I have received the external hard drive that the technicians used to store what they could recover from the old hard drive that crashed.
Though all the file names and folders are present, all the word files, .pdfs and power point files are corrupted.
The loss is total. The draft of the third novel in the conceptual trilogy that started with Ganymede and continues with Orpheus is gone. Another completed novel that I had named "Remains" is gone. A semi-autobiographical novel which was also complete that I had called "Reunion" (which, to be fair, had already been passed on by Allyson publishing) is gone. Another novel that I was about 3/4 of the way done with is gone. Every bit of poetry that I had typed since 2000 is gone, quite a number of them with no paper copies in existence. Every paper I ever wrote for every college class I ever had is gone. My dissertation remains because it was on my flash drive, but my Masters thesis is gone. Every short story that I ever wrote (which, admittedly, isn't many--I never really came to love that format) save two are gone. All of the assignment hand outs and pedagogy statements are gone. The .pdfs of articles (including my own first scholarly publication) that I had managed to stockpile for teaching and research are gone.
The past ten years of my life as a scholar and writer are gone.
Every time I talk to people about this, they mention Reinaldo Arenas. How he had to rewrite from scratch the same novel six or seven times. And I know that I can go back and reconstruct many of the novels. I can re-type much of the poetry (at least, all of it that existed as pen-and-paper first). And I will get back to it, eventually. There's even the chance that, as we tell our composition students, the work will improve through the process of drafting and redrafting.
I just need a bit of time to mourn the loss. As I said before, Silencing Orpheus is already in the hands of Rebel Satori and will be out sometime in the near future. Thank you to all of you who sent well-wishes during this time.