Monday, January 30, 2012

The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories, Volume 1

In 2004, HITRECORD, an open collaborative production company, was launched. Owned by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the website allows people to post their music, art, words, and other creations, and encourages others to remix those creations into something new. One person's photograph inspires another person's poem. A filmmaker posts a short and asks around for a composer to provide score music for the film. It's an interactive, constantly-active website, and Gordon-Levitt himself posts frequently, using the handle regularJOE.

And yes, it is a company. When profits are made, the company and the contributing artists split profits 50/50. In September 2011, they released hitRECord RECollection: Volume 1, which contains a hardbound 64-page Book, a DVD, and a CD, and in December, they released The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories, Volume 1, which is the subject of this review.

When HITRECORD asked for contributions for The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories, they received 8,569 submissions. 8,659. 60 were selected, edited, and reprinted. Each story is comprised of less than 50 words; each illustration is composed in black and white. The full list of creators and credits can be found at the end of the book, a table of contents that includes URLs so interested readers can look at the original submissions as they first appeared on the HITRECORD website,

Many of these tiny stories inspire a giggle, or a moment's pause. My favorites include dancing with the dust on pages 13-14, the flickering stars on pages 32-33, the element of surprise on page 38, the other worlds on pages 62-63, and the pile of books on pages 68-69, the ghost of pages 72-73, and the encounter of Coincidence and Fate on pages 80-81. Each of these stories and accompanying images struck a chord with me, a loud, resonating chord. Kudos and congratulations to all of the contributors. I look forward to future volumes in the series.

What are your favorite pieces in this collection?
What do you think of flash fiction in general?
Leave your comments below!


Colleen said...

I was thinking to add this one to the Ballou wish list and now I will for sure! I love flash fiction - I think it can be really impressive. I'm glad you reviewed this one for us!

david elzey said...

i keep meaning to check this out, but paired with the collection by lou beach called 420 (stories under 420 character long, length dictated by facebook status update limits) i think these two books could inspire teen readers to write their own. and to think about what it really means to tell a story at its most concentrated.

Little Willow said...

Colleen: Excellent. Thanks!

David: I hope readers realize what's important: the core of the story, the heart, and what keeps you thinking.