July 08, 2010

I cannot believe I did this.

I had compiled our latest e-book collection: five fabulous stories. 70+ pages long. This morning, I put the final edits on my story (which meant I added about 600 words) and tweaked until the piece was just so.

And I'd pasted in everyone's bio except one. So I was on the very last page of the book, and somehow when I was placing in the book cover, I highlighted the rest of the 69 pages and deleted them (without realizing this) and saved and backed up the file. You can see where this is going, can't you? Then I went in to put the ISBN in and the book is gone. Totally. There is only one bio page.

I have never done this before.

Sure, I have all the stories. Separately and unedited. I mean, I'd added in all the missing commas and hyphens and spell-checked and everything. I am actually crying I feel so dumb. I can reconstruct mine, of course, but you know how it won't be the same as the way you had it the first time around. This is so unbelievably stupid. I never do this. I always write the story separately and then insert at the end. Except for today.

God. So instead of me sending the ms. to everyone for proofing, it will be another few days. I feel like a total nitwit.

Sam just called and I blurted the whole thing out to him while sobbing. Because that is how stable I am.

Why am I posting this? No clue. Just thought I might feel better if I let the rant out of the bag. And actually, this bag *does* make me feel a little better for some inexplicable reason.



Dayle A. Dermatis said...

Oh honey. {{{hugs}}}

Our backup system has saved me more than once, but not the time I wrote several thousand words and then copied the file to the backup disk the wrong way, overwriting the new file with the old once except for the other way around.

Years ago, the e-mail program we had would sometimes ask if you wanted to delete the entire folder of messages instead of just the message you were trying to delete. Two, or possibly three times, I managed to delete my entire In Box.

And then there was the time at work I lost an entire 200 page manual I was working on. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure I copied it the wrong way onto a disk (the old version over the new one). At least that time, the company's back-up server did daily backups,and I lost only that day's work, not several weeks' worth.

If all that doesn't cheer you up a little (misery loving company and all that), I could start in on the various times I've accidentally sent e-mails to a list instead of privately (when they said something about a third party who shouldn't have been privy to what was being said), or swapped cover letters while sending out manuscripts, or sent a ms to a market that had rejected it only a month before, or...


Alison Tyler said...

Well, yes, that all does make me feel better! Funny how that works... maybe we need to co-write a novel called Misery Loves Company—Jonah Misery and Eliza Company work side by side at an all-night diner...


What super kills me is that I was using my time wisely. I wasn't fucking around on Ebay or checking to see if anyone new loved Alison's Wonderland or lurking on ETSY.

Will remotivate tomorrow.
I swear.


juliett said...

there was no auto-save? doesn't Word save every 3 minutes?

Miz Angell said...

Oh Alison. *hugs*

I've done that several times. I even managed to delete three chapters worth of edits I've been doing for a friend - which needs to go to an agent for a looksee soon.

So it's not just you - technology manages to fuck us all over once or twice.

Erobintica said...

methinks there's a few choice words missing from that bag


Jo said...

Oh honey!

Check the auto save! It usually saves earlier versions.

But if you want help re-proofing, send stuff my way. I know it's not the same, and I know the way trying to do it again is never the same either. Horrible, horrible.

Alison Tyler said...

Thanks, everyone. You guys all rock.

I was just so over-the-top peeved with myself for doing it. And what's truly crazy is that I am the queen of the back-ups. I have about 100 versions of one of my unfinished novels. Because I was always worried I'd like a previous version better.

But this time — nope. Saved over the first one. Obliterated all previous pages.

And it was way too early in the a.m. to drink!


riendo said...

i'm so sorry to hear.
We all go through that once or twice....You are not a nitwit.

Dayle A. Dermatis said...

"maybe we need to co-write a novel called Misery Loves Company—Jonah Misery and Eliza Company work side by side at an all-night diner..."

::weeps with laughter:: You are on! Let's do it!

t'Sade said...

I'm sorry that it happen, that can be very frustrating. *hug*

I acquired my current system for writing actually because of that. When I wrote The Mummy's Girl, I worked on the train to Chicago. 2 hours of writing one way, but I occasionally had trouble merging it. So, I would go to copy it on my home machine and accidental erase 4 hours of writing. Very, very frustrating.

Now, I use a source control system and got very good at keeping different copies, just in case.

But, I hope that you recover easily and things are back to the hot and steamy as they should be.

tygre said...

I thought I was the only one who had ever done smoething like that. a 14 page research paper in scientific format. gone. I had to rewrite the whole thing from the top of my head in an hour and half. Ended up with a good grade but the paper wasn't half what it was supposed to be.

Don't feel too bad. Take faith in the fact that now you'll never do it again.