February News Flash and other stories

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year! I'm a little behind as Chinese New Year was February 3rd, but that's because I'm pretty busy. I worked on three new paintings these past two weeks. I posted them on Facebook and received some good comments!

The Art Studios to which I belong is planning an exhibit called "Visual Melodies" at the Unitarian Church from late April to May. I may be asked to give a talk there about my recovery from mental illness and my book. Also this month, I am speaking at an occupational therapists conference to over two hundred attendees about "how rehabilitation aided my recovery." I plan to use powerpoint and speak about my book. I am also speaking to pharmacy students and giving an author's reading at a Burnaby library in March.

On Goodreads, I met a fellow writer, Kevin Alan Lee, who lives near Vancouver. He also has schizophrenia and wrote a book about it. His book The Split Mind: Schizophrenia from an Insider's Point of View reveals not only his experiences but information about stigma, social problems and policies. Interesting comparison to say the least. His book will be released February 28th.

I've also been meeting indie writers on BestsellerBound and Goodreads. I asked if some of them were interested in entering the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest to win a publishing contract with Penguin Books. One fellow said the contract was regular boilerplate and nothing special. Another person said, she had entered before, but would rather let her book speak for itself rather than be based on a pitch for voting. So I learned that many of my fellow writers enjoy so much being the captain of their own ship, maintaining control over all aspects of their books: writing, book cover design, promotion and distribution. Self-publishing is the choice of many.

I'm the editor of Majestic, an online newsletter for Lit.org, a writer's forum. Recently, the forum changed ownership. The founder of the website has returned! So I'm curious what changes there will be to not only the forum but for Majestic. It's a time of transition.

I find myself obsessing about future outcomes and spending a lot of time on the computer. So my aim is to leave the house and do something different! Rome wasn't built in a day. Taking small steps causes less stress. Expectation shouldn't rule my thinking. I would like to have faith that things will work out. Things that don't, maybe weren't meant to be. But learning something or seeing the silver lining is beneficial.

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