Progress Report

Category archives for Progress Report

I sent off the complete draft of the book-in-progress yesterday, somewhere between 12 and 36 hours ahead of my contractual deadline. Which I suppose makes it a book-in-process now, maybe. That process may still include re-writes, though, so my work probably isn’t done yet. The final draft, according to Word anyway, comes to 253 pages…

Programming Note: Book-Related Silence

I got some feedback from my editor about draft chapters of the book-in-progress a while ago, and while it was generally pretty positive, there’s a lot of work to be done. Shortly after that, I realized there was a big and awkward gap in the material I had, which involved a lot of frantic research…

“Eureka!” and the Problems Thereof

I’m not talking about the tv show Eureka here, which was mostly silly fluff but not especially problematic. I’m talking about the famous anecdote about Archimedes of Syracuse, who supposedly realized the principle that bears his name when slipping into a bath, distracted by a problem he had been assigned by his king. On realizing…

On the Interconnectedness of Science

I’ve finished a first pass through all the regular chapters of the book-in-progress (in addition to those in in this progress report, there’s one more in Section 1 about antiques, and three more in Section 4, two about statistics and one about teamwork). I’m starting to do section-level proofreading, looking at blocks of chapters together.…

Science Is Not Solitary

There was another round of the “who counts as a scientist?” debate recently, on Twitter and then on the Physics Focus blog. In between those, probably coincidentally (he doesn’t mention anything prompting it), Sean Carroll offered a three-step definition of science: Think of every possible way the world could be. Label each way an “hypothesis.”…

For the last several months, I’ve been poking along on the book-in-progress in a very constrained manner– basically, I get to work on it in three-hour chunks on Tuesdays when I don’t have class (and this term, Thursdays as well). This is, as you might imagine, incredibly frustrating, though I do get some book-related stuff…

Always Write the Introduction Last

Here are some excerpts from the introductory sections of the very first drafts of some book chapters: [BLAH, BLAH, BLAHBITTY BLAH] and [Introductory blather goes here] and Blah, blah, stuff, blather. There’s a good reason for this, based on the basics of scientific writing, namely that the Introduction should give the reader a rough guide…

I’m looking at an email from my editor when Emmy wanders by the computer, sniffing around just in case a crumb of food has fallen on the floor in the last five minutes. “Hey,” I say, “Come here and look at this.” “Look at what?” “This:” “It’s the cover for my new book.” “A-hem.” “OK,…

I’ve been going through the manuscript for the book making up a list of glossary words (a frighteningly long list), and also noting miscellaneous pop-cultural references– quotes, direct mentions, paraphrases, etc. I’m sure I’ve missed a few– many of them occur in section titles, which my eyes tend to slide right over as I read…

Emmy in Ink and Pixels

“Hey, Dude, what’cha doin’?” “I’m checking out the dog drawings I commissioned for the book-in-progress. Here, take a look:” “Hey, wait just one minute. That looks like me!” “That’s the idea. Since you’re in the book, I thought it would be nice to have some pictures that look like you, rather than just a clip-art…