My path and my writing
I can't tell my whole story in just one page, but I would say that I've always followed the advice from Carlos Castaneda: to live trying to find the path with heart.
My interests have always affected more than one area of my life. Searching for knowledge (obsessively, if I may) transformed me into a teacher that's always trying to explain that knowledge. My years with martial arts (judo) led to learning Eastern philosophy, and they have changed my relationship with religions. And my interest in recording (and understanding) the passage of time infused my life’s work with photography, both as a hobby and professionally, and whether I was trying photojournalism or capturing images of the depths of cells.
I studied Biochemistry as a career but over the years taught all the ‘food groups’ of science: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and all the disciplines in between. My early love with Physics is the one that continues after I stopped doing research in labs and teaching thousands of medical students. The same passion that took me to learn enough math—and almost enough German—to read the original Einstein’s papers in relativity continues an afterlife in my wall of books about cosmology and the physics of time.
My two children were born in the South, and my wife and I finally settled in a city that gets better and more beautiful every year, North Carolina’s Durham. Since then, I have served the Triangle community in many roles. I was the Faculty Advisor for a Hispanic association at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While chairing sciences at our local community college, I represented it at the Board of Durham’s North Carolina Museum of Life and Science. And when my interested in the sport of table tennis rekindled, I served as organizer for the NC Senior Games. I now act as the Representative for Durham County to the North Carolina Writers' Network.
During my tenure as a professional teacher and scientist, in fields as varied as Neurobiology and Nanotechnology, I published many review articles and wrote regularly for a national scientific newspaper, The Scientist. I was also in the editorial board of the educational journal of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society. And whenever I had any free time, I reviewed and helped to develop textbooks and educational software for Pearson Publishing and Prentice Hall. What I learned from those writing projects—and by working with many editors—would prove invaluable to write my novels.
All paths are paths of the soul, and they grow our connection with humanity. Coming from a conservative Catholic upbringing, life has guided me to a broader understanding of humanity and a less absolute rule book to judge it. That means I became more liberal with the years but, like Stephen Colbert, I have at some point taught Sunday School. And as someone who has seen tanks in the streets and fascism in an otherwise highly-educated country, the Argentina of my youth, I am a strong defender of the democratic values that (should) characterize my country for most of my life, the United States. After traveling the world to dozens of countries and living for two years in China, my life has added yet another layer of comprehension for the great diversity of cultures that form the world.
This sampling of my personal quirks, my family’s life, and the collage that are my avocations, will become clearer to you—hopefully, also to me—in my blog, Finding the Way.