As a writer, my world can easily fit into a laptop. This is why the best advice anyone can give a writer is to back up files--as much as he or she can.
The night before yesterday, I noticed that my Acer Notebook, Stan, wasn't charging. I mean his battery wasn't charging when I plugged him in. Thinking this was a hardware problem and not software, I didn't back up my files before going to the place I had purchased him.
Seeing that I only had a few days before Stan's warranty was up, I quickly went to the store expecting they would give me a new battery. Confidently, I walked up to the Tech Counter and handed Stan to the guy I bought him from last year.
I didn't do this and was content to watch, thinking it was his job to fix laptops all day so he should know what he was doing. It's like, ask me to write something and I should be able to come up with something written since that's what I do.
Second lesson learned: Start being suspicious when the tech guy is fiddling around with the software when the problem is clearly the hardware.
This is when my gut started telling me something was wrong. Like really wrong.
I started getting nervous and agitated.
And then, the worst thing that could happen to a writer happened when laptops are involved: Stan died. He suddenly died and the tech guy couldn't understand why that happened, like a surgeon watching a patient just expiring on the operating table.
This is where I felt my world turn on its head, and I lost it.
I kept asking him about my files. Could he get them back? He was visibly shaken, but he said he could get back my files by removing the hard drive from inside Stan. I totally lost it then, close to tears.
So, I did what any sane customer would do, I called for the manager. I was hysterical at this point because not only had I suddenly lost Stan and was still in shock, but I would have potentially lost ten, count them, TEN novels in various states of being written.
The manager came and I told him what happened. The tech guy was pale at this point and was trying desperately to unearth the hard drive from Stan's body. It was a gruesome sight even without blood. The manager assured me they would get my files back. Having once lost my files when Fred was reprogrammed, I wasn't convinced until I actually saw my files in the "flesh," so to speak.
Having my mother there was a big help because her calm presence grounded me. Once I saw that my files were all retrieved, I took a deep breath and moved away from the edge of the cliff.
I'm sad that Stan is no longer with me. Even if we spent close to a year together, we still had good times, and have written a few WIPs.
Lessons learned from this experience?
1. Always back up files. (Seems simple, but easily taken for granted)
2. Always ask the tech guy what he's about to do.
3. And before he does anything, ask if you can back up your files just in case.
4. Don't be afraid to talk to the manager because he or she is the one who can really help.
Let's make him feel welcome.
I expect to be creating magic with him for many years to come.
*the pictures all over this post is of Elvis and various states of coming out of the box.