the web site of Austin-based writer Eileen Mcginnis.


a blog about caregivers + creators throughout history.


"Dead Scientists Society: Experiments in Creativity and Parenting"

Over at Literary Mama, I wrote a piece about how seven dead scientists—from Marie Curie to Rachel Carson—have shaped my writing life since becoming a parent:

Admittedly, summoning the dead has been a strange, roundabout approach to getting my questions answered. But as an introvert and research junkie, I was seduced by the idea of diving into the past, into past lives. I hoped that this cache of role models would sustain me as I journeyed into unexplored terrain, forging a creative identity out of the fragments of my pre-motherhood self. Their historical distance also offered some freedom from comparison, and from the judgments that inevitably creep into our interactions with fellow parents, despite our best intentions.

Because I write nonfiction about the history of science, I was drawn as much to the stories of chemists and engineers as to those of writers and visual artists. I started with the premise that creativity is an impulse underlying all human pursuits, and that meaningful lessons would come from casting a wide net.

You can find the full essay here.

“Turn and Face the Strange”: Samuel Delany - Queering Science Fiction, Queering Fatherhood

“One is the Loneliest Number”: Evolutionary Biologist Lynn Margulis and the Murky Boundaries of the Parental Self