IN MY DOLLY folder, the subfolders are named so they sort in a desired order. The stories are listed as to whether they are a novel, a short, or a special category (such as the Genesis Trilogy, or the Omega Trilogy). But the first three are numbered: 1. Characters, 2. Background, and 9. Chronology.
For some time, now, Number 1 has been missing. And missed. That is to say I’ve not seen it in the listing and been unsure what might have happened to it, and I have also wanted its contents and not been able to find it.
Its contents are literally the crown jewels of the Dolly saga — they are the character descriptions, the design sheets, if you will, as well as sketches, defining fragments of narration, and images I have gathered here and there around the interwebs and that impressed me as having some characteristic or other of one of the people in my stories. Such as this one that reminded me somehow of Witchlet (whom very few readers have met).
I had forgotten it, but immediately I saw it again, it hit me exactly the same as it had all those years ago.
Needless to say, I found it today.
And herein hangs a lesson. I’ve said this many times over the years, but it bears repeating, I think. BACK UP YOUR WORK. I have always had the habit, when ever I was actively working on a story — even if I only changed a couple of words in a week — I always made sure there were at LEAST two copies of my work. And, preferably, one is burned to glass — a CD. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s polycarbonate. Don’t let’s get all pedantic and stuff. M’Kay?)
So, when I purposed to go looking for this treasure trove of material that I had not had in so long I’d forgotten a little that it had existed, and certainly don’t remember what could have happened to it, I went back to the last time I could remember knowing it was there (seven years ago), and pulled out the backup CD, et — voila! — there it was.
It’s not always a disaster you know is happening at the time it’s happening that can lose or destroy your work. It could be your own bad memory. ALWAYS BACK UP YOUR WORK.
Needless to say, I didn’t get much else done Saturday, and certainly no NaNoWriMo wordage.