Welcome to the New Year

Once more around the block for all of us (as based on some random point in space-time picked by someone in ancient times as being significant, and now carried on by thousands of years of tradition).

This last year has been a serious change in my personal focus, as I picked up some new skills as an indie writer and publisher.

And of course, I spent a lot of it pounding out a crap ton of words…


Unfortunately, December has turned out to be a cap on the year that I could well have done without. On December 10th, I blew up my main computer (and those of you who have seen it, know it is my one true indulgence … I am kinda a computer size-queen).

The problem is that it had all my work on it. ALL OF IT.

And before anybody says I should have it backed up … I did. I can’t really effectively use cloud storage because I use satellite for internet (and there are all kinds of technical issues we could discuss about what problems that poses, but let’s say, you will never convince me to give up my pine trees and solitude for better internet).

So anyway, I do have an in-house server onto which I back things up.

It is a nice computer with a couple terabyte of external storage, and it does the trick. Because I have this system in place, I wasn’t worried about loosing much more than my desktop and maybe a few of my bookmarks for my book research. It would be inconvenient, but not insurmountable, and I can always use the server as a workstation while I get my main machine back up and running.

I order my replacement parts for my personal computer from the Mighty Zon (before Christmas … sigh), and I anxiously sit here tracking the packages as they are shipped by carrier pigeon (that was probably duct-taped to a  turtle … that is riding piggyback on a snail … into a headwind … uphill both directions …).

Obviously, everything got delayed over the holiday, but even though I ordered it all with expedited shipping, it ends up being the day after Christmas before the stuff gets here. I’ll have to run to town to pick them up since they don’t deliver packages to the mailbox out in the sticks, where the hills have eyes (and the neighbors have crowbars to get into the parcel boxes).

No biggie … RIGHT.

THEN, the day after Christmas the Universe, with its typical ironic sense of humor, decides to call a snow day. With like two feet of wonderful fluffy powder for good measure.

BUT I’m ready for that game…. and so I’m one to NOT to let the weather gods get in my way!

I break out my earth-mauling, 1-Ton, 4X4 dually, behemoth of a pick up truck (mind you, it IS a survival tool in the wilderness, and not another compensation mechanism) and with this growling beast of a truck, I get my butt into town to get my damned parts.

YAY! Success.

(And I did get a bit of amusement watching people in lesser trucks playing bumper cars in the grocery store parking lot when I got there … I do have a sick sense of humor after all).

So anyway I digress…

I get myself, my parts and some extra bags of dog food home from the store, and I put my wonderful computing machine back together. I get it booted up, and the operating system installed, and all my software installed … and then …

Oh shit!

The server dies.

Well, not the server, but more importantly the external drive that has ALL MY BACKUP FILES ON IT! (and the backup files of my editor Ducky, since we use the same network.) At this point we are less than a week from launching my new book trilogy and everything is gone. That is book covers, and promotional artwork, and all the writing I have been banking so I can launch a lot of books this new year.

It’s gone … all of it.

It is a freaking apocalypse.

Several beer, and many gallons of coffee later, I start trying to rip into the dead drive with every software crowbar available. After learning what the tools do and how they work, and I figure out that somewhere along the way, the file table got corrupted. For the last several weeks it has been dumping backed up files on top of old files and then stomping them into a tangled mess of data-trash.

But one little piece of freeware software that I found online, steps up and says, “Let me see if I can collate your spaghettified data.” (Spaghettified is really a word for those of you who aren’t familiar with the physics of black holes.)

It warns me that it will take some time, and in this fact it wasn’t lying. I started this program running FOUR DAYS ago and it is still grinding away at it.

Finally, this morning when I got out of bed and looked at the screen on my computer, all my writing, and all our important artwork, was sitting there as pretty as anything. It is still repairing other things, but I HAVE NOT LOST A YEAR’S WORTH OF WORK.

I actually have to admit, I shed a tear or two when I saw that.

So now, I will start 2019 with my work magically restored on my new computer.

Today I am sitting inside watching the snow come down again (another foot on the ground already) and keeping track of my new books as they make their way into the world (check them out if you haven’t yet). If the weather holds, I’ll get a lot of writing done before the mud season starts.

And I can finally wave goodbye to 2018 (and honest, I am trying to use ALL my fingers as I do it … really).

Make the new year better than the old one.

Burn the boats behind you, and keep moving forward.

Dream well.

Eric

(And finally, I don’t do endorsements but holy crap, Recuva walks on freaking water.)

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