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what do hemen and hemingway have in common? shitty luck, as it turns out

31 Aug

i’ve been on quite the book reading jag lately and yesterday’s selection, the paris wife, is getting to me. it is about hemingway’s first wife, hadley richardson, and their time in paris. this is the same hadley richardson who famously lost ALL OF HEMINGWAY’S WORK on a train out of paris. well, in a bizarre twist of evil sympathetic magic, i seem to have accomplished something similar. not that the comparison between hemingway and i goes much further, but i’ve lost the usb drive that houses all my stories, sketches, scripts and notes from the last few years.

now, knowing me it’s not really lost so much as misplaced in my, shall we say, disheveled room. at least that is the hope. but the fact that it’s missing at all has given my overactive imagination license to do terrible things to me.

of course you can’t lose an idea or a story in the same way you do a physical object, but here’s when a writer’s work on an idea is very much physical object: you are sculpting the raw material of the rough draft into your best version of the story. you cut a word or phrase away or you mold new words onto the structure and by the time you feel done (even if you’re never really done), you have a singular representation of your idea. you lose that object, that well-molded story (well, molded story anyway), and you have done just that. you have lost it. you can write on the same subject, with the same characters, following the same plot, but it won’t be the same. it can’t be and it can’t help it – you are writing a new story.

in a lot of ways this is extremely freeing, though. while there are a few things i’ll be sorry not to see again, there’s also an amount of crap i’ve been puttering with that will have finally been cleared out. nothing to do but start fresh.

and all of this is as good a lead-in as any to the fiction project i wanna start posting. i’ve got characters and a few situations for them but nothing’s truly jelling yet. maybe if i put them up here, together in one place, i’ll see what i’ve been missing (or perhaps someone reading will and be kind enough to clue me in). if nothing else, i know i won’t be able to lose the damned things if they’re posted online!

so, up next: the characters…