New Risk! Story!

Authoress, call for submissions, news and goings-on, rapid-cycle bipolar disorder, three hopeful thoughts

Happy Caturday, readers!

Just wanted to post a quick update to let you know that I’m still here and that I finally got it together enough to whip up a demo for the lovely Kevin Allison of the Risk! podcast. I performed in the Live from Milwaukee show in November and he approached me shortly before Christmas to see if I wanted to do another story on growing up/living with bipolar disorder, which I instantly agreed to–unfortunately, life kept getting in the way and I kept procrastinating. Fortunately, the demo is complete and I’m just waiting on my potato-quality internet to send it off. 🙂

On a more personal note, I’m relocating with Paul to the Baltimore-ish area in about a month and a half and am really looking forward to scoping out the advocacy and storytelling scenes down there. Also, I really want to branch out and start interviewing/gathering stories from other people living with mental illness, so if anyone’s interested in participating, definitely reach out.

Big things ahead, readers! This girl is hungry.

Madlove: A Designer Asylum

a cure for what ails you, news and goings-on, three hopeful thoughts

I stumbled upon this article on Slate a few days ago and wanted to share it with all of you. There’s a project in the UK, run by James Ledbitter and Hannah Hull, called “Madlove: A Designer Asylum.”

From the article by Kristin Hohenadel:

Convinced that psychiatric wards’ bland, bad design directly affects patients like himself, Leadbitter and collaborator Hannah Hull spent months conducting workshops around the U.K. to crowdsource ideas from more than 300 patients, psychiatrists, architects, and designers on how to build visually appealing, patient-centered spaces in place of grim and institutional settings.

Leadbitter told me in an email that the feedback was wide-ranging, including one memorable comment from a young man in Birmingham, England, who said: “All I want is a room with Fabergé eggs and a hammer.”

"A sketch from Michael Duckett during a workshop in Newcastle, England, asking for ideas about what the ideal asylum would look like." (Courtesy of James Ledbitter) Retrieved from

“A sketch from Michael Duckett during a workshop in Newcastle, England, asking for ideas about what the ideal asylum would look like.” (Courtesy of James Ledbitter)
Retrieved from

I’ve never been hospitalized, partly due to my own stubbornness and partly due to my inability to handle the bill, but I recognize that psychiatric hospitals are of tremendous value when it comes to keeping people safe. True, they’re far from perfect, but it gives me hope to see projects like Madlove taking off.

If you’d like to learn more about the project, take a peek at the website (I love the layout).

In the process of doing some baby-research for this post, I found another article addressing the ideal environment in psychiatric hospitals. It’s a bit lengthier, but a good read if you have the time.

Readers – If you had to design the perfect ward, what would it look like? I’m fond of the “FabergĂ© eggs and a hammer” idea myself.