Sunday, October 16th: Stories at the Park in Second Life

Holly Kai Park: Storyteller's tree and garden, surrounded by the art displays
Holly Kai Park: Storyteller’s tree and garden, surrounded by the art displays

Sunday, October 16th will see the third in the Stories at the Park series, jointly presented by Holly Kai Park and Seanchai Library – and I hope that you’ll pop along to the event, which starts at 15:00 SLT.

Stories at the Park coincides with the monthly Art at the Park exhibitions at Holly Kai Park. Each month, story writers and poets from Seanchai Library and beyond are invited to visit Holly Kai Park and view the 2D and 3D art on display, and then to write a short story (“drabble”) or  a poem about any of the pieces of art which inspire them, with the following criteria applied:

  • Stories must be  exactly 100 words in length
  • Poems can be UP TO 100 words, but no longer, and in any format  (blank verse, iambic pentameter, haiku, sonnet, whatever appeals).
Holly Kai Park: Art at the Park, October 2016
Holly Kai Park: Art at the Park, October 2016

Submitted stories are then read in the live voice session for each Stories at the Park event, which take place at the Storyteller’s Garden in the centre of the art display area. Authors can either read their own works or if they prefer, have one of the Seanchai Library staff read them. Submitted stories are also published on the Holly Kai Park blog.

For October, Caledonia Skytower, Trolley Trollop, and R. Crap Mariner will be on hand to read pieces inspired by our current artists at the park: Anibrm Jung, John Brianna, Giovanna Cerise, Wildstar Beaumont and Inara Pey.

So, why not join us for some superb stories and poetry from 15:00 SLT at Holly Kai Park? Just climb the steps by the lading point. And of course, you’re welcome to come early and explore the art and the park, or stay after and wander the paths and tracks of Holly Kai Park.

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Visiting The Fallen in Second Life

The Fallen City
The Fallen – click any image for full size

Halloween is always a time when ghostly goings on and ghoulish gambits of games and explorations take over many parts of the grid. The Destination Guide can be awash with places to visit, so much so that those who love this time of years have both a cornucopia of places to visit, and a bit of a headache in choosing where to go and what to do.

The Fallen, open for the month of October, offers a destination which includes touches of Salem, Sleepy Hollow and Transylvania gathered around a small urban setting overlooked by castle and mansion. It’s a dark, mysterious place which extends over a rolling, misted landscape – and also under it at the couple of locations.

The Fallen City
The Fallen

A visit starts towards the south of the region, beneath the roof of a circular gazebo. menacing sounds grumble and reverberate through the air, echoing hollowly as mist wraps its way around shadowy trees. to the left, the leaded panes of church windows glow strangely, while to the right, rotting piers point broken fingers out to sea. The strains of Speak Softly Love, seemingly played on a trumpet, drift through the air, drawing one along a path to where modern buildings reveal themselves in the darkness.

As one might expect, this is no ordinary town; pentagrams and mystical signs glow on the ground before the entrances to establishments and homes, bats flit and fly, and the locals are somewhat bony in looks. This is a place where you might want to tread carefully as ghouls are prone to rising from the ground, and even some of the plants have an interest in the taste of human flesh; even the local nuns appear to be up to a certain amount of mischief.

The Fallen City
The Fallen

Beyond the town, over a rickety wooden bridge, the road plunges underground before emerging into daylight, the great mass of a castle rising from amidst the densely wooded landscape. Does it offer greeting or more ghoulishness for those who step through the heavy front doors? I’ll leave that to you to decide as you explore, and simply say fangs for allowing the visit, to the castle’s occupant.

Back across the river, the castle is overlooked by a mouldering mansion up on a hill above the town, while a path running north and east leads visitors to an apparently sleepy little hamlet, complete with thatched cottages, creaking windmill and farm animals. All seems normal and safe – until a faded proclamation on a sign reveals you are somewhere near a latter-day Salem, or perhaps Sleepy Hollow. Elsewhere, an old mine plunges underground, begging to be explored by the brave, and stone steps wind their way around a cliff to a small Japanese resting house protected by three Kokeshi dolls.

The Fallen City
The Fallen

Designed by Lily Poptart Kazagumi (iheart Wonder) and #TeamLazy (who style themselves as The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything, although this region suggests they actually do!), The Fallen City is an interesting place to visit with lots of little touches throughout, although given all that is going on means it can be a little taxing on systems, particularly when things are rezzing. However, if haunts and Halloween are your thing, why not hop over and take a look?

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Revisiting Invictus in Second Life

Invictus
Invictus

In August, I wrote at length about Invictus, the stunning full region interpretation of William Ernest Henley’s famous 1875 poem which was given that name in 1900, when it appeared in the The Oxford Book of English Verse.

The installation is a marvellous work of art, deeply reflective of the thoughts expressed within the poem, and of Storm’s own circumstance and the trials she has faced. If you haven’t visited the installation, I urge you to do so before in closes in December, and while it may sound somewhat self-serving, I also offer my thoughts on the installation as well.

I have been drawn back to Invictus a number of times since then, wanting to produce a video of it for posterity. But what form should such a video take? Should it feature music, or the words of the poem itself? And if the words, should they be spoken, or presented on-screen? And if spoken, who should I look to recite them?

At the end of August, and having been reminded by several people that Morgan Freeman recited the poem in the film Invictus (and has done so elsewhere, it being a personal favourite of his), I opted to turn to the marvellous talent of Charlie Hopkinson, who is Morgan Freeman’s voice. And so it is that I offer a short film of Storm’s installation I hope you enjoy, and which encourages you to visit or re-visit Invictus in-world.