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)
0 thoughts on “Forgotten Works”
Sure do, half of a milk crate full sitting, abandoned, in the faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar back corner of my closet! And in the majority of their cases “old time” should definitely by forgotten and “sleeping dogs (see ‘stories’)” let lie to rest undisturbed in weird, sometimes warped, and all too often wacky wordy peace.
By the way, Mr. Eric, check your inbox, I sent you a gift yesterday that I hope will help with the upcoming editing you mentioned you will soon be doing.
blessings to you and yours
I’m good with wacky and warped…especially warped. For me its just hard to read the lack of good description and the like. Some are okay, but others are just monstrous abominations of poor writing…
My poetry is a whole other matter. Most of it I wrote as a teenager and often in pursuit of a girl…I read it and cringe…soooo painful….
Poor thing. You know something, women have you poor men all wrong, I think. They think that you guys are so cocky and full of yourselves that you just walk up to a gal and start hitting on her, which, in my humble opinion, is a gross misjudgment, not to mention a very unfair one.
I would lay odds that the majority of guys spend hours, days, weeks, and even longer watching the object of their interest from afar, plotting and planning what would be the best strategy for approaching them without getting “shot down”.
In a lot of ways I feel sort of sorry for men, they have a heck of a reputation to hold up. Forget being able to show emotion, they are supposed to be rough, tough and ready for any emergency without batting an eyelash. If they display tears of hurt, loss, or in sympathy for a friend, society as a whole considers them weak, “wusses”, and many other such derogatory appellations.
And forget the “girly” stuff like needle crafts, sewing, baking and such things normally attributed to “the gentler sex [man, is THAT every a misnomer-women will slit your throat for a negative comment on their nail polish if they are in a bad enough mood! Not to mention they are sneaky, devious, underhanded, and very prone to attitude changes at the drop of a hat! I should know, I am one!]) which, when those selfsame things are done by a man, the man is at the very least called “odd”.
So I do not ridicule you for your statement that anything that you may have authored during those turbulent “girl crazy days” you now, in reading it from an older and wiser, not to mention more knowledge standpoint with regards to what constitutes “good” writing, claim to somewhat “cringe in disbelief that you could have authored such verbiage”.
I myself have the same reaction when perusing scribblings of bygone times.
But I can say this in all truthfulness…you are doing very well now.