Back up! No, I'm not talking about Lindsay Lohan's driving. I'm talking about backing up your work. It is a lesson you would think I, of all people, would know.
Six months ago I had the first couple of chapters of book 2 typed on my hard drive with a few notes on what else was going to happen and my computer turned off. There was no popping noise, no warning pop-ups, no pictures of a hand giving me the finger - it just turned off.
Okay, don't panic. Maybe the chord came loose. Check. No. Maybe it was rebooting itself. I'll just push and hold the power button and it will come back on. Push. Hold. Still holding. It's not coming on. It's not coming on!! IT'S NOT...prepare to faint.
A couple chapters, notes, the first book (okay, that was backed up onto memory stick), photos, music, movies, tv shows, other stories, 113 recipes from my personal experience as a cook/chef ALL GONE. No back up. Calm down. Took the computer to our friendly neighborhood Staples. Surely they can help. Sure they can. $75 later most of my text info is on an external hard drive. Computer is still on warranty so we will just send that back and they can fix it for free and return it. No worries.
Until two weeks later when I accidentally bang the side of the external hard drive and can no longer get anything off it. Oh and I FORGOT TO BACK IT UP!!! I did eventually get my computer back after an argument about how I didn't do anything to the motherboard. WITH A BRAND NEW HARD DRIVE AND NONE OF MY STUFF.
This takes us into yesterday. I recovered from losing book 2 and in fact wrote a better version of the book. Now book 1, Red Island: A Novel that from what I understand isn't doing that bad for a first novel, is safely on a hard drive and 2 memory sticks. Not the versions that were uploaded to Kindle and Smashwords. No, those versions and their covers are in a file on a memory stick. A file that for some reason got corrupted and erased yesterday! AAAGGGHHHHH
The moral of my stupidity is to back up your work. And when you think it is safe, back it up again. I should go do that.