Oh no! Where did I pack my manuscript?


If you’ve ever moved across country or any long distance for that matter, you know how easy it is to forget where you packed something. You think you know, but when you open that box, you scratch you head, swear, and think I thought I packed it in here, now which box is it in?

You go through that same exercise in futility several times until the light bulb goes off over your head and you have that epiphany you wish had come much earlier. Oh yeah, I didn’t pack it in a box after all.

As many know, (and most don’t) my wife and I picked up stakes after SO many years in Florida and headed west. My wife had lived in Northeast Florida since 1977, me, since early 1985, although I did live my first 18 years in Northwest Florida for a grand total of 50ish years in Florida! So moving was a big deal for both us. Not just a little west. 1800 miles west!

All the way to Northern Colorado.

And yes, nestled up close to the Rocky Mountains. To say it is beautiful here is such an understatement. But I’ll save that for another blog post.

I thought I was being so careful when I packed (and boxed) all of my writing stuff. Thought, being the key word here. You know how it is; you put something in a place where you know you won’t forget it…   As it turns out, you hid it so well that you can’t even find it. Not for a while anyway.

So was the case with my 4th Jake Pendleton manuscript. All of my research material was located the day we moved in. And it was right where I packed it. But where the hell did I put my manuscript?

Time for a little backstory— My wife & I never put our home in Florida up for sale…not officially. We had hinted about moving to Colorado to friends and neighbors, but had not taken any definitive steps toward selling our house. We had visited Northern Colorado several times and loved it every time, including spending this past winter (2015) in Fort Collins to see if we could handle the cold, brutal winter all our Florida friends kept warning us about. It wasn’t that bad. Really. Sure, it got wicked cold a couple of times, but it didn’t last more than a few days then it warmed up. Sometimes it snowed, but that didn’t last long either. When the temperature warmed and the sun beat down, the snow melted. Then a week or so of moderate temperatures before another cold snap. Oh yeah…AND NO HUMIDITY! Seriously. No humidity. Zilch. Nada. And that made the cold so much easier to tolerate.

I know, I know. I rambled. So what? That always happens!

In July, our phone starts ringing with people calling about our house. They heard through the grapevine that we were moving and would be selling and wanted to see it before we put it on the market. What a shocker, we hadn’t even discussed putting it on the market. We still had some more fixing up to do before we were going to consider listing it. Our best guess was sometime next spring (2016).

My wife and I looked at each other and said, “Why not? What’s the worst that could happen?”

The worst turned out that one of the neighbors who was renting made us the Godfather offer. The one we couldn’t refuse. (I added the last part for all the young people who might not have seen The Godfather.) And the buyer wanted us out by the end of August…

But wait, we have a European trip scheduled with a departure date of August 31. That trip had been schedule nearly a year ago and in our world, was set in stone. To make a long story short, kind of, we sold our Florida home, bought a home in Colorado, packed, went to Europe for 2 ½ weeks, returned to Florida and drove to Colorado—ALL IN A TWO MONTH PERIOD OF TIME!

I know, idiots, right? It wasn’t easy, but I’m proud to say we did it, almost without a hitch & thanks to several good friends who offered us shelter during our homeless period. It was really only six nights total…a few on both ends of the Europe trip.

As you can see, the past three months have been a little chaotic, to say the least.

Back to the case of the missing manuscript.

I took all the precautions; I backed up all my documents and supporting digital research material on more than one flash drive and did a full backup on my laptop before we left. After I got my office set up (mostly) and had decided to reintroduce myself to my manuscript since I hadn’t seen it for nearly 3 months, I went looking for my original digital file. I searched folder after folder—nothing. I know I stored that file here. I looked everywhere. Panic was setting in. Mostly because if it’s tech related, I can’t rest until I win. (Ask my wife; she’ll verify my obsession.) Man over computer. Eventually I will win! To retrieve the files from my backup was to accept defeat…AND THAT WASN’T GOING TO HAPPEN!

A few more attempts to locate the file—nothing.

Then, my thought processes of right before we packed everything replayed in my mind. Question: What was the worst thing that could happen? Answer: Everything we owned was destroyed while enroute from Florida to Colorado. So how could I make sure I didn’t lose my manuscript in the event of a disaster? I mean, I would really hate to start all over again. From the beginning. That would really stink. I looked at the only place it could be, and there it was, waiting patiently for me to pay it some long needed attention.

Waiting safely…in Dropbox!

Now it’s time to get back to work. Jake & Francesca are already deep in trouble (in Italy) and I fear it will get much worse for them before it gets better.

And that’s all I have to say about that.


  1. Doris Barrett on April 18, 2016 at 7:11 am

    Have all your books! Great stories! My friends and I can’t wait for the next ones! They make great gifts, by the way!!!!

  2. Doris Barrett on April 18, 2016 at 7:20 am

    Love your stories! Have read all your books and recommend them to all my friends and even strangers I meet in books stores, and every place else! My friends and I can’t wait for the next one and the next, and the next, etc.!!! Your books make great gifts, by the way!! Thanks for the excitement!

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