I Could Get Used to This Kind of Thing! (At First I Said No…)

Liebster

I am happy to share with you, my beloved readers, that I’ve been nominated for a Liebster Award by Bipolarmama.

Thank you Bipolarmama!

Dankeschön!  

The enlightening Bipolarmama blogs at http://thebipolarmama.wordpress.com.  

Before I get into the nitty gritty about this distinction, forgive me for a slight digression, as I’m prone to do – at least it’s related to the concept of awards and what they mean to us.  

Most of you are too young to remember the actress Sally Field.  I knew who she was in part because her son Peter was in my L.A. high school chemistry class; her films were definitely out of my teenager scope of interest.  

Ms. Field gave a famous Academy Award acceptance speech for her second Best Actress award that she received for the film “Places In The Heart”.  During this speech she said twice that she didn’t “feel it” the first time she received an Academy Award for the role she played in “Norma Rae.  However, after winning her second award, she triumphantly declared to the audience,

“I haven’t had an orthodox career.  And I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect…YOU LIKE ME, RIGHT NOW, YOU LIKE ME!”

To watch go to http://www.ontheredcarpet.com/Sally-Field-finds-out-the-Academy-likes-her—Oscar-History-Video/8517653

Field has been parodied for this speech ever since she gave it, but I love how she’s so transparent with her insecurity, especially since she’s addressing such a ruthless, cynical, judgmental crowd.  Now, I’m no actress (although I’ve been told I’ma drama queen) but I relate to Field’s  insecurity in regard to my writing.  

I LOVE winning any award for writing because it makes me feel like you like me (well, you like my writing!), right now, you like it! 😉

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, guess what?  At first I declined the Liebster.  I said “thanks, but no thanks!” for several reasons.  The main reason was that it was one of those days where I felt completely overwhelmed with life. I wasn’t depressed, but I felt depleted from being woken up each day at 4:30 a.m. by a certain adorable fluff of a puppy.

I didn’t think I could handle doing one more task; you see, being nominated for a Liebster Award is easy, but earning it requires a bit of work – you can’t just rest on your laurels and spoon in the Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food like I was hoping I could do.

What is a Liebster Award?

In a nutshell, it’s a peer-appointed award that was “created to recognize and/or discover new bloggers, welcome them to the blogosphere, and build the blogging community.”  Of course the award also recognizes high-quality writing. 

The four rules are as follows:

1) I must provide 11 facts about myself (I know you just read some facts about me  if you read my Very Inspiring Blogger post – well, here are yet more facts, and then you’ll really know me!)

2) Answer 11 questions created by my nominating party Bipolarmama

3) Nominate 11 blogs

4) Provide them with 11 questions to answer

Okay, so I here I go again.  

Dyane’s Glorious 11 Facts

1) I’m terrified of spiders. (Isn’t everyone?)  But I can kill big, freaky ones if necessary.

2) If I could live anywhere else in the world it would be Kona-Kailua, Hawaii or the North Island of New Zealand.

3) I consider chocolate to be one of the four food groups.

4) I consider coffee to be another one of the four food groups.

5) I believe in psychics, although I’ve never met with one.

6) My favorite band is Crowded House.

7) I love essential oils such as orange, lavender and jasmine.

8) My Sheltie dog Tara was the flower girl at my wedding.

9) I have an IQ of 152. (or so I was told…)

10) I’m into namedropping as well as I.Q.-dropping.  (Ahem, Sally Field?)

11) After being around bipolar for 44 years (first with my Dad, then with me) I’ll never consider bipolar disorder to be a “blessing”, despite my usually wanting to see the good in everything.

Questions submitted to Dyane by Bipolarmama

1) What is your favorite color? Why?

It’s purple, because it makes me happy to look at it & I think it lowers my blood pressure!

2) If you could have one wish, what would it be? (Be Honest)

To finish my book and get a great publisher!  Honest!!!!

3) Pick a song that defines you. Why that song?

Neil Finn of Crowded House wrote “Nobody Wants To” which discusses the stigma he encountered after his best friend Paul Hester hung himself.  I relate to it because it applies to any kind of mental illness stigma, which I’ve faced time and time again, and it just speaks to me.

4) If you could travel to one place, where would you go?

Back to the Kona region of the Big Island of Hawaii — when I’m not severely depressed like I was last year – I want my do-over!

5) Who is your hero? Why?

My husband, for putting up with me for the past sixteen years both pre-biplolar-diagnosis and post-bipolar-diagnosis, and for supporting my writing.

6) What makes you smile?

My American Collie mix puppy Lucy – she’s the apple of my eye, and my children aren’t even jealous because they adore her too.

7) What made you chose the topic you blog about?

Postpartum (childbirth-triggered/PPBD) bipolar disorder has been the predominant theme in my life for seven years, and I find it therapeutic to write about it.

8) If you could live in any time period, when you would you choose it to be?

After reading and loving Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon I’d live at the turn of the century, despite the fact there was no central heating or television.

9) If you had to give up one of your senses, which would you choose?

Smell – I actually went to high school with a young woman who lost her sense of smell and she had a great attitude.

10) What was your favorite movie as a child?

“Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” had an amazingly profound influence upon me.

11) What is your favorite way to unwind?

Well, it used to be booze, but now it’s reading blogs on my WordPress reader.  I’d say that’s a positive change, wouldn’t you?  Thank God for the blogosphere!

THE ELEVEN BLOG NOMINEES ARE…

Note to anyone who declines, which I totally understand if you choose to do so – just let me know, for there are other worthy blogs I could contact in your honor!  Also, you can have more than one Liebster Award!  For more info. about the Liebster visit: http://wordingwell.com/the-liebster-award-the-official-rules-my-first-blog-award-and-a-few-personal-secrets-revealed 

1) Kitt O’Malley – Life with Bipolar Disorder and Thoughts About God

2) Passionate Reason – the blog of L.E. Henderson http://www.passionatereason.com/

3) A Bipolars Reality

4) Shedding Light on Mental Illness

5) WhyteKnucklez

6) The REVELATION of being BIPOLAR

7) Struggles of a Bipolar Woman

8) inthisisbeauty

9) Adrienne’s Chat Lounge

10) This bipolar mom – mama with training wheels

11) Come Unglued

Thank you for reading this, and I’ll “see” you here on Friday.  That’s the first day my two girls are out of school, and summer officially begins in our household.  God knows what I’ll be writing about! 

have a good day!!!

Dyane

 

 

 

Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

Image

I got the happy news today that I’ve been nominated for a “Very Inspiring Blogger Award”!  

I want to thank Labeled Disabled for totally making my day in nominating me!!!

Here’s the link to her amazing blog:

http://breakdownchick.wordpress.com

 

The rules in accepting this award is as follows:

  • Thank and link the amazing person who nominated you.
  • List the rules and display the award.
  • Share seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
  • Optional: Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.  (You better believe I will!)

Seven (-ish) Facts About Dyane

1) I’ve written six original songs, sing and play a little guitar. (A clip of me singing my song “The End of the Day” is here: https://dyaneharwood.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/the-end-of-the-day-click-link-to-open-up-my-song)

2) I was filmed live for a New Zealand T.V. news program when I visited the North Island. (I was at  a music industry party.)

3) I studied for my pilot’s license when I was 23 and flew a Piper Cub airplane above Santa Cruz County.

4) I’ve sat on two toilet which were each used by two famous people I greatly admire! 🙂

5) I was an American Council on Exercise (A.C.E.) certified personal trainer.

6) I’ve met my all-time favorite author Madeleine L’Engle at her writing workshop – she said she liked my sonnet about dolphins!

7) I landed a publishing deal for a book in 2013, but I cancelled it due to bipolar relapse.  (I’m gonna get another one!;)

 

AND THE NOMINEES ARE... (Sorry if I left anyone out – I’m doing this in a rush!  I wish I could have listed 30 blogs!  The list is a tad bipolar-heavy, but hey – what can I say?  It’s my field of expertise, dont’cha know!  These are all truly wonderful, u nique and inspiring blogs that touch on all kinds of topics.)

1) Moorestorms Support for the Bipolar Parent

2) Kitt O’Malley

3) A Bipolars Reality

4) A Way With Words

5) Fleetiris

6) Struggles of Bipolar Woman

7) Passionate Reason (The blog of L.E. Henderson)

8) Come Unglued

9) Musings From A Ragged Soul

10) Bipolar, Unemployed and Lost

11) The bipolar mama

12) Motherhood Unadorned

13) Inside A Bipolar Mind

14) The REVELATION of Being BIPOLAR

15) Thinking about life

Great Blogs by Writers with Bipolar: L.E. Henderson’s “Passionate Reason”

Aside

photo51ZAAgPzzOL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Now that I have added a big chunk of daily writing time to my life, I have less time to search for new blogs and keep up with old favorites.  I’ll remain on the lookout, however, for extraordinary, compelling blogs that catch my interest.  I guess I can always get up earlier in the day to read them! 😉

I discovered a blog which met my stringent requirements through purchasing an e-book.  The blog is L.E Henderson’s “Passionate Reason”, and I bought Henderson’s book A Trail of Crumbs to Creative Freedom: One Author’s Journey Through Writer’s Block and Beyond a few weeks ago for just 99 cents.  I’m finding her book fascinating and relevant to my own writing “trail”, especially since Henderson addresses how her bipolar disorder has affected her creativity and writing output.  (Note to L.H. Henderson: I would have paid $9.99 for this book in a heartbeat!)

I’ve only reblogged one or two posts over the past few months.  You could say I’m picky about what I select – I don’t just reblog anyone! 😉 I found it interesting how Henderson writes below about the intriguing dilemma of writers who find writing a tortuous process.  Her comments reminded me of a book I splurged on a few months ago, You’ve Got a Book In You! A Stress-Free Guide to Writing the Book of Your Dreams by Elizabeth Sims.  Sims asserts that writing a book is “fun and easy”!   While writing my book has felt gratifying, due to much of the subject matter, it hasn’t been exactly fun nor easy.  In all fairness, I’m still reading Sims’ book, but at this point I think I’ll  reach a happy medium between fun/easy and tortuous, and that’s acceptable to me for the time being.  Who knows, though?  We’ll see.  I better finish Sims’ book soon!

Visit L.E. Henderson’s blog to read her other entries, and to learn about her published novel Thief of Hades based on the Greek myth.  Without further adieu, here’s L.E. Henderson’s post about the unearthing of her book Trail of Crumbs – enjoy!

From Creative Block to Creative Freedom: “Trail of Crumbs” UnearthedPosted: 15 Mar 2014 05:01 AM PDT

It has been about a year since I published my e-book A Trail of Crumbs to Creative Freedom. Though I consider myself primarily a fiction writer, its content was important to me. It was a record of my transition from depression and block to recovering creatively, which led to finishing my newest fantasy novel, The Ghosts of Chimera.During the time of publishing “Trail,” I was going through some monumental upheavals, which led to my move from SC to Florida, where I live now. It was not until I had a chance to settle down that I even thought to be bothered that my book, dropped into a lonely corner of cyberspace, had found few readers outside my family.And I literally mean a few. Writers, which were my target audience, were silent.No one was buying. No one was reading. No one was reviewing. But the book meant a lot to me. The lack of feedback was upsetting.I was used to getting feedback because of my blog articles, in which I reiterated many of the same points I had made in “Trail.” Whenever I submitted these articles to Reddit, the response was always overwhelming, with readers telling me that the posts inspired or helped them.I had written the book to be read. I considered that the price tag of 3.99 might have been the wall that was keeping people from buying. I actually considered giving the book away from free so that I could at least get responses, but I did not want to send the message that I thought it had no value when, in fact, the opposite is true.

At one time, when I was blocked and depressed, a book like “Trail” would have made a big difference to me. Recently I went back and looked at my book, and realized that I had changed a lot since the time of publication.

I went back and re-edited it to incorporate insights I had since first publication. I also thinned out some of my dashes.

During the time I wrote “Trail” I was a bit manic and cycling through punctuation obsessions. (See earlier post: “My Great Manic Comma Blizzard.”)

When I looked at my first edition, I could see that I had way overdone the dashes, overriding my poor editor, who had done me a great favor by thinning out all my commas, little prepared for the dash fiend I was about to become.

In the new version, my dash explosion is safely contained.

Since I released my updated version with a 99 cent price tag, a few copies have actually sold and I have gotten a response from a fellow blogger.

Dyane Harwood at https://dyaneharwood.wordpress.com/ had some kind things to say:

Henderson released this relatively short book (88 pages) for only 99 cents on Kindle. In Trail of Crumbs she analyzes the creative writing process and how her bipolar disorder adversely affected her writing. She ends the book on a high note in sharing how she was able to let her creative juices flow again. I just started reading it, and I’m finding it interesting and well-written, so it was quite a deal for less than a cup of coffee!

Harwood ran across my book while researching bipolar disorder for her work-in-progress called Birth of a New Brain. I was happy to have captured the attention of a bipolar blogger because the audience I originally envisioned were bipolar writers who were blocked and depressed the way I was.

But since writing is known for being a bipolar process, I thought my book would appeal to a more general audience of writers as well.

Bipolar or not, many writers speak cynically about their profession, describing writing as torture or a type of insanity. While these things are often said tongue-in-cheek, a grim reality underlies them. Writers are not known for being happy but are instead known for alcoholism, mental illness, drug addiction, and suicidal urges.

To make matters worse, the world of writing advice is ridden with guilt, fear, and self-punishment.  Typical messages, which I see in many writing blogs, are: Stop being so lazy and selfish. Put the reader first. Write what you think others want to read. Do not be narcissistic, preachy, affected, or self-indulgent.

By all means do not offend the reader. Do not use the words “very” or “then.” Do not use adverbs. Or talk about yourself. Just who do you think you are anyway?

In the popular understanding of what it means to write, writing is all about being careful. The true object of writing, which is to build, is side-lined. You would think that the arbiter of “good” writing was Miss Manners, when in fact the best writing is about honesty, not politeness; creating, not tearing down.

In writing my book, I wondered why so many professional writers hate writing and why we view writing as something we have to make ourselves do.

But it could be different. When I was in college, the writers I desperately envied were the ones who loved writing so much that they had to do it every day, like Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. They defied the stereotypes. They viewed writing as a way to be happy.

At the time I had no idea how they had achieved this. I speculated that they were such geniuses that their minds and emotions were just better wired.

But after my experience of learning to enjoy writing again, I suspect not. More likely, they were people who were able to ignore cultural messages about how writing should be done and retain a sense of wonder that, for most people, burns bright in childhood and then fizzles out in adolescence.

So far I have avoided trying to sell anything in my blog. That is not its purpose. I much prefer to talk about other issues that interest me. But today I am making an exception.

My book costs the same as a dollar store spatula, less in fact. And although spatulas are wonderfully useful, I feel confident in saying that my book is worth more.

Not that my book is a “system” or a promise of magical results after 30 days, nor does it claim to be the only way that writers can work. It is a personal experience that mapped my transition from thinking I could never write again to my discovery that I could love and enjoy it more than I ever had before.

But for that to happen, I had to let go of conventional ideas about the writing process that I had absorbed over many years.

But back on point: If you are thinking about purchasing a spatula, restrain the impulse a little longer and buy my book instead. Your old one can hold out a little longer, until you are able to recoup your investment.

Then read my book, get back to me, and tell me what you think. I am eager to hear what you have to say. To any of you who have already bought my book, thank you!! And please tell the others that it is feasible to have spatulas and creative freedom, too.

With patience, Young One, all things are possible.

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Visit L.E. Henderson’s blog at :  

http://www.passionatereason.com/

To purchase the e-book on Amazon, visit:

http://www.amazon.com/Trail-Crumbs-Creative-Freedom-Authors-ebook/dp/B00IR002D0/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1395061396&sr=1-2&keywords=A+Trail+of+Crumbs