February 24, 2007

Saturday, February 24, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Revolting and disgusting Microsoft corrupted all my files, research, layout, etc. AND the back-up for the newsletter that was supposed to go out this weekend. I’d done everything three weeks ago, before my sojourn in the city. I’d checked every file, once it was saved. It was in a protected box. And I put it in tonight and it’s all corrupt, can’t be retrieved, and I’m screwed.

Now, in the “help” files there are several different ways that Microsoft swears up, down and sideways will retrieve corrupted information including “open and repair” and “recover text from any file”.

They lie. I know rugs that don’t lie as much as Microsoft does.

So I have to start from scratch – all the articles, all the information, the layout, etc. – and hope I match the tone. I’ll do it as a “March” newsletter instead and hope for the best. I’m upset and disappointed because it was one of the best, merriest things I’d written in a long time, and would have generated a LOT of business.

Oh, yeah, and the mailing list I took six weeks to painstakingly put together – gone. AND the backup. I hadn’t run hard copies because I planned to keep copies of the final for my file, and, before I printed it, I was going to go over it all one last time.

What’s the point of making a back-up if it doesn’t actually BACK THINGS UP?

Damn Microsoft and damn Bill Gates even more, for heading a company that builds things to fail.

I re-wrote about a third of the newsletter last night. I figured I could use those hours productively instead of simply being upset. I’m getting there. I have to do some more things tonally. I THINK I have a good part of the mailing list written in longhand somewhere, if I can find it, so recreating it shouldn’t take the six weeks it took to create in the first place.

My friend who commented that looking at houses in bad weather’s supposed to be a good thing is absolutely right – I wouldn’t have minded tromping through them in the weather; unfortunately, I couldn’t get up to the area in which I’m looking because of the roads. For bad weather house-hunting, I carry a pair of slippers with me so I can leave my muddy boots on the doorstep and not tramp stuff through the house they so carefully cleaned so people can look at it. It’s tough on the seller in many ways to have people coming through the house – physically and emotionally – you never know if someone with horrible energy is going to show up and taint the place.

Lara tagged me for “What do you need to write?”

What I NEED to write is this:


That’s it. I am capable of writing anywhere, and I like to do first drafts in longhand (except for articles, which I find easier to do directly onto the computer).

In the best of all possible worlds, I LIKE to have a large desk, plenty of books around me, fresh flowers, and my little inspiring knick-knacks from here and there. I like to have music playing, sometimes, but if I’m writing fiction, it has to be instrumental only. Absolutely NO soundtracks or I start getting influenced by the piece for which the soundtrack was written. No lyrics, because they influence the dialogue. Sometimes, to get me into the mood for a character, I’ll play music I believe the character would play, but, when it comes down to the actual writing, it needs to be instrumental only. Usually some sort of jazz or jazz funk or Celtic or Nordic. Sometimes classical, if I’ve had a particularly stressful day.

When I’m writing non-fiction, I can listen to anything that strikes my fancy at that moment.

When I’m writing, I prefer to have the CD player on as opposed to the MP3. I like the sense of space in having the music fill the room. I use the MP3 if it’s noisy outside and the CD can’t cover it, or if I’m away from home and want to cut out noise or vibration.

To remind me of the sense of place, I like to have a bulletin board with photos of the location someplace where I can look up and get inspiration.

But I don’t NEED any of that. I need the pen and the paper, and then I drop down the well and live in the world of the piece.

So I tag Anita, Debra, and Rhian. What do you need when you write?

Tons to do today – as of Tuesday, I’m back fulltime on the show, and there will be little room for anything else. It’s difficult to spend the necessary (and, in this case , it is NECESSARY, not OPTIONAL) six hours a day on the writing business when I have to spend 14 hours at the theatre, but, for three weeks, that’s what I have to do.

I didn’t get any sewing done this week, which I’d hoped to do. I’m not going to stress about it, it’s not on a deadline. I’ll get it in when I can. The fabric’s not going anywhere – unless the cats drag it out of the bin and stash it.

Speaking of cats, Iris is playing with a ball that has a bell in it, chasing it up and down the living room. Although the tingling is slightly annoying (not a good pitch), it’s great to see her having so much fun with something so simple.

Did just a touch of work on Changeling this morning – I need t go back to the notes. Yesterday’s scene was unexpected and a happy surprise, but there are still a few points I need to hit. I wonder if I brought Thierry into the story too late. I have a feeling Changeling will need a good bit of restructuring in the rewrite. Well, that’s why there ARE rewrites – once it’s all out there in a first draft, I can move things around. If there’s nothing there in the first place, there’s nothing to move.


Published in: on February 24, 2007 at 9:30 am  Comments (7)  


  1. That’s a great list/meme!

    *hugs* on the Microsoft crap. I hate them (despite prefering to use MS Office on my Mac).

  2. Aw baby! I feel your pain. I have sat and bawled my eyes out before when I’ve lost major amounts of work due to vicious computer quirks. That said, now i’m going to have to strangle you for tagging me on what i use to write.

    I’ve been trying to keep the writing part of myself under wraps while waving the painting flag because i fear someone will ask to see a sample. And my writings aren’t even worthy of being used as toilet paper. Hmmm – how to cover my ass without being dishonest or revealing my deep dark secret. No worries – I’ll think of something my pretty and still answer your tagging. But just you wait Devon, I’ll get you and your little dog, i mean kitties too….. (Running off cackling)

  3. Devon, sorry about the microsoft problems.What do you use for your backup? I prefer using an external hard drive that I can use with a usb and on anyone’s computer.

    have a good weekend

  4. Devon:

    So sorry to hear about the Microsoft debacle – maybe there’s something to be said for the old paper and pencil method of expression after all.

    I found your comment on my blog about your “drinking” habits quite interesting – coffee, tea, chocolate milk and cranberry juice, really, sounds like a pretty good selection. And, I’m like you – I can’t stand flavored water. Give it to me straight and room temperature and I’m quite content.

    Good luck with recreating your newsletter files – maybe a glass of chocolate milk would ease the task,


  5. Sorry to hear the Microsoft messed up. Even my husband is looking at an Apple for his next computer. Actually, he’s been drooling over them. *g*
    Good luck getting everything redone!

  6. That is terrible about your files—it makes me sick. I hope everything turns out OK!

    As far as what you need to write–I would imagine you would be like the Marquis de Sade–when he was in prison, he found LOTS of ways to write without a pen and paper! ;-)Just as long as he could write, right?

  7. Sympathies. I hate Microsoft and Bill Gates! As soon as I can afford to, I’m getting an Apple. Bill Gates can shove his crap Windows.

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