For want of a waffle, the script was lost

(Note to readers: I wrote this on Facebook in March 2015, but thought it would be good to share on the blog. Before I started penning novels, much of my early writing involved stage plays, especially since I acted in middle and high school.)

Never let it be said that something is “lost forever,” especially in this age with the Internet. I know that nothing is truly gone after finding something that I thought had been gobbled up by technology.

In 2009, I was living in Page, Arizona, next to Lake Powell, and a small group of us were trying to form a theater troupe, since live performances were somewhat lacking, aside from garage bands playing in local bars or going to see high school shows.

We had just finished putting on You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and were trying to figure out what to do next. Obviously, since we were just starting out, money was nil and we needed to come up with something cheap. That’s when I started to develop an idea for a play based on childhood fairy tales. It followed Red Riding Hood, Hansel from Hansel and Gretel and many other tales and centered on this waffle house loosely run by Red’s grandmother.

House of Waffles cover
The cover for the now published Grandma’s House of Waffles, but it still seeks a playhouse and actors to bring it to life.

Long story short, I came up with Grandma’s House of Waffles for us to perform. The group agreed to go for it, after some minor rewrites to make it absolutely family friendly. However, it was summertime when we moved forward on this, and we couldn’t find enough people committed to filling the parts, so it was left unproduced.

In 2011, I lost my job in Page and moved to Wisconsin to be closer to family. Later in the year, the laptop I owned started to have issues, so I bought a new one and transferred all my stuff from the old computer.

At least, I thought I did.

When I started meeting some of the folks running theater programs in northeast Wisconsin, I hit upon the idea of sending Grandma’s House of Waffles to these groups to see if they wanted to do something original, something new. I went to laptop to track down the script and print it, only to find it was not there.

Anywhere.

Somehow, in the transfer of my data from the old computer to the new one, the play, along with some of my photos, disappeared. I had some of the production materials, like the unused publicity posters and the waffle house logo, but no script. I had checked the inbox for my email, but I had been diligent about deleting old emails I’d received, and there was almost nothing from 2009.

I contacted some of the folks from the old troupe in the hopes they still had a copy of the script that either they could email to me or send by Pony Express for me to retype. No such luck, and since then, I thought Grandma’s House of Waffles was a casualty of technology.

However, just like in the zombie movies, nothing stays dead forever.

This morning, I went sifting through old emails and was sorting through my “Sent” folder, taking a trip down memory lane. I’d made it all the way back to 2009, and noticed an email sent to the aforementioned thespians from Page. There was an attachment. I opened it, and there was Grandma’s House of Waffles, just sitting there and waiting for me to take it home.

To say that I squealed with delight like a little girl who’d just found out the boy she was interested in liked her back would not adequately describe how I felt at discovering my long lost script. Let’s just say I was thrilled beyond belief.

While I had diligently kept my email inbox clean in the hopes that I wouldn’t ever reach my storage limit, I had left the “Sent” folder untouched. I have emails that are almost 10 years old in there, about the time that I activated my account. I only wish I’d realized this a few years ago, but then I wouldn’t feel like I’d found buried treasure today.

Not a bad way to start out a Monday.

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