Every writer has at one point or another lost a work in progress. Computers fails, manuscripts get lost in the mail, storage units get flooded. But if every writer merely dabbled in these kinds of accidents, Henry Birch was the patron saint of the lost art. He had literally lost – through a variety of means – everything he had ever written. His first short story, a resonant piece about youthful longing crafted entirely in crayon, was actually eaten by the family dog. In college, he hammered out a masterful first novel on an IBM Selectric II before his crackhead roommate burned down the entire dormitory. This was just the beginning, as over the years manuscript after manuscript fell to the cruelty of chance. A computer virus took one, his second wife shredded another out of spite, and still another was erased when a truck carrying a giant magnet crashed into the apartment next door and erased all his data (don’t even ask). And yet Birch soldiered on, confident that his talents were only getting better for the experience, and that the most recent lost novel would be the last. He certainly believed this to be true of his epic three-part opus depicting a fictional narrative spanning the Civil War to the Vietnam War and the International Space Station. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, every time he hit the Save button on his laptop, the document was saved and updated on multiple servers in Los Angeles, New York, Des Moines, Hong Kong, New Delhi, and Berlin. Then, just days after it was completed, a combination of lightning strikes, terrorist attacks, avalanches, tsunamis, and over-the-edge postal workers wiped them all out within three hours of each other. Unheaded, Birch began his next novel the following day, an idea that had been simmering in the back of his mind for more than a year. “Chapter One” he typed, anxiously.