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September 2013



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On Using Your Head While Working on the Computer...

Rachel PW5, originally uploaded by Cathy (Kate) Johnson.

A friend used to have as the title of his blog, "Don't let your mind wander..." I really should pay attention to that bit of advice.

Last night [info]kateslover had a meeting, and I'd thought about going out to sketch, but I was deep into working on the book. I just kept on--three illustrations and two small samples just yesterday. Hooray, PROGRESS.

I hadn't made as much of that as I wanted to, what with being sick, having a fever, and running around more than I usually do, but it felt GOOD making progress again, now that I'm much better.

So last night I also had the manuscript up in WordPerfect, doing a bit of editing and caption-writing and organizing at the same time, which I've been doing right along whenever I was at the computer. I deleted three or four illustrations from the original, replaced them with new work, and deleted the text that described the the discarded pieces. I hate wasted effort, so I pasted that text into a separate document in case I wanted to use it for something else, later.

After J. got home I continued to paint, tweaking a bit here and there, then finally decided to shut it down for the night.

That's where I made my big mistake. Somehow, do NOT ask me why, I just spaced. WP asked me if I wanted to save the document I put the notes in, and since I did, I said yes...and proceeded, somehow, to OVERWRITE THAT WHOLE SECTION OF THE BOOK I've been working on for months. So Part two--roughly a third of the book--was now 4 KB instead of close to 100.

OOOoooh, God! I was too stunned to cry, even. J. was wonderfully comforting, but that didn't bring back the document, of course.

Finally thought to check my external hard drive and thank all that's holy that I had, indeed, saved it there. September 27, but still...better than having to re-scan, re-OCR, and re-edit the ENTIRE thing.

The good news, of course, is that I'd been either sick or really busy in that time period, so I didn't get that much done. I lost a lot, but not as much as I might have. This version is up to caption #20 rather than the 53 captions I originally had, but it could have been much worse...

The moral to this story is BACK UP YOUR WORK. As in OFTEN. Heard that before? OH yeah. Now you're hearing it again.

Also, WP has an option of saving a backup copy...in theory, in any case it should be in there somewhere, with a .BK! extension instead of the usual .WPD. But if you've saved the original document, that copy goes away. I searched for anything with a .BK!, but nada...at least anything newer than months ago...

If you go into Tools/Settings/Files you can actually tell WordPerfect to save the original document as a backup. NOW I have it set to do that, and if you value your data, I encourage you to find that or a similar path in your own word processing program, and enable that option!

I didn't, of course, have it enabled. I also didn't have an unerase program on my computer, and I'm told if you install one now, you can never find your lost file. So back to the salt mines here, and hope that this happened for a reason. Maybe it'll be an even better book now..

"Don't let your mind wander..."



I'm so glad you were able to recover at least some of your work, I've done that and I did cry.

Beautiful portrait up top.
Thanks, girl, I guess I was too tired to cry! I'd hoped my WP guru could help, so I decided not to panic till I heard from him. Now I have, and nothing he suggested seems to be working, so I'm just biting the bullet and reconstructing...
what a wonderful artwork.
Thank you! I was trying out a different paper that doesn't allow you to lift as much as I'm used to, but it's got a nice texture...
Your image reminded me to ask you if there are any books that you'd recommend specifically for watercolour portraits, but also as a whole on technique, to someone who knows knows through her own self-discovery.
Hi Fin! Depends a lot on what style you like, but my favorite on WC portraits is an early one of Charles Reid's. Loose, fresh, but really GETS it...
loose and fresh are definitely keywords of the sort of style that I'm most fond of and would like to achieve. Thanks, I'll look him up!
Great, then you'll like him a lot!
oh, do you know I was poking around on my own on Amazon the other day, and was just going by the covers to try to determine which I wanted, and I did actually order his book! I just hadn't realised it because I didn't bother looking at the names or anything. Thanks again!
What a hoot! So I guess I did well, suggesting him! He's always been one of my favorites...



This portrait is stunning. So different from your usual work. Is it watercolor or acrylic?
I like the wax paper idea.


Thank you! It's watercolor, actually. It's easier to get rich dark color with acrylic, for some reason, but I went with the watercolor here...
Oh no, I am sorry to read you lost part of the work - and glad you were able to recover part of it. Yeah, lesson learned the hard way. *sigh

And I thought stuff was supposed to get easier as we got older *grin* but I'm still waiting!

I think I passed that "easier" bit, a while back. Thanks for the good thoughts, though!
Oh, no----just what you DON'T need and don't deserve!!! This whole editing and final pulling the book together process has been so stressful for you! I'm so sorry, Miss Kate---wish I could resuscitate what you've lost. I have to admit, though, that that painting of Rachel is so stunning that I had a hard time tearing myself away from it in order to read your post. Congratulations on a beautiful, beautiful job well done.
It really is a juggling act, yes! But I'm SO grateful it wasn't worse than it could have been...

And thank you, sweet...she's a beautiful girl, and her oldest sister, Ann, takes marvelous photos to work from!


sorry to hear about this ordeal, Kate!
Wishing both to you and your file - a speedy recovery :)

Re: ooooh

Thanks, Nina! We're both getting there... ;-)
Gorgeous portrait and background splotchiness!
Sorry about the wrong save button/timing. I think most of us do that once in a while... especially if that's not ALL we do. And I'd chalk it up to your recuperation, rather than a wandering mind!
I was juggling too much at once, you're right...I should know better, when I'm not at my peak, and PAY ATTENTION TO DETAILS.

And thank you!
Oooh, I HATE Word. I like "reveal codes" a lot, which Word doesn't have, or didn't last I tried it.

Actually WP does back things up, you just need not to write OVER them again. Which I did. If the power goes off, your document is still there and shows up as a backup when you turn it back on. I have it set to save something like every 15 minutes.