Holy freakin’ wipeout Batman Scrivener saves the day

middle finger to PCWell, I finally got fucked by my computer. I was writing at a mcd’s and closed my little PC to go meet my huband at the gym. He was running (I’m still recovering from a cold) and I was going to write while I clicked off his laps for him. There’s a lovely chair with a foot rest in the corner on the upstairs track and I got myself all setup, opened my laptop and stared at a blank screen.

Now, I’ve always been one of those people that is a little too liberal with the F word. I like to say it. Alot. It’s my favorite word in the whole fucking universe. But, as I stared at my computer and silently begged for the screen to come to life, I was stangely calm. This continued even when the computer finally started up and I opened up scrivener to discover that two chapters had been wiped clean. Maybe it’s the lack of energy thanks to my cold or maybe I’ve found some unknown inner peace but whatever the explanation, I didn’t use the F word a single time over the next 90 minutes as I tried to recover what was lost. In a way, I feel kinda cheated.

Scrivener is a really neat program. It has lots of backup features. And if you have dropbox, you’re even luckier because that program keeps old versions of files for 30 days. So, I had 4 places to look for the lost chapters. And that’s what I did for most of those 90 minutes, patiently working my way through tons of rtf files.

In the end, I recovered all of one chapter, thanks to the rtf files and 2/3rds of another thanks to snapshots, one of the lovely features in scrivener which creates uneditable copies of your work. If you rewrite something, and you’ve saved the previous version in a snapshot, you can revert to an earlier version or just use it as a reference. If I had taken a snapshot of the chapter when I deemed it officially finished, I’d have been able to restore the entire thing. But….I stupidly shut my computer without doing that. Or without creating a pdf of the entire book and emailing it to myself, which I always do when I change locations or go home for the day. Hopefully, I’ve learned my lesson and today’s writing will end with snapshots and pdfs.

Did I learn anything else? Why yes I did, thanks for asking. I learned that PC’s are unrealiable. Well, I knew that. You see, last night wasn’t the first time this computer has crashed. Twice before, it failed to turn on. I wasn’t as concerned though, because all my writing is stored in dropbox. I figured, if the computer was dead, I’d just go buy another. My husband, who uses a MAC and has always used MAC, has never had his computer crash. Ever. So, until I can afford to buy my own, I’m stealing his Macbook Air. Well, starting tomorrow. Today, I grabbed my PC as I was walking out the door. Fuck. I’ve really learned nothing, have I?

Learn from your mistakes and Write On,

Melissa

PS

My word count hasn’t changed much. I’ve been working, but most of Nov was lost to nanowrimo ( I wrote the outine for my next book) and to our annual trek to Disneyworld, a 10k on the east coast and some touristy stuff. I’ve been sick since we got back and it’s hard to write when you’re constantly sneezing. And cleaning the drippy stuff off your keyboard. And screen. And the table around you. And your pjs when you’re holding your laptop. The dog took care of herself. Now that I’m almost back to normal, and my next book is outlined, I’m ready to finish this sucker. My daughter comes to visit in ten days so that’s my new deadline. This time, I think I can do it. I tell you, I can zip out an excellent feature length script in no time at all. Well, 1-6 weeks and when I did a webseries I was writing a 22 page script a week for production. Switching to prose has almost been the death of me. And my husband. He’s tired of me saying fucking almost when he asks if I’m done. So am I sweetie, so am I.

PPS

I didn’t use fuck in the title because I grew up watching reruns of Batman and Robin and I just couldn’t see that Dick Grayson cursing.

PPPS

Fuck. Imagine that repeated about a zillion times. Okay. Now I feel like myself again.

11-2-15 Word Count

fosterdog mia in her new sweater
Fosterdog Mia, sitting on a rug that needs vaccuminig, while wearing her new sweater.

Had enough of Lisabeth Salander for the moment and I took Girl with the something or other back to the library. I think I’m on page 290. Ish. It’s written down. Somewhere. Reading this book has felt like the girl with the everyday mostly uninteresting life. Do I really need to know what she and her cohort Mick do every day? Especially when it has what feels like nothing to do with the main story? If there is one. While I liked the part with the math, why were those first 150 or so pages included? If you tell me via the blurb on the back of the book that I’m about to dive into a double murder mystery and then you don’t even have that happen until almost page 300, I’m gonna be unhappy with you. If, in December, when I’ve got some free time, and if I wonder, hey, whatever happen to that Girl with the something or other, I’ll swing back up to Crandon library. Until then, I’ve got a half a dozen ebook samples I’m going to look through to try and figure out what I need to read next.

On to the word count.

I spent the last two weeks in high gear trying to knock out the rest of the rewrites before Halloween. Like I keep telling my husband. I’m close. Oh, so close.

How to Sex Your Snake

Genre – Mystery
New this week – 5460 words
Total Count – 44,547 words
Release date:  Pre-orders Dec 10

Gonna leave the release date as is for the moment. There’s still a chance that it will all come together.

Goals from last week: 8 chapters of rewrites. I got about half of that done. I’m back at it in the morning.

Goals for next week: did you see that I wrote week and not time? To keep on track, I have to finish and get this off to my editor. I’m also doing Nanowrimo this year. My 50k words will be a very detailed outline for my next June Nash book. Today (or rather yesterday, I’m writing this on the 1st to upload on the 2nd. Ain’t technology grand) I’ve written a whole 340 words for namo. Pretty amazing, huh? Actually, not bad since I’m not feeling well. I woke up dizzy this morning. Something that just happens. Doesn’t seem to be caused by anything. I just wake up dizzy and write off the day as lost. I’ve been planted on the couch, watching football and I’ll move to the bedroom, shortly, to watch more football. The one bright spot today, was a quick video chat with one of my favorite friends, James.

So, if you missed it in there, cause I kinda did, goals for next week: finish the damn book. Send it to my editor. Have 15,003 words on my namo book completed. Now, I’m gonna get set up for the packers game. Go pack!

Write on,

Melissa

10-13-15 Tuesday Word Count

 

bear poop
poop!

A black bear has hitting the apple tree on the edge of our back yard leaving lots of piles of lovely poop. So far, the dogs haven’t spotted him. (we haven’t either) The last bear I saw near our house, was off in the brush, watching us stroll by with the dogs. (I think I’ve mentioned that horrible day) Bears freak me out a bit. They’re huge. After two seasons here, I’ve still only run into two bears while on foot. I’m hoping that never climbs to three.

Onto the word count.

How to Sex Your Snake

Genre – Mystery
New this week – 564 words
Total Count – 39,087 words
Release date:  Pre-orders Dec 10

Writing has sucked this last month. I’ve been running ’round in circles with rewrites since early Sept not liking any of the drafts.

wiz of oz puzzleFeeling really blocked, unlike the bear who has been scarfing down all the apples from our tree, I turned to one of my favorite mind-freeing activities that doesn’t involve rum.

Puzzles!

I love puzzles so much. Always have. One of my favorite memories of my dad is working together on a giant puzzle of a lion head. I think I was about 10.

So anyway, after about two weeks of non stop puzzling, I got back to the computer and churned out the rewrites. They went off to the retired cop and came back with a big thumbs up. I’m moving through chs 3-11 fixing a sentence or two here and there so that the changes make sense. I’ll be back to work on the ending of the book either today or tomorrow.

Goals from last time: Getting the rewrites done. It took long enough but it did happen.

Goals for next time: See, I didn’t write next week, since I’ve had some issues getting a blog post out every week. I have 8 chapters that need that final draft touch. If I can tackle each chapter over 2-3 days, I can finish by Halloween. Then the draft goes to my editor for a final pass. Once I get that back, approx mid Nov, I will implement the changes and then send copies go out to my format readers who will be looking for anything that was missed. (Not by my editor but by me not getting the change fixed correctly. My editor is a seasoned pro) Hopefully, the readers will be sending manuscripts back to me the first week of Dec. The book will then move into pre-sales on Dec 10. Sooner if the stars align.

Nanowrimo. Are any of you doing it this year? I love this event. It’s part of the reason I want to finish this month. I have enough of my outline for the next book in the series and I’d like to knock out a rough 1st draft in November. If you’ve never heard of nanowrimo, it’s national novel writing month. You write a 50k word book in 30 days. If you decide to do it, make sure you plan ahead and put together as much of an outline as you can. It will make the writing flow easier. Outlining always does. Now I’ve got to get back to work. Today is a double run day. (easy 3 miler this afternoon, yasso’s later tonight) We’re training for another half marathon.

Hope the leaves are beautiful where you are. (they kinda suck here. None of the gorgeous reds we had last year)

Write on,

Melissa