From the series: Life on Dog Hill
One of the aspects of writing that I most enjoy is the research that I do along the way. Some may think I put too much emphasis on the research and perhaps they are right. In my latest hiatus from writing, I gave myself ten weeks to dive into the subjects of chemistry and physics. Can you believe this is for a work of fiction?
The good news is that once I publish the three-book series I expect to result from this research, I can apply for an engineering job for added income. Okay, maybe I’m not that skilled, but I’m feeling pretty darn smart.
Here’s what I did…
I enrolled in a free ten week university-level course on chemistry. Not exactly organic chemistry, more like a combination of theory and organic chemistry with a little physics tossed in. Did you notice the word free?
If you haven’t already heard of Coursera.org and you’re a life-long learner like me, you’re going to love this site. Oodles and oodles of courses including arts, business management, hard sciences, social sciences, computer science, education, engineering, law, mathematics, medicine…
And all of them are absolutely free. Unbelievably beautiful!
I see lots of ways for Coursera.Org to benefit a variety of learners. In the chemistry course I took, there were high school teachers wanting to stay on top of their content; college students familiarizing themselves with chemistry before taking the course as part of their degree program; job seekers honing their skill set, and lots of folks like me there just because the subject interested them.
As a writer, I love understanding the scope of what I’m writing about. In my book, Truth Runs Deep, I spent a weekend taking a concealed handgun course so I would know how the guns I wrote about felt in my hand and what it was like to shoot them at close range (I felt the powder in my face). I also spent hours talking to a former priest and incorporating his beta read comments into the copy.
I’m already looking at another course in thermodynamics and the concept of transferring energy — super cool! Somebody stop me!
Image found here.