A story about rediscovering a story

student browsing smartphone at table with books

3+ years ago, I wrote a 600-word scenelet/start of a potential new midlife superpowers story. I shared it with a couple of people, then promptly forgot the filename, where I saved it, and even what application I wrote it in.

As one does, if one is me.

Once I finished Sharp Edge of Yesterday, I went hunting for this one writing snippet. It had been stuck in my head it–not in any detail, but in a hazy “this was a fun bit, might be useful later” way–and I like to revisit ideas like that, the same way I like to pull a particular shiny stone out of my rock collection to see if it’s as pretty as I remember it being.

(Ideas really are like shiny rocks. But I digress.)

I had a gut feeling this snippet would make a good springboard into the sequel for Sharp Edge of Yesterday. But I needed to read it over and check all its facets to be sure.

I Could. Not. Find. It.

I checked through all my document folders on both my computers. Nothing. I tried various keyword searches online on this blog and on my social media, in case that’s where I’d decided to write it for reasons surpassing understanding. Nothing. It didn’t help that I couldn’t recall what I’d named the characters, or if I’d used any place names. Search engines don’t do well with mental impressions of actions and dialogue.

I began to wonder if I’d ever actually written it, or only hashed through the concepts in my head and thought about writing it. Except — I remembered people commenting on it. Maybe I dreamed that too? No. It had to be somewhere.

The bigger problem was that I was kinda stuck on starting anything in the Rough Universe until I found it. It’s been my periodic quest for months now, a nagging little frustration I would pick at between other activities.

Oh, sure, I could’ve always tried to rewrite it from scratch. Only 600ish words. A few manuscript pages. PFfft. Nothing, right?

But I knew I wouldn’t be able to capture exactly the same scene, the same way. And I’m stubborn. This was the piece I wanted. Not any other shiny rock. THIS ONE. So I kept hunting and hoping. Until today.

<cue inspiring music>

Today I finally hit on the right keyword combo in the right place. (Road kill, in case you’re wondering, and I wrote it in a blog post from the end of 2018. VICTORY IS MINE! I FOUND MY LONG-LOST STORY SNIPPET.

And my instincts on rewriting from scratch were correct — I never would’ve come up with the details that made it stick with me if I’d tried to re-do it. Side note: it’s a perpetual mystery to me how well my brain can retain the vivid impression details make on it, but totally blank out the details themselves. BRAINS ARE WEIRD.

Anyway. The POINT is, at last I can expand on this and decide how it’s going to fit into the sequel to Sharp Edge. I have found my new shiny, and now I shall play with it.

Because a frazzled, frizzy-haired Midwestern auntie who wakes up with a necromantic superpower HAS to go into the next book. It just does.

Until later! That’s all for now.

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