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April 10th, 2014

No writer is a genius to his copy editor

Busy times here... I have had a boatload of visitors, all of whom were wonderful, and a boatload of writing, all of which has been a lot of fun. Funny how tired I feel now...

Patrick and Teresa came to Italy. Apparently they had a good time. I have already passed on their recommendations about where to eat in Florence to other friends heading that way, and I will try to remember them myself when I get there this summer. Meanwhile I got to see them twice, one afternoon in Rome and one day when they came out here. I just so thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with them. I forget how much fun it is having friends on the same continent, much less in the same room.

Among the other guests this past month were members of the International Astronomical Union's Working Group on Planetary Surface Nomenclature. We work regularly via email, but the last time most of us were all in the same room was in 2005 so we held a little meeting here to go over general policies and, in the process, get to meet those who have joined the WG in the last nine years. Again, it was nice just hanging out with people in my field, and show off our wonderful quarters and setting. I have known (or at least, known of) some of these folks for 40 years.

Meanwhile, our book on Baptizing ET has come back from the copyeditor. No man is a hero to his valet, and copyeditor is someone who sees your writing, if not naked, at least in its underwear. For every five suggestions that are just wrong and idiotic, grumble grumble, there are fifty where I am embarrassed to say she is absolutely right, and why didn't I notice that when I was writing it? All praise to copyeditors. The rest of my life could use one.

And an abstract has been accepted to a meeting; and an article about science fiction solicited from me by the magazine US Catholic has come back with nice noises and good suggestions from the editor; and I have a column due this weekend up in England.

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