Tag Archives: Hard disk drive

My Lost Manuscript Part 1


Friday Jan 11,2013 will forever be a day when my heart nearly stopped. That was the day my computer lost my novel of 20k.  I am part of a group of writers who are striving to write every day for the year 2013. It could be a paragraph, a page or even more. It does not matter so long that you write.

Some of us have made a personal word count to try to achieve on a daily basis. Well early Saturday I had accomplished my word count, saved the document and moved on with my life. I did not pay much attention to my computer as I primarily worked offline.  I had started to make a list of all my short stories and books and placed them in a chart plus in a folder so I had ready access to them. When I looked for the book that I had been working on just that morning I could not find the file. It was not on the desk top, documents, temporary files or the trash bin.

Panic did fill me as I looked at each folder one by one in case I had misfiled. No cigar. I had just done a back up of my computer the day before so there was that. Until I plugged it in and the computer would not could not open it up. My heart was falling fast at this point as it beat faster in its descent.  I saw three files on my desktop that had the name of my book. I opened each one up. One had a page count of 24, the other 32 and the last one 41. My page count that morning had been 80. Shit shit shit

The tears started to flow as the realization that it might be gone. Calling my husband up I asked for advice, he stated he would look at my computer when he got home.  I have always written my writings by pen and paper first, always. In fact the first 10k of this book was written by hand. But I decided to see if I could do it by computer and save the time. Lesson learned, never again. It takes more time but it saves the heart aches  As I stared at the compute screen the tears flowed faster. With that came the anger. I started to fuss and scream and yell at the stupid piss of shit computer that had dared to take my book away from me. How it had nerve as it mock me with files that had half the book as it teased me into a false hope that they were the book I was so desperately looking for.

I sat back in my chair and just sighed softly to myself. I had been so careful with my works. I have three external hard drives that I do back ups on a more than regular basis. I can’t chance on anything happening to my works. I am so careful it borders on paranoia. But yet here I was with a MS of 20k words and it was gone. The lovely part, yes I am being sarcastic, was when I did a file search it first told me no such file existed yet my desk top clearly had three versions of it. Then a few minutes later my computer told me oh yes you do have that file and it is in this spot. Upon going to the location no such file existed. Yes my computer had the upper hand and it knew it.

To Be Continued…

MIA: Chapter 2

My editor in email: I found a minor loop-hole in the MS.

OK don’t panic was my first thought. I was still in Maine when I received the email. She is mistaken, I know that the part she mentioned was covered in one of the earlier chapters. Don’t freak out I will look at it when I get back.

A few days later after getting home I checked out her edited copy of my MS and began to read. I scan down to the part she mentioned had the loop-hole. She probably just missed it as she was editing. Scrolling back to the beginning I reread my book. I finished and reread it again.

Where in the hell was chapter 2? OK I probably sent the wrong file. Looking over my entire computer I found file after file of the revised chapters but the one I needed. It had to be here. The first time I revise anything by computer instead of long hand and this is what happens. Great just freaken great. How in the world did I lose a whole chapter?

Going over my computer one more time I looked and crossed fingers to no avail. My husband being ever so helpful asked, “Well where did you file it?”

Really hon? He followed that up with, “Well what is the name of the file you can do a search.” Again really? If I knew where I filed it or remembered the name I would have done so. I know I know he was trying to help me but this was not working. An hour later he suggested I checked my laptop but I pish poshed that away for I had used my desktop.

In June my step dad died and we went up. It now being August I made another trip back to see how my mom was doing. In the week to leaving I had to rearrange my doctor appointments, physical therapy, and meetings. I had to pack, make sure my medication was refilled and pay my bills and to get others to be paid while gone. My five bird cages had to be clean and prepped and ready for my son to take over while I was away. And of course the gabillion things that need to be done prior to a trip. Where I was going there would be limited access to the internet.

In between all of this I was revising my MS to send to my editor before I left so she could go over it while I was gone. The infamous MS that was turned down by a publisher but who had told me where it needed fixing. Asking him if I revised it would he look at it again he had said yes. So the week before leaving was a mess.

My thought on my missing chapter was I had copied over it. There was no other explanation. I am paranoid when it comes to saving my writings. I save them on my computer and two external hard drives- each chapter each revision each MS.

I would have to rewrite this chapter. While I could recall what was in it this didn’t thrill me. Coming back from a trip usually means a few days of getting caught up at the homestead. My poor editor just listened to me vent, fuss and complained as she patiently said it is okay you can do this.  Bless her heart

Four hours later

Totally frustrated with the prospect of what had to be done I sat down on the couch to watch tv as I picked up my laptop to search for this and that. As the screen lite up I saw the file ants.odt. Could it be?

The missing chapter was about ants. Trying to not get over excited I opened it up and shazam my MIA opened before my very eyes. Immediately I hugged my poor husband and turned back to the file. Here it was. I have no recollection of working on this machine while I was busy revising the MS. But here it was waving hello to me with a smirk.

The time this fiasco started was 840am and the end time was 435pm. Yeah someone told me I should have listened to my husband. But at that point I was already in frenzy mode and there  was no derailing that train. The MIA chapter has been sent to my editor and upon completion the new revised MS will be sent to the publisher.

I can breath again… for now.