In the early morning, my life’s experiences shape my paragraphs
One of the great things about being an author is that every experience—all of life—informs one’s writing. From my childhood on a large dairy farm in Wisconsin to my decades as an emergency room physician in Florida, in one way or another, it all ends up on the page.
It’s autumn now, and I remember the chilly autumn dawns of my youth, when (as I would throughout the year) I would venture out to milk the cows. I learned discipline from this, and to this day it’s my custom to arise at 4:30. This is my preferred time to write.
When I began my college education, my discipline grew to meet the challenges of earning a degree. Schooling involves books, and I think many other authors would agree that no single activity improves writing more than reading.
As I pursued various degrees in the sciences, I experienced firsthand the functions of countless ecosystems, from the microscopic to the vast. The human body is an ecosystem within which exist many other eco-subsystems. In my novel ULTIMATE ERROR, the focus is on marine ecosystems and how they’re affected by oil spills and oil spill clean-ups.
My Ph.D. is in membrane physiology. Here are the physics within those microscopic ecosystems. The interconnectedness of things is a theme in my work.
In ULTIMATE ERROR, we witness not only the petroleum killing myriad marine species, but also man’s greed putting the destructive process into motion.
The emergency room, where I’ve worked for 30 years, is an ecosystem of a different kind. The patient is at the center of a system which includes information, medical implements and devices, drugs and fluids, maintenance staff, nurses and, of course, physicians. Flexibility is a key characteristic, allowing for quick adaptation in a rapidly changing environment.
Our oceans, lakes, and streams are the cradle of life on Earth. Too often, we compartmentalize even great disasters such as oil spills in aquatic environments. With the “help” of the oil industry, we focus on the surface. The truth is that there are billions of organisms adversely affected in these disasters. The water itself and all plant and animal life, micro and macro, are damaged.
These are the experiences and facts that inform my writing. Everything is interconnected. As a practicing physician, I see the connection between body and mind. One’s thoughts shape one’s life. Interpersonal relationships can bring great joy and/or great pain. The actions or inactions of governments affect the people. This is precisely why peace and consideration of the “other” must always be of the highest importance.
With the interconnectedness of life always at top of mind, we may go about enjoying our lives without lessening the joys of our fellows.
My upcoming novel, ULTIMATE ERROR, is about an oil spill in a sensitive, natural ecosystem. The chemistry and the physics of the disaster are important, but only the human factor can cause the ULTIMATE mistake.