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