So last week I met my son, Chris, at Cal State San Bernardino, the university he attends. There we met with Tim Usher. Mr. Usher is a physics professor, specializing in Ferroelectrics and Piezoelectric research (I'm copying this from the CSUSB brochure because I have no idea what the terms mean).
Why were we meeting a physics professor, you ask?
Well, it wasn't to discuss Ferro-lala-bingbang. I was doing research for my next book. Really. You see, Mr. Usher also traffics in quantum theory, a subject that, from the little I grasp of it, is fascinating. It so happens that the more I doodled with ideas for another story, the more quantum concepts kept intruding. Namely, the notion of parallel universes and alternate realities. Yeah, contemporary speculative fiction partakes freely from the worm cans opened by quantum theory. Now that there's a semi-plausible platform to explain things like doppelgangers and lands of Oz, there's no shortage of stories about them.
Unsure how to dress for research, I donned my nerd glasses, Mokulua flip-flops and grabbed a notepad. The professor graciously entertained my juvenile questions and laughed at my stupid jokes. He even asked for a copy of the book when it becomes available (which'll be, like, in the next parallel world, doc). Among the tidbits of info I acquired, the most comforting was the reassurance that very bright people have very messy desks.
Walking back through those hallowed halls, pen in pocket, head swirling with ideas, I felt like a genuine writer (a temporary feeling usually punctuated by rejection letters). Oh well, whatever happens, I was able to finally use that phrase: I'm doing research for my next book.