Tag Archives: power outage

How I saved my cat and my novel

What a wonderful thing Word.doc is. Before computers, writers had to use something called a typewriter, an instrument that, like a computer keyboard, had letters to click, but unlike typewriters, Word is easier to correct. What a wonderful word is ‘delete.’

But Word is terrible at grammar, as many of you writers already know. Working on my new novel I wrote ‘I’m too. . .

I must pause to tell you that the original title for this blog was Why Writers Can’t Trust Word. I was going to show the sentence I wrote and why the Word.doc grammar Nazi underlined ‘I’m’ and said it should be ‘I are.’

I got as far as I mentioned because I went to the document that has the manuscript for my novel in progress. I wrote 1,600 words yesterday in chapter three, words that would throw a big wrench into the murder mystery, taking the story in a new direction with many questions to be pondered. I was immensely proud of the output and what I had written. So I wanted to find the sentence that began ‘I’m too. . . ‘ and show why Word knows little about grammar. He can’t be trusted. I had other examples I had written down as evidence. But when I scrolled down to chapter three, yesterday’s work was gone. It wasn’t there; it was gone, as in gone. That means it wasn’t there. 1,600 words disappeared.

What happened? My first thought was to go to system restore to retrieve my work, but according to my system the safe place was four days ago. Then I thought that I had failed to click ‘save’ when I logged out yesterday. That had to be the reason.

I think Word knew I was going to trash him in a blog and sabotaged my work. No Matter. I saved the beginning of this blog, went back to chapter three and the only thing to do was write down the structure of what I had written. I wrote down the essentials, a summary if you will ,of the scene. I was not going to rewrite until I recalled everything that went on as that would make the writing easier. But. . .

You may not believe this, but just as I finished the summary that contained everything I needed, the power flashed off, radio, lights, computer-(the lights just flickered again as I am writing this-I am in a big rain storm with high winds in the Pacific Northwest, thus the outage.) So now my summary was lost, just as I had finished it.  So I started a second time while it was all fresh in my mind. I told myself if the power goes out again I am going to grab a bottle of gin, kick the cat out the window, crawl into my bed, curse the world, and read a book.

Luckily for the cat the power did not go off, but as I am typing this the lights still flicker. In fact I just saved this draft, honest. I am not going through this another time.

I saved my work so I can finish chapter three, but I will not work on it today. I must grieve first. And since the power did not go off forcing me to kick the cat out the window, I saved her life. So if you are a writer remember to look at ‘save’ before you click. Make sure you save your work. Your cat will thank you. Now I am going to bed and read. I don’t care if it is just after noon.

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My return from a cyberspace black hole

It has been two weeks since my last blog. I would prefer to say I was on vacation, lazing on a sunny beach with a brunette and a blonde of the female species, idling the day away drinking grape Kool-Aid and playing tidily winks, but alas that was not the reason.

I am part of a Wi-Fi network and our home base from which we draw cyber-power was accidently dismantled for reasons that are confusing, humorous, and scary. I have also promised never to reveal how or why this happened in order to protect the guilty. The problem was resolved but after few days of deleting 1, 217 emails and ready to blog once again, a new problem arose which caused another shutdown.

The second problem concerned a modem and was so bad we had to bring in a NASA technician  to fix the problem. It took days, but he discovered that an alien power was hacking into our network and was gathering data on us. Our signal was redirected to a black hole in another galaxy, which as you may know, has shown to be in another dimension, one where time is in reverse. You can look it up. 

I have been in power outages when the house goes dark, you grab a flashlight, light candles, and sit in the dark. We tend to take electricity for granted and when it is not there we do odd things. Like trying to turn on a radio-what-oh yeah- that won’t work. No heat, so we go to the stove-wait that won’t work either. We have trained ourselves to turn things on, it is ingrained in us. The feeling of being out of network was similar. I knew I could not get on the Internet, but that did not stop my mind from telling me to see what movies were playing in town by clicking a favorite webpage. Baseball scores? Click MLB. com.

Without Internet access I felt cutoff from the world. I rely on it to inform, to entertain, to do many other fun and exciting things, though I am not addicted to social media. I can live without Twitter, Facebook, (though I have both) and all the other social sites. I prefer real social interaction to cyber interaction. But I am glad to be back-at least for now. Beware of black holes


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