Where poets, writers & artists won’t let chronic illness stand in the way of creativity


From Our Editor:

This issue is going to focus on advocacy and I couldn’t think of a better special guest, than the best advocate that I know, co-founder & President of CreakyJoints, Seth Ginsberg. I had the honor and pleasure of meeting and working with Seth, in 2012, when he came to North Dakota to help me commemorate my 11 years of being on a biologic. April 20, 2012 , the day that started my journey of becoming a true advocate, because now I had the tools, thanks to Seth’s guidance and encouragement.

Seth and I did a local TV interview together about how important my taking a biologic is to me. Along with a local newspaper interview, we also met with the Senator’s staffs, the Congressman’s office and my State Representative. All were very welcoming and eager to hear my story.

I really hope you enjoy what we have in store for you, as Seth will be sharing how advocacy can actually be fun. We hope this gives you the bug as well. Which for those of us living with chronic illnesses, would be a welcoming one to get.

Here now, is our special issue on advocacy and all that it has to offer. I am thankful every day, for what that can mean for each of us.

CJ Poetry Editor




In this issue:

Making Advocacy Fun (A special message from Seth Ginsberg)

Moonlight Fireflies (Oil Pastel by Jennifer Taft)

The Advocate’s Promise (Collage by Brenda Kleinsasser)


Editor’s Note: Seth Ginsberg

Our special guest Seth, has a message to share with us on advocacy:

Advocacy is fun because it’s the opportunity to make a difference not just for ourselves, but for our community.

For the ~300 million of us lucky enough to call America home, we have the opportunity to participate in the process. We’re citizens. We’re voters (or at least those of us old enough to vote are…), and we need to take that responsibility seriously. It isn’t scary and it isn’t something that we should leave to those who ‘know more about it than we do’. If a guy named “Joe the Plumber” can become influential, then anyone can!

Advocacy is fun because it means we can take a bad hand dealt to us, such as a chronic disease diagnosis, and turn it into a positive by helping others.

We don’t have to limp around as a one-person-pity-party. We can use our experiences and our fight with our condition(s) as the first-hand experience to tell the world what it’s like to go through what we go through. To help the public understand what living with our conditions is all about.

Advocacy is fun because it’s power.

Mobilizing and educating and activating a community of people is the definition of power in America. We may not always have the strength to fight, and we may not always have the ability to fight, but we should always fan the flames of our desire to help others by informing and educating others. That translates to the power that we not only need, but we deserve.

Seth D. Ginsberg



Editor’s Note: Jennifer Taft

Jennifer Taft lives with Rheumatoid Arthritis, but it sure hasn’t stopped her from creating another beautiful painting, that she shares with us. Here she describes how she came about creating this particular pastel.

This piece was inspired by artist Loretta Grayson who does these amazing pastels that resemble quilting, her inspiration being trees

Moonlight Fireflies by Jennifer Taft  (Click to enlarge)

Moonlight Fireflies by Jennifer Taft

(Click the image to enlarge)


Brenda on Brenda:
Here is a little collage I created on what advocacy means to me.  I hope you enjoy it.


The Advocate's Promise


(Click the image to enlarge)