Janice Hall Heck

Finding hope in a chaotic world…

“Hack Your Reader’s Brain” review

I’m always looking for good books on writing. I just bought The First 50 Pages by Jeff Gerke and am finding it quite helpful. I’ll read Hack Your Reader’s Brain next.

DMGWrites

I recently attended a CSWriters group and met Jeff Gerke. I listened to him speak about his new book, “Hack Your Reader’s Brain.” The book sounded fascinating and even though Jeff had summarized it in his presentation, I bought a copy for myself.

It’s a quick read – 66 pages – but well worth your while. Jeff starts out with a humorous exploration of his past teachings on writing, wondering why incredibly poorly written novels can be so successful. While reading Amazon reviews he discovered there is a difference between what the common reader believes is quality as compared to a more judgmental editor/reader.

Much of the book is built around studies done to explore the chemical reaction of movie viewer’s bodies against what they’re watching. He then suggests very similar techniques for authors.

The result is that the book helps articulate strategies that authors can implement to…

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ADD/ADHD Shaming Leaves Emotional Scars

Note: This blog posts first appeared on http://www.bobosslerchaplain.com

by Janice Hall Heck

This morning I read an article on the Internet about a middle school student who received an end-of-year award in front of his classmates.

His mother later reported: “He had tears in his eyes. He’s embarrassed because he had to accept it in front of his entire class.”

ADD award

Name——————————-

Most likely to be distracted by….look something shiny!

Having ADD or ADHD is no fun. Classmates label children with ADHD “dumb,” “stupid,” or even more insulting names, usually out of hearing of the teachers or other adults.

Frustrated teachers, tired of the excessive talking or movement of children with ADHD sometimes drop remarks that singe the child’s emotional well-being. Being called a “space cadet” or a “talking machine” invites snickers from classmates. Other students receive the subtle message that it is okay to tease students whose learning style is different.

Educators know that children easily recall those things tied to emotions.

Shame and depression - pixabay

Negative remarks affect us more than positive remarks. We play them over and over in our heads. We recall the full emotional impact of remarks made to us as children: who said what, where we were, what we were wearing, who was nearby. We can even remember what the weather was like that particular day. Stinging remarks have strong, long-term emotional impact.

Negative remarks ferment in our memory banks. They may be tucked away and forgotten for awhile, but they resurface in inconvenient times, even years later, complete with full emotional impact, when a similar event arouses them out of their reverie.

Facial expressions and body language can be just as bad. A frown, rolled-eyes, a deep sigh, a head shake, a pointed finger. All these send messages to the child or adult who learns differently.

Sad stories hit the news. Really? Do these thoughtless things happen?

Yes. Too often.

***

Have you had a similar experience with derogatory remarks or actions being made towards you because of your learning differences?

***

Note: future blog posts will suggest alternative responses that teachers and adults can use in situations where a child’s ADHD interferes with learning–his or her own or others.

*AD/HD is the official DSM-V diagnostic label for children who have attention, distraction and or hyperactivity behaviors to such an extent that they have difficulty with academic and social learning. (The slash is often dropped for ease in writing.)

ADD is an earlier term used for this disorder. It is often interchanged with ADHD, especially with adults where hyperactivity is not the main issue.

New Book (not yet titled) on ADD/ADHD

Janice Hall Heck and Bob Ossler are working on a book about the challenges and difficulties of growing up and living with ADD/ADHD. Bob Ossler’s shares stories of difficulties he faced in life with his undiagnosed ADD, the lessons he learned in managing his learning style differences, and where he is today. Janice Heck adds strategies for assisting learning in academic and social settings. Check this website for information about the release of this book, most likely in 2019.

*****

Click here to order Triumph Over Terror on Amazon. This book is about Chaplain Bob Ossler’s experiences at Ground Zero after the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

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via ADD/ADHD Shame

A.D.D. GUY: Taming Impulsivity

How do you handle impulsivity?
Bob Ossler, my coauthor of Triumph Over Terror, shares how his ADD impulsivity led to a new creative outlet.

Bob Ossler, Chaplain

By Bob Ossler with Janice Hall Heck

Being an impatient person and living in an impatient world caused frustration for me and those around me. As an young adult in the military, my distractibility caused me to go in so many directions at the same time. I was unfocused, unpredictable, and impatient.

My long-term goal was to become a paramedic. I trained and worked in X-ray technology in the military for well over a year.  In my restlessness to learn more, I applied for a position in a military mental health clinic in California to expand my portfolio.

Dr. B., a psychiatrist and my direct supervisor at the clinic, became my personal mentor and friend. He seemed to understand my different learning style and my restless nature. He spent time talking me through my various life schemes.

In our frequent one-to-one meetings, my mind raced in all directions. I had…

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Gotta Love Internet Grammar: Pronoun Abuse

Have you seen that coffee mug that says:

“I’m mentally checking your grammargrammar mug“? (Available from CafePress)

Well, a lot of us grammar nerdies do the same thing with Internet stories.

My chuckle for today came from a video clip and story from Jukin Media showing a pediatrician giving shots to a baby.

(I misread Jukin at first as Junk In. Second chuckle)

“This pediatrician was giving a baby a shot when he began singing a song to keep them calm. As he hummed a goofy tune and playfully poked their tummy, he quickly administered the shots and distracted them from their pain.”

The writer used three singular and four plural pronouns in two awkward sentences.       he, them, he, their, he, them, their

To avoid the his/her problem, the writer used plural pronouns. While this practice is becoming more accepted, it’s awkward and grates on grammar proficient ears. 

If  a sentence seems awkward, rewrite it. Try this next version with one pronoun.

To distract the baby, the pediatrician tickles and taps the baby’s arms, legs, and tummy while singing a boppy song. Tickle, tickle, tickle. Bop, bop, bop…Shot. Giggle, giggle.

Success! No tears.

One more shot. Tickle, tickle, tickle. Bop, bop, bop. Shot.

Oops. Baby takes one deep breathe, scrunches up his face, and howls.

Oh well, it worked the first time.

If you have too many pronouns in a sentence, you will produce an awkward sentence and possibly confuse the reader. Rewrite it.

Janice Hall Heck is coauthor of Triumph Over Terror with Chaplain Bob Ossler.

Read Triumph Over Terror, a multi-award-winning book about Chaplain Bob Ossler’s interactions with suffering people in New York City’s Ground Zero after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. His stories will touch your heart and fill you with compassion for those emergency services workers, search and rescue workers, recovery workers, construction crews, and volunteers who served there in impossible conditions. #NeverForget this time in US History. Read the message of hope in this book.

Bob Ossler and Janice Hall Heck are working on a book about Ossler’s growing up and living with ADD, attention deficit disorder. It traces his failure and shame in the earliest grades and throughout his life. But when he discovered the cause of his learning and life difficulties, ADD, Ossler turned his life around. From Goober to Doctorate: Strategies for Overcoming ADD is one tentative title.

If you would like more information on this ADD book, please FOLLOW this blog or go to https://bobosslerchaplain.com

Read an excerpt of Triumph Over Terror here.

Excerpt from Triumph Over Terror: “Sweeper Man”

 

Ten Tips for the A.D.D./A.D.H.D Writer

Chaplain Bob Ossler has A.D.D., but he also had a heart-rending story to tell. This blog tells how Bob and I worked together to produce this multi- award-winning book.

Bob Ossler, Chaplain

How does a person with ADD or ADHD end up writing a book?

Don’t these children, teens, and adults with ADD/ADHD have difficulty completing

Don't Give Up Will we ever finish?

projects?

Don’t they jump from project to project based on their rapidly changing interests?

Aren’t they inattentive, distracted, and perhaps annoyingly active?

How do they sit still long enough to write a multiple award-winning book?

What happens when the ADD person gets overwhelmed and maybe discouraged, wondering,

“Will we ever finish this book?”

We finished our project….and now we have multiple awards.

Strategies to Get You Over the Finish Line

Here are some strategies that Bob Ossler and I used to write Triumph Over Terror, a book about Bob’s experiences at Ground Zero after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in September of 2001. Bob Ossler had a story in his head and heart, but he couldn’t get the…

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Flag Day

Patricia Durgin

Thanks to Patricia A. Durgin, Marketers on a Mission for this meme.

Today is Flag Day…and also my sister Judith K. Rush’s birthday.

Happy Birthday, Judie.

Here’s a rousing praise for our flag and our country.  

 

International Book Award-Triumph Over Terror awarded Finalist: United States History

Ground Zero Chaplain Bob Ossler and I are ecstatic to announce that our book, Triumph Over Terror is a Finalist in the International Book Awards – 2018 -in the US History category.

Triumph Over Terror was a finalist in the national 2017 Best Books Awards.

Bob and I met in a writers critique group in Millville, New Jersey in early 2015. Bob wanted to tell his story about his time at Ground Zero after the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

One story, “Sweeper Man,” was enough to convince us that Bob should write this book.

Bob admits that he is a talker and not a writer, so he had difficulty getting his thoughts down on paper in an organized manner.  In addition, he realized as an adult that he has ADD – attention deficit disorder. (At the present time, the official term is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder- ADHD. However, hyperactivity is not necessarily a problem for everyone with this disorder.)

At any rate, Bob and I formed a writing team. He wrote out his “brain dumps” in emails to me, and I revised, edited, and organized them in a meaningful structure. It took us a year of writing emails, face-to-face meetings, many critique group meetings, outside edits, and more to finish this book, but we did it.

We went to The Greater Philadelphia Chrisitan Writers Conference, organized by Marlene Bagnull, and showed out outlines, book comparisions, short proposal and long proposals around. Bob wore his chaplain shirts and firefighter shirts and caught the attention of publishers, editors, and other writers.

Together, we pitched our book in fifteen minute, face-to-face meetings with publishers and editors. It was like a “speed-dating marathon” where potential relationships begin. We found several interested in our book, but one publisher pursued and wooed us.

“I want that book,” she announced in a crowded hallway.

Two months later, we finished our draft and shipped it off to Scoti Springfield Domeij of Blackside Publishing. After several rounds of revisions, edits, and polishes, the book was published.

Click here to read an excerpt of Triumph Over Terror: “Sweeper Man”

Click here to order Triumph Over Terror on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

Hashtag Heaven – Reblog of Suzie Speaks

What is a Hashtag? A hashtag, put simply, is a label or category that allows others to find something within a specific theme or content and are primarily used on Twitter and Instagram. Once you have copied a URL or used the share button on a post, hashtags can be used to direct your post […]

via Useful Twitter Hashtags for Bloggers — Suzie Speaks

Cute Dogs or American Heroes? Who Wins?

Dog books are great favorites with readers. In two book contests, dog books have taken first place. Our book, Triumph Over Terror, has taken second place. For this third contest, Christian Indie Awards, we would love to see our book take first place. With your help we can. Thanks.

Bob Ossler, Chaplain

by Bob Ossler Chaplain and Janice Hall Heck

Three days remain in the Christian Indie Awards Book contest  (www.christianpublishers.net/18votes/)  Deadline March 31.

Will dog stories win first place in this contest?

best-new-books-032618 --dogs

Our book, Triumph Over Terror, has been in two book contests (Best Books, 2017 and Readers’ Choice, 2017), and we have placed 2nd in each one (in nonfiction category) after books about dogs.

I love dogs. Our family always had dogs as we were growing up, and I had one when I was a young adult. They are great companions who cheer up people on their worst days and add further joy on good days. Dogs give unconditional love. Dogs are heroes in their own right.

Now we are in our third contest, The Christian Indie Awards (Christian Small Publishers Association), and sure enough, there is a dog book in our Nonfiction-Biography category!

Please help us honor our American heroes by…

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God Bless Our Veteran: John Arens

Here is a post honoring an outstanding veteran. The article is coauthored with Bob Ossler and myself.

Bob Ossler, Chaplain

What an honor to be pictured with 91-year-old retired Navy Captain John Arens at the Southwest Florida Military Museum and Library in Cape Coral, Florida.

Every Tuesday, the SWF Military Museum offers lunch for veterans and family members. Up to 200 attendees enjoy the lunch and camaraderie each week.

Bob with vet in white suit- mem museum

Captain Arens, a Toledo, Ohio native, born in 1926,  has an impressive military career.

He first served in the Merchant Marines near the end of WWII. As a teenager he joined this non-military organization which protects transportation of commercial goods and passengers during peacetime. However, in times of war, Merchant Marines can provide assistance to the US Navy.

While in the Merchant Marines, he was drafted into the US Army and served as an Airborne Ranger in the Korean War with the Army Rangers 187th Airborne.

In the 1960s, he trained for and became a Navy SCUBA diver and worked for a number of years in the Arctic. After that, he skippered a Navy…

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