Thank you NNDC – What a great experience!

We just returned from the NNDC national convention in Chicago.

What an amazing organization! And what a gorgeous hotel! Wow! Our first national conference was thrilling, eye-opening and we will forever have a boatload of fond memories. I am still in awe of their fine organization, the gorgeous Palmer Hilton in Chicago and the doctors, clinicians and consumers.

Also, Kathleen Stevens, NNDC wonderwoman, and her daughter Heather are two new friends which is icing on the cake. We’ll be in Ann Arbor as soon as we can to hang-out with them. (There’s the little matter of finishing two books first, but they’re at the top of our “to do travel” list!)

Here we are in the program! Woop woop!


The bottom reads: Reception Featuring Lived Exprience Guests Wendy K Williamson & Honora Rose Authors of “Two Bipolar Chicks Guide for Survival — Tips for Living With Bipolar Disorder”

Here is the program cover. UIC was the host.


Here is Nora speaking. She did a phenomenal job! I don’t have a picture of me, sorry to say. Will post if Kathleen has one. Nora was a superstar and hopefully I had something worthy to say too. It’s helpful to remember we are a team effort from consumer to doctor to families and all were represented here. It reminds me how critical this circle is.


 We sat at a table, in awe, as we revised our speeches and ate lunch. Writers and editors, you know we couldn’t leave our prepared speeches alone! We arrived at the ballroom just in time to set-up our table (books) and get upstairs to change and charge my phone for the square. (You know those cute little white squares that accept credit cards. What clever little gizmos!)

Here is main floor of the hotel. Couldn’t you just live there? I wouldn’t mind all the people coming and going around me. Just send me water and let me plug-in my laptop please! 🙂


And by the way, wouldn’t you know it that the ballroom was called the HONORE Ballroom! Tell me, what’re the odds it was close to Nora’s full name? Crazy I tell you, crazy. When we checked-in she laughed, pointing it out on the way to the elevators, not having any idea we’d be speaking there the following night. Spooky! (Sorry, I’m in to my Halloween vocabulary right about now.)

Thank you to my Heather. (See below.) We left from the hotel together, set up the table together and she helped keep my wits about me. The best part is it’s nice to know I made a friend, a sister and I have a child too all wrapped up into one. (I always wanted kids!!!!Ha ha! Now I officially feel old. And what a whiz she is with technology, working the Square like nobody’s business!)  We couldn’t decide which we were to each other so I’ll take all three; it’s three times as fun. And her real Mom, Kathleen. What a pair! Friends for life.

This was the day at UIC or UCI (please forgive my cognitively impaired brain….)  That was a lot of fun, to hear bits and pieces of the latest research from the brainiac doctors. They rolled them off like pros. Meanwhile I thought ‘tonight will be a lot different. I hope they are ready to hear ours!’  But I think they understand we are different beasts, doctors and patients. As Kathleen said, “they look forward to the ‘lived experience’ portion of the conference.”  GULP.

Thank you Heather. She was so helpful with sales...even on her phone! :)

I highly suggest if you’re an author, that you enlist the help of a “Heather” – ie: a very special person, preferably one who is tied to your cause and comes with a lint brush and a smile. (or if you both forget a link brush, a smile is all you really need!) He or she is someone you may know or one you may become friends with. The main requirement – if you are lucky enough – is that they have a smile to calm you, personality to cheer you and a way of taking over when you are overwhelmed.


Gratefully, we sold a lot of books using Kathleen’s idea to bundle them. Our “bipolar chicks” was the most popular one which consisted of my first book, the memoir and our Two Bipolar Chicks book. What a bahgain –yes, misspelled on purpose — at only $28.00. And boy, could Heather sell them! Meanwhile, I while sat there like a deer in headlights. Duh. What am I doing here? You hate to pimp out your books.

I have to say, it was handy to be near the dessert end of the buffet. Captive audience. I highly recommend it and will remember this for next time. It was an ideal placement!

What a whirl of two days! We made new friends, found a highly respectable new non-profit that are pioneers and traveled to the windy city again. We got to eat deep dish from Chicago’s best but don’t ask me the name. Again, I claim cognitive impairment. Whether it is from my meds or ECT, I’ll stop trying to guess which one of these days. Truth is, there is no difinitive answer.

By the way, on a side note, we came back to being highlighted in Huff Post’s Greg Archer’s blog. Thanks for the shout out, Greg! One of my favorite writers mentioned us on Huff Post.  Scroll down about halfway and poof: there we are!

Thanks ever to the NNDC and Kathleen Stevens. I’m on board with whatever you want to do – and need – from the Two Bipolar Chicks in the future. Keep doing your fantastic work, research and plowing through to get us to a better tomorrow. Lord knows we need it!

Peace out Chi town.


11 thoughts on “Thank you NNDC – What a great experience!

  1. I’m thrilled that the conference went well for you gals! You’ve worked so hard, & you deserve every bit of success. It’s wonderful that you made some personal connections that will last far longer than the conference. The hotel looks amazing too. So proud of you!!!!!

    • Thanks, Dyane! It was very stressful but everything went so smoothly. I can’t complain! THe hotel WAS gorgeous oh my gosh. I could sit there and write away…just feed me water, some food and give me an outlet for my laptop! I’d do it all again in a heartbeat! Thank you for your encouragement. Now, let’s get you that win for best blogger! You are leading, I believe. Closest is the lyme blogger…behind by a lot. I didn’t go through all of them….time is of the essence. I believe this is destined to be yours. Keep at it! 🙂 You deserve it more than anyone. And we can’t let lyme win….bipolar affects more ppl! (Love your daughters testimonial by the way!!!) 🙂

      • I am in second, Wen…Cancerhawk got over 300 endorsements in 2 days due to her huge following…I was bummed, but I will not give up!!!! I want to place so much!!! 🙂

      • Bipolar and cancer are both worthy causes – God knows you and I know it – but it’s time for bipolar to have a turn in the spotlight. Cancerhawk is a popular HuffPo writer with a big following, as I mentioned, and a moving story – her husband died at 47 of cancer and she has helped a lot of people. I looked at all the other blog profiles & she’s above 300 votes, I’m at 215, and the next one is Lyme hovering around 100. I’m hoping to stay at 2nd place or if there’s a miracle, somehow overtake into 1st! (Can you tell I’m competitive?) I wrote a press release a few weeks ago and at least one of my three local papers (and it’s the best one, in my opinion) will write a piece about it, as I know the managing editor. That would garner community support. I also asked the Intl. Bipolar Foundation to include a mention in their next e-letter & they said ok. I’ve done a few other things too….I’ll keep tryin’!!!! :)))))))

    • Not until Jan 31st, 2015!!! I wish the dealine was next week, my friend! I wonder why they make the endorsing period sooooooooooooooooooooooooo long? Do you know the rationale?

  2. Hmmm…no i don’t. I don’t know when it started, either. Maybe to give everyone a chance? Why don’t you re-do or “refashion” your post about your father or do your first post-partum post to Huff Post and mention at the end that you are nominated for best blog? Leave a line saying.
    “If you liked this post, you can vote for Dyane at Wego Health for Best BLogger here: (with link). just an idea….

    • Oooh, I DO like that idea quite a bit, Wendy.! I’d hope that the Huff folks wouldn’t care if I did the self-plug about WEGO! The worst-case scenario is that they’d delete it, right? I’d love to refashion the post about my Dad. Maybe I’d take some of the death/NDE (near-death experience) stuff out and submit it @ 500 words-ish. That would be so amazing to have them publish it. I’m gonna hit you up for an edit!

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