"SL has an amazing variety of creative environments that can act as inspirational settings for the writing itself"
Camie Rembrandt: How long have you been using Second Life?
Singh Albatros: About six years.
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, perhaps even years, before incorporating SL into your writing routine?)
SA: I first entered SL to research a literary crime story, based on a true incident reported in the media about a real life husband who tracks down his wife's Second Life lover and murders him. This was an extreme case and I found straight away that SL could be a place to use as a psychological research zone, because despite the use of avatar forms all the people I met had real emotional lives. I also connected with rational and balanced people here who enjoyed meeting others.
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?
SA: I now attend poetry readings, writers workshops and other interesting talks and meetings. I have hosted some, staged novel in progress readings, performed poetry and soundscape flash fiction. I have also mentored writers in groups and one on one.
CR: Is there any SIM/virtual island/region that you find particularly inspirational, the kind of place every writer should visit?
SA: Cookie Sim is well known for its free writing activities. There are other Sims with writer and storytelling events and many are advertised here at a central location. It was at Cookie that I first came across another writer who introduced me to some of the regular readings and writers in SL. Because these are scheduled at certain times, a first timer would do well to join a couple of listed writing groups so they can get notices of upcoming events.
CR: In what ways do you find Second Life helpful for someone interested in writing?
SA: Firstly SL has an amazing variety of creative environments that can act as inspirational settings for the writing itself - I have written a lot of poetry and stories at writer meet up sessions over the years.
Secondly I have formed enduring friendships with writing peers including published novelists who I meet with weekly to co-workshop our latest chapters. The members are from UK, USA and myself in Australia and Singapore where I have two homes. Even though I travel a lot, I can still meet my friends anytime anywhere. A virtual world had this advantage. Also we can meet in artistically interesting visually stimulating environments and people from a host of different countries and cultures.
Find more about writer/poet/musician Singh Albatros / Chris Mooney-Singh: