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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain


The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.


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He strikes again.

Yesterday, I cheerfully set out from work, having spent about three hours completely annotating the foreword to HoMe1 with my personal thoughts, notes, and summaries. I got home, plugged in my USB key, and....


In a half-hour?

The HoMe notes are gone. The three chapters of the AMC prequel that I wrote at the lake and hadn't yet backed up...gone. My supercool Access writing database...gone too. (Also not backed up because I was still tinkering with it. Access is good for tinkering.)

Now deep down in my logical heart of hearts (that is astounded at the number of cliches that I used in that phrase and wonders if my brain corrupted along with the USB drive), I know that Fëanor really doesn't have anything to do with it. He's not real! He's a character in a book! That he once deleted a chapter from his PoV that I was working on; that the chapter turned out to be mostly lies that I had to completely rewrite; that part of AMC got eaten when my last USB drive failed; that now the new novel about him gets chewed up (though two chapters from Nerdanel's PoV were just fine)...I know that this is a coincidence. Yesterday, I was angsting that whenever I write a story about Fëanor, I suffer some sort of odd data loss. Then I realized that since I started writing fanfic, I've spent no more than a few months not writing about Fëanor, so simple probability would make this so. Still, I wonder if this particular incident was belated revenge for slashing him in By the Light of Roses because I really liked the chapters I'd written from his PoV for the AMC prequel.

Still, being a dumb optimist, I spent last evening grumbling and then thought about the good things that come from having a USB drive corrupt. For one, the whole thing didn't corrupt. Granted, most of the stuff that I needed corrupted, but that's not the point.

  • For one, there were some organizational problems with the prequel. As I was explaining to Bobby, I am good at revising "micro" issues in my stories--things at the word, sentence, even paragraph level--but "macro" problems at the level of the chapter or story as a whole...not so good. I see what needs to be done but simply lack the ability to do it. That's why poor "Cold Hands" has been "in revision" for the better part of a year now, because I have to reorganize the first half-page or so. Anyway, now I can fix the organizational problems. When I rewrite the chapters.

  • In reading and taking notes on the HoMe1 foreword for a third and second time, respectively, I'll know it that much better! Which should make for a more helpful summary, hopefully.

  • "Akliya," which I had copyedited last week and revised a bit, was not corrupted. Quickly, I saved it to the network at work before it changed its mind. But I really was not looking forward to revising/copyediting that story again, so I was glad that that was saved.

  • Fëanor's past antics have taught me the value of backing up and backing up some more. So beside those items I mentioned--finished during the last week--I didn't lose anything else.

So next week, I'll set out to write again the chapters of my prequel. I'm already halfway done the HoMe notes. Again.

By the way, my USB key was called "Fingolfin." I've already decided that the new USB key will be called "Arafinwë." Silly me, guess I didn't notice the Dark Lord that had snuck into my purse and hacked "Fingolfin" down with a big hammer called Grond....
  • Perhaps Fëanor, the jewel-obsessed, the Prince of Valinor, wallower in riches of all kinds, simply thinks that you have a cheap USB key and wants you to upgrade to a pricier model. Resist, resist, I say, resist!
  • See, now you were just asking for Fate to intervene when you named your drive "Fingolfin"!! That's why I picked something more general: Moriquendi.

    Or maybe Feanor was just miffed that your drive was named "Fingolfin".

    Sometimes I think corrupted files are a way of saying, "Hey, this sucked!" My computer corrupted a 30 page Sil play. O.o
    • I forgot to mention this in the post, but the last chapter of my NaNoWriMo novel that was so broken and that I hated so much, I intentionally did not back that up, thinking that if the key corrupted or I lost it, that would give me the excuse to completely rewrite the chapter. Fëanor is claiming that is why he did it; he thought he was "helping." *rolls eyes*
  • You and your corrupt USB and me and my hot Lappy...

    • ...and the network down at work for part of the week. It's just not a good week for technology.

      (And I won't even begin to gripe about how my fax and CJIS haven't worked for part of the week either....)
  • That's why poor "Cold Hands" has been "in revision" for the better part of a year now, because I have to reorganize the first half-page or so.

    Oh, you know, it's quite comforting to know I'm not the only one in that... in February WRU will have been 'in revision' for one year... mwahaha.

    And bad USB key... baaaaad USB key! ;)
    • Yeah, I'm a terrible reviser. I like to do the "micro" stuff--I can tinker endlessly with a sentence--but the "macro" stuff, I have trouble with wanting to keep parts that I like and change parts that I don't and have all of that work cleanly. It doesn't.

      Sometimes, it's better when the document corrupts and I just rewrite the stupid thing!
  • (no subject) - satismagic
    • Eek, no. I'd never entrust Google with my things. Especially when you read in the TOS:

      By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through Google services which are intended to be available to the members of the public, you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, adapt, modify, publish and distribute such Content on Google services for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting Google services. Google reserves the right to syndicate Content submitted, posted or displayed by you on or through Google services and use that Content in connection with any service offered by Google.

      Making back ups is holy, but trusting Google?
    • (no subject) - dawn_felagund - Expand
  • Hmmm what brand do you have? Looks like the USB stick is damaged or you happened to have one that is very prone to for 'disk' errors, which is causing this data loss... ugh, perhaps you should call your usb stick Feanor instead of Fingolfin ;) Still it sucks.
    • The two keys were different kinds. I remember that the first was called "RamBo" (which always made me giggle), and my dad gave it to me when the things first started getting popular. He gave me this second one when the first corrupted because it was a better brand and more apt to last.

      Sorry, Dad, but no!

      Regardless, I learned my lesson from the first and use Data Deposit Box now, which backs up my hard drive automatically whenever my computer is idle. Of course, I have to move the stuff from the key to the hard drive, but I do this pretty regularly. I just hadn't had a chance with the prequel chapters, but they'll probably be better rewritten anyhow.
  • Loss

    I am so sorry Dawn about you losing your chapters. That would probably send me into a major depressive state--but then I can't stand to even cut voluntarily--so complete loss would be devastating. Now I am a nervous wreck wanting to make sure that everything I really do not want to lose has been recently backed up. I clicked on my friends page and read your entry--immediately after I had installed a new Feanor pic. He really does have a way of trying to get attention.
    • Re: Loss

      It's just a series of strange and unfortunate events that have happened to me and my stories whenever left too long around him...be careful! :^D

      *pets your icon and hopes that makes him behave*

      I don't know if it's my sickening optimism or what, but I'm actually glad for the chance to rework those chapters. Ideas that came into my mind while writing them can be expressed more fully; I think they'll be better. I'm actually toying with the idea (and I can't believe this) or rewriting my NaNo novel, once it's finished. I find myself with a Tolkien dilemma: my world has evolved so much in the last two years that the beginning no longer really matches the ending!

      As for backing up, if you read further up the comments, I am talking about the backup service I use, Data Deposit Box, which is great for the backup-challenged. You tell it what folders you want it to back up, and it does so automatically, whenever the computer is idle for more than thirty seconds or so. That way, there is always an updated copy online that can be pulled up anywhere you have the Internet. If I have to do anything to backup my work, I don't--I lost parts of AMC the last time Feanor corrupted my USB key my USB key corrupted--so the automatic feature alone makes it very worthwhile for me.
  • Feanor or Gremlins

    My friend has that trouble with her Loki pictures etc.

    Its a similar thing, maybe propitiation is in order lol ;)

    Ooh and I loved 'Salt'. Ta much, I've had a grand day reading.
  • Oh shit, Dawn. I frigging hate losing stuff but when my laptop wouldn't start a few weeks ago and I thought it had kicked the bucket, I wiped out all my files with Quick Restore and started again from scratch. I've spent hours uploading new pictures (I lost all my old ones) and putting them in Photobucket. I know that all my stories were on Livejournal if not at most websites, and my e-mail was safe because that is not affected by Quick Restore. So I guess I'm saying that I believe uploading all your stuff to websites is a great idea. The only thing is, I wouldn't normally do it for half-written pieces, so using back-up disks is really crucial. However, I never use them and I should know better.

    Awww..."Cold Hands"! I frigging LOVE "Cold Hands"! And LOL...revenge for slashing Feany in By the Light of Roses"! Priceless! I am sorry, though. It is hideous to spend all that time on writing (because I know it isn't easy) and then to lose it is sickening.
    • *whispers* Data Deposit Box.... ;)

      It backs up your stuff automatically, whenever your computer is idle for a short while (around 30 seconds). I recommend it to all backup-challenged writers...like I am!

      You did my beta for "Cold Hands," and that made me realize that the beginning needed work. I want to send that one out to magazines first since I like to sit on stories awhile to make sure that they don't suck, but I need to finish the damned thing! Argh! I wish that stories would revise themselves.

      As for rewriting, I'm really not that bothered. I think that the new versions will be better...and don't think that the thought hasn't crossed my mind that I'm filling pretty big shoes, trying to follow AMC.... :^/
  • LOL! If Feany has done funny things because you slashed him with Erestor in By the Light of Roses, he should have burned my comp to a crisp long ago. Methinks he might have tinkered with the US because it was called Fingolfin. He, he! Now I know that your predicament isn't funny at all, but the way you talk about it makes me laugh. *giggles*

    I hope that rewriting isn't that much of a bitch.
    • You know me: I have to make a bleh situation funny! And rewriting isn't so bad; I started today. Once I get past those chapters, I should be on a roll again. :)

      I keep trying to tell Feanor that "USB Fingolfin" was nothing but a tool, a tool for holding the superior work that Feanor crafted, of course. ;)
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