The Importance of Backups

We all know how important it is to back your work up on a regular basis.  But do you actually do it?  And what would happen if you lost your work?  How would you recover it?

This was my dilemma last weekend.

After a productive week of editing I was feeling pretty good about my progress on The Warlock of Ravenswatch.  I’m not sure why editing takes about ten times longer than I expect it to, but it does.  Anyway, I try to back things up regularly, and I have an automated backup program installed too, so when my computer started acting up and doing the “I’m on the verge of failing” thing that Windows machines love to do, I went ahead and copied my latest version to a flash drive.  But something went horribly wrong.  Most likely I hit move rather than copy, got distracted, hit a few wrong buttons, and things went downhill fast.  So there I was looking at a horribly corrupted Scrivener file, a flaky computer, and no recent version of my work.  To make matters worse, my automated backup wasn’t functioning well either and hadn’t been for a while.  I did have older versions on flash drives, but I hadn’t been religious about backing up every day.  I had lost about a week of work.

I tried doing a disk recovery and wasted about two days on that.

I started rummaging around in the files that Scrivener creates to see what I could find.  Fortunately I was able to find the base text rtf files.  Somehow I managed to corrupt the Scrivener project file and it was looking at older text files.  I created a copy of an older, uncorrupted Scrivener project, copied the text files into the Scrivener project file and like magic my latest work appeared.  Whew.

This is just a reminder to do your backups.  🙂

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NANO is Over!

NANOWRIMO is over and my brain feels like something you might find flattened on the road.  But that’s okay.  I have a nice start on my third novel.  It also gave me some time to ponder some of the edits on the second one.   Funny how the mind works.  I can bang my head on the wall and get nowhere, but as soon as I start thinking about something else the solution appears.

I’m not sure why NANOWRIMO works so well for me.  Maybe it’s something about the graph they have, or maybe it’s just the deadline.  Hm.  I might have to come up with my own graph so I can keep the pressure on myself until next November.

How did it go for you guys?

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Helpful Tools for Creating a Fantasy Map

Some of us love to draw imaginary maps.  (Some of us are real geeks too, but that’s ok).  If this sounds like you, here are some fun brushes for Photoshop.  As always, you should pay attention to usage requirements and permissions granted by the artists.

Tip:  If you use Gimp, Gimp now also supports Photoshop brushes.  🙂  Nice.

Tolkien-style Map Brushes

Fantasy Brush Pack 01

Calligraphic Cartography Brush

Map Symbols

Old Map Brush Set 1

Treasure Maps

Have fun!

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