"Wherever men have lived there is a story to be told." Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Black Holes, Cyberspace, and Missing Manuscripts

After more interruptions that resulted in a couple of weeks away from my suspense book, I sat down yesterday to get back to work on what, I hoped, was going to be the near-final draft. I decided I'd better back up what I had on my flash drive–just in case– since I hadn't done that for quite a while.

When I clicked on the folder to open it, the cursor highlighted the folder above it. Not thinking too much about it, I moved the cursor back to my book folder, clicked on it again, and. . .voila! it vanished. I thought, this can't be. It has to be here somewhere. It can't have just disappeared into cyberspace. But I searched and searched and couldn't find it. Trying not to panic, I assured myself that I at least had a hard copy from months earlier, but I got momentarily ill thinking of the job it would be to re-type those 400 pages and remember all the changes I'd made.

Trying not to panic, I called my critique partner and managed to sound calm. "Guess what? I think I just deleted my entire book."

"Oh my God, no." I could hear the utter shock in her voice, echoing my panic.

Only another writer could relate to this and what it meant. Luckily, she was thinking more clearly than I was. She immediately set to work, walking me through the steps to search for the file. We both breathed a sigh of relief when it finally popped up on my screen. I clicked on it to make sure it was indeed there. I hurried and saved it to my flash drive. Then I realized what had happened. During all the highlighting and clicking, it had accidentally been moved into the folder above it.

Technology. You gotta love it.


Karen Amanda Hooper said...

I learned my lesson about backing up when my laptop got virused. I couldn't even open Word, much less any files. 30k words, sat teetering on the edge of extinction, but a good techie friend of mine saved the day and recovered it. NOW, I have two flash drives and back up every couple days. :)

B.J. Anderson said...

I'm SOOOOOO glad you found it. I would not be so cool if I deleted my manuscript.

Huriya said...

Oh my God that must be the scariest moment!
Glad you found it back..

Strange Fiction said...

This strikes a nerve. I've had similar experiences and it is terrifying. I periodically e-mail my latest drafts to my hotmail account. I like to know that come what may I'll be able to access my work from any computer. Thanks for the reminder!

Lady Glamis said...

Ack! This has happened to me before! I had a heartache, then came back to life when I found the file. So glad you found it. :D