On World Mental Health Day – Dandelions, Depression & Desperate marketing

Book Cover resize (2)(Please note – this is not just a sales pitch for a great cause! I include some poems to add value so bear with me…..)

I am proud to say that today is the first anniversary of the publication of Dandelions and Bad Hair Days, the book of wonderfully creative and heartfelt life-writing, poetry and photographs on the subject of depression and anxiety. More than twenty people allowed me to use the pieces they had provided for the monthly mental health blog post I ran on No wriggling and I am terribly proud to be its editor.

To celebrate World Mental Health Day (the launch of the book was planned to mark it last year) I have reduced the price of the Kindle version of the book by half to raise awareness and get it up the charts and royalties on the ebook mean that even with a price of £1.53 more than a £1 goes to mental health charity SANE. To go direct to buy (please!) click HERE. If you would like a copy of the paperback (and a chance to see Nettie Edwards’ great photos which we couldn’t replicate in the ebook) it is just £5.99, but I have a few copies I can send at a reduced price of £4.50, dedicated if you wish. Just leave a comment below for more details.

It has been SO hard to keep the marketing going though. As all the profits go to charity everyone involved is working to promote it alongside the day job. Writer Vivienne Tuffnell, who provided the piece that gave us the wonderful title to the book, has done wonders, and writes today of her positive feelings about her involvement with it on her blog Zen and the art of tightrope walking. I have heard from so many other people who wrote for Dandelions about how it has helped them discuss their depression or anxiety with friends or family and how great it has been to see their work in print. But it wasn’t all about us. It has seven, genuine, 5* reviews on Amazon and comments have been lovely from those with their own experiences or professionals working in the field of mental health. It is a great feeling BUT WE WILL NEVER HAVE SOLD ENOUGH and if anyone can help spread the word we would all be so very grateful.

To bribe you I am doing something I always find it hard to resist, including a poem. Well two actually. The first is by Robert Frost, the great American poet, who had his own battles with depression and this poem expresses that feeling of isolation so well:

Acquainted with the Night

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain — and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
A luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night. 

The second is by Vivienne Tuffnell, from Dandelions, and for me it is a wonderful companion to the Frost poem, offering hope in that darkness.  Thanks for everything Viv…

Like a cold wind

Like a cold wind on a summer’s day
Raising a crop of goose-flesh;
Like a cloud across the sun’s face
Turning the day into sudden twilight,
I feel the change inside me
And I wait to see if the cloud may pass.

Like the sudden silence before a storm,
The birds that cease to sing;
Like the eerie stillness of wild-life
Before the earth shakes and the sea flees,
I hear the roar of the angry waves
Rushing towards me to engulf the land.

Like the blank blink in the bully’s eye
The second before he raises a fist;
Like the juddering engine before it stalls
Leaving you stranded at the lights,
It warns of worse to come
And teaches you how to duck.

When the fog comes floating in from the sea
It’s time to sit down and wait
Turn on the lights, wrap up warm
Stay just where you are; do not fight.
For like fog, and darkness and the bully’s wrath
This too, like all things, shall pass.

Dandelions and Bad Hair Days is  published by Dotterel Press at £5.99 in paperback and by Dotterel and Mickleden Press at £1.53 (for a limited period to mark the anniversary) on Amazon Kindle.
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4 Responses to On World Mental Health Day – Dandelions, Depression & Desperate marketing

  1. Viv says:

    I didn’t know the Frost poem; it says it so well. Rather tearful reading it here.

  2. Meri Walker says:

    Nettie has just shared a link to the Dandelions book and her own post on your blog, Susie. What a wonderful effort this is!! I’m across the ocean so I can’t help with the UK effort for mental health, but I’m buying a Kindle copy today here in the US and will certainly share the links with folks in a group I’m facilitating in my local YMCA on Aging and Loss. It’s really about mental health, of course, but we’re not calling it that…

    Bravo! I look forward to reading the book and your blog.

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