Sunday, June 1, 2008

About Muse Medicine

What's it for?

Muse Medicine is a blog dedicated to helping writers inject a believable level of realism into their plots which involve medicine or the human body in general.

Why a blog?

As a volunteer, I answered hundreds of questions about medical realism, pregnancy, birth, medical settings, and more for authors on the National Novel Writing Month forums. I have also become a resource to the folks who chat over at Forward Motion a wonderful site for writers, with a wonderful chat room to boot. It struck me that I was getting a lot of the same questions over and over, and that having all the information in one central location would be handy. So here it is

What qualifies Muse Medicine to do this?

As a nurse, I have a pretty good understanding of anatomy and physiology, disease processes and healing, and medical terminology. I know where to find information I don't already possess and how to decode the medical jargon. As a Neonatal Intensive Care nurse, a doula, and a certified lactation counselor, I have a very good understanding of pregnancy, birth, preterm birth, human lactation, infant care, birth defects, genetic anomalies, and childhood diseases. As a writer, I understand how important it is to have a good general idea of whether the plot device that sounded so wonderful at 2am is really plausible. Plus I kind of like gross things, so it works out.

How do you pick questions to answer

Questions can be submitted to at this time. If I can answer the question and think it will make a good post, I'll post it here. If I can answer and don't think it'll be useful to more people than the questioner, I'll try to respond via email. If you ask me the relative density of concrete made from moon dust, you're on your own.

What if the question is TOP SECRET because someone might steal the super special secret idea?

Then don't ask it. Frankly, there is nothing new under the sun and people do find inspiration in a host of places. Hopefully, this blog will offer a lot of inspiration to many writers. But no two writers are going to write the same book even if the idea is the same. If you are seriously concerned that someone might steal your idea, I suggest you try to find someone in your own community who can help you out without putting it on a blog to benefit the rest of the writers on the net. The purpose here, after all, is to help as many people as possible with each post, not spend all my time doing research for one or two writers.

What if the answer is wrong?

Oops, sorry. I'm only human. I do make every effort to ensure that the information here is accurate. It is by no means complete. Also, there is infinite variation among humans, so your particular experience with a disease, injury, or topic may vary considerably from the "norms" presented here. I strongly suggest that you verify the accuracy and do your own research on anything that is desperately pivotal to your plot, just in case.

What's the catch?

No catch. Just a few disclaimers. Read them. Particularly the one at the top of every single page which states I don't treat real people or real problems. This blog is for fiction ONLY. If you have questions about your medications, your health, your "friend's" new rash or anything else that isn't meant to be on a written page for a fictional character, please see your doctor or pharmacist or other health care professional as appropriate.

By submitting questions to the address above, you agree that the content of the question can be edited for content or brevity and posted anonymously on this blog. The blog author retains all rights. Further, information posted here may some day go into an anthology or be used in various articles of similar purpose to the blog. By submitting questions, you agree to these terms and that you maintain no copyright to the posts here. Further, you agree to be a reasonable human being because you are receiving a FREE service. Don't sue me. There isn't much to win anyway.