Friday, February 19, 2010

Pens and Paper Don't Crash

Technology. Who wants to live without it? Is there anything better than TiVo, GPS devices, cell phones, and computers? Really, sometimes it's hard to imagine life without these things.

But sometimes these things are more frustrating than they're worth. My GPS, which I LOVE occasionally decides to take me on these nice scenic drives for no reason that I can figure. Other times it tells me to make a turn or get off a freeway exit at the very last second forcing me to swerve into a lane. I can tell from the hand signals I get that other drivers don't appreciate my sudden moves either.

But my biggest love/hate relationship is with my computer. This week, I lost an entire novel. One second I'm working on a book, and the next my computer shuts off, because my new battery is apparently defective and when it says I have over 60% power, I actually have zero. This caused my writing program to decide to dump all my work and save nothing. Unless you're a writer, it's really impossible to explain the feeling of seeing your story disappear. But you suddenly feel like screaming, vomiting, crying, and dying at the same time.

I have to say, I did have a back up of this story from a month ago. Which is better than nothing, but since it's impossible to reproduce everything written since then, it's still devastating. However, being stubborn and refusing to believe the story was actually gone, I searched everywhere on my computer that might have a hidden copy. And amazingly, I found that my writing software made a timed back-up last Sunday.

I'm no longer Catholic, but still, I had to thank God and every saint, and angel I'd ever heard about in church.

Now, I remember actually typing on a typewriter when I was first contemplating being a writer back in my teens. I won't lie, it sort of sucked. You made a mistake, you had to use white-out or this paper strip that you typed over and it magically erased your mistake. But if you wanted to move a sentence around or add details to your work, forget it. You had to type the page over again. Maybe writers were better back then or more careful with their first drafts, but I can't imagine having to type and retype pages and pages of work. But the advantage with that system was that you NEVER lost your work. Once it was on paper, it was there on your desk forever.

Sometimes with all the digital stuff floating around, I feel like nothing is real. I don't really own music, it's somewhere out in iTunes cyberspace. Same with movies. And novels are next with the Kindle and other ebook readers. There's nothing real or tangible.

Still . . . I do love technology and wouldn't trade it for the way it was "before". But sometimes . . . I think it was less stressful then. No one texting you all the time and finding you even when you don't want to be found. No lost novels. And being able to blame the husband when you get lost, instead of listening to him cuss at the GPS lady. Ah, the good ole days : )

Now, off to continue with that novel -- the one I'm backing up four or five or maybe even six times!



  1. Let me add that I scheduled this to print at midnight and it didn't happen. Maybe I'm just a technological idiot - LOL

  2. Dios mio! So glad you were able to find something relatively new. Ages ago I had one book where I kept on losing the same chapter over and over. Three times I had a problem with that chapter on the computer. Then I had my laptop stolen at my office. Not fun. Luckily it was a small, very old laptop that was easily replaceable, but I had lost everything I had worked on that day. Now I always make a copy on a thumb drive as soon as I finish working.

  3. It's such a horrible feeling, isn't it? No matter how hard you try, you just can't reproduce what you had originally. And for some reason, what you do write doesn't seem as good -- maybe because the initial inspiration is gone.
    I've stated copying every 10 to 15min now : )