Shortly after my last blog post last Wednesday, the hard drive on my laptop began showing signs of distress. I ran Disk Utility on it and found that it was in the early stages of failing. The utility told me to get the hard drive replaced. I made sure that my backups were up to date and then took it in to the Apple store.
The Apple folks were great. They made their own backup of the entire machine, replaced the hard drive, and restored all my data. No charge, because the machine is still under warranty. I got my machine back late on Friday, and am thankful that everything is back to normal.
If you don’t have a good system of backups, the best time to do so is before things start going kablooey. You can buy a huge external hard drive for under $100. Apple’s Time Machine software (on either Leopard or Snow Leopard) is fast and brain-dead easy to use. I’m not a Windows guy, but undoubtedly Windows has excellent backup faciilities built-in (I don’t know the name of the Windows tool, or I’d name it here). Use these tools. Don’t leave your data at risk.
I missed a couple of days of blogging because my normal blog time was spent driving. Today is my day to write my Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine, so I’ll be back to normal blogging mode tomorrow.
In the meantime, I thought I’d point you to a new blog I just discovered: Slushpile Hell. This is the work of an anonymous “grumpy literary agent” who regularly posts quotations from query letters he or she receives from clueless writers, along with a snide comment from the agent. This blog is short — sometimes fewer than 30 words — and it’s hilarious. If you read it every day, you’ll learn hundreds of stupid things NOT to say to an agent. And that can be gold.
The other blog I’ll point you to is freelance editor Meredith Efken’s blog at Fiction Fixit Shop. I have a serious backlog of questions asked by my Loyal Blog Readers. My commitment is to answer all questions in the order they come in, but I’m now about 10 weeks behind. So I asked Meredith to help out.
Today, Meredith tackles the gnarly question of how much a novelist can expect to earn. The answer to this question is so long that she’s breaking it into two parts.
I’m Xtremely pleased with the terrific job Meredith is doing in answering questions. She explains things thoroughly and well. (That’s why I pay her to review my own fiction before I send it to my editor or agent.)