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The Past | The Previous

What Was Once Old Is New Again

The other day, I was flipping through old files, looking at old short stories, the unfinished ones, the ideas I never saw through.

There's not a whole lot, really. Most ideas don't live long enough to make it to a file, to be honest. If I have a dozen ideas, maybe one has enough in it to turn into a whole story, and maybe a couple can be combined, but most just drift away, as they should. I've always found that question people have--"How do you get ideas?"--to be a strange one. If you read enough, watch enough, pay attention to enough around you, then you'll have more ideas than you can possibly use. For example, when my girlfriend's cat was brought into the country and spent a month in quarantine, I had a whole idea for an illustrated kids book set in an animal quarantine facility, which I suppose if I was in the position to know an illustrator and have an easy line into illustrated kid's books, I might do for fun. But I don't, so whatever. But the fact still remains: all I did was go somewhere different, and I had this idea, and maybe one day I'll do something with it, and maybe I won't, and such is life.

But I was amused by these old files. One story was a complete rewrite of another story, but with the settings and characters changed. It was the same story, much in the way that Gus Van Sant's remake of Psycho is the same as the Hitchcock version. I thought that it might make something interesting, but it wasn't, and so it sits in its file, never to be seen. There's a couple of files full of notes for sword and sorcery short stories, which was an itch I had for a while, but I moved on; maybe one day I'll return to them. There's a couple of files for notes on novellas as well. These I set aside because I thought it would be hard to sell them, and figured if I was going to work on novella length pieces that would be nothing but a hassle to sell, that I might as well spend the time on a novel. One of them, entitled 'Convicts', I still like. It was an idea I carried around for a while, trying desperately to shrink it down, turn it into something that wasn't so large--I think, at the time, I was a bit burned out on writing, on selling, on the business and people of art, and that impacted how I was approaching it, but times change, and all of that, and the idea is still pretty sweet. A couple of new ideas have attached themselves to it already, which is probably a bad sign.

But who knows.

As an aside, here's the two trailers for Psycho.