Apparently, I have been writing (seriously) for a long time. How this could have slipped my mind is beyond me. I knew that there were many things out there that I had started but never finished. As far as I know, the only things that I have finished literary wise are three song lyrics (only one with an accompanying melody) and two NaNoWriMo challenges.
As I dug through boxes that my Mom had sent from back East to California long, long ago I found notebooks and folders and little pieces of paperclipped paper. Most had in them at least the rough draft of a first chapter. Some had only a first paragraph or a first sentence. One had only a name on a piece of scrap paper - but what a name: It is apparently the only female character in all of the writing that I have done who is not (at least initially) named "Sarah". What I was going to DO with her I have no idea, but at least she wasn't "Sarah". My mother's name wasn't Sarah, there really aren't any Sarah's in my family; maybe like Elwood P. Dowd, I always had such hopes for the name.
I consider these finds to be treasure of a sort. I surprise myself by how much I like what I have written. I wind up thinking: "Well, that was certainly written by a 24 year old, but it is a fun story." Or "What great characters! Instead of just following them through this little crisis in life, how much fun would it be to visit them 30 years later?" Or "Oh crap! I've started this same story three different times in slightly different ways - maybe that means that I'm supposed to actually finish it!"
I am currently in the process of moving all of my writing from scraps of paper to a USB device so that all of the dusty, yellowing sheets of paper don't completely disintegrate on me. Then I will do what mature adults do: back it up and put a copy in the fireproof safe. Because if I can lose all of this for 20 years by stuffing it into an old shoe box and stuffing THAT into the back of a dresser drawer and then "getting on with life", I could certainly lose my stories forever. Already it has become apparent that using the turquoise felt tip pen to write deathless prose was somewhat less than a success - readability wise.
Do I believe that I will ever finish these stories? Probably not the science fiction one that involves a version of the moonspinners of Greek legend, but I realize that I turned the main plotlines of it into a short story about my cat and fairies in the garden that was written for my great nephew..."Rufus and the Handmaidens of Time" (one of the finished NaNoWriMo projects).
Probably not the mystery about a library researcher in the days of InfoSearch Services (where college students were sent into the University stacks to copy chapters and articles and such for pay) - we all just google it now and nobody could relate to poor "Cassie" (original character name, "Sarah") these days.
But now I have hard evidence that all of my free time in earlier days was NOT spent shopping, watching TV or playing "Pong"...
so there, Stubble!