Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How Google Drive Saved My Life

Last month robbers broke into our home while we were at work. They wore black hoodies and the hoods hung over and concealed their faces. My neighbor, who watched the whole thing, said, “You couldn’t tell if they were black or Mexican or white.” They drove up in a black sedan. A tall thin one--probably a woman--went to the front door and knocked while a stocky guy looked through our garage window. Once it was established that no one was home, the stocky guy went to the front door and with practiced efficiency put a shoulder into it hard enough to break the frame. They took my laptop, my PS3, a lockbox containing a pocket watch that belonged to my grandfather, and a bunch of games and movies.

I can live without all that stuff. It’s a bummer, but I’ll live. But the laptop is where I write my stories...years and years of work on the hard drive...losing that would be like losing years of my life. Okay, I’m not a fool, I have everything backed up in multiple places. But what about the work I’d done since the last remote backup? I was lost; I didn’t know how long ago I’d done the backup. I knew I’d never be able to reconstruct what I’d lost; it would all have to be reimagined. And how many things would I think I’d done, but had actually disappeared with my computer?

But my daughter told me I should be using Google Drive some months ago. Have I told you how much I love my little girl?

I lost nothing. Not one paragraph, sentence, word or period. I bought a new laptop and, after installing Google Drive, I’m right back to where I was. So if you are a writer I’d highly recommend Google Drive, Apple’s iCloud, or Microsoft’s SkyDrive. I’m not saying that you should back up your files to the cloud...I’m saying you should work in the cloud. Your backup files should be on your computer or external drive. The cloud is where your files should live.

Another lesson I learned that can be applied to my writing: people’s actions are sometimes unexplainable. My neighbor is a good guy. Let’s call him Bob. A couple times my dog has gotten out and Bob has brought her home. We’ve had many long conversations. I went to his wife’s funeral. I admit I can’t say I know all my neighbors, but I know Bob, and I trust him. But on the day of the robbery I guess Bob just wasn’t thinking straight. When he saw the robbers breaking in, he tried to call my other neighbor because he didn’t have my number. Yes, instead of dialing 9-1-1 Bob called my other neighbor (who coincidentally was out of town on a business trip). Later Bob told me and the policewoman, “I didn’t know if they might be people you know.”  Hmmm....

Maybe there is a reason that ‘truth is stranger than fiction.’ Maybe it is because stories need to be believable...they need to have that Discovered Story feel in order to be enjoyed. Real life—truth—doesn’t have to be believable. It just is.

#GoogleDrive #SkyDrive #iCloud