The computer was frozen. I shut it down, and, lo and behold, it wouldn't reopen. Perhaps the loneliest sound of silence in the world is your faithful laptop not making a 'bong' noise. no half-eaten fruity logo, just alarming whirring and click-click sounds. Saturday night, not alright.
I phoned my ex - husband in New York State. His very patient wife took him away from the barbeque to speak to this deranged woman in London. Trying to keep calm, I told him what happened. i should say the ex is very good with computers. It's the one thing we communicate well on. Silence down the phone is a very bad sign.
'Close it,' he said, with measured patience. 'Get it to an expert, it sounds serious.'
'Oh, dear, no, this is what happens to other people, surely not me? I renew my laptop every eighteen months for goodness sake!'
The long story short of it was that two experts later, and a very nice recovery service in Letchworth who couldn't recover the work, I realised that I hadn't finished the book and without the end there is no novel.
I'm very glad to say that the laptop was replaced but as good as a brand new laptop is - albeit with a slightly too stiff trackpad (whoops, that sounds like a complaint) - I was without the last five chapters which needed to be done again, and fast. Funny as it may sound, my mind had gone blank, a sort of nothingness of nothingneness.
I took to walking, eating, and now have half a stone to lose and a book that although I have rewritten the last five chapters, is not quite right.
Never mind I like a challenge.
Moral of the story? Well, the bit about the computer is: yes, I know, back up all the time. I'm thinking about having two laptops, but can't work out if that's a good idea or not.
I haven't done a blog before. It's a bit odd and I'm not really sure who the heck would be interested in what I have to say, but I am told that someone is, so for that someone out there hope you enjoy reading this.
I would like to also say how very chuffed I am as I have been shortlisted for the 2008 Book trust teenage prize. I feel it is a great honour considering the amount of wonderful books there are out there.
A big thank you to all the judges who put me there.
This week I will be attending the Bath Festival of children's literature on Wednesday 24th September which I am looking forward to a lot.
If you would like to find out more here's a link