Review — Birth of a New Brain: Healing from #Postpartum Depression by Dyane Harwood

 

 

 

 

I want to thank my writing mentor Wendy K. Williamson for writing this wonderful review of my book! I only paid her five bucks to do it! ūüėČ

If it wasn’t for Wendy, I don’t know if my book would have been “born!” I’m forever grateful to this intrepid writer for her encouragement, humor, and wisdom.Wendy’s belief that my writing was good enough to share with others truly kept me going.

Be sure to check out her two books I’m Not Crazy Just Bipolar (an outstanding memoir that was ahead of its time) and Two Bipolar Chicks Guide to Survival (which I wish I had to read in 2007 when I was diagnosed); please follow her blog & Twitter too @bipolarwendy.

Wendy has some amazing blog posts – one of my favorites is her post called “Go Ahead Writer”:

https://wendykwilliamson.wordpress.com/2014/12/31/go-ahead-writer/

Once again, Wendy, thank you. I’ll always be in your debt unless I win the California SuperLotto Plus jackpot – in that case, I’ll build a writer’s colony and name it the Wendy K. Williamson Center for the Literary Arts. It will have a cafe called “Diner Girl,” a bookstore heavily stocked with her books, and I’ll give you a million dollar stipend! How does that sound? (I wish I could do that!!)

Xo,
Dyane

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ARC’s, Anxieties, Insecurities, and More

 

Lucy

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My Writing Muse 

 

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Holding my first galley, or advanced review copy (ARC)

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Charging the ARC with positive crystal hippie energy.

Hey, before you make fun of me, I live with a geologist so we have tons of crystals in this house. Moreover, I live in a hippie town, so I figured, why the heck not??? I charged the ARC for an hour before I sent it to my dream endorser who requested a hard copy for consideration. Stay tuned for the outcome…

 

Happy Friday everyone!

This week has been all about the ARC.

The what?

The advanced review copy, or ARC. Many people don’t know what the acronym stands for, including some authors! The ARC is the more recent term for a galley, which is an advance copy of your book that’s sent to book reviewers, endorsers, and the press.

This pre-publication copy doesn’t quite look like a book – the pages are simply bound and it might resemble a college term paper. Sometimes the copy hasn’t been fully edited. The cover art isn’t usually included. (For two cool links that will explain¬†more about ARC’s and how to make your own, please visit here and here.)

Sometimes reviewers want the ARC via computer, such as a PDF file. Other times they want a hard copy printed out. Today I sent out my first hard copy to an incredible bestselling author.¬†I’m superstitious so please forgive me for holding off on naming names until I get an answer ¬†I’m crossing my fingers and toes that I’ll get good news in the near future! Even if I don’t get the endorsement, I’ll write about what happens. This endorsement, or “blurb” will appear at the top of the front cover. (Click here for helpful articles about attaining blurbs.)

***Anxieties***

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I’ve been extremely anxious about sending the galley to this famous author. I’ve procrastinated all week, but today after a “pep text” from the gifted author/journalist Greg Archer who has interacted with 95% of the most famous, talented people on the planet (check out his blog Know Place Like Home) I sat down and forced myself to do it.

I had purchased a beautiful card to accompany my book. My hands shook so badly that I screwed up while writing the title of one of the author’s books – how embarrassing!!! Since I paid $7 for the Papyrus greeting card, I just did my best to correct it! I’m keeping it real! (This is the card I sent – I love their cards so much! The Halloween ones are the best I’ve ever seen…)

 

***Insecurities***

Although I tried to mute or unfollow any social media outlet I thought might share the Demi Lovato Situation, I didn’t get everything, so I encountered announcements of a red carpet extravaganza event. ¬†My insecurities were triggered each time I spotted the photos and press releases. But it wasn’t healthy to keep cursing Demi Lovato & her high-rolling production team to the darkest corners of Hades – I needed to move on once and for all.¬†

My wise daughter Avonlea told me, “Mommy, even if you were chosen, you know you would have freaked out going to New York and being on that panel with Demi Lovato!” and she was right. It would have been too much – I’m not ready for that kind of media exposure. My social anxiety would have been through the roof.

My close friend and mental health advocate/blogger extraordinaire Kitt O’Malley read my mind when I told her it would’ve been too difficult. She reminded me how something stressful (like filming and flying to New York for the red carpet/panel discussion with Demi Lovato) could trigger hypomania. I’m 99.9% sure it would have been the case for me. The rejection was a blessing in disguise.

***Better Late Than Never: At Last I Have An Author Website!***

After procrastinating for several years, I bought a domain name on Wix for $24 for one year. I opted for Wix’s month-to-month Premium Plan at $7/month. I could’ve signed up for a longer subscription time resulting in a lower monthly cost, but I wanted to try it out for a few months, and then decide.

http://www.dyaneharwood.com

If you take a peek, please keep in mind I’ve only just begun to play around with the site, and there are some sample sections¬†up that have nothing to do with me or my book! Please sign up for the mailing list. Also note that Miss Lucy is my media inquiries canine associate for the time being.

***Insecurities (Yet Again!)***

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I’ve started reading bestselling author Joanna Penn’s book and I really like the useful information and her down-to-earth writing style. Some of the sections don’t apply to me, but that doesn’t matter – I read them anyway because they’re brief and interesting. I definitely recommend you read this book, especially if you have insecurities¬†as a writer! I’ll write more about this book as I go along. Here’s the nutshell description:

“Being a writer is not just about typing. It‚Äôs also about surviving the rollercoaster of the creative journey. Self-doubt, fear of failure, the need for validation, perfectionism, writer‚Äôs block, comparisonitis, overwhelm, and much more.

This book collects the mindset issues that writers experience, that I have been through myself over the last nine years and that perhaps you will experience at different times on the creative journey. Each small chapter tackles a possible issue and then offers an antidote¬†so that you can dip in and out over time. It includes excerpts from my own personal journals as well as quotes from well-known writers.”

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Joanna Penn is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thrillers (as J.F.Penn) and non-fiction, a professional speaker and award-winning entrepreneur. Her site, TheCreativePenn.com is regularly voted one of the Top 10 sites for writers.

And now I’m about to¬†enjoy an episode of Shetland, a¬†murder mystery set against the stunning Scottish backdrop of the Shetland Isles.¬†I’m addicted, and I’m not ashamed! My Scottish collie Lucy has genetic roots from this rugged part of the world, so I have her watch it with me.

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It’s really well done, and it’s no surprise that Shetland has earned rave reviews. During the first ten minutes, I couldn’t understand the thick Scottish accents and I set the disc aside, disappointed. I’m so glad I gave the series a second chance. All I needed to do was to select the subtitles option, and everything became clear. Let me know if you’ve seen it!

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Actor Douglas Henshall as Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez

Have a good weekend, and say hello in the comments!

XOXOXO

Dyane

 

Dyane Harwood‚Äôs memoir¬†Birth of a New Brain ‚Äď 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‚Äôs available for paperback pre-sales on Amazon at this link ‚Äď Kindle pre-sales coming this summer!

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A Noise I’ll Never Forget…

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Photos courtesy of the Santa Cruz Puma Project

Today at 3:00 a.m., I woke up and realized I left something important in my car. I needed to get it, so I walked up the hill to our driveway. It was pitch black outside and brrrrrrrrrr…cold!!!!

On my way to my car, I heard the chickens rustling loudly, and I thought maybe a few raccoons had been around.¬†As I began opening our wooden gate, I heard a very low, rumbling, resonant growl the likes of which I’ve never heard before. It sounded like a mountain lion’s growl.

My gut told me whatever made that noise was NO dog!¬†I can’t prove it, but I swear it was a mountain lion.¬†

I fled back to the house. Running away from a mountain lion is exactly what you¬†aren’t supposed to do – it can provoke a mountain lion to attack you! You’re supposed to make yourself look big, i.e. raise your arms up high and yell. ¬†

After I heard that unforgettable sound, I stood still inside our house for a good 20 minutes, trembling from fear, thinking about what took place.

We live in mountain lion country. Recently, mountain lions have been spotted a few minutes up our street, so it’s entirely plausible that my gut was right.¬†

It’s their home as well as ours, but that growl was one of the most frightening sounds I’ve ever heard.¬†(It sounded a lot like the growl at this link.)

And I’m grateful to that mountain lion because it didn’t attack me. That’s not the way this gal wants to go – oh, my dear mountain lion/neighbor, if you’re going to come after me, please wait until my book Birth of a New Brain¬†is published in October!¬†

Dyane‚Äôs memoir¬†Birth of a New Brain ‚Äď 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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On the Homestretch of Editing “Birth of a New Brain”

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I look a lot like her, complete with frizzy hair and her expression! (But she’s dressed way better than I am.)

Hello, hello!

You might have noticed I’ve been taking a hiatus from reading your blogs. Believe me, I miss them! Hopefully you haven’t been making voodoo dolls in my image for neglecting your posts.

I swear on a tower of glorious Halo Top Ice Cream pints I shall return to your blogs come February!

To add insult to injury, I still owe replies to comments some of you made on my last post Рthat one about the awful email I wanted to send my writing teacher. While I plan on responding, I must say that each of you who gave me advice was 100% right!;)

De to my Jan. 31 deadline, every spare moment I have is allocated to editing 300 pages of….well, now I can state for the record that my manuscript (ms) no longer resembles Bandini Mountain.

However, sh*t describes exactly how I’ve felt about my ms ever since I got it back from my editor last month, and heck, long before that.

After making the editor’s suggested changes, I realized that my book was NOT ready to be perused by anyone, especially a famous author who agreed to consider contributing a cover blurb.¬†

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Even after following my editor’s suggestions, the ms still needed a TON of work, and I made up my mind that I was going to give it one last shot before turning it in. I’ve been “killing my darlings” and last night I deleted an entire chapter that didn’t further the story. Sorry to sound like a drama queen, but deleting those pages almost killed¬†me.

With the exception of giving birth, I’ve never worked so hard in my life. I’ve been sleeping, but I’ve had vivid nightmares such as the one where alien-human hybrids were eating people around me, and it was clear I was next in line. I woke up just in time.

There was another nightmare that was even worse: I was editing my ms and found an error, and I fixed it, only to discover it had reappeared. That happened with the same error over and over again, a la maddening Groundhog Day fashion. 

Yuck!

At least Lucy has been by my side; her loving energy has been an enormous boost. (That’s her hedgehog “baby” next to her paw.)

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So that’s what has been going on in my life, and things will continue to be that way until January 31st. Every second I’m not taking care of the girls or doing the neverending chores, I’m in my office (i.e. on my bed) editing until I can’t take it anymore, and I guiltily close the ms Word file to play hooky on the wicked internet.

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How are you?

Sending you my love, as always,

Dyane

Dyane‚Äôs memoir¬†Birth of a New Brain ‚Äď 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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Rambling Alongside Fall Creek State Park

 

Come, ramble with me and Lucy alongside beautiful Fall Creek State Park!

I only say “anyway” fifty-six times in this clip, down from¬†eighty times in my previous vlog. The loud sniffles you hear that could wake the dead are caused by my allergies that always flare up after a heavy rain. (Note to self, next time take a pocket pack of Puffs tissues!)

Because the past week has been far more hectic than usual, I’ll catch up with your blogs this weekend. I promise to comment, “like”, tweet, and Facebook- share your latest posts until the cows banana slugs come home.

images(Leave it to me to choose a college with a banana slug mascot.)

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See you next week,

XoXo — Dyane

p.s. During my walk I mention my writing mentor Wendy K. Williamson’s books; she wrote the awesome memoir¬†

I’m Not Crazy Just Bipolar

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and co-wrote Two Bipolar Chicks Guide to Survival: Tips for Living With Bipolar Disorder with Honora Rose

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Dyane‚Äôs memoir¬†Birth of a New Brain ‚Äď 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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My Movember Forward Debut @ MakeItUltra!

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This is an interesting biography about Split Enz, a New Zealand rock group I’ve loved for over thirty years. Co-founder/artist Phil Judd, who created the “Mental Notes” painting on the cover, has bipolar disorder. The Enz’s late drummer Paul Hester (who eventually joined the internationally acclaimed group Crowded House) allegedly suffered from bipolar disorder as well.

Stranger than Fiction¬†popped into my mind since it describes¬†what my life has been like lately…I’ll fill you in on Friday.

                                        

 

Good morning my friends,

I hope you had a good Halloween!

I was honored to have my post The Found Girl kick off the blog MakeItUltra!’s¬†Movember Forward¬†series. Thanks to MakeItUltra! founder Eric and editor Cait for their support.

My month has gotten off to an amazing, surreal, and heartbreaking start. All I can do is keep on moving and visit the redwoods with Lucy for a daily mental/physical reboot. 

Now it’s time for Dia de la Sugar Detox in my house! ūüėČ

Love to you all,

Dyane

p.s. Several years ago my I changed my original blog title “Proudly Bipolar” (a phrase inspired by Anthony Bourdain’s description of his intrepid crew in his book No Reservations) to “Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder,” the title of my upcoming Post Hill Press memoir.¬†

Psychiatrist Dr. Manipod’s “Have You Been Hit With Autumn Anxiety?”

Psychiatrist Dr. Manipod’s “Have You Been Hit With Autumn Anxiety?”

Dr. Vania Manipod is an incredible psychiatrist. I’ve been following her blog Freud and Fashion for quite a while because it’s fascinating to read her insights about psychiatry.

I particularly appreciate her willingness to share her challenges and insecurities, both personal and professional. I can’t stand arrogant psychiatrists who prance around thinking they’re better than their patients. Dr. Manipod is the opposite of the big-headed pdoc, and because of her humility, I’ve been pleading with her to open a Santa Cruz practice in two years when my psychiatrist retires.

Dr. Manipod wrote an excellent post about autumn anxiety, a unique topic, & it’s definitely worth the read…let us know what you think!

 

 

Dyane‚Äôs memoir¬†Birth of a New Brain ‚Äď 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.

Freud & Fashion

I noticed a pattern in several of my Instagram posts the last few weeks: a sense of being hard on myself, feeling like I haven‚Äôt been productive enough, lacking any sense of accomplishment, feeling as if there‚Äôs no time in the day to get through my task list, etc. ¬†Such a surge in self-criticism didn‚Äôt sit well with me, so I wanted to gain more insight and determine the trigger (as if I don‚Äôt psychoanalyze enough in my day to day life). ¬†It wasn‚Äôt until I started noticing the anxious tone in my voice each time I told some of my patients to schedule their next appointment in 3 months (which would be around January 2017) and went on to wish them an early ‚ÄúHappy Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas/Hannukah/Qwanzaa,‚ÄĚ etc,¬†that an a-ha moment occurred in my mind ‚ÄĒ¬†Oh my goodness, it‚Äôs almost 2017!

So I started researching if there was…

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