I worked for an hour this afternoon on Sword and Scabbard, and I felt pretty good about what I’d gotten, but I felt like I needed to think through an argument before I went on. Knowing I was coming back to it, I left the laptop on and came downstairs to do some laundry, plant the garden, and format the blog entries to send to Grandma.
That’s where I got into trouble.
A couple of years ago, we bought a wireless keyboard and mouse for the laptop. It worked so well, we bought one for the desktop, too. Everything was fine until we installed the wireless internet in the house and I had to move my desk upstairs to pick up the signal. It also put me in range for the keyboards to ‘talk’ to each other. I figured out the problem last week; I was working, Vicky was downstairs e-mailing a friend, and her message over-rode what I was typing. We had a little giggle, and I unplugged the keyboard until she was done.
Today I forgot to unplug the keyboard. When I edited the letter to Grandma, I effectively ‘Selected all’ in my document upstairs and deleted the whole thing. 96,000 words–gone. I frantically CTRL-Z’ed trying to get it back but it was too far gone. It was only by the grace of God that I’d backed up to my thumb drive Friday when I wrote, so I really only lost today’s work, but that was over 1,200 words.
I waited until after we’d had dinner and run errands, and then I got a glass of wine, went upstairs, and reconstructed it. Of course I counted all the words again; it wasn’t an exact reconstruction, but even if it had been I still would have typed everything twice. It did help me play catch-up from the weekend I took off, but it was too frustrating to do on a regular basis! I’ve asked for a new ergonomic keyboard–either not wireless or a brand that won’t talk to our current one–for Mother’s Day.
The moral of the story is to back up in multiple places. E-mail it to your mom if you have to. Do what you have to do to protect the work, and plan for emergencies. If your house burns down or gets flattened by a tornado, you don’t want to have all of your work gone, too.