hot night

for Washington, anyway, and so I can’t sleep. had to write to Steph and Irina to tell them that I’m not going to the reunion. 🙁 that’s the part I’m most bummed about, because they live way far away, and we haven’t talked in about 8 years. (they don’t ‘blog, either, so far as I know, which is also a bummer.)

I can’t find what I think is the most recent draft of Aila among all my scattered disks and folders. one more place to check, and if it’s not there, then I’ll have to recreate from scratch. a good argument for (a) a good backup system and (b) frequent print-outs. I know there’s a whole huge section that I wrote playing around with some early scenes, and it’s not in the printed draft, and so far it hasn’t turned up in electronic format either.

this remains my eternal reservation about having my writing – including this weblog – solely in electronic form. I trust that I still have and can read my girlhood journals from 1984. I can’t say that with such certainty about this. I lost several months of electronic journals, way back before weblogs, practically before the web. In the fall of 1993, I bought a brand spanking new Mac with a color monitor, which was about the coolest thing I could imagine. (I don’t remember the model name.)

that was a pretty bad fall, all things considered. I feel damn lucky to be alive and sane. when things got bad (not really bad – when they got really bad, I usually wasn’t in much of a state for it) I wrote in my computer journal. just a bunch of Word files, but it was a release, and I type faster than I write longhand, so I could get out even more of what I was thinking. along with taking long walks at night (that’s part of the “i’m lucky to be alive” bit) and my paper journal, that journal helped me keep it together, at least a little bit.

on Christmas Eve – Ra & I were home for the holiday break – I got a phone call from our roommate. her name, by the way, escapes me entirely now; she was one of about 4 or 5 regular roommates that we had there. we’d been robbed the day before…our other roommate was in Arizona visiting his folks, and she’d been at work. damn near everything of value was taken…TVs, stereos, my fabulous CD collection from my summer working for a music reviewer at the LA Times, and computers. so, yeah, a whole fall’s worth of journaling, plus some poetry, probably even a short story or two that I’ve entirely forgotten.

and I’m not too much better about backing up than I was 8 1/2 years ago, which is what makes me twitchy…’cause, yeah…I looked at the draft this morning while I was on the bus and thought – hmmmm, I rewrote a bunch of this, I remember it, but it’s not here. I hate that feeling.

then again, maybe some of it, at least, is in my paper journals. y’know, I’ve been writing in those things since 1984, when I got a puffy diary with teddy bears on the cover. I was erratic with it through elementary school, junior high and high school, but I’ve been keeping a journal regularly since November of my senior year, more than 10 years ago. I’ve used spiral notebooks, black composition books, memo pads and stationary pads – fancy journals, too. from tiny little books that would fit in a purse to the oversized spiral sketch pads I use now. I used to hate unlined paper, but I got a gorgeous fancy journal about 5 years ago that was unlined that turned out to be perfect, and now I can switch back & forth pretty easily. just the sight of a book can remind me of the time I was writing in it – the color, the shape, the stickers – without even opening the cover. and reading is like slipping back into my own history: sometimes entertaining, even exhilarating, sometimes mortifying, sometimes too sad for words.

I miss that physicality in writing on the Web.

my oversized black heavy-duty-spiral-bound unlined artist’s sketch pad, along with a smooth-writing rollerball pen, will still go with me on the bus or into meetings.

on that note, it’s off to bed, or I’ll be too tired to haul it out in the morning. 😉