My second retirement ~ a new suspense novel

At age 74, I am entering into my second retirement after having served for four years as the Mental Health Clinical Director for a large health plan serving the Medicaid population in 14 northern CA counties. It was a challenging and interesting position and I am sad to be leaving behind so many interesting projects and collegial friends.

When I retired the first time after forty years as a practicing clinician, I slipped right into Grammie duty with the birth of my third grandchild. Now that granddaughter is joined by her younger sister as they enter first and third grade as talented, bright, and creative growing-up-too-fast girls. I’m sure in this second retirement there will be many more drives to after school activities and visits to Portland to see my older grandsons, one of whom is now off to college in Seattle and a career in app design and the other starting high school with plethora of musical and drama talents.  But there will also be time for me to explore new horizons and complete and publish my third novel.

This third novel, entitled THE HYPNOSIS EXPERIMENT is already in the works with 40,000 words written and the suspenseful plot unfolding. It’s about Hilgard’s hypnosis experiments at Stanford in 1961–in which I actually participated as a subject as a freshman that year. I remember well my unfortunate experience in having a PTSD reaction to the regression item that was included and my new novel takes off from there. For some unknown reason, a Stanford freshman has completely dissociated and doesn’t even remember that she is a student at the university. She finds a friend in one of the handful of African-American students enrolled in that era and then more support from student staffers at the Stanford Daily. They help her uncover the mystery that caused her memory loss and join her in her fight for her sanity and for her right to continue there as a student. This was an era when psychological research did not have the subject safeguards in place today. I, for example, was simply banned from continuing in the study when the regression item took me back to a terrible year of my childhood. It was also a turbulent political and social era which presaged the very issues and conflicts we face in our world today–sexism, racism, turmoil in Syria and Russia, and a newly built wall in Berlin. It tells the story of those who were destined to become part of the feminist and civil rights movements and those who understood the vital political lessons that our country seems to have now forgotten. This novel will reveal where we were in more ways than one.