Friday, October 9, 2009

progress report

I hate working on planes. Admit it, if you're sitting on a plane and the person next to you opens a laptop, how can you not look over at it to see what they're doing? Even if the business-mannequin type guy is sitting there playing Missile Defense?

And then I say, "Oh. You just got nuked, loser."

But, honestly, I completely freak out -- go berserk -- if someone even so much as glances over my shoulder at what I'm doing when I'm working on my computer, so my wife and kids steer clear of my office space when I'm doing that thing.

Besides, when I work, I also have to scatter pages around my desk and I write on them with red pen. My editor is nice. Editor writes with pencil (and very pleasant-looking script -- soothing, almost), but not me. I draw big lines and arrows and circles with red ink all over what I'm doing.

So that, plus laptop, equals fishing for annoyance and intrusion on an airplane.

Which makes me wonder why they let you bring pens on a plane in the first place. My pens are distinctly sharp and pointy. When we went to Ireland, my son had these really sharp scissors in his carry-on backpack. He'd made it all the way through LAX and Heathrow with them. And these weren't just scissors, they were murderously designed. In fact, if I had to go shopping for a pair of scissors with which I would stab someone in the head, I would have chosen a pair like the ones my son had in his backpack.

But I digress.

So I have to work, even on a plane. Yesterday, my editor asked me when I would be finished with the novel. Editor has never done that before, because any time editor has said to me something like, hopefully, you can get this in to me by x..., I have always turned in my work by x-minus-lots of time. I always beat deadlines.

It's one of the reasons my wife and kids are scared of me when I'm doing that thing.

That, and the scissors I keep on my desk.

So I kind of freaked out, told the editor, you will have it by next Friday, which, in Drewspeak, means now I have to finish by Thursday, tops.

And if the person next to me on the plane looks over at this one more time, I am going to do something unpleasant with a red pen.