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.

47 thoughts on “Pardon me while I Revisit a Pet Peeve

  1. I’m very excited to hear there’s another Beau in the works! He’s one of my favorites…

    Can’t wait.


  2. Happy to hear you recovered J,P. Beaumont…that was quite a scare! Keep walking those steps no matter what others say.

  3. So happy to see you have a new book coming. I love the Jp Beaumont books!
    Do you have release date yet?

  4. You nearly stopped my heart this morning, Judy! I’m glad you led with the fact there’d be a “happy resolution” to your computer woes! Also THRILLED that Beau is niggling at your gray matter. He’s my guy. Enough “flaws” to be human, knees replaced, recovering alcoholic. Totally my type! And speaking of type… let’s both have at it today!

  5. YUP! So you’re human like the rest of us. Something similar happened to me yesterday and they had 2 people working on my computer for 4 hours as I lost a whole bunch of things somehow and couldn’t get into my computer or find things but they saved the day as well. 🙂

    • So excited to hear this news about Beau. He is a favorite character of mine. Also love Joannna Brady. Keep walking !

  6. I’m with you! If I have a few left at the end of the day, I usually go outside and walk up and down my culdesac to reach that magic number. Can’t wait for the next book. Will Joanna ever appear again?

  7. Don’t mind the venting at all—we have all felt that way at some time or another. Actually it is good to gear someone put it into words!
    And I am thrilled that Beaumont is heading for a new adventure. His books have brightened my days so much through two knee surgeries that I can’t imagine days without him. Love that your characters are so real!! Keep walking!!!

  8. Whew!! Glad they fixed that very scary computer ‘event’ –they can be so helpful, but can sure make us crazy w/their special brand of Stress! Looking forward to your next book & thanks for your blog 🙂

  9. I look forward to your comments/raves every Friday. I am so glad that everything worked out. Have a nice weekend.

  10. I didn’t think that Beau was the type to give people the silent treatment. Electronics are going to take over the world after giving all humans heart attacks.

  11. Your blog made me smile this morning! Also, everyone should invest in some kind of cloud storage that automatically backs up our precious work. We use Dropbox, and I can access my files from anywhere, at any time! $10+ per month is SO worth it to me!
    Keep on keeping on – I appreciate you and your talents so much! Thank you for being you!

  12. You are funny even when you gripe. My late wife was a professional non-fiction writer. She said, “Save every few minutes. Save internally and externally.” In other words, you should always save to a thumb drive. Two more thoughts: 10,000 steps is four or five miles depending on the length of stride. Cartless golfers typically walk that far. Is your average golfer friend in particularly good shape? If you want to read an incredible portrait of a tall woman (6’2″), try Good Night, Irene by Luis Alberto Urrea. Dorothy may be the most unforgettable character I have ever encountered.

  13. So glad that your problem was solved so quickly – but not before a lot of aggravation and worry. As for venting, there are times when we have to do that rather than keeping it bottled up inside. So vent away when necessary being careful that it doesn’t become just plain complaining. Which you would never do – you are not that kid of person. Good luck with the new book – can’t wait for it to come out.

  14. Haha! Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do! I’ll root (sp?) for you no matter what!

  15. Thank goodness for the Apple Store! My son-in-law owns Simutek (an Apple store) here in Tucson, and he would have been able to help you.
    So glad it worked out – that experience might be part of the plot for another J.A. Jance book?
    Saw several articles about 10,000 steps and I say do whatever works for you!
    Keep griping and writing!

  16. Venting is always good!

    I am also very glad that your computer issue was just a glitch and they got your file to appear. There were many a day working in IT where I asked to perform a “miracle” to recover files and/or make other repairs. People are always amazed when I was successful and called me “a miracle worker”.

    Keep the faith!

  17. If Den of Iniquity will be Beaumont # 27 and Nothing to Lose is # 25, what is Beaumont 26?

  18. You can vent all you want.

    SO glad there is another Beaumont in the works.

  19. Phew! Bravo to the Apple Store manager – he is receiving the gratitude of your many fans at this point!

    And yes, the steps furor reminded me of the articles a few years ago about how flossing your teeth was not important/beneficial, when actually the original research just said that there wasn’t enough evidence in a small study they had done and that follow up was needed.

    Keep up the good work, glad that J.P. is back in action.


  20. So looking forward to your next JP Beaumont book. He is my favorite character of
    all of your books that I have read. Recenlty finished “Collateral Damgage” and loved it. Keep up the fantastic writing!

  21. Your share this morning was right up my alley-i.e. dealing with the Apple Genius bar!I am forever grateful to Apple for their legendary service (even with the difficulties of signing up for a Genius appointment) but I am very fortunate to have a son in law who is even better. Just this January before a speech I was going to give, all of the text, and all of the pictures to the talk just disappeared only 2 days before my talk. The closest time appointment I could get with the Genius bar was in a week! So Dave got to work on my computer and was able to find that instead of only 350 megabytes of free space, I ended up with 66 gigabytes of free space. Voila! talk and photos back on my computer…His secret- he gets Apple online service so he doesn’t have to wait a week to get their help My laptop is a very old Apple (10 years old!) so I am very grateful for him and online Apple service. Also, 10,00 steps is great! don’t believe those instant health blurbs!

  22. As I’m sitting here reading your blog, I’m waiting for the Xfinity repair guy to show up as I too am having computer issues. So frustrating! Glad they have people who can fix these things, hopefully.
    I think your walking 10,000 steps a day is awesome no matter what anyone says. Bravo for you! I’m also glad you have a new JP book on the way.

  23. I feel your pain. Computers are great when they are working. Glad it got fixed! Lover your books.

  24. Yikes, what a story! Strongly suggest backing up your work DAILY onto a disk drive. Computer software getting more and more kludgie by the day…..

  25. You sure don’t cut yourself any slack, do you? I’ve learned that it is best to do what works for you, no matter what the experts say for the population as a whole. We are all unique.
    I’m glad the computer experts could retrieve the book. We fans can’t wait for the next book!

  26. I am glad I am not the only one who has problems with my computer. My printer is another story. I don’t see anyone saying they will fix a printer like they do with a computer.
    Can’t wait with Den of Iniquity.

    • Nancy, I am having printer problems again. I got a new printer last Fall and all was well for a few months. However, it’s acting up now. Am so annoyed because they don’t furnish a manual anymore. I self-taught myself on the computer with the help of a manual and usually can figure things out with the help of one. They say problems can best be solved over the phone now. However, I can never get anyone of the phone. My grandson fixed it last time, but he moved to Paris. Sob.

  27. Thank heavens for the techies, esp. the Apple techies. They have saved me more than once. So glad they were able to retrieve your work.And glad your main character is talking with you again. I understand how that goes too. And thank you for encouraging the 10,000 steps. Recommendations about all things related to health, change with the wind. Walking is one of the very best exercises and it’s free so no need to whine about not being able to do it. Inside or out, it can be done. Thanks so much. I’m taking a walk now.

  28. Glad this all ended well. That said, I cannot emphasize enough that you need a thorough backup strategy. I use Time Machine locally (I’m also on a Mac) and Backblaze for a remote backup (in case a fire destroys the local hardware!). At that, I probably am not doing enough. The rule of thumb is: if you don’t have 3 copies of your files (at least one of them remote) you are not really backed up. Three is the minimum but more is better. Your software’s internal backup could count, but as it’s presumably on the same disk with the primary copy, probably it really doesn’t count as a backup. And if you already are doing this, sorry to belabor this. I’m eagerly looking forward to the next Beaumont (finally!) and I really don’t want tech glitches to get in the way of reading it soon!

  29. Several years ago I got a panic call from a neighbor that his screen play several gig of text had disappeared. There was a very large size file showing but no text visible. After some deep searching it was found somehow he has changed the font color to white.

  30. My goal is 10,000 steps, thanks to your new years blog in 2021. I make or exceed it most days. You’re an inspiration and I’m excited that another Beau book is coming!

  31. Whew! Those Apple store personnel can work wonders. We are Geek Squad users and they have saved us many times.

    Looking forward to catching up with Beau again. He is one of my favorites though I love all of your books.

  32. New JPB, good deal. Hope you found out why and how to prevent this problem from visiting again. Specifically, did you do something wrong or is it a flawed program/computer? On the plus side, once Apple guy reads the book you gave him you will have a new fan, if he wasn’t one already.

  33. I always wondered where the 10,000 steps came from. Totally understand the panic attack! My Kindle was acting weird this morning and I almost had a heart attack until I remembered how to restart it! Whew!

  34. Yowies! THAT was stressful! I’m thinking it’s too bad there’s no gadget that counts points for stress–I bet you got a year’s allotment that day!
    Soooo, I’m thinking the nice manager who is looking forward to a signed copy of the forthcoming Beau book, may not have mentioned this, cuz it would have been kinda mean, under the circumstances (and same principle applies to hubby), but to prevent future catastrophes, might you be considering a back-up tool of some kind? Maybe a thumb-drive per book? You might be leery of cloud storage in terms of hackability with precious manuscripts, but my Google Drive seems secure. It might be useful just until you publish a book, then you could delete it? Or maybe one of those portable plug-in drives (I looked it up in case it wasn’t clear what I was thinking of and came up with a Walmart “Seagate STHN1000400 1TB Backup Plus Slim Portable Drive USB 3.0, Black”) .
    Perhaps this isn’t do-able because there’s some fancy publishing program you use other than a generic word processing one, that maybe wouldn’t render on anything but your computer?
    Just a thought.
    Take care.

  35. I started with Joanna Brady, then moved onto The Walker Family. I’m current with the Ali Reynolds’s series and just finished “Payment in Kind” of the Beaumont series. I haven’t been disappointed yet. Thanks for all the great books!

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