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August Mania:
Madness, Music, and Mannequins

August 8th, 2014

Connolly Wytovich ArnzenSorry. Couldn’t resist the alliteration, but it’s as good a way as any to summarize this month’s events.

The Madness

That’s madness of the fun variety, of course. Earlier this week I joined Raw Dog Screaming Press authors Stephanie M. Wytovich and Michael A. Arnzen for a reading at Rickert & Beagle Books. That’s the three of us on the left, standing beneath the store’s Horror sign (although it does seem as if Mike is actually standing beneath the Mental Health sign).

Stephanie opened the reading with the poem “Daddy’s Little Grave Digger,” from her new collection Mourning Jewelry. It’s the second time I heard her read it, the first being earlier this summer at the Pennsylvania Literary Festival. At both readings I was impressed with her ability to deliver the poem in a tone that conveyed both a sense of dread and whimsy. Great stuff.

She also read excerpts from last year’s Bram Stoker nominated Hysteria: A Collection of Madness and a few new poems – indicating that a new collection may be on the horizon.

Write or die 2Always the technology integrator, Mike shared a new story written using the apps Brainstormer and Write Or Die.  The first provided him with three randomly selected words: remorse, dying, and puppet. The second threatened to scream at him if he stopped writing or (worse) erase his words if he fell behind on his intended goal. Fortunately Mike managed in producing a 1,255 word first draft in under 30 minutes. He then edited it to a tight 850 word narrative, which he shared at the Rickert & Beagle reading.

Titled “A Check-Up for Mr. Bangles,” the story about a father performing a medical exam on his daughter’s toy is at once creepy and hilarious.

outside rileys1The Music

This weekend I’ll be teaming up with Duane Davis (long-time bassist for the Laughrey Connolly Band) and Lauren Connolly Moore for a show under the big tent at Riley’s Pour House.

As always, we’ll start with ballads and build to a raucous finale. The show will run from 8:00 to Midnight, and the weather looks like it’s going to be perfect for an outdoor show.

Really looking forward to this one!

mannequins

The Mannequins

This month’s Storytelling Night at Riley’s will feature our first thematic double bill: Mannequin Tales and Back to School Adventures.

We’re currently taking advance signup for storytelling. If you have a story about mannequins or a memory about returning to school, we’d love to add you to our growing roster of storytellers.

Please note, your stories do not need to include both themes. For this event, we’ll be presenting two sets of stories on a double-bill program reminiscent of the heyday of drive-in cinema.

Please check out some of the stories featured on our previous storytelling nights The Writing Life, Stories from the Theatre, and Midsummer Night Stories for an idea of what we’re looking for.

That’s a summary of the big events for this month. Updates coming soon. Until then, scop on!