1. Hubardo
    Offline

    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,075
    Likes Received:
    566

    Hubardo's progress ramblings

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Hubardo, Apr 7, 2015.

    Cool, a journal section. Didn't see it til today.

    I finished a short story about 6 months ago called Frederick's Quest For Venlafaxine. It's partially inspired by Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami, and Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. It's technically my second ever completed short story, although I'd prefer to consider it my first. :p

    I submitted to 5 short story contests 6 months ago and was rejected by each, but one publication had very favorable things to say. When I revisited the story recently I could see where I needed to clip clip clip, so I have been the last few days. From ~5k words to ~4k now.

    School starts again on Wednesday (psychology master's program) so I probably won't be putting in as much work, but I really would hope to have this thing sufficiently edited by the end of April, maybe proofread by 1-2 people. By May, submitted to ~5-ish publications again.

    I also finished another short story called Bradley's Unconventional Research On Couples, which needs an alpha reader. It's crap, as that goes. But it has merit, and is epistolary and cool. Not directly influenced by anything except maybe my own neuroses.

    Thanks for reading!
     
  2. Hubardo
    Offline

    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,075
    Likes Received:
    566
    Oh, about one of the stories:

    Frederick's Quest For Venlafaxine (~4,000 words)

    Magical realism bordering on science fiction. An old narcoleptic man named Frederick is writing a letter to his dead wife about his dead cat (with a spoon), then takes the train to the pharmacy to pick up his new narcolepsy medicine Venlafaxine. He misses his train stop and journeys into a Cat Rescue to learn something profound about his dead cat, and his dead wife -- thanks to an intervention by a crow who borrows Fred's head for a moment on the train.
     
  3. Hubardo
    Offline

    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,075
    Likes Received:
    566
    Working on "Dream Home" short story contest for this website. I'm fond of it so far, and how I'm taking bits of my personal life (and knowledge from my psychology program) and making it cathartic for myself. Pretty much everything I write has elements of that. I wonder if that's true for all writers, or if anybody has mastered being detached from that catharsis.
     
    GingerCoffee likes this.
  4. Hubardo
    Offline

    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,075
    Likes Received:
    566
    Tess is borrowed from 4400 show, Motel 8 is borrowed from my past. Fond of Star Trek on the TV connection to Dad's soul "traveling lightspeed through new frontiers" and his body being buried in San Bruno, California. Like that she has recreated her childhood by sleeping in the closet on an air mattress, as she had to as a child when her military AWOL Dad and his girlfriend slept on motel beds together. This motel room is her Dream Home, as she is revisiting and reprocessing childhood trauma in her own bizarre way (as people do). Nothing is being resolved, and the conflict (within herself, and in the story so far) is subtle. People might say there is no internal conflict, wonder if that's how it'll go. But it's fun writing it.
     
  5. Hubardo
    Offline

    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,075
    Likes Received:
    566
    Posted the Make It So / Dream Home story into the workshop area for crit. Good crit! Will edit this week and submit to contest whenever that goes up officially. I want to try to keep up with creative writing now that school is back in session. Luckily my master's program isn't too academic, and luckily I can write essays for school pretty fast. That gives me a lot of free time. Hopefully I use this free time to write more!

    Still need an alpha reader for Bradley's Unconventional Research On Couples... any takers?
     
  6. Hubardo
    Offline

    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,075
    Likes Received:
    566
    I wanna change my username on here.

    Really wanna also finish my Dream Home story by the weekend. Also, got some great feedback from a fellow member on my Frederick story after it's 1000 word cut. Still needs work... can't believe I submitted to a magazine - embarrassing! But they said the nice stuff....

    Also still need an alpha reader... where'm I gonna find one??
     
  7. Hubardo
    Offline

    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,075
    Likes Received:
    566
    Still wanna change my username.

    Finished the Dream Home story and submitted. Ambivalent: Stylistically and everything I think it's pretty good. I think my technique has improved a lot over the last 1-2 years (in large part because of this forum!). But I forced the ending and it has poor closure. It hardly fits with the theme, too. There's one paragraph I realized after submitting that seems out of place.

    Well, that's what progress is. Being able to notice those things. Because of the bad ending and that paragraph (and maybe other places) I think I'm unlikely to win. But I just want to keep moving, writing stuff and submitting stuff. I started this piece exclusively for this contest, which means I wouldn't have started it otherwise. That's really good.

    Maybe I'll just keep writing for these short story contests until I win one. And after, I can submit to the workshop area for critiques. Yay! I was writing a "life vision" thing a couple days ago and one of the visions I have is to have a few short stories published. Just to do it. And eventually write a novel.

    So, I'm on my way. It's nice. I like writing. I like this forum. Grateful it exists, and for the devs and mods and contributors who keep it going. :)
     
  8. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,604
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Not sure, but you should be able to ask the mods if you can change your user name. I did on another forum and it wasn't a big issue. I just had "formerly [name]" under my name for a while.
     
  9. Hubardo
    Offline

    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,075
    Likes Received:
    566
    I messaged @Wreybies but no reply -- figured he's probably swamped with messages and responsibilities. I'll bug him again soon (ie in this tagged msg) :p|

    Good idea with the "formerly" - will put it in the sig :)
     
  10. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,604
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Yay! Formerly @lewislewis, even your profile link has been changed to @Hubardo.
     
  11. Hubardo
    Offline

    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,075
    Likes Received:
    566
    Yaaaay! Thanks @Wreybies !
     
  12. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,604
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    But what does hubardo mean? I kind of like lewislewis better but I'm sure it's because I'm more used to it.
     
  13. Hubardo
    Offline

    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,075
    Likes Received:
    566
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubardo#Music_and_lyrics

    I don't even like the album that much anymore... but I like the name! I named a cat in one of my short stories Hubardo as well.
     
    GingerCoffee likes this.
  14. Hubardo
    Offline

    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,075
    Likes Received:
    566
    Went on an online dating frenzy which is now over and hopefully I will get to writing again. Will vote for the Dream Home contest (probably not my own story) soon.
     
  15. Hubardo
    Offline

    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,075
    Likes Received:
    566
    Have still been feeling crappy about the zero votes thing. Didn't want to admit to myself I feel crappy. I mean, the ending was bad. But then I was reading about story structure and how I simply haven't thought much about how plot works. I think more in images. I'm fairly good or at least okay at putting words together to describe cool things happening, and how people feel, and realistic or interesting ways people talk to each other, but I'm admittedly pretty bad at plot.

    So for the drums contest I'm putting together a plot outline.

    Following this advice, which is basic, and great:

    http://blog.janicehardy.com/2012/05/best-advice-on-plotting-ive-ever-heard.html
     
  16. Hubardo
    Offline

    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,075
    Likes Received:
    566
    Did a thing for the flash fiction contest. Missed the deadline for the DRUMS short story contest, but I like that I started writing something. Started writing something for the STONE theme then hated it, maybe I'll try at it still. Want to, just feel unconfident about my writing right now.
     
  17. Hubardo
    Offline

    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,075
    Likes Received:
    566
    Merh, been a bad writer lately. Since the oil spill I stopped ocean swimming and shifted back into activism a little bit. Job life switched up a lot, have had to adapt to that. Job interview today for a fill in counselor position at a dual diagnosis adult residential house.

    But... I finally read The Strange Library by Murakami last night. I love that guy! Read the whole novella in like 1-2 hours. That was the first fiction I've read in a while.

    Also I found a printed version of the last short story I wrote when I was in Berkeley which I thought was deleted off my old laptop.

    Had an art show at my house with some poetry things I've done and made a poetry zine and gave to a bunch of friends. Got really wasted. Fasted yesterday only drinking water and had some juice. Breakfast this morning was great.

    Starting next week I have 3 weeks off school so that'll be nice. Maybe I'll write another short story or edit existing work and try getting published again. Don't know...
     
  18. Hubardo
    Offline

    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,075
    Likes Received:
    566
    Posted my Frederick's Quest story in the workshop today. Going to transcribe a hard copy of my Bradley's Research story into my new computer right now. I'm fasting today (only coconut water), and am super focused. It's great.
     
  19. Hubardo
    Offline

    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,075
    Likes Received:
    566
    I did a lot of critiquing today, and got some great crit from two experienced writers on the forum. Struggling in a good way about writing.

    Working on flash fiction for Bread theme and short story for Into The Woods. Both so far are proof to myself that I'm improving as a writer. Someone linked me to two amazing articles about filter words. While critiquing other work I've had a hard time explaining the overuse of filter words because I didn't know what they were -- just seeing "John saw/thought/realized/felt" over and over felt off. Now I know a new term to use when crapping on peoples' writing! :p More importantly, I understand now beyond the annoying-ness of stage direction (which I've learned to do less in recent months) to find a more creative way to say what people think, feel, see, hear, etc. Not Sally heard a crash in the ally; A loud crash came from the ally. Not Tamara realized what she needed to do; hmm, just don't say that at all! And so on...
     
    GingerCoffee likes this.
  20. Hubardo
    Offline

    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,075
    Likes Received:
    566
    Okay so my friend told me that my main problem is I'm bad at conflict and plot. I've got that from more than one person, so I've been working on it. For the bread flash fiction story I decided to give it conflict right away:

    -Woman needs yeast for baking bread
    -She forgot her wallet
    -She steals the yeast
    -She gets followed out of the grocery store
    -She went to high school with the security guard guy
    -They catch up a little
    -She invites him back to her place so they can catch up more and bake bread together

    I hate this but it's what I have so far. I want to finish it soon and post it, and get it the fuck overwith. Should I sit on it a bit longer and work it out better? Right now it's almost all dialogue. I don't know what else to plug into it. Hate my writing.

    This feeling will pass in five, four, three...
     
  21. Hwaigon
    Offline

    Hwaigon Contributing Member Reviewer

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    628
    Likes Received:
    139
    Location:
    Second to the right, and straight on till morning.
    On what account? Is it spiritual-inspired? I should try that out for super focus, too.
     
  22. Hwaigon
    Offline

    Hwaigon Contributing Member Reviewer

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    628
    Likes Received:
    139
    Location:
    Second to the right, and straight on till morning.
    I read you're fond of Murakami. I've read Kafka on the Shore and loved it totally. Especially the beginning. Can you imagine - I read it on the train to a lovely small town where I planned to visit my former gf in the hospital. Reading the book, the journey is burnt in my memory as overflowing with symbolism.
     
  23. Hubardo
    Offline

    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,075
    Likes Received:
    566
    More of a "cleanse" thing. Health reasons. It's a bit new-agey, but I dip into new-agey-ness from time to time. :) Plus I like anthropology or something.

    That's so cool! I was inspired to read it for two reasons:

    1. @jazzabel recommended it. I like Jazzabel. (She's AWOL.)
    2. I was looking for books to read that skillfully did... first person present tense, or something.

    Then it became one of my favorite books, ever. :)
     
  24. Hwaigon
    Offline

    Hwaigon Contributing Member Reviewer

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    628
    Likes Received:
    139
    Location:
    Second to the right, and straight on till morning.
    I also love your determination - you seem quite serious about writing.
    You should check out Norwegian Wood if you haven't. Very strong book. I guess it has such popularity because a lot
    of people are just as lost as the MC.
     
    Hubardo likes this.
  25. Hubardo
    Offline

    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,075
    Likes Received:
    566
    Aww thanks. In between a psychology master's program and two jobs and some hobbyist activism I try to be determined about writing! Luckily both jobs require me to sit in front of a computer and for long stretches of time, do "nothing." Like right now! Been on WF all day. Shh, don't tell my boss (who doesn't care anyway).

    I just finished The Strange Library (it reads in 1-2 hours), and rekindled my love for Murakami. That was necessary because I didn't like Wild Sheep Chase or Windup Bird Chronicle. I want to read his newest one, too. I have Doomed (or Damned?) by Chuck Palahniuk coming in the mail this week. Love him and haven't read him in about a year. His minimalism and twist endings and hilarious disgusting-ness has a place in my heart...
     

Share This Page