Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I survive a conjunction

With some regularity the objects in our solar system line themselves up in pleasing arrangements...

conjunctions... that people enjoy watching...

and photographing. And sometimes even more spectacular things appear in the heavens.

I used to venture outside on such occasions, and then would often return to the house and grab Richard by the ear and drag him outside to see as well.

The last time I did this was a few years ago when a comet appeared in the sky that could be seen if one used binoculars and was patient. I saw it, and then urged him to come outside and see it too. I showed him where to look and gave him the binoculars, and he said he saw it and we went back in.

Later on, he told me that he didn't see it. He was just tired of standing out there in the cold and wanted to back in the house. It was then I finally realized that he really was not interested in this and that I should leave him alone. So I did.

Whenever I told him I was going outside to look at a planetary conjunction or that I was going to take a ride in car to spot with a clear view of the West so I could see the planet Mercury low in the sky just after sundown, he would tease me "Oh boy, more white dots in the sky," he'd say.

I don't star gaze too much anymore. I have sort of lost interest myself in seeing the white dot, although I do have the Astronomy Picture of the Day as a widget on my desktop.

If I can be forgiven for expressing what I do to earn money as a metaphor for the solar system, then I have been experiencing my own "conjunction". A conjunction of the journals. I edit for two large journals - not the ones that are in the press all the time - but they are major journals for their respective fields.

I think of them as Jupiter...

and Saturn.

I edit for two smaller journals, also important for their specialty but not as big....


and Venus

And then whirling into this mini-Solar system a couple of times a year is

Pluto.. No. Not that Pluto.

This Pluto.

At any rate, about 2 weeks ago, a lot of work for all of the journals - including Pluto - arrived at once. It has been a bit overwhelming.

One the one hand, I blessed God that I still have a job, especially since the ripple effects of the economic troubles have hit the publishing industry and my very favorite issue manager -- she handled Jupiter -- is now out of a job.

The journal is traveling to another location and I have moved with it, but she has not. The party is over, she says, in an e-mail. I am going to miss her so much. I would like to cry right along with her. As a matter of fact, Pluto's issue manager is also out of a job. I don't know yet whether I will be traveling along with that journal when it lands in its new home.

On the other hand, I was on the verge of panic: "how am I going to get all of this done."

Richard patted me on the back. Of course you will get it done, he says. And he was right. The deadline is Friday for the last of it. I have now finished, and will be sending it within a couple of hours this morning -- just a bit tweaking is left.

All this extra work has happened at a good time. We may need the extra money to get our septic system lined out. It is working now, but it is still not not quite right.

and they have been trying to the bottom of the problem.

1 comment:

The Weaver of Grass said...

I so enjoyed reading your post and seeing those magical photographs. My son's children bought him a telescope for his birthday last year and he called my one night to go round and look at saturn. It was such a magical experience - to see it with its rings. Here, because we are far from a town, we get wonderful starry skies and sometimes, if we are very lucky, the aurora borealis. Hope all your journals keep going in this recession. I suppose buying journals is one of the things that the public cuts out if it is short of money.