In the disorganized mess of my house, I lost parts of two stories that were almost done, two stories I liked a lot. One was a sci fi story that I conceived of in college (yes, 20+ years ago) but didn't have the courage, stamina, whatever, to finish it. It's a sci fi story with a female protagonist. I wrote the beginning of it in a notebook over a year ago. I have no idea where it is - maybe lurking somewhere with our lost Kung Fu Panda DVD.
I also lost two chapters of a story about my grandparents. It's fiction, but the lost chapters are based on my real grandparents and the day I visited them just before my grandma died. I cried in public when I wrote the last few words and stashed it somewhere so I could pick it up again when it hurt less, when I could write it without crying out loud. I have no idea where I put it and have cleaned my house several times over looking for it.
A couple of weeks ago when I was desperately looking for my cell phone and my husband's car keys, I found the notebook I thought the stories were in. I was wrong.
Before I lost these chapters, I was a huge fan of writing in notebooks, writing old school the way we used to in college (for those of us that are 40-something or older). I like to write on paper, but it is not good if you write something you love and then lose it.
So lately I've taken to writing in a notebook if I can't take my laptop with me. As soon as I get home and find some quiet, I type up the chapter or story and save it on my laptop. I do backups onto a USB device once in a while and save one in my fire safe or in my car. During the threats of tornadoes repeatedly this spring, I brought my laptop down to the basement with me as if it were my child. My husband urges me to save my work on our home network (we are nerds with a full data center in our basement), but logically the servers would go the same way my laptop would if there were a fire, tornado, or robbery.
Yes, the stories are in my head and could be reproduced, but it would be depressing to have to try. Today I declare my two lost pieces no longer MIA, but completely deceased, dead, gone. Lost forever. I mourn them today but will start recreating them tomorrow or the next day, just as soon as I get a solid hour to myself. I hope that's tonight or tomorrow. I haven't written seriously in three weeks. I am starting to crave it.