Herein Lies Woe and Triumph, Sort Of

Mama said there’d be days like this. She just didn’t mention how many or how harrowing they’d be.

Now, I’m nothing if not stubborn, so I can slog through long dark dog days just as well as the next person but yesterday proved to be THE Day Of Days. 

I’ll skip over the mundane bits and get straight to the point.

  • I woke up determined to enter a flash challenge I hadn't yet partcipated in.
  • I worked on my piece throughout the day, in between duties at my day job, and was ready to post just before four. 
  • I saved the story to my travel drive (attached to the office desktop), as is customary, removed drive and inserted in internet capable netbook. 
  • While netbook read drive, I opened the site where I was going to upload my story.
  • I noticed the drive wasn't reading, which sometimes happens. 
  • I tried reinstalling the drive. No luck. Holding a gigantic wave of panic at bay, I try reading the drive on the office desktop. No luck.
  • Two more computers, a handful of scans and a whole lot of begging and pleading, I had to accept that the drive was a lost cause.
  • Which Meant:
    • ​I had no story for the day's challenge
    • I had just lost all an entire archive of my writing, along with miscellaneous general  documents. 

Game over, right?! 

Um, yeah. That is, until I got this crazy idea that I could make it home in time to sort of piece together my memory of the story and get it posted in the nick of time.

So, I left my office at 5 pm, made the hour and a half commute home, arriving at 6:30 pm (thirty minutes before deadline), and announced I was going to write like a madwoman until 6:59 pm and did not wish to be disturbed. 

Sounds good, right?

Yeah, I totally got a game plan now. Weep over the lost stuff later. Writing my guts out right now. Yeah, I got this! Can do! 

Until my arrival home sets off a fracas between the three dogs and we have to spend five minutes getting them separated. 

And then as I'm getting into my laptop, still nurturing that tiny seed of hope that my drive will somehow magically sync with it and my world will be saved, my middle grandchild comes into my room and asks to play Monkey Lunchbox on my kindle fire, so I take a deep breath and get her settled. 

​Now, I have twenty minutes to write a story I'm not even sure is worth all this trouble, but I have gone through too much crap not to try. Also, I am an itty bitty bit stubborn, so there is no way I can back down or give up or throw in the towel without serious personal repercussions. 

​So, I sit and stare at the screen, because that's what all highly skilled writers do in the clutch, right?! I try to 'see' the words that were on the screen earlier in the day when my story was finished, but it's not working. I'm gonna have to open a vein and bleed into the keyboard.

Just as that first sentence fills the white space, an excruciating pain shoots through my mouth. My random toothache, missing lo these many weeks, has returned with a vengeance. I want to cry but I don't have time. I keep typing. 

Five minutes from deadline, I try reading my piece aloud for clarity, but the side of my face is screaming and my stomach is growling and someone has turned on the Disney channel full blast. I cut and paste my story into the site, click send, and cross my fingers for luck. 

Afterwards, I check in to let the twitterverse know I prevailed, take a handful of pain pills and close my eyes for ninety seconds. In a moment, I will get up and go on an ice cream run but it won't be a celebratory event, because really, my accomplishment was no feat of legend.

No, it was merely a demolition-cars-slam-into-a-circus-of-midget-elephants run of the mill day for those of us who live for the smell of ink on paper.

We all know the drill:

  • A deadline looms.
  • Disaster descends.
  • Battle is won with persistence, pen and Phish Food

And now I must bid you farewell and rest my wittle peepers. 


May the ink flow smoothly, today and always,

~Lady Bullish ~



The best way out, is always through. (Robert Frost)


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  • Stacy Bennett-Hoyt commented on July 13, 2012 at 6:56 am


    Bully for you, Lady Bullish. Your entry was perfect. And your stubbornness a testament to us all.  I have had the same sort of thing happen to me too and you know you can't weep just then or it will all totally fail.  Soldier on is our motto.
    Personally though I like Chubby hubby!   which I now discover is called Hubby Hubby.. Isnt that dumb!
    Great job, Ruth. We love you.

  • Angela Goff commented on July 13, 2012 at 7:51 am


    I've been there before….only by the time I get to the toothache stage I'm ready to throw punches at whatever's moving or making noise. You have far more self-control than me!
    So sorry about all the trauma, toothache included. Hope the Tech Doctors can recover your files…?

  • Jeffrey Hollar commented on July 13, 2012 at 7:56 am


    OMG how I feel your pain. For eight months, we simply could not work casble/internet into the family budget so I blogged almost daily from a 3G Smartfone that really was none too smart. If you needed to backspace over something to delete it when paring a story down to word count, you did it one charatcer at a time. Hold the key TOO long and you just erased the whole works. Did that many a time with stories bordering on the 1000 word range. Also had the annoyance of never knowing until I hit "publish post" whether that would happen or whether the post would vanish into the wind. Bravo for your persistence. We are truly the OCD types of creativity, eh?

  • Lisa Shambrook commented on July 13, 2012 at 9:25 am


    I feel your pain with the'lost files' hope you can retrieve them! I just lost several weeks of rewrites due to a fried hard-drive after dog knocked laptop flying out of son's hands…then tried to retrieve from my flash drive – for said drive to corrupt losing me a year and half of photographs and the latest edits! Aaaargh…
    I began rewriting with that sense of desperation – staring at the screen trying to recall original print – then daughter told me it was giving me a chance to write it better than before, to stop trying to remember and use the opportunity to start again. Hard advice, but good advice! 
    I'm just grateful to have the laptop back up and running with new hard drive and a clean sheet! AND I hope those 'days' stay away!

  • Kern Windwraith commented on July 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm


    Oh, Ruth. Your day of woe and tribulation sounds scarily familiar to me, as I'm sure it does to many others. You have to scratch your head sometimes and wonder why do it. But not for too long–go to get back to the writing!

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