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Book turned in...

I have been living the past few months like pameladean 's character Gentian (who is not me at that age, but the me I would have liked to have been), obsessed and consumed by a project... and now it's over.

On Friday I took a train to Cambridge, walked from the station to Cambridge University Press, and handed over a DVD with the fourth edition of Turn Left at Orion. (The first edition was turned in 23 years ago, also in January... I carried all the papers and figures in a suitcase that I bought specifically for the task. Handing in a DVD was a lot easier, but somehow less satisfying. Incidentally, I had to compress a number of files to fit it all on a 4.7 gig DVD.)

It will probably be a year before it's out, and there are a lot of third editions out there in the pipeline to be sold, so I am somewhat reluctant to talk about the book except to say that this was a major undertaking, on the order of writing the first edition (actually, moreso) and one that has occupied my attention for more than a year... especially for these past two months.

Not just writing 125,000 words. But the research behind those words; including re-observing every object in the old book, and at least a hundred candidates for this new edition. Including two trips to Australia. Including doing half the images on my computer, and all of the layout of a very complex book. Not to mention, all the work that my co-author Dan has done, which easily matches everything I have done. 

And now I am in Tucson, about to give a major address at the University on Tuesday for which I have done virtually no preparation. Oh, and a talk on Monday, too. And one in Palo Alto on Friday. And in San Francisco a week from today. And another month of talks...

I expected that empty feeling you get when you suddenly have finished a huge project. (Finished, except for visiting CUP in March to fix all the mistakes we'll discover between now and then.) What is harder, is that I no longer have an excuse to put off all the stuff that's gone undone in the meanwhile...


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 30th, 2011 09:59 pm (UTC)
How exciting. I still recommend that book to everyone I know who buys a telescope.
Jan. 30th, 2011 11:26 pm (UTC)
I'm glad your project didn't end like Gentian's!

I know that weird empty feeling very well. It feels like coming to the bottom of a flight of steps and thinking there's one more to go, at least to me; always coming up with a bump against the project's no longer being there.

I see that you are speaking in Winona in February, and am wondering about managing to come hear one of the talks. The timing is not great (I can't imagine why you didn't schedule your entire trip around MY CONCERNS), but I'll see what can be done.

Jan. 31st, 2011 02:11 am (UTC)
He's only a couple of days away from the Minn-StF pool party, too, but it looks like he's fairly heavily scheduled through the period.
Jan. 31st, 2011 10:00 am (UTC)
Really Looking forward to the new edition of the book! I now have a 10" dob to enjoy it width.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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