This weekend I attended a science teacher's conference with Kirk. The purpose of this confab was to provide a venue for high school science teachers to reveal the findings and results of research they'd conducted the previous summer, to practice sharing this research with other science professionals, and to gain some insight and mastery at getting kids fired up about engaging in science—not just teaching it, but doing it. There was lots of food, booze and swag, too.
Aside from getting treated to a wonderful winter interlude in San Diego's warm and sunny climate, and spending uninterrupted time with the man I love, I had an unexpected windfall—a happy accident, you might say. Turns out there's a primate research center in these parts, and I made a few contacts over the weekend, including the Director of a lot of the research. Someone who might just serve as a model, work-wise, for Frances.
Spending more time around the monkey people, I started getting that excited feeling—the way you do when you think the stars are aligning to help you write your book. It's always wonderful when your life and writing collude to make you think what you do is a real thing, and can borrow from the real world. The danger, I suppose, is in forgetting that you are weaving a fiction, and don't have to stay true to every detail the world presents. Remembering to be judicious and discerning when it comes to what you're going to take can be hard—because writers sometimes feel they owe the truth a story, instead of the other way round.