Short Story & Movie Night: It Had to be Murder/Rear Window

Tonight was the second installment of Short Story & Movie Night. We read the short story Image result for it had to be murder cornell woolrichIt Had to be Murder by Cornell Woolrich. About 13 pages long, there’s not a lot of mystery to it, but it’s a good solid basic murder story.

Then we got together and watched Rear Window, with Jimmy Stewart, Grace Kelly, and Raymond Burr.

Again, three of the four of us hadn’t seen the movie before, and none of us had read the story before.

Image result for rear windowThe film definitely kept most of the story’s elements, and what it changed, we all felt changed for the better. The two female characters in the movie didn’t exist in the story, and added a great deal to the film – in no small part because they were living breathing human characters, and not just “sexy lamps” or “dark action girl“. Because of their addition, some of the action from the story got rearranged, but it still all fell nicely into place. (and do I even need to start about Grace Kelly or her character’s wardrobe? *swoon*)  We all quite liked the film – thumbs up all around!

Tonight’s tie-in dinner was eggs (scrambled, with cheese), bacon, toast, and coffee (well, coffee cocktail), per both the story and the movie. Mostly because I wasn’t up to dealing with lobster and pommes frites.

Looking forward to next month’s Short Story & Movie Night!

Short Story and Movie Night: Breakfast at Tiffany’s

The invitation read something like this:

I want to do more reading, and I want to do more socializing. But Book Club is too haaard! I don’t have time to read a whooole book! Talking about books for two hours is boooring!

Let’s read a short story then watch a movie based on it instead!

Read the story ahead of time. Then come over and hang out with us. I’ll have something dinner-like available. Feel free to bring food/drink to share as well, if you like.

The emphasis was on the social aspect – the short story and movie give us a reason to get together and stuff to talk about.

This month’s story & movie was Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Image result for breakfast at tiffany's bookWhile I’d seen parts of the movie, I’d never read the story. In fact, I’ve never read any Truman Capote before this. I got the four-story collection from the library and read it all. While the writing it good, I can’t say I’m dying to read more of it. Maybe it’s a matter of cultural shifts and no-longer-relevant references. It was hard to get past the overt racism of several characters. I may try to read “In Cold Blood” just because.

 

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No one else in the group had watched the movie before, so we’re all watching it several decades after it was made. Again, lots of no-longer-relevant cultural references, lots of cultural shifts.

We were all properly horrified by Mickey Rooney’s character, found everyone else in the movie pretty much unsympathetic, pondered whether Marilyn Monroe (Truman Capote’s choice for the lead) would have been a better choice than Audrey Hepburn, wondered why Hannibal Smith was in this movie without the rest of the A-Team, were glad to have seen it for the overall cultural reference, loved pretty much all of Audrey Hepburn’s clothing, and we thought Cat was easily the best actor.  We had a great time talking about the differences between the story and the movie, and which movies and stories these reminded us of.  Also: what genre is this movie?  Definitely not a romance. Redemption? Drama? Screwball drama?

Dinner was chicken enchiladas (per “chicken and sauce” in the movie) and margaritas (just because).

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And of course, I’ve had this song stuck in my head for two weeks straight.

The next Short Story and Movie night is already scheduled!

 

 

Short Stories/Short Edition

I ran across a piece a few months ago about short story dispensers, made and distributed by the French company, Short Édition. Yes, short stories dispensed by a machine – for free. You can choose between stories that take about 1 minute, 3 minutes, or 5 minutes to read.

After tucking away the bookmark to that article somewhere safe, I promptly forgot about it till today.

I looked up the company’s website. You don’t even have to find a dispensing machine to read the short stories – you can read them on the website if you want, or even have them emailed to you!

I’d love to find a dispensing machine in person. Unfortunately, there’s none near me. I checked the map pretty carefully. And what little travel I’ve got planned so far doesn’t take me near any machines either.

If anyone is interested in a short story machine, they’re looking for hosts- looks like it could possibly be a good bit of advertising for a business or organization as well. They can help customize the collection of stories to fit your purpose too – feature local-ish authors, have a hotel dispense bedtime stories, a school or youth-oriented business/organization could feature children’s stories, and so on. You’ll have to go to the Public Library Association’s website for specifics.

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It also looks like Short Édition is working on how to have English-speaking authors be able to submit their work for consideration – watch the website for more information.

 

disclaimer – I have no affiliation with Short Édition or any of it’s machine hosts. I just think this is an awesome idea, and I hope more organizations will choose to host these or something similar. 

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Short, Scary Stories

It’s a busy time of year. So much to do with the school year underway, the days getting shorter, the weather cooling off, the holidays almost upon us. Here are bunches of very short, scary stories to squeeze into what little time you have to read. Maybe just jump into bed and read a short story or two to help you fall asleep.

Good luck with that.

Short scary stories from Reddit 

Abraham’s Boys, by Joe Hill

How to Talk to Girls at Parties, by Neil Gaiman

The Doll, by Daphne du Maurier

Nightcrawlers, by Robert McCammon

Premium Harmony, by Stephen King

Sunbleached, by Nathan Ballingrud

The Third Bear, by Jeff Vandermeer

The Ash of Memory, the Dust of Desire, by Poppy Z. Brite

How to Get Back to the Forest, by Sofia Samatar

Bog Girl, by Karen Russell

Hello Moto, by Nnedi Okorafor

His Face All Red, by Emily Carroll

Rattlebag, by Neil Gaiman

 

What are your favorite short stories?

Poster & Story Contest: Oregon Humane Society

Don’t just read stories, write them too! Poster & Story contest for students throughout Oregon, and in Clark County, Washington. See the link at the bottom for last year’s winners.
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Each year students throughout Oregon and Clark County Washington are invited to create a poster or write a short story portraying part of the Oregon Humane Society’s mission.

70th Annual Be Kind to Animals Poster & Story Contest

Who:

Contest is open to all residents of Oregon and Clark County, Washington, entering grades 1st-12th in the fall of 2018.

How:

Step 1: Review the theme for your grade level and entry instructions 2018 OHS Poster and Story Contest Instructions

Step 2: Create your poster and/or write your story based on your grade level theme

Step 3: Print and complete 2018 Poster and Story Entry Slip and glue or tape to the back of your entry (no paperclips, please). Note to Teachers, please include a class list along with your posters and/or stories.

Step 4: Mail or drop off to:

Oregon Humane Society
Attn: Poster and Story Contest
1067 NE Columbia Blvd
Portland, Oregon 97211

For 9th-12th Grade Digital Art Entries: Click here to upload your digital art. Please be sure to read the poster theme prompt for Grades 9-12 before entering your digital art poster.

When:

Contest begins September 1, 2018! Deadline to post mark or drop off posters and/or stories is December 14, 2018. All winners will be notified by January 11, 2019 and will be invited to the A’Cat’Emy Awards. The A’Cat’Emy Awards will be held on Sunday, January 27, 2018 at the Oregon Humane Society.

Poster & Story Contest Prizes

  • Grand Prize: Laptop
  • Runner Up: $150 Gift Card
  • First Place: $100 Gift Card
  • Second Place: $75 Gift Card
  • Third Place: $50 Gift Card
  • Honorable Mention: $25 Gift Card

All winners also receive a special award certificate, ribbon of honor and an invitation to the A’Cat’Emy Awards celebration.

For Teachers!

Enter your students’ posters and/or stories by November 1st to receive a $25 Amazon gift card as a thank you for including the Oregon Humane Society in your classroom curriculum.

For More Information

Contact the OHS Education Office at (503) 416-5034 to learn more.

See all 2018 winning posters and read the top stories here »