Submitting My Manuscript to My Publisher! Resources & Boo Boo’s


Greetings, my friends!

Yes, I’m thrilled to announce I’m finally delivering my baby to my publisher, but it’s not a human baby. For starters, I take lithium & a MAOI, so I’m done with all that. From now on if we want to add to this family, we’re going to the Santa Cruz SPCA!

I’m delivering the manuscript of my memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder to Post Hill Press on Saturday. Dr. Carol Henshaw agreed to write the foreword, and I’m truly honored. She’s one of the top perinatal psychiatrists in the world, a highly acclaimed author, and intrepid world traveler.

I began writing Birth of a New Brain nine years ago after my daughter was born. I was diagnosed with postpartum bipolar disorder, and it took forever to complete the book because of my treatment-resistant bipolar depression. If you want to know more about that saga, well, you can read my book next October 2017!

The past week has been a whirlwind of editing, writing, assembling last-minute photos, and completing the freaky metadata form. I also realized I made a ghastly mistake, which you’ll read about, I promise. First the good stuff:

The following links contain incredible resources that helped me. They might help you with your writing projects too. 

Filler Words Detract from the Power of Your Writing!

Rae Ford’s Write for Your Life blog post Ecstasy Editing Notes: 20 Filler Words and How to Get Rid of Them is soooooo worth checking out! (Rae, that “so” was for you, LOL!) 

In 2015 I printed Rae’s page, and put it in my “procrastination” file. On Monday I finally got out Rae’s pointers and combed through my 320 pg. manuscript. I cut as many of the filler words as I could. It was an exhausting process, but editing those suckers felt good! 

Grammarly Fun

Yesterday I splurged and bought Grammarly Premium for one month ($30),  and I have one word to describe it:


(That is a real word according to Miss Lucy. And if you refer someone to Grammarly, you can each get a free week’s trial period, but I was too lazy to do that.)


I discovered more awesome editing tools and the cool NY Editors website. Some goodies are free and some cost cha-ching! Visit “Instantly Improve Your Writing With These 11 Editing Tools” at this groovy NY Book Editors link.

My Quotation Nightmare – Don’t Make My Amateur Mistake!


I did something SO foolish and SO lame, I’m embarrassed to admit it, but if you learn from my mistake it’s worth the shame!

A Bit ‘O Backstory:

I spent many hours searching for apt quotes I placed at the beginning of each of my 28 chapters, and one quote for the “front matter” area. I enjoyed searching for these quotes – it was a labor of love.

Some of the quotes were from songs, others were from books, poems, and newspaper articles. Yours truly didn’t get permission to use any of them.

Big mistake.

Moreover, I should have known better! Last month I contacted the American Psychiatric Association’s Permissions Department. I applied for their holy permission to cite two brief paragraphs. Guess what they wanted?


(I appealed, but I was told no. I got around that snafu by paraphrasing the information I wanted to quote.)

Yesterday when I reviewed the “need for permissions” clause in my publishing contract, this image came to mind:



It was time to do a little research I should have done, um, last year. It turns out I need permission to quote anything published after 1923. Of course, any publisher/person/alien/whatever can charge a fee (i.e. songs are notorious for costing major bucks) unless that source allows a writer to quote without formal permission. (See this link for infoplus, there are tons of other sites with all kinds of information about this topic.)

Even one line of a song is a no-no, which sucks because I had song quotes from Dolly Parton (yes!), Crowded House, Split Enz, Toni Childs, Bic Runga, and Howard Jones – yes, 80’s music forever, people!


This morning I figured I had nothing to lose by emailing an author asking if she could provide a quote with a similar message to what I read in her book. (Her remark was the most relevant, meaningful quote out of th etwenty-nine.)

I had the good fortune to locate her email address online, but I didn’t have high hopes. Well, she wrote me back within the hour and graciously gave me the perfect quote. I’m thrilled! Remember this is an option if all else fails.

Below are some of the quotes I tearfully deleted. I’m not afraid to post them here because I can always delete anything in WordPress in 20 seconds. 

I also registered at Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison’s publisher Penguin Random House * and I applied for permission to use her quote. It wasn’t that big a deal, and I’m glad I did it. I’ll know by eight weeks if it’s a yay or nay. I’m hoping they won’t ask for $600.00


On hypergraphia:

My writing felt like a disease: I could not stop, and it sucked me away from family and friends. Sensations outside of language dried up: music became irritating discord, the visual world grew faint…While my hypergraphia felt like a disease, it also felt like one of the best things that has ever happened to me. It still does.

Dr. Alice W. Flaherty, The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer’s Block and the Creative Brain

On bibliotherapy:

A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe

Madeleine L’Engle

Electroconvulsive therapy/ECT:

I had been in a place where no drug could touch me. ECT was like a huge crane that pulled me out and let me back down on land. But I still had to walk the rest of the way.

Martha Manning, Undercurrents: A Therapist’s Reckoning With Her Own Depression

Benzodiazepine addiction:

To escape, you must make a conscious decision to break the fear-benzo-fear-benzo cycle.

Matt Samet, Death Grip: A Climber’s Escape from Benzo Madness (fab book!)

And it’s de rigueur to have something from the great Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison:

Suicidal depression involves a kind of pain and hopelessness that is impossible to describe — and I have tried. I teach in psychiatry and have written about my bipolar illness, but words struggle to do justice to it. How can you say what it feels like to go from being someone who loves life to wishing only to die? Suicidal depression is a state of cold, agitated horror and relentless despair.

Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, author of An Unquiet Mind, in the New York Times Op-Ed piece “To Know Suicide”

I’m glad I figured out this mess three days before submitting the manuscript. Maybe I can still apply to the powers that be to use some of my favorite quotes. If I get permission, maybe the quotes can be added during the editing process. I’ll check with my editor and give you an update in a future post.

Lose It! Update

Awesome blogger Bradley (Insights of A Bipolar Bear) and I continue struggling mightily with our healthy eating/exercise program (I have a knee injury and I’ve been overeating every night, a topic for another post…) but we aren’t giving up! No way! If you’d like to join us, sign up for free at  and search for the Wondrous Writers group.

Halloween Is Coming – What Shall I Be, What Shall You Be?

Halloween is my favorite day of the year! My daughter Avonlea came up with my costume idea last night. She sure cheered me up after that quote fiasco.

I’m going to dress up as….


(This show is my current glorious, guilty pleasure – while my family watches Avatar and makes fun of me, I watch Melinda send everyone to the light! I mean, how can you go wrong with actors Jay Mohr, Camryn Manheim and David Conrad?)


I already have the perfect vampire-ish dress; now I just need to get a ton of makeup (she wears pounds of it in every episode, plus fake eyelashes) and, um, maybe get ahold of some falsies, since (TMI Warning) because when I lost forty pounds, um, a lot of it came from up top. Oh well.

And on that lovely note…

Thanks for reading!

much love,



Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw (co-author of The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry) will be published by Post Hill Press in October 2017.


37 thoughts on “Submitting My Manuscript to My Publisher! Resources & Boo Boo’s

  1. Congratulations Dyanne! My highly accomplished author, quoted, and Halloween costume maker! Amazing! Your book is going to be published! You must be so proud and u am very proud of you! Love and hugs.

  2. Lady am liking your post because I love you; but please do come online cause am missing even just your likes 🙂 and I see more people in that Lose It group than just Bradley and yourself so am sure it’s been ages you last stopped there… hope my comment doesn’t tweak you, I just miss you but I understand your courage is under fire right now. Loads of best wishes

    • Beautiful girl, give me ’til Saturday night, then I’m all yours! XOXOXOXOXO
      p.s. the only active people in our group are you, me-ish, Bradley, and one other person. The others joined but it didn’t work out, and I can’t delete their profiles so it looks like we’re way bigger than we are. Don’t worry, I’ll start supporting you soon and I’m not tweaked!!! Much love!

    • As you know, I’m back online, and I wrote you a few comments on Lose It!
      Now I’m finally replying to these wonderful comments and I’ll also do that over at your blog – thanks again for such an amazing post of support on Saturday, my big deadline day. I’ll never forget that, my lovely & thoughtful, inspiring, brilliant, and let’s not forget funny friend! XoXo

  3. Congratulations on submitting that manuscript!! What an accomplishment!!! I am so proud of you. I also loved that you linked all those awesome writer sites, even though I get stressed out thinking about all the mistakes I make on the regular. I am the WORST with the filler words. Keep up the good work and keep being you! xoxo

      • It is OK!! They’re ranty and twisted and just the way I get all the hyper squirrels out of my head. There are only so many hours in a day. I feel the love from you always. 🙂

  4. I love this post! You are on such an amazing journey. In fascinated and I’m so happy I was able to help you with a part of it. Congrats on your submission and keep me posted on release.

    • Dear Rae, I signed up for your newsletter – hurrah! And here’ s my belated thanks for your wonderful comment! It made my day. The book is slated for an October, 2017 release, which is perfect because yesterday I found out October is a big month for mental health awareness:

      I wish you the absolutely best and look forward to keeping touch. Have a wonderful week!
      your new fan,

  5. Such good news about your book progress, Dyane. Happy for you. And those are some great quotes…sucks that you have to give them up.
    Hang in there.
    Halloween is just around the corner !! 👻🎃 👻🎃 👻🎃

    • Hi sweet Van!!! 🚐

      Thanks for your fabulous support, as always. Well, it turns out I contacted Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison’s publisher & Madeleine L’Engle’s publisher and I asked for permission to quote them, hurrah! Hopefully I’ll get good news. I also emailed Dr. Shimi Kang (I didn’t include her quote in this post; at least I don’t think I did…) and asked her if she could paraphrase her bestselling book’s quote for me to use. She did that for me within 2 hours – wow!

      And you’re right, Halloween is coming up!!!! I’ll take pictures for this blog again – woo hooooo! (or shall I say boo boooo!) 👻🎃🎃

      Sending you my love! 💖

      • It seems that the universe, and some very special writers, are all coming together for this effort, Dy. So happy for you. ❤️ 💛 💙 💜

    • Many thanks, lovely Leslie! I hope you had a good weekend!
      Once again I took forever to reply to everyone & I’m lucky you put up with me!
      Wishing you a great week…

      p.s. I’m sending you another bouquet of virtual flowers: 💐

    • ***Thank you, Sharon***!!!
      We went out for a fantastic dinner at Casa Nostra last night. We rarely go out to dinner, so it was an extra- special treat. Just thinking about it makes me hungry for another celebration!!! 🎊
      Thanks again & big (((hugs))) to you!
      Dyane 😊

  6. I’m so happy for your Dyane! Congratulations !!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 All your hard work and labour of love have culminated to this point. And this point is only the beginning =D And don’t worry, I’m also on the overeating train. I’m so proud of you. What an accomplishment! ITS HUGE!!! =D I’M SO EXCIITED FOR YOU I’VE GONE FULL CAPS…..OMG!!!!!

    • Thanks a million, sweet Pieces!!!!
      I was honored to get your exciting ALL CAPS – woooo hoooo!
      I mean WOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!
      I hope your overeating (and mine) simmers down soon! 😧
      I’m not jazzed about THAT. 😱
      BOOOOOOOOOO!!!! 👎🏼
      But back to a brighter note! 🌞
      Thanks again – it was such a true joy to read your comment!

  7. Congratulations, Dy! I’m proud of you. Tomorrow!!! Wow!!!

    Is there a difference between quoting online on a blog and quoting in a published book? Just wondering. I sometimes make memes from quotes. Goodreads allows you to quote from Kindle directly to Goodreads. Wonder how they get away with that…

    • Thanks, Kitt!

      You post an excellent question about quoting online on a blog vs. quoting in a published book! Neither Craig nor I know the definitive answer. If you find out the answer, please let me know!
      (That’s interesting about Goodreads situation….hmmmm!)

      You know I “like” & I comment on every one of your blog posts, but I missed commenting on your last post, which shows you how exhausted I am.

      My goal is to catch up over there asap, because until I do that, I simply don’t feel complete. 😉 XOXOXOXO 💗

      • My last post didn’t require a comment. Your book, your health and relaxation, your time, and your family all are more important than reading and commenting on my posts.

  8. LOL! I’ll probably just wear my Spider-Man dress I wore last year, because I’m lazy. 😛 My daughter suddenly changed from Wonder Woman to vampire–that’s easy enough to compile. Bash wanted to be a bat, but would you believe there are NO bat wings?!?!?!?!?! Seriously! Half a dozen stores, and no one, not even HALLOWEEN EXPRESS, sells bat wings?! Then Bash decided he wanted to be a skeleton, so that was enough to get. Biff refuses to agree on being anything, so I got him a knight costume because a) it was cheap and b) I don’t care. 🙂
    All that said, MORE HUGS AND EXCITEMENT FOR SUBMISSION! And these edit things are neato! I’m going to share this because a) you’re awesome and b) I am so proud of you for seeing this journey through.
    Love to you and yours, Dear Friend! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • Oh my word – Spider-Man dress?
      I hope you take a picture and share it with me and maybe even on your blog, hint hint!

      As for the bat wing dilemma – that’s seriously bent. Why the absence of bat wings in stores???
      What a serious offense to humanity!
      At least Bash decided to go the skeleton route and let you off the hook. Big sigh of relief! 👍
      Using Grammarly Premium has been fun (and tiring) – it’s amazing technology; imperfect, but still extremely groovy. I know you’d get a kick out of it. ❤️

      p.s. Thanks for sharing the post! 😘

      • LOL! You’re welcome. Yeah, I’m kinda sickened by how many naughty angel wings I found, but no bats. Ten different types of fairy wings, some nice angel wings. I even found dragon wings! But no bat wings.
        I’ll be sure to take a shot when the time comes. 😉

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  10. Awh, man, I love quotes! It totally sucks that you did all that work and can’t even use them!!! I’d be so peeved and saying ‘doh too.

    Sorry I haven’t been on the radar lately, but I’m catching up on your posts!!!

    • No need to be sorry, friend – look at me, Miz Tardy Momma!
      I know how much you love quotes – you always use great ones in your blog.
      Since I wrote this post, I was able to get permission for one quote. I’m waiting to hear from Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison and Madeleine L’Engle’s publisher – my fingers are crossed! :))))

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  12. Congratulstions on your book. You must be so thrilled. That is my goal someday to finish and publish my memoir. It is so hard to get it all organized. I have so many parts of it written but I need a new computer and a new printer and more time to be really able to finish it etc. Plus, I have so much to learn and learn how to find a publisher etc.

    My Bipolar Symptoms became severe too severe after I gave birth to my first baby 24 years ago. I did not know there was a postpartum depression. I have honestly never heard of that. My Psychiatrist just told me that I always had Bipolar Disorder but my symptoms just became worse when I became pregnant and started having babies..I have tree children.. hmmmm…. Learn something new everyday!!! I will have to check that out. I am very curious now!!!!

    One of my best pieces I ever wrote came out when I was in a very suicidal deep dark depression.I feel I was really truly able to write it and express just what I felt like at the time. After I wrote it I thought wow how did I do that. It just turned out so well and descriptive. I was very surprised. It is acutally very dark for people to read who have never been there but for others that have they can totally relate. I like to write to educate and increase awareness but I think some people can’t read that true deep dark depression. When I am not there like now it is…. so dark but it was where I was about two months ago…. so strange….. the nature of Bipolar…. it is fascinating and scary and so awful all at the same time. I find it amazing and fascinating how our brains work!

    Congratulations again on your book and thanks for the inspiration that maybe I too can someday finish my memoir and get it published. It is my dream.

    • Thank you so much for your comment. Please forgive me for not getting back to you sooner!

      I hope that you’ll get a new computer and printer + the precious time to do it all ASAP.

      It took me nine years to get my manuscript to the editor, and it’ll take another year until it’s out in the world!!! So if it takes more time to complete your memoir than you’d like, remember you’re not alone with that, and it’s okay. You’ll get there.

      It’ll be worth the wait because it’s your dream, and I wish you the best of luck! 😊 Take care, Dyane

      • Thank you do much for your very encouraging words. I know I have quite a story for my memoir as I have lived and survived and learned so much living with my severe Bipolar Disorder. It just takes so long to organize thoughts and write it the best I can to get the best message out to everyone. I want people to learn they are not alone and learn they can survive and thrive etc. etc… I pray one day I can become a successful ad you with mine. Congratulations again! It is so exciting and a huge accomplishment. You deserve to give yourself much praise. I can’t wait to read your book. Please keep me posted.

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