Finished and a Factoid

on June 3, 2013 in Misc

First off, Finished:

This afternoon I was stunned to realize I’ve got no more historical research to do for Charity MacCay and the Almighty Dollar.  I mean nada.  Zip.


See, the thing about writing an historical novel or just one that deals in some way with history (like The Compass Master) is that there are ALWAYS details to look up. ALWAYS facts to check.  ALWAYS another resource to read among the hundred other books I’ve already read.  So today I sat down at my computer feeling like maybe I’d get a couple sections fixed.  And I fixed them.  And then I checked my literary To Do list.  But…

There isn’t anything else To Do.   Seriously?  Ya mean from here on out it’s just reread the manuscript a few times to proof it and make any last changes?  I don’t believe it!

Maybe you’ve had the same experience.  You’ve had a manuscript around for so long that it seems you’ll never finish it and get it out there.  And then one day… WHAM! It’s practically done.  Charity should be in print by this autumn!  I can’t tell you how good that feels.

Of course, I still have to edit the sequel, Charity MacCay and Holy Relations, but I’m not gonna think about that tonight.

Second, Factoid:

As you know, I like to throw out facts I’ve come across that might come in handy for my fellow writers.  Here’s the latest…

Scientists have at long last discovered why salamanders can regrow limbs and regenerate parts of major organs.  (Lost your leg?  Just grow a new one!)  It seems that this “superhero-like” ability stems from immune cells called macrophages, which of course we mammals also have.  In fact, many animals may have a capability for tissue regeneration that has been turned off during evolution, but for whatever reason remained on for salamanders.

Now that scientists have pinpointed the macrophage involvement, they’re hoping to find a way to reactivate the process in humans, for example to heal damaged spinal cords or speed up recovery from diseases.  Later on, maybe they can regenerate limbs, which would be so wonderful.  The theory is that it might be possible to turn back on in us humans a natural genetic (or epigenetic?) ability.

Personally, I think this factoid could be the basis for everything from an X-Men type of story to a more serious literary novel.  It’s also just plain good news.

So that’s it for today.  Do any of you have some inspiring factoids?  How about novels that you think you’ll never ever get into print?

16 Responses to “Finished and a Factoid”

  1. Congratulations! Now all you have to do is edit.
    We heal but don’t regenerate, so that would be a big step.

  2. Helena says:

    Alex — I’ve actually done most editing, so really it’s proofing and fussy stuff. Such a relief.

  3. I’m awed by the recent advances in science. I discovered the other day that they are close to a solution to wipe out HIV forever. It has to do with the sheath that the virus uses that is crucial for delivery of the viral encoding into a healthy cell. If the sheath is destroyed before it can insert itself into a blood cell, then the virus just dies. I was fascinated in learning about this as the reason why most viruses are difficult to treat is because of mutation. But this takes mutation out of the equation since it’s actually targeting the capsule itself and disintegrating it.

    Helena, I was wondering if you could help me with a very short blurb. I don’t have it yet, but it’s for a self-published project that I’m going to do soon. It’s not going to have any book tour associated with it and I’m not going to say anything about it on my blog. I’m just going to quietly upload it to Amazon at some point because I’ve gotten emails asking me to do that (one of the stories I post for free on a porn site). Anyway I was thinking a max of like five to six sentences and you helped me so much with the last one.

  4. Helena says:

    Michael – That is fantastic news about HIV eradication. And if this treatment also addresses other viruses, it’s a near miracle.

    I’d love to help you, although after my own blurb-writing experience I feel kind of inadequate because Carol Kilgore helped me so very much. But I have some very handy notes she sent me about blurb writing, and I’ll copy her most salient points and send them to you. Then when you’re ready send me what you’ve got and we can work on it together.

  5. I got nothin’. But I did get back to work on my WIP today. Ecstatic about that!

    Congrats on completing your research :)

  6. Congrats! I hear you about research. I’m writing a historical right now, and I’ve had to stop so many times to look something up, I’ve lost count. But it will be rewarding in the end. I hope I can do 1850 America justice. :)

  7. Helena says:

    Carol — Isn’t it funny how work like this can feel good?

  8. Helena says:

    Melissa – 1850? That sounds intriguing. Mine is 1867-1868 New York. Writing historical novels sure ain’t for wusses, so you and I are pretty gutsy.

  9. Nas says:

    Congratulations on finishing! Yay!

  10. Helena says:

    Nas – Thanks so much.

  11. Hart Johnson says:

    YAY for finishing research!!! I totally have to wait to research on the revision or I am compelled to put EVERY SINGLE DETAIL in the book. And that is VERY cool on the regeneration thing!

  12. Helena says:

    Hart – I really hope the regenerative research works out in the extreme.

  13. Old Kitty says:

    Yay!!! Well done you!!! You’ve finished and it’s onwards and upwards for you!!

    Awww Salamanders – and Mother Nature – are amazing and too super cute for words! Take care

  14. Helena says:

    Old Kitty — Cute little regenerator, isn’t he?

  15. Feels good, doesn’t it? While we’re in the trenches, though, it’s tough to believe we’ll ever get to that point. But we will. And it’ll be glorious.

  16. Helena says:

    Milo – I’m starting to peek over the edge of the trench. It’s like seeing daylight after a long night.