Tag Archives: Psychiatry

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?

Book Review: The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson


I honestly did not realize that this was a non-fiction book when I read it.  I was reading it for a Random Readers book club that I had joined, and it was not until another reader mentioned googling some of the characters in this non-fiction literary work that I knew my mistake.  I laughed all through the book, sometimes side-splitting laughter, but was confused toward the end in that there did not seem to be a cohesive plot.  Yet I thoroughly enjoyed the read.

Ronson, a journalist in real life and within the character of the book, takes the reader through his design to write a book on psychopaths in the corporate world.  THAT book never really gets written.  He presents his interviews and acquaintances in hilarious anecdotes.  His style is stream of consciousness, and it comes off more as a fiction read than a non-fiction read.  That is not necessarily a bad thing, unless you are looking for a seriously objective scientific examination of Bob Hare’s Psychopath Checklist in this, “Journey through the madness industry,” as an inside look into criminal profiling.  You won’t find that here.

What you will find is a light-hearted and humorous examination of the debate between Scientology and Psychiatry in anecdotal evidences.  You will find yourself suddenly suspecting your neighbors, even your spouse…not to mention diagnosing your very own neuroses.  You will bond with characters, like Tony, a young man who deliberately feigns insanity to stay out of prison, only to find himself locked up indefinitely in a psych ward.  Some of the characters seem very nasty, even frightening, and others are the guy next door.  There is some redundancy in paragraphs that are repeated and the author seems a bit scattered at times as he attempts to pull his examinations and evidences together.  All in all, I would give him four stars and recommend the read.