Save and Salvage

I mentioned on Twitter about having to toss my office rug and sofa due to a Case Moth larvae infestation. Look them up if you want to, but *shudder*. Anyway…

I spent all day Saturday, with Hubs’s help in the morning, deconstructing my entire office, moving furniture, vacuuming inside and behind and under everything, before taping brown paper to the floor in preparation of redecorating.

With the floor protected from dog’s nails, and paint splotches, I turned my attention to the decluttering/reorganization of the room, and especially my writerly stuff.

I started by taking the boys’ game consoles, controllers, cables, and stacks of video games out of, and off of, the beautiful Teak credenza that used to belong to my grandma, and that my mom gave me when she inherited it. I wiped the credenza clean, and then started sorting my writerly stuff.

I have a lot of writerly stuff.

Trade magazines, printed copies of my manuscripts (multiple copies for some books), novels, research books, and books on craft and marketing, loose papers and sheets of notes from various writer’s conferences, and printed copies of online lessons…. Everything was crammed in one corner of the room, jammed inside bags/boxes, and cheek-by-jowl on the shelves of three bookcases.

I’m down to two bookcases. No magazines. Random scrawled nonsensical notations, and bits and bobs of useless paper also recycled. Marketing papers stacked in one pile. Books reordered on shelves in my office and in my bedroom. Hard copies of manuscripts sorted, and one copy of each kept and stored in a box; all others recycled. I also winnowed down two drinking glasses full of pens and pencils that son left me when he departed.

After tossing the dried out/broken pens and pencils, and adding the useable ones to my existing stash, I now have about a hundred handwriting implements. This is good. Because I have about half as many half-full or fully empty notebooks that need filling. Now, all I need to actually fill all of the notebooks using all the pens is to merge my spirit with that of an octopus.

Honestly, who keeps all this stuff?

I do. And thank the dogs I do. Because, and here’s the whole point of this story…

Remember I mentioned in last month’s post about my habit of emailing my WIPs to myself at the end of a work session?

Well, it seems the copy of the WIP I found in my email from 2013 Deb, wasn’t the final version. I found a more complete version in HARD COPY stuffed in with all of the other hard copies of my novels. Thirty extra, double-spaced pages of story, or about 7500 additional words. Added to the 89,000 I’m working from… I have, in practicality, my first complete draft of 2021. Only I completed it in 2013 (or 2014).

I’ve searched my laptop files, and Gmail and can’t find the electronic copy of this particular version. I’m not surprised.

This hardcopy has my name, the book’s title in acronym, my old cell phone number, and my old email address along the bottom of each page. I changed email providers and cell numbers when we moved in 2014. So, if I emailed this version to my old email address, it’s gone. But I probably have the copy deep in my external hard drive (I hope. Because my old laptop is gone, too). Anyway, back to the point of this story…

In addition to my, Email Your WIP to Yourself, tip, I recommend:

Print as you go, and save a hard copy, too.

Sure, you’ll end up revising your WIP – probably multiple times – before you consider it done, done. But if you lose your final virtual copy, and give up or lose your email for whatever reason, you’ll at least have the original hardcopy to work from.

It beats starting from scratch.


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