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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Computers Are Sneaky

Late last night, I sat here and pored back over a scene I had just finished, adding a line here, changing a word there, deleting an unneeded comma. That sort of thing. I got to the very end of the scene and ran across a word that defied the built-in thesaurus, so I turned around and opened my trusty (and huge) Rodale's on my lap. When I turned back to my monitor, my document had disappeared. It was in plain blue mode and the words SHUTTING DOWN were emblazoned across the screen.

Mentally, I screamed, "No! Nooo! Wait! Don't do this to me!" Computers always turn a deaf ear to our panicky pleas. It shut down anyway.

When it came back up, I immediately went to my document. Just as I feared, none of the changes I made were there. All that meticulous proofing and tweaking had vanished into cyber hell. At that point, my computer had the audacity to pop up a little screen to tell me that updates had been installed and it had restarted. Duh. No kidding. What happened to asking my permission to do all that? After all, computer, you're supposed to be working for me! And yet, I've always been a slave to your little whims and glitches.

Just an observance here, but it seems like since getting my first computer years ago, I've spent an awful lot of time trying to work around the glitches and trying to recover lost words and even whole documents.

I'm just venting. After my computer pulled the sneaky on me, I got disgusted and shut down. Now, I have to go back and try to remember all the little changes I made last night. For all the ease computers give me with my writing, I would hate to know the hours I've spent during the past several years with do-overs to try and hang onto what I've written.

Computer, you are on my list today, and I'm going to be keeping my eye on you every minute. You've been warned.



  1. LOL! My computer hasn't ever shut down on me like that, but my document will lock up and then if I've forgotten to kick the save before, even when it recovers the file, it doesn't recognize all the other stuff I had done before it stopped responding. Drives me CRAZY!

    Hope you are able to find and fix all the things that didn't get changed. Computers are like kids sometimes...you tell them something and then they shut you out or forget what you told them last!


  2. When I worked for a trucking company, doing dispatching, a lot of work on the computer etc., and was writing my local bird club's newsletter, I learned to hit the save button after every couple paragraphs, no matter what I was doing! I am computer illiterate. My ex was the Whiz! So, I'm learning now, trial by error...mostly error...

    I have no clue what New Downloads I need or what I don't, so I don't DL anything LOL.

    Hope you get all caught up, Dev. I know that must be frustrating! But, where would be be without them? Back to manual typewriters and pen and paper?

  3. Taryn, I couldn't believe it did that to me. It was one of those Windows updates. Usually, it pops up and say it's available, do I want to download. This time, it just went ahead and did it! Sheesh!

    Susi, it is very frustrating to lose material. I've lost whole manuscripts before and had to retype them in from hard copy. That was years ago. These days, I back everything up a couple of different ways.

    When I'm writing, I do like you said and hit save after every couple of paragraphs. But last night, I was doing those little tweaks and didn't, for some reason. My mistake. Just so you know, I wrote the original draft of the Angel book on an old manual Underwood typewriter. I often joke that us old-timers who started out on typewriters invented "cut and paste." I used to literally cut the pages with scissors and tape them back together if I needed to put a few paragraphs in a different order. LOL!


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