My Toastmasters Humiliation & Kay R. Jamison Blurb Bliss

This is what I’m going for, T.S. Eliot!


Last Wednesday at Toastmasters, I turned on my laptop and spent a considerable amount of time placing it in the perfect position to record my speech #2.

I was so freaking nervous that I spaced out on pressing the “record” button so I can’t share the video as I had planned!

During the five minutes of my speech “The Dr. A. Way,” I was a shaking bundle of exposed nerve endings. I made a complete ass of myself.

I was hit particularly hard because I thought I had a chance at improving just a little bit. I spoke about a topic I knew well (“Exercise for Mood Stability” by Dr. Mohammad Alsuwaidan) and I even brought some fun props, but nope – I still blew it.

I won’t give up on these speeches! In five months I’m presenting my first book talk. I refuse to be a mass of quivering jello in front of my family, friends, and community members.

Now, I know I won’t conquer all of my anxiety – I’m realistic – but I’m going to work hard on dialing it down a notch or ten… 

The cool thing (or sadistic thing, depending on how you look at it) about belonging to Toastmasters is that I’ll face my public speaking fear every seven days. It’s up to me when I want to schedule the remaining eight speeches of the “Competent Communicator” program, but at each meeting I’ll be required to speak through various roles, i.e. Ah-Counter, Table Topics, etc.


I still can’t quite believe Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, author of the classic memoir An Unquiet Mind, is endorsing Birth of a New Brain!  It’s a wonderful feeling to think that someone like her will support my book. 

Last night Rilla told me to “stop bragging on Twitter” about the KRJ endorsement, so I erased a braggy tweet I was writing. I reluctantly admitted she was absolutely right. It’s humbling when your nine-year-old is more mature than you are. 

All is quiet here tonight, and I’m off to enjoy a late dinner and watch my new favorite show Rosewood.

Rosewood’s star Morris Chestnut is a fantastic actor. I wasn’t familiar with his work until I saw his performance as an ER doctor in Nurse Jackie. If you’re looking for a new show, I encourage you to check out Rosewood on Netflix.

I hope you have a good weekend!

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 on October 10th, 2017. It’s available on Amazon for paperback pre-sales; Kindle pre-sales will be available this summer.


24 thoughts on “My Toastmasters Humiliation & Kay R. Jamison Blurb Bliss

  1. Oh, no, Dyane! I’m so sorry you had a bad time with your speech. I’m sure you will improve, if you just keep at it! And congratulations on the endorsement! You really should brag about that!

    • Thanks Cass! Your comment about bragging made me smile – don’t tell Rilla, but I agree with you, hee hee hee. Have a great weekend and I’ll stop by your new blog post asap!

  2. I’m so proud of you to continue to tackle your speaking anxiety! I have full confidence in you that you will give a great book talk in five months!!!
    Although off topic, I just wanted you to know how much your support means to me! Thank you dear Lady Dy. With love and hugs and kudos and good luck. 💝

    • Thank you beautiful Lady S.

      How I wish I had your gift of acting because it would help me in an enormous way!

      Whatever you write here is on-topic — I love everything you contribute, and you made me feel SOOOOO good by sharing your appreciation – I wish I could support you WAY more!!!! So few ever write thanks about that kind of thing, you know? Even in the blogosphere…so you made my night awesome by writing just those few lines.

      I’m sending you a big, big hug & all my love!!!!!
      💞 Dy
      p.s. thanks for the gorgeous flower image on Twitter!!! You always find the greatest gifs – is that what they’re called? Duh! I don’t know!

      • Dear Dyane, you are so supportive, sweet, and lovely, and your blogposts are the best, informational, fun, visually very interesting!
        I just had an idea, why don’t you take an acting class and jet the inner diva out! I bet that would help with speaking in front of people.
        Also please remember you are doing phenomenal things like writing a book, getting over your public speaking fear, not to even mention raising two wonderful gorgeous daughters, you are growing every day! Just thought I’d point that out! 😃🦋
        Love you girl!!! 💖🌹💝

  3. Dear Lady, am at a getaway close to nature by the famous Mount Cameroon (google it you would love it). We have a very popular international sporting activity on that mountain called the My Cameroon Race of Hope (google that too). Hope is the word here, and that hope should fill you as you keep trying and doing. In 5 months, you brag about the results. Yes as for Rilla’s wise advice, I completely agree with her. I just recently got a show down when someone who had offered to talk at my event sent me a no show WhatsApp 3 days to the event. I had already blogged and twitted and Facebook this ‘VIP’. Now am working on damage control. I think with people suffering from an unquiet mind of sorts, you never can tell when and if mood swings come, erratic attitudes are triggered etc. I wish you no offence but in your shoes I’ll wait until I get the blurb before shouting that on the mountain top. And Twitter now if you ask me is the new white house. Have a great weekend

    • Hey sweet friend! I’m so sorry about the no show! That’s LAME! I’m sure you did very graceful damage control. In every picture I see of you on the blog, Twitter, Facebook, you look beautiful and your soul is shining out for all to see. Do not worry about anything like a person not coming – that’s beyond your control. I haven’t Googled Mount Cameroon yet, nor the Race of Hope but they both sound intriguing. Hope shall fill me up! I love that suggestion of yours, Ms. Inspiration!

      You are so witty about that part you wrote about “people suffering from an unquiet mind of sorts, you never can tell when and if mood swings come, erratic attitudes are triggered…” I got it! I got the reference, you wise woman! 😉 And I agree with you, yes, it’s wise to make sure I get the blurb before I shout further….I know I’ve done enough of it but seriously, I couldn’t help it even if someone paid me to do it, hee hee hee! I received a beautiful, beautiful endorsement today from another hero of mine, Jay Mohr, and it’s on Facebook. If you have time please take a look. It is truly beautiful, like YOU! 💖

      • Am going to check out this Jay Mohr’s endorsement and share same. I am glad you understood and appreciated my comment for what it’s worth (salt, sand or sugar… It’s your choice lol). Yes, I did some graceful damage control to the extent that there is a funny and ironical twist now presenting itself on the dday itself. Talk of catching up to do. hahaha… Will probably write but a poem about this. Loads of love now and always

    • Thank you sweet, sweet Merry!
      I shall focus on the bliss…

      I have some fabulous mentors/coaches who I forgot to mention – oops. Plus I’m even making some real friends there! So all is not icky at Toastmasters…it’s far from it. I’m also going to buy some Rescue Remedy and see if it helps a wee bit.

      I hope you have a wonderful Saturday! Sending you my love & hugs always, Dyane Honey Pot the 1st!

      • What is Rescue Remedy? Something for anxiety? After a while, you’ll get to be an old hand at this public speaking thing. No sweat, churning stomach or knocking knees for you! 🙂

    • Thanks so much! I agree with you that it’s *promotion” and not bragging, LOL! 😉 Moderation in all things, right? 👀
      Have a great weekend and thanks for your kind congrats!

  4. Best to trip and expose your nerve endings now. Mistakes are opportunities to learn. Even when you read to promote your book, you need not speak perfectly or without anxiety.

    Congrats again on getting Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison’s blurb for your book. Hard not to brag when so EXCITED and thrilled (as I am for you).

    Love Rosewood, too!

    • I wish I could speak as confidently as Dr. Beaumont Rosewood Jr./Morris Chestnut does when he’s discussing his pathology findings. Some of those lines are as complex as the most challenging bits of Shakespeare; moreso, actually, yet he says them with such ease. What a talent, eh?
      And if it sounds like I have a slight crush on him, I guess I might as well admit that I do.
      I love what you wrote about how mistakes are opportunities to learn. ‘Tis true.

      As you know, I’m impatient and want to be adept at public speaking right this minute, instead of accepting that it’s going to take five months of hard work to approach where I’d like to be.

      I hope you’re taking it easy tonight – it was awesome to read your blog update today! We’ve missed you….

      p..s The offer still stands for you to come up here and pretend to be me – at least for the first few talks… 😉

      p.p.s. Thanks for your lovely support – it has been such a gift ever since we met via the blogosphere.

      • Thank you, too, for your friendship and support. Morris Chestnut is a professional actor, so no comparison is fair. You need not speak perfectly, just from the heart. Toastmasters will help you get a handle on your anxiety and channel it when speaking (I’m assuming). That’s what I was taught to do when acting (I was a drama geek). Both in California and in Pennsylvania, we used yoga breathing and stretching to warm up and center before acting.

  5. I’ll bet your talk was much better than you think it was, Dyane – that’s the problem with not having a recording to judge it by! We’re our own worst critics.
    So funny that your daughter told you off for bragging. My son (in his twenties) advises me about twitter etc from time to time – he always has a far more mature attitude to it all than me. But I’d say that it’s OK to shout about your wonderful endorsement. Make the most of it. That’s what twitter is for, after all!
    Hope you have a great weekend too (and talking of twitter, thanks for all your RTs – you’re a star!) xx

    • Hello dear Sara! I just read your wonderful post about writing and finding one’s voice. I plan on returning to comment. It was so cool to read about how you found what worked for you in terms of writing children’s books and in 1st person, etc. I love those notebooks, by the way! I’m totally excited for your book launch and I’ll be living vicariously through you. Now, as far as this post goes, LOL, you’re right that we’re our own worst critics. And that’s funny your son advises you about “Twittiquette” – and that he has a more mature sensibiity towards it than you, ha ha!

      I will use Twitter a bit more to “promote” i.e. shout out about the endorsement! 😉 I’ll try to tone it down at some point….but yeah, not quite yet! I’m happy to RT your tweets -it’s a pleasure. I know you’ll be swamped in the coming weeks with your book’s publication but I hope you’ll write a few blog posts about it, hint hint hint! XO

  6. I can’t imagine the speach was as bad as you describe, I get the feeling that you’re your oun worst critic! And I’d still be reeling from the endorsement as well!

    I loved “Nurse Jackie”, so I’ll have to check out this new show. I don’t bother with cable so most of what I do watch, when I have time, comes from Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube. (and you can really only watch Dexter and Breaking Bad all the way through so many times, you know, hehehe).

    Anyway praying for you as always and have a wonderful week. I love your tenacity and I have no doubt that you’ll excel at your next toastmaster! ♡♡♡

  7. Congratulations on the endorsement! Sometimes we gotta toot our own horn (but respectfully, of course).

    At this stage, don’t get caught up in the technology. If possible, let someone else handle the recording. You are the message. Stay focused on your game. And it’s never a humiliation – It’s an opportunity to learn how we can impact our audience.

    Keep it all in perspective.
    Speak well!

    Larry Prevost

  8. Oh huzzah on the endorsement! And hey, some speeches fly, some don’t. Don’t you let one muckle-up weigh you down. Your next speech WILL be brilliant. I hereby decree it! 🙂 xxxxxxxxxx

  9. Hi Dyane, I think it’s so cool that you got Dr. Jamison’s endorsement, and you should brag about it. Yay! I would love to see how you presented your request to her. Would you be willing to share your brilliance with a fellow writer?

    • Thanks so much for your kind comment, Martha! I wrote her a one-page letter from the heart and told her about myself and what my book was about. That’s the most anyone can do. Before I sent the letter I did a lot of Google searches about how to get endorsements from famous writers. I don’t have any link to post because I’m out walking my dog, talking into my phone, but if you did that I’m sure you could find some inspiring articles! Good luck!

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