Saturday, July 24, 2010

Losses and Failures - character building, right?

I have the distinct feeling I'm not supposed to leave my hermitage at the moment.  The fact that I have had interrupted internet service for at least 6 to 8 weeks now, first with a really nasty virus then with problems with my internet provider who needed four days and four different technicians to fix (it was a burned out card in a box up the street from my house).  And not five minutes after my internet was fixed I went outside to drive to a dementia class for work only to find a dead Saturn Vue.  The ignition switch is gone again.  I replaced it two years ago.  Not cool.
On the high side, it's a good thing I'm in a writers group because the virus wiped out all my new writing on my second novel, Shaman in Exile, which is one chapter away from being finished and a good bit of my new writing on Foxglove Broadsides (a short story becoming a novel).  I also lost half the Shadow Archer Press catalog of books by authors from all over the world. but thankfully have them all on hard copies) and lost the entire Steampunk issue of Fissure magazine - everything: all emails, all contacts, all submissions, all pieces accepted, all artwork. I am not a happy publisher.  Luckily, thanks to bringing hard copies to writers club, I can retype everything I lost on Shaman in Exile and some I lost on Foxglove - although about three chapters are gone - just gone.
This hit me so hard (at a time when I am selling a number of Shadow Archer Press books and back issues of Fissure) that I'm veer between scrambling to recover, retype, relocate hard copies of everything I lost to abject despair which I funnel into escapism by making steampunk journals (on Tesla, absinthe, aeronauts, chrononauts, etc.) to sell at Upstate Steampunk Con and on my Etsy (Gail Gray Studios).  Not wise as far as my writing goes, but otherwise I'd be out of control. Other mechanical things broke (and even non-mechanical such as a toe) at the same time, which is the way it is with mechanical things for me.  How about all of you? Am I the only one who gets it in 3's or 6's?
So I do advise you all, especially writers and artists - make a backup copy frequently of your work!  Don't trust that you are protected.  The virus sent to me, disabled ALL of my security systems before attacking various parts of my computer and corrupting the files. 
Remember:  Back up or face heavy losses - some of which may be irreplaceable. 
But I'm trying to look at all this calamity as if I were one of the characters I write about.  These losses and failures are what we put our characters through to build their character, in the old fashioned sense of the word - to expose their vulnerabilities in order to showcase them transforming faults into strengths, right?  So I should look at this as a great opportunity for transformation, right?
Maybe the best thing to do at times like these is to step back and take a philosophical look at our role on the world stage, as if we were characters. No one likes characters who get everything they want, no one cares about characters have it made.  No, we love the characters who face insurmountable obstacles and endure a constant gauntlet of setbacks.
I'm trying...


  1. Glad to see that, after all this craziness, you're getting things back together. I've missed you! Welcome back. And hang in there - things have gotta let up soon. *hug*

  2. Gotta love your attitude. Losing work is always heartbreaking. My habit is to email myself daily updates of important works-in-progress, then backup once a week to an external hard drive. So far it's worked perfectly, but I haven't had any catastrophic computer failures yet.


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