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Treasures Lost and Found

Don't you hate it when you think you've finished a story draft, go back to it after a while - years in my case - and can only find copies of the story that all end at the same point or before that even?

I wrote a short story I called The Disciplining of Mom. And I am so sure I finished that story to it's amusing ending. I know I did.

Can I find that draft? No. Every copy I hunted up ends in exactly the same spot, or a page before that. Augh!

I remember how it ends. But how I got there has disappeared from my brain. And what often happens when this happens is my brain refuses to try to figure out something else. It wants what I had. Too lazy to attempt to come up with something that could/would probably turn out to be more exciting than the original. Well, it could come up with something better, but it wants the original to base those better scenes off of.

I know I have a couple of scenes where her kids find themselves in situations where they need Mom to rescue them. But - since Mom is being disciplined in a similar manner as they would've been, she can't. And plays that up, as she's actually using this unlikely situation to do absolutely nothing. Except read or knit or whatever she feels like doing during her time of being grounded. The kids had advocated a month at the time and Dad went along with it. Yeah, they all come to realize that Mom's not terribly affected by it, and they're the ones suffering the most.

Now, it's not like I haven't been in this position before - losing a whole manuscript. 30 years ago, maybe more, I lost my novel, Thomasyna, in a move. Lots of stuff disappear in a move. My life has been greatly simplified by this phenomena - phenomenon. Not necessarily in a good way. It took me five years to get my head back into that story. I found three chapters and some notes in a folder tucked away in a box, and began again. Today, that story is far better than it was back then. The first three chapters are pretty much unchanged, particularly the first.

So, I know I can eventually do this one. If I can just get over not finding that complete draft. Boy, that bugs the hey out of me! Maybe, I did it on paper and tossed it. Maybe it's in one of these notebooks I never throw away. Some I've had since the '70s. Do I need that draft that badly? Hmmmm . . . maybe.

In my search through my floppies, CDs and DVDs for this elusive copy of Disciplining Mom, I found a bunch of other gems I'd forgotten I'd done. Gems my son did in school. I'd like to post them to his page on my kids' author site, but he was a trifle gruesome in parts, so I hesitate. They are funny stories about talking frogs. He's a witty guy even now. I wish he still wrote, but alas after he graduated, the prose ended. I have a few of his essays he did for his last two years in high school. None are serious. Okay, maybe one. Maybe. One.

I also found an article from a then sixteen year old girl who used to write articles for young writers for my first website. Also very witty. I'm thinking of republishing it on my present site as well. Not only to encourage kids to write but also to convince them that it's cool to read books in whatever form they come in. It's the story that matters. To me, anyway.

Found other story beginnings I'd done at some point. I can't really recall doing them, but there they are. And they all want to be completed. Nag, nag, nag.

I even found some poems I wrote for the boys' teachers at the end of the year back in their elementary school days. Once they left fifth grade, I left off the poems.

Memoirs of my kidhood surfaced; some written by me, some by my youngest sister. And, one from my younger sister who hates to write. But this scenario proves to me, she could be a great storyteller if she got a Dragon speaking program, or just used a voice recorder if she didn't want to write it. This piece is priceless - once I figured out her spellings of things . . . I can't wait to have a moment to type it into my laptop and polish it. She's probably forgotten she sent it to me. Was probably 20 years ago. I'm going to surprise her with a polished version and do up a cover for it, and toss it up on Amazon to see if anyone would appreciate it. She'd enjoy being a published author, I think!

The one caveat is who she was with at the time. I'll have to change that person's identity drastically. But it's a recounting of his and her canoeing down the Farmington River in CT and all that went wrong that day. Comically written, it makes me wish I'd been there to witness it. I couldn't've done a thing to help them, but I'd've split a gut laughing!

I also found several versions of my third romance which I'm supposed to be working on now. I knew I had one version that had some scenes my brain was hoping not to have to dream up again. And I think I found that. I see it's going to need some work, but at least I have something to work from. Brain is happy with that. Loves a jump off point.

I was hoping to find some more of my long lost photos as well. Like the lilacs I'd love to use for a meme maybe or a poster. I did find some of them, just not the ones I was hoping for. But I fear most of what I'm wishing I could find was lost forever when my desktop hard drive fried. I was in the process of backing it up at the time. Sigh.

Well, I guess I've exhausted this rant. Gonna go work on that cover for Marooned now. I've procrastinated long enough. Hoping to get a cover made soon by someone who has more talent than I do. In the meantime, I need something to represent it now.

Have I mentioned I need to be triplets?


Well, let's just say I've resigned myself to the fact that those lost items are truly gone. I had some great videos of friends and relatives that were poofed away in that hard drive fry. Can't believe it's all gone . . . I'm scarred for life!

Lol! I'll be okay. Really. Especially after I finally write those stories despite and they turn out better than what I had in the first place. It's just pushing myself to do them.

Now, I must push myself to go do the dishes. Where possibly a solution to some story will wash up on the shores of my mind . . . :)

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Anita M Shaw
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