Friday, March 2, 2012

Somebody Kidnapped Nelly-Belle


I've been writing a novel for the past two months, unmolested in my favorite library room. Here.



Returning home and after transporting hay to the stable, I forgot Nelly, my laptop, was in the backseat of my car. And late last night, somebody smashed in the window and took her. And when they took an old wheezing laptop, they took everything, everything.

I had written the best I had in me, the best I could squeeze out of my little mind, and someone is going to sell the shell, only the shell, according to the cops, for about $50.

And I told the cops, "Please, if you bust into some house and they're storing stolen computers, mine looks like she has a Bounty Paper Towel for a cover. Green squiggles and things. She's huge, and ugly, and if you see her, I want her back."

I'll never get her back, I know that. I just don't know how I can write again what I lost. It was better than me, much better than me. I know you wouldn't expect the words "dry" and "erotic" to add up. But they did.

I was just so proud of it, of what I had written. And it's gone.

And this all reminds me of what I told my friend Oscar, when Apple was $25 a share, "We should buy, we really should. Now." And for some reason or another, we forgot to do so.

27 comments:

Ms M said...

Oh, I am so sorry to hear this happened! Perhaps by some miracle, the thieves will toss it out as too old, and it will be found and returned to you. One can hope....

Petrea Burchard said...

Oh, Karin. I'm sorry.

You're wrong, you know. It was not the best you had in you. There's more where that came from and you can write it.

I'm still sorry, though. I think the loss would feel awful.

When you get your new computer you don't have to have an extra computer to back up on. Get yourself a free email account, like Gmail. At the end of each writing day, email your work to yourself and archive it. All safe.

Bellis said...

I'm so sad that this has happened. It's like losing your baby - not the computer, but what you created on it. We got a taste of it on this blog a while back, and it was darned good.

I've heard from others that had losses like this that it's not as hard to write the whole thing again as it was to write it in the first place.

I hope there's a special place in hell for petty thieves who do this to other people.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

I can imagine the anguish u felt...but I can also see from what you are feeling now, that whatever you do start writing about may very well be better than what you had stored...Who knows, keep some positive thoughts and maybe that laptop will make its way back.

Mister Earl said...

So sorry, Karin. You may get it back, who knows?

Emailing to an external account is a good idea, and I think there are just online places where you can backup your computer and store whole files. Also, you could get an external drive for $100 or even a thumb drive for a lot less. Just make sure you store your drives in separate places.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

ouch
anger
ouch
grief
ouch

I get it. The seed stage. The place your at where your in love........

Trish said...

may there be a repeating spate of itchy, painful boils on the butt of whomever stole Nelly.

Petrea's got a great idea. Backup is good too---either a thumb drive or online backup---for when you start rewriting the great American novel.

I know you can and Albert Dammit will "help"!

Janet said...

Oh, Karin, that's a shame. When you do start writing it again it won't be exactly the same, but it will be at least as good. Definitely.

Banjo52 said...

To avoid hyperbole or my own hysteria, I'm trying not to use the word "tragic," but I'm coming up empty.

All these backup suggestion are good, and there's more novel where that one came from.

altadenahiker said...

Don't mind me, I was just rifling through the seven stages of grief and got stuck at bitter. Interesting that no matter what small disaster befalls my life, the Good Hands insurance folks seem to find a way to keep their hands uninvolved.

Katie said...

What an utter drag! So sorry to hear this news. May only horrible things happen to the person who stole your computer, and here's to the writing gods giving you the gift of your story back.

Paula said...

My way of saving my photos is to put them on an external hard drive so they're always with me. You already know how I feel about the robber.

sonia a. mascaro said...

Oh, Karin, I am so sorry to hear this happened... I am speechless...

Pat Tillett said...

That really sucks! I'm sorry to hear about that! I'm also sorry about the apple stock! I'm sure you got plenty more good stuff in you...

Mister Earl said...

Are the good hands people giving you the finger?

altadenahiker said...

I'm going to stop complaining as this is all over and done with now, except to say somehow my insurance policy has a special clause and deductible for glass that is broken when not in the service of an auto accident.

I never thought I'd say this, but I'd really like to have a long talk with an insurance agent.

Shell Sherree said...

I'm so sorry, KB. {And Petrea's very wise.} Ella's nickname is Ellie-Bells, by the way. Not that this trivia will help you to feel the teensiest bit better.

Anonymous said...

Make sure the police have the laptop serial number. You never know.

Margaret said...

That is indeed about as sad a story as any I've heard. I mourn your loss and your lost time. Can you rewrite? Will you?

-K- said...

Very sorry to hear about this, Karin.

Daisy Dog said...

OMG! how devastating I know I had a laptop stolen a few years back, all my photos, my writing, my life! It was stolen from my office, someone got in and took 5 laptops. A year later I had a call from Dell that someone was trying to get support with my serial number, they called me since my number was on the file, and the guy got caught, but my laptop didn't. I learned the hard lesson. The Phoenix will rise.

Daisy Dog said...

OMG! how devastating I know I had a laptop stolen a few years back, all my photos, my writing, my life! It was stolen from my office, someone got in and took 5 laptops. A year later I had a call from Dell that someone was trying to get support with my serial number, they called me since my number was on the file, and the guy got caught, but my laptop didn't. I learned the hard lesson. The Phoenix will rise.

Kelly said...

There is something about the act of thievery that is about more than the stolen object. It is violation at a deep level. I spent almost all night in the worst parts of downtown LA circa 1990 thinking if I looked hard enough, I would find the bag (containing my journal) that had been stolen from my car. It feels like there is an empty hole in my brain where those words once were.

altadenahiker said...

Yeah. It's not like you formed those words in your brain, first, and then put them down on paper or laptop or whatever. When my writing is going well, it feels almost like channeling or automatic writing, with little conscious involvement.

Jean Spitzer said...

Oh, no! I am so sorry.

TheChieftess said...

Well that just plain sucks! I second Trish's motion about itchy painful boils plague the thief!!!
I've been paranoid about losing my photos since I started this photography thing...at the photography program I went to in Covina they stressed backup, backup, backup....literally. They recommended three back ups...I have two external hard drives, carbonite off site storage (reasonable for a lot of storage), and I don't delete my photos from my memory cards. Yeah...I'm paranoid!!! Even so, I lost photos myself...trying to reorganize my non-system into an actual system!!! Once I'm actually organized, there won't be any photos on the actual computer, only my hard drives. The carbonite backs up the computer, not my photos.
You are an awesome writer and I also have not doubt that this is just a glitch in the process...you've got an awesome novel in you just waiting to come out!!!

Susan Campisi said...

Ugh. I am so sorry your work was lost. Stolen. Your work was stolen. That is such a shame.