Friday, January 01, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival I

NOTE: Due to my old blog going off-line, the Storyblogging Carnival archives were lost. I'm re-posting the old carnivals on this blog. Since these are very old posts, it's possible that some links will be broken.

Storyblogging Carnival I

Welcome to the first Storyblogging Carnival. Here we've collected links to eight stories for your reading pleasure.

If you're unfamiliar with the concept of storyblogging, it consists of storytelling in blog format. It may be as simple as posting short stories on your blog, or as intricate as blogging as a fictional persona. (I am excluding deliberate deception from this definition--you can argue that deception is a legitimate storytelling technique, but examples won't be included in this Carnival.) While storytelling is not necessarily fictional, the fiction/non-fiction divide makes a useful criteria to separate out the storyblogging from the usual blog commentary. However, as you'll see, I haven't kept strictly to this criteria.

When I first started to put this together, I had no idea how much work it would be to assemble a carnival from scratch. After several weeks of discussions with other bloggers, and a little bit of begging on my part, we've put together the first Carnival. I hope you enjoy it. If you're interested in participating in a future Carnival, check the details at the end. The stories are listed in order of length, from shortest to longest, with a word count included. They also include a rating for appropriateness, using the movie ratings as a baseline. Although I didn't ask for it, several authors self-rated their work (which I took as a suggestion rather than an absolute) and I've rated the remainder. For the most part, the descriptions were written by the authors themselves, with my comments indicated in italics. Without further ado, here are this Carnival's entries...




The Village Itself
by Queenie of Rolling My Eyes
A 784 word brief story rated PG.

The laconic observation of the search for an impossibly large cat named Tilly.

the adventures of Doc (Crocodile Hunter) Rampage
by Dave Gudeman of Doc Rampage
A 1,332 word brief story rated G.

What beasts lie in ambush among the linoleum? What horrors await the unwary trekker going to the fridge for a coke?Who will protect us from the ssssssserpent of eeeeeeevil?

These and other pertinent questions of the modern age are addressed in a delightful and thought-provoking manuscript by the famous civil explorer, Doc Rampage.

[While technically a true story, this fictionalized telling of it really is delightful. Doc Rampage, incidentally, is the first person to suggest a Carnival along these lines, although neither of us were using the term "storyblogging" yet. -DSC]

Chloe Tuttle of Bogwillow
by Yetzirah of Yetzirah
A 1,343 word brief story rated G.

Sometimes people pass up their opportunity for that 15 minutes of fame, and go quietly about their remarkable existence. Chloe Tuttle was just such a person.

Insomnia
by Jeremiah Lewis of Fringe
A 2,285 word short story rated R.

A writer who can't sleep wanders through dark cityscapes of mind and memory, and encounters a familiar stranger.

Colossus
by Curtis Schweitzer of a_sdf
A 2,497 word short story rated PG.

"Colossus" is my expression of the power of the true American ideals--freedom, democracy, and equality. It expresses both the danger that the American ideal poses to dictatorship, oppression, and collectivism, as well as its place as the guiding conscience of the American soul. The story's abstract, future setting poses a world that has been stripped of liberty and justice--a world where the government's only recourse against the human need for freedom is to deny its existence.

They are soon to find out, however, the impossibility of such a task.

[I really liked this story; somehow it manages to be both depressing and hopeful. In part, stumbling upon Curtis's story is what inspired me to start the Carnival, an idea which had already been percolating at the suggestion of Doc Rampage. I had never heard what I'd already been doing called "storyblogging" until I read this. -DSC]

Allergies
by Neil Uchitel of Digitus, Finger, & Co.
A 2802 word short story rated G.

I've never had allergies before this year. I grew up on a farm until I was 6 or 7, so I've never been allergic to horses, chickens, dogs, cats, whatever. I knew kids in school who had allergies, and I used to think to myself, man, it sucks to be you. Then, all of the sudden, this year I'm allergic to all kinds of stuff.

[This is another story that is technically non-fiction. That said, it's well-told and funny. Once again, it proves that storyblogging is more about how you tell the story than whether it's fiction or non-fiction. -DSC]

Poor White Boys
by Robin Jones of beyond salvage
A 5,756 word short story rated PG-13.

A down-on-his-luck drifter has a chance meeting with another social misfit. A friendship is forged and they try and make a life for themselves, and their make-shift family, in a world none of them fit into.



If you wish to join my mailing list for the Carnival, let me know through the webform, or e-mail me at dscrank-at-alum.mit.edu. Additionally, if you'd like to host a future carnival, please let me know.

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