The General State Of Things

Last Friday night, my private office was broken into and both of my primary work computers — one recent 27″ iMac, one brand-new 27″ iMac — were stolen. I’ve posted about this already on my facebook pages, but thought I should also share some of it here for readers of The Signal.

I have great gratitude for everyone expressing sympathy and helping spread the word about the computer theft. There are some good possibilities as to who took them, and so we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

Nothing changes for the StarChild Kickstarter. Other than design and layout work, we were also planning on rescanning much of the art during August, and the new scanner got here yesterday. We won’t miss a step. It’s still completely on schedule.

My writing laptop has all of my files up to last December, and so I’ve lost some work files, some writing files, a few personal files, like photos and videos – but not many, because I’ve deleted very little from my phone – and a bunch of really cool stuff I downloaded off of the internet that I now no longer have to organize.

I have some rewriting to do on the Fool’s Hollow books – but I still have Draft B (current to the end of June) and ALL of my notes, which are handwritten anyway. Put Ray Bradbury on an island with no typewriter and he’ll still be Ray Bradbury, and will write a new story with a stick in the sand. So some digital bits and bytes is about all I’ve lost workwise.

A lot of people have given excellent advice about data backups — but the primary loss is the two machines that are actually able to use it. The other extra computers can’t handle the current versions of the software — and even having a bit of extra scratch from the Kickstarter doesn’t mean I can easily replace two $2500 machines. We’ve been having a special sale of Pre-StarChild comics and prints, and between that and some very supportive friends, we’ll be able to cover the costs of getting new machines — but my main thinking about it all is this:

Several years ago, while on a family vacation, our van was broken into and a bunch of stuff was stolen, including some books and toys my kids bought with their own money. Later that day, after giving a list of stolen books to a bookstore, I saw a man in a wheelchair – his legs were missing below the knees – begging for money and we gave him all the change in the van and a bunch of greenbacks. The kids asked why I did that, and I told them it was for the good karma. Then they asked why the man was begging for money, and I explained that some people do that because they are sick, and want to buy stuff they’re addicted to, like drugs and alcohol; and others might do it because they can’t work, like that man without legs, and maybe they have kids at home who are cold and hungry and they have no other way to get money to buy them food.

My then four-year-old son, the Junior Awesomist, thought about that, then said, “You know dad, maybe the guy who stole our stuff was to ashamed to ask for money, and the only way he could get money to feed his little kids was to steal our stuff and sell it. If he needs to sell it to feed his kids, then it’s okay that he stole my lightsaber.”

I’m upset that this happened, and I’m upset that my place was broken into, but people do things like this for a lot of reasons, most of them sad. And someone needed those computers badly enough to steal them. If they brought them back, I’d honor my offer and give them the reward money I offered ($1000 if they are returned intact), and see if I could help them out. If they don’t and they get caught, I’ll still do what I can. I can redo the missing work; I still have the most important personal videos and photos (my son’s ball games; my daughter singing); I have the love and support of my family, friends, and many readers. I have a lot of lightsabers to spare.

I had already been having a really difficult week personally — which a number of readers probably sussed out anyway — and meant to post something sooner, but I was not expecting to deal with this minor setback. Fortunately, I’m the Freaking Zen Master and I can. So, no worries.

I got this. More updates and other inspirational good trouble to come.

TBDmeditation_focus

About caveo

James has written and illustrated six books in the bestselling series The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica: Here, There Be Dragons; The Search For The Red Dragon; The Indigo King; The Shadow Dragons; The Dragon’s Apprentice; and The Dragons of Winter. The series is now being published in more than twenty languages. A seventh volume, The First Dragon, will conclude the series in November 2013.

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