I appreciate the opportunity to talk about my book, Mastering Senior Life: Thriving and Surviving. It has just been released on book sites and will soon be sold at The Book Table.

This book has been three years in the making from conception to fruition. The idea originated from my Facebook posts. I post daily on Facebook and have developed quite a following. I’m amazed how many people read my posts on a regular basis and a couple of them suggested I write a book.

I’ve always enjoyed writing. You may have noticed my letters to the editor in the Journal or the Tribune. I’ve also written a couple of supplementary textbooks.

This is the first and probably my only time writing a book for the general public. Much of my life knowledge is contained in it. The first section, “Thriving,” reflects my active lifestyle. Everyone who knows me says I’m one of the most active people they know.

I talk about retirement and that if you’re healthy, you should view your senior years as being an opportunity and a beginning and not an end. I give specific suggestions about activities, travel, discounts and decisions you may have to make.   

The book’s second half, the “Surviving” section, is inspired by the experience of dealing with my husband’s medical problems. During the last 20 or so years of his life, he had many medical problems, including seizures and Parkinson’s, and we figured out techniques to deal with them. At the end, he got West Nile Virus and I had the experience of dealing with a nursing home and not having any idea of what I should do. It took me a long time to figure out what to do.

I was hoping that in writing this book, I could help others find out quickly those things that took me weeks to find out. There is information about other illnesses as well, and I was lucky enough to have a brother, who is a doctor, to verify it. I also talk about loss and grief and give a checklist of things you have to think about at a very strenuous time.

What I learned by writing the book is that writing a self-published book is not an easy process, nor is it lucrative. However, if you set your mind to it, you can accomplish it. There were so many times where I set the book aside, and thought it would never ever get finished, but I did, and I’m proud of that fact. I also learned that it’s a collaborative process. Editing, layout, cover design and another set of eyes to read it were areas where I reached out to others. I couldn’t have done it all myself. 

The book is available in both paperback and ebook versions on all book sites. I am listed as Joyce K. Porter to distinguish me from a British author.

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