It was just a normal day . . .

Writer’s Digest called “It was a dark and stormy night” “the literary posterchild for bad story starters.” Wikipedia says, “It was a dark and stormy night” is an often-mocked and parodied phrase considered to represent “the archetypal example of a florid, melodramatic style of fiction writing.” The entire first sentence is:

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents – except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.

1830 novel, Paul Clifford, by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

However, I think “It was a dark and stormy night” is a great opening phrase and the whole sentence is marvelous. I therefore decided to play with it for the opening line in my non-fiction book, The Zyprexa Papers. I didn’t expect anyone would get it until I pointed it out and that seems to be true. Showing a marked up version of Snoopy writing the line replacing the phrase in the first paragraph of my book is a parody of the Snoopy cartoon, and was the best way I could figure out to illustrate what I had done.

There is another hidden gem in the book, but only the hardcover edition. The hardcover edition includes a bibliography and index and there is one index entry I think is worth the price of the hardcover edition if the extra cost is not an issue. It brings a smile to my lips every time I think about it. I am not going to tell you what that is, of course. You can leave a comment below if you think you know what it is. Of course, you will need to get the book first. <grin>

I am very grateful to Samizdat Health Writer’s Cooperative for publishing the hard cover edition. Their mission is to publish health related books that other publishers won’t touch because the message is outside of current medical industry dogma.

I have set up an order page for signed copies of both the hardcover and paperback editions.

The Zyprexa Papers

On December 17, 2006, The New York Times began a series of front-page stories about documents obtained from Alaska lawyer Jim Gottstein, showing Eli Lilly had concealed that its top-selling drug caused diabetes and other life-shortening metabolic problems. The “Zyprexa Papers,” as they came to be known, also showed Eli Lilly was illegally promoting the use of Zyprexa on children and the elderly, with particularly lethal effects. Although Mr. Gottstein believes he obtained the Zyprexa Papers legally, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn decided he had conspired to steal the documents, and Eli Lilly threatened Mr. Gottstein with criminal contempt charges. In The Zyprexa Papers, Mr. Gottstein gives a riveting first-hand account of what really happened, including new details about how a small group of psychiatric survivors spread the Zyprexa Papers on the Internet untraceably. All of this within a gripping, plain-language explanation of complex legal maneuvering and his battles on behalf of Bill Bigley, the psychiatric patient whose ordeal made possible the exposure of the Zyprexa Papers