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Who Says You Can’t Repeat the Past?

April 21st, 2015

LCC at PARSEC cropped for WebThe good people at PARSEC, Pittsburgh premier science fiction organization, have posted the audio of my April 11 presentation “Dreams, Memory, and Time Travel.” It’s the first in what I understand will be a series of podcasts featuring speakers from Parsec’s monthly meetings.

Held in Squirrel Hill, the meeting gave me a chance to revisit my old neighborhood, the place I lived while writing some early stories that eventually sold to Amazing Stories and Twilight Zone. I talk about that and more in the presentation. If you missed it, you can still check it out here. Who says you can’t repeat the past?

Photo by Diane Turnshek.

Spotlight on All-Star Storytellers:
Marlene Pendleton

December 23rd, 2014

marlene-and-babeOnly seven more scopping days till All-Star Story Night, and, if you’re still wondering what to get that special someone, you might want to check out the limited edition Tri-Lax Chair (pictured below).

It’s an inspired piece of German engineering, and it’s also the subject of a story that Marlene Pendleton will be telling when she returns to Riley’s Pour House for an encore performance on December 30.

A designer who studied art at AIP, Marlene created our Story Night mascot Babe the Mannequin (pictured at left), who graced the stage during our Mannequin Tales session back in July. Marlene also provided a story for that session, and you can listen to it by clicking the link below.

trilaxBut Marlene’s best-known Story Night tale, which brought down the house back in March, centers on the versatile Tri-Lax Chair, or (as she renames it for story purposes), the Try-Sex Chair. Since Marlene told the story a couple months before I took over as Story Night host, I know of the tale only through secondhand accounts. People are still talking about it. Join me at Riley’s next Tuesday, and we’ll both find out why.

All-Star Story Night at Riley’s, which begins at 8:00 PM on Tuesday, December 30, will also include scop performances by Michael A. Arnzen, Joe Collucio, Larry Ivkovich, Owen Kilbane, Michael McBurney, Karyn Rok, Martha Swiss, Richard “Shaug” Shaughnessy, C. S. Wyatt, and Stephanie Wytovich — some of whom will be featured in upcoming spotlight posts.

Riley’s Pour House is located at 215 Main Street, Carnegie, PA. You’ll want to show up early if you want to get a seat. Arrive late, and you’ll need to bring you own Tri-Flex.

Until next time, scop on!

Spotlight on All-Star Storytellers:
Larry Ivkovich

December 19th, 2014

Larry IkovichIt’s almost here. Not Christmas. Not New Year’s Eve. I’m talking All-Start Storytelling, the event that will feature this year’s top storytellers from Story Night @ Riley’s Pour House.

With fewer than two weeks to go to the event, I’d like to begin highlighting some of the storytellers who will be appearing at our year-end competition.

First up is Story Night regular Larry Ivkovich, who made his first Riley’s appearance at the Writers on Writing session back in May. He then returned in July for Midsummer Night Stories and again in August for Mannequin Adventures.

sixth-precept-front-cover-lighter-shadeLarry has a personable, folksy style that complements the intimate setting of Riley’s, and we’re excited to have him returning for an encore performance.

In addition to telling stories, Larry is an accomplished writer, with a number of short story credits in various publications, including Penumbra Magazine, Twisted Cat Tales, Abaculus III, and Triangulations.

His short fiction has also earned him distinction as a  finalist in the L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future contest and a recipient of the 2010 CZP/Rannu Fund Award for fiction.

His novels include  The Sixth Precept and Blood of the Daxas. The latter debuted earlier this month at Rickert & Beagle Books.

Connolly at Story Night PPG croppedAll-Star Story Night at Riley’s begins at 8:00 PM on Tuesday, December 30. Other storyteller will include Michael A. Arnzen, Joe Collucio, Owen Kilbane, Michael McBurney, Marlene Pendleton, Karyn Rok, Martha Swiss, Richard “Shaug” Shaughnessy, C. S. Wyatt, and Stephanie Wytovich.

For more information, please see Bob Podurgiel’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette feature article, which includes a review of our holiday-themed November event as well as an All-Star Night preview. It’s good reading.

More storyteller spotlights will be coming soon. Until then . . . scop on!

Image Credits:

Larry Ivkovich at Writers on Writing @ Riley’s, May 2014. Photo by Karen Yun-Lutz.

The Sixth Precept. IFWG Publishing, 2011.

The 21st Century Scop hosting Holiday Stories @ Riley’s, November 2014.
by Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette.


Storytelling @ Riley’s presents:
Flash Fiction & Short-Short Stories

September 3rd, 2014

Sheldon at RileysYou’ll want to be at Riley’s Pour House on September 30 when some of the region’s top storytellers return for a special night of flash-fiction and short-short stories.

Among the performers already confirmed are four-time Bram Stoker Award winner Michael A. Arnzen, Rhysling and Stoker Award finalist Stephanie M. Wytovich, and Eerie Horror Film Festival Award winner Sheldon Higdon.

All three writers were featured earlier this year at Riley’s Writing Life session, and we’re looking forward to having them join us once again for what is shaping up to be our most exciting night ever.

stephanie at rileys

Whereas previous storytelling nights highlighted stories on specific topics (The Writing LifeTheatre StoriesMidsummer Night Stories, and last month’s double bill Mannequin Tales and Back-to-School Adventures), this session will feature short tales — nothing over five minutes, with some or our guests attempting to see how many complete stories they can fit into a single ten-minute segment.

If you attended story night in May, you heard writer Michael A. Arnzen talking about growing up in Amityville, New York (home of the house that became the subject of The Amityville Horror).

(Listen to Mike’s story by clicking the player below.)

Since Michael A. Arnzen is the author of 100 Jolts, a flash-fiction collection in which some of the stories are as short as a single sentence, it will be fun to hear what he has planned for us when he returns for a night dedicated to the short form.

So please consider dropping by for what looks to be a lively night of rapid-fire tales. And if you’d like to try your hand at telling a complete story in under five minutes (or three or more in under ten), we’d love to have you join our growing roster of spoken-word performers.

Sign ups start at 7:15 on September 30 at Riley’s Pour House, 215 East Main Street Carnegie, PA 15106.

Don’t miss this one. It’ll be here and gone in a flash.

Scop on!

Sheldon Higdon. Photo by Karen Yun-Lutz.
Stephanie M. Wytovich. Photo by Karen Yun-Lutz.
Michael A. Arnzen. Photo by Karen Yun-Lutz.