As you may, or may not, know from time to time I do NanoWrimo. I'm not really sure why, because it's a sure way to achieve a gastric ulcer. In 2017, I got a lot of good feedback about Aqua 1 and, flattered by the attention, I thought I'd bring Aqua 2 along a bit by doing Nano again. I'd already sprinted about 2,000 words and though I had a lot on that month what with the Soroptimist National Conference in Cardiff and the Sci-Fi Conference I was booked for in Nottingham I decided I could manage to "have a go."
I started and duly finished the expected word count. You can probably read my account in my blogs for Nov 2017. As the first novel was 127,000 words. I wanted the second to be about the same so the 52,000 words I'd written wasn't up to much and in fact the story was only just getting to the juicy part (excluding the sex which began at the second chapter!) I turned my mind and attention back to the follow-up novel for WOTW deciding I could add the 30,000 words I needed there more easily. Off I zoomed on a high, forgetting all about Aqua 2, until yesterday when my son kindly added Grammarly to my apps.
"I know," he says, "pick something to grammar check to test it's working." Aqua 2 just the thing, I thought. Only it wasn't there.
It wasn't in my computer when I opened it, well 13 pages of it were, but nothing after that. Freaked out or what? I'm sitting in horror, the type of horror you feel when someone runs off with your child and you'll never, ever see them again. When you write a book, it becomes your baby for a while until it's completed, then you have to let it grow up (proof editing) and leave home (publishing).
If ever there was a state of mind for gob-smacked, I was in it. I couldn't take in the fact it wasn't there. I couldn't cope with that single thought. I was frozen in terror. In my mind lines from the book kept jumping out at me. I'm never going to remember and write those 52,000 words from memory I wailed close to losing it. I was minutes away from a complete and utter meltdown. The tears ran silently down my face, I couldn't go there, couldn't voice what had happened it was unbelievable.
It wasn't in my back up drive, I hadn't saved it in my email draft, which I often do. It wasn't on the Nano site any more. It was gone and I knew in my soul that I couldn't bring myself to write it again. Aqua 1 would remain a stand-alone novel - forever.
My husband and son worked on my machine and somehow they found it lurking in the very depths of my laptop. Where it had gone we didn't know, but they teased it back and it re-surfaced like a whale breaking for air. My heart felt weak. If I was going to have a heart attack it would have been then.
So Aqua 2 is found, but I can't bring myself to face it just yet. I need some time until I want to open the file again. It scared me too much to forgive it.