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Susan Littlefield
08-04-2010, 06:09 AM
Catchy title, huh? :D :evil

Okay, forum buddies, it's time to clean out the filing cabinet (or the desk drawer, or the messy bookshelf, or that box you've pushed under the futon in the office). Writing wise--please tell me what long-forgotten treasures you found?

A few months back, did clean my filing cabinet. I found a novella I would like to revise, several short stories I never sent out, just put away and a bunch of rejections slips AND some acceptance slips.

Oshodisa
08-04-2010, 06:13 PM
I once managed to find a tenner - lain out flat - underneath a wooden pencil case. I had no recollection of when I put it there!!

Does that count.

More recently than that I found a few of the very first storys that I wrote (and forgot about) when I was first starting to consider writing - maybe stuff about 7-8 yrs ago.

That was quite a shock, just at how different my stuff is now to then (although not neccessarily better!)

Susan Littlefield
08-04-2010, 06:18 PM
Thank you, Oshodisa! I wondered if anyone was going to engage here.

I have an entire folder of stuff I wrote while I took a 1 /2 year writing workshop with a published author almost 20 years ago. While I did well in the class, I see all of those stories as practice. It was really fun.

You found a ten dollar bill too? Wow!

Jamesaritchie
08-04-2010, 06:30 PM
I don't keep old manuscripts, but I did find a package of carbon paper a while back. Must have been twenty-five years old. Carbon papers is what we used to make a copy of our stories when writing on a typewriter. Lay down a sheet of paper, place a piece of carbon paper on top, and then another sheet of paper on that. Roll all three into the typewriter and bang away.

It only went wrong when you goofed and placed the carbon sheet wrong side down, so the copy you made was on the back sdie of your story.

I suspect I should have cleaned out my file cabinet several years ago.

Susan Littlefield
08-04-2010, 06:35 PM
James, I remember carbon paper!! Sometimes it got kind of messy, especially if I accidentally rubbed the top, or tried to erase. I also used to use that old erasable paper when I typed.

When I was gong through a chest of childhood things, I found a booklet of poetry that I had written when I was ten through about sixteen, and a short story I submitted as extra credit for goofing off in a drama class, I believe. Still have them--those are old treasures that bring back many memories.

Eddyz Aquila
08-04-2010, 11:50 PM
A poem I wrote when I was 8. It was actually touching, it was about a kid and God.

Phaeal
08-05-2010, 01:14 AM
I found some dramatic monologues I'd written, then translated into German for a class. Heh, I used to get away with writing dramatic monologues instead of critical papers all the time. I did three of them for a Romantic poetry class, another for a Shakespeare class, another for a music history seminar, and another for my Coleridge thesis.

Guess who hated writing critical essays. I guess the profs were just as bored with reading them, and so okayed the DMs. ;)

Cyia
08-05-2010, 01:17 AM
I found some stuff I wrote in high school that wasn't too awful (just need to get rid of that "and then it was all fake" ending... dangit.)

And then there was "Hawaiian Bob" from when I was about five. Apparently I was so proud of myself for learning to spell Hawaiian, it required a story. There's pinapples! And spaceships!

Shakesbear
08-05-2010, 01:21 AM
When sorting through my dads papers after he died - does that count? A photo of my dad taken in a few days before the Battle of El Alamein, October 1942 (?). The date is on the back, but the year has faded. He is with twelve other men in his platoon - all young, all early/mid-twenties. I look at the photo and want to know what happened to the other guys. I want to write their stories - but they will have to be fiction. One chapter per man. I've done a rough plan - but it gets hard sometimes. Dad was so skinny back then!

LilliCray
08-05-2010, 04:14 AM
Every so often, when I go through old stuff, I find a story bit or whatever that I'd completely forgotten about. Invariably, I look at it and think, "Huh. This isn't nearly as bad as I'd expect."

Right now, I have an old novel-bit sitting on my hard drive that I'd like to revive someday. Also other chunks elsewhere, but none I could find without some serious computer search-fu. :D

Susan Littlefield
08-05-2010, 06:41 AM
A poem I wrote when I was 8. It was actually touching, it was about a kid and God.

Precious! In my old poems, I had written one for my brother, who is 6 1/2 years younger than me. I was about 14 or 15 at the time. It was all about how he was growing up and didn't to hang out with his old sis anymore. :D

Susan Littlefield
08-05-2010, 06:42 AM
I found some dramatic monologues I'd written, then translated into German for a class. Heh, I used to get away with writing dramatic monologues instead of critical papers all the time. I did three of them for a Romantic poetry class, another for a Shakespeare class, another for a music history seminar, and another for my Coleridge thesis.

Guess who hated writing critical essays. I guess the profs were just as bored with reading them, and so okayed the DMs. ;)

Just curious- are dramatic monologues along the same lines as screenplays? Do you write screenplays now?

Susan Littlefield
08-05-2010, 06:44 AM
I found some stuff I wrote in high school that wasn't too awful (just need to get rid of that "and then it was all fake" ending... dangit.)

And then there was "Hawaiian Bob" from when I was about five. Apparently I was so proud of myself for learning to spell Hawaiian, it required a story. There's pinapples! And spaceships!

Fun! I have always held onto writing from my childhood. Imagine this- my oldest poem I've written is about 37 years old! Paper is yellowed...folder not in the best of shape.

Susan Littlefield
08-05-2010, 06:47 AM
When sorting through my dads papers after he died - does that count? A photo of my dad taken in a few days before the Battle of El Alamein, October 1942 (?). The date is on the back, but the year has faded. He is with twelve other men in his platoon - all young, all early/mid-twenties. I look at the photo and want to know what happened to the other guys. I want to write their stories - but they will have to be fiction. One chapter per man. I've done a rough plan - but it gets hard sometimes. Dad was so skinny back then!

Oh my gosh, of course this counts! I can't wait to read the stories you create from that photograph. I bet your dad would be proud of you.

Susan Littlefield
08-05-2010, 06:50 AM
Every so often, when I go through old stuff, I find a story bit or whatever that I'd completely forgotten about. Invariably, I look at it and think, "Huh. This isn't nearly as bad as I'd expect."

Right now, I have an old novel-bit sitting on my hard drive that I'd like to revive someday. Also other chunks elsewhere, but none I could find without some serious computer search-fu. :D

My friend found an old novel she had written, in hopes of reviving it. She ended up chucking the entire thing except for one part (chapter or scene, not sure)--she wrote an entire new novel around the small part she kept. It sold.

It's good to revive old stuff and make it better.

Chris P
08-05-2010, 06:58 AM
I recently discovered that I wrote a surprising amount of erotica/porn (think Penthouse Letters) while bored in class during grad school. How did I ever get decent grades being so distracted all the time?

Susan Littlefield
08-05-2010, 07:48 AM
I recently discovered that I wrote a surprising amount of erotica/porn (think Penthouse Letters) while bored in class during grad school. How did I ever get decent grades being so distracted all the time?

Just curious- do you write erotica now?

Chris P
08-05-2010, 07:53 AM
Just curious- do you write erotica now?

Nope. I shy away from it because I've not been able to do it in a way I like; it's either too clinical or too locker-room. My main characters are usually asexual (in the sense that they never have "encounters" and romance is not their motivation).

Susan Littlefield
08-05-2010, 08:28 AM
Chris, it's interesting how we evolve as writers. I don't write poetry or lyrics anymore, and my writing style has improved dramatically since way back when.

semmie
08-05-2010, 10:32 AM
I recently found a 3.5" floppy in some old high school papers. It was labeled "My Story." I've no idea what is on it.

Bartholomew
08-05-2010, 01:31 PM
Oh, God.

The Adventures of Paula Purehart.

Parts of it are even kinda good. But I can't believe I liked that name.

Bartholomew
08-05-2010, 01:33 PM
I don't keep old manuscripts, but I did find a package of carbon paper a while back. Must have been twenty-five years old. Carbon papers is what we used to make a copy of our stories when writing on a typewriter. Lay down a sheet of paper, place a piece of carbon paper on top, and then another sheet of paper on that. Roll all three into the typewriter and bang away.

It only went wrong when you goofed and placed the carbon sheet wrong side down, so the copy you made was on the back sdie of your story.


Thank you, O Writing Gods, for the magic of the modern computer.

Susan Littlefield
08-05-2010, 06:42 PM
I recently found a 3.5" floppy in some old high school papers. It was labeled "My Story." I've no idea what is on it.

I almost forgot about floppy discs! Does any computer even use those anymore? I have an entire box filled with those.

Susan Littlefield
08-05-2010, 06:43 PM
Oh, God.

The Adventures of Paula Purehart.

Parts of it are even kinda good. But I can't believe I liked that name.

How is Ms. Paula Purheart these days? Have you revived her? Or, is she still lying in her coffin?

Jamesaritchie
08-05-2010, 06:50 PM
Thank you, O Writing Gods, for the magic of the modern computer.

Magic in many ways, but often they're black magic, and I'm still rather fond of my old typewriter. Except for changing the ribbons. That was not fun.

semmie
08-06-2010, 04:33 AM
I almost forgot about floppy discs! Does any computer even use those anymore? I have an entire box filled with those.
Mmmm. My mom's computer does. Though, hers is about 9 years old now, I guess.

You can buy a portable floppy drive, though. I have one somewhere. I think.

Jessianodel
08-06-2010, 05:00 AM
And then there was "Hawaiian Bob" from when I was about five. Apparently I was so proud of myself for learning to spell Hawaiian, it required a story. There's pinapples! And spaceships!


I kind of want to read that......

Susan Littlefield
08-06-2010, 05:17 AM
Magic in many ways, but often they're black magic, and I'm still rather fond of my old typewriter. Except for changing the ribbons. That was not fun.

I remember having to change the ribbons too. Sometimes they would bunch up in the back of the part that held the ribbon in place, or they would twist. I really miss having a typewriter. I can't use Q10 on my computer, because the OS is Vista. Man, I miss that click, click, clickity sound!


Mmmm. My mom's computer does. Though, hers is about 9 years old now, I guess.

You can buy a portable floppy drive, though. I have one somewhere. I think.

I had no idea floppy disc drives were even available! It would be interesting to see what's on those floppies.


I kind of want to read that......

I tried to buy it from Cyia, but it was an astounding "NO!"

Bartholomew
08-06-2010, 05:33 AM
Magic in many ways, but often they're black magic, and I'm still rather fond of my old typewriter. Except for changing the ribbons. That was not fun.

Someone gave me a typewriter from the early 1990's a few weeks ago, and I was all excited, because it had a built-in word-processor. PERFECT for rough drafts, I thought--because I could do an on-screen edit, then have it print, and do an on-paper edit--and still have an electronic copy of the document! A dedicated writing machine! The ink ribbon was easy enough to change, and I had several of them, and instructions on how to make them re-usable.

...the goddamn thing won't type a single word without a floppy disk in the drive, and its user-interface is something pulled directly out of hell. I'm sure that, if I looked, I could find someone who sold floppy disks. Somewhere. (and of course, they'd have to be compatible!)

Grrrrrr.


How is Ms. Paula Purheart these days? Have you revived her? Or, is she still lying in her coffin?

She's getting a new name. I've set it aside to work on next. The ideas are jumbled and the scenes are put together in an anti-climatic way--and I have no idea how I thought I was going to tie the plot points together--but some of them, if isolated, could be fun to work with, and might even make compelling fantasy. Gasp.

But yea. New name.

Susan Littlefield
08-06-2010, 06:06 PM
Bartholomew,

I know exactly what kind of typewriter you are referring to! Have you ever typed on a manual Underwood from the 1930's? Grandpa and Grandma had one that my mother and her sisters used all thought high school for papers (the last graduated in 1977). Beyond awesome!

How fun that you are reviving Paula Pureheart!!

Jamesaritchie
08-06-2010, 10:29 PM
I remember having to change the ribbons too. Sometimes they would bunch up in the back of the part that held the ribbon in place, or they would twist. I really miss having a typewriter. I can't use Q10 on my computer, because the OS is Vista. Man, I miss that click, click, clickity sound!


I had no idea floppy disc drives were even available! It would be interesting to see what's on those floppies.



I tried to buy it from Cyia, but it was an astounding "NO!"

I skipped Vista, so I know nothing about it, but I made Q10 work on Windows 7, though it didn't want to at first. Like I said, I know nothing about Vista, but with W7, I had to right click on the install file and then click "Run as Administrator". Once I did this, Q10 installed fine.

Anyway, I know a couple of writers who use Q10 on Vista, so there is some way of installing it.

Jamesaritchie
08-06-2010, 10:40 PM
Someone gave me a typewriter from the early 1990's a few weeks ago, and I was all excited, because it had a built-in word-processor. PERFECT for rough drafts, I thought--because I could do an on-screen edit, then have it print, and do an on-paper edit--and still have an electronic copy of the document! A dedicated writing machine! The ink ribbon was easy enough to change, and I had several of them, and instructions on how to make them re-usable.

...the goddamn thing won't type a single word without a floppy disk in the drive, and its user-interface is something pulled directly out of hell. I'm sure that, if I looked, I could find someone who sold floppy disks. Somewhere. (and of course, they'd have to be compatible!)

Grrrrrr.



She'd getting a new name. I've set it aside to work on next. The ideas are jumbled and the scenes are put together in an anti-climatic way--and I have no idea how I thought I was going to tie the plot points together--but some of them, if isolated, could be fun to work with, and might even make compelling fantasy. Gasp.

But yea. New name.

I owned two standalone word processors, a Smith Corona and a Brother, and a Smith Corona electronic typewriter that sound much like what you describe. I hated all of them.

I came up against a tight deadline and had to print a complete novel on one of them, feeding paper in one sheet at a time. It took thirteen hours and seven ribbons.

For me, a real typewrite may be electric, but it is not electronic. I greatly prefer my 1949 Royal manual. Those elctronic versions, with the sole exception of the IBM Selectric, were a nightmare.

Margarita Skies
08-06-2010, 11:41 PM
Several months ago, when I had just moved back to Puerto Rico, I found one page of a novel that I attempted to write, the very first page, but I couldn't rewrite it, like I do with all the novels I lose, because I printed it with faded ink, without knowing that my printer was running out of ink at the time (twelve years before) and I could hardly read what I had written.

Susan Littlefield
08-07-2010, 04:43 AM
I skipped Vista, so I know nothing about it, but I made Q10 work on Windows 7, though it didn't want to at first. Like I said, I know nothing about Vista, but with W7, I had to right click on the install file and then click "Run as Administrator". Once I did this, Q10 installed fine.

Anyway, I know a couple of writers who use Q10 on Vista, so there is some way of installing it.

Thank you! I am going to try that.

Susan Littlefield
08-07-2010, 04:45 AM
I owned two standalone word processors, a Smith Corona and a Brother, and a Smith Corona electronic typewriter that sound much like what you describe. I hated all of them.

I came up against a tight deadline and had to print a complete novel on one of them, feeding paper in one sheet at a time. It took thirteen hours and seven ribbons.

For me, a real typewrite may be electric, but it is not electronic. I greatly prefer my 1949 Royal manual. Those elctronic versions, with the sole exception of the IBM Selectric, were a nightmare.

I had the Brother word processor. Small screen like the MS Dos, saved to a disc. I love it! When my younger brother gave me a computer in 1994 or thereabouts, I gave the word processor to Grandma. However, I must have had that processor since 1988 or thereabouts.

Susan Littlefield
08-07-2010, 04:46 AM
Several months ago, when I had just moved back to Puerto Rico, I found one page of a novel that I attempted to write, the very first page, but I couldn't rewrite it, like I do with all the novels I lose, because I printed it with faded ink, without knowing that my printer was running out of ink at the time (twelve years before) and I could hardly read what I had written.

Oh man! Do you remember anything about it? Subject matter? Character?

Margarita Skies
08-07-2010, 05:08 AM
Oh man! Do you remember anything about it? Subject matter? Character?


I still have it somewhere, but I think that it was about a man and a woman who have known one another since they were children and they were out of touch since they were ten. Ten years later, they fall madly in love.

Bartholomew
08-07-2010, 05:11 AM
I owned two standalone word processors, a Smith Corona and a Brother, and a Smith Corona electronic typewriter that sound much like what you describe. I hated all of them.

I came up against a tight deadline and had to print a complete novel on one of them, feeding paper in one sheet at a time. It took thirteen hours and seven ribbons.

For me, a real typewrite may be electric, but it is not electronic. I greatly prefer my 1949 Royal manual. Those elctronic versions, with the sole exception of the IBM Selectric, were a nightmare.

I never even THOUGHT about feeding the damn thing paper. Now I'm kind of glad it didn't work. x_X

Jamesaritchie
08-07-2010, 10:04 PM
I had the Brother word processor. Small screen like the MS Dos, saved to a disc. I love it! When my younger brother gave me a computer in 1994 or thereabouts, I gave the word processor to Grandma. However, I must have had that processor since 1988 or thereabouts.

I thought typing on the Brother was really cool, but printing anything really long was a pain, the font wheels wore out quickly, the ink cartridges were ridiculously expensive for how little they printed, and I was more than happy to be rid of mine.

Susan Littlefield
08-08-2010, 05:57 AM
James,

I recall it was very expensive to use the brother. I had to buy ink too. I think this one took the perforated printer paper too, if I recall correctly.

When I was in my writing workshop about 18 years ago, the Brother WP is what I printed my manuscripts out on.

Margarita Skies
08-08-2010, 06:24 AM
Mmmm. My mom's computer does. Though, hers is about 9 years old now, I guess.

You can buy a portable floppy drive, though. I have one somewhere. I think.


I have never heard of a nine-year-old computer before that's still working. Experts tell us all the time that computers aren't made to last more than 5 years. That is one amazing computer if it's lasted this long. What brand is it?

Susan Littlefield
08-08-2010, 07:47 AM
I have never heard of a nine-year-old computer before that's still working. Experts tell us all the time that computers aren't made to last more than 5 years. That is one amazing computer if it's lasted this long. What brand is it?

I don't think I have had any computer over 4 or 5 years. I've had my laptop for over 2 years, and thus far it's the best I've had.

Jamesaritchie
08-08-2010, 10:38 PM
I have never heard of a nine-year-old computer before that's still working. Experts tell us all the time that computers aren't made to last more than 5 years. That is one amazing computer if it's lasted this long. What brand is it?

It's not an amazing computer. Any expert who tells you a computer never lasts more than five years isn't an expert. A slaesman, maybe, but not an expert. I have a fifteen year old HP computer that still works fine, and an eight year old computer that works as well as my brand new one.

Most people get new computers because the old one is outdated, not because it no longer works.

I bought my new one because my old Compaq had a big box monitor, only thirty-five gigs on the hard drive, and 512 Ram. It was just too slow with up to date software, and teh monitor was horrible compared to a new flat screen HD 1080p monitor.

There's a place not far from here that takes in old computers, refubishes them, and then gives them to people who can't aford to buy computers. Eighty percent of the ones they receives still work fine, and some are extremely old.

One reason many computers break down is that uses don't clean them, and they overheat. I pop the case every six months and suck out all the dust. Just doing this helps tremendously.

Rhoda Nightingale
08-09-2010, 03:15 AM
One horrible, horrible space opera that ran on epically, and a load of fanfiction. A lot of fanfiction. Still mostly horror and fantasy--I sent Taylor Hanson to Hell once. That one was illustrated, too.

Margarita Skies
08-09-2010, 05:39 AM
It's not an amazing computer. Any expert who tells you a computer never lasts more than five years isn't an expert. A slaesman, maybe, but not an expert. I have a fifteen year old HP computer that still works fine, and an eight year old computer that works as well as my brand new one.

Most people get new computers because the old one is outdated, not because it no longer works.

I bought my new one because my old Compaq had a big box monitor, only thirty-five gigs on the hard drive, and 512 Ram. It was just too slow with up to date software, and teh monitor was horrible compared to a new flat screen HD 1080p monitor.

There's a place not far from here that takes in old computers, refubishes them, and then gives them to people who can't aford to buy computers. Eighty percent of the ones they receives still work fine, and some are extremely old.

One reason many computers break down is that uses don't clean them, and they overheat. I pop the case every six months and suck out all the dust. Just doing this helps tremendously.


Wow, James, thank you so much. I've learned so much in this post I don't know where to start. I am a huge fan of yours because your posts, directly to me or to another AWer, are very helpful. I can't even begin to thank you, just tell you that I admire you so much. I hope that my current computer works for me eight years from now. If it does, and we get to January 3, 2018, and it's still working, the first thing that will pop into my mind will be you, and this post. A million thanks. You are simply amazing.

Susan Littlefield
08-09-2010, 06:18 AM
One horrible, horrible space opera that ran on epically, and a load of fanfiction. A lot of fanfiction. Still mostly horror and fantasy--I sent Taylor Hanson to Hell once. That one was illustrated, too.

Rhonda, that sounds interesting! I'm guessing the space opera was sci fi? Do you still write this, as well as Fan Fiction?

I think it's great to find old writing, just to see how much we have improved over the years!

Susan Littlefield
08-09-2010, 06:22 AM
James and Magali,

I LOVE my HP Compaq laptop! The only reason I ended up having to get rid of my prior HP laptop, which lasted two years, was because the display monitor went out and there was an internal problem that could not be repaired. The man who looked at my computer for hours on end charged me zero, and I went and bought this HP Compaq for less than what it would have cost to have a new monitor put on the old one-- and then, it would have never worked anyway due to the internal problem!

Gugland
08-09-2010, 08:00 AM
Whilst purging my belongings this last week, I came across "the box". In it are all my embarrassing early writings, from age 18 to about 30, including a day-by-day journal/rantbook of when my stepfather (who I had never met) pried me away from the work I was so immersed in and convinced me to go up to Alberta, because my mother was apparently dying. Turned out she wasn't, he just lured me up there because he couldn't understand how a mother & son could not have a close relationship. Then I had to spend a week traveling around with him, looking at old abandoned farms, while my job 1500 miles away was in complete chaos. Jerk.

But I also found my early rum-stained diagrams for "Combat Frisbees." Yup, I had created a game, staged on tennis courts, where you would use customized frisbees to destroy cardboard buildings on the opponent's side of the net. And yes, they were lethal! Some split into fragments to rain darts down on his "villages", others dropped flaming liquids, and some even dropped flaming darts.

I often wonder if the apartment managers ever figured out how the scorch marks on the tennis courts got there...

Susan Littlefield
08-09-2010, 09:30 AM
Whilst purging my belongings this last week, I came across "the box". In it are all my embarrassing early writings, from age 18 to about 30, including a day-by-day journal/rantbook of when my stepfather (who I had never met) pried me away from the work I was so immersed in and convinced me to go up to Alberta, because my mother was apparently dying. Turned out she wasn't, he just lured me up there because he couldn't understand how a mother & son could not have a close relationship. Then I had to spend a week traveling around with him, looking at old abandoned farms, while my job 1500 miles away was in complete chaos. Jerk.

That must have been incredible to find your old journals like that. Think about it, those ranting would make a wonderful story, with a lot of embellishments of course!! After all, we are told to write what we know.

[QUOTE]But I also found my early rum-stained diagrams for "Combat Frisbees." Yup, I had created a game, staged on tennis courts, where you would use customized frisbees to destroy cardboard buildings on the opponent's side of the net. And yes, they were lethal! Some split into fragments to rain darts down on his "villages", others dropped flaming liquids, and some even dropped flaming darts.

I often wonder if the apartment managers ever figured out how the scorch marks on the tennis courts got there...

Interesting game. Have you thought of developing it into a video game?

Gugland
08-09-2010, 10:08 AM
[QUOTE] That must have been incredible to find your old journals like that. Think about it, those ranting would make a wonderful story, with a lot of embellishments of course!! After all, we are told to write what we know. Yeah, but I wish I would've actually kept journals. I only seemed to write stuff down when I was extremely bored, frustrated, or just downright pissed (both meanings - angry and/or drunk), so what I have is snapshots of mostly bad times.

ETA: But, the Canada trips (I have notes from more than one) were interesting. I was always VERY different than the locals - rebellious young Californian in Moose Jaw, Sask, need I say more? - and it was interesting how I was perceived by them. And how they perceived California. I came to realize that they thought there was a beach, a row of palm trees, a sidewalk with stars & handprints, then Nevada. It was all glitz and glamor to them. They'd be shocked if they ever visited a sewer like Woodland or Modesto!


Interesting game. Have you thought of developing it into a video game?Nah, it was just something I toyed with for a week or two, almost twenty years ago.