Missing in action
Regular readers of this blog will have noticed that I’ve been silent—MIA, actually—for many months recently.
“Where has she gone?”
“What is she up to?”
“Is she ok? I hope she hasn’t had a relapse…”
Fear not, friends! I am doing well and in fact—despite the awful state of the world during this pandemic and the growing climate crisis—have been more productive than ever.
My latest publishing project: a bipolar anthology
As you may know, I published my memoir, Mad Like Me: Travels in Bipolar Country back in late 2018. The next many months were spent doing book promotional work, media interviews, and public speaking gigs about my experiences with bipolar.
I can’t remember precisely who flipped the switch in my brain, but sometime during the summer of 2019, I received another of many emotional emails from someone who had read and appreciated my memoir. Click! It made me realize: There are so many great stories out there, just waiting to be shared. But not everyone is a blogger; not everyone considers themselves a writer; not everyone has an outlet to tell their story without support. Hence:
Hmm; I wonder if I could offer to collect and compile them into a bipolar anthology?
And the rest is history! More than two years later, my publishing team and I are finalizing the typeset manuscript, and polishing the cover design.
This anthology will be published in early 2022: please check back here for more details about the launch.
Another writing project
In between compiling and editing the anthology, I’ve been writing my first novel—also with a bipolar theme—for a young adult audience. Who knew that fiction writing could be so much fun! I highly recommend it to you as another form of therapy.
(My thanks to the members of the Baie-D’Urfé Writers’ Circle for their support and thoughtful feedback on excerpts of this novel as it grows.)
Earlier in the year, I did a few online presentations about mental illness and recovery to nursing and social science students at Montreal-area colleges.
I always appreciate the chance to open the eyes of young people who are notorious for taking their own mental health for granted. As I tell them, “If you have your mental health, protect it like a precious newborn baby. If you don’t have it, fight every day to reclaim it.” (I then share the various self-care strategies I use to stay stable—see my previous blog post: Go to the mental health gym every day.)
Virtual book club
Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting a bipolar book club group on Zoom to discuss Mad Like Me. What a pleasure to hear them reflecting on their favourite parts of the book, and asking critical questions about how bipolar has affected my self-confidence, family relationships, ability to work, etc. Reflecting back on the past 13 years of living with bipolar was truly instructive for me, and I hope the session provided hope for some members who are still struggling to regain stability.
I hope to meet with the group again once my bipolar anthology is published.
If you’re a member of a book club and would like a “Virtual author’s visit” via Zoom or Skype, please use the Contact Form to reach me.