A Tale of Two Titles: Triumph or Trump?

by Bob Ossler and Janice Hall Heck

Choosing a title for a book is tricky. Designing the book cover is another matter.

Our first book, Triumph Over Terror, has just gotten a new cover. Look at cover 1 and  cover 2. Can you see why we changed it?

Cover 1                                                  Cover 2

Author Bob Ossler walked into a bookstore/candy store in touristy Matlache, Florida (The Fudge Factory) where our book is prominently displayed for browsers. Who can beat that combination?
Resized_20180524_094723[930]

The bookstore owner reported hearing these comments  from store visitors.

“TRUMP? Who wants to read a book about Donald Trump?”

“Or Trump? I want/don’t want to read a book about that president.”

We wrote our book before our country’s love/hate relationship began with Donald Trump. But now, people glance at our title and misread Triumph as Trump.

Those who pick up the book and glance through it find that Triumph Over Terror is a highly sensitive book about the victims and heroes of 9/11. Chaplain Ossler spent 45 days at Ground Zero ministering to and counseling family members who lost loved ones in the tragedy. He also spent countless hours caring for the heartbroken and weary firefighters, police, emergency workers, construction crews, and volunteers. No one who worked on the Pile at Ground Zero escaped the emotional pain caused by the 9-11 terrorists.

After hearing these Trump comments in several venues, we decided to ask our publisher, Scoti Springfield Domeij of Blackside Publishing, to change the cover. She agreed.

Our new cover features the authors names at the top, with the lead in, Ground Zero Chaplain, Bob Ossler. The cover uses smaller type and gives a better view of the new World Trade Center.

In two seconds people discern that Triumph Over Terror is about September 11 and the author is a chaplain. It is clearly not a political book, and it is definitely not about Donald Trump.

Did we accomplish our mission? What do you think?

Triumph Over Terror is listed on Amazon where it has received 53 five-star reviews. Here is one review:

Patty

August 14, 2016

Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
Just finished this book and oh my goodness, I ran a whole gamut of emotions. Reading these inspiring stories brought tears to my eyes, smiles to my face, deep sadness and anger. Anger at the terrorists and anger for what the 1st. responders, volunteers, police, military, workers and firefighters were having to see and the horror they’ll never forget. It also brought joy to my heart for the courage of those men and women and for all the chaplains who spent so much time there bringing hope, comfort and love, also for sharing their unfailing faith prayers and the word of our loving God to everyone there. Thank you all. Triumph over Terror is a tremendous, heartwarming and powerful book that everyone should read.

You can read an excerpt of Triumph Over Terror here:

Excerpt: Triumph Over Terror  “Hard Shells, Soft Shells”

You can order Triumph Over Terror on Amazon here.

News on Upcoming ADD/ADHD book:

Ossler and Heck are now collaborating on a book about ADD/ADHD, attention deficit disorder. Look for more news on that topic on this website. Ossler tells stories about his years growing up and living with ADD in a pre-ADD world. A chance encounter with Dr. Edward Hallowell, author of Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder, helped Ossler identify the source of his life-long frustrations. With sheer willpower and thoughtful evaluation of his difficulties, he figured out strategies to help him cope at work, at home, and in life in general. He shares his strategies in this book.

Janice Hall Heck has over 40 years in the education world. More than half of those years were spent in classrooms for students with special needs. The remaining years were spent in educational administration as principal in Kenai, Alaska, and at Hong Kong International School, Hong Kong, China.

As expected, the title for this ADD/ADHD book is elusive and has not been finalized yet. We’ll keep you posted.

 

 

 

 

 

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Where were you on 9-11?

Everyone has a story of their memories of 9-11. This is the time of the year to share them.

Chaplain Bob Ossler spent 45 days over several months at Ground Zero in NYC after the newspaper 911 2terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Working at Ground Zero with emergency service providers and search and recovery workers filled his heart and mind with unforgettable memories.

It took him fifteen years to write about these events, but finally he did. Writing out his memories helped to clear the horrific images that burdened his mind for years.

You have memories of that day, too. How did 9-11 affect you?

Read Ossler’s touching stories in Triumph Over Terror.

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Never Forget September 11, 2001

For #ReadABookDay, please consider Triumph Over Terror now at a special rate of $3.99 on Kindle.

Multi-award winning book, Triumph Over Terror, can be summed up in one word:

September 11 Rescue and Recovery. Dan Schaefer photo. Used by permission. Triumph Over Terror by Bob Ossler and Janice Hall Heck

September 11 Rescue and Recovery. Dan Schafer photo. Used by permission. Triumph Over Terror by Bob Ossler and Janice Hall Heck

Powerful.

We’ve all send the images of 9/11. Even though they were hard to look at, we could not turn our eyes away. So I braced myself to read Bob’s book, not wanting to remember those images and experience the pain of 9/11 all over again. I intended to take just a minute to see how Bob began his book but got hooked on the first page and just kept reading.

Triumph Over Terror isn’t just a history lesson. It’s a book full of life lessons.

Tim Shoemaker, speaker and author of Super Husband, Super Dad, and the Co of Silence Series

Triumph Over Terror is Chaplain Bob Ossler’s reflections on the days after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Ossler spent 45 days in five tours at Ground Zero counseling heartbroken families of victims, and overworked and weary search and rescue teams, search and recover teams, construction workers, emergency services workers, and volunteers. This was an emotion-packed time for everyone.

Many communities host #NeverForget ceremonies in recognition of those who lost their lives in the disaster and those who served in the clean-up.

 

 

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September 11 Ground Zero Heroes

by Chaplain Bob Ossler and Janice Hall Heck

“Heroes may not be braver than anyone else. They’re just braver five minutes longer.” Ronald Reagan

First responders, emergency workers, firefighters, police officers, construction workers search and rescue teams, search and recovery teams, and all the volunteers associated with the war-zone clean-up of ruin and loss–these were the true Ground Zero heroes. Showing strength deep within their souls, these men and women embodied the definition of endurance, heart, and true grit.

Working on The Pile photo by Dan Shafer. Used by permission in Triumph Over Terror by Bob Ossler and Janice Hall Heck

“Working on The Pile”– photo by Dan Shafer. Used by permission in Triumph Over Terror by Chaplain Bob Ossler and Janice Hall Heck

A hero willingly and knowingly risks personal safety and well-being for another human being. At Ground Zero, heroes of all kinds surrounded us. These heroes worked long hours during the day and then worked more hours at night under blazing lights. Committed to teamwork, they worked to the point of exhaustion and beyond, single-minded in purpose and laser-focused on the job at hand. After the hope of finding survivors faded, they doggedly searched for remains of work associates and civilians.

Danger surrounded them. Cave-ins on the Pile occurred without warning. The air they breathed contained not only the stench of death, but also asbestos particles, fiberglass splinters, toxic chemicals, and incinerated human remains–air that could poison their futures.

These heroes sacrificed time with their families to serve their crews, their city, and their country.

A few said, “It’s hard to be called a hero when you feel so eaten down and demoralized.” But these folks rose out of the ashes and served well. They deserve to be called heroes.

Excerpt from Triumph Over Terror

 

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Never Forget: Missing Persons, September 11, 2001

By Bob Ossler and Janice Hall Heck

In memory of those who lost their lives at Ground Zero after the terrorist attacks, and in recognition of the heroes who served there in the search and rescue, search and recovery, clean-up operations, and the volunteers who assisted them,  we will post multiple short excerpts from our book,  Triumph Over Terror during the month of September.

Missing Persons: Have You Seen Me?

“Walking the short distance to St. Paul’s Chapel, we encountered somber evidence of the huge number of people who died in the World Trade Center collapse.

MIssing Persons - After September 11. Photo by Mary Eble. Used by permission. Triumph Over Terror by Chaplain Bob Ossler and Janice Hall Heck

Missing Persons after 9-11 Photo by Mary Eble. Used by permission in Triumph Over Terror by Ground Zero Chaplain Bob Ossler and Janice Hall Heck

Frantic, grief-stricken loved ones, in confusion and disbelief, plastered photos and flyers for missing persons everywhere around the perimeter of Ground Zero and Lower Manhattan. Fluttering posters covered buildings, lampposts, fences, pillars, and windows.

Signs hung on chain-link fences and blocked existing ads on kiosks and subway walls.

Missing Persons photo on fence at St. Paul's Chapel. Photo by Mary Eble. From Triumph Over Terror by Ground Zero Chaplain Bob Ossler and Janice Hall Heck

Missing Persons photo on fence at St. Paul’s Chapel. Photo by Mary Eble. From Triumph Over Terror by Ground Zero Chaplain Bob Ossler and Janice Hall Heck

Signs. All sizes, colors, and shapes.  Hand-printed and computer-printed flyers. Hand-drawn and crayon-colored pictures by children. Photo collages of missing persons. Pictures of firefighters and police officers and emergency responders. Multi-generational family pictures. Photos of men and women, young and old. Thousands of pictures.

Loved ones…all lost in this vast destruction.”

Excerpt from Triumph Over Terror

 

 

 

 

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ADD/ADHD: Impulsive Artist

A short attention span is generally seen as a negative. In my case, I called it curiosity. I wanted to know everything, see everything, do everything. I couldn’t do this very well sitting on a hard seat in a classroom. I needed to move and jive and experiment and do things with my hands. Inattention wasn’t my problem. I paid attention to everything in my environment, but I could not focus on the teacher or the instruction at hand. Distraction could have been my middle name.

No surprise, academics was not my strong suit, but I found success in other areas. I had many competing interests and was always on the lookout for new…umm…distractions.

One time, midway in my military career, I went shopping at a hobby store and saw a

Seascape by Bob Ossler

Seascape by Bob Ossler

seascape painting.  I can paint that! I looked at art books and saw a tutorial on how to paint scenery. I bought the book and a beginner paint set with brushes, oil paints, and canvases then headed back to the dorm to try out my new hobby.

I tried to paint the seascape but got frustrated. The oil paints took too long to dry, and I was impatient to have my finished result. My tendency towards perfectionism kicked in and brought on frustration. My painting looked a bit messy from rushing with the slow-drying oil paints.

Obsessed with conquering this new desire to paint, I headed back to the art store and bought faster-drying acrylic paint. This worked better for me, but I hadn’t finished  my first painting when I started looking at other things to paint.  I hyper-focused on the idea of painting, but I wasn’t hyper focused on finishing the paintings.  Sounds like my life history: starts projects but doesn’t finish them.

bob painting masted ship

painting by Bob Ossler

I painted one seascape painting that looked pretty good. A few of my friends saw it and said, “Wow, you have talent.” One guy offered me five buck for the painting.

This floored me. I realized I could make a buck here and there by selling my paintings. I did a sunset harbor scene that a lot of people really liked. Most of my paintings took an hour or two to complete, sometimes a bit longer to allow time for drying. I calculated how much money I could make if I kept painting.

I got bored with seascapes and landscapes and wanted to paint other scenes. I painted the Eiffel tower, airplanes, flowers, and lighthouses. I even did a portrait of a girl that I liked. That painting surprised a lot of people, even her. I was precise on details. I got the crookedness in her teeth almost perfectly. This annoyed her.

After a while, reality dawned. Painting was fun, and people complimented me on my results. But I was no Picasso (even though I copied one of his paintings–“Peace and Joy”).

Painting would have to remain a hobby. I realized I had to put some of this same energy and enthusiasm into my work assignments (x-ray technology) in the military. After all, the training I received in the military would give me a means of earning income in civilian life.

Art would have to remain a hobby, one interesting distraction among many.

_______

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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A.D.D. and High-Risk Jobs

People with ADD/ADHD often end up with high-energy, fast-action, high-risk jobs. Bob Ossler is no exception.

In his life time Bob has been an EMT, a paramedic, a firefighter, and an air-sea rescue diver with the Chicago Fire Department.

Bob at Meigs Field, Chicago ice dive 2003

Bob (Middle) at Meigs Field, Chicago ice dive 2003

In his early 20s in the military, Bob had a spiritual encounter that changed the direction of his life. Over the years, in addition to gaining further emergency services training, Bob sought out spiritual training.  After seventeen years of part-time study and despite his learning difficulties, Bob was ordained as a pastor. He became a part-time chaplain for the Melrose Fire Department while continuing to work for the Chicago Fire Department.

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, he responded to the call for chaplains at Ground Zero in New York City. He shares many of his experiences of counseling families of victims, workers, and volunteers at Ground Zero in his book Triumph Over Terror.

As an adult, he was diagnosed with ADD which helped him understand why he had such trouble learning in school. Over the years he developed his own techniques for learning and remembering while studying in self-paced independent learnings settings. This type of learning became the key to his success.

Bob is now writing about his life and the lessons and strategies he used to compensate for his learning difficulties. He’s retired now, but he volunteers his time as chaplain of the Cape Coral Fire Department in Cape Coral, Florida. He still races to fires and accidents and other tragic situations, not to assist as an emergency service provider, but to serve as a chaplain. He offers comfort to people in distress and offers prayer when appropriate.

It has taken years, but Bob has found his calling.

——

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.

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ADD/ADHD: Like a Runaway Train

By Bob Ossler and Janice Hall Heck

Once people find out that I talk and write about ADD/ADHD, they want to talk. (ADHD is the official term for this disorder generally associated with children–attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. ADD, attention deficit disorder, is more commonly associated with adults, but in everyday conversation, people use and recognize the term ADD.)

A woman came up to me after church the other day and said, “I heard you were writing a book on ADD.”

“Yes,” I said, “I am working on a book with my coauthor Janice Hall Heck, a former teacher of children with special needs and an educational administrator.”ADHD signs

“My nephew has been diagnosed with ADHD. Can you tell me in five minutes what that means?”

“In my case, it means that my brain and my body are constantly on overload. It’s like having a runaway freight train in my head…it’s constantly needs to blow off steam and race down the tracks, skipping stations as it goes. I have a hard time putting on the brakes.

I’m a guy on a unicycle doing a high wire act while balancing and juggling a chainsaw, a ball of fire, a beehive, and a porcupine. High risk activities fall in my bailiwick.

I have difficulty with focus and attention. I see, hear, smell, and sense everything going on around me. My brain doesn’t filter out all these extraneous things, but treats them all with equal attention.

It’s like the computer analogy: garbage in, garbage out. Because my brain doesn’t filter out extraneous information, everything gets thrown into the hopper and ends up in a jumbled, tangled mess up there. This problem slows me down as I have to work harder to sort things out and figure out what is important to pay attention to and what I should ignore. That’s actually hard work.

As a child, I tuned out and went off on my own daydreams. Teachers called me a space cadet. Classmates called me stupid.

As an adult, I’ve learned to pay attention to what is happening around me. I have trained myself to focus in on our conversation, for example. I work hard to shut out all those other conversations going on around us,  as well as the actions, and other distracting elements in the environment so I can focus on you and our specific conversation.

A child with ADHD does not understand why this bombardment of competing distractions happens, why he seems to be so different from other children, or why other children seem to learn things faster. It takes wise parents and wise teachers to understand the dilemma the child faces every minute of his life. Overstimulation does not go away, so the child has to learn to manage it. The teacher and parents need to assist.

Bob and runaway freight train...

“My nephew has ADHD. Tell me in five minutes what that means.”

Parents need to be the child’s advocate and develop a friendly, working relationship with school personnel. By working together, the ADHD issues can be tamed but never eliminated. It’s a constant, ongoing battle.

Parents need to read everything they can get their hands on to learn about this learning difference. (I prefer to use the term learning difference, rather than learning disorder.)

 “I think I understand a little better now,” she said. I hope I didn’t overwhelm her.

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