What doesn’t kill you?

What doesn’t kill you?


Yeah, yeah Kelly Clarkson.  It might make you stronger but I doubt she was doing her own book marketing when she wrote her recent children’s book.

I’m in full book proposal writing mode and working through the marketing portion of it. There is so much to manage and consider! How are you going to market? Do you have a press kit?  What’s your editorial contact list like?  Where will you speak? What’s your blog and website look like? Are you on Twitter?  Facebook? Instagram?  Will you be available to be on TV?  Willing to sell your first born?

Ok, they’re not asking for that last one.  Yet.  But man, getting published today requires some WORK beyond the writing.  (If ya got any tips, comments, thoughts or shortcuts leave ’em in the comments because Lord can I use ’em!)

I think I spent more hours on my marketing plan this week than my job!  But it’s moving along and I am slowly inching closer to being ready to send out agent queries. Which I’m sure will bring its own kind of pain. 🙂

Since I wrote my last post about the need for more mental health resources I came across this article about the need for more child psychiatrists which I couldn’t agree with more. Some great ideas in it that could go a long way to helping children with mental illness get resources started early where they are needed.  Again, a win win for all involved.


Pay Now, or Pay Later

Pay Now, or Pay Later

Now or Later

I’ve been editing a chapter this week about a year when our son’s behavior was really spinning out of control.  Violent behavior, police interactions, juvenile detention, med changes, doctor changes  – and he was only nine.  It was a lot to manage.

I was able to do it because I had good health, a stable job, family support, and I’m intuitive about searching out solutions.  If you are lacking in even one of these things, I cannot imagine how you would manage the challenge of accessing the right resources for your child, finding a doctor, getting them to appointments, and managing their medications.

During the years our son was in self contained classrooms I witnessed not only the other children struggling but also their parents and the teachers.  The parents often didn’t know where to start looking for help and the teachers were overwhelmed managing behavior issues in the classroom while trying to teach.  Everyone limps through the school year managing each crisis as it pops up through a combination of suspensions, behavior management, and modifications to their educational setting.

You might be able to push them through to graduation but it’s not going to end well if the problems have not been addressed and managed early on. When you have extreme behavior issues at school it can lead to suspension.  When you have extreme behavioral issues as an adult it can lead to arrest and placement in a system not setup to manage mental health.  We all pay for that.

Schools need to be more proactive in managing support by developing a network of mental health resources in the community they can steer parents to.  Walk them through the options.  Provide an advocate.  Connect them with other parents facing the same issues.  Maybe something like the “emergency care hubs” Ohio is trying to setup  or classes like NAMI Southeastern Arizona is offering that teach effective skills and coping methods – what great resources!

The alternative is muddling along the way we have and pushing children through the system only to come out with a bigger problem on the other end.


Writing is the Easy Part

Writing is the Easy Part


Editing is not my favorite part.  Slow, tedious, and an opportunity to really second guess what you wrote during that first round.  I’m wondering if I was drunk when I wrote parts of it (?!) and I’m grateful for the opportunity to fix that mess!

But then there are parts I know I got right because those chapters bring back vivid memories that make me feel like I’m right back in the thick of it.  I’m mentally tired after editing those chapters because it’s exhausting reliving what was a very stressful time in our lives. I think it’s clear in my day-to-day accounts how chaotic it was but I don’t really address in the book about the isolation we felt. We couldn’t adequately explain to anyone what was going on and no one really understood what we were dealing with.  I read an article recently referring to childhood mental illness as the “no casserole” illness that hit the nail on the head.  If your child has cancer or is born with a physical defect it’s automatic for others to sympathize and offer support (as they should!) but when your kiddo has a mental illness there seems to be more of a blame game and an unspoken rule not to address it.  In our case they would have had to bring casseroles for a very long time (ha!) since our drama went on for years until we found a manageable solution and adequate treatment for him.

For anyone struggling day-to-day with children experiencing symptoms of mental illness there is a great support group on Facebook Oppositional Defiant Disorder – O.D.D. that is a good reminder you are not alone.  I see daily posts on this page of people at the end of their rope ready to give up and just plain worn out from trying to manage the chaos.  It helps to read those posts on days when you can’t imagine anyone else is dealing with the same issues.

Ok, enough procrastinating on my part.  Back.To.Editing!  Thank goodness for the Creative PENN and Writers Digest  – both great resources as I slog through this new publishing adventure. Great insights and tools. Let me in the comments if you have a good resource for new authors, editing, or just surviving the publishing process.