Wake-Up Calls from the Universe



During the past week, I had an epiphany courtesy of my inner universe.

The inner universe is the area comprised of mysterious brain synapses and who knows what else…

Maybe subatomic bits of chocolate?

I can’t type “inner universe” without thinking of Crowded House’s hypnotic song Private Universe. 

Ever since the creation of my ARC, I’ve been obsessed with attaining book endorsements. I’ve contacted bestselling writers, experts in the bipolar and perinatal mental health fields, and celebrities.

When the rejections started coming in, they weren’t fun, as you can imagine. Some of my emails were ignored. (I’d rather get a rejection than no response at all!) But I knew from the get-go that rejections would be part of the process. 

I received five blurbs (you can see them here under Editorial Reviews) and more are on the way. 

How many blurbs does an author really need?

Well, there are publishing pros who believe a writer only needs a few blurbs. Other marketers such as Sarah Bolme suggest getting twenty to thirty! I encourage you to read her brief post about her rationale. Although Sarah’s specialty is Christian books, her perspective applies to all genres.


I thought this book cover endorsement was witty. The image is blurry, so look closely & if you can’t read Julie’s quote, I copied it at the end of this post.


Since March, I’d often think of an awesome celebrity I wanted to ask for a blurb. 

Stephen Fry!   Jessie Close!   Adele!   Sia!


Yet I already had more than enough blurbs. Last week I realized I knew what I truly wanted, and it wasn’t fifty glowing endorsements of my book. 

What I yearned for was a Mount Everest-sized amount of validation that I was worthwhile.

I thought that if extraordinary people approved of Birth of a New Brain, I’d have irrefutable proof that I was worthy as well. 

Stigma and all.

It was time to smash my longtime habit of seeking approval from others and look inward.

As Stuart Smalley would say….


As I looked inward, it wasn’t pretty. I noticed my shame of having a mental illness, feeling like I’m a mediocre writer, struggling with body image issues, and knowing I sometimes fail as the mother, wife, and friend I want to be. 

I spoke about all of that with my therapist this morning. She helped me reframe how I saw myself and my life. It wasn’t her first time doing that and it won’t be her last, but I’m determined to chip away at the shame and insecurity that have plagued me for a long time.


My Scottish collie Lucy serves as an inspiring role model even though she is of the canine persuasion. She possesses a healthy amount of self-esteem.

Just like Stuart Smalley, Lucy’s good enough! She’s smart enough! And gosh darn it, people like her! 

(Cats aren’t exactly thrilled with her, but hey – you can’t have everything!)

Here’s my furry girl after her bath. She pulls off her spiky Cher hairstyle with aplomb! 

On a completely separate note, I want to share a very cool, free resource with you. I can’t remember how I found out about it, but I’m glad I did. 

It’s called Net Galley and you can participate in it as a blogger. Here’s their nutshell description:

Why Register for NetGalley?

We’re looking for readers of influence who help to build buzz about new books. As a member, you will be able to request or be invited to read new books, primarily before they are published. In the book trade, these are called “galleys” (hence our name!).

You will be able to read galleys digitally, on all major reading devices and platforms, and provide reviews, recommendations, and nominations for industry lists, right from your account.

We’re delighted to be in the business of helping “professional readers” evaluate new titles. Anyone who reads and recommends books can use NetGalley for free. Welcome!


To register visit this link

I suggest you read this page before you create your blogger profile so publishers will like it and grant your book requests! I’ll start reading an advance copy of Jen Waite’ s A Beautiful, Terrible Thing this weekend.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Oh yes. There’s one more thing.

Have you had any epiphanies lately?  I’d like to know about one if you’re up for it! 

Lots of love & see you next week,



When I did a Google search for “beautiful images of the universe” this picture came up.

 “The Real Miss Universe”


Dyane Harwood’s memoir is Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw.

Dr. Henshaw is the co-author of The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatric Disorders, 2nd Edition published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in March 2017. 


Birth of a New Brain will be published by Post Hill Press on October 10th, 2017, and it’s available for paperback pre-sales on Amazon here; Kindle pre-sales are coming this summer!


  • “Pure genius. Brilliant. A literary masterpiece”
  • Julie Kraft (the author of the book! 😉 

25 thoughts on “Wake-Up Calls from the Universe

  1. Wait! The author endorsed her own book? On the cover? Wow. That’s something. You, by the way, are great. I’m sorry you are feeling insecure. Your book is going to be successful. I have no doubt…

    • I adore you! Yes, she endorsed it, and it seemed to be tongue-in-cheek, didn’t it? Oh well. I giggled – I couldn’t help it! The insecurity is melting away this afternoon; blogging about it (and getting lovely comments such as yours) helps! Just don’t bill me for therapy until I’m rich!!! Xo

      • You are TOO funny!
        I thought of you a few days ago because…..(drum roll please!) I was asked to create/present a webinar to some serious medical bigwigs & I was invited to speak at an international conference! I’ll write more about these amazing opportunities over the next few months.

        So I may owe you on our little “fame bet” after all, hee hee! Of course I’ll write a blurb for your next book! Maybe before it’s published I could get a a fast-track PhD online (if they even have such a thing!) so I could call myself “Dr. Dyane” for extra credibility!!!!!!???? 😜👀

  2. Do I see someone like you flotus among those beautiful ones of the universe? Ok back to your post, this thing goes back and forth lady even for me and it’s not your fault nor mine either. Our minds are murky more often than ‘normal’. Sometimes, I wonder what is it people see or like in me, and even this morning I was in dark corner until this evening. I can therefore empathize with how you feel sometimes and you have a mental illness – but remember always you are not the mental illness. I sincerely loved you memoir and had a good time reading it and have two more post already scheduled on that… I wouldn’t say to please that your book will be successful, but I’ll tell you I find you a success for having stuck through that ‘difficult and long pregnancy’ to give us that book – over to Lucy

    • You always write comments that are creative and make me think, my friend! I’m sorry you were in that dark corner the other day and I hope you’re far away from it now. I’ll do as you wisely suggest and remember I’m not the mental illness. I wasn’t diagnosed with bipolar until 37, as you know, although I was depressed and anxious long before then. (As you also know!) So in a way due to the late diagnosis, there is a part of me that does truly feel separate from the bipolar element – it’s hard for me to explain that, but I think you get it. I’m thrilled in every cell that you enjoyed the memoir and honored that you have 2 more posts about it on the way!!!! Lots of love, dear Fairy G!

  3. You are more than good enough and more than smart enough, and I love you.

    My epiphany is that once again, this (my current) mood cycle will pass.

    • Thank you, thank you! I got a kick out of the fact you answered my burning question about your recent epiphany. Your comment made me think “this too shall pass” which is a phrase I’ve always held close to my heart. You’re right – your current mood cycle you described so well in your last blog post WILL pass!!! And by the way, I didn’t write a comment on your Instagram yet, but I giggled that your husband wondered for a moment where those gorgeous flowers came from….

    • Thank you so much for your support! I will do as you suggest in terms of keeping up the good work! 👍

      I hope you’re having a great Saturday; thanks again for your kindness & encouragement! 💕

  4. So glad that you have a competent therapist who helps you reframe things in a new light. That’s so incredibly important to mental health. I hope you can combat your insecurities, and be confident that your book’s a winner!

    • Thanks so much, Cass! Ina truly rocks, and I’ve been meeting with her for a long time and trust her so much. She was one of the very few people in my life willing to visit me during my hospitalizations.

      I may not smush the insecurities into oblivion, but I can do my best to subdue them. 💪🏽 At least I know I’ve sold 10 books because Craig bought a few and I did too, LOL! 😜

  5. You have a swathe of blurbs – go you! I totally get the lack of self-confidence and seeking external gratification and signals that damn it, my writing is worth it. When I write during mania I have no issues I am so on top of the world looking down on creation (see what I did there, I loved your Crowded House input there one of my all time fav bands). Breathe, look at all you have created. And know that it not only is enough, but that it is fabulous.

    • I know you understand where I’m coming from Raegina! 🙂 It’s sooo nice that you get it.

      Mania has a way of smoothing out one’s insecurities (I’m putting it rather lightly!) and I must admit that’s plus…

      ***I just took a big breath! Thank you for the reminder!!!***

      You have extremely excellent taste in music! Earlier today I remembered how Neil Finn has made quite a few remarks about how he has felt intimidated by other musicians. That truly put things in perspective. 😉

      I’m feeling much better because if I write something out, it’s such a catharsis. That’s one of the most significant reasons I keep blogging.

      When the less-than-glowing reviews arrive, I hope to take them with a gigantic grain of lithium (ha ha ha! Get it???), and learn from them, and then focus my mental energy on something else worthwhile instead of dwell on the 1 & 2-star reviews! I’ll let you know how that goes – at the very least, the experience will give me something to blog about!

  6. I LOVE Lucy! And Dyanne, I love you, and your blog, and once I purchase my copy, I have no doubt I will love your book. Lots of love and validation… Pieces xxx

    • Your comment made me smile a real smile if you know what I mean! Not one of those frozen, achey-fakey grins but the real thing!

      Lucy and I soaked up your love like honey poured on top of a sponge cake, and we return that love to you one thousand-fold!

      You are so, so kind to me! Thank you for making me happy, and I hope with all my heart you have a *good* week!! XOXO Dy

  7. YES!!! Stuart Smalley is my spirit animal! Love him. And love you and your writing. I feel so much the same, about the outside validation- you’ll see when you read my blog post. All the praise in the world ain’t gonna make one iota of difference if we’re not loving ourselves, right? Or, another way to look at it, let’s try not to give any f***s about what others think and instead look inward. Positively. Blessings to you, my friend, and kudos on the webinar offer- how awesome!

    • That’s hilarious, Mariah: “Stuart Smalley is my spirit animal!”
      That would make a TERRIFIC bumper sticker!!!!!!

      I love you & your writing too! I’m so happy to be connected with you and your blog.:))))

      It’s sooooo hard to not give a f*ck what others think! I feel like I’m stuck in 7th-grade thinking. I keep thinking I’ll l improve in that area, but then something really stupid happens and I spiral into all kinds of nasties and anger. UGH!

      I will really take in what you wrote – to look inward in a positive way. Reading your blog will help me – it will provide some much-needed “Mariahtherapy”! I look forward to the next post!

      Also, I searched for you on Twitter to no avail – have you ventured there yet? If not, I actually like it better than Facebook, hint hint. :))))

      Take care amd thanks for making me feel authentically cared about through your encouragement, empathy, and support – now, can you please move here????? XOXOXOXOOX

  8. Hooray for blurbs! And I know EXACTLY what you mean. The more I hear from others online, the more it “means” I’m a “real” writer. Yet you and I both know that we ARE writers, because we WRITE and we put our writing out there for people to read. That’s no small feat. These words are a part of us, and all our struggles and tears and laughs. All the best and worst of us is in the words. If our words aren’t worth it, then how can WE be worth it?
    Well we are, dammit. No one book appeals to everyone, no one friend appeals to everyone. Those who dig our words, who dig us, are the ones that continue to support and inspire us to keep going.

    So, those who don’t wanna blurb? Fine, they can be that way, because those aren’t the ones who would connect with you in any sort of way, and you know that friendships where you do all the work aren’t real friendships. 🙂 Celebrate what you’ve got, SpyDy! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Java Jean

    • I just love your comments, Caffeine Queen!!!!!!! If your comments were a food, they would be coffee, of course! (Okay, I know that’s pretty out there, but you know how I can get….)

      You’re absolutely right that a book only appeals to some readers while others consider it literary poison,
      a person only appeals to certain souls,
      not everyone likes true Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
      (but the folk that don’t like those beans are bloody fools, now, aren’t they????

      Anyway, when I read “Celebrate what you’ve got, SpyDy! ” that rang true for me!
      The phrase went loud & clear into my cerebrum and cerebellum and whatever else lurks in my three pounds of gray matter!

      I’m off to celebrate my latest find: EAT YOUR COFFEE bars. How awesome is that name?

      They are SO, so, SO yummy, & they’re healthy-ish too!
      Jeez – I should work for them. Check out the description:

      “The naturally caffeinated energy bar. Every bar equals a full cup of real, fair trade coffee is packed with organic superfoods to nourish & energize! The slogan: If your favorite energy bar and coffee had a baby!”
      (HA HA HA!)

      My only complaints are that the bars are too dainty & I’ll have to mail order them soon, which I really don’t want to do, but it looks like they’re being phased out of the stores in this area. 😢

      The 3 flavors might not be to your liking, but at least you’ll know what I’m referring to from this point on, my dear one. Here’s the link to the website that describes the flavors:


      I could easily eat 3 of these cuties a day. Sigh.

      Hope YOUR day, oops, make that evening is going well!!!!!!

      Much love to ya, my kindred spirit.
      SpyDy 💗🔭☕️

      • Ooooooooooooooo, coffee bars! But yeah, those sizes shouldn’t be so wee. I mean, mugs come in different sizes, right? So should the bars!
        Alas, the day wasn’t much better here. While I’m recovering from sickness, Bo got so bad he had to leave work early. Bash is was a little bastard, but Biff at least continued trying to be “a nice guy.” Oy, we’re getting there! I’ll take a swig in the morning and think of you, kindred spirit!

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