N. Renee Brown

Part-time Author, Full-time Book Junkie

Writing on a plane is a blessing and a curse.

I just got back from a visit to Missouri (It was a fantastic trip, and I feel so refreshed that I am nearly a new woman, but I will talk about that some other time), and I had forgotten what it was like to get bitten by the writing bug on a plane. 

I’m tall, so I take up more room in my seat than an average or even short person would, and when the person in front of me reclines their seat I have no room.  I’ve got to contort myself to actually get to my keyboard.  I have to hold my hands up high with nothing under my elbows to support them which makes doing anything on the computer for a long period of time nearly impossible.  Then there is the screen, which is usually not able to tilt far enough back to give me a comfortable or even partially clear view of it because my head is all the way up there and the little tray table is all the way down there.  Thus I hunch forward to be able to see the screen.

I end up looking like some strange gargoyle trying to crawl into a tiny white laptop.

It is only marginally better if the person in front of me is nice and does not recline their seat.  I swear to GOD that from now on I’m only sitting in the seat directly behind the exit rows.  That way I don’t have to put up with idiots that can’t sit up straight for 2 hours.  Honestly, on these smaller planes what is the point!?!?!?  I don’t get it.

Ahem, sorry about that…it is my cross to bear that I am tall and nearly every person I sit behind MUST lean their seat back into me.

Back to the writing bug…Now the way out there was no problem.  I got in the plane with only a little bit of nervousness, and by the time we had taxied onto our runway I had an idea for what I wanted to write next for Harmony.  Thus the minute I could, I pulled my laptop onto my lap and dug in.  I had a lovely lady in front of me that never even THOUGHT about reclining her chair into my computer…and on that trip (a scant 2 hours of which I only wrote for one) I churned out an impressive 836 words.  Whoo hoo!  It was part of what I am calling the “final chapters” for “In Harm’s Way”, and it really pushed me forward into the climax of the book.  I was feeling good about the writing and was loathe to stop, but I knew if I cut myself off in the middle of this action it would be easier to start again.

Saturday was crazy, and I was unable to write anything.  Long story short, my presentation was an exercise in Murphy’s Law and I was supposed to stay the night but due to an ice/snow storm coming our way I hightailed it back up to K.C. to say with my parents.

Sunday and back on the plane again.  It was cold and there was snow on the ground…I got there with just enough time to check in, get through security, and call Day before they started loading up.  I was sitting behind a little kid and was hoping he would not feel the need to recline as he was TINY and sitting in bulkhead with plenty of room to stretch out.  Oye, was I wrong.  How is it I could try to apply logic to a young child?  And how is it that I could hope his father (who was sitting next to me) would take his child in hand?  Not only did the kid lean his chair back, he did it over and over…causing me to get comfortable in my gargoyle stance and then bang have plenty of room, then gargoyle then plenty of room…he nearly took my computer out a couple of times before I gave up and pulled it up next to me like I was in gargoyle pose and wrote from there.  Oh yes, dear readers I kept writing.  I had something to say and nothing was going to stop me.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for kids having fun…but if you are next to me and you are the father of said child you take charge and either A) offer to change seats with me B) make the grandfather who is sitting sedately in front of you switch places with your spastic offspring or C) tell the boy to be considerate and pick a position either reclined or not.  Is it really that much to ask? 

After a while he got bored and did other things, so I didn’t have to put up with this for the whole time, but he did decide to leave it fully reclined in the end and my word count suffered.  After trying to protect my computer and trying to see what I was saying and trying to ignore the pain in my back from hunching over I only got in 689 words…I was hoping for more but I’ll take what I can get.

When I finally gave up on writing I was more than ready for that plane ride to be over.

Still and all, lots of things written and said.  I feel good about that.


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