Janice Hall Heck

Finding hope in a chaotic world…

Archive for the category “#TriumphOverTerror”

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.

 

 

 

 

VOTE for Triumph Over Terror… Nominated for Christian Indie Awards

Our book, Triumph Over Terror, coauthored by Bob Ossler Chaplain and Janice Hall Heck, has been nominated for the 2018 Christian Indie Award.  NonFiction category.

http://www.christianpublishers.net/18votes/

Click here to vote: 2018 Christian Indie Award.bob at millville 9-11

Triumph Over Terror is a book about Chaplain Bob Ossler’s experiences at Ground Zero after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City.

Order Triumph Over Terror on Amazon.

Here is an excerpt:

Sweeper Man’s Hopeless Task

“I must lose myself in action, lest I whither in despair.”  –Alfred Lord Tennyson

Soon after our introduction to St. Paul’s Chapel [where volunteers were housed], a volunteer guide offered to take us on a tour of Ground Zero. As I walked with about twenty other chaplains toward the smoking, smoldering, seven-stories high wreckage of buildings and souls, we passed a fatherly-looking figure pushing a long-handled broom. A dirty sweatshirt barely covered his protruding belly. White chalky ask shrouded his pant legs–the pulverized cement of collapsed buildings intermingled with ashes of cremated bodies. Engulfed in the stench of death, he swept and pushed, swept and pushed at piles of dust-fine ash and dirt, twisted metal and broken glass, chunks of concrete, tangled wires, and papers blown from the demolished towers. Debris stretched as far as the eye could see, endless–but still Sweeper Man swept and pushed, swept and pushed.

To restore order to his street, one man faced the greatest physical and emotional challenge of his lifetime. He picked up his broom to do something, anything, no matter how small.

Swoosh, swoosh. Swoosh, swoosh. A symbol of hope. He pushed his long-handled broom slowly but steadily, shoving away the rubble and ash of shattered buildings and lives.

As our group of chaplains walked by on Sweeper Man’s newly created path, he stepped aside. We greeted him, and he nodded. After we passed him, I looked back. He leaned on his broom, lowered his head, and began to cry. In that overwhelming mess, he looked so forlorn trying to clear his patch of the city he loved. Seeing him weep over his broom broke my heart.

I walked back and embraced him. He grabbed onto me and sobbed on my shoulder. “I’m exhausted from trying to clean up this mess. It’s hopeless. Hopeless. Hopeless.”

I hugged him harder and complimented him on his nice, clean area, and how much I appreciated the time and effort he invested into clearing the trash and junk away. Before I moved back to the group of chaplains, I offered to share a prayer with him. He accepted, so we prayed together and asked God for strength in these terrible times.

Sweeper Man thanked me for the hug, the prayer, and the encouragement. After I turned to catch up to my group, he went back to work with his broom to make his path wider–sweeping, sweeping,

A tragedy of unspeakable proportions left his little corner of New York City totally trashed, but he persevered in his work.

Steady. Reliable. Crushed in spirit, but buoyed with enough encouragement to begin again, to take one more step, to push the broom one more time, to sweep away at the ruins threatening to bury all hope.

Sweeper Man reminded me of an important lesson that day: No matter the job, every single person who works in disaster cleanup is important and needs to be appreciated and recognized for their efforts.

Even though I may never see Sweeper Man again, for one moment in time, our lives connected, and God’s love touched us both.

Used by permission, Blackside Publishing.

Order Triumph Over Terror on AMAZON 

VOTE for Triumph Over Terror in the Christian Indie Awards contest NON-fiction category.

Vote for other excellent writers:

Pam Halter, Willoughby and the Terribly Itchy Itch

Candy Abbott, I’ve Never Loved Him More

MaryAnn Diorio, The Dandelion Patch  and Return to Bella Terra

Kathryn Ross, The Gatekeeper’s Key

Michele Chynoweth, The Peace Maker

Read another excerpt from Triumph Over Terror on co-author Chaplain Bob Ossler’s blog. “Hard Shells, Soft Hearts”    https://wordpress.com/post/bobosslerchaplain.com/100

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quest Conquered: Book Published

My last post, A Quest of Another Kind,  was about a challenge that my friend Chaplain Bob Ossler and I undertook: writing a book about his experiences at Ground Zero after September 11. It took over a year and more than 1000 typed pages in various drafts, but we completed it and found a small publisher interesting in getting it out in print and ebook formats. Triumph Over Terror is for sale on Amazon and Ingram.

The book, Triumph Over Terror, has been out for just over a year, and we have entered various contests. We claimed a Finalist position in the  AmericanBookFest.com Best Books of 2017 competition, and earned the right to post this award on our blog site and on the book itself. http://www.americanbookfest.com

Now we are in the Readers Choice competition and are presently in 5th place. This competition requires readers to vote for their favorite book. Each author tries to drum up as many friends and readers as possible.  There is not tangible reward for winning this competition–just some bragging rights and a gold sticker to paste on the front cover of the book. Mostly it’s an honor and even a bit humbling to see how many people like and vote for our book.

Would you vote for us, too. Click here. buff.ly/2zYMgjJ Category 6 #Memoir Triumph Over Terror by Chaplain Bob Ossler and Janice Hall Heck.

Please vote for Triumph Over Terror now. Click on the site, then click on the black bar (it says 1/16) at the right corner and wait a second. Then click through to page 6/16, and scroll down to Triumph Over Terror. A little circle will spin to show you have voted.

Thanks.

Triumph Over Terror Paperback – July 19, 2016

 

15th Anniversary 9-11 Tribute

#NeverForget. Every September 11, patriotic Americans spend time reflecting on the terrorist attacks of 9-11. They were beyond our comprehension at that time…and even now remain incomprehensible. How could such a terrible attack occur on American soil? So many people lost their lives: firefighters, police officers, first responders, emergency workers, civilians. But America is strong, and we recover from these terrible events. Even so, we do not forget.

Chaplain Bob Ossler spent 45 days working at Ground Zero and his memories of those events are strong. He has recorded his memories and reflections in his book, Triumph Over Terror.  Here are a few of the scenes he remembers taken by photograph friends Chaplain Dan Schafer, Dan Pennino, Mary Gepana Eble, Krystyna Anderson and a few others in a video scripted by Janice Hall Heck and produced by Sam Rempel.

http://amzn.to/2c98g0J

See more on Chaplain Bob Osslers website http://www.triumphoverterror.com

Cell Phones Ring In Deadly Silence

An eerie silence prevails in the wee hours of the morning–disturbed only by a medley of ringing cell phones–loved ones trying to check on missing family members or friends who just might be in that previously noisy, crowded Orlando nightclub.

No one answers.

I can imagine, even feel, the fear and terror in the hearts of those callers, crying, begging, “Please, please, please answer your phone.”

My prayers go out to all of those callers–and to everyone else who has a direct connection to the massacre of fifty or more individuals at that Orlando nightclub: families, friends, first responders, emergency workers, hospital employees, and so many more. Those who respond see atrocious images that freeze in their minds and torment them for years. Who can understand this hate? This viciousness? This anger? It is beyond our comprehension. We cannot successfully answer the question, “Why?”

But we all are connected to this tragedy because of revived memories of other terrors in our lives: the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, other deadly rampages by unstable individuals, and personal tragedies of all kinds. Please offer prayers for everyone involved  in this recent attack regardless of age, race, or orientation in religion, politics, or gender identity. This is not a time to judge. This is a time to care.

We don’t understand the motives of the shooter. But America is not about hate. Be strong and stand together against divisiveness of all kinds. Reach out and offer your care and concern for all who suffer.

Pray for God’s peace and comfort in this time of national sorrow. He is there to comfort us through our sorrows.

Prayer -

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