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Panic Attack

Originally published at Joely Sue Burkhart. You can comment here or there.

I started using a control journal last year for my writing with mixed results. I really do like the idea and am trying to use one again this year, but something truly horrifying occurred to me today.

If I’m using a binder to control all my writing, and all my current stories are in there, and I LOSE IT…..

When I switched to Arcana (RHP) at the beginning of this year, I moved some stuff to a new 3-ring binder because I needed a large one for all the research notes. I’ve got several other binders, a few 3″ monsters, with everything from “how to” notes and interesting articles. Of course, my annual plan is already shot to hell with changed priorities, and that monster binder isn’t as useful now because I’m not working on Arcana for awhile.

Then Deena sent me a little innocent query today about whether I had a map of the world containing Keldar and Shanhasson.

Of course I do! But … er… I couldn’t find it.

I looked everywhere. I have dozens of binders. None of them contained the map of the Green Lands, or the map of Keldar I drew for Survive My Fire. Ironically, I filed a bunch of stuff around the first of the year so I could find it easier, yet I didn’t have a Shanhasson or Keldar folder. AT ALL.

Oh, and where were my notes on the Maya story I wrote for NaNoWriMo? Gone, too. I found my 2007 goals, several calendars from last year. Weren’t those in the control journal, and if so, where was the rest of it?

I could redraw the maps. But it was the sentimental loss that was killing me. Those maps were *years* old. I’d expanded, scribbled, doodled, dreamed… The thought of all those dreams, lost, forever–made me physically ill.

We left for dinner out and I began redrawing the maps. I must have been pretty upset, because That Man promised that whoever found my binder could have a trip to Toys R Us. He even helped look when we got home. The oldest and youngest monsters looked for awhile, but Hannah Montana was on, and they quickly disappeared. Middle Monster persevered, though. She kept coming back to the new maps I’d drawn to refresh her memory of what they looked like. It was so cute. She brought me dozens of papers and binders to examine, but none of them contained the missing map.

I’d pretty much given up. Maybe I’d left it at the in-laws at the lake. No, no, one of the monsters must have run off with it, and cut it up for mosaics or something and I’d never see it again.

Then Middle Monster came running from her room with a green binder containing all my notes. She’d found it stuffed in a plastic container beneath Littlest Monster’s bed. I hugged her until I bawled. So the priceless amatuerish maps are safe in hand, and Middle Monster gets to pick out her prize tomorrow.

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