Thursday, December 20, 2012


Where have I been?  Immersed in design projects, story projects, and audiobooks!  Check out the pictures on my Design site of the beta test of The Dickens Project, whose ultimate realization would be an interactive virtual environment where you could walk in the steps of Ebenezer Scrooge through a detailed virtual environment, guided by a live storyteller and the words of Dickens ... all of them!

The Dickens Project - Virtual Immersion in Literature

FYI : I will be reading the entirety of A Christmas Carol Live in two sessions (half the novella each) in Second Life (c) as I have for the past several years - December  23rd at 3:00pm Pacific Time, and December 24th at 3:00pm Pacific Time. 

The Dickens Project is free, donations accepted to benefit the Community Virtual Library.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

DECEMBER 9th: "Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus"

I remember the very first time I heard Frank P. Church's letter from the New York Sun, and really understood it.  I still read it every December, and frequently with a few tears.  He so perfectly states my own feeling that there is so much in this world that is unseen and unseeable, that we really cannot honestly pretend that we have a handle on it all.  Or as Shakespeare wrote,“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”  

It is a time of year when we need belief.  The winter is upon us. Even thought the spring comes every year as the great wheel continues around, we have our moments of doubt in the cold and dark.  Doubts in the world around us, nature, the universe, in others, and most profoundly in ourselves.  The answer is always the same, if we just listen and trust, "Yes ..."  Believe.

Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus by Francis P. Church

Recording (c) 2012 by Judith Cullen
NOT for Commercial Use

Thursday, December 6, 2012

DECEMBER 6th: "Meet Ebenezer Scrooge"

"Old Marley was dead..."  begins Charles Dickens' classic ghostly tale of discovery and redemption.  From a previous post you'll not that I am working on a Dickens Centenary event in Second Life (c) called The Dickens Project.

Dickens was written to be read aloud.  In fact the author diligently read his work to family and friends.  Remembering there were no radios, televisions, vhs or dvd, much less internet in those days.  Gathering to hear stories read or told was a common social activity.  In fact all those things I listed are also storytelling tools, though one might argue that they are getting more and more impersonal.  But that's another conversation.  Dickens was meant to be read and read aloud.

The language is delicious, and while I might not give it the same quality that a Patrick Stewart, Albert Finney, or Ian McKellen might, it is still a grand story beautifully if not economically told.  I have read it out loud every year for the past four years and every time I discover something new.

Consider reading it yourself!  It can be gotten free at several online sites, including Project Gutenberg.

"Meet Ebenezer Scrooge" from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Recording (c) 2012 by Judith Cullen
NOT for Commercial Use