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Backstory - Shadow

Spring 2022

On Sunday, 9 January 2022, I made an entry in my personal journal:

Started the Draft of SHADOW this afternoon. Tossed out the Backstory. Obviously, I have a new one!

And new names for my main characters. Did the Audio in a Second Take. The first take was incorrectly recorded. 18 seconds of clicking for Part I. Oh, well, I needed a warm-up.

The fuller truth is that I’ve written the Final Draft, which is The Book, SHADOW.

Where did SHADOW originate?

My best recollection comes from sometime during the very rainy spring of 1983. I wrote into my Writer’s Journal of that era a few sentences. From those creative thoughts (which I’d since preserved in digital form), evolved SHADOW, the medical novel, set in the American West:

“All her life she’d lived in shadow, never knowing when he’d come, only that he would. Now he was there, holding her, and she lived in shadow no more.”

With the change of perspective, or point of view, from female to male, that interior monologue became the literary frontispiece to this novel. The story has not altered much in terms of the dynamic plot-line, but it did take form in unexpected ways during the past five or six years.

In particular, the past two years saw me intensely focusing my literary attentions upon startling discoveries and infuriating realizations — regarding the state of medical science as it has become, as it once was, and as it will be, as it must be. Those changes are presently underway, though not without the shrill kicking and screaming of the bloodless bureaucrats of the Nanny State.

It was with the cuttingly analytic skills of a literary surgeon that I — along with millions of other Americans and citizens elsewhere on the globe — faced the evil face of the eye-popping and jaw-dropping corruption of the Nanny State and its ghoulish bedmate, Big-Pharma. Patients and the practitioners of the Art, the art of healing, fended for themselves during the past two years of un-scientific science, The Science, that made a mockery of real science.

I also accepted the final confirmation of a fact already well-known by at least myself — that the Managed-Care Chaos Blob is in bed with the politicians and the traveling sales ghouls of the pharmaceutical industry. How can any patient trust a doctor who is shilling for the pill-pushers and procedure-fanatics, in the name of not merely profit — but greed?

The world is presently engaged in a fight by citizens valiantly trying to take back their lives from two years of scientific charlatans, pushing the pharma-products. That step is but a starting point.

The sad truth is that Big Pharma had run out of NEW top-gouge expensive designer pills to push. A quick lucrative remedy for their diabolical disease known as greed had to be found: enter the Chinese and their virus.

What happens next is up to the people, not up to the politicians and the corporate execs who control too much of the medical industry.

It was, and is, grievous for me to observe a profession that once attracted men and women of conscience, not weak-willed non-individuals who want the Blob to take care of them. It is still sorrowful for me to confront the cowardice of any person with a medical degree who is so utterly lacking in a spine that he permits the managed-care blood-counters to order him, to dictate to him — what he, the MD, will do as a doctor in their employ.

The collision was inevitable between The Nanny State — the sclerotic medicrats and fonctionnaires infesting that bloated bureaucracy — and Humanity. That humanity includes the good doctors, the good nurses, and the good technicians of the art of healing, of real medicine.

A novelist like myself cannot be divorced from the world around her, even though this one mightily attempted to do so — merely for the detached objectivity that I require while spinning fiction from the long ago.

Blast Objectivity! It’s like expecting Textbook Ideal in a Patient.

History, as seen from the very present day, can compellingly tell a tale of doctors, surgeons, and patients in our own very small world. Such a story easily becomes universal with a heaping dose of truth.

There are two essays, penned for this website, that, for me, became instrumental in my penning of SHADOW. Those literary building blocks must be included in this Backstory: Halloween 2016 Essay

And a Composing the Westerns composition: You’re the Doctor

I had always envisioned writing this novel after the other Westerns because of my concerted attempts to block out the madness of the medical frauds and scientific ghouls in our midst. I now understand that those soul-less hacks spurred me on my way to finalizing this novel.

The moth to the flame . . .

The original voice of SHADOW thus became transformed from a darkish whisper to brightly biting satire and cutting irony, infused with tender love and soothing compassion for The Healers. The mock formality of the surgeon overtook my creative writer’s mind on 9 January 2022. On 17 January 2022, one week later, the final version of SHADOW was completed.


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