A Lost Novel

I had that moment when you lose everything that you’ve written, and I survived it.

Those of you that followed my postings of my novel Zizkov, have probably noticed I stopped posting the chapters. Part of it was my instability and then moving to a new country, and then, well, I lost it. Not my mind but the document.

I needed to make room on my computer in order to update my software… I put it on my external hard drive… erased it from my computer…updated the software…and then the external hard drive crashed. I do have a copy of an older draft on google docs, but it’s an older draft and I had changed the ending.  I have some hard copy somewhere also with the older ending and none of the editing, but the final draft is lost, at least at this point before getting to a computer place to see if any data can be restored. Basically, the final draft is lost.

I spent a really long time working on that novel. Years. The funny thing about losing it is that I remember talking with a writing instructor about my book and the possibility of it never being published— actually he was talking about the possibility of it never getting published, and he used his own first novel as an example. He had said, it was okay, and that first novels are not meant to be published they’re for practice. I insisted that that was not the case for my first novel. Oh, no. A person does not spend years on a book and then just willy nilly say, eh, that was practice.

That was about four years ago. I think the novel was for practice. I also think the novel was a block. A block from writing other things. I’m okay with losing it. I think there was some really good parts, and that the story was interesting, but I rewrote it so many times, and it was never right. Maybe, one day I’ll write it again. I don’t know.

When I realized that the disk was corroded I was surprised by my reaction. It was, “Welllll shiiit.” And, that was about it. I think it’s okay that it’s gone. I can never again use the excuse of perfecting my novel as a way of not writing new work.

Speaking of new work. I’ve been pretty quiet for awhile. I was thinking maybe I just didn’t have the energy to write anymore, and then I got a little spark here and there, and have been sketching some new short story ideas and crafting another, and fooling around with a script. I’ll go back to posting random excerpts and stories and ideas here as I “play around”.

I recently finished reading Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and I am currently reading The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx. It’s fun to go from a classic to a modern style of reading and really see the difference in the use of language and structure to tell a story. In the non-fiction world I’m reading a book on the brain called The Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel which is slow going for me, but really fascinating, and also I’m racing through Vivian Gornick’s The Situation and the Story.

In the poetry realm I’ve finished Patti Smith’s the Woolgathers. It doesn’t necessarily fall under the genre of poetry as it is written in prose, but it is so poetic in tone and rich in language to me it is poetry. It was a peaceful and calming read and I could read it again and again.

I hope everyone had a good November novel month. I did not, but that’s okay.

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