Not to Write… But Already Written…

From Dean Wesley Smith:

When you are as prolific as I am, and combine that with just enjoying the writing, not caring about the publishing that much, you end up with strange things happening. I know that those writers who think everything they write is golden have trouble understanding this concept, but I flat lose stories.

Smith’s Monthly Magazine, when I started it, was supposed to be a place where I could slowly, over years, gather all my stories together, one novel and four or five short stories per issue. And I did that for 44 issues just fine until life roles stopped the process. Now I am putting together new issues of Smith’s Monthly Magazine to restart this winter, so I am paying attention to my stories. I even have spread sheets of the stories in the magazine. And a list of stories that I can put into an issue.

Now, I am also trying to get some exercise by unpacking boxes of books for an hour every day down in the new WMG Office here in Vegas. The books I am unpacking are extra copies of Kris and my published books and stories. About 140 banker boxes full. Maybe more.

This afternoon I unpacked a few boxes of books that had our short stories in them in Daw or Baen or Tor anthologies. One anthology, edited by Martin H. Greenberg in 1999 had Kris’s name on the cover with Robert Silverberg and a few others. I didn’t recognize the book and wondered why we had four copies of it, so I glanced at the table of contents to see if Kris had forgotten the story and there under Kris’s story I had a story as well. No memory of the story. (No surprise on the memory.)

So I took a copy back up here to my office and it was not on my brag shelf either, so I looked it up in my spread sheet and I did not have it in Smith’s Monthly.

So for the first time in a long time, I actually read one of my own stories. I have no memory of writing the story, but it is a science fiction nursing home story with just a few trappings of a shared game world that the book was about that will be easy to switch out. Pages and pages of depth with a focus on smell to start it as well.

In essence, I found a really good story that had been lost in an anthology for 21 years.

I did a quick search for the Word file, no luck finding it yet. But the story is worth putting in Smith’s Monthly coming up, even if it has to be typed back in.

So a day of discovery.

Link to the rest at Dean Wesley Smith

140 Bankers Boxes is a lot. That sort of thing has caused more than one lawyer to decide he doesn’t really need to move into a new office after all.

PG is going to show this OP to Mrs. PG the next time she tells him he needs to clear a lot of things out of his office.

His usual response that he’ll lock his office door before visitors arrive is beginning to look a little ragged around the edges.

1 thought on “Not to Write… But Already Written…”

  1. 140 boxes of your own books (even though it includes multiple copies) is certainly a lot.

    I’ll be moving for the last time in a year or two, and down in storage (in addition to the 28 overflowing bookcases in our current tiny hunting cabin) are 1400 book boxes. A decade ago we had the opportunity to buy 100 freestanding library shelf units, and finally consolidated all my book storage cache locations into one in preparation for the happy day of my final relocation.

    Pointless excess is its own reward — except for one or two Victorian institutions for sale as dwellings [why are they always located in the northeast with large heating bills and Dickensian kitchens?], there’s no point worrying about housing them all as we house shop — it basically can’t be done. I expect to spend most of my remaining years toddling on down to a storage building (barn, workshop, steel building) for an hour or two a day sorting them into disposition piles: house, sale, give-away, trash.

    I’ve done this before on a smaller scale (we’ve moved several times, typically into progressively smaller houses, while the book pile just grows), and it’s always fun turning up old favorites that haven’t made the “new house” availability cut for several years.

    Since we moved into the current cabin 7 years ago and filled it then, the only thing that has kept the growing piles on the floors from crowding us out into the snow has been the blessed availability of ebooks. We buy almost all fiction and narrative non-fiction in digital form now. The only problem with that is discovering accurately just how bad we are — it’s roughly 1000 ebooks/year.

    Well, cheaper than cocaine, no doubt, but a lot harder to house and transport.

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