Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Great Gatsby Official Trailer #2 (2012) - Leonardo DiCaprio Movie HD

This teaser looks good. You can't lose with Fitzgerald--powerful story, themes. Coming in December.  Music complements the scenes, beautifully. Great cast. Leonardo DiCaprio perfect for Gatsby. Looking forward to it as I perdict a stellar peformance.

A writer (like myself) toils to create scenes like the ones in this trailer. I always fall short.

Bill 374 Mandatory Mental Health Screening Invasive

Bill 374, the proposed bill to enforce mandatory mental health screening for all kids is unnecessary, costly, and invasive. Even if it were to get passed, which is unlikely, the kids most vulnerable and targeted will be the ones who are poor--the ones who come from homes where English is a second language, or who are new to the country, the ones who struggle to navigate their daily lives. Affluent kids from healthy intact families will find ways to bypass the screening; these parents know the definition of advocacy, have the resources to fight back, have access to lawyers, and the best therapists who will counter the report, or deem it inaccurate.

Regardless, this Bill is ludicrous and seeks to identify kids who are falling through the cracks. Idyllically, yes, it would be nice to save all the children. But it's not realistic. We have scarce resources to meet the current needs of our mentally ill population. I came across another op-ed arguing against the screening by Leslie Wolfgang.

Proposed Mental Health Screening Targets the Poor

Below are my comments to an op-ed posted in the Hartford Courant by Andrea Spencer entitled Screening Kids for Mental Health Critical.

Andrea Spencer is describing an inner city child. The children targeted for these potential mental health screenings would be the ones most targeted now, the most vulnerable-- the poor. Children, all children, need time to develop. Screening and diagnosing them early on puts them at risk, high risk, for a cocktail of meds--this is not the answer. The ones most likely to be screened and diagnosed come from poverty ridden areas and suffer from emotional stresses that present as anxiety and depression. Academic support is not always there. They are promoted through no fault of their own. And their mental health problems are triggered by environmental factors rather than neurological factors; so instead of a diagnosis and drugs, these kids need the right school environment, the right role models, mentors, a positive learning environment. On the contrary, where these kids spend most of their day is not always so healthy; many of the inner city elementary schools are in need of fixing. But we don't do it. We are creating many magnet schools that are refurbished and filled with new materials that are modern and aesthetically designed. and it's a step in the right direction. But, still, the inner city kids experience more academic failure, humiliation, teasing, bullying, fighting, aggression--it is a miracle some emerge unscathed. And then there are the older schools, the ones that are not magnets. Our youngest and most fragile children attend these schools, sit in less than par classrooms with old desks and mismatched chairs, collapsing ceilings, chipped paint, exposed pipes and asbestos; and many of these buildings should no longer be called schools; they should be condemned. Mental health issues will continue to grow and become even more complicated and unmanageable if we don't take care of the inequity in our educational system. As Andrea Spencer points out, if we go back to the school records, there is an origin.

Friday, March 22, 2013

EXCERPT FROM WORD OF PIA TRILOGY PART II

Below you can find my WIP, Word of Pia Trilogy II; Here, Pia returns--not physically, yet. She is in her brother's and Maggie's mind, sending William Blake's verses from The Dream --apropos as Maggie feels herself trapped in a foggy dream-like state of mind. Find Part I here.


Once a dream did weave a shade…O’er my angel guarded bed…That an emmet lost its way…Where on grass methought I lay. I hear her. I hear her now. But where is she? I don’t see her. The wind eddied at her feet. The sun, a canary yellow, jettied its last rays outward—spindly fingers groping, grasping.

I am not here. I will come for you soon. I will tell you what I know. Look to the sky an you will see the signs. See the clouds, brother. They speak in words no one knows.


“Here she comes. She says she’s not. But I feel her. She likes to trick."

You know nothing, brother; you are weary, trapped in your small world. The storm is coming. And you must spread the word to others. It is big. It will destroy those who have turned away.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Publication updates #1 best seller n UK

I'm thrilled to discover my collection of stories They Think That I Am Somewhat is #1 in UK Special Education category. It is free for three more days. I have also accrued two new reviews--one five star and one four star. Things are picking up. I will be releasing my new publication Word of Pia: Suspense Trilogy Part I (tentative title) before the close of the day.