One of our team members, JessMahler, has participated in either NaNoWriMo or CampNaNoWriMo (and sometimes both) as often as she could manage for over 5 years–and never won. Hazards of young children and mental illness. She is also an amateur storyteller and in the grand tradition of summer camps, will be sharing a #CampNaNoWriMo Campfire Story each week of CampNaNoWriMo.
Okay folks, gather round.
I know you’ve all got words to pound out, but take a break for a few minutes. (Just a few, though.)
I’m not one of the real old timers of NaNo, but I’ve been around a bit. Long enough to have heard a few tales.
This tale is from five years back. Or maybe ten. It might have been in New York City, or Allentown, or Perth. Or right next door to you. But it happened. I promise.
It was the last week of CampNaNo and a group of Campers got together at a 24-hour restaurant to do an all night writing marathon. Some of them had already hit 50,000 words (this was before you could set your own goal). Some desperately needed the all nighter to catch up. But they gathered together to support each other and have fun.
Unfortunately for Marlene, her young kid had been ‘playing’ with her laptop earlier and unknown to her had turned off auto-save on her word processor.
You can see where this is going, right?
It was a rainy night. Not a bad storm, just the kind of pounding rain that makes you glad you are inside where it’s warm. The group talked and laughed and helped each other through stuck plot points. Marlene hit a few rough spots, but made good headway, working straight through when she wasn’t grabbing a few fries to snack on.
Round about 3, one of the group, a quiet man called Top, crossed the finish line. The whole crew took a fifteen minute break to cheer celebrate. While they were all up and dancing around the lights flickered. Once, twice, and everything was dark.
You might think this wouldn’t affect our Campers. After all, laptops and tablets have batteries. But sometimes the battery for a laptop gets damaged or wears out. And if that happens the laptop will only stay on if it is plugged in and getting power. The minute it loses power, it’s off.
And, well, Marlene’s laptop had just this problem. So when the power went, so did her laptop. The lights came back up a few moments later. Just one of those temporary things that happens. Marlene groaned and grumped through booting her laptop up–it always seems to take forever, no matter how fast it really goes.
But when she opened her novel, all her work for the last five hours… was gone.
So remember Campers, this #CampNaNoWriMo protect your work. Don’t rely on autosave–manually save every so often as well. As if anyone else touches your computer, make sure to check your settings!
See you next week.