I know a lot of you are going to want to virtually box me around the ears now, and you're perfectly right to do so.
When I got back from holiday, and switched on my comp the next day, there was a funny noise, it didn't boot, and when I took it to the repair shop, they kept it there for a full week to see if anything would get the harddrive going.
At least I was sure that my last update had been sometime in May, so that the data loss would be manageable. I already know that "Dying of the Light" would be beyond retrieval, since I'd finished it just before the holiday and I knew I hadn't drawn a backup.
My last backup wasn't in May. It was in October, 2008. Nearly a year's worth of photos, drawn pictures, written stuff (among that the Rhyddion rewrite and six or seven Heroes fanfics), and loads of funny children's quotes - gone.
I know. I deserved that, I should have made backups regularly.
Then, last week, I got a call from one of Germany's top newspapers (Süddeutsche Zeitung), who were publishing a children's Fantasy book and wanted one of my pics for the cover. Guess which: Dying of the light.
Luckily, I had printed the finished picture so I could scan it, but for some reason, even in the copyshop with a really good scanner, we couldn't get it free of JPG artifacts. I spent most of last night repainting areas of it so it looked just about okay for printing.
I was lucky in a few other regards, of course - I was able to retrieve most of the written stuff from the places where I'd posted it, I'm so glad I posted the third chapter here after all (even though it's going to be redone with a lot of changes). I even managed to find most of the kids' quotes again by going through my old posts in a parenting forum where I posted most of them. (Of course, there are those I'd have remembered anyway. "Mama, when the dinosaurs lived, there were no humans, right?" - "That's right." - "Not even farmers?" - "No, no farmers either, of course." - "Then who looked after the dinosaurs?")
The holiday wasn't the best experience either - at least my husband and I now have a pretty accurate list of things that we have to avoid next time. And I think the most important thing to avoid next time is Spain, at least in summer. 42 degrees in Granada were just too much, and that wasn't the exception either.
There have been a few good things too. The kids now have a bunk bed in Timo's room, Jana has moved out of our bedroom, which opens up a world of new opportunities to be done in the bedroom (some of the more innocent ones are reading a book before going to bed, and employing a radio alarm clock again. For some reason, Jana always slept through the beeping of a normal alarm clock but but sit bolt upright when the radio went on at six AM.)
Another great find was a book I read in Spain, "Wales - epic views from a small coutry". I feel the need to rethink, rewrite, or maybe just enrich, pretty much my entire story. A wealth of wonderful stuff there. No need to devise your won Fantasy world when there's Wales!
Anyway, I guess it'll be a few months before I've got my comp back to the way it was, and until I've scraped together all my stuff again.
The first thing I did was buy a new backup drive, so I won't have to share my husband's any more, and I fully intend to use it at least once a week. More often than that if I happen to draw a new Best Pic Ever. Just in case.