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.