The end of last month came with the thrill of receiving edit notes for an upcoming book project. It was a big job in two parts with a tight turn around. I got right to work and was tracking to be on time for the first part and even started to work on the second part. I sent the first part in on a Monday morning. I might have been able to push through and complete that second part, but I had a few other things that needed attention, so for the second part I requested, and received, a bit more time. At the end of the day, I saved all my work and I shut down my system.The next day when I turned on my computer to continue my work, my computer didn't start up as it normally does. There was no chime and the home page didn't properly load. When icons did show up, clicking on them only made them bounce in place. Nothing opened. The computer started chugging and churning. It got extremely hot. It didn’t smoke, but it sure seemed like it could burst into flames. If I owned a panic button, I would’ve been pressing it; all of my writing is on that computer. But I don’t have a panic button, so I tried to remain calm. I have backup, right? Sort of – I’ve been saving my work to an external drive for some time, but it's not automatic. I hadn’t backed up this latest project. Gulp.The good news is, I have access to another computer in the house. My husband let me borrow his computer to finish my project. The bad news is, I had to start over with a fresh download. It wasn’t my shiniest moment in writing, but I made my deadline. In hindsight, I see how it could have been a much bigger project and how I could have lost so much more.I don’t know if it was gremlins, the madness of March, or just the end of the road for my computer. It felt like a close call, though. I’m thinking of emblazoning this quote from Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield somewhere near my refurbished (or new) computer with the addendum from me:No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination;
never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
(And if you do put off something,
be sure to back up your work.)~~~~~Tamera Wissinger writes stories and poetry for children. She is the author of GONE FISHING and the forthcoming GONE CAMPING from HMH Childrens, and THIS OLD BAND and THERE WAS AN OLD LADY WHO GOBBLED A SKINK from Sky Pony Press. Tamera is the new owner of a 1 terabyte external hard drive that regularly backs up everything.