So what do I do when the Website explodes?

Vehicles belonging to forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi explode after an air strike by coalition forces, along a road between Benghazi and Ajdabiyah

HERE I WAS breezing along a quiet, cool, windy Wednesday afternoon, full of bliss and totally ignorant, a state in which I spend a great deal of my time.

Caleb and Linda Pirtle was loaded for Thursday.

So were the selection of eBooks for our Book of The Moment Club.

I had written the final chapter for my newest novel, Night Side of Dark.

There was a crack of daylight in my schedule, and life was as good as it could get.

All was right with the world.

Then came the email from Marilyn Levine.

“What’s wrong with Caleb and Linda Pirtle?” she asked.

Nothing, I thought.

“You featured my book today,” she said.

I had.

“I have a lot of people trying to look at it,” she said.

That’s always good.

“They can’t get in,” she said.

That’s not good at all.

My shoulders stiffened.

“Caleb and Linda Pirtle is broke,” she said.

I shuddered.

Life as I knew it may not be ending, but it was hanging on a rocky precipice with broken fingernails.

I immediately went to the Website.

I tried to get into Caleb and Linda Pirtle on Safari.

Nothing.

I tried to get in on Chrome.

Nothing.

Marilyn was right.

Caleb and Linda Pirtle was broke.

I was unpleasantly surprised. When I called our design team members in Austin, they were stunned. Maybe shocked was a better word. I would have been screaming, but it’s difficult to scream, rant, rave, pray and plead at the same time.

Within minutes, this is what they learned.

We had recently fought a battle with Botnets marching through the site like digital Zombies. So, being of sound mind and body, we loaded Caleb and Linda Pirtle onto another site, one large enough to handle our increase in traffic.

Perfect. Everything was running smoothly.

Then the unthinkable happened. Caleb and Linda Pirtle went dark.

The new server was down.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

Nobody knew.

“Can it be fixed?” I asked.

“Nobody knew.”

“What’s gonna happen?” I asked.

Nobody knew.

“Which company owns the server?” I asked.

They told me.

“Have you called them?”

“We have.”

“What did they say?”

“They won’t call back.”

We were all in the dark in the middle of a fine spring day.

And I certainly wasn’t any help. If I can’t fix something with duct tape and bailing wire, I’m stumped.

I was stumped.

I’m not paranoid, I thought. The Gremlins are really after me.

The Botnets chased us to a new server for one reason, I thought.

The Botnets owned the server.

We have thousands of blogs written by really good writers archived on Caleb and Linda Pirtle. They were gone, maybe for good, and so were the Serial chapters. That was my fear.

We’ll never see the light of day, I thought. We may not even see a new day.

I saw my life flash before my eyes. It was not a pretty sight.

My son tried to help. “Remember when I played baseball,” he said.

I did.

“You remember when I struck out and we lost the game?”

I did.

“You put your arm around me and told me not to get upset,” he said. “You told me the sun would shine again.”

He didn’t know it.

I did.

I lied.

There ain’t no sunshine when the server’s gone.

Via email, novelist Darlene Jones tried to help, and she had more to lose than anyone on Wednesday. Her Authors Collection blog was running and her Sci-Fi/Romance/Thriller – Embattled – was a Book of the Moment Club selection.

“Hang in there,” she said.

“All will be well– eventually,” she said.

“No one has died,” she said.

And Stephen Woodfin was a cool, calm, and collected as he always is. Nonplussed, I believe, is the word they use. “This, too, will pass,” he said.

“If it’s working, we’ll work it. If it’s not, we won’t,” he said.

He’s right, I thought.

I crawled into bed and a wonderful thought passed through my mind. .For the last three years, I was up at four o’clock every morning – including Saturdays, Sundays, Holidays, and vacation  – feeding the Website and running my social media traps for all of the posts that had appeared in the early morning hours.

I didn’t have to worry about that now. For the first time in a long time, I could sleep late.

The server was down, and so was I. I needed a holiday anyway. I was ready for a holiday.

To hell with four o’clock. I could sleep straight through it without a guilty conscience.

I woke up as usual right on time, and it’s always the darkest before dawn. I reached for my phone out of habit and checked on Caleb and Linda Pirtle. I had it all figured out. The server would still be down, the screen would be black, and I would go back to sleep. Lord, I wanted to go back to sleep.

No such luck.

Caleb and Linda Pirtle was on line and running as though nothing had ever happened. Some twenty-year-old Geek with long hair, painted with an assortment of tattoos, and wearing earrings in places where earrings had never been meant to hang had fixed it during the night. Thank God for Geeks.

My feet hit the floor, and I found my computer awaiting me in the dark.

No rest for the wicked or the weary, I thought

I had work to do.

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  • It’s a horrible feeling when something you think is solid – like your website – vanishes as if it had never been.

    There ARE archives – so it shouldn’t be much worse than losing a day or two.

    But you are now in the position of depending on hidden tech people you don’t know and can’t talk to.

    It’s amazing that things so often DO get fixed.

    It’s also a reminder to check your backup systems. Which reminds me – I depend on WordPress to store my finished blog posts – the backups I have on my computer are of the unfinished posts. Time to figure out a way not to depend on someone else for something important to me, when I could do something myself.

    Sorry you’re not getting your sleep – you have trained us to expect stuff early (thank you). Could you not just train us all to expect it a little later? I bet we’d survive.

    • Caleb Pirtle

      I think you nailed it, Alicia. I’m so used to doing everything myself that I find it difficult to stand in the background – on any situation – and let someone else do it. I feel like I’m in a vacuum, hanging in limbo. The secret is just take a deep breath and don’t worry about it. Someone unknown geek without a face is in charge, and he or she is much smarter about technology than I am.

      • I remember a guy telling me once that he never bought any equipment for his office unless he knew how to run it himself. Those days are gone now because the digital world is so interconnected with entities that make the whole thing work. Those entities are spread out all over the world and they all have to function just right are the deal goes dark. I don’t like that, but I can’t do anything about it. At least the apocalypse was short-lived.
        Maybe you could get a short nap in this afternoon, lol.
        Thanks for all the hard work., SW

        • Caleb Pirtle

          I can’t nap. I’m out looking for more duct tape and baling wire.

          • Roger Summers

            Hope you are shopping where they have an up-to-the-minute selection of duct tape colors. You will want your high tech equipment to be fashionable.

  • Caleb Pirtle

    It was so dependable for so long I assumed the server was invincible. But the gremlins are among us and they have lighted matches.

  • Roger Summers

    Want me to send my private drone over to sneak around and find out what is going on?

    • Caleb Pirtle

      I think the drone did it.

  • Darlene Jones

    Do I get to say, “I told you so?” The geeks are goooooood.

    • Caleb Pirtle

      Thank God for the geeks.

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