Yesterday I worked in the Coe College library while Junior High Kid attended College for Kids. And while I was there some freaky guy came and stood right behind me and watched over my shoulder as I revised my Boxcar book. I HATE when strangers look over my shoulder when I’m trying to write! Eventually I turned around and glared at him…and I felt a little bad when he got this hurt puppy look on his face (who knew my glare was so evil?), but geez! He still wasn’t moving on. So I closed my laptop and asked if he needed something? He pretended he wasn’t looking at my screen at all and instead asked me what I was listening to!!! In fact, he wanted to HEAR what I was listening to. I was listening to Vivaldi’s Mandolin Concertos…on my phone. (I don’t have an i-phone; it’s just a regular phone with an MP3 player in it.) But he thought this was just such an amazing thing…and he wanted to get into a conversation about it! What is it about me that when I’m sitting in a library, typing on my laptop with HEADPHONES over my ears makes people think I want to stop and have an inane conversation with a total stranger??? I don’t mind stopping to chat with a friend (in fact, I welcome the break then), but if you’re a stranger…especially one who has been peering over my shoulder, I’m sorry, but I don’t have a whole lot of patience for you if you interrupt me while I’m working.

This is not the first time this has happened to me. I’ve had people interrupt me in a library to tell me I look like I’m working hard. (Well, yeah…I’m TRYING!!!!) And a couple weeks ago, some lady came up to me when I was working in the Iowa City library and told me her computer crashed…could I save her file? Do I look like a computer technician??? Actually, I had quite a bit more sympathy for her than it sounds like (way more sympathy than I had for the freaky guy at Coe College), so I did try and help her. Unfortunately, she had not saved her file recently, nor did she have auto-save turned on, so there wasn’t much I could do for her.

After College for Kids, Junior High Kid had a dentist appointment, so I worked in the dentist’s office. Then he had a piano lesson, so I worked at the piano lesson. And after Toastmasters, I stayed at the Iowa City library and worked some more there. I think the constant change of scenery did me good. I finally got past the trouble spot at the end of chapter 6 where I needed to add a new scene to “provide an additional dramatic turn” and carried it through to chapter 7, which was good because after my editor got done with this manuscript, chapter 7 was only TWO PAGES long! Now it’s eight pages.

Today I’m working at Coe College and the Coralville library. But if you see me working, DON’T hover! And don’t read over my shoulder! I may hit you.

Have laptop will travel…

3 thoughts on “Have laptop will travel…

  • July 11, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    I’ve had people interrupt me in a library to tell me I look like I’m working hard.

    Yeah, what’s up with that?

    And then it’s the friends who see me who assume I’m so deeply in work that they shouldn’t even say hello to me, when I’d be happy to at least say hi.

    What makes strangers feel more entitled to start up a random conversation–while I’m clearly working–than friends?

    • July 11, 2007 at 6:43 pm

      Exactly! Friends will rarely even stop by and say hi if they see me working, but random strangers will interrupt me for really bizarre things sometimes. That’s why I felt compelled to mention I WELCOME THE BREAK if any of my local friends happen to be reading this. I’m not talking about any of them…REALLY, I’m not!!!

  • August 28, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    YOU LIVED NEXT DOOR TO A MANDOLIN SHOP????? Pardon my shouting…I was just so excited. (I was on vacation for a while, so I’m just now going back and checking LJ comments.) What I wouldn’t give to have a mandolin shop somewhere, ANYWHERE, in this town! I’m grateful just to have a classical mandolin teacher in town. People come from pretty far away to take lessons from him because there aren’t many classical teachers in Iowa. Bluegrass, yes…but not classical.

    Keep up your drumming, even if you’re not taking lessons!


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