Forgotten Tale Forgotten Tale

Update

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The past several weeks have been frustratingly busy, so my apologizes for not updating as I should have.

This update will be light as I took a nasty fall Friday morning down my porch steps. Thankfully nothing is broken, but I'm pretty stiff and sore.

Website

I'm debating if I should write more about the content that I'm consuming. As you may have noticed, I published a mini-review / take on the movie Interstellar a few days ago. I have not yet decided, but don't be surprised if I talk more about movies, books, and games that I'm currently enjoying.

Projects

When it comes to doing my work, I have a tendency to burst and bust. I find that I have a hard time focusing on just one over any length of time. To better handle this I'm currently working on multiple projects, switching back and forth amongst them. While this will take longer in the short term, hopefully it will allow me to make more progress in completing things.

I'm currently swapping between four projects and I will say more on each over the coming weeks.

Stories

I have not abandoned my short story writing! At this point I'm still trying to feel this out. I'm thinking I might move to a longer short story once a month. This would allow the story to be complete and interesting. If I do this I'm not sure if I will break it out into weekly installments, or just drop it once a month in complete form.

That's it for now. I should be back on track this week as everything has settled and I can get back to work.

Interstellar

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Interstellar is an... interesting movie.

It's very much a Christopher Nolan flick, and reminds me of movies like Inception (yes, I'm aware that's his movie as well). A quasi science fiction story with interesting twists and perceptions.

While the movie clocks in at almost three hours, I find that I would very much have enjoyed something much longer. There really is a lot to that story and the universe that could easily have made the journey longer without deminishing its quality.

One thing I really appreciated about this movie was the take on the apocalypse. Besides being reasonable, it was nicely used as a backdrop instead of being in your face and the focus of the story.

I'm still deciding if I really like the movie or not, but it's definitely a thought provoker. Regardless, it has earned my stamp of approval and is worth a watch and discussion.

Weekly Update

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Right on cue, this week I'm the one to get sick. Yea!

I don't have a new Tale yet this week, but I will be writing that tonight and publishing it in the morning. With any luck I will also finish up the recording and editing for Tale 5 (more below).

Not much visible this week as I've been battling a few things on multiple fronts. The progress I have made has been more setup work. Setting up work flows and refreshing my coding and 3D modeling skills to familiarize myself with the tools.

In better news, the audio part of Tale 5 - Part A has been completed and released. I also have the recordings for Parts B & C done, or at least I thought I did. Turns out I'm missing the last one to two minutes of each recording. Weird. If not for that I might have finished and released all of Tale 5 last night.

Lastly, my waking up early experiment is working out. I'm generally not too tired and I'm getting more time to complete stuff.

Next week is going to be hit or miss. We have friends moving up so one to two days I will be helping out with that.

Weekly Update

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This week has been a bit of a nightmare.

Kids got sick, then my wife got sick and she worked an extra day which means I lost a day, short turn around web work which needed to be completed, plus other appointments and events already on the schedule.

My schedule has always been a problem when working from home. The nature of having a young family causes a lot of "fires" that need to be tended, and when I'm around, I expect it of myself, and am expected, to assist.

I don't have anything to spare so I can't rent any office space to escape the house to help with this problem. I do have a studio that I threw together that is in the detached garage which helps a lot, but I'm still a yell or text away.

So something has to give.

I've been reluctant to give up sleep, but for now it looks like I will have to make a more concentrated effort and get up early enough to get some work done before I help get the kids up and going for the day.

Such is life I guess. I'm going to make that effort this week and see how it works out.

As to a recap of this week, while not a lot, I was able to get a few minor things completed.

I finished editing the audio and released Tale 4 which you can now go enjoy!

I mocked up a bare page for The Guardian game and finally settled on text treatment for the game logo.

There will be no tale for this week, but I will finish up the recordings and release a new tale next week.

Weekly Update

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After thinking about it this last week, I've decided to go ahead and do weekly updates. Every Friday, probably in the afternoon (Pacific Time) I will release a new update covering the prior week. I will also be linking up the weekly tale announcement with these as well.

This week has been fairly productive, at least for me. Things are still going along more slowly than I want, but they are starting to ramp up.

Forgotten Tales

There will be no weekly tale this week as I try and catch up on the readings. I've published the recordings for the first three tales, and I'm working on editing the fourth one now.

You can listen to the first three tales by going to the end of that particular tale. There you can listen to it in the browser or download the audio file. Alternatively you can subscribe to the feed manually in your podcast app or favorite music player such as iTunes (URL is: http://forgottentale.com/forgottentales?format=RSS). I'm waiting to submit to iTunes (so you can search for it instead of typing in a URL) since iTunes only checks the most recent post for an audio file when you submit. It's a little annoying, but I need to catch up with the readings before I can do that.

I'm aiming to have all the readings done and posted by next Friday as well as have it submitted to iTunes.

So far I think the quality of the recordings is pretty good. My gear and setup allows me to capture a fairly good and clean voice. I'm still mucking through voice acting though so it's not all roses. While editing or listening to each tale I find there are points of cringe at the choices I made during the performance. Normally I might fix these while editing, but I'm trying to get this first batch done and up.

It's been a nice learning experience and a bunch of fun.

Two major things I've discovered about me during this so far.

One, I hate my breathing! I have to manually edit out almost at every pause my audible intake of air. I don't notice it but it's clear as day in the recording. Hopefully as I focus on this and get more experienced I will breath more naturally during my performances.

Two, I never knew I enunciated so poorly. God, how do people understand half of what I say?

Game

This time I'm confident that I will release something next week about my game.

The biggest hamper on this front is my other job, web development. I pick up side work as a web contractor to pay the bills (since I'm not getting anything from the studio). I generally don't take on a lot of work, but this last week it's been a distraction.

This first game is going to be a fairly short playable story (as compared to an interactive story - I'll write up a post on that sometime). It's going to be based on Tale 4 - The Guardian. So stay tuned for that.

That's all for this week!

Weekly Update

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I'm not sure yet, but I'm thinking I might start writing regular updates (such as once a week) commenting on what I've been up to for the week.

The last week has been hectic on a personal basis and has left me with less time to work on stuff.

I have some preliminary materials for my game I will be posting, but I need to finish up some things before I do that so expect that early next week.

Some good news is I've gone through the equipment I have, found some software, and ran a bunch of tests and I'm pretty set for doing voice work at a decent level here at the studio. It's not professional but at least it's not terrible.

This will now allow me to do the readings for my Forgotten Tales series and any voice work for the game.

I'm hoping I have all the readings up and ready by end of next week so I can submit the feed to iTunes.

6: Duces

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It's Friday morning and that means it's time for another Forgotten Tale.

6: Duces is up and ready to read.

Enjoy!

Weekly Short Stories are Now Forgotten Tales

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Since I started creating them two months ago I've been thinking a lot about and experimenting with my weekly short stories. After 5 tales (8 parts in total) I've solidified on what works for me and how I want to proceed.

I'm naming the collection of my weekly short stories "Forgotten Tales." I've dabbled with other names but in the end I find this one the most fitting.

I was writing and releasing the tale the same day. This lead to complications and unpredictability in the schedule that I want to avoid. So now I will be creating the tale at some point during the week but will be releasing it every Friday morning (Pacific).

The goal of these tales is to spend a little time every week away from my current project and do something fresh, to "stretch my legs." I want these to be raw short snippets that I can toss or dig up later. Something akin to a quick doodle or sketch from an artist.

Normally these types of creative exercises are not publicly shared, but I don't see the point of that. I want people to be able to experience my work.

During this time I've discovered that I generally only spend a few hours creating these. For me this is the tipping point. If I work on them any longer I will end up spending a lot more time on them and building them up into something more. This tends to end up competing with my current major project which I don't want. In essence devoting more time only distracts me instead of helping me.

While I don't spend a lot of time proofing these, I do generally read through them a few times to try and catch any obvious mistakes. Since reading out loud is a good way to proof something I've decided that I will do a "reading" of the tale and publish it with the written version as a podcast.

The podcast and the current blog format will be the one and the same. Both the text and the audio file can be found on the site or your RSS reader as it is now, but also in your favorite podcast app.

Over the next week or two I will be doing a reading of my past short stories and updating the respective post to include the audio file. I will announce when it's available to grab from places like iTunes.

I hope you enjoy these tales as much as I do creating them.

5: Flute - Part C

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I have posted the third and final part of my fifth short story.

I have also posted the original version I wrote sometime in the 1990s for comparison's sake.

Enjoy!

Updates Coming Soon

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It's been a tad crazy.

Yes, I've been playing Destiny and have found myself quite distracted when I shouldn't have, but such is life.

I have lots incoming. Expect details on how I will go forward with my short stories, postmortums, readings, not to mention the final part of the current short story on friday.

I will also have some preliminary details on my first game sometime over this next week.

Sit back, have a beer, relax. It's going to get interesting.

5: Flute - Part B

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I have posted the second part of my fifth short story. Turns out this will be a three parter.

I'm still working out the kinks on when I do, and post, these writings.

Enjoy!

5: Flute - Part A

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I've posted my latest short story, 5: Flute - Part 1. Like the last one, this is a two parter.

Also like the last story, and will be with the one upcoming, this is based on my memory of an old story of mine. I have not read the story, but will read it and post the original one after I finish this one.

I'm running a bit behind schedule this week, but I'm planning on getting the final part to this story out by Friday.

Enjoy!

Promises

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I've been watching things happen online in regards to sexism, harrasement, and in general the treatment of women. This distrubs me greatly as a human being, and as a father of three girls.

As a man, I've been thinking about how I can change things. What I have come up with is that I've decided to take two oaths. With one hand raised and the other on whatever holy book matters to you I speak:

I solemnly swear that I will only write stories with a female protagonist or in cases of multiple protagonists that at least one is female.

I also solemnly swear that I will predominately, if not only, hire women for my studio.


All of my stories as of this writing (1 - 4) fit or just barely hit the line of these oaths. When I have time in the next few months I will go in and fix these stories to more accurately reflect these oaths.

4: The Guardian

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I have finished the second half of my fourth short story. I just added it to the first part and you can now view it in its entirety.

I have also posted the original version I wrote sometime in the 1990s for comparison's sake.

I would appreciate if you could let me know what you think once you read it.

Enjoy!

4: The Guardian - Part A

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I've posted the short story for this week - 4: The Guardian

This week’s short story I consider the first failure of the run. It’s late and incomplete.

Story 4 will be in two parts, the first part you can read today, and the rest I will post next week. I will simply update the story next week to include part B.

I would love to hear what you think!

Enjoy!

Story 1 Postmortem

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This postmortem covers my first short story, Tale of Forgotten Tale. If you have not read it yet, you should do that now before proceeding.


This was the first story that I had written in many years. I'm always coming up with plenty of ideas, working out scenes, or developing characters. But for many years it just percolated in my head or in hasty notes so I would remember1.

In many ways I've always scoffed at people saying this type of stuff is hard. I've always had an easy time with writing my stories.

That is until now.

I've always written when the mood struck me. During my earlier years this was easy since I had all the time in the world to do with as I pleased. It was only until recently when I decided to do this rain or shine at specific times that it truly dawned on me just how hard it can be.

Being creative on the spot is hard. It takes real mental work, especially when there are distractions, you're tired, or you only have a small window in which to do it. It's not so much the actual work that is hard as it is "forcing" myself to write and stay focused on what it is I'm doing.

During the several hours I sat there writing this story, each line was almost painful to write. I would think, write a line, look at it, think, write another line, and so on. Each paragraph took several minutes, and I tend to write short paragraphs. This only got worse as the story progressed.

When finished I was drained! I was more than ready to call it good!

All in all I'm extremely proud of this first story. Not that I think it will win any prizes in its current form, but that I was able to accomplish my goals. Plus, I find the story interesting.


Here is a bit of trivia for you.

What gender do you think the protagonist is?

If you responded with your own gender, then I must clap myself on the back. If not, well, I tried. By removing any reference to the gender I hoped to instill a bit of either mystery or self projection into the story.

Just so we're on the same page, the character is actually a young girl.


Things that went right

There are several key things that I think went right:

  1. I completed the story (don't knock it, just finishing this first story is a testament).
  2. I was able to get back into the flow of generating ideas in a short time. I was up and going with the story within the first 30 minutes of sitting down to write.
  3. Regardless of the slogging it only took a few hours to actually write the story.
  4. While writing the story I decided to drop any reference to the protagonist's gender. Thinking that most people don't constantly remind themselves of their sex.

Things that went wrong

I hit a wall throughout. I just was not able to really get into a groove and write without catching myself all of the time. I took time away from the story during the day a few times which really put me into a bind later. So much so I had to wait until the following morning to actually reread the story in full before calling it ready to post.

In all honestly, this thing is a mess! I think I changed tenses (first person, past or present) many times, it's got typos, and it sometimes just quickly "jumps" ahead (especially later in the story).

Work that needs to be done

It's too short and I can see where some really good scenes could be inserted. Of course, there is the technical issues such as grammar, word choice, and the like.

I also need to plan more of the story up front, and save more time for revision later.

How I feel about the work

As I said, I'm really proud of this piece. It needs work, and is a bit shorter than it should be, but I was able to do it.


  1. On a side note, I have a terrible memory for specifics. Sometimes it's a curse, but in creative endeavors it's actually a blessing. It's easy to let things go when you can't remember them!

Short Story Postmortems

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I'm going to be doing postmortems on all of my weekly short stories. These will typically show up during the week after I post the story.

I'm a few behind, so watch out for those throughout the week. The first one is going up this morning!

3: A Messy Encounter

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I've posted my third weekly short story. This time I've brought in an existing character of mine, James Bailey.

Go and read it!

Oops

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Apparently I missed doing my typical, albeit quick and computer aided, spell-checking on my first short story.

Oops.

Normally I would let this slide since that's not the focus of my short stories here, but well, it was pretty bad. I've gone through and quickly fixed all of the actual misspelled words. As for any wrong word usage, improper grammar, or other technical bit I make no guarantee.

2: Old Man

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The next weekly short story is up: 2: Old Man