Just a quick blog post to download some thoughts in my head. I went for a walk today and stopped to take a pic of this bloom. I think it's a magnolia blossom. The buds are fuzzy. It's really important to get some exercise in as self-care, when working on projects like writing books.
I have only two more chapters to edit/re-write out of 31 for my memoir. All going well, I'm on track to self-publish it next month. I wanted to include a little bit about why I change my name, in case I edit it out (if I have way more pages than expected when do further formatting).
Why did I name myself Xanthe?
In my semiauthobiographical novel, Pet Purpose: Your Unspoken Voice, the character changed her name, for similar reasons that I did. Only, I'd given her a fictious name, hence invented different inspirations (which were actually still inspirations, indirectly).
I added this to my memoir, last night:
Xanthe Wyse started out as a blogging name, after I’d won a major prize in an Australasian writing competition, about mental health. The first time I heard the name, ‘Xanthe’, was on television. A cheerful woman who was wearing a bright yellow T-shirt. Xanthe means yellow. I chose a character name as a last name. My name means ‘yellow insight’ or ‘golden wisdom’. Yellow usually symbolises ‘Xanthe’ or ‘mania’ in my art.
Later, when my previous name became a trauma trigger, I legally changed my name to Xanthe Wyse. My name change certificate and new passport arrived when I was in a psychiatric unit. I flew into Australia under my birthname then flew out as my chosen name.
Anyway, I am listening to Sunny while writing this. I wouldn't care less for this song, had it not been a song from my childhood. I did some processing to it though, a while back. Including writing some lyrics on a record. Or more accurately, I painted the snippets of the lyrics with paint pens. That's why the words are legible, as have to paint slowly with paint pens. My journals, in contrast are a mess.
When I heard 'I love you' in the song, I shed a few tears. I remembered where the record was, so dug it out. It was part of a sculpture for an exhibition. I expect I will describe why I made this sculpture in my sequel novel, so won't try explain here.
I do know though, that the scratches on the record were from a knife, respresenting post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD. Like getting stuck on a scratch in a record, over and over. Then, the colour of bipolar kind of disguised it for a bit.
Anyway, I am Sunny in my art. I also remember that Sunny is linked to Sun to son for my son. Anyway, I am tangenting a bit, which is what happens both when I process and when I create.
I guess the gist of what I am trying to say here is that my creative process has given me purpose. I have transformed the pain into something colourful and meaningful and I hope that others will be inspired too.
Final polishing of memoir
My goal is to self-publish my memoir, Bipolar Courage: Are you sure you're not autistic? in September 2023, in spring in New Zealand. It's about an intense connection with an autistic man, and the subtitle is what he'd asked me, during one of our clashes.
I just felt like I wanted to mention a few things here, in case I discard some parts.
It's currently partially formatted and now all in one piece. The formatting is indented paragraphs, a table of contents, headers and page breaks. I know how many words I'm currently looking at but I don't know how that will translate when I reduce the margins for book size. I can have a guestimate but I don't want the book to be too thick. Yet, it's still long enough to go into depth and complexities. Yet, I still want for it to be a mostly light and entertaining read.
A trusted friend is currently reading the manuscript and the feedback is: 'It's a compelling read.' This friend doesn't know any of the people in it. I've also disguised everyone with vagueness, as it's about social media friendships. The focus is an unconventional love story, that only came about because of the advocacy journey.
I have put the manuscript through a writing app (which doesn't pick up everything by the way). My friend has noticed a few missed words here and there. Bipolar Courage is my best writing effort since Pet Purpose.
I am hoping to have it ready to print out by the end of the month. Some things will be noticed in print that weren't noticed on screen. Then I'll need to look up how to do the ebook conversion etc. I wrote it down somewhere, as I forget how to do things I don't do often.
I still have the cover to design, with something in mind (cut up pieces of art, relevant to the story).
Anyway, I type pretty fast, and my mind usually goes pretty fast, so my blog post has turned out longer than I expected.