I have a fear of the cloud in general. I’m not keen on the idea of placing things in a “cloud”, in a digital purgatory where things could either dissolve or be distributed to everybody in the world with the click of a key. I read these articles of how celebrity phones are hacked and suddenly everybody has access to Sony emails about salary requirements and bathroom towel selfies of Marvel/DC actresses. I write books. It’s enough authors have to deal with piracy AFTER their novels are published. I’m not enthused about putting a work in progress in a place where one might discover it.

I like tangibles, things I can see and touch. I still keep book journals. I have floppy disks and zip drives from machines past. I have files of old files. I have the handwritten first draft of Little Flowers somewhere in a box. I have my last two laptops with most everything I’ve written since I took it seriously.

Make that three.

This week my personal laptop died. Just blacked out in the middle of work. Last thing I saw was Louise Belcher’s gap-mouthed smile as the spinning hoop of death taunted me, telling me no way in hell was I getting past that gate. It’s almost like Louise planned the whole thing and wanted to watch me suffer. After a power cycle the damn thing wouldn’t boot up at all. So now I have a laptop with a hard drive that may or may not have every book I’ve written, every cover I’ve design, all the promo I planned for this summer.


There is a light of hope, however. Before the blackout I managed to email myself copies of my two works in progress, which total 50k each. Mailed copies to a trusted friend, copied them to the cloud with fingers crossed. At least I don’t have to conjure two whole novels from memory. I’m grateful, too, everything I do for day job is cloud-based, so that’s safe.

I was planning to reissue three books this summer. Thankfully two publishers got in touch and sent editable copies. The third, I pulled from my email archives. Whew. The sad news, the covers are in limbo until I am able to send the old hard drive to Super Repair Recovery Land. If they are irretrievable I start over in that respect.

What saddens me the most about this is that I had baby pictures on that machine. Those I can’t recreate as well. I can only hope the grandparents have their copies on disks and thumb drives, and I’m sure there’s something else on the laptop I’m not thinking of, but I’ll realize it later on when I’m sleeping and bolt awake a two AM.

So, the lesson here? Back everything the hell up. Twice. In different places. Save yourself the heartache.