Book Jacket

 

rank 5917
word count 23359
date submitted 26.06.2010
date updated 05.07.2010
genres: Non-fiction, Biography, Popular Cul...
classification: moderate
incomplete

Burning Phase.

Jen Kamerman-Jenkins

The day Jen Kamerman-Jenkins finished her memoir of surviving anorexia nervosa, she almost stopped surviving it at all.

 

Good things can sometimes come on a Monday. It was a cold November morning in 2008 when I found out that my first book, a memoir of two decades with anorexia nervosa called The Vanishing Point, was accepted by a publisher. It was also the day that it occurred to me that I was dying, and that something needed to be done to break the cycle of starvation and pain. What would the future hold? A drive that almost led me off a cliff, a suicide attempt, a locked ward...and then a lifeline in the form of inpatient treatment. Would these months remake me, or would I simply burn up in the flames that were meant to heal me? This second memoir details my attempt to rise like the fabled Phoenix, in the burning phase of my life.

 
rate the book

to rate this book please Register or Login

 

tags

anorexia nervosa, bipolar disease, bipolar disorder, body image, dark humor, eating disorders, memoirs, mental hospitals, mental illness, recovery, re...

on 0 watchlists

46 comments

 

To leave comments on this or any book please Register or Login

subscribe to comments for this book
cat5149 wrote 1387 days ago

This is a heart breaking story and beautifully written. Backed, with pleasure.

Carol (Willow Pond)

name falied moderation wrote 1389 days ago

I came across this book sometime ago and felt sure that I commented and backed it. But I cannot find it. This is an honest, real read, such courage and as I have just finished my reading of it, I wanted to say CONGRATS Jen yes CONGRATS.
BACKED by me for sure.
I would be so happy if your would cross over to my genre ( something I did to find your book) review my book COMMENT and if you feel, back it. this way I may improve as a writer.
BEST OF LUCK WITH YOUR BOOK
Denise

hkraak wrote 1389 days ago

BURNING Phase: Thank you for writing this. Your honesty about Anorexia conjured up things I'd buried long ago, but sometimes reminders are necessary. I wish you the best as you meet this head on. When you backslide, I encourage you to not berate yourself or hate yourself. I know this is a raw account, but I also wanted to let you know that your writing is strong, especially with your imagery and phrasing. Many times I stopped and thought, "What a great way to put that." Well done. Because I've read all that you have posted, I would love to know when you upload more.

Heidi
Pearl Edda

delhui wrote 1389 days ago

Dear Jen --

You offer us a view through a very personal lens, and we respect and admire your courage in sharing your struggles with us. You write well of how it felt for you, giving us very sensory descriptions without succumbing to cliches or becoming overwrought. When you write in chapter 13, "How much weight will I be able to lose and still have my disease seem invisible..." we felt that you'd captured the essence of the disease and both its control over you and the game it forces you to play. We hope that it was cathartic to write Burning Phase, and we thank you for sharing your story. -- Delhui, The Long Black Veil

Mooderino wrote 1390 days ago

From the start the writing has an off-kilter quality to it that impliesa kinf of paranoia to proceedings. i think that worked well and I could almost feel her clinging to the steering wheel trying to keep the car on the road at 5 mph. Making me feel like that without explicitly stating it was well done. Which is why i felt a little put out when you called the next chapter Panic and made it very clear that was what she was feeling. i think it would have been better to not state the emotion and let it seep out through the writing, which you're obviously capable of.

Anyway, a very accomplished bit of writing with a complicated but real MC. Backed.

Ransom Heart wrote 1390 days ago

Oh my gosh. What a story. Can't be told quick enough. Pertinent, powerful, and full of passion. Backed. Marianne (Saint Paddy and the Sundial)

stoatsnest wrote 1390 days ago

I have known two people with A. N.-one very well. They did not let me know what they were thinking. Now I know. This is a very powerful account of suffering and had me reading every word. Two chapters have exhausted me for the moment, but I'll return to this. Backed.

soutexmex wrote 1390 days ago

Welcome aboard, Jen. This website will improve your writing craft, if you allow it. I'm a bit of a pitch doctor, having read thousands of pitches in my time on this website, so I want to share my insight here with you. You have to think of your pitches as your sales tool to grab the casual reader's eyes. Both pitches work for this genre. Perfecting your pitches is how you climb in ranking to gather more exposure and comments to better your novel. The writing is good so I am SHELVING you.

Though I have been a very active member for over a year and have the most commented book on the website, I can still use your comments on my book when you get the chance. Every little bit helps. Cheers!

JC
The Obergemau Key

klouholmes wrote 1393 days ago

Hi Jen, It’s difficult to write of a person whose mind is disoriented because of illness yet you’ve kept with the story and expressed the narrator’s state-of-mind well. And it’s sad that her mainstay, Liam, has a court hearing. But it shows how everyone is affected. I noticed how there are few thoughts of food except negative ones concerning Thor. The poem was good at the outset. This is not only candid, it contains good narrative. Easily shelved – Katherine (The Swan Bonnet)

udasmaan wrote 1393 days ago

Thanks for this. Very different from many other books, here. I enjoyed and backed it.

Shah

Barry Wenlock wrote 1395 days ago

Hi Jen, this is a pretty heavy read, as one would imagine, given the excellent pitch.
I only had time for two chapters but I thought the writing was strong and well structured. The opening poem--The Thirteen Knots--sets the dark tone with it's immediate reference to the hangman's noose. And the final lines are stunning -- 'I am not hunger, I am hunger itself'.
The story starts with the trip to Liams alcohol councilling session and the tensions it brigs.
I liked 'in the lizard part of my brain' and 'cracked piston in my chest'.
The final lines indicate the state of mind --on the wrong side of the line.
Well done. Backed with admiration,
Best wishes,
Barry
LITTLE KRISNA AND THE BIHAR BOYS

Johanna Kern wrote 1395 days ago

Jen,

I am full of admiration for your writing skills and your courage to share your beautiful story. So much to learn from you. You are powerful. And you are a wonderful writer. And you will succeed!

Johanna Kern
Master and the Green-Eyed Hope

Famlavan wrote 1395 days ago

Brilliantly told!
This creates tangible emotion from the heart head conflict and the desperation it can cause. - Hope everything develops in the way you want it! – Good luck.

January wrote 1396 days ago

A poignant subject, well handled.
Backed,
January

Amylovesbooks wrote 1397 days ago

This is written very well, and is a story that will touch many. I wish you the best with it, and back it with pleasure.

Amy
Love Match

JMCornwell wrote 1397 days ago

The pitch really needs to be rewritten. It's repetitious and a jumble. Don't repeat the tag line in the first sentence of the pitch.

'Two decades have suffering left Jen near death. An irrational fear prevented her from seeking treatment. A failed suicide attempt and an inability to hold it together led to a locked ward and three months of inpatient treatment.

If she does not, like the fabled phoenix, rise from this burning phase, her last words may be the only thing left of her.'

What is the irrational fear? Define the inability to hold it together. Don't simply allude to things, state them. Be clear. Be succinct. Be sharp and terse. That will draw attention and get people reading the story. It's all in the pitch. Good luck with your book.

J M Cornwell
Among Women

Kaychristina wrote 1397 days ago

Jen, I can see this is written truly from your heart, with an eloquence that defies belief, yet with an ease of what was in your mind, your body, your very soul. The raw beauty of your phrasing carries this almost into heart-stopping thriller territory, made even more so because we know it's true-life.

Your work is inspirational, while being heart-wrenching, courageous for damn sure. I hope it will become required reading for all those finding themselves in such a situation - actually for anyone in the depths. And your writing alone makes it a must-read for everyone.

Backed with every hope and wish for you, from -
Kay
(Waystation to Prosperity Street)

P.S.... I hope you've added the HarperTrue tag, Jen - I can't see it under your book cover/title. (HC is looking very hard at that list right now.)xx

Kidd1 wrote 1397 days ago

Inspirational and thought provoking. I believe this is a must for those who are afflicted, and those who wish to help the afflicted. Courageous! BAcked.

I hope you will give mine a read and back it if you like it.
Best,
Robert
Golden Conspiracy

Christina McClean wrote 1397 days ago

A brilliant account of the exhausting, demorilizing, disempowering illness. I like the way you make the reader feel the effort it takes to complete a small act, anyone else would take for granted. I have read books on anorexia before but none have conjured up the experience such as this. I relate to every thought and feeling.
I wish you all the best and courage to go on.
backed
Christina
From Under the Bed

lizjrnm wrote 1397 days ago

This is a very important book and hopefully Harper Collins will recognize this for its significance. Riveting and brave! Backed 100%

Liz
The Cheech Room

zan wrote 1397 days ago

Burning Phase.

Jen Kamerman-Jenkins

Very relevant material in this book. "The day Jen Kamerman-Jenkins finished her memoir of surviving anorexia nervosa, she almost stopped surviving it at all." Great short pitch. I loved your poem in your first HC chapter upload. I am so hungry it hurts. No. I am not hungry. I am hunger itself. Brilliant. This is wonderfully written Jen and an intense, moving, inspirational piece of writing. I admire your courage in writing it and I was happy to back it. All the best in finding a publisher.

Jo G wrote 1397 days ago

Hi Jen,
This is a powerful, inspirational story that has the reader willing you on to succeed against the odds.
There is strength and courage here that I hope would help others in similar situations, if only to let them know that they are not alone.
Many blessings, with your work, and your life

Jo G

Joanna Carter wrote 1398 days ago

Thank you for being brave enough to share this - apart from being a powerful and inspirational story, you write really well and I wish you the very best of success.
Joanna Carter
Fossil Farm

Sockmonkey6970 wrote 1398 days ago

Thank you for the comments...it's funny, because when I wrote my first book, "The Vanishing Point," which has just been published, I was terrified and very against going to treatment, and it colored every word. This book is different, because it got to the point where I had no choice. I have been out of inpatient treatment for a year, and I still struggle mightily, but I try every day, as I write the words that are so hard to write. Thank you.

BURNING PHASE
This is a heart breaking story. It’s hard for a reader to understand what happens that makes a person starve themselves almost to death in the midst of plenty. I didn’t get a feeling in the beginning of the story that you were assuming any responsibility for helping yourself so I kept reading – and was happy to see you finally did seek help. I think that’s important in a book such as this so your prime audience - young adults with anorexia or bulimia - who read this will realize help is available for them as well. I like your writing style; it’s direct and not overly dramatic. I’m adding this to my shelf. Burgio (Grain of Salt).

Burgio wrote 1398 days ago

BURNING PHASE
This is a heart breaking story. It’s hard for a reader to understand what happens that makes a person starve themselves almost to death in the midst of plenty. I didn’t get a feeling in the beginning of the story that you were assuming any responsibility for helping yourself so I kept reading – and was happy to see you finally did seek help. I think that’s important in a book such as this so your prime audience - young adults with anorexia or bulimia - who read this will realize help is available for them as well. I like your writing style; it’s direct and not overly dramatic. I’m adding this to my shelf. Burgio (Grain of Salt).

Despinas1 wrote 1398 days ago

Dear Jen, your novel Burning Phase, covers a wide range of topics, from anorexia to irrational fear, and attempted suicide. It is a very inspirational story, and I wish you all the very best.
Backed with pleasure
Helen

Rusty Bernard wrote 1398 days ago

Hi Jen,

I have backed your book because I was hooked by the pitch, loved the introduction and read on. How much more I read depends on time and commitment.

Enjoy everything and good luck.

Rusty Bernard
Psychiatric Evaluation

name falied moderation wrote 1398 days ago

Hello Jen and what a powerful book this promises to be. I love the short pitch and just a suggestion to put one para in the long one as this is the first read your potential publishers may have of your book. Great crafting though.....I am going to continue reading and comment....BEST of luck

Denise
The Letter

yasmin esack wrote 1398 days ago

Jen,
Oh my you write well and this is indeed a powerful read and exceptional story.
Bravo! Bravo!

The Third Eye

DP Walker wrote 1398 days ago

Hi Jen
This is really powerful and emotional and I love to read memoirs of ordinary people. You cover a difficult subject sensitively. Really well written too.
DP Walker
Five Dares

Andrew Burans wrote 1398 days ago

You write in an almost staccatto style that is perfect for the message you want to get across. I like the way in which you explore your inner angst and how you tell your story in a most straight forward manner. You didn't pull any punches. Well done. Backed.

Andrew Burans
The Reluctant Warrior: The Beginning

lynn clayton wrote 1398 days ago

Starving to death is a terrible way to describe it but I suppose it's true. I thought this disease just made people emaciated, I'd no idea of the other more serious consequences.
It's beautifully written - 'crumbling rocks into my emotional wall' is merely one of the phrases that stand out. And the poem, of course. Backed. Lynn

AlleJo wrote 1398 days ago

I found your story riveting.

Powerful and expressive voice.

Beautifully written, suspensefully crafted, emotionally gripping.

Neville wrote 1398 days ago

Hi Jen, this book is so good. Your voice comes over to me very well. There is a sort of poetical ring to the story, I found. Trying best to cope with everyday problems and looking the world straight in the eye is no mean task.
You have written a rather sad story but behind it there is fighter never giving up.
There is so much going for this book and it will earn a place on the book shelves of the best shops.
I back it on your pure ability and nerve.
SHELVED.

Neville (The Secrets Of The Forest)

SusieGulick wrote 1398 days ago

You are like totally fantastic, Jen! :) How can I ever thank you enough for backing me 2 memoir books? :)
God bless you. :) Love, Susie :)

SusieGulick wrote 1398 days ago

Dear Jen, I got so excited when I saw that you had backed, "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not." :) Thanks so very much. :) Since I have already backed your book, I will put your book on my watchlist. Could you please take a moment to back my completed unedited memoir version, "Tell Me True Love Stories?" I'd be ever so grateful. :) Thank you. :) Love, Susie :)
authonomy quote: "Every time you place a book on your bookshelf, your recommendation pushes the book up the rankings. And while that book sits on your bookshelf, your reputation as a talent spotter increases depending on how well that book performs."
Here is the response I received from authonomy concerning backing:
When you back a book, it only improves the ranking of that book, not yours. However, the author whose book you are backing may decide to back your book also, in which case yes, your ranking would be improved."

Melcom wrote 1398 days ago

Extremely poignant and an exceptionally brave thing to write about.

Wishing you well for the future.

Melxx
Impeding Justice

PATRICK BARRETT wrote 1398 days ago

This book is incredibly important. Most people build up their knowledge of the subject from magazine articles of limited size and scope and I don't consider the 'Celebrity accounts' to be very accurate. More of a P.A exercise than anything. Congratulations. Paula Barrett (Cuthbert-how mean is my valley)

snave wrote 1398 days ago

Thank you so much. You too have certainly the gift. Yours, from what I read so far is amazing - andy and vesna

Sockmonkey6970 wrote 1398 days ago

Thank you so much, dear Suzie. That means such a great deal to me.

Dear Jen, I love that you have been brave enough to share your life with the world. :) Your poem before you ever started your story tells it all - it's beautiful. I shared mine, too, with a lot of tears, feelings, & prayer. Thank you for being so open - vulernable. :) God bless you. :) Your pitch is excellent, so set the hook for me to read your book. :) When you use short paragraphs & lots of dialogue, it makes me want to keep reading to find out what's going to happen next. I'm backing your book. :) Could you please take a moment to back my TWO memoir books? Thanks. :) Love, Susie :)

This is information from authonomy (so beware of any other untrue information you may receive that is spam & not quotes of authonomy):
"When you back a book, it only improves the ranking of that book, not yours. However, the author whose book you are backing may decide to back your book also, in which case yes, your ranking would be improved"
"Every time you place a book on your bookshelf, your recommendation pushes the book up the rankings. And while that book sits on your bookshelf, your reputation as a talent spotter increases depending on how well that book performs."
backed :)
Love, Susie :)

Sockmonkey6970 wrote 1398 days ago

I'm working on the happy ending as we speak. Three months of inpatient treatment truly changed my life, and by writing this, I hope that others can recognize themselves in it and that it will help somehow.

What a poignant insight into the thoughts that drive a person in this state. I do hope that there is some kind of happy-ish ending here.

Doggonline wrote 1398 days ago

What a poignant insight into the thoughts that drive a person in this state. I do hope that there is some kind of happy-ish ending here.

Sockmonkey6970 wrote 1398 days ago

Thanks, Susie, I'm new to the site, and I much appreciate it.

backed :)
Love, Susie :)

SusieGulick wrote 1398 days ago

Dear Jen, I love that you have been brave enough to share your life with the world. :) Your poem before you ever started your story tells it all - it's beautiful. I shared mine, too, with a lot of tears, feelings, & prayer. Thank you for being so open - vulernable. :) God bless you. :) Your pitch is excellent, so set the hook for me to read your book. :) When you use short paragraphs & lots of dialogue, it makes me want to keep reading to find out what's going to happen next. I'm backing your book. :) Could you please take a moment to back my TWO memoir books? Thanks. :) Love, Susie :)

This is information from authonomy (so beware of any other untrue information you may receive that is spam & not quotes of authonomy):
"When you back a book, it only improves the ranking of that book, not yours. However, the author whose book you are backing may decide to back your book also, in which case yes, your ranking would be improved"
"Every time you place a book on your bookshelf, your recommendation pushes the book up the rankings. And while that book sits on your bookshelf, your reputation as a talent spotter increases depending on how well that book performs."
backed :)
Love, Susie :)

cutley wrote 1398 days ago

Good luck. This is a link to a thread on the forum explaining how the site works: http://www.authonomy.com/Forum/posts_new.aspx?threadId=57319

Charles

Sockmonkey6970 wrote 1398 days ago
1