Monday, February 14, 2011

Saga of the Facebook Cat

A couple years ago we bought a hypoallergenic Siberian forest cat. Larisa had been a breeding queen for a cattery in Oregon. At age five she was spayed and offered for sale, and Art and I bought her because I've had cats for decades and Art is allergic to them, except for Larisa.

From the time we found out we'd be getting Larisa, until Day 62 of her residency in our home when she finally allowed us to touch her, I posted Facebook entries a couple of times a week about the progress we and she were making. Friends and family followed her story and made their comments online.

About a year ago I decided to write a piece called Facebook Cat that might be marketable to a periodical. So, during lunch hours at work, I went back in Facebook to those months, and copied and pasted the entries and the comments into a Word document. I emailed it to myself at my home address before I quit my job last June.

I kept the Facebook Cat draft on my computer desktop for months. One day I decided I wouldn't need it, so I deleted it. Then last weekend, when I was looking through a long list of writers markets for possible placement of another piece, I came upon a new cat magazine. On a whim, I typed up an email query and sent it off, offering Facebook Cat as a piece for the magazine.

Within 24 hours I got a response, requesting the article on spec. This was a very big deal. I've submitted a few queries over the last years and gotten polite rejections for stuff I'd written. But now I had an editor who was interested! I emailed her and said I'd get the piece to her as soon as possible.

So I went looking in my desktop Trash. No Facebook Cat. I looked in my backups for the last eight months. Nothing. I called my computer support guy. He said it should be there. I agreed. But it wasn't.

I spent about five hours yesterday on this quest. As a last resort, I sent an email this morning to the email expert at my old workplace, asking him if he'd be willing to go through my emails for last year, looking for emails from myself at work to myself at home. I haven't heard from him yet. But he's my last hope. At present, Facebook only allows you to look at a month of history, which is way out of range, since I need June to August of 2009 to start over.

Know the old saying? "There are two kinds of people in the world: people who have lost data, and people who will."

I hate it when that happens! I'm trying to think of how to explain to the editor I won't be submitting Facebook Cat because I can't find it.

12 comments:

Linda Reeder said...

Oh, bother! Did you get that sinking feeling of "Oh no, what have I done" when you discovered it was gone? Let us know it that one last hope pans out.

Teresa Evangeline said...

You'll find it. It's there.

Olga said...

Aargh!! They do always warn about being careful of what you put on e-mail, though, because it never goes away. I hope the workplace techie can help you out on this one. I shamelessly kept our computer support person supplied with quality chocolate to keep her on my side when needed.

Linda Myers said...

I also discovered, during my frantic search, that my online backup (as opposed to the external backup on my desk) wasn't set up correctly and has never backed anything up. It does now, today, but too late.

If he can't find the email I'll ask him to search the backup of my c: drive. I know it's there in backups at work.

Retired English Teacher said...

This is terrible. What online backup were you using? This message provides a word to the wise. I tend to trust that these things will never happen to me.

I hope you find it. It HAS to be out there somewhere.

DJan said...

You know if Facebook Cat showed a crime had been committed, somebody would surely be able to find it. I am crossing all my digits in hopes you find it. :-)

MerCyn said...

I am taking a creative writing course for 'seniors'. The prof is a wonderful young woman from the local college. She suggested all writers should set up a free email account and regularly send our stuff to ourselves and archive them. I am pulling for you - somewhere in cyberspace the article sits and hopefully you will be reunited...

marciamayo said...

my worst nightmare. I never throw anything away and when I do, I'm sorry.

Arkansas Patti said...

I am laughing at the truth of Djan's comment.
Also if it were some awkward moment you prayed would never resurface, it would-- repeatedly. I do hope you find it.
Any way to recreate it?

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Oh that's like the worst feeling ever! I hope you're able to resurect the Cat somehow, its very exciting to be accepted for publication. Could you toss it together again from memory alone? At least something that could be further edited for the mag?

maggie's garden said...

Hoping the best outcome for the FB Cat...Can you recreate it?

Barb said...

Is this why I can't ever trash anything that might remotely be of value some far-off day? I think the tech guy at work will find your manuscript. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.