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Passions in Poetry

My absence - a family chat

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Poet deVine
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Hurricane Alley


0 posted 06-14-2007 01:41 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine


Hi there..this is going to be a long post so you may want to go get some popcorn..or maybe a bag of chips…I’ll wait til you get back to start…



..

You know maybe I should get something too..brb…

.
.
.


Ok..well now that we have our snacks..

How are you? It’s been a while since we sat down like this to talk – I know, mostly my fault! So I thought it would be nice to catch up – a little ‘splaining on my part – and some interesting insights into my life. Ok? Here goes.

It seems so long ago that I was an everyday voice here that I hardly know where to begin so I’ll back up a few years and let you know that my muse started to fail me when my son, his wife and my first grandchild moved 2000 miles away from me. For the first time in my life I was alone. I had a few business acquaintance friends near  me but no one that I was really close to..

I was stressed…couldn’t sleep…when I did I woke up in a panic – eventually I moved a bed into my living room and tried to sleep with the TV on…didn’t work. And so I sought help from my doctor. I was diagnosed with depression and I started medication. It helped but there was still the underlying feeling of aloneness. I never thought I’d feel so alone because I usually enjoy being alone – I’m a pseudo-hermit!

The meds would not solve my problem so at my daughters suggestion I made plans to move near her as she was trying to have a family and wanted ‘mom’ near for support. I had worked for the same company for 16 years and the thought of leaving tore me up! It too another year and a half to get my bills in line and get money saved for the move – money so I wouldn’t feel like I had to go to work right away! Florida’s workforce was paid a lot less than Arizona’s and I knew I would have to have things pared down to the bare bone to survive. My car was paid off, my bills paid off and I paid cash for the moving van (though I got rid of all but a few pieces of furniture and didn’t take the stove or fridge I’d bought new for my house).

My daughter flew to Arizona and we drove to Florida together (lugging my frantic cat who cried the whole way and there is nothing worse than a mewling cat as you try to navigate cross country  unless it’s a mewling kid but then you’d have to stop to feed/change/walk/comfort the kid…the cat just wanted to be home on her bed on the window ledge!)

Ok..need a drink? A refill on your snack..this is getting longer and longer isn’t it? I apologize but you better get it while you can I may just shut up for another 3 years and then you’d wonder where I am!

So fast forward to Florida – I took a month off to do nothing. It was very emotional when I left my job…stood sobbing in the parking lot with my work buddies (who sobbed back). Then gradually I started looking for a job. I registered with two temp agencies and got a couple of jobs that were ok – and I applied for numerous other jobs and as luck would have it I got a pretty good one! It’s stable, paid better than others in the area but I was taking an $8 an hour cut! So I found a little condo – not where I wanted to be but I could afford it – and got ready to move in.

Two hurricanes later – I finally did.

I love the weather here – at least there is weather..much more than sunny hot dry sunny hot dry as it was in Arizona. Here I can see clouds…and the rivers really have water in them!!

All this time, my muse was gone…don’t know if I left her in Arizona, dropped her off on the road here or just left her packed in a box in my storage room. But she was gone…

And then….my first boss at my job in AZ committed suicide. With no warning and no explanation! It hit me hard – he was a wonderful guy and we used to have some real laughs about life and the odd things it brings us. Not more than a month after that WhtDove (my Becky) lost her fight with cancer. I was devastated! That blow hit me in the heart! She was my online sister and a small part of my conscience. I went into a tailspin and probably would have needed more meds if I hadn’t found out that my daughter was pregnant!

Finally after 14 years of marriage she was going to be a mom…it took lots of doctor visits and finally some invitro but she did it…and it was going to be TWINS!! She prepared as did I …. And when we found out it was both boys she was thrilled! She’s a boy’s mom through and through! I threw her a shower and spent money like crazy. And then we learned my son and his wife were expecting…they had a little girl just a few months before the twins were born! So now I am the proud grandma of four beautiful grandkids!!!

The twins, Joshua and Samuel, and my first grandson Ian..and my only granddaughter Hannah spent a week together recently and it was heartwarming to see them all play together! And now my son and his family are planning to move near us here and we can all see each other more often! Again, it’s a GRAND thing..

But still there was a piece of me missing….my writing…my muse…my desire and motivation to write. I tried a few times and though they were well received, I felt numb…felt that my voice was gone..that the link from my heart to my words was gone.

I spent less and less time online and more and more time watching reality TV. I joined a TV forum and interacted with the members there – occasionally writing ‘odes’ to the shows or the characters. It wasn’t much but it kept my pen wet!

A lot of time I spent my evenings playing video games, watching TV or reading. Not very productive or creative!

In January of this year someone from the TV forums mentioned an online game and I thought I’d give it a try as she described it, I thought maybe I’d find something here to spark my muse. It’s called Second Life and it’s a 3D virtual reality ‘game’…but more than a game as I found out..

You don’t get to choose a name..there is a list of last names to choose from and you have to pick one and then give yourself a first name. So I picked my name and logged on. My avatar looked like every other female avatar and I learned quickly that we can change the way we look, our clothes, our hair, our shape – everything is customizable. So I played around a bit..met some people..danced a little…when sightseeing. But I got bored with all that and was on the verge of quitting when I stumbled on a place that peaked my interest. The areas are divided into islands and I found one that was dedicated to writers and publishers. Hmm…the wheels began to turn…

So I invested in some land and put down a house. I rented a store and found a way to publish a book of poetry. So now I’m a resident of  this thing called Second Life. I spend a lot of my time at the Library – it’s a real library manned by volunteer real life librarians! There are universities who have online classes here and some companies and political parties have a presence.

Everything in this ‘world’ is created by the residents and the level of creativity is astounding! I have been to interactive art exhibits (imagine a 3D Van Gogh painting that you can step into!) and seen snowy mountains…whales jumping…ridden a helicopter..ridden a horse..swam the ocean..and FLEW!!! Yes we fly. And we teleport to destinations. (Beam me up Scotty!)

I’ve been to Victorian England – 1870 Tombstone – a medieval castle – and some of the most elegant gardens I’ve ever seen! I’ve gone to balls…and sock hops…and rode a log ride in an amusement park…talked to a Raptor named Logan (his avatar)…and of course shopped!! LOL….my latest purchase is a Nun’s habit and a poodle skirt!

This week I went to a writers class on characterization – given by a real life author and teacher! I missed the Dean Koontz seminar but go to every lecture by RL (real life) author I can!

And I help other new residents who are writers or business people or artists…I give back to this place that has given me a small fire..a spark of the muse I thought I’d lost.

I won’t bore you with more info or links (I do have them so ask if you want them)…this is not a plea for you to join. I told Mysteria about it and she tried it out but said it sent her spam (I don’t get any for some reason). It’s not easy on the computer – it does take a good video card and lots of ram so if you don’t have a computer that can handle it, you’ll find it’s a drag on your system.

And my real life? Well the twins are almost 2, my job is steady (though boring) and I’ve come within 3 dollars of my ending wage in AZ. So all in all, it’s not bad.

Am I writing? Hmm…a little…and doing graphics…slowly I’m coming back…my heart is opening and maybe I’ll be able to write like I used to.

Thank you for staying with me on this rant…if anyone is still awake! You have no idea how much I envy you….you write each day…post and post and post…sigh. Someday….
Alicat
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since 05-23-99
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Coastal Texas


1 posted 06-14-2007 02:00 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Howdy PdV!


Sunshine
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since 06-25-99
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Listening to every heart


2 posted 06-14-2007 03:22 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Nah...a lot of muses are on vacation, but just yesterday, I asked about you, where you were [in space, as I knew you were physically somewhere in Florida] so seeing this makes me very pleased that you found another venue to explore!  I'm sure your muse is enjoying its vacation, but like all silly muses, now that you say it's gone, it will indeed, return.

Welcome home, Sharon!

Kit McCallum
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3 posted 06-14-2007 04:50 PM       View Profile for Kit McCallum   Email Kit McCallum   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kit McCallum

Hi Sharon!  It's good to hear about how you've been doing!  I've had a bit of a self-induced sabbatical as well, and am enjoying catching up here and there.

I saw your note and settled in for a nice read. I'm thrilled to know that you've got all these wonderful grandkids to enjoy and spoil. Good for you!  

I've heard of the site/world you mentioned on the news ... it sounds interesting. I'm glad it's given you a good spark ... that's great!
Poet deVine
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4 posted 06-15-2007 12:45 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Thanks guys...it's not easy to jump back into the forums when you've been gone so long..no one knows you! LOL

Maybe that's a good thing - starting over - I know I've done it a few times now. Sigh..

See you around more I hope!
Larry C
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5 posted 06-15-2007 02:29 PM       View Profile for Larry C   Email Larry C   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Larry C's Home Page   View IP for Larry C

Sharon,
Wow! I must tell you that I am sorry we never got to meet before you left Arizona. I write sporadically here myself too. Please know that we never forgot you and are thrilled to be updated. Your knew online community sounds fascinating. Hopefully you can share some of your inspirations here on occasion. Miss you and enjoy knowing you are okay. Sorry about that boss.

If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane,
I'd walk right up to heaven and bring you home again.

Martie
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6 posted 06-15-2007 04:23 PM       View Profile for Martie   Email Martie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Martie's Home Page   View IP for Martie

Hi Sharon....what an experience, to read this and realize how long it has been.  Grandchildren are wonderful...yep...I have two girls...One five and one three.  

I wish I had more Ram....I may one day.  That site sounds really interesting.  I've always wanted to travel and the LA Times Travel Section has been my transportation many times.  

I've been through some changing too, in the last few years.  My muse is not always cooperative either.  And depression, well I understand what it can do.  

I'm really glad you wrote this...I've thought of you.  So many cyber friends just disappear without a trace.  Stay in touch and take care of yourself.  
serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
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7 posted 06-15-2007 04:48 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I just...love you.

You are genuinely good person, and I'm so proud to be your friend, Shar.
Alicat
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since 05-23-99
Posts 4277
Coastal Texas


8 posted 06-15-2007 04:56 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

I hear you on the 'starting over' thing, PdV.  That's something I've been doing for the past year while I train my left hand to do the bulk of things my right once could manage.  Well, actually, two 'starting overs': one before the wrist went out again, and the other afterwards. *chuckle*

What don't kill me will eventually.
nakdthoughts
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Between the Lines


9 posted 06-16-2007 09:55 AM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

It's always a pleasure to read you no matter what you share. Sounds like life has turned around for you and there is happiness between those lines.

Congratulations on the grandchildren and it is wonderful that your family will be closer. I am sure most of us have a story to tell including that "depression" thing...young or old, life just has to throw those curves to make us appreciate what we have, even if less than we expected.


M
Poet deVine
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10 posted 06-18-2007 05:47 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine



Most of you don't know how are it is for me to share my life here on the internet..I much prefer to remain in the background than the foreground. But I am trying to change..sigh..

Thank you all for your replies...Marti I think of you everytime I see a garden in Second Life..I sat in a flower once...an amazing experience!

Here is a link to a story about publishing in Second Life..the second page contains info on the island where I have my bookstore!
http://www.booksquare.com/


Thanks again...see you around!
Marilyn
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since 09-26-1999
Posts 2646
Ontario, Canada


11 posted 06-23-2007 11:41 AM       View Profile for Marilyn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Marilyn

Boy Sharon...can I relate. My muse has been on vacation as well but I still get e-mails on the work I have posted here. I remember what it was to write but I can't seem to get anything going that I feel is good.

I come to this place that my heart remembers, and I feel as I did when I was a regular...but still I can not write. I know what your saying.

I miss people that are close to my heart from these forums. I hear of Chris and his marrage and child!! Whoo hoo Chris..I am so happy for you. I remember those sad days.

My lack of muse comes from the sameness of my life...I think. I have accepted my reality and I enjoy it but I think I have lost a piece of my imaginary world. I believe it is for the safety of my heart that I have closed down that side of my brain...for the moment. When you are away from reality for a while (in your head) it hits hard what you don't have.

Anyway....I can relate to your rant..and it is good to see you.

Marilyn
Poet deVine
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12 posted 06-27-2007 06:18 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Dutch Bookshop Opens Retail Chain in the Virtual World of Second Life
UTRECHT, Netherlands, June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Bruna, market leading Dutch retail organisation in the field of books, magazines, newspapers and office supplies and more, will be the first retail company to open a retail chain of a few hundred stores in the fast growing virtual world of Second Life.
The Bruna management states that it is always looking for new ways to serve its customers. Bruna CEO Hans Gelauff: 'We are constantly innovating the concept of our 375 Dutch stores. Our customers can moreover order their books online on our rapidly expanding website www.bruna.nl. Second Life is a new virtual world and we expect to find our customers there as well!'
According to Martin Jacobs, owner of a Bruna shop and developer of the virtual retail chain, three-dimensional worlds have become an vital part of the internet: 'Second Life is a world with much to do: you can build, trade and program. Surprisingly many people are 'living' in this world for more than 30 hours a week. After the English-speaking community, the Dutch are by far the largest group of Second Life users. The makers of this world, the American Linden Labs, have collaborated on the production of a new official Dutch guidebook with a cd-rom. Our virtual shops will sell this book in Second Life. For us as a retail company it is just the right product at the right place on the right time for the right person. Nothing more, nothing less.'
Customers can walk into any virtual Bruna store where they will find the book on the counter. A simple mouse click is enough to order the book via www.bruna.nl. After that, the book will be delivered within a few days at home, or the customer can choose to pick it up at the nearest Bruna shop and pay it there, free of postal charges.
Bruna is a Dutch retail company, active with 375 shops on the market of books, magazines, office supplies, newspapers, greeting cards and multimedia products. In its kind Bruna is market leader since 1868. Customers can also order over 100.000 books online at www.bruna.nl. All orders can be picked up without additional costs at a Bruna shop of choice.
Distributed by PR Newswire on behalf of Bruna B.V.

Bruce Willis promotes new move in Second Life:
http://www.ugo.com/ugo/html/article/?id=17454§ionId=2
****
I think I'm trying to justify my Second Life existance by making these posts here and knowing that few people read them. LOL

Right now I'm taking writing classes in Second Life and really enjoying the experience (though one girl in the class is so organized by having 3x5 notecards with her at all times to jot down her thoughts and ideas!...I wanted to smack her!)

Poet deVine
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13 posted 07-04-2007 07:43 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

http://simteach.com/wiki/index.php?title=Institutions_and_Organizations_in_SL


***
A list of colleges/universities/institutions and organizations that use Second Life as a tool for teaching.



Poet deVine
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14 posted 07-05-2007 06:10 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

http://www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/conversation/archive.asp?postID=15899
Poet deVine
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15 posted 07-09-2007 12:10 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

I am currently working with a new friend on Second Life, writing an autobiography by "Mother Earth"..it's part environmental, part humor, part history, part biblical. We are different in our approach to writing - he's a lot more dry than I am! So this will be a challenge to create.

Mysteria
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16 posted 07-09-2007 02:52 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

Wow I missed all this!  Great to read, hear, and see you Sharon.  I did try logging on a few times but I forgot my password, or the name or something and can't get back in there.  Maybe being inactive for a bit, someone scooped my name?

Should be fun what you are doing - and I know the feeling all to well about a missing muse, as life has really taken over for me, and I have NO time for computers these days.  Besides which, we only get 8 weeks of sun, so I try to grab every second of it

Give those boys a squeeze for me, and while you are at it, take one yourself.
Poet deVine
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17 posted 07-15-2007 10:06 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Here's a link to the Youtube video of the Q&A session with the cast of the movie 'Transformers' all done in Second Life.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XfTu10Ykbw

Nan
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18 posted 07-15-2007 10:17 PM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

I've been reading your post, Sharon.. Sort of like a voyeur, eh?

It's truly wonderful to see you here.  I've heard about your Second Life, and I hope you're having a fantastic time there... But don't forget to leave a trail of cyber-crumbs so you can always find your way home...

Poet deVine
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19 posted 07-21-2007 02:34 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

My writing class is on break for 3 weeks while the teacher goes on vacation. But we have an assignment.

We had to number our paper from 1-14 and then were given a series of letters to choose from for each number. those letters were assigned characteristics to a person we have to create and write about..

I'll post the story when I'm done. Right now, I'm just grateful for the infusion of juice to my muse!
latearrival
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20 posted 08-06-2007 06:13 AM       View Profile for latearrival   Email latearrival   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for latearrival

Hi, Just to tell you I have read most everything you ever posted here..I tuned in to you when you first moved to Florida and wrote about the hurricanes. In fact I saved the story in my notebook of favorites.I look for your name when ever I come here to read. But I always forget to come to this forum.  Loved reading about The World of Second Life.  I can understand why you would  enjoy this place.But please stop in more often to write and keep us all aware. At one time I thought you had moved from Florida. I think of you. Isn't it amazing how we become attatched to certain people, even though we do not know them in person? Best to you and keep on writing. latearrival
Midnitesun
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Gaia


21 posted 08-06-2007 12:43 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

Oh, am I ever happy to catch this today! I wondered where on earth you had escaped to, and now I understand your absence from Pips.
I might jump in those creative waters with you!
Poet deVine
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22 posted 08-10-2007 06:00 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

http://home.earthlink.net/~haldeman/
This author is speaking to a group of writers that I belong to...looking forward to it!!
Kellie_Cantrell
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since 05-22-2002
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Washington State


23 posted 11-12-2007 08:57 AM       View Profile for Kellie_Cantrell   Email Kellie_Cantrell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kellie_Cantrell

Second Life is a lot of fun. Theres a lot to be weary of in-world. If i explained it all I could write a 50k page novel about some of the crazy stuff I have seen.


How did you react the first time someone offered to take you "Parts" shopping?
Poet deVine
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24 posted 11-20-2007 06:09 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Kellie...no one has offered to take me 'parts' shopping! I hang out at the library or with a literary group and we're pretty tame. A few weeks ago I got a volunteer unpaid consulting job with Murdoch University in Melbourne Australia. I'm helping develop crime stories for their Forenic Science class. They have volunteers to reinact crimes and the students will do the investigations.

I would love to go to more 'meet the authors' things..or more creative writing classes but most of them take place during the day when I'm at work.

When you get a chance check out CNN - they are letting you do news reports for SL. Pretty cool idea! And if you really want to know what's going on inworld, sit down with some of the creators - the Lindens are in their offices online at least once a week.

Second Life, like real life is just what YOU make it.  Email me your avatar name and I'll look you up next time I'm online!
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