Guestpost: Real Life Diaries: Living with Rheumatic Diseases

Living with Rheumatic Diseases (Real Life Diaries) is a terrific new book put together by some wonderful people from the community. Brenda L. Kleinsasser kindly agreed to write a guest post for The Seated View about the book and how it came to be.

At the beginning of this year, a group of writers began a special journey. Real Life Diaries: Living with Rheumatic Diseases, a book project, that would prove to become such a rewarding experience, for all who were involved. 

Of special note, all the writers have special connections to each other. We have become a family in the sense, that we all were sharing about our respective journeys of living with rheumatic or other autoimmune diseases. 

What was great about this whole book project, is that I was connected with many of the writers, through the various groups that I have been involved with through the Global Healthy Living Foundation aka CreakyJoints. Some of the writers came on board after sharing about the project, which I had an opportunity to do, during one of our monthly teleconference calls with CreakyJoints; Patients Partners in Research. 

The other writers were from groups including 50-State Network and Patient Council. Even Patient Governors were involved. I also knew of the great talent from the CreakyJoints Poet's Corner (& Artists too) while I was editor for three years, so I recruited several from there as well. 

Even one of the writers was recruited from another friend and fellow writer, so you can see the connections were significant. 

My fellow co-author and friend, Layne Martin, R.N. asked me to join the Grief Diaries Village in 2015. Her sister Lynda Cheldelin Fell, is the founder of the Grief Diaries/Real Life Diaries Anthology Book Series. Real Life Diaries: Living with Rheumatic Diseases became #30 in that book series, which was released on World Arthritis Day. That date was significant, in that we all could relate to the importance of it. We had writers included from Canada and Australia, so it made sense. 

Dr. Mary Ann Wilmarth, who I serve on Patients Partners in Research with, wrote the Foreword. Layne Martin, R.N. wrote the Preface, along with being my fellow co-author. 

The process of being involved with this book project was very organized. It's set up in 6 weeks, in that you receive 3 questions per week to answer, which is a total of 18. The great thing about all of this, is that you could work on this book project at your own pace. You were not required to have it turned in, if you were not finished with a particular week. You didn't even have to be a professional writer or author, to be involved. That took the pressure off, as we were all sharing our personal stories, the rest was left to editing. 

The first step you complete after signing up for a Grief Diaries/Real Life Diaries Anthology Book Project, is to share your bio along with a picture, that is placed at the end of the book. To begin any project, you share the beginning, as was the case with this book; how we first encountered the first days living with rheumatic or autoimmune diseases. 

This book begins with a glossary and acronyms, as it can become quite overwhelming, trying to understand all of these terms, especially if you are new to this journey.

This book is written in layman's terms, so it makes sense to those who are reading it. It consists of 20 chapters, including meeting the writers at the end. 

It is filled with true stories, that we hope will inspire anyone, who has a chance to read it. Subjects, such as describing our pain, work vs. disability, biologics, affordability of care, just to name a few. It's truly a guidebook that was written with 11 different perspectives. No journey is like another. That is what makes this book so unique. 

This is certainly a book I wished had been published, when I was first diagnosed over twenty-six years ago. It contains hope too. That is shared in detail, what HOPE meant to each writer. 

If you would like to find out more about the Real Life Diaries Anthology Book Series, this will take you to their site.

I would like to thank Lynda Cheldelin Fell, for her grand leadership in this wonderful book project. Our lives have been forever changed for the better because of it. 

It was a joy to share this with you. The book can be purchased at Amazon; Paperback and Kindle or at Barnes and Noble; Paperback and Nook. 

Thanks to Brenda and the others involved in this project!


Judith Flanagan said…
ThankYou to Lene for having Brenda as a Guest Blogger. I found the whole process quite Theraputic I was honoured to be involved in such Project and thrilled that I could join the project from Australia. It was wonderful to make new connections aswell and I'm really looking forward to receiving my copy in the mail and to read everyone's stories. I am so appreciative and grateful to have been given the opportunity Thankyou to all involved with the Real Life Diaries-Living With Rheumatic Diseases.
Rick said…
Lene, thank you for hosting Brenda's blog. She drove this project and she did a wonderful job.

I found my little part of the project cathartic.
Thank you Lene, for allowing me to share about this great project. All I did was recruit, who I thought would be great for this book. It was truly a team effort. Rick thanks, for your kind words and for joining us.

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