Tonight I forgot to bring a blank CD with me for backups, so rather than go downstairs I rummaged around in the desk to see if I'd left any up here the last time I played writer pong. That's when I unearthed an old floppy disk labeled only with a date: 3-18-03.
In the first couple years I was a pro I used to back up everything on floppies and date the labels instead of marking them with proper file names. I discovered what a dumb habit it was when I needed a backup of one of my original StarDoc manuscripts, and it took me two days of checking floppies to find it.
I didn't expect to find anything valuable when I popped the floppy in the drive; I wouldn't have been surprised if the computer couldn't read it. But there was a file (also titled with just the date) so I opened it to see what was inside.
Word started, and a forty-nine page manuscript of a story titled Possession popped onto my screen. I didn't remember it at first until I got to the notes I'd saved at the end of the manuscript. I'd written the story as a test drive of an idea I had for a dark fantasy novel about exorcism (which I then decided was cool but not particularly marketable, and put aside to work on something else.)
I don't remember why I never printed out the story or put it in the idea file, but it was neat to rediscover it. I'll have to sit down this weekend, read it over and see if maybe it's decent enough to
It also made me realize that in a couple of years I won't be able to read any of the stuff I have saved on floppies because they're no longer being made, and once I fry this computer, I'll probably have a tough time finding one with a floppy drive. So finding this story also nudged me to start seriously thinking about converting my sizeable collection of floppies over to CDs.
Have you ever found an old story you couldn't remember writing? What do you like to do with old stories once you've revisited your writing past?