Monday, October 10, 2011

Lost tales…

It happened again. Only this time, it happened in a different way. I’m talking about losing a writing file that I had done a lot of work on. In the past, I had lost files due to actually losing the method of storage, as in I lost my old flash drive. On that one were many writing projects that I lament. One was a Doc Savage-inspired pulp adventure, and the other was a story of an ogre who saves a human girl from orc assassins. That last one was actually really good, and I want to almost cry when I think about how much work I put into it. Then there was the Sword & Planet story, the Military Sci-Fi story…

But today’s incident was different. I opened my Orc story of Mahak and found nothing but little squares. 20 pages of them. No formatting, no paragraph breaks, no weird symbols. Simply a 20-page string of squares. This also happened to another document. The only things relating these two docs was that 1) they were on my flash drive, and 2) they were last modified on Friday, here at work. Nearest I can figure our system did something to MS Office during the afternoon (which seems like it would be par for the course here), and it messed up those two files, as they were the ones open during that time. Every other file, Word or otherwise, is fine.

I’ve tried everything I can find from online sources to friends’ advice, but to no avail. There are some programs that supposedly can help, but I can’t install third-party programs here at work, so I will have to try from home later. But, the general consensus is that I’m SOL.

So, when this happens to you, when you lose a file for good, what do you do? Do you painstakingly re-create it in the hopes that it will be as good (or maybe even better) the second time around? Or do you abandon the idea and move on to another?

In this instance, I’m inclined to abandon it. I liked the Mahak story, but I kept getting the feeling that it was missing something. That it didn’t flow well. That the whole thing was trash and would have been a huge headache for poor Scott to edit into something resembling a decent story.

Unfortunately, that option leaves me with nothing to submit for the anthology. And though no deadline has been mentioned, I can’t imagine it will be established too far from now. So, I need to get busy. Either re-creating Mahak, or starting fresh.

Hmmm…what to do…?


Charles Gramlich said...

wow, sorry to hear that, man. that's pretty bizarre. Maybe some techie could tell you more but I have no idea how that could happen. I do get files changed on occasion but not to that extent.

Tom Doolan said...

Apparently it was a problem that occasionally popped up with floppy disks back in the day, but is now starting to happen with flash drives as well. Some kind of disconnect between Word and mobile storage.

Either way, I'm done worrying about it, and am moving on. But backing stuff up more often.