I have lost my manuscript. I can’t find it. Anywhere. Five chapters of prolific, brilliant (in hindsight of course) prose. Lost. I fear I threw it out in one of my robust home cleaning/purges of clutter. You know, recycling magazines, flyers, notebooks. Yes, notebooks. Only some of them (the one with my manuscript inside) were not as empty as I thought. I live in a small space, so real estate is expensive. My clutter was occupying the space where better investments (more books!) could reside. (Yes I have ebooks, too, but I love the smell of paper, the turn of the page — which is what got me in this mess I fear.)
I am beginning to challenge the old school way of writing novels in spiral bound notebooks. You can’t back them up onto a USB stick AND if you lose the notebook, you lose the work. However, I love the freedom of paper and pen — that I am not tied to any WiFi or adapters or outlets, I can write pretty much anywhere. Very portable. Not so enticing to would-be thieves (unless they want a coffee-stained notebook full of illegible scribblings.) Stick it in my big ass bag and go. I can’t exactly whip out a laptop or tablet in the grocery aisle and add dialogue to a scene. So I carry a police blotter little flip notebook (for notes, spontaneous eureka moments) and a big spiral bound notebook for the actual work in progress (which is now the subject of this sad blog).
I may have to give in to the electronic worship that rules our universe and purchase a laptop. Portable enough but you can back that sucker up. I can attach USB sticks to my key ring and have another copy of my efforts tucked away in case the Mother Lode gets nicked. (Which is doubtful since I am not the sort to abandon her electronics in Starbucks for a quick run to the loo.) And if I do not tote the laptop on my daily adventures, I will know that it (and my prose) are safely at home locked down in layers of hard drive coziness just waiting for me to flip the switch and bring it back to life. I may lose my train of thought, my keys (damn, better keep that USB stick somewhere else), my mind — but not my manuscript(s).
To be continued …