Now I have backups in my email, but the funny thing is, I did have backups for all the chapters up to 6. I got lazy after that. And which chapter did I overwrite? 7. I get the message, God. Thank you.
The only upside to this is that I finished Chapter 11 today, and I am super pleased with it. Meg is really evolving as a character, finally. I feel like she's a real person now. Another thing: if it weren't for Chapter 7 disappearing into cyberspace, I would have crossed the 30k threshold today. As it is, I'm going to continue counting the words of the Forgotten Chapter, because it boosts my self esteem. Just like counting all the extra chapters I'm eventually going to condense. Same idea. Luckily, Chapter 7 was one I never liked too much and pretty expendable as far as chapters go. It was going to get severely edited anyway. If I had accidentally killed Chapter 5, for instance, I would probably cry for a week.
Again, I have to be glad that I have an MS Excel chart that tracks all of my chapters, their word counts and a brief summary of each (thank you, Ms. Larbalestier), otherwise I wouldn't even know what Chapter 7 was about. Now, at least, I know what stuff is gone so I can contemplate patching it up later.
I celebrate the breaking of the 30k barrier, curmudgeonly, but I celebrate it nonetheless.