Hunting for that outline I wrote in pen and ink, thank the gods for cloud storage, and other nuggets

Hunting for that outline I wrote in pen and ink, thank the gods for cloud storage, and other nuggets

So, several years ago I wrote an outline for the very story I’m currently working on for #NaNoWriMo. Unfortunately, I wrote it on pen and paper, which wasn’t uncommon at the time. I had yet to transfer it to digital format and so it is somewhere among boxes and tubs of things in our garage (most likely).

This afternoon my wife and I (with a little help from our wee boy) attempted to find that 1-page or so outline. I’ve been missing it, because I can’t recall every little detail about my story, which is frustrating, because know I’m gonna leave an important detail out that I liked. It’s not that I can’t write it, it’s just that I remember being very satisfied with what I had, which means I’ll likely leave out something really cool.

The results of digging around this afternoon resulted in finding many things, often older than the outline itself.

A few items from my past:

  • A page of doodles from a notebook. The duck, Cydney, is a character I created in the 90s and he’s my go-to doodle. Also, a bald dude and a young dude wearing a shirt with the number 57 on it (I used to own a shirt like that). Especially love that I felt the need to write “Hands and feet aren’t my forte”, which is a true statement. I make all hands with 4 fingers, as I could never get 5 to work properly. And I developed a cheesy looking loafer type shoe for all characters I draw. You’ll notice also that Cydney has mostly human features (no wings, no duck feet, no tail, human clothes); this is because I could never come up with something that looked good otherwise, so I decided he’d just look very human below the head. It eventually played into a story for the little ducker. He was born without wings and other natural duck features. So every winter when the ducks fly south for the winter, he hunkers down for the winter alone. I developed an idea where when he’s a teenager, he decides to get a bus ticket after everyone has left and travels south to L.A. and falls in love (of course). Eventually, he returns north after winter. It was a quirky, funny movie animated movie idea that doubles as a musical using popular songs (such as Pacific Coast Party by Smash Mouth).

  • Belgium Paratroopers. A skit we did on our TV show in college (circa 2003). It was originally written and filmed in high school as a class project for my buddy and his classmate. Both versions are ridiculous infomercials about (you guessed it) Belgium Paratroopers.

  • The Laundry Opera on floppy disc. You kids just don’t understand these floppy discs were life. LIFE. Before you could rely on cloud storage and stuff, you relied on discs. Fact. This little floppy disc has my 2-act comedy (partly musical) on it. I wrote the first act sitting in a college algebra class my freshman year. Also fact. I’m gonna try and salvage this thing, you can get external floppy drives that connect via USB now. My only worry is that it will be in Corel WordPerfect and such an old format that I won’t be able to convert/open it. Does anyone know if Microsoft Word, Google Docs or even Corel WordPerfect will recognize formats from the late 90s? I’d love it, if I could just upload it to Google Docs and convert it to Google Docs format. That would be the ideal solution for preserving it. Anyway… it’s a comedy 2-act play that takes place in (you guessed it) a laundry mat. Winning.

  • This CD is UNBREAKABLE. I had forgotten I even had the Unbreakable soundtrack by James Newton Howard until this past year, when I stumbled on the (empty) CD case. Well, today, I found the CD itself. It wasn’t protected at all, but it wasn’t BROKEN! This CD is UNBREAKABLE! Great, great movie soundtrack. Very good inspirational stuff for writing as well. Also, a great (fantastic) movie. And I liked it when it first came out. So many people dumped on it at the beginning, because it wasn’t Sixth Sense. Screw that! You only need one Sixth Sense, otherwise it would be the Seventh or Eighth, maybe even NINTH! People just don’t get it.

So yeah… found a lot of creative stuff, but ALL THE WRONG STUFFS! Enjoy my time capsules.

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