Of Writers and Prose: And then my flash drive crashed, Your Honour.

It was that kind of month, lemme tell ya.

For over thirty years, I’ve struggled to find a reliable means to save my writing. When I started, I used a plastic binder and paper. I had boxes of binders and loose paper that had the beginning of stories that eventually went nowhere, and I had to get rid of them because they became a fire hazard. I bought a word processor in my mid-20s that saved everything to a floppy (don’t you DARE ask me what a floppy is), and I loved it. All my work was right there at my fingertips. When I bought my first computer five years later, it didn’t recognize the word processor program, and I had to print everything out and type it into my computer. That was fine. I formatted the floppy and reused it, and everything was right with the world until computers no longer had floppy drives, and I had to save directly to my computer.  The first time my computer died, I swear I cried for days. My writing was my only outlet; my husband knew this and wasn’t too upset as we went into debt to buy me a new one. I learned my lesson too, and started looking for ways to save the work OUTSIDE of my computer.

Enter my Dropbox phase.

For years I used this online program to save all my work and a few extra things, and then someone introduced me to flash drives. I put finished stories on my flash drive, as well as family pictures. I thought it was the perfect way to save those files and keep space open on my computer. When Dropbox decided to reduce how much I could store, I added all of my writing and kept only the projects I was working on at that moment on my computer.

And then . . .  well, the title says it all. Good thing my kid has enough money for bail.

The same day I released The Quiet Dead, I accidentally bumped my flash drive while it was still connected to my computer, and everything went P00F! I. Mean. Everything. Pictures, finished stories, story ideas, and first drafts of novels I planned on publishing. It was like that first computer crash all over again. Blerg. Yet this story has a happy ending. See, it USED TO BE that if you crashed a flash drive, that was it, but I found technology that allows you to recover those files. It cost me $60, but it was worth it. I got all my files back and then some.

Yeah, and then some. Over four thousand files.

Ninety percent were duplicates, and I’ve been going through it all, deleting the files that the computer can’t read and saving the ones it can under a new name. I found stories that were so old I didn’t recognize them. I thought maybe they weren’t mine, but why would I have other people’s work on my flash drive? Anyhoo, my stories are back, and everything is right with the world again. Have I learned my lesson? Who the hell knows, but if I ever have a problem again, I’m going to THIS SITE.

Trust me, it’s worth it.

About Darke Conteur
Darke Conteur is a writer at the mercy of her Muse. The author of stories in several genres, she prefers to create within the realms of Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy. A pagan at heart, her personal goal is to find her balance within nature; exploring the dark through her stories and the light through her beliefs. When not writing, she spends her time collecting crystals, knitting, gardening, cooking and listening to very loud music.

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