My Sore Hush-a-Bye: The Kindle Book Review’s 2013 Best Indie Book Awards Semifinalist!

I’’m not having much time to blog lately, but even if I had, I probably wouldn’’t. That’’s because I have Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) and bursitis in both my arms and shoulders so typing causes some pain.

Actually, sometimes it causes a hell of pain…

But it’’s a manageable condition, meaning that, as long as I don’t use my arms much, or use them with caution, it doesn’’t hurts that much. I’’ve had to take a lot of painkillers last month –which I hate– but I really had no option. I’m feeling better today, however, so I decided to finally post something new.

Well, I had unbelievably good news on July 1st, and still didn’’t brag about share with you.. My Sore Hush-a-Bye is one of The Kindle Book Review’s 2013 Best Indie Book Awards Semifinalist!!!!! Check it out: (Category – Literary Fiction)

http://www.thekindlebookreview.net/2013-book-awards/

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I couldn’’t believe my eyes either. I’’m still so, so happy.

You know when people say at the Oscars that it was such an honor just being nominated, and that it didn’’t matter if they win or not? And then we always think… ‘Yeah, right!’ Well, I finally understand. It is true. It’’s so crazy just being nominated, just being there with other amazing books as a semifinalist, that I really get them.

I’’m not even dreaming about passing to the final 5 finalists (there’s some serious competition, check out the other semifinalists!), but reading my book’’s name on July first was already a prize to me. Seriously.

So now it’’s waiting time, until September, when they’’ll announce the finalists.

I want to thank some people so much. People that encouraged me in my writing, and gave me reason to believe My Sore Hush-a-Bye stood a chance in this competition. A lot of people, actually, but especially Becky, Chasity, Maria and Martha. You are amazing, and there aren’’t enough words in my humble vocabulary to thank you. Be sure you all have a designed spot in my heart!

Meanwhile, I’m still ‘working on a new novel called Myself in Blue’. It will happen, someday, but of course, it’’s difficult with the typing-pain problem… I haven’’t been able to write much, but the story is in my head. It will eventually come out. I already have the cover though! Maybe I’’ll share it in my next post. 🙂

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My 5 star Review of ‘My Alien Self: My Journey Back to Me’, by Amanda Green

I believe I’ve never read a memoir before in my life. I read biographies when I was young — used to love them back then, but never memoirs.

Nevertheless, the moment I read the description of “My Alien Self, My Journey back to me’, by Amanda Green, I wanted to read it.

The journey described is intense, almost brutal at some points. And yet there’s tenderness in the way Amanda tells it all, no holding back—after all, it’s her life; she’s her own main character.

Reading fiction can be easy, even if the subject is difficult, because you have the comfort of knowing it all came from a creative mind; here, however, it all really happened.

This is a tough story, but it’s also about redemption and recovery. It will make you change your pre-conceptions about mental illness, and will certainly help so many people!

Find out more about Amanda Green in my interview with her:

Please, Insomnia…Let me sleep a little!!

Insomnia has been trying to make me give up on sleep at nights ever since I was 5, maybe 6 years old. Perhaps more, but that’s as far as I remember.

It was horrible to be a little child, unable to sleep, having no one to talk to (no internet back then…), nothing to watch (no DVD, no VCR either, and the TV, back then, simply ‘closed’ after midnight here—just static or some color stripes showing until next morning), and still not able to read that well to distract myself.

I also had some sleepwalking episodes, and remember waking up one night inside my brother’s crib, having absolutely no recollection of how on Earth had I ended up there. Thanks God I was petite and didn’t hurt him… That was really creepy-hilarious! Oh, and I hurt my head many times on doors and walls walking in my sleep. My father told me I wasn’t walking like a mummy the way we see in movies. Just normally walking; with my eyes closed.

Not much changed since then, except that I don’t sleepwalk anymore, and have lots of ways to entertain myself during sleepless nights. Like writing a blog post! 😀

Yay for the internet, 24 hours of TV, cable TV, DVDs, etc. It’s less boring to be insomniac nowadays!!

I envy people who sleep well. I have a friend at work who has the same troubles to sleep. The other day we realized none of us has NEVER have a peaceful, revitalizing sleep night. Ever. Even when we do sleep, is always lightly and we wake up many times during the night. Normally we wake up before the clock demands it, losing precious sleeping time as well…

Then I usually spend the whole day dozing around, and it’s very, very hard not to sleep on my desk at work. I feel almost cataleptic sometimes; I can’t control it—I just sleep. I once slept during a meeting, just me and my boss in the room! She—obviously—noticed I slept, and I promptly denied it! Ha! As if it were possible to deny sleeping!

I sleep on trains, buses—even if I’m standing. But it is a very light sleep, and I wake up after a few minutes, or if anything or anyone slightly touches me. I never even miss my stops, funny! And even weirder—I always dream. Yeah, I know, no REM sleep, no dreams, but what can I do…I dream. Even if it’s a one minute nap, I wake up from a dream! And I wished to sleep that well at night, oh, how I wished…

Because as soon as I’m ready to really sleep, pajamas on, lights off, on my bed—bam! The insomnia takes charge and what I wanted to badly during the day—sleep—becomes a hard, exhausting task. I want to sleep, my eyes are burning, my head is heavy—everything in my body is prepared and demanding rest, but my brain simply refuses to ‘turn off’. *sighs*

Well, I guess I just wanted to unload a little… I’ll get back to my task now, trying to have some sleep… It’s 02:43 in the morning here in Brazil, but at least I’m on vacation, so I don’t have to wake up early tomorrow…I mean, today! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and reading my ramblings. Oh, and thanks for pretending you didn’t notice the typos and grammar mistakes I’m sure are all around this post—I shouldn’t be writing, you see; I should be sleeping!! 😀

Spotlight on Amanda Green – Interview with Author of ‘My Alien Self: My Journey Back to Me’

 

Another amazing author today here, folks, and another one without a picture! 🙂 Instead, we have her logo – A locked Pandora box – chosen because she put all her bad memories away in the Pandora box of her mind and locked them away now.

She tells all about her journey in her inspirational book – ‘My Alien Self: My Journey Back to Me‘.

I’m really excited to have Amanda Green here, especially because it’s OCD awareness week and World mental health day tomorrow, and all her work is meant to stop the stigma surrounding mental illness.

So, let’s learn more about her!

Please, tell us a little about yourself.

I am Amanda Green, author of ‘My Alien Self – My Journey Back To Me’, my memoir of my journey through travel, excitement, normality and mental illness to find myself again. I want to inspire others that it is possible to recover and have a life worth living. Because I grew up with my mother having severe Schizophrenia, who had been incarcerated in psychiatric hospitals for years, and felt the bullying and loneliness that stigma can spread, I campaign to stop the stigma surrounding mental illness. I also felt the wrath of stigma when I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder. Many people do not understand mental illness, so judge people unfairly. So I created www.amandagreenauthor.co.uk where I publish articles on the topics covered in my story, including self help, depression, bankruptcy, Alcohol/drug abuse, family and relationships, sexual, physical and mental abuse, anxiety, anger, Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), self harm, Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), Anorexia Nervosa/Bulimia, mindfulness, panic, rape, Schizophrenia, pychosis, Suicidal thoughts, , paranoia, dissociation, mood disorder, thyroid issues and psychology.

I love photography, writing and looking after my many websites, and have had my work published in magazines. I enjoy the challenge of getting published and very much enjoy doing my own PR, which is why I chose to self publish to kindle in this first instance.

I will be working with mental health charities, magazines, newspapers, social networking and other PR projects, actively making people aware of this disorder through every means possible through the media. But also, I hope that my book will help other sufferers and their families and friends to understand BPD and mental health and how to help oneself to feel better. I want to raise awareness to the general public about mental illness and the stigma sufferers have to deal with. I am going to continue writing through fact and fiction storytelling, on the genre of Mental Health and love stories – facing and combating adversity as the main point. (not self help books, but based on reality)

I hope that Doctors and the medical industry involved with mental health will benefit from reading my story, as it unfolds what it is like to suffer from debilitating mental illness from the inside out and how it manifests itself.

But I have also written this book in an autobiographical, yet novel style, in the hope that this will be a compelling and sometimes shocking read for anyone interested in memoirs with a twist, so that I can reach more people.

I really hope to encourage more celebrities to come out about BPD or other mental illnesses.

Outside of work, I love eating out and reviewing restaurants, travel, days out, campaigning for the precious Orang-utan and the issues of unsustainable palm oil production, running six websites of my own and seeing my family. I also enjoy reading, theatre, films, TV and cooking and when I can calm my mind down, just relaxing!

How long have you been writing?

Since I was very young – I loved writing short stories and rhyming poems. Then, when I was fourteen I began writing in depth diaries/journals.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

I am not sure if it was my first story, but when I was nine I wrote a story about a scary house in the middle of a forest. It was in first person and I was trying to get inside the house yet I was very frightened.

Can you tell us two eccentricities about yourselves?

Mmm, well, I like to behave child like every so often. It just comes to me. I think it stops me from getting stressed – mucking about and joking and dancing around. It’s fun! And I think my mental illness has made me very eccentric at times – particularly OCD traits.

What was the best thing you’ve ever heard (or read) from a reader?

A few people, actually, have written reviews for my memoir or tweeted me, to tell me how much my book helped them to understand their mental illness, made them feel less alone, gave them hope and inspired them that they can recover. I also felt humbled by a comment from a psychiatric nurse who told me that I had given her a lot of food for thought regarding her patients and that she was now using the information and hints given in my book to further understand and empathize with her patients.

Do you have a good Indie author to recommend?

Yes, Terry Tyler (@TerryTyler4) – she writes novels and is becoming very popular.  She also encouraged me to do my five day free promotion, which I did as part of my anti-stigma campaign.  1200 people downloaded my book in five days so I was really pleased to have spread the word.

Who inspired and/or supported you to become a writer?

I inspired myself mainly, as I had started writing my story more fully in 2006.  However, when I was in the depths of my mental illness, I read ‘Get me out of here’ by Rachel Reiland and ‘Buddha and Borderline’ by Kiera Van Gelder and they helped me so much – I felt less alone with my illness and they helped me to gain some insights and ideas for getting better.   I then felt that my story could maybe help others in the same way and, in the years to come, if I could get better by writing it (cathartic approach) it would be even better.  And, luckily, it worked!

Do you have a WIP (Working in progress)? If so, can you tell us a little about it?

Not exactly…  But, I am journaling my life still – my progress with college, moving on, logging my mental health symptoms (negative and positive), writing articles for my website on mental health.  It may well be that I use these, plus further writing to put together a follow up book to ‘My Alien Self: My Journey Back to Me’.  Like a ‘life after mental illness’.

Do you like to interact online? What’s your favorite social media?

Oh yes I love it!  I especially like Twitter where I chat to like minded people, find out new information, can promote my book, can help inspire others with mental illness and I can retweet things of interest.
I also like face book where I am a little more personal, sharing photos, petitions, campaigns, chat with friends through messaging, join a few private groups of interest, share posts from my website and news about my book, and ‘like’ and share other people inspirational quotes, stories or jokes.
I am also registered to and use writing websites, such as Goodreads and Authonomy, as outlined below.

How do you feel about marketing your books?

I love marketing my book as I have a long background of self marketing.  It gives me confidence when I know I am reaching people through my own efforts and I tend to be fairly creative with my plans and actions.

Please, give us all your links – where can your readers find you and your books?

Twitter https://twitter.com/AmandaGreenUK

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/AmandaGreenAuthor

                  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amanda-Green-My-Alien-Self-my-journey-back-to-me/268350159908283?fref=ts

My profile and book on Authonomy http://authonomy.com/writing-community/profile/0d1a1426-08a7-4f2f-b9b6-b6bf1ff19d8c/amanda-green-author-uk/

My book on Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Alien-Self-Journey-ebook/dp/B0087HBUWU/ref=pd_rhf_ee_p_t_1

My author profile on Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Amanda-Green/e/B0087O89QS/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

My book on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/My-Alien-Self-Journey-ebook/dp/B0087HBUWU/ref=la_B0087O89QS_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349524223&sr=1-1

My author profile on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Green/e/B0087O89QS/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_2

My profile and book on Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6525174.Amanda_Green

My book on Kindle Amazon where my readers leave notes and comments on my memoir https://kindle.amazon.com/work/my-alien-self-journey-ebook/B0087O8A12/B0087HBUWU

My website www.amandagreenauthor.co.uk

On my website/blog I write articles on:

  • Mental illness – information, coping skills and sharing my own experiences of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), OCD, depression, anxiety and my mums schizophrenia
  • Book reviews of other books
  • Information and snippets from my own memoir
  • My mental health and anti-stigma campaign
  • Being a writer and self publishing

Cover ‘Designed by Stuart Bache’ – www.stuartbache.co.uk

 Edited by Debz Hobbs-Wyatt – www.debzhobbs-wyatt.co.uk

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Amanda! It was truly a pleasure to have you here. What you have to say is absolutely important, and I hope I’ve helped to spread the word about your campaign today.

And readers, don’t go anywhere! Stay tuned for next interview.

  • If you’re an author and want to be in my spotlight, contact me!

 

Living and Writing with ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder

I’ve been working on this blog for a week or two now. I wanted it to be a visual expression of my writing style.
I’m pretty happy with the result. I look at this layout and can see it’s ME.

Then came the difficult part: actually posting on it.

You see, the problem has a name…Procrastination.
It’s not totally my fault, and I hate doing it. But I have ADD—Attention Deficit Disorder.

You may find out more about it here: http://psychcentral.com/addquiz.htm. (The quiz is practically describing me).

Basically, it’s very difficult to focus because  my mind is constantly shifting from one random thing to another. I daydream all the time—so much it’s difficult to actually dream, since I have trouble turning off my brain to sleep. I know most authors procrastinate, but it’s not a matter of choice when you have ADD. You procrastinate without noticing, or without wanting to.

I want to write. I feel creative. I have so many thoughts popping up on my mind at the same time it makes me dizzy sometimes… So I go check my emails, my book reports on Amazon, my twitter, my Facebook page…anything. All the time thinking of the amazing things I’m going to write next.
Then I finally open my word document or my dashboard to write and…I cannot focus. I keep thinking of my emails, my book reports on Amazon, etc.

My mind is always in a different place, never where it should be. It can be maddening and happens all the time.

I’ve been living like this my entire life. I don’t like taking medication because I usually have all the side effects and little (if any) of the benefits. So I try to control it on my own.

It’s been more than three decades, and I like to think I’m better each day. But far from perfect; it takes a lot of daily effort and it can be overwhelming sometimes.

The great thing is that now there’s a name for it. When I was growing up I was just distracted, lazy and a little crazy, perhaps. Now it’s easier to explain, at least.

My grandmother—may God bless her soul—was just like me, so I believe she had ADD too. I can only imagine how difficult it was for her growing up like that in the thirties.

My daughter is the same —even more, actually. Imagine our house—two absent-minded living together. It leads to some funny situations, but also to a lot of stress sometimes. We say “how many times have I told you…” countless times during the day. And it’s absolutely useless, because when you have ADD, you may hear the same thing thousands of times and think it’s brand new information.

And that’s when you understand what they said. When people are talking, no matter how interested I am, it’s usual for me to realize I’m miles away. My mind drifts. I can see their mouths moving, but I have no idea what is being said. Or the words that I do listen don’t make any sense.

It’s embarrassing to ask someone to repeat something, right? How about doing that five, six, ten times, and still don’t understand what the hell is she/he saying? It’s beyond frustrating.

It used to drive me crazy, to make me angry with myself.

But I learned to give me a break. I’m what I am, and I’m not sorry for it anymore. Life’s been a lot easier since then.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m still trying to improve. But I realized that I shouldn’t  punish myself when I fail on focusing. It’s beyond me sometimes. Instead of being angry when I fail, I try to reward myself when I succeed.

I’m overjoyed to remember little things. To focus and read, watch or write for more than half hour. To have a full conversation (more than ten minutes is a triumph) with someone. To really listen to a person for a while without interrupting or trying to finish his or her sentences.

I proudly give myself a tap on the back when I go to the kitchen and remember what I was supposed to do there. When I open Google and remember what I was going to search. When I don’t have to stop mid-sentence because I have no clue about what I was going to say.

It’s easy to look stupid and live angry with yourself when you have ADD. I did that for many years. Now I understand the disorder  as a mixed blessing—it makes me creative, it makes me the way I am, and it makes me work harder than most to keep me on track. It makes me stronger.

So if you’re in the same boat, try to be happy for the small victories. Try to laugh at your failures.

Things are going to work out. Even if it takes longer than expected.

Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.
– Don Marquis