Insecurity Boo Hoo Bummers & the Book Cover Saga Continues…


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The dynamic duo!

 

Hello there!

I hope you’re doing well!

I’m writing this post on Wednesday at the close of a funky day. Rilla had a tummy bug – it was nothing serious – but I kept her home just to be on the safe side. She had a blast showing me the intricacies of her favorite computer game, National Geographic’s Animal Jam. 

This virtual world is COMPLEX.  Rilla has played “AJ” for three years, and my head spun while she demonstrated all the features. 

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When I took a break from the tutorial, I hopped on Twitter and spotted the tweet I’d had been dreading for several months. It was DBSA’s announcement of Demi Lovato’s Be Vocal Campaign’s Beyond Silence documentary. (Lovato executive-produced it.)

Last year I was nominated by someone at DBSA to be one of the three subjects in this film. After doing a 45-minute phone interview with the six-person panel, I wasn’t selected. (I wrote more about that here in “Sour Grapes, Rejection and Perspective.”)

The people profiled in Beyond Silence are remarkable – they’re movers and shakers. While their worthwhile causes deserve the massive amounts of attention they’re getting, I was bummed…

Demi Lovato has 41 MILLION Twitter followers. Her Facebook page (38 million likes) showed Beyond Silence had 150 thousand views only a few hours after the stream went live. Lovato plugged the documentary on today’s Ellen show, and she’s promoting it in all the major media outlets. Everyone loves Demi Lovato! (Well, except Kathy Griffin, but I won’t go there! 😉 

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You can guess where I’m going with this. 

If I had participated in Beyond Silence, the PMAD I live with, postpartum bipolar (PPBD), which has been minimized, ignored, you-name-it, would have gotten this fantastic exposure. And yes, if I was in the doc, that would’ve been the ideal, unicorn-rainbowy way to promote my PPBD book. I couldn’t buy better PR!

I knew I’d be triggered by the media campaign’s debut. Despite all my positive thinking, I cried about this shit. (Sorry, friends, my potty mouth is a deeply ingrained part of me – I find it hilarious that I hardly used any unsavory words in my book!)

Anyway….my precious Rilla made my day. She was a fantastic source of encouragement & comfort. I didn’t ask her to make me feel better; that’s not her job as a nine-year-old, but she knew the Lovato doc backstory and she understood what was going on.

She hugged me and said that I don’t need to be in Demi Lovato’s documentary because I’m “a wonderful mommy” and that I’m “successful with my book!”

How could I upset after hearing such a loving affirmation from my girl?

Well, I was still down. More than I thought I’d be. When I had been informed I wasn’t selected, I felt rejected, not to mention other nasty things. Those feelings got re-activated with this media campaign’s debut.

How am I dealing with this, aside from diving into a pint or two of ice cream? (Okay, okay, I ate a pint & 1/2 of Halo chocolate ice cream & mocha chocolate chip, but it’s low-cal, low-fat, & low-guilt!)

I’m keeping busy, and thank God the sun is finally out because we’ve been through gloomy weeks of terrible storms, flooding, landslides, and power outages where I live.

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A slide on the highway very close to our house

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The basketball courts down the road flooded by the San Lorenzo River, Ben Lomond CA

I’m looking to the future. 

I’m muting Twitter feed that will remind me of this campaign. DBSA tweets about the film several times a day and they will do that for at least a week, probably longer since they’re a sponsor.

I know someone who’s in the hospital right now with life-threatening depression. If I think about that, I feel guilty complaining about this trivial crap. But it’s my life, it’s my reality, and who knows, maybe someone will read this post and relate to my experience. You never know when it comes to the blogosphere, right? 

 

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Book Cover Update

Thanks so much for your comments about the book covers! Now you can all list “design consultants” on your resumes.

No matter what style you preferred, every comment helped me. That’s one of the reasons I love blogging – your comments make a difference in how I see things and you don’t bill me! (Please keep it that way!)

Yes, there a new cover that’s almost ready to share with you, but Post Hill Press is tweaking it. I’ll share it in next week’s post.

At least I didn’t go with these top contenders:

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If you’ve ever been “close but no cigar“**  in a situation where you really wanted that “cigar,” I’d love to read about it!!! **Click the green “close but no cigar” phrase to read about how this phrase came to be.

 

 “Close But No Cigar” is one of my favorite Thomas Dolby songs on the stunning album Astronauts and Heretics 

Take care, and thanks for being the best followers in the universe! If I get rich, I’ll have you bill me for blogospheric-therapy services rendered, I promise!

Lots of love,

Dyane

 

 

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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!

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In Literary Limbo……….

 

 

Chips’s lively, off-the-wall presentation made me laugh out loud. Even if you don’t give a hoot about book covers, publishing, or the like, please watch his short talk. I guarantee you’ll find it fascinating!

 

What’s literary limbo? 

It’s not a West Indies-originated exclusive dance for men. 

(I always learn something new when I blog!)

I’m using another definition of “limbo”: a transitional state. I’m waiting to hear from my editor for the first time.

I’ve had nightmares about our first interaction. In my most vivid dream, the editor emailed me and tersely stated my manuscript needed a lot of work. To add insult to injury, I was told I had to change my title from Birth of a New Brain to BRAIN HAMMER! 

The title BRAIN HAMMER! reminded me of the Beatles’ Maxwell’s Silver Hammer. I couldn’t help but think of this classic song which ain’t exactly about peaches & cream.

 

Well, I couldn’t blame my disturbing dream on a spicy Mexican dinner. Once again my writing insecurity was surfacing from my murky subconscious to say BOO! At least I was able to laugh about it later. Much later.

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Hemingway was such a salty-tongued fellow! 

Of course, I can’t leave out Anne Lamott, or I risk getting trolled by an excessively ardent Anne Lamott fan. unknown-2

Believe me, they exist

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Book Cover News 

My book cover design is done, and it’s beautiful! Thanks to the brilliant book cover designer Vanessa No Heart for taking the concept to a whole new level. I’m not sure when it shall be revealed, but believe me, I’ll let you know as soon as I can. I’ll probably get it tattooed on my face.

A Cool Resource for Writers

I spotted the Publishizer link on Twitter and I was intrigued enough to take a look around the Publishizer site.

I encourage those of you with writerly aspirations to check it out.

The premise is this: You write a proposal and sell pre-orders, and the Publishizers query it to publishers for you. They even guide you step-by-step through writing a book proposal. Nice! (I’d also use agent/co-founder of the San Francisco Writers Conference Michael Larsen’s book as a reference.)

Publishizer queries a variety of publishers at pre-order “milestones.” If you sell 500 pre-orders, they personally query 20 publishers for you. There’s an extensive list of the publishers on the site.

Then you’ll arguably get one of the best problems of your life: you must select the best publishing offer for you. You’ll receive different kinds of offers based on the interest in your (fabulous) proposal.

After all that you shall select the best publishing offer and receive your payment!

Doesn’t it sound so easy-peasy-lemon-squeazy?

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Anyway, I thought the section showing how many agents were interested in each proposal particularly interesting. Please keep in mind that this is my rather poor paraphrasing of what Publishizer’s all about, so go take a peek!

Here’s A Memoir I Recently Enjoyed

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I like the publisher’s description, which I’ve edited quite a bit so this isn’t a 3000-word post. 

“The remarkable story of rising to the top of the music charts, a second act as a tech pioneer, and the sustaining power of creativity and art. Thomas Dolby’s hit songs “She Blinded Me with Science” and “Hyperactive!” catapulted him to international fame in the early 80’s. A pioneer of New Wave and Electronica, Thomas combined a love for invention with a passion for music. But as record company politics overshadow the joy of performing, Thomas finds a surprising second act.

Starting out in a rat-infested London bedsit (I must interject: “GRRRRROOOSSSSSSSSS!!!!!”)  a teenage Thomas Dolby stacks boxes by day at the grocery and tinkers with a homemade synthesizer at night… with a bit of luck he finds his own style, establishing himself on the scene and recording hits that take MTV  by storm. The world is now his oyster, and sold- out arenas, world tours, even a friendship with Michael Jackson become the fabric of his life.

But as the record industry flounders and disillusionment sets in, Thomas turns his attention to Hollywood. Scoring films and computer games eventually leads him to Silicon Valley and a software startup that turns up the volume on the digital music revolution. By 2005, two-thirds of the world’s mobile phones embed his Beatnik software. Life at the zenith of a tech empire proves to be just as full of big personalities, battling egos and roller-coaster success as his days spent at the top of the charts.

(I snipped quite a bit off at this juncture – they gave too much away in their mongo-blurb.)

Thomas Dolby has been named Johns Hopkins University’s first Homewood Professor of the Arts, where he will help create a new center that will serve as an incubator for technology in the arts.”

Now that’s a class I’d love to audit! 

As a longtime fan of Thomas Dolby’s music, I was caught up in his incredible story. The only portion I found challenging was the uber-Silicon Valley techie descriptions, but that was to be expected. I was also very moved to learn about Dolby’s transgender child Harper, and Dolby’s ultimate acceptance and support of his  on. I was plain-old-sad when this memoir ended; I wanted it to go on, which is the sign of a truly awesome book.

The catchy, witty song Close But No Cigar is one of my favorite tunes from Thomas Dolby’s Astronauts and Heretics album, complete with a rip-roaring guitar solo from Eddie Van Halen. Avonlea and I got to see Dolby perform in Santa Cruz; she was in utero at the time. (And unfortunately she doesn’t care for his music or any other “80’s music nightmare artists” for that matter!) 

The Lose It! Update

My friends Bradley (Insights of A Bipolar Bear), Marie Abanga (Merry Marie) and I are using the Lose It! app & website to get healthy. Thanks to Lose It!, I lost 40 lbs. – the equivalent of a small child or big carp fish! However, maintenance is tough, especially because I still struggle with compulsive overeating. I’m sticking to LoseIt! so I don’t yo-yo as I’ve done in the past.

You can sign up for free at www.loseit.com to join our little group; search for the Wondrous Writers group at the Lose It! site. It’s easy. Not peasy-lemon-squeezy. (Sorry.)

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It’s raining cats, dogs, and banana slugs today. The power could go out at any minute, so I’m pressing “publish” before checking for typos. I used my new BFF, Grammarly Premium proofreader, as I typed along and it caught some nasties, but not all of them. I’ll take a chance of offending the typo police. 

I hope you have a good weekend, a happy Halloween on Monday, and I’ll see you next Friday with tales to tell.

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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 in October 2017.

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I Love You Goodbye

Thomas Dolby singing “I Love You Goodbye” from Astronauts and Heretics,one of my all-time favorite albums.

Yesterday I woke up bright and perky only to find a bummer of a Facebook message in my in-box. It was from someone I had been virtual friends with for the past year. She lives with bipolar disorder, and for months I encouraged her from afar with tweets and Facebook messages, sometimes on a daily basis.  I took time to cheer her up by attaching photos of her favorite rock band U2 that I knew she’d enjoy.  

She messaged me, “As I’m sure you’ve noticed, you’re not on my FB or Twitter anymore. You have done nothing. I tend to take things too personally when I shouldn’t and just cut people off. I am struggling quite a bit right now. I’m just backing off of everything at the moment. I’m not expecting forgiveness or even friendship. I just felt the need to explain.”

First thought: F*ck this!  

Following thoughts: I knew all along she has been mentally unstable. I need to be compassionate and not take one bit of this personally!

I wrote her back a brief message and wished her well. I added that I’d be open for re-connecting in the future. (As I typed that line, a tiny red flag popped up in my people-pleasing brain and I thought, Whhhaaaat? You don’t want to be friends with this person! Ever! But I didn’t delete that line like I should’ve.)

I called a wonderful friend and she was willing to hash it out. She gave me tons of good advice, namely to let the whole thing go and it wasn’t about me. Because of that key conversation I was able to actually stop thinking about it the rest of the day. I thanked my lucky stars for this friend.

This morning half-awake, the aggravating Pisces/uber-sensitive part of me started ruminating about what happened the day before with the unfriending. I realized I DID take her actions personally – I wasn’t a robot, dammit! I had been kind to this person. 

The fact that I woke up upset by this crap is not good for me.  Sometimes we can’t predict another person’s toxic behavior and how it’ll affect us – I know I can’t. After mulling it over, I decided to block her on Facebook and Twitter so in the unlikely event she wants to be in touch again, I don’t get triggered down the line. It may sound selfish, but I would never feel safe with her after this, and let’s face it -s he’s “just” a virtual friend who lives thousands of miles away.  I’ve never even heard her voice.

There’s no happy way to end this post, so I won’t even try. But I’m going to go work out because I know it will make me feel better! 

Xo

Dyane