Sunday, June 27, 2010

2010: Day 176 A Devastating Mistake--Or Was It?

Yesterday, I had an opportunity to attend a ladys' tea and listen to a talk given by a missionary titled, "See Through Faith."  I'd listened to one of her talks several years before so I was really pleased to know she was the speaker again this year.

Her message was that no matter who you are, what you believe in, how much money you have, bad and unfortunate things happen to everyone, but if we look at those things (experience them) through our feelings or with our eyes instead of through our faith, we will only see the negative side of the situation and open the floodgates of anger and resentment.

"Imagined," she said, "that a loved one has a terminal illness, what are you going to do?  Your unwed daughter is pregnant, what are you going to do? You've lost your job; your home, your business, what are you going to do?"  She continued with several other examples each time ending it with the question, what are you going to do? Will anger make these things go away? "No, instead," she said, "accept that these things have happened, have faith, and keep trying, keep living and go on with your life."

I've always firmly believed that all things happen for a reason--the people we meet, the things we do, the events (good or bad) that happen to us, come into our lives for a reason. And so, as she spoke I thought of the many things that have happened to our friends, their families, our family during these turbulent times and I was touched by her words.

Now then, what I'm about to share, isn't devastating or a life changing event, but as minor as it was in comparison, when it happened, I immediately thought of this woman's words and knew I'd been meant to hear them.

As those of you who have read my posts over the past few weeks know, I've complete my novel and have started working on the synopsis.  With the help of a handful of trusted friends, I've been busy polishing the manuscript. This morning, I read over the comments and suggestions my crit partner made to chapter 29 (out of 49). I worked on the edits until around two this afternoon. Imagine my thrill when I looked down at the word count: 74,350+!!

Today felt as if I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and it wasn't a train. When I finished working on the recent edits, I decided to work a bit more on the synopsis. This is when the train came plowing through. We were under another severe storm warning. It had started to thunder and in my rush to save my synopsis and shut down my computer, I saved it over my manuscript.

Yes, that's right, it's gone.  I won't lie, I gasped, I panicked, little beads of sweat formed on  my brow, but then I heard those words again. What are you going to do?  I can't explain it except to say they had an amazing calming affect on me. She was right, of course. Throwing a fit or banging my head against the wall wasn't going to reconstruct a 74,350+ word manuscript--only thing "to do" was to roll up my sleeves and get back to work.

I always print my latest edits and e-mail the entire manuscript to myself as soon as I'm done so on the up side, I have a hard copy of my final edits. Unfortunately, I hadn't gotten around to e-mailing it yet. When I checked, the latest version in my mail box was dated June 22. I opened the document and SAVED it to my hard drive. Then I pulled up all the edits JD sent to me since the 22nd.

I had to go back to chapter 13 and started comparing the edits to my hard copy and then updated my computer file again. Sure it's frustrating and it'll take me  several days to get it done, but like I said, it's not a life or death thing by a long shot.Will I be more careful next time? You bet!

Ironically, in the process of going back and checking the chapters one sentence at a time, I found a few things that he and I both missed and edits I'd overlooked. As I read through the text, I also discovered something I'd forgotten about one of the characters that will be key to a final chapter. Cool, huh?

Just another day in this writer's life. ;)