If you are a human who has ever composed a document on a computer, you’ve been there. The moment when you’re looking at the words, that seemed to flow from your fingers like a faucet, and suddenly they’re gone. You wonder if your eyes are playing a cruel trick? Or maybe you accidentally minimized the screen? But to no avail, your words are gone and with them so has your will to live.
Yes, it happened to me. Still plugging away at my first book, 79,000 words in and it all vanished. I was 250 miles from home and not attached to my home server, so I quickly scanned the documents on my computer knowing I had been diligent in setting up backups for my writing program. How could I be staring at a document that had gone from 79,000 to 1,232 words just by opening the program?
I immediately contacted tech support, with whom I share a bed and three children, who put his magic fingers of computer knowledge to my keyboard. After about ten minutes of looking, tech support advised I wait to get home and pull the server backup over to my computer. Easily said, not so easily done as I found when I arrived home.
I resorted to begging tech support to look at the problem after he had driven 250 miles home through stop and go traffic. After a few minutes of work, I heard “Hmm, that’s interesting.”
I have an adolescent knowledge of computer, but those words sent my stomach into my throat. Afraid, but dying to know, I whispered, “What does that mean?”
“I can’t see one of the servers on the home system, and that’s the one your work it set to point to.”
I think if my heart was able to run a race, it would have won the Kentucky Derby in that moment. I stood up and went to get ready for bed wondering how long it would take to recreate the words that had taken me six months to transfer from my head to the page. I knew if anyone would have been able to find the missing pieces of my mind, it was my husband, my tech support. I went to bed feeling sick, but resigned to starting over.
I had settled into sleep an hour later when I heard the whisper of my husband’s voice. “It took me a while, but I found it.”
I had never been so happy as to hear my husband’s voice utter those words. My name is Ali Pierce, and I’m in hopelessly in love with my tech support.
I have an affinity for stories that promise an escape from my own every day realities. Whether it's to avoid: a trip to the grocery store, a pile of dirty laundry, or the tenth round trip to my child's school, I carve out snippets of time (5, 10 or even, gasp! 30 minutes to myself) to escape into the pages of a book.