Today Ally Malinenko stops by to reveal the cover for her YA novel, THIS IS SARAH, and to share a behind the scenes look at Colin Leventhal’s medication Journal.
When Colin Leventhal leaned out his bedroom window on the night of May 12th and said goodbye to his girlfriend, he never expected it would be forever. But when Sarah Evans goes missing that night, Colin’s world unravels as he is transformed from the boyfriend next door to the main police suspect. Then one year later, at her memorial service, Colin makes a phone call that could change everything. Is it possible that Sarah is still alive? And if so, what is Colin willing to do to bring her back?And as Colin struggles with this possibility, across the street, Sarah’s little sister Claire learns how to navigate the strange new landscape that is life without her sister. Even as her parent’s fall apart, Claire is determined to keep on going. Even if it kills her.
THIS IS SARAH is a meditation on loss, love, and what it means to say goodbye.
Patient: Colin Leventhal
City/State: Windsor, Colorado
Medication: Fluvoxamine 100 mg
INTRO: (In this space please detail your current medication regimen as well as recent medical history)
This is like the fifth time I’ve started this stupid thing.
Just for the record, the only reason I’m doing this is because my mother begged me.
HOW DO YOU FEEL?
Problem is, I have to eat to take these stupid pills you’re making me take which, just for the record, aren’t making me feel any better.
ARE YOU EXPERIENCING DIZZINESS/ANXIETY/NAUSEA
IF SO WHEN?
Yeah. See above about me feeling like shit.
Pretty much every day.
PLEASE DESCRIBE IN DETAIL YOUR SLEEPING PATTERNS
Detail? Okay. I don’t sleep. When I do, I dream about Sarah. When I wake up I forget for just a second that she’s gone, that she was taken, and for just a minute my life is what it used to be and then it all comes crashing down again. Then I want to hit something until my hand breaks just to make it stop.
ARE YOU FEELING AGGRESSIVE WHEN MEDICATING?
Ask my mother how many things I’ve broken. Go ahead. Ask her.
PLEASE PLACE A CHECK MARK NEXT TO ALL SYMPTOMS THAT APPLY TO YOUR CURRENT DRUG REGIMEN:
• Difficulty sleeping/Insomnia
• Dry Mouth
• Tachycardia (Increased heart rate)
• Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
• Difficulty Concentrating
• Suicidal Thoughts
• Sexual Dysfunction
• PLEASE LIST ANY ADDITIONAL NOTES HERE:
• Well, I did pretty good on the list. All I got to look forward to is not being able to get it up, going insane and killing myself.
• Thanks Doc.
• DO NOT WRITE BELOW THIS LINE
• PHYSICIAN’S NOTES: Patient is suffering from acute PTSD as well as OCD and depressive disorder after the disappearance and probable death of this girlfriend Sarah Evans. Possible signs of mania and aggressive behavior. MSE indicates hostile/guarded/possibly repressed rapport. Stereotypy includes repetitive clenching of jaw and fist. Mood is angry/anxious and affect varies from blunted to heightened suggesting manic-depressive swings. Thought process is steady but content hinges on obsession over missing girlfriend and possible delusions regarding her future return. Minor psychotic tendencies. During sessions patient has reference thought broadcasting and somatic passivity.
• Suggested increase in Fluvoxamine dosage of 50 mg pending results of cognition test.
Ally Malinenko is the author of the poetry collection, The Wanting Bone (Six Gallery Press), and the children’s novel Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb (Antenna Books). This Is Sarah is her first YA book. Ally lives in Brooklyn with her husband and a very ridiculous tabby cat. She blogs at allymalinenko.com and you can follow her on twitter at @allymalinenko.