Ida Mae Glick, a critically acclaimed filmmaker, has lived and taught in the small town of Willow Bend, New York for five years without drawing attention to her troubled past. But when she suffers a near fatal heart attack, the result of trying to live on the same meager rations as a group of homeless people she is filming, she winds up in intensive care under the scrutiny of a neurotic psychiatrist who believes she's unstable. To make matters worse, her mother's ghost has appeared at her bedside with old gripes, and her angry, estranged identical twin, Lisa, is heading toward town intent on having her committed. Ida Mae is desperate to escape with her freedom intact, but knows she'll have to get past her psychiatrist first. The only question is, can she? Shadows and Ghosts is Ida Mae's tale of artistic passion, fierce sibling rivalry, failed love affairs, substance abuse, and the magical redemptive power of cinema.
Barbara Froman is a writer and musician whose early love of sound led to study at the Juilliard School’s Preparatory Division. She went on to receive degrees in Music Composition from Ithaca College and Northwestern University, and a few career twists and publications later, became the Director of Mundelein College’s Creative Writing Program. She has taught Literature and Creative Writing at National-Louis University, where she also acted as a consultant to National’s graduate program in Written Communication. She has written fiction, non-fiction, drama, and poetry, placed in screenwriting competitions, was nominated for a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Fringe, and acted as Assistant Editor on the anthology, (AFTER)life: Poems and Stories of the Dead (published by Purple Passion Press. When she's not writing, she's practicing, composing, reading, or watching movies. You can find her on Twitter, or on her web site at: http://barbarafroman.wordpress.com
Dr. Fern Chalmers, a forty-year-old brown-eyed brunette of average height, walks down the long beige corridor of Willow Bend’s only hospital. She is carrying a manila folder under her left arm and chewing up the last piece of the chocolate frosted donut she bought on her way to work. It is eight-thirty, Monday morning, and her eyes are not adjusting well to the light. Her mother’s snores and sighs from the bedroom next to hers have deprived her of yet another night’s sleep, and this only increases the anxiety she always feels before seeing a new patient. She doesn’t understand why, after ten years of practicing psychiatry, and five years in intense psycho-therapy with a lapsed Freudian, first sessions still make her heart beat too fast, fingers shake too much, and intestines cramp too hard. She knows Bernie would blame her anxiety on her relationship with her mother, but then, Bernie blamed everything on Fern’s mother, especially their breakup. The only thing Fern knows for sure is that she is anxious most of the time, and when she is anxious, she eats.