Not to Write… But Already Written…
When you are as prolific as I am, and combine that with just enjoying the writing, not caring about the publishing that much, you end up with strange things happening. I know that those writers who think everything they write is golden have trouble understanding this concept, but I flat lose stories.
Smith’s Monthly Magazine, when I started it, was supposed to be a place where I could slowly, over years, gather all my stories together, one novel and four or five short stories per issue. And I did that for 44 issues just fine until life roles stopped the process. Now I am putting together new issues of Smith’s Monthly Magazine to restart this winter, so I am paying attention to my stories. I even have spread sheets of the stories in the magazine. And a list of stories that I can put into an issue.
Now, I am also trying to get some exercise by unpacking boxes of books for an hour every day down in the new WMG Office here in Vegas. The books I am unpacking are extra copies of Kris and my published books and stories. About 140 banker boxes full. Maybe more.
This afternoon I unpacked a few boxes of books that had our short stories in them in Daw or Baen or Tor anthologies. One anthology, edited by Martin H. Greenberg in 1999 had Kris’s name on the cover with Robert Silverberg and a few others. I didn’t recognize the book and wondered why we had four copies of it, so I glanced at the table of contents to see if Kris had forgotten the story and there under Kris’s story I had a story as well. No memory of the story. (No surprise on the memory.)
So I took a copy back up here to my office and it was not on my brag shelf either, so I looked it up in my spread sheet and I did not have it in Smith’s Monthly.
So for the first time in a long time, I actually read one of my own stories. I have no memory of writing the story, but it is a science fiction nursing home story with just a few trappings of a shared game world that the book was about that will be easy to switch out. Pages and pages of depth with a focus on smell to start it as well.
In essence, I found a really good story that had been lost in an anthology for 21 years.
I did a quick search for the Word file, no luck finding it yet. But the story is worth putting in Smith’s Monthly coming up, even if it has to be typed back in.
So a day of discovery.
For writers like me, really fun. Although to have this kind of fun, you have to be scary prolific year-after-year-after-year, have a bad memory, and a tracking system that sucks.
But still a thrill. Wonder what else I’m going to find as I unpack all those boxes of books?