Thursday, July 19, 2007
Guess the Plot
The Integral Path
1. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, but what about that road painted with numbers and odd symbols? Fatal head wound or no fatal head wound, Donald Eager just has to find out where it goes.
2. Elizabeth's lifelong dream is a doctorate degree in mathematics, but because she's a woman her male adviser and instructors give her no respect . . . until she takes up karate.
3. After months of intestinal discomfort, exploratory surgery reveals that not only does Dara Spence's abdomen contain the usual organs, but also a gate, path and front door complete with doorbell. Weight Watchers is not up to the challenge, but handsome surgeon Ali Carruthers may have the solution--and it's not his scalpel.
4. The True Path to enlightenment is the sum of the steps leading to it. That was Mitzi's philosophy. Unable to break into the big-time world of philosophers, she settles for summing up the knowledge of mankind in short articles for Reader's Digest.
5. Isaac Newton may yet get this new math business down, but Vallomint the time-traveling astronaut is running out of patience in his drive to help Sir Isaac invent calculus. They've already gone down the road with derivatives, but will Newton lose his way when Vallomint sets off on . . . The Integral Path?
6. This fascinating book details the history of the humble path to your front door. Tiles, pavers, gravel, concrete - there's so much to consider when creating the right ambience in your front yard. With this book in hand, you'll never step wrong!
Twenty-two year-old Elizabeth Harrington is pursuing her lifelong dream: obtaining a doctorate in Mathematics. But along the way she meets with obstacles that jeopardize her graduate school career, such as a learning environment hostile to women, a recalcitrant topologist [Talk about stereotypes; must every fictional topologist be recalcitrant?] who volunteers to serve on her exam committee for the sole purpose of failing her, [There's nothing worse than a duplicitous recalcitrant topologist.] and an adviser who selects his female students based on their "fuckability." [Which he determines using an extensive questionnaire known as the MMFI.]
As if the University environment is not sufficiently discouraging, the future Dr. Harrington's personal life threatens to destroy her resolve: her parents' seemingly rock-solid marriage ends in divorce, resulting in an estrangement from her mother and the weakening of Elizabeth's own marriage; the only other female graduate student and Elizabeth's unofficial mentor packs up and leaves with a master's degree; and her husband John's descent into mental illness endangers the couple's solvency as well as Elizabeth's own mental health. [Cut this guy loose now, Liz, and find someone with a higher fuckability quotient.]
Faced with these barriers, Elizabeth adjusts her tactics. She perseveres in the classroom through sheer strength of will, and takes actions to improve her situation, beginning with switching advisers. Outside of work she takes up karate, which helps to develop her missing confidence, and attends a mental illness support group, which offers her the tools to help her ill husband without damaging herself.
The Integral Path is the story of one woman's triumph over the roadblocks placed in her way. Along the journey to the elusive Ph.D., Elizabeth grows from an innocent girl to a strong woman and respected mathematical scholar. The novel is complete at roughly 80,000 words.
I am a woman with a doctorate in the mathematical sciences, and some elements of this book are based on my own experience as a graduate student. Although I have no literary credits, I am the author of several scholarly articles and my students have praised my clear explanations of complicated mathematical concepts. [Which comes in handy in my fascinating twelfth chapter, when Elizabeth attends Professor Metternich's lecture, Orthogonality of Eigenfunctions.] May I send you sample pages from The Integral Path?
I find it somewhat derivative. Get it? Derivative?
Don't worry about not having any literary credits; most agents choose their clients based on their fuckability.
The query is well-written, but let's face it: it's about a woman becoming a mathematics scholar. Have you considered having the lecherous adviser get murdered and the hunky and highly fuckable detective suspecting Elizabeth until he falls in love with her? It's the same book, but with a plot.