Treasure Trove

Over the weekend, I moved some of my belongings out of storage and into my now not quite so new apartment. One of the items was a two-drawer wood filing cabinet that my dad bought me one year for Christmas. As I was going through the drawers, I found a treasure trove of folders full of abandoned manuscripts, some dating back to when I was in my early 20s.

I spent the afternoon reading tales of alien owned bookstores, dragons, magical mirrors, deceased mothers and prodigal daughters returning home. One manuscript was eerily similar to the horror manuscript I’m working on now. I found notebooks crammed full of story ideas, sketched out plots and character descriptions. I even found instructional materials from a Writer’s Digest Writing to Sell Fiction correspondence course I completed.

I opened one folder to find a surprise: a note dated April 26, 1987 scrawled on the inside front cover from a former newspaper editor I worked with. He wrote:

I found the story entertaining and very well written. The question mark changes I made are backed by the Associated Press book on my desk (the blue one under the dictionary). Otherwise, good folksy grammar and dialect. I think this will sell somewhere. You’ve got my vote.

 Those were the halcyon days of my youth when I was writing and submitting my work to magazines and accumulating a wealth of rejection slips in the process. And learning, most importantly. I was working at and learning my craft.

I’m older now. I’ve gotten sidetracked but am finding my way back to the path I trod so eagerly twenty-odd years ago. Looking at these old manuscripts, I remember when writing was my passion and the simple act of putting words on paper infused me with joyous abandon.

Life’s funny that way. Detours, Road blocks, Switchbacks. All are necessary in the growth of a writer. While I’ve been running from writing, it’s always been there, waiting for me to come back to it. I’ve got to go. My muse is calling.

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