What was lost is now found

I thought I might have been losing my mind, but fear not, gentle reader, I have not.

I’ve mentioned in recent posts that I have been giving some attention to a range of short stories now that my creative mind is freed from the heavy lifting that was required for the novel I was completing. (It’s now in rewrite and coming along acceptably.)

One story I’ve had around for years, trying to get just the right tone to it, saw some work by me of late, including something the protagonist does that seems odd. In the end, this odd behavior makes perfect sense, highlights some qualities of two characters, and perfectly illustrates the theme I’ve been trying to tease forth.

When I opened the story file the other day, I couldn’t find this addition I made. I had the whole story, but it was lacking the additions I thought worked so well. I checked the backup drive, the thumb drive, the backup computer, and even my email (thinking I may have sent it to myself as yet another backup technique). It was not there. It was as though I had never written it (the addition) at all, yet I was certain I had. I was certain, but there was no evidence that I had. I began to doubt my sanity. (A similar thing happened with an mid chapter of my novel. I was certain I had written a descriptive chapter set within a liquor store, but I have never been able to find that passage. I had lost two chapters in the hard drive crash I had about a year ago, but this missing writing would have come long after that.)

So I did finally find the short story with the additional material that I was sure I had written. It was in Google Documents (where I had searched several times). Somehow I had “hidden” the file. I’m not sure what the function is for, but it certainly worked, at least for a while. It was only because I was randomly clicking on directories that I managed to find it at all.

As I said, I’ve been tinkering with this story for years, but I think it’s time to finish it and send it out. I’ve found a publication that looks like it might be suitable for, so I’m going to polish the story and send it out. (And I’m going to pay closer attention to the twists and turns of Google Docs.)

As to the quality of my sanity, I leave that to you to judge.

Update June 2, 2011 – I have no idea now what I’m referring to above, so I apologize for my cryptic references. They’ve eluded even me.

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