Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I write this in gratitude, for whatever good it serves

A few minutes after I logged in today, I received this notecard.
"If only there was enough space on this tiny card to evoke my unfettered joie de vivre for what you have done. The gaiety, the mirth, the heavenly bubbling of every effusive cell that sings inside me for your kind and pithy offering." - Joshua Braff
tl;dr - Nomine is closing, but there's some pretty badass auctions going on and you need to come buy all the things by the end of October and I LOVE YOU LOTS AND LOTS.

Dearest friends, customers, and passersby....

What a long, strange trip it's been, no?

The past few years have been extraordinarily hard for me. I've never been very public about my health issues, save a passing mention that I had them. About two years ago, post a bout with the flu, my body took a very serious turn for the worse.

I woke up with my hands locked in place, swollen, with a very large vesicular rash covering my upper arms. I ended up for the first of many, many times in the emergency room, where doctors hovered and came to no conclusions. I was sent to the first of several specialists then. Internal medicine specialists, rheumatologists, gastroenterologists, you name it. And every time I came home with a larger and larger amount of medical debt and no answers.

Finally I was sent to two geneticists, who diagnosed me with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. The short version of which is thus: my body does not and has never produced collagen right. Collagen is the building block that literally holds our bodies together. And mine doesn't work.

I was told there was no cure, and essentially no treatment. I would continue to get worse. I would spend the rest of my life in pain. I began a regimen of constant medication that I will continue for the rest of my life. Like a lot of diseases, there are degrees to which this one can affect someone. I am one of the unfortunate people who have a severe case. I do not ask for sympathy or condolences, it is what it is. I have come to terms with it.

This disease, however, coupled with the eternal downsliding of the economy, have made Second Life an untenable option for me. I am no longer pulling in a liveable income, and haven't been for some time. I have fought like crazy to keep my store open despite the ever rising cost, but I can no longer manage that. I am deeply hurting for income and Nomine is costing more than it's making. The best option for me now is to close my inworld store and sell my sim. I will be leaving Nomine open through the end of October, as I have every intention of doing one last round of the Halloween avatars.

I will be leaving the marketplace open as an option through the end of the year.

As a final thank you, (and to be perfectly honest, a chance to make some direly needed income), I will be auctioning off one of each of some of my limited editions as these have always been the thing I was the most proud of. I will be starting with the Alice in Wonderland avatars, and they will be auctioned off in my inworld store at a starting bid of 5k. The auctions will run for 48 hours and then a new set will take their place. I intend to auction off the past two years' tarot avatars, and one of each of the limited edition gowns from previous years.

These are older avatars, from 2010, and have older skins and accoutrements. They are now insanely collectible items, and this will be the absolute chance to get any of these avatars.

The auctions for Alice will begin today at noon.

You have all made my second life an amazing and enormous experience. I am awed and humbled by those of you who have stood by me all these years, and to every single customer who came to my store. I truly am.

You have pushed and inspired me to stay in business for almost 10 years. Your ideas and suggestions helped me evolve into something far greater than myself. I will remember you always.

Thank you, truly. I couldn't have done it without you.

- Munchflower Zaius
I literally don't know what to say. I'd known for several years that she had health issues; I'd known there were times when she was away (in hospital, or at home recovering) where Recidivist Sideways took over the job of announcements and such for her store. I didn't expect this.

EDS is a devastating disease. In its mildest form, the hypermobility of joints can, on not infrequent occasion, make simple tasks like lifting objects and walking nigh-Herculean tasks. And that's without all the other symptoms, most of which, it seems from this, Munchflower's got.

But barring all that, Nomine's been another of my SL touchstones--and I think I can say that for many of us. In 2006, flush with my first paycheck from Enigma, I walked proudly into Nomine and bought an outfit. I still have it; that, along with the first flexi hair I ever purchased from Helyanwe Vindaloo (back when Deviant Kitties still existed, before ploom was even a dream in Ms. Vindaloo's pixel eye), I think I'll always keep, because they represented an accomplishment of sorts to me. I'd moved beyond the system; I'd started to flush out my digital presence, and taken the first tottering steps towards realizing myself as a virtual being.

It's no exaggeration to say, without Nomine's help with outfits and skins, I'd be a far different woman in the world. So yes, the sim, the store, the woman--they will be missed.

Light your candles, gentles. And participate in the auctions if you can afford to--because she did then, and does now, incredibly intricate, breathtaking design work. Your bids will afford you a truly unique acquisition you will, most assuredly, be proud to own.

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