That's Life,  THOUGHTS



It has been three weeks since I’ve returned from my great winter escape and it already feels like that was so long ago. This winter is just the gift that keeps on giving.

Coming home from a long vacay always involves catching up on so many fronts. Besides the discipline of getting back into routine and trying to assert myself back into writing and revisions for my next book there is also the daily grind of cooking, cleaning and laundry and whatever little surprises get thrown in the mix. Once again the clock begins ticking at a rapid pace.

As many of you may remember, I have had my share of computer mishaps in the last several months. After my older laptop suffered two fatal hard drive crashes within a four month span, I had purchased a new desktop computer in the fall, realizing that I needed a reliable backup available for use when my laptop didn’t want to cooperate with me.

It took me awhile to get used to using Windows 8 as I sadly had to surrender to it if I wanted a new computer as I mourned the loss of my beloved Windows 7. After my laptop crashed for the second time in four months in December I also purchased a new laptop in fear that I could no longer rely on it.

This week I was working on my fairly new laptop and when I took a break and went into the kitchen to get a glass of water, I suddenly heard a strange screeching, beeping noise. I followed the noise directly to my laptop and when I looked at it there was a blank screen…for a long time. I finally powered it off and restarted only to find the same screen but with added words, “windows is trying to repair disk errors.” I waited and waited as I assumed it was doing its thing repairing whatever it was that suddenly stopped working.

As I continued on with my writing, I did random checks on the progress of the repair when finally a message came up telling me the laptop required service. I already knew that my plans for the next day of staying home and writing were going to be thwarted because I had to take the laptop in for repair. I took it to my local Staples store where I had purchased it and I just didn’t have a good feeling of what was to ensue.

I was told within seconds by the tech man that…MY HARD DRIVE HAD CRASHED! “Are you friggin’ kidding me?” I blurted out in disbelief. “This thing isn’t even three months old and not even finished being paid for.” I added angrily.


The tech man who was also the man who had sold it to me was very nice and already knew all of my prior computer woes, was also in disbelief that this could actually happen. According to him, I was the only customer whose hard drive had crashed in this brand ever sold in that store in such a short time. He added that is was a very rare occurrence for a hard drive crash and even more rare that I had now endured three crashes in the past seven months.

My friends and family have often referred to me as the one per cent girl because of some of the things I have encountered in life containing slim odds of ever happening, but this hard drive business was like my Achilles heel and became to the point of ridiculous and not to mention, a huge time-suck.

The tech offered to order me a new one, which although was a lovely gesture, still involved me waiting for it to come in another day, and two more visits to the store while they worked on setting up the operating system and downloads and needed me to loggin with passwords during the process. It also involved downloading back all my files from my backup device. This was definitely one thing I learned long ago…BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP! A familiar procedure instilled in my brain.

I hate when I have that feeling of zero accomplishment in a week where the hours are so precious and I am left feeling that every step I take forward, I fall three steps behind in my work. But once again, I will start fresh again next week and try to put this behind me and move forward.

I am thinking that maybe I should be buying a lottery ticket and trying my luck out by using my one per cent odds in a positive way.

So, after all my venting I am going to say it again…DON’T FORGET TO BACKUP! Crashes don’t give us subtle warnings. They don’t slowly happen where you may be able to notice little things slowing down or not working properly. Within a moment’s notice your screen could just go dark and WHAMMO, you computer is dead.

Enough said, I have to get back to work.




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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.


  • Carol Balawyder

    How frustrating! This would drive me crazy.
    As far as backup goes I’ve learned the hard way and now always send myself a copy of whatever I’m working on. If anything should happen to my computer I’ll at least have the work in my e-mail.
    Good luck and go buy that lottery ticket:)

    • dgkaye

      It’s funny Carol, I remember reading that in your book ‘Mourning Has Broken’. You thought you had lost your work when you were writing that book and then found it. I must have magnetic powers! 🙂

  • Ralph

    Hi Debby 😀 I always back-up on 16G memory sticks, leaving only work in progress on my laptop. I lost loads of poems etc. when I bought this windows 7 laptop. I had backed up everything on my old XP computer on discs, but windows 7 didn’t want to know the discs !! So I had to start from scratch again. xox

    • dgkaye

      I back up on an external device which has saved my bacon plenty but I always send my book writing and manuscripts as I revise in case I let too many days go by without backing up. Whatever works, I’m faithful, lol. 🙂

  • Aquileana

    Hello DG..
    Oh dear that´s almost tragic. I am so sorry . I need to do a backup right now. Well at least I have done it with my wordpress blog, you know (have you done it?)…

    Your insights and way of seeing things are so particularly eloquent as regard to descriptions . Sometimes I have the impression I am watching a movie and all that whilst I read your stream of words.
    These words don´t need to urge us to come out , they just flow gently.
    Your writing is captivating DG and that´s something I can say with empirical basis as a reader of your book and blog.
    Nice to be back. Hugs, Aquileana 🙂

    • dgkaye

      Wow, I am so moved by your praise Aq. I am a very expressive person and sometimes I don’t feel as though I can emulate all I feel onto the page so that was inspiring. And yes, I certainly have my obstacles in this ‘tech’ world but I always manage to overcome and always happy to share helpful hints to remind us all of things we may let slip by…like backing up, lol. In response to your question, I have an automatic backup system for my website, thanks for the reminder. xo 🙂

  • Deborah Jay

    Oh how frustrating and time-wasting for you. I endured a crash many years ago, losing two thirds of a novel in an instant – taught the lesson of backing up the hard way.
    I did it manually for a while, once a week or each day if I remembered, onto a disc, and then finally, about 3 years ago, discovered the delights of online backup. I pay a subscription and provided I am connected to the internet, my work is backed up as I write it, and so easy to download to another machine too. I wouldn’t go back now.
    Good luck with that lottery ticket – way to go!

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Deb for the advice 🙂 I use my external once a week but send all my work to Dropbox, with the luck I’ve been having I may be considering a third option as well.

  • elainemansfield

    I have an external hard drive that backs up automatically each day and use dropbox for a second off site backup. Seems that days like this are part of what we took on as writers and people who use social media and blog. I understand the feeling of your day and the frustration. When it happens to me, I know how insignificant it is in the larger picture, but it still makes me feel like a mad woman.. And somehow you’ll get it together and get back on track.

    • dgkaye

      Those are the methods I use Elaine, Dropbox has saved my manuscripts twice for me. I’m getting so paranoid of my super human powers I’m considering a third. 🙂

  • Diane Tibert

    I learned the hard way about backing up too. The tech guy couldn’t recover anything. I had to start from scratch, not even having one email address for family and friends. I now back up with two external hard drives.

    Wouldn’t it be great if technology worked the way it was meant to work and we just had to restart it and have everything magically reappear? 🙂

    Here’s to better days this week.

  • Let's CUT the Crap!

    When I read Hemingway’s wife lost his work on a train, I was sick. He forgave her or so I’ve read but I wonder if that is true because they did split up. As well, I file my work OneDrive for Microsoft and on a thumb. Sending a file to myself is fine but there are so maannnnnyyy.
    I used to work at a desktop AND a laptop and emailed copies so I could file on desktop, therefore the ONE drive. There is also Googledrive (not sure if that’s the name) and Skydrive (Apple?). Then there is Dropbox or something like that for pictures—more than one way to save your precious files. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Christina ~

    You write so well of the epically extreme frustration with technology…it is a blessing and a curse! You are wise to do all the various back up options as well. I think that is a lesson we all learn the hard way :/ . Interesting to read in your comments about Hemingway…just read that part in A Moveable Feast! As for the 1%….I am with you. I have often thought to have friends buy (with my money) something electronic for me…maybe then it would last ha! Sending you the best of the best wishes and some hugs too! xo

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for your lovely compliments, I accept them in high regard coming from such an eloquent writer as yourself. Lol, is it possible we are more alike than we realize? A brilliant idea my friend, perhaps we should have others do our ‘technological’ purchases, lol. Also, I haven’t yet read A Moveable Feast and this is the second time it has been mentioned by you (I saw it on your FB page), I have added it to my TBR so thanks for mentioning. Also, when I checked it out on Amazon there seemed to be some people unhappy with the revised edition of editing, just curious which version you are reading? xo

      • Christina ~

        You are so very awesome sweet! We must certainly be alike….I have THE worst time with all things electronic (she says knocking on wood whilst typing this on her laptop!). I didn’t realize there were different editions. Mine is published by Scribner…I have a photo of it in the sidebar of my blog and is my ‘current read’ on Goodreads.

        I have been following a decadent trail of literary delight via 1920s Paris and all the various writers, painters, etc. that intermingled there. I began with Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Fowler (fiction but meticulously researched ~ It was like Zelda telling her story, LOVED this book!) then to The Great Gatsby (thinking for certain I’m the last one of my age to not have read it haha) and now A Moveable Feast in preparation for The Paris Wife (a novel of Hemingway’s fist wife, again well researched fiction). I am a completest so am increasingly compelled to read all about them and their works. It adds such an intriguing dimension to their works knowing what was going on in their personal lives whilst they were writing what are now classics….in the process becoming utterly enamored with all of these writers. I can safely say I am besotted with Fitzgerald’s writing! He is a master wordsmith to be sure! A Moveable Feast is my first Hemingway experience, much as Gatsby was with Fitzgerald. It is more of a journal and I’m told not how he actually wrote his novels (being so well known for his ‘short terse prose’). It is filled with fascinating information about how disciplined he was as an up and coming writer…and beyond.

        Sorry for the novel of a comment…I am just so very fascinated by all these people and have such romantic notions for what life in Paris must have been like then for them all….and the impact that had on each other…and each other’s works. xo

        • dgkaye

          Love, love you feedback as I write down some of the books you have referenced. I read the Great Gatsby so long ago, now due for another perspective look, especially since I just saw the movie remake, it was awful! We have similar interests in reading (big surprise, lol), I am so behind in my TBR, trying to get on with must read books these past months. Just wondering if you are liking that era and Paris, have you done much reading on Anais Nin and Henry Miller? I bought 3 of Nin’s books I can’t wait to get to later in the year and I was halfway through Henry Miller’s “On writing’ when I left it on an airplane last fall :(.

          • Christina ~

            It always makes me giddy to talk about books! Especially the great books. I am not surprised we have similar literary interests!! I have not read any of Nin’s or Miller’s…will definitely add them to my TBR of 20s Paris! That is a total bummer to have left it behind! 🙁 I am in awe of Fitzgerald and happy I hadn’t seen any of the movies for The Great Gatsby! It is so fascinating to read with knowledge of his/their personal lives at the time he wrote it…as well as Tender Is The Night, based on the experiences he and Zelda had during her misdiagnosed schizophrenia (today would have been bipolar) and time in an institution in Switzerland (If I remember rightly). They all tie in together along with their works. I guess that’s what so very intriguing to me. I am just in love with all of it…the atmosphere, their lives and love…how so many different artists/writers impacted each other. I’m trying to alter between fiction and non fiction.

            I have been *making* time to read, even if only a few pages at bedtime (life, kids and homeschooling them keep me very busy during the day and night haha). At least I feel like I’m making some progress! I need to feed my addiction to words 😉 You really are such a great inspiration and perhaps someday I’ll attempt to write a book as well. Or just live vicariously through you hehe 😉

          • dgkaye

            Omg, you praise me too much my dear friend. Wow, you have a plate full in life which makes me wonder where you find the time to write with such eloquence. Reading, yes, I can identify, as my life is pretty full as well, my reading is done at night before bed, sometimes I pass out after ten pages but I love it on those nights I can get in two hours.
            Oh and one more thing, Christina my dear, you must write a book, if only a collection of your beautiful poetry, goodness me, you already have the material.
            I have to add that I always had the same fascination and association with Paris and stories depicted in such settings. Maybe one day you and I shall jaunt off there and spend a few days in the l’ouvre! xo

          • Christina ~

            Nope, just praise where it’s due! 🙂 I so resemble that night reading as well! When I can really read a lot before passing out it is pure heaven! You are just awesome sweet to suggest a book of my poems. Truly! I’ll admit I have thought about it…guess it’s the ‘doing it’ and the ‘wondering how it will be accepted’ part that trips me up. Which is where you inspire me by going for your dream!! I will start to pull some things together and maybe it will lead me on to completion? “They” (whoever ‘they” are haha) say starting is the hardest part right? Do you have any advice to share about starting or the finishing part?

            Oooo a trip to Paris would be an exquisite dream come true! Can you just imagine getting to see such amazing history all around? Oh yes, that would be divine!!! I’m going to hang on to that dream…most definitely. You are amazing sweetest friend❤!! xo

          • dgkaye

            You are so welcome and if you seriously are thinking of putting a book together of your beautiful poetry (and you should be!), and are looking for some advice on how to get it together for an ebook, just shoot me an email. xo

  • Penny L Howe

    Totally relate, Debby. You and I have been on the same page (no joke intended) for the last few months as I have experienced most similar – not fun – things! Here’s to better happenings for both of us going forward! 🙂

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Penny, it seems the territory with writers. Wishing you better things right back at ya! ((hugs))

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