Seriously?! Again? Lost and Found Words


So, I just spent about 3 hours being SERIOUSLY bummed.  (Spoiler alert – everything has turned out Fine.  Big happy sigh of relief.)

I started my Sunday off by turning on my Jack & Jill Pandora station and then proceeding to play Threes for like 3 hours straight.  (Mr. Aveline is an evil evil man for handing the compulsive woman in his life a game that could easily eat my brain and my days.)  Thing is, during those three hours I was also quite happily constructing back-story to explain some key elements of Jill’s relationship with Jack.  When I finally had to get up to pee and realized that  yes, I had actually wasted three whole hours on a mindless game I stopped.  Instead I went downstairs, said hello to my living-room full of people, took my laptop back into my cave my bedroom where I huddled and started typing out the scenario I had been playing in my head all morning.

Cut to 6 PM.  Laptop battery got low and the computer spontaneously shut itself off with NO warning.  Minor heart-attack.  Go downstairs, grab a bite to eat, acknowledge the existence of my family for a few minutes (really, only a few – most of my brain was busy freaking out about whether I’d lost a whole days work or not).  Took the charger cord upstairs, rebooted, held my breath and opened the file.  Phew!  Everything was there all the way down to the last comma I’d typed before the screen went black.  Thank goodness for the frequent auto-save feature in Scrivener!

Resume typing, unreservedly recording the details of a whole segment of time that takes place five years previous to the beginning of my manuscript.  The Chapter heading for my days work is “Jack Flashbacks with no place yet”.  Mr. Aveline eventually comes up to bed, but I am not *quite* done with the thoughts in my head.  I unplug and continue typing as Mr. Aveline settles down beside me to sleep.  I was yawning and just wrapping up the end of the scene at 11:55 PM when once again my battery gave out and my laptop suddenly and with no warning went dead in my hands.  Shit!  Oh well, it is late, I am tired, and I was basically done anyhow.  I will not disturb Mr. Aveline to alleviate my anxiety, but instead put down the dead computer and go to sleep, secure in the knowledge that it was *totally* fine the first time it happened and so would likely be fine this time also.  Worst case scenario I maybe lose the last hour or so of work I put in to the 7,270 word count day I just put in.

So, 7 am, kids are up and preparing for school and I collect my laptop.  I Bring it downstairs and plug it in, boot it up and fire up Scrivener.  There is the file “Jack Flashbacks”.  Click on it and it comes up onto the screen and Is Totally Blank.  Not one single word there.  7,270 words – gone … disappeared … MIA.  Frantically searching for restore options, back-up copies, anything … sweating and desperate … and … *nothing*  My entire Sunday, gone with one low battery shut-down.  What about that life-saving Scrivener auto-save feature?  What about the stuff that was most definitely still there after the *first* shut down and restart?!  ALL OF IT?  SERIOUSLY?!  AGAIN?

This happened to me once before, and after a month and a half it somehow mysteriously restored when I duped a folder.  I tried that trick this morning.  Nadda.  Nothing.  *Banging head against the wall and trying really hard not to throw anything, break anything, scream or cry in frustration.* 

I started the rationalization thing … It’s okay, it wasn’t even technically part of the manuscript, just back story for me to cherry pick later.  At least now I have the foundations pretty solid in my head, if not on paper.  Yeah, but 7,270 words!  The whole manuscript is only about 28,000 words without the unplaced flashbacks, 35,000 with … that is a significant chunk of what I’ve produced!  Gone … but I am not crying.

No, really, I am not.  Because first thing I did when I got to work?  Open up my manuscript.  See, thing is, I store the files in my drop-box so that I always have the working copy available regardless of what computer I am on.  Turns out, the backed up copy had been updated in drop-box but my lap-top hadn’t synced yet this morning (or something … I am not really sure how that worked out).  Point is, yes, they disappeared and I freaked out pretty hard-core for a few hours, but then, like magic, they are back. 

Yes, I made a completely separate back-up project folder with today’s date appended to ensure that they do not disappear again.  I am thinking that from now on I will copy the working copy to the desktop and then move it back into drop-box once I have finished for the day.  Except, I’m not sure if that would have saved me the freak out this morning, or only meant that there would not have been a current version to restore from.  *shaking my head*  In any case … what a way to start a Monday Morning!

Yes, I know … back up early and often.  *Wry grin*


Day 19 – TGIF

Boy has it been a long week!  Last night I had a great couple of conversations though … conversations that reminded me of how excited I am about this whole journey, and why I love the things that I am doing.

You ever do that to yourself?  Get so lost in the mechanics of a thing that you lose sight of why you started it in the first place?  Anyhow – last night I went “Oh yeah, I really like doing this stuff – it isn’t just one more obligation and responsibility … it is actually something I love.  (My daughter says, “Don’t you hate it when your avocations start feeling like your vocations?”)

After an awesome conversation with my 16-year-old, I have some great direction for writing the teenage character that has stumped me.  I am writing an imaginary friend for my kid.  That idea tickles me.

Mindfulness … I am having a tough time establishing this habit.  I haven’t figured out (haven’t wanted to?) how or where to fit it in.  Maybe I am trying to change too many things all at once.

Or maybe I am just full of excuses.


Regardless … I am happy that it is Friday … and I am looking forward to spending the weekend *not* at work … and doing some of these things that I love.

Day 16 – Walking the yard

Walking the Yard

It is another late night at work … in fact I am writing this from my desk and will be picking up my keys and heading home as soon as I hit Publish.

I did better with the mindfulness stuff today though.  I got myself up and away from my desk 3 times for real breaks, and ate lunch to boot.  I spent my first couple of breaks just stretching my legs and getting my blood moving.  It sounds pathetic (is pathetic) but I didn’t want to mess with traffic, or fighting to get the roller-gate that always jumps its track open – and I guess I was too lazy to circle the building to go across the street to the park.  Instead I “walked the yard”, walking circles around the fenced in parking lot behind the building.

At 6, when everyone else had gone home I got a little more energetic and did some calisthenics to get my blood pumping and wake me up so I could be a little more efficient in my last few hours of working.  I do not remember the last time I did jumping jacks!

I still have a couple of posts percolating in my head … thinking about my grandmother and my mother and myself – and exercise habits and long-term effects … and about the noise thing.  Spent the day plugging away on my computer with my headphones on and my ears full of sound.  Intend to fall asleep to Stephen Fry reading to me.  A few more days … and then maybe I will be ready to face some quiet and the insides of my head.



Day 15 – Brutal

It was a brutal Monday, and I am just barely getting this post in under the gun.  13 hour work day, bathroom breaks and a dinner break – but no Mindfulness activities today.  Mr. Aveline (mock) wagged his finger at me over that at dinner.

I need to write about noise … I am insulating myself with noise.  Even falling asleep to sound lately.

*sigh*  Pathetic, but I am glad this Monday is behind me.
Tomorrow is another day.

Father’s Day

Purple neck tie

Well, my weekend has not gone according to plan at all … but it has all turned out to be good anyhow.  While Mr. Aveline was at work this morning the kids and I did some chores and coordinated a surprise Father’s Day dinner.

lasagna, salad and french bread are ready to go on the table as soon as the oldest and her boyfriend arrive.

Phone calls to father and stepfather done and a relaxing evening ahead of us.

Spending my mindfulness minutes today thinking about my dad, lot’s of memories … and thinking of how proud he would be of his grand-kids, and Mr. Aveline and me too.

Wishing all of the dad’s out there – whether biological or not … a very happy father’s day. And sending some thoughts out too for those who were not so lucky with their draw for “father” … hoping that they have found a loving and supportive “dad” figure to fill the hole … and wishing *those* men a happy father’s day also.


Day 13 – tender spots and subconscious bandages

Day 13 … it feels strange typing that Day X in the Title bar.  I have turned things around – writing this in the morning, instead of late in the afternoon or evening as I started.  Day 13 is just starting, after all, so really all I can write about is how day 12 went.

Day 12 went swimmingly.  I had a good long talk with Mr. Aveline last night.  I let all the thoughts that had percolated during the day out.  He listened, reassured me, held me when I cried.

Yeah, I cried … but they were good tears – break-through tears – stress-relief tears.  They were not sad or frustrated or angry tears.  I hate crying.  *laugh*  I am not a pretty crier.  Plus, crying offends the control freak in me, I am pretty sure.  Given all that – I think that sometimes Mr. Aveline is relieved when he gets to hold me through the kind of crying I did last night.  (It means maybe I will stop being such a crazy bitch for a while! *wink*)

Anyhow – the tears were a result of a couple of minor epiphanies.  The first being that tomorrow is Father’s Day.  The second being that – quite literally – the last time I did these specific motions (meditate-stretch-walk regime) was during The Worst Period of my post-twenties adult life.   Both are tender spots on my soul, for different reasons.

Father’s Day – I’m afraid that Mr. Aveline has gotten the short-end of the stick with this one. My father died over the Father’s Day weekend when I was eighteen years old.  It was (and still is) the worst thing that ever happened “to me”.  Every year around this time I go a little crazy.  I get moody and sad and itchy.  It helps when I acknowledge the time of year.  It gives me a framework for the emotions that inevitably surge to the surface and then I know how to cope with them.  When it sneaks up on me, as it did this year – the feelings still come – my subconscious never forgets –  they blindside my conscious self.

The other thing … well, I don’t really want to get into it now … but much like the father’s day thing – I think I was poking at the bruises, picking at the scabs, without thinking about what I was doing and my psyche started wrapping me in emotional batting trying to cushion me and protect the owie spots.  Now that I have realized what is happening I can trim my fingernails, stop picking and use a properly sized bandage instead of mummifying myself.

So – up at 7 am on a Saturday – again – while everyone else is still sleeping and the house is quiet … to stretch and meditate and vomit some words into my blog.  The boys have agreed to go on an outing to the park with me today to take some photo’s for an art project I am working on.  I promised them ice-cream at our favorite shop when we are through.

“Time doesn’t. All that Time does is make it more distant, put more space between you and what happened. It doesn’t heal anything. I don’t know how or what does the healing, but it isn’t Time.” –  Mercedes Lackey

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
― Rumi