Tag Archives: manic depression

Story Not Forgotten

Whatever happened to that other WIP, “Melody of Madness: Surviving Sister?”

It surfaces for air every few weeks. It is a painful process, slow and tedious. It is a difficult thing to write on an issue that is so very personal. How two sisters grew up in the same household and community and suffered from the same psychiatric malady, but share their perceptions through entirely different personal life experiences and develop entirely different personalities.

Claudette, the older, the pianist, appears strongest at the beginning, suffers and struggles through extraordinarily difficult situations that weaken her resolve, but stores the lessons away soulfully, strengthening the marrow that supports her frame.

Carol, the younger, the ballerina, appears weak and frail initially, defies all odds to achieve lofty goals, surpasses everything she ever dreamed of…lilting her way along, and then the perfection is ripped away, shattered, and she is sucked into a vortex she can never escape from.

The relationships they have with their parents, each other, and the ones they come to love crumble as a result of their illness, but one finds ways to triumph and one is forever lost to the emotional waves of manic-depression that crash the spirit against jetties of life.

They love each other as much as they grow to despise each other. Each has three daughters of approximately the same ages.

The sequel parallels the lives of the two middle daughters who are manic-depressive, subsequently dealing with their malady differently and resulting in totally different outcomes.

My word count on Book One is at 15,300. But it moves along like a sailboat on the sea with no wind. There is so very much research required, and the subject matter during the time period does not lend itself to quick searches on the internet.

This is a black and white 8X10 I have of my mother during her youth. Standing in the water, she is showing her friend, one of the Strickland girls, a water lily.

fifties and mama Pine mountain 001

This is a 1957 Chamber of Commerce brochure of the small town of Pine Mountain (Chipley), GA, the inspiration of the fictional town of Southbridge, GA, in the book.

fifties and mama Pine mountain 005


More photos of the pages in the brochure showing the local attractions. I found this in my mother’s scrapbook. You should be able to click on the pic to read the detail.


Uprighted clip

S.O. co. uprighted



Small southern towns are very proud of the little things that put them on the map, like Callaway Gardens, Roosevelt’s Little White House and State Park. Even my Uncle’s Standard Oil Company and the various hotels family members owned got into the brochure, and of course, both the Methodist and the Baptist Church…every small southern town has those. The only industry in town was Dacula Shirt factory…it has long been gone, Arrow took them over and it is nothing but a warehouse and offices today.

This is still a pet project that has not been abandoned but can only receive occasional attention.

Do you have any pet projects hiding in the wings?

Writers and Readers Thoughts Appreciated with Name Dilemma

work_in_progress_imagelargeI have a work in progress, a possible name dilemma, and would appreciate your thoughts on the matter.

There are two sisters and I am going with two POVs, alternating chapters, or at least giving a fleuron space between changes. It is working out well except for some name confusion.

As a tribute to my mother and my aunt, I wanted to keep the names Claudette and Carol, even though this is fiction.

The story is about two young women, sisters, in the late fifties-early sixties who have manic-depression. Their personalities are vastly different.

Carol, whose name means “Song of Joy” is happy as a lark outwardly, an extrovert, but suffers depressive episodes that she is very good at hiding. She enters a room, opens a window and smells autumn in scents of cider and cinnamon. She is somewhat weak and fragile.

Claudette, the feminine form of Claude, means “Lame”, and she is sad and introverted. She is also a take charge sort of pragmatic person.  She is strong and comes across as stoic, unemotional and more stable, yet she is the sister who gets sent to an asylum after a manic (and sexual) episode which results in a serious argument with her mother. She enters the same room and notices the dust on the furniture, the paint curling on the plaster walls.

Herein lays the dilemma. They both share the last name of Barber. They share the same initials, C.B. They are the Barber sisters. Phonetically, Carol and Claudette are close. I would like to keep the names, both as tribute and because they are time period appropriate names for the era.

I have been reading articles about names and have seen where authors and readers have trouble with this.

A couple of times, I have slipped up in my going to another point of view, name-wise, and I am concerned that readers might do that. Have trouble keeping them separated in their mind, because they are sisters with phonetically similar names. Particularly, going back and forth between POVs. I don’t want for this to be difficult for readers.

I don’t think it is bad as say, Richard Ray and Robert Ray, because the initials of first and last names are different. They are not C.C. and C.C. That will also change when they marry.

So, are their names something I need to rethink, or will these work?

P.S. If I have failed to offer someone a proper thank you or response on Twitter, please forgive me. I have not quite figured out the etiquette and actions on that platform. Thank you to all followers who continue to tolerate me while I learn.