May 28, 2009
Biochemical Catch Up & Coalescing Good News
A quick catch up post now before diving back into metabolism. Most everything is submitted now for Spellwright. The writerly corner of my brain is off for a bit of R&R while the med-student sections have to get back into shape. Like most studying for the boards, I’ve started with biochem. I’m not sure why we this; it’s like choosing to start a marathon by sprinting up a steep, two mile ascent. Much of the material was not taught in med school, and reaching back to the undergrad, academic memories is a frustrating chore. Things went well until yesterday when I slammed up against metabolism. Generally, I have trouble caring about smaller things. If you’re a molecule, I probably don’t like you. If you’re a gene, I’m pretty bored with you. A cell might garner some interest: they have a semblance of character. Tissue very much has my attention, and organs are fascinating. People of course are the paragon of interesting. But glutamine-PRPP amidotransferase …not so much.
In the good news department, Spellwright has received another wonderful quotation. This one is from Kate Elliott, the beloved author of the CROWN OF STARS and CROSSROADS series. I have been inspired not only by Kate’s fiction, but also by her thoughtful commentary on writing and fiction on the Deep Genre blog. Here’s her wonderful, flattering quote:
This imaginative debut novel about the power of words– and I mean that literally–weaves together an inventive magic system with the story of a young man’s struggle to come to terms with who and what he is. Charlton makes a timeless plot fresh by drawing from his own experience, and he manages the difficult balancing act of writing with a real sense of delight in his world while meanwhile tackling some darker themes. I look forward to seeing what comes next.
Getting back to the nebulous good news I referred to in the previous post. The first part has become concrete. Stanford’s Medical Scholars Research Fellowship has awarded me a year-long fellowship to write fiction. I will have the honor of working with three of my MD-novelist heroes: Dr. Irvin Yalom, Dr. Abraham Verghese, and Dr. Audrey Shafer.I won’t disclose much about the project the committee commissioned. It’s a novel, not a Spellwright book and not a fantasy. It’s far off the paths I’ve tread so far as a writer. Hopefully it will help me to continue to grown and evolve. More later. Possibly much later.
The other half of the nebulous good news remains promising but not yet signed, sealed, and delivered. Hopefully I’ll have more on that very soon.