"I regard SL as an extension of RL. One of the first things I did was to search for interesting areas, including areas for writers."
Interview with Elfbiter Skysmith
|Elfbiter Skysmith at Caledon Oxbridge|
(Picture by Camie Rembrandt)
Camie Rembrandt: How long have you been using Second Life?
Elfbiter Skysmith: I think it is about five years. I actually read about it beforehand (yes, I make too much research as it is) and then one guy wanted me to take part of a machinima about Skinningrove Jetty and I decided to explore the place... I also decided to use a variant of the name I had been using elsewhere in the web.
CR: When did Second Life become important to your creative writing? Was it something that happened immediately after starting using this virtual world? Or did you have to wait a few months, maybe even years, before incorporating SL into your writing routine?
ES: Well, I regard SL as an extension of RL. One of the first things I did was to search for interesting areas, including areas for writers. Currently when I am in SL, I may also be typing text into q computer in the background (I still write first versions with pen on paper). It is the time when I am usually at home, after all.
CR: Tell us a bit about what you do in Second Life, as a writer: do you write in-world, attend events, maybe host some of them, do you mentor other writers?
ES: I used to attend - and later host - Writers' Chat before it was moved to a time when It was too late for me to attend. As of this writing, I have been starting a new one in the Independent State of Caledon. I have taken part of some writing events irregularly as my RL schedule permits, but it is not that common. Living in Europe has certain drawbacks when lots of SL activities are around Pacific Time.
CR: Is there any SIM/virtual island/region that you find particularly inspirational, the kind of place every writer should visit?
ES: I think many of those places are gone now. There was one "urban decay" area that was very well made. I mainly hang around the Independent State of Caledon. I recommend Abyss Observatory and International Spaceflight Museum, but I am a bit oriented towards science and science fiction. I should find time to re-explore new areas one of these days...
CR: In what ways do you find Second Life helpful for someone interested in writing?
ES: I see Second Life as I see the internet in general - method of communication and contact. With SL, it is more real-time than with email, forums, and Facebook. SL is also an international community ( a fact that even LL seems to forget at times) and has more possibilities for interaction with multiple people.
BIOWhat you see as Elfbiter Skysmith is a Finnish male who has been involved with the Finnish Science Fiction Writers (non-professional organization) for some time. He used to write for some tabletop-roleplaying 'zines in two languages, and most of the fiction has been sporadically published in Finnish. Is somewhat embarrassed by the fact he has not finished more stories and lackluster update pace of his blog.