Did You Back Up Your Work?

June 20, 2011

“BEEEEEEP!” Thump. Step, step, clatter. My eyes tried to adjust to read the time on the cable box across from our bed. 2:00 a.m.

I’m not sure if it was the dull beeping or my husband getting up to go to the bathroom that woke me up this morning….doesn’t matter. It was a good thing I did wake up.

I wait out of bed clumsily (At 2 a.m. I’m clumsy. Oh heck, I’m always clumsy.) to look for the source of the dull, annoying beeping sound and suddenly I was wide awake. My computer lights are flashing crazily. I push the button to boot up the system (See, I can kind of sound like I know what I’m talking about.) but nothing happens. I frantically looked around to see what was causing the beeping. It wasn’t my computer. It was the battery backup that I plugged into.

By now my husband returned from the restroom, and being the ultimate alpha male (also read male chauvinist) he put his hands on my arms, moved me out of the way and took over. (This is okay with me. There are times and places when I like him to take over. The computer is one of them.)

“Your book is on the flash drive I bought you for Christmas right?” He pushed buttons and looked at cables.


Suddenly the beeping stopped and he turned to look at me.

“You DO have your book backed up on the flash drive right?”

I was in full ‘semi-panic’ mode. Semi because I knew that my entire manuscript up to this point had been handwritten, then typed…and printed currently waiting for editing, so I knew nothing has been lost. Full because the thought of having to retype nearly two hundred pages…well, need I go further?

Now keep in mind I tell others to back up their work all of the time. My boys have been told, “Don’t you dare lose your term paper because you didn’t back it up.”

I’ve told friends to make sure they put things on a disk or a flash drive. But I, in my infinite state of denial (fueled by the confidence that my book is both handwritten and typed, so I’d never actually lose the work) and techno-phobia (who knew using a flash drive was so easy) had not backed up my own work.

My poor, injured husband (Of course, it’s his right wrist.) had to be up for work in just a couple of hours, yet he hunted down the power cords for the computer and internet in the dark, and plugged them into wall sockets. He powered up the computer, and it booted up…phew, small sigh of relief….

“Okay, pull it up…” (He means my book.)

I sat in my little chair and pulled up Word, praying–crossing fingers and toes–that my book was still there. It came up slowly, one page at a time…teasing, torturing me, until finally hours later (probably about 15 seconds in real time) all of the pages were there. I almost passed out from all of the excitement.

Now I could go back to sleep.

“Where’s your flash drive?” my hunky husband, who I may have neglected to mention is standing over me in only his briefs, asked.

“Huh?” I knew he was referring to that little pink thingy that he put in my stocking at Christmas and I still don’t know how to use. (By the way, all of my technology is pink: my flash drive, iPod and camera. This way he can prove I’m a girl, the boys won’t touch it–or so he thinks–and I can never pass it down because I only have sons.)

“You mean you don’t know where it is?” He rummaged around in the brown hinged See’s Chocolate Truffle Box that I keep by the computer. (Have I mentioned how much I LOVE See’s Chocolate, especially the truffles?) But found it under the computer monitor. (Oh yeah, that’s where I left that thing.)

“Okay, now back up your book…NOW!”

I took the little pink flash drive he was holding out to me and looked at it blankly. (Seriously, he thinks that I who prefer to write my manuscript by hand, resisted cordless phones for years, and only know how to use the on-off, channel and volume buttons on the television remote–they have way too many buttons on that thing–know what to do with this thing?)

“Okay,” he rolled his eyes at me (but I can’t get past the fact that I’m sitting in my little chair, and he’s standing over me in only his underwear.) “Put it into the USB port.”


“Honey, you’re a smart woman. You can do this.”

I looked around the outside of the monitor for a USB port…or any port.

“Down there.” He pointed to the computer tower in my cabinet.

“Oh.” I got down on my hands and knees on the floor (Did I mention I was in my silky nightgown? Maybe that will make him quit thinking about teaching me technical things, right?)

“Honey, it’s the same port you use when you download the camera.”

“Oh, that’s a port…”

I found it and pushed the flash drive in. I gave up on enticing him to forget about it and sat back on the chair.

“Nice view.” He said, looking down my top. (Now he decides to pay attention.)

He took me step by step through backing up my book, which was surprisingly easy. (I’m sure I’ll never remember what to do again, but luckily I have two sons who are more than willing to help their aging, feeble-minded mother–I have three sons, but the third abandoned me and is living on the other side of the country in Baltimore! Not that I’m trying to guilt him into coming home.)

Anyway, do I ramble…

At nearly 3:00 a.m., I was wide awake. (Whatever shall I do? Oh come on, he’s standing there no shirt, hunky as can be. I’m in my silky nightgown–alright, I lied. I was sleeping in a big T-shirt, but silky nightgown sounded so much better–what do you think I did?)

So anyway, back to work for me. I promise to back up all of my writing (or at least ask a boy to do it). In the meantime, tell me about your technological disasters. What happened? How did you resolve it? And did it involve a handsome nearly nude man? (That’s what I really want to know…)


(A word from Elley: This post is brought to you by the power of an iPhone. Please don’t hold errors against me. It’s hard to edit and post from a 3-inch screen.)


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