I’m a writer. We’ve been over this before, it’s not news. For most of the last school year (August – June) my writing has been spotty. This can be attributed to having to hover over The Boy for him to get his schoolwork done. After doing that, I had little left in me for writing. Bits here and there, and that adds up, but generally unimpressive progress. Or so I thought.
My year-old Lenovo ultra thin laptop kicked it. That was unexpected. So unexpected I hadn’t been backing everything up in my typical paranoid-writer fashion like usual. I hadn’t uploaded copies of my Scrivener files to Dropbox in months. (Yes, I write in Scrivener. It’s a great program.)
Okay, fine, deep breath, hand it to Hubby and let him work on it. He’s already building a gaming computer with The Boy (from scratch, this is a learning experience for the kid and a father-son bonding thing), but hey, he can give my meltdown a once over. Then again. Yeah, it’s going to take some work and probably have to replace the hard drive.
Luckily I have my old computer, the reliable Dell, still at hand. It powered up, and sat on my lap like an old friend. And put my feet to sleep because it weighs a ton. Forgot about that. Not the Dell’s fault, this laptop is big on purpose. It has a full keyboard plus a number pad like the old desktop keyboards used to, a 17” screen, and two hard drives. Everything considered, it’s allowed to be a little bulky.
Unfortunately Mr. Reliable Dell hadn’t been turned on in a while and updates took all day because my power save settings were not prepared for doing updates. It kept going to sleep. Sigh. Solution? Take the laptop into the kitchen with me. Start making dinner, brush the mouse pad, get out a pan, brush the mouse pad, freezer, mouse pad, get milk, mouse pad, put away milk, mouse pad, etc… I watched update number 121 sit there for five hours. I’d love to know what that was, then bitch-slap Microsoft for it, whatever it is.
Yay, all updated! No. Restart computer, now Adobe wants to update everything, then Java. OMG, kill me. Restart again. Everything is peaceful. Go to Dropbox, get back up files – things quickly stopped being peaceful. Mommy turned psychotic.
I have two active works in progress that I’ve worked on depending on my mood. No, this is not the most efficient way to finish a book, but it works. It works really well if you’re having “I can’t think of what to write” issues because it gives you a broader range of options to try to find that Muse. (Mine plays hide-and-seek in future chapters of a book I’m trying to ignore in favor of finishing something else. Muses are like that.)
Anyway, neither book had been backed up recently, so I went to review what I’d lost. Quite a bit more than expected. A lot more than expected, on both of them. I didn’t think I’d been writing that much, but I was wrong. (Mystery solved two days ago when I sat down and wrote 5,600 words in three hours.) Months of a little here and there was tens of thousands of words. Sigh. And I’d completely rewritten the first two chapters of Desperate Wishes (which I’d hoped to have out by now) and that was gone too. My character list for the experimental sci-fi was gone, along with several chapters. Since I frequently don’t outline, or it’s incredibly general when I do, I don’t even really remember exactly what was in those chapters. I had a character dedicated to … something … and something else came up. Ah, hell.
The lesson here boys and girls: back up your writing regularly. Also, not on the same computer you’re writing on. That goes without saying. No help for those writing in a notebook like my brother. Nut.
So, I’m in a particularly bad mood, but I’m trying to catch up and recreating lost work isn’t necessarily bad, just annoying. The kids are largely avoiding me. Nimoy is my steady companion, napping beside me most of the day and wreaking havoc on the house at night. Jingles seems to understand there’s something ‘off’ about Mom, and she’s been inside a bit more and very lovey. It’s almost disconcerting. She’s also once again running up and down the stairs, making the one bell on her collar jingle wildly. I think it’s to remind us she’s there.
A reminder for anyone who doesn’t remember how Jingles got her name: As a kitten she jingled her bells about the house everywhere she went. It was cute in a way, but she’s a black cat and even as a kitten there seemed to be a sinister edge to it. Does anyone remember It’s a Wonderful Life? That old James Stewart movie? They douse us with it every Christmas. Anyway, one of the things from that movie that stands out is the line: Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings. So Jingles was giving angels wings. Yeah, there can’t be that many wingless angels, however. Follow me on this. If she’s giving angels wings, but there aren’t enough angels that need wings, then that means she’s creating angels to wing them. Um…which means she’s wiping out small rural villages in third world countries every time she runs down the stairs. Jingle, jingle, jingle… Oh. Hence Darth Jingles. And she’s at it again.
Maybe she gave wings to the Lenovo.