Personally, I blame the cat. Gus must have knocked the thing off the desk and killed it somewhere in the house. (He's very good at killing things, as most kittens are.) I keep asking him to bring it back to me, but he's too busy killing something else (usually Indy - who whines like a little baby and takes all the abuse) to listen. I have crawled all over the floor shining a tiny little flashlight under furniture and appliances, but alas, to no avail.
This sucks on multiple levels:
- My sister gave me that flash drive. It was the first one of those contraptions I owned; I wanted to get one (floppies had gone the way of the dodo and re-writable CDs were moving in that direction as well - yes, this was back in the day when some of us still considered these archaic devices to be "viable options") but I felt I couldn't justify the expense. Then this little green thing came in the mail - and I knew it was a good one, because Marcy'd bought it. She and Zach read all those Consumer Reports magazines and such, and he's an enginerd to begin with - he knows about computer things, and stuff. In the card, Marcy had written that I could save my novels on the flash drive. My novels - because I was a writer.
- For days after I discovered it was missing, I was too scared to look in My Documents and make sure I had backed up all my NaNos and other writings to my laptop. I was keeping all of that on that flash drive (I now have several drives, each one has its "job:" teaching stuff, creative writing stuff, wedding stuff...), and I should have been smart enough to BACK IT UP ON MY LAPTOP but sometimes I'm not as smart as I should be.
- The latest version of my dissertation, for the Master's degree that's been on hold for years now, was on that flash drive. Most of it was still on my laptop, but I spent the better part of a Saturday re-organizing the paper and writing, and those words were like pulling teeth and then some. I was brilliant enough NOT to save the latest copy to my laptop... even though I had been working ON my laptop. See? I told you I'm not that smart sometimes...
This dissertation has been hanging over my head for years - and I have great excuses for each and every one of those years, but thankfully now I have a loving husband who's not going to let me get away with that much longer. If I don't get this thing finished by November, guess what's not going to happen for me. THIS IS NOT AN OPTION.
Yesterday I sat down to assess the damage. It helped a little that Saturday I'd gone to Target and bought a new, pink flash drive.
I have not opened any of the documents, but all NaNo folders (2004-present) were saved in My Documents, waiting for me, like good little children. So were other folders, labeled Novels, Stories, and Poems, which made me feel even giddier.
As for the dissertation, it wasn't as bad as I had originally thought. I must have saved halfway through that session, because the paper looked better than I remembered it; also, I was able to re-write the missing pages without removing any teeth. Always a plus.
I have about 10 pages to go; if I sit my butt in the chair long enough to get it done, I can do it this weekend (Freddy will be out of town, so there won't be much else to do). Which leaves me the next weekend to start getting ready for NaNo - yay! (I need the prep time this year: I'm "cheating" and finishing my NaNo from two years ago... which means I need to read what I wrote, to know where I was and where I need to keep going.)
Can she do it?
Only time will tell...