"The best thing about getting published is seeing my book get a life of its own which I can observe and learn from."
~Maria Isabel Garcia
In this post, we feature Science Solitaire: Essays on science, nature and becoming human by Maria Isabel Garcia, curator of The Mind Museum, an educational facility in Taguig City in the Philippines. Garcia also wrote for De Rerum Natura (The Nature of Things), a science column of The Philippine Star, before moving on to writing for Rappler, an online newspaper.
Science Solitaire is Garcia’s first book. It is all about science and how it relates to life. It is based on her own observations and experiences which she translates to her writing. Her goal is to show how science relates to life and explore the nature of things, which is second nature to her.
Garcia revealed that her approach to writing content is visual. This is what she follows until a project is done. She describes how an idea takes on a form in her head which can be fluid or in motion. She simply writes about whatever sticks to her mind from what she has read or watched, although she admits that new ideas that come later sometimes makes her wish that she could have known about them when she was still writing her book as they could have served as better examples to illustrate a point.
Garcia says she doesn’t experience writer’s block. “What I experience is more like ‘writer's chase’ since I am trying to chase after my own understanding of a topic and am trying all sorts of ways to share it clearly and hopefully, beautifully, too.” This method of writing had apparently worked wonders for Garcia after the review board of the Ateneo De Manila University Press gave her work a thumbs up. This was something that she had wanted for her book and it pleased her very much. Marketing unfortunately wasn't covered.
Garcia did not have an agent to handle promotions but a quick search online brings up several links pointing her book which can be readily found on book sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Godreads. She admits that sales have been modest, but it still gives her great satisfaction.
Garcia’s aspiration for Science Solitaire is for it to create interest in young people for them to also start writing about science. “I still get email from readers and it has been eight years since it was first launched,” Garcia says. “Oddly enough, my book is not even shelved with the science books abroad but under the ‘Filipiniana’ section, which even my own friends, who are also science writers in the US, find very strange.”
For Garcia, the best thing about being published is not about the sales or her legacy as an author; it is more about the book getting a life of its own which she can observe and learn from.
AS DESCRIBED ON AMAZON:
"Science Solitaire" is a mind dance with nature's cards, in a style and lens that could help us see that science is alive - as it inhabits not just classrooms and textbooks but also our everyday lives. It consists of pieces of discovery that try to reveal the possible connections between the snippets of understanding we gain from science and our journey toward becoming human. What happens to our brains when we are happy, when we delight in music or food or other pleasurable pursuits? What lurks behind the awesome powers of some creatures with whom we inhabit this planet? What is E=mc2 and why is it the most popular icon for scientific ideas?
BUY ON AMAZON:
Science Solitaire: Essays on science, nature and becoming human
Maria Isabel Garcia is also the author of Twenty-One Grams of Spirit and Seven Ounces of Desire which is also available on Amazon.