First, thanks to everyone who offered sympathy regarding my computer crash and loss of data.
Some people asked me if I could just recreate the lost Virtual Hypnotist sessions, and I said I couldn't. I put so much work into getting my bedtime and morning sessions just the way I wanted them, that I couldn't bear the thought of doing it all over again from scratch. Any of you who've read Stephen King's Misery will understand. At the beginning of that novel, the protagonist is carrying the only copy of his just-finished novel with him when he wrecks his car and gets rescued/captured by a murderous lunatic. She claims to be his biggest fan, but when she reads his precious new draft, it disgusts her so much that she makes him burn it. Well, I don't think it's a huge spoiler, after all these years, to say the protagonist survives. The important thing about his story, for the purpose of this post, is that his new novel didn't survive: he couldn't recreate something that big and complex...not in the Misery book, anyway. I think I remember him rewriting it in the movie version, but that's Hollywood for you.
My VH sessions, of course, were nothing close to novels; but they were still too involved for me to rewrite from scratch. Fortunately, I was so desperate to get them back that I ended up checking every saved folder which was even loosely associated with my "thrall" identity; and in one of the very last places I expected to find anything, I turned up some really old versions and scraps of versions of the lost sessions. That was enough to spur me to action. Maybe you could compare it to rediscovering 2/3 of a novel you thought you'd burned, and outlines for what was still missing.You'd rewrite from there, wouldn't you, if you knew your work was worth saving?
I've already done a lot of work recreating the bedtime session. It will never be exactly like it was before, but it's getting to the point where it does what I want it to do: put me to sleep at night. It still needs some tweaking, but I'm pretty happy with it - and I'm backing it up every few days to a CD. I'll probably end up throwing it into the cloud, as well. This will never happen to me again.
My morning session isn't as high a priority as my bedtime session, since it's mainly recreational, but I'll get around to it soon. And when I do, I'll have If Wishes Were Horses to help me. Thank goodness I wrote that when I did! Most of the session's text is embedded within that story; so the only hard part will be tweaking the pauses, punctuation, etc., to make the speech synthesizer sound more human. I also have an old list of suggestions which had already been tweaked for the speech synthesizer, and I can insert them at the proper point in the script. I'm looking forward to getting started on that sometime soon; but I have a few other things I want to do first, like beginning that new MC story I mentioned in the post about my computer crash.
Oh, and speaking of upcoming stories, about a week ago I had a fantastic dream which laid the groundwork for another MC story that badly needs telling. And you know me: I can't deny my Muse. ;-) I'm just glad she's hanging around so much lately.