If I can’t be a good example . . .

funny pictures

Sometime between Saturday and this morning, I lost  a nine-hundred and seventeen word scene for a Red Robin project.*

This is exactly why you don’t ever congratulate yourself about bringing something in well under deadline because your butt is as good as bit the moment that thought is thinked, or worse yet, vocalized.

I’ve got my notes, the sketchy outline I spent most of Friday evening and Saturday morning filling out . . .  but no scene.


Before each of you wonderful, supportive people send me comments and commiserations about the importance of backing up Each and Every Time,  I swear to you, loudly and thoroughly, that I did—I can be taught and I learned my lesson after the Laundered Flash Drive Incident almost exactly a year ago.

But before I backed up my document,  I must have confused drafts and pasted the contents of the older draft into the newer document.  So I have two backups of the sketchy outline. . .

Feel free to comment about that, I deserve it.

The right stuff is gone.  Nine-hundred words.  Just like that.

I spent the whole morning trying to reconstruct the scene** and while the results aren’t bad, they aren’t as good as I remember.

They never are.

Then again, I have a few days left.   I can rebuild it .  . .  I have the imagination.  I can make it better, stronger, faster . . .

Sigh . . .

Anyone want to share any similar moments of Gaaaaah?  I’d love to know I’m in the middle of the Boneheaded Moves Bell Curve instead of way out here at the end . . . .


*Five people (this time around—more than seven and we tend to lose the thread of the thing) playing “Can you?” with a premise.  We each add a scene or chapter to the story in rotation, being very careful to end each of our contributions in a way guaranteed to make the next person in line pull out their hair and send e-mails like, “Really?  A tadpole?  Really?!”

**After running around looking at every file that might possibly be it (no) and then doing it again in case I missed something (no) and a third time just in case (no) and then seeing if I’d e-mailed it to anyone without remembering I’d do so (no) or if I’d saved any scraps of it in the places where I save scraps (no) and then calling myself every name in the book and reeling from the sudden, depressive weight of having to recreate what suddenly felt  like the Best Thing I Have Ever Written.


14 thoughts on “If I can’t be a good example . . .

  1. So sorry about that. It is a sinking feeling. It brought mind a poem (imagine that) that I hadn’t thought of in a few years. The Greatest Poem in the World, by David Ray. Look for it.

    You CAN redo it. They were your words to begin with.

    • Oh, John—that poem is perfect

      I saw the women
      doing laundry in a huge boiling
      pot, three women.

      One simple sentence, so much heart-sinking dread!

      I managed to get most of that scene redone, but the words are different now, or my memory is.

  2. Gah! This made me break out into a sweat.
    You know, on the upside, I think it’s amazing that on top of your WIP, you are a mom, a wife, do the laundry, make dinner, work full-time AND make time for a fun side writing project. You my dear, are what I aspire to be.
    I’m so sorry for what you lost, glad it wasn’t a bigger project, and inspired for how you squeezed more writing into your life.

    • Aww, shucks, Lyra . . . I don’t do all the laundry or do all the dinners, the fun project deadline only comes around once a month, and I’m not sure this level of sleep deprivation should inspire anyone to do anything. But I’m taking the compliment and affection anway! 🙂

      And I’m relieved beyond all thing that it wasn’t a Pigeon chapter . . . My heart skipped just thinking about it.

      • Yes–what Lyra said. I’ll bet every writer on Earth has made a similar mistake. (I know I have–several times.) But considering what you have to juggle every single day, you should pat yourself on the back for what you’ve accomplished. Move on, and move up.

  3. Nooooo!!! Oh that sucks. I’m sorry.

    My boneheaded move is out there on the end of the bonehead curve. A few years ago I was renting a photography studio. I had a location shoot that afternoon and thought, I’ll just leave my briefcase here with my extra cameras. I wouldn’t need anything in briefcase that evening, and it would be safer to leave it in the studio rather than bring it out in the Vegas heat during the shoot.

    Yes. Well, the studio was broken into that night. They got my computer, cameras, lock box and briefcase. All my clients’ images, in other words. All my work, and those moments in their lives which were entrusted to me. Soon after the studio went belly-up.

    There now! Don’t you feel better?

    • Oh, ugh, Averil! That wasn’t a boneheaded move, that was someone else’s crime. I’m sorry you went through that.

      But it makes me feel better that you’d share it with me. 🙂

  4. I’ve done so many boneheaded things in my life that I’d need my own blog to tell… oh wait … on second thoughts maybe not! I’ll just commiserate with you instead 😦

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