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Monday Morning Blues

Well, this a lousy way to start a week.

Last night, shortly after I made my post about yesterday's Jets and Giants game, my office was broken into and burglarized.

We've been adding on a two-story library tower to the back of the house. The construction started in June and will continue to December. That's how they got in, entering through the back yard and construction area and ripping down the temporary plywood wall that separates the new rooms from the rest of the house.

They pulled open a lot of drawers, rummaged through a lot of stuff, and knocked over my computer monitor, but didn't get much of a haul, all in all. I lost a video iPod and a Bose docking station (although they overlooked the remote), plus two replica swords I had in a corner awaiting the end of construction, so I could hang them on a wall. So far as I can tell, that's all that's missing. They smashed the electronics on our safe, but were unable to open it. Some of the tools that the workmen had left at the construction site were also taken; a power saw, a few other things.

One of the swords was a gift from readers, a beautiful piece. That's the only real loss, though. Easy enough to replace the ipod. The second sword was junk.

(And no, they did NOT take my computers, so the hard drive where A DANCE WITH DRAGONS lives is still there, and safe, and I haven't lost any work. And yes, I back up regularly, so even if they had made off with the hardware, I have all the finished text saved on disk. So you can all come down off that ledge, please).

The most unsettling part of all this was the timing. I came over to the office last night after football to make my LJ post about the games and answer some emails. One of the mails in my in box was from a friend who wanted to come over and watch television. I said sure, then went back to the main house to tell Parris that our friend might be dropping over. She never did, so Parris and I watched ENTOURAGE and CALIFORNICATION and a couple of episodes of THE DAILY SHOW from last week that we'd TIVOed. Two hours worth of television. After which I went back to my office... and discovered the break-in. Spent the next couple of hours dealing with the cops and the aftermath of all this.

But if I hadn't gotten that email from our friend, I might have stayed in the office and continued to answer emails, which meant I would have been here when the thief (or thieves) broke into the construction site and then into the house. I would certainly have heard the sound of the plywood wall being ripped down. Most probably a shout from me would have sent them fleeing back into the night... but maybe not. I suppose I could have tried to drive them off with one of those replica swords, but I'm just as glad I didn't have to try. I am not exactly a figure to inspire terror in night stalkers.

All in all, we got off light, but it's still a crappy way to start the week, and I'll be spending most of today dealing with police, insurance companies, locksmiths, our alarm company, and the like. And somewhere out there, some asshole has my sword.

Comments

( 195 comments — Leave a comment )
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heterosexualman
Nov. 3rd, 2008 08:17 pm (UTC)
Bummer!
I know how you feel! I hate thieves. At least you have the text, no one was hurt, etc.

I just finished 'A Feast for Crows' and have to say that I've never been so eager for the 'next book' to come out in any other series! I stumbled across the books earlier this year and almost immediately got sucked in. This isn't the place to talk about it, but I just thought I'd let you know that you have yet another fan!
incognitus_ego
Nov. 3rd, 2008 08:51 pm (UTC)
Ughh.. sorry, and security..
I'm so sorry to hear about the breakin I can only imagine the sense of violation and frutration you must be feeling.

Have you thought about hard-drive encryption? We use it at my company for employees with laptops so that if the PC gets stolen no-one can read the information on it. Even if you had a back-up of the manuscript it would still suck to have the incomplete manuscript appear on the web due to despicable theives.

Hope things get back to normal for you soon.
symphonitron
Nov. 4th, 2008 12:23 am (UTC)
What were they trying to steal?
As long as the missing blade doesn't wind up implicating you in the attempted murder of a crippled noble boy, you'll probably be okay.

But I have to ask -- what the heck were these thieves targeting? What were they looking for? Were the swords an incidental theft? The iPod and the docking station might make sense as they may appear to have value and could be walked out and sold... But swords? The fact that they had opened drawers leaves me to think they were looking for something specific. Cash? Gems? Collectible plastic knights?

Even if your manuscript was backed up, it's lucky they didn't take the computer or drive. I think I'd be nervous about my manuscript in the hands of a thief, even if they probably would have no idea what it is or what to do with it (assuming they could even read). When I was with Terry Brooks in Rome (2002), he accidentally left his notebook in some shop somewhere with his story notes in it, and he was quite concerned about it until he got it back. Which he did. But for a short while I think he was having flashes of his next Shannara book appearing on an Italian web page.

Anyway get that place locked down sir. Cameras, alarms, trap doors, a dire wolf, what ever it takes.
sevenwarlox
Nov. 4th, 2008 12:23 am (UTC)
Best of Luck Retrieving Your Sword
I'm glad you didn't have to fight the thieves with your sword - though it would have served them right if you had run them through. I can't help but think of Jon, fighting off the Others in the Lord Commander's tower.
inadequate_one
Nov. 4th, 2008 05:53 am (UTC)
good luck buddy. you have always used pressure to turn coal to diamonds Mr. Martin.
kraquerman
Nov. 4th, 2008 09:16 pm (UTC)
whoa
That would be so money George. I could see you going BRONN on some petty thieves.

Seriously, I'm sorry. Stealing is just plain low. It's too bad when you lose something sentimental as well.
exerda
Nov. 5th, 2008 04:37 am (UTC)
At least you can celebrate a little tonight, Mr. Martin, and perhaps get your mind off the terrible violation of your home and castle.
the800lbgorilla
Nov. 5th, 2008 06:57 am (UTC)
My Turn
I want to break in and finish writing your book for you.

I promise I wont steal anything though.
Unless you have cheese, I might steal a piece of cheese if you have it. I love cheese.
mosem
Nov. 13th, 2008 11:33 am (UTC)
Backing up Data
George, you should be backing up online automatically to a remote data storage facility, not just to a local disk.
snowtricat
Nov. 25th, 2008 12:03 am (UTC)
A Dance With Dragons
I just recieved an email from Amazon saying Dance is released in Jan. I assume it is pure speculation by the publisher. I didn't want to hijack another thread with this comment.
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( 195 comments — Leave a comment )

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