A Living Nightmare

My writing group asked: Can you perhaps submit something for next week?

I know I had a short story on my computer that I thought was ready to be read by others. So I said yes. This morning I figured it might be wise to read it again before submitting it. The problem was, however, that I had no clue what name I had given the file. I had written it in a single session, and didn’t looked at it anymore.

Seed

After opening my Short Stories file, I had to conclude it wasn’t in there. How odd. Since the title was a mystery to me, I searched on the date it was last modified. I knew I wrote it after hearing some unfortunate news at the end of March. So any file older than March couldn’t be the one I was looking for. An eerie idea was slowly taking hold of me. What if I never saved the story?

Rooting

No time to give up yet. I could turn the entire My Documents upside down in case I had misfiled the document, but to do that manually seemed a bit too time-consuming. So, instead, I used the search function. I knew I had written it on my laptop; I even remembered where I sat while writing it. The eerie idea had rooted itself firmly now. There was still no sign of the story. I began opening all Word files; perhaps I had overwritten it on another document.

Full Bloom

This isn’t the first time I lost a story. Years ago, when USB flash drives were still a novelty, I saved my files on it as a back-up, and rightly so, since my computer died soon after that. However, I kept the stories on it instead of saving them onto my new computer. By the time I figured it would be nice to reread them, they were no longer accessible. The files had turned into 4kb files and gave errors when I tried to open them. Hours and hours of work, all gone.

I succumbed to the fear my story wasn’t on my laptop and that I just had to find a different story to submit. Even though I started accepting this unfortunate situation, I still couldn’t believe that I had written it without saving it.

Bad Dream

I checked the desk top – nothing; Google Drive – nothing. There was this unlikely chance it was saved on the computer at my parents’ place but that wasn’t going to do me much good either.  My last option: my e-mail. I tend to send myself e-mails with my stories in them. I don’t like Google Drive much and the fact that I can’t access it on every computer is another reason not to use it.

Scrolling through the messages in my Sent Mail, I came across one called short stories that I had sent on the 31st of March. Hope flared up. And surely there it was. I felt utterly relieved and kind of stupid for failing to save it properly.

– Cecile

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