I started in Second Life way back in September 2007, after friends in IMVU suggested it and some made the switch over. It was so very different, and I didn't know about blogs yet so I was pretty much just learning by trial and error. I joined groups that helped me to acclimate, and they led me to reading blogs. It was still several years before I even considered blogging myself, since I am basically an awkward introvert. I have discovered that I truly enjoy blogging though, much to my surprise and delight :) Sometimes we just have to take a leap of faith, in ourselves especially.
About my blog: I came up with the name Midnight Magpie fairly randomly, with a few influences. I love birds, both wild and companion, so having the magpie in the name is a nod to that. I am a night owl who enjoys Midnight Mania boards, so that led to the midnight part quite a bit. The reasoning behind the magpie is also that I was looking for hidden treasures in SL, gifts and bargains that I could share with everyone. I'm not sure if magpies are known to share, but this one does ;) Initially I wanted to focus on freebies, but they became harder and harder to find in SL, for example how gridwide hunts used to be almost all free and now hardly any are. I do pay for 99% of the hunt prizes I share, and I do pay to join groups if there is a fee, so most of what I do isn't sponsored. The right hand column will tell you who I am officially a blogger for, and I do not treat their items any differently just because I receive them for free. I like what I like, and strive to be genuine in my assessments of what I'm blogging. I would have to classify my blog focus now as gifts, bargains, hunt prizes, and special event offers. A note about censorship: I will use Photoshop to crop, combine, and add my name to each image, but no additional editing with the exception of adding something over nipples/crotch to censor if needed. This is not to imply that I find the female body shameful or inappropriate, in fact I think it is quite beautiful...I do it so nobody else will flag my work as spam or too adult. Quite frankly I don't see why pixel female nipples need to be hidden when not in a sexual situation (since male nipples do not), but my goal is to provide a blog that anyone can feel safe viewing and I am not looking to be reported. I would never tell anyone else to hide themselves just because I choose to, and I am open minded in general. I strive to use inclusive language on my blog regarding gender, yet it is tricky when nearly everything in SL is labeled "male" or "female" like if a store is offering 2 hunt prizes that are one in each category. I know full well that many beautiful female avatars have a male behind their keyboard, and some people switch between the two because that is how they feel comfortable. I do not mean to exclude anyone, and am simply relaying how the items have been named by the designers. Since there is no official nonbinary avatar designation yet, you are pretty much stuck wearing either a male body or a female body, and need your clothing to fit one or the other regardless of what your gender identity is. Part of the beauty of SL is that you can express your identity however you feel most comfortable, and I respect whatever makes you feel safe and happy. There are augments for mesh bodies lately that can help you with a more androgynous look, like Slink Petite chest for both of their bodies, and there are designers who create with those in mind. BOM (Bakes on Mesh) is a wonderful feature since it lets 'system' layers function on mesh bodies regardless of their shape, and trying older clothing and skins on has been interesting to say the least.
About my avatar: most of the time I am wearing the Maitreya Lara body, in part because many of the items I blog are available only in a size for that particular body. I also own and love the Slink Physique and Slink Hourglass bodies, and frequently wear Slink hands and feet because of the popularity of shoes/manicure HUDs for their brand. I know that Maitreya nail HUDs are becoming more common, but I adore the ability to do each nail individually that only Slink currently offers. As for mesh heads, I was slow to adapt to those because I had a lot of difficulty finding one I felt comfortable with, but I certainly found it with the [GA.EG] Barbara Bento mesh head. Not only does its appearance come closest to what I'd envisioned for my mesh head, it is compatible with Omega (with the purchase of the relay system for just $99L that is) which I considered crucial. I also have Akeruka's former group gift called [AK Deluxe] Maia Bento Head, but haven't found the right skin for it just yet. Lately I have been enjoying the GENUS Project Classic Face head, although I am eager to see the potential improvements that future updates will bring to its animations. I am in dire need of static poses like smiles for photos!
RL me: female since birth, straight but I have friends and family in the LGBT rainbow so I am a proud ally. I was born and raised in a suburb of a big city in the Eastern time zone of the USA (vague but not impossible to guess if you read my blog regularly...) and live in a slightly more rural area now. 3 random facts: I'm an only child, I am a Harry Potter nerd, and I am an Aquarius who usually doesn't match the descriptions of that sign. I have experienced a lot of strange things in my life, made plenty of mistakes, and even learned from some of them. I have hearing issues and vision issues, both of which seem to get worse over time, and I have to be extra careful to ensure that my poor vision does not negatively affect the blog. I ask for patience if I do make a typo or a mistake. As of 2019 my left eye correction is -9.00 and the right is -10.00 with an astigmatism. Several years ago when both were "just" at a -7.00, a new eye doctor had me take out my contacts and then said very loudly, "OMG can you even see me??" to which I laughed and said no.
My time in SL is divided between time with my RL/SL partner Xan, and prepping blog posts by taking photos and lots of notes. As for what Xan and I like to do, well we seem to primarily work on gridwide hunts together but we also spend time 7 Seas fishing (Sn@tch customs!!) or doing something more spontaneous and random. Sometimes one of us will choose a place from the destinations listing online, and we'll just explore somewhere we've never been. Spending time together is what matters to us, regardless of what we're doing, and after 12+ years it must be working :) We have a close friendship as the basis of our relationship, and it seems to be an effective bond for us.
I try to make sure that anything you see in my photos is credited at the end of each post, and nearly all my photos are taken at either my rental skybox or my premium Linden home. On rare occasions I might wind up going "on location" and taking some pics elsewhere, and if so I credit the sim appropriately. Hunting does provide plenty of opportunities to see some gorgeous regions, so I save lots of landmarks to return to them.
That should just about cover things, thanks for reading and thank you for visiting my blog!