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blacbird
02-21-2011, 11:24 AM
I have a big ancient wooden desk, inherited years ago from a university department that was throwing it away. It was old even then, and had been damaged slightly in a fire, which didn't affect its utility. I love it because it has voluminous drawers in which I can throw shit and forget about it. Well, I decided to edit the thing this weekend, and today came upon a vast pile of rejections I had squirreled away in the rear caverns of two separate drawers.

As I am seriously contemplating some new submissions, after more than a year of not doing so, this development did not help.

I also found eight or ten boxes full of floppy disks, the 5 1/4" ones that actually flop. They are now in a trash bag, ready for disposal. I'm keeping the rejections, mainly because they alert me about whom I've already sent stuff to.

artemis31386
02-21-2011, 11:54 AM
If your sending out new submissions, the old rejections don't really matter. Chances are, the people who rejected you aren't even going to remember you, especially with new material.

blacbird
02-21-2011, 11:57 AM
I forgot to mention Amelia Earhart.

Ken
02-21-2011, 04:32 PM
... why toss out the floppy disks if there are stories on them? Getting files off them wouldn't be impossible. I'm sure there must be places you could send them to that would convert the files to a disk or whatnot.

With me, I keep stuff that appears to have value. Not everything does and I have chucked out a portion of stuff. And the things I've kept have sometimes turned out useful.

So yeah; your advice stands.

Broadswordbabe
02-21-2011, 05:02 PM
You found Amelia Earhart in your desk? How's she looking?

I found an old rejection for a novel recently - the First Terrible Trunk Novel, which I eventually stopped sending out because I realised it was...well...dreadful. But the rejection was actually a nice, personal one that gave me encouragement about my writing, if not about that book; and was probably one of the reasons I was able to put it aside and write the next one. It also made me realise that actually both my writing and my ability to analyse it have improved. So, finding old rejections may not always be a bad thing.

But that was in a random folder, not my desk. Clean that out? Dear Goddess, no. I dread to think what's in there. There could be velociraptors for all I know.

Maryn
02-21-2011, 06:49 PM
If you might want what's on the floppies, put an ad on Craigslist or similar: Seeking someone like Maryn, who has every computer she ever owned, all in operating condition, to turn my 5.25" floppies into CDs or put then on a flash drive.

Seriously, if you lived here, I'd do it. Especially if you volunteered to tote the old computer from the basement to a power source where I could set it up. And promise me no spiders came with it.

I bet there are numerous people where you are who have the equipment and might do it for very little, maybe even nothing.

Maryn, who's seen her computer models in computer museums

Shadow_Ferret
02-21-2011, 06:59 PM
I have stories so old I'm betting the editors that originally read them are dead now. So to any magazine I sent them to back then (if still in business) it'll be a new story to their editors.

In other words, I'm dusting off my old stories and marketing them like new, too.

But I do keep my old paper rejections. I think I'll make a collage of them the day I finally make a significant sale and see my career take off.

Bwahahahahaha! I hurt myself laughing. That was too funny.

SaraFMC
02-21-2011, 07:01 PM
Floppies! I just gave up and tossed a bunch of 3.5 ones. The big ones went long ago, but I don't have such nice big drawers. Looks like people sell them on Ebay.

For the rejections - I now am into the mindset of collecting them. And collecting good stories about rejected authors. Stephen King apparently had a big spike for spiking all his rejections for Carrie. I'd like a spike.

Rose English
02-21-2011, 07:05 PM
As I am seriously contemplating some new submissions, after more than a year of not doing so, this development did not help.

Yes it did. It reminded you that you've done this before, survived and can do it again.

Libbie
02-21-2011, 08:28 PM
They're OLD rejections. For old work.

AlwaysJuly
02-21-2011, 10:05 PM
An obvious corollary here would be, never go looking through your e-mail inbox. Somehow I once ended up re-reading my old rejections received through e-mail and saved. Really, once is enough.

Susan Littlefield
02-21-2011, 10:14 PM
I have old rejections, and even recent ones. I love them. At least now the rejections are fewer when I do submit something.

Every writer has a lot of rejections. You, me, and other writes are no different in that respect. ;)

blacbird
02-21-2011, 10:52 PM
... why toss out the floppy disks if there are stories on them?

Oh, I could get files off them. I have a little external drive thingy that still works. But I don't need to. Anything I had on them has long ago been transferred to hard disk, backed up elsewhere. I haven't lost anything.

Jamesaritchie
02-22-2011, 01:10 AM
For good or ill, I clean out my desk and file cabinet on a regular basis, and everything in it I don't need gets tossed.

I made the mistake of neglecting on file cabinet for several years, and found a whole package of carbon paper it it. The relatively young probably won't even know why writers used to need carbon paper. But that taught me a lesson, and now I clean and toss regularly.

Ken
02-22-2011, 01:25 AM
Anything I had on them has long ago been transferred to hard disk, backed up elsewhere. I haven't lost anything.

... ah, that's cool. Didn't know you'd already transfered them.

blacbird
02-22-2011, 01:34 AM
... ah, that's cool. Didn't know you'd already transfered them.

I don't do everything stupid.

artemis31386
02-22-2011, 01:48 AM
I forgot to mention Amelia Earhart.


That is awesome. Did you also find the Lindenberg Baby

Susan Littlefield
02-22-2011, 01:55 AM
For good or ill, I clean out my desk and file cabinet on a regular basis, and everything in it I don't need gets tossed.

I made the mistake of neglecting on file cabinet for several years, and found a whole package of carbon paper it it. The relatively young probably won't even know why writers used to need carbon paper. But that taught me a lesson, and now I clean and toss regularly.

Oh, I remember carbon paper, and those odd computer cards where everything stored on it was in these strange little squares (this was BEFORE the big floppies), and when they only made vinyl records. The good old days! :D

Ken
02-22-2011, 01:57 AM
... I don't thing you do anything stupid. Seriously. You're an intelligent guy and I'm sure most here would agree with that. All I was doing was trying to be helpful, up above. I figured you might have had stories on the floppies you'd just decided to chuck without saving and I was encouraging you not to do that. Guess I didn't word that as well as I might have.

Matera the Mad
02-22-2011, 06:57 AM
I have a whole house like that. Only thing I haven't found yet is a dead penguin under something.