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.
Click here to vote: 2018 Christian Indie Award.
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.
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.
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
A person with ADD/ADHD can overcome lots of difficulties. One can even write a book about his life’s experiences! Bob Ossler, Chicago paramedic, firefighter, air-sea rescue, ordained pastor and chaplain. Bob Ossler did just that with coauthor Janice Hall Heck. Triumph Over Terror is that book.
So I’ve owned up to being A.D.D./A.D.H.D, and that explains a bit of my poor performance in school in my early years. It may also explain a bit of my impulsiveness, inattention, and hyperactivity as a child and as an adult.
When I was a kid, I was Trouble with that capital T. I couldn’t seem to control my inattention, my off-task behavior, my risk-taking behavior, my failure to learn as fast as the other kids, my inability to complete tasks, and my penchant for taking up new interests when old interests quickly faded.
As a kid, I was a mess. But I did squeak through high school, thanks to my supportive parents and a few teachers who seemed to take special interest in me.
Along the way, I discovered strengths that have helped me become successful in life. In fact, I might even call those strengths “my superabilities.” Once I identified them, my life changed…
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Please help us reach our goal: to finish up in 2nd place in the Readers Choice Book Competition – book title: Triumph Over Terror in Memoir Category 6. (The #1 book in this category already has far more votes than we could get at this point, so we will be happy with 2nd place.) We need 10 votes…and maybe a few more for extra measure.
Vote here for Triumph Over Terror, Category 6/16 Memoir Thanks for your help. Deadline: December 10. So vote now.
It’s been a while since I posted on this blog, but there’s a good reason. I was involved in the writing, publication, and promotion of Triumph Over Terror, a book coauthored with Chaplain Bob Ossler about his experiences at Ground Zero in New York City after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Bob Ossler and I have also been posting at http://www.BobOsslerChaplain.com
Writing a book is hard enough, but after you write it and get it published, you have to garner people’s interest and get them to buy it.
Book contests are one way to create interest. Announcements about the contest go on Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, email, and wherever else a writer has online presence.
I’m downsizing my grammar book collection, or at least trying to. Tough job. I have so many favorites. How can I heartlessly toss these treasures in a box for a yard sale? No. Some simply cannot go.
Last night I picked up Essays of E. B. White (Harper Perennial, 1977 edition. Original copyright 1934). White is known for Charlotte’s Web, a book about a pig, a spider, and a young girl–a favorite with children everywhere. White is also known for his writings in the New Yorker and Harper’s magazine.
In one essay, White describes his own attempts to discard some of the accumulated miscellany gathered in his lifetime. But one book, he decides, he can’t possibly disown is The Elements of Style, the much favored, much challenged book by William Strunk, Jr.
In 1919, E.B. White took an English class at Cornell University with Strunk as the teacher. Elements of Style was on the required reading list.
Years later, (1957) E.B. White was asked to revise of The Elements, but after time spent working on it, he decided that “I discovered that for all my fine talk, I was no match for the parts of speech…[and] I felt uneasy at posing as an expert on rhetoric, when the truth is I write by ear, always with difficulty and seldom with any exact notion of what is taking place under the hood.”
Those reservations notwithstanding, White did revise Strunk’s original work. And, of course, that work has been revised again and again and is still a best seller on Amazon.
Downsizing my grammar book collection forces me to pick up old favorites and riffle through their pages and even smell a bit of their mustiness. With a sigh, Essays and Elements both go into a box to be donated to the library for its book sale. If I get nostalgic for these oldies, I will visit them on Amazon. I am sure they will be there for years to come.
My coauthor (Janice Hall Heck) and I have written a book entitled Triumph Over Terror, a book about my experiences as a volunteer chaplain at Ground Zero after September 11. It was a hard book to write because of the painful memories of suffering that flooded back into my mind. But, to once and for all, clear my head of these memories, I enlisted the help of my writers critique group friend, Janice Hall Heck.
It took us a year, but now Triumph Over Terror has been published and available on
Amazon for just over a year where we have 51 5-star reviews.
Now we are in a Readers Choice competition, and we are an UNDERDOG, trailing a book about a special needs DOG by about 450 points. I don’t know how the author amassed so many votes. We have been working…
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