Dancing men, back to the tanglewood and a Minnesota lodge

It’s time to kick-off another week of fabulous story-telling in Voice, brought to Second Life by the staff of the Seanchai Library SL.

As always, all times SLT, and unless otherwise stated, events will be held on the Seanchai Library’s home on Imagination Island.

Sunday 11th August, 13:30: Tea Time At Baker Street

Caledonia Skytower and Corwyn Allen return to read another installment in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s volume of stories The Return of Sherlock Holmes.

Holmes-returnWhen Hilton Cubitt of Ridling Thorpe Manor in Norfolk presents Sherlock Holmes with a piece of paper with a mysterious sequence of 15 stick figures, the Great Detective and Dr. John Watson find themselves embarking on The Adventure of the Dancing Men.

Cubitt reveals that he has been married to is wife, Elsie, an American, for about a year. All had been well until a letter arrived for her from the United States. Clearly upset by the letter, she threw it in the fire – and shortly afterwards the strange little figures started showing on in pieces of paper, chalked on a wall or door… all with a terrifying effect on Elsie Cubitt.

Holmes instructs Cubitt to make sure all occurrences of the figures are copied and sent to him at 221B Baker Street. As they arrive, Holmes realises they are a substitution code, and the last message causes him to rush to Riding Thorpe Manor. But by the time he and Watson arrive, Cubitt is dead from a bullet in the heart, and his young wife, despite being wounded in the head, is the prime suspect in his death.

Monday 12th August, 19:00: Vacationland (3)

With Kayden Oconnell and Caledonia Skytower.

VacationlandOn a lake in northernmost Minnesota, you might find Naledi Lodge—only two cabins still standing, its pathways now trodden mostly by memories. And there you might meet Meg, or the ghost of the girl she was, growing up under her grandfather’s care in a world apart and a lifetime ago. Now an artist, Meg paints images “reflected across the mirrors of memory and water,” much as the linked stories of “Vacationland” cast shimmering spells across distance and time.

Sarah Stonich, whose work has been described as “unexpected and moving” by the Chicago Tribune and “a well-paced feast” by the Los Angeles Times, weaves these tales of love and loss, heartbreak and redemption into a rich novel of interconnected and disjointed lives. “Vacationland” is a moving portrait of a place—at once timeless and of the moment, composed of conflicting dreams and shared experience—and of the woman bound to it by legacy and sometimes longing, but not necessarily by choice.

Tuesday 13th August, 19:00: Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood (2)

Faerie Maven-Pralou continues reading from Meredith Ann Pierce’s 2001 novel for young adults.

TanglewoodHannah lives by the fearsome Tanglewood with a few talkative companion animals. She doesn’t age, and she has no memory of anything but this life of isolation. Once a month she plucks the flowers that grow from her head, a painful process in which “each yank made her whole scalp ache” and brews them into a tea for the wizard who lives deep in the woods.

When Hannah falls in love with one of the many knights who seek the treasure of the book’s title, she starts to question the wizard’s motives, finding he has turned the knight into a fox.

Escaping the wizard’s manipulative grasp, Hannah sets out to find a cure for the knight, an adventure in which she discovers her own identity and the repercussions of some of her actions under the control of the wizard.

Wednesday 14th August, 19:00: The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (4)

Caledonia Skytower resumes her reading of Laurie R. King’s 1994 novel for young adults The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, the first n a series of books featuring teenager Mary Russell and none other than Sherlock Holmes.

The year is 1915 and Sherlock Holmes, now fifty-four, has retired to the Sussex Downs to study honey bees. One April afternoon, he is interrupted by a young girl – fifteen-year-old Mary Russell – who has recently come to live with her Aunt following the tragic death of her parents in an automobile accident. Impressed by her wit and intellect, Holmes finds himself teaching her his former tradecraft. Thus a new partnership is formed between the very modern young Miss Russell and the very Victorian Great Detective.

In this reading, Holmes and Miss Russell embark upon solving their second mystery together.

Thursday 15th August, 19:00: Mabinogion (3)

From the Timeless Myths website:

Mabinogion“The Mabinogion was a collection of eleven (twelve) tales from the Welsh myths. The tales of the Mabinogion were preserved in two manuscripts, White Book of Rhydderch (c. 1325) and the Red Book of Hergest (c. 1400). Though the Rydderch manuscript was the earlier of the two, the tales of Lludd, Culhwch and Owein survived only in fragments, while the Dream of Rhonabwy was completely lost. Only the Hergest manuscript contained all eleven tales.

“The Mabinogion was first translated into English by Lady Charlotte Guest. It was Lady Charlotte who gave the title of “Mabinogion” to this collection of tales. Also, Lady Charlotte had included a twelfth tale, called Hanes Taliesin (“Tale of Taliesin”), belonging to the Independent group. However, the Hanes Taliesin was not found in the two early manuscripts, so some of the later translations of the Mabinogion do not include the story of Taliesin.

“The tales from the Mabinogion can be divided into three categories. The first four tales belonged to the Four Branches of the Mabinogi (“Pedair Cainc y Mabinogi”). The next four (or five, if including Taliesin) were the Independent tales, two tales of which Arthur appeared in the scene. While the last three tales falls into a category known as the Welsh romances, similar to those of the French romances written by Chretien de Troyes.”

Join Shandon Loring as he continues his exploration of these ancient works.

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Please check with the Seanchai Library SL’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule. The featured charity for July and August is Little Kids Rock. Have questions? IM or notecard Caledonia Skytower.

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