And when he says he's "so close to finishing", does he mean he's an hour away from being finished with the entire manuscript? Or just that there will only be a few more days (weeks, months) of total immersion before it's all done?
Panel 2: And Dee slinks silently away. Or she's still standing there, just out of frame, and Mike wouldn't know the difference. And wouldn't you think that a creative person like Mike would have a more esoteric calendar than awkwardly rendered snowpersons?
Panel 3: Oh, so it's really finished! Well, I have to say I can't snark; I know the feeling. I also know what it's like to have
Panel 4: Shut. The fuck. Up.
Panel 5: OH MY GOD. IT'S HAPPENING. IT'S FINALLY HAPPENING. A foreshadowing bears fruit.
And in all seriousness, I don't want to see Mike's manuscript go up in smoke. Regardless of how crappy it is, I know the feeling. A while back, my computer crashed, and I lost everything in my word file. EVERYTHING. Now, of course I had backed up my manuscript, so that was okay, but when I did that, I was ONLY thinking in terms of the manuscript. I had never thought I'd lose the entire program. So I lost:
-- My notes for other stories
-- Critiques on my manuscript, from other people
-- Other people's stories that I'd read and enjoyed (I was able to get one person to resend me her story, but the others are gone, vanished, history)
-- Short stories I'd written (I did have hard copies of those, thankfully)
-- Personal email exchanges I'd saved, ironically because I didn't trust Hotmail!
-- Some other stuff, too complicated to go into, but impossible to recreate from memory
So I don't want to see Mike's manuscript burn. If he has any sense, he can just pop it in a plastic bag or something, on his way to saving his kids; he can do both. And yes, I do have a contingency plan in case of fire or robbery. And my FIL has a hard copy of the manuscript, so I just have to hope HIS house doesn't burn down or get burgled.