I have a cave filled with secrets - my own warm dark place inhabited with stories - stories that I remember with fondness and a knowing shake of my head. They are my earliest attempts at writing books. And the cavern where they are stored is an ancient dos based word processing program called WordStar.
Sometimes I get the urge to go into my cave and read my stories. I feel curious about them. Were they any good? Should I leave them there to rot? Or can I pull one up and revise, revise, revise and then submit to an editor?
Well, I am about to find this out. Last week I visited my cave. I copied an entire book off the WordStar wall and pasted it into my Word program. I did this with the help of a convertor that knew how to speak the ancient tongue of Word Star as well as the language of Word.
It did a good enough job I suppose. But it was missing a few key codes. Which means I got my story but some of it was in hieroglyphics. There were extra symbols on every page –well actually, between each paragraph.
So I spent hours deleting symbols – mostly little squares. I tried using search and replace to get rid of them but to no avail. So I did it the long and tedious way. There are, after all, moments in every day when I am a little unfocused and just need something mindless to do!
Going through the manuscript paragraph by paragraph has given me a glimpse into my story. It was kind of fun really – to see how far I’ve come. I did shake my head a little at the immaturity of my writing but I also smiled quite often. Occasionally, I even thought it might have flashes of brilliance.
I am thinking that maybe it can be done. Perhaps a story I wrote 12 years ago can come out of obscurity, squint a little in the bright light of the new millennium, take a deep breath, and submit itself to my more practiced touch.
And so, instead of diving into a brand new writing project I am going to revisit an old one.
I am excited!