Thursday, July 16, 2009
Guest Post: Eileen Schuh, author and former psychiatric nurse, talks about meeting a psychopath face to face
I met a man with empty eyes. . .
It wasn’t that his eyes were dull. Oh, no! They sparkled. That shine, however, was not emanating from his soul, but was merely reflecting the world he was seeing.
I was a young girl, eighteen, straight off the farm. He was tall. Good looking with his dark wavy hair and tanned smooth face. Broad shoulders strained at his T-shirt. His IQ was slightly above 140. He was a genius. He was a psychopath. A sociopath.
He was a dangerous man.
I knew all this because I’d read his case file. I was meeting with him so I could get the little box beside “forensic patient” on “First Year Psychiatric Nursing Required Learning Experiences” record checked off. It was only my second month of hands-on training, so there were pages of little boxes left to go. Other than the ones beside ‘attending an autopsy’ and ‘making a bed’, ‘forensic patient’ is the only one I remember.
The ‘forensic patient’ was obviously enthralled by my presence. Life on the locked ward of a Psychiatric Hospital offers few thrills to those incarcerated there. I could tell by the way his empty eyes rested on the space between my white nyloned knees and the hem of my uniform, that I’d made his day. He didn’t rest his eyes there long, however. Just a quick glance, and then he was cocking his head, raising an eyebrow, and staring deeply into my eyes. A gentle smile lifted his lips and a dimple appeared on his chin.
I knew instantly, that like Dr. Hannibal Lecter when he met Jodi Foster in the movie “Silence of the Lambs”, this man was reading my soul. . . .
To read the rest of this intriguing and candid true story, please visit:
I met a man with empty eyes. . .
To learn more about author Eileen Schuh, check out her website:
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Thursday, July 09, 2009
At different times in my writing life, each of these quotes was on a Sticky-Note somewhere on my desk, reminding me of a fundamental truth about writing.
1. "One of the first things you learn as a writer is that you write what you can, not what you want." - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
2. "To write well, express yourself like the common people, but think like a wise man." Aristotle
3. "The function of a writer is to raise questions not to find answers." Doris Lessing
4. "A good novelist does not have to describe everything about the sea as long as he knows it." - Ernest Hemingway
5. "If I had listened to what people said I would never have been a writer." - John Wain6. "Last week I spent five days writing one page..." - Gustave Flaubert
7. "Writers need solitude as others need sleep." - Source Unknown
8. "It's only after you've written a book that you find out what it's about because everyone tells you." Helen Fielding
9. "The best research is talking to people." Jeffrey Archer
10. "You can. You know you can conquer your fears. That's what a writer is -- a conqueror of fears." - Erica Jong
Pop over to my blog by Saturday, July 11th and leave your comment for a chance to win one of 2 copies of my novel, Janeology.
Saturday, July 04, 2009
That’s quite the combination of topics and it is a fascinating research tool, filled with information otherwise lost to posterity. At that time it was found that cigarettes often contained opium “physicians and chemists were surprised to find how much” or “Havana flavoring … made from the tonka bean, which contains a deadly poison” and that the appropriate wrapping of rice paper was commonly found to be “filthy scrapings of ragpickers bleached white with arsenic”.
Whhhooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaa. Things have ‘come a long way, baby.’