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News From Maria Pease, Issue #0010
November 23, 2017

News From The Home Office

Avoid This Mistake

Okay, I'm just going to say it. I screwed up big time!

If you are a writer, and I expect that you are. Please learn from my HUGE mistake.

Last week my Mac prompted me to install the High Sierra update. I was working on my book and was distracted. (Lesson number 1- Don't install anything while you're distracted!)

I don't usually install updates without checking it first but this time I did...

Why? I honestly have no idea but I do regret that decision like no other. The reason is that, although it seemed to have updated properly, I soon discovered that it had not.

I continued working and with chapter 43 done, decided I'd call it a night. I proceeded to shut down my computer and didn't think another thing about it, as I have done so many times before.

No. I didn't back it up and there was no saving to an external drive. (Lesson number 2 - ALWAYS save your work to an external source.)

The next morning I was eager to get back to work on my book and started my computer. When that grey bar got stuck I didn't panic, I just did a forced shut down and tried again.

As you can probably imagine, again, it wouldn't boot. Now I was getting concerned. I went onto my iPad and started looking for fixes. Step by step, I attempted to reboot with no luck.

Did I panic? No, but I was re-living that mistake over and over again as I continued to try every fix that Apple had listed.

I decided that it was time to bring in the big guns and I called AppleCare, only to be told by the representative that I had already tried everything he was going to walk me through and he'd have to connect me with his supervisor.


After going through the steps that I had taken, he calmly told me I'd need a specialist.

Okay, so now I was starting to panic. My stomach was doing flip flops, my heart sunk heavy in my chest and I tried to remember that last time I had actually saved my work to an external source.

I set an appointment with Best Buy for the next day and put my Mac to the side, feeling like I had lost my left arm.

Again, I didn't get any sleep. I felt like I was suffocating and my heart was racing so fast I thought I may actually have a heart attack. No exaggeration.

My mistake of not backing up or saving my work seemed like such a stupid thing to do yet I had done it.

How did this happen? How could I have been so stupid? Why didn't I just take the extra minute to do it?

The next morning I headed to Wilmington and 40 minutes never felt so long. I explained what had happened to the guy checking me in and all of a sudden felt like he had no idea of the importance of my work. It was 43 freaking chapters of a mystery written!

How could he not understand the work involved in it. All at once I decided I couldn't leave my laptop there. Of course I didn't know where I would take it but I couldn't leave it there.

As I sat in my car, panicked and crying, I realized what a horrible mistake I had made.

I came home wondering what I could do when my husband called to let me know he had a friend who referred a Mac specialist. I called them right away and since it was Friday afternoon, I was told that they could look at it on Monday.


As of today, Thanksgiving day, I still don't have any word on whether my book can be found and saved, but I did find that I had backed up the book at chapter 30.

Yes, I may have lost 13 chapters and I really, really hope I didn't, but I am thankful for this valuable lesson, despite the fact that I have been sick to my stomach over this.

So, on this Thanksgiving day, I ask you to learn from my mistake.

(Lesson number 3...PLEASE BACK UP YOUR WORK! )

Please, please, please!

I'll keep you posted on what I find out. Wish me luck!

Happy Thanksgiving!

In the Wilmington, NC area? Look for my Creative Writing course and workshop at Cape Fear Community College. I'd love to help you to write your book! contact me here with your questions.

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