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Monday, December 15, 2014

Back It Up

I wrote this post back in the summertime. Hope it’s helpful!


I used to refer to my laptop as ever faithful, but recently my ever-faithful laptop made a liar out of me.

I was in the middle of working on a printing project and got a little distracted. I stepped away for a minute and when I came back to finish working, my ever faithful fell asleep.

I went to wake it up, but nothing. Dead asleep. I held down the power button and still nothing. Nada. Totally knocked out.

Not good.

I swallowed hard, dismissing the thought today may very well be the last day I see my ever faithful power up.

I took a deep breath and thought about how it survived two drownings and then some. Yes, two. 

I thought for sure she had at least seven more lives left. At least.

My mischievous little son who was a toddler at the time, drowned my ever faithful with a water house in the backyard. 

But miraculously, despite the drench, she revved up back to life.

*NEVER trust a toddler with a hose no matter how far away they are*

A few years later, my son knocked over a glass of water and again, drowned my poor baby.

But she never let me down.

Not until now.

Long story short. We tried everything. Powering it down by holding the power button for minutes at a time — taking out the battery, etc. Anything and everything you can think of.

So why am I sharing this all to you?

Because even though I lost my baby, even though I lived through a writer's worst nightmare, a glimpse of light still glowed through that dark tunnel.

Two words: Back Up.
No excuses.

Okay, four words. Four REALLY important words.

I feared this day from the first day I started writing. And because of my fears I made certain to back up my work everywhere possible.

I'd email myself the latest copy of each of my novels.

I'd then upload them to the free version of Dropbox.

Then I'd save them to an external hard drive.

And lastly, I always made certain I renewed CrashPlan (a paid cloud storage).

This all kept me from losing all my stuff, but it was still a HUGE nightmare to get everything straightened out.

The most important thing is to get a cloud storage back up because no matter what, it's never any fun to lose important documents and precious pictures.


Along with all the things I've done above, here are a few things I wished I would have taken care of as well:


Bookmarks- I lost mine. All of them. It's best to import them while you can and make note of your favorite sites.

Pictures- Make sure you are saving them in a cloud storage and external hard drive or even a flash drive as well for more added confidence.

I did transfer everything to a flash drive years ago, but I am still not certain if I have all my pics. Having everything organized regularly will definitely help with reassurance.

Organize, organize, organize, and make 100% certain you are backing up everything you can't live without.


Music/iTunes
I completely lost ALL my playlists. Every one of them. It still hurts thinking about it. All those years creating lists after lists and now they're gone.

One way to protect your playlists is to purchase Match and sync to your other devices. An iCloud also can keep it in tact. I have no idea what happened, but hope it doesn't happen to you.

Last year, I took the time to burn some of my playlists on CDs just in case, but I didn't burn all of them. You can also create screen shots and place them in folders for secure keeping. At least then you will know the order of the songs.

Sticky Notes
Keep a copy of all treasured notes as well. I had some To Do Stickies that I kept with important links and they are all gone as well.

External Hard Drive
When I transferred my files from my online storage cloud, all my files merged together. A few things I could’ve done here that would’ve made life a little more bearable:

#1, I could’ve taken the time to make folders in my external hard drive and sort ALL my files. ALL files not just some. It’s a nightmare when everything merges together.

And please be sure to update files with proper titles.

Do not use the same characters.

Years and years ago, I’d capitalize the title and add hyphens for an easy search. i.e. ---My Awesome Novel---


My best advice for this technique? PLEASE drop the hyphens (or any similar distinct text) and lowercase the title before moving to a folder.

Only have your CURRENT work with distinct text such as the hyphens and keep the current title uppercased. Otherwise if your PC crashes like mine did and all the files go into one place you won't be left trying to figure out which is the newest version. I’d search for hyphens and come up with old several old drafts. I hadn’t realized I never changed it.

*Nightmare alert*

And yes, there's a way to look up Properties but trust me, it's much less complex to just keep it all 100% organized.

So take the time and clean up.

Delete stuff you don't need and rename files as needed.

Don’t be a rat pack. Yes, I'm talking to you, Hoarders.:D

PLEASE, PLEASE whatever you do BACK IT UP!!!



Monday, December 8, 2014

Enter to Win a FREE EDIT!


Photo by The Manuscript Maven



Feeling lucky?

The fabulous, Sharon Mayhew has launched her own editing services over at The Manuscript Maven and is graciously doing a drawing for one winner!

One lucky winner will receive the choice of a 250 words of a picture book, a query letter, or first 500 words of a manuscript, line edits, and critique.

Sharon worked on my children’s book Broken Heart with me and I just loved her insight!

Winner will be announced after January 7th, 2014.

Please leave a comment with your name and email below if you would like a chance to win!

Good luck!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!



Have an AMAZING one!! XO

Friday, November 21, 2014

Heart Love, Prayers & Support For Baby Blog Hop

PLEASE PRAY for Baby Thad and help any way you can. This little guy has a very special place in my heart. Not only did he have the same congeintal heart defect as I did (I had PAVR, he had TAVR) but he's a heart surgery survivor. But he now needs a new pair of lungs and medical treatment.

I just created a Heart Love, Prayers & Support page HERE. Please Like and support. 

Click HERE to read his heart story. 

His beloved mother Lacey Boldyrev and family need all the support they can get. Please show some #HeartLove and pass this along and spread the word!! 

Thank you!

Lacey's Post: 
"I'm not very good at accepting help of any kind...but I'll happily take a prayer, a happy thought sent to the universe, some distant reiki. Anything."

 **Fellow authors. PLEASE SHARE*

Monday, October 20, 2014

Where's Lenny Birthday Bash!





HAPPY 15th BIRTHDAY TO LENNY LEE! 
We hope you are having an amazing birthday! 
We miss your sunshine filled blog posts. 
We are all sending you lots of love, hugs, and sunshine. 


To send Lenny a birthday wish please leave a comment. 
To learn more about the amazing Lenny and get to know him 
better visit him at Lenny's World HERE.

To learn more about Lenny's Birthday Bash click HERE

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DUDE!!! XO

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

THE NEW GONZO THE CURIOUS CAT IS FINALLY HERE!



GONZO THE CURIOUS CAT IS NOW AVAILABLE! 



Please Share/Spread the word. J Thank you for all your support.

Inspired by my brother-in-law who survived many misadventures and lived to tell the tale. 

Illustrated by the amazing MJ Daley-Prado.

Paperback now available HERE

Kindle now available HERE



Gonzo is a curious cat who lives on Farmer Louie's farm.

As he learns the many lessons of life by his misadventures, he is often reminded of Farmer Louie's motto, "Safety First."

Farmer Louie always knew that Gonzo's curiosity and adventurous personality would one day get him into trouble.

But when Gonzo finds himself lost in an unfamiliar place, he discovers the true meaning of why it is important to be extra careful and less curious.
Will Gonzo find the special gift he is searching for while lost?

Come join the fun and meet all the playful barnyard friends, Gonzo the Curious Cat, and Farmer Louie. 


Learn what friendship and safety can bring.

BOOK TRAILER:

Gonzo the Curious Cat


Monday, June 23, 2014

Welcome Dianna T. Benson



       Welcome Dianna!

Super congrats on your latest release, Final Trimester. Your medical background certainly brings your books to life! Let's talk a little about what you do when you're not writing. I love writers who are able to incorporate their professions into their writings. It makes their stories so true to life.

How did the idea for Final Trimester come about?

Being an EMT and a Haz-Mat and FEMA Operative for a decade, I naturally implement my firsthand medical and rescue knowledge and experience into all my books. The idea for the killer’s character in Final Trimester sprouted to development the first month I worked in EMS due to an actual individual I encountered. I’m fascinated by intense human behavior that causes extreme chaos and destruction, and I love to see people step out of their comfort zones to stop that destructive person, no matter how difficult the task.   
   


How long did it take you to write it?

I started writing Final Trimester (my sixth completed book) the summer of 2007 and finished January 2009. At that time, that was the fastest I’d ever completed a book, and I did so since I was agented and my agent was eager to submit it out. 

My first release, The Hidden Son, was my fifth complete novel and took many years to write (just like the four books before it). Now that I’m under publishing contract with planned release dates, I must complete a new book – start to finish – in nine months.
 

Any writing tips? Writing rituals that helped you get going?

For the best answer on this, view my WRITING page on my website: www.diannatbenson.com


How long was your road to publication? And how did you deal with rejection?

I started writing my first book in 1993. After completing five books, I signed with my agent in 2007. Six agents offered me representation that spring; it was difficult to choose between them since all six are top-notch agents.



Fall of 2007, a film agent requested a screenplay of The Hidden Son after reading the book. In early 2009, just a few weeks before I finished writing the script, the film agent suddenly retired due to health issues. I never pursued anything further with the screenplay and focused back on novel writing.



Later in 2009, I was offered a four-book mainstream contract, but my husband was just diagnosed with head and neck cancer, so I turned it down to focus on our young family of five. During his treatments and surgery, I read inspirational suspense for comfort and support. I then wrote my first inspirational suspense and loved the genre. In 2011, I won the Genesis in the mystery/suspense/thriller category.



In February 2012, I had contract offer from B&H, a large traditional publisher. My contract was pending for thirteen weeks due to the publishing house facing difficulties (less than a year later they permanently discontinued their fiction department). Less than a month after my B&H contract fell through, Ellechor Publishing House, a small traditional publisher, contacted me and requested me to submit to them. Within days of doing so, they offered me a nine-book contract. 

What an awesome story! And I just love how you are able to add your experience into your books.
    
Where can we learn more about you?




Dianna T. Benson


Dianna Torscher Benson is a 2014 Selah Award Winner, a 2011 Genesis Winner, a 2011 Genesis double Semi-Finalist, a 2010 Daphne de Maurier Finalist, and a 2007 Golden Palm Finalist. In 2012, she signed a nine-book contract with Ellechor Publishing House. She’s the author of The Hidden Son, her debut novel. Final Trimester is her second release. 

After majoring in communications and a ten-year career as a travel agent, Dianna left the travel industry to earn her EMS degree. An EMT and a Haz-Mat and FEMA Operative since 2005, she loves the adrenaline rush of responding to medical emergencies and helping people in need.
Dianna lives in North Carolina with her husband and their three children. 



Final Trimester 
Book One in the Quigley Triplets Series


by

Dianna T. Benson



Paramedic Jodi Duncan recognizes the work of a serial killer before the Myrtle Beach PD even suspects a connection between the deaths of two pregnant women. Despite the vast differences in the two cases, Jodi urges Detective Nate Quigley to think outside the box. After digging deep into the separate investigations, Nate finds no evidence to support a serial killer theory, and he warns Jodi to back off police business, which only fuels her passion for the cases.

When a third pregnant woman is murdered, Nate is named lead detective on the case and works to link the deaths in order to unmask and stop the serial murderer, a disturbed man who believes God and the devil battle inside his head to bend him according to their wills. As he fights both voices, his interest fixates on Jodi when he discovers her obsession with ending his rampage.