Friday 29 May 2009

Faded Days

While attempting to clear out my desk (I haven't used it in years - not since I got my PC and started using the PC station as my work space), I found my old writing diaries. Well in truth they weren't lost, I knew where they were located, I just hadn't bothered to dust them.

Most of the entries are boring - how many hours I'd worked, how many pages I'd done etc etc into snoresville. However, I did pick out a few snippets from 1997 (a Jane Austen diary, and the first writing diary that I kept). The comments in italics are from today...

December 30, 1996
This diary is to be used to record all matters related to my writing.

December 31, 1996
While watching 'Les Mis...' I felt a great desire to write a musical. P.S. Began to write it WOW! (What!!!!!)

January 24, 1997
Editor of 'Lateral Moves' phoned. I am a talented, but 'young' writer. (I'm guessing that was a rejection - but my goodness, an editor phoned - and alas, no longer young).

July 22, 1997
'Angelic Host' returned by 'Ocular' - Full up. (Ah, the days before up to date online guidelines - when you just had to wing it and hope).

August 25, 1997
Wrote out chapter 6.... Working out basic calculations - still around 10,000 words short... (longhand - shudder).

Sept 1, 1997
Bought a word processor. (Note this wasn't a new fangled computer with access to the net but a basic machine that only had a word processing facility - called a fontwriter).

Sept 30, 1997
'Under a Familiar Sky' returned by 'Flickers 'n' Frames' - won't now be publishing it as mag is closing down. (Okay, some things don't change).

Oct 21, 1997
Worked on s.s. in work (abandoned previous one) - inspired by last night's episode of Sliders. - this entry also had a note attached dated 4/1/1 - this is 'Scattered Flowers'). (I loved Sliders and especially Quinn Mallory - sigh)

Nov 25, 1997
Sent 'Fading in the Summer Sun' to Arrow Books.

Dec 13, 1997
Arrow rejected Fading in the Summer Sun.

I'm sure I'll now waste an entire weekend reading the rest of the diaries...


Katey said...

God, I get so wrapped up reading stuff like this when I run across it. I wish I'd saved all my old writing from when I was a teenager for just this reason. Thanks for sharing that with us-- and I wouldn't mind seeing more, but you know how nosy I am ;)

Aaron Polson said...

What fun, Cate. Shadows of our Former Selves can be rather enlightening (or just curious, like strange implements in a museum).


Unknown said...

i'm the type of human who forgets things until i run across some material object ("oh yeah i did go to disney world when i was young. oh dear god my dad did grow a ponytail once.") and if you're anything like the same, then this would be an awesome find.

p.s. - how's the musical coming?

Fox Lee said...

Ooh! I love finding stuff like that : )

Alan Davidson said...

*sigh* A trip down memory lane...makes we wish that I had kept a diary in my youth. Had a sheltered life, mind you, so it would be boring as hell. Maybe I should look for my old chem lab note books for exciting reading material (kidding, of course).

K.C. Shaw said...

I threw out all my old diaries a few years ago, and a lot of my old writing. I kind of wish I'd kept some of it now.

A musical, cool! I once started writing a libretto based on The Duchess of Malfi, but then I discovered it had already been done. Probably a good thing.

Ed Wyrd said...

That's neat, but it's kind of spooky. I just found an old box of stuff, too, with some writings I'd forgotten about.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I still have all my old college files. they are scary how bad they are.

Cate Gardner said...

Katey, my writing diaries are pretty basic word counts, rejections etc. My teenage diaries however - gulp - there's no way they're making it to the net.

Aaron, very curious.

Samantha, musical dead and buried - and probably was within a week.

Natalie - me too. :)

Alan, I'm sure you had some misadventures. :)

KC, I'm tempted to throw mine away now. My room is so small it's suffocate beneath the accumilation of draft after draft after draft.

Ed, share, share, share.

Jamie, tell me about it.

Kimbra Kasch said...

So cool - I love to go through those old things and get a blast from the past.

My husband found a bunch of my old writing in the basement on Friday - I guess it was a time for old things.

Cate Gardner said...

I'm planning a bonfire to deal with my old writings.

BT said...

I hoard lots of stuff, but I've never been one for diaries.

And I've only been writing since 2006 so all my exploits are covered on the blog.

But, I do come across the occasional old memory lane type of thing and then waste hours going through them - I'm thinking this is why I don't have any diaries, because I know how lost I'd get.

Danielle Birch said...

Thanks for sharing. I love reading how other writers work. I've never kept a diary long term, more a book of important events/memories.

Cate Gardner said...

BT, I refuse to read my old teenage diaries.

Danielle, I've completed diaries in fits and starts. Nowadays they're really boring and only include word counts.

Carrie Harris said...

Well, now I don't feel bad that I spent half of the time I was supposed to be reorganizing the bookshelves on reading my poetry binder.

Did that make any sense whatsoever?

Jeremy D Brooks said...

That's a habit I should probably comes highly recommended for writers, apparently...I just hate talking about myself, even to myself. It took me until 2008 just to start blogging...