Thursday, August 11, 2016
Of course I was already painfully crawling along transcribing my completed juvenile novel "Elf and Bear." But now I would include ancient incomplete efforts and see what I had. First I collected my dreams. Then I gathered my verses. Diaries, memoirs, and letters made up my half-assed autobiography. And now I am working on short stories, an incomplete fantasy novel, and story notes.
The experience is personally fascinating. I'm watching how my mind worked then, reconstructing my influences and interests, almost as if I were an archaeologist reconstructing a past era. What did I know, and when did I know it? It's like reading the work of a completely different person, albeit one with whom you have a very similar sympathy of emotion and experience. At the same time, I can almost feel it opening up old neural pathways that have been unused for ages.
Most of these tales reached a certain point, and then I was unsure how to proceed. I dropped them, to mull over things a bit, and then never got back to it, distracted by a new idea or simply life, happening. Now that I have a new, rather concrete idea about my mortality, I somehow feel I owe it to the past me and anybody else's possible future interest to get these scribbly pages into a more readable form.
A somewhat pointless exercise, but I find it amusing. And it has already borne some fruit, as it inspired me to write a new short story, and to refurbish an old one and send it off for potential publication.
Meanwhile, I continue turning over the heap, tutting over spelling errors, wincing over terrible accents, wondering how the ubiquity of cellphones and the advancement of computers would affect some of the more "contemporary" stories, but mostly marveling over the ease of writing and even publishing we have now-a-days. If I had had the resources then...! Well, I probably would have had a couple of terribly written books to my name. What I could really use is some of the energy I had in those days.
I'm older, a very little wiser, and much sadder than the boy who wrote these things. And I'm a little envious, and kind of angry with him, too. I wish I could tell him that he should not be so distracted by what he deems his troubles that he can't see the enormous, the irreplaceable, resources and joys at his command. And I'm afraid that is exactly what the me just a little further down the time-line is trying to shout at me, right now. And that I should be listening to him more often.