A New Life in Seattle

A New Life in Seattle
August, 2018

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Day My House was Set on Fire: Part 1

Disaster can strike in the time that it takes to move from one table to another one in Starbucks. Five minutes after booting up my laptop, my favorite table opened. I shut down...moved over...and got the Blue Screen.

With time and persistence and pluck, I can retrieve most of the files that I lost--except one: I'd failed to make a backup copy of my work in progress. And I was just days away from sending the 'show copy' to my beta readers.

I did find a saved second draft on a flash--but this was from a half-year ago and the book had been through many drafts since then.

The work I faced was staggering--assuming that I could remember enough of my changes to start.

Also, I had a new challenge:  once again I'd been left without a laptop, having to rely on one-hour sessions on library computers. I felt tempted to quit--and yet I had to try before abandoning what I believed was the best of my Boss MacTavin novels.

I had proven persistence and pluck. But I had no strategy for coping with computer time restraints.

So, that became the first all-important step.

Stay tuned for updates as I go. The Boss Recovery Copy is already underway, forty-odd pages completed.

The next report will tell you how--with my house burned down--I returned to the house of my youth...the way I used to write/revise before there were computers.

This is shaping up to be one of my life's great adventures.


  1. My partner's shed / office / personal space / archive did burn down and he lost all his work, including novel in progress as the back-up copy was on a memory stick in the drawer of the desk where his computer sat with the main copy. In that single moment we became rabid coverts to cloud storage. I think the worst thing though was all the letters and papers and pre-internet articles etc etc + about 5000 books. Irreplaceable. GOOD LUCK Reb (am just paying out £250 to data retrieval service for my youngest son's A level photography work whihc was on a flash drive which failed. He, silly boy, wasn't using back up cloud storage ...) Assume you've tried professional data retrieval on your computer?

  2. Julia, thanks for sharing that. You're the second person to mention Cloud and I will look into this week. I have someone who'll look at the hard drive, but I'll need to recover the new book from memory before then. Live and learn!


Your comments are welcome. Just keep them civil, please.