I awoke this morning with a “feel” for the memoir I’ve been meaning to get to, after my initial attempt twenty years ago turned into a 500-page door-stopper of flashbacks. That in turn became two YA novels, Mine Dances and Monkey’s Wedding (loved but ultimately rejected by Harper-Collins–not high concept enough). Five years later, I wrote Loveyoubye, a memoir, but this was not the one I initially set out to write.
This is the first “feel” I’ve had for that original concept. Nothing big, an inkling, but this time the idea was contained as it were, not some vague sprawling inundation of memories, of game reserves and out of the way bush hotels and attacks by rebels. A possible start on the shores of Lake Nyasa, Malawi, our first stop on a three-month motoring holiday up to Kenya from our home in Nkana, Zambia. This was where I fell in love with a twenty-year old man–I was thirteen–who paid me the slightest attention and where I won a Bingo round.
I lay in bed regretting throwing away that flash-back monstrosity that had been gathering dust in my old studio, chucked when the ex flew the coop and I had to move my writing studio to its present location at the front of the house. My memory was a tad better back then, and as bad as this account was, it had all the dates and events I’d need if I’m to write the Big One. But I do have a truckload of old 3×5 floppy disks with the entire manuscript on them. Now to find a way to extract that information, given that my computer doesn’t accomodate those relics. And are the disks still workable?