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Let's check out the details, shall we?
Here is the book blurb for A Light in the Darkness.
In 2008, singer-songwriter Lisa Sniderman was living the dream in California. As Aoede, the Muse of Song, her star as a gifted recording artist was rising fast. Lisa’s quirky folk-pop performance style electrified audiences up and down the West Coast, and the albums just kept flowing. But just when her career was rocketing skyward, a health crisis brought all of her dreams crashing to the ground. Diagnosed with a rare, debilitating immune disorder called dermatomyositis (DM), Lisa struggled to maintain a normal life with a body in revolt and, eventually, to accept a new normal. Living with a chronic illness challenged Lisa to see DM as a gift in disguise that has opened the door to new dreams, new songs, and new opportunities. Lisa’s story is for you if you seek strength, new inspiration, hope, joy, healing, and if you or someone you love struggle with a chronic illness, disability, or unexpected life events. Her insights and reflections on her journey inspire hope and the courage to keep dreaming and living to the fullest no matter what life hurls at you.
Genre: Memoir, Creative Self-Help, Chronic Illness, Inspirational
Sounds like an intriguing read here!
Universal Reader link: https://books2read.com/u/bzvAZ2
Here is an an excerpt...
Chapter 6 - Putting Yourself Out There
Of all the ways I put myself out there, sharing my personal struggles is perhaps the most daunting. At times, especially because I’m almost always home, I feel like I’m hiding from the world, playing it safe indoors. Maybe that’s why I create light characters, focus on fantasy, and want to connect with my inner child. As I’ve taken on Aoede the Muse’s identity, inspiring others, I’m disinclined to share the scary, icky, fearful, sad, negative feelings—the secret spaces where I’ve stuffed my skeletons. I tell myself I have to put on a smile and be upbeat, not show weakness or have self-doubt. It’s much easier to tell the world that all is beautiful than to admit that living with a chronic illness is harder than anything I’ve ever faced; that some days it’s exhausting to get out of bed, despite my positive attitude and optimism; that I get tired of thinking and talking about being sick, and just plain being sick; that the endless therapies, drug cocktails, and unwanted side effects keep me on a roller coaster; that I resent having precious moments of my life replaced with 156 doctors’ appointments; that I wish I had more stamina for being in the world; that I wonder where David’s and my relationship would be had I never gotten sick—if he didn’t have to do all the shopping, cleaning, cooking, and driving, and we had an equal partnership instead of a caretaker-patient relationship. This is the stuff I used to keep to myself, choosing instead to share the positive accomplishments, the milestones, and the fulfillment of dreams I’ve decided others want to hear about.
But over the years, I’ve pushed myself to share my struggles with DM and be vulnerable, which has been positive and healing. In fact, I’ve discovered I can be the hero of my own story if I set my mind to it. In 2014, I wrote a song called “What Makes a Hero.” Though intended for Cure JM kids who are dealing with the same disease I’m battling, I think after so many disappointments and rejections that sometimes cause me to question my path, I needed to write that song to remind myself that I, too, am a warrior.
At first, when I thought of the word hero, I conjured up big-screen movie images of the reluctant Bilbo Baggins, the protagonist of The Hobbit who, against all odds and only after every imaginable obstacle was thrown in his path, proved himself a worthy burglar and completed his harrowing quest to reclaim treasure from the treacherous dragon, Smaug. Heroes often have defining character traits and act in predictable ways. We might consider them strong and fearless, but they usually also have some flaw or weakness they must overcome to vanquish their mortal enemies. They often have to confront hard truths about themselves before they can transform from what they are to what they need to be.
I’ve discovered that being the hero of my own story doesn’t mean I have to be larger than life. It can be as simple as shifting my attitude and taking chances despite the obstacles that are thrown in my way. If something scares me, I usually jump at the chance to try it and then immerse myself in it. I embrace new opportunities and dare to dream big. I acknowledge my fears and doubts and then reject them. I don’t allow past failures or perceptions of myself as not good enough, strong enough, or worthy enough to dictate my future. I’ve decided I’m already a hero for battling my illness every day and not letting it define or defeat me. I can also be a hero by inspiring others and giving back, especially to those who are also fighting illness or have lost their inspiration along the way.
It is said that dreams are what the mind conceives, the heart desires, and the soul believes. Whether it’s a big possibility like a production opportunity or a film-festival acceptance, or something small like an e-mail from someone new that may open a new door or begin a friendship, hope is what motivates me.
When I have setbacks, hope, above all else, carries me through my darkest days of DM and helps me keep my dreams alive. Hope makes all things seem possible, even if only for a short time. Hope is what I hold in my heart when I send a positive message to the Universe and expect something good to happen that might help me advance my dream. And every time the Universe delivers something that makes me question my path, I may ask what the rejections might be telling me and change course, but I don’t lose hope. I remind myself that my dreams don’t die because of one particular outcome, that everything happens to bring me to the next part of the journey. Most important, I remain tireless, determined, driven, passionate, committed, and interested in growing and challenging myself. I continue to believe, persevere, work hard, be creative, and inspire myself and others. It’s a great alternative to focusing on my DM! It isn’t as if I’m no longer sick, but putting myself out there, focusing on my creativity and new challenges, and discovering new niches help me thrive despite my disability.
What people are saying about A Light in the Darkness...
"Chronic illness challenges us in so many ways, but need not
define who we are and what we have to offer. Sniderman is an inspiration. Her
memoir provides an honest window into the power of the human spirit through
real life examples and wisdom to re-imagine what is possible."
— Keith W. L. Rafal, MD, MPH, Founder of Our Heart Speaks, www.ourheartspeaks.org
"Caring for a son with Juvenile dermatomyositis, I was
overcome with the truth and rawness (and tears) of Sniderman's moving story.
Her words are uplifting, compelling, engaging, and illuminating for anyone
living with chronic illness and for those who love them."
— Shannon Malloy, Cure JM Foundation
“Sniderman shares valuable wisdom in her open and honest account
about overcoming the adversity of living with a chronic illness. A truly
inspirational story of the healing power of music and creativity and finding
your true purpose.” — Tom Willner, cancer survivor and author of Having A Ball
"A personal and poignant meditation on healing and hope.
Sniderman's brilliant account will surely enlarge empathy, so that more can
understand what it means to live with and triumph over struggles." — Kabir Sehgal, New York Times
and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and Grammy Award winner
"As a former psychological counselor, poet, and mother of a
child with Juvenile Myositis, I am thrilled by Lisa’s book. Her story of both
living with a chronic illness and finding ways to harness and express her
talents to encourage and inspire others is a gift. I know many kids and adults
will not only resonate with her story but will be uplifted by it and will find
ways to let ‘their lights shine’ too. This is an important and necessary story,
not just for people with Dermatomyositis, but for anyone who struggles with, or
loves someone with a chronic illness." — Suzanne Edison, MA, MFA, Cure
JM Board of Directors
"Sniderman's ability to overcome impossible obstacles is
nothing short of miraculous. Her positive outlook on life and remarkable
passion for the arts has truly helped in her recovery. I highly recommend
reading A Light in the Darkness. You will find it to be a transformative
experience." — Tim
Battersby, Grammy nominee and novelist
"Lisa Sniderman’s inspiring life lessons portray the story of
struggle, relentless determination and perseverance, leading to her success
lifting herself up. Her artistic life is an inspiration to others and an
encouraging testament to never giving up in this beautiful universe to make the
best out of this life despite challenges." — Rupam Sarmah Music Director,
Let's chat with the author for a bit...
Can you tell us a little bit about your book? When did it come out and where can we get it?
A lot of readers love origin stories. What inspired you to writing your book? Furthermore, how did you get into writing memoirs?
In 2016, when I had been living with DM for more than eight years, it hit me that I had never really processed my illness; never let myself feel deeply the loss of independence from being hospitalized and rendered unable to move my muscles; never allowed myself to delve into the darkness, my twisting spiral staircase of a journey into chronic illness, and the vulnerability of sharing my weaknesses, that became my reality. Instead for years, I donned my artist persona, Aoede, the Muse of Song in Greek mythology, and created bright, light, happy, uplifting, and positive, feel good, childlike, quirky pop songs and full-length fantasy musicals melding mythology, magic and music, to counter the darkness I was experiencing and living with daily. I discovered music and art are my lifelines, and I cannot stop creating! But creating and expressing, donning my “Aoede” artist hat, doesn’t go far enough. I’ve discovered a yearning to be part of something bigger than myself and to affect change. Helping others navigate their own personal darkness continues to be an important part of my own recovery. I’m learning that the acts of creating and sharing my story, music or art and allowing myself to be vulnerable can also inspire you to live your dreams, open your heart, empower you to share your story and help you heal. I was inspired to write my memoir to speak to and inspire those struggling with chronic illness, disability, and unexpected life challenges (and those who love them).
I wanted to write to inspire my readers, which led to me selecting memoir as my genre. I had struggled with the tone of the story, initially sharing it with my editor as a diary and inviting the reader in to my secrets and confessions, but revised the structure to be more universal and to share coping strategies and life lessons via each of my chapters (e.g., Redefining Success, Facing Your Fears, Putting Yourself Out There). This also allowed me to plunge deeper than just relaying an account of my day-to day experiences allowed me, and to share more personal thoughts and reflections on my journey.
My honesty, personal qualities (for example, I include quotes, many color photos along the way, inviting the reader in to see the people and places I describe and spend a chapter sharing about the beautiful family and friends that served as role models and cheerleaders); it isn’t a cookbook self-help approach, but rather stories, life lessons, reflections I gained and share from my journey will illness. I also include as back matter, questions for reflection, resources, and many life lessons, to inspire and encourage someone else along their way. By sharing my story in a way that the reader can relate, by showing them that whatever life hurls at them, they can still have hope and follow their dreams.
In a review, one reader reflected and shared:
“The details of her journey to continue her abundant life despite her health challenges is like no other I've ever known or read about. The joy that she lives, and her many accomplishments, are so far beyond what most completely healthy people I know have ever dreamed of. The book is packed with beautiful and inspiring quotes, many engaging photos of Lisa's life, and wonderful anecdotes of how she has not just been coping with her illness, but thriving, stretching, growing, becoming, and being a true light in the darkness despite it.”
letting us know all about your memoir
It sounds like quite a read! :)
About the Author:
I am Lisa Sniderman, aka Aoede, an award-winning, quirky, folk-pop artist, playwright, and author from San Francisco. I combine expressive and teaching arts to inspire young adults and kids at heart to positively impact them. I've been honored with more than 80 awards for my songwriting, audiobooks, stage plays and videos since 2012 all while suffering from a rare autoimmune disease: dermatomyositis (DM), a progressive muscle weakness disease. My story is persevering through this darkness called DM for more than 11 years by obsessively turning to creativity to express and as a healing path. But my story and my life’s purpose is also becoming a light in the darkness and a muse, offering support, compassion, inspiration, connection, and encouragement to those who need it most-especially those experiencing transformations: illness, disability, or unexpected life challenges. What's Your Story?
Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/2IMG1SG
Amazon Musical Artist Page: https://amzn.to/319QY71
Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/2IMG1SG
Amazon Musical Artist Page: https://amzn.to/319QY71