DHAMT Featured on No Paine No Gain Blog and Runningdad Podcast

DHAMT Featured on No Paine No Gain Blog and Runningdad Podcast

Runner and proud father Noel Paine gave Depression Hates a Moving Target: How Running with My Dog Brought Me Back from the Brink a thumbs up on his blog, No Paine, No Gain.

Noel writes:


The book is very readable and flows easily. It is a book about Nita’s personal journey and how running and of course her dog help her through a tough time. A time – I refer to mental health. Like myself who struggled with depression for a period, she uses lacing to help her get to a good place. I finished the book and liked what I read – I was able to relate, like dreading about her struggles with running, life, weight etc. The story is real, human and written with heart.

This is a book I think any runner will like and especially those beginner runners and those who run and who have or currently battle for positive mental health. Well written Nita!

Read the full review!

He also generously interviewed me on Runningdad Podcast on May 10, 2019. Listen here!

Noel is the author of Talking Running: Stories, Profiles, and Conversations with the Running Community. Be sure to follow him on Twitter at “Runningdad has a running book!”

Thanks again, Noel!


Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links.


Instagram for (Introverted) Writers

“Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” ~ David Terrar quoting newspaper editor Arthur Brisbane in Brisbane’s 1911 discussion of journalism and publicity

One of the challenges of being an introverted author is the need for a continuous social media presence. I’ve written before about loathing the feeling that I’m constantly shouting “Look at me!” to a room full of strangers. My latest challenge has been to make Instagram work for me. I love taking photos and Instagram allows me to post them directly from my phone. But what do readers want to see?

I thought about some of my favorite writers who have Instagram accounts. Anne LaMott, for example, posts photos of her dog and her loved ones and, in her typical honest fashion, her aging mind. She posts a few writing photos including a short video taken at a publisher’s office, but she primarily documents her life. With this in mind, I began to post on Instagram the kind of things I already (somewhat compulsively) document anyway.

My first posts were photos of me with famous runners: Amby Burfoot, Bart Yasso, and Meb Keflezighi.

When Scarlet, the #ninetyninepercentgooddog came into our lives, she became the subject. Well, that and the things she shreds.

As a joke, I documented a meal. Some folks criticize Instagram as a place where you go to see what everyone’s eating. But my followers enjoyed the food post so much that I transformed it into my beloved #whatwriterseat posts which, if I’d done my research, would have been #writingfuel. Nearly everything already has a hashtag. You just have to find it. In this series you’ll find food that Ed, (the #onehundredppercentgoodhusband) cooked, things I cooked (badly), lovely things restaurant chefs cooked, and things I ate during a really nasty upper respiratory infection aka the “hostage crisis” during which I didn’t leave our house for ten days.

Since both my life and my upcoming memoir, Depression Hates a Moving Target: How Running with My Dog Brought Me Back from the Brink, have a mental health theme, I post about depression and the tools I use to manage it. I include running photos of the trail or my group or Scarlet trying to eat my hat. I show brain training photos since neurofeedback (another name for brain training) sits in my mental health tool kit along with running, therapy, and medication. I haven’t yet taken a photo of me in either my therapist or psychiatrist’s office, but don’t put it past me.

I add the occasional writing photo mostly of my laptop in different locations to show my “office-of-the-day.” When the book was short-listed for the Faulkner Award, I documented our trip to New Orleans. But my personal favorite writing photo was the “final” (hahahaha – is it ever really done) draft of the book I submitted to my editor at Mango Publishing.

As it turns out, being a writer on Instagram is no different from being a writer in the rest of my life. As a reader, I want a glimpse inside the lives of the authors I love. With the tables turned, I’m offering my readers a view behind the scenes of mine.

Eventually, I’ll post a photo of the book cover. Maybe I’ll print the cover and post a second photo of me holding the cover. Then, one glorious day, I’ll post a photo of the book itself. After that, if I’m lucky, because I do have the best friends in the world, you’ll see photos of my friends reading the book. I do love to dream!

Not Time to Party Yet!

“If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” ~ T. S. Eliot

It’s official!

This morning I signed a contract with Mango Publishing to publish my re-titled memoir, Depression Hates a Moving Target: How Running with My Dog Brought me Back from the Brink.

Yes, I’m over the moon!

But it’s not time to party. Now the real work begins.

The editor made suggestions and I have my own ideas of what still needs work. I have until December 1st to submit a “final” draft. (Is any writing project ever final in the writer’s mind even after it’s published?) That will be edited and returned to me. I’ll make those additional revisions and then it will be submitted to the copy editor.

Boom! Boom! Boom! The published book is expected in Spring of 2019.

In the meantime, if it seems I’ve disappeared, my apologies. I’m head down, working, blinders on.

Don’t worry. I’ll keep you posted as developments occur.

We party in the Spring!!

Take Your Meds

Recently, a friend asked for my best writing advice. Her question brought me back to all the suggestions I’ve heard since 1994 when I first began my journey away from the practice of law and into the dark unknown of wordsmithing. Like me, she is bipolar.

Perhaps she expected me to talk about craft or motivation. Maybe she thought I would suggest a book or a course or some external structure to help her learn to put words on the page in the proper order. I’ve asked for all that myself and received many fabulous tips.

Instead, I told her, “Take your meds.”

She stared blankly at me so I continued.

“Do not stop. Do not go off them even if you are worried about weight gain or dampened emotions. Do not stop even if you fear they jeopardize your creativity. Take your meds. You cannot write if you’re dead.”

Her eyes opened wide. Yes. I had surprised and perhaps confused her. But she nodded.

I was, of course, remembering the times I’d quit taking the antidepressants and mood stabilizers I’ve been prescribed since 1994, about the same time I left the practice of law. Each time, stopping the meds seemed like a great idea. Even going on meds to begin with was a huge struggle. Why didn’t meditation fix me? Or recovery? Couldn’t I exercise my way into mental health? [That one still creeps into my mind occasionally.]

I specifically recalled three years in Taos when I’d tried to do mental health “the natural way” whatever that means. I tried Sam-E and long walks on the mesa with our two dogs. It wasn’t long before I was suicidal and so filled with anxiety that I could not bear to be alone. I rode with my husband through the Rio Grande Gorge to his evening classes in Santa Fe because I was so afraid of the darkness, most of which was in my mind.

And during each of the times I’d gone off my meds, I could not write at all. And once I went back on meds, it took a very long time to regain what I’d had before. I truly have lost entire years to this folly.

So, I’m not a doctor (but I am a lawyer – CYA alert) and your mileage may vary so please, consult your mental health professionals. Maybe you don’t need meds at all.

But if they have been prescribed, please take them. Please.

As I told my friend. Simply continue and you will find your path, but only if you take your meds.