Story in Common Bonds

I have a new story out in the Common Bonds anthology called “Busy Little Bees”. This anthology has speculative stories about aromantic characters. Mine is near future science fiction about an aroace woman looking for her clone siblings. Themes include issues surrounding cloning and surrogacy. If that’s all you want to know before reading it, click the link below for sales links. If you’d like some of my thoughts on writing it, continue on below the cover.

Book Link: Common Bonds

 

The cover of Common Bonds

The cover of Common Bonds. Two red people sit back to back. They’re smiling and one holds a book and one holds a mug. They’re surrounded by green vines and white flowers. It is edited by Claudie Arseneault, C.T. Callahan, B.R. Sanders and RoAnna Sylver. The cover is by Laya Rose.

 

Backstory

This was an anthology funded by Kickstarter. I was contacted before that, asking if I’d write a story for consideration for the Kickstarter launch. If accepted, it would have been one of the ones mentioned as “contains stories by!!” and all that. It didn’t happen. I didn’t have a great year in general. I also had two very close story deadlines. So I had to say I couldn’t get it done in time, but I’d submit to the general slush when the public call went out.

Writing to themes can be a challenge, but I had some clues this time. I know what stories the editors had read before asking me to send something. A lot of my short fiction has characters who just happen not to get involved in romances (it often doesn’t occur to me unless it’s relevant to the plot), but the first who states not being into that is Tyler, the unlikely vampire in “Midnight Ice Cream”.

I later went on to write “Werecockroach”, where Rin is asexual and aromantic and uses the words.

Both of those are relatively clear and simple in terms of narrative structure and tone. I do also write things that get rejected for not being stories, but that didn’t seem like the sort of thing the call was after.

For my story idea, I wanted to focus on an aroace character, as that’s what I am. I also wanted to focus on sibling relationships, as I like writing those.

 

Inspirations

The good inspiration was CC (CopyCat), the world’s first cat clone. She ended up with a different colour coat to her mother. They had identical genes, but that isn’t everything.

This didn’t surprise me a whole lot as I knew some identical twins who didn’t end up looking alike, but it doesn’t appear much in science fiction where clones are often assumed to be literally identical. Even more so than identical twins. I wanted to explore the ways people could end up looking and being different from the same starting genes.

The bad happened when YouTube was changing how adverts worked. I ended up with an eight minute unskippable advert selling surrogate services. It was very glossy and tried to make it sound like they’d picked that location as the mothers there were just so great… not because the people were poor and there were few regulations. That shiny corporate branding was chilling and stayed with me.

 

Other Representation

This was an interesting story for me to write, as I really was “writing the other” in some ways. The lead comes from a relatively privileged background, whereas I’ve always been working class. That meant unpacking some of the assumptions she’d make. Not in the sense of a total bigot finding out she’s wrong, but in the sense of someone who generally isn’t a bigot finding she still had some things to work on. I might not have lived that, but I’ve had to field some of those things from the other side.

The trans side also took some thought. I’m non-binary, so including a non-binary and a trans man as characters wasn’t really something I thought about. It just sort of happened. What did take some thinking was the idea of the trans man dressing up as another of the clones, because most of them were women. It made a lot of sense for the plot, but there are potential pitfalls.

The basic issue is this sort of scene is often used as a way to invalidate trans characters. A trans man made to dress up that way will usually be mocked. The outfit will be a pink frilly dress covered in bows that few women would ever consider wearing. There will be comments about how pretty and feminine he looks.

After thinking about it, and considering if there was a way to do it that didn’t disrespect the character, the solution was to be sure the other characters wouldn’t be disrespectful. In a near future where I’d hope people had improved somewhat on those issues, there’d be a conscious effort to not be jerks about it.

This also meant thinking about how other aspects of marginalisation would be treated in the near future world. Class is still present as an issue and I avoided making it seem like there was an easy solution that’d solve everything. It’s about small gains and keeping at it.

The other mentioned is disability. There have clearly been some improvements, but there’s also a family who abandon an adopted child for selective mutism. This sort of near future won’t have solved every problem with every family.

I do have direct experience of selective mutism. There were times as a child when I simply couldn’t speak, though it wasn’t often enough to get much notice, outside of the teacher who tried to ask my parents about it. He did not actually ask the question he meant to ask, which meant this happened…

Teacher: “Why does Polenth sometimes just stare at me?”

Parents: “Polenth’s reading your mind.”

Teacher: “…”

Anyway, that’s just a few of the representation things I thought about as I wrote the story. I don’t tend to think about them in an essay or blog format, but those thoughts are always there somewhere as I write.

 

Bees, Wasps and Swarms

I get on really well with bees and wasps, in the sort of way where I wander about near their hives/nests and they leave me alone or crawl on me. I share sugar with them if I have it. We’re fine. The only time I’ve been stung, I actually stung myself. A dying wasp fell in my hair, I thought the wasp was a leaf, so I stung myself trying to brush the leaf out. The wasp really wasn’t to blame.

I have a video of a wild bee swarm that I took some years ago. It looks very dated compared to video now, but it’s still nice to have the reminder. I’d note that honeybees are native in the UK, so this really is a wild swarm. They were in a nature reserve and were left to do their swarm thing.

So, on that note, I’ll leave you with some real bees.

2020: Arthritis

After a few bad years when I couldn’t get much done, I’d hoped for a quieter year to sort things out before Brexit hit in 2021. Instead, everyone had a bad year, and I got very little done.

In February, my family had a bad illness which we now think was COVID-19. The initial illness barely affected me, but in the weeks after, I developed severe reactive arthritis (I’ve had it mildly before after viruses, but not like this). This was also during lockdown, so it wasn’t really possible to see a doctor. I had to figure out a home treatment.

One good thing is I got to go out for my birthday, as it was before walking became difficult and before lockdown. My previous birthday was a funeral, so this was an improvement.

I spent most of the year managing the arthritis and sorting things like food orders. I couldn’t do much typing or thinking, so I mostly focused on doing stuff in Second Life and other distractions from the pain.

At the end of the year, I still have arthritis. It’s a lot better than it was and I can think clearly again, though my free time is still limited.

 

Novels / Novellas

One of the issues I’ve faced as an author is a lack of charisma. People are not going to give me money for a crowdfunded campaign. They’re not going to buy birthday presents from a wishlist. If I reach out for help, I might as well have said nothing, as nothing much happens. My value to the majority of people in the reading/writing community is only in the products I can produce.

The next issue being a run of bad years, so I have a lack of new products. This is how it had to be for my health, but it doesn’t make it a good situation.

So this year, I tried a more roundabout solution: I made my products more expensive.

Back when I started, people complained if a self-published novel was more than $0.99 and never mind novellas. My old price point of $0.99 for a novella and $2.99 for a novel was tolerable, but as high as people would go. There have been changes in the industry since then, including bigger publishers taking on more novellas and charging very high prices for them. So I went up a modest amount, taking my novella to $2.99 and the longer works to $4.99.

As well as an overall potential increase in profit, it’d mean novellas make income in their own right, rather than being sold at a loss to promote longer work… because frankly, it didn’t happen. People liked my novella Werecockroach, but it didn’t encourage most readers to try something else.

The first month I did this, sales were about the same. I sold one $4.99 book and multiple copies of Werecockroach at $2.99. I just made more money than usual. November and December weren’t as good, but I suspect sales would have been bad regardless as a lot was going on. Not as good still meant I made more money overall compared to the old prices. I tried a brief advertising campaign in November, but it didn’t get the sales of previous campaigns, so I ended it early.

I’ll continue to monitor the situation and see if sales go back up again as the year settles. If they do, this will give me a bit of space to finish something else. It’ll also mean that something else can be a novella.

 

Short Stories

Last year, I said I wanted to find more projects to submit short stories to. Most of the year was a bust, with nothing likely appearing. There are a few possible projects at the end of the year, so I’ll aim to submit a few things next year for these.

Both of the anthologies I’m involved with ended up delayed due to the pandemic. Common Bonds has now sent out backer reward copies and contributor copies. Early reviews seem to like my story. Both that anthology and Rosalind’s Siblings have been rescheduled for 2021.

In final short story stuff, I put out a temporary short story collection called Patchwork in March 2020. It’s now been removed as 2020 has ended. This had a number of my previously published stories, including ones that had only been on Patreon. It was free and was just to do something nice for people for the year. So if anyone sees a reference to it and is confused, that’s what went on. The stories will all be back again for the next proper collection.

 

Zazzle / Art

I have no complaints about Zazzle this year. They reacted quickly to pandemic sales issues by putting out face masks. I sold some of these (and got some for me). I also saw much higher sales (of everything) in the last quarter. I suspect because people were stuck at home, so those with money found fun things to buy. I continue to be glad I got all this set up as passive income.

I had issues producing art for most of the year, as my hands consisted of sausage fingers and joints that couldn’t take any pressure. I regained the ability to hold tools later in the year, so got back into it by doing Botober. The pieces were posted on this Twitter thread. I’ll likely work a few of them into Zazzle designs, but it was just good to get drawing again.

I will note that doing the art challenge didn’t get a lot of engagement in the sense of new followers or the like. It’s a thing to do for fun.

 

YouTube

I planned to produce a video a week for a year for my YouTube channel. My last video was in March. During this video, I already had early signs of arthritis in my fingers and arms, but hadn’t realised what was happening. It’s why I’m smudging charcoal with the backs of my hands, because bending the wrist too much was starting to get painful. I’d had conjunctivitis too badly the week before to use the first draft of the video, which is also a reactive arthritis symptom. Shortly afterwards, I stopped being able to lift a camera and that was that.

The bad news is it means the channel stalled before I got very far. The good news is the channel didn’t see an overall loss in subscribers and views. A few videos have seen a continual rise in views as they get picked up by the algorithm.

I know people panic about small breaks ruining their chances forever, but this wasn’t my experience. A channel is unlikely to grow during an absence, but it doesn’t mean it sinks either. It’s waiting there for when I can film again, at whatever frequency that turns out to be.

 

Reviews

I was getting sorted to start reviewing again towards the end of the year. I selected a few books, created a schedule and started reading one of them. Then I got an email from Amazon terminating my Amazon Associates account. I always knew this could happen, as Amazon is known for doing this. In theory, people can appeal, but it’s hard to appeal when you’re guessing exactly what happened. Amazon gives basic categories, but no details. The result of the appeal was just a resend of the original email.

I looked around for other larger affiliate schemes, but I didn’t see anything likely to actually make money. The only bigger one I found was Barnes and Noble, who rejected my application.

I will review a few things here and there as I feel like it, but mostly my reviewing is over. I’ve closed my review requests for the foreseeable future. I don’t think there’s a big demand for detailed text reviews anyway these days, so this was going to happen at some point even without the loss of Amazon Associates.

 

TL;DR

I’ve had reactive arthritis for most of the year, following probable exposure to COVID-19. I didn’t do a whole lot of creative stuff, but I did put out a temporary free collection, raised my book prices and started drawing again towards the end of the year. I have no firm plans for the future.

2019: Death

The previous year was difficult due to the heat, meaning I was behind on everything. I started to catch up in the beginning of 2019 and my air conditioner arrived. Then one of my family died. During those events, I also injured my knee, which continued to cause issues throughout the year. Just as things started to settle later in the year, another family member died. About the only good side is Brexit was delayed, so I didn’t have to deal with everything at once.

The result was I didn’t do very much at all when it comes to business things. I mainly focused on family and recovering from the injury.

 

Art

I had little time to make products for my Zazzle store. I made a few things and cleaned up a few things, but it was minor. My sales continued to increase without having to do anything. This is a great form of passive income and I’m glad I had this set up before this year. I’ll work on getting some new designs done and increasing my overall number of products.

 

Writing

I sold two short stories during the year. “Rewilding Nova” sold to Rosalind’s Siblings, which is an anthology about marginalised scientists. “Busy Little Bees” sold to Common Bonds, which focuses on aromantic characters. These were the short story submissions I mentioned in my previous yearly update, so it was great to end up selling both of them. I believe both anthologies are due in 2020.

I didn’t have time to finish Conduit with everything else happening, though this is still in the queue to be released. This wasn’t only due to me, as one of my family helps with editing and wouldn’t have been in a state to do that either.

This is where the tough choices come in. Longer work can potentially mean decent income for a long time, but this hasn’t really happened for me. I make more selling a short story for a single payment than putting longer work up for sale for several years. A short story usually takes a few months at most, but long work can take several years to write, so this is completely out of proportion. I can earn a tiny bit for several years of work or a reasonable sum for a few months.

The obvious conclusion is that it isn’t a good use of my time to write novellas and novels. I do still have ideas and want to work on them at some point, but I need my income to be more stable, as they’re basically passion projects. They don’t pay for themselves. So once Conduit is out, I’m not setting any deadlines or making any public plans for other longer work. It’ll happen if I can afford the time to write.

I will be writing some short stories if I can find some suitable submission calls. This isn’t in as good a place as this time last year, as I’d already been asked to submit to the two where I ended up selling work. They were good fits for my sort of work. So far, I don’t see anything on the horizon that looks suitable, but there might be a surprise call at some point.

I’m also hoping to do some video readings of some of my existing work, which leads on to the next thing.

 

YouTube

I put a few videos on YouTube years back, with the thought that it’d be a good idea to do something with it. Years went by and I didn’t do anything, but that first video (of a wild bee swarm) managed to get an average of 500 views every year for ten years. I probably really should have done something to build on that earlier.

I needed something I could work on in small doses, so I decided it was time. I started uploading videos in October. I went through older videos and uploaded those, as well as working on some new content. My aim was to do relaxing videos of various sorts, including nature, art, my pets and some sensory/ASMR videos.

Getting to the point of being able to run adverts on YouTube is not easy. It requires 1000 subscribers (and a certain amount of view time, but that’s the easier part). Even without adverts though, I’m planning on some videos that tie in with other stuff, like showing art and reading stories. It could be a good way to reach new people, even if I don’t reach the point of running adverts.

So far, I’ve been enjoying making the videos. My plan is to put out content regularly for a year and then review how it’s going. I’m open to video requests (within the sort of stuff I can do).

 

Other Things

I spent most of the year not reading anything or playing any games, though did get a couple of book reviews done. Patreon got a short story and some tank friends photos. It was a quiet year on those fronts.

In good news, I did get money from Amazon Associates and they’ve recently added the ability to get electronic payments for UK people. No more cashing foreign cheques.

 

Short Version

It was a difficult year with two deaths in the family and an injury. The release of Conduit was delayed, though should be out in 2020. I sold two short stories, which should also be out in 2020. Zazzle sales continued to do well with little input from me. I started a YouTube channel and will spend a year working on that before reviewing my progress.

2018: Heatwaves

My primary memory of the year was relentless heat. I don’t cope well with summer at the best of times, but the heatwave lasted for most of it and continued into autumn. Heat has always been something that causes sensory overloads, which meant I was faced with months of endless sensory overload with very few breaks.

The result was that I started the year doing things as expected and then pretty much everything stopped. My priority was simply to survive the heat. I spent time lying on the cold tiles, with trips to my room to change the ice for the animals. I couldn’t really focus on anything.

The good news is I’ve found a decent mobile air conditioner that’d work for my room. The family have agreed to pool their money to get it as a birthday present next year. It’s expensive, but something that can be budgeted for, rather than expensive like a car.

Going forward, I hope this means that I won’t be here again. But I was here this year. I lost a lot of time and have spent the winter scrambling to catch up.

 

Werecockroach

Early in the year, I published Werecockroach. It’s a science fantasy novella (and is eligible for any novella awards for the year, for those tracking such things). My aim was to make this more marketable than my other work. Not in the sense of following plot formulas or the like, but having things in the basic concept that might get attention. One being the whole idea of people turning into cockroaches. The other being own voices, which I discussed in the launch post.

I was also aiming for something that was lighter, as when things get rough, it’s what I’d want to read. I wanted the most cozy alien invasion possible with a focus on friendship.

The good news is the book has been selling. I ran some adverts as well as picking up some word-of-mouth recommendations on social media. Some months after release, it’s still continuing to sell in a way other books didn’t. The first reviews on Amazon and Goodreads have been positive.

I am cautious about this success though, which comes down to my experience with own voices. My previous books came out just before the big push of #WeNeedDiverseBooks and #OwnVoices on social media. On the face of it, these looked like they should benefit a marginalised author. What actually happened is I didn’t have enough work that fit neatly. Things like recommendation requests increasingly moved to wanting own voices authors rather than marginalised authors. My work sank and I disappeared.

Werecockroach was part of an attempt to reverse that, by finding an idea that could be marketed as own voices with an identity that got enough attention to be noticed (there are various aspects in the novella, but it’s the asexual lead that gets attention). It’s not really that this is better than my other work, but that it had hooks to promote.

Which comes to the end of the year, where there was a discussion about optimistic fiction and hopepunk. I can see all the ways my books don’t fit it and that my life experiences don’t fit. Back when it was a few people discussing it as a few books, this didn’t matter much, because no book fits all genres. The problem is the shift towards the idea of it being an overall approach to writing stories of any genre and one that people ought to be doing instead of other approaches. I can see this becoming another own voices. Basically, something promoted as being to benefit marginalised authors, but acting as an additional obstacle for those who produce work that doesn’t fit.

The basic problem is that things that can look like good ideas in basic concept, be it marginalised people talking about their own experiences or lighter stories for dark times, can turn into movements which are a bad idea.

In other words, I have concerns about the goalposts changing and having to start at zero again with new work that fits the new criteria. I’m a slow writer, so it’s difficult for me to keep up with this sort of shift. My hope is that the novella will have enough of a boost to keep selling even if the landscape changes, but it could be an issue for whatever I write next.

 

Short Stories

The year went well in terms of reprints. The first was in Transcendent 3, an anthology of trans and intersex stories edited by Bogi Takács. My story “Hello, World!” is about an AI taking fish to Mars. The idea behind the story was that learning AI is not neutral, but is informed by the training process and data sets. In this case, the people in the lab. So it’s not as obviously a story on the theme at first, until starting to think about who worked in that lab. This is also the first Patreon story that’s sold as a reprint.

The second was the Japanese translation of the Fungi anthology edited by Orrin Grey and Silvia Moreno-Garcia. “Letters to a Fungus” is exactly what the story title suggests.

Two book covers

Image Caption: Two paperback books on a white and silver cloth. One is Transcendent 3, which has a person wearing floral clothing scrubbing a brain with a sponge. The other is the Japanese translation of Fungi, which has a black cover with a gold/black flying mushroom machine with gears and tentacles.

I also did my own little reprint of “Letters to a Fungus” in Second Life for Hallowe’en. It was arranged as a hunt, with each letter spread around an area. The most found letter was clicked 95 times and the least found was clicked 34 times.

Trying to finish original fiction was more of a struggle. The stories I’d intended for Patreon didn’t get done, because I wasn’t writing at all once the heat came. Later in the year, there were two short stories deadlines I was trying to reach. One was for an anthology that hasn’t been announced yet. The other was a general public submissions call. I missed both deadlines, as I was trying to get back into writing at the same time as catching up with everything else, and sorting family things for the winter.

It wasn’t the end of the world, because I do have some second chances. The unannounced project will have a public submissions call. It didn’t stop it being pretty demoralising, as I missed the chance of being involved at the earlier stages. But for the second deadline, I got an extension, and did manage to hit that. I felt a lot better after hitting the extension deadline, particularly as I wasn’t the only one who needed an extension. It’s easy to think that no one else is struggling if no one is being open about it, which is also part of why I write about the things I failed to do as well as the things that worked.

 

Reviews

Reviews stopped early in the summer. I do have notes I took before the heatwave and will get back into it. Interestingly, I still earnt money from the affiliate schemes, so the pause hasn’t been terrible. I can simply continue from where I left off as though nothing happened.

 

Art

Zazzle continues to be the main place where my art sells. My sales have gone up more than is proportional compared to the number of products I offer. About double the products has meant about four times the sales.

There were no calamities this year and it’s something that continues to make money even when I’m not around.

 

Patreon

This time last year, I’d sent out art cards for Patreon. This has been delayed this year, so I don’t have the final art to show. The cards will be arriving sometime in January.

I’ve also taken advantage of Patreon’s new system, where rewards can be restricted to a certain tier. I now have a “tank friends” tier, where I’ll post pictures and updates about my pets. This acts as a way for people with phobias, or who just don’t want pet pictures, to avoid this content.

Patrons received an advanced copy of the novella this year and the art cards that will be arriving soon.

 

Wing Chun

I don’t usually include Wing Chun in my updates, as mostly I keep getting better at hitting people, so there’s not much to say. I did lose time this year, as I wasn’t able to get to training as often as I wanted. However, I did finally move from the beginner grades to the intermediate grades. I’d had issues learning how to fall without hitting my head, which slowed down my process. But I finally got it and can now be rugby tackled to the ground without knocking myself out, so there was much rejoicing.

 

Brexit and Future Goals

I can’t really talk about goals for next year without discussing Brexit. The UK leaving the EU could mean food shortages, medicine shortages, airports closing for months, loss of internet access, loss of power, and generally a lot of things that are going to make basic survival a lot harder. Family and friends on daily medication could die. There’s no way to make this sound better, because it’s not going to be good.

This has already had an impact, because during my attempts at catching up in the winter, everything has been falling apart politically. This was the last thing I needed when I was already behind. It will continue to have an impact. Next year will mean stockpiling supplies and an uncertain future.

I do have plans for the year still. I’m hoping to publish Conduit, the sequel to my urban fantasy Sunstruck. It’s just this is going to be later than I’d hoped at the end of last year, because realistically, basic survival is going to come first.

This means I can’t say what will happen. I might still be online and able to keep people updated. I might not. I just don’t know, so I hope people will have a little patience, as this situation is out of my control.

 

Animals

For about four years, I’ve held off getting more animals, or really sorting my bedroom, because I was saving up for a fish tank. It hasn’t been the easiest time. I really like having animals. It’s a comfortable thing to look after them and watch them grow. It makes my room a space I can go when I need a break. But everything was on hold, because fish tanks are expensive. I stuck with looking after the hissing cockroaches I had and maintaining my little tank with three otos.

My family helped out with that this year and I got a new community tank. The old otos were moved into it and I’ve since added zebra danios and more otos. Zebra danios are my favourite aquarium fish, so it’s great to have some again. The old little tank is now the quarantine tank. My tanks are all run as temperate tanks without heaters, and the fish choices are ones that prefer the cooler side of things (even though they’re usually sold as tropicals).

This also opened up the way for sorting the furniture in the room (I have a couple of new garage storage shelves… they’re cheap, strong, and have big shelves) and getting some more animals (mainly woodlice and millipedes).

Family also agreed to tarantulas, which has also been a process that’s taken a few years, as it involved persuading the resident arachnophobe that a spider tank in my room would not emit spiderness. In the end, it went quite smoothly, as it turned out the one thing worse than spiders was wrapping presents. So it went, “Can you wrap these for me?” “I guess so, but in return I’m getting a tarantula.” Then later, “Can you post these for me now you’ve wrapped them?” “I think we’re moving into paying for the tarantula here.”

A few days later, I was told that Boris was a good name for a spider, so I think a level of tolerance has been reached. A spider (Grammostola pulchripes) and a scorpion (Euscorpius carpathicus) were ordered and have now arrived, as this end of year post is a bit into the next year. I asked for the spiderling pot to be marked with “Boris” to help start the warm fuzzy feelings, so thanks to The Spider Shop for doing that!

A plastic spiderling pot

Image Caption: A small clear pot with white tissue inside. “Boris” is handwritten on the outside along with part of the scientific name.

Out of everything this year, I really like how the room is shaping up. It’s already a much better space for me to relax. Once the air conditioning goes in next year, it’ll be ideal. It’s a lot like living in a cool temperate forest, which suits me perfectly. My plans for the year include adding in some low light plants, as well as continuing to stock the community tank and getting a few more invertebrates.

Also, don’t panic about the critters and Brexit, because I can find food for them locally and excess from my colonies will be food for the predators, so they’re not going to starve. The planting in the fish tanks will act as a filter if the power goes out. They’re in a much better spot than the people in the house.

 

Wrapping It Up

I lost a lot of time this year to heat, though hope to sort it out next year with an air conditioner. Catching up with everything from the lost time has been a struggle and there are going to be tough times ahead with Brexit.

My biggest success was publishing my novella Werecockroach. I’ve also been sorting my animal room. The second book in my urban fantasy series, Conduit, is expected out sometime next year, though when will be hard to say due to the political disruptions.

Letters to a Fungus Hunt (Second Life)

Image reads: Letters to a Fungus | A Spooky Story Hunt | Ends 10th November 2018It’s that time of year when things get spooky and people decide that bright orange is a great colour after all. The sim I live on in Second Life, Aquila III, has experienced an eldritch fungi invasion (it wasn’t me, honestly). In honour of this, I’ve put together a little story hunt. Ten letters are hidden around the area, with a few fungal prizes.

For anyone who wants to get straight to it, the slurl to the starting point and instructions is below:

Aquila III Fungus Hunt

For anyone still here, I’ll ramble a bit about what’s going on. The story is one that was published in 2012 in the Fungi anthology. “Letters to a Fungus” is exactly what it says: letters written to a fungus. I thought it’d be a fun story to turn into a hunt, as well as being an interesting way of telling the story. Each letter could be found in any order, meaning that it won’t be quite the same story to everyone reading it. The letters are also short, which is ideal for Second Life (no one really wants to read a novel in the form of Second Life notecards).

I created some new mushrooms for the event, including the orange glowing ones that mark the letter envelopes. These are prizes included with some of the letters. Finding the final letter also gives a new Shroomie (one of my tiny mushroom avatars).

The mushrooms hunt item

Image Caption: Three mushrooms are in darkness. The gills glow bright orange and the rest of the mushroom is dark. A stained envelope rest against one of the mushroom stalks and has “Dear Fungus” written in handwriting. This is the hunt item that people have to find.

The sim has been decorated, so I suggest using the region settings. It’s currently dark and a bit foggy, which is the best for finding the glowing hunt items. You can also explore and see what has befallen the non-fungal residents of the sim.

The event ends on 10th November 2018, when it’s predicted that the mushrooms will leave and the daylight will return. I hope you enjoy the story!