Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Importance of Backing Up

Welcome Melissa Fox to Tattered Pages today, who brings with her a very interesting post about electronic malfunctions. Melissa, after reading this post, I think you absolutely MUST include these incidents in a story. You MUST! How completely bizarre! LOL

Thank you AJ, for having me visit Tattered Pages today! 

My husband and I exist in some kind of weird electrical black hole. The man can put out streetlights like no one I’ve ever met. We just drive down the road, and at least one blinks out as we go under. This happens with enough regularity not to be coincidence and has for years and years—ever since I’ve known him.

He can’t buy electronics, like sound systems or TVs. He does the research and picks out what he wants, but I have to actually make the purchase. We learned that lesson after returning brand new component after component that refused to work for no known reason. Even his car when we were in college. The electronic dashboard stopped working one day, which made for guessing speed and how much gas was left an exhilarating game. And the brand new one he bought right from the dealer to replace it when he graduated? The windshield wipers refused to work during the first big downpour after he got it. I buy all the cars now, too.

Me, on the other hand, I’m a computer death ray. Hard drives take one look at me and faint like a Margaret Mitchell heroine. I buy a new computer, and one month, one week, six months later…all gone. Everything. For no apparent reason. Doesn’t seem to matter what kind. Brand new PC, top of the line technology—dead in less than a year. Replacement? That lasted just over, waiting until the warranty expired by about three days. So, off to the Apple store I go, and you guessed it. Two months later, I’m back, with a laptop that mocks me with a gray screen.


What my mis-adventures taught me is to back up, all the time, every night. That, and the time I accidentally hit “replace” and saved the wrong file, losing the last twenty thousand words of the manuscript I just finished, but that’s another story. I back up to an external hard drive with Time Machine and use a program to save from my laptop to the desktop PC (still pretty much fried and only used for browsing and playing games) and an online location. Every night, before I go to bed, I copy my “Stories” file to a flash drive. That clammy, cold sweat, hot flash, stomach-tumbling, nausea-inducing feeling of losing hours, months, years of work is nothing I ever want to experience again, so the paranoia and extra effort is worth it.

Do you have a nightmare story of losing important files?

Demon-slayer Conor O’Shea is about to engage in the most dangerous encounter of his life—facing the woman he scorned.
For years, Merry Bradbury's world revolved around Conor O'Shea. After his sudden betrayal leaves her alone and heartbroken, she comes home to settle her past and move into the future. The last person she expects to see is Conor.
Conor never wanted anything more than forever with Merry. Discovering he is a Wraith warrior, honor bound to fight demons, destroys that plan. Merry is his Amorta, his one true soul mate, but he leaves to keep her safe from the evil that stalks him.
Eight years later, Conor's worst fear is realized, and he returns to defend Merry from his enemies. Can he save her from an unspeakable fate and reclaim her heart? And if he does, will Merry be able to accept all that he is?  


“Stay here,” Conor told her. “Don’t move, no matter what you see. No matter what happens, Merry. Stay right here.”

He waited until she nodded her assent before he turned. The woman hissed, and his shoulders rolled as he took a step toward her. Merry’s eyes grew round when long-bladed weapons appeared in his hands.

“Wraith,” the woman snarled, lowering herself into a half-crouch.

The wicked blades twisted in his hands to point in her direction. He took another step toward the redhead, unnaturally swift but pure and beautiful in his power.

“Go now,” he said in a quiet, even tone. “And I’ll let you live one more day."

The woman’s attention left him for an instant to settle on Merry, her eyes narrowing with speculation. A slow, feline smile curved her red lips.

“You think you can protect her,” she purred. “How sweet. I’m going to find out if she is as delicious as she smells after I’m done with you. 

Melissa is hosting a GIVE-AWAY!

Author Bio:
After being rationed books by my parents like most kids get rationed candy, I turned to writing to tide me over between fixes. Having lived in the suburbs of the Mid-West, desert of the Southwest, foothills of the Rocky Mountains, I’m now on an island in the Puget Sound with my husband and dogs.
My debut paranormal romance, WRAITH REDEEMED, is now available in print and all e-formats from The Wild Rose Press.

The Wild Rose Press
Barnes & Noble

Here's where you can find Melissa on the web: Twitter Website Facebook Goodreads

Thanks for being my guest today!


Melissa Fox said...

Thanks for having me visit, AJ! You're right, I'll have to use some of Hubs's crazy electrical mis-adventures in a story sometime. It really had gotten to be a long-stnading joke between us at this point. His work sent him a brand new cell phone two weeks ago, and you guessed it. Back it went last week.

Niecey Roy - Romance Author said...

I lost close to 100 pages of writing...It wasn't even that long ago. I screamed. I cried. I screamed again (the second time the screams were muffled by a towel in the bathrooom so as not to frightened the already freaked out kids). I now store my stories and many of my files on the cloud. Though how safe that is...I have no clue! I'm a freak about being hacked so I change my password about every other month. Yikes!

Mary Ricksen said...

Great advise!

Sandra Dailey said...

I fear you. I fear your husband. Can we identify your house by the black cloud above it? Great post and the book sounds terrific. Good luck!

Joanne Stewart said...

I learned my lesson the hard way too. I got lucky and didn't lose everything, but it sure scared the crap out of me. I use "dropbox" and it automatically saves everything in my "stories" folder.

Your husband's misadventures--too weird. That definitely deserves to be in a story!

Your cover gives me the creeps, by the way. lol

Unknown said...

AJ...I hate to tell you, but your DH is not an anomoly!

I do the street light thing, all the time, for no apparent reason and electronics see me coming and literally will turn the store!

Classic example. I'm a photographer by nature, as well as a writer. I decided for christmas, to upgrade my camera's. Now, please understand, I have a very loving relationship with my classic film camera - still have it - but I decided to go digital and treat myself to a Digi SLR.

I shouldn't have.

I walk very calmly into my local Best Buy. Now, the guys here already know me for the returns I bring and Geek Squad uses me as an example of how to fix the previously thought unfixable!

So, I wave at everyone and shout a cherry "Hello!"

This immediately sends a couple of the regular clerks scrambling about to shut things down that aren't completely necessary. As I detour for the Camera Department, I yell out, "Don't worry. No computer today boys. Just a camera!" To which a collective sigh rings through every aisle in the place!

Anyway, I make my way over to the camera's. I'm standing there perusing a very, very, VERY nice looking Canon and...Yep, you guessed it, it dies IN MY HANDS!

I sigh. I look at the Manager, Joe - who knowing me, has decided to help me anyway - put the poor camera back on it's little stand, give it a sad look and a little whimper.

Joe says, "I would suggest, sticking with film. It's probably safer."

I nod, whimper again and reply, "Yeah, it is. But, you know I had to try."

Joe pats my shoulder, smiles his best smile and says, "I've got your number. When they make a model that's you proof, I'll give you a call."

Always, Jen said...

I had the panic moment when my laptop was stolen, and I relived it with you when you lost your words. The only thing you can do is open a doc and keep going. In my case (and I truly believe in yours, too), the new version was better, anyway. You wrote a hell of a book (twice in some places), and I'm so proud to be your friend.

Melissa Fox said...

Niecey - 100 pages, omg! I thought I was going to throw up and cry and stay fetal for days after losing the 20k. 100 pages...

Mary - thanks so much for swinging by!

Sandra - Not sure we need a dark cloud, my house is the one with no lights that work... ;)

Joanne - I use Dropbox and CrashPlan. I put stories on Google Drive now, too, to store in an off-site location (and can share easily with my CP). Yep, completely paranoid.

Margaret - you shall never, ever be in the same room as my husband. Never. Ever. That's a great (?) story.

Thanks so much for reading and commenting, ladies!

Calisa Rhose said...

Oh Melissa I'm so sorry you have a hard time with techie things. Losing even 20 words of a new wip sucks, twenty K would set me into seizures I'm afraid. Although, there was once when I wanted to update my windows program, not realizing it would literally replace the current one and wipe out everything on my hard drive in the process. Yeah, I panicked big time. I had just sent my very first ms to a publisher, the full, in paper, snail mail. You guessed it--the ONLY copy I had, of anything I had written, pictures or anything else, was on the previous windows setting I'd wiped over. Talk about sad day? I was so thrilled when hubby discovered I had installed the new windows program wrong and set up a second windows partition on my hard drive! Everything was still there and just hidden until he found it!

I was not so lucky two years ago when I had to reformat my (other) laptop and accidentally transferred the wrong folder that had five years of family photos in it. Rather the folder I transferred to the external hd DIDN'T have those pictures in it as I thought it did. No doing it wrong this time. I had a MS technician on the phone to ensure I formatted it right... I deleted all of those keepsakes. I still cry over that slip.

I'd enter your contest, but I don't do Rafflecopter. Good luck and I wish you great success with Wraith.

AJ Nuest said...

Margaret, I am dying over here...of laughter. There is NO WAY that happened! Are you kidding?!? I am sorta freaked out to hear all this news. I had no idea folks like you even existed! LOL I mean, I'd heard the old "don't live near a power plant/under electrical poles because you'll get ghosts" thing, but I had no idea folks' own personal electrical impulses could miss with electronics that way.

Okay, after hearing all this news I am now going to save EVERYTHING on the cloud. Off to do that right now!!

Unknown said...

Mel, this is why I'm still single I think.

AJ - I swear, on a stack of bibles, it is totally true. There is a light pole in front of my house that does not work. The Energy company has come out four times since I moved in, changed it four times and it still continues to go out when I walk outside at night.

The last time they were here, I happened to be at home. I heard the truck. I walked out, looked at the guy on the ladder and said, "Please, save yourself. It'll be out again tonight."

The repair guy looked at me as if I'd lost my mind. I looked up, smiled and said, "I will bet you a six pack and V-Day chocolates, if you drive by tonight and I walk outside, it'll go out again."

He smiled and asked, "What do I get if it doesn't?"

I said, "Home made, four cheese meatballs, four cheese garlic bread and a beer for dinner."

His natural reply, "You're on. What time should I drive by?"

I shrugged. "Dinner's at 8."

He spent another hour in his little cherry picker, smiling the whole time then drove away. About 8pm he came by and knocked on my door. The heavenly smells of dinner floated out into the night as I opened the door.

"Smells awesome," he clapped his hands together. "Can't wait to eat."

I smiled, looked up at the streetlight which was merrily burning it's little heart out. I stepped onto the porch and I swear to this day, I heard it shriek right before it went out.

I calmly patted the poor man's chest and said, "I like Bud, in the bottle and cream filled chocolates."

He hung his head, sighed heavily and headed off to his car with a "I'll drop them by tomorrow."

Melissa Fox said...

Oh, Calisa, losing photos is just as heartbreaking. I've done that in my many crashes and hate to think about all the great images that are gone. What don't you like about Rafflecopter, if you don't mind me asking? I'm clueless about this sort of stuff.

Jen, love you more than my luggage, but you know this <3

And Margaret! YOU need to write a story with a heroine living in an electrical black hole! I could see every nuance of the power technician's expression. Loved it!

AJ Nuest said...

I know! I'm laughing my butt off over here. And that conversation. Margaret, PAH-LEEZE tell me you're going to write that story. You MUST. Too funny. Just too funny. I bet that guy never came back to fix that light, either. LOL

Katherine said...

Hi Melissa,

I'm obsessive about backing up my laptop, my current WIP on two flash drives, and printing out a copy of whatever new material I've written each day. I have friends who laugh, but better safe than sorry I think. I would have cried if I lost 20,000 words of a ms.

As for your husband, I have the same strange kind of thing with watches and clocks that take a battery. It doesn't matter how expensive the watch, within 4 to 6 weeks of wearing them, they just stop working. As for the clocks if I touch them at all they stop working within days and nothing will make them start up again. Glad to hear I'm not the only one with "strange powers." :o)

Unknown said...

*looks sheepish at AJ and Mel*


*stretches at the collar* If you must know...

Mel, yes, I do have that in mind for one of my heroine's, as kind of a personality quirk. She's a work-at-home agorophobic (sp?) because of her effect on electronics - specially high end stuff like smart phones, laptops/computers etc. She finally finds a model - after she reinforces it - that can be around her for any length of time.

Meets a guy, online, who convinces her to meet him for a a bookstore.

She figures it's safe b/c, hey, it's a bookstore, what kind of electronics can there be there, right?

WRONG! It's a B&N w/ a Starbucks and wifi...

And hilarity ensues!

Of course, her 'side-effect' gets worse if she's in an emotional state, IE: she really likes the guy to begin with b/c they've spent hours online, talking and then she sees him and he's HOT!

Yeah...*wheels a turnin' ladies, wheels a turnin'...*

And AJ, actually, he did come back. The next day...

PS: The chocolate was *very* good!

But no, the light is still there. He told me when he dropped of the Bud and Choco's that he put in a standing order not to worry about reports on the light being out. If someone called it in, it simply meant I'd gone out for the evening. He said he put in the order, "Don't worry, when she comes home and goes inside, it'll be on again."

AJ Nuest said...

That is OUTSTANDING! OMG, HOW FUNNY! I think that's the guy that needs to be the hero in your book! An electrician! LOL Seriously, though, the plot to your WIP sounds FABU, Margaret! Now get off blogger and go write!! LOL JOKING! I'm joking. I'm so glad you were here today to add to our fun time! Thanks to ALL the guests for coming especially Melissa for being such a great guest! Whoot!

Melissa Fox said...

Hi Katherine! I'm the same way with watches--not counting the one I accidentally flushed down the toilet (don't ask). Hubs bought me a very nice watch for an anniversary, but I can only wear it occasionally, because every time I do, it just goes dead. What's up with that?

Margret - I am so on board reading that WIP. Seriously, keep me informed!

This has been awesome amounts of fun, ladies! Thank you so, so much for stopping by - xoxoxo AJ.

Terry Odell said...

I'm still restoring files from when my PC crashed. My laptop also has bouts of "sorry, can't start" moments, and I just had to go get a factory reset on my phone.

My brother can't wear electric watches. I've been looking into Carbonite, but I might check out Time Machine as well.
Terry's Place

morgan said...

You may have high level of magnetism. I used to wipe video tapes and credit cars, and digital watches.

I wrote my first horror novel on a little word processor unit that was basically a keyboard. It turns out if the battery is ever removed it wipes the memory. I had to removed the battery because it had died. Lesson learned.