For some, with the weekend clock change in the UK, Spring has begun. For others, like my friend Henry Gee, it is the writing season.
"I have a constitutive inability to suffer from writer’s block. Some say that this literary derepression is my greatest curse as well as my greatest asset, in that I can write voluminously and very much more quickly than I can think. The hardest thing in the world is to not to write.
Last year I sat down to write a novel, just to see if I could. Four months and 178,000 words later it was done. If you like, you can read it here, but even if you don’t, and even if no-body reads it at all, that won’t detract a whit from a feeling of personal achievement that will, for me, mark one of the more satisfying of my life."
Henry is a polymath: an erudite palaeontologist as well as author, editor and science-fiction buff. Perhaps nowhere are his various interests combined to better effect than in his various Lord of the Rings guises (though he has written on plenty of other themes, including some purely scientific books). One such Tolkenian homage is his book The Science of Middle Earth; he’s talking about that on 13 April at Cromer library. See here for more details about that, and for more about Henry.
The extract from his "writing" post is from his latest blog, "The End of the Pier Show", on the Nature Network, and which I can highly recommend for Henry’s own particular fusion of talents, not the least of which is humour. As well as his writing post (in which we learn what can happen while you lock yourself into a shed to write your PhD thesis), we can read about Linnaeus’s 300th birthday, Henry’s family move to Cromer, use of English in scientific writing, and standing next to scientist-celebrities at parties.