Life spins at my house. I am publishing my first novel. My daughter just had her 1st short story published. The wife has started a new business. My son is …well, he’s being my son. Oh yeah, and I got a day job.
In the midst of this insanity, I am marketing to promote my novel. Chronicling my writing adventures, I searched through my past works. I wrote a travel piece back in 2003 for the Orlando Sentinel. Maybe it would be nice to have on my website. It was my first published work of any significance (and by that I mean I got paid). So for kicks, I googled it. Ok, admit it, you’ve done this: looked for your name, your work, that pesky rap sheet or mug shot. Never in a million years did I expect it to appear. (This is NOT the first time I have done it; not that I’m obsessive or anything and forget I mentioned the mug shot.)
Voila, there it is the article. Who would have guessed? The paper converted their old content to digital. My phoenix has risen from the ashes of old newsprint, forever to fly in perpetual cyber-print. Even when it is gone, it’s not.
My wife has a cautionary tale of virtual life span. She was an e-commerce pioneer back in the 90’s, ahead of her time – (hey that’s not an age crack, Honey). I’m a lucky guy. She posted a response to a listserv (anybody remember those?), electronic rights management, blah, blah, blah. One day she was bored, searched her name, found the email. She chuckled at how long ago that was… 6 years, one child and another country ago, eons in web years (really – a millennium ago). Bored again years later (two children, two counties and a couple house later to be precise) she re-googled. (By the way, I gave you cyber-print, but I’m copyrighting re-google.) There it was again. The grin disappeared, reality dawned – this stuff has a half-life akin to plutonium. Imagine if it had been an angry rant or a drunken college photo? That listserv response was still out there in the Ether (Ethernet to put a fine point on it) 15 years later.
Publishing is the pinnacle for writers. Okay, finishing a book is the actual peak, publishing is just to dream the impossible dream. So for you writers out there remember: the good, the bad and the ugly (hey – got a western reference in there – thanks, Clint) your work will always be there in cyberspace. So make it count!
Have a story of a linking cyberspace item? Tell me about it.