In the interests of full disclosure, I have to admit I don’t actually have a writing cave. I have a desk, piled high with Very Important Papers that need to be filed, books for research, books on writing, and a snake’s nest of charging cables for our iThingys.
It faces a window that looks out on the backyard, so I can watch the kids while I write “my stories”, as my daughter calls them. She often suggests that I put more horses in my books.
And on that pile of paper and electronics, I have managed to write drafts of three full novels and two novellas. A series of books about three sisters and the inhabitants of the little town I invented for them to live in. I actually hadn’t realized what I’d done until my critique partner, the lovely Emma, pointed it out to me.
I had a very brief moment where I thought, “Yes, I did finish a series.” Which was then followed by, “Well, I didn’t really finish, I have lots more stories in this setting I want to write. And what I’ve done is just write very bad drafts, which have to be reworked into something closer to not bad.”
This kind of thing is very familiar from my days in the lab. You spent years working on a project, had perhaps a day or two of elation when the paper on it was finally published, and then–you had to get right back to work on the next multi-year project.
Which brings me to my next writing project. I’ve decided to set aside my sisters and all the romances I have planned for my imaginary town that I have yet to write, for a time.
I’m going to write a romance about science.
It will be a historical, set in turn of the century Pasadena. (Yes, the hero will be a faculty member at a university very much like CalTech.) The hero is a neuroscientist, a man I’m modeling after the great Ramon y Cajal, the founder of modern neuroscience. The heroine is an artist.
He’s making an atlas of the brain, but he needs someone to illustrate it for him. (He can’t draw.) She’s waiting for her artistic career to take off, but she needs to eat in the meantime.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to start working on this. I have a whole series of longish novellas planned, that all feature scientists as the heroes and heroines. For the next few posts, I likely be going over some choice quotes on romance and marriage from Ramon y Cajal himself, and talk about some popular misconceptions about scientists and love.
I hope that people will get as much enjoyment out of reading this story as I will writing it.