In Literary Limbo……….



Chips’s lively, off-the-wall presentation made me laugh out loud. Even if you don’t give a hoot about book covers, publishing, or the like, please watch his short talk. I guarantee you’ll find it fascinating!


What’s literary limbo? 

It’s not a West Indies-originated exclusive dance for men. 

(I always learn something new when I blog!)

I’m using another definition of “limbo”: a transitional state. I’m waiting to hear from my editor for the first time.

I’ve had nightmares about our first interaction. In my most vivid dream, the editor emailed me and tersely stated my manuscript needed a lot of work. To add insult to injury, I was told I had to change my title from Birth of a New Brain to BRAIN HAMMER! 

The title BRAIN HAMMER! reminded me of the Beatles’ Maxwell’s Silver Hammer. I couldn’t help but think of this classic song which ain’t exactly about peaches & cream.


Well, I couldn’t blame my disturbing dream on a spicy Mexican dinner. Once again my writing insecurity was surfacing from my murky subconscious to say BOO! At least I was able to laugh about it later. Much later.


Hemingway was such a salty-tongued fellow! 

Of course, I can’t leave out Anne Lamott, or I risk getting trolled by an excessively ardent Anne Lamott fan. unknown-2

Believe me, they exist


Book Cover News 

My book cover design is done, and it’s beautiful! Thanks to the brilliant book cover designer Vanessa No Heart for taking the concept to a whole new level. I’m not sure when it shall be revealed, but believe me, I’ll let you know as soon as I can. I’ll probably get it tattooed on my face.

A Cool Resource for Writers

I spotted the Publishizer link on Twitter and I was intrigued enough to take a look around the Publishizer site.

I encourage those of you with writerly aspirations to check it out.

The premise is this: You write a proposal and sell pre-orders, and the Publishizers query it to publishers for you. They even guide you step-by-step through writing a book proposal. Nice! (I’d also use agent/co-founder of the San Francisco Writers Conference Michael Larsen’s book as a reference.)

Publishizer queries a variety of publishers at pre-order “milestones.” If you sell 500 pre-orders, they personally query 20 publishers for you. There’s an extensive list of the publishers on the site.

Then you’ll arguably get one of the best problems of your life: you must select the best publishing offer for you. You’ll receive different kinds of offers based on the interest in your (fabulous) proposal.

After all that you shall select the best publishing offer and receive your payment!

Doesn’t it sound so easy-peasy-lemon-squeazy?


Anyway, I thought the section showing how many agents were interested in each proposal particularly interesting. Please keep in mind that this is my rather poor paraphrasing of what Publishizer’s all about, so go take a peek!

Here’s A Memoir I Recently Enjoyed









I like the publisher’s description, which I’ve edited quite a bit so this isn’t a 3000-word post. 

“The remarkable story of rising to the top of the music charts, a second act as a tech pioneer, and the sustaining power of creativity and art. Thomas Dolby’s hit songs “She Blinded Me with Science” and “Hyperactive!” catapulted him to international fame in the early 80’s. A pioneer of New Wave and Electronica, Thomas combined a love for invention with a passion for music. But as record company politics overshadow the joy of performing, Thomas finds a surprising second act.

Starting out in a rat-infested London bedsit (I must interject: “GRRRRROOOSSSSSSSSS!!!!!”)  a teenage Thomas Dolby stacks boxes by day at the grocery and tinkers with a homemade synthesizer at night… with a bit of luck he finds his own style, establishing himself on the scene and recording hits that take MTV  by storm. The world is now his oyster, and sold- out arenas, world tours, even a friendship with Michael Jackson become the fabric of his life.

But as the record industry flounders and disillusionment sets in, Thomas turns his attention to Hollywood. Scoring films and computer games eventually leads him to Silicon Valley and a software startup that turns up the volume on the digital music revolution. By 2005, two-thirds of the world’s mobile phones embed his Beatnik software. Life at the zenith of a tech empire proves to be just as full of big personalities, battling egos and roller-coaster success as his days spent at the top of the charts.

(I snipped quite a bit off at this juncture – they gave too much away in their mongo-blurb.)

Thomas Dolby has been named Johns Hopkins University’s first Homewood Professor of the Arts, where he will help create a new center that will serve as an incubator for technology in the arts.”

Now that’s a class I’d love to audit! 

As a longtime fan of Thomas Dolby’s music, I was caught up in his incredible story. The only portion I found challenging was the uber-Silicon Valley techie descriptions, but that was to be expected. I was also very moved to learn about Dolby’s transgender child Harper, and Dolby’s ultimate acceptance and support of his  on. I was plain-old-sad when this memoir ended; I wanted it to go on, which is the sign of a truly awesome book.

The catchy, witty song Close But No Cigar is one of my favorite tunes from Thomas Dolby’s Astronauts and Heretics album, complete with a rip-roaring guitar solo from Eddie Van Halen. Avonlea and I got to see Dolby perform in Santa Cruz; she was in utero at the time. (And unfortunately she doesn’t care for his music or any other “80’s music nightmare artists” for that matter!) 

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 to Lose It!, I lost 40 lbs. – the equivalent of a small child or big carp fish! However, maintenance is tough, especially because I still struggle with compulsive overeating. I’m sticking to LoseIt! so I don’t yo-yo as I’ve done in the past.

You can sign up for free at to join our little group; search for the Wondrous Writers group at the Lose It! site. It’s easy. Not peasy-lemon-squeezy. (Sorry.)


It’s raining cats, dogs, and banana slugs today. The power could go out at any minute, so I’m pressing “publish” before checking for typos. I used my new BFF, Grammarly Premium proofreader, as I typed along and it caught some nasties, but not all of them. I’ll take a chance of offending the typo police. 

I hope you have a good weekend, a happy Halloween on Monday, and I’ll see you next Friday with tales to tell.





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.





28 thoughts on “In Literary Limbo……….

  1. Thanks Vic, I can’t wait to see how you answered my burning questions over at your blog – off to take a gander right now! 👍

  2. Loved Chip Kidd’s TED talk and can’t wait to see the unveiling of your book’s cover design. I wish you fewer nightmares and more relaxation. You deserve it. You’ve accomplished a lot!

    • Thank you for writing I’ve accomplished a lot. You should see my messy house, though. (Although something tells me you *might* reserve judgement. 😜)

      Regarding Mr. Chip Kidd – I’ve never seen or heard anyone remotely like him. Here’s to bold originality. It took guts for him to open his talk the way he did. And what a snappy dresser! I’m so glad you loved his talk too.

      I had another nightmare last night, but at least it wasn’t about my writing. However, it was about Neil Finn, one of my favorite musicians, being diagnosed with terminal cancer (It’s not true, thank God!) and I happened to be hanging out with him (I wish…) and, oh my word, I even got to hug him. But I was sobbing when I did it.😢

      • Letting go of your book to the publisher, to the editing process, is both a beginning and an end. Similar to the dream? Forgive me for off the cuff dream interpretation.

      • 👍 I love your interpretations – no forgiveness needed! But I do need to see another stunning Kitt O’Malley flower shot on Instagram soon! 🌹(subtle hint)

  3. I saw this post and got overwhelmed reading about the publishing process. I have some of my book written and I’m scared to submit it to anyone. How much do you have to write before you submit it? Gosh it feels like I’ll never get to the part when I see it on the shelves!

    Sorry, I feel like that rant belongs on my blog.

    I’ll come back and comment properly later. So sorry my dear!!!

    • No worries!!!! Rant away! (they call this the “angry “face 😠 but there’s probably a “rant” face too; I couldn’t find it because I’m lazy.)

      The time to read publishing how-to’s has to be write, I mean right, (ha, ha!) to read and assmiliate.

      There is no way in hell I could have read this kind of stuff or even contemplate doing any of it a few years ago. Then something clicked and I dove in.

      You have lots of great writing stuff going on! Now you know some possibly helpful info. is here, waiting for you, and when/if you feel like it, you can always return to skim it or find other material that’s easier to understand.( I didn’t do such a hot job here – I drank too much Rocket Fuel today! ) As far as how much you have to write before you submit, there are different answers to that one depending on the genre. I only know that for memoir I needed a proposal and sample chapter; I didn’t have to have the entire book written, unlike fiction. (If I’m wrong about this, readers, please correct me, but that’s what I’ve always heard!) Michael Larsen’s book is a great starting point.

  4. Hey lady, thanks for all the Beatles images…not my favorite song, 🔨🔨 but definitely my favorite album. 🎶 Surely, all is going well with that editor.📚
    Wishing you sweeter dreams.😴 And a very Happy Halloween ! 👻 🎃 👻

    • Darlin’ Van 🚐,

      Your comment warmed the cockles (hey, where’s THAT emoji??) of my 💜!

      Yes, “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” 🔨 isn’t one of my faves either, and the funny thing is I didn’t even realize what it was about until hundreds of listens because I’m terrible when it comes to hearing lyrics. I have a weird block. I usually can only pay attention to the melody! 👀🎼

      Craig is a ginormous Beatles freak, and while I love their music too, he knows all kinds of obscure facts about them and still watches tons of documentaries 🎬 etc.

      Last night’s dream was another winner. (I need to put sarcasm emoji here, maybe this one will do: 😼) I was driving in the old, tiny Subaru Forester with my family and there was a big earthquake. 🌍 Lagre, freaky cracks appeared on the road, but at least we could dodge them, and it wasn’t a fun ride as you can imagine! We survived it, but I wish I could dream about a relaxing spa afternoon, you know? 😜

      On a much brighter 🌟note, I hope you have a fabulous Halloween 🎃👻 and sweet dreams always! 🍭

      Lots of 💖,


  5. LOL!

    You get that cover tattooed to your face, you better take a picture!

    I get your heebeejeebees (sp? Eh whatever) in limbo, but I don’t think you have anything to worry about. As a teacher of composition (cough cough harumph harumph) I’m sure you’ll have but minor pishtosherations to attend to. I have faith in you, Dyane.

    Always will.


    AND AND AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND –the coffee came! So stoked to taste it tomorrow morning!

    And now to bed

    • OMG, I’m drinking my 2nd big cup of Rocket Fuel this very moment, and it tastes SO good! It’s better than North Coast Coffee’s Wicked Wakeup, & that’s fine because Rocket Fuel is locally produced and Wicked Wakeup isn’t; I prefer to support local caffeine dealers, I mean business folk.

      I took WAY too much time yesterday searching online for a face with a book cover tat on it – can you believe that? (Um, I bet you’re mutttering “yes…”)

      Naturally there were many more important tasks waiting for me to complete, such as paying the huge cell bill, our mortgage and the daily clean- up after Lucy 💩 (she’s VERY healthy when it comes to her powers of excretion, what a nice bit of TMI, eh?) but alas, I wasted a bunch of time to no avail. 😫

      I’ve never had a tattoo and I doubt I’ll get one – it just doesn’t thrill me – but I appreciate beautiful works of art on others’ epidermal layers!

      Professor JL, is “pishtosherations” in the almight OED? 😜

      I guess what freaks me out the most, besides the stupid earthquake dream I had last night, is not knowing who the editor is. Once I get a name, I become SpyDy and I’ll find out some general info. courtesy of Google so I can (hopefully) work better with the person. Does that even make sense? Who care! In any case, I’ll admit that my plan sounds rather scary, isn’t it? 👀 But I draw the line at stalking! Give me partial credit, will ya?

      Let me know what you think of the ☕️ – I hope you love it as much as I do!

      ❤️ Tara &

      (From “The Best of British – the Americans Guide to Speaking British” Cheerio – Not a breakfast cereal. Just a friendly way of saying goodbye. Or in the north “tara” which is pronounced sort of like “churar”. Yes, I’m a shameless Anglophile. 🇦🇺)

      • Hey, if Shakespeare got to make up new words, why can’t we? What, was there some sort of summit where a bunch of English people said: “No more new words after 1700. Until technology comes along and everyone stops caring about spelling. Then ‘ain’t’ gets to be a word.” “I second the motion!” “Huzzah!” And lots of cheers and pats on the back and hats flying and I’m not sure where I was going with this, save for maybe a roasted pig with a dictionary in his mouth? Oh, that got weird. Like, art-cinema-student weird. Never mind!

        YES THIS COFFEE.!! I can’t even type punctuation because I love this coffee! Course, now IIIIIIIIIIIIIII must send you a sample of something Wisconsin beans! Do you prefer something flavored (white russian, mint, etc.) or something more simple (breakfast blend)?
        I’ve honestly thought about a tattoo myself,though, um, not on the face. After Dad died, I started thinking about getting “The Lord sanctify us with the truth” tattooed on my back. He started all his sermons that way, but it’s also how I’m trying to live, to: truthful to myself, to my faith, to those whom I care about. It’s a struggle, but a worthy one. 🙂
        Oh! I didn’t realize you don’t know the editor. Oh man, SpyDy TOTALLY sounds like a kickin’ character for a kid’s book series! YOU SHOULD TOTALLY WRITE THAT! (ahem) Sorry for shouting. 🙂 But I know what you mean, having some faceless droid with fingers clicking and scraping over your precious words. BUT, (gosh I’m just a grammar-garble today) as a teacher, I *am* that droid for my students. Yeah, they have a picture of me, but they don’t KNOW me. What I mark up, I mark up for a reason. That’s what your editor’s doing. Hmmm. Are you able to request the editing back in chunks? Then maybe that would allow you to strike up a connection with the editor. Sorry, I’m not sure the protocol on this…

        Aw, Tara and Cheerio to you! OH! I need to make sure I use “Midsomer Murders” for my music post in November. I’ve been listening to it and making spooky noises with the kids. 😉
        Love and hugs from my caffeinated self to you! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

      • I’ve created a CAFFEINE MONSTER 👀just in time for Halloween, ha ha ha!!! 🎃”She’s alive, ALIVE!!!!!!” (That’s my reworked homage to the amazing Gene Wilder in the classic “Young Frankenstein”) You might be too young for that cinematic reference, you youngster!

        Well, I know Rocket Fuel is powerful and can get a bit too intense depending on how much you drink, how strong you made it and so forth, but I know you’ll agree with me that it’s awesome – I only hope you didn’t wind up cursing me for its super-buzz!

        I laughed when I opened up your comment because I KNEW you had at least a cup before you wrote it! ☕️ Please, dear friend, there’s no need to send me any beans ’cause you are BUSY! (Although I do prefer breakfast blend – on 2nd thought, you can send me some of the WI beans come March 18th for my birthday!)

        Re: “SpyDy” 🔭

        I must admit it has a ring to it, does it not? I bequeath the moniker to you to use for a kids’ series someday because you’re the only one who could write something grand enough to do that character proper justice! (Bad sentence, I know. Sigh. I…Need….More….ROCKET FUEL!!!!)

        Okay, I’m back. That brew is so yummy that it actually tastes reallly good black, which is how I currently drink ye olde java. (I used to dump a ton of sugar & milk or cream in my cup until I decided to Lose It! – I’m a bit extreme, ya know! 🎭)

        ANYWAY, as far as editors are concerned, you know I’ve only corresponded with the managing editor who will assign a different editor to yours truly “soon,” according to her last email. I’m not sure what the proper title for the next editor is – development editor perhaps? I hope, because that’s what the book needs (mucho)before a proofreader or copy editor swoops in to save the typo-ridden day. I should really ask the managing editor, big duh! I have a feeling I’ll find out this week, but I’m being weird and procrastinating due to my fears. I usually would barrage any “boss” with lots of questions. I’ll ask her this week and be the almost 47-year-old I am, and satisfy my curiosity once & for all.

        That’s a good question about whether or not I could request the editing back in chunks – I’ll put that out there to her – ***thank you*** for drumming up that possibility!

        By the way, I CANNOT WAIT for you to use “Midsomer Murders” for your music post next month!!!!! 🎼 🇦🇺❤️🎼

        We’re doing last-minute Halloween costume shopping this morning, and it’s going to pour rain today. Oh, I just love driving around with the stoners, meth heads, aggro Silicon Valley commuters/secret millionaires and who knows who/what else 👽 in the rain, tra la la. Please, if it isn’t too much to ask of you, pray for us, will ya ?

        At least my driving reflexes shall be ON IT thanks to ROCKET FUEL!!! 🚀☕️🚀☕️

        Lots of love as always, & thanks for this glorious comment that added fun to my gloomy morning, my dear.

      • Hey, I LOVE Mel Brooks’ films, and Young Frankenstein is a huuuuuuuuuuuuge favorite! I shall mark my calendar for March and some lovely beans for my Java Queen! 🙂
        Hey, we’ll keep SpyDy safe and sound, just in case one of us can get to it, because you’re right–it’s got an awesome ring to it! The editing stuff has got to work out;in the meantime, you have a lovely Halloween, my dear, dear SpyDy, and listen to some Midsomer. I’m going to deal with grading (UGH) and another round of trick or treating. May the mischief Hallow’s Eve commence…after a little sleep and a fresh pot of Rocket Fuel! Woooo!

  6. I haven ‘t been blogging or writing for publication though I am giving thought to a chapbook for my poems at some future date. If it isn’t fun for me, I won’t write it.

    • Hey Joel, it’s great to see you here. Thanks for stopping by…

      I think your philosophy is awesome. I get so much joy out of blogging because it’s not a “have-to” type of situation, but a “want-to,” if that makes any sense.

      Plus, I’ve been more and more inspired to incorporate more humor into posts whenever it feels right.

      Keep having fun 😜and let us know when that chapbook comes to fruition! 👍

  7. Holy guacamole!! I didn’t know that he designed the cover for Jurassic Park!!! That was an awesome TED talk! Thanks for sharing that. Sorry my last post was such a rant. I think my memoir is going to be weird and I want him to do the design. You think someone has his info?

Comments are closed.