Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Spotlight on The World in Miniature

Before I get to the point of today's post I would really like to thank everyone who visited last Friday and over the weekend, but especially those who commented, because Elana is so wonderful and giving and helpful that she really deserves our support just as much or more than she gives us hers.

Her guest post earned the blog 62 comments (like 3 were mine and 3 were hers, but still) which is the most I've had on a single post since I started this silly thing. I am proud of that but there is, I think, no question as to who all that love was really for.

THANK YOU so much Elana, for all that you do for all of us and may you have as much success being a published author as you do blogging and being a mentor to us all!

So that all being said I am going to spend today's post highlighting another blogging friend and mentor of mine who is doing some wonderful things for writers as well. His name is Bryan Russell but he may be better known as Ink, the moderator of the world famous Nathan Bransford's forums.

He's helped probably hundreds of us with our queries and synopses and other writerly efforts but I supposes it's possible that some of you may not know he also has a blog (he's also has written novels, and owns an independent bookshop, but today we're focusing on the blog): The Alchemy of Writing.

He has some very cool ideas on his blog. One of my favorites was when he "blogged the Lord of the Rings". Being a fanboi for all things Middle Earth I was of course obsessed when I found it and then utterly disappointed to discover that Bryan lost his copy and kind of gave up on the idea. Don't worry though, he's promised to get back to it one day.

However, today I'd like to focus on the feature he has elected to call "The World in Miniature". In it he is featuring flash fiction pieces by himself and other writers. These are very fun, sometimes provocative, enlightening reads; especially as a way to get to know other writers and their styles better.

I'll begin with the ones that Ink himself wrote:

Stalin's Boots.

This one is great. I won't analyze it too much because I'm not sure I'm smart enough to figure out what it's really about, but I saw a fun piece about what I'm assuming are a fictional pair of Josef Stalin's boots and their opinions on the matters of the time. I thought the piece was striking and very funny. Possibly funnier that Bryan even intended.

The General who Spoke on the Radio.

This one is even more fun. I sort of picture Castro in a Sunday comic strip but you'll have to read it for yourself.

How to Become a Warlord.

This one's a bit darker, though it does have very funny moments also. It sparked an interesting debate in the comments too, when I had to wonder if Bryan is an idealist. He assured me that his only loyalty is to the story. I'd say that's clearly served him well.

The Mating Call of Frogs.

Evocative and a bit disturbing.

Now looking at the archives of his blog there are also apparently some other entries by him that I missed. Please check these out as well:

The Border Between Here and There.

Okay I guess it was just that one. You'll please let me know if I missed any others, right Bryan?

His first guest piece was from Susan Kaye Quinn. She also has a blog. Her piece was titled The Hole.

I found it reminiscent of childhood and all things happy and simple. It took me back to a time when things were grand. The writing was neat and simple and yet the imagery wonderful. It reminded me how amazing imagination can be, young or old.

The next guest was Carl Grimsman, who has a blogger profile but apparently not a blog. There is a facebook url under the post which may lead to more info but who knows?

His piece was titled Mortimer.

It was sort of strange and wonderful all wrapped up together and reminded me of bicycles with giant front wheels, pipes blowing bubbles, bathtub gin and men in one piece bathing suits with handle bar mustaches. I'm not sure why but you'll have to read it for yourself to find out more.

Next came TH Mafi AKA Tahereh. In case you live under a rock she has an amazing blog. I'm not sure if it's called Stir Your Tea or Grab a Pen, but either one works for me!

Her piece was called Strangers on a Sunday.

I found it incredibly tragic and poignantly sorrowful, but also a bit enraging in its own way. She takes an unfortunately all too common occurrence and slices it to the bone with wit and voice and language so evocative that you can't possibly remain aware of your surroundings as it sucks you in. That's pretty much applies to anything Tahereh writes.

Then there was my own piece: The Deafening Silence. Most of you probably saw it but if not please feel free to give it a read. It was the very first time I shared any of my own creative writing (blogging doesn't really count) with the blogoshpere so it was great to hear that people like it.

So that's it for today. If you don't already follow Ink (Bryan Russell) and his blog, please do so now. You can also learn more about him and writing, submitting your work and publishing in general on Nathan Bransford's blog and especially in the forums.

Thanks for visiting! Thoughts?


S.A. Larsenッ said...

Still such a newbie, I guess. Never heard of him, and I've only visited Nathan's forum once. (Shameful to admit, but I was way intimidated.) I'll have to reconsider. Thanks, Matt.

Christina Lee said...

WOW lots of good linkage. I saw Tahereh's piece- gorgeous writing. Off to click on more-thanks!

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for highlighting Bryan's site--I was not familiar with it.

JE said...

I <3 Ink!! I love his blog and I love his sheriff duties over at Bransforums. He also offers lots of help and insight there as well.

Great Post!


Unknown said...

Bryan sounds really neat, thanks for taking the time to highlight him, I'll be hopping over there shortly to check out his site first hand!!!

Giles Hash said...

salarsen, Nathan's forum is way laid back! We're all quite friendly over there :)

Matt, great post! Keep up the good work :)

Kelly Polark said...

So, I've been reading Nathan's blog for a long while. How did I miss that he had a forum?!!
Thanks for all the great links!

Bryan Russell said...

Thanks, Matt! Much appreciated.

And you'll be happy to know I've found my copy of LOTR and I'm going to continue Blogging the Rings. I'm just not sure how or when... How should I fit it in? It was actually a surprising amount of work to do it chapter by chapter. Maybe a few chapters at a time? We'll see.

Thanks again for the plug. And I have another great story by a guest author coming up this Thursday on The World in Miniature. And today should be a review on Brave New World, as a continuation on Dystopia Month! I mean, who doesn't want to participate in Dystopia Month? And get in touch with their Inner Dictator?

Christine Danek said...

Thanks for the links. I'll check those out and I think I'm already a follower of his. I'll check.

Jaydee Morgan said...

Thanks for sharing :)

I've seen this one before but for some reason, I forgot to follow. I've fixed that now and look forward to reading more!

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE the linkage!!

Thanks so much for the great post!

Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Janet Johnson said...

Wow, I'd never heard of him either. Sounds like an amazing person. How do they accomplish so much?

Old Kitty said...


Thanks for the intro to Bryan Russell's blog and flash stories -I enjoy reading and writing flash pieces so this is a bonus, thank you. There's a lot to read and digest - so am on my way there now!
Take care

Tabitha said...

These are great! Short fiction is really hard to write, because you have to tell a complete, fully-fledged story in a fraction of the words. I'm not good at it, and my hat goes off to those who can do it well. :)

I love Nathan's forums. I don't get to visit as often as I like because my computer time is limited (I have two small boys, 'nuff said :) ), so writing always takes priority. But when I do visit, there's always great stuff to be found. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Some great links and posts to check out. And that is quite a miniature!

Creepy Query Girl said...

Thanks for the heads up Matt! I'll be checking him out!

Tahereh said...

you're a fabulous addition to the blogosphere, Matt, and your posts are always a testament to just how much!

Ink is an amazing presence in the literary world, and his posts (and comments) are always helpful and thoughtful and informative. thanks for taking the time to spotlight him!

and a million thanks for the kind things you said about my piece! it's so nice to know it had an impact -- that the words we type can reach out and touch people.

have a fantastic day :D

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I loved your round up of The World in Miniature (thanks for the plug!). I can't say enough good things about Bryan - not only is his blog a wonderful place to visit, he welcomes other writers to display their wares and doesn't shoo me away when I get into weighty discussions about this and that.

And I will have to come back to the triple Q here more often! Thanks for the lovely post. :)

Helena Carlo said...

I'd loved your story! Very powerful words. You did a great job.
Thanks for sharing it.

Lindsay said...

Ooh, I've not checked out that blog yet. Thanks for the heads up. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Wow - lots of great links to check out - thanks!

zz said...

Thanks for all the links, all bookmarked to be checked out soon!

Vicki Rocho said...

Thanks for the links! I can't wait for a quiet afternoon to give them the time & the attention they deserve.

Ted Cross said...

Already linked to him! He IS good!

Anonymous said...

The top topic I have read all year?