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.

Meanwhile…

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

 

 

 

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.

 

Fears of Public Speaking (Kitt, Can You Impersonate Me?)

 

After a morning thunderstorm, Lucy and I took a long walk at the high school. My Scottish collie was tired, so where did she decide to rest? In a rainwater puddle, of course! 

 

 

Today I felt inspired to write about a book promotion-related fear I’ll face this fall. I’ll eventually write about other book-related trepidations, but I won’t ignore topics close to my heart ranging from the serious to the superficial, i.e. bipolar disorder, motherhood, the supernatural, coffee (a.k.a. the 5th food group), miscellaneous cool resources, and, naturally, my dog Lucy.

It’s safe to say there will be no more anecdotes about mountain lion encounters or freaky spiders – hurrah!

Public Speaking

Some of Us Have the Oratorical Bug…

Some of Us Don’t

 

I wish I could have mental health advocate/blogger Kitt O’Malley impersonate me this fall when I do my book events.

Kitt is a passionate and gifted speaker. She taps into her talent as a NAMI Provider Educator at the hospital where she received inpatient and partial day treatment over a decade ago. Kitt educates staff on what it’s like to live with mental illness and to be in mental health recovery. As a mom with bipolar, she has many responsibilities and she does all kinds of activities. Somehow I don’t think she has the time to fly up here to pretend to be me, but I certainly could try bribing her. You never know… 

I adore Kitt!

As a mom with bipolar, she has many responsibilities and she does all kinds of activities. Somehow I don’t think she has the time to fly up here to pretend to be me, but I certainly could try bribing her. You never know… 

My husband Craig is also an accomplished and dynamic public speaker. After his book Quest for Flight – John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West was published, he was psyched to give book talks wherever he could. Craig has given over fifty presentations at libraries, aviation clubs, museums, and other groups. He continues to receive speaking invitations even though his book was published in 2012!

I’m thinking maybe, just maybe, it’s time to drag myself to the Redwood Ramblers, my local chapter of TOASTMASTERS INTERNATIONAL.

TOASTMASTERS INTERNATIONAL is a non-profit organization that aims to help its members develop “public speaking and leadership skills through practice and feedback in local clubs since 1924.” 

Look at all the TOASTMASTERS INTERNATIONAL benefits:

You know, that list reminds me of the tenets of this rather mysterious dogma!

There’s no need for me to feel paranoid. A trusted source tells me that TOASTMASTERS INTERNATIONAL is proud to be GMO-free

and Tom Cruise-free!

(If you’re a Scientologist, I don’t mean to offend you…much.)

Book Endorsement Pupdate Update

Meanwhile, the ARC (advanced review copy) of my book is being read by a variety of amazing psychiatrists, mental health advocates, and authors. They live in Australia, Kuwait, England, Western Canada, Oregon, upstate New York, and Massachusetts.

Karen Kleiman is the founder of the Postpartum Stress Center, a bestselling author, and postpartum expert. She emailed me a blurb that actually brought tears to my eyes. 

“Bipolar illness is serious and widely misunderstood. When it emerges in the postpartum period, women and medical professionals are often blindsided due to the current lack of awareness. Birth of a New Brain is a brave and deeply personal account of how bipolar illness can impact a new mother. Her honest reveal of startling references such as mania, ECT, hospital wards, suicide and “tsunami obsessions” creates heartfelt transparency and highlights its stigma-busting potential. Postpartum women in distress will relate to Dyane Harwood’s genuineness and be grateful for this book.”

Karen Kleiman, MSW, LCSW

Author, The Art of Holding: An Essential Intervention for Postpartum Depression and Anxiety and Founder, The Postpartum Stress Center

Karen designed this fantastic meme that appears in my book

 

If you have public speaking advice (either happy stories, horror stories or both!) I’d love to know the details. Please share away…

Thanks for reading and thanks for your support!

Sending you lots of love,

Dyane

 

Dyane Harwood’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.

It’s available for paperback pre-sales on Amazon at this link – Kindle pre-sales coming this summer!