I had occasion recently to dig out a novella that I wrote my freshman year of college, the origin of which goes back to high school. It was a fantasy story, with magic and lost kingdoms and a pair of beautiful, tough, broken-hearted heroines and a somewhat-sad obsessive bad guy.

Oh, the horror. There’s almost a story there, but it’s a jumbled incoherent mess. Abbreviated scenes & skeletal action. Oddly duplicative characters. Way too much backstory for such a slim little work. (128 pages, double-spaced, 12pt font)

I haven’t finished re-reading it yet, but I’m finding little glimmers that in another time might’ve been worth persuing. That, and I see themes that have popped up in other stories: the (backstory) disaster that strikes Marien, one of the heroines, is remarkably like the disaster that strikes my current protagonist, although with a much smaller scope in the older work. (Not to mention an incidental character with the name of my current protagonist!) And there’s a certain nostalgia, remembering the person I was when I wrote it.

Morning now, and I walk the empty road
away from the city of my birth, now the Immortal City
The gods lived among us, gave us life beyond measure
but we were wastrels, and they have driven us away
Some chose never to walk the road again
some to walk the road forever, even in pain
I walk, but alone, only my song to keep me
from the fear of sorrow and memory of loss