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Work In Progress Wednesday 3/25/09

The official contract is all signed, so now I can tell you more about the deal.  *Big grin*

The book, currently titled NERVOUS BREAKDOWNS AND PSYCHOTIC KILLERS: A Writer's Guide to Psychology, will be published by Quill Driver Books.  I don't have a publication date yet, but I hope to have one not too long after I complete the manuscript.  My due date is October.

As I mentioned last week, I'm currently working on a chapter about psychiatric emergencies like suicidality and homicidality, and what happens when people are hospitalized.  As part of my research, I went and visited a local private hospital's psychiatric unit.  Since I had only ever toured a state institution before, I was impressed by just how nice the ward was.  It was like -- surprise! -- a hospital. 

Everything had been suicide-proofed, so nobody could cut themselves or hang themselves from anything...including the pipes inside the toilet tank.  (How, you might wonder, would someone hang themselves from the pipes inside a toilet tank?  Well, they tie something to the pipes, wrap the something around their neck, and lean forward until they pass out.  Obviously once they pass out they just become dead weight against whatever's around their neck.  But as I said, nobody could do that on the unit.  The tanks were sealed and locked down.)

Now I'm working on connecting with someone who has spent time working in a state institution, because there's a difference between private hospitals and state-funded institutions.  Because you know how much money goes toward mental health care in our communities?  Not much.

Here's a picture of the old insane asylum that used to stand in Columbus, Ohio.  I believe the date on the picture is 11-7-1909.  According to some accounts, this was the largest asylum in the world at one point, with 1,300 beds.  It seems to me that Bedlam must have been bigger, but it's still an interesting bit of trivia.

I've also been working on a chapter about mood disorders (depression and manic depression), anxiety disorders (OCD, PTSD, phobias, etc.), and psychotic disorders (like schizophrenia).  If you have questions or things you want me to be sure to include about any of those disorders, let me know!

My friend Mary brutalized my ToM manuscript, and I can't believe I couldn't see some of the problems until she pointed them out.  Can I just tell you how valuable honest, trustworthy crits are?  I always feel a little (and sometimes a lot) embarrassed by my manuscript's shortcomings, but I am SO thankful when someone I trust cares enough to really be honest and give it to me straight.  I've been doing major rewrites.

My other projects -- SW and my NaNo novel -- are taking a breather while I work on this.

Want more info on this whole WIP Weds thing?  Here's Kate's original post.

How are your projects coming?


  1. Kate Karyus Quinn said...
    AWESOME AND CONGRATULATIONS!!! Oh, I can't wait to find out the pub-date so I can pre-order, because with a title like that - I totally need that sitting front and center on my coffee table:)
    Anonymous said...
    Congrats on your book deal...I can't wait to BUY it!!! Your fun WIP updates have made me start doing the same. What a help that has been - now I stay on track with my goals (nothing like having to be accountable).

    Great job this week!
    Elana Johnson said...
    I can't wait for the book to come out either. I believe you said something about betaing... Just sayin'. ;)

    Also, now I'm really curious about what Mary said. I loved ToM.

    And I need a word verification and it's not showing up...there's just words that say "Visual verification". What's with that? Of course I need visual verification. How else am I gonna SEE the word to type it in? Hmm...Clicking does nothing. Maybe this comment will be sucked into comment cyberspace.

    Wait. I am magical. Got it to work. :)
    Tara Maya said...
    Oh what good news! I can't wait.

    I know what you mean about not being able to see the faults in a mss until a good reader asks, "Um, why this?"
    Mary Lindsey / Marissa Clarke said...
    It was an honor to crit your manuscript. Congrats on your book deal.
    Annie Louden said...
    Yay for your book deal! That is very exciting.
    I wish I had some psychology questions to ask you. I'll keep my brain on the lookout.

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