The Trunk Zombie

It seems to me that one of the points of intersection between my life as a developer and all-around computer geek, and my life as a science fiction and fantasy writer, is that I have “trunk” projects in both.

Writers will already be familiar with the concept of “trunk stories.” Those are the stories that, well, end up moldering in a trunk somewhere (usually digital these days), unfinished, unsalable, and generally unloved – yet we can’t quite bring ourselves to part with them. “Someday, I’ll finish that zombie romance drama,” we tell ourselves. No, we won’t. But we’re sure as hell never going to admit that to ourselves.

Developers have their unfinished – nay, unfinishable – pet projects, too. “Gonna get that cat grooming guide app done any day now. Any. Day.”

As someone with a foot in both worlds, sometimes I find myself wondering which trunk to ignore the hardest. I have unusable snippets of code and text accumulated around me like so much digital confetti.

Sometimes, a project emerges from the trunk, though. Like that zombie I mentioned earlier, it fights its way up from the purgatorial shadows, groaning and demanding brains. Or at least brainpower.

I’m dealing with a writing zombie right now. The decision I have to make is whether to put a bullet in its head,¬†Walking Dead-style, or give it a hug and let it gnaw on my gray matter for a while. At least with these zombies, the effects are temporary.