Category: Video

My Beautiful Psychosis Book Cover

My Beautiful Psychosis Book CoverIt’s been decided. I’m self publishing! After a despairing 6 months of sending out proposals to agents, looking for someone else to believe in me, and receiving either rejections or worse still, no response at all, I’m setting off on the next phase of this challenging journey.

I sent a total of 34 proposals out: 18 of which received rejections and 16 I never heard back from. The standard response went something like this:

“Thank you for sending us this material, but I’m afraid it isn’t suitable for us. I’m sorry to disappoint, and wish you luck with your future writing.”

Only one agent gave me feedback as to why they didn’t go for it:

“Thanks so much for contacting us. I’ve read the sample material with interest. While I liked the chapters I wasn’t sufficiently swept along by the narrative to know that I’d be the best advocate for the book.  Sorry!  Best of luck elsewhere.”

The email I cherished the most, which I devoured like a drop of rain in the desert, came from Cara at the HHB Agency:

“Dear Emma, Thank you for your submission to HHB. I enjoyed reading your work, you write well, with intensity and style. However, as a small agency we are only ever able to take on a limited number of authors and I am afraid in this instance, we were not able to take you work further. I wish you all the best.   All best, Cara”

One of the reasons I wanted to find a publisher was because I felt I wanted support to get the book out into the world. It is an entirely different process from writing the actual thing and requires very different skills. I’ve come to accept that I’m going to have to climb that particular mountain alone.

Thankfully there is help online at every step of the way.

The first thing I’ve done is to learn about cover design. I had a meeting with a graphic designer friend who very humbly said she wasn’t up for the job. I found a designer online, called Derek Murphy, who shared the secrets to designing a bestselling book cover. I’ve talked with bookshop assistants to find out what they think. I’ve played with different ideas and now, with a drum roll, I unveil the cover of my first book.

 

A huge thanks goes to artist Adriane Vinter from Norway for permission to use her image ‘Straight Jacket’.

Revolution in Psychiatric Services

Peer Supported Open Dialogue is revolutionising the way people are treated in the mental health services.  It’s being introduced by Dr Russell Razzaque author of the radical book Breaking Down Is Waking Up.  And I only know about it because Green Lane Films (my production company) was asked to film it.  So my personal and professional life have finally joined and had children!  And this video is the offspring.

 

 

Melinda Messenger features in this clip that I shot at the Open Dialogue Conference in London earlier this year. Melinda is doing a Transpersonal Psychotherapy training and is the Patron of the UK Spiritual Crisis Network.

If you want to know more about Peer Supported Open Dialogue sign up to the POD Bulletin.

Morecambe & Wise Breakfast Sketch

“It’s so good to be home where I can potter around, make healthy meals and listen to the radio. I have it on as a soundtrack to my cooking. Like the classic Morecambe and Wise breakfast sketch where they dance to the striptease tune, I move around to the music. Taking a side step and sliding my other foot, Tango like, to join my first, before opening the cupboard door. Reaching for a pan and twisting to the hob and placing it deliberately on the beat. My every move is a dance, connected through the fabric of space, to the rhythm of the Universe. Even when the radio is switched off, I still feel the pulsing of life taking me as its partner.”

 

 

Poem: “Normal” Åsmund Seip

A warm and heartfelt welcome all New Subscribers!

I met Norwegian Performance Poet, Artist and Love Activist Åsmund Seip at a poetry evening in Totnes.

I was impressed with how he came to write his book of poetry:  He wrote one poem every day for 10 days—a practice of honesty and vulnerability. 10 days became 100 days, which eventually became the book 100 Days of Love

My ears pricked up when I first heard the line ‘I just want to be Normal!’  I’ve thought the very same thing.  Towards the end of each episode, I just want the whole ride to end and feel normal again.  I want to get back to work making films and going to the cinema and hanging out in cafes.  Each episode lasts up to six weeks, and during that time I have to keep away from the crazy fast paced world of modern human industrial life.  I’m best communing with the awesome power of trees and animals.

At the end of the poetry reading, Åsmund gifted each of us in the audience with his newly published book.  This inspired me to make him a film for him.  I hope you enjoy it!

Video Emma Reads Chapter 3

Here’s the final instalment of the reading of My Beautiful Psychosis planned for the Kingsbridge Inn event which was cancelled.  This is actually the first chapter I wrote of the book.  But then I realised it needed a bit of background to the insomnia hence chapter 1 and chapter 2.  What do you think?  Is this a better place to start from?

Video Emma Reads Chapter 2

This is the next chapter that I was hoping to read at the cancelled event in November.  The narrative voice is changing.  The plot moves on a little and I set up the first fall to/from Grace.  It points towards Cannabis as being the original culprit in the whodunit of my so-called Psychosis.  Cannabis skunk is so much stronger and more psychoactive than ‘normal’ weed.  This is where a lot of readers may get stuck and imagine that the rest is all because of this.  Maybe it is…maybe there’s more to come…

My questions is – is this a better place to start the book from?  Is Chapter 1 necessary?  Please let me know your view as it will help me construct the book so that it works best for you – dear reader!  Let me know your thoughts…

Video Emma Reads Chapter 1

So here’s the next instalment that I was hoping to read at the Kingsbridge Inn on 7th November.  Again it’s another query about whether it’s a good place to start the book from.  You might feel it’s not relevant and just titillating but I can assure you there is good reason to start from here which will be exposed later in the book.  Opinions please on this blog or Facebook comment very welcome.  And again I’m feeling very vulnerable to share this because it’s of a sexual nature but a smaller audience now is great help for a wider audience later.  If you started reading from here, given the book’s title, what would you think?  Irrelevant?  Teasing?  Get to the point!  Remember there’s mostly a readership related to mental health interests…

Video Emma Reads Chapter 0

So I was thinking about how my book reading at the Kingsbridge Inn had to be cancelled (thanks Toni for handling that).  Then I thought – hey I’ll video it for you all to see online instead.  And bonus – I won’t have the extreme nerves I’d expect from doing it in the flesh.

Elizabeth Diamond, the woman who’s helping me with my book, doesn’t think this section should be included.  I’m not sure how I’ll resolve it…but here it is…to give you a flavour.  It’s VERY different from the rest of the book because the voice is not the me that appears later in my life/book.  Elizabeth thought that laying it out like this at the beginning will put off half the readers who are not spiritual in their beliefs.  I’ll leave that up to the publisher.  Maybe she’s right.  Draw more people in…on the psychosis theme and then BAM they get hit with the bigness of it all.

What do you think?

Please be gentle because it is excruciating for me to watch and sharing is probably the most vulnerable thing I’ll ever do.

 

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