Saturday, September 4

The Dog Ate It and other s*** happens

       In my case last night, the dog happened to be my not-so-trusty thumb drive. It must have been planning this for a while 'cause I’ve had the thing for four years, and it’s never failed me before. So what happened was (ya know something bad or weird’s gonna happen when the story starts out with this) I finally started rewriting my Chapter 6 after putting it off for about three weeks.

        After much agony, I spent two and a half hours of blood, sweat and tears to pump out 2500 words. I saved it after each paragraph because I’m anal about preserving my work. I was about to upload it to my Dropbox and hit Ctrl+S one more time and my document crashed.  Yep, crashed. Irretrievable. My heart deflated in my chest and I felt like crying and throwing up all at the same time.

        Why couldn’t it have crashed the other document I had open, my entire manuscript? At least that was on Dropbox, all safe and sound. Well, after trying to recoup it for about half an hour, I started rewriting the chapter all over again, uploading to Dropbox every two minutes in a fit of paranoia. On the bright side, it was only a chapter rewrite and I have a tendency to read back over and over again as I progress, so I remembered about 90% of what I’d written. I still mourn for the lost 10%.

        My thought process about this as I walked back to my ship feeling crushed and dejected was ‘why does this crap happen to me?’ I had to remind myself shit happens. I pulled out my own words I’d offered to a coworker, a shipmate, who was young, getting a divorce, having financial and roommate problems, and having Mom’s boyfriend conflicts.

        It seemed pretty rough, but I looked back at the rough times in my life and everyone else around me and it wasn’t any rougher. She asked when it would ever end and just settle down. I said it won’t. It’s LIFE. It’s like this for everyone. There’s always a challenge or an obstacle. Whether it crushes you or not depends on how you deal with it. Can you accept the challenge, handle it, and move ahead?

        I dealt with my obstacle last night by rewriting the chapter all over again before it wasn’t fresh in my head any longer. So what if I was up until 3 AM doing it? I feel so much better now that it’s done that the initial loss doesn’t hurt so much any more. I had to work at it instead of throwing my hands in the air and giving up.

        Some obstacles are harder than others, obviously, but when it comes to the day to day grind, you have to pick your fights. I won’t be crushed by anything as small as the dog eating my work. I’ll save my breakdown for something big.

        So how do you deal with life’s challenges? What carries you through? What advice do you give to those who are struggling? And how long should you have a thumb drive anyway before you replace it with something new that won’t eat your manuscript???

PS, off the subject, head over to Alex J. Cavanaugh’s blog and join his Top Ten TV Shows Blogfest! And don’t forget to sign up for my Blogfeast on Sep 23.  I've also updated my "Books" page to better reflect what books I'm working on.  You can check that out in the upper left corner.  Yep, waaaay up there.  Have a great holiday weekend!


  1. Hey, thanks so much for mentioning my blogfest! The Movie Dirty Dozen was such a hit, I had to move to television.
    I'm paranoid like you when it comes to saving my stuff - and yet things can still go wrong. What resiliency that you just sucked it up and started again!

  2. OUCH! It's wonderful that you just rewrote it rather than breaking down and throwing the thing out the window. I applaud you!

  3. Wow Angela, that's a harrowing story. I can feel for you just a wee bit in losing important, hard-worked on, and creative writing... I'm not a writer but have lost important documents and it's rage-producing. You have my respect for just buckling down while the brain still had short-term retention and re-writing it (the 90% any way).

  4. WOW that sucks but good for you just taking it in stride and writing while it was still fresh in your mind, I have lost so many things over the years I can totally relate!!

  5. Kudos for being able to rewrite that missing chapter. I've been in the same boat a couple of times, when I've closed out a document without saving the changes.

    But as for when life throws those few screwballs, I just take a deep breath and walk away for a little while. Once I've calmed down enough so that I don't make myself look like a jerk, I pick up the pieces and carry on.

  6. Wow, that sucks. Even losing just 10% can be devastating. I hope you get your words back. I've lost words before and after beating myself up, I realize I just have to start again.


  7. What's the saying, 'Life's S**t and then you die'? Sometimes it is. I would have probably cried and cursed in your situation. But like you, I'd have put things in perspective and started again.

    An inspiring post.

  8. That is such a bummer. I hope it doesn't happen again. I'd say you handled it very nicely...I would have cried. Great job soldiering through and rewriting it...BRAVO!

    Edge of Your Seat Romance

  9. My heart just sinks for you. I know that feeling so well! But look at you, you survivor, you turned it into a triumph.

    When things fall apart around me, I just "pull up my garters and go", as my father used to say. We simply have to deal with it. Giving up isn't an option.

    And thank you for saying such nice things about Stilettos and Shirley Temples! Sometimes S. and I are like, "How far should we take this thing?" But then we see that somebody is still interested, and that drives us on. You're an inspiration. :)


  10. Hate it when that happens! I've been fortunate lately in not losing anything but some comments now and then. It is a fear that I really don't do much about though my intentions are there. And lifes challenges? I don't know. I just take things as they come and try not to worry too much after they're gone.

    Tossing It Out

  11. Oh, I'm so sorry. I have lost many things before, so I understand this pain. So sorry. :(


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