The Girl's Guide to Coping with Hackers
I was in fact in the shower when the hideous news arrived, singing (in this time of crisis, let us be perfectly honest) Mindy McCready's 'Oh, Romeo' and blinking coconut-scented bubbles out of my eyes as the phone rang. 'Heavens to Betsy, who is calling me at this hour, do they expect me to form coherent sentences?' I thought to myself.
On the phone was my friend Bob, telling me my livejournal had been hacked into. This led to me going to the sofa and curling up with Salome the macbook for an hour. Had someone painted my portrait at this time they would have called it 'Young Woman In Hysterics. And Fluffy Pink Towel.'
It was not long before I discovered that my primary and business email had been hacked into as well, and I had no way to access it.
Had it been me who made the discovery, given that I have all the tech savvy of a small bewildered lizard, at this point I would have completely collapsed. I would certainly have been aware that I should seek outside assistance, and would probably have taken my phone and tried to dial while hysterical.
SARAH: presses random buttons
PHONE: Good morning.
SARAH: SAVE ME!
PHONE: This is Domino's Pizza Parlour. What do you want on your pizza?
SARAH: I NEED HELP!
PHONE: ... You need help on your pizza?
I was very lucky. My friends all leaped into action like an army of trained tech ninjas. As such, I have decided to give them titles. Eimear the Bold, Charlotte the Gentle, Chiara the Resourceful and Bob the Extremely Tall told me exactly what to do, and soon recaptured my email and my livejournal for me.
At that point I discovered that all my emails and contacts had been deleted, along with the seven years' worth of posts and comments on my livejournal. Not only that, but given timing and other details that I (tech savvy of a lizard!) do not understand, it looks likely that this was malicious.
I have absolutely no idea why anyone would want to hurt me like this. (Why people might want to thump me in the back of the head for laughing like a hyena during a movie, well, that's less of a mystery.) I feel crushed, dismayed and a little tottery on my feet still, but can only resolve to be brave like my ninja friends.
Some people may have wondered whether this was a joke or some strange flight of fancy of mine: let me be very clear. I love this livejournal, and respect and value those who read it, far too much to dream of ever doing such a thing. I don't make jokes like this.
I am in the process of rebuilding my livejournal, with help from marmalade_fish — , especially the brilliant hanelissar — , and have hopes that I will recover quite a lot, though all my emails and comments are lost forever.
But I do not wish for this post to be a completely tragic one, so I have brought you some wonderful links to make up for the awful ones posted by the hacker before!
Despite the horrible difficulty finding Dull Boy in the shops, I received several wonderful entries for my contest, and I thank everyone who linked me very much for doing so! narutootaku — won my heart completely with her most excellent picture of herself with Dull Boy, flying through the sky! She also added a much-appreciated review of the book. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, narutootaku — , and I will send you a signed copy of The Demon's Lexicon at once!
In other contest-related news, could shewhohashope — and sweet_fallacy — send me their addresses to email@example.com again? Their copies of Dull Boy were delivered to me late, and I did not have the chance to send them before this.
I racked my brains to think of another cool link to give you, and then I remembered something! I am really looking forward to a show called The Vampire Diaries, coming out this autumn. It's based on a series of books by LJ Smith, and LJ Smith was my Twilight - she wrote the books I went crazy for when I was a teenager. My favourites were the Dark Visions series, but I haven't actually read them since I was a wee thing as I am a little scared they will read differently to me now. However, I still remember enough to be able to summarise the backstory of The Vampire Diaries for you.
STEFAN: As befits the angsty hero of a series about vampires, my interests include poetry and the arts, and my fragile vampire girlfriend Katherine.
DAMON: My interests include drinking, gambling, wenching and annoying my little brother. Speaking of which, hello Katherine.
KATHERINE: I have decided to make you both vampires, and live with both of you in eternal vampiric bliss.
STEFAN: Live with... I'm sorry, what are you trying to imply...
DAMON: WHEN I SAID I WAS UP FOR ANYTHING, THIS IS NOT WHAT I MEANT AT ALL.
KATHERINE: Well, if you won't give me eternal vampiric bliss, I am offing myself. That'll show you! Then you'll weep in each other's arms!
STEFAN AND DAMON: have a duel
KATHERINE: Or not.
STEFAN: Oh my God, Damon, we're vampires! The undead, the damned, utterly doomed to endless torment. What do we do, what do we do?
DAMON: It's okay, Stefan. I have a plan.
STEFAN: Hurrah, what is your plan?
DAMON: TO MAKE YOUR LIFE AN ETERNAL MISERY.
STEFAN: lives centuries of eternal misery, drinking the blood of pigeons
DAMON: That's what I'm talkin' about.
STEFAN: Time to reinvent myself as an American high school student, who plays on the football team and has just met a girl who looks uncannily like his lost love. What is this feeling? Is it... happiness?
DAMON: Oh, Stefan. Why do you do these things to us both? It gives me no pleasure to hurt you.
DAMON: Ahahaha, who am I kidding! Hurting you is awesome. Speaking of which, hello Elena!
Without further ado, here is The Vampire Diaries trailer. I hereby vow to watch, and possibly write affectionate parodies of, every episode.
Fun links of skies and vampires entirely aside, I must say this: I have had countless kind emails and offers of support since this madness started this morning, and I thank you all so much for them. The unkindness of the internet, however staggering, cannot measure up to its awesomeness. It has been and remains, my lovely audience, a pleasure to be here.