Unplugging the iron after the house has burned down

Last night I had a topic to write about but I’m coming up with nothing.  It was about 2:30 in the morning and I’d finished up writing up chapter and a half of Isle .  Of course because I’d shut down my laptop I couldn’t run back inside and jot it down.  I ran it over a few times in my mind, knowing for sure I’d remember when I woke up.

You know I didn’t.

I have a Lexar SecureMedia Jump Drive that is dead.  Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal as it is just a back up, however it was a back up of the laptop that went tits up back in May.  I did the right thing by backing up my harddrive, I just neglected to back up my back up.(Please don’t tell PJ that all of my completed short stories and The Cat Dragged Inn were on that drive.  It would break her heart.)  I keep Isle of Shadows on in progress on another drive, which has been backed up to two disks. I took it into a local company that specializes in data recovery and they can’t even get the light to come on.  For what I was giving them an hour they should have been able to make it reproduce and have lots of little jump drives.  I had to put a cap on the spending, so I don’t really know how far they could have gotten.  They didn’t have a Broke Writer’s fee schedule.

I’m in the process of gathering all of the stories I can think of them again from as many online sources as I can think of, since I did have them spread out on the net.  RJ tells me not to worry, that information may still be salvageable, but I’m not holding out a ton of hope.

Consequently the idea of losing so much work has sort of knocked the wind out of my writing sails.  It’s a pattern with me – once something I’ve done has fallen apart I’m reluctant to jump back into it (see: employment).  Granted it’s not my fault the drive failed, LEXAR ‘s SecureMedia 128MB drives have a (unknown to me) history of failure and absolutely no fix, but still, the idea of putting so much work into something only to have it explode like a beached whale baking in the sun.

I’ve taken to writing everything longhand (which is why there haven’t been many posts) and it was with great reluctance that fired up the laptop last night to transcribe it.  Of course now my fear is losing my notebooks because I have about a million of them with information for Isle spread out over at least four of them.  I went looking to see how far I’d gotten on CI before getting involved in other projects when it occurred to me that all of it in on that dead drive, as well as Never and the Caretaker.  Those I know I have online at Writer’s Café (parts anyway) but still because I write in fits and starts there were a lot of chapters begun waiting for a free moment to be fleshed out.

So today begins the internet salvage project – Luckily I’ve confined my compliment fishing to just a few sites and I can always check Gmail for sent attachments.  I don’t expect to be in a particularly great mood this week, but it’s better to begin this process of healing rather than to keep picking at the wound.

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