This past year has been a challenge to all of us and with so many facing dire circumstances, the moment seemed to ask something of me other than my usual writing fare. So, instead of writing fiction I used the time to explore a topic that has long intrigued me -- the nature of prime numbers. Those odd numbers that have no factors other than 1 and themselves. No one seems to know quite how they are formed, or why, and no one has found a way of determining the identity of the next prime number without resorting to a trial-and-error method. For a system such as math, that relies on logic, not knowing these things struck me as out of character. So, I decided to have a look at the matter for myself.
My first attempts involved a direct inquiry into the nature of primes. That effort quickly proved frustrating. Primes appear with an aggravatingly complex irregularity. After wrestling with that a while I decided to try an indirect approach - determine the nature of numbers that are not prime in the hopes of exposing something about the number system that might give insight into the nature of primes. I did this by exploring on my own - discovering patterns and relationships between the non-prime composite numbers - finding those patterns first, before turning to academic sources for an explanation. The effort turned out to be not only productive, but adventurous. Transforming math from a subject endured in a lifeless classroom to a marvelous journey through an elegant and intriguing kingdom.
My latest book - Observations Regarding Non-Prime Odd Numbers - contains the result of my study so far and is available now. You can buy a copy through all the usual places: Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Books A Million - and through independent bookstores everywhere.