My Last Day as a Scientist

My Last Day as a Scientist


At 5:30 this morning I stared into the dish washer and was struck with fear. For the first time in my life I worried that I’ll not be able to provide for my family. Who is insane enough to quit a professor job (lots of money, permanent position, most-super retirement plan) just to turn to arts? I mean, arts, right? Artists starve, live in stinky, dirty corners underneath ugly concrete bridges, and keep themselves warm with threadbare handkerchiefs. Because, you know, the critical point here is that I’m the sole bread winner for my family of four. WHAT THE HELL WILL MY KIDS EAT?

The moment of panic lasted roughly thirty seconds. A few hours later, I locked the door to my office one last time and turned in my keys.

photo 1

The final act

Then I drove off campus, a happy grin plastered all over my face.

Driving our compost mobile off the UFZ parking lot.

Driving our compost mobile off the UFZ parking lot.

Then I went home to my family, filled fresh blueberries, strawberries, and sliced peaches into a bowl, added a ton of whipped cream, a dash of honey and we celebrated my first day as a full-time author.



It’s hard to explain the feeling of letting go what used to be an important part of my life for more than twenty years, and to reach out for something new and wonderfully exciting. It’s probably like being drunk and jumping off a sky scraper, suspecting I will grow wings in time, or not fall too hard. I love this new life. Thank you everyone for reading my stories, for your support, your friendship, and your time. You can find me in my greenhouse (aka: my office) writing stories that will, hopefully, make you cry and laugh and love with the people I invent and who reinvented me.


Blog Comments

Congratulations and very best wishes to you. Your talent will take you far!

What happens to the pension plan?

My idea is to never enter the retirement phase

Congratulations! From a selfish perspective your news fills me with joy. I am waiting patiently for the follow up to Fog. Meanwhile I am enjoying the Holmes series. I am happy to have a favorite new author.
Cyndie from San Diego.

Thank you, Cyndie! I’m getting closer to finishing the first draft of the 3rd SciFi (not sure what the title is). But I’m looking forward to writing about Anna in Boston (lots of dissections, yummy).

Congratulations. I am not entirely not jealous, but I am 100% happy for you.

Thank you, Ruth 🙂

Congratulations on taking the leap to freedom! Like your parents loading your family into the car and driving through the checkpoint to an uncertain future, risking everything for a chance at freedom, you found the exit door from the gilded cage and spread your wings! (I know… mixed metaphors, LOL!) I know that you will be abundantly successful, because you will be doing what you love for people that you love: your family and your readers. We love you too, and wish you all the best! DonS

P.S. I still plan to buy signed copies of 1/2986 and Fog… that should pay for a few servings of peaches and cream… LOL! Blessings! DLS

Oh damn, I meant to set up the “get a signed copy” widget. Ages ago! I think I’m getting old..

They say your memory is the 2nd faculty you lose with age, and I forget what the first is…. LOL! I would greatly enjoy helping you edit the sequel to FOG or the next AK/Holmes adventure, so keep me on your short list of volunteers. Blessings! Don Sander

Do you want to be on the beta reader list (looking at plot, characters, smoothness of reading, etc.) or on the proof reader front?

I’m not sure, but I think I’ll be more use to you as a beta reader. Proof reading comes later in the editing process, right? I’ll catch most word choice errors, but I’m no expert on punctuation. Being American, I don’t read, write, or speak the “King’s English,” so I may question unfamiliar words or phrases that are perfectly correct in Britain.

I’m amazed at how well you write in English… do you think in English or German? Are your German versions translated from English or vice versa? Regardless, the results are very engaging and entertaining reading. I’ll be honored to help in any way.

Beta reading it is then. Awesome! Er… my english. I think english and german. Sometimes I have no idea what language I’m speaking. Once, in California, a woman spoke German with me (she was from Germany) and the language only registered as something I understand and speak. I answered in English, not realising that she spoke my mother tongue. After 15 min she pointed it out to me.
My German books have been translated from english by a professional translator. Every time I get interviewed here in Germany, people chuckle. But then they hear my proletarian German and understand why I don’t write Victorian mysteries in my mother tongue 🙂

I envy multi-lingual people; in America we have little exposure to, or incentive to learn, other languages. But, we may all be speaking Spanish before long, if we don’t stop the flood of illegal immigration from the south… LOL! I studied Spanish several years in high school, but hablar muy poco e comprender nada.

Please let me know when and where the “purchase a signed copy” button is available for 1/2986 and Fog.

I look forward to reading your next beta text and contributing my perspective to your writing process. What is the best format or file type for beta reading and commenting?

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