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Once upon a time in the future…

the kiddo

the kiddo

He doesn’t open his eyes. It is 6:30 in the morning. “Mom,” he says. “You’re still weird.”

“I know,” I say. “But you still have to go to school.”

I wonder what he will think if I ever get published and his friends at school point to a page in my book and say, “Your mom wrote that?”

I wonder what he will think if I never get published and he finds himself faced with boxes of manuscripts to sort through.

Do you ever wonder what will happen to all your work once you’re not here? Would you leave instructions to burn everything? Leave it all to fate?

7 thoughts on “Once upon a time in the future…

  1. Oddly, I’ve had this same sort of thought. Must be a sign I’m getting older.

    I mostly concern myself with the disposition of the various notes and such related to the years of training and working in a closed wiccan tradition. The oaths to keep these things secret don’t go away after I die; and my friends whom I trust are all older than I am. So what to do, what to do?

    As far as the thirty plus novel starts I have, I figure most of them comprise one hard disc. The neice will get everything, unless I predecease my mother; so I’l leave it up to her. But my plan is that I’ll pare down my miscellaneous junk to a spare, clean, book filled office with just the hard drive to worry about, and a few files.

    And, thinking about that, it seems that I’m more concerned with physical clutter than the monumental volume of files I possess. Which is kind of funny.

  2. I pretty much discard everything as I go. Journals get tossed once they are filled. There is one computer file backed up onto a USB with the stuff written for publication. ANother file of letters sent and received, and a back-up of emails. I’ve always travelled light, and I don’t like the practice of publishing people’s work posthumously, unless they specifically said it’s ok.it seems very invasive.

  3. I don’t even know. I used to have the fantasy that someone else would publish my novels and poetry and journals once I was gone… but I think that’s just the wish that someone else would do all the hard work of getting it sold.

    My father has, I think, left the disposition of all his photographs up to me, when he goes. I definitely think he’s hoping I’ll make him famous posthumously. ‘Cause it’s just too hard in this life.

    I couldn’t imagine tossing my journals and poems and stories. I guess I’d leave them to my kids, so that they might have something of me when they get older.

  4. I really don’t worry about what people will think after I die. I have all kinds of journals and writing that I’ve done since I was a kid. I just think how much I would love to have boxes like that with my grandmother’s or other ancestor’s writing. And since my husband is a historian, I know how valuable it is in that way too. It’s history. Even if they think I’m crazy. So my kids can have everything.

  5. We’ve never talked about it explicitly, but I think it’s understood that The Missus and I will be each other’s literary executor in the event etc. Which completely throws the question to the wind should we die at the same time.

    Actually I don’t know what anyone will be able to do with all this stuff — just for starters, because I’ve transferred all the old stuff to Linux and am using that alone for the newer… I might name a niece or nephew (or to all of them) as my fallback choice and pray they’ve got enough life of their own to do something with it.

    The Missus is literary executor for a friend of ours, who died a few years ago on the cusp of a brilliant career in poetry. She (the friend) used an old Mac laptop, which was one challenge for us; the bigger was that it was apparently a challenge for her, too. Her work is scattered among dozens of folders and subfolders, often with the same folder names and even the same (obviously messed-up) dates, like “12-31-1990.” There are subtle variations in line breaks, indentation, and so on as well. All I can say to someone who’s thinking of naming a literary executor is that you be kind to their ignorance of your filing system, or lack thereof.

    Like shelli says, whether it’s ever published or not, I think it might be a kick for somebody in the family to have, say, 10 years after I’m dead. Beyond that, I’ve always pictured some distant cousin at a Jetsons-style cocktail party, and someone says to him or her, “Didn’t I hear somewhere that you had an uncle or cousin or somebody who published a book once?”

  6. I used to just write in ink and 2 months ago I started writing . I think it’s because I’m getting older and forgetful – it’s mainly my life as a mom, wife, daughter and a sister.

    I especially write about my youngest, 8yo, because there’s so much innocence in what he says.

    I still hope to someday write a book about my parents and brothers’ struggles, and one day get interviewed on Oprah – but I guess I have to write the book first…

    I love your posts (btw), thanks to Thurs Sweet Treat…

    Now I really have plenty of reading to do =D

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