Mitch Newmore’s Journal

“…there are no classical guitarists who don’t know who Eric Clapton is…”

Here’s a brand new story blog written by the same guy who writes all my stuff…

https://mitchnewmore.wordpress.com/

Mitch Newmore is a character in the Cedar Point RPG in the virtual world, Great Canadian Grid.

Mitch is a 27-year old musician (guitar and woodwinds) who has lived in the local area his entire life. He plays gigs all around the area and also gives lessons but sometimes has to take part-time jobs doing other types of work to support himself.

Cedar Point is a small (fictional) town in British Columbia, near the border with the United States. The time is the present.

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Danko On Craft

First let me say that my typist and I had a bit of a row over who was going to write this piece and whose blog it would appear on. As I begin to type, I’m not sure which one of us won the argument.

There have been times in my virtual life when I’ve had no home. I’ve always had a pub and often had an office, usually both, but not always a home. There have been other times when I’ve had multiple homes. I go with what suits my needs and desires of the time.

One of the most enjoyable periods of my virtual existence was when The Steamlands were thriving in Second Life. At one point, I had six offices, three pubs and five homes scattered about Winterfell, Caledon, New Babbage, Austral, New Toulouse and Steelhead.

I was thinking of those days the other night when I rented a region on Craft World.

My farm town, Dankoville, has been my main virtual world project of the past two years even though there have been many other projects during this time as well. Dankoville is self-hosted and connected to Naras Nook grid. We hooked up to Nook in late February and things have worked out so well, I can’t say enough about it. (But I really should, in a separate article. Been meaning to.)

The thing is, in story, Danko never lived in Dankoville. His relatives ran the family farm nearby and Danko would visit but until the last couple of years he never spent any serious time there other than summers when he was a child. But his story has taken him there often these last two years and nowadays, he does consider the farm as one of his homes.

But therefore, he needs others too. He has Winterfell on Second Life, which he has considered his main home for more than five years. But in reality, he doesn’t actually have a home there now. He has the Storytellers Pub in Winterfell Laudanum and a little private office in the sky above but no house.

I think George took over for those last two graphs. Well, as I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself…

Regardless of the details, I still think of Winterfell as my main home and now Dankoville as my second home. But now that Dankoville is happily settled on Naras Nook and I can devote my time to improving it and looking for new story there, I now have the time, the desire and I think also the need for another home in OpenSim.

I’ve always wanted to have a place on Craft. It’s slogan is “the friendly grid” and it is home to many artists. The Craft Store is considered one of the best freebie shops in all of OpenSim for getting your avatar started and the welcome region, Hydra, hosts an excellent collection of teleporters to various regions on Craft as well as hypergates to other grids.

Somehow I lucked out and my new region, called Elsewhere, is just a few map squares northeast of Hydra and just a square away from VirtualChistine‘s popular Monte Gordo region. So I’m right in the middle of things.

Elsewhere is a hilly, wooded area in which two small state roads intersect. My house, in a sort of Victorian/New Orleans style, sits atop a hill, in the north of the region, away from the road. The landing point, in the center of the region, is next to an old gazebo or bandstand on which I plan to put some informational notecards. In the southeast corner of the sim, there are three worn commercial buildings where State Routes 25 and 94 meet. I’m almost finished installing a pub in one building (still need a name!). One of the other buildings will have a few hypergates and the third building will remain vacant for now and maybe in time will become a shop of some sort. I have room for one more building if the need arises. The rest of the region will remain natural and I’ll be adding more trees and plants as time goes on.

I haven’t done serious shopping for things for the house yet but I had Dankos from a couple other OpenSim grids come over via hypergrid and drop some stuff off to get me started. I arranged the furniture they gave me into sitting rooms on both floors of the house. The downstairs will be for entertaining guests or just hanging out while the upstairs will be for writing.

I used to do all my blog writing inworld, nearly all of it in Winterfell. I never minded if someone interrupted to chat or ask for help or whatever because in my RL writing work, that’s how it always was. But last year I began writing stories that were much too long for my story blog. These stories were more complex and therefore required more concentration and after an interruption it would take a bit of time to get back on track. So I started writing those stories offline. After awhile, I wrote everything offline.

That was all fine…but I missed writing inworld. I’ll have to keep working on those longer stories offline but I want to be writing inworld whenever I can. And to get that started, I need a new place or places to do it.

So now I have Elsewhere on Craft. And I just wrote this article there, err, here…in my new writing office/sitting room on the top floor of the house on the hill. Nice view from here.

And yeah, I hinted above that I might need another place to write inworld as well. I haven’t given thought to that yet but I’m feeling that one new place is not going to be enough.

HG to Elsewhere:

craft-world.org:8002:elsewhere

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Radio Danko Is On The Air!

You’ve probably asked yourself many times over the years, “What if there was a radio station programmed by a time traveler?”

Well, now there is! Yours truly has entered the arena of internet radio.

It started in the usual way. One day I was bemoaning the fact that two of my favorite music streams had gone away. The next day I was starting my own.

I wanted a cross-genre stream that I could use in some of my virtual world places, a stream that played hits and familiar songs along with album cuts and novelties. A station that would play Ian and Sylvia along with Bruno Mars.

The music mix is heavy on the classics – classic rock, classic soul, classic pop, classic country. There’s blues and folk. And a few old standards too. And a little jazz. Then add a layer of new songs by new artists from those same genres as well as new songs by older artists.

Core artists range from Bob Dylan, The Band, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, The Rolling Stones, Jerry Garcia, Joni Mitchell, Richard Thompson, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty to Mumford & Sons, The Avett Brothers, Green Day, Lyle Lovett, Adele, Alicia Keys, Amy Winehouse, Fountains of Wayne and Rufus Wainwright.

But that just scratches the surface.

“Absurdly eclectic” is one of the slogans I’ve been kicking around.

It hit me that there are not many reasonable explanations for such a format. Time travel could definitely fit. It would probably be more interesting than the real story. And it would probably make more sense too. So I named the station after a time traveler. Me.

And so Radio Danko began broadcasting from the virtual world to the real world.

To listen online, go here…

https://www.radionomy.com/en/radio/radiodanko/

To listen inworld as parcel music, use this….

http://streaming.radionomy.com/RadioDanko

I’ll need a website for my station. So far, I have a page….

http://radiodanko.weebly.com/

The stream has been running for a week and as I’ve been listening to it, I’ve been thinking about my character, the semi-retired time traveler. In my stories, he has spent a lot of time living in the 1870s and he comes from a very musical family. As the music stream played, I imagined him spending extensive time living a hundred years later, and falling in love with the songs of the 1960s and 1970s. When the time comes for him to return to the 19th century, he realizes this music has become too important to him to leave behind.

So he takes it with him. It’s not easy lugging a large record collection through time. Not to mention the applicable playback devices. And a boatload of batteries.

As time goes on, he continues to investigate this music. That leads him to collect examples of the music that came in the decades leading up to that period as well as the music that it morphed into in successive decades. And to collect an array of playback devices. And a wide variety of batteries.

He is fascinated by the fact that so many musical styles existed at the same point in time. He loves both the most pure example of each style as well as the various hybrid combinations. He dreams of finding a way to dump all of this music into one delivery system, where all he has to do is push one button and the songs play themselves, skipping around from one genre to the next. And all he has to do is listen.

That day has finally come.

You can listen too.

I hope you will. It’s the only way Radio Danko can stay on the air. I’m using the free Radionomy platform. They require that a station maintain a certain amount of listeners…or else! No, they won’t start charging me a fee, they just pull the plug instead.

Radio Danko is therefore, listener-supported. But I don’t want your money, I just want your ears. Please give Radio Danko a try. If you like it, the more often you listen and the longer you listen, the better the chances of keeping this stream alive.

When you like something, you want to tell your friends about it. Right? Well, you can do me a big favor then. If you like Radio Danko’s eclectic music mix, please give it a mention in social media and give your friends the address for the webpage…

http://radiodanko.weebly.com/

Thanks for listening and thanks for your help. I hope you enjoy Radio Danko. I’m having a ball with it. :)

Posted in Virtual Living | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

One Giant Leap Backward For Blogkind

Yes, the design of this blog has changed. Again. I’m not happy with it either. I believe this is the fourth wordpress template I’ve used since I started this blog in December 2012 and I haven’t actually liked any of them. But heck, they’re free, so I can’t complain. Right? Well…

I almost liked the last one. It’s called Sequential. I was going to stick with it even though I was only about 80-percent happy with it because I don’t think my happy meter can go higher than that for a template.

Unfortunately the Like button was broken. And the Reblog button. Not for everyone apparently but for most people, including me. When my typist tried to Like one of my posts (it was plugging his site, of course), the Like button reacted as if he was trying to post it to Facebook. And the Reblog button was scrambled up with some other action.

I have a test blog where I do my prep whenever I’m creating a new blog or updating an old one. The Sequential theme works fine on my test blog. But when I activate it here, it doesn’t. Even activating another template and then re-activating Sequential doesn’t work.

You say I should contact wordpress about this? That doesn’t work either.

When I’m looking at my wordpress dashboard and that cute little (read: annoying) “How can we help you today?” dialog box comes up, I type one word and then when I hit the spacebar, that dialog box disappears.

I knew that was a waste of time anyway, I was just playing along so I could say, “yeah, I told them about it.”

I’m not sure how many blogs I have at the moment for myself and my pen names but there are quite a few. So I’m already using a bunch of free wordpress templates and I like each one to look different. I can’t find another one at the moment that is acceptable both functionally and aesthetically. And yes, I’m only considering the free ones.

So in desperation, I have reverted to an earlier time. I think I used this template for an old blog for a pen name I killed off a few years ago. You can tell it’s an ancient template just from the name, it’s called Twenty Ten. To be clear: I don’t want this one. I’m using it until I feel like messing around with this some more. Which could be tomorrow or six months from now.

Assuming the buttons work.

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Talkin’ ’bout My Worlds

My typist has banged out another of his behind-the-scenes articles about being me. In this one he seems to be trying to organize my life or my world or something along those lines. I may read it later.

“Welcome To My Worlds”

from My Virtual Blog

https://minervirtualblog.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/welcome-to-my-worlds/

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Are You Missing Assets On OSgrid?

I did some shopping on OSgrid the other day. When I got home, nearly all of the items I “bought” were useless as they had “missing assets” and my two-hour trip was a complete waste of time.

This must be the reason…

http://news.osgrid.org/2015/04/18/asset-cluster-maintenance-complete/

UPDATING LATER on April 19…

Turns out, this is a pretty big deal.

Maria Korolov now has the whole story on Hypergrid Business…

http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2015/04/osgrid-loses-entire-month-of-new-content/

Posted in Virtual Issues | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What I Want

I read reports of people trying out Occulus or logging in to High Fidelity, Linden Lab working hard on Next Gen, other improvements popping up here and there as dedicated virtual worlders work on pet projects and share the results.

I hope somebody is working on my pet desire…

Weather.

That’s all. It would be a game-changer.

Not just a way to make it rain or snow over here in this corner…but a way to make it rain or snow everywhere in the sim except inside buildings or underneath objects. My umbrella should work in this rain.

My daydream, what I want:

I want to post the seven-day forecast in the Dankoville Information Center. I want it to look just like on TV. A sun icon for Monday, clouds icon on Tuesday, rain icon for Wednesday, etc. And I want to have that weather cycle programmed into my regions.

Regulars can enjoy the changes, writers or RPers or photographers who need a certain look can plan accordingly, and when nobody else is around, I can change it to whatever I want, on a whim.

“Real” weather would have a bigger impact on quality of life inworld than anything else you can name.

For me, anyway. You may not give a damn.

If I could sit in my office or home or pub on a rainy night and just chill or look out the window or chat with a friend or write my little stories…in that rainy night atmosphere…oh man that would be so cool.

This is one of the many reasons I love Winterfell in Second Life, my home of the past five years. In Winterfell, a dark fantasy realm, we have “The Mist” a magical phenomenon of some sort. It feels like we have weather in Winterfell – fog or mist or even drizzle at times.

I’ve read about weather in virtual worlds before and whether it could be done or not…but not for sometime. I have no idea if anyone is working on that these days. But I hope someone is, so today’s virtual worlds or tomorrow’s will have weather.

I’ll need audio of rain too. A selection of storms. Right now I would choose a light spring rain.

Whatever else they come up with this year, is fine with me. But virtual weather would change what it feels like to be inworld. It changes our mindset, our sense of place. It would be huge.

Posted in Virtual Issues | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

A Baseball Story

Here’s a link to my entry in the Opening Day Stories Project, sponsored by the Dankoville Story Group.

Up until now, all of my stories of the past five years have appeared under my name. But I was in all of those stories, I’m not in this one. So I thought I’d bow out and let my ghostwriter get some credit for a change. This one is written in his name.

Take it away, George…

https://georgeminer.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/how-dazzle-jarvis-got-his-name-2/

You can visit the scene of this story, here… Dankoville HG address

world.narasnook.com:8900:dankoville

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What Is Your Perception Of Second Life?

The title above comes from Strawberry Singh’s weekly meme. This one says you can make a video to answer the question. Heck, I don’t even do audio, I don’t think I’ll be making any videos. I write. She did say you could post your answers in written form.

  1. What is your perception of Second Life?

That is a big fat question. Wide open. Too big for me. Makes me want to ask, “what do you mean?” I suppose I could wax on about the value of the Second Life experience in today’s society or some such. I could even fake it if I really had to. But hey, if you ask a simple question, you get a simple answer…

My perception is that Second Life is fun.

  1. Do you feel the portrayal or reputation Second Life seems to have in the mainstream media is justified?

Yes.

First, the pop culture news media does a poor job in general so why would you expect it to do a good job covering Second Life? Second, Second Life has a bad reputation because Linden Lab did a poor job of public relations.

If your product really does stink and the news media does good coverage of that fact, then you are in serious trouble. But if your product really is good and the news media has been doing a poor job of covering that, then any trouble you are in is your own damn fault. Get off your butt and do something about it.

  1. Do you talk about your Second Life with your real life friends and family.

Just with one close person. Nobody else knows what I’m talking about so I stopped mentioning it a long time ago.

  1. What is your most favorite thing to do in Second Life?

Sit in my little room in the sky, listen to music and write or read.

I still explore once in awhile but I have no building projects anymore in Second Life. I still have one writing project in SL but the people I used to work with are gone – either to OpenSim or away from virtual worlds entirely, so not much happens on the writing front in SL these days. Instead, I come to SL to rest from either RL or OpenSim or other writing projects.

Second Life has become my retreat.

It’s fun to have a retreat.

I like quiet fun, what can I say?

Posted in Virtual Issues, Virtual Living | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Opening Day Stories Project

Calling all writers. Dankoville Story Group presents a new, short-term writing project, something unexpected…from out of left field…

Some of our very best writers started as sportswriters or dabbled in sports writing at some point in their career. From early on in the development of sports coverage in American newspapers, those who were sent out to cover news were called “reporters” while those who were sent out to cover sports were called “writers.”

Baseball is the sport that has inspired writers most, Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, Ring Lardner, Ernest Hemingway, George Plimpton, John Updike, Roger Angell, Stephen King, Doris Kearns Goodwin, George Will…once you start making a list, you can’t stop.

Now it’s your turn at bat.

The Dankoville Story Group, in association with the Greyville Writers Colony, invites you to take part in the Opening Day Stories Project.

Wait, don’t go! Not a sports fan? Keep reading, this is for you too.

It all started like this…

Dankoville is my virtual world sim or mini-grid. I use it as a setting for writing and roleplay and two other writers/RPers have joined me. In story, Dankoville is located somewhere in the Corn Belt of the U.S. It’s a small town surrounded by farming communities. Two small cities are nearby.

A few weeks ago, on a whim, I began building a minor league baseball stadium in one of the cities. As the stadium took shape, character and story ideas came to mind. As the build neared completion, an idea came for a group writing project. I pitched it to my group members and they immediately signed on. Then, I moved Dankoville to a new grid, Naras Nook, and naturally that led to inviting others to join us.

So, here it is…the Opening Day Stories Project…

Your objective – To write something about Opening Day in this particular setting and publish it between April 7 – 15.

Project objective – To create a collection of writings from different perspectives, in different styles and forms, about one day in the life of a small town.

First and most importantly, you don’t have to know anything about baseball to take part. If you do know baseball – great, you can use that. If you want. Or not. We’re not asking you to write about a baseball game, we’re asking you to write about Opening Day.

Opening Day is not a sports event, it’s a life event. The stories are not just on the field, they are in the stands. Everyone at the game has a story. Opening Day – especially at a small minor league ballpark in a small city in the middle of miles and miles of farms – is a rite of spring, a celebration of renewal. The locals see friends they may not have seen since before Christmas. People take a half day off from work or skip school to be there. Some have attended every Opening Day for years. Families come out to the park together, as have generations before them. Opening Day brings out the serious fan, the casual fan – who might not pay attention again until the playoffs in the fall, even the non-fan who goes for the event, the atmosphere…or who gets dragged along by a friend or relative who is a fan. There are many reasons to be there on Opening Day and so, of course, there are many stories to tell.

The Rules:

On the one hand, there aren’t any. You can write 3000 words or 300. You can write a chapter, a short story, an essay, an article, a poem, a first-person account, a narrative, one story, three stories…..anything. You can write from the perspective of a local or a visitor.

On the other hand, we need a little structure. I will post separately some background information on our story setting – Dazzle Jarvis Field in Stevenson, somewhere in the Corn Belt. I will also include a Fact Sheet: Here are some things that happened on Opening Day (things like: the weather, a few details about the Opening Day Parade, who sang the national anthem, who took part in the pre-game festivities, who won the game – with a highlight or two, etc.).

The Schedule:

  1. – You can immediately start thinking about this project and you can get a feel for it by visiting the ballpark at your convenience. Here is the HG address for Dankoville:

world.narasnook.com:8900:dankoville

The arrival point is the Dankoville Information Center. There you will find a Landmark Giver to get you to the ballpark in Stevenson in the NE corner of the Dankoville sim.

  1. – I’ll post the background info on the ballpark and surrounding area in the next couple of days.
  2. – On the same day, I’ll post that Fact Sheet: Here’s what happened on Opening Day.
  1. – Once you have everything from Steps 1, 2 and 3, you can start writing. (If you haven’t started already!)
  1. – The real life Opening Day in Major League Baseball this year is officially April 6 (with one game the night before). In real life, Minor League Baseball starts a few days later but for our purposes, Opening Day at Jarvis Field is Tuesday, April 7.
  1. – Your writing can be published any day from April 7 through April 15.

Publishing Options:

  1. – You can publish your work on your own blog or site. I will add a special section to the Dankoville Stories website for this project that will include links to the work of all participants.
  1. – If you don’t have a blog or appropriate place to post this type of piece, you may post it on the Dankoville Stories site. You retain all rights to your work. An appropriate Copyright notice should appear at the bottom of your work so it may be included on the site.
  1. – Or both. Post it on your on blog and on Dankoville Stories. You’ll still get a link to your blog or site.
  1. I will do extensive promotion of this project itself and the writing it produces. You can promote it too!

What are the Benefits of joining the Opening Day Stories Project?

  1. New writing
  1. Trying something different and unexpected, from out of left field, so to speak.
  1. Sharing
  1. New readers
  1. Fun

How To Get Involved

  1. Join this Google+ community, Opening Day Stories Project 
  1. Contact me via Google+ or inworld on Naras Nook. (If you prefer email, contact me via g+ and I’ll give you my private email.)
  1. Invite your friends. And feel free to write about this project itself and spread the word to others who may be interested in joining or reading our work when it comes out.

And finally…thanks for your time in reading this much. Please be patient as I get things started and get all the info out to you in the next few days.

Questions? I should hope so! Feel free to send them along via g+ or email. And feel free to communicate with me at any time from now through the completion of this project.

Play ball!

Jarvis Field in the Dankoville sim on Naras Nook grid

Jarvis Field in the Dankoville sim on Naras Nook grid

Posted in Events, Role Play, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments