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Stress Moment

I spent my writing retreat weekend working on a new story, so the Mouse King has not been worked on since late November. Yesterday, when power flips were plaguing the coffee shop in town, I decided to open and review what I had done, not being ready for the not-quite-finished new draft.

And I couldn't find any version of the Mouse King edited in November. Last version was October.


Panic, panic, panic.

Because the new opening was good. And it was gone.

I had no more time to work out why my computer had lost a file. It had never done this before. I had six versions of the Mouse King on this computer, none of which had been edited in the past month. And I knew it had to be on the laptop, because my editing sessions had primarily been during work group.

When I got home, on the off chance that I had cut and pasted the file instead of copying to my desktop Mac, I checked. No Mouse King on that computer either.

I had to put the problem aside for a few hours and be a Mom, do homework, take E to drama, get dinner. Later, when E and The Dude were decorating the tree, I decided to look at every file modified in the past 30 days. The only file modified on the correct date was a file called "Mouse King Strip." Which I thought was the file containing my cut words, because, hey, I might need them again. So I opened it. And it had my opening. And then I realized that I had renamed the file completely.


I have no brain at all. Sheer panic mode.

I blame it on hormones.

Frog Out


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 18th, 2007 01:06 pm (UTC)
Is that the Nutcracker Mouse King? Or something unrelated?
Dec. 18th, 2007 01:12 pm (UTC)
I suspect there's some resemblance to the Nutcracker Mouse King, but it wasn't a direct influence, no. Draft of a story involving my crazed fairies and a royal rodent. Story that is in final edit. Since it takes me forever to reach final edit and since it has taken six months to understand what was wrong with the Mouse King, losing good work was enough to send me into a tizzy. Or thinking I had lost it.

Dec. 18th, 2007 01:21 pm (UTC)
Oh thank God. Only another writer knows how awful that moment of lost file is.

One of my colleagues once sent around a bunch of haiku. I don't recall the whole thing but the last two lines ran something like

the presence of an absence.
My novel: Not found.
Dec. 18th, 2007 05:38 pm (UTC)
I blame everything on "change of life."

I also print things out a lot -- live and learn. Like leaving a stick at the henhouse door.

Good luck with your story.
Dec. 18th, 2007 09:40 pm (UTC)
May I recommend RoughDraft? It's got a pad file that automatically saves with the main file, and opens with it--it's one of my favorite features of RoughDraft. I keep everything I cut out of a draft in the pad, and so I never have to go looking for a separate file with stuff I cut and might want later.

I don't use it for final formatting, but for, well, drafts, it's my favorite.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )