On The Road to Publication: Covering My Bases



Separated at birth?

Dear Friends,

Another week has flown by, and I hope that you’re doing well.

When I told my therapist that it seems like a hard time for so many of us, she agreed. She said she knew two people who recently died by suicide, and she noticed more clients are in crisis now compared to other times of the year. 

So, whatever helps you feel a little better each day, do it!

Hanging out with my dog Lucy, good food, reading the WordPress Reader, connecting with bloggers, light therapy, coffee, mood lifting essential oils, watching Netflix shows, listening to anxiety-reducing music

Those are some of my favorite things. Tell me what lifts your spirits in the comments section – I’d love to know.

And speaking of spirits, Halloween is in 18 days!

What will you be?

Visit this post to find out what my costume is – scroll all the way down.


Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder Update

I submitted my manuscript on October 1st to my publisher. The next step is to start working with my editor. I’m nervous (who wouldn’t be?) but I’m incredibly excited that I’ve reached this stage. (I’m hard at work growing an extra-thick layer of skin because I’ll need it when I get the feedback!) 

I received an excellent foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw, one of the world’s top perinatal psychiatrists. Dr. Henshaw is also an intrepid world traveler and blogger. To read about her journeys visit her blog On The Road Again – Wanderlust and the need to see more of the world.

Cover Design

Here’s the first contender:

Mental Health Humor and psychological disorder humor and cartoons by Chato Stewart

Mental Health Humor and psychological disorder humor and cartoons by Chato Stewart

Just kidding!

Last week I started working with a talented graphic designer who will create the cover! My girls inspired me to come up with a potential concept, and they drafted it on the Post-It pictured below. It’s fun to include them in the process, and I’m thrilled they took an interest.

I love beautifully designed book covers, and I look forward to sharing more details with you in the months ahead.


Thinking about book covers inspired me to brainstorm about endorsement blurbs. I have an extensive list of celebrated writers, doctors, and even celebs who I want to contact, but I’m holding off until I have a completed cover I can send out to entice them, heh heh heh.

If you’re interested in this topic, publisher Brooke Warner of SheWrites Press wrote an article “An Author’s Guide to Praise and Endorsement Practices”  that’s worth a look.

I took this picture at our local indie bookstore in the children’s book section. I guess as long as no one writes this about my book, I’ll be happy! 😉 


Social Media, I Can’t Quit You!

After a three-month-long social media hiatus, I’ve returned to Twitter and Facebook. (I took time off to focus on completing my book, and it was a great decision – I highly recommend it.)I won’t kid you – I allowed myself to get sucked right back in! 

I won’t kid you – I allowed myself to get sucked right back in! 

I’d be grateful if you could like my Facebook Book Page

Unlike Facebook, which retains your contacts when you deactivate your profile, Twitter erases your followers, etc. after a certain amount of time. Boo Twitter! I have a new Twitter handle: @DyaneHarwood — and I invite you to follow me!

The Lose It! Update

My friends Bradley (Insights of A Bipolar Bear), Marie Abanga (Merry Marie) and I are using the Lose It! app & website to get healthy. Thanks, in part, to Lose It! I’ve maintained a 40 lb. weight loss but I struggle with food. 

At least over the past few days I stopped bingeing at night! I still eat too much for dessert, but my dessert is a far cry from the tons of gelato, chocolate cake, chocolate bars, chocolate anything I used to eat. These days I enjoy an apple and (lots of ) almond butter! In any case, I’m relieved to have broken the bingeing cycle. I suspect that meeting my deadline had something to do with that…

If you’d like to try Lose It!, you can sign up for free at www.loseit.com – to join our little group, search for the Wondrous Writers group at the site.


So much for aiming to write a short post. Someday I’ll surprise you and do it. Thanks for reading, and be extra-good to yourselves!

lots of 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.


23 thoughts on “On The Road to Publication: Covering My Bases

  1. I am sooooo excited for you. You got me with that phony cover, btw. I was like “uhhhhhh okay” Thank God you were joking.

    • LOL!!! There is no way on God’s green earth that would fly, but I’m thrilled you thought I was serious for a New York minute!

  2. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I’m so excited about your book. Totally think you should use the first cover! Looks professional AND kid-friendly.

  3. Lady, 870 words ain’t bad… Just don’t forget the pot on the stove and keep writing there 🙂

    The 1st book cover made me shrink like how will she expect anyone to open the book past that cover?

    As for Lose it, thanks for urging and cheering me on.

    What keeps me rooted during those bizzare moments is sports, prayers, reading, writing, cooking for my 3 for life boyfriends, music, and chatting with kindred spirit

    Overall, bravo and whoop whoop whoop

    Love to Lucy and Sisters

    • Your comments always make me smile! Yes, you’re right – 870 words is pretty good for me, ha ha! The first cover was a joke more than anything else – my friend Chato, a cartoonist for Psych Central and advocate, drew it for fun and shared it with me. There’s no way I’d ever use that & he knows it! His wife worried it would offend me, but it didn’t. I just hope no one here gets freaked out too much by it.

      It’s my pleasure to cheer you on at Lose It! The very nature of tracking is powerful; I never would have believed it before trying Lose It! but it works and I hope it does exactly what you want it to do. :)) At least you have me and Bradley on your side…

      I love how you shared what keeps you rooted – you’re definitely a beautiful, magnificent tree. Not sure what trees you have in your area, but choose the bigges, strongeset, coolest, prettiest one…and that’s YOU!

      XoXo Love back to you from us all!

  4. Great post Dyane! I’m so excited for you that your book is in the editing stage. I’m really interested to see how this phase goes. I would love to write a book at some point, so I’m following your progress with great interest.

    I agree with you that it seems a lot of people are in crisis right now. I read a lot of blogs with people having a very hard time. I wonder if it’s the change in season.

    • Thanks so much, Leslie; it was very, very nice to wake up to your comment on this gloomy, rainy day!

      I’ll definitely keep you posted on how the editing process goes – I know it’ll be tough (that’s an understatement, LOL!😱) but at least I can use this blog to whine about it, I mean share about what it’s like! 😜

      It very well might be the season change that’s causing a lot of suffering – check out this interesting post my friend Dr. Vania Manipod wrote a few days ago. She’s an amazing psychiatrist & an insightful blogger; you might already by familiar with her blog. I keep telling her she needs to move here when my pdoc retires in 2 years! I


      Take care, and I’m sending you a big hug and lots of your favorite flowers! 💐

  5. Aaaaaw, man, I double-dog-dare you to use that first image as the book cover!!!

    totally kidding. that, um, would not be smart. But damn, is it fitting! 😛

    Your kids’ post-it is actually a pretty cool thought, too. Have you checked out http://www.sjhigbee.com/? I think you’ve seen me share her stuff. Anyway, every Friday she has those book cover comparisons; I’ve found them really fascinating, because like you pointed out, a book cover really DOES either turn on or off potential readers. I can’t wait to see the other options you share!

    The editing will be grueling, which remember, is a GOOD thing. It means a) you’re getting published! YAY! and b)your editor cares about this book just as much as you do. Whenever I have my students read each other’s rough drafts, there’s always a few that just say “Nice job! I liked it! You did great!” and never bother to point out issues like, oh, a missing main idea, plagiarized research, etc. While I get that some people aren’t comfortable telling others, “I think something’s wrong,” we should ALL feel comfortable in wanting to help another be better. Otherwise, everyone’s grade suffers, and that just sucks. So, follow the red pen, for it draws the path to awesomeness! 🙂

    It’s great to have you back. No country should be without its Coffee Queen for too long! xxxx

    • Hello, my friend! ☕️

      Rest assured that Chato’s literal interpretation of my title will not be gracing the cover! 😜He’s fine with my passing on his concept – I think it took him two minutes for the prolific cartoonist to draw it, and he was joking more than anything.

      I’m going to take another look at S.J. Higbee’s site. I want to start following her Friday book cover comparisons – thanks for sharing the link! I might have already written this already, but I consider book covers to be similar to wine bottle labels – it seems that many folks buy a book or bottle of wine based on the cover/label illustration. It’s not fair, and it’s not always wise, but I’ve been known to do it! 🍷📚

      I hope-hope-hope that my editor will care about the book; more specifically, making the book MUCH better! Caring is better than ambivalence (or loathing), eh? I loved your example of your students correcting each other’s rough drafts. And “follow the red pen” – that’s SO great! (Perhaps follow the red edits on Word? – I don’t know what correcting device she’ll use, but I’ll know soon enough!!)

      Anyway, it’s nice to be appreciated by you — many thanks — and this Coffee Queen👑 is going to get off her throne for some more extra-buzzy 🐝Wicked Wake-Up!

      Unfortunately I was so out of it this morning that I dropped a full mug of freshly poured Emerson’s Smooth Roast on my FOOT. What a bummer!!!! Now, prepare yourself for an evil run-on sentence:

      The mug, which was painted by Craig at Petroglyph and featured an image of what looked like a fat hamster but was Lucy, shattered into a zillion pieces. (I’m too lazy to fix that!)

      Hot coffee splattered everywhere, and I spewed severa,okay, MANYl colorful curses that I’m sure our reclusive neighbors heard. Destroying my favorite mug was a terrible act, but it was a true crime to waste that coffee!!!!!!

      And with that sad, sad tale I bid you farewell. I’m sending all my love your way to the Midwest, and I hope that you never spill a drop of good coffee anywhere!

      Queen Dyane

      • Eh, I use run-ons all the time. 😛 That’s a shame about the mug, though. Several of our mugs are chipped up because Bash keeps whacking them with spoons, so now a chip-less mug is a great rarity in our house. Maybe Craig will surprise you with a new fat-hamster-Lucy mug for Christmas! (But seriously, yeah, the true crime is the loss of good coffee. 😉

        Yes: caring is WAY better than ambivalence, but I’ve got faith this editor will see you through!

        (You should totally use that mock cover and impose it over occasional photographs of your book, just to throw people off. It’s too awesome!)

        And yes, SJ Higbee’s Friday comparisons are always worth a look! She mentions that this book cover study was started by someone else. Blast it, I can’t remember who. Anyway, it’s really cool seeing how other countries market a story–you get a sense of how much more (or less) a country’s culture approaches things like vampires, or humor in fantasy, or animals as main characters. I think you’ll really dig it–I know I’m making mental notes for, God-willing, when the time comes that I can have a cover, too. 😉

      • Re: “You should totally use that mock cover and impose it over occasional photographs of your book, just to throw people off. It’s too awesome!”
        You betcha!

  6. I love that yellow post it! It’s so precious that kids understand and embrace us (us – ppl with mental illness), sometimes better than most adults!

    Congrats on maintaining the weight loss and submitting your manuscript. I know that took a lot of work and dedication on your part – you’re a Super-Writer!!!

    • Thanks, darling, for your kind, supportive comment! Re: my girls drawing the Post-Its, yes, it moved me so much that they’ve understood me and embraced me regardless of my diagnosis. What an enormous gift!

      I’m starting to creep up a couple pounds, and I know where that can lead! I have to cut out the nighttime binges. I’m “good” during the day, but come evening I turn to chomping away on whatever we have in the kitchen that’s not ice cream – which is a lot! I can’t ruin all my hard work, I just can’t, so please pray for me, will you? 🙏

      On a happiernote, I look forward to reading the latest from the one & only Super Mommy soon! 💖 I hope you guys are doing well and send you all my love!

      p.s. thanks for the Twitter follow !!!! I wish I had thought to get a record of those I followed before I deactivated my old profile, but I’m not sure how I would’ve done that. Maybe take pictures of my laptop screen? Or print images of the screen? Oh well – lesson learned, and that’s what it’s all about, right? 😜

    • Thank you so much!! It took nine years, but better late than never, right? 😉 Have a great day and thanks again for stopping by.

      take care, Dyane

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