Wednesday

16 February 2011

Want to see reduce a Wabbit nearly to near tears?

Be in the room when she discovers that the first file of manuscript she's been working on for months--almost a year if you include the conception phase--is corrupt.

Oh yeah.

I fired the computer up to do some work this afternoon, tried to open the file containing part one and got the ugliest of error messages.

WORD CANNOT OPEN THIS DOCUMENT
FILE IS CORRUPT

Panic began to ensue. Yes, I have earlier versions saved, but I did a lot of work on it last night, some major revisions, and only saved to a flash drive. I tried opening it on two different computers with the same result: that file was dead.

Oh, and before what you're thinking spills out: don't ever suggest to a riter they can just rewrite something.

No. No they can't. What seems plausible is in fact a nightmare, and the second time around the words simply fall flat and any magic vanishes. The resulting mess is dull and lifeless and is, frankly, a gut punch to the writing ego.

Yet, I was sure that's what I was going to have to do: take an earlier version and try to re-polish it.

Trust me, that's worth crying about.

But...on a whim I sent Murf a text message because one of his best friends in a compu-genius and I hoped he would have something to tell me to do other than scream.

"Email the file," came the quick reply.

Less than five minutes later--literally--I got another text. Check your email; it was one corrupt line and he fixed it. He also suggested I get everything possible off that flash drive and then get rid of it.

Will do.

And mucho thanks, Dack and Undr.

12 comments:

This is Curt's display name. said...

I bet you a dollar they snuck a copy...

Black Cat said...

Thank Ceiling Cat for that!

kenju said...

Oh, no. I would never have known what to do. How lucky that you asked the right friend about it!

Pizza Girl said...

First thing that came to my mind when I read this is my Grandma's voice saying "praise the lord for big fat favors"

las794 said...

PHEW! Now go get a proper external backup drive & use it every day.

Thumper said...

If they did keep a copy, they only get to read part one of five...so it's just a teaser. A really crappy first draft teaser...

Book is now on 2 computers and an external HD, and I may store it with Google Documents...

Derby, Ducky said...

It pays to know a geek!

Angel and Kirby said...

Isn't it wonderful to have friends like Murf! WE are so glad it was fixable

The Furry Bambinos said...

Thank Bast for computer genius friends! We have one in our network of friends, and have sent him brownies, etc. as thank yous for saving our computers from early deaths.

Another idea for backing up: Mom drafts an email to herself with important files as attachments. Since she uses gmail, it is always out there in her gmail account on gmail's servers somewhere.

Padre, Panda Bear, Meerkat, Cookie, and Caramel (& fosters Sunny and Sky) and Mom Sue

Melissa said...

I feel your pain! While I haven't lost a file lately, I sent my laptop to be repaired without first saving the current draft of the coffee on mars novel that is STILL not done....fortunately, I kept the hard drive as the issue is purely physical, but we lost my external caddy in the last ice storm so I can't access anything right now.

The Whiskeratti said...

Yeaa!!! Very cool to have friends who know-how.

Sleepypete said...

Totally know what you mean with the rewrite thing ...

If you're forced to rewrite, you don't know what you've recovered properly or what's missed out because you totally remember writing that part that got forgotten from the rewrite. What gets produced tends to be a confused mess.

(Guess who's been inflicted with stuff like this with the work servers !)

Good to see your Techies resurrected it :-)