Writing

I write about geocaching and I write near-future science fiction. These two interests in the outdoors and in the future combined for me to write climate fiction, or “cli-fi” before I knew it was a thing. I also write about the relationship between the human brain, mind, and heart.

I am a lifelong fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy, and a graduate of the Clarion West workshop for writers of speculative fiction. When I was in graduate school for neuroscience I used to joke that I hoped my papers were science fact and not science fiction.

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My first non-science publication is not a science fiction story, but a geocaching story called “Bobbing for Bob.” It appears in the anthology, Geocaching GPS: Great Personal Stories of Romance, Adventure, & Connection, edited by Kimberly Eldredge of New Frontier Books. The book was launched on May 23, 2015, at Geowoodstock XIII, an international geocaching conference. It is available on Amazon.com as a paperback and a Kindle edition.

My local paper, the Los Altos Town Crier, published a short announcement on it too: “Mountain View Author Published in New ‘Geocaching’ Anthology.”

Since I stopped working in research a few years ago, I have won NaNoWriMo three times. “Winning” NaNoWriMo means that you have put 50,000 words of a novel on paper (or into pixels) during the month of November. It doesn’t say anything about the quality of those words. (But, I am coming to realize, that’s part of its charm.)

The first time I won, I was inspired by my daughter, then in 7th grade, who managed 50,000 words in the Young Writers’ Program with the help of her English teacher. The second time, in 2014, I ended up writing half of those words in the last week. I wouldn’t recommend this.

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The third time, in 2015, I kept closer to the recommended pace but still finished in the middle of the last day.

My three NaNo novels are called Hallie’s Cache, Sunrise on West Lake, and Before the Darkness. They will each have their own pages here.

HalliesCacheNaNoHallie’s Cache is science fiction, set in the year 2074. I’ve decided, without any evidence, that they still geocache in 2074. In space. I wrote the first full draft of this novel for 2012’s NaNoWriMo, and I got an idea of how to end it by thinking about the cover.

Sunrise on West Lake is fantasy with music, set on another world. So far, research for this novel has involved cave cities and the glass harmonica.

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Illustration of “Before the Darkness,” the short story version, in Infinity Magazine. Artist: Alicia Nowicki

Before the Darkness is a novelization of a short story that I wrote in college. At the time, many people told me that it should be a novel, but I really had no idea how to do that, and put the story aside for years. Then, in 2015 I thought, “if not now, when?” and decided to make it this year’s NaNoWriMo project. The most interesting decision I made was to set it in the same time period and future universe as Hallie’s Cache. Climate change hadn’t even been on my radar screen when I first wrote the story, but the changes and additions necessary to make everything fit made the story stronger and more interesting. It is set in California, in the Pacific Federation. I’m looking forward to exploring this world much more in the future!

9 thoughts on “Writing”

  1. Congrats to you for competing in and winning NaNoWriMo. Double congrats in developing those into novels. I’ve won NaNoWriMo a couple of times but only once a novel resulted. I hope to change that this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Hallie’s Cache” is closer to being in shape for someone to be able to read it. But it needs editing. I submitted it to a critique workshop last year and the feedback I received on the opening was a little rough, but essentially correct. “Sunrise” has a lot of filler from having written it so fast in the last week. I’m planning to visit Camp NaNoWriMo in July to do some editing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I understand it being rough. I am still in the learning stage myself so that gives me a little freedom. I’m crafting novels with no expectation of “getting it right” or “hitting it big” – at least yet. I’m trying my hand at different genres. Some of which have captured my interest and some I have found that I do not enjoy. I intend to participate in the full process on NaNoWriMo this year.

        I will not be quitting my job to be a professional writer anytime soon. However, I am having a blast learning the different aspects of writing.

        Good luck and keep writing. I’d like to see Hallie’s Cache on the (digital) shelf one day.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m definitely not quitting to become a professional writer anytime soon, either :). But I do feel like I have something to express, and writing is the right medium in which to say it. That’s why I write. That and sometimes the characters don’t leave me alone until I put them down on paper (or pixels).

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That is funny. I just typed almost the same thing on my blog seconds ago. I have story lines for characters that are in the universe of but not actually in my first book. I’m going to concur to build their works and see what happens.

        Liked by 1 person

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The Brain—is wider than the Sky

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