Paranoia: my bff



Every week, on average, one of the writers on my various social networking feeds howls in horror. Why? Because they’ve lost all their work. Their hard drive failed because:

  1. computers suck like that
  2. they spilled coffee on their laptop
  3. the cat peed on their computer
  4. their toddler dumped their netbook into the toilet/tub/kitchen sink
  5. their laptop was stolen
  6. they dropped their device and it shattered

I’m totally serious.

What lesson can we learn from this? Yes. You guessed it: paranoia is your friend (in simpler terms: back your shit up).

A long time ago I used to worry about my house catching fire (long before the era of smart phones and freaking cloud computing). Everything I wrote was on scraps of paper and inside notebooks. Most of it was/is drivel and not worth saving (give me a break, I was ten years old), but I still worried about what I would do if everything spontaneously erupted in a ginormous fireball of horribleness and smoke.

What do you get when you add a childhood fear of fire to my weekly feed of lost-my-writing laments?

A writer who backs up all of her stuff obsessively.

I have five different backups.


Okay, okay, maybe seven.

I backup to an extra hard drive connected to my computer. I back up weekly to a separate extra hard drive. I back up daily to an internet back up service. I copy stuff to a flash drive when the mood strikes (which is about every two days). I backup my laptop work to my desktop and vice versa. I use a cloud service to sync my work from my laptop to my desktop to my phone and there’s a backup built into that. Last, I have a tendency to email myself stuff.

I have never lost my work.

I know I’m just asking for it, putting that out there in plain text, but it’s true. My hard drive failed a little while ago. I knew it was failing, so before I took it in to get it replaced, I made yet ANOTHER back up of my entire hard disk to an extra drive we had lying around (my husband is a geek, so yeah, we have random computer equipment all over the place).

All I can say is THANK THE UNIVERSE I did that. Because the new hard disk did NOT work properly without a lot of flinging of obscenities into the air and wiping of the drive and other crap I still don’t understand.

Dear everyone I know: back your stuff up. I always feel so bad for you when I read your cries on the internet. It makes me cry, too.

How to break everything electronic


For the first time in my life, I managed to make enough money writing to buy myself a new computer (mostly because I didn’t have to buy food with the money). I didn’t need a new computer. I have a perfectly awesome desktop computer which has served me well (an iMac): namely, it enabled my writing, which enabled my ability to buy its smaller and sleeker sibling-a MacBook Air.

The laptop is incredible. I love it. It’s going to help me write more stuff, more often, more places, which is cool.

What’s not cool is the hideous technology fail in which I unwittingly embroiled my husband and I this weekend. See, I’ve been using computers since 1987. This means that not only do I have a million email accounts, I also have two Apple IDs. This has been driving me crazy for years. This weekend we tried to merge them (an impossibility, but moving all my shit to one iCloud/Apple ID was possible). It all went pretty smoothly, until our calendars refused to share.

My husband, who is an extremely awesome dude, spent several hours on the phone with Apple’s customer support. Now, you must understand, my husband DESIGNS software/hardware for a living. Usually, he makes electronic devices beg for mercy when they give us trouble, but this problem refused to go belly up. After hours on the phone and countless insane attempts at stabbing in the dark, we left the Apple folks stymied. They think it is a bug in iCloud and have passed on all our data to their engineers who will debug the issue.

Let me reiterate: I broke Apple’s iCloud.

They will be calling us back after they reprogram the world.

Anyway, through all this, I have to admit, Apple’s support was top-notch. They didn’t assume we had no idea how to turn on our stuff. They didn’t assume we broke our stuff by pouring coffee on it. They ASKED MY HUSBAND for advice about password storage. So, you know, that was kind of funny.

I still love my new laptop. Or netbook. Or ultra-whatever-the-heck you want to call it. I’m sitting on my dining room sofa composing this post and it’s cool, so, it’s doing its job brilliantly. My neck thanks me.

My new website–>!



Welcome to my new website! It’s been a long time coming and I’m sorry I have to pack my old one away in its virtual trunk, but when technology changes, so too must we.

I originally created November Sky with Dreamweaver, I think. I may have used something before that, but I no longer remember. Thing is, I’ve been online in some form or another since 1987, not with a website, but with email and various accounts at various places. Yes, I remember CompuServe and scrolling through the internet on a terminal. Not a terminal window, an actual, physical terminal. Anyway, the software I use to keep my website up and running is going extinct, so I have decided to merge my blog (November Sky Poetry Blog) and my personal website (November Sky) into one new place:

Some things from November Sky are gone (the photographs) and some poems, and some things have been added (I imported all my blog posts). Some stuff is new: the menus that point to my fiction writing. I’m planning on doing a lot more novel writing this coming year and I wanted this site to reflect that. I put up some easy to use menus and you should be able to find things fairly quickly.

In a couple of weeks, I will redirect to point here. I apologize in advance for any broken links.

One new and awesome feature of this site is that all of the Poem Sparks you thought were lost forever when’s Discussion Forums were taken down are now here. I put a simple link on the right sidebar for you to click. All the Poem Sparks I wrote will appear. Additionally, you can use the Search box on the bottom of the right sidebar to find Poem Sparks, too.

To see them now, just click on the photo below.




And that’s basically it! 🙂 Hope you enjoy the new place!