Pages

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Another short story!??

I spent my day making another new video, going for a super long hike with my mom, and waiting for The Situation's drummer, Andy, to pick me up and take me to heaven. (I mean my boyfriend's house.) It's really been a less-than-eventful Tuesday, and it didn't provide me with any funny anecdotes or news to report. But, because I vowed to blog every day in August, and because you guys seemed to take well to the last one I posted... I've decided to bite the bullet and put up another short story. Once again, I honestly don't mind if you think it's boring or confusing or if you don't want to bother read it all-- I'd like to hear any and all opinions. And if you do enjoy it, awesome! Let me know which parts. I'm extraordinarily lucky to have an audience (especially a smart, kind one!) who can provide me with constructive criticism, and I want to make the most of it. So, without further ado, here's another untitled random selection from my fiction writing class.


" Of all the aphorisms used to show some kind of passive condolence to the victim of a brutal breakup, there is no expression more nauseating than “I know how you feel.” Pardon me, but until you’ve watched your girlfriend of almost a year engage in six extra-relational hookups—two white guys, one black guy, one lesbian, one straight girl, and one drag queen—all on a cable television reality show… until then, you do not know how I feel.

Like all my most pathetic stories, it began in Brett MacDougall’s basement. In high school, we used to go down there after practice to drink warm beer, recreationally beat each other up, and eat bright orange potato by-products that probably would have killed us if we hadn’t been athletes. We were sort of the Popular Crowd, but you wouldn’t have known that if you’d seen us. Twenty people, one couch, Brett MacDougall’s basement. Every single day. My friends were really into being popular, but I never paid a lot of attention. At graduation, when everyone else was bawling and clutching each other, I was ecstatic, knowing that anywhere I went next would have to be more exciting than the place I’d just left.

The thing is, when you go off to college an hour away, you hope your life will sort of, I don’t know, refresh itself, and that when you come home for a weekend, you’ll have a million hilarious stories and seventy new best friends, and you won’t feel so empty as you stare at a screen in hopes of seeing your girlfriend, who you have barely heard from since she got a real life, while you sit in Brett MacDougall’s basement.

But as soon as the clock hit 7:59 on that one fateful night in November, all my anxious feelings started melting away. I sat on the 1970s-style corduroy upholstery, surrounded by most of my old cross-country team, and some of the dance squad girls I’d graduated with. I checked the clock on my phone. Go time.

“YO; SHUT UP!” I yelled. I had the remote control in my palm, kicking up the volume on Brett MacDougall’s shitty TV, until the theme music drowned out everyone’s excited chatter.

Seven aspiring actors,” announced a female voice over edgy instrumental music. “One house, one summer, and one goal: Who will be America’s next soap opera star?

The music continued, and a handful of hot teens and twenty-somethings struck poses, announcing their names. I could feel excited tension bubbling all around me, when the camera finally landed on her. She looked like herself, mostly, but somehow… faker. Still, I beamed at the TV like a moron. “I’m Lindsey!” she shouted, spinning, her hair whipping around, as her named popped up below her. She blew a kiss at the camera, and I seriously think I shivered in response.

For the first fifteen minutes of the show, I was living large. Every time Lindsey came on screen, her friends would holler things like, “Get it, girl!” and at one point, someone punched me in the shoulder, saying, “Damn, Cole. Your girlfriend’s not just small-town-hot anymore. She’s reality-TV-hot.”

And then… and then it went downhill.

I’m not sure I can pinpoint the worst part of watching your girlfriend dry-hump strangers on national television, but I can compile a list of the top six: 1) Finding out that the girl who wouldn’t sleep with you because of her “morals” is a nymphomaniac who, apparently, only had morals against you, 2) Seeing the earrings you made her in Metalshop dangling from the very earlobe some stranger is licking, 3) Not being totally sure whether one of her partners is a natural man or woman, 4) Realizing your mother is at home, watching it, and 5) Being in Brett MacDougall’s basement while it happens to you, open-mouthed like the biggest moron on the face of the planet, feeling like there’s a dead pregnant squirrel lodged and rotting in your throat.

And, of course, the worst of all these. The moment when one of Lindsey’s friends looks you in the eye, holds a hand to her chest, and proclaims, 6) “Oh my God, Cole. I know how you feel.”

* * *
“Cole,” said a chick with blue hair on my video game screen. I didn’t respond, and just continued to stare at her, unmoving but for her ponytail swaying back and forth. My computer mouse was hidden amongst the filth in which I lived since driving back to school in a haze, somewhere in the general vicinity of Pringles Can Valley and Dirty Clothes Cavern. I didn’t care to look for it. The blue-haired avatar was used to combating all kinds of danger, facing peril around every corner, and looking hot, even when covered in mud, but without my manipulation, she was kind of boring.

“Hey! Faggot!” she said, this time with more force and less politeness. Also, she was a baritone.

It turns out that the voice was not coming from my computer after all. It was my roommate, Anthony, at the door of our shared dorm room, in another attempt to nag me back to life. “Dude, unlock the freaking door. You’ve been in there for like twelve hours.”

Had it only been that long? When you’ve fallen beyond rock bottom and into the deepest, darkest pits of despair, concepts like time and hygiene and not-scratching-your-own-ass-all-day just seem so trivial and energy-consuming. Instead, I’d chosen to spend my time listening to the same few bars of video game music repeating from my computer screen, while wearing nothing but a pair of plaid boxers, white soccer socks, a grease-stained t-shirt, and one of those winter hats with furry ear flaps.

“Use your key,” I yelled back, noticing by its hoarseness that my voice was just as reluctant to speak as I was to live. The video game music was then interrupted by the jingling sound of Anthony opening our door. Without entering, he popped his head into the room.

“It smells like alien piss in here,” he said, scrunching his nose. “What the hell have you been doing all day? Puking on yourself?”

I pulled my hat down over my eyes. “Sorry, man. I should be more courteous to you. I forgot that your girlfriend also banged a she-male on TV and that your life is also over.”

Anthony said, “Yeah, well, you look like Sasquatch and sound like a pansy.” He lowered his voice and added, “I have a girl with me, dude. What am I supposed to do about that?”

If I’d had more energy, I would have made a joke like, “Search ‘sexual intercourse’ on Wikipedia and start from there.” But I did not have more energy. Instead, I sighed. “Tell her your roommate is catatonic. Go to her room or something.” However, before I even finished mumbling the words, Anthony was kicking his way through my piles of trash, opening a garbage bag, and filling it with clothes and food alike.

“Hey!” I tried to exclaim, but it came out sounding feeble and apathetic. So I just went with it. “Okay, whatever. But don’t, like, throw away my iPod or some--”

“Hi,” said a girl, cutting me off. She’d entered the room in the middle of my sentence.

“Uh, hi,” I replied, finally feeling a little bit embarrassed about my appearance. I glanced at Anthony, who was cringing and scowling, then back to the girl. She was shorter, curvier, heavier-but-not-fat. She had dark pretty hair, and a necklace draped over her protruding collarbone. She didn’t look anything at all like blonde Lindsey with her supermodel dimensions and permanent pout. This girl looked friendly, and normal, and quite frankly too attractive to be with my roommate, who somewhat resembled a pitbull. Not that it was my place to notice such a thing, because I was in the Depression stage of grief. And because I looked like I’d been run over by a cement truck.

“I’m Cole,” I said. I considered outstretching my hand, but decided it would be beneficial to the girl’s health if we skipped the handshake.

“Cole Richmond. I know,” she said, looking down and smiling all cute-like. “Do you… have any idea who I am?”

Um, I thought. I turned my eyes to Anthony, who just looked exasperated, and looked back to the girl. “Um,” I said.

“It’s okay,” she admitted, but I could tell she was embarrassed. “I didn’t really expect you to know. I’m Alicia MacDougall. I was a year above you in high school? You, uh, used to hang out with my brother, I think.”

“Oh yeah!” I said. I very, very vaguely recalled Brett MacDougall having a sister living at his house my junior year. But we stayed downstairs, and she was some kind of theater geek, or an artist or something. Not really my crowd, so I never paid close attention. “How are you doing?”

Alicia MacDougall brightened. “I’m. Well. I’m doing better than I imagine you are, huh?” I glanced at the grease stain on my shirt, and at my lack of pants. “Everyone’s talking about what happened with your girlfriend and that drag queen.”

What do you say to that? Since I said nothing, Alicia sort of tilted her head in concern and continued. “I’m going to totally humiliate myself by saying this, but I’m a tiny bit drunk, so I’ll got for it.” She giggled. “I always thought you were so cool. Just, like, really together. So judging by… this… you must be feeling pretty low. After the whole Reality TV Incident and stuff.”

I shrugged and said, “Low? Nah. What makes you say that? Is it the Pringles cans or the pit stains?”

Alicia giggled again, cutely, and she looked me up and down with an almost maternal expression of pity. “No, you just always seemed so interesting and, like, exciting. I’m not trying to rub it in or anything.”

“Thanks,” I said, trying to sound as genuine as I felt. “That means a lot.”

Alicia MacDougall shrugged. “No problem,” she said. “So…I only ask because I’m legitimately curious. Are you okay? I have no idea how you must feel.” "


So... yep. Again, not the greatest or most coherent thing to ever come out of my brain, but I don't think it's bad. The main character, Cole, is actually from a partially-finished novel I have lying around somewhere, and I liked him enough that I wanted him to get a little bit of attention, as it's very likely that his whole story will never be told. I'm open to suggestions if you'd like to leave a comment. If you don't have anything to say, but still read it, thank you! And if you didn't read it, that's still cool, too. You all deserve virtual hugs just for keeping up with the blog of a stranger. :)

Today, I saw: tons of awesome video comments. Love you guys!
Today, I heard: from my good friend, PJ, who I'll be seeing lots of once I move back to school.
Today, I touched: my suitcase zipper, getting ready to head off to Chez Situation.
Today, I smelled: an emery board. I filed my nails down shorter, so as not to accidentally spike my boyfriend in the jugular.
Today, I tasted: chocolate from Germany, thanks to an awesome girl named Amina who follows me on twitter!

Chipotle burritos this year: 23
Subscribers: 32,953
Nail color: "Through the Grapevine," Wet 'n' Wild

P.S. I'm going to the YouTube gathering in Albany, New York tomorrow. Let me know in the comments if I'll be seeing you there. I hope we'll get to exchange real hugs. And have dance parties. Mid-Embrace Dance Party Gift Exchange: it's happening.

P.P.S. As I have stated before, I am extremely LGBT-friendly. My characters' opinions or word-choices do not always reflect my own. I do not condone the use of several slang terms in this story; it is fictional.

87 comments:

roisinlinton said...

Originally, I was planning on skipping over this story. Because although the last one was well written etc, it didn''t have me gripped and I honestly didn't want to know the outcome of the couples story. However, I glanced over the first paragraph on this story and was hooked. I dont know whether its becuse I liked this character more, he definately seemed more relatable and real. but I loved this. I would most definately read a whole novel on him!
This was witty and funny and I instantly wanted to be friends with Alicia.. well done! :)

Michael said...

I really liked the story. Like, even better than the last one(which I loved.) To me it kind of felt like a bit of Catcher in the Rye updated for 2010.

Someday you're going to get a novel published an it will be the greatest ever :)

Kendall said...

I really liked this story, Hayley :). It was funny and really unique and it made me want to read more about Cole, he was really interesting.
Well done!

Whimsy said...

I winced through this story.

Not because the writing was bad, oh no, but on Cole's behalf. Ahhhgh, that poor guy. XD

I can understand why you did it, but still, having a drag queen/trans person being reffered to as a "shemale" really drove me nuts. That is SUCH a rude slang term. >.<

Kudos for including lgbt characters, but all of them were such awful people. I know you're lgbt friendly, since you went to queer prom, so I have a question:

Do you have any stories with nice/good/sane/not-nymphomaniac characters?

Otherwise, I quite liked it. Lovly job, and I would certainly read your book when it comes out (as it is certain to do, one day).

Great blog as usual,
~Whimsy

to_thine_own_self said...

I really liked this story! The characters felt very real and I liked them. Well...the ones I was supposed to like.
I'd love to read a whole novel about this story, I really would =]
I'd like to know more about what happens between Cole and Alicia.

Today, I saw: Avatar, for the first time. I don't know what I expected before I watched it, but I liked it.
Today, I heard: a helicopter fly extremely low over out house...for some reason.
Today, I touched: my coupon for a free Reeses Cup. I have no idea why they sent me one, but they did. Apparently I won a sweepstakes or something. I don't even remember signing up to be entered into one. Hah.
Today, I smelled: popcorn. Yup.
Today, I tasted: popcorn. Yep. Lol.

Stefan said...

so awesome! Okay I do have to say this though because I've seen it in a bunch of YA books. By the time the reality show is on air the person on it is home and watching it with their friends. maybe you could get away with it if it was big brother or something. but in america the show airs long after people have gone home. But it does make it more dramatic if it's aired as it's happening.

keep it coming.

Veronica said...

I hate to be that raving fangirl who just shouts about how much I loved the story...but I think I might have to do that. ._.
Seriously, I liked this a lot. A lot of times I can't get that into short stories, especially when I read Harry Potter...all day...reading all of Malfoy's lines out loud like Lauren Lopez...as well as acting out half the book.
But that's not what's important. Your story is what's important.
I got seriously hooked into it. If I ever stopped to think whilst reading it it was to think, "Oh my god, this is good."
I fell in love with Alicia as soon as she opened her mouth, and I would love to read more about the characters. I also loved the alien piss comment. xD
Overall, quite awesome. I do love your writing. I do believe you could get published. And I think you're super awesome. ^^

beangirl1389 said...

I really liked this story. I mean I liked the last one too, but this one to me screams novel and a good one at that!

Demi said...

I love, love, love the story. Also, I noticed a possible Holden/ Catcher in the Rye homage with the hat. Over all, really great job!

Sarah said...

Like a lot of people said, I liked this one a lot more than the last one! The last one was a fantastic piece of creative writing - this is a fantastic piece of an unfinished novel.

Yes, there is a difference.

Jess said...

I liked it! Your character names are epic. I didn't LOVE it like I loved your other one, but it's still really, really good. It's very relatable and real.

jenibo said...

Hayley!

Great story. Really. I don't know how you do it, but you sound like a boy. I'm impressed. It's, like, very difficult for me to write from the POV of the opposite gender, and in both your stories, the voice was incredibly convincing.
I really like Cole, too. You gave a great description of him--that kind of cool, but whatever, kind of guy (HOT), but I kind of wanted to see it in action a tiny bit more. Like in the scene where he's living in his filth. That was my favorite part. It made me cringe, because I know boys that gross, and you captured it so well.

The basement and the zoning out in front of the computer reminded me of Garden State. You know? Felt like falling down an infinite abyss.

Hmm... there was something else I wanted to say, but I can't remember now...

(4 minutes later) OH! Okay, I remember. I love the reality TV show thing. It's so original. Truly brilliant. That's the kind of stuff that people want to publish. <3

Tori said...

I'm not really one to comment on a lot of things but your story was so well done that I just have to say something. I know from experience how hard it can be to write short little blurbs of stories but you seriously did so well. I was instantly hooked and it really wrapped up nicely and progressed somewhere which is rare in short stories. Keep it up!

Tessa said...

Hayley, this is wonderful. Really, really good.

Alice said...

loveditlovedit
really I did
I can't wait to read your novel(s)
Saw: Friends from school
Tasted:http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1414/590121519_ca5668c64a.jpg
Touched: a moss covered fallen tree
Heard: a mix cd
Smelled: various cleaning products

Tessa said...

Actually, right now I wish the internet were on paper so I could circle all the parts I like.

Zombie said...

I have no literary advice for you because, frankly, I suck at writing. :) On the other hand, I'm amazing at reading! (not that that takes much) I love your style. It's witty and funny and just honest. Give us more. PLEASE.

Kelly said...

Hey Hayley! I move into my new dorm tomorrow and my first college classes are on Monday. Being a freshman in college is SCARY. Any advice? Even if you don't offer any, I'm really happy I'll have your blog to read every night for the remainder of August. At least that's one piece of familiarity and consistency I can count on. :)

Larangutang said...

I liked that story a lot more than the first one. It just amazes me how somebody can just come up with things like that. Also I wanted to say thank you for putting up that livestrong.com link. I've been looking for something like that free and I really think it'll help. DFTBA!
-Lauren :]
P.S. I was on vacation and just caught up with all of your blogs along with Kayley and Kristina's from the past week and a half. Good reading :P

Krislynn said...

Wow hayley another great short story, I love how your characters are so fleshed out. I also love that you write from the male perspective even though you're a girl. I also enjoyed that brett's last name was macdougall since that's my last name (except mine is Mc not Mac). This one really felt like an excerp from a novel, one that I would really enjoy reading. I really love to read your perspective on life. I can't wait to read more!

Maggie said...

Yo, Hayley, my home skillet biscuit with a fine new 'do and writing skills so chill they never fail to bring the heat of a Californian summer to a sustainable temperature.

Before I further express how much I adore this short story, I must thank you for your (post) postscript. I was already aware of how LGBT-friendly you are from previous posts, but I appreciated that you clarified the difference between your opinions and those of your characters. When reading a person's blog, the audience can often associate all writing with the author's own ethics and morals, regardless of whether or not they label their words as fictional. I am always hesitant about penning characters with foul language, as I am not prone to speaking in the same way. BASICALLY, HAYLEY, IT MEANS A LOT TO ME IN A SILLY WAY OR SOMETHING.

This story is really wonderful. You had me at the description of Lindsey's "extra-relational hookups." (Lindsey's situation seemed reminiscent of America's Next Top Model in Cycle 5, when Kim Stolz made out with Sarah Rhoades in a limousine and developed a semi-romantic relationship with her while retaining an open relationship back home. Reading what I wrote again, I realize that this tidbit will seem irrelevant to your story, but in my mind, it is still very pertinent. Although I now regret openly sharing my guilty pleasure with you, I refuse to erase anything related to Kim Stolz, so I am sorry if my little rant offended you.)

I want to read more of this Cole character. It is kind of you to give more depth to a member of a typically shallow crowd.

Alicia's final words in this piece are absolutely perfect. I cannot wait to read more short stories from you, so please continue posting them!

Olivia said...

I do not have a constructive comment on the story --sorry, I'm watching Teen Mom while writing this: all higher brain function is being employed--, but I wanted to let you know that I enjoyed it very much. I laughed several times, and the characters/story were interesting.

Have fun at The Situation's!

Arletta said...

That was brilliant.

Krazy_4_Kelly said...

First thing I thought when I read this was that it felt as if I was reading a rough cut of something from An Abundance of Katherines. Your writing is very John Green-esque.

I really enjoyed this a lot, Hayley, and I'm glad you decided to give us another short story. I hope you have fun with The Situation. :)

Caitlin R. O'Connell said...

I liked this! I really liked how you took that one phrase, "I know how you feel," and carried it through the whole story. It tied the whole thing together quite nicely. :)

bookmouse99 said...

Today, I saw: the moon over the detroit river in the flickering light of tiki torches

Today, I touched: the sand at the beach while doing nighttime yoga

Today I Heard: Sirens because someone called the cops and said that there was a seance going on at the beach for the youg woman who unfortunately drowned. But it was Yoga

Today, I smelled: Chlorine. The pool was stinky today
.
Today, I tasted: Velveeta and shells kraft dinner. YUM

Anonymous said...

oh em freakinnn geee that story was really really good! i loved it!! thanks for sharing :]

Paloma said...

Okay, that was pure awesomeness.

I had convinced myself before reading it that I would give you constructive criticism. But you left me in awe.

1) Love the originality. How do you come up with these things?

2) The main character is incredible. And you really did sound like a boy. Which is good, because it means you got into the character.

3) The ending. Perfect.

Never stop writing, Hayley.

:)

Michelle said...

HAYLEY HAYLEY HAYLEY HAYLEY
GIVE US MORE PLEASE :D :D
I would love to give you advice, but you have surpassed my writing ability to the point where I envy you about as much as John Green.

Tara said...

That story was really interesting. I like the depiction of reality TV and the character name Cole as well as the description of Alicia.
Today I saw a lot of elderly people at the Casino I went to.
Today I tasted food at an all you can eat buffet.
Today I heard country music.
Today I smelled my moms car which needs to be cleaned.
Today I touched way too many dirty slot machines.
I loved your new video! Keep them coming!
Also, are you living on residence again this year? I'm only asking because I stayed at home.

Katie said...

I liked it a lot. The only thing I would change is the wording in the sentence "My friends were really into being popular, but I never paid a lot of attention." I feel like it might sound better to clarify (even though it's clear what you're trying to say) what Cole didn't pay a lot of attention to. Like "My friends were really into being popular, but I never cared enough to put forth effort in that arena." Or something, I don't know.

I want to know more of Cole's story! :)

Today, I saw the black nothingness of the inside of my eyelids as I started falling asleep while writing this comment. So tired! Goooood night.

KatieSham said...

Loved it! Very real.

Love where it stopped, the last line, true facts. There's nothing more annoying than someone trying to identify with something they have no connection to.

And I agree with someone who commented above me. Any tips for incoming college freshman? I move in two days and am scared to death.

Cassie said...

I tried not to like this because I feel like I like everything you do. I really love it. It was interesting and unexpected. I wanted there to be more. Way to not fail.

alimarie_11 said...

Hayley, I'm glad I read your story!

I hope you continue on with writing, I would Love to slip in a novel by Hayley Hoover right between HP and Looking for Alaska on my bookcase! Where i'm sure it would rightfully deserve to be!

Today, I saw:
The sunrise. Driving friends home at 5 in the morning, not so fun, but the sun was nice.

Today, I heard:
Wheezywaiter give me a sweet background on Tuesday!

Today, I touched:
Curly hair and my own teary eyes as my boyfrined and I watched the series finally of Roseanne. I bawl every time (but he let me comb his hair!)
It is an awesome show. I Strongely recomend.

Today, I smelled:
Cool, rainy air and doughnuts!

Today, I tasted:
Delicious Fuze Peach Mango drink and a guacamoli(sorryicantspell) sandwich!

thatothergrace said...

that was a great story. I would love to read more of it. MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Mandi said...

Love love love love loved this.

Honestly, Hayley, I'm 25 and have been writing most of my life, and you put me to shame. You have SO MUCH TALENT.

Leah said...

COLE.

I just.

Heeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Kat said...

Comment, part I:
So I decided to read through your excerpt again and write down specific comments, and...it got a little long. But here they are. And, yeah, I don't know how coherent they are either, although I do know that I nitpick a lot about commas. Aaand then it got too long for one comment so I'm splitting it into two.

"The thing is, when you go off to college an hour away, you hope your life will sort of, I don’t know, refresh itself, and that when you come home for a weekend, you’ll have a million hilarious stories and seventy new best friends, and you won’t feel so empty as you stare at a screen in hopes of seeing your girlfriend, who you have barely heard from since she got a real life, while you sit in Brett MacDougall’s basement." There are a lot of commas in that sentence. I'm def more comma-light than you are (eg, you use Oxford commas), but even taken that into account I think this sentence would read more smoothly with fewer commas. I'd probably go with: "The thing is, when you go off to college an hour away you hope your life will sort of, I don’t know, refresh itself, and that when you come home for a weekend you’ll have a million hilarious stories and seventy new best friends, and you won’t feel so empty as you stare at a screen in hopes of seeing your girlfriend, who you have barely heard from since she got a real life, while you sit in Brett MacDougall’s basement."


"But as soon as the clock hit 7:59 on that one fateful night in November, all my anxious feelings started melting away." I don't know that you've really established anxiety in the preceding paragraphs. There's definitely a sense that college isn't living up to Cole's (generally impossible to live up to) expectations, but the reader doesn't really have a sense of what he'd be anxious about or why. Is that line referring to his anxieties about the reality of college? 'Cause I was half-interpreting it as anxieties about his girlfriend being on national television, but now I'm thinking college-related-anxiety makes more sense.

"'YO; SHUT UP!' I yelled." I am also always tempted to do this when I write (I like to say things like "I don't know; I just think...), but actually it mostly just looks weird. People don't typically talk in semi-colons -- they talk in run-on sentences. So I'd guess Cole yelled "YO, SHUT UP!"

And the sentence after that has another (what I would deem) unnecessary comma. Can't he just turn up the volume on the "shitty TV until the theme music drowned out everyone's excited chatter" without a comma?

Same story here: "I could feel excited tension bubbling all around me, when the camera finally landed on her."

And here: "...she shouted, spinning, her hair whipping around, as her named popped up below her." I'd take out the last comma.

Did "her friends" encouraging bits of ridiculous or did "our friends"? Aren't they Cole's friends, too?

“Damn, Cole. Your girlfriend’s not just small-town-hot anymore. She’s reality-TV-hot.” And that is hilarious.

And I love the list, but minor note (those are what I'm best at, haa). I'd make the last item (number 5) more parallel, so "when it happens to you, mouth hanging open like the biggest moron" (or something along those lines), so that it's a participial phrase like the "feeling like" that follows it.

Kat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kat said...

Comment, part II:
And then blogger decided it wanted to embarrass me by posting my comment five times instead of once. So that was kind of it. I'm going to try to post the rest of my concrit now...

I am getting more and more hung up on minutia the more I write down my thoughts on this, but: I'd change "unmoving but for" to "unmoving except for." It sounds more natural to me for some reason.

Keeping with that theme, the phrase "hidden amongst the filth in which I lived" does not sound like the interior monologue of a college freshman who uses the term "shemale." It could be "hidden among the filth I had lived in," maybe?


This sentence is also a little much. "The blue-haired avatar was used to combating all kinds of danger, facing peril around every corner, and looking hot, even when covered in mud, but without my manipulation, she was kind of boring." I don't know how you feel about parentheticals (claro que I love them), but I think once could work here. Again there are just a shitton of commas. A lot of the details aren't really necessary and they sort of bog down the sentence. To me, something like "The blue-haired avatar was used to combating all kinds of danger (and looking hot, even when covered in mud), but without my manipulation she was kind of boring."

And you switched tenses here! "It turns out that the voice was not coming from my computer after all." I'm pretty sure it turned out the voice wasn't coming from his computer, since before that his avatar was boring and after that his roommate was making an attempt to nag him back to the real world.

"the same few bars of video game music repeating from my computer screen" I can't pinpoint why, but I don't like the way this is phrased. Also that's another sentence I'm going to go ahead and identify as unnecessarily comma-heavy.

This bit is also a little off. "I yelled back, noticing by its hoarseness that my voice was just as reluctant to speak as I was to live." It's one of those few places where you seem to be self-consciously writing rather than seamlessly slipping into the voice of this slightly pathetic eighteen year old kid. And then afterwards you use passive voice, and I know you can choose to do that or whatever, but... I still don't like it. And, finishing up that paragraph, I think it's implied that if someone is popping there head into a room, they're not entering it.

I do love the alien piss. Also I choose to interpret "I would have made a joke like, 'Search ‘sexual intercourse’ on Wikipedia and start from there.'" as a Bo Burnham reference.

Jeez, Anthony is a nice roommate. I wouldn't clean up Cole's shit. I guess it could be an act of self-preservation, though. No one wants to live in a biohazard.

Kat said...

Comment, part III (holy crap, finally):

I tend not to like the word "exclaim." Can he just yell or something? I think it's another one of those self-consciously writer-y tics, maybe. (I might just think that because it was my go-to word in fourth grade creative writing, and I thought it made me sound really smart.)

I prefer "a girl said" to "said a girl" in this sentence. Again, it sounds more natural.

"She had dark pretty hair, and a necklace draped over her protruding collarbone." You do not need a comma here. Also I am confused as to how someone who is "curvier" and "heavier" has a protruding collarbone.

"I considered outstretching my hand, but decided it would be beneficial to the girl’s health if we skipped the handshake." You also don't need a comma before the but here. It's not a compound sentence.

I'm going to stop commenting on commas now, I think...

And apparently that was the last thing I had to say.

On a general note, I really liked it. That's why I was compelled to reread it and pick through it and all that jazz. I have no idea if my comments are helpful, but I hope they are. (You can let me know if you have any strong feelings, haha.) I'm curious to hear what kind of feedback you got on this story in your class.

Kristen said...

Two Words: Finish it.

Okay two more: Pretty please?

Tom said...

I always feel weird about giving constructive criticism for something that I know the author didn't work really hard on, but since you asked for it...

I liked this more than the last one, partially because this one was really funny, but also because with the last one, I had to work to understand what was going on in the beginning. (I remember that I had to read the first paragraph or two closely to make sure I got it all.) Yes, I am an incredibly lazy reader. But I feel like with short stories, I'm always more willing to keep going if everything has been spelled-out in the very beginning, and I would bet that a lot of other people feel this way too, because who wants to have to go back and re-read halfway through a short story?

(This obviously doesn't apply to novels. And this doesn't seem like it was written with the intention of being a one-shot short story, so my analysis may fall apart there, but whatever. You had me hooked at the beginning, is what I'm saying, which is good!)

I'm not sure if "passive condolence" makes sense in the first sentence, because passive makes it sound like it's just one of the many instances of people expressing insincere (passive) condolences, when in the context it's suppose to mean condolence expressed via inaccurate idiom. Or something. God, this is hard to explain haha. I think the first sentence would work better without the word "passive," basically hahaha.

Also, I think the last sentence would be better as, "I can't even imagine how you must feel," even though that isn't the exact opposite of the aphorism. But that's just one man's opinion.

Random little tidbit: "I’m not sure I can pinpoint the worst part of watching your girlfriend dry-hump strangers on national television, but I can compile a list of the top six..." And then you said number six was the "worst of all of these." (I feel particularly weird pointing out continuity errors; just wasn't sure if you noticed that.)

My favorite bit was, "'Hey!' I tried to exclaim, but it came out sounding feeble and apathetic." That made me giggle a lot of some reason. And I'd like to point out that both that and the other line I quoted (and also the entire piece) were quite John Green-sian. There's, like, no way to explain how your styles are similar, because it's hard to describe style, but I think it's mostly the humor that comes out of the smart narrator's voice, and the pacing. Yeah. Your writing has John Green's writing's pacing. Which is good, because he is one of those writers who is never boring.

^Most of that totally was not constructive criticism at all, but getting lots of feedback is a good thing for writers, I suppose. I really should say that I enjoyed that tremendously. I'd hate to blow it out of proportions, but you write so well and so funnily. Yeah. There's no other way to say it. I just enjoyed that a lot. "Thanks for sharing" sounds so dumb, but thanks for sharing.

jenibo said...

Hey Hayley,

I was just wondering, I mean, you don't have to do anything you don't want to, and I'd totally understand if you'd rather pass, but I posted a really short story on my blog the other day too, and I was sort of hoping that you could, like, read it and possibly give me some feedback. The story kind of means a lot to me, and I want it to be perfect. It has a ways to go, I know, but it needs a fresh pair of eyes. So, if you'd be willing to help me out a little, I'd be eternally grateful.

Okay. I left a comment here earlier tonight, but I had to come back to read the other comments, too. I feel the need to defend your story. In my head. I like it that much.

Thom van Rijckvevorsel said...

I really liked it. Normally I'm not such a short story fan, but this one had me hoping for a part two. I also liked the last one alot. So keep up the good writing!

Anonymous said...

Loved the short story...can't wait to see your work published one day! On an unrelated/Nerdfight-ery note, have you seen these?! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwnFE_NpMsE

Amanda McLoughlin said...

I will be seeing you at 818! I'm performing spoken-word poetry, and I look forward to meeting you (=

Rosanna said...

I may have said this before but I am always really impressed when a girl writes something from a boy's perspective, or vice-versa. I would have no idea where to start, and he would probably end up being the girliest guy ever :)

Anonymous said...

registry cleaner , just wanted to say that Registry Cleaner sites is realy good and Im happy that i found it
I've gotten exposed to quite a lot of computer registry here and just wanted to give my 3 cents. I'm about to write a good article for this forum about
registry cleaner , [url=http://www.registry1000.com/]registry cleaner[/url] and I'll publish it as soon as i complete it.
ahtvniwxnjnjnjnnjaw
registry cleaner
cheers

sugandha90 said...

Honestly, I liked this short story MUCH better than the first one (which was good too, but this is great). I'd definitely like to read more about Cole. I did think that Lindsey was such a typical name for the type of girl you described.

Just a question, from the way Cole talk/thinks, I got the impression that he is a fairly intelligent cool kid, yes? but then, one would think he'd know better than to date somebody like Lindsey.

Anyhow, LIKE :)

(and I'm usually more of a read but not comment, especially since you get enough as it is, but I can understand how scary it must be to share something like your own creative writing pieces with the internet. so thought I'd comment)

sugandha90 said...

Honestly, I liked this short story MUCH better than the first one (which was good too, but this is great). I'd definitely like to read more about Cole. I did think that Lindsey was such a typical name for the type of girl you described.

Just a question, from the way Cole talk/thinks, I got the impression that he is a fairly intelligent cool kid, yes? but then, one would think he'd know better than to date somebody like Lindsey.

Anyhow, LIKE :)

(and I'm usually more of a read but not comment, especially since you get enough as it is, but I can understand how scary it must be to share something like your own creative writing pieces with the internet. so thought I'd comment)

heatherfeather said...

Maybe you could make posting a short story a thing. Like once a week? I have loved both of them so far. I was really excited when I read that you were posting another. I would love to see more!

Foxy Roxy said...

I found a tiny grammar mistake. Alicia says "...but I’m a tiny bit drunk, so I’ll got for it." Unless this is some phrase I'm just not familiar with, which is definitely plausible, or you just wanted that character to be stupid because she's drunk anyway, in which case my correction doesn't matter and I'm making an ass out of myself.

I normally skip over all of my blog readers short stories. Not because I think I'm above them or I'm not interested. I usually am 1) pressed for time and they tend to run longer than blogs or 2) when I do have time to read them I am left disappointed because I don't get the whole story. I hate leaving things unfinished. That being said, I DID read this story and none of the above applied. I loved it! It was perfect in all ways! I've never heard a story with this kind of plot before, so it was invigorating and fresh. Thanks for sharing it with us! I truly am in love with your writing and envy your talent with every bone in my body. I'm so sad August is almost over!!

Adrienne D. said...

I really liked this story. I felt a connection with Cole & wanted to keep reading, although the ending was pretty perfect. I find that I'm a hard to please reader, not because I want to be, but because I just can't get into a story that doesn't grab me, that I can't see in my head & feel like I'm there watching it happen...this story took me there. You are so talented & I look forward to reading more of your work.

Lewis Howlett said...

Oh, wow. Hayley, I LOVED this :) You really are a natural author. The voice of your protagonist was so believeable and real; it was so engaging! I really couldn't find a single bad point in your writing style and I'd certainly want to hear the rest of Cole's story. I know that you'll be published one day. I kind of get a sense of John Green's writing style in this piece. I have to say I prefered it to the last one, (which I also loved.) You MUST get published.

Anonymous said...

I usually dont read your stories because they are kinda long and i'm really busy, but i read the first paragraph of this one and i couldnt stop. I read the whole thing and was sad when it ended. I wouldve liked to see what would have happened next,

Is cole a type of holden? you know, the hat, the hates life attitude. very catcher in the rye- esque

Anonymous said...

You and Kristina make pretty, pretty words. make more.

nela said...

I like the way that you finish the story. I got to the last paragraph thinking "it shouldn't end NOW" and then you resolve the plot in a sudden, unexpected way, that suits just perfectly the moment. Awesome.

Ali said...

You're one of the only blogs I keep up with, and I love both your short stories. I know you may think you have a while until you can publish one of your novels, but I can't wait until the day comes when there's a book written by "Hayley G. Hoover" on my bookshelf right next to John Green and Maureen Johnson (I'm not much for aplphabatizing, or spelling).

Thank you, and please please keep posting short stories!

nerdy_writer_girl said...

It's a great story. One day, you shall be amoung the ranks of John Green and Other Great Authors because you got this thing called Talent.

Paige said...

That. Was. AMAZING!!!! Oh Hayley, you are the female equivalent of John Green. And I know that you don't think that, but you are fooling yourself if you don't.
You seriously should consider publishing a book as soon as possible. Pretty Please?

Kai said...

WOWZAA!
Haha, I don't think anyone uses that word. ever. But, that was such a unique story that I couldn't help but feel completely enthralled, and then disappointed when it inevitably came to a close.

Olivia said...

I honestly like a lot of things about the way you write. I love the concept of some poor, naive teenage boy getting screwed over by the American reality TV empire, and by an innocent-seeming girl (I think every young boy has to fall for one "those" girls eventually). I LOVE the way he handled the situation, becoming a temporary recluse over something that probably didn't actually surprise most of Lindsey's girl friends. I like that you don't journal, you actually write (unless you had some unknown reality TV girlfriend you never told us about. Was it Nicole Polizzi aka "Snookie"? Don't worry, I think we all feel a little cheated on by her). Also, it lacked pretension, which is a feat for young writers ( like me :)). It had a really clear message which is good but can be a little boring and unsatisfying (but I think in this case it suits the story). I want more short stories from you! :) Have you ever written for competitions or anything like that?

Olivia said...

I also wanted to ask you (in case you're in need of blog ideas) if you'd post any healthy food recipes/ideas you've come up with. It would be so appreciated :). Your veggie burger-on-lettuce instead of bread idea was one I would've never thought of but I tried it and it's yummy.

Tahni said...

That was a good story. I liked the ending and the Alicia MacDougall character. I'd wanna here the rest of Cole's story!

I was also able to follow the story pretty well so good job on that part!

Caroline said...

I loved this story! It was interesting and immersive and a bit John Green-ish :)
I can't wait til you have a book published and I can buy it and tell everyone that I know you, even though I only feel like I do.

Elisabeth said...

I really enjoyed this story, it was well written and I liked the main character. I think this one was better written than the previous one you posted (although that one was great too!).

I'm not sure about the ending though, it seemed like a rather abrupt ending. That said, looking at the above comments a lot of other people seemed to really like the ending, so maybe it's just me.

Kelly said...

I think I liked this one even better than the first one. The other story felt very much like a short story to me, where this one felt more like just one small piece of something bigger. I like Cole, too. My one note would be that if he was watching the show as it aired, the girl would already be back home, because it would have been finished filming months before.

Today I tasted: A delicious taco salad.
Today I saw: This amazing blog: http://newdressaday.wordpress.com
Today I heard: A really romantic story from a guy at work about how he's trying to woo a girl that he was in love with twenty years ago.
Today I smelled: Bear stuffing.
Today I touched: An emory board. I had to file mine today, too, cause I broke three, count 'em, three nails at work.

Bel said...

I thought I would have no patience to read the whole thing, but as it turns out, it grasped my attention all the way through.
And it is really good, Hayley. Personally, I'm not much of a short-stories fan, because everything seems a little predictable, due to the shortness; but it really got me interested in reading the whole thing. And the ending was really sweet...

Saw: that my friend posted a video of me singing on facebook, which I totally didn't want everyone I knew to see, so it took me for EVER to private all of my videos.
Heard: my alarm clock and wanted to die.
Touched: ice-cold oranges
Smelled: morning.
Tasted: freshly squeezed orange juice : )

Beth said...

I liked your story. You often talk about writing, so it is really nice to see the stuff you write.

I don't normally do this bit but:

Today, I saw: A whale give birth.
Well, sort of. I didn't realise until I saw it on the news later that it had been giving birth, but still, it was pretty awesome to see a whale (and later a calf!).

VTBurninator said...

Oh HGH I could never skip a story of yours....they're like that elusive hot chick at a party that keeps making eye contact with you, you're convinced she's in love with you and in the end, you're the one head over heels...I dunno if that made any sense, I didn't sleep so well last night...ugh Florida heat is killing me and my gf left for a month so my bed seems really empty.

Loved the story, love Cole and Alicia (of course). Have fun at Haus o' Situation!

Kaitlynn said...

I think you are a good writer. You have a clear, natural voice and I think if you were to write something to compliment that voice you would be amazing. However the characters did not feel real as I don't think your writing style works well with them. And your male perspectives to me do not feel real. You once said you hoped to be as good as John Green. Remember John Green always writes from a male perspective about things he knows about or has experienced. I think you could be fanatastic if you would do the same.

Anonymous said...

"That terrible mood of depression of whether it's any good or not is what is known as The Artist's Reward."

-Ernest Hemingway

I liked it :)

Sara said...

I really enjoyed this story! You have a really great writing style and sense of humor. And the end was great. Don't you ever stop writing!

Chelsea said...

You can so totally do this. You can write novels for a living. You have *it*, your writing has that something, and it inspires me so much.

I will always be grateful to you for sharing even just the tiniest slice of yourself with the world, because I honestly believe I've become a better person as a result. I can relate to you, and that is invaluable.

Manuel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Manuel said...

Great story! But enough with short stories! Write a freaking book! :)

Miranda said...

oh man! that was amazing! you left me wanting more! can you do a continuation or something? it was so original.

apples_and_pancakes said...

I'm pretty late with this, but as they say better late than never, right? Some people say that they read every comment, and I believe that they read every comment on their latest blog. What if, though, you got a new comment on something that you posted in 09? Would you even know that it existed?
Anyway, I too am LGBT friendly and I understand why you used that language. It's the same with swear words. You have to be realistic.
Criticism makes me uncomfortable, but you welcome it right? So Lindsey is kind of a shallow bitch, and is described as looking like a super model with blond hair and a pout. When I was reading, I couldn't help thinking "does she have a fake tan and fake boobs as well? Is she a size 0? Was she a cheerleader in high school?" God, that doesn't even look like a real criticism, but it bugs me when in fiction (or in Taylor Swift songs) there's the conventional hot but shallow girl, and the unconventionally hot deeper relatable girl. Hopefully that makes sense.

Energy Audit said...

This was another short story that was one of my favorite stories. I was enjoying very much while reading your story.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I was amazed by this story! I think it's really good, it's so funny and witty. I really like your style! I would definitely read your novel, especially with this character. It's so interesting that you write from a male point of view. And I really like how you describe a lot of details, I like it when I can imagine the whole thing in my head (if that makes sense :p). I wish I could write stories like that!

x A Belgian fan

Jazmelody said...

I really, really wanted to read on. I actually said (almost out loud), "NO! I WANT MORE!" Haha. I really enjoyed it.

kira902k said...

love. love. love.

chennai female escorts said...

This post is looking very informative. The key point of this post is its valuable information. After reading this post any one will get some very important points which are only helpful even precious also. I use to visit the post of many different kinds but it is the first time when I am fully satisfied. Now a days people are in to the habit of making posts. I think it would be a good inspiration for them.

Anonymous said...

I really liked the first sentence and that you continued the same theme throughout. Though some of it was cliche, for the most part it was relatable. The adjective "cute-like" seemed like a stretch especially when your character's voice was so brass and sarcastic. I liked both Anthony and Cole's characters, though sometimes Cole seemed suspended in his dimensions, an image rather then 'person'. It was written in a very modern style which was relishable!

Keep it up!