In which the author recounts disaster and searches for her suitcase

It’s time to pack again and hit the road. I leave tomorrow for a long flight West. If you live in the upper left-hand corner of America, you’ll find me here:

Thursday – on an airplane all day
Friday morning – Mt. Baker JH/SH, Deming, WA
Friday afternoon & evening – preconference activities
Saturday – 2006 Bond Children’s Literature Conference, Western Washington U., Bellingham WA
(Here’s a nice article about the gig, and the wonderful woman who runs it, Nancy Johnson.)
Saturday night -Sunday – red-eye flight home. Ack.

Yesterday was horrible. Why? Background first: I am an Apple (PowerBook G4) user, one of the crazy drooling fanatics who irritate people condemned to use Microsoft. But in order to communicate with the rest of the world, I use the Word and Powerpoint (Microsoft products) – the versions which were specifically designed for Apples. So far, so good. I keep my AutoRecovery set to back up every 3 minutes, so in case of disaster, I would at worst lose only 180 seconds of work.

My computer had a seizure yesterday (yes, this happens to Apple users… about once a year). “No problem, I have AutoRecovery,” I chirped. I rebooted, humming a happy tune, and waited for Word to reopen my document. When it did, eight hours of changes, including three new scenes, were gone. Vanished into the ether. Forever. Poof!

We’ll skip the details of what I said at that point, and what I said for the next hour as I combed through files and logs in a vain search for my lost words.

What happened? AutoRecovery had gone on strike eight hours earlier. Why? Who knows. Maybe because I called Microsoft, “Microdweeb” a couple days ago. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it. I really went over the edge, emotionally, fell all to pieces and thought Very Dark Thoughts. It had been years since I felt that bad. Decades, maybe. Thank goodness for my incredibly strong and loving husband, who calmly went around the house picking up all of the shattered pieces of my soul. He wrapped them into an afghan and brewed chamomile tea. When I emerged from this coccoon, he gently suggested I get back to work before I forgot everything.

Moral of the story: Choose your significant other wisely if you are going into the arts.