Sunday, February 3, 2008

Thirty years later...

My shredder has been busy today.

About 30 years ago, when I was 16, I began a story series which, in time, grew into a giant, sprawling, unwieldy "Epic". It was a sword-&-psi thing in its longest, most finished version. None of it was ever published, although I did send one story around to relatives (which I'd dearly like to have back now, so I can shred 'em). I last worked on it around 1999 or 2000, during my mid-life crisis. That was its (and my) nadir. Since then, it has sat dormant, bound up in several three-ring binders, a couple of photo albums with those sticky pages you can use for pix of any size, and an art portfolio.

Today, it hit the shredder.

I started it long before I got my first computer, handwriting stories, ideas, & outlines in spiral notebooks. Later, I got an electronic typewriter with a two-line LCD display & the stories began to grow past their original boundaries. After I got my first computer, a Mac Plus with a dot matrix printer, the Epic expanded in all directions (it had shown signs of doing that even before the computer came along--the Mac just made it easier & faster). I stuck with it through a number of later computers. The Epic kept growing; I'd solve one problem of logic in a part of the story & launch a whole nest of other problems, which in turn begat more problems. At its lowest point several years ago, I incorporated all sorts of malarky from the things going on in my life at that time, which made no sense and ruined it once & for all. After that period was over, I couldn't even stand to look at the bleedin' Epic, so there it sat on a shelf, silently asking me every so often if I ever planned on fixing & finishing it.

Stories neatly tabbed in three-ring binders, notes on scraps of paper collected in envelopes, outlines, timelines, drawings, sketches, an unfinished graphic novel, costume studies, character lists, histories, photocopies of reference material from various library books, maps, floorplans.... Hours and days and months and years of work.

Poof.

Anybody need a bunch of old three-ring binders?

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