Pardon me while I Revisit a Pet Peeve

Yes, the griping will be here, but first a bit of good news. I expect that today’s blog update will be a short one. After weeks of giving me the silent treatment, J.P. Beaumont is finally speaking to me again. I thought I’d done something to make him mad.

Not only is he speaking and letting me know about the latest complication in his life, he finally coughed up a title for Beaumont # 27—Den of Iniquity.

Last week I had a huge computer scare. When I opened my file with a third of the book in it, the title page was there, along with the first page of the prologue, and the word count was there as well—at the very end. In between everything was blank. In other words a total of 32,465 words had gone AWOL.

Bill suggested I try using the revert file application in my word processing program, and I did that at once, only those turned out to be empty as well. To quell my rising panic, I went outside and walked 10,000 steps in one hell of a hurry, but while I was doing so and thinking about having to start the book over from scratch, I came to the conclusion that going to the Apple Store was my next option.

I didn’t try calling ahead to make an appointment at the Genius Bar. The last time I did that, I arrived at the appointed time only to discover that the appointment wasn’t there. Instead, deciding that my circumstances were similar to an Emergency Room visit, I went straight there with my both my broken computer and a copy of the most recent Beaumont book stowed in my purse.

When I was met at the door by the Apple Store greeter, I threw myself on his mercy and related my very sad story. I showed him Nothing to Lose, and explained that it contained 100,000 words. Then I showed him my computer and explained that a third of the words in the next book were now MIA inside it. He told me that the first available Genius Bar appointment would be in an hour and a half, but he’d see what he could do.

I sat down at a table and prepared myself for a long wait—which didn’t happen. The greeter returned moments later with Robert, the store manager in tow. He took my computer in hand, performed some keyboard magic on one of my seemingly empty reverted files, and discovered that although the words were still in the file, my word processing program wouldn’t allow them to load.

He copied the hidden words into my Notes file where all 32,425 of them suddenly appeared, alive and well. Then he performed some kind of managerial reboot on my computer. Once he did that, I was back in business. And Robert now has a signed copy of Nothing to Lose.

It turns out that, in using that reverted file I ended up losing the last scene I had written, but that one only added up to about 300 words, and it was easy to recreate once my little gray cells managed to emerge from what had previously been a blind panic.

As of now, I’m back writing and the DOI (Den of Iniquity) word count now clocks in at 37,593. When I’m writing a book, that’s how I measure my progress—by counting the words every day. My goal for yesterday was to hit 40%. I ended up at 39.57%, so I missed the mark. (I’m one of those hard graders who doesn’t round up. When I say 40%, I mean it!)

And now for the previously mentioned bit of venting. Once again this weekend, I saw a widely syndicated article saying that walking 10,000 steps isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and that walking far less than that is just fine and dandy. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen an article that says if you swim 100 laps a day, you could do far less than that and still be just fine. Or, don’t bother visiting the gym five days a week. You’ll get the same benefit from just two.

Okay, I know the history behind those 10,000 steps. When Japanese health folks were trying to encourage people to get up and moving, 10,000 steps was as high as their pedometers went, so that became the goal. No matter what the articles to the contrary are saying, getting 10,000 purposeful steps a day is still my personal goal.

At the end of my writing day, I check the word count, and at the end of each day I check my step count. It’s gratifying to see that once again I’ve chipped away at least 10% from whatever hundred thousand I’m currently working on. (Currently working on the next 600,000 by the way.)

As for the people who write those articles? I can’t help but wonder how many steps a day they walk, and do they even care?

So endeth today’s morning gripe session. Sometimes I just have to vent.