RP- Chess with words!

MoraLight

 

Most of you know how much I love words, but also how much difficulty I have explaining myself at times. Haha. So THIS is an attempt at explaining how and why I RP, (roleplay) in SL. I will warn you though… it’s going to be neither short, nor simple. It’s actually something which has been running around in my head for a long time.

I RP because I love words. I really enjoy writing but also enjoy the challenge of puzzles. To me RPing is a lot like doing a crossword puzzle at the same time as trying to work out a game of chess. It’s a real mental workout and now that I am old and at the mercy of awkward times in life, I don’t have the mental capacity to spend much time doing it.

It used to say on my SL profile that I am an RPer. I had to change that due to some of the random IMs I would receive when I was out and about of the various scenarios that some guys had dreamed up and hoped I might like to join them in. Yeah…. much eye-rolling there! What might start as me turning them down politely, at times would often end up with me having to bare my teeth at their wrong assumption. THAT is not the kind of random RP I mean.

I am… an RPer, but an wonderfully boring one by some people’s standards…and let me explain why. I now RP in SL as a character called Mora Meadowsweet, who is a fairy. Mora is simply a verbal costume that I put on. She’s a character that I drop into the middle of a medieval fantasy soap opera, but I never lose track of the fact that she is just a character… and I am just an actor. It is not a different life, just something I spend time doing now and then. She is NOT me, but is made up of parts of who I am, which have been exaggerated. I have often been told that to be a real RPer, I should create and use a character that is the complete opposite of me…. of who I am. I am not good enough at stepping out of myself completely though. I am just me.

I would rather create a character who feels real to those who meet her. She’s very grounded in who I am. For that reason, Mora will always share something of me, some trace of who I am. For example, Mora will do the right thing, but rather than life, my life, where sometimes ‘the right thing’ isn’t what I myself would want to do, Mora can do it. That’s often liberating. If someone is rude to her, she can simply unleash harsh words, or even slap someone…. things I would try and avoid doing in real life… as much as possible. She’s old and cynical, but also capable of much laughter and prank-playing.

I have RPd as a fairy for a good few years now. I am someone who LOVES nature. I am a very happy person when I can stand in the middle of pine forests and close my eyes, smelling both the pine trees, hearing the breeze blowing through them and carrying the honey-scent of heather down from the mountains. Yes… I spend time up in the Highlands of Scotland when I can. I grew up a nature nerd, I guess. I can name most birds I see in the UK and a good many of the wild flowers too. I have a basic knowledge of which ones are not good to touch or eat, and also which ones might be used for simple healing. It made sense to take all that… and give my knowledge to my fairy who feels most at home in forests.

To role play for me is very much like how I write when I am writing prose. It’s painting a picture with words. It’s not so much the honest words spoken from my heart when I am in conversation with friends… my RP is something fixed… static… and described. I visualize the action, then describe it and the feelings, always responding to what’s been said, then giving something for the other person to respond to.

I realise that in saying I RP as a fairy, many of you might have a mental image of some cute little pretty thing flitting about from flower to flower. I am sorry, but I have to disappoint you there.

To explain a little more of how I RP, I have to take you back to my beginnings in the often bizarre RP world. I am going to try and keep it short though.

I have never done any RP games such as Dungeons and Dragons. The only RP I have ever done has been in SL, but started back in 2008. My best friend at the time and I rented cottages opposite each other, either side of a stream on a woodland SIM. I am sure that if I could find a picture of what it looked like, I would be shocked at the lack of mesh, but the picture in my memory was of a lovely tranquil place.

In the covenant for the place, it said we didn’t have to wear medieval clothes on that SIM.. but when we asked the landlady, she said we would need to wear them if we wanted to go over to the main SIMs where we could learn to use swords, bows… and joust. My friend and I were both on voice at the time and were speechless for a few moments before dashing off to buy medieval clothes.

I had never wanted to be a princess as a little girl. I had always thought it would be much better if I could have been a knight and saved myself. SL gave me that chance. Ah I had some happy days in the Kingdom of Eternity as a bossy human Knight. *grins*

Eternity… ah yes.. The Kingdom of Eternity was a place I called home for many years. I called it home, as I rented a home on the SIM and as I entered into the RP, it became less of a home, and more of a place where people would simply turn up at all hours, shouting outside that something had happened and they needed help. It was exhausting too, now that I look back on it. Haha.

The BEST tool for RP in my opinion is the instant message… the IM window for private messages. I am always just me in those. In open chat I can be shouting at someone, cursing at them and throwing poisoned daggers at them, and in IM can be giggling with them at the smart-arsedness of our words. I get to know people I RP with, bit by bit. I admit that I only really RP fighting with people I know… and people I know aren’t going to cry if I use mean words… they will just hurl something more back and we will both be crying with laughter.

If I might paint you a picture with my words…life in the Kingdom of Eternity was a time of at least two joust tournaments a week, with good friends, some of whom I am still close to today. ‘The Lady Sashay’ is a great friend and confidant. In the RP she was a fellow knight and jouster. She and I would often throw flasks of alcohol between us at tournaments, then mount up onto our horses, who we stated drank nothing but Eternity ale…. and would then joust in heels, giggling all the way. There was no sense of equality back then, for it was often the women who won at the jousts… with much hilarity.

I am still in touch with ‘Sir Jacko Dixon’… and the Elven Lady ‘Kalista Noel’. Kali… LOL… Kali was a most fearsome woman in character. She was an amazing swordswoman and archer. It was a place which used metered combat. We would have battles each week back then, so weapons training was something that was taken seriously. How good it was that nobody could hear me giggling as we went though it all. I knew NOTHING back then. I had to learn to use bows. I have never been good with swords, but would always love pulling out a bladed whip and watching men not know whether to run towards or away from me. Bwahahaha!

Jacko. Dear Jacko Dixon deserves special mention. He was my SL Uncle, even though he’s not there anymore. As part of the story of Eternity, he played the role my Uncle, but as a twist we were on opposing sides. I was the First Knight on the light side… and he was the Dark First Knight. Funny thing was that as we got to know each other in IM as friend, we would often swear and curse as much… and had hot tempers to match. Many times he stormed off over things… and I would stomp off after him. A true friend and kindred spirit, who taught me lots about battle strategy.

It’s interesting though, as I reflect a little… all the places I have RPd in, all the countless people I have met, there’s only a handful who have remained close to me as real friends.

So.. back to Mora the fairy. There’s a side of her which is visually ‘lighter. She uses glamour to appear more human and less frightening. She can also often appear in her true, unglamoured form… darker…. pure energy and sparkle. She carries that side of me which is used to rolling up my sleeves and grabbing a weapon, or whatever is to hand and smacking someone silly with it, if needed. Some who may read this, may have been on the receiving end of when I have often used a wooden bucket to hit someone with, or throw at someone. Haha.

I RP in the lovely land of Briarhaven now. I have been there just over a year now and although I don’t RP much these days, I natter on to some of the people who are there in IM. I have been lucky enough to make some good friends there and already have some great memories. It’s always good to be a thorn in the side of some characters there. *grins*

My RP time is never going to be an excuse to dash off and form new *coughs* relationships with different people to whoever I might be with. Too often I have seen and heard “Oh.. that’s only RP!” To me, I am me. I have one life/ love. RP friends are those who I have got to know OOC (out of character) and who know me both OOC and IC (In character). Sash, Jacko and Kali might not be in SL anymore, but I do keep in touch with their RL selves. ‘Sash’ is still very much a constant in my life… a confidant and strength, the sister I would have chosen. These three have been with me so long, they are stuck with me now 😉

I often hear from people that they could never RP, they are just themselves. I admit to rolling my eyes at that. I am just myself too, but for an hour or two here and there, I exaggerate some aspects a little….. and fly. Honestly, in my almost ten years in SL, I see more upset caused by people who claim not to be RPers, but who suddenly unravel in a storm of lies and deception with a trail of destruction behind them.

I am boringly and honestly me 😉

Mora is simply a costume of words that I put on now and then to go and verbally spend time at a written munitions range. 😉

MoraDark

Join me?

Joinme

 

Sit in the calm stillness of a new day… the first of a brand new month.

Take a deep breath and inhale the tingling promise of days as yet un-lived.

Breathe out the tiredness and sadness, the moments of desperation of times finished with. Those days are gone and you owe it to yourself to let them go.

Fill your lungs with the sparkling positivity of the unknown.

Breathe……..

We live in a time where there is so much uncertainty and encroaching darkness. We should challenge it and burn as brightly as each of us can.

Look outside yourself and notice others. If you too know how it is to be mocked or punished. If you have known times when you felt so small you couldn’t be seen, try and notice those who cower in shadows. Something as simple as a smile or “Hello!” could make all the difference to them in that moment.

We are not meant to live as islands. We each influence the others we know and meet. Try, like me, to see that of yourself in those you meet. Don’t look for what makes us different, but seek and rejoice in the similarities.

It is time to reclaim happiness! Time to banish the dark thoughts and chains of regret. The world itself does enough to cast shade these days. Happiness is our own responsibility. It is often difficult to maintain, and requires being fought for.

*smiles*

Then again, nothing worth having is easily obtained… and happiness through love is very much worth sharing and having.

 

Here I sit and smile…

Present

… and loosen the noose of my past!

 

This is where I am meant to be. This is my perfect place, where I can dwell in accumulated peace.

Sounds smug?

Maybe it does, but these things have to be fought for. Those who know me, and those who have read my words know how much I struggle with so many things, mainly myself.

Let me try and explain myself (I chuckle as those are probably the words I use most often… possibly too often.) It’s almost like sitting here with the ideas which have been running around in my head for days, weeks even… and I throw them all up into the air and try and arrange them into some semblance of order.

I am back to thinking about time. Perhaps it is my age, perhaps it is also watching how not only myself, but how others are affected and changed by its constant buffeting. Here I sit in the present, in this very moment… and I allow it to bring me peace. I can let the calm enfold around me.

Yet, it was only when I spoke to a friend this morning, that many of the words I said to him suddenly made sense of how I have been feeling. It was a difficult time for him… a time of mourning… the anniversary of the dread loss of a dear loved one a few years ago.

Time moves on. It’s hard to reconcile that things change, yet for there to be space for new things to come I must move away from those moments of past hardship. We can’t be chained to the past. In the never ending tide of time, to remain chained to the past is to be fastened tight to the bottom of the sea while the current smashes into us and eventually drowns us.

I have known too much criticism in my life. I have been left too many times, if not just physically, so often dropped also into the heart-numbing pain of inflicted silence. I sit here in my moment of presence and can acknowledge that I have been abandoned so many times in my life. I have had the boundaries of friendship stifle it to the point where nothing remains. For most people I seem either not enough, or too much for them to be able to continue a friendship with.

When this is from those I have been close to, or who I have tried so hard to be there for, it’s a pain which squeezes my heart in the vice-grip of poisoned failure. I flail. I try all I can to fix things, to avoid that ultimate goodbye which is never said because the silence has already become too solid.

To dwell in this state of failure kills me inside. To stand in the vortex of screamed echoes of my faults and reasons why people cannot continue with me is to shatter my heart and throw the pieces away, never to be found again. THIS is not a place I can remain. This state has no place for me.

The past should be looked on as a book I think. Its words have been written as a record of time, but of time which is no more. It can offer me guidance and pointers… things to avoid, and paths which have brought joy.

One thing I realise though, is that it is no longer the place I reside. To view it with distance lessens the pain and suffocation of any pain it still would hope to wield over me. Things can never go back to how they were and this is both a good, and bad thing. Sometimes, due to the comfort of past closeness, I would wish I could fix things and go back to a happy place of times gone by, to once again find a familiarity which sadly no longer remains.

This is not a reason to fall and cry though. No time should be lost to lamenting this.

I must smile at the positive glittering moments of the presence. I choose now to savour the warm and the fact that unlike some I do have this present moment. I have been blessed with this time. Not all have been so lucky. I can rejoice in those who share my present moments. I am doubly blessed in their presence in my day.

I do not forget that there is the excitement of the future. Some things can indeed be mended in time, with small steps. Far greater than this though, the future holds space. Each moment of the future is yet to be filled. There are new joys to experience and new smiles to be shared. It is only the past which stands still, set almost under a glass dome, where it remains preserved and there to look back on, but it has no place in the present. This is my moment of peace, my moment to cast off sadness and look smiling to tomorrow…. and grin at the prospect of what tomorrow has yet to bring.

True friendship is more glorious than any flower!

Garden

Each day of my life I come into contact with others. Sometimes a spark of shared interest or conversation can ignite the beginning of something I hope to call friendship. That excitement and explosion of hope brings such a smile and shivers. It is very much like planting a seed for me though the beginning of something… living.

I have always loved gardening from an early age. It was my Grandfather who taught me to carefully plant and tend for seeds. Those shared and special moments in the clammy warmth of his greenhouse are forever etched deep in what makes me who I am today. I can close my eyes and still smell the overpowering scent of tomatoes and feel the deep and peaceful contentment… but I am rambling… again!

To plant seeds in the best compost and under the right conditions is the best way to get them to germinate. So it is with friendship. It’s an organic thing, something growing which needs tending to.

I am smiling as I write this next part, because I KNOW that there are those who will hopefully read this, and will laugh at me, but in a good way. I am 46 now, but still struggle to wait for seeds to germinate. I check on them each day. I try to resist the temptation to take the cover away in the hopes of seeing something sprouting, but I can sadly be like this with friendship too. I know it takes time to grow something worthwhile, something strong and lasting, but I check and talk to people each day… often too much… and risk of losing their interest in me. Sometimes I simply try too hard, but truly appreciate those who can remain patient with me.

I may be old, but I still have much to learn.

Friendship, like seedlings, needs care though.

when seedlings first sprout, often a gardener ‘thins them out’. My Granddad explained that to have too many all squished into one place would weaken them all. You have to choose the best and strongest and choose those to look after more carefully.

Seedlings and plants are all different and need different things to grow. Sweet peas for example, need a stick to grow around, their stems thinner as they need to be able to contort, climb and grow. Given the right care though, and their flowers have such delicate beauty and overpowering scent.

Once established, and strong, there may be a time when you forget to care for a plant. How sad it is for me to return from vacation and found a plant I forgot to care for before I left. How sad to see it dry and pale. Often I can catch it in time and with some special care for a little while, it can be revived and in time will make good progress again.

I love those I can truly call friend. I don’t have as many as others seem to and we do often have difficult times. I try to be the best friend that I can to them, but I often make mistakes. I never stop trying though. I have lost many friends from my life, those I thought would always be there, and it has always been sad for me.

I will try and fix problems. I try and revive the struggling plants, but sometimes my efforts are too little, to late, or simply unwanted. I find it heartbreakingly hard to accept that defeat.

Friendship is a living thing. Even the strongest ones can have moments of fragility.

Friendship is not a plant though. People can be tended and cared for in much more subtle ways. It doesn’t need to be a deep conversation from the heart which lasts hours into the night, sometimes it is simply asking how their day went. There is much to be said for letting someone know you thought of them in their absence and that you hoped their day was a good one which brought them happiness.

Unlike plants, friends talk. Listening is a skill though. Sometimes I listen too hard and imagine hearing things which aren’t there, but… I promise to always listen to my friends and try and hear what they actually are saying. Sometimes this means me asking them to explain a little more, but only because I don’t want to misunderstand.

Friendship takes time, not only in terms of weeks passing so you can say you have known that person for a certain number of months. It takes time spent with them, often alone, so you can concentrate on them, learn about them and see the things you share and that set you apart.

I have always said that material gifts are not important. For me, the biggest and most important gifts you can give to another person are your time, your honesty and your loyal friendship. For all my flaws, someone who can count on me as a friend actually does have someone who is a friend worth having, I think.

The joy for me, is seeing the wonderful garden of friends around me. Some may have been there longer than others, but each brings a beauty, life… and sheer happiness to me. A true joy which I am very grateful for!

Check on your friends and let them know how much they are loved. 🙂

Revel in all your layers!

NewDay

I do not live in a vacuum. At dark times I have withdrawn, wondering if it might be much easier to simply be a hermit.

Everything is an influence, from weather to music. A dark day for me can be brightened by suddenly seeing a bird or flower and taking a few moments peace to look closer.

Many times each day I come into contact with people. I live in a city, but am a country girl at heart. So often being just one in a sea of people pounding the pavement towards the city centre can seem achingly anonymous, but this is a small city… a friendly place. To meet the eyes of another and smile can bring a glimmer of light. To nod and share a few words of greeting sends me off with an added spring in my step.

The past few weeks have caused me to sit in the quiet hours of late-night and look deep into my heart and mind. It’s been a difficult time, but now and then it truly is as if a light bulb has been turned on in a dark corner of my feelings, in a part of the attic which I had either forgotten or not even explored before.

As much as I am an influence on others, they influence me too.

I have come to see that as much as I try my best, I am not what others need in their lives. That’s their decision and something I have to accept. Those of you who know me know how hard that is for me though, the endless wondering of whether I can ‘fix myself’, change who I am… and ultimately hope they will want me again. That is no good for me though. That train of thought only leaves me hurting myself even more.

My focus has been wrong, I think. Although it is right that I should seek always to be a better me, and part of that being very much how I impact others and the world around me, I shouldn’t only focus on my flaws and mistakes. I know that there are those who are pleased to spend time with me. How wonderful it is to make someone smile or laugh and know that for that minute you brought them happiness. I love that… I love to do that so much.

I have also been looking recently at how others influence me. How joyful it is for me to spend time in conversation with someone and feel my heart and soul lifted. Time spent with the right people can seem like having wings of happiness which carry me over the times of trouble which would otherwise weigh me down.

I have noticed how some bring out my smile more, they spark my humour which in turn ignites theirs too, to the point where both our sides hurt from laughter and our cheeks are sore from smiling.

There are those who with only a few words of conversation can bring pictures to my mind which either need to be woven into writing or artwork. How glorious it is to be inspired by someone wonderful.

If I did live in a vacuum I would be a flat and pale version of myself. No, that is not the way for me. I am glad to live amongst others. I love the fact that one smile from myself or someone to me can change everything in a day. I embrace those who are a positive influence on me, those who can strip back my layers, smiling at what they find and encourage each aspect of me.

Life is to be shared and each day enjoyed. Be the smile in someone else’s day when they can’t find their own! Encourage the wonderful aspects of them which friendship allows you to see!

Bunny

My wishes are like blossom

I offer the happiest and love-filled wishes to all for a wonderful Easter time.

New life is all around. Young animals are being born, the trees bursting with leaves and life. Delicate blooms adorn their branches and dance in the spring breeze, then eventually release their scented petals to cascade around, each carrying a kiss of joy and promise.

I wish you all days filled with the warmth of blessing, that each of you knows you are special, worth much and that this is a time to leave your cares behind. Place your feelings of doubt and darkness on the ground. Pile them high and use them as steps to climb to the sun where you belong!

Blossom

Packing up the past.

Past

Time… is one thing I can’t stop. It keeps moving, seemingly increasing in speed. One day I will have run out of it, but for now I try and move with it.

My past is always with me. I carry inside me the echoes of moments and words, missed opportunities and what I struggled to learn from them. With each day that passes more memories and their imprints are added. The combined weight can be crushing. The chains of error’s pattern hobble me and risk halting me completely.

One thing I always forget is that I am meant to be my own champion. I am all I truly have to rely on. I should be my best friend because I am the only person who will always be there for me. I care for others… but that doesn’t mean that it works both ways, and why should it? They didn’t ask me to care for them and it’s unfair of me to hope for… anything.

I can’t change anything about anyone except myself. I pack up my past. What I must do is be kind to myself though and realise that some things are broken and will never be repaired. I can try and be kind to myself and leave behind my mistakes and pain. Some things are luggage to travel with me, some are simply to be cut free and left. As painful as it is now, as alone as I feel, hope whispers to me that one day I will once again stand whole and worthy in my own eyes.