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Samantha Dunaway Bryant
3,161 followers -
Dangerous when bored.
Dangerous when bored.

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#smileaday Female empowerment with my favorite females. I had a movie date with my daughters today. We saw On the Basis of Sex, the biopic of the early part of Ruth Bader Ginsberg's career (admission to Harvard Law school through the Moritz v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue case).

Strong performances throughout and an excellent portrayal of handling both subtle and blunt sexism on a personal, professional, and institutional level with aplomb. Given that we already knew how the court case was going to come out, it was incredibly tense watching it get there.

Left me feeling high and hopeful while I sat between two women of the next generation. Seemed like a good way to spend Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
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This sounds like an interesting magazine! "At DreamForge, we are about hope in an age of dystopia. Our goal is to encourage the abandonment of the dystopian mindset and promote the ascendency of reason and humane values, civility, community, and scientific advancement. We see the human challenge through an optimistic lens."
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Double Indemnity (1944).

Barbara Stanwyck is one of my very favorite actresses. I've loved her work in comedy, melodrama, and romance. She's brilliant in this film noir as the manipulative Phyllis Dietrichson.

I got to watch it today at my library with a new film club that's just started in the area. I've seen it before, but didn't remember it in full detail. It's even better than I remembered.

The movie is beautifully executed and may even have benefitted from some of the limits the Hays Code put on the production. We never see Phyllis and Walter make love, but it's still entirely clear that there's a physical charge between them and that she's not above using all the methods of persuasion at her disposal. We don't the murder, but watched Phyllis's face while it happens next to her gave me the chills. That little smile, so much like Anthony Perkins's in Psycho for cold delight.

The unfolding of the levels of manipulation and the way Phyllis and Walter fed into each other and fed the flames that eventually consumed them was gorgeous. It's definitely keeping its position in "must see movies" on my personal list.
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#smileaday Making space!

I've been slowly transforming the smallest bedroom in our house into a writing room for myself. It's slow going. Money and time are two things I'm always short on. For a couple of months, there's been this big pile of displaced things taking up half the room: college girl's belongings that didn't got with her but are still wanted, furniture and shelving that I haven't figured out if I still have a need and use for yet, toys and belongings left from when this was the tween's room, etc.

We moved everything that wasn't temperature sensitive into the half-way finished attic today and voila! The room feels room-sized now! Tomorrow, I'm hoping to start removing the wallpaper. Maybe I can get some new paint on my walls before the end of February!
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#gameeveryweek Clank!

Apparently, we have failed as gamer-parents because this is apparently the first deck-buildling game we've played with our girl and she's eleven. What a travesty! She got the hang of it quickly, though, so next I'll be teaching her Ascension (my favorite deck builder).

When I told the youngest Bryant the theme to this one (we're thieves sneaking into some caverns to steal treasures from a dragon and get back out before we get killed), she laughed and said, "So, what you're telling me is that we're stupid." I had to agree :-)

The title comes from the use of noise as a factor in whether or not you wake the dragon during your turn. Each time you do something that makes noise (like run while wearing armor, or fight a monster, or just stumble), you add a color coded cube to a bag, which is drawn from when the dragon attacks to see who takes damage.

At the end of our game, one Bryant had died (poor Papa, he was so close to the exit!), and the other two of us had one life point left, so it was a near thing. Littlest Bryant won, which is not bad at all for her first deck building game ever. She bought way more victory points granting cards than either of us realized.
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#smileaday Teaching adults.

Today I taught the first session of a semester long course I'm offering at Central Carolina Community College: Finish Your Novel. It's been a year or so since I last taught for CCCC, and I'd forgotten how lovely it is to work with a room of adults who chose to be there. A very different teaching experience than my day-to-day in middle school Spanish. Refreshing.

This group is especially engaging and I'm looking forward to our next meeting already!
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For #saturdayscenes #samanthascenes this week, I'm continuing "The Bad Luck House," a short story from my #shadowhill series, which are weird tales that take place in a suburban neighborhood suspiciously like the one I live in, but with more supernatural happenings.
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Janet led the way up the stairs. “When I was out in my car, I was noticing the cute windows up in the eaves. They must be in the smaller bedroom. I’ve never noticed them before.” She opened the door to the small room and smiled with pleasure at the sight of the periwinkle blue walls spotted with sunlight filtered through gauzy drapes. Perfect. If she did buy the house, she’d make this room into her home office.

Emily followed her inside, but didn’t seem to share Janet’s view of the room. She huddled against the wall. “It’s stronger in here. Look!” Emily held out an arm, and Janet could see that the hairs on it stood up as if pulled by static electricity. She held out her own arm for comparison, but the downy hairs of her forearm remained smooth. Emily’s mouth gaped open. “Now that’s weird.”

“It certainly is.” Janet looked up, seeking the windows she’d come to find, but they weren’t there. She pointed. “Huh. I guess the pretty windows must be in the attic. That’s an odd choice, don’t you think?”

She found the attic access in the hallway between the bedrooms, one of those trapdoors with pulldown stairs. A stick with a hook on the end hung nearby. “I’m going up to take a peek. Do you want to come?”

Emily clung to the wall. “No. I’ll wait here.”

The woman certainly was behaving strangely for someone who’d been so anxious to see inside the house. “Okay. I won’t be long.” Janet used the hook to open the hatch and carefully pulled own the foldable stairs. She turned on the light switch and could see that a bare bulb shone in the rafters. Kicking off her high heels, Janet grasped the thin railings firmly and clambered up. The stairwell felt sturdy enough.

There was a conveniently placed hand hold just at the top of the opening and Janet availed herself of it to step out into a surprisingly spacious attic. In all her years of selling and reselling this house, she’d never actually been in the attic. It was littered with old boxes, but someone had put in a finished floor at some point, so the entire space was traversable. The pretty windows did indeed open into the attic, and the light through them cast geometric patterns on the dusty floor. After a moment or two looking around, Janet lowered herself back onto the ladder-stairs and climbed back down.

She found Emily sitting on the floor, her head in her hands.

“Are you all right?”

“You didn’t smell that?”

“It was a little dusty and musty was all. Nothing out of bounds for an attic.” Janet felt strangely protective of the house. She didn’t like hearing Emily say anything critical about it.

Emily’s jaw dropped open. “Really? To me it smelled rotten.”

Janet took in a deep breath. Maybe Emily had a more sensitive nose than she did, but she didn’t detect anything she would describe as rotten. She closed the attic hatch gently, taking care not to let the door thump against the ceiling, and hung the hook back on the wall.

She and Emily didn’t talk as walked downstairs, and Emily got all the way to the front door before she realized she’d left her shoes upstairs. That wasn’t like her. She usually wasn’t that casual in the houses she showed.

“Oh! My shoes!”

Emily kept a hand on the doorknob. The look she cast back toward the stairwell screamed of reluctance. Janet opened the door and ushered the other woman out. “No need to go with me. You go ahead and get some air. I’m sure we’ll see each other again. So nice to meet you!”

Emily didn’t resist and in another moment, Janet was alone in the house, leaning gratefully against the door. She’d have to ask Bernard about that woman. So far as she knew, none of the house’s previous tenants had complained about the neighbors, but maybe there was a story Bernard hadn’t shared with her.

Janet ran a hand down the door, appreciating the lovely dark swirls of the wood grain. The door was lovely. It must have been an addition by one of the former owners. The contractors who built the neighborhood would never have sprung for such a luxurious door. Moving slowly through the living room, Janet noticed again the many small, thoughtful details of the home. She could so easily imagine herself sitting by a cozy fire at night, reading a mystery novel and sipping tea. An image blossomed in her mind complete with a blue wingback chair and a white throw blanket. She sighed contentedly and went to retrieve her shoes.
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Thanks for reading! You can learn more about me and my writing at http://samanthabryant.com or follow My Saturday Scenes collection here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/Y5kMoB There's also a collection for ALL the Saturday Scenes by ALL the participating authors here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/4XjIWE
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#smileaday Revisiting old movies with my munchkin.

I've been on a little bit of a kick here lately, "making" my youngest daughter watch old movies with me. I'm usually nice about it and pick things I think will please her, like Beetlejuice and Lost Boys (though there was that time I made her watch Big Trouble in Little China she has not forgiven me for).

Earlier this week, we watched Armageddon, which was even cheesier than I remembered, and I remembered it as inducing fits in lactose-intolerant moviegoers. It's arguably the worst performance by Ben Affleck I've ever seen. Cringe-inducing even. But we laughed so much!

Tonight we watched Big Hero 6, which I know isn't that old, but when you're only 11 like she is, 2014 was half a lifetime ago. It still charmed the heck out of me, even when it made me cry, and making me cry didn't make me feel as manipulated as Pixar machinations usually do.
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From Published to Death, a list of blogs that pay for articles. Worth a shot if you're trying to finance your other writing endeavors!
24 Paying Markets for Blog Posts
24 Paying Markets for Blog Posts
publishedtodeath.blogspot.com
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