Saturday, 19 September 2009

Onwards and Forwards

Anyone who knows me will know that I rarely venture into the garage for eight legged reasons.

After my clear out in here the other day my thoughts turned to the files out there and I sent my trusty sidekick on a mission to find said files.

He made several trips and the chair behind me sagged under the weight of at least two dozen folders, a box file, a ring binder and two of my dad’s old desk diaries.

My new shredder has been busy. It’s a huge improvement on the old one and doesn’t throw a wobbly if I put in more than three sheets or have it going for more than five minutes.

There are several correspondence files. I kept every acceptance (and a few helpful rejection letters) from the 1980s onwards. Most of them have been shredded, but I read through them first and I’ve kept a few of the special ones.

I found four novels. One about the English Civil War (kept that but shredded the two carbon copies and the original draft), a horror, a children’s book and some kind of saga I don’t even remember writing. There’s a letter from a publisher about a book I wrote for children with a fantastic title – if only I could find the book – or even remember what it was about.

There are the notes I made about Native Americans and their customs and the early settlers in America for a 120,000 word novel I wrote for a competition. Where the novel is, I have no idea.

My husband used to tell me never to chuck anything I wrote away and he used to hide the stuff I gave him to take to the tip. But there were things I got past him that he was unable to rescue. Silly me.

I’m not bothered about all the hundreds of short stories I’ve shredded, but I wish I’d kept the books. Ah well, never mind. There’s always something new to work on, new ideas, new inspiration.

Onwards and forwards and all that . . .


  1. I reckon your husband is right about throwing things out - you shouldn't!

  2. I'm always afraid to throw any of my writing out. I did it by mistake last Novemeber and chucked out the only copy of a chairman's challenge at my writing group which I had come second in so it didn't make it into the anthology! Lesson learnt. Thing is, the chairman's challenge had the title 'Gone With The Wind.' Quite apt I thought!

  3. Just look how I've spelt November! No wonder I can't get any of my short stories published! Have you still got that plank, Teresa?!

  4. Aww isn't he great? Wish I had a husband who'd hide my work on me :D

  5. Being of the I.T. world all my stuff is on disc as I only started writing a few years ago. But I am no way near a prolific writer as you are. You truly must love it to keep up such a volume of work. My husband chucks out stuff quite regularly and it has been a bone of contention in the past but he'd never throw out anything that looked like my writing although perhaps he ought to! Since ge discovered Ebay at least I can see what he is up to and remove anything I want to keeo! Really he is good for me as he keeps me ordered. Your man seems like a diamond just like mine is.

  6. I wish I'd listen to him, Patsy!

    Oh Julie it's even worse when you've done it by mistake. Gone with the Wind - yes very apt! (November - I didn't even notice!)

    Trouble is he hides everything, Lacey - our garage is like a walk in skip!!

    MOB - I put loads of stuff on disc and the buggers all corrupted so now if I make disc copies I always do two just in case.
    A diamond - sometimes, but I shan't tell him that!

  7. Such a shame about the books - and about the short stories - but someone as prolific as you would need several mansions to keep copies everything. I remember reading a biography of Georgette Heyer - she lived in a flat and so had no room to keep anything.

    Your hubby sounds lovely.


  8. All of my stuff lives electronically on my computer, so I was pretty hysterical a few weeks ago when my computer died. I did have everything backed up on a memory stick, but I kept thinking, 'What if I lose the memory stick or it gets corrupted?' I used to keep a hard copy of everything until I ran out of room!

  9. Ah well, Suzanne it's a lesson learned. The books weren't publishable but I'd have liked to see them again just out of interest.

    Aargh - I know how you feel Helen. I had a computer that died and it took a book I'd been working on for months as well as a load of other bits and pieces and I had no back ups at all. Heartbroken I was. It's a good idea to use a memory stick - easier than copying onto discs - I might do that.

  10. I think it's great that you've got your old stuff but can't believe you don't remember that 120,000 word novel!

  11. I have a brain like a sieve, Tam.

  12. I threw out so much stuff when we moved 'down size' five years ago. It was a difficult time, and I was very stressed about the whole thing and so sure I wouldn't have room for any furniture, never mind 'junk' in the new place, I was far too ruthless. I have been 'missing' things ever since and regretting getting rid of them!

  13. It's the worst time to be getting rid of stuff when you're stressed isn't it, Olivia.