As of 2010, my first novel is available for download at tealnovel.com.
Teal began as an experiment: could I actually write a full-length novel? (I’m not alone in this – 80+% of adults want to write a book.) The experiment went well, and after completing the novel, I submitted it to the first-ever Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest. Teal didn’t win, but it was a semi-finalist, which meant it won a Publisher’s Weekly review and a free self-publishing deal from Amazon. (For better or worse, the contest is a thinly veiled way to introduce aspiring writers to Amazon’s self-publishing platform.)
Out of curiosity, I went ahead and made use of the self-publishing prize, but like most people who try self-publishing, I quickly learned that it takes a lot of work to find readers, even with an official listing on Amazon.com. I also felt that Teal was a fun, well-written novel – but not a perfect novel – but it was hard to know what specifically I could do to improve it.
So I settled on a different solution: make it available online, 100% free, in hopes of receiving unbiased feedback from strangers.
I am happy to say that the experiment was well worth the effort. Many kind individuals sent me comments, compliments, and suggestions regarding the manuscript (thank you!), and I learned a great many things about writing that would have been tough to learn otherwise.
While I have since moved on to other writing projects, I still think Teal is still a great YA sci-fi read, so I’ll leave it online as long as the site continues to receive traffic.
(Someday I hope to return to the Teal universe and finish work on a sequel, which I have outlined but not actually written.)
- In 2011, I wrote a guide on low-cost ways to access science and medical research. The article is based off techniques I learned as a bioinformatics student, and later as an R&D scientist for a dietary supplement manufacturer.
- Ever wondered how having children affects a married couple? This article discusses recent research on changes in marital quality after the birth of a first child.
- My comprehensive 5-part programming tutorial has been visited by over 75,000 individuals on this site alone, with another ~10,000 on planet-source-code (follow the link to see its perfect 5-star rating).
- Thirty more programming-related articles can be found at my comprehensive source code directory for this site. Popular articles include my open source HMM/Viterbi bioinformatics project, or my discussion of black-and-white photography techniques.
Open-Source Technology and Policy
- My “10 Days of Ubuntu 10.10 Feature Requests” series was discussed across the internet, with analyses and commentary coming from large news sites, international podcasts, and bloggers galore.
- Another Ubuntu-themed article, “The Only Feature Ubuntu 10.04 Needs“, amassed more than 100 individual comments on this site, while yet another Ubuntu article – Dear Ubuntu: I Have Some Concerns – accumulated more than 80 comments this site and another 110+ over at osnews.com.
- Other open source articles of mine have been cited as Wikipedia sources (not sure if this bodes well for Wikipedia, but hey – I’m flattered! And, just in case you’re wondering – I wasn’t the one who added the reference :)
- In a slightly different vein, my 2011 PCLinuxOS review has become one of the most-visited articles on this site. It has also been mirrored across Distrowatch, DistroRatings, and other Linux news sites.
Collaborations with Other Authors
- Researchers from York University in Toronto, ON, used my open-source CpG island detection software as the basis for their 2011 paper: Correlating CpG islands, motifs, and sequence variants in human chromosome 21.
- During my employment at USANA Health Sciences, I co-authored several studies on dietary supplementation and human health. One such study is this examination of supplementation’s effects on wintertime vitamin D status in North American adults.