Hard drive crashes, where you lose all your data, is probably a shared nightmare for all writers. Most are wise enough to have their data saved somewhere else like a flash drive or some other back up system. A couple of weeks ago this nightmare became reality for me. I was one of those wise people who backed up everything in a flash drive. I’d also made some PC Recovery disks, so I was able to get my laptop up and running again. Although I’d chosen the reinstall that would preserve my data, it didn’t happen. I was up and running with a clean drive. All data was lost. I wasn’t too worried since I’d saved all files and images to my little thumb drive.
Unfortunately for me, I’m a dingbat when it comes to technology. I can only guess that I didn’t save the files correctly because when I plugged the flash in, I had nothing except a shortcut that went to my (now empty) documents. If I’d known this, I could have taken my computer in and had the data recovered to a different drive, because rarely is data gone due to a crash. It’s just hidden away in there. But dummy me had already rewritten stuff to my clean drive. This destroys those hidden files.
I cried, I bawled, I howled. That done, now it comes down to dusting myself off and starting over. It also means that the sequel to Winter of the Heart, which was to be released right before Christmas will be delayed and the contemporary fiction that was to be released early in 2011 may never be released at all. I only had a couple of chapters left to write before it would have been ready for editing. Even thinking about rewriting 65,000 words from scratch makes me want to barf.