I heard it a long time ago and believe it may be of Asian origin. It had something to do with a princess who wanted a general to conquer a particularly desirable town and drive out the people living there. He took the town, but didn't drive out the people, choosing instead to rule them justly. When confronted by her, he asked her whether the empty houses were the source of the wealth she craved, or something to that effect. Anyone heard of this or something similar before?! Where might it have come fron?!
This week, I learned about a mathematical inequality called "The Peter-Paul inequality" (so named because you have to "rob Peter to pay Paul") and, from this comment, about the Macbeth principle ("t'were well it were done quickly"). What other principles, formulas, or procedures are named to reference particular stories that illustrate their basic idea? [more inside]
I'm looking for podcasts where longform magazine articles are read aloud. [more inside]
I'm looking for stories of clever academic detection. [more inside]
I'm trying to find some valuable works of advice to improve my craftsmanship on writing poetry and short stories. If you can recommend any advice books, poetry, novels, and short stories that can help contribute to better writing in the genre of: science fiction, southern Gothic literature, classic literature, modernism, and modern ligature works, that would be most appreciated. [more inside]
I've wanted to start a small business (ideally a side business that I can run while keeping my day job) for a long, long time. Both for extra income, and for fun. But I don't know what I should do, and it's scary too! One thing I've found helpful so far is reading the stories of other people who have started businesses. I'd love to find more of these kinds of stories, so please suggest books, blogs, articles, or anything else I should check out! [more inside]
I want to know what the market is for freelance reporters to sell their ability to do stories to radio stations across the country (or maybe in general). I don't know what a reporter might charge for freelancing the reporting, producing, writing and voicing of a story or what would compel a station to hire them And does there exist a collective or consortium of freelancers who have managed to turn that into a business model, like a narrowly focused employment agency or maybe even a talent agency. Does anybody know where I can find data on both?
A friend of ours loves mythology and folk tales. For a birthday present, we're trying to pick a story to illustrate and make a tiny book out of. From any culture, though Asian would be particulary nice. We'd like an interesting but old story with some humour or a twist at the end. Maybe something unusual. I'd love to hear your ideas and suggestions and favourites!
I would like to read helpful, well-written, thoughtful, realistic personal stories about quitting a job, preferably ones about situations where another gig hadn't been lined up yet. Prefer stories about career positions, though I'm more than happy to read about walking out of service jobs. Please point me to web sites and forums, books, podcasts, and other media I am not thinking of at the moment.
What are other platforms/programs that you can use to tell stories? [more inside]
I'm looking for well produced spooky story podcasts. Radio Drama? Spoken word? It's all good, with exceptions... [more inside]
Help me find stories of epiphanies, particularly striking moments of self-awareness. Fictional, non-fictional, any kind of medium (books, articles, video, etc...). [more inside]
There's a particular device or pattern or plot-type that I *think* might be an actual thing, but I'm not sure. It involves a character who *ends up* entangled in Deep Weirdness of some sort, after experiencing a series of seemingly mundane coincidences, but who never really becomes paranoid about the coincidences and only starts to believe Something Is Up when things get *really* weird. I'd love to read more stories about characters like this. [more inside]
There's a story in this week's TAL about a woman who was an alcoholic by the time she was 13, then successfully went sober and centered her life around her identity as an alcoholic, to the point of becoming a kind of AA mini-celebrity, only to realize after twenty years that the real story of her childhood had actually been completely different and she was never an alcoholic at all. I found this fascinating. Please point me to more true stories (podcasts, memoirs...) of people whose most basic beliefs about who they are turn out to be flat-out wrong.
My brother and his wife both have dementia and are currently living in a memory care home and need notes from home. [more inside]
Crusader Kings II is a lot of fun, but I don't care about the statistics or tactics in the game as much as the random events and the way the game handles fallout from them. Is there anything with a similar story-generating vibe where the interaction is simpler? [more inside]
Hey There Everyone, I'm looking for examples in movies, TV, theater, fiction, non-fiction, etc. that show older children being rescued and adopted by people who they are not related to. Thanks so much!
I'm hoping the hive mind can help me identify a sci-fi baseball short-story I read a few decades ago, probably in the 1970's. [more inside]
I'm blanking on the name of this writer. Early 20th century NYC, wrote rags-to-riches stories. IIRC he had some Damon Runyon-esque elements (character names, people not being 100% on the level) and his stories had twists similar to O. Henry. I've heard his name used as a shorthand for these kinds of stories, but I'm having a mental block about his name or anything specifically that he wrote. Help?
I'm looking for great examples of old, pulpy, short stories in the public domain that, as much as possible, match these criteria: Public domain only, Sci-fi, fantasy, or adventure themed, a small cast of characters, and, bonus if they feature child protagonists (though not a necessity). I want to make either some comic books or home movies with my kids in this vein but don't want to fret about copyright. Thank you!
For purposes that I probably don't need to get into, I'd like your saddest and/or most heartwarming links / photos / stories / etc. on the internet about dogs and our relationships with them. [more inside]
I want to hear podcasts that tell and analyze myths. Preferably not constrained to one culture/time period. Suggestions? [more inside]
For my 40th birthday I'd like to have a slumber party with a small group of my friends. I love scary movies (although I prefer supernatural, and am not a fan of slasher films) and would love to incorporate a couple into the fun. One of my close friends can only tolerate not very scary movies (I'm thinking at the level of Rosemary's Baby). A few other important details inside... [more inside]
I decided today that I absolutely love underdog stories. I love rooting for the little guy to come out on top. I love following along with their journey. Think Silicon Valley the TV Show or Halt and Catch Fire or the Bad News Bears, Mighty Ducks etc. What are your favorite underdog stories in books or film? Fiction is preferred for books, but either is fine for visual media.
Ni hao! I will be visiting China for the first time this December. Please share your advice and anecdotes! [more inside]
My honors student is planning out her thesis and is looking for enjoyable short stories (that are in the public domain, preferably) that end in a twist. Details (and a few spoilers!) inside. [more inside]
Hi, My 10 year old girl loves to read. When she gets started, she loves it, but it's the "getting her started" that I have a problem with. [more inside]
Can anyone recommend older short stories, which fall under fair use? The darker or spookier the better. [more inside]
I have a couple of short stories out there on the market right now. They're between 4000-6000 words each. I've really been struggling with how to price these, and I have found no good advice on Google. How should I proceed? Writer flurries inside. [more inside]
RecoFilter: I'm looking for recommendations of books, preferably in the sci-fi/fantasy genres, that have a 'big reveal' somewhere in there that changes the whole perspective of the book or protagonist. Examples would be The Inverted World, The Prestige, or Ender's Game, for example, or the first Star Trek film, or some Lovecraft stories — the whole thing, and all events narrated, appear in a different light after, you know? [more inside]
If you converted from Catholicism to a Protestant denomination (or vice versa), what swayed you? [more inside]
I want to write about obscure and little known gin cocktails, ideally ones with fun stories attached or a vintage pedigree . What are your favorite obscure gin cocktails? The more outlandish and exotic the better.
I remember reading a short story or folk tale about a man who had a ball of string. Whenever something boring was happening, he could just pull out some of the string and fast forward to the more interesting parts of his life. I read it around 1991, and it may have been Isaac Singer. Does anyone have a source for this tale?
Alan Watts, in some of his lectures, tells stories of the experiences of Zen teachers and their students- a sort of mystic, mythic history from ages past. Are there books of these sorts of legends? [more inside]
I'm looking for fairy tales, myths, and similarly imaginative stories where the heroine or hero triumphs because of their perseverance or dedication to developing a skill, not because of an inherent personal characteristic or being "the chosen one." [more inside]
Need help identifying a book from childhood. [more inside]
An actual help-me-with-my-story question: I've got a group of characters who need to ride around in an eye catching, iconic vintage automobile. It was orginally going to be a VW bus for the Mystery Machine echos but it turns out that's not actually street legal in the US. So, what's an old-fashioned auto that seats four or more, can be driven on US roads, and is antique/unusual enough to attract attention from car people but not enough that it sticks out like a surreal visitation ( like say, a Model T would.)
What are the best short stories, in the public domain or otherwise up for grabs, for public performance? [more inside]
I'm looking for stories featuring grand, visceral, over-the-top, self-indulgent revenge. Why not suggest a few? [more inside]
I've been seeing a lot of stories from people who left their relationships so that they can go on to be better versions of themselves, because they felt their ex held them back. Is there anything from the perspective of the ex that got left behind? [more inside]
I'm thinking of starting a low-key blog that posts black and white photographs of impoverished and disadvantaged people from around the world. The stories don't have to be elaborate or contain a lot of photos. Each one can consist of only one photo and a short description of the person's plight. Are there any similar websites/blogs out there? [more inside]
I'm looking for stories (movies, books, folk tales, whatever) where somebody or something arrives from some rather mysterious realm and proceeds to wreck up our hero's land, and the hero has to travel to the realm of the unwelcome entity and bring back some way to defeat it. (It could be a special weapon, some knowledge of the previously unstoppable villain's weakness, etc.) Anybody got some examples? [more inside]
I'm looking for an example novel(s) that features several separate third person viewpoint characters with seemingly different plot strands at the beginning but whose plots converge as they go on and they end up meeting further on in the novel (if only briefly). I want to see how the author handles these meetings and the meta narrative of several stories merging into one. I would prefer mainstream rather than literary as I'd like to seem something straight forward rather than overly tricky and would prefer sf but please don't let that constrict you as I'm more interested in the mechanics rather than the background and any genre would do.
So, it's Halloween and I'm thinking about ways to frighten my child. I've just recalled a recording my parents had when I was young that made a strong impression on me. I don't even know how I'd start googling to find it, so I'm hoping a description will jog someone's memory. [more inside]
Please share your mind hacks/mental hacks/stories you tell yourself to make things in your life easier. [more inside]
[Book filter] Please recommend stories about people who find out (through trail and error) what they really want, and eventually get there (after a bunch of detours). [more inside]
Guitarists get callouses on the tops of their fingers, former ballet dancers stand and walk with a specific alignment, active violinists have a callous under the chin. What are other examples of telltale physical cues and behaviors that can identify what a person does for work, sport, or hobby?
A few years ago I saw a series of illustrations about a post apocalyptic Earth. The people had regressed to medieval life and there were still advertisements and cars and passenger planes from the previous era. [more inside]
We're looking for books of fairy tales well-suited to bedtime reading. [more inside]
Looking for a short story, in which an elevator figured prominently, used to demonstrate literary irony in a gifted-talented/advanced placement middle school class. [more inside]