Thursday, April 12, 2012


I took a moment last night to pull some files from my oldest computer of some of the early stuff I've written. The vast majority of it is in a Word Perfect format, which I don't use anymore, and I'm not sure if that old computer can bring it up anymore either. Some things were missing from my writing files altogether, which leads me to believe they're probably on a 3.5 floppy somewhere. (*GASP!* Who still uses those!) That old computer has the 3.5 drive, of course, it's the only computer of mine that does. I suppose I could always bring it to work too. That tower has a drive as well. But, I have to find the disks! Programs like Open Office should be able to read the .wpds that I do have, but I really want to find the tales that are missing and saved to disk too.

I had a private blog at one point some years ago and a few of those early tales (mostly EverQuest fan fiction) were posted to it. I spent some time this morning pulling them off and putting them on a thumb drive. That's certainly not everything, and one of the longer fanfics is even incomplete on the blog. That's a little disturbing. I started writing that story in 2001, and already lost it once six months later due to a computer crash. That's actually when I stopped saving my files only on the computer and started putting them on floppies. I also had one floppy completely die on me and was thankful that I had the forethought to make a back-up. I then made two more. The disks are out there, I know it! Hopefully my drive can still read them!

But it got me thinking. In this digital age, is anything permanent? A computer crash means your files are gone. Those old disk drives wear out eventually. Would my thumb drive do the same? I haven't had one give up the ghost on me yet, but that doesn't mean it won't happen. Is a hard copy the only way to really save something anymore?

I do have hard copies of some of these. Some of the EQ tales were printed out and put in my EQ notebook. I actually self-published that one that I lost in early 2002 via CafePress, and I think I still have the .pdf manuscript file as well. But there are some fanfics I started and never finished. They're only saved on one of those disks. I don't write that kind of story anymore, but some day I might be inspired to finish them. Or to re-write them entirely to take them out of the EverQuest world and put them in their own (thus making it completely original and something I could publish, not that I'm actually looking into publishing anything, but it's a thought nonetheless).

It makes me sad that some things I've written may already be lost forever. I'm surely not a perfect writer, but I must have thought they were good enough to write them down at one point. And it'd be nice to see how my style has grown and changed. Maybe that early stuff could be revised and refreshed. Alas, at this point, my only hope is to find the disks, and to hope they haven't died of old age yet.

Then I think I might have some serious quality time with my printer.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

I actually lost a jump drive with a BUNCH of my stuff on it once. It just fell right out of my pocket. I had most of it backed up on my hard drive, but it was like losing my wallet. Trying to figure out what was on it, what I could replace, what was lost forever...

I think it's essential to go back and revisit the work you once did, if only to inspire you to continue to improve upon the old.