Let's back up. 1:03 AM was a very, very good moment. Lisa and I had just spent the past 4 DAYS, 4 HOURS per night, READING ALOUD our current edit for THIS IS W.A.R. My voice was hoarse for 4 days because we labored over every word, discussed changes at length and went off on many, many tangents. Lisa had track changes on her computer and I had a brand, spanking new document I was building as we went. AKA the final version. I saved obssessively--an every-five-minutes-kind-of-save, a type-a-word-hit-save kind of save, a if-I-hit-save-one-more-time-I-will-be-considered-a-save-junky kind of save. You get the idea. 1:00 struck and we FINISHED. We spent approximately 1 hour on the last paragraph of the book, literally tearing apart every word to make sure we got it right. And then BAM. It was right and it was finished and it was good.
Lisa: Send me the document and we'll send to Dan. Yay!!!
Laura: Wait...I thought you were doing the edits.
Lisa: Very funny.
Laura: Ha ha ha. He. he. he.
We hung up the phone and I saved one last time before exiting the beautifully complete document to attach to an email. And then my world as I knew it was swallowed up. All of the dates on the This Is War FINAL document showed the wrong date. Christmas day to be exact. The day we began editing. This is not right. This is not right. Don't panic. This is not right. I opened Word to check my most recent documents. Not listed.
Cue terrified shakes. And heavy breathing. And tears. Lots and lots of instant tears.
I knew deep down that it had to be somewhere. I had saved the document religiously. It was on my computer. Word hadn't given me any Are you sure you want to exit without saving? messages and I HAD saved. I conducted a series of searches. My husband came downstairs at 2:30 afraid that I wasn't in bed. I cried. He searched my computer. Nothing. I continued searching until 3:30 in the morning and then finally cried myself to sleep hoping when I awoke, the entire experience would turn out to be a bad dream, the finished document waiting in our inbox where it belonged.
But who am I kidding? This is the worst day of my writing life. I woke up and the document showed Christmas day, reflecting not one of the changes Lisa and I had discussed. I had a few options.
2. Take my computer to a computer genius and beg.
3. Tell Lisa. Cry. Ask for forgiveness.
4. Start over.
So...I took a shower and cried. Ditched my kids with my husband and hightailed it to the nearest computer genius store and cried. No dice. If the document wasn't found during a search of all files as well as hidden files, it was gone. If it had been deleted, genius would have been able to help. Not saved properly? Nope. But I did save properly, I Saved As, I hit the save button continuously, I DID SAVE PROPERLY, but it was neither here nor there. Didn't matter. A waste. Gone.
So I parked my very sad-looking self into a seat at the library. And I started over. I knew I couldn't tell Lisa about my mistake until I had finished, until I knew that I could finish and make everything right again. My husband stayed with the kids and I worked the entire day/night recreating the hours of work we had lost. Luckily, I have a good memory and I had been the one adding the changes in the first place. The entire process was the definition of deja vu--reading aloud the original must have helped because I'm pretty confident I caught everything and maybe even a few misses. And every hour? I emailed an attachment and copied and pasted the document into an email to myself. If I was an obssesive saver before, I've developed into a complete head case.
I did eventually tell Lisa. But not until the document was safely nestled into our inbox where it should have been all along.