How can a writer use virtual worlds ? Stephanie Mesler, an american writer, explains her point of view to Lokazionel.
What is your main activity in virtual world ?
«I run Freda's Place, a group in multiple virtual worlds, which encompasses all my activities in virtual worlds, across grid lines. The calendar for Freda's Place can be found here.
I am active in literary communities in Second Life and OpenSimulator, mostly in Kitely. My world, Poesy, hosts a number of literary events: Live Literature spoken word performances, Freda In Progress performances of my own writings in progress, Tuesday Night Babble Open Mics, open writing activities in the Creativity Zone (like this month's short story round robin and last month's haiku throw-down). At Poesy, there are several writers in residence and a couple of author/artist studios. I am still accepting applications for more writers to become live-in parts of the Poesy community. Poesy is also home to several literature linked to art projects and a weekly social dance DJd by BigRed Coyote.
In Second Life, I host Live Literature events on Book Island and I lead the Promptly Erotic writing workshops. I also perform regularly at Seanchai library. I am interested in spiritual exploration so I spend some time looking into places that inspire that. One of my own worlds, Spirit Paths, which was built and is run by my friend, Belovan Zuta, is such a place, I lead guided meditations there, but even that is about my work as a writer, because the meditations are scripts I create.
Freda's Retreat, another of my sims, is also meant to be a virtual get-away for those of us who do creative work.»
Freda in her studio on Poesy in Kitely.
I see you are a writer… So what is the link you made between writing and virtual world ?
«I have been a writer for much of my life but there was a roughly 12 year period in which I wrote next to nothing. It was experiences in virtual worlds that primed the pump again and encouragement from friends in those worlds that encouraged me to start writing seriously and professionally. I met my real life partner, my husband to be, in SL. He was very supportive of my writing for a career. With his support, I ventured out and started sharing what I was writing, first at open mics in virtual settings, then in rl open mics, then by getting published. There is a section of my memoir, Adventures and Confessions of a Fat Lady Who Sings, that deals with my early experiences in virtual worlds.
Now I use virtual settings as inspiration and for actually doing the work. I am attaching a pic of my studio in Kitely.»
What is your favorite virtual world ? and why?
«Kitely. Hands down. Kitely's pricing structure allows me to be creative and to help others who do creative work in a big way. I also find that Kitely has an incredibly supportive community.»
The logo for Freda's Place.
And could you explain why do you like virtual world ?
«I like virtual worlds for many, many reasons but the biggest is that a person can be whatever and whoever they want in the metaverse. Freda is more me than the real me ever could be. Freda can take bigger risks and can afford to be herself at all times. One thing I have learned from my time in the metaverse is that it really is more fun and healthier to be totally oneself. Ironically, for many, many people that is more possible in virtual worlds than in the real one. Freda is not hindered by my physical disabilities or finances. Freda has lived several virtual careers, very few of which could I actually try in the solid world.»
|Freda's Retreat in Kitely... relaxation, inspiration, romance||grid.kitely.com:8002:Freda's Retreat|
|Poesy, Kitely -- literature and art, spoken word, art and book shops, home to Catalyst Creations||grid.kitely.com:8002:Poesy|
|Rhapsody, Kitely -- commercial and residential rentals, night club, beach, gardens, spa, resort||grid.kitely.com:8002:Rhapsody|
|Shareville, Kitely -- friends doing their than||grid.kitely.com:8002:Shareville|
|Spirit Paths, Kitely -- spiritual exploration and education||grid.kitely.com:8002:Spirit Paths|
|Freda's Place on Book Island, Second Life -- spoken word salon|
|Stephanie Mesler's Shop on Book Island, Second Life -- book publication and PR|