Wednesday, November 6, 2013

IWSG: A Tale of Bad Luck



What has me feeling insecure about writing right now???  My computer.

Yep.  You read that correctly.  My computer locked me out a week ago.  Not only could I not access the internet, but I couldn't access ANYTHING.  Where is my novel?  On that computer, of course.

We have a radio station that is devoted to saving you money.  It's called The Bargain Channel.  My mom is an avid listener.  Me, not so much.  BUT, I appreciated her listening after she told me she'd just heard about a deal for a mobile computer repair coupon.  $35 for one hour of tech on your machine.  I was IN.  I bought the coupon and then spent Wed- Sat leaving messages on a mobile repair service answering machine.  I didn't get a call back.

By Monday, I was ready to throw my laptop into the wall!  Have you ever felt that way?  No?  Hmmm.  Well, I was THERE.  I was also disgusted with the mobile repair service, so I called The Bargain Channel and relayed the problem.  They gave me a name of another computer fix-it person and said they would reimburse me for the coupon.  Whew.

That guy called me back later on Monday and said that I need not take the coupon back to the station.  He did business with them frequently and could redeem it.  His cost to fix my computer no matter how long it took: $60.  I pay that less my coupon investment.  Great.  I was IN.  Not an hour later the first guy called when I was in the shower, so my mom spoke with him.  Apparently, he had a family emergency out of state.  He thought he changed his message on his machine to reflect that, but it didn't save the new recording.  So... he had TONS of messages like mine.  She said that she was sorry, but we found someone else.

And what is the point of all of this?  You can be going along and think that you have a handle on everything and then LIFE comes along and screws it all up.  I was planning on participating in NaNoWriMo for this first time.  My computer took a hike two days before Nov. 1.  The guy who could have fixed it had a family emergency and didn't save his new message on his recorder.  Monday rolls around and I find someone and he can fix it, but it will be a few days AND I am going out of town tomorrow and won't be back until Saturday.  IF I get my computer back on Saturday, I am already 8 DAYS behind on NaNoWriMo. If it's Monday, it will be 10.  That is one third of the month folks.

It was a bit overwhelming to participate having EVERY day in November. I can't tell you what this feels like...

So, what is the takeaway here?  Just like things don't go smoothly for our characters, they also don't go smoothly for US.  LIFE or BAD LUCK (or whatever you want to call it) actually does happen.  It twists up our plans and makes us start again.  If it does that for us, it can do the same for our characters.  I am planning on inserting some PLAIN 'OL BAD LUCK on my protagonist just because Sh@t Happens.  Why she should be immune while I am suffering so????

How has your real life affected your storyline?

This is a bloghop aka The Insecure Writer's Support Group.  It happens the first Wednesday of every month.  If you go to this site you can see who else is participating (and add your name to the list to join us).  Even if you don't join, support a writer with encouragement!!!

50 comments:

  1. Now that's a string of unfortunate events! Sorry that puts you so far behind. You could hand write your story and then guestimate how much you wrote and add it to your total at the end.

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    1. If I don't get my computer back soon I might be pen and papering it.

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  2. Robin, I bought a flashdrive card thingy from Staples and now I only work off it. That way I can switch from my desktop to my laptop when I like. I can also take the flashdrive with me when I visit my son. I keep my manuscripts and photos on the card, I also use an external hard drive. I have to say, using both has lowered my blood pressure considerably.

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    1. Would you believe I have a flash drive on my desk that is virtually blank? Yeah, I know. It's like that.

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  3. Yours is the second computer nightmare posted of today. Isn't it amazing how quickly we've become dependent on computers?

    Arthur C. Clarke may have been right....

    Larry

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  4. Just read Joylene's comment-Joylene, hopefully you back the flash card up to one of the PC's or the external drive (or both).

    Drives can go bad, and while you can often recover data off of a bad drive, it is sometimes not cheap, and sometimes not possible.

    Larry

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  5. So sorry to hear you had such bad luck with your computer. Hoping to cheer you a little I nominated you on Monday for the Sweetest Blogger Award. Just consider it a dragon hug because I think you need one big hug right now. Alex's idea is not that bad. You may still try that. :)

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    1. You're the greatest. I needed that hug.

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  6. I would FLIP OUT if I couldn't access my manuscripts. I mean it. I'd need a straightjacket! I commend you on holding yourself together.

    I am sorry for your unlucky timing of events and how that messed up NaNo for you. Yes, you should heap some similar misfortune on your protagonist. Why have only one thing go wrong when you can have several in a row?!

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    1. If I don't have my computer back on Monday just send me to Straitjacket Land.

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  7. Oh, man, I feel your anger, and your pain. Life happens, and not always the way we want it to! I had a computer glitch and thought I lost my novel too, and I freaked big time! I always forget to save it on a zip drive, DUH! I hope your computer is fixed by now, and up and running. Good Luck

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    1. Life is insane. I tell myself that Good Stuff is random, too. Right??? Right???

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  8. Oh man it does this to me all the time. I have learned to just roll with it. I try to use it for fodder for my stories. I hope everything gets worked out for you. Are you calling off NaNo this year? I still have yet to do one of those.

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    1. I will still "do" NaNo, but if I don't hit 50K words I am not going to have a seizure.

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  9. I would definitely back out of NaNo if that happened to me. So sorry, Robin. Hope all is well now.

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    1. I may not "win," but I will still play:)

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  10. I do hate computer problems, mostly because I'm completely ignorant about them.

    But, hey, you get to be the hero of your story now. When that stuff happens to our characters we make them struggle through and overcome. It might be late, but you can still jump in and write your heart out. So what if you hit only 30K. That's 30K freaking words! Takes me six months to write that much....which sadly makes me the character who would be killed off in chapter two. :P

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha. Killed off in Chapter 2. I am familiar with that feeling!!!!

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  11. ROBIN ~
    This TOO shall pass.
    "Hang Tough... It'll Be Over Soon."

    I want to tell ya that I finally found the time to respond to the comments on my 'BOTB #7' blog bit. Your comment was my favorite, and I included in my reply a "Bocephus" video for you to watch. Great cast of characters singing a pretty catchy tune!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Cool. I will definitely check that out:)

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  12. Everything seems to be random...

    Everything...

    Good news...

    Bad news...

    Computers can and do let us down... I think that is one reason I still wrong long-hand in my journal and still carry an atlas in my vehicles...

    I hope things have improved...

    ~shoes~

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    1. I am out of town right now. So, it's Out of Sight, Out of Mind!

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  13. Oh, Robin, that's just awful. It's like Murphy's law where everything happens at the worst possible moment. And on your first NaNoWriMo, too. That sucks. I'm so sorry and hope your pc gets fixed QUICK!! :(

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  14. I like the idea of passing our annoyances and frustrations onto our characters - we'll be able to write those scenes with feeling. Well if we have a computer we will - I do hope yours is soon fixed and you have no further issues with it.

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  15. Well, you could always designate a different month as your own personal WriMo--PerNoWriMo. And don't get me going about computers--I've seen the blue screen too many times lately. Nothing like that to send chills up a writer's spine!

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    1. Any time is a good time to write! Don't get me started on the blue screen!

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  16. Wow. What a pain in the processor! I hope your PC issues are resolved and you're back to writing as soon as possible.

    But while it's always true that "Life Happens", it's also good to keep perspective -- you were on the phone dealing with an injured PC, not in the ICU dealing with an injured loved one. You had difficulties getting a discount coupon applied, not hoping you could get assistance coupons to be able to feed your family. Your repair guy had a family emergency out of state, not YOU had a family emergency out of state and had to scramble to get to a family member suffering..

    On the scale of ultimate importance, NaNoMo is a trifle. I appreciate the thought behind making an all-out attempt to get writing done, but it's really just an artificial, arbitrary month-long series of accelerated writing goals.

    Fix your PC, catch your breath, and count your blessings. And then participate in NaNoMo or not.

    Just keep writing. ;)

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    1. Yes, I noticed that similarity between my story and the repair guy's too. I will take computer problems over a family emergency any day!!!

      Thank you for the positive outlook!

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  17. Wow. It sounds like you have your work cut out for you. I've absolutely taken a real life situation out on a character... Then had to go through and scale it back :)
    I hope for the best during your Nano! I've never been successful at it... Largely because I hate rules. Even ones I make for myself.

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    1. It will still be fun to pass those troubles along, though!

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  18. I forget who, but someone famous said life is what happens when you've made other plans. So true. I had computer issues the whole month of October. I feel your pain.

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    1. Yes, I recall you saying *something* about your issues. So glad you are computer healthy now:)

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  19. That is really crappy timing. You should participate anyway. Aim for 2/3 of the total.

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  20. Sorry that you were inundated with computer trouble. Oh well, maybe you can follow Diane's advice, or else you'll have to wait until next year. So true about art imitating life. Hope you have a good trip Robin!

    Julie

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    Replies
    1. Yes, isn't it???? Isn't that how we learn?

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  21. I actually saw a bumper sticker that had the 'This too shall pass' saying on it today!
    Man, what a bummer of an irritating problem. Then when it's all over, don't you find yourself so keyed up that you just don't know what to do with yourself. I do!

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  22. Oh tell me about it. I was plagued with computer problems earlier this year. I finally fixed them myself for the most part. But now my Word program is too old and Microsoft won't support it. I went to get the new version, but it doesn't work on my operating system. I suppose I have to get a new computer eventually cause a writer really needs to have a Word program.

    And that's not the least of the dark clouds gathering on my horizon. I won't go into it all here, but I am getting concerned that a perfect storm may be heading my way. God will provide, but faith is sure being tested.

    Lee
    Special report today on the "Story Sprouts" book launch in L.A.
    Lot's of pictures in this one!

    Tossing It Out

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  23. Computers definitely make us insecure sometimes, especially because we spend so much time on them. I think we all can relate to this post!

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  24. That sounds terrible! I'd freak out if I was locked out of my computer.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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  25. Sorry about your computer. I might have heart failure if that ever happens to me. A writer needs their computer. Period.
    But you're so right about relating it to stories. It's why we fall in love with characters--cuz despite whatever creek they're up, they press on. We can find the same satisfaction in our own lives. It's just no fun when it happens. :(

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  26. Computer problems are so very frustrating and expensive to fix. Hope they get you up and running soon.

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  27. That sounds like a nightmare! I'm sorry.

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  28. That was a nasty run of bad luck. Maybe you weren't meant to do NaNo this time around. Perhaps there's another story that needs to burst forth and wouldn't have had a chance before. Sometimes things fall apart so they can come together.

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  29. As they say, it doesn't rain but it pours!!
    Computer problems? That sucks. I can remember earlier this year when the motherboard on my PC crashed. It was horrendous. You can't trust machines.
    I still like to write long hand, especially for my flash fiction... can't beat a good old-fashioned dependable notebook and pen!

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  30. Oh...just crap. What more can I say?

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