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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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,

Dyane

 

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! 😉 

Blurbs & A New Section: “You’re Rejecting Me? Prepare to Learn Some Cat Facts!”

 

Aimee Mann has been one of my favorite musicians ever since her ‘Til Tuesday “Voices Carry” days in the 1980s. She has a new CD coming out called Mental Illness, and this brief interview explains why she gave her CD this title.

 

Hi there, my friends!

I hope you had a good week and HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

I was too lazy to dress up Lucy, so I’m using this photo instead: 

In other scintillating news…

I’ve continued putting out the feelers for book endorsements. 

Some fantastic authors and advocates have agreed to endorse the book -hurrah!

I had another rejection, but thank God it didn’t sting very much. I had emailed Andrew Solomon, the author of the bestseller The Noonday Demon, on a whim. I thought it was a longshot, but it was worth a couple minutes of my time to contact him. That same day, I received such a gracious response. Andrew explained he was overextended with his new book’s release, but he wished me the best of luck. 

My pet peeve is when I contact someone and I don’t receive a reply.

In a time when it’s so easy to send a brief email brush-off, there’s no excuse for rudeness. 

I know what you’re thinking….you’re thinking that when I don’t get a response, my email could’ve gone into the spam folder. You’re right! That’s always a possibility, and it happened with one person. And I’m not such a narcissist that I assume it’s all about me – the person could be sick or going through a crisis, for all I know. But something tells me that hasn’t been the case with a couple other folks. 

What can be done? 

Well…I could call and leave a voicemail message as a follow-up. BUT I will only call once because I don’t want to be a phone stalker.

And then there’s always the Cat Facts option, which I’ll explain later on.

 

Using Twitter to Make Connections – Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Twitter has been very kind to me…

and Twitter has been a bit of a bummer!  

Through Twitter, I was able to thank the multi-talented comedian/actor/bestselling author/mental health advocate & Mohr Stories podcast host Jay Mohr for his re-tweet.  He shared my Huffington Post Postpartum Bipolar article with his followers, and after that happened, I informed him about my book, but didn’t ask for anything. He surprised me by endorsing my book on Twitter! (I’m sorry the tweet is so tiny and blurry!)

My tweeting experience with Minnie Driver didn’t have such a happy ending, but I’m okay with it now. I’ve admired Minnie Driver’s acting, singing, and songwriting for a long time. I thought she might be receptive to endorsing my book because last year she starred in the film Return to Zero. The film is about a married couple who loses a child through stillbirth.

Plus she’s a mom.

Minnie Driver and Paul “He Rocked Private Practice” Adelstein in the heartrending film Return to Zero

In my 1st tweet to Minnie, I complimented her Academy Awards dress and she “liked” it! Oohhh! I was jolly because many famous people don’t look at their fans’ tweets.  

My tweet #2 was about Minnie’s song “Down” from the Everything I’ve Got In My Pocket albumI love that song & I tweeted her about how much I’ve enjoyed it, and guess what – she “liked” that tweet too!

High on the success of my two tweets, I tweeted my book cover to her. I asked if I could send it to her for her consideration, but there were crickets.

I guess I should have gone through her publicist or manager, but I took a foolhardy chance. Sometimes you need to do that, right? 

And now, drum roll please….and a big, throaty MEOW because you’re about to read my new section.

 “You’re Rejecting Me? Prepare to Learn Some Cat Facts!”

I’ll begin by stating for the record that this is an immature activity, but hey – at least it’s not malicious or illegal. I’m referring to PrankDial – The Original Internet Prank Call Website. This company gives you three free calls. You enter the number to be dialed on the site, and they take it from there. (PrankDial claims your number and personal information won’t appear to anyone else, but don’t take my word for that!)

I decided to give PrankDial a try. There was only one choice that appealed to me and that was Cat Facts!

I knew just who needed to learn about Cat Facts. I can’t name him here, of course, but take my word for it – this guy is LAME and he needed to learn about cats! (He had nothing to do with my book…)

When PrankDial called him, it recorded his replies. After the Cat Facts call ended, the website played that recording back to me. Hee hee hee! The Lame One didn’t sound angry; in fact, I was amazed he listened to the entire recording. Perhaps he’ll show greater respect for cats, if not humans! 

Please prank call responsibly…or at least try to, anyway!

In the future, if someone rejects my lovely email or voicemail, I might need to share Cat Facts with such a cold hearted snake! 

I hope you got something out of this post.

It’s not touching on bipolar disorder (there are plenty other posts that do!) and it’s not deep, but that’s how I roll sometimes.

After so many years of living in my internal Nightmare On Elm Street film, it’s nice to focus on other things, even if they’re silly.

I wish you a great weekend!

Next week I’ll let you know if I contact anyone about Cat Facts! 

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 in October.

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

A Woodsy Vlog: Endorsements & The Awesome Mohr Stories Podcasts

My Fall Creek Redwoods Vlog 

If you’re brave enough to listen (and braver still to watch my shaky camera work), you’ll be updated about my quest for book endorsements and other tidbits. I forgot to mention that my Scottish collie Lucy has the same birthday as I do: March 18th! She’s turning a whopping 3. (By the way, sorry for the abrupt end…)

Jay Mohr and “Mohr Stories” 

Jay Mohr in the hit show The Ghost Whisperer as Professor Rick Payne

Here’s Jay with Mean Jennifer Aniston and Kevin “Bacon Grease Hair” Bacon

Yes, America’s beloved “Jen” was very cruel to Jay during the filming of Picture Perfect. In fact, her atrocious behavior actually made him cry! 

If you want to hear the funny-yet-gory details, listen to Podcast #7 “The Rachel.” That podcast is in the archives, and you’ll need to download the free Mohr Stories app – it’s no big deal, but if you run into problems, just let me know.

My favorite picture of Tom Cruise 

I also love Jay’s podcast about acting as the villain sports agent “Bob Sugar” opposite Tom Cruise in Cameron Crowe’s classic film Jerry Maguire. Podcast #5 “The Legend of Tom Cruise” is fascinating.

Ever since I started following the comedian/actor/producer/advocate Jay Mohr on Twitter (@jaymohr37) I’ve listened to his acclaimed Mohr Stories podcasts while walking Lucy or in bumper-to-bumper traffic. These podcasts are entertaining, educational, heartrending, funny, raunchy (sometimes) and inspiring. What’s especially cool is that every podcast is unique. Rumor has it that yours truly might appear on a Mohr Stories podcast this summer – I’ll keep you posted!

Jay has recorded over 380 (!!!) podcasts. He has said he enjoys doing these shows more than acting or even stand-up comedy, which he has done since he was sixteen. When you hear Jay interact with his guests in his garage Fake Mustache Studio, you can tell he loves what he’s doing. It’s no glitzy, superficial presentation, but an authentic conversation.

These guests include Charlie Sheen, Jerry Seinfeld, Eric Roberts, Penn Gilette, Gabrielle Reece, Krista Vernoff (she’s a writer for Grey’s Anatomy & a mini Shonda Rhimes, and it’s a great podcast for any writer!), Tom Arnold, Perez Hilton, Kevin Pollak, Dr. Drew Pinksy, Illeana Douglas, Adam Carolla, Melissa Rivers, Henry Rollins, David Lee Roth, Rufus Wainwright, Ice Cube, Jay Leno, Colin Quinn, Stewart Copeland just to name a few…what an eclectic list, eh?

Jay has a special interest in mental health topics such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, and depression. He had severe anxiety/panic disorder during his two years as a featured player on Saturday Night Live which he wrote about in his bestselling book Gasping for Airtime. Jay is a mental health advocate and a spokesperson for the “Keep Oregon Well” mental health campaign.

Logan Lynn

I encourage you to listen to Jay’s latest podcast he recorded with his close friend Logan Lynn, an incredibly inspiring person.

Logan is a survivor of multiple suicide attempts and childhood sexual abuse. He’s a musician, writer, producer, filmmaker, television personality, mental health advocate and LGBT activist from Portland, Oregon. Lynn’s music is most commonly classified in the pop, indie, rock, electronic, techno and dance genres.

In 2017, The National Council for Behavioral Health honored Logan with the prestigious “Award of Excellence” for “Excellence in Artistic Expression” for his music and for creating the “Keep Oregon Well” campaign and social movement to fight the stigma of mental illness through the arts. 

The Mohr Stories app is free, and here’s the link for the Logan Lynn podcast.

Take the time to listen to it. You won’t regret it!

 

And I thought I’d write a very brief introduction to the vlog. Ha!

Take care, my friends. Have a good weekend!

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 in October.

It’s now available for paperback pre-sales on Amazon at this link!