2/6/2017: Write Out Loud @ San Diego, CA – The Things We Do for Love

Thank you, Google Alerts, for letting me know that on Monday, February 6th in San Diego, CA, Write Out Loud will be reading my short story “Paris, at Night” as part of their story concert series.  You can read more about it on BroadwayWorld San Diego.  Here’s the excerpt:

Paris at Night by Sung J. Woo – read by Walter Ritter

This futuristic story presents a couple about to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. She dreams of seeing Paris at night; he ponders, “What can I do to make this happen?” A surprising examination of the power of love, and the importance of memories…

And here’s a bit about the company that’s putting it on.

Write Out Loud – an organization founded in 2007 with a commitment to inspire, challenge and entertain by reading short stories aloud for a live audience – announces THE THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE, the fourth production in their 10th Anniversary Season. Write Out Loud Story Concerts bring literature to life – aloud – with rehearsed readings by professional actors. Each program explores specific themes by weaving a variety of stories, poems and music together into a literary tapestry. David Fenner, Jeffrey Howard Ingman, Veronica Murphy and Walter Ritter will perform. A pre-show reception starts at 6:15pm with a 7:00pm curtain.

One of the other stories that they chose is by P.G. Wodehouse, so this is quite an honor.  I only wish I could be there to hear it performed.

[additional link – San Diego Reader]

World Famous in Poland – Paryż nocą

That’s a quote from a movie, by the way — To Be or Not to Be, a Mel Brooks film.  Somebody asks Ann Bancroft, who plays Brooks’ wife (who also happens to be his real-life wife), about her actor husband, and she tells them, “He’s world famous in Poland!”

Now I’m proud to say that I, too, am world famous in Poland, thanks to Marcin Kucharski.  He liked my story “Paris, at Night” enough that he wanted to translate it to his native tongue.  So for those literate in Polish, give my story a read.

Paryż nocą

Dziś był dzień ryżu, 20. kilogramowe worki ryżu w ciężarówkach z logo słonia. Dokładnie ten sam słoń pojawia się na torbach- z głową podniesioną ku niebu i trąbą wykrzywioną w kształt litery S.

  • Słoń – powiedział Todd

Powiedział to, gdyż jakiś pracownik gapił się bezustannie na logo. Oznacza to, że się obijał.

  • Właśnie! – wykrzyknął mężczyzna. – Nie mogłem przypomnieć sobie słowa.


“sung j woo paris at night summary”

The software I use to run this website is the very popular WordPress, which includes an excellent stats package.  Web stats reveal a number of things like total visitors, pages accessed, and incoming links, but the one I find most interesting is Search Engine Terms.  What this does is capture the search phrase used to arrive at the site, and as expected, my name is at the top of this list, but a large number of those hits aren’t just my name alone:

“sung j woo paris at night summary”

Paris, at Night is a short story that came out earlier this year, and on that site, readers can leave comments.  One of them caught my attention:

Posted 2009-06-25 09:45:23
I used this story in a Freshman English class as part of their final exam. the kids loved the story, but were disappointed in the end. They wanted there to be more. i am so happy I chose this story. It is rare to find a story the kids actually enjoy reading and want more.

So my guess is that certain students, possibly constrained by time or initiative,  are searching the good old Internet to see if a summary of my story is available.  So kids, if you are seeking a CliffsNotes version of my story, here it is, written for you by Gary Jackson:

In World War II Casablanca, Rick Blaine, exiled American and former freedom fighter, runs the most popular nightspot in town. The cynical lone wolf Blaine comes into the possession of two valuable letters of transit. When Nazi Major Strasser arrives in Casablanca, the sycophantic police Captain Renault does what he can to please him, including detaining Czech underground leader Victor Laszlo. Much to Rick’s surprise, Lazslo arrives with Ilsa, Rick’s one time love. Rick is very bitter towards Ilsa, who ran out on him in Paris, but when he learns she had good reason to, they plan to run off together again using the letters of transit. Well, that was their original plan…

If your professor tells you this sounds a lot like a movie, stand up, declare “Au contraire, mon frère (or ma soeur)!” and leave the classroom in a huff.