Friday, October 27, 2006

Dirty Stories

First: I do not mean porn. Get your mind out of the damned gutter.

Moving on: I opened the trunk of my Subaru yesterday and started rooting through the trunk, looking for something or other (don't remember what). I dug under the disposable doggie-poop scoops (unused, thanks very much) and the old newspapers and...ah...some petrified snack bars (in my defense, they tasted petrified when I bought them), a couple of cat toys, and several dozen coffee cups to reveal...

...about three chapters from one of my story drafts. It had coffee on it, of course, and what I optimistically assumed to be "mud." But it made me think of the typical condition that my old story drafts tend to wind up in.

Any story draft that is left in the open for any period of time has pawprints on it -- and probably a rip or two. My tortie-cat, Ophelia, resents my time at the keyboard and has been known to perch on top of the printer, shredding each page as it comes out.

Then come the inevitable coffee stains. Maybe some chocolate or even some mustard. It could be anything, really.

When a story is "done" (if there is such a thing) and I feel safe discarding the drafts, they become:

1) kindling
2) phone messages
3) band-aids (I once bled all over the title page of a novella)
4) a private message from one cat or another that the litter needs to be changed
5) grocery lists
6) paper dolls
7) door-jams

The kindling one is hardest. I try to think about it as letting the old stuff recycle back into the Universe, but sometimes it just looks like burning my work.

No matter how much I think I conserve paper and rely on the computer, it is amazing how much paper I have gone through over the years. Pound upon pound of dirty stories.

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