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Seeing Stories:
All-Star Story Night Preview – Part II

December 17th, 2015

joe reversed (2)Seeing is believing. With that in mind, if you still need convincing that you should be at this month’s All-Star Story Night at Riley’s Pour House, be sure to check out the links at the end of this blog.

My previous All-Star Preview featured audio from Anna Voelker’s June performance–a show-stopping, draw-dropping delivery of a piece titled “Cosmic Curiosity.”

Douglass Claytor House (2)This time around, I’m including two video performances. The first is from Joe Coluccio, who will be making his fifth appearance at Riley’s this month. The performance featured here shows Joe in top form, telling a tale that is at once funny and touching. Recorded by videographer Dean Mougainis at Joe’s previous Riley’s appearance, the clip provides a good sense of what you can expect when this master storyteller returns on December 29.

The second video features performance artist Douglas Claytor reciting “The House With Nobody In It,” a poem by Joyce Kilmer. Shot and edited by Riley’s house musician John Puckett, the video shows Douglas doing what he does best–presenting poetry from memory. Douglas last performed at Riley’s nearly a year ago, and we’re looking forward to having him back.

If you’re a fan of the spoken-word and you plan to be in the Pittsburgh area on December 29, you owe it to yourself to make this event. But you don’t need to take my word for it. See for yourself by checking out the videos below, and I’ll hope to see in a couple weeks when the All-Stars come to Riley’s for the storytelling night of the year.

Until then . . . scop on!

Joe Coluccio – “I am an Astronomer” from Lawrence Connolly on Vimeo.

The Brighton Readings: Part Two

November 10th, 2013

Notes to a Science Fiction WriterLong ago, when I was first entertaining notions of sharing my stories with a wide audience, I came across a passage in Ben Bova’s Notes to a Science Fiction Writer. It describes a photograph that he saw in a book titled The Faces of Man. Bova writes:

[The photograph] shows an African village, where most of the people have gathered around an old, withered man who is evidently the village story-teller. He is at a high point in the evening’s story; his arms are raised over his head, his mouth is agape, his eyes wide. And the whole village is staring at him, equally agape and wide-eyed, breathless to find out what happens next.

That is what story-telling is all about.

I’ve read a lot of books about writing since then, but that passage has always stuck with me.

StorytellerThe act of presenting stories from memory is nothing new. It is clearly working for the storyteller in the photograph, and I believe it can still work today. Not as a stunt, but as an effective way of sharing fiction with a live audience.

Recently, I’ve been exploring this mode of storytelling in venues as varied as the KGB Fantastic Fiction Series, GenCon Writers Symposium, PAISTA, The University of Brighton, and World Fantasy. The approach seems to be working. In any event, I’m having a lot of fun following in the tradition of that African storyteller.

Let me show you what I’m talking about.

Below is a video from last week’s Reading Café at The World Fantasy Convention, featuring a reading of “Step on a Crack” from Visions: Short Fantasy and SF. It’s one of three stories I presented that day. The entire performance was recorded, and I may be posting additional segments in the coming weeks, but, for now, here’s a peek at what went down when some members of the World Fantasy village gathered to listen to the 21st-Century Scop.

Lawrence C. Connolly reads Step on a Crack from Lawrence Connolly on Vimeo.

Image Credits:
Notes to a Science Fiction Writer by Ben Bova, Charles Schribner’s Sons.
The Kalahari Storyteller,
Life Magazine, 1947.