The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Work on WIP came to a roaring halt when I pulled it up one day to find the entire file corrupted. This was the day after I'd given myself a break from the piles on my desk--a wonderful, strikingly fantastic, long-houred (7-9 hours? I forget) day of personal writing with a sweeping momentum that included the whole middle all the way through pieces of the end.

And, dude. It was all gone.

I normally back up every day's work, but this time the computer had crashed before I shut it down (it does that sometimes, and normally, no biggie--I had already saved the ms and shut down the word processor) and so my only copy of this lovely humongous step forward was, along with the rest of my ms, cut up into bits of what looked like Klingon mixed with scraps of the old Apple game Zork, and scattered in unintelligible pieces over thousands (yes, thousands) of pages of document.

I spent a day figuring out that the only thing I could do was get it most of it back (not all; I'd still lose some work) without formatting, and then try to remember where I'd revised and try to copy and paste those things into the previous uncorrupted version, while retyping them so it made any goddamn sense whatsoever in the English language. The problem is, I'd revised, rewritten, and moved tens or hundreds of pieces of story into place--work that was scattered over at least a hundred pages--and I'd also rearranged them over and over as I did so.

So now I'm about halfway back to where I was, but I'll be damned if I can remember what was so brilliant and made me so happy that last glorious day before God decided to smack me down.

Such is life. I remember one time years ago when the family computer died and I was so in love with my novel-at-the-time that I wrote the entire thing out longhand. That novel sucked, but boy, was I happy writing it. It's not the hand-cramps I remember most now, or that gut-punch disappointment of realizing that my computer was dead, but the joy of spilling my heart onto the pages. I still have all those notebooks somewhere.

That's not happening here, but at least I'm not wasting more than a few hours being miserable about lost work. What's gone is gone, and at least it's easier transcribing 30 or 50 or whatever pages of Klingon than writing an entire g-d novel longhand.

And, just as Scarlett shook her fistful of dirt at the sky and swore that she'd never be hungry again, I'm shaking my fist at the sky and making a commitment to try to finish a full draft of this thing by residency in July. I'm nowhere near this goal, I know I'm extremely unlikely to meet it, and I know that by stating this out loud I'm daring--nay, begging--the writing gods to come f*ck me up some more. So be it. Writing gods, you're on. You will have to pry my cold dead fingers from the keyboard if you hope to make me quit this thing.