Spent most of yesterday afternoon going through my writing papers with the person who comes in on an irregular basis to help us organize things. (Actually, a different person from the same company… the woman we’ve been working with fell and cracked her neck. She’s currently in rehab and expects to be walking again within a year. Our thoughts are with her.)

I have a file drawer with folders for each story, and a second file drawer for novels. I also had a stack of papers that needed to be filed. Well, actually, several stacks. It’s only recently that I realized that those stacks added up to about two feet of papers going back to 2006. Oog. Hence the organizer.

It was very, very helpful to have a second pair of eyes and hands. All I had to do was look at a page and tell her which story it was associated with, and she filed it away in the appropriate folder while I was looking at the next page. She also helped me by forcing a decision about “file first, then sort chronologically” or vice versa or both at once, which seems a stupid thing to get hung up on but had been stalling me on this project for literally years. She was also very cruel to me and forced me to keep sorting long after I would have given up if it were just me, or just me and Kate. All of which is what we pay her for.

In three hours we powered through the two feet of papers and got everything sorted into folders. The bad news is that the file drawer filled up and half the folders are now in hanging-file boxes on the floor. At least the big tottering piles of unsorted papers have been vanquished.

Next step is to go through each folder, sort it chronologically, and pull out (or copy) papers to be sent to the NIU archives. I have an appointment with the organizer to do that in July, but I think it may take more than one session. I hope that once that’s done the remaining papers will fit into one file drawer.

Going through my old papers was actually a heartening experience. Yes, there were a lot of rejection letters (the pile goes back far enough that I was getting most of my rejections on paper, which isn’t true any more), but there were also a lot of contracts, a lot of positive reviews, and many reminders of other successes, like the program from the 2006 Hugo Awards ceremony. So, although that was a lot of work and I didn’t do any actual writing yesterday, I feel really good about the whole thing.

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