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I’m back working on the book!

July 5, 2021

It’s been a while since I really put pen to paper when it comes to How-To Be Medicine, or H2BM for short. As you know, I started the project back in 2014 before I finished my second degree and before the America trip. So far, I’ve written three versions of the first chapter as well as several different chapter outlines and alternating descriptors… but I’ve never lost sight of what it was meant to feel like reading it.

That’s what keeps me coming back to this project; the feeling it imbues when you open its pages and divest it of its contents. I know what it will look like, and so I know how to recognise when I’m on the right track. It’s as if what I’ve written in the past was for another book, probably one of the many I have on the back burner right now, and lately I’ve been getting the real stuff. The real deal. The actual words I’m meant to print under this title.

It’s been very exciting, especially in the wee hours in the dark when I pull out my 3 AM notebook to jot down a line or two that comes to me in dialogue with imaginary critics or interviewers or Twitter commenters. Not that I expect any of that to actually happen. In fact, I barely expect the book will sell a single copy. I think the dialogue imaginings are just the simplest way for whatever has chosen to dictate the book copy, to commune with me. If that makes sense.

Anyway, part of the vision I had in the past twelve hours is for a pastel illustrated cover that’s easily identified as that book. I wanted to model it on the images I saw for a game called ‘3 Tiles’ but I can’t find anything in the exact same style. I might have to hire an illustrator for that but for now, I went onto Canva and used an image from Dreamstime to mock up my brand new 2021 H2BM book cover design!!!

Here is the Canva-constructed cover design:


I made four different versions. I’m not sure about the font colour, the positioning of the by-line or how to background the title text (small containment box, page-spanning colour or something else). I like the idea of putting my whole name and of following that with my paltry academic titles. I also like the idea of not making my name/details prominent on the page. I’m sure people will find out about me if they’re interested enough and the less focus I can put on myself the better.

The only thing better than being small in text is removing myself altogether but I’m not sure how that works with all the websites I have talking about the book and the ideas therein. Perhaps there’s a way to be anonymous and yet findable (searchable?) on the Internet. You know, so you’re not actually hiding; just not advertising up-front. Yes, that’s definitely a smooth feeling option.

Here is a screenshot of the video for ‘3 Tiles’ game, the inspiration for the book cover. It is not exactly how it appears in the ad for the game which plays when you’re inside ‘3D Match’ (where I remember it from):

Here is the background image from Dreamstime:

Illustration 214719300 / Abstract Seamless © Anastasia Malachi |


Matisse abstract organic shapes seamless pattern. Contemporary hand drawn vector illustration by Anastasia Malachi. Illustration 214719300 / Abstract Seamless © Anastasia Malachi |

Dragon fruit Pitaya Pitahaya slice Plants flower Simple silhouettes and lines Beautiful abstract background by Anttoniu. Illustration 130482282 / Abstract © Anttoniu |

Melanie Brockwell

I offer readings of life's raw experience by way of symbolic interpretation. My passion is caring for (and adding to) our animal rescue family.

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