By David B. Rossman
Special to ASSIST News Service
My motto became: “I have cerebral palsy, but it doesn’t have me, it just slows me down a bit.”
For years people told me that I would be good at writing books for kids. At first I didn’t believe them. I was into writing poetry and every time I thought of a storyline for any other type of writing, it would come out as poetry. So, I didn’t even try to write a kid’s book.
Then when my sons from my first marriage were born, life got in the way and I didn’t get to see them grow up. (That is another story.) Writing of any kind took a backseat for a bit.
When Anita, my daughter from my second marriage was born, my focus changed and I took notes on everything I could when it came to her. I did a rough draft called DADDY AND ME TIME. When my daughter and I went to the movies, rode in the car, tried to ride bikes, went for walks in the park, prayed…anything we did together became something to write about. (I really missed out on getting to do these things with my sons.)
Since I was born with cerebral palsy (which makes me walk like a penguin), in the draft of DADDY AND ME TIME, the characters are a daddy penguin and his little girl penguin. After a while, I was able to write with ease. The problem was getting someone to draw the illustrations for the book. I put the idea of publishing a children’s book back on the back burner. Though several friends kept reminding me that I should give it a shot.
Just before my daughter finished school and moved out, I started looking at the pets I live with. They were all adopted. First came Honey-Pup, a Cocker Spaniel; then came Blackie, a black cat and then Axel, the kitten, came to join our family. I began taking pictures of all three of my pets and the things they do.
I then began writing lines to go along with the pictures. I decided to make all the books interactive for the kids reading them. I left blank spaces in the sentences so the kids can fill in the blanks or as a question about the picture, like…can you find the ball for Honey-Pup?
I soon started looking into ways to self-publish and how to cut cost of overhead. I found www.lulu.com, a do-it-yourself website. Through this site I was able to print by order only. At first I thought the prices were a bit high, but when I thought about it and began to see what my work looked like when it was finished, I decided to give it a try.
So here are details of a few of them:
HI, MY NAME IS AXEL
HI, MY NAME IS HONEY-PUP
In this book, I focus on the Cocker Spaniel’s need to play ball all the time and the way she reacts to the two cats that live with her.
HI AGAIN, I’M AXEL AND THIS IS MEOW
Now as Axel the kitten has gotten older, her favorite playground (a fallen tree in the neighbor’s yard) has to be cut up so we can find Honey-Pup’s ball, which is lost in the neighbor’s yard.
HI, MY NAME IS BLACKIE
Blackie, though a lazy cat, deserved his own book so I took what pictures I could and used pictures that I took for the other books and put his book together.
THAT’S MY LIBRARY
In this book, which is a short book about the library I volunteer at, I took a chance on looking at the library through the eyes of a young patron as she visits the library with her mom twice a week. With the permission of her mom and herself, I wrote about the things she liked about the library and what keeps her and her family coming back to this small but mighty library in Roy, Washington.
For more information on David’s books, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or write David B. Rossman, P.O. Box 401, Roy, WA 98580-0401.