Friday, November 25, 2005

Snippet from "MindBlind" at 17K

Having spent a considerable amount of time moving through the structure of Fetu's outlining class (archived on Forward Motion), I am writing again, eagerly returning to the story I had first envisioned last summer.

I also recently heard a powerful story on NPR that pushed me back into "MindBlind":

At the insistence of his step mother, Howard Duly, a 12 year old boy was lobotomized in 1960 by Dr. Walter Freeman. As an adult, Howard set out to try to understand his personal history and the result was the audio broadcast, "My Lobotomy"

I was riveted listening to Howard's story; the resonance to my fictional story unmistakable. Dr. Freeman died in 1972, convinced to the end that his 10-minute icepick lobotomy procedure had been a boon to individuals with mental illness, headaches, and depression.

In my novel, "MindBlind," the physician (Dr. Hallowell) who develops and champions the 'treatment' for hyper-empathy has the opportunity to come face to face with the distruction left behind in the wake of neuro-ablative therapy.

Here is a snippet from the POV of the antagonist, Dr. Parness, a brilliant and ruthless scientist attempting to manipulate Hallowell's treatment for his own ends.

A soft chime sounded in the lab. They were ready. Despite his eagerness, he waited as Hallowell donned the soft cap that completed the anti-static gear. Steering the doctor toward the procedure room, he could barely prevent himself from breaking into a run. Despite his dislike of Trent’s oversight, he realized that without control’s help, he would never have had an opportunity like this. All the other subjects, by necessity, were people who wouldn’t readily be missed. Homeless drifters, the dregs of the treated. Some even from Hallowell’s precious institute, although most were from private treatment programs far less fastidious. Now political expediency had provided him with Katherine Crane--the perfect vehicle with which to prove his theories.

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