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Can’t live with ’em, can’t chuck ’em out the window


So, my love/hate relationship with my laptop continues. I booted up one morning last week to continue writing my new Silhouette Special Edition … and the hard drive crashed. Dead. My computer guy was unable to even spin it to retrieve any information.

It’s the first time in my 23 years of computer ownership that I’ve ever had a hard drive crash (knock wood). People had warned me. I’d heard blood-curdling stories about entire manuscripts lost, precious family photos destroyed, general rending of clothing and tearing of hair. But it had never happened to me, even on a couple of computers that got pretty old, in computer years, before I replaced them. I get lazy about backing up — too busy, or I forget or I tell myself I’ll do it tomorrow — and I know I’ve pressed my luck too many times when a crash would have been disastrous.

Fortunately, when my keyboard had to be replaced a few weeks ago, I backed up my entire computer to an external hard drive, just in case. So, all I lost in this crash were a few photos I’d taken since — two of which I really hated to lose, my husband and our son sitting on a little wooden bridge over the creek we hiked beside during spring break — and the first chapter of my new book. Grr. I hate losing pages. As I try to remember what I’d written before and recreate the scenes, I’m always convinced that those lost pages were the best I’d ever written. If only I could remember exactly the phrases and word choices I’d used before … If only I’d taken a few minutes to stick a flash drive into a USB slot and back up every evening.

I was able to buy a new, much larger hard drive for a very good price on-line, with free, very fast delivery, so the machine wasn’t down long. I’ve spent the past two days trying to get the computer restored to the way I had it before. Every program had to be reloaded, downloaded, updated, etc. I love my sidebar, which I keep on top at all times, so that had to be set up just so again. My Word settings, about which I am very particular, are almost back to normal. Now if only I can get my iTunes library reloaded …

So, I’m now back at work on my WIP (work in progress). I’ve been writing a little each day on my husband’s old dinosaur computer while I waited to get my own back up and running. And for now, I’ve been religious about backing up every day when I finish writing. I’ll just have to make sure I don’t get lazy again. Have you backed up your important family photos and other files that are important to you? Crashes happen! But the next thing that goes wrong with this only 2-year-old laptop — and that tossing out the window thing just might be the answer, after all.

Oh, by the way — the photo at the top? One of the photos from my Memphis zoo trip I managed to save (I lost all the ones from my two recent hiking outings with my son, darn it). I think this poor tiger looks like he’s been battling technology and lost. It drove him to drink (see the empty keg in the water?). Or maybe I’m just making up stories again …


Award-winning, best-selling author of women's romance fiction.

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