I have something to admit. I stink at math. I got as far as calculus in high school, but I barely passed and don’t remember a thing. It was a stressful experience; even now, aeons later, I still have nightmares about being in that class. Luckily, I got to take a foreign language in college instead of more math (I took 3 years of Russian and 1 of Latin).

I think I might have mild dyscalculia, actually. I understand math concepts but get tripped up on basic calculations. I had trouble memorizing the times tables back in 2nd grade, and I often mix up phone numbers or other numbers.

I like science, and I had a really great high school physics teacher. But I struggled with it because of the math part. My father—whose background is in physics—used to just shake his head.

It’s fine. I went into law and the social sciences—and I became a writer. No math.

Yeah, except my newest novel, Astounding!, required me to research how much energy is produced by a hydroelectric dam. And how much energy would be required for conversion to about 180 pounds of mass. (The answer? A fuckton. And yes, that’s a technical term.) God, I had to do math. Shudder.

But I survived the experience. Next time I’ll research something more fun, like men’s underwear.

How do you feel about math?

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