Venus on Mars

“Corrective Lenses” becomes “Venus on Mars”

Posted in Author's Notes by janmillsapps on September 27, 2009
Wrexie Louise "Lulu" Leonard

Wrexie Louise "Lulu" Leonard

Now that I’ve decided to change the name of my novel-in-progress, it seems like a good time to update.

It’s still about vision and whatever devices or conditions may compromise or enhance it, but it seems more and more about the female experience in scientific fields that are traditionally male – like astronomy and rocket science.

Venus is a child of the sixties on the verge of the seventies, women’s liberation, unheralded opportunities and unimaginable personal political power.  Lulu, of the Victorian era, was a woman way ahead of her time, looking thru telescopes before most women were allowed this privilege, living and loving to the fullest possible extent, recording her secrets in a journal that becomes a part of my novel.

I’ve just been to Boston, on a research trip.  One thing I researched was the way trains and train stations – including the grand South Station in Boston – looked and operated in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.  I discovered that there were separate waiting rooms for men and women.  Why, I asked train historian Leo Sullivan of the Boston MBTA.

“Think of the men’s waiting room as a place for crude behavior,”  he explained.  Smoking, cursing, belching, farting and more, I imagined.  No lady in her right mind would want to spend time there.

But I’m not sure about Wrexie.