Medical humanities is a means of reflection upon and examination of biomedicine in context—and a recognition that context is politicized, culturally complex, and frequently ambiguous. But to see such a broad a vista needs a broad approach. My aim isn’t to define the medicine humanities as a single, static instrument or lens. Instead, we want to reconsider the medical humanities as radical dialogic encounter—a place for conversation with those outside our own areas of specialty.
I probably should have called this ‘what does it mean to write for publication if you are Brandy Lain Schillace.’ (But that would be a very long title.) I am about to get a little bit personal about the writing life today, and to talk about something that doesn’t get a lot of air time. Being a professional writer, for better or worse, requires the author to do a lot of things that have nothing to do with the actual written word. It’s about publicizing, and social media, and making appearances, and doing the legwork, and being a graphic artist, and maybe a web designer, too. And for many, it means holding down a separate job (or three), and sorting out how to make the disparate pieces connect. It’s hard, and pretty un-sexy, too, at times. So: How’s it done and why?
Confession: I have a tendency to use the “gift book” get out of jail free card quite a lot. It beats fruit cake. And the truth is, today’s online-searchable world opens up a buffet line of keywords to help you with complex family members. Aunt who loves dogs and knitting and Halloween? Yes. There is a book for that. Uncle with a passion for do-it-yourself and cheap wine? A book for that, too, as it happens. But maybe you have that most-feared of all acquaintances, the HISTORY BUFF. You know the sort: the one who stands up at the back of every single holiday movie to remind you that ‘it did not happen that way’–the one who corrects your anachronistic jokes, the one who wants to tell you how it USED to be. I know that type because, well, I am one. (TESLA DID NOT SAY THAT, she shouts at the television. Again.)
“Schillace’s ambitious study of the history of steampunk is sure to appeal to a wide range of readers, from SF fans to readers of Victorian history (much of steampunk is set during the Victorian Era)…”