Cargo Received, Captain

Well gang, we did it.

After LL’s ever-confusing guessing game of when processing payments will happen the donations rolled in early (let’s assume that they know we’re awesome and clearly it had to come first or someone (probably me if not Axi) would have been heard yelling a mile away.)

be5e535a09af123cdd14fad2e9ac9f46Which then lead to the next adventure of to the site…

 

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Again I cannot thank everyone enough for this and the amazing turnout for this, the blogging team, the merchants, and the SL community’s generosity and support. By default when you donate to NKF it selects your local chapter but we made this as a donation to the main branch so it can trickle down into all the service areas and main division of research and assistance. Just to give a better perspective of how much this has helped:

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40 people. It doesn’t seem like an amazing number to shake a stick at, but that’s 40 more getting often necessary and preventative medical help, moral support and a tireless fight to save and lead more fulfilling and healthy lives.

 

Thank you again everyone. Let’s double the race next year.

 

– ❤ Loks

 

One spark among the embers… One voice against surrender..

This is normally not my thing – I’m often terrible at how to put words in the right perspective (and why Axi is often the one to do the blog updates and progress of the events.) But with things coming to an end, before Ophelia (Blimpy, O`flamingia – whatever. It’s Ophelia) once again ascends to the night skies until her return next year – with our new journalist in tow with the crew, I wanted to say a few things.

First and foremost – to the merchants. I cannot thank you enough for everything you have done and come together for this. This really was one of those last minute crackpot ideas the org. team had, and somehow miracles happen. It worked (despite LL as always trying to break things. Hey we *are* on Cursed, right?)

The generosity of the SL community has always been a strange enigma to me. You can spend countless days watching group chats, local chatter.. watch the anamosity and chaotic things being thrown back and forth, and in that same instant like a light switch being flipped, the genuine heart of the human condition comes out. That innate ability to set aside differences if for even one day, a week, a month for the betterment of each other, for people we may never even meet – and yet we manage to change lives. *Save* lives by our pixelated addictions and bottomless holding closets of clothing and accessories.

It’s no secret that this event once we chose to go a charitable route has been a very close one to home for me. To bring it to a more understandable picture (and by the ever-delightful words of the good Captain Robert from “The Wrong Side”) “I see things the daker kids see, though you wouldn’t believe all that’s happened to me. I’ve been to the back side of hell and I’ve played with your fear and enjoyed it well.” – I’ve danced those darker sides in my life, whether or not I’m proud to admit many of the mistakes that wrong side in our lives often becomes that turning point to make a change, embrace it, and becomes something better, larger than we are in our own humility. Those fears… so very many from addictions and my own declining health put a very stone sobering perspective on where my life was heading if I didn’t embrace that spark.

Where my own help from the National Kidney Foundation was a mix of medical assitance during three consecutive surgeries and moral support (which I needed it and quell the fears, not knowing if my other kidney was going to fail) they do so much more for others, those unseen faces your donations go to. Renal failure, polycystic kidney disease, dilaysis procedures.. the list goes on, helping those that may too have danced on that wrong side, or where life just throws a bad hand of cards. And you – and all your help, your generosity and selflessness have been able to help us give others that same hope someone’s there to keep that dance going, and keep those sails full into the night.

So in parting – a toast to you all for some of the best crewmembers a Captain can ask for. (Or at lest Axi just lets me play dress up and act like I call the shots for one night. Because Shortstack is an awesome boss and a wonderful friend anyone can ask for and be damn lucky to have.) Let’s light the fires, bring this Ol’e Girl about and sail on to the horizon.

We’ll see you next year. Bigger, badder, and cannons at the ready under the radar.

– Lokii

The last gear grinds to a halt (and the event total!)

As the Gears Turn, by Mildread Gloom

The gears have stopped turning for this year at A Clockwork Spiral, but before they did, Mildread Gloom got this great photo on the promenade.  I love the lighting in this.  Thanks Millie! ❤

Well, we finally closed. I actually had to restart the sim to get people to go home!  It’s been an incredible run, and more than we ever expected.  Thank you so much to all the people who came out, shopped, took pictures, dragged their friends out, out AMAZING blogging team (omg they work so hard) and the incredible group of merchants who helped bring ACS together. We don’t really have other words to use, or we’d use them, but thank you.

Of course no one wants to hear me ramble on (I don’t either) so let me get to what you all WANT to know- the total.

I’d set our initial goal at 150KL,  That was based on the first year of WGF, which did a 2 week run (a full 14 days) and had made 220KL in its first year.  (this year, it made over a million linden.) But we only had 5 days for this so 150K seemed reasonable.  I then said if we surpassed it, I’d extend the run to a week next year.  I THEN said, if we hit 258KL (1000USD) I’d make it a full 2 week run, just like World Goth Fair.

The actual total raised in 5 days at A Clockwork Spiral 2013:

L$278,444. or $1082.04USD for the National Kidney Foundation.

We are coming back for a full two weeks next year, folks.  Count on it.

The money is already in motion.  I sent the full amount to my main (because it has an increased cashout limit) and set it at a limit sell of 248 (on larger amounts the limit sell is a much better deal even if it takes a few hours to complete.)

sell order ACS

sell order receipt ACS

 

 

 

As soon as I get confirmation that the sale has gone through completely, and I send the money off to paypal, I’ll post the screencap.  Right now Im just waiting on the sale to complete. I will post the screencaps of every part of this transaction (as I always do.)

ETA: The sell order has filled, and for slightly higher than expected:

sell order filled

 

 

The money is now in motion to Paypal.  (the transaction costs 1USD.) It will take about a week (four business days for me, usually, but there’s a weekend in the way.) As soon as it hits, I will transfer it to the AKF and post the transaction and receipt.

ACS money in motion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re now going to start gearing up for the holidays, which means Gothmas by Gaslight.  Applications will open on November 1.  Again, thank you all- we just provide the playground- you make it happen.

I’ll leave this with one of Sonya’s photos. I couldn’t ask for a better blogger coordinator (and wouldn’t know where to find one anyway…)

It Has Tesla Beams In Its Eye Sockets, by Sonya Marmurek

AK

Time keeps on slipping…into the future…(and the day 4 total.)

What the Night Brings, by Misty Harley

What. At some point I was going to post a steamgoth image.  I didn’t get a personality transplant…  But this one comes from Misty Harley <3.  Steamy, gothy goodness for all. Thank you. Misty – some of us still don’t wear brown.

I can’t post it here because downloads are disabled but I do want to point out this other photo by Zivaah.  Since I can’t post it, you call go look at it- it’s really great! Thank you Zivaah – this is a terrific image.

ETA:  ZIvaah was kind enough to adjust things so I could show you all this photo – isn’t it great?

CLOCKS ARE TICKIN’ YOUR TIME,THEY’RE TICKIN’ YOUR TIME.. , by Zivaah

As I mentioned yesterday, we’ll be extending ACS to noon Monday in order to get a full five days in (since we opened at noon.)  Also, everyone should know that ACS has brought in more money for charity than WGF did its first year out (which was a full two weeks, just as it is now) in three and a half days.  The org team couldn’t be more delighted and grateful for the support.  Thank you all so much for helping us raise money for the National Kidney Foundation.  This is a very personal charity for Lokii and many others who have needed support for kidney disease and related problems and seeing it get support like this is really heartening.

But we only have 24 hours left.  So I have a challenge. We’re trying to hit L$258K.  I know it seems like a strange number, but it’s basically $1000USD at a limit sell of 248. (really it’s 1002, but there’s a dollar fee on the cashout, and it’s the closest round number.)  If we can do that by tomorrow at noon PST, we will bring ACS back next year as a full two week event, just like World Goth Fair.  We’ve all been brainstorming ideas for next year, and the merchant crew is more than up for doing a full run – but we need your help.

Time is ticking and we only have a bit less than 24 hours left, so come on up and get your last minute shopping done before the mainspring runs down until next year. We’d love to make it back for a full two week run.

The day four total (at noon PST, it’s higher now) is L$241,176 .  It’s certainly possible to reach that 258k goal. 🙂

Sometimes doing these big events feels very surreal, and Duchess Flux got into that same vibe with this wonderful photo:

Surreal Steam, by Duchess Flux

Such a creative image, thank you so much Duchess, and everyone who is posting their ACS photos to our flickr pool.

We really hope everyone is having fun at the fair- and we’ll have a final total tomorrow after noon.  See you then!

O! Flamingia! (and the day three total.)

AClockworkSpiral_01 by DevinVaughn

Today’s header photo is by DevinVaughn.  He blogs for BishieStyle, and he has always been an incredible supporter of every event we’ve ever put on.  He takes beautiful photos and is just an all around super sweet person.  I love this photo so much, and it reminds me that next year we need miniature airships floating around for people to ride. Thanks Devin ❤

Sorry for the late post – to be entirely honest i was asleep at noon PST, which if you were around for WGF you’d know is fairly common.  Oops. Sorry about that.

And now, for some housekeeping – Because we opened at noon, Im extending ACS through noon on Monday the 23rd, just to get the full five days in.  We did this for WGF too, for the same reason.  (I should have thought about it earlier, but frankly didn’t, so here we are.)

Last night was the big party.  It’s the thing from which ACS spawned four years ago.

Four years ago, in mid-September, Lokii did her first steampunk set for Gothika, on a giant airship that was hanging over the harbor (wait why don’t we have a harbor anymore? Remind me to put it back in…  I don’t even remember why we pulled it out…) In order to get off the ship, you literally had to walk the plank.   The sim was PACKED. I don’t think anyone expected the response that first Clockwork Spiral event got.  I also remember the airship being like 450 prims or something stupid like that. Lokii spent weeks trying to cut the prim count down.

We’ve changed ships several times, but the event is always held in mid September, and once we started doing it for charity, the charity has always been the National Kidney Foundation, which was Lokii’s choice since they helped her out with support when she was having some kidney trouble a couple years ago.  Every year, the set is packed, and this year was no exception.  The sim topped out at 64 people last night (I screencapped it at 61, but it definitely went to 64.)

The ship was so crowded not many people got photos. It was just hit or miss as to whether or not you were going to be able to get a shot in.

Sonya (our head blogbunny for all things ever) got in a couple of good ones, though. She managed to nab one of Lokii (of course mutiny occurred within five minutes…)

Mutiny? Throw them overboard! by Sonya Marmurek

she also got a shot of our (well deserved) contest winner. The prize box had 9 stores worth of gift cards.

Steam Horse, by Sonya Marmurek

And I managed to get a single decent shot of our host, Eden Malik (Eden has been on the Gothika staff since her rezday.  She’s the only person I ever broke the 30 day rule for. She’s now some hotshot over at Oceania Breedables, but she still manages to fill in a set or two every so often.)

She looks far more angelic than she is.

All money collected last night went to the charity.   I can’t recall how long Lokii was actually on the deck, but my guess is about 3.5 hours in total.

For years we’ve argued over the name of the ship (I say it’s Blimpy, she says it’s Ophelia) but I think the matter was finally settled by our own mascot, Orvan Taurus.  On my Thursday set, he suggested Oflamingia (owing to Lokii’s love/hate relationship with flamingos.  Don’t ask. Really.) I think that sounds like some horrible steampunk disease, and Lokii couldn’t stop laughing at it when I told her, so I’m pretty sure we’ve renamed the ship the GAS Oflamingia.  It’s still funny.  Im wanting a steam flamingo airship next year.

Thank you so much to everyone who came down, partied with us, donated, and to all the stores who were kind enough to submit gift cards as prizes. Thank you – we are so grateful for your support.  🙂

So after that hugely busy day (and a lot of sleep on everyone’s part…) At noon today PST the charity total was:  L$197,903   (it’s well past 200K as I write this, though.)

So you’ve a bit less than 48 hours to get steamed before we pack up again for another year (though don’t worry, Gothmas by Gaslight is coming in December.)

I’ll leave you with this fantastic photo from our flickr pool by Cindy Gedenspire.  What a great shot!

LPM+Discord Clockwork Spiral, by Cindy Gedenspire

eventually, the gears began to turn on their own… (also, the day two total.)

A Clockwork Spiral, by Achariya

(this photo makes me so happy, first because it’s just terrific and second because Acha is back :D)

One of the things about organizing big events is there gets to be a point where they just sort of power along under their own steam (no pun intended, actually.) You spend weeks and weeks frantically working, and then once they get going it pretty much runs itself, with minor steering corrections.  This always feels strange, after so much work, though I must admit the ability to sleep for more than 2 hours at a time (cat willing) is most welcome.

That said, if you’re a true perfectionist, event organization isn’t your game – really.  You’ll find yourself obsessing over things and not being able to just say “run with it. We’re out of time.”  I think the ability to just make the call to go ahead even though it’s not *exactly* as planned is a crucial event management skill.  Because it’s genuinely never going to be “perfect”.    That has to be something you accept as being okay. All you can do is try to plan better for those eventualities next time out. Each time is a learning experience in “stuff you never expected to happen”

But enough philosophizing about stuff no one cares about.  Tonight is the big event party on the GAS Blimpy (that’s Gothka Air Ship.  Lokii keeps saying it’s named Ophelia but really, it’s Blimpy. Honest.) You can’t miss it. It’s the big blimp holding the event up in the middle of the build.   It starts at 8pm, and Lokii is the DJ (this is the one time I get to sit it out.  I won’t say Im not grateful!).  Gothika’s own Eden Malik is hosting (she also owns that cute Ampersand Photography gacha that’s sitting outside the Oceania Breedables booth too – it’s good stuff, check it out!), and I’m sure everyone at this point knows Lokii owns .{MV}.

The contest is Best in Steampunk, and the prize (winner take all- there’s only ONE box) is a box full of gift cards to a whole bunch of different stores.  Stuff! Things!  You know the drill.  The contest itself will go from 8-10PM PST though Im sure Loks will play longer than that. So come and get your best steam gear together and  raid the blimp!  All money collected tonight goes to the National Kidney Foundation. 

As I said yesterday, my goal for this event was modest and sensible, given its short duration (and when it happens to occur.)  We’re closing in on it, though!  The day 2 total (which is higher now, I grabbed this total right at noon PST) is 135,158L.  (the truth is it looks like we’ll shatter the event goal by tonight at some point.)

Return of Clockwork Angel, by Aarya Phantomhive

One more thing – I really want to thank our blogging team.  The posts we’ve seen and the photos they’ve shared have been nothing short of spectacular. Blogging an event is hard work (trust me, I wouldn’t do it if you paid me.) and the blogging teams (and our own bunnyherder, Sonya Marmurek, who is my blogging manager for all things, ever) always go above and beyond to get us great coverage. Thank you all so much – really, we could not do what we do without you.

As always you can check out our flickr group for more great images – or add your own!

See everyone at the event tonight – hopefully the airship stays up!  More total coverage tomorrow.

AK

..and it began with a scream (also, the day 1 total.)

Clockwork Spiral by MattKR Sassower

(isn’t that photo cool?  It’s from the A Clockwork Spiral Flickr Pool and you can put your ACS photos there too!  Thanks, Matt- this is great!)

So, this is a story…

About a half hour before we opened, as I had already planned, I turned build off on Cursed, and rebooted the sim.  It was in serious need of a reboot, as it was – a lot of activity had taken place in the previous week and it was really crunchy.

The sim took a little long to come back but nothing really unusual.  We opened exactly on time (woo.), and had about 30 people on Cursed within 10 minutes.

And then…

Suddenly my IMs blew up with merchants telling me their vendors didn’t work.  That was weird, as we’d not only tested the vendors but I personally had gone shopping on Cursed hours before, and had not had any delivery failures or problems.  First it was one merchant, than 3, than 5… Then I ran to one of my own booths and learned my vendors were broken too.  Several merchants tried different pay scripts THEY had.

The bottom line was not a SINGLE cash transaction (of any kind – you couldn’t even send money avatar to avatar) was working on Cursed.  To say I flipped out is a huge understatement.  I’d really like those 10 minutes of my life back.

What seems to have happened was when the sim rebooted. it never really came back all the way, and some functions never came back online.  When you’d pay a vendor you’d get a popup saying you did it, but no money ever got debited (this is important – no money ever left anyone’s hands- your total never changed) and the scripts didn’t respond in order to deliver product.

The sim needed to be rebooted a second time in order to get it all working properly again (which I did, with much apology on my part) 10 minutes later.

I mention it, in case you were a) on the sim at the time and/or b) this ever happens to you.  Apparently the solution is to reboot the sim.  Now you know.  I panicked so you don’t have to.  Since the second reboot everything’s been fine, though.

So after that bit of opening panic… There we were.  No really, I would like that ten minutes of my life back.  Again a HUGE shoutout to the Firestorm team for helping get the word out, and to Linden Lab as well for doing the same.

Throughout the day the spots with slow gears began to catch up and as of now there’s I think only one spot not filled(working on it.) .  So far, things have gone really smoothly and we have great merchants, bloggers and shoppers doing their thing, and helping to raise some money for the National Kidney Foundation (or as I like to think of it – they what helps you pee.)

Before we began ACS, I needed to figure out how much money I was hoping for.  Several people have asked me why it’s only 5 days.  I should explain.

September is a notoriously demanding month for SL merchants. The end of summer brings with it a veritable deluge of events, many of them long-standing and complicated.  Though this is actually our…fourth? (Lokii, is it third or fourth?) Clockwork Spiral event, we’d previously done it as a club party for one night only – this was to be the first time we’d expanded it into anything larger than that.  I didn’t want to ask merchants and bloggers to commit to a larger, potentially more demanding event during a busy season without it being tested first.

That said, because it was new, and short (only 5 days rather than 2 weeks or more), I needed to keep goals reasonable.  The first year we did WGF, we pulled in 221,641L for charity – but the event ran a full two weeks, from the outset.   SInce we were going to be doing less than half that, I set the goal at 150KL for the charity account (a bit more than half what we pulled in at year 1 for WGF, obviously.)  I told everyone if we made it past that, I’d expand it next year.

Which brings us to the day 1 total:  101,867L

So far, so good.  🙂

Thank you again to all the wonderful merchants, shoppers and bloggers who are supporting this effort.  It’s not really about us – we just provide the space for good things to happen.  You guys are the ones doing the work.

Speaking of work, check out this terrific picture, also from the A Clockwork Spiral Flickr Pool.  This one is from Duchess Flux, and I think the composition is just great.

Thank you so much, Duchess! You look great!

Hopefully nothing else explodes tonight (she said, struggling to make her computer reboot after it crashed in the middle of this post…), and I’ll have a day two total tomorrow!  Also, don’t forget, tomorrow at 8pm PST is the big party DJed by Gothika’s own Spiral Kitteh, Lokii Violet.