Sunday, December 14, 2008

And then I lost ...

One of those things you think will never happen to you.

Absolutely no warning of any kind.

And the worst part is it feels almost karmic because of the timing.

I was meeting with a bunch of people at a local coffee house to work on a novel I wrote a number of years ago and have been rewriting for even more years on top of that (about 7 years altogether). Now that Nanowrimo is over, I decided it was high time I get down to brass tacks and get the thing finished once and for all. Then move on to three others I have started in previous Nanowrimos that need to be finished, then edited and rewritten.

While I was typing, I had a vague thought: I should start backing up these files. I had a new memory card thingy that I won at a Nanowrimo drawing and figured I should put it to good use. One of those thoughts that you know is a good one, but you're distracted at the moment, so you don't really give it the full value it deserves.

So what happens when I get home and, later that evening, turn the computer on?

Nothing. A complete and utter blank. Nothing but a black screen. The mouse arrow waded in the center of the blackness with nothing to click on.

There was nothing we could do. Logan had to reset the computer to the original factory settings. We're still not entirely sure if our files are squirreled away in some recovery area, but I'm not holding my breath.

I mean, the timing of it was uncanny!

I'm taking this as a sign that I have proven to myself I am capable of writing an entire novel. Therefore, I should put the old stuff to bed and begin anew.

I still have the original copy of that very first finished novel on disc. But we no longer have the program it was written in. And I've lost all the new parts I added the last year or so. And I've lost the heart to redo it yet again. I think seven years was long enough.

Now all I need are some new ideas. That's the area I'm lacking right now. I usually get my story ideas from my dreams, but I haven't been remembering any for the last few months.

Perhaps it's time to face my fears and jump into the zombie culture. I have a zombie novel in mind, but zombies scare the crap out of me. The only thing I fear more is drowning.

Well, that and losing my voice. Especially since I'm the lead in a musical that's opening in a month.


Speaking of writing, the melodrama that I wrote with my best friend is being performed at the Olde Coloma Theatre ( and will be closing soon. It's called "A Coloma Christmas". Go see it and bring a video camera! I want to see it, too!

1 comment:

Matthew said...

If it's any consolation, it's happened to me too. I've also had the nightmare happen to me of "one wrong key and the whole thing vanishes." Many things were thrown as a result of that. This is why I have an inherent distrust of computers.
And re the zombie thing: With the release of "Twilight," I fear zombies may be out in favor of a vampire resurgence.
Here's an idea: Write something about Alaska, but w/ a strong fantasy element. Combine the real with the unreal. Zombies (or vampires) in Anchorage, perhaps. You could use the local color to help promote the book. Remember how many people in P-ville became local celebrities just because they wrote about local stuff?