Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Floppy mining

I remember reading a survey a while back that said more than 50 percent of Americans view themselves as writers in some capacity. I'm sure now, in the era of blogging, that number is probably closer to 98 percent, or equal to the literacy rate - whichever is higher. I, too, went through a period when I fancied becoming the kind of writer who has a near-constant harried expression and pencils in my hair. I call this period college. That phase is usually one of those things most people grow away from, like 2 a.m. pizza runs and long dialogs consisting entirely of Nietzsche quotes. So I didn't give much thought to fiction writing after I sloughed off that pre-graduate glow. Until tonight.

I have a laptop on the verge of meltdown, so I spent the better part of the evening moving files onto another computer. This laptop is so old that I have to use floppies to complete the task. Remember floppies? They have enough storage to hold about one fifth of a Green Day mp3? Yeah. It was a tiresome task. But while cleaning out my old floppies to make room for new files, I discovered the Word Perfect remnants of my long-lost novel.

That's right. I, too, am among the 98 percent of Americans who have one of those things stashed away. What it actually is - for the most part - is a remnant of my post-college state of confusion, otherwise known as the year 2000. I worked part-time in a frame shop. I studied for the LSAT. I dabbled in short fiction.

I guess I shouldn't say short. I ran the ancient document through a word processor and discovered it's actually more than 65,000 words. Wow. No wonder I didn't get better LSAT scores. (Then again, how long would this blog be if I measured it in words? I guess I'll always find ways to waste time.) But that's my point. There's a fair amount of time in my "book," a respectable number of words, and it's all just rotting away on a disk so beyond obsolete it might as well by papyrus. Seems a shame - letting all that go to waste. I was just thinking about compiling the thing, pdf-ing it eBook-style and posting it online. What do you think? Could there possibly be any interest? ...

(If so, maybe I'll post a plot breakdown as soon as I can read some of it and jog my memory. But - here's the disclaimer - I wrote it in my pre-cycling days, so there's probably not much two-wheeled adventure anywhere in the text. Oh well.)