If you’re one of my Twitter followers you’ve already heard what happened with my new novel, This Time, while I was working on it this weekend. If you’re not one of my Twitter followers, you really should be! Seriously, I put a lot of important information there. Not to mention, it inflates my ego to see the number of followers grow every day and makes me feel like maybe I’m not wasting my time with social media.
Okay, so what happened this weekend? A near disaster, that’s what. It didn’t start out that way. With my husband out with one of our kids and the other child hanging out with a friend and me at my desk working on my newest novel, it was a pretty typical weekend day. Then it happened.
After finishing a rather intense scene which included a major argument between the main characters and resulted in a key turning point in the story, I was ready for a break. I thought I’d take the time to empty the dishwasher while simultaneously thinking about what my next move with the story would be. Not wanting to be irresponsible, I clicked the save icon on my tool bar and stood up from my desk. That’s when it happened.
My jump drive caught on my clothes and was ripped from the computer mid-save. How did this happen? Well, the drive is attached to a lanyard that I wear around my neck and take almost everywhere I go when I’m not working on my stories. That lanyard caught on my clothes and came free from the computer while it was trying to perform the save operation which caused my computer to have a meltdown. Rather than recognizing the drive I was trying to save the file to was no longer enabled and offering me the chance to save it somewhere else, my computer had the nerve to shut the entire program down which resulted in the loss of the entire story which up to that point was hovering around 480 double-spaced type-written pages.
My first instinct was to panic, but I rebelled against the urge to puke and began combing through my computer files hoping there was a recovered version of the document. There was, but it was in a TXT form. I converted that to word and was able to retrieve the last few pages of what I’d written. The rest was gone, including the argument scene I was so proud of. Out of ideas as to how to get my document back, I sent my version of a restrained text message to my husband asking when I could expect him home. When he gave me the time, my reply was something to the effect of ‘Thank God because I just lost my whole story’. My husband reminded me that the story was backed up on his computer and could be retrieved from there.
So, if it was backed up on another computer what was the problem? I only have my work backed up once a week, usually Monday or Tuesday. Everything I’d spent the weekend working on wouldn’t be there. I tried to take comfort in the fact that at least I was only out 30 pages rather than almost 500, but it was of little comfort.
A short time later, my husband came home to try and save my story and my day. When I told him what happened, I could tell by that grim look that all hope was pretty much lost. Still, he gave it a try and set about doing an in-depth search with his recovery program. In the meantime, I went through all of the stages of grief. I was just about to the acceptance of the loss stage when my husband announced a version had been found and asked me to look at it. To my utter joy, he managed to recover the story up to what I’d done the day before. Add that to the portion I recovered, which was what I worked on that day, and I had my complete story again.