How spectacularly the wheels came off…

So… last night sucked.

Well, last night and this morning, since I spent four hours trying to recover my lost manuscripts.

Yes. Lost.

They can’t be active undeleted. That can’t be system restored. They can’t be called up out of the hundreds of back-ups made, because according to the writing program I used, they never existed.

So I can’t open my Doorways rough rewrite, but I have a copy of it to Word, if I decline all edits I made.

Half of the original opening for Don’t Look Back is missing, but at least I hand-wrote it over to my notebook for NaNoWriMo.

Guardian seems to open and refuse at random, but I’ve managed to copy/paste it to Word.

No. My problem lies with Eden’s Son I.E. WiP2. The entire rewrite is gone. Poof. Up into the ether. All of the back-ups only read up to before I started it. There are no Word versions because I didn’t send it to anyone to read. I didn’t copy/paste because a) it’s freaking tedious and b) it’s safe as long as I back up? Right?

Turns out no. Turns out backing up manually to create an extra copy obliterated months worth of work in less than a second.

So lesson number 1: NEVER use freeware. It’s worth as much as you paid for it.
Number 2: NEVER assume that programmers think further than the tips of their noses. They don’t. So that thing that seems obvious to do because it’s what is supposed to happen? Don’t do it before going to help and making doubly sure that that isn’t the one that in his own words “DO NOT DO UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.”

But now I have to wonder: If I risk losing my work if I don’t back-up and if I do? What action should I take? Print every page every freaking time? Because apparently it means bullshit to people that you spent most of a year on the work you lost, because apparently: “It can’t vanish.” is a satisfactory reply.

But like I said. I spent four hours last night looking for the data. My mother spent two this morning. It isn’t there.

I am starting to accept this. Slowly, but it’s hard, because now I know that my end of January goal for WiP2 is screwed. In fact, I downloaded the trial for Scrivener last night with the plan to buy the program in a month, but you know what? I don’t want to write. I don’t want to even look at my rough draft. Because all that I can see is the end of the document that’s supposed to be followed by 26 chapters or thirty five thousand hard-fought words.

And then I want to kill something.

But on the flip-side, I’ve never thought I could lose over a hundred thousand words of everything and survive, but here I am.

So… what’s your record loss? Got any horror stories to share? How did you recover?
Any Scrivener users out there? Is the program any good?
Any other drafting programs that I can look at?

Paranoia… Out of style?

How many times have I been told that I’m paranoid?

Ooooh… I lost count. Still I can’t help smiling at the fact that the people complaining about this are those that tried to beat me at strategic games. “No one is out to get you,” they say. “You need to learn to trust more…”

I guess that is true, but then, I’m usually the last one to be back stabbed, because I have checked out all the angles – especially my back. Some may say I have trust issues…  insist that I’m smart.

What does this have to do with writing and this blog?


Having heard the horror stories about the literary works of brilliant writers being stolen by friends and family, I am more than a little wary of sharing too much of my story line. So, if you have been wondering about my lack of storyline explanation, that’s why.

It’s not that I don’t trust anyone. It’s just that I attach more value to my book than any of my material things. I love this book. I can even risk being pompous and say that it is my favourite. When you have a favourite painting, you ensure it, right? For me it’s the same with my book…

I checked out some copyright laws and and noticed two things:

  • Anything that I’ve written is protected by copyright. That includes any articles, prose, poetry, blog posts etc. So… technically it’s safe to write portions of my story, say a chapter or excerpts.
  • However, ideas, characterisation and plans for the book are- as far as I understand- not. So, if I explained the planning in my book, or explained the ending, someone with enough smarts and skill can take the information and use it to create a book. According to me, they will be creating an alternate version of my book…

I’m not saying that anyone is as stupid as me, picking an epic of some complexity and trying to work it into a good book. I’m just making sure that I covered all the angles…

Which brings me to a useful little tool I stumbled across tonight… Any writer out there worried about what happens to their work after it has been written, I strongly suggest you check out Google Alerts. It’s a free service that monitors the replication of words or phrases on the Internet after you wrote them and informs you by e-mail if it happens.

So… not only can I share some of my written compositions, knowing that I have copyright, but I’ll know if someone infringed on that right – on the Internet, anyway. Still, it’s better than nothing, so I might one day be convinced to write parts of my book…

The idea actually excites me, since I would love to receive some unbiased opinions about my work. Perhaps the time to share is near. In fact…

“Business trips… moving house… adopting siblings… Some things parents must at least mention to their children. Yet, James’s parents have dropped the ball on all three…”