was going more than 140 beats a minute. Eventually, she spent a couple of weeks in the hospital, being given every test known to medicine, before they diagnosed her with POTS (Postural Tachycardia Syndrome).

Besides being really worrying, this has caused a huge financial burden for her and her husband. We have helped as much as we can, but at the moment that’s not much (reasons below.) She has set up a GoFundMe page, and if anyone reading this could help, it would be hugely appreciated.

The reason we can’t help much is that my husband Michael and I have spent most of the last month having medical tests of our own.

I’ve been struggling for a while, and finally gave up, and told the doctor. He sent me to a Sleep Specialist, and I’ve now been diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea. With any luck, we’ll be able to treat it soon.

Michael went with me, for his own test, at the same time. The sleep doctor took one look at him, and begged him to go to a cardiologist. So, after a whole battery of tests, from a Haltor monitor, through stress tests, EKG, echo-cardiogram, and finally a left heart catheterization, he has been diagnosed with mild heart disease, and some restriction in the arteries. He’s on a couple of drugs, and a change in diet (less fat and salt) and his heartbeat is now perfectly regular. The doctors say he’s good for another 20 years, at least.

We are in our sixties. I guess we shouldn’t be so surprised. But we didn’t expect all the medical stuff.

So, that’s why I’ve been neglecting this blog. At the moment, I also have an infection, and have been running a fever around 100° F for the last few weeks. But I’m getting the upper hand (I think) and should be back to normal soon.

There’s been so much I wanted to talk about here, including putting Otter Medicine up on Zazzle, but no time or energy to do it.


Open Letter to Those Who Aren’t “Good Enough.”

I’m taking part in the Zero to Hero challenge, here at WordPress.

Today, the challenge is to write to that one person we hope would read our blog. The one we are trying to reach.

This is my post, to all those who are burning with creativity, but are sure their work isn’t “good enough.” Continue reading Open Letter to Those Who Aren’t “Good Enough.”

And now… Tangent Lass!

The Zero-to-Hero challenge  for today was to come up with a good name for the blog.

Good… name? But… I’m no good with names! I even called my Tarot Deck “The Robin Wood Tarot Deck.” I sort of assumed this blog would just be “The Robin Wood Blog.”

Wow. That’s really lame and boring. No wonder no one reads it.

So I started to think about it.  Continue reading And now… Tangent Lass!