Sunday, August 31, 2014


Black Kite

People say happiness is upgraded when shared, although Ron was skeptical about that. Last time he tried to meet a girl, he spent months recriminating himself for his goofiness, which triggered a discouraging sense of social inaptitude. However, he was a determined man. One day, he summoned all his courage to talk to the cutest girl he had ever seen. He sat next to her and played his card. She talked and talked. He listened. She talked some more and he listened. Thirty years later, they are still together. It seems people were right about that happiness thing after all.

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Tokyo 3.1

The truck slid sideways on the ice-covered highway, the load at the back hindering the anguished attempts to stabilize the heavy vehicle.
When the police arrived, it was difficult to tell the truck from the pile of contorted multicolored metal. The rescue services tried their best to see where the victims were.
They all sat by the side of the road, the victims, amazed that no one could see them.
“Is that the light we are supposed to see, Dad?” asked thirteen year old Tommy, pointing at the fire engine. His Dad nodded. Tommy always wanted to be a firefighter.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Winter Moon

Being a kid has its disadvantages.
Being a teenager becomes, more often than not, a nightmare.
Yet being an adult is the worst.
It’s not only the fact that we are adults for most of our miserable lives, but also because, as old age kicks in, murmurous mondegreens tend to progressively take over our volatile certainties.
In the future, age will be irrelevant, I suppose.
I wonder if we’ll just get stuck at old age or if we’ll choose which age we’d like to be.
Oh, gosh. I just realized that we’ll all be young and breathtakingly beautiful!
How dreadful!

This story is a wink at Vonnegut’s short 2BR02B and Second Life’s avatars that tend to be young and beautiful! However, there seems to be an invasion of very creepy, pseudo-fashionable avatars lately which are definitely not breathtaking. For those of you who are not in this virtual world, sorry about that cryptic reference. If you’re intrigued, do a search on SL’s fashion models and recent blog posts and you’ll understand what I mean. However, beware, it’s literally nightmare material and totally unlike beautiful Monroe!

Sunday, August 10, 2014


LEA26 Resonant Osmosis

“What do a gondola, a widow and a gun have in common?” asked Prof. Mullins while being interviewed on TV.

The anchor didn’t know.
“Mullins, of course!”
The studio crew snickered.
“So, who’s Mullins?” continued the behavioral researcher.
“The wife shot him,” replied the anchor. “No, he’s the killer; he killed a man, a husband… in a gondola!”
“Interesting,” replied the researcher. “But Mullins didn’t kill anyone, well, not directly anyway.”
“Mullins is an experimental program named after its founder.”
That’s when everyone walked out of the studio.
Within the next few hours, dozens were killed all over town.

Sunday, August 3, 2014


Tierra de Fuego

The body was splattered all over the wide street, right in front of the town hall.
The Mayor scratched his head, looking up at the sky and down at the body. The police Chief did the same while trying to convince federal authorities to come over as quickly as possible. And everyone else just did nothing.
The truth is that the body had fallen from the sky, a rather unusual occurrence, one must admit. But the most bizarre aspect of this story was the fact that, ever since they closed the local airport, not a single plane flew over town.

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Story Waiting to Happen

Milk Wood

... Milk Wood (click here for full text).

This post is part of a series of monthly articles for the Virtual Writers Inc. website about sims in Second Life that could be inspiring for writers. My goal is to trigger ideas for new stories, new characters and new settings. Enjoy!

Note: One of the characteristics of Second Life is the fact that it's constantly and rapidly changing. Sims come and go; others look quite different, as time goes by. Do take that into consideration when using the links provided.

Milk Wood

Six months have gone by since Harri invited me to write this column. It has been an extremely interesting and enriching experience for me. I hope for you as well.

I took you with me on a tour of six sims, Collins Land, Gehena Vampire Clan, Hazardous, Taka no Sakura, The Far Away and Annwn Willows, this last one now gone.

Second Life’s impermanence, especially noticeable throughout the past few years, spawns in me a certain sense of urgency, a need to share as much as I can, as quickly as I can. Yet, this column cannot be written too far ahead of time for obvious reasons and its suggestions might suddenly not be possible to follow after our journey has been posted.

Many sims do have their own Flickr channel or other photo sharing venues that perpetuate the memory of how they looked, as Annwn Willows does. However, it’s never the same to visit a location by looking at a photograph or to actually walk through the place, listening to the sounds and seeing the type of windlight the creator chose.

All these aspects are very important for a writer. They are that extra bit of information that triggers recalling a word we were looking for or writing a sentence that fits just perfectly in a particular portion of the story.

The disappearance of Annwn Willows, after so many years of being one of the most visited and loved locations in Second Life, prompted me to write this month’s column about having roots, about looking for stories close tohome.

Allow me to explain. As writers, we crave for new experiences, new places to visit, and new people to get inspiration from. Many of us yearn to meet other writers, to share the burden of common frustrations, anxieties and the joy of our literary achievements.

Paradoxically, or not, we also crave for quietude, even solitude. So, it becomes important to have our own private corner and it does help when that corner is also where we can have writing events, where we can meet other writers, where we can even find inspiration for new stories!

I tend to park my virtual self at Milk Wood while writing, a beautiful woodland sim with small cabins and a few houses, home to the Virtual Writers, where I host a weekly goal-oriented writing challenge.

Understandably, there are stories waiting to happen at Milk Wood too!

So, have you noticed the drunken sailor by the watermill? He’s grumbling something about a treasure hidden in the island by pirates. Nearby, the blacksmith hammers on, pretending not to eavesdrop on my futile attempts to engage in conversation with the sailor. A treasure is definitely something worth the effort, but my attempts are disastrously unsuccessful.

I move on, walking randomly through the sim, and suddenly come across the chapel where a friar waits nervously. “They are coming, they are coming,” he repeats incessantly. Who is coming is a total mystery. For a second, I think another group of pirates is about to arrive, as boisterous and unruly as only pirates can be, causing the friar to be justifiably concerned. However, he mumbles something about the fisherman and a cave and I can make no sense at all of what he’s saying.

Farther ahead, an old fisherman is hard at work at the small bay, pulling the fishnet from the water. His day is quite unproductive so far and he’s not happy. “No fish,” he says. “She scared them away.” I don’t know who he’s talking about, but considering that all the characters in this story waiting to happen are anything but talkative, I don’t even dare ask.

Slightly up the hill, I notice a hidden entrance into the rock. A grout opens up as I walk inside. Crates and barrels pile up randomly. It does look like sea rovers hid their loot here in a hurry. Did I just stumble upon THE treasure?! I try to peer inside. I try to open the crates. I try to shake the barrels. Argh!

So, I need a tool, some sort of tool, any sort of tool! My kingdom for a tool!

Ok, Lizzie, calm down…!

As I search for anything that will help me crack those crates open, yes, because a treasure does need to breathe, doesn’t it, I come across the most enchanting mermaid swimming to the sound of a melodious harp. She is singing a mournful, somber melody, almost whispering it. I ask her about the treasure, I ask her about the fish, I ask her about…

Next thing I know, I am… Gosh, where am I? Oh, my cabin at Milk Wood! Writing stories, ok!

That mermaid… I was going to look for something, but I cannot seem to remember what… Odd thing…

As we close this journey, inevitably shorter as we didn’t travel far from home, I go back to my initial intention for this month’s post, i.e. to show you that we don’t need to go far to find a story.

As temporary as sims are these days, my challenge for this month is for you to find a story close to where you have your writing roots, your virtual writing home. Why not start at the Virtual Writers sim, where there are so many more hidden details to find, because… there’s a story waiting to happen at Milk Wood!