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  • A Storyteller's Notebook: May 2018

    This Month Featuring: The Poe You Really Should Get to Know, on LEA 18

    American author Edgar Allan Poe is most often thought of as the "Master of the Macabre" for such works as "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Cask of Amontillado," and the poem "The Raven" in a very fertile writing career that lasted two decades before his untimely death at the age of forty.  What many people overlook is that, in the canon of Poe, tales of horror and mystery claim only one part of his complete works.  Of over five dozen poems and sixty-six short stories, less than half of these deserve the moniker "macabre."  The other side of Poe, the one that laughs, is currently being celebrated on Linden Endowment for the Arts Region 18 in an installation created by Daark Gothly, Mazie Halpern, and Cienega Soon.

    In addition to "The Premature Burial" and "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," Edgar Allan Poe wrote satire, fantasy, and essays.  The LEA 18 project celebrates one of the latter, his essay "The Philosophy of Furniture" first published in the May 1840 issue of Burton's Gentleman's Magazine. It was later re-published in the Broadway Journal on May 3, 1845 as "House of Furniture."

    On the surface, the essay is a theoretical analysis of interior design. Beneath the surface lingers the keen wit and satirically raised eyebrow that we most commonly associate with the commentaries of Poe's contemporary, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain).  Follies are exposed, and fads ridiculed.  Poe travels globe eviscerating the "styles" of the Italians, French, Chinese, Scots, Dutch, Spanish, and Russians, while lauding the superiority of the English decorative sensibilities.  The new world is not left unscathed, and Poe expresses his extreme offense at the American "well furnished apartment," and continues on to the "Hottentots" and the "Kickapoos." Poe rounds out the decorative tour by asserting the details and extolling the qualities of what he considers a "perfect room."

    The creators of The Philosophy of Furniture, which is currently open on LEA 18 through the end of this current Artist in Residence cycle (the end of June), have combined a masterful understanding of their subject with a light, whimsical hand that is perfectly tuned to the humor of this essay.  LEA 18 is fully realized fun, exploration, and the opportunity to get to know a great author just a little better.

    All the information you need to thoroughly enjoy the creation is available at the landing point (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA18/171/199/22). Follow along with the text, or listen to audio of the essay being read.  Take the tour to each of the nationalities touched on in the work, all featured in an open, abstracted landscape of words and visual references to the Poe canon.  The tour will lead you, finally, to Poe's Perfect Room and some prizes for successfully traversing the entire scope of the story.

     But there's no need to end your visit there!  Grab a 19th Century Penny Farthing Bicycle and zoom along the interweaving network of pathways, exploring more of Poe's words and thoughts.  You'll discover lush venues for music, dance, and spoken word.  While no events were listed at the landing point, and it does not seem that the creators planned and organized spoken word events themselves, their open invitation to anyone to present readings of Poe's work is clearly posted with the rest of the build's information.  If you are interested, and would like to be listed on the TPOF Event Board, contact Daark Gothly.

    This is really a fine example of a multi-disciplinary creation, and I only wish I had known about it sooner.  If you are reading this, and you love Poe, don't wait. Go now! The Philosophy of Furniture on LEA 18 will disappear into the virtual mists in just a few weeks.

    In Other News

    HuwTrefor Carr is a gifted actor and storyteller.  I first was introduced to his work when he joined Seanchai Library at last year's LoveFest benefiting Innsmouth.  He does not present regularly in-world, to my knowledge, but his skill with a story is unquestionable.  He recently added another offering to his The Black Dog Chronicles YouTube Channel. The new piece, "Scary Stories - The Face in the Mirror" is an inspired rendering of the late Welsh writer, Denys Val Baker's, chilling tale.  A deft hand with character, tone, pacing, and dialect, Carr's work is a study in how it should be done.

    Check out "Scary Stories - The Face in the Mirror" on YouTube and judge for yourself.

    Tea Time at Baker Street, one of Seanchai Library's mainstay Sunday afternoon offerings, will be returning, beginning June 2nd, with A Study in Scarlet, as the Tea Time crew approach their second complete circuit of the Sherlock Holmes canon of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  The 1887 adventure introduces Holmes and Watson to each other, firmly establishing them as roomies in the soon to be familiar apartments at 221B Baker Street.

    Written in two parts, the first takes place in the story's 1881 "present," establishing Dr. Watson as the narrator and chronicler of Holmes' further exploits, and introducing the case. Part II: "The Country of the Saints" explores the story behind the crime, leading back over three decades to a group of Utah pioneers, a man and woman in love, and a terrible crime of power.

    A Study in Scarlet will be presented in four one hour installments, beginning June 2nd, at 1:30pm slt in the Fireside Room at Seanchai Library's Main Branch on Holly Kai.  The sessions are presented live in voice.

    ***

    Know of a cool spoken word venue or related project?  Send me a notecard (Caledonia Skytower) with the basics and a landmark, and I will be happy to check them out as a possible feature.

    This Month's Quote:  I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of Beauty.

    ~ Edgar Allan Poe

     

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  • Bookings open for Le Cirque De Nuit 2018

    Magic sparkles across the skies above Idle Rogue as the beloved production, Le Cirque de Nuit awakens for 2018.

    Basing their work on Erin Morgenstern’s novel, The Night Circus, dance entertainers, Idle Rogue Productions lead enchanted audiences back into a steampunk circus that is traditionally performed over the Easter break, this year on March 30 and 31 and April 1 at 7pm , with an additional matinee performance on March 31 at 3pm.

    The 2018 Production is directed by Blaze DeVivre with the assistance of Sho Kyong.

    Morgenstern’s story, set in the 19th century and traversing Europe and the US, is an intrigue that sees a natural-born magician pitted in ruthless competition against a highly trained illusionist. The arena for their battle is a traveling circus, and each bout adds more dazzling illusion to the wildly popular but always enigmatic Night Circus.

     Using the novel’s setting as a background to their own stories, Idle Rogue’s production features dance acts with steampunk, illusion and circus themes, each built, as is the Idle Rogue tradition, by the dancer performing it. True to the novel, the Circus acts, props and costumes are created in black and white.

     Dance acts are interspersed with viewings of art installations constructed in blazing colour and this year’s prestigious roll call sees installations by ToySoldier ThorNoma FaltaExhibitionista Nirvana, Candace Kuhn & Tozh Taurog, Gloriana Maertens, Crap MarinerVoodoo Shilton, Gamma Infinity and Maar Volous.

     This year’s production includes a special guest appearance by Seanchai Library, who will provide pre-show entertainment with readings from The Night Circus by Cale Skytower, whose story-telling skills are unmatched in Second Life, adding a literary lustre we think our audiences will thoroughly enjoy.

     Bookings:

     Bookings for the 2018 season of Le Cirque De Nuit open on March 22nd at 4:00pm. From that hour onward, you will be able to IM Saturday Melody inworld to add your name to the allocation list, time stamps will ensure bookings are processed fairly. Leave a message indicating your first and second performance preferences and the names of those in your booking. Be sure to check the Autoresponse message that will be generated when you open Saturday’s IM for updated details for any scheduling changes.

     Please note: Idle Rogue’s fan group – Guerilla Burlesque Exclusive – receive first and best preference to all shows on Idle Rogue. This affects bookings as follows:

     March 30 – 7pm performance – Guerilla Burlesque Exclusive only

    March 31 – 3pm performance – 20 seats for exclusive group, 20 seats for general admission

    March 31 – 7pm performance – 20 seats for exclusive group, 20 seats for general admission

    April 1 – 7pm performance – 20 seats for exclusive group, 20 seats for general admission

    The sim will be locked to all but those whose names are on the access list at each show, unless the seat limit of 40 guests total is not filled, at which time the sim will be opened for general audience intake. Please allow for the Linden Lab limitation of 10% of the avatar limit (5-10 avatars)held for premium memberships. While we will do everything within our capacity to ensure you can access the sim on the night you have booked, please note this arrangement is a courtesy only and no obligation is implied.

     All performances will include an after-party event featuring steampunk and electro-swing tunes and an opportunity to meet with the cast and crew. No admission is charged to Le Cirque de Nuit, but you are encouraged to consider tipping the production to affray individual and group expenses. When you are attending any animated show in Second Life, please reduce your impact on the sim’s resources by removing scripted huds and devices, and face and body lighting.

     

     ##

     Reprinted by permission from the Idle Rogue Blog

    http://idlerogue.org/2018/03/22/bookings-open-for-le-cirque-de-nuit-2018/

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  • A Storyteller's Notebook: March 2018

     

    This Month Featuring: A STORY THAT BEGAN A DECADE AGO

    This month's column is very personal.  Like Bilbo Baggins, his heir Frodo, and many other fine characters in literature, journeys are begun that lead to places wholly unexpected, teach singular lessons that might not have encountered otherwise, and leave the traveler looking back in amazement with the life-defining clarity of hindsight.  That's certainly the story of Seanchai Library, celebrating its ten years of live story presentation this month.  Not surprisingly, it is also my journey.

    Sometime in July of 2008 my corporeal self had a nasty bout of food poisoning.  Having slept too much, she was trying to keep awake so her circadian rhythms would stop doing the mambo. She decided to keep her mind focused by creating a new avatar account, and named her after a music track that was popular that summer, recorded by the group Celtic Thunder. Yes, Caledonia Skytower began life as an alt created out of sick boredom, and named after a guy group hit. 

    Having already visited the West of Ireland on an exploration jag that involved dropping names of countries we always wanted to visit into Search, (Boy!  Was THAT dangerous!)  we had been to WOI and had noticed how friendly the people were, and how much fun they were having.  On that hot, miserable day the destiny of Caledonia was to be a social presence in the West of Ireland, and have some fun.  A not-so-noob account opened, a strafing run on a favorite mega-freebie store, and then heading to a remote corner of WOI to unpack.  Well, it seemed remote enough at the time.

     Hardly had the shoes been sorted when the IM box lit up and a Shandon Loring welcomed Caledonia to the West of Ireland and said he was with "the Library." They read stories every night at 7pm, and would Cale like to come sometime?  This sounded interesting enough, and not nearly as threatening as some of virtual experiences had been, so we said we'd check it out.  Shandon turned out to be a green tortoise with a snap brim hat, who'd spotted Cale and her boxes from a hill up behind the supposedly remote stretch of shore where we'd retreated.  So the next night Caledonia went to the West of Ireland Library and CulturalCenter and that, as they say, was that.

    Ten years later is hard to imagine that time when it was all so new, before stories truly became the focus of my life through Seanchai Library.  I had always been involved in storytelling, after a fashion, but in Second Life I first experienced losing myself in a tale as I was telling it.  The logistics of presenting stories and literature in voice require that a good presenter must listen, listen, listen to do justice to the language and the literature. When its good, it is a transportive experience for audience and storyteller.  Imagine that?  Transporting yourself and others who aren't even in the same town you are in, sometimes not on the same continent much less the same room, all with the power of your voice.

    I marvel at the thousands of hours of programming Seanchai has made available over the last decade, the authors I most likely never would have encountered directly otherwise: Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Kate DiCamillo, and so many more.  I cannot help but appreciate the deeper relationship I now have with the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne, H.P. Lovecraft, Robert Louis Stevenson, and of course J.R.R.Tolkien. Just the tip of the iceberg. It does not even begin to articulate the effects that a near daily immersion in literature have on a life, or the subsequent stories authored as a result of bathing one's being in language.

    At the end of 2012, Seanchai founder Derry McMahon retired from guiding the library. I took over as Lead Staff and have continued to steward Seanchai Library on whatever path it is destined to follow, along with Shandon who has taken on so many different shapes over the years that I cannot even begin to count them.  We've built new relationships, maintained some fine old ones, succeeded, failed, and tripped over our own good intentions as many times as we emerged triumphant. We've never done it alone.  There has always been an enthusiastic cadre of  volunteer staff, various affiliates, and loyal community that made all the time it takes to plan and maintain Seanchai Library worth it.

    Seanchai is celebrating - right now. It began on the 15th and will continue through the 25th.  As I look back and contemplate that journey, I remember the many people who are celebrating as well: the families who have listen to stories through computer speakers, the mother and daughter on different continents who spend time together by logging in and coming to listen, the young differently-abled man who finds comfort and acceptance through our stories, the now-married couple who met and connected as regulars through our sessions, and many more for whom Seanchai Library has been focus point, and a familiar place to gather, regardless of what was going on in other realms of their lives.  And the friends ... so many, and so dear.  Some have stayed for the entire journey, some come and go, and some we will sadly never see again on this side.

    In the end, the Library is not about me, or about any of them, or about books.  Seanchai Library is about a community connected by the singular and ancient act of stories shared aloud, for a remarkable ten years in virtual worlds. 

    Seanchai Library, and I, invite you to join us for some memorable events during the Volume 10 celebration - music, a light-hearted quest and, of course, stories.

    Saturday, March 17th       ~ 11:30 am: Corwyn Allen & Wald Schridde Play Celtic Music, Live! at  Ceiliúradh Glen on Holly Kai  (in homage to Glens na hEirean in the old West of Ireland Estate)
    Followed at 1pm by . . .
        The Storyteller's Path with Caledonia Skytower at  Ceiliúradh Glen broadcast on Fantasy Faire Radio

    Sunday, March 18th 
         ~12:30 pm: Prelude to A Bagpipe Challenge with Caledonia Skytower at  Ceiliúradh Glen 
    Followed from 1-4pm by . . .
        BEYOND LOUD: A Bagpipe Challenge - music with Elrik Merlin, Gabrielle Riel, and Ktahdn Vesivino at  Ceiliúradh Glen broadcast on Radio Riel Main Stream

    Monday, March 19th 
         @7 pm: Sci-Fi By Command with Gyro Muggins - A Science Fiction Encore selected by the Seanchai Library Community at our home Library on Holly Kai.

    Tuesday, March 20th 
         @7 pm: Stories Go Round - A buffet of short stories and poems shared by the Seanchai Staff at our home Library on Holly Kai.

    Wednesday, March 21st
         @6:30 pm: Dracula! - An encore presentation of a classic from our past.  Arrive at the Library on Holly Kai early to teleport to the special setting for the event!

    Thursday, March 22nd 

        @7pm: The Architect of Newgrange - Part 2 with Shandon Loring. Arrive at the Library on Holly Kai early to teleport to the special setting for the event!

    Saturday, March 24th

       @ 2pm: War of the Worlds at Holly Kai Park's Art Hill.

    Sunday, March 25th 


        @1pm: The Storyteller's Sandbox hosted by Dubhna Rhiadra with Seanchai Library Friends from around the Spoken Word Community at Ceiliúradh Glen on Holly Kai.

    This same information and even more, plus the teleport links to the various venues can be found at http://irelandslstory.blogspot.com/p/volume.html

    Know of a cool spoken word venue or project?  Send me a notecard (Caledonia Skytower) with the basics and a landmark, and I will be happy to check them out as a possible feature.

    This Month's Quote:  "If you're going to have a story, have a big story, or none at all."  ~ Joseph Campbell

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  • A Storyteller's Notebook: October 2017

    This Month Featuring: GOT GHOST STORY?

    In the last week or more of this month, the grid will be overflowing with opportunities to get your ghost story thrills from among the most talented storytellers in Second Life.  We'll cover some of those events farther down in this month's column so, rest assured, if you are having problems with your socks and need them scared off, we have you covered.

    There are also an abundance of narrative builds at this time of year.  What is that?  A "narrative" build is a commonly used term for regions or other created environments which are based on a story formed by their creator. "Back story" would be another commonly used term for using a story narrative to direct your building choices and visual design decisions.  Sometimes these narratives are clearly evident, and sometimes they are more covert. I have observed that there is a coherence and sense to narrative builds that don't always exist in less structured creations.

    There are artists, such as Cica Ghost, who always use strong narrative in their work. The Linden Endowment for the Arts regions are seeing installations with more and more evident stories attached.  Other artists such as Eleseren Brianna and Ceakay Ballyhoo have continued this approach by incorporating spoken word elements in their work and collaborating with writers.  MadPea, that purveyor of in-world gaming experiences, has been putting out the word lately for voice artists to audition for them, leading one to believe that voiced audio may become more of a part of their work.  

    This year's Octoberville build has a story-in-local-chat feature in it that is quite fun.  It is, in part, in support of their hunt, and in part just a further augmentation of the overall experience. Characters throughout the region will offer snippets of their own personal stories in local chat once you are in proximity to them.  "Much of the text that come from the characters, etc is directly related to the story (the hunt) and pushes it by giving you quests sometimes or just hints about secrets of the sim," shared Master Kaos, one of the co-creators of Octoberville. "In a way its kind of like a choose your own adventure book. It will unfold however you go about doing it. In my head, all of these characters have much longer stories that you only get snippets of in Octoberville," Kaos added.

    "The smell of dead leaves fill the air. You're not sure if it is the howling wind and trees or if you are really hearing voices… voices that beckon you to the campfire. As you approach the warm, crackling campfire, you hear the voices once again... they call to you. It appears to be coming from a statue of a tall man holding a book."

    Octoberville 2017http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Topaz/236/87/37

    This year's Designing Worlds Halloween Special (releasing October 30th) was also shot in Octoberville, so be sure and tune in to see the episode, this year's spooky story, plus interviews with the creators of Octoberville.  You can find Designing Worlds episodes right here on SLArtist.   

    Here are some special events above and beyond regularly scheduled story sessions between now and the day itself.  All times listed are SLT.

    THURSDAY, October 26th at 7pm: TRUE GHOST STORIES ~ Seanchai Library leader Shandon Loring brings his weekly Thursday story session to the great campfire at Octoberville, live on stream.  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Topaz/236/87/37

    SATURDAY, October 28th at Noon: TALES OF THE HAUNTING SEASON at Innsmouth ~ Seanchai Library and friends bring Lovecraft and Lovecraftian tales to the Innsmouth Opera House, in the spirit of the season, live in voice. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Innsmouth/87/82/47

    SATURDAY, October 28th at 3:30pm: VICTORIAN GHOST STORIES at the Timeportal ~ Frankenstein, Dracula, Jekyll & Hyde - so many great works of gothic fiction written during the Victorian era.  Seanchai Library and Friends will share some selections in this 90 minute session, live in voice.  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Time%20Portal/201/223/1927

    SUNDAY, October 29th from Noon - 2pm: The 2nd Annual GREAT BOO! ~ Seanchai Library presents its annual celebration of ghosts, ghouls, and things that shriek in the night at "Haunted Holly Kai," live in voice.  Following at 2pm, DJ Joy Canadeo will spin tunes for spooky frolics amidst the pumpkins and mists.  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Holly%20Kai%20Estates/169/111/2015

    SUNDAY, October 29th at 3pm: A NIGHT IN THE CASTLE ~ Spooky Tales by Moon Aerandir presented in voice by Siric Freenote at the Dungeon Fortress at Avilion Nexus.  Teleport from the main landing point available in the half hour before the event. Medieval dress required. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Avilion%20Nexus/128/128/251

    SUNDAY, October 29th at 6pm: Selections from THE GRAVEYARD BOOK ~ In a Magicland tradition, Caledionia Skytower presents selected adventures from Neil Gaiman's 2009 Newbery Medal and Carnegie Medal-winning book.  Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place—he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians' time as well as their ghostly teachings—such as the ability to Fade so mere mortals cannot see him. Presented live in voice at the Golden Horseshoe in MagiclandPark.  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Bracket/180/56/31

    TUESDAY, October 31st at NOON - HALLOWE'EN at Graveyard Dungeon ~ The Poet Laureate of Ce Soir Arts RUSSELL EPONYM will present a darkly beautiful programme of readings from the more mysterious and sinister of classic poets like Poe, Burns, Donne, and Herrick as well as more contemporary works. Spooky music and a Thought for the Day that's perfect for Hallowe'en will fill the hour with magic, live in stream! http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Ce%20Soir/72/188/17

    TUESDAY, October 31st at 1:30 pm - Selections from THE GRAVEYARD BOOK ~ "Rattle his bones, Over the stones, It’s only a pauper, Who Nobody owns"  – Traditional Nursery Rhyme. Caledonia Skytower shares more selections from Neil Gaiman's award-winning adventure, live in voice. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Ce%20Soir/72/188/17

    TUESDAY, October 31st at 2:30 pm - I HAVE NO MOUTH AND I MUST SCREAM ~ ÆonWoodford follows Caledonia with a stunning post-apocalyptic tale by Harlan Ellison. This sci-fi treasure is one of the most frightening, spine-chilling stories ever written, live in voice. Come visit the crypts and be prepared to screech in horror...if you can! http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Ce%20Soir/72/188/17

    TUESDAY, October 31st at 7 pm - HALLOWEEN AT HOGWARTS ~ What could be more normal than Halloween night at Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?  Well, if you are Harry Potter and a fully grown mountain troll is involved, there might be a whole lot more than butter beer in the cards.  Caledonia Skytower, live in voice. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Holly%20Kai%20Estates/215/44/27

    TUESDAY, October 31st at 8:30pm: HALLOWEEN LATE NIGHT - Ghost Stories ~ Seanchai Library Chief Storyteller, Shandon Loring, brings masterful tales of haunts and spooks to Haunted Holly Kai, in a special late night session, live in voice. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Holly%20Kai%20Estates/169/111/2015

                           ("Haunted Holly Kai" high above Holly Kai Park on the Blake Sea)

    Know of a cool spoken word venue or project?  Send me a notecard (Caledonia Skytower) with the basics and a landmark, and I will be happy to check them out as a possible feature.

    This Month's Quote:  “When the dance was at an end, Ichabod was attracted to a knot of the sager folks, who, with Old Van Tassel, sat smoking at one end of the hall, gossiping over former times, and drawing out long stories.  Quite naturally these tales were succeeded by stories of ghosts and apparitions, the neighborhood being rich in legendary treasures of that kind."

    ― Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

    All Images in this column shot at Octoberville in Second life, except as marked.  All shots by Caledonia Skytower

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  • A Storyteller's Notebook: August 2017

    This Month Featuring: LoveFest 2017 & Stories at Time Portal

    Back from a July vacation from the column with two great story experiences to recommend!

    A story well told, or a work of fiction well presented by a talented voice can be transporting.  When it takes place in surroundings that evoke and celebrate the literature itself, it adds a layer of engagement that sparks the imagination.  That's one of the strengths of presenting stories and literature in virtual worlds.  It seems as every month advances, I discover more and more people wanting to add significant, relevant spoken word content to their builds, be they historical or celebratory.

    August 17th saw the opening of the sixth annual LoveFest, benefitting Innsmouth in Second Life - the region which celebrates the work of influential 20th century author of horror fiction, H. P. Lovecraft.  Known best for his celebrated "The Call of Cthlulhu" and "The Shadow over Innsmouth", Lovecraft was not a success in his time; his work not achieving wide spread acceptance and popularity till after his death in 1937. Yet fans of his work are many, and its impact on its literary genre undeniable.

    Innsmouth in Second Life hosts weekly story sessions in their home region, reading from Lovecraft's significant canon of works.  At LoveFest they have carried that commitment over, adding to screenings of horror films, live music, DJ sets, dance shows, shopping (refresh your supply of tentacled merchandise!), gachas, and freebies - readings from Lovecraft and Lovecraftian works (yes, the man's work spawned a genre of its own!) and Lovecraft Open mics where fans can share their favorite bits.  What could be better than horror fiction live, surrounded by lurking menaces and hidden dangers?  Lovefest delivers these in abundance.

    The "Mysteries of the Deep" themed ten-day festival even includes an adventure.  Visitors may opt to sign onto the Miskatonic University Oceanic Expedition Team, and be transported to a remote area of the vast Pacific Ocean that has been charted for research and exploration, equipped to descend into the abyss to explore the wonders of the “Deep Blue” and investigate finds initially reported by an earlier “advance research” team. But as the festival's blog warns: "Beware, as while there are many beautiful, mesmerizing things in the Pacific Deep, there are also risks and dangers in this truly alien environment on Earth!"

     So if you are a fan of horror fiction in general, and Lovecraft specifically, this is a no-miss event.  Lucky you!  You have one week to check it out.  Be sure and give yourself plenty of time, and arrive early for any story events - the region is packed with detail and lots of traffic, so it can be a bit laggy and take a moment to fully rez. Schedule details can be found on the festival blog: https://lovefest.wordpress.com/events/full-schedule/

    Lovefest 2017

    Celebrating H.P. Lovecraft's 127th Birthday

    August 17 - 27

    http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Coral%20Moon/128/128/3001

    Frau Jo Yardley is well known for her creation and nurture of the detailed, historical, and highly popular 1920s Berlin in Second Life.  Last year she, and a group of like-minded historical enthusiasts, extended this concept to create the Time Portal project.  From Tudor England, to 18th Century France, to the 1950-60s the region is divided into zones that gives a taste of history, and connects to creators and performers that also celebrate that era.

    Sunday, August 27th at 11:30am slt, that celebration will extend to stories: Victorian Tales presented by a gifted line-up of spoken word talent in the Victorian London zone.  Seanchai Library has joined with the Time Portal to present stories from Victorian Literature at the Music Hall, live in voice.  Corwyn Allen, Fayleen Bellois, Cybele Moon, Dubhna Rhiadra, and VT Torvalar will present 90 minutes of scintillating adventures from penny dreadfuls to classic Victoriana.  Selections from Edgar Allan Poe, Kipling, and other icons of Victorian Literature are sure to be part of the program.

    Residents are encouraged to explore the Victorian London zone, which provides an amazingly rich depiction of both the highs, and lows of the era - the "haves" and the "have nots."  Like LoveFest the region is packed with detail, so it can be a bit laggy and take a moment to fully rez.  Arrive early, and plan on time to explore before or after the stories.

    Victorian Tales

    at Time Portal's Victorian London zone

    Sunday, August 27th at 11:30 am slt

    http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Time%20Portal/201/223/1927

    And check out the Time Portal blog:  https://timeportalsl.com/

     

    GOING ON THIS MONTH: Two events back from hiatus!

     

    ~ "BOUDICCA READS" Returning with more adventures from The Chronicles of Narnia

    Journeys to the end of the world, fantastic creatures, and epic battles between good and evil—what more could anyone ask for in one book?  The book that has it all is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, written in 1949 by Clive Staples Lewis. But Lewis did not stop there. Six more books followed, and together they became known as The Chronicles of Narnia.

    CALE'S NOTE: These sessions are typically 30 minutes, so it is good for people who find an hour long story too much.  The location is different form that previously posted in this column.

    Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3:15pm slt

    http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Evanescent/221/218/22

     

    ~ READINGS FROM THE FOREST TRADITION - BUDDHISM:

    The Buddha Center offers, each Tue & Fri (exceptions announced), an enjoyable and informative presentation read, live in voice.  Swami Luminos draws presented texts from Ajahn Sumedho's transcribed oral teachings, which always prove enlightening & entertaining.

    Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9am slt

    http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Buddhism/132/129/22

    All listed times are "slt."

    Know of a cool spoken word venue or project? Send me a notecard (Caledonia Skytower) with the basics and a landmark, and I will be happy to check them out as a possible feature.

    This Month's Quote:  “No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.”

    ~ Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

    IMAGE CREDITS: Caledonia Skytower

     

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  • A Storyteller's Notebook: March 2017

    This Month Featuring: Votarn Torvalar, plus Events Update

    When I first entered the forum of Spoken Word in Second Life, over eight years ago, there was a lot of stress placed on "readers" versus "tellers" of stories.  In the virtual world, a practiced ear can tell if a story is being told or read, but the difference between them hinges on performance.  There are people doing spoken word stories that are clearly reading, and others who blur the line through their use of voice and style.  An important thing to note is that you should never read someone else's work, published or not, without giving clear credit to the author.  It is in all our best interests to support the rights of creators of all kinds, and that includes authors.

    Performance is the realm from which this month's feature comes.  Votarn Torvalar (known as "VT") spent 20 years in the corporeal world as a performer, before becoming an educator. He worked for many years in schools and colleges, coming to Second Life eight years ago.  Hailing from southeast England, not far from the White Cliffs of Dover, VT has been active in SL role play including Gorean.  His virtual storytelling career began when he started reading for a friend several years ago, which morphed into the reading from author-educator John Norman's extended works to various interested groups.  The success of that endeavor eventually broadened to include all sorts of stories, which he has been reading primarily for interested friends in his own library at his SL home, The iPatch.

    VT's presentation style is mature, with his experience as a performer reflected in the broad array of characters he vocally portrays in his current weekly readings at iPatch, featuring various works by the late, brilliant Terry Pratchett.  "I don't get bored with them. I prefer material with a good amount of dialogue rather than descriptive passages," VT shared when asked about his personal love for Pratchett's Discworld series.

    While he tries to limit his schedule to allow himself suitable time to prepare material, VT has been heard outside of his home venue, participating in group events with Seanchai Library, including at this year's SL Dicken's Project.  He is currently participating in readings being held on LEA Region 10 in the Whitechapel-London 1888 installation - presenting Victorian tales and authors at 1 pm slt on Mondays at the Whitechapel Story Corner (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA10/191/217/28). 

    As VT's Discworld sessions (currently featuring Pyramids) are held on private land, I am reticent to openly publish the grid address.  However, those sessions are posted in the daily Stories Unlimited! notecard for Friday's at 2pm slt.  If you are not in that subscriber group and are interested in attending, I suggest you make a polite inquiry by notecard to Votarn Torvalar himself. (NOTE: VT has informed me that all are welcome at the iPatch.  Please be aware that the region is rated "Adult." http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Neomah/141/178/27)

    Stories Unlimited! is a subscriber information group specifically promoting story-based events, including literary readings, theater, machinima, dance, poetry.  It just has to have, and express, a plot. (send me a notecard with your name if you'd like to be added).

    GOING ON THIS MONTH:

    LEA Region 10 - Whitechapel-London 1888: Readings from a variety of Victorian sources and pastiches, presented by a confederation of talented voices.  Session are currently on Mondays at 1pm, Tuesdays at 4:30pm, Thursdays at 1:30pm & 4pm, and Fridays at 11am.  Content covers everything from Penny Dreadfuls to "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA10/191/217/28

    VOLUME IX: Seanchai Library Celebrates:  One of the longest running story presentation venues on the Second Life Grid celebrates 9 years of stories - thousands of hours, hundreds of titles, dozens of genres - on Sunday, March 26th.  The festivities start with Chili Cook-Off Stories and a Recipe Exchange at 1pm, followed by a dance party to the Hit Tunes of DJ Dano Bookmite from 2-4pm.  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Bradley%20University/101/208/28

    Boudicca Reads: Continuing her presentation of C.S. Lewis'The Chronicles of Narnia:  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Boudicca Amat reads at An Uncertain Destiny on Mystic, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3:15pm. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Mystic/160/224/28

    The Forest Beyond: Ceakay Ballyhoo's current art and story installation at Mistwood Isle on Storybrooke. The original tale, written by Ceakay, is available on a notecard at the beginning point of the installation, and further live voice story tours are scheduled.  Story tour times and dates will be posted in Stories Unlimited! and also by inquiry to Ceakay, herself. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Storybrooke/241/243/23

    COMING IN APRIL:

    • A new art and story installation by Ceakay Ballyhoo featuring the work of Hana Hoo.
    • Stories at Filling the Cauldron, a benefit for Elicio Ember at Holly Kai Park, Saturday, April 8th at 1pm.
    • Seanchai Library presents stories at the Kultivate Spring Art Show - April 9th from 3-4pm
    • Poetry of the Planets community poetry project opens on LEA 4
    • Fantasy Faire's LitFest 2017 opens April 20th.

    All listed times are "slt."

    Know of a cool spoken word venue or project?  Send me a notecard (Caledonia Skytower) with the basics and a landmark, and I will be happy to check them out as a possible feature.

    This Month's Quote:  “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”

    ― Rudyard Kipling, The Collected Works

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  • INTRODUCING: A Storyteller's Notebook

    This Month Featuring: Introduction and Ce Soir Arts

    by Caledonia Skytower

    There has been a resurgence of spoken word events on the Second Life grid in the past 18 months, specifically of prose. That is heartening to someone like myself  who has been involved in performing and producing such events for nearly nine years now. In my capacity as Lead Staff at Seanchai Library, and owner of the Stories Unlimited information group, I have been approached by no less than four builds currently underway that are actively planning spoken voice events as part of their project design.  And there are more than a half a dozen new and very talented voice presenters active on a regular basis. People are starting to get it.  Well, most people are.

    There are still those who don't get the difference between the emotional immediacy of a live reading, and the consistency of a recorded audio track. They are not the same, and while they both express word and plot successfully, they achieve this with slightly different outcomes.  It is similar to comparing the storytelling properties of theater with cinema: one is a unique moment shared between audience and performer/presenter, the other is exactly the same expressed experience every time you engage it.  Add to this the legal complications of recording any literature outside of public domain without the author's permission, and in a way that still gives you the essence of the narrative, and you can understand why live readings and storytelling might be not just more emotionally compelling, but frankly easier and more convenient to present.

    This new monthly post in SLArtist will feature stories of events, venues, and storytellers presenting in Second Life.  Like my information subscriber group, Stories Unlimited!, it will represent any non-role-play expression of a story regardless of the format: literature, traditional telling, dance, theater, poetry.  It just has to have a plot.  Initially I will focus on live presenters, venues, and spoken word  based projects; but features will not necessarily be limited to that.

    In this first column I am proud to feature Ce Soir Arts which serves as a home for music, visual art, and presents an abundance of spoken word offerings at its reading spot: The Magic Tree.

    Aeon and Mirielle Jenvieve-Woodford opened Ce Soir in January of 2012.  Their intent has always been to be a venue that supported multiple art forms, and that became personified early on by Russell Eponym: artist, musician, author, storyteller.  Eponym is the Poet Laureate at Ce Soir Arts, and maintains an active weekly presence. Russell headlines the Tuesday spoken word line up, with a popular noon session that encompasses music, poetry, stories, and a weekly "thought of the day."

    Others in the current spoken word line up include long time virtual storyteller and author Dubhna Rhiadra, Bryn Taleweaver, and myself presenting a broad spectrum from original works and adaptations, to beloved pieces of classical literature.  Brand new to the Tuesday and Wednesday menu is Mr. G. Darkrose, currently reading from the first of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. On special occasions, the owners add their own contributions to these bountiful offerings.  The environment is beautiful and magical, graciously hosted by the owners, with lots of additional features to explore including: Château Ce Soir, Côte de la Mer Galerie & Lawn (currently featuring the work of Silas Merlin), Witchwood Hollow, The Graveyard Dungeon, Dover Beach Theatre, and The Conservatory and Oracle Parlour.

    To learn more about Ce Soir, visit their blog

    http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Ce%20Soir/165/136/32

    You can find Ce Soir Spoken word events posted through the group Storytelling Guild of Second Life, in SL Events, and through the Stories Unlimited! subscriber information group (send me a notecard with your name if you'd like to be added).

    Know of a cool spoken word venue or project?  Send me a notecard (Caledonia Skytower) with the basics and a landmark, and I will be happy to check them out as a possible feature.

    This Month's Quote:  “The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.”  ― Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings

     Photo images of Ce Soir Arts by Caledonia Skytower

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