It sucks knowing you’ve forever lost a beloved story because you didn’t properly back up your work.
Six-ish years ago, about the time life went sideways and put my writing plans on the shelf, my computer did a spectacular crash without warning. I had backs-ups and/or hard copies of all but one novella and one short story. Alas, those were two of my favorite pieces. Lesson learned.
I spent most of last weekend helping my mother sort through and clear out a large storage unit. Amidst stacks and stacks of boxes, we found half a dozen boxes of my things — mostly books, some files over ten years old, Dev’s old toys. But stuffed into a box of books was a stash of spiral notebooks and a large envelope just the right size for a short manuscript. I pulled it out, not at all that interested when it seemed to be nothing but a partial of a story even now sitting on my computer and waiting for attention. But it looked like there was some printing on the other side so I turned it over and…
I jumped up and did a dance of joy. I’d found a full copy of that lost novella!
Second best of all? The story still holds together.
Best of the best of all? I can put back in what I had to cut before, when the only options for publication had firm word-count caps. Clocking in at 23K, the story had all of two professional markets available to it at the time I wrote it, and cutting it down to that length forced me to say goodbye to some depth of worldbuilding and complexity. Now I can flesh it out to the length I want it to be. The additions and subtractions aren’t extensive or lengthy, but will make a difference. Besides, I decided it was best to lay groundwork for future stories should I decide I want to write more about these characters.
So that’s my project for the coming week—and it’s a nice distraction to have while I await beta feedback on Sand of Bone. With work and cooperation from life’s many demands, I should be able to release it by the end of May.