Waiting for the Other Shoe . . .

So two days ago, in a fit of utter stupidity, I deleted Voodoo Pad and all its files. Thousands of files, no exaggeration. All of the world building I’d done for the fairy tale books, all of the notes and pieces of the writing book, and half a dozen other projects I’d organized in there. No, I hadn’t backed it up. Because I’m STUPID, that’s why.
Then Lani wrote today and said Milton has injured his back–dachshunds do that–so she’s been schlepping him to the vet–and thank you very much, Lani–but now he has to be crated and subdued forever so he doesn’t cripple himself. Since Milton is a canine ping pong ball, this is going to be difficult for him, so he’s the puppy I’ll bring back with me in three weeks, poor little guy. He’s going to hate being crated, but he’s going to love all the attention he gets as the Only Puppy in the House.
So now I’m sitting here waiting for the Third Thing. Bad news always comes in threes.
Tick. Tick. Tick . . .

48 thoughts on “Waiting for the Other Shoe . . .

  1. Ugh. Call the Mac store. Maybe they can find the files. You really have to work hard to erase something.

    Poor Milton. Hang in the Jenny.

  2. I’m really sorry about your dog. That’ll be so hard for both of you. Hugs!

    As for the computer files, some professional geek-type person ought to be able to restore all or most of them for you. At least, that’s what they always claim on tv… More hugs!!

  3. The good news is that nobody wears three shoes. Mixed metaphors probably don’t qualify as a whole Third Bad Thing on their own, of course, at least until aggravating people start pointing them out.

    Wishing Milton a swift & complete recovery. Same for your files.

  4. Once Milton’s over the first few weeks of recovery, maybe you’ll be able to expand his environment. Baby gates are great to define spaces.

    General “poor baby” to you and to Milton!

  5. I deleted an entire manuscript once. It was found. Don’t know how the guy did it because I had tried everything possible myself. But he went deep into the guts of the computer. So there is hope. Maybe.
    Sorry to hear about Milton. Would acupuncture help? A friend had a Doberman with a back problem and acupuncture helped tremendously. Don’t know how expensive it is though.

  6. Time to get little ramps for Milton so he can get to where he is accustomed to going. My folks had a ramp up to the couch for their dachshund because she was always jumping, which they shouldn’t do but how do you stop them. Poor Milton.

    And don’t wait for the other shoe. My Bad Things seldom if ever came in threes. Ones and twos, usually. So you have probably had both your Bad Things. And I agree with the others that you take your computer to a Mac store and get them to find your files. I’ll bet they can. I’ll bet six M&Ms.

  7. Oh lord. So sorry to hear this. TAKE the whole computer somewhere and get them to do things. And bring the dog for doting.

  8. I got four pieces of bad news this week, so maybe I accidentally picked up one of yours and you’re in the clear. That would make me feel better about my news, too, so let’s go with that assumption. See, no worries!

  9. Absolutely do something about the files. See, when files are deleted, they aren’t wiped from the hard drive, just their location. The files get wiped out when you overwrite new information on them.

    Google “mac restore deleted file” or consult your local genius bar and don’t fret. I turned off my computer while it was updating files. While it said on the screen, “do not turn off your computer.” Why? Because I’m an idiot. You can’t do worse than that.

  10. I have a Mac and I’ll tell you something I learned just yesterday — there is a hidden Libraries folder (you have to have the correct code to open it and make it visible). I found out yesterday I had accidentally written over the best version of the first act of the book I’m working on, and Scrivener had backed up that overwritten version and even though I paid for the dated go-back-30-days type of file saving on Scrivener, it still wasn’t there, so I don’t know when I did it. (I haven’t worked on it in two months due to my brother’s bone marrow transplant and subsequent complications. He’s still in the hospital, but improving.)

    Anyway, when I realized it yesterday, I wanted to cry, but I happened to be talking to a friend who’d done the same thing and had found out that Scrivener (and other similar programs) have a default backup to the Libraries folder. Your Voodoo pad stuff may be backed up there.

    Up at the top right, in the Spotlight bar, type TERMINAL, which will pull up a box that will ask for your password to your computer. Type in your password. You should then see your User name (whatever name you’ve used for your Home page in your computer). Then type:

    sudo chflags nohidden ~/Library

    Exactly like that above. Hit enter. Then go to:

    Applications and click on the Home link and look at the folders there — see if you now have a visible Libraries folder. If so, open that and look for the Application Support library. Open that, and you’ll see a list of various applications you have on your computer. Look for the Voodoo one. (I have Voodoo Pad and it’s in my list.)

    Maybe maybe maybe it saved a backup to that spot (like Scrivener did for me).

    Good luck.


    1. ugh. I meant to say above that I have my Scrivener folder set to save to Dropbox and in Dropbox, the “new” version had overwritten the one I had intended to save. And *even so* — the version I wanted was backed up and saved in the Libraries file, unaltered, so I got the whole file back.

      It’s hell to get so distracted while trying to answer. But maybe you’ll be able to find it in the Libraries folder.

  11. I hope Toni’s advice helps! Unless you emptied your “trash” folder manually, hopefully it is still on the computer. Did you check in your “trash”? (I don’t know if this is different on a Mac, since I have a PC.) And you can blame Mercury in Retrograde. I hope you find the files. Did you share any of them with Lani or Krissie? They might have bits and pieces on their computers if you did.

    And poor Milton. I hope he feels better soon.

    1. Even if you emptied the trash there should be at least one backup of your data files in a Library folder. Yay Unix plus Mac! It really is super difficult to actually delete anything permanently from most computers unless you get into the guts and muck around like a super user.

      All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.

  12. I think you might have had seven already this month, so no. No more bad luck for you. Instead, the good luck is going to start rolling in, any minute. (I hope all of our optimism comes true.)

  13. You were probably not angling for all of the technical advice, but…
    -The library thing people have recommended above works, if the program is designed to back itself up. Worth checking, but doesn’t work for many programs.
    -As someone else said, in very simplistic terms (my favorite type), when you delete files, you delete them from view on the computer, and let the computer know that they can be written over. But, until you do enough other things on the computer that they are written over, they are still there, just invisible. The very important thing is to STOP doing anything on the computer. The more you do, the more is written, and the more likely the files are to be lost. The next thing to do is decide whether you’d like to try to recover the files yourself, or get the Genius Bar or some other professional to do it. If you choose to do it yourself there are a variety of programs out there, both free and paid, that you can use.

    On a different note- Has your vet recommended physical therapy for Milton? Is that something you’d think about doing? (Sorry, taking advantage and using you for a bit of market research.) You’d really think that if Dachshunds have to be built like slinkys they could be nice enough to have the bendy resiliance too!

    1. As a side thought, because that sounds like several years worth of work, and I’d think you’ve backed up your computer- if the program was based on an external drive it’s even easier to recover, and you’re more likely to recover it, because you’re not constantly writing and using the drive as with your main hard drive.

  14. My heart goes out to Milton. My dog is part dachshund, and I had no idea their backs were more prone to injury.

    Hope there’s more the vet can do besides containment or that at least the crate period won’t last long. If there’s inflammation involved with his injury, maybe homeopathy could help. One called Traumeel is used on animals all the time with great success apparently. I’ve never given it to my pets, but have taken it myself and it’s a godsend for any musculoskeletal type injury. Especially good in acute situations. Actually becoming more used in ERs now and lots of vets are well versed in its use. Just a thought. Hate to think of a dog in pain.

  15. You’ve gotten a lot of great advice here on how to recover your file. Once you do, I recommend setting up Time Machine and letting it run at least once a day. You will need an external hard drive to back your Mac up on but it will be soooo worth it. Time Machine is a brilliant program; it gives you the ability to time travel back to an earlier state on your computer and bring back whatever it was you need in now but is now gone because it got deleted or whatever. It also makes it possible to recover your entire hard drive if it has an attitude problem and stops talking to you… And I hope Milton feels better soon.

    1. Jeesh. I could have edited that a little better, huh.

      “…bring back whatever it is you need now but is gone because it got deleted or whatever…”

      1. I think Jenny’s got a Time Machine drive, she just doesn’t seem to use it all the time. I strongly recommend having one permanently attached that backs up hourly. Even better, get two drives (it’s really not a lot for the extra peace of mind, because drives do fail) and swap them weekly. I keep my extra at the opposite end of the house. You’re supposed to keep it off-site, but when I tried that I just never remembered to swap them around. So the other end of the house, because if there’s fire or theft, hopefully neither would affect every part of the house.

  16. I have to say, in most cases deleting something only means you’ve made the space available for new work. It is the overwriting that renders the old files unavailable. There’s security software that allows you overwrite files 7 times with random code.

    So maybe the third thing will be good. You’ll get your files back.

    I’m sorry about Milton. And I hope he recovers well.

  17. After almost losing a bunch of stuff to a computer crash-and-burn, I started using Carbonite. It costs about $50 a year and backs up ALL your files on your computer once a day. This includes things like pictures (which I never remember to back up, despite being obsessive about saving my writing files to a bunch of different places). I also use Dropbox, which is an easy “cloud” place to back up to. I think that one’s free. Barn door closing stuff, I know, but still…

  18. I refuse to call myself stupid and I don’t like anyone else to call themselves stupid. So please don’t? When I do things with the computer like you did — and we all do — it’s always during a time of high stress. Gee, had any of that lately? Yeah, duh, right? So don’t give yourself a hard time. Try the stuff mentioned above (buncha smart people on here) and /or get a professional to do it. And try to relax. You’ve had enough stress lately. Oh, and i believe good things come in threes, not bad.

  19. Yep, as many have said get a techi. Your work is still there and an Apple guru will find it.
    It’s scary when it happens, and it happens to all of us. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Computer advisors plenty. I’d drop everything and take it to an Apple nerd. One that wears thick glasses and doesn’t eat for nine days because they just cannot tear themselves away from their beloved computers to live life in any fast lane but a screen.

    BUT – I did have a dog of a corgi type who somebody once described as a walking coffee table. She used to take a shot from the vet who decided this was so good he secretly gave them to his aunt (because the Health Dept. in Oz hadn’t sanctioned them for human use – but they were okay in U.S.) – so take dog to vet. The shot lasted about three months. She was an old dog but it made her life so much easier.

    Dachsunds and corgis are such little piggies. They don’t have an ‘off’ button at dinner time. ๐Ÿ™

  21. Become a lateral thinker. Go buy a lottery ticket and win it. This is the third awful thing to happen because we all know how people who have won it moan how it ruined their perfect lives!!!!! See? Easy!

  22. I don’t have anything to say about your computer files except {{hugs}} and I hope you get them back, but I also have a long-backed dog, a corgi, with back problems. The absolute best thing, hands down, for pain relief and increased mobility is acupuncture. The improvement has to be seen to be believed; it is amazing. It is expensive (I’m paying $75 per treatment) but I think it’s the only reason my corgi is still walking.

    Someone mentioned Traumeel – I’ve heard good things about it. Also, oddly enough, I’ve heard vitamin C (in high doses) is good for back problems. My 20 pound corgi can tolerate about 2000 mg per day.

    Good luck! I hope you and Milton are both feeling better very soon!

  23. Poor Miltie!! Yes, acupuncture and ramps – good advice!

    Taking your computer to a techie – also good advice. I once took a computer course from a man who was an FBI forensic tech expert. He said that all deleted data can be recovered unless an expert wipes the hard drive completely clean. He said that he could get down through 8 layers and recover info. Find a good expert, get it recovered, then… back it up darlin’

    I bet you miss your family and dogs. Once one gets used to having people around, it’s difficult to live alone again… Please do take care of yourself!!

    1. The only way to really wipe a hard drive is through magnetism. Seriously. The stronger the magnet and the longer the exposure, the better you wipe (everything is stored as charges on the coating of the drive). Any softwaredriven erasures will always leave traces of information that can be picked up.

      Unless you have been doing stuff like, oh, reformatting, or reconfiguring, or, say, loading gazillions of pictures (which overwrite the other stuff) you should be able to recover most, if not all. The techies know how to do. My hubbie did something similar and I brought it into work and the techies had 99% of everything back within an hour….the remaining 1% was probably due to him fiddling with stuff before giving up and handing the machine over to me.

      Techies ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good luck!

  24. I’m so sorry about Milton’s back. I just wanted to chime in about crating. I have 4 dogs. My three little ones are crated, because they are trouble-makers. ๐Ÿ™‚ Not really. They were crate trained since I adopted them from the rescue. And they got used to it. All 3 of them are piled in the crate right now with the door of the crate wide open, but they are sound asleep. They just feel safe in there. It’s their home. My newest rescue, Bill, loves his crate so much, that when I go to bed at night, he takes off running for his crate, and gets in on his own. One of the females, Penny, gets in the other crate early in the evening. But Ruby has to be put in.

    1. My new pup (now 13 mos) is not all that thrilled with crating at night, but she does go in with a bribe (she runs in on her own, but only if I have something in my hand!). Sometimes she yips a bit, but never for long (and if she’s tired, not at all.) However, I noticed recently when I was working past my (and therefore her) normal bedtime, that she went into the crate on her own and curled up. But, stick-tight that she is, the moment I moved she popped back out again, so she got her usual bribe.

      My older dog (who passed on in Jan) also felt safe in her crate. When we had parties, I would set her crate up in the living room. When she felt overwhelmed by too many people (which she did with age) she went on her own into her “safe zone” in the crate until she felt comfortable again and then came back out when she felt she could deal with the crowd. In the early days (she was rescued at 1 yr), she put herself in her crate at 11 pm promptly. I could set my watch by it! When I got the second dog, the second one also did the same thing. Then, after my husband died I let the dogs sleep with me and they were crated during the day when I worked (the second dog had separation issues and would destroy everything if not crated). When it got time to go to work, they were both already in their crates — I just had to close the doors. If I came home from work early, they both would wake up, groggy, and look at me like “hey, whaddya doing here??” When the second dog died, the first one (who could be left uncrated) went back to sleeping on the couch all day.

      Crating is really a positive in so many ways. It removes stress because you aren’t coming home to messes and the dogs adjust to the schedule really quite quickly. And if you are not stressed, the dog will be happier too. (BTW, second dog above was 3 yrs old when I got her and adapted quite quickly to crating.)

      Good luck with Miltie!!! (Poor Baby!)

  25. You need Harry’s Cloak of Invisibility. Hunker down under that, and stifle your sniggers as Bad Things swing in a circle looking for you.

    We can talk to Harry. I’m sure he’ll be willing to lend it to you. He knows all about Really Bad Years.

  26. Poor Baby – both about little Milton for the loss of the Voodoo files. Which is a good reminder that I need to actually connect the external hard drive to the iMac or it can’t possibly do any good. I should do that soon, that computer is seven years old already and still on the original hard drive.

  27. Deleting files inadvertantly is not stupidity – it’s just a possible situation for anyone who uses a computer. I can’t think of anyone who has not screamed NOOOOOOOO after hitting the wrong key and watching work magically disappear. If you can have a technogeek help, I’m sure you’ll recover your work.

    I really hope Milton’s situation is temporary while he recovers. If he’s the only puppy there and has you all to himself, crating may not be a problem for him as he won’t see the other members of his pack running around without him.

    Sending hugs to you and Milton.

  28. I want more Dempsey’s! Are there going to be more books in the series? You have a true talent and I am HOOKED on your books! I want to go back to Temptation and can’t get enough of Davy. Pleeeeeease tell me there is more to come?!?! If the “lost files” has anything to do with these stories I would come help you myself! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks for being such an inspiration.


Comments are closed.