My writing took a serious hit during the last half of 2015. It wasn't pretty. The flashdrive on which I kept my creative writing crapped out on me. At first, I wasn't even all that concerned since I had been diligently backing up my computer. HOWEVER, I was living in a fool's paradise. While I was backing up everything on the laptop, my flashdrive with over five years of creative writing was not included as part of the laptop even when it was plugged in.
Apparently, everyone but me. When I bemoaned my loss, I found little sympathy among the more technologically advanced.
I tried several data recovery programs and took the flashdrive to various local computer stores. Nothing.
I finally decided to ship the flashdrive to a place in Florida which advertised recovery for about $100. I could afford that. It wasn't until a few days later, the Florida recovery team emailed me with the bad news that my flashdrive was a "more complicated" model called a monolith. To recover data from this type of flashdrive would set me back $500 with no guarantee as to how much or how little they could find. Either way, the price was $500--a sum I couldn't afford. I asked that it be shipped back and it now sits in a drawer that I don't like to look at.
Reeling from the loss of my "babies" (yes, I labored to create each short story, novella, and novel), I couldn't write. I fixated on what I lost even though I couldn't remember everything that was on the drive, even though I found copies of some of my works. Until I had thoroughly mourned their loss, I couldn't put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.
Instead, I read. I read books by authors who hadn't lost their flashdrives or at least knew enough to back them up or put them in a cloud. I read good fiction, bad fiction, and dare I say it? Romances.
Here's my 2015 Reading List:
2015 Reading List
1. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
2. The Book of Human Skin by Michelle Lovric
3. First Person Plural: My Life as a Multiple by Cameron West, PhD
4. The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
5. The Accidental Santera by Irete Lazo
6. Rant by Chuck Palahniuk
7. Doctor Olaf Van Schuler’s Brain by Kirsten Menger-Anderson
8. Women and Ghosts by Alison Lurie
9. The Widow’s Walk by Robert Barclay
10. Chasing Rumi by Roger Houseden
11. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephanie Meyer
12. The Robe of Skulls by Vivian French
13. Invisible Boy by Cornelia Read
14. The Bone Church by Victoria Dougherty
15. Flirt by Laurell K. Hamilton
16. Cane River by Lalita Tademy
17. Famous Writers School by Steven Carter
18. In the Woods by Tana French
19. Me, Dead Dad, & Alcatraz by Chris Lynch
20. The Junk-Drawer Corner-Store Front-PorchBlues by John R. Powers
21. Going Away Shoes by Jill McCorkle
22. Incantation by Alice Hoffman
23. The Foretelling by Alice Hoffman
24. A Shortcut In Time by Charles Dickinson
25. Temptation by Jude Deveraux
26. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
27. Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
28. High Tide by Jude Deveraux
29. Hope: A Tragedy by Shalom Auslander
30. The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death by Charlie Houston
31. The Right Hand of Evil by John Saul
32. Travels in the Scriptorium by Paul Auster
33. The Twelve Terrors of Christmas by John Updike
34. Gossamer by Lois Lowry
35. These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner
36. Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison
37. White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison
38. The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully by Sister Joan Chittister
I found some new authors (to me) and re-read some of my favorites. I mourned for my lost works, and slowly healed.
Today, I wrote about 3,000 words on a story that didn't exist even in my mind until a few weeks ago. It felt good to write again. Perhaps, someday when I have an extra $500 laying around, I'll pay to get the data off that flashdrive, but until then I'll have to content myself with producing new and hopefully, better works.
Who knows? Maybe a fresh start is exactly what I needed.