Benefits of SL

It’s the virtual writing world squared: the mostly virtual National Novel Writing Month extravaganza, coupled with the totally virtual Second Life NaNoWriMo writers! As NaNoWriMo winds down, hundreds of thousands of words have risen counters at the NaNoWriMo website and at writers’ gatherings throughout SL (including the Milk Wood Gypsy Camp for writers, shown in the [...]

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This blog has kept me extremely busy the past few months. “What?” you say, “then where are you hiding all the posts I don’t see??” Well, not just this blog, but several other blogs, as well as all the other riches I’ve discovered in Second Life. I can hear you now:  “Has this woman gone completely nuts??” Not yet. [...]

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New Art Form for Theater & Playwrights Incubated in Second Life

April 2, 2010

Another first for a writer in Second Life: Her original play is being produced in Second Life and, at the same time, staged via streaming media into the real-world theatre she manages. Artists of all stripes—including writers—are constantly expanding the envelope of what’s possible with their innovations in Second Life.  Now SL resident Lailu Loon, […]

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Where to Meet Many of the ‘AWE’some Writers, Publishers, & Resources in Second Life

October 13, 2009

For nearly two years, I’ve been talking about all the great resources for writers in the virtual world of Second Life.  Here’s your chance to see for yourself – in one easy trip to the annual Autumn Writers Exposition. For the third year in a row, the folks at the awesome Written Word organization in […]

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How Can Writers Make Money in Second Life? Let Me Count the Ways…

September 28, 2009

I get asked this question a lot:  Can a writer actually make any money in Second Life? If I’m busy or have had a tough day, I may respond with another question:  “Can a writer make any money in any life?” Cynicism toward the publishing industry aside, usually I answer, “Yes, of course they can,” […]

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Just for Writers: Free, Weekly Open Mic & Support Group in Second Life

September 14, 2009

One of my favorite activities each week in Second Life is the Monday “Writers Symposium” I host at Story Mountain Center for Writers. The symposium is rather a fancy name for what we do, but it’s a convenient term for this weekly meeting where writers gather, read their work to the others attending, and then, […]

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How a Successful Author in First Life Supports Aspiring Authors in Second Life

September 9, 2009

Most Wednesday evenings find me with a handful of other writers in a comfy, living-room setting, where we talk and laugh with, and get advice from a writer whose career is way ahead of mine:  an author of more than 40 published novels (at least eight of which have been New York Times bestsellers) and […]

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How Second Life Helped Me Lose Weight, Fly Above My Fears, & Advance My Writing Career

August 14, 2009

Introducing the newest scientifically-based weight-loss program (drum-roll, please):  Hanging out in the virtual world of Second Life! Before you laugh yourself blind, let me say I’m telling you this in all seriousness.  One of the recent news stories making the rounds of the mainstream media is an article reporting on a study that shows SL […]

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The New Way for Authors to Meet Readers & Promote Books: Virtual Book Tours

August 11, 2009

Reactions ranging from slight suspicion to accusations of insanity greet me when I discuss all the great writing-related stuff in Second Life with both authors and readers unfamiliar with virtual worlds. So then I ask authors: Want to meet your readers?  Introduce your books to even more readers?  And never have to leave your home? […]

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How Writers Are Using Second Life to Find Audiences & Readers

July 24, 2009

Imagine this scenario: You’re an unpublished, unknown playwright and you’ve just written a play that you believe needs to be staged. Your income is commensurate with most writers’ – i.e., not a lot. And you don’t have rich friends or family who might fork over the tens of thousands of dollars needed to [...]

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‘The Rabbicorn’: Another Way Second Life Enhances the Storyteller’s Art

July 17, 2009

It’s sort of a cross between an illustrated storybook and Disneyworld without the crowds, noise, and vendors.  It’s a story you can literally immerse yourself in.  And it’s something you’ll find only in a virtual world like Second Life. I love discovering ways in which writers use the 3D elements of Second Life to create […]

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Memo to Universe: Please Use Second Life Code to Fix These First Life Programming Bugs!

June 7, 2009

May 2009 will go down in my personal history as one of the most miserable months ever — personally and professionally.  And it made me think about how wonderful first life could be if only it had a few more of Second Life’s features! But before I launch into my wishlist of features I think […]

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Writers Can’t Hide from the Mic – Not Even in Second Life!

May 14, 2009

I’m trying very hard to develop at least a minimal amount of affection for the sound of my voice.  It’s tough, when I’ve hated hearing it for nearly half a century!  After all, I’m a writer!  You know — one of those people who can think as they type, but not as they talk.  But […]

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Second Life Condenses Time, Expands Resources for Writers

April 25, 2009

Second Life collapses time.  Case in point: my almost-lifelong effort to find or start a writers’ group for sharing and feedback. For creative writers, the value of sharing their writing with other writers and getting feedback, support, and helpful critique is immeasurable.  Some writers even say it’s essential for getting published.  Whether that’s true or […]

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Are You Missing What (Second) Life Has to Offer?

April 12, 2009

For the first time in my life, I’m proud to call myself an evangelist.  Wait!  Before you click that X-to-close button (especially those of you who know me personally), I’m NOT talking about religion in any shape or form!  No, what I’ve become downright evangelical about is Second Life . And especially this virtual world  […]

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How to Use Second Life to Support Your Writing Schedule

April 6, 2009

Every writer I know has a bag of tricks they use to motivate themselves to just sit their butt down and write on those days when it simply feels too hard — an excuse often couched in the disguise of the moment:  “I think I may be coming down with something,” or “it’s too hot/cold […]

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WITVS Blogger & ‘Queen’ of SL Poets Go ‘Off the Shelf’ & On the Air

March 26, 2009

The exciting new radio talk show about the literary scene in Second Life, Off The Shelf, will air its second program this Sunday, March 29, featuring perhaps the most well-known SL literary figure/writer/poet, Persephone Phoenix, and one of the newer SL writing-scene bloggers, yours truly, as my SL avatar Alas Zerbino. Off The Shelf is […]

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A Writer’s Guide to Learning About Second Life (Part 3)

February 24, 2009

Wow! Second Life is a lot to learn!  At least that’s what I’ve realized as I’ve worked on these posts.  So if you’re just starting out in this virtual world, be patient!!  In Part 1 of this series, I gave my (opinionated) advice on the best way to get in and get going quickly in […]

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A Writer’s Guide to Learning About Second Life (Part 2)

February 19, 2009

Welcome back! I hope you’re finding Second Life half as intriguing as I do!   In Part 1 of this series, I described these six steps that helped me — and I hope can help you — in Second Life: Learn a little about Second Life before you enter this virtual world. Sign up for Second […]

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Written Word: This Virtual Group Offers Tremendous Support for Real Writers

January 19, 2009

I was lucky to have stumbled onto Written Word in one of my earliest explorations around the virtual world of Second Life. (I think it was shortly after my ill-fated attempt to dance for Lindens at a nightclub; I earned all of L$15, which then disappeared from my account overnight!!  I know I was strolling […]

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Seven Lessons I Learned from Doing NaNoWriMo 2008 Virtually

December 3, 2008

Well, I was proved wrong once again:  Participating in National Novel Writing Month was incredibly more challenging and far more rewarding than I ever expected! I herewith apologize to all my writer friends whose participation in previous NaNoWriMos I discounted — don’t ask if you were one; I’m too embarrassed to say — and now […]

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How Much Can Virtual Worlds Be Blamed for Individual Choices?

November 19, 2008

The blame game: Given our myths and legends, I think it’s fair to say that humans have always played it. From the Garden of Eden story, to the tales from Mount Olympus, to this morning’s newspaper, we humans have used every trick in the book to blame anyone or anything else for our own choices. […]

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NaNoWriMo & Second Life: A Powerful Combo for Novel Writers

November 6, 2008

It’s National Novel Writing Month! (What???!! You’ve never heard of NaNoWriMo??!! Go directly — do not pass Go, do not collect $200 — go directly to www.nanowrimo.org. For the rest of you, read on…) For years I’ve observed my fellow writers come together with other writers from all over the world and cheer each other […]

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Help! I’m an Introverted Writer in an Extraverts’ World!

October 5, 2008

Methinks it used to be far easier to be an introverted writer.  And since 95 percent of writers are introverted (according to Ursula LeGuin), me-double-thinks it used to be a whole lot easier to be a writer, period! Writers today have to be almost as expert at the extraverted skills of marketing and sales as […]

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Poets: A Wealth of Open Mics Await You in Second Life (1st in a series)

September 29, 2008

Roughly eight months ago, I tiptoed around a hedge and peaked at my first poetry reading in Second Life.  I was still a newbie who knew nothing about HUDs that let avatars know who else is around, so I thought I was hiding pretty good.  That is, until I heard a woman’s voice say, “Welcome, […]

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One Writing Competition in Second Life You Can’t Lose

September 14, 2008

What writer’s toolbox does NOT include that basic implement we call the writing prompt?  For many of us, a writing prompt is equivalent to the common hammer or screwdriver.  It’s ubiquitous, useful for just about any construction or repair job, and often works better than a bucket-load of more sophisticated tools. Entrance to the headquarters […]

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How Second Life Cured One Writer’s Allergy to Networking

September 5, 2008

We all have “those words”—you know, the ones we belittle as “manufactured” or “PC” or too trendy to do more than sneer at.  For some, words like maximize and impact, used as verbs, top their list.  For others, it’s terms like collateral damage to mean killing innocent people.  For me, a word that’s long topped […]

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Why in the World Did I Start this Blog???

August 16, 2008

Did you know that there’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 million to 200 million blogs today? So why in heaven’s name would I want to become blogger No. gazillion-and-one? Good question—and one a writer/blogger friend asked of other bloggers. She invited us each to write a post on own own blog about how we […]

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Second Life Experiences: As Real As Your Brain Thinks!

July 15, 2008

“Joan, you’ve gone too far!” my First Life writer friend said after reading point 4 from my previous post. “You can’t tell writers they can learn to fly—or whatever!—by watching a cartoon avatar move around on a computer monitor!” Thankfully, we were on that old-fashioned social-networking device called the telephone, so he didn’t see my […]

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7 Second Life Ways to Give Your Writing a Boost

July 10, 2008

Yeah, I know—writers are supposed to chain their butts to the seats of their writing chairs if they want to achieve real literary success. But it’s the rare writer (Emily Dickinson is one of the few who come to mind) who can thrive solely in the airspace between the fingertips and the keyboard (or [...]

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The A to Z of My Birth Into Second Life

July 5, 2008

I know I’m not a cat because I’m still alive after decades of following my curiosity into a vast assortment of situations–some good, some not-so-good. That’s how I got to Second Life, too. I’m always on the lookout for what’s new. What’s new out there? In there? Beyond here and there? And so [...]

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The Key to a Good Second Life: Become a Groupie

July 1, 2008

As a jaded, know-it-all teen and young adult in the ’60s and ’70s, I smirked self-righteously whenever I met a groupie: you know, those star-struck teeny-boppers who swooned at the mere sight of Mick Jagger or fought their way to the front at a Beatles concert and screamed and fainted as John, Paul, George, [...]

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Grrr…. Or, How Second Life Saves Me Time, Money, and Anguish

June 27, 2008

I live within driving distance of a terrific writers’ resource: The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. The Loft offers great classes, workshops, and author presentations, and makes it easy to find a peer group for that ongoing support and critique so key to writing success. I’m a long-time Loft member and have utilized their resources […]

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A Writer in Wonderland

June 26, 2008

A kid in a candy store! Yeah, I know it’s a cliche, but sometimes those are the only ways to describe something. And I’d never felt more like a kid surrounded by all the free candy I wanted — or like Alice in only the best parts of Wonderland — than I did [...]

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