Books, Technology and the Future

Three comments:

(1.)  In the early 1990s, Tom Clancy and I shared the same New York literary agent. Clancy was on a roll, having published a string of international best-sellers. He was being called the father of the “techno-thriller,” a new genre that combined accurate information – about military tactics and weapons – with a fictional adventure stories.

So I was surprised when my agent told me that Clancy was putting writing aside for a few months to concentrate of developing a video game.

Huh?

Why I wondered, would someone who was at the top of the writing game and was earning millions of dollars worldwide bother to waste time creating a computer game?

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Linda’s Story: Part One

If you had known me as a child, you would not have suspected that I would become an author. I was horrible at spelling and poor at grammar. As a teenager, I wasn’t much of a reader, either. But I always have been fascinated by people and their experiences and some of my favorite memories are of the times when my father, a minister, would take me with him at night to go “call” on members of his church. I don’t think many preachers actually visit people at their homes anymore, but in the 1960s in rural Colorado, they did and I discovered early on that nearly everyone has a story to tell.

Adding Anosognosia to the DSM

As many of you know, I became an advocate for mental health reform because I could not get my son, Mike, help when he first became psychotic. I had rushed him to an emergency room only to be told that he was not sick enough. He was not considered an “imminent danger” either to himself or anyone else even though he was obviously delusional. Forty-eight hours later Mike was arrested after he broke into a house to take a bubble bath.
I was outraged and that experience caused me to begin campaigning for reforms in our current involuntary commitment laws. I think “dangerousness” is a horrible criteria. It is one reason why our jails and prisons are filled with persons whose only real crime is that they have a mental disorder. It stops loved ones from intervening before an ill person gets into trouble and it contributes to persons becoming homeless and dying on our streets.Click to continue…

Serenity: Is it Possible?

     When my son, Mike, came over recently to play chess — or should I write to easily defeat me in several chess matches — he arrived carrying a DVD. The title was: The Devil and Daniel Johnston.
      Johnston is a cult figure among artists who have mental disorders because he is a song writer, singer, and artist who has struggled for years with mania.

Psychiatrists vs Psychologists Anyone?

     I couldn’t get home last week from Los Angeles because of the snow storm so I flew into Las Vegas to do interviews for my new nonfiction book. I enjoyed being in the only city in America, I think, that didn’t have snow on its streets or freezing weather. It also was interesting to drive along the famous Strip and see how much it has changed from when I did my research in 1997 for my book, Super Casino.

 While the Luxor is still there with its shiny black exterior and brilliant pyramid tip, it looked puny compared to the new billion dollar mega-resorts that have been constructed recently.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the contrast that you see in Las Vegas.

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Thomas Silverstein, Hot House convict

Before I began writing about the need for mental health care reform, most visitors came to my webpage to read about Thomas Silverstein, a major character in my book, The Hot House. 
 He has been held in solitary confinement since 1983 — the longest any convict has been kept isolated by the federal Bureau of Prisons.
About once a year, I get a telephone call from a reporter from some national news organization asking about him. A couple of weeks ago it was CNN Writer/Producer Stephanie Chen seeking an interview.
I used to talk about Tommy, but not anymore.Click to continue…