First of all, I have to say thank you to everyone who has been reading lately and leaving comments on this blog, sending emails, and posting Facebook messages. It means a lot to me to have this online community of friends. You guys are amazing!
And now I have to admit to something stupid I did. Really stupid.
My husband needed to use *my* laptop last night to stream a movie from Netflix. I'm not really into movies or TV. I'll watch something occasionally, but last night he was going to watch Stuart Little 3 with the kids. Since that didn't appeal to me, I emailed myself my WIP and planned to work on the desktop in the office.
I clicked open my WIP (everything going well), worked long and hard on it (got three great scenes written -- totally excited!), pressed Save, and closed.
I had done this once before with a friend's book I was critiquing, so I almost immediately realized my mistake. I'd forgotten to Download the file when I opened it, so when I saved it, it didn't actually save. (Which I think is weird that Word doesn't have a pop-up to warn you about that when you think you're saving it, but oh well.)
My husband spent 20 minutes searching for my updated-version WIP in temp folders and other places on the computer that only he knows about (because he's tech savvy and I'm not). But, in the end I had to come to terms with my three great scenes being gone.
I went to bed, beating myself up that I'd wasted so much time and lost so much work.
As I lay there, half-asleep and percolating, I realized something. The first two scenes were good, but the third -- the third and probably the longest scene -- was not where I needed the story to go. A new scene popped into my mind instead, something better. Something amazing. I'm so excited to write it down today.
So, here's the moral to the story: Sometimes bad things happen. We make mistakes. But in this life, which seems to be a mixture of failure and grace, even the crappy parts can work out for good. I'm inexpressibly thankful for that.