Back in the 1980’s I used to write, I didn’t compete stories or write anything of real worth but I wrote anyway. I remember trying to emulate stories I read in the “Pan Book of Ghost Stories” and usually giving up half a page in.
For a long time this continued, it was similar to how many children emulate their father or mothers by pretending to cook meals or fix cars. It wasn’t “writing” in the true sense of the work it was “pretending to write”.
This was until a friend, who is a few years older than me, purchased a type writer and worked his way through a novel length story in which I found myself as a character. We were all in there, everyone in our little group of friends but I remember when I read it I felt that the Alan on the page was taken to further lengths than the others he used.
Now maybe this was because it was me written down there (or a version of me at least) that made me interested, perhaps it was as simple as that; but I always thought it was a little more than that. I was interested in where the character-me was going and to what lengths the author was going to make him interesting; and what was already interesting in there that came from me.
It was a blurring of fiction and reality that inspired me to think of things a little differently. Sometime during this time I was shown his typewriter and I thought I’d like to have something like that of my own.
It was here that the idea of “writing” really took hold.
(Its about here I would like to tell a little story, but I shall not. The reason why is that the friend that started all this wrote a diary and in that diary is an entry that tells the story much better than I ever could. One day I’ll get him to copy it for me so I can put it up on this site – and probably blow it up into a poster print for my office wall as I do it. All I’ll say about it otherwise is that sometimes something that could be cutting and hurtful ends up being one of the funniest and truest things you’ve ever heard.)
So (digression over) the writing began in earnest, not that I found I had a great deal to show other people as I found the “unfinished” pile of work overwhelmed the “finished” by something like a 100 to 1 ratio. I suppose this was to be expected and I imagine most people who write have a similar ratio as they try to find their feet and voice.
Now we fast-forward some years and we find said writer in possession of a blog and the ability to upload this work online; as well as the discovery that so much of what he has written has disappeared into the mists of time.
And so, finally, I get to the point of this post.
Where has everything gone?
There were horror stories and dramas, Sci-Fi’s and apocalyptic tales. Some of them I remember clearly while others remain as just the faintest of scenes. With some I remember titles (“Red Epoch”, Violet”, “Magic Bullet Theory”) but have no idea where the stories went or what inspired them, while with others I see the stories clearly as if I has experienced them myself.
But they all have the same thing in common… They are all gone without a trace, thrown out by accident or perhaps under a veil of depression or anger.
Perhaps it is just an illusion that the lesser tales remain, I hope that the feeling that I’ve lost the best of my work to time is a false one, but it’s clear that I have to take steps to make sure more of these stories don’t disappear.
It may not matter to most people; perhaps you don’t care as you read this. But it’s clear that each story or poem, song or script that a person writes is a part of them and is unreproducible in that exact form. Time changes people and a recreation of any of the lost stories would create something different now; perhaps something better, but maybe not.
So my conclusion is this: I must create an archive of sorts, a collection of what remains that places these parts of me out in order, loyal to the time and the place they were written. I don’t do this out of ego, or the desire to impress, but rather because of a lack of those desires. The stories are there because they are there, for good or bad, whether they are micro-masterpieces or embarrassments. To hide them would be as much an act of ego as would the display of them; or as little as. To deny them would be like denying my own ears for fear they may be too big.
So the archive begins and you may look through it if you want to, or ignore it if you’d rather. Perhaps those lost tales will never be recovered and perhaps I’ll never write any more to add.
Maybe this, maybe that.
Anyway, whatever… Its there…