Writing Again

I am on a writing retreat.  During my last writing retreat, I was working on an entirely new novel (being only halfway through the first draft of the previous novel I’ve spent the past many months working on).  The main character of this new novel suffers from the failure of technology all around her.  She is partly autobiographically inspired.

I think I jinxed myself creating such a character.  Just 3,600 words into the story, my hard drive crashed and burned.  I lost everything — my work to date on both novels, two nonfiction book proposals, the original text from my nonfiction book (which fortunately was already published), my poetry, several short stories, all my music, several years worth of photographs… the loss was immeasurable.  To top it off, the back-up that I thought I had done a few months back somehow got wiped out too.

I started out by calling both hardware and software support.  The first person I spoke to spent almost three hours on the phone with me, reading from a script, starting over at the beginning every time the computer wouldn’t fix itself.  After being instructed to reboot my computer about 48 times, it became progressively more damaged and eventually wouldn’t boot up at all, even in safe mode.  The second person I spoke with took a little over an hour to diagnose that yes, indeed, my hard drive was completely fried.  Fortunately, Dell sent me a new hard drive right away, and they also effectively pointed out the error of my ways and sold me an external hard drive as a back up system as well, but that didn’t restore everything that had been destroyed.

After two days of lying face down on the floor sobbing, contemplating how to obtain a Japanese Samurai sword that I could use to perform a dramatic ritual suicide, I finally decided to call a local technology support guru.  My computer wouldn’t even turn on at that point, so how was someone going to fix it?  I’ll tell you how — MAGIC!

Walter at Cary Computer Solutions is my new hero.  Walter… The very name inspires confidence.  Doesn’t that just sound like someone who could fix any computer?

After speaking with him on the phone, I got up off the floor, dried my red puffy eyes, wiped the trails of smudged mascara from my cheeks, and clung desperately to new hope.  He came over within an hour and picked up my computer, and then he called the next day to relay the good news that all was not lost.  He was able to recover my major files.  He stopped by that evening and returned my laptop along with several DVDs worth of data.

Walter is a genius!  (And extremely prompt and reasonably priced to boot.)  If anyone in the northwest Chicago suburbs is looking for a techno-wizard with nearly god-like computer skills, I highly recommend Walter at Cary Computer Solutions.  Just click here to access his website.

Now I am on another writing retreat, happily juggling two novels and praying that no additional disaster sweeps everything away.  And yes, I have set up that external hard drive to automatically back up my files every night.


  1. Oh my goodness! It’s scary when you think of all that work lost. I’m glad to hear he was able to retrieve some of it for you.

    And good luck on your writing retreat!


  2. i wouldn’t even need the sword after that. i think i would just lay down and die.

    this happened the day before my thesis was due, back in the dark ages when computer tech was still relatively new in pcs….

    so happy you found someone who could help!

    have i mentioned how jealously i long for your frequent writer retreats? waaaa! it’s not faaaaair….. but you, enjoy them please, i’ll whine less if you do.


  3. This so happened to me but luckily the guys at Geek Squad were able to retrieve all my files, did it help me to remember to back up my writing? nope. lol. But I do most of my original writing in long hand, so I have copies of almost everything Ive ever written… I did however backup all my photos… Hope the writing is going well… I need a writing retreat, actually just a retreat would work too !




    Our second hard drive just crashed last night, coincidentally (something in the air?), but my husband managed to retrieve all the important stuff. I was so, so worried about my photos, mostly. But looks like those are okay …


    My husband’s a computer guru, for future reference!


  5. Wow, that sucks! Did you get the most important stuff back? If it is even possible that your freaky problem is real, I would go with Online storage. Hopefully your energy field can’t destroy the entire internet. Here are a couple review pages for the different companies. Mozy stands out at $5 per month for unlimited data storage but there are also a few that offer 2gigs for free.





  6. When I tried to log on to ours notebook, a box saying “there are not sufficient resources to load” my account with the default something-or-other came up. The box had a timer that was going to close the message, and then when it closed it would not log me on. I could not turn it on normally so I cut the power. When I turned it back on I logged on fine?
    I read here Laptop Error but couldnt make sense?



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