In the chronology of my Spanish trip going haywire, the hard drive dying came on May 5, after me getting COVID and after the cat sitter locked herself out of my apartment, but before an airline kicked me out of the airport despite following all the recovery rules, and before the second airline lost my luggage.
The drive was a relatively new four-terabyte SSD, and 75% of its contents were the 100,000+ files that encompass the book: the writing, the high-resolution photos, the typesetting, the database of keyboard stuff, all the newsletters and various mini projects. It was all there until one moment, without any warning, it wasn’t.
I won’t keep you in unnecessary suspense: there was no real danger. I backed everything up just before I left, and even the hard-to-replace photos I took earlier on the trip were immediately duplicated into sets put in different wallets and suitcases.
Still. I’ve done a million small things during the trip’s quieter evenings – photo processing, minute adjustments, tiny rewrites, and so on – and the notion of having to redo all of them felt daunting. Besides, I wasn’t sure I kept track of them all, and it’s a really unpleasant feeling to face something not being done while remembering having done it. (Or, don’t ever let Schrödinger and Zeigarnik have a baby!)