Now that I’m writing again, I’ve started thinking about the things I wrote before. Last night, that took be down into the (water-damaged) basement to see what I could find. I wasn’t quite sure what was there, because over the years I’ve lived in at least twenty-four different places, and when you’re moving that much, boxes of stuff become these sealed nodes of wonders and troubles, with old bills and old love letters and old photos and old magazines and old what-the-hell-did-I-keep-that-for kinds of stuff, and after enough moves you really just stop looking in them because it’s so much easier to drag them along from place to place, knowing only that there might be something in there you might want…someday, but not today.
The first box, a dusty cardboard thing that fortunately was on a shelf and thus escaped the indoor tides, had some old screenplays, including one that I had completely forgotten I even wrote—for good reason—but not the one I was hoping to find, and many written by others. So I kept rummaging around, and found a plastic tub containing scribbled and typed pages of all sorts, dating from 1981 up to 1997 or so. Oh my! Over the past dozen years or so I guess I’d managed to forget just how stressed life was back then, how dark I could get. I was one angry girl. And I was so young!
Some of the writing is pretty sharp. Sharp like a knife. And sometimes violent. I wrote a lot. A lot. And most of it was dreck. But as someone whose writing since 1999 has consisted almost entirely of blogging and business correspondence, it’s pretty liberating to read these old pages with their fragments of stories, character sketches, story ideas, poetry(!). It’s like rediscovering part of yourself. And much more fun than looking at old yearbooks, because old pictures fade, but old words live on.