Thursday, July 12, 2012

Time Machine Saves Book From The Abyss.

Oh my god, I've just lost my entire book! The worst feeling any author can experience in the world of word processors, smart phones, iPads and so on. If only there was I way I could go back in time! Well thanks to Apple there is. Well as far as your Mac is concerned.

Yesterday, I had just finished writing two very important chapters in my new YA novel, "FOREVER ME." As always I click save after every sentence I write and when I get to the end of writing, I usually send a backup copy to email. However my iMac has been dying a slow death due to a worn out video card. But times being what they are, you can't always just run out and buy a new Mac. So you work with it as much as the computer will allow. So in between the screen blacking out in the middle of anything, or just out right freezing, to say it has been a challenge is an understatement for sure.

So, very happy with my work, I save to email and it freezes, no fear I got the email it's okay. I reboot and open the email and....nothing but a mess of scrambled letters, numbers and symbols. If it weren't such a terrifying moment, I'd laugh and say, so that's what my book looks like in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. "Oh no, the file is corrupted! My most recent email save, is two days ago! Before I wrote these two amazing chapters!" Well you can imagine I said every four letter word I could think of more times than Jonathan Demme said "Um" in his Oscar acceptance speech for "Silence of the Lambs" (It was over 40 for those of you who need that info.)

No problem though, thanks to my friend and fellow author, Michelle Muto, I have the Time Machine backup drive. My entire computer is SAFE. So I click Time Machine and my Mac freezes. Only once do I see the timeline of the save before I sent the email. Otherwise it just kept crashing...CRAP! But a little sleuthing and I see I sent the email at, 12:25 and most recent save was 12:10. Maybe it won't be so bad, but I can't see the files because Time Machine keeps crashing the Mac.  Time to call a superhero.

My wife Ashton comes to my rescue. We take the Time Machine and connect it to her Mac laptop find the 12:10 version and I only lost half a paragraph! She saves it emails it to me and tells me, "Come on, we're getting you a new Mac! You can't write like this!"  My hero! She not only saved my book, but she saved the day and yes I am writing this blog post from my new iMac. To give credit, my Mac lasted me six years trouble free. I can NOT say that ever about a PC.

So the point of this blog is all about SAVE YOUR STUFF!!! Get a backup drive, save to email, use a flash drive, print out a hard copy but do not take any risk that could result you losing months if not years of hard work in the blink of an eye. If you own a Mac get an external HD and plug it in, Time Machine automatically goes to work for you. I paid like $140 for a 1T HD. So worth the money and peace of mind. So this morning I am once again feeling good about my novel, a new computer and naturally feeling very blessed by a wife who believes in my writing. I have to say thanks to all my friends who sent me posts yesterday on FB, cheering me and encouraging me about what steps they take to keep their stuff safe, but I would be remiss if I did not mention my friend from high school, Sean and his absolute amazing observation: "Something to be said about good old fashioned, pen and paper, hmm?"  Point taken Sean! Reminds me of the space program. Americans spent millions of dollars trying to design a pen that would work in space but zero gravity did something to the ink. "What are the Russians doing?"  You guessed it. "Using a pencil."


Jean Booth said...

That's awesome Tom!!!! I'm so glad (and relieved) that you were able to find your document! I completely understand the skipped heartbeat as you realize that your book is gone. My PC ate Choice a few times before I took the hint and got myself a MAC. Keep writing, keep saving, and keep that special girl close! <3 ya both! :)

Sarah Flight said...

Thank goodness you got it back! We are told over and over at uni SAVE MULTIPLE COPIES OF YOUR WORK!! So I always keep mine in several places from habit. What an amazing wife you have, saving the day twice :)

Author Thomas Amo said...

Sarah, Ashton totally saved the day! I'm so glad not only was I smart enough to get the Time Machine drive but back up to email...I think I will probably do the same as you and have it in multiple places!

Jean, what can I wife is the MAN! lol.

M. E. Franco said...

You know I am a paranoid freak when it comes to saving my files. My husband's computer has 4 hard drives, and I have my laptop, so when I am done writing for the day, I save a draft on every hard drive we own! LOL :D So glad this worked out for you!

Michelle Muto said...

I am SO glad I talked you into that backup drive!

Well done, super sleuth! And Ashton is the best for getting you that new Mac!

Author Thomas Amo said...

It was all you on the backup drive Michelle! Can't send you enough love on that one! Yep the Mrs. Saved the day!