I’m wondering if I can write a book on an iPad. I think the answer is probably not.

I’ll skip most of the details, but my laptop’s hard drive appears to be dead. About 24 hours into the nightmare, I decided it might be time to give up on saving my files. Goodbye 80 zillion versions of A Gift of Time, goodbye my outline. Goodbye all my notes for A Lonely Magic, goodbye everything except the first thousand words of Akira’s trip to Belize. Goodbye Belize cover, goodbye…okay, then I decided that maybe it would be worth trying harder.

Another 6 hours, $60, massive frustration and — I admit it — a few tears, and it appears that not only my hard drive failed, my USB backup drive failed. That just kills me. Like… no. Just no, no, no.

It’s the kind of problem that under other circumstances I would just throw money at. Find a good IT guy — maybe the laptop place I used once before — and pay whatever it takes to see what he or she could do. I’m pretty sure that the hard drive at least has recoverable files. But I don’t have any money these days, so even though I can pretty much guarantee that I’m going to wind up spending something on this, I want it to be as sensible a spending as possible and that means thinking about it.

Password recovery over the next few weeks is going to be such a hassle. And A Gift of Time — well, I told R sometime yesterday afternoon that this was feeling like it, that this was simply not a project meant to be happen, and I should find out if McDonald’s is hiring, and he told me not to be stupid. I glared, he apologized and said what he had to say a little more politely. But the idea that I’m starting over again – this time not by choice — is… well, it doesn’t feel good. I know I can resurrect a lot. It wouldn’t be like starting at the very first word. But… maybe I’ll go watch TV for a while.