Until yesterday, the way I organized my writing was horrible. I had a series of finalized folders up to various dates, each one of them holding writing from different periods, each period organized in a different way. The main categories were Fiction, Poetry/Songs, and Essays & Other. But within each folder was a bewildering bunch of different folders classifying works in various different ways, and all in all, it was a horrible useless mess to track, to dig through, and to manage in general.
So I sat down and rearranged most of it in a few hours yesterday afternoon. I made genre folders, as above: fiction, verse (which includes songs), drama (for the one play I’ve written, in Korean), and essays. I’m not actively working on any plays or essays beyond what I write for Cahoots, so I only really reorganized the contents of the verse and fiction folders in any elaborate fashion. The structure of each is similar: there are a series of folders containing things which I am currently drafting, currently reviewing after drafting, currently have submitted for critique, currently am revising in post-crit, things that I am planning to send out in the immediate future, things I have sent out and are now pending submissions, old drafts which I am thinking of reworking substantially, interesting notes and sketches I have accumulated over the years, less-interesting notes and sketches that I am retaining mostly for archival purposes, and juvenilia /other abandoned projects.
The folder names for the various projects in different active stages have also been altered to indicate the type of piece it is, using one of the following strings of text: “Novel”, “FF” (Flash Fiction), “SS” (Short Story), and of course the all-too-common and self-explanatory “Novella” and “Novelette”.
Now that it’s all organized, my writing folder is much easier to navigate, and back up. I am feeling quite happy about this. I have, as mentioned recently, seven pieces in my “ready to send out” folder, and the other day I picked up/refilled some ink cartridges so that I can print some manuscripts to send out. Whee!
I also got some writing done. Now, I know what I said recently — that my East Asian Superheroes story would be the next project I’d be completing — but while tidying the drive, I ran across what I found to be a wonderful little sketch of a very vague idea I had about some Asians (a Thai woman and an Indian man) working for an NGO in a poor, war-ravaged, desolate land called… well, in the draft, it was Appalachia. I’ve made some significant changes, such as moving it to the 2nd person, and I’m now at almost 3000 words. I’m hoping to sew it up in only 1500 words more (see the progress meter for the story, “The Wager”, in the sidebar for this page), but at the moment, I have no idea how I will do that. Still, I am hoping to finish this before the weekend, and then I’ll add it to my “to send for crit” folder.
A snippet for the curious follows in the “read more” section:
All you’ve seen for all those hours you’ve been heading north are automated shipping trucks, with quaint and oddly-shaped plastiron bodies, going north past burned out farmhouses and huge clouds of dust. At least if you sighted a few people you could ask: “Internet? Do you know where I can get a wireless uplink?? But you haven’t seen a soul, and you have no clues. You’re looking for a needle in a haystack.
Still, you’re happy to be at a crossroads, to have some choice. Even if there is no sign that says, WIFI: 10 MILES EAST. Rajiv seems pleased, too. He brakes the jeep and turns to you. His eyes are so big, so deep and the color of the tea your mother used to serve on wintry Chiang Mai afternoons. His wide lips curl upward at the ends, and he sniffs softly. “Well, Priya,? he says softly, and you shiver a little hearing him say your name so directly, rolling the “r? as he says it. “What now??
His dark face in the morning light has a kind of glow around it. You want just to kiss him right now, hard and quietly as the sun climbs slow above the cradle of the mountains. Even if you know his short, curly beard will scratch prickle against your face a little. Even if it’s nothing like what you imagined your first kiss with him might be like.
So you lean forward, towards him, and touch your lips to his, and for a moment, this whole stupid wager and your plans and worries all float away, lost in the middle of all that dust on the wind.