Reptile love, what your neighbors are REALLY up to, a bizarre visit to the dentist — these are just some of the stories writers around the country submitted for the Plotto flash fiction contest. Plus, great music picks fresh from KMHD’s brain trust, and smart ideas for writers from one of our favorite Oregon originals. Warm up with us!

5 Stories to Fill You with Joy and Wonder

Plotto, pubished in 1928 by William Wallace Cook

Plotto, pubished in 1928 by William Wallace Cook

Tin House Publishing

If you’ve been tuning in this fall, you know that we’ve been full-bore on a flash fiction contest being run by the Portland indie publisher Tin House. It’s called Plotto, after the 1928 book “Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots.” To celebrate its reissue of the paperback, Tin House posted a plot prompt a week and gave writers across the country six days to come up a story. Contestants wrote about a mom squatting in an empty houses across the street from her daughter, a strange look at your own neighborhood, and the reunion of a girl and her snake, among other twisty stories. Listen this week as we invite all the weekly winners to read their stories on air and award the grand prize to one lucky scribe.

Kamasi Washington performed a inspiring set at Pickathon in 2015.

Kamasi Washington performed a inspiring set at Pickathon in 2015.

David Christensen/opbmusic

KMHD - The Best Jazz of 2016

Need a refreshing taste of fantastic beats? The staff of KMHD have compiled a list of essential music for 2016: to inspire, to uplift, to save souls. KMHD program director Matt Fleeger and OPB digital producer David Stuckey drop in to share some favorites. Hear their full chat here, and keep an eye out for KMHD’s top 10 list of albums and shows.

Inspired by the Portland Archive residency

Inspired by the Portland Archive residency

Sabina Haque

One Artist Takes on the Annexation of East Portland

In the early 1980s, Portland expanded its boundaries well beyond its east edge of 82nd Avenue. This brought a whole new group of residents, roughly 140,000 people, into Portland’s fold. Sabina Haque, an artist-in-residence at the Portland Archives and Records Center, focuses on the history of Portland through annexation. She’s uncovering it by looking at maps and talking to the people who witnessed the city’s expansion. View some of Haque’s documentaries from her residency at the PARC here.

Author Brian Doyle at Wordstock

One of Oregon’s great originals is recuperating from surgery for a brain tumor. Brian Doyle, a nine-time nominee for the Oregon Book Award, was diagnosed this fall. He’s written many books, the most recent of which, “Martin Marten,” won the Oregon Book Award for Young Adult Literature. Doyle embodies everything a working artist can be, producing tremendously thoughtful, evocative works at a seemingly impossible pace. Doyle spoke with Katrina Sarson at this year’s Wordstock. Watch her Oregon Art Beat profile of Doyle. A  friend has set up this crowdfunding page to help raise money for medical expenses.