Sunday, February 1, 2009

Our Process

Sweetie called me on this one because it's so sappy-- but I'm publishing it anyway!
Written 22 January, 2009

Our Process

Sweetie and I are in our third wonderful year together. Through all those months we’ve worked together, creating beautiful things.

As faithful readers might recall, I met Sweetie when I had been in Second Life for only a few weeks. I was zapping around Dreamland, looking for land to buy, when I saw her standing on a hill, working on a beautiful fountain.

Before long she was building a house for me.

We worked together to develop my 4096-square-meter lot on the Forsaken sim. As I acquired adjacent parcels, we transformed them as well.

Eventually we owned more than half the sim. It was time to migrate to a private island.

And so we did. In March 2008 Whimsy was born.

After two days of goofing around with ridiculous high-prim objects on our virgin sim, we set out to turn it into our home. We worked together on the terrain and then started putting out prims. We recreated the volcano Pele from Forsaken, made beaches and walkways, constructed an extended route for Kitto Flora’s steam train, and added a thousand whimsical touches to the island. By summer Whimsy was breathtaking and we were working on a (now nearly completed) robot sanitorium on our adjacent Whimsy Kaboom sim.

As Sweetie and I learn more about one another, our interactions become more complex and our understanding of one another deepens. This shows particularly in our cooperative projects.

Readers must understand that with regard to artistic temperament Sweetie and I are at opposite ends of the scale. I work, as I write, without outline or plan, trusting things will turn out right. Sweetie thinks things out first. I work on a dozen things at once. Sweetie tends to concentrate on one project, or perhaps two. I want things finished NOW. Sweetie is patient, allowing a half-finished project to sit until she has the time and inspiration to finish it.

 Surprisingly, our differences make us an effective team. My drive to finish things ensures their completion. Sweetie’s thoughtful approach guarantees a more polished and logical result.

We’ve learned to effectively play one another. When I think it’s time to do something, I lay out some prims. For instance, I recently spanned the chasm between Pele and Robot island with a bridge. It was an inelegant bridge, and I knew it, but I also knew that when Sweetie saw it she would immediately get bridge-on-the-brain. An so she did; within an hour a rudimentary bridge was in place. It looked nothing like my attempt and wasn’t even in the same location, but it was brilliant and is destined to become an essential part of Whimsy’s design.

Sweetie plays me by suggesting the impossible. Last night she looked at my just-completed conveyor belt assembly and suggested it curve and gain altitude so it could move objects to the top of the big hydraulic press that will soon be turning human avatars into robots. And the press was great, you’re brilliant, Chey, but wouldn’t it be even greater if it was bigger so it would create more drama? And that wall there, it makes me feel claustrophobic. Let’s try another way.

Of course I put that wall there just so I would get that response. It works both ways.

I take most of Sweetie’s suggestions. The new, bigger hydraulic press (I stretched it after she went to bed) looks great, and it only makes sense for the conveyor belt to deliver robot parts to a hopper at the top of the hydraulic press. As it is, the belt looks and works great, but is taking nothing from nowhere to nowhere.

At times we frustrate one another. When Sweetie made her suggestion for a new and improved conveyor system, I was momentarily irritated. When, several months ago, she ripped out the entire ramp system at the robot sanitorium—ramps she had herself blocked out—I was hurt and stunned. But I got over it in both cases, for Sweetie was right.

Sweetie is always right. The new ramps rock.

I know I irritate Sweetie when I return her prims. My tolerance limit for plywood on the land seems to be about three weeks. I’ve learned not to send them back to her. I occasionally set one of her objects to temp, but more often I go to work on the task she began. She sees my efforts and critiques them. I redo everything. And so it goes.

I love the way we work together. Sweetie makes my work better, and I hers. But what I love the most is that as a creative team we are equals. Neither one of us predominates. We operate by consensus, and I love that.

And I love Sweetie.

And I love the things we have built together.


Melissa Yeuxdoux said...

If this be sappy, then make the most of it, to paraphrase Patrick Henry. Thanks; that was a joy to read, and I wish you a long association that grows deeper as time goes on.

Cheyenne Palisades said...

Thanks so much, Melissa!