Revisiting Past Writing

Sometimes I see a submissions call for works on a theme and I think, I have something like that somewhere. And I scroll through my archives and dust off something old and revise it a little bit before sending it out. Because much of my past writings are short stories that I had to push to make them hit the word count for writing workshops. It seems natural to cut them back down to the flash-length pieces I originally intended them to be.

However, something about the spring weather makes me want to tackle massive projects. So I dusted off something else, something much longer than a short story. It’s a novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo in 2010.

I’ve struggled through many years of NaNo, but this one happened pretty naturally. I’ve even revised the novel a time or two, but it was always a half-ass effort, never knowing for sure what I intended to do with it.

But the story has been sticking in my mind lately, and I decided this is the project I want to take on this spring. And since the novel is actually based on a short story, I wanted to revisit that original work to compare the two.

My dad loved this short story when I wrote it. I was in college, sure I’d be a famous author one day, cut working as a graphic designer to get through school. So I formatted the story into a book layout, designed a cover, printed it, bound it, and gave it to my dad for his birthday. (Yes, I’m cringing that I thought this was a gift.)

And I even made a barcode sticker…

Anyway, now I’m incredibly glad I did that, and that he kept it! Not long ago, I lost all my documents from 2003-2018. Now I have a hard copy of the story I can type and save in a dozen different places. (My dad also saved a few other stories I’d given him to read, so I have those too!)

I re-read the story and actually really love it. I can clearly remember when the idea came to me, but I didn’t remember how I wove the pieces together to make it work. And now, loving the original story so much, I feel invigorated to tackle the novel. And finally do something with it. So that’s where I’ll be for the foreseeable future.

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