Friday, April 27, 2018

Big Updates to the Website

I've finally updated this website so I can present information about my writing in a more useful format. I've changed the tabs at the top and reorganized material into the categories "About Me," "Blog," "Science Writing," "Short Stories," and "Books." This change came about because I've had a lot of publications lately and it was cumbersome to record them here, since I hadn't organized things on this website in a way that would make this an easy task.

My "Science Writing" tab now contains links to numerous examples of my work for the American Institute of Physics, particularly for the new Scilight project, which has been keeping me quite busy for the past year. These short pieces have been on topics as diverse as multi-color LED arrays, hurricane modeling, dark matter and energy, acoustic metasurfaces, and explosions. I've really enjoyed writing these and invite you to take a look!

Another big change is to my "Short Stories" tab, where I have now put a comprehensive list of all my published short stories, with links to those that were published online. My most recent short story will be out the first week of May in Chantwood Magazine. I will post the exact link here when it appears, but I am very excited about this particular story. It is a modern-day fairy tale and the title is "The Black Forest."

The final big change is the addition of an entire new tab entitled "Books," because, well, I have books coming out! I've posted as much info as I have for the two novels that are currently in press and will update this as more info becomes available. One thing that should happen quite soon is the cover reveal for "Belle o' the Waters." I've seen several rounds of possibilities and we are getting close to a final version, so stay tuned for that exciting news.

Oh, and last but not least: the photos here are from yesterday's walk on the National Mall in DC. It was a gorgeous spring day and I thought I'd capture a bit of it with my phone to share with all of you. Summer is on its way soon!

Thursday, April 12, 2018


I couldn't find time to post an entry in my "old family photo" series last month, since I was busy welcoming my first grandchild, born March 20th. We aren't posting pictures of the baby online, but believe me she's a cutie, just like her great-great-grandmother, pictured here with her own grandfather, Thomas Bean.

This photo was taken in 1911-1912 after Thomas (who is my great-great-grandfather) arrived in the United States. He was born in 1849 in Middlesex, England, and married Ellen Elizabeth Blackshaw in 1872. They had six children before Ellen divorced Thomas in 1884 and sailed to America in 1884. I would love to know more details about their story, since Thomas apparently came to the US eventually and remarried Elizabeth.

One of Thomas and Elizabeth's children was Ellen Elizabeth Bean, also known as Nellie Bean. The baby in this photo (my grandmother, Mabelle Irene Luthy) is her ninth child, out of a total of twelve children, all of them born to her and her husband Albert Frederick Luthy, in their log home in Rexburg, Idaho from the early 1890's to about 1920.

All this is to say that women during that time could be assured that their adult life would likely revolve mostly around having babies and caring for children. These were obviously the days long before reliable birth control was available. As I've written my fictionalized account of the life of one young woman in this era, Belle Waters, I had to acknowledge the truth that this would most likely be her life--having and raising babies. It is not such a bad thing, as I was recently reminded when caring for my now three-week-old granddaughter, but it does limit a woman's role in the world, particularly when they have the number of children that was common in these years: six for my great-great grandmother, Ellen Elizabeth Bean, and twelve for her daughter, Nellie Bean Luthy.

I hope to resume this post series at a somewhat more frequent pace, now that I'm back for awhile from temporary baby duty. More old photos to come soon!