Gardens, flyers, letters, nuns and smugglers in Second Life

It’s time to highlight another week of storytelling in Voice by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s home at Holly Kai Park, unless otherwise indicated. Note that the schedule below may be subject to change during the week, please refer to the Seanchai Library website for the latest information through the week.

Sunday, May 10th: 18:30: The Secret Garden

Caledonia Skytower continues this classic of children’s literature by Frances Hodgson Burnett, first published in 1911, at the Golden Horseshoe in Magicland Park.

Orphaned after losing her parents in a cholera epidemic, young Mary Lennox returns to England from India, entering the care of her uncle Archibald Craven, whom she has never met.

Up until this point, Mary’s childhood had not been happy; her parents were selfish and self-seeking, regarding her as a burden over which they were not obliged to hold much responsibility. Not overly healthy herself, she is as a result a temperamental, stubborn and unmistakably rude child – and her arrival at Misselthwaite Manor and the relative gloom of Yorkshire’s weather does little to improve her mein.

Her disposition also isn’t helped by her uncle, who is strict and uncompromising, leading to Mary despising him. But her uncle’s story is itself filled with tragedy, particularly the loss of his wife. As she learns more about her uncle’s past, so Mary learns about a walled garden Mrs. Craven once kept, separated from the rest of the grounds and which, since her passing has been kept locked by Mary’s uncle, the door leading to it kept locked, the key to it buried somewhere.

Finding the missing key and the now hidden door, Mary enters the garden, and her passage into it starts her on a journey of friendship and discovery, one that leads her to the thing she never really knew: family.

Monday, May 11th 19:00: Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Gyro Muggins reads Richard Bach’s 1977 novel.

Donald William Shimoda styles himself a latter-day messiah. He quit his job as a mechanic to offer people the miracle of flying through the cloud-washed air between the cornfields of Illinois and blue infinity of the skies overhead. But the people want the thrill of the the flight more than they want to understand the miracle of flight or the truth of Donald’s words.

Donald first comes to the attention of fellow barnstormer and disillusioned writer Richard when the latter witnesses Shimoda dealing with a grandfather / granddaughter pair who arrive at the the makeshift farm airstrip where both men are due to fly their biplanes. Normally, it is the younger people who are keen to fly with the barnstormers, but here it is the grandfather who wants to soar in Shimoda’s biplane whilst the granddaughter is terrified by the idea.

Richard watches as Shimoda talks to the granddaughter, gently uncovering the cause of her fear, calming her to the point where she is ready to fly. Drawing close to the older man, Richard becomes friends with him, and together the two men become brother aviators, Shimoda teaching Richard to become – reluctantly – a messiah and miracle-worker in his own right.

Tuesday, May 12th,

12:00 Noon: Russell Eponym, Live in the Glen

Music, poetry, and stories in a popular weekly session at Ceiluradh Glen.

19:00: For Esmé—with Love and Squalor

Willow Moonfire reads what was perhaps J.D. Salinger’s most popular short stories, originally published in 1950. Such was the public response to it, Salinger received more letters from readers than for any of his other published works – including The Catcher in the Rye.

An invitation to a wedding in England is received by a US ex-serviceman, but he is unable to to attend due to a prior commitment. Instead, he opts to write to the bride concerned, someone he had met years earlier whilst stationed in England ahead of the D-Day Normandy landings.

In his letter he relates two stories: the first of their meeting, he as a lonely US serviceman, she as a young orphan, her mother having passed away and her father – whose heavy wrist-watch she wore – killed in the British north African campaign. Whilst young, the girl shows remarkable maturity, confessing to the serviceman that the loss of her parents had left her her cold and without empathy.

In the second story, the serviceman relates a further part of his story, one darker as it relates the outcome of his experiences in Europe up to and after VE-Day. But it is a dark story with a bright ending, one for which his wishes to thank her because, while far away, the compassion she thought she lacked came to his aid.

Wednesday, May 13th, 19:00: A Nun in the Closet

What do two Benedictine nuns, a secretive man-on-the-run, a Tibetan monk, three hippies, members of the Mafia and children of migrant workers have in common? Why, A Nun in the Closet, of course.

When a cloistered monastic community of nuns inherit an old house with 150 acres in up-state New York courtesy of a mysterious benefactor, they are at a loss as to what to do. Sister John and Sister Hyacinthe are therefore dispatched to give the property the once-over and report back. A simple enough assignment, except neither Sister is entirely prepared to deal with all that they find.

From hippies on the lawn to suitcase stuffed with money sitting at the bottom of a well, disguised cocaine and a wounded man who has hidden himself in a closet to avoid Mafia hitmen, not to mention strange apparitions in the night, It might have been better had Sister John and Sister Hyacinthe remained cloistered in the abbey.

But it is amazing what two nuns can achieve armed only with their faith and boundless energy – up to and including a shocking revelation or two about ghosts, gangsters – and murder.

Join Caledonia Skytower as she reads Dorothy Gilman’s 1986 mystery.

Thursday, May 14th 19:00: Han Solo: A Star Wars Story

Young Han Solo finds adventure when he joins forces with a gang of galactic smugglers and a 190-year-old Wookie named Chewbacca. Indebted to the gangster Dryden Vos, the crew devises a daring plan to travel to the mining planet Kessel to steal a batch of valuable coaxium. In need of a fast ship, Solo meets Lando Calrissian, the suave owner of the perfect vessel for the dangerous mission: the Millennium Falcon.

With Shandon Loring and Caledonia Skytower. Also in Kitely – grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI).

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