The Author Marianne Strnad

The Author Marianne Strnad
Thanks for visiting me here!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Epiphany

   I am the key operator of our automated urinalysis instrument in the lab. It's not a glamorous job, but is very necessary.  One day when I was working at the UA bench I had to perform a manual microscopic exam on a patient's urine sample. When certain biochemical and analytical results are positive on a sample, we have to spin the sample down and view the sediment  through a microscope for better detail in order to confirm the presence of certain formed elements that lead to diagnosis. I was very suspicious that the sample I was analyzing contained a certain parasite called Trichomonas. I looked at every area of the slide hoping it would just move itself  into my field of view so I could finally stop looking for it, as the presence of one is good enough for a positive result.  ***BANG***  The idea hit me. What if I had the power to call hidden things forward into view-wouldn't life be so much easier then?  I thought that that idea was a great superpower for a person in a paranormal novel!  Even better, what if I could write a novel for young people that would draw them to the sciences and who might even consider medical technology as a profession?  I'd have to write it with just the right balance of intrigue, science, humor and romance (for the gals especially) in order to accomplish that task.  Thus, the idea for my first novel was born.  My goal is to write a young adult paranormal novel to bring the masses back to medical technology to the point where the old schools have to be reopened.  I would also write the book as a part of a series in case it is successful and readers want more.  Yep, that is a hugely optimistic goal, but remember that a journey toward a goal takes just one step.
  I will be attending the Romance Writer's of America convention in Orlando next week.  I'll return with a new blog post at that time.  I'm going as a budding writer and new RWA member, and as a major fangirl wanting to meet her favorite authors, of whom Kerrelyn Sparks is one. The humor, intrigue and sex appeal of the vampires in her "Love At Stake" series has given me many hours of reading pleasure, which has helped this tired old med tech to relax after many a hard day.  She knows who I am (fangirl squee!) and knows that I will be attending. We plan to exchange hugs-I might cry! I also am looking forward to meeting some new favorites, such as Bonnie Vanak and Jennifer Ashley, and probably others I'm forgetting. I love you all!  See you latter my beloved peeps!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Journey Begins

  Each new endeavor begins with a single step. If you were to link a bunch of steps together you would create a journey, so here I go with step one.  Welcome to my first blog; my biggest hope is that you will be comfortable visiting here.  In my line of work, change is a constant.  With that in mind, I plan on changing things on this blog from time to time in order to decide how I prefer to set things up around here on a more permanent basis.   So, thanks for bearing with me.
  As my "About Me" box says, I am currently a Medical Technologist. It's a lay term for "Clinical Laboratory Scientist", and that is a more apt description.  I've always been interested and involved in the field of science, beginning with my class choices in school and volunteering as a candy striper as a teen.  I have always been compelled to help others, and I credit Dad with giving me my compassionate heart.  He was a real soft touch, and I miss his gentle ways so very much.  But, that is only half of my story.
  Enter Mom.  She was a gregarious and beautiful woman with a creative streak a mile wide.  No wonder dad fell head over heels in love with her; she created her own orbit and everyone around her was drawn into her world.  My creativity manifests itself mostly in writing, and I've actually been at it a while. I still have the poems, stories and class papers from high school and beyond that were my favorites.  Several ended up in the school paper over the years.  I also dabble in jewelry-making and cooking.
  After nearly losing my husband to an illness years ago, I decided to finish the degree I started many years earlier.  Off I went to the university and got the thing done.  It took a lot longer than planned due to another family crisis, but the goal was to finish before I turned 40, and I reached that goal with a few years to spare.   Now that I've been working a while, I feel the need to allow my other heart's desire to have its turn in my life.
  The field of medical technology is suffering a horrific decline and brain drain nationwide.  Schools all over the country are closing-including my own-which does not bode well for the future of health care.  The sick need doctors and nurses as we all know, even children know that.  However, you cannot run a hospital and cure the sick without a laboratory on hand to help divulge the body's secrets. Labs are responsible for ~70% of the healthcare decisions, but comprise less than 10% of a hospital's budget. Disproportionate you say? We've known it for decades.  You cannot diagnose, treat, or follow the course of someone's treatment without a laboratory running tests to determine cause and effect.
  So, what does this have to do with writing?  I had an epiphany at work a while back, and it led me to a grand idea. More on this later, time for bed!