Some of you may remember me mentioning losing a journal a while back; as with most things in my life, “lost” turned out to mean “somewhere in the apartment that I will never think of” (in this case, neatly tucked into the pocket of the long wool coat that I only wear to fancy events). I thought I would celebrate by running through a laundry-list of all the things that I lost, and have now found again — this should also give you a good picture of how my journals are (un)organized for day-to-day use. For example, the Fall 2009 journal:
– Fourteen pages of unbroken draft: a short story about post-apocalyptic drifters who make a living catering to a fashion market hungry for pre-apocalyptic clothes, especially anything “Made in China” or other places now inaccessible and mostly-mythical.
– Three pages of re-written start for the same story.
– Ten pages of draft for the “operatic” story, in its very early form; not much similarity to the current version beyond setting.
– Two pages that I think were the first writing I ever did on the somewhat dark, fairy-themed youth-fantasy story that I’m now working on very seriously, which also bear very little similarity to the current form.
– Two more pages of re-writing the same first scene of the fairy story.
– A page-long “Use This Somehow” scribble; these are just occasional flashes that pop into my head as good writing, but totally unrelated to anything I have going on.
– Another UTS scribble: “He stood in indecision, unable to determine whether his legs were colder than his feet and therefore he should put his pants on before his socks, or vice versa.” We’ve all been there, right?
– Ten pages of re-written “operatic” story, from the beginning.
– Seven pages of another from-the-beginning rewrite of same.
– Four pages of continuation of the fairy story, picking up where the last listed draft left off.
– Fourteen pages of draft starting a story set on the mythical “Wabash Cannonball,” the hobo train built by Paul Bunyan’s brother and serving the “Eastern Michigan, Ireland, Jerusalem, and Australia” line. Still a setting and idea that I want to return to, but I’m leery of adding more to my plate right now.
– Two scribbled reminders to post random observations that popped into my head onto my old LiveJournal, back-to-back, one of which I did.
And then I lost it for two months, give or take. Keep in mind that I use small journals, so a “page” is only a quarter-page or so of typewritten text; do the math and you can see that the output into these things is not ferocious. Mostly they’re just for scribbling in on the go, waiting for someone at a bar or whatever, so it’s often more of a sketched reminder or a very fast draft that helps me get the plot onto the page before I forget it at the expense of the language, which I can fix later. The various things listed above aren’t separated by anything more glamorous (or helpful) than a couple of horizontal lines slashed across the page; sometimes there will be a double line in the middle of one of them, indicating that I stopped writing for a while and started right where I’d left off. The cover says “Fall 2009″ in really faded ink (it’s not a material that takes ink well, apparently; I’ve re-written it about five times and it’s still super-pale), but beyond that there’s no dates or times.
But it was fun to revisit, and there’s some things in there that I’ll still put to use — the “operatic” and fairy stories have both progressed into different enough creatures that I don’t need the drafts of them, but I’ll revisit others. The fashion-hunting one in particular has the possibility to turn into a nice, creepy, running-from-radioactive-mutants bit of pulp if I stick my tongue good and hard into my cheek, which, again, I hope to do when I’ve got the current project load cleared up a bit. Stay tuned!