Friday, July 10, 2009

Lost in the Digital Ewigkeit

Over the course of my erratic ministry career I've written several skits and plays for youth Sunday school classes, both for performance and to illustrate lessons. It seemed to me that the scripts might be useful to other pastors and Christian educators (not to mention that it would be nice to make a shekel or two out of them), but how to get them published? I have a friend with a close relative who works for Group Publishing, but she tells me they don't accept work over the transom. What's a poor, unknown playlet-wright to do?

But now, thanks to Whiskers over at Tales of a Searching Kitteh I've been introduced to, an online self-publishing site. Seems simple and straightforward. I could do up a little booklet, market it to my clergy friends via Facebook, and get my toe in the door.

Here's the catch: Since last April, the material is here-- but not. It was all saved on an external hard drive which inexplicably chose the same time as my computer to crash. Don't think it got infected with the same trojan; it just gave up the ghost. They tell me at Staples that I can send the drive to the manufacturer who can open it up and recover the data . . . for around $1,500.00. You must be kidding. We aren't exactly talking military secrets here.

Well, I thought, I did back ups in the past to floppy disk (remember those?) and CDs. Those should cover pretty much everything.

But yesterday I looked, and though I can find diskettes labeled "Sermons," "Worship," "Business," "Essays," and so on, I can not lay hands on the ones that should be there labeled "Christian Education."

OK, what about those CDs? Hummph. When you get past the annoyance that the stupid Retrieve facility wouldn't work and I had to spend hours yesterday chasing from disk to disk to locate and copy my files onto my hard drive, I found that-- inexplicably again-- they contained only a limited number of my word processing files, and no plays and skits at all.

I'm telling myself not to panic. I have hard copies of some or all of these plays in the back of a certain file drawer. Once I dig them out I could scan them in via the OCR program and just redo the formatting as required. I mean, they're supposed to be back there; I'll look as soon as I've moved the computer stand so I can get the drawer open far enough to see. Not tonight.

Ironic, though, that the very files that would have been most useful for me to recover are the ones I don't have. It makes me wonder: Is this a Sign for me to give up this publishing idea as a bad job? Or is it a cosmic query as to How Badly Do I Want to Do This Thing?

1 comment:

whiskers said...

Perhaps you're meant to start again? A cosmic stirring of your creativity?

Thanks for the link!