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*