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6:23pm on Saturday, 7th November, 2009:

Where I Work #12


Continuing the occasional series...

Below the closed upper doors of the unit to my left are two open shelves. This is the first one:

As you can see, there are three piles here.

The middle pile is the easiest to describe: it's just scrap paper. Any A4 paper I have that I don't need any more and which is blank on one side goes there. Then, if I or anyone else in the house needs scrap paper, that's where they'll find some. I don't put paper there if it has handwriting on it or staple holes or folds or other adulterations, it's just for paper that is printed on one side and not the other. As it's a stack, that means the paper at the bottom has been there for years — there's some with sprocket holes there from when I had a dot matrix printer in the early 1990s. Hmm, I really ought to consider recycling that, it looks kinda yellow...

The pile to the left is to do with various creative writings. The reporter's notebooks at the top are where I plotted out some novels, one of which I went through with and wrote. Next is a leather folder with nothing in but I'll maybe find a use for it some day, and under that a blue folder that belongs in the pile on the right, hmm, I'll move that now...

Beneath that is a clear folder awaiting a use and then another blue folder with two copies of F&SF from the days when I naïvely believed that all you had to do to get a Fantasy short story published was write a good one and send it off to a magazine. The reason I keep these there is so the blue folder doesn't get squashed in case I ever need it. Hmm, actually one of the magazines is under the folder, I'll put it inside ... ah, that's better!

Underneath the blue folder are a bunch of papers to do with trying to find an agent. There are also two sets of reading lists for the university dating from 2001-2002 — I'll get rid of those right now, I suspect maybe I don't need them any more...

Next is a green folder with nothing in it so it has got squished. These ring folders aren't in use these days because I tend to write on the computer more than by hand now, but I do occasionally have to dig one out if I'm taking live notes or need something handy (such as D&D stuff).

Beneath the green folder is a purple folder, containing a copy of Cultural Anthropology. This ought to be on a bookshelf, but it lives here to stop the purple folder from getting squished — unsuccessfully, by the look of things... It's on top of a bunch of papers to do with my screenplays — potential agents, professional analyses and letters saying how the screenplays clearly deserve to be optioned "but not by us".

The next folder is the big pink one that contains more examples of potential places for publication of short SF and Fantasy stories. I could probably eBay some of it, and perhaps should do given that this is what's bending the purple folder above all out of shape.

The pink carboard folder beneath the big pink folder contains all the formal notes and maps for the In Sight, In Flames novel I linked to earlier. The green folder beneath that contains my rejection notices for the aforesaid novel (almost all enthusiastically praising it and saying how it deserves to be published but, you guessed it, "but not by us". The orange folder under that contains the artwork for The So Book Of Spoons, drawn by my brother; I've never tried to get this book published, but maybe I should, it's quite endearing. Oh, wait, now I remember why I didn't try.

Beneath these folders is another folder, a very old maroon one. This contains the script for a TV series I wrote when I was 18, in the summer before I went to university. I knew I'd never have such an amount of free time at my disposal ever again until I retired, so I used it to do something fun. The script is for a 6-episode comedy thriller set in about 1942, back in the days when you could send something to the BBC Script Unit and they would read it. Well, they would if it were typewritten in the correct format, and this is written in pencil in an incorrect format. Sadly, these days no production company, least of all the BBC, would make such a series. I keep it, though, because it was fun to write and, when I retire, it will be fun to read (for me, that is — I don't know if anyone else will have much luck with my handwriting).

At the bottom of the pile are some research notes for novels written and unwritten, plus copies of short stories and The So Book of Spoons "by R. A. Bartle and R. A. Bartle" (my brother had the same intials as me). It's a bit battered, I'll recycle the paper.

Now we come to the pile on the right.

This is where I keep anything to do with consultancy. There's a little there to do with my stint as external examiner for Portsmouth university's computer games degree, but ... hmm, actually there's more than I thought, probably a good two inches of it. I'll get rid of that when the pile gets full and I have to make more space. Anyway, because I actually keep to all the non-disclosure agreements I sign, I can't really talk about anything in here — sorry!

You were getting bored anyway, right?

OK, I guess I'll show you what's on the open shelf below this in the next installment of this series...

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Copyright © 2009 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).