I had the happy surprise last week of finding a bunch of my old manuscripts stored in a box. How old? Well, most of them are dot matrix prints, some even on that tractor feed paper. Among the files of old poems were several things I’d totally forgotten I’d written: a long poem, two incomplete novel manuscripts, and three short stories. Some of this material could work as new books: a poetry collection and a short story collection.
The long poem centers on my character Jean Savage, who features in my novel, Savage Night, and several stories published in that same collection. Jean is sort of an anti-establishment figure who uses magic, sex, and violence in her mission of self discovery and rebellion. I also wrote a few poems with her in them, four of which made it into my collection Spells of Coming Day. Looking through the sheaf of old poems in the box, I realized there were more Jean Savage poems than I remembered. Ideally, there are enough for a short book. The long poem, Jean Savage Magic, seems pretty good on first read, so I’m hopeful the others will hold up as well.
The discoveries set me off in search of more complete poetry print outs, and I eventually located the notebooks where I had put everything. Then I searched for the backup discs, so I wouldn’t have to retype all this stuff. I couldn’t find any CDR backups that included these items, so I started looking at old floppy discs. I still have a pile of 3.5″ and 5″ floppies, and an auxiliary reader for the smaller ones.
One of the 3.5″ discs had a bunch of old poetry files, so I’ve been able to copy the short Jean Savage poems. But the long one continues to elude me. Maybe it’s on one of the other discs. The search continues.
The stories are from a series I did around the theme of “sex in space,” which Ducky Doolittle was supposed to publish in the 1990’s. One of the stories made it into my collection, Savage Night and Other Stories, but the remaining ones didn’t make it because they were hidden away.
I’ve been trying to keep my manuscripts organized as I write and publish them, particularly as I’ve been going back and revising stuff for publication. Looks like I still have a ways to go before everything is in order.