I just spend almost an hour recording Part I Chapter IV of "The Everlasting Man." I've done such recordings countless times. Started just before midnight, finished just after one, actually. Just under an hour of audio.
Ran the thing to remove background noise, from computer fans, of which I have a moderate amount. I've also done that many many times. Then I closed Audacity, as usual.
The unusual part was when I opened my directory to pull up the WAV file and drop it on Levelator. And realized I hadn't saved a copy of the audio.
Can't recover it. Can't find where Audacity saved a copy of the .AU files, since of course I didn't tell it to do that, either.
My Samson Zoom H2 is of course a Recorder, and I could have recorded on that. I would then have had an actual file as a matter of course. But I haven't done that in years. Audacity is so much more convenient. But with Audacity, no matter how much I record, if I don't actively choose to save it, it isn't saved.
And now it's 1:33 am, past my bedtime. And I've blown the evening recording with nothing to show for it.
Perhaps I should rethink that "I would make a great audio professional" idea. (sigh)