The clothes are laid out, and it's time to pack. Off to the airport in a few hours, to be delivered this evening in New Orleans for the sixteenth national conference of the American Copy Editors Society.

You who are not an editor (how sad for you) and have never attended an ACES conference (how doubly sad for you) may imagine a pencil-necked crowd of dorks gathered in the library for a hot discussion of commas. So little you know.*

I will be spending the better part of three days with a group of smart, literate, and funny people. They flock to the sessions to talk about the finer points of editing, editing being nearly the most fun anyone can have legally. They repair to the bar to share war stories. They celebrate old acquaintances and meet new ones.

This year I hope to have the good fortune of meeting Craig Silverman of Regret the Error and Carol Saller, the Subversive Copy Editor herself. And @CopyCurmudgeon and @PurplePenning whom I know from Twitter I believe will be there. And Beryl Adcock, whom I met at the first ACES conference in Chapel Hill in 1997, and Missy Prebula, whom I met at the Dallas conference in 1999 and hired for The Sun until The New York Times lured her away, and @EditorMark, whom I met at the Philadelphia conference in 2010. And others whom I have known and worked with and respected, and who are still soldiering away at good work despite the upheavals and reversals of the Worldwide War on Editing.

Knowing all this, you will perhaps understand and empathize when I tell you that I mean to be greedy and selfish. I do not plan to post further this week, and I doubt that I will be popping up on Twitter or Facebook. As Cliff Arquette used to proclaim in his Charley Weaver persona, "These are My People," and I am jealous of my time with them.

 

*Though, in fact, something about commas is pretty likely to come up.