July 7th, 2011
Opening the door to my house, I was aware that something was not right. Things were scattered on the floor. The cushions on the couch were crooked. Dropping my bags and purse to the floor, my eyes traveled around the room. Looking into my bedroom I saw my jewelry cabinet drawers putted out and dumped. Then I realized. Someone had broken in. The sick feeling of dread crashed over me. I picked up my phone I called my husband.
“Get home now! We have been robbed!”
Still stuck in one spot, I turned around. The window screen was laying open, cut to allow the intruder to enter. The laptop that was supposed to be on the stand, wasn’t. The cute little purple netbook that rested on my matching purple laptop holder was gone. My knees started to buckle. My writing! I had not back up my computers. All my writing is gone! Despair hit me like a brick. OMG!
My husband came in, looked around and started asking questions.
“Did they take your jewelry?”
Yes, the precious pieces of good jewelry I had collected from 45 years of marriage, hoping to give to my grandchildren. Gone!
I got down on my hand and knees to look under the bed, where it was kept in a locked box. Gone!
Anything with loose change in it was gone. I had created a shrine for my mother, with her pennies from heaven and a necklace that said “Mom” a friend had given me at Mom’s funeral. Carefully resting in a Waterford bowl. Gone! Bowl and all!
The police were called, but little hope was given of ever finding our stuff again. And even less chance of finding the laptops.
So when I was asked to write an article for the newsletter about protecting my work from theft, my first thought was ‘About what? How to do it wrong?’ But that is what I am going to tell you.
First: Back-up, back-up, back-up. Through the help of my dear writer friends I have received many pages of my lost manuscripts. But it’s the last chapters I had just finished that I had not shared with anyone that are gone.
Second: Register your computer and then copy the serial and model numbers in an e-mail and mail them to yourself.
Third: Install an alarm system in your home. Many homes are being broken in to and this will help safe guard your house. Secure your windows and doors. Do not trust that just because you have lived in a neighbor for many years, you are safe. My husband and I have lived in this house for 20 some odd years.
Fourth: Someone suggested I get a dog. Not quite ready for that. But if that’s your thing, I have heard that a dog will discourage robbers.
Fifth: Be angry. Someone has invaded your space. Put a hole in your comfort zone. You have the right to feel violated.
Sixth: After you have had your pissed-at-the-world time, be grateful that they did not hurt anyone. That they just took stuff. As mad as you are about that, Stuff can be replaced. People cannot.
My new laptop arrived today. It’s like making a new friend. I will piece my stories back together like a puzzle. I can do this. I am a writer. Everything will be back-up three times to Sunday.
So is the saga of the Judester getting robbed. I’m pretty sure I know who did it. The POS that lives next door. I would just shoot him, but he stole my gun!