The perils of not backing up are rearing their ugly head. My main computer crashed on tuesday while I was working some video. It left the computer utterly unbootable.
Last update, the computer was at Data Doctors having the 500Gig hard drive imaged. They report there are numerous bad sectors on that drive. That data is the utmost importance, holding family photos, all my video, and other files that are too large to backup to anything but another hard drive. It's something that I had been intending to do, but never got around to doing while I'm out of full time work.
Also on that disk is all my writing, most of which is backed up on a flash drive and several iterations of CD-ROM disks. The main file that isn't backed up turns out to be the 52,000 words of my NaNoWriMo novel. If that file is lost, I doubt I'll ever return to the novel because I don't know if I'm jazzed enough about the story to start from scratch. There are other novels I prefer to write instead. If the data is still there, I'll probably finish the novel then set it aside for a while before editing and trying to sell it.
Right now, I'm limping along on my 5-year-old laptop computer and recovering some other files that were backed up by virtue of the sent folder in gmail, including my resume and a couple of crossword puzzle submissions to the LA Times.
So, while I'm thinking about it, what are my fiction plans for the upcoming year? As mentioned, assuming my NaNoWriMo novel partial survives the computer crash, I will finish that. There is the M-Brane SF Aether Age anthology, which I'd like to be in, and I suspect Christopher Fletcher would like to have something from me included. I want to write four short stories in 2010, and want to either win Writers of the Future, or disqualify myself with sales to pro markets. Either outcome will elevate my SFWA membership from associate to active. I'm one sale short of that right now. After that, I want to go back and finish Rigel Kentaurus, which I've been working toward finishing on and off for about 3 years.
Anyway, if I can recover the data I need from the disk image tomorrow, I will fell much better about everything, even if it means I lost all my NovyMirror masters. The video I'm working on for somebody else still has the masters on the camera. Starting from a frest OS and software install would not be the worst thing in the world since I intend to stay with XP until I buy a new laptop computer. But, I suspect I will buy several hard drives, including a large external drive for major backups.