Monday, March 7, 2011

Heaven Smells Like This; blog rec; my writing has left the building

I have mentioned many times how much I love entering used book stores. The smell, the smell of an old book...

"Lignin, the stuff that prevents all trees from adopting the weeping habit, is a polymer made up of units that are closely related to vanillin. When made into paper and stored for years, it breaks down and smells good. Which is how divine providence has arranged for secondhand bookstores to smell like good quality vanilla absolute, subliminally stoking a hunger for knowledge in all of us."

Why secondhand bookstores smell good
Perfumes: The Guide (via YMFY)
And via Bookshelf Porn, a site which never fails to make me fall in love, over and over again.


Jenny Dreadful has a new blog. She writes great stuff. Visit her and read her opening salvo. I hope we can convince her to play at the Feardom. :) That's me, always conniving. Hey, the more, the more horrifying, I always say.


You may have heard via my tweets yesterday (all of which, it seems, ended in an emoticon sad face) that my USB no longer works. It is the only place I have my writing stored. The only. Place.

There are two novels in progress, one novella, five finished short stories that haven't been submitted anywhere yet, a couple dozen unfinished that I work on in bits and pieces, and numerous failed attempts at this writing thing. I am even despondent for the failures.

I have pulled myself together and am now hoping that two people who have stepped forward offering hope will be able to help me fix this. So I am strapping on my warrior's breastplate (it's actually just pages of The Return of the King taped together, but don't tell anyone) and getting down to business.


  1. How awful! I hope you will be able to get your USB (whatever that is) fixed! (I surrender to your superior geekiness!) I guess it may be time to start having redundant files.

    So that's why used book stores smell sensual to me, and Borders... meh. Our local mall had a used book fair for a charity this past weekend. Any place that didn't have a kiosk had a long table crammed with books. Sorted by category. And the mall was crowded with fellow readers, which I was glad to see, in spite of my dislike of crowds. I was in heaven! Made about four trips out to the car to stow books in the boot. They have it every year, and I consider it my high holiday.

  2. USB: flash drive, thumb drive, whatever people like to call them. Dead. Ded ded ded. :(

    I always wondered why, exactly, old books smell good and new books don't smell much at all. Even at those book fair at malls, you can smell them. Which makes me wonder when our annual one is again... but I think it's not until August. And isn't it amazing how many people show up for those things? Sure, you've got to elbow your way down the table, but it's worth it. Hope you got some great reading.

  3. Oh God, Becky, you had all that work stored just on USB? I pray someone can retrieve it, but next time please save on USB, on DVD, online and print it too. Pretty please.

    When I'm in the process of writing (alas, not at the moment) I mail the successive drafts to myself. It's quick and easy.

    I'm so sorry this happened.

    And I have so much to catch up on, I haven't even read yet the Death series.

    The vanilla - yes, it's in the wood, that's why barrel matured wines smell of vanilla, especially if they're young (in that case, one should wrinkle one's nose and say with faint disapproval, "a strong vanilla note" = "your wine is much too young, my good man.")

    Speaking of scents, I have created a perfume for you, only to find out that I'm not allowed to send perfumes to the USA. Grrr. I'll have to spray it on a handkerchief and hope that does pass.

    Am I allowed to hug? Yes, I am. *hugs tight*

  4. My writing is my soul´s heartblood, at least that´s what it feels like. That USB Will Work!

    I´m checking out Miss Dreadful.

  5. Technically, I had some of it stored on another USB. However, that USB started misbehaving last year, so I bought a new one (this one which has just died) and copied everything over. I just managed to get the old USB to work, finally, and there is some work there. The last is from August '10, and I've copied that to an external hard drive.

    Oh, technology. Woe, technology.

    And yes, Brian bought me the external hard drive a year ago so I could back everything up. I just... never thought about it, I guess.

    Mailing myself, though -- now that is a stupendous idea. I will do that from now on.

    And I have now memorized those lines about vanilla, barrels, and young wines. Memorized. :)

    Created a perfume? For me? I'm... dazzled! Spray it on a handkerchief, yes! I love perfume, and I'm so very intrigued right now. This really makes my day so much better, I can't even tell you.

    BTW, at least "The Bee and Moth" was printed at MJ Solender's NOT. My one salvation, sort of, is that some of my work has been published and is out there. It's the in-progress stuff that hurts.

  6. Asuqi: I think you will really like J. Dreadful. We need to encourage her. :)

  7. I have not a speck of professionalism and will happily admit I just pooped myself due to the words of R.S. Bohn. Thank you.

    (And for the love of any god, PLEASE start backing your work up.)

  8. JD: I WILL.

    Remember I said that the next time I'm crying that I lost all my work. :)

  9. You just can't beat the smell of books and bookshops, Rebecca. Sadly though, there are very few left here.

    Thanks for the blog rec, although Jenny's eyes stare right into your soul!! I swear she could read my mind.

    Back-up, back-up, back-up!!! I save my work to my laptop, then a flash drive and then an external hard-drive. I'm sure your writing will be retrievable. When it is, look after it!

    Take care.

  10. I'm a USB-er too - so now I'm scared. The majority of my WIP's though, are in the freakish thing called "the cloud", spread between Google Docs and "My Writing Nook". (That one's good, as you can mail a back-up to your e-mail with the press of a button) I occasionally also burn everything to a CD (which I promptly lose.)

    Thanks for the rec. on Jenny's blog. (What a pen name - makes you immediately wish you'd thought of it!)

  11. David, I find that strange that there are few bookshops there. Besides the chains, I've got a number of used bookstores in a ten mile radius that I love. I'd be sad without them.

    Chris -- A computer guy says that USBs are not to be trusted as indefinite back-up, and that they work until -- I quote -- they don't. So we must back-up. I've heard of this cloud... I'm intrigued, but so awful at new things. In general. I'm a curmudgeon. And coincidentally, I also have around here, somewhere, a number of CD's which are now lost!

    I thought the same thing about Jenny's pen name. Damn! Wish I'd thought of it!

  12. Good luck recovering the stories off the USB. I've lost too many hard drives (and writing that wasn't printed to hardcopy :( so started using DropBox for storing my writing.

  13. I was also printing things and saving them, but stopped a few months ago. I'll start doing that now as well.

    DropBox: Just checked it out. Perfect. When I get home tonight, I'll install it, and hopefully the computer guy can get my writing back and then I'll start putting files there.

  14. If you do decide to use DropBox and haven't already signed up, you can use this link "" which will give you an extra 250 MB of space free (they also give me an extra 250 MB of space as well). If you want to get a share link from someone else, it isn't a big deal to me since I don't come close to using all of the space they give me.

  15. How bloody annoying. I'm crap at backing stuff up - what a lesson for us all; sorry for your loss, as they say.

    Love the smell of old bookshops; until the late 1980s we used to have two opposite each other in the 18th century part of town. They were both magickal and musty. Books would - I kid you not - fall off the shelves for me and hubby including the rare Mutus Liber and other similar titles.

    I could live in Carlos Ruis Zaphon's Sempere & Son bookshop in Barcelona, from The Angel's Game.

    So glad Jenny D dropped in on The Feardom - going to explore her blog right now...

  16. Aidan--I'll definitely use the link. I held off last night, thinking someone was going to fix the problem first, but that didn't pan out. So I'm giving it one last try (restoring my work), and whether or not it's successful, I'm hooking up with DropBox.

    It looks similar to Carbonite, but C wants at least $55 a year. Thank you so much.

    Lily--The "we used to have" part is sad, because those shops sound absolutely divine. I was practically salivating, reading that. Going to Google Sempere and Son right now, as I'm drawing a blank.