Both Made by Hand

I ran across two videos this morning, one from The Telegraph and one from Electric Literature.

Old school, new school—both represent stories made by hand, stories made by a community of people transforming private little words into something larger, something for everyone. Seems to me, there’s beauty in creation, no matter its form.

From The Telegraph:

And the second is the Kickstarter video from a (worthwhile, I think) Electric Literature project.



Why Storytellers Should Be at the Heart of Digital Projects

Check out Sarah Doody’s well-articulated case for the importance of story at the center of any digital marketing and development process. She says:

Who are the product storytellers? Part matchmaker, marketer, technologist, and artist, the product storytellers ask questions, find answers, and figure out how to distill a vision or idea into a product story. They develop a plot, identify the people, and shape the product around the specific values it should offer consumers. Product storytellers think about the whole, and they see the big picture. But they also can go deep because they understand that the product’s true value lies in the details of its interactions and every touchpoint that a consumer has with it.

But she also says a lot more. Read the whole thing at UX Magazine.

The Shape of (Experiencing) Stories

My favorite science reporter has unearthed this great clip from Kurt Vonnegut about the shape of stories.

As someone obsessed with stick figures, Venn diagrams, maps and the hidden shapes of the universe, I love this. Also, Vonnegut is funny and wonderful. With far less style, I ran through something similar with students at a workshop about mapping stories for Seattle 826 a few summers ago.

Story shape, the rise and fall of fortune, has a lot to say about why stories are important to us as a species. We love being surprised, right, and we love innovation? Then why do we crave the same underlying patterns over and over again in our stories? One interesting theory (that I’m not sure is the only thing going on) is that we use the safe space of a story to rehearse for things we can’t possibly rehearse in life — death, love, suffering.

I believe in the value mapping stories, but what I would really love to see is a map of the experience of stories. What happens to the reader? Do we climb the peak and hit bottom along with our favorite heroes? Basically, I want to know the user experience of the novel. Between science, the emergence of e-readers and a really gifted novelist, some interesting aspects of our eternal obsession with stories are sure to be unveiled.

XOXO, I Love You

Because it is a stout, it is dinner. Feed it to your workers and watch them go. Because of the chocolate, it is dessert. Stout and chocolate: nothing new there. But the chiles? Oh, the chiles make this beer into something special. Something that gives your whole body a kick before mellowing it out again with a chocolate finish that tastes like tenderness in a glass.

Especially good for: Sitting around with your in-laws. It will make you feel like you are getting away with something, even if you’re being polite as pie.

Food for your beer: This beer is the food. Don’t go and spoil it.

Stats: See the photo of the menu.

Brewery: My neighborhood favorite, Elysian Brewing Company.

Beer Garden: Art Born from Thirst

beer garden

Can you spot the brews chilling on the Lower Salmon River?

Favorite Word

Sweet little audio response to Radio Lab episode about words, stories and how they shape or make our thinking.

Listen to it.

Listen to the Radio Lab episode, Words.

Stone Smoked Porter: Tastes Like Bacon

Since my first taste of Stone Smoked Porter at The Redwood in Seattle (the kind of magical place that’s appears and disppears from its neighborhood block like a Harry Potter hideout), I have been haunted by the smoky scent of this dark brew. 

The fine dark color looked substantial in the dimly lit dive, and everything that came after that lived up to that promise. The head was a nice, smooth tan, the kind you can lap at like (meaty) whip cream. Yes, there was something sweet and delicious (hints of chocolate)  too. Continue reading