It’s amazing how quickly writing gears rust: over-night! I’ve been on holiday, sick (for weeks!), dealing with serious computer problems, and now only gradually emerging out of the I-will-never-be-able-to-write-again-despair that so quickly sets in.
I begin by making visible piles: the manuscript to be read, the untouched notebook in which to record daily progress, files of notes, my favorite pencils.
I also begin by getting things fixed: me, first (yet a work in progress). My computer glasses, limping along on one leg, were finally repaired yesterday. My email database program … well, we might—might—be getting there.
The biggest disadvantage with using Microsoft Entourage is that everything—everything!—is stored in one huge database: all contacts with notes and categories attached, all calendar items, all email, past and present. (A life in letters!) When that database gets damaged, game over. And mine is damaged.
(And, I now discover, wading through impossible-to-understand papers written by techs: twice the size Entourage is prepared to handle. Could the program not have informed me?)
Fortnately, I’m a back-up fanatic: I use TimeMachine, plus an on-line automatic back-up (CrashPlan), plus SuperDuper, a back-up to a separate drive. (Plus, when I’m writing, I email myself the draft I’m working on every day. But that’s another story ? and possibly one reason the database is fat?)
Sound extreme? Consider this: the TimeMachine back-up of my database is not really any good (why I don’t know). CrashPlan’s on-line back-up is current, and so its copy of the file I need is of the damaged database. Don’t want that, thank you very much! And so, my hopes lie with back-up #3: SuperDuper.
Through Google I found Entourage help on-line. The first issue seems to be an over-crowded hard drive. I used Disk Inventory X to find out what the disk-hogs were, and tossed them out. Right now I’m using iDefrag to defragment the drive. I feel leaner and meaner already. If only I could Defrag my brain.
Dear Sandra, i am so sorry to hear about the pains that you've been going through. Hope you are much better health wise. It is amazing to see how careful you are with backing up ALL of your writings, notes, journals, etc. It may sound like a lot of work but I do think it's worth it! I hope that your technical/software issues will soon be a story of the past and that you can resume your talented writing with the great enthusiasm that you always show.
If it helps to know, Sharon Kay Penman is having a tough situation also with her Demon-Spawn computer and so not very happy about it either. Hope all will go back to normality soon!
Today I will start Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe. I'm so looking forward to a great reading adventure!
Lisa-Marie, that's the nicest New Year gift. Thank you so much!
I know what it means to be addicted to the Bonapartes! I went into withdrawal after finishing the trilogy. Fortunately, the Sun Court is addictive, as well.
I love your story about pulling over to read in the dark. I'll remember that as I'm groping my way through the dark of a novel in draft.
I finished The Josephine B. Trilogy this morning along with the P.S. and find myself on line looking for more about Josephine and Napoleon. They, and your novels, are truly addictive. To find you scraping the rust off your talent in despair today moved me to send you this note of gratitude.
The truth is I became so obsessed with Josephiine that I had to hide the trilogy from myself to stay focused on my family and work over the holidays. It was with great joy that I pulled the trilogy off the shelf again this week to finish it.
Here is a little story of encouragement for you. I've had a funny coincidence with a girlfriend of yours named Margot.I saw her on two occassions while obsessing on your books. Once at a Christmas party when by chance I told her that I loved the book I was reading so much that I pulled over in the dark to read by car-light before going home because I knew my boyfriend would rush me to get ready for the party. And then again yesterday while I was sitting at Chapters to squeeze in a little more intrigue before going to the gym who do I hear talking on her cell phone…Margot! It turns out her Christmas gift of choice this year for friends was The Josephine B. Trilogy.
I'm a real estate agent about to start work again but I thank you for a wonderful and intriguing morning.
Thank you for persevering.
Warm regards and Happy New Year.