Today, though I took precautions - I copied it all to clipboard before closing the file and I am so glad I did because all my modifications had gone again.
So, Appleworks, I am not impressed and I am voting with my feet. From now on I'm changing to Microsoft Word and hope this is more reliable.
I am not even half-way to the point I was before and I am having to give up for tonight because exhaustion has set in. This must be one of the most frustrating things that has ever happened to me. I keep seeing places where I made my writing better but I can't remember what is was and how it went.