’twas the night before school


‘Twas the night before school, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a louse.

(Because I bombed the heck out of my kid’s hair last week to rid it of those deplorable creatures. Thank you, summer camp.)

The backpacks were hung in the mudroom with care, outfits were chosen including clean underwear.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of new friends and math danced in their heads.

With Dad in his PJs and I as well, we trod off to bed satisfied that summer was swell.

When in the next bedroom there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.… Keep Reading

a day in the life of a writer



Today is a writing day.

9:07 – The kids are off to school. Quiet music is playing in the background. The temperature of the house is set to 68 F … warm enough, but not too warm to cause drowsiness. Besides, I have a blanket here if I need one.

“68 F”. I can’t leave it like that. How do I type the degree symbol again? Or is it acceptable to write temperatures without the degree symbol? I’ll look it up …

According to the National Geographic Style Manual, the proper way to write temperatures is to write the number, followed by the degree symbol, followed by either a cap C or cap F – no spaces, no commas, no periods.… Keep Reading

collecting words: writing is hard

Journalling is easy.

Writing is hard.

Thinking about writing is a near-death experience.

I have been thinking about writing all summer.  Thus, I have been on my death-bed for nearly 3 months now.   I sort of feel like I’ve been juggling knives (i.e. stories that threaten to rip open my heart), puppies (i.e. feel-good anecdotes), a Bible (for good measure), a magic 8 ball (for poor measure), and a clown mask … that laughs and mocks and makes any attempt at writing feel ill-fated at best, and apocalyptic at worst.

No need to send flowers or condolences … yet.

I’ve decided that writing is not for the faint of heart. … Keep Reading


Two weeks ago I declared that I intended to write a book.  I started with the ambitious goal of writing 1,000 words at day, then lowered that to 500, then to 250.  Confession: I have not written a single word since.  I could easliy blame it on lack of time.  End-of-school activities, neglected DYI projects and a new summer schedule have all competed for my attention. Even so, time can’t totally account for my lack of writing.  The fact is, I’m paralyzed … and not with doubt (though it flutters around me like a pesky fly) … and not with the overwhelming amount of work that lies ahead … but with heartache.… Keep Reading

a book proposal?

After spending 7 years combined as a grad student and post-doc in biochemistry labs, I still only have two written published works.  The first of which was published in Protein Science the same month and year my first child was born: “Crystal structure of a tetrameric GDP-d-mannose 4,6-dehydratase from a bacterial GDP-d-rhamnose biosynthetic pathway”.  My structure graced the cover of the journal that month.  I was cover-girl. (Ha!) The second article was published in the FEBS Journal one month shy of the birth of my second child: “The structural basis for catalytic function of GMD and RMD, two closely related enzymes from the GDP-d-rhamnose biosynthesis pathway”.… Keep Reading