Over the years, my experiences in digital have led me to be seriously paranoid about backups. Over the summer, I took a big power zot from a breaker cascade caused by my wife running dishwasher, AC, and washing machine simultaneously.
Then it happened again, while I was doing the restore. My backup drive was fried, as my source had been.
Since mid-July I have been doggedly avoiding digging through all my archival files trying to replace whatever was lost in that aborted backup. I’ve been working online since about 2008, so what I was missing was more of an archive of work in progress, old completed work – letters, poems, notes…
1994 to mid 2007 are now lost to me, permanently.
I’ve manually gone through 22 hard drives, three old laptops, and run every undelete and unpartition utility in my bat-belt.
The data just doesn’t exist anywhere else.
I can’t even begin to calculate the loss – how many hundreds of hours of writing, mostly, gone. There were six novels, probably two-dozen short stories, and a bunch of Nanowrimo in there.
It is horrifying, and somewhat freeing at the same time. Some of those writing projects were so poorly executed that they needed to be edited so heavily that it might as well have been a re-write. Now, I guess it is a re-write.
Everything else is getting triple-clouded now.
I think the poetry hurts the most. I can replace the fiction eventually, but poetry is way more ethereal for me – I can’t ever put the genie back in the bottle once out.
I guess I need to figure out where to start.