Stories at the Park for November in Second Life

Stories at the Park, November 2016
Stories at the Park, November 2016

On Sunday, November 20th we held the final Stories at the Park event for 2016; commitments being what they are in the run-up to Christmas, we’ll be skipping December and re-convening the story telling sessions designed to coincide with our art exhibitions at the park until January 2017.

Stories at the Park also offers a unique way in which the art on display at Holly Kai Park each month can be interpreted – through the words and eyes of others. For me, the stories and poems presented at each session never fail to open a whole new world of perception and narrative around a piece of art. And when there are two or three pieces written on the same piece, then the floodgates of thought and viewpoint are thrown wide.

November’s session made this latter point really apparent: several of the pieces had two or three stories written to accompany them, and each one offered a unique perspective on the piece and – if I’m honest – the thought processes of the writer! I was particularly fascinated at the ways in which The Rains of Kastamere, an image by Shakespeare (Skinnynilla) was interpreted by this month’s contributors.

Those offering stories this month with Caledonia Skytower, R. Crap Mariner, Aoife Lorenfield – a skilled weaver and reader of tales from Seanchai library, who was joining Stories for the first time as both writer and reader, and also Robijn, who submitted four beautiful pieces, all of which were read by Trolley Trollop.

The Rains of Kastamere by Shakespeare (Skinnynilla) had no fewer than three pieces written about it
The Rains of Kastamere by Shakespeare (Skinnynilla) had no fewer than three pieces written about it

I actually didn’t get to hear all the stories until after the fact – RL meant I had to spend a portion of the session away from the keyboard, but it did then give me the opportunity to walk through the current exhibition and listen to the recording of the readings whilst examining the pictures which inspired them, without any distractions of watching recording software, keeping an eye out from new arrivals, etc., which usually occupies my time at these events.

As this was the last of the 2016 Stories event, Cale and I – this being a joint idea between us – spent a little time mulling the sessions held to date, and I think we’re both pleased with how things have gone; submissions for each event has been strong (32 pieces for one session!), and the readings have been well received by our audiences – so much so, that I might have to expand the current cushion seating for future events.

Our artists, as well, seem to be pleased with the events and hearing how other interpret their words through story and verse. Offering your work to be included in something like this can be nerve-racking. It’s one thing to have your images interpreted privately by those viewing them; it’s quite another to entrust them into the hands of others whose words could go on to forever frame your work in the minds of those who see it whilst reading or hearing those words.

So, my very genuine thanks to all of our artists throughout 2016 who have willingly allowed their work to be included in each of our Stories at the Park events. My  equally sincere thanks as well, to all of the writers and readers who have participated this year. Without you, Stories in the Park couldn’t take place.

Our November writers and readers for Stories at the Park: Robijn, Trolley, Cale, Crap and Aoife
Our November writers and readers for Stories at the Park: Robijn, Trolley, Cale, Crap and Aoife

If you’d like to listen to the November stories, written to pieces from our guest artists Sheba Blitz, Maxie Daviau, Shakespeare (Skinnynilla), Sorcha Tyles and Terrygold, I invite you to hop over to the Holly Kai blog, where you’ll find all of the stories, images of the pictures which inspired them, and some audio extracts from the event. Or you can use the links below 😉

If you’d like to try your hand at writing a 100-word short story (a “drabble”) or a poem of up to 100 words for one or more of the pieces of art featured at our next exhibition to include a Stories at the Park event (which will likely be opening around Saturday, January 14th) then please refer to our Stories at the Park guidelines. Remember, if you’re not comfortable reading your own work or using Voice, you don’t have to: one of our readers will happily read your submissions.

In the meantime, the current Art at the Park exhibition will be open through until Sunday, November 27th, so if you haven’t already done so, I hope you’ll pay a visit.

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The whimsy of WeeVille in Second Life

WeeVille, Oyster Bay; Inara Pey, November 2016, on Flickr> WeeVille, Oyster Bay – click any image for full size

A regular stopping off point for me as I make my way through Second Life is Sera Bellic’s Homestead region of Oyster Bay. Every few months Sera gives the region a make-over presenting something new for people to explore, and I’d been looking forward to making a return trip to see what was new since recently noting the region was closed to visitors –  a sure sign Sera was reinventing it.

Over the years, the region has seen a lot – scenes of destruction, tempest, beauty and mystery; there have been country houses and gardens; fun fairs and glimpses of the future; country walks – and even a look into both heaven and hell. I’ve covered much of the changing face of Oyster Bay in these pages, and was delighted to find that for its newest look, Sera has turned to the realms of whimsy and fantasy in order to present WeeVille to the world.

WeeVille, Oyster Bay; Inara Pey, November 2016, on Flickr WeeVille, Oyster Bay

On arrival, visitors might initially be fooled into thinking this is an art environment: sitting alongside the landing point is one of Mistero Hifeng’s sculptures, Bella 16. However, beyond it, over flagstones and flower-strewn waters shaded pink under a timeless sky rich in the colours of spring, sits a great stone wall into which, beckoning silently, is set a pair of wooden gates.

Step through these gates, and your Adventure begins with a visit to a part of The Shire – or is it? Certainly, across a meadow of lush grass Hobbit holes can be seen, with little camp fires burning outside as if the occupants might be taking advantage of a springtime evening. But the folk standing before those little fires are smaller and stouter than Hobbits, and prefer to have boots on their feet, with some keeping the hair strictly to their faces in the form of thick beards and flowing moustaches. Dwarfins they may be, but they do appear to share in a love of fireworks.

WeeVille, Oyster Bay; Inara Pey, November 2016, on Flickr WeeVille, Oyster Bay

Climb the wooden steps between the hillocks of the Hobbit … the Dwarfin … holes, and pass through a second gate, and you’ll enter a birch wood carpeted with tall poppies, through which a path of  stars leads. Beyond it is another realm  where flowerpot people play, giant budgies hop and rabbits offer an interesting line in word processing from a … mobile office…?

“Welcome to WeeVille,” Sera says of her design. “My first fantasy sim and hopefully not my last. I hope you enjoy visiting as much as I enjoyed creating it. Remain young at heart and have some fun!”

With a quaint little stilt town built over the water in one direction, a garden of unicorns and mer-horses in another and lots of little touches to be explored – be sure to open doors and look inside places – together with places to sit and watch and cuddle and take photos, WeeVille is certainly a place where the heart can feel young, and the young at heart can smile.

WeeVille, Oyster Bay; Inara Pey, November 2016, on Flickr WeeVille, Oyster Bay

And, at a time when winter regions and snowy landscapes are starting to appear across the grid, WeeVille could be just the ticket for those who need to escape dark and cold nights and gain a little reminder than spring will soon be coming around once more.

SLurl Details

  • WeeVille (Oyster Bay, rated: Moderate)