April 12, 2006


I handed in the manuscript for Why Do Pirates Love Parrots? on Monday, April 3, and my editor was gracious (and fast!) enough to give me the manuscript back exactly a week later. Although he (Phil Friedman, also publisher of Collins Reference) found his share of typos, the role of the editor isn't to proofread (that's the copy editors' job) but to give general notes.

As I expected, Phil thought two of my chapters were meandering a bit. Not coincidentally, these were the two longest chapters in the book -- one about psychics, the other about motorcycles. I have the nasty habit, sometimes, of including information that I find fascinating, even if it's tangential to answering the Imponderable. Bad Dave.

So even though I'm leaving in a few minutes for the Popular Culture Association national convention in Atlanta, I'll be taking those two chapters with me. It's way too soon after writing the book for me to tolerate reading what I've just written. At least when I'm in this kind of mood, it's easy for me to cut -- I don't like any of it.

I'm going to be on two panels at the PCA on subjects dear to my heart: Laguna Beach and how it relates to daytime soap operas; and a panel on food and travel. My talk is about "Traveling on My Stomach: Confessions of a Chowhound." How many people conceptualize their vacations around what they are going to eat? I know I see one of them in the mirror every morning.