Returning to a Second Life watercolour

The Trace Too; Inara Pey, March 2015, on Flickr The Trace Too (Flickr) – click any image for full size

Almost a year ago, I finally got around to blogging about Kylie Jaxxon’s delightful homestead region, The Trace, having featured it a number of times in snapshots without actually writing about it. At the time, the region was presented as one of the most extraordinarily natural reaches of coastline I’ve seen in Second Life; so much so that while blogging, I referred to it as a watercolour, such was the beauty of the design and presentation.

Unfortunately, health matters intervened, forcing Kylie to abandon The Trace at the end of 2014 for health reasons; but there is no unhappy ending here, rather the reverse. Kylie is once again focused on Second Life, and she has once again been putting her eye and talent to work on designing a new region. This is called, appropriately enough, The Trace Too, and also fittingly, it once again presents a stunning coastal landscape, echoing the spring glory once seen at The Trace. Which is not to say it is in any way “just” a reproduction of the original’s appearance from a year ago; far from it!

The Trace Too; Inara Pey, March 2015, on Flickr The Trace Too (Flickr) – click any image for full size

The Trace Too offers visitors a splendid beach area, the tide apparently in a state of retreat  leaving the wet sand exposed under a spring afternoon’s sun, and in places still waterlogged. A lone wooden pier rises from the edge of the receding water, reached by a series of heavy wood logs to which planks have been nailed to form crude bridges over the more permanent pools of water left in the sand.

Behind these sandy flats, the island proper rises, slopes protected from any ravages from  the sea by huge boulders and rocks. Flat-topped, the island is home to a row of beach houses and a small lighthouse, the sand around them sprinkled with tough grass and a gentle tide of bluebells that surge and sway in the breeze. A path cuts through the flowers, running down to another beach which stretches away toward distant waters, the sand here dry and fine, a small caravan park testament to the fact the sea doesn’t encroach here.

The Trace Too; Inara Pey, March 2015, on Flickr The Trace Too (Flickr) – click any image for full size

With the surrounding offshore islands, it’s not hard to imagine this to be somewhere on the New England coast; indeed, with a little more grass to cover the ground, I could well imagine it being somewhere on the Scottish coast, looking out over the waters of the Atlantic at some of the inner islands. As it is, while walking the beach, I was put in mind of the long summer time walks I’ve enjoyed along the sands below Bambrough Castle in Northumberland, even if large offshore islands are not common in the waters of the North Sea there…

There are plenty of places to sit to be found throughout the region, all of them offering calming views of the sea, and many to be enjoyed as a group as well as individually or as a couple, making The Trace Too an ideal rendezvous when meeting friends. Rezzing is open for those wishing to pull a few props out of their inventory for photography, but do please remember to pick things up after yourself! Should you enjoy your visit, please do consider showing your appreciation for Kylie’s work through one of the tip cans which can be found at various points across the island.

The Trace Too; Inara Pey, March 2015, on Flickr The Trace Too (Flickr) – click any image for full size

As you may gather, The Trace Too is wonderfully evocative and atmospheric, and definitely somewhere you’ll want to visit if you haven’t done so already. And when you do, please make sure to have local sounds enabled to catch the hiss of the tide and the plaintive cries of gulls, many of which can be found circling and gathering in the north-east corner of the region, and all of which adds further depth to the experience.

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From outer space and realms of fantasy, through a walk in the woods, to a special birthday

It’s time to kick-off another week of fabulous story-telling in voice, brought to Second Life and Kitely by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library.

As always, all times SLT / PDT, and unless otherwise stated, events will be held on the Seanchai Library’s home on Imagination Island, or at their Kitely Homeworld.

Sunday, March 22nd

11:00: Seanchai Kitely: Gorak the Gobbler

An original tale written and read by Caledonia Skytower (

12:00 Noon: Happy Birthday Seanchai!

A special 90-minutes session at Seanchai Library SL, with stories and readings to celebrate the Library’s seventh anniversary, followed by dancing with DJ Aoife!

Some Seanchai library facts:

  • Seanchai Library was founded in March 20018 by Derry McMahon in Second Life, and the Library’s Chief Storyteller, Shandon Loring, told the first story as he has gone on to do with each branch that the group has opened
  • Since March 2008, Seanchai Library has presented over 2000 individual titles, stories, and selections from fiction, essays, and poetry, representing an estimated 2070 one hour story sessions between March 2008 and March 2015, presented solely be volunteers
  • Between January 2011 and January 2015, Seanchai Library made charitable donations totally $2,853 to 16 non-profit organisations around the world, doing good work in a variety of areas including environmental heath, housing, education, peace, social justice, and wildlife preservation
  • Seanchai’s recent EXPLORE The Great Gatsby pilot program reached over 1500 patrons and guests through its partner, Tacoma Little Theatre, during preshow and at intermission of its production of The Great Gatsby, as well as over 100 Hypergrid visitors from around the world, including residents of Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and various parts of the United States. Visit the EXPLORE. website for more information on this fascinating project
  • Seanchai events in Second Life generate an average of 70 unique visits a week, for a total of approximately 3640 visits annually.

18:00: Magicland Park SL:  Gorak the Gobbler

With Caledonia Skytower.

Monday, March 23rd

06:00: The Emerald Atlas

emerald atlasCata Charisma continues his reading of John Stephens’ The emerald Atlas, the first volume in his fantasy trilogy for young adults, The Books of Beginning.

Having been passed from pillar to post through orphanages, three siblings, Kate, Emma, and Michael, find themselves lodged at the home of one Dr. Stanislaus Pym. Kate, the eldest of the three is driven by a promise made by her mother, that if Kate protects her younger sister and brother, then their family will be one day reunited.

But in their explorations of Dr. Pym’s house the three of them find their way into the basement, where they come across a mysterious door and a equally mysterious emerald-covered booth, entirely without text. When an old photograph touches the blank pages of the book, however, the three are immediately transported to the time and place depicted in the photograph. Her they find themselves in a realm populated by witches, henchmen, giants, dwarves and more – and one Dr. Stanislaus Pym, a good deal younger than when they last saw him in his house…

19:00: Starswarm

StarswarmStarswarm Station is a remote research station established to study strange alien life. The planet on which it is located is the home of the starswarm, intelligent plants living under the planet’s shallow lakes and seas, and roaming bands of centaur-like creatures dubbed “haters”.

The station is also home to Kip, a teenage boy living under the guardianship of his “uncle”. However, as Kip begins to discover, he has another guardian: Gwen, an AI system his mother had been working on, prior to her death, and which communicates with Kip via a small implant placed inside his brain at birth.

Gwen knows far more about the planet and the lifeforms it harbours than Kip could imagine. It also knows a lot about the company that runs the station and, for all intents and purposes, “owns” the planet on which it sits.

Slowly, Gwen reveals these various truths to Kip, including his own destiny. But in doing so, it puts Kip, and potentially the entire station, at risk.

Join Gyro Muggins as he concludes a reading of Jerry Pournelle’s 1998 novel intended for teenage readers but which offers an interesting look at subjects such as neural nets and living computer systems.

Tuesday March 24th, 19:00: A Walk in the Woods

walk-in-woodsBy his own admission, Bill Bryson isn’t the world’s greatest adventurer. This being the case, you’d think he’d have serious misgivings about undertaking this particular “walk in the woods”, as he disarmingly calls it: taking the 3,500 kilometre (2,200 mile) Appalachian Trail – a journey which would take five months to complete.

Travelling with his good friend “Stephen Katz”, the book is both a humorous guide to the trail and a set of serious and insightful comments / discussion on the trail’s history as it winds its way from Georgia (where Bryson was living at the time the book was written in 1998), to Maine. These discussions cover a broad range of subject including the sociology, ecology, trees, plants, animals and people of the states through which the trail passes (Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine).

Join Kayden Oconnell as he resumes retracing Bryson’s footsteps through the pages of this classic.

Wednesday March 25th, 19:00: The Real Winnie!

Join Caledonia Skytower as she presents the story of a truly one-of-a-kind bear who helped inspire the character of Winnie the Pooh!

Thursday March 26th, 19:00: Celtic Myths and Magick

With Shandon Loring.

Saturday, March 28th, 12:00 Noon: Seanchai InWorldz Opens!

Mark the date in your diaries, and check the Seanchai Library blog for more news nearer the date! I’ll have more on this is due course!


Please check with the Seanchai Library SL’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule. The featured charity for January / early March is Project Children, teaching and building peace in Northern Ireland, one child at a time.

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