Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I was invited to Brenda Novak’s Virtual Reality Party

On Wed night I attended Brenda Novak's 1st annual Christmas Bash - a cyber/virtual reality party. Here's how it happened:

Harlequin SuperRomance and NYT bestselling author Brenda Novak hosts a month long on-line auction each May with all proceeds going to benefit Diabetes research. Last May, I bid on an ipod and a writing critique among other items but didn’t win anything. I figured I’d try again in 2009.
Count me surprised when I rec’d an email from Brenda at the end of Nov with an invitation to her cyber Christmas Bash. Anyone who bid on an item through her on-line auction was invited and there were many prizes up for grabs including a kindle but you had to be at the party and you had to pre-register. Once Brenda’s office rec’d your RSVP, they’d send out a ‘party pack’ by snail mail.

Well, a week ago, I realized the party was on Dec 16th and promptly registered. Brenda’s next email was instructions to download the virtual reality program ‘Second Life’. I did and then took a few mins to alter my avatar appearance but ran into problems when I tried to change my hair. Seems my laptop didn’t have the correct video card or CPU speed but would still work to some extent. I spent some time walking around but it was difficult to do so. I needed more time.

Brenda’s website listed practice sessions but I was unable to attend.
Then, a couple days before the party, I rec’d an email from Brenda’s office giving me 2 raffle ticket numbers with the explanation they wouldn’t reach me in time if snail mailed in the party pack.. Now that was nice!

When the big night arrived, my hubby let me use his laptop which is newer, faster and better. Once he downloaded the Second Life program, I was all set. A couple hours before the party, I rec’d my tickets via email. Talk about excited!

At the start time, I logged in and teleported to one of 4 party rooms. The first thing I did was change my avatar. This took about 20 mins but I really liked the result. Then I tried moving around. I couldn’t. All around me, avatars were moving, walking, skating, but mine wouldn’t respond. I heard them talking prizes and presents and boxes with presents... It was so frustrating. I kept trying with my keyboard arrows but nothing. It took until the party was half over before I somehow unlocked the ‘avatar auto-pilot’ and was able to move where I wanted.

By the time the party ended after 2 hrs, I was just starting to figure my way around and no, I didn’t win a prize. However, on her website, Brenda says this was the 1st annual cyber party.

Come May 2009, you’re going to find me at bidding on some items for Diabetes research. And I sure hope I get another invite to her party. But next time, I’m going to do a few things different:

- make it a priority to attend the practice sessions
- change my avatar appearance days before the party starts
- log on at least 30 mins prior to ensure my avatar isn’t on auto-pilot before heading to the party rooms
- register as soon as I receive the invite
- spend more time mingling with the other avatars

I’d like to thank Brenda Novak for this enlightening experience. Who knew I could live a double life?


  1. It's so cool how you have the current blog title in your blog list in the sidebar. Know I hve to know how you did that.

  2. Hey Cheryl. To adjust what is shown on your blog list, go into your layout and click edit on your blog list.

    When the new dialogue box shows up, it'll say 'Configure Blog List'.

    The 3rd line will say, Show. This is where you pick what you want everyone to see. For my blog list, I've checked the following boxes:
    - Icon
    - Title of most recent item
    - Date of last item

    Other choices are snippet and thumbnail of most recent item.

    I hope this helps.


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