Mental Health and Wellbeing In Schools

One of the nicest things about having a blog is that it provides a recorded history, similar to journal writing. I can see that I’ve not written here for almost six months!
At the time of my last blog I wrote about looking for an illustrator for my young adult book, “It’s an Inside-Out World.” The project has since evolved to help school age children find greater mental health and wellbeing in schools and in their daily lives.
Over the course of six months, I learned a great deal. Not only technical aspects of self publishing on Amazon and Kindle, but also what it takes to complete a big project and to collect the right team of people to see it through.

I feel incredibly blessed to have found the right team along the way, with very little effort on my part — a great deal of time, focus, concentration and energy perhaps, but it was mostly an enjoyable project that felt like I was simply putting one foot in front of the other, rather than working hard to accomplish a goal.

In fact, it was never a goal of mine to write a book, much less an illustrated book for youths! The story line literally fell in my lap and then I had no choice but to follow through, or so it seemed.

I think of myself as the scribe and the project manager, rather than the author. The author was the sum total of all the people and parts that made it come together in the end. I woke up one morning with the story in my head; it didn’t feel as though I had dreamed it, but there it was begging to be told. What else could I have done but sit right down at my computer and put fingers to keyboard to write what was already in my head?

Enter all the angels who seemingly swooped down to let me know that as miraculous as the unsolicited delivery of a story may seem, it still needed to be honed. I have Jack Pransky to thank for that, as well as Judy Sedgeman who woke me up to the fact that youths no longer use a phone other than to text, face time, or for social media….more revamping. A young woman who was sixteen at the time, now seventeen, helped me revise words to sound the way teens talk these days. I joined an authors’ forum where I found a wonderful team of illustrators in India, and my formatter, Caroline Frechette, in Canada. Caroline knows more about writing and publishing in the young adult world than anyone I could imagine. She has written books for this age range, won awards and she is also a librarian, along with being quite brilliant. Jyll Kashmann, my trusty editor, who finds typos in the NYT, rounded out the team. A team of angels.

I had a few humbling experiences. One night (actually, it was in the wee hours of the morning) I had a go-round with my on-line illustrator in India. Our thread was about measurements and dpi and resolution, as I recall. I was incredibly impressed with her patience and kindness even when I was clueless about many things. The whole project seemed magical. It came out of nowhere and has a life of it’s own which lead to helping young people find peace and satisfaction in their lives and in schools.

I’m honored to have wound up here. To top it off, I was recently invited to participate in a global call of educators involved in bringing the inside-out perspective to schools and none of them knew I that I had written this book. That goes beyond synchronicity. I’m not even sure how I got invited.

I know that anyone can write a book or complete any project they feel passionate about. How fortunate we are to experience life as creative beings and to know that when we hit a rough spot we can catch our breath, regroup, and begin again.

The book seems to be for the Young Adult age range, maybe eleven to seventeen, to help them understand how to access their innate health and well being during troubling times. I’ve received feedback from adults who have read a pre-published copy, that “it will be an appealing read for adults as well.”

Now for a little commercial to help spread this understanding among youngsters and those who work with them…I hope you will consider pre-ordering a digital copy that you can view on any device, even your smartphone just by downloading the Kindle app. You will be notified when it becomes available but the price increases once the pre-orders are filled. Here is the link for you: “It’s an Inside-Out World!” If you’ve been struggling with a project of your own, I hope this blog has inspired you to take a breath, regroup, and start again!