My Little Surprise & Humiliation at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk!

Dear Friends,

Prepare yourself for a post filled with thrills

of the amusement park ride persuasion….

and chills I’m getting from the thought of proofing my book yet again!

Yesterday I received a PDF file from my managing editor at Post Hill Press. It was the paginated interior of my book!

It was a surreal experience scrolling through the file. Birth of a New Brain now looks like a bona fide book complete with photos and professional formatting, unlike the ARC (advanced review copy) which is a simple Word document devoid of photos or any stylistic touches. 


The ARC of Birth of a New Brain didn’t look like a “booky wook.” 


I didn’t know I’d have the opportunity to proof my book again, which was my little surprise. However, I knew the ARC had typos and other problems – errors that I wanted to fix, so now I can give it another shot.

While examining 250+ pages will be tedious, I’m thankful I get the chance to do it. I have eighteen days – gulp. Eighteen days sounds like a decent amount of time, but it’ll go by in a heartbeat.  I might need to eat a piece of humble pie and beg for a few more days.

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

The Lost Boys was filmed at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk thirty years ago, the year before I moved here!

I took the girls to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk on Monday. Whenever I take them there, which is rare because it’s costly even with season passes, I consider the trip to be a profound event. (I wrote about why that’s the case in my post The Found Girl.)

I managed to have a panic attack on the Freefall ride in the children’s zone! I had never been on that ride before, but Avonlea had. She told me I’d be fine, and while I had an inkling I wasn’t going to like the ride, I was clueless I’d react the way I did.

The Boardwalk’s website blatantly lies – it describes Freefall as “Great training for bigger thrills! Freefall springs riders up and drops them down for a giggly good time.”

My Nemesis: Freefall

 When you watch this video, the ride doesn’t look scary, but the woman’s incessant laugh is frightening!!!


Our observant teen ride operator took pity on me when he heard my agonized screams and saw my terrified face. He stopped the ride and asked me if I wanted to exit.

Of course I did!

A little girl no older than four seated next to me laughed at my pain! My girls were fine. Avonlea is a daredevil and has been on Double Shot, the big, freaky-to-the-100,000,000th degree version of Freefall!

Marilla was a little scared at first, but her fear quickly went away. They didn’t mind getting off the ride so they could support their freaked-out, humiliated mom.

The Double Shot a.k.a. the 10th Circle of Dante’s Hell


Years ago I survived the Tower of Terror at Disneyland. The ride does the same type of up-down-up-down moves as Freefall, but it’s far scarier. My Tower of Terror ride took place years before I was diagnosed with the ultimate Terror: bipolar disorder.

On Freefall, I felt completely out of control since I wasn’t in charge of the stomach-twisting ups and downs. That helpless feeling triggered bad feelings. (You’ll never find me pretending to be an eloquent writer!)

Now I know I must stick to my favorite rides: the bumper cars, the flume log ride, and the wooden Giant Dipper roller coaster, which was built in 1924 and survived the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake!


1911 Looff Carousel with my girls

“The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s 1911 Looff Carousel is a National Historic Landmark and local treasure. The hand-carved merry-go-round has been turning children’s seaside dreams into golden memories since 1911.”

This ride is featured in the tense opening scene of The Lost Boys at the one-minute markI love this film! Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric, the Two Coreys, Dianne Wiest, Edward Hermann (the gentleman who narrated all those History Channel shows), and 80’s music!!!

What’s not to love? If you haven’t seen it yet, promise me you’ll put it at the top of your bucket list. 

As you can tell, I get carried away when I reminisce about The Lost Boys. Please forgive me – I can’t help it. I’m such a sucker for it. Ha ha ha ha! If you’ve seen this movie, do you get it? 😉

Thanks for reading, and have a great Friday & weekend.

Sending you my love,




Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder,  foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw, will be published by Post Hill Press on October 10th, 2017. Birth of a New Brain is now available on Amazon for paperback pre-sales. Kindle pre-sales will be available later this summer.


25 thoughts on “My Little Surprise & Humiliation at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk!

    • Thanks so much, Cass! It’s SO close, yet it seems SO far away.
      (Gotta love an apropos cliche! 😉
      Hope you’re having a good week!

    • I’ve never waited so long to reply to a comment – I’ll probably have that Top 100 Blog award stripped! 😉
      Congrats to you for being awarded a Top 100 Blog! Woo Hoo!
      Hee hee, anyway, thanks for the kind congrats on getting closer to the book being a bona fide book, Cass!

      I’ll be reading your latest “History of Bipolar” post over the weekend – I know that info. will be fascinating!

  1. Congrats on getting the PDF of your book! Glad you enjoyed a day at the Santa Cruz boardwalk with your daughters. Good thing you got off Free Fall. Pretty amazing that the Giant Dipper survived the Loma Prieta earthquake. I remember that earthquake well.

    • Thanks, Kitt – let me know if you’d like me to email you the pDF or if you’d rather wait for the complete version. 😉
      I can’t believe the Giant Dipper made it through – that shows how wood can definitely be the way to go when it comes to a structure’s strength, eh?I need to ask certified engineering geologist Craig about that topic…

      Sending you big hugs today – hope you have a great weekend!!!

  2. So thrilled you got the PDF of your book!! Yaaaaay!
    I totally understand your reaction to the ride, I won’t go near them! At least you tried! Love and hugs for you Lady Dy.

    • Thanks, sweetie – I still am surprised I freaked out quite that bad. I wonder if I had my eyes open if that would’ve made it worse? I wish I had watched the ride (and timed it precisely so I would know how long I’d be on it) before I got on!!!! Oh well. Lesson learned.

      I also wish I got the young ride operator’s name so I cold have put a great word into his supervisor – that was so awesome he cared enough to ask me if I wanted to get the #$%@ off Evilfall, I mean Freefall!
      (And he probably didn’t want the other kids on the ride to think I was dying, LOL!!!!)

  3. Who can blame you for being scared on that stomach churning ride! I remember when The Lost Boys was being filmed and I tried to get a part as an extra to no avail. It is a magical movie. You will do fine with your edits, all closer to the final goal line–your fabulous book! Best wishes!

    • OMG – I wish you got a part in that movie, Martha!!!!
      I know that everyone thinks it’s glamorous to be an extra & I’ve heard it can be tedious
      (Although I haven’t done it…yet!;) but I bet that shoot had to be interesting.
      The director Joel Schumacher was known to be a very dynamic guy & I would’ve loved to get a glimpse of him at work.

      Anyway, I found out I had to cool it with the edits and stick to only finding simple errors – I can’t add sentences or switch text. At first, I was very bummed about that. But it’s a blessing in disguise – I need to just let go. Any book can be better if we keep working on it, right? There comes a time to move on and focus on the other elements, i.e. PR, which I’m starting to do. Gulp. Hope your weekend is wonderful & Happy almost 4th of July! Thanks for your awesome comment!

    • Dearest Magical Rainicorn, Owner of the Magnificent Socks,

      Re: Freefall (Or as I like to refer to it, “EvilFall”)

      What was I thinking? 😉 I honestly didn’t think it would be that bad!!!
      Never, never again!
      Hope you have a great weekend & Happy 4th of July!

  4. I’m with you on the scary rides, Dyane – can’t do anything more adventurous than a log flume!

    Loved the carousel clip of your girls. I always loved carousels until I had the most awful nightmare about 30 years ago, when all the horses charged off and chased after me! Weird or what?! Now the painted horses always look threatening!

    Enjoy the final check through of your book – very exciting!

    And have a lovely weekend when it arrives xxx

    • Sweet Sara,

      First off, I’m so impressed you found time to visit this blog in the midst of an incredibly successful, busy & exciting book launch! Thank you so much!
      As far as that nightmare goes, whoa – that is ONE scary nightmare! I hope someday you can visit here and we could go to the Boardwalk and get you on that lovely, historic carousel; perhaps the painted horses would stop looking so threatening! 😉

      Take care, have a fab weekend, and I hope you’ll write about your (true) green room & TV experience!!!!

  5. I loves this post so much I’m going to come back and read it again. Gotta rush out cause I’m teaching tennis in 80% humidity today. Ahhh. Anyway – so excited about your book!!! Glad you made it through your panic. Your girls sound like amazing people. I don’t love free-fall rides, but I really HATED Tower of Terror. OMG. And confession: I’ve never seen The Lost Boys, but rest assured I will be on that pronto. Much love, friend!

    • Teaching tennis in 80% humidity? You are brave!!!!!!! I’m extremely impressed that a) you’re teaching tennis and b) you’re dealing with that freaky humidity! Thanks for commenting on the go!

      I found out they removed Tower of Terror and they’re replacing it with a Gladiators ride in the same structure! You won’t find me going on it!

      Someday watch “The Lost Boys” – how about around Halloween? I’ll remind you!

      Lots of love, my dear!

  6. I’m excited for you getting the book to look at one more time.

    Some of those rides aren’t really so fun, are they? That scene from the Lost Boys was great. Their big hair made me laugh!

    Can’t wait to read your book! Finally ordered it. 😀


    • ***THANK YOU*** for ordering my book! Wow – that is so kind of you, Carol! It means a lot to me! 🙂 I’ll definitely sign it, LOL! 😉 You know where to find me. Maybe I’ll do a book talk in the amphitheater behind the school in the redwoods – heck, why not? They were going to let me run my support group there….

      Sorry to take forever to reply. I used to respond within a day or two at the most to blog comments, and ideally, that’s how it should be.
      I beseech you to give me a “pass” for being late.

      Re: Big 80’s hair in “The Lost Boys” – the boys had bigger hair than the girls, didn’t they?
      When my girls were at Disneyland this past week, there was an 80’s tribute band playing, complete with a guy walking around the audience playing his Casio-style keyboard, and they found it HILARIOUS!

      I hope you have a fantastic Friday, & a fun weekend, and a glorious 4th of July.
      Sending you a big, big hug, my friend. Thanks again for your awesome support!

  7. Hi Dyane,

    Sorry about the terrible ride. They’re not all as fun as they seem, are they?

    I’m glad you got the proof of your book–I’m really looking forward to it.

    And that Lost Boys trailer? It really made me laugh just looking at all their big hair. Wow!

    Thanks for the fun (and safe!) post.

    See you on the interwebs, my friend!


  8. Ah, you and Bo and Blondie aren’t ones for big rides. I’m all for the the thrills, just like Biff and Bash. How curious the ways our triggers work! Because I know I’d never survive the haunted mansion. I’d just be way too freaked out, despite knowing all the ghosts are theater. There’s still all those freaky urban legends to weird me out enough that I’d run out shrieking. So hey–you’re fine. And your girls were lovely about it, and you STILL gave them other fantastic thrills with that roller coaster! 🙂

    But now the fun is done and it’s time to work, Lady of the Bean. Arm yourself with the Java of Justice and have at that booky wook! 😛 Love, Java Jean xxxxxxxxxxx

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