Summer Poppies should have come out a year and a half ago. In 2013. It would have if I had kept to the writing schedule I was on and I was thrilled to be finishing the four part series that had started me out writing novels. When we moved, I had over a third of the book completed and the outline for the rest of it finished.
Then shortly after we moved, the zip drive on which all of the book was stored, went missing. Through my own folly or forgetfulness or just plain daft-headedness I had not backed up the work anywhere else. As I have mentioned on here, my heart broke. I found it really hard to get back to it, almost impossible to try to re-write the work that had gone without suffering from severe upset, anxiety, frustration and a bone deep sadness. Although I have gotten back to working on Poppies lately, though still slowly as I am spending more time working on ‘Room 15’ than any other work, it has been a difficult journey as late.
Today I had reason to go digging through all kinds of old papers. I needed to find something specific and I knew that if it was anywhere, it would be with some of the papers and things we had brought with us when we moved. There was a lot to sort through. I can be a bit of a pack rat when it comes to what I deem to be important papers. Old notebooks, loose papers, certificates and envelopes full of further papers. I had no idea where to find the thing I needed so I had to search it all.
In an old envelope. Buried in the back of the shelf amid some notebooks and things there it was.
I pulled out the contents because I had to check everywhere and it slid into my hands. I knew right away from the words on the first page that I had found it.
Not what I had been originally looking for. It was all my work on Summer Poppies. I had printed it before we moved. The whole first third of the book. All the work that had gone missing.
And I started to cry.
I knew, I just knew that I would never have been able to replicate the words the way I had them the first time, which was a huge part of my upset when my zip drive disappeared. That was the worst, because I knew that work was really good. I had been telling Shawn when I was originally writing it that this was likely some of the best work I had done yet.
I can’t believe I have it back.
I can’t wait to put it back in place.
I’m so happy.