Things We Love, October

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Every month at Echo, we curate a list of our favourite stories and share them with our Echo community. This month, the things we love include…

…a novelist’s memoirMAC38_BOOKS_POST01-644x1024

A Life With Words, by Richard B. Wright is a practical jeremiad to our purpose at Echo. We were particularly struck by the epilogue, which convinces the reader of the profound necessity of story in human life. (Not that our team needs convincing!)

…free literature dispensers

If storytelling really is the currency of the imagination, then the French city of Grenoble is leading the way by installing the world’s first creativity ATMs. According to the pop culture news site Konbini, Grenoble has partnered with the micro publisher Short Édition to install nine vending machines to dispense brief stories that take between one and five minutes to read — the perfect way to pass time while waiting for the bus, say. Acclaim has been instant and widespread for the free initiative, perhaps because of the tactile nature of the narrative printouts, and their un-voguish insistence on analogue over digital storytelling. Perhaps more remarkable are the stories themselves, which — true to European-level panache — are anything but milquetoast. McCafé is one example. This haunting micro-story tells of a barista under scrutiny by a mysterious and obsessive watcher who believes she could do better. (Forgive our translation — the stories are French language only):

Through the window, dusk surrendered. The sky was full of this mystical blue that clouds noggins — full of love and misunderstanding. Night ate away at life on our side. Before long, we would all be drenched in shadow, eyeballing the ground in front of our feet, merry misfits back for homecoming. In this fleeting oasis, my beauty, I was there for you but I did not dare to disturb you, to pull any strings to yank you, even for just a moment, from your little death.

…new music from Adele

The announcement of her first album since 2011’s 21 took the internet by storm, and the Echo studio was no exception. One of us may have racked up 100 plays of “Hello” since its release on October 23.

….hospital storytelling

The Waiting Room Storytelling Project is such a cool way to capture people’s feelings and stories and connect them with others at peak emotional times.

….the art of jumping

Photo via The George Straight
Photo via The George Straight

A performance piece that pushes its dancers to their physical and mental limits is coming to Vancouver. The dancers jump for the full hour-and-ten-minute show, an interesting concept for a dance performance. We’re mainly curious to what’s going through the dancers’ minds for the 70 minute show. The Dog Days Are Over is at the Scotiabank Dance Centre Thursday to Saturday (October 29 to 31).

….the changing conversation around digital publishing

Video via The Future of Storytelling

Canadian author-extraordinaire Margaret Atwood, narrating a contemplative piece about the intersection of technology and story? Sign us up. The Future of Storytelling captured us again, this time with its enlightening discussion of social publishing platform Wattpad and how it impacts story. “We’ve always told stories—it’s part of our humanity—but how those stories are created and shared is changing all the time.”

…the new Barbie

This isn’t the Barbie marketing you remember. Taking a cue, perhaps, from girl-focused toy companies like Goldieblox who have successfully engaged the young girl market by telling inspiring stories about what play can help girls become, this campaign presents a group of girls getting the chance to ‘try on’ a range of professional roles ranging from university professor to veterinarian to museum curator. It’s the reactions of adults around them–presumably captured by hidden cameras–along with the sweet and pure kid-ness of the girls, that provides the humour and heart. Knees up like a unicorn!

You may also be interested in: 

Things We Love, September

Things We Love, August