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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.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
desperance
Apr. 10th, 2014 11:52 pm (UTC)
All praise to copyeditors. The rest of my life could use one.

It had not occurred to me before, but Jeeves is totally Bertie's copyeditor-in-life. (Tho' if he were mine, I fear he would leave me. I always wanted to play well with others, honestly I did - but I am not good at being copyedited. One time I stet'd so many of her changes, my actual editor asked if I'd prefer my books just not be copyedited; it would save everybody's time, he implied, their money and my temper...)
(Deleted comment)
brotherguy
Apr. 11th, 2014 12:43 pm (UTC)
Re: When will you be on the same continent with me?
I return to the US after Loncon, the middle of August. Watch This Space.
pnh
Apr. 11th, 2014 01:10 am (UTC)
It was absolutely fantastic seeing you in Rome and in your Castel Gandolfo haunts.

Regarding the latter, here's a Flickr photo set. There are no captions yet, and much worse, at some point I set the point-and-shoot camera on "closeup" mode and then failed to reset it to normal mode, so many of the later photos are weirdly grainy and washed-out. But there are shots of you ACTUALLY OPERATING THE PAPAL TELESCOPIC MACHINES just as if this were a joyous alternate steampunk world. Wait, it kind of is. Okay, off to think about that for a while.
brotherguy
Apr. 11th, 2014 12:44 pm (UTC)
Great photos, thanks! And the "colleague" who took that picture of the two of you, was in fact me (and my cell phone). Welcome to use it!
pnh
Apr. 11th, 2014 01:49 pm (UTC)
Clearly I was totally confused, although I can't for the life of me reconstruct how I got that way. At any rate, I've fixed that caption -- thanks!
mabfan
Apr. 11th, 2014 04:43 am (UTC)
I missed this book. Is it an essay collection, or something else? And when will you write the book about Galileo?
brotherguy
Apr. 11th, 2014 12:46 pm (UTC)
The book, written with Paul Mueller SJ, is called "Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? And other questions from the Vatican Observatory inbox"

It is due out from Image Books (Random House) in October. Assuming we get our copy edits back in time.

And one of those other questions from our inbox is indeed about Galileo.

Edited at 2014-04-11 12:47 pm (UTC)
mabfan
Apr. 11th, 2014 01:17 pm (UTC)
I'm looking forward to this book! Please send me ten (10) free autographed copies. :-)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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