One of the small-but-oh-so-interesting details that has emerged from my research on mental asylums has been my discovery of asylum postcards and the people who collect them. Back in the golden age of asylums, the general public viewed mental asylums as manifestations of magnificient architecture. Institutionalization was common and visible. Towns took pride in the asylums their outskirts hosted, and postcards were printed by the hundreds.
The postcard pictures above are from Christopher Payne's wonderful book, Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals. The ones below are the start of my own collection of these unique postcards. Chris found these two at a local antique store. They were sent to Mrs K. D. Barnes from her daughter in 1917.
I haven't even attempted to write fiction since, apart from this current project, which I am probably just too scared of to continue. I have grown to appreciate and enjoy non-fiction writing, but the process of doing reserch is more appealing to me than the actual process of writing. I wonder if I can ever love writing again, the way I did when I was a child. Who knows. I guess it would be an awful shame to let one old teacher dictate what I can or cannot write today.