Dr. Fuddle and the Gold Baton, with film producer/literary manager Dr. Ken Atchity. Woodruff is a long-time music instructor whose passion for classical music led to the conception of the story, which follows the adventures of five youths led by the mystical Dr. Fuddle into the land of Orphea to retrieve the Gold Baton from the dark musician Jedermann using it for cacophony and chaos, and restore its rightful function of bringing harmony to the universe. The franchise will include a series of novels, picture books, live action films, an interactive website, music, an educational TV series, and a line of elementary books, merchandising, toys with unique patented scientific technology "making sound visible," in addition to the book itself.
In cooperation with Atchity Productions in Los Angeles, Dr. Fuddle will soon go before the cameras as a major live action/CGI motion picture in the tradition of The Chronicles of Narnia and Oz the Great and Powerful, based on Dr. Woodruff's screenplay Dr. Fuddle and the Gold Baton. Atchity Production films include Joe Somebody, Life or Something Like It, The Kennedy Detail, The Lost Valentine and Hysteria, with others in development. Dr. Woodruff's first novel is available as an e-book and paperback at Amazon.com and in hard and soft copies through www.drfuddle.com. A consortium of Atlanta financiers provided the initial seed money, and have hired a renowned international film financing broker to close the financing for the first major motion picture. The project was brought to Atchity by Atlanta's Mardeene Mitchell, who has worked with Woodruff on the original development of the project. She introduced them at her Write the World in Atlanta conference in June of 2010.
"My goal is to inspire a new generation to the wonders of classical music through an exciting fantasy adventure ALL young people can relate to," says Woodruff, who received his Ph.D. in Musicology/Piano from the University of Miami School of Music. "The story has elements of The Wizard of Oz," Atchity states, "Harry Potter and C.S. Lewis' Narnia. But its foundation in the myth and history of music makes it truly original and inspiring."
Reposted from /PRNewswire/
In my new Daniel Rinaldi thriller, Phantom Limb, one of the main characters is an Afghan vet who lost his leg to an IED while out on patrol with his unit. Now, stateside, he struggles with a growing substance abuse problem, as well as some of the predictable psychological aftereffects of such a life-changing trauma.
Moreover, he often experiences the bewildering sensation that his missing limb is still attached to his body. It itches, aches, or feels cold. Often, at night, while his prosthetic leg is propped against the wall across the room, the former Marine tosses and turns in bed, maddened by the tingling, burning sensation in his “phantom limb.”
Prior to becoming a licensed psychotherapist, I did intern work at a private psychiatric facility where I encountered a number of amputee patients suffering from this condition. But it wasn’t until I began researching the new novel that I discovered that up to 80 percent of people with amputations experience phantom limb sensations. Fortunately, in most cases, the symptoms lessen over time.
But what causes this extraordinary syndrome? At present, there’s no exact answer. For many years, the accepted theory was that once a limb is amputated, the severed nerve endings continued to send signals to the brain. Which then re-wires itself to adjust. To put it simply, from the brain’s standpoint, this meant the severed limb was still “there.”
However, more recent research suggests that phantom limb sensations originate in the peripheral nervous system, not the brain. They are the result of alterations in the body’s wide neural network, outside the primary areas in and around the brain. Of course, none of these theories do much to reduce or eliminate the patient’s uncanny experience. Just as most treatment methods have shown less than hoped-for results. Patients have been prescribed everything from anti-depressants to biofeedback, muscle relaxants to hypnosis. In some cases, doctors have tried electrical nerve stimulation. For example, inserting an electrode into the spinal cord, and then delivering a small electric current to relieve discomfort.
Regardless of treatment approaches, both the sudden loss of an arm or leg, as well as the phantom limb symptoms that often occur, are indicative of the psychological trauma accompanying such extreme injuries. Whether caused by an explosive device buried in the sand or as the result of an auto accident, the sudden loss of a limb is an emotional as well as a physical disruption of a person’s world.
In my novel, the character’s phantom limb symptoms serve as a metaphor for the sense of absence we all feel when a part of us—either due to an actual physical injury or some deep personal loss, such as a painful divorce or the death of a loved one—is wrenched away. Leaving nothing, to our mind’s eye, but a persistent, almost palpable ghost. Gone, and yet not gone.
Dennis Palumbo, Phantom Limb, Poisoned Pen Press, September 2014
This article first appeared in Mystery Scene Fall Issue #136.
Reposted from Mystery Scene Mag.com