Cannot tell you how completely and utterly hacked off I am right now (well was when I wrote this during a late lunch). I seem to be cursed when it comes to book two of the Locked Series.
To start with I paid to have it edited (months ago now) and the result was, to paraphrase, “this is hopeless, throw it away and start again”. Now I know this sounds harsh, and it was a bitter pill to swallow, but with a little distance, I saw that it was also fair comment. So I did. And I hated it. So I started again. Still crap. So I sat down and spent days re-working the plot until I was happy with it. I printed it off, I stapled it together and I put it in a pencil case to protect it so I’d always have it. Seems like a good idea doesn’t it? I thought so.
Anyway while I was away in Lincoln last weekend, I wrote three chapters of this new book, three quite pivotal chapters. This was done in the car on the way up. Then off to my son’s graduation and a good evening was had by all – Lincoln do good graduation ceremonies. Next morning, when I got back into the car to come home, I thought I’d do some more writing, but I booted up the laptop only to find that I can’t have saved the damn thing and had lost everything I’d done the previous day. Ggrrrr.
On that journey I managed to re-write a chapter and a bit, but I was too tired after the previous night’s celebration to get more done (yes I was tired, not hung over, it takes more than one bottle of wine to do that), so I’m still behind. Today I thought I’d do a bit more, but like I said these are pivotal chapters and I need to know the plot plan to get them done. So I reach into my bag looking for that pencil case.
The thing with this pencil case is that it’s one of the relatively small ones, clear plastic with a black zipper, the cheap type I got in Tesco for 50p, but it’s only holding a few sheets of paper so it doesn’t need to be anything much. Which means that it’s quite small (6 x 3 inches) and flat. That means that it sits quite readily beside my tab in a handbag that seems to have access to L-Space (one for the Disc-world fans there). Guess what – it’s not in my bag.
No problem, I think. I’ll print off another one. Guess what – can’t find the electronic copy for love nor money either. Can you hear hair being pulled out yet?
Anyway, I’ve checked my laptop case, my works laptop case, my husband’s car (he was driving on the weekend), phoned a colleague and got them to check my desk, gone through the pile of stuff I tend to collect because I’m not a fan of filing, checked down the side of the sofa (eek), pulled the sofa out to check behind and beneath that (scary and unpleasant), disturbed my hubby while he was sleeping (he’d just done his last night shift of this run) to check under and around the bed. No joy.
I can’t think where else to look. I could cry. Getting that chapter plan together took ages, it worked, but now it’s gone and I’m not sure I can work it all out again. Feel like just throwing my hands in the air and surrendering. Having one of those, you’re-clearly-not-meant-to-do-this episodes and just giving up and not bothering to write any of it anymore.
But wait – and I may have mentioned this before – if I don’t write my brain itches – oh and I’ve just thought of somewhere else I might be able to look! So ultimately I don’t have a choice I will have to work on the chapter / plot plan again because I do need to write this book.
Still there’s a lesson that I need to take away from this stuff up – BACK STUFF UP!
Always make more than one copy, physical and electronic, because if you don’t you get into this kind of snit and you have no one to blame but yourself.
I hate myself.
And I hate having an itchy brain.
So rant over, getting arse in gear, time to get to work figure it all out again.
After time spent searching, feeling sick and lost, pulling my hair out, getting depressed and eating chocolate (something I’ve managed to avoid for three days as part of an attempt to eat more healthily), having spent good time writing this rant, I decide to release the annoyance and start again. So I go to open the old plot, but accidently click into the wrong folder on the laptop – and there it is. Sitting there all innocent, like butter wouldn’t melt in its mouth – there is the electronic copy of the plot filed in the wrong bloody folder! Did I mention that I’m not keen on filing?
If I’d been able to find that when I first looked, none of this rant would have needed to have happened. Then to add irritation to annoyance, my husband gets up, comes down, tells me he did the vacuuming yesterday (love that man) and he might have knocked stuff under the bed, but it doesn’t end there, he then passes me the pencil case, casually, like it doesn’t mean anything.
Apparently, the damn thing was under my side of the bed all along, lurking just to give me nightmares apparently.