[Today I’m reblogging mystery author Helen Currie Foster’s post for Ink-Stained Wretches—about how we’re influenced by our genes, our experiences, our parenting, our parents’ parenting . . . fascinating stuff—and how writers might use what science is uncovering on the topic.]
by Helen Currie Foster
Okay—Mom Genes is such a great title, it couldn’t not be used. But Abigail Tucker’s new book of that title doesn’t focus just on moms. Tucker, a New York Times best-selling science writer, dives deep into the burgeoning science examining parental behavior—genetic? hormonal? learned?
And you writers may find it a rich source for potential plots.
Moms will recognize Tucker’s description of the weird sensation of being kidnapped, of feeling like victims of an Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Not feeling quite yourself? In the first of a series of jaw-dropping recent research findings, Tucker reports, “Our children colonize our lungs, spleens, kidneys, thyroids, skin”—and brains. Far from being that familiar image of the one-way street, with mother’s blood, nutrients and even cells flowing into the fetus, the fetus also sends its own fetal cells into the mother. It’s “fetal microchimerism.” No wonder a burgeoning mom feels…she’s changed.
Tucker doesn’t dodge painful issues of maternal and paternal favoritism. “Some 80 percent of us allegedly … prefer one of our children to the others, and more than half of parents demonstrate so-called differential treatment toward various progeny.” The most striking predictor? “Moms appear to dote on their cutest kids.” Apparently “the components of infant attractiveness…are rigid and globally constant,” including big eyes, large forehead, small chin, and chubby cheeks. Tucker says this preference extends to nearly all baby mammals.
To read the rest of this post click here.
Join me at Ink-Stained Wretches today, where I go on and on about habits and sinking ships and why I don’t make annual resolutions any more and why in 2021 I’m going to read all the novels of Anthony Trollope and a couple of others plus complete the novel I’ve been writing forever.
I also reveal my dirty little secret.
Recent posts having focused on cats and goats, today I’m back to basics, sharing links to articles that writers—and non-writers—will find informative, entertaining, and/or thought-provoking.
The first appear on Chris the Story Reading Ape’s Blog:
“Can Common Writing Advice Be Wrong?” — by Jamie Gold
The answer to that question requires only one word, and most writers know what it is, but Gold also answers the more important question, “How should we approach writing advice if even the most frequently shared advice is often wrong?”
“5 Paying Markets for Short Historical Fiction and Western Short Stories” — by Erica Verrillo…
Once you access this site, you’ll find links to many other useful articles, such as,
“Paying Markets for Mystery and Crime Stories”
“10 Totally Free Microsoft Word Alternatives For Writers” — by Derek Haines
I use LibreOffice Writer and love it. I made a donation when I downloaded the program (app?) and do so again with each upgrade. But that’s voluntary. As Haines says, it’s totally free. Check out LO and nine others.
And three from Ink-Stained Wretches:
“The Writing Life—for the Sandwich Generation” — by Fran Paino
“The Scent of a Woman…Theater…Sea”— by Helen Currie Foster
“Writing in an Air of Intimidation” — by Noreen Cedeno
Plus three from Austin Mystery Writers:
“My Unconventional Writing Partner” — by Laura Oles
“Murdercon 2019 —the Perfect Ménage à Trois” — by K.P. Gresham
“Review of Billy Kring’s book Deguello” — by V.P. Chandler
Now, here’s a picture of the author’s other cat: