Category Archives: Writing

In which we sort ourselves out

Writing space: the final frontier When you move into a new house, you unpack about 90% of your belongings in the first months. And then, of course, there’s that lingering tail that seems to get put off indefinitely. This asymptote … Continue reading

Posted in Domestic bliss, LabLit, Writing | 8 Comments

In which an era ends

She was decent and hard-working. She seldom complained, even when she got herself into a jam. She witnessed my awakening as a writer, from tentative, cliché-prone beginner to confident, stripped-down wordsmith capable of earning money and book deals. She saw … Continue reading

Posted in LabLit, Nostalgia, Work/life balance, Writing | 4 Comments

In which I’m published – in ‘Science Fiction by Scientists’

As the Queen of Lab Lit, a literary subgenre whose defining characteristic includes not being science fiction, people are often surprised to discover that I do actually like SF. But it’s true. I read little else when I was younger, … Continue reading

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In which fiction infiltrates science

Two years ago I was honored to have been one of the recipients of the Suffrage Science award. Launched in 2011 by the Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre, this program involves heirloom jewelry, originally designed by art students at … Continue reading

Posted in LabLit, The profession of science, Women in science, Writing | 2 Comments

Too many jobs, not enough quiet: In which I am spread too thin

To be in academia is to multitask. As a principal investigator in a big university, it is becoming increasingly apparent that investigation is not my principal role. Yes, I run a lab (which is in turn defined by multitasks: supervising … Continue reading

Posted in Scientific thinking, Teaching, The profession of science, Writing | 6 Comments

In which we respect the tough love: editing your writing is an art

Everyone’s a critic. But how good are people at taking their own medicine? Any why should writers strive to embrace and even welcome constructive criticism? I got to thinking about all this last night at Fiction Lab, our monthly science … Continue reading

Posted in LabLit, Writing | 3 Comments

In which we recommend a classic lab lit novel in honor of the Pluto flyby

The big day is finally arrived: in just a few hours, we are about to get our closest look yet at Pluto. Call it what you will – planet, dwarf planet, even the last word in that classic American solar … Continue reading

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In which Charles Fernyhough comes to Fiction Lab

One of the great things about being the LabLit Guru™ is that I am constantly receiving interesting books to look over. A stack of lab lit, yesterday – plus an intriguing hanger-on there at the bottom One of the not-so-great … Continue reading

Posted in LabLit, Writing | 1 Comment

In which we despair: show and tell is alive and well

I have a theory about best-selling authors. Once they have finally made their breakthroughs, they tend to get lazy. I have noticed that subsequent novels often become longer – just eyeball your collection of Harry Potters on the bookshelf and … Continue reading

Posted in LabLit, Writing | 9 Comments

In which my palm is crossed with silver: Suffrage Science 2014

Inheritance doesn’t have to be genetic. This past Thursday at London’s Dana Centre, I was one of this year’s recipients for Suffrage Science. For those of you unfamiliar with the scheme, it was launched in 2011 by the Medical Research … Continue reading

Posted in Women in science, Writing | 3 Comments