A Memoir

I turned 60 this year, which I knew felt like a big milestone. At the same time, it also felt not such a big deal. But as I live into that year mark, I can see that I actually feel into this year mark, things have come to light. I feel clearer about wanting to work on the things I really want to work on, and not wasting time on other things.

My Twitter bio says "...polymath & writer with too many projects..." and that is certainly a good description of me. I have a number of (now, and possibly forever) moribund science fiction writing projects, at least a dozen web/backend tech projects, and another half-dozen or so electronics projects. I'm tapering my volunteer organization work, but I still have some commitments there.

But a big project is emerging that will likely take precidence over most of these (or at least over the ones that don't generate an income.) About 2 months ago, I was thinking about the ways in which my life and experience has changed since I started my transition. And I realized that I wanted to understand more the science of what that was about. And then I came up with what I thought was a pretty reasonable idea - what if I combined my personal experience with the science that is known to underly it?

Well, it turned out this idea might be a bit more hair-brained than I think. I have seen no examples of this in the wild. I've asked tons of writer people, and they don't know of any examples of this in the wild either. There are, of course, plenty of popularized science books peppered with personal experience. And there are lots of memoirs of scientists, which include references to, and descriptions of their work. But I can't find a single memoir that, for instance, talks about someone's experience in their lives, and along side of that, talks about the research underlying those experiences. I'm thinking of basically a 50/50 split of personal experience and science.

First off, by "science" I'm thinking broadly. I'm including psychology and sociology (and possibly anthropology), because so much of human experience isn't studied by biologists. But there is also lots of neuroscience, endocrinology, and epidemiology I'll be drawing on. I decided to focus on gender, race, and sexuality. So we'll see how this goes.

I'm starting by writing a series of essays. The first will be on gender identity, and it is in process. I'm assuming this is like writing my second dissertation. The first took me six years, so I'm assuming this will be similar, if not a longer process. That actually feels good. My first novel took that long, but it was like 5 years of thinking, and one year of writing. The other novels took me much less time. This is going to be a lot of thinking-research-writing-thinking-writing-research-thinking... etc.

I have two working titles, neither of which I assume will end up being the end title. The first is Overlapping Magisteria and the second is An N of One. I'll keep you posted.