recently on Aeon: not only do stories shape our thought processes in many ways similar to lived experience, they may also strengthen empathy as readers map the narratives of authors.
Leviathan - a short story by David Sedaris
Arcade Story - the co-founder of innovative OS X and iOS software outfit Panic reminisces about learning how to beat Dragon's Lair in the pre-Internet age, but that's not the fun part...
Hey! It looks like you're trying to write an original character for your fiction/fanfic/RPG, why not run it through The Universal Mary Sue Litmus Test and make sure you're not actually writing a self-insert wish-fulfillment fantasy.
Going through my parents' stuff didn't make me suddenly miss them, but I became more intrigued by them every day. I wanted to know more and more about them, to solve their mysteries. At the same time, I felt a corresponding, if conflicting, urge to speak, or write, about what many people seemed to think was unspeakable: my ever-present lack of grief. So I decided to combine these seemingly divergent impulses into an Tumblr blog called My Dead Parents, which I kept anonymous both out of respect for my family and because, after years of writing fiction, I wasn't sure if I could handle revealing so much about myself in writing.Anya Yurchyshyn writes about rediscovering her parents through their letters, after their deaths.
Every film Pixar has produced has landed in the top fifty highest-grossing animated films of all time. What's their secret? Mathematics. Oh, and 22 Rules of Storytelling. [more inside]
Friendship is Optimal is not a "My Little Pony" fanfic, but a SF story that starts with a procedurally-generated MLP MMO, and crescendos to what could very well be the Best Possible Outcome if self-optimizing algorithms are given /almost/ the right goals. Some readers are horrified by the implications; some want to move into "Equestria Online" anyway. Whichever camp you fall in, you'll never forget the phrase "satisfy human values through friendship and ponies".
"It's harder than you think to write a sentence that doesn't say anything." The quest to find and understand the author of In Sara, Mencken, Christ and Beethoven There Were Men and Women. "Includes full-length album (by Robert Ashley) and PDF of Wolgamot's magnum opus." (Via)
Writer Harry Mathews' epically challenging recipe for Roast Boned Rolled Stuffed Shoulder of Lamb (Farce Double) in text and audio form.
On Writing Gay Characters : Megan Rose Gedris.at Squidoo talks about common mistakes and preceptions to avoid when writing LGBT characters.
Would you like me to tell you the little story of right-hand/left-hand? The story of good and evil? H-A-T-E!
You should read these three stories by Amy Hempel. (Oh, and maybe listen to her read, here.) While you're at it, read some of these idiosyncratic but beautifully-written stories by grammarian Gary Lutz.
The Addventures. Imagine the possibilities of an interactive web, but before Flash, before Java, before video plugins, before anything but text and graphics (and graphics take up so much bandwidth!). Addventures came out of this era, and over the years there have been quite a few (not all paths SFW) incarnations of the concept. You can even roll your own with open source. Can you find your old stories?
Ficlets are extremely short stories (a maximum of 1024 characters). Other writers swoop in and write prequels and sequels to your ficlet, making interesting branching narratives a la Create Your Own Adventure.
Esquire sends out 250 napkins to writers across America - from prolific novelists to those finishing off first works. Nearly a hundred respond back - from sex to frustration, poetry to twisted liaisons, even a mini book and plans for murder.
Alexei Sayle's writing for the Independent in the Motoring section. Occasionally it's about motoring, too! Also found was his "Imitating Katherine Walker" [html/pdf] and an excerpt from his book of short stories 'Barcelona Plates'. more inside
The Horror of Blimps. This is just a short ROTFL funny story about a toy blimp gone bad. Brightened my day, anyway. (Thanks, Ken.)
A friend of mine has started posting a [true] story on ThemeStream. Interesting reading (if somewhat smutty and violent). Plus, ThemeStream's royalty rate goes down soon, so read them now and help him suck even more VC money :)