Monday, November 18, 2013

Back That Ass Up

Anyone who knows me knows I really love old crap stuff. I still own a flip phone (which they don’t even MAKE anymore, by the way – can you believe it?! I’ve had to buy my last two off ebay). My Tom-tom GPS broke three months ago (it was six years old, by the way) and for the past twelve weeks I’ve been getting around via printed out MapQuest directions. I don’t own a tablet or a blackberry or one of those fancy smancy iphones. I do own a kindle, but it’s the first version they ever came out and it was a gift.

The word ‘upgrade’ is not in my vocabulary.

So it should come as no surprise that my computer – the computer I do all my writing on, the computer that’s on my Things to Grab if the Apartment Ever Catches Fire list (right behind my two dogs and before my jewelry box although, who are we kidding, I don’t have any expensive jewelry) – is also old. How old, you ask? Let’s just say it’s still running Microsoft Office from 2003.

Well, it was running Microsoft Office. Now it’s just sitting on my desk with the battery out looking all sad.

It’s funny how things can change so quickly. Last night I turned my computer off. It was happy. I was happy. Life was a box of puppies with fluffy white kittens thrown in. I settled in for the night, purchased The Risqué Resolution on my kindle (something I always do as soon as I release a new book to see for myself, as a reader, how the formatting looks and if there are any remaining typos), and began to read. The formatting looked awesome (YAY!) but there were, in fact, a few typos (BOO!). One incident of “than” instead of “then”. “It” instead of “in”. A minor character’s name spelled with an E in the middle instead of an A. Nothing major, all things considered, but I want perfect. You, as the reader, deserve perfect. So I bookmarked all my little mistakes, set my alarm for extra early in the morning, and got up ready to fix everything and upload the new and improved version. Except…

Except my computer wouldn’t turn on.

Well, that’s not precisely true. It turned on, but it wouldn’t boot up. I know a little bit about computers (I mean, I don’t like to brag, but I did install a hard drive from scratch) so I knew the next logical step was to remove the battery, wait one minute, and reboot in safe mode. That has always worked in the past. ALWAYS. I was confident. A minor glitch, I told myself. And as soon as I get the ol’ Dell up and running I WILL backup all my files. I swear I will. I mean it this time! Promise. Except…

Except it didn’t start in safe mode.

And now I’m sitting here, resigned to my terrible fate, typing on the barn computer (a Mac, by the way – yeck!). I put in a frantic call to my dad first thing this morning (computer genius extraordinaire) and am waiting to hear back, but I don’t think the news will be promising. Things break sometimes, and there isn’t anything you can do to fix them.

The worst part is I want to fix the typos in TRR so BADLY, but I can’t. I can’t until I rush out and buy a new computer and retype the entire manuscript and reformat and reupload and resubmit. I repeat: yeck.

But it’s really no less than I deserve. After all, I know computers aren’t foolproof. They crash and they malfunction and they don’t work, sometimes for no reason at all. I should have backed up all my files. But I didn’t. So I’m here to tell you, don’t be an idiot like me – BACK YOUR SHIT UP! I don’t care if you send it to your e-mail or use one of those card things for print out hard copies (actually, don’t do that, that’s not helpful at all).

Seriously. Do it.


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