/ˈabˌstrakt/ 1. (n.) a summary of the contents of a book, article, or formal speech. 2. (adj.) existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence. My mind operates on both planes.
It’s an almost universally acknowledged truth among human health researchers that immunology is complicated. Crazy complicated.
I took an introductory immunology course in undergrad, and I was absolutely AMAZED by how elegant the immune system is. It’s the epitome of a well-oiled machine. Every component exists for a reason. Everything that could go wrong is well-managed (except in disease states, obviously). It’s truly remarkable.
But it also goes without saying that translating complicated, abbreviation-dense immunology into a language even I could understand was a challenge.
I very much enjoyed the challenge, though! I was allowed to work with this article all the way from the first draft to the last copy, and I learned quite a bit from it. It was also pretty interesting!
Want to learn more about how the immune system stays vigilant against the flu while not destroying healthy lung tissue? Read the news brief here!
The picture you see above (without the redactions) has been my desktop image for the last year.
I’ve tried a few different motivational tricks to get me through NaNo– to keep me inspired by my own progress, even when it feels like I’m going nowhere. This little color-coded tracker system is by far one of my favorites.
I’m back from not-hiatus, and ‘TIS THE SEASON, FRIENDS!
When someone new gets to know me, there are three undeniable truths about me that they generally pick up in the first three days.
My favorite animal is undeniably, vocally, incontrovertibly, emphatically the majestic and graceful sea turtle.
I can’t tell a short story to save my soul.
NaNoWriMo is my own personal month-long holiday.
NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, or NaNo for short) is an annual challenge to write 50,000 words toward a novel in the month of November. It’s like a fiction writer’s equivalent of a marathon. You train for it. You prep for it. You do it. Then you sleep.
More about NaNo in this post from nearly a year ago! Suffice it to say, it’s one of my favorite events for many mushy-gushy reasons I’ll explain in a few weeks. A little-known fact about me, however, is that I was excited about NaNo long before I ever endeavored to try it.
That’s right. I watched the month of November roll by for several years before I finally took the plunge.
Today, in my Facebook memories, proof of this resurfaced in the form of an ‘Ode to October’ I posted in 2011. To set the stage, this happened a precious few days before I took said plunge and signed up for NaNo, persuaded by a friend. When I posted this, the idea was still just a pipe dream, something I’d always do ‘someday.’ The project hadn’t saved a passion of mine that was dying. It hadn’t made me some of the best friends I’ve ever had. It hadn’t given me a place to cultivate my leadership skills. It was just a ‘someday.’
The ode itself is actually quite terrible, but given all that context, it really warmed my heart. I hope it warms yours a little too.
Ode to October:
Each year, fewer words flow from my fingertips
To the most beautiful of all canvases, the blank paper before me.
Each year, less notebooks are filled with the lines and curves
That build empires and give birth to people so enticingly real
I can almost feel their presence beside my chair.
Sweet October, with weather so gorgeous for plotting,
For dreaming the existence of these wonderful empires.
With endless hints of NaNoWriMo dropped in my presence
Calling me to rekindle the passion of putting pen to paper
For just one month, one November, one impossible challenge
One year, perhaps this one, I shall listen to your call.
This post is the last of five chapters in my not-hiatus series. Basically, I’ve fed the first few lines of some Casters’ Court chapters into an AI network to see what it comes up with. In this alternate-universe version of chapter five, Phoenix explains the true experience of music . . . which, to be honest, sounds a lot like what she’d actually say if I’d have let her keep rambling about the subject in the chapter.
This post is the fourth of five chapters in my not-hiatus series. Basically, I’ve fed the first few lines of some Casters’ Court chapters into an AI network to see what it comes up with. In this alternate-universe version of chapter four, Plex explains how great of an author she is, and how writing should explain life.