Free stories?

Vending machines for short storiesShort Story vending machine(Photo: AFP)

It is now possible to read stories that can be consumed in however much time you’ve got to kill. The ‘three minute’ format, for example, takes the form of a piece of paper 3 inches wide and two feet long. Then there are the 5 minute stories.

The stories from the French machines are completely free. The initiative comes from a collaboration between the founders of publishing company Short Edition and the green party mayor of Grenoble, Eric Piolle.

As a writer, I love the idea and all that, but you can guess my next question. Who really pays for the free stories? Where are they coming from, who are their authors, and how are they being paid for them?

Read the whole story HERE

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The story behind the story

You really should read this book” is the subject line of an Amazon review of ‘Letters from the Fire‘, a book I wrote in fury as the U.S. and NATO were waging a brutal and unjustified bombing of Serbia, the country of my birth.

The review by Deborah Starrett (link below) is based on the original print version which went on sale before the attack even ended. A later ebook version includes a foreword which explained how the book came to be:

Excerpts from the ebook Foreword

Letters from the Fire ebook

Back in 1999 – in the dying days of the last century – my country was attacked. The bombing campaign…cost me pieces of my childhood as the things I had grown up with vanished before my eyes. Places I had loved twisted in flames. I was heartsick, angry, and appalled — but in this darkest hour, a man who had been courting me on the Internet made a suggestion that offered me salvation:

Use your strength, use your passion, and tell the other side of the story,” he said, and with his help I did in ‘Letters from the Fire.’

I was living in New Zealand at the time and Deck was living in Florida. We wrote the book together, literally around the clock, because his day was my night and vice versa. I would write a character-penned email as Sasha, and go to bed. At the same time he would be getting up, reading that particular day’s communication, and replying as Dave, and then he’d go to bed. I’d get up, find the reply and answer him… and so it went.

It was on the shelves in New Zealand less than six months after we had begun it. It garnered some great reviews and well over 100 reader responses….

The lives of Dave and Shasha took unexpected turns in the chaos of war. We, their creators, forged a shared existence that came out of this book, ‘Letters from the Fire’. In 2000, a year after the events events depicted in this book, we were married.

Read Deborah’s review HERE

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This bank finally contains something more valuable than money – Art…

Artist transforms run-down Chicago bank into an Arts CenterArt Center BooksImage credit: Tom Harris © Hedrich Blessing, Courtesy of Rebuild Foundation

Three years ago, Chicago bank Stony Island Savings & Loan was nearly a century old and was in terrible shape. Artist Theaster Gates Jr. bought the derelict building for one dollar and began raising money to restore it.

Now called the Stony Island Arts Bank, it is home to art installations, artists, scholars, and archives on art history, architecture, and black culture.

Read the whole remarkable story HERE

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“เมื่อซุปเปอร์ฮีโร่จาก DC กลายเป็นหนังตะลุงไทย…จะเจ๋งขนาดไหนมาดูกัน!!!”

Are these supposed to be puppets for Indonesian shadow puppet shows? They’re AMAZINGJava SupermanItty bitty problems – WHY does Batman have purple clawed feet? And just how does Superman fly aerodynamically with all those tchochkes on his costume (and never mind the substitution of the skirt for the more iconic Y fronts)? And the Flash sure loses everything that would give him any kind of actual speed, what with the drag on all those bits and bobs on the costume, but my, ain’t he pretty. And as for Wonder Woman, I”d like to see her try and toss that lassoo while looking rather like an Indian Temple Dancer, and without snagging half a dozen pointy bits on her person.

They’re even more impractical than superheroes usually are. But aren’t they a feast for the eyes?

See all the superheroes HERE

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Just in time for Halloween

At Buzzfeed, Tanner Greenring selects2-sentence horrorI begin tucking him into bed and he tells me, “Daddy check for monsters under my bed.” I look underneath for his amusement and see him, another him, under the bed, staring back at me quivering and whispering, “Daddy there’s somebody on my bed.” ~ Juan J Ruiz

See more HERE

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Scary Stories for Grown-Ups

At Electric Literatore, Benjamin Samuel selects 10 stories that will “remind you of the horrors of failed relationships, house-hunting, and dysfunctional families, proving that nothing is as scary as real life.”SuburbsPhoto by Christoph Geilen

Orange” – If you’re considering living a nice quiet life in the suburbs, this story by Tarah Scalzo will make you think again.

Read the other 9 stories HERE

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You won’t sleep with the lights off ever again.

BuzzFeed asked readers to recommend their fave underrated horror books. They obliged.

e.g.

The MonkThe Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis:

Why you should read it: The Monk was originally published in the 1700s, and people still rave about it. It focuses on the dangerous mix between temptation and responsibilities. Relatable, right?

 

22 more underrated horror books HERE

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THIS ‘n THAT

Lonely ATM

 

 

The World’s Loneliest ATM is in Antarctica

 

Read the story HERE

 

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Quote of the Day

Margaret Atwood on Ursula K.Le Quin:
“She never loses touch with her reverence for the immense what is.”

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Alma Alexander      My books      Email me

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