That awful moment when…

It’s all very well being virtuous and self-satisfied about getting rid of things, about tidying up, about throwing out objects you’ve held onto for sentimental reasons… it’s all very well, until it seems that in your zeal you have thrown out the wrong thing!! I have had just such a heart-stopping moment… but fortunately, all is well…

I am making a real effort to clear out a lot of accumulated stuff I have held on to for sentimental reasons, and I guess a sort of practical reason too – it might come in handy, it might be useful one day, someone I know might want it… But with most of those  items, if they are got rid of in error, it is usually possible to find a replacement.

As well as tidying, sorting, clearing out and throwing out physical objects, I periodically go through my photos here on the computer, and my writings, and my other documents. I rearrange, consign to the trash folder, delete. I accidentally ‘lost’ several years’ worth of photos by ‘tidying’… I was annoyed in a rather gloomy way, but tried to be philosophical about it.

Yesterday I published my latest novel, the fourth part of my stories of Thomas Radwinter and his genealogical investigations; so today, wondering what I would move onto next with my writing I was looking through my files here on the computer. I do have another Thomas story, but I’m not going to continue with that yet, nor publish it next. My next novel will be one I wrote over the last few years, and atypical of my usual work it is very long, and I guess would be called a family saga… Maybe I should break it into three parts, maybe I should publish it as one long, very long novel… Looking at other long novels in comparison, it’s not as long as ‘War and Peace’ but it’s longer than ‘Crime and Punishment’… so I have written an awful lot of words, and although I know a lot will be cut out, maybe as many as 10%, it still will be a long novel…

So… this morning I decided to have a little look at my long novel, Lucky Portbraddon – which is complete, by the way. I called it up and had a quick glance, and then decided to checkout the ending as endings are always very tricky… and… no! NO! NOOOOOO!!!! I hadn’t got all of the story, about a third was missing! It was originally written on another computer, and I had to transfer it (now my work is all in the cloud, which I hope will be safer) but somehow the last third was missing!

I had a mental slump… and then remembered I had printed it off, to read as a hard copy… it would be onerous, but I could retype the last part, maybe correcting and editing as I go. I found the hard copy, but that too was incomplete. I went back to the computer and looked through my other files, and then, under a completely different title, there it was, and there it was complete!

Oh the relief! I have now resaved it, all 270,000 odd words of it, and will have a proper look at it… soon!

I came across a list of the word count in famous novels, and I pulled out novels I have actually read:

95,022 – The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien
107,349 – Gullivers Travels, Jonathan Swift
107,945 – Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
109,571 – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
135,420 – A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
138,087 – Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe
138,098 – Snow Falling on Cedars, Guterson, David
138,138 – 20000 Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne
155,960 – Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
156,154 – Watership Down, Richard Adams
161,511 – Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier
169,481 – The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinback
174,269 – Catch-22, Joseph Heller
183,349 – Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
183,858 – Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
198,901 – A House for Mr. Biswas, V.S. Naipaul
206,052 – Moby Dick, Herman Melville
208,773 – Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie
211,591 – Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
225,395 – East of Eden, John Steinbeck
316,059 – Middlemarch, George Eliot
349,736 – Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
418,053 – Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
455,125 – The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien
587,287 – War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy

Well, at the moment, Lucky Portbraddon comes somewhere between East of Eden and Middlemarch… in terms of words at least!

Here is a link to my latest novel, Beyond Hope:



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