Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Lost Stories

In the disorganized mess of my house, I lost parts of two stories that were almost done, two stories I liked a lot.  One was a sci fi story that I conceived of in college (yes, 20+ years ago) but didn't have the courage, stamina, whatever, to finish it.  It's a sci fi story with a female protagonist.  I wrote the beginning of it in a notebook over a year ago.  I have no idea where it is - maybe lurking somewhere with our lost Kung Fu Panda DVD. 

I also lost two chapters of a story about my grandparents.  It's fiction, but the lost chapters are based on my real grandparents and the day I visited them just before my grandma died.  I cried in public when I wrote the last few words and stashed it somewhere so I could pick it up again when it hurt less, when I could write it without crying out loud.  I have no idea where I put it and have cleaned my house several times over looking for it. 

A couple of weeks ago when I was desperately looking for my cell phone and my husband's car keys, I found the notebook I thought the stories were in. I was wrong.

Before I lost these chapters, I was a huge fan of writing in notebooks, writing old school the way we used to in college (for those of us that are 40-something or older).  I like to write on paper, but it is not good if you write something you love and then lose it.

So lately I've taken to writing in a notebook if I can't take my laptop with me.  As soon as I get home and find some quiet, I type up the chapter or story and save it on my laptop.  I do backups onto a USB device once in a while and save one in my fire safe or in my car.  During the threats of tornadoes repeatedly this spring, I brought my laptop down to the basement with me as if it were my child.  My husband urges me to save my work on our home network (we are nerds with a full data center in our basement), but logically the servers would go the same way my laptop would if there were a fire, tornado, or robbery.

Yes, the stories are in my head and could be reproduced, but it would be depressing to have to try.  Today I declare my two lost pieces no longer MIA, but completely deceased, dead, gone.  Lost forever.  I mourn them today but will start recreating them tomorrow or the next day, just as soon as I get a solid hour to myself.  I hope that's tonight or tomorrow.  I haven't written seriously in three weeks.  I am starting to crave it.


  1. I e-mail my stories to myself. Just in case I loose my computer or USB drive. Never know.

  2. That's tough. I copy to a thumbdrive and email myself and a friend my latest.

    I broke my favorite coffee mug today. I'm mega bummed. :-(

  3. So sorry you lost your stories Tonja. The sci-fi college story sounds interesting. Maybe you'll still be able to piece it together. As for the story about your grandparents, it's so sad that you started it right before your grandmother died, but it's wonderful that she knew you cared enough to write about her. Hopefully, your family will be able to help you restore it. Good luck with both stories. Julie

  4. @Shelly and M Pax - I'm glad I'm not the only one backing up my stuff more than one way.

    @Empty Nester - My grandma's been gone for a long while, but the chapter of my story was about that time when she was dying. I won't forget it, so I can write it again. And I am excited about the sci-fi - I think I have it all worked out in my mind.

  5. Sorry your work went missing! I still write in notebooks, but once it hits the computer, I back up my work in several places. Can't be too careful!