Health & Parenting, Home & Happiness

April 6, 2018

BEHIND THE BOOK: One Last Breath

This is a behind the scenes peek at how I constructed the idea for One Last Breath and what was going through my mind when I wrote it.


I was inspired after reading "This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl" after I stumbled upon John Green. I liked the idea of a book with more than just words, so I decided "why not just write a book that resembles a scrapbook". I've always been curious about other people and how and when their health started to decline, in case I could learn something that might help me or others with cf. I wanted to compile my book in a way that made sense but also didn't sugar coat what living with a chronic illness is actually like. In Esther's book there's a lot of talk about religion and it seems like her parents wrote a lot of the book, so I wanted my book to be more from a personal perspective that includes a look at how I would imagine caregivers or loved ones might feel.


It took a long time to decide how I would fit in the various sections of the book since there were so many options. I considered doing poems, art, blogs, and medical entries all in their own sections but ultimately decided that I would sprinkle them throughout the book chronologically. Then came the challenges of deciding whether I should put the stuff I wrote as a kid in the kid section, and the adult stuff in the adult section when sometimes the subject matter made it belong somewhere else. I then faced formatting errors after importing my writing into the book software which was time consuming and difficult to fix without having to start from scratch.


In Esther's book I really liked how her friends and parents wrote to her and I thought that would be nice to include, similar to the "funeral" in The Fault In Our Stars. I liked the idea of knowing how people would describe me and what their favourite memories of us are while I'm still around. The cover photo is somewhat controversial and the title of the book changed to One Last Breath at the last second. I had trouble finding any photos that would work for the cover because they were all too low-resolution or irrelevant. I took a chance and went for a photo that is a little racy, but also a carefree moment, which I appreciate because writing this book is the first time I can really say I've completely let my guard down and opened up to sharing personal details and being vulnerable.


Truthfully, I've never written a book so I had no idea where to begin or how One Last Breath would end up, but I'm happy I finished it and at the very least I wanted something I could leave behind for family and friends other than our memories together. If something more comes out of it and anyone finds any part of it helpful in their own lives then I would be thrilled.


I assembled two playlists that go along with the book. Playlist 1 is a group of songs that have deeply influenced me/empowered me throughout life or just left me feeling good. Playlist 2 is a list of songs and artists that I mentioned directly in the book or are included as an extension of the artists in the book.

Playlist 1:
Playlist 2:


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