I’m as surprised as anybody that I managed something resembling a vacation from my writing this past week. I just now took my Folklife photocopies down from the high shelf where I stashed them right after I got home last Saturday.

Now begins the exciting task of printing “American Folklife Center” in grayscale on each sheet, so as to easily distinguish these materials from the stuff I’ve collected here in Austin at the Center for American History, which puts its brand on the copied materials before I ever get them. And then I’ll go through and log my D.C. receipts, for tax purposes.

I think I’ll skip this stuff when I get around to making school presentations.

The only vacation I took from my vacation was Thursday night, when I stayed up until the wee hours reacquainting myself with some heavy-duty science for a pair of newly added pages at the back of The Day-Glo Brothers.

My editor and I have removed from the main text the showstopping explanations of how fluorescence and daylight fluorescence work, which has created an opportunity to go into a little more detail — not quite to the electron-excitation level, but close enough to foresee a likely question from readers.

That question — Why do some things glow, but not others? — is trickier to answer than you might think, especially in one 40-word paragraph representing my night’s work. I’ll save that short version — or whatever it looks like after we’re done with it — for the book, but if you can’t wait for the answer, you’re welcome to have a look at some of the raw materials I drew from Thursday night:

OK, fine — wait for the book.