I hate to admit it, but I’ve become self-conscious of my opening lines lately. After a certain other blogger mentioned how much he enjoyed my opening lines and some other bloggers commented kindly on my work in the post, I’ve become horribly aware of how pedestrian my recent openings have been. This doesn’t bother me. I write from the hip using a stream of consciousness method that works well for me, but yesterday was the first time it actually crossed my mind to construct a memorable opening line to keep up expectations. Now I’m not sure if this is crass, and tacky, or just incredibly self-centered, but it bothered me. So I did what I do in most other situations like this and went all Post Modern and self-referential, on it. Hence tonight’s post.
Now, onto what I did in Toledo this weekend. I’ve saved hard copies of most of my writing since my very first short story in junior high school. I also have all of the original drafts of the three novels that bore the Lunchbox Hero title. In addition to the hardcopies, I had electronic files for all of the books and most of the short stories which have survived several reformats of my harddrive. But this last time, I was dumping my files to a jump drive and didn’t get the novel files and they were wiped off the harddrive. I was horrified.
What if something happened to the hard copies? I would lose five years of work and a huge part of my identity. I was lamenting this situation to Toledo the last time I was there and she told me about this magical devise they have at her church. Its a copy machine that also acts as a scanner. And even better than that, you can high speed scan files directly into an Adobe pdf and email it from the copier. I was in heaven. So once we got the kinks worked out and figured out what we were doing, we scanned more than 1,000 pages including three novels and one spec script I wrote for FRIENDS. Now they are saved on my computer and offsite so Ill always have access to the beginning of my days as a writer.
What kind of records or old manuscripts do you still have around? Any painful losses? Funny stories?