So last year, when I still used Myspace, I had started retyping some of the short/flash fiction I had written back when I was 19-20. I would correct any grammar and punctuation issues then post them on my blog as an exquisite form of self-torture. I only managed to post two or three such pieces before I all but abandoned Myspace, but in reading some of the works that didn’t even make it to the re-typing file I can say I am pretty glad that the effort stopped early.
I am an optimist at heart (though you may not think that from reading my fiction) and so I look at these nearly twenty year old snippets and tell myself, “wow, look how much further along I am now as opposed to then.” The self critic inside of me kind of laughs at this notion, but in all honesty I think I have gotten better in the last fifteen years and I can only think that I would have made even more progress by now if I had been more consistent in my efforts.
What brings all of this up is that I had a brainstorm yesterday. Now keep in mind that this brainstorm of mine made me feel singularly stupid for having not thought of it long ago, but my brilliant thought was to use a scanner and OCR technology to scan these old stories so that I wouldn’t have to re-type them. Finally I can digitize all of the work I have only in paper format without having to go through the odious task of typing. I am a pretty speedy typist for a hunt and pecker (probably not the best choice of word here but if the shoe fits right?), but I am the worlds slowest transcriber, which probably contributed to the short lived project named earlier.
Now before you start backing away and heading for that escape key let me say that I have absolutely no intention of posting the horrors I put to paper nearly two decades ago. I will however scan them, edit them and file them away for potential future use as the basis for something considerably better. I am sure that some of the pieces are very much unrecoverable, but you never know right. I’m a bit of a pack rat too, so getting rid of anything, no matter how bad much it might need to head to the recycle bin goes against my nature (no…I’m not a hoarder…moving twice in two years helped cure me of that possibility), so they will sit in my archives, waiting, silently plotting the day when they will rise up and take their day in the sun.
As long as they don’t bring my poetry up with them we should all be okay.
So how about you? Do you have an archive filled with abandoned works? Have you ever shared them?
- Using Microsoft Office Document Imaging OCR Text (brighthub.com)
- Google Docs and OCR (365tomythesis.com)