CyberTalk

August 30, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as with 0 and 0
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with Gina Black

Today my topic is one we’d all rather NOT think about, although many of us take precautions.

I’m talking about what happened to me just a week ago: my hard drive crashed. And, yes, it took everything with it. This was the second time that happened to me. The first time was a slow drawn-out process where I could tell it was going and I quickly backed up everything. Since then, I bought an external hard drive and back up frequently so I thought I was safe from data loss. But the truth is, you have to be very diligent and crafty to achieve that and I hadn’t been due to my travels and various other things.

What can you do to guard against data loss completely? Burn candles? Light incense? Pray to the computer gods?

Maybe that will help, but the best way to keep the bottom from dropping out is to have a redundant backup program that you adhere to with the fervor of a religious zealot. All it takes is losing your WIP once to get you there. But it’s even better if you do this without the upfront data loss.

Here are my suggestions:

1/ Have an external hard drive and back up your data and preference files (and anything you’ve customized) on a regular basis, like weekly, biweekly but no less than monthly.

2/ Have a safe place on the internet where you can backup your files. If you have a Mac you can purchase a .mac account. There are loads of other services that offer to backup your data files, but here are some suggestions that are by no means exhaustive of what’s available.

  • Start a yahoo group with your critique group or you could have your own. Save your writing files in the file area. Make sure it is NOT accessible to the public (yahoo has a “management” area where you do this).
  • Get a gmail account (they come with a HUGE amount of storage) and email your WIP to yourself every day at the end of your writing session. If you don’t have a gmail account and you want one, leave me a message in the comments and I’ll send you an invitation.

3/ Put your files on a USB flash drive (one of those little things you plug into your computer). Be aware that these drives can fail, so this must be part of a redundant system.

4/ Burn all your old an unchanging data files (like those manuscripts you’ve sold or the ones that are gathering cyber-dustbunnies on your hard drive) to CD. Get them out of your house unless you are impervious to fires, earthquakes, or loss. Put them in a safe deposit box, or give them to a trusted family member or friend. CDs can fail too, so it doesn’t hurt to have two sets out there.

5/ If you have a Google account you can upload your WIP to the “documents” area and even work on it there. This is a good way to do things if you float from computer to computer. It’s easy to download them onto a local host at any time.

6/ If you have a website and it has a secure area, you can FTP your files there.

Whatever you do, do something and do it now. If I’d been a bit more diligent about backing up my finances (my writing files survived), I wouldn’t be losing part of this upcoming three day weekend to resurrecting three months worth of transactions instead of revising my WIP.


Somehow, Gina manages to work some writing time in around her internet adventures. In addition to posting here, she blogs on The Gina Channel, Romancing the Skein, and Title Wave.

And yes, her computer screen really has burned itself into her glasses.

Author Details
Author Details
A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.

#Me Too

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THE GHOST OF DEPFORD HALL

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THE DEVIL’S CARESS

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    ×
    A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.

    with Gina Black

    Maybe I should title retitle my monthly column CyberTrek because once again I’m sending you all out into the internet, mice in hand. It’s the easiest way to travel. No standing in line. No exorbitant fares. No nasty airplane food. And lots and lots of good info.

    Everybody got their coffee? Good. Let’s go.

    First stop: Claire Delacroix’s post on Surviving the Copy/Line Edit
    Claire is a member of one of my online groups (and fellow knitter extraordinaire) who blogs often on Very Useful Subjects. This is one of them.

    Second stop: Diana Peterfreund’s post (on The Knight Agency blog) about Writing a Series
    Diana’s own blog is a daily stop for me. She doesn’t shy away from controversy, so things can get lively–which I like. She also does an excellent job of explaining this business. Check out her posts on Primer Part one and Primer Part Two (Glossary). Excellent information and advice, as always.

    Third stop: Agent Jessica Faust blogs about the Bad Agent
    The Bookends, LLC blog has been up and running for a bit over a year now and it’s well worth spending some time digging through the archives. Recently, Jessica did a series of Query Critiques (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. wrap-up, and follow-up).

    Fourth stop: Ever wonder who reps who?
    Querytracker.net purports to have the answer and so far–from what I know–they seem to have it right. There’s also a system of tracking queries built into the site that I haven’t looked in to, but I know some people who have and they like it. Even without that function, when querying an agent you really need to know at least some of who their other clients are.

    Just a note, if you stop by someone’s blog and you enjoy the entry, leave a comment. If you really enjoy the entry, buy their book. 😉

    That’s it for this month. I hope you enjoyed the ride!


    Somehow, Gina manages to work some writing time in around her internet adventures. In addition to posting here, she blogs on The Gina Channel, Romancing the Skein, and Title Wave.

    And yes, her computer screen really has burned itself into her glasses.

    Author Details
    Author Details
    A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.

    #Me Too

    Buy now!
    #Me Too

    A LADY’S POINT OF VIEW

    Buy now!
    A LADY’S POINT OF VIEW

    A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

    Buy now!
    A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS
    BECKONED, PART 1: FROM LONDON WITH LOVE

    CITY OF BLAZE

    Buy now!
    CITY OF BLAZE

    COME FLY WITH ME

    Buy now!
    COME FLY WITH ME

    COWBOY KARMA

    Buy now!
    COWBOY KARMA

    DANGER MUSIC

    Buy now!
    DANGER MUSIC
    FATHOMS: A NOVEL OF THE PARANORMAL

    FREYA Viking Glory Book Two

    Buy now!
    FREYA Viking Glory Book Two
    FUR, FEATHERS AND SCALES: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Animal Tales

    GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS

    Buy now!
    GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS

    GIRL IN THE MIST

    Buy now!
    GIRL IN THE MIST

    HAGAR’S LAST DANCE

    Buy now!
    HAGAR’S LAST DANCE

    HOSTILE WITNESS

    Buy now!
    HOSTILE WITNESS

    ILONA’S WOLF

    Buy now!
    ILONA’S WOLF
    INTIMATE RELATIONS

    LEIF Viking Glory Book One

    Buy now!
    LEIF Viking Glory Book One

    LET IT SNOW

    Buy now!
    LET IT SNOW

    LOVE NOTES

    Buy now!
    LOVE NOTES

    SAVAGED SURRENDER

    Buy now!
    SAVAGED SURRENDER
    SNOW IN LOVE: Sweet Romance Holiday Collection

    STOLEN KISSES FROM THE VISCOUNT

    Buy now!
    STOLEN KISSES FROM THE VISCOUNT

    SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE

    Buy now!
    SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE
    THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN’S HOROSCOPE CAME TRUE

    THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR

    Buy now!
    THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR

    THE FIX UP

    Buy now!
    THE FIX UP

    THE GHOST OF DEPFORD HALL

    Buy now!
    THE GHOST OF DEPFORD HALL

    THE LIFE OF RILEY

    Buy now!
    THE LIFE OF RILEY

    THE ROGUE’S LAST SCANDAL

    Buy now!
    THE ROGUE’S LAST SCANDAL

    THE WOULD BE MOMMY

    Buy now!
    THE WOULD BE MOMMY
    THIEVES: Book One of the Obscurité de Floride Trilogy

    WELCOME TO LOON LAKE

    Buy now!
    WELCOME TO LOON LAKE
    WHO’S THE FAIREST? A Sisters Grimm Anthology
    #PLEASE SAY YES (#HermosafortheHolidays Book 1)

    CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN

    Buy now!
    CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN
    CHRISTMAS ON NANTUCKET AND OTHER STORIES

    CLEAR INTENT

    Buy now!
    CLEAR INTENT
    COLTON 911: CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE

    DARK WINE AT DUSK

    Buy now!
    DARK WINE AT DUSK

    DEAD BLOW

    Buy now!
    DEAD BLOW

    FOR A GOOD PAWS

    Buy now!
    FOR A GOOD PAWS

    FREYA Viking Glory Book Two

    Buy now!
    FREYA Viking Glory Book Two

    GAME TOWN

    Buy now!
    GAME TOWN

    HAUNTING MISS FENWICK

    Buy now!
    HAUNTING MISS FENWICK

    HER COWBOY KING

    Buy now!
    HER COWBOY KING

    HIDDEN BETRAYAL

    Buy now!
    HIDDEN BETRAYAL

    HIS HIGHLAND SURPRISE

    Buy now!
    HIS HIGHLAND SURPRISE

    LEIF Viking Glory Book One

    Buy now!
    LEIF Viking Glory Book One
    LOST WITNESS: A Josie Bates Thriller
    OFF THE RAILS: A Collection of Weird, Wicked, & Wacky Stories

    ONCE UPON AN ENCHANTED FOREST

    Buy now!
    ONCE UPON AN ENCHANTED FOREST

    ONE TASTE TOO MANY

    Buy now!
    ONE TASTE TOO MANY

    REWRITING THE PAST

    Buy now!
    REWRITING THE PAST
    SERIOUSLY, MOM, YOU DIDN’T KNOW?

    SHADOWS AT DAWN

    Buy now!
    SHADOWS AT DAWN
    SHORT and SWEET’S FAMILY ALBUM

    THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT

    Buy now!
    THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT

    THE CONSPIRACY

    Buy now!
    THE CONSPIRACY

    THE DECEPTION

    Buy now!
    THE DECEPTION

    THE DEVIL’S CARESS

    Buy now!
    THE DEVIL’S CARESS

    THEIR HIGHLAND BEGINNING

    Buy now!
    THEIR HIGHLAND BEGINNING

    THE MASK OF MIDNIGHT

    Buy now!
    THE MASK OF MIDNIGHT

    THE OBLIVIOUS BILLIONAIRE

    Buy now!
    THE OBLIVIOUS BILLIONAIRE
    THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIDGE, NEW YORK, 1930
    THE WITCHES OF NEW MOON BEACH BOXED SET

    THE WITCH OF BERGEN

    Buy now!
    THE WITCH OF BERGEN

    THE WORTH OF A VISCOUNT

    Buy now!
    THE WORTH OF A VISCOUNT

    TRACKING SHADOWS

    Buy now!
    TRACKING SHADOWS

    TWO BITES TOO MANY

    Buy now!
    TWO BITES TOO MANY
    WINTER WISHES: A REGENCY HOLIDAY ROMANCE ANTHOLOGY

      ×
      A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.

      with Gina Black

      This month on CyberTalk we’re going on fieldtrips! But don’t worry, you can stay in your jammies; you don’t even need to brush your hair or pack a bag lunch; and you can bring the beverage of your choice (as long as you make it yourself).

      I’ve got my tea. Is everybody ready? Mouses and trackballs set to go?

      First stop: The Crusie-Mayer 2007 Online Workshop
      This workshop has been going since January, never fear you can catch up whenever you want and there’s no homework! The link above takes you to a syllabus for the class, which is being given by Jennifer Crusie and her writing partner, Bob Mayer. Both of them are wonderful teachers. Whether you are a newbie or have been writing for a very long time, it’s worth checking this out. (And, yes, I did post about this once before but it’s worth a second plug.) A recent post on subplots was something I’ve needed to read for a long time.

      Second stop: OCC Pro Page
      Are you are an OCC member interested in becoming a Pro? The instructions for what you need to do is on that page. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact me (and yes, my contact information is also on that page). You may also wish to visit the National site for more Pro information (you will need to log in to access the page).

      Third Stop: the Urban Dictionary
      Are you writing a contemporary? Do you want to use slang but feel like yours is out of date? (Or do you have teenagers and find that they’re speaking another language?) Check out the urban dictionary; it’s a goldmine. One caveat: definitions are added by anyone who wants to, so you can’t trust them all. Still, it’s the most up-to-date collection of slang I’ve found on the internet. A bonus is that each day they post a word and it’s definition. Here’s a recent entry:

      The post-drunken, post-tipsy state at which the removal of clothing begins.

      Brian: Jen, where’s your shirt?
      Jen: I don’t know; last night I got a little stripsy…

      Fourth Stop: the Visual Thesaurus
      The Visual Thesaurus is one of the most amazing word-tools I’ve found on the internet. Yes, you need to purchase a subscription, but if you don’t have one, you can look up a word or two on each visit and sometimes that’s all it takes. Instead of presenting word suggestions in paragraphs as they are in most standard thesauri, the word you input connects to other words through outward radiating lines. Click on the word suggestions and it will give you a definition, and also become the center of a new visual display. Try it!

      Getting tired? Okay, only one more adventure . . . once you get there you can sit back, close your eyes, and listen to . . .

      Fifth Stop: Grammar Girl
      These podcasts are usually under five minutes and usually well worth the time. You will have the option of subscribing through iTunes (which is what I do), listening on the page, or reading the week’s entry.

      I hope you enjoyed this month’s foray!


      Somehow, Gina manages to work some writing time in around her internet adventures. In addition to posting here, she blogs on The Gina Channel, Romancing the Skein, and Title Wave.

      And yes, her computer screen really has burned itself into her glasses.

      Author Details
      Author Details
      A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.

      #Me Too

      Buy now!
      #Me Too

      A LADY’S POINT OF VIEW

      Buy now!
      A LADY’S POINT OF VIEW

      A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

      Buy now!
      A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS
      BECKONED, PART 1: FROM LONDON WITH LOVE

      CITY OF BLAZE