Home ANS Feature Who Says Penguins Cannot Write Children’s Books & Poetry?

Who Says Penguins Cannot Write Children’s Books & Poetry?

by ANS Editor

By David B. Rossman, Special Columnist for ASSIST News Service

David Rossman 2ROY, WA (ANS – Feb. 14, 2016) — I’m the youngest of nine, and was born with Cerebral Palsy, which makes me walk like a penguin. I was told by a doctor when I was a child that I’d better learn to use my mind because my legs would not last and would eventually give out.

I started writing in the 8th grade and fell in love with it. I dreamed of making it in the literary world. The only issue was, I could see what I wanted to write and it would come out as poetry. So, poetry became my thing.

Life has been tough, especially when in 1986 my mother passed away and then just nine months later in May of 1987, my dad also died. Then, in the early 90’s, things got even worse when I found myself going through a divorce from my first wife and losing my two sons.

But it wasn’t all bad, as I moved to Bellflower, California, and started volunteering at the ASSIST office there. That’s where I first met Dan and Norma Wooding, the founders of the ministry. They encouraged me to write my poetry and I was blessed to be put there and meeting them. It was a great learning time.

Eventually, I relocated to Washington State and continued to write. I remarried and became a father to a baby girl, and she became such an inspiration to me. I self-published a collection for short stories called A NARROW ROAD and three books of poetry called THE HEART OF A MAN, SECOND CHANCE: TAKING THE NEXT STEP IN LOVE, and THE JOURNEY. I was working in retail and while there, I found my spot in the writing world. Customers were asking when the next book would be coming out.

In 2004, my second marriage ended and I became a single father to my daughter, Anita, however, my sons were not around.

In 2006, due to the Cerebral Palsy, I retired and from the retail world, devoting my time to raising my daughter and writing. After a bit, I couldn’t afford to self-publish anymore and the books that didn’t sell, sat in storage. I continued to write, but the manuscripts sat on a shelf in my office, collection dust. People would suggest that I start looking for new ways to self-publish. I took a quick look at https://www.lulu.com, and wasn’t sure, so I pushed the idea aside, but kept writing.

In June 2009, my daughter and I were able to go to California for two weeks to visit my sons, for the first time is 18 years. Just when I thought that I was all dried out on the poetry writing, I get blessed with inspiration. Sometimes, I just have to add a thought in with the poetry, so there may be just one word or phrase on the page and on to the next.

Cover of THE JOURNEYIn 2015 I took another look at https://www.lulu.com, and found that I didn’t have to order books and have them sitting around waiting to sale. It is a print on demand order site. So, I dusted off all the manuscripts and get to work. I started combining two books is one (each book being 100 pages.) Poetry Journals 1-26 are the two in one combos. I also found a box of old letters that my dad wrote to his mom (my grandma) from 1960-1987. I put the letters in numerical order by date and LETTERS HOME: Grandma’s Box of Letters, was born. After a few months, I got a box in the mail. It was another bunch of letters. So, instead of editing LETTEERS HOME and adding these new letters to it, I just did LETTERS HOME: Grandma’s Second Box of Letters.

I volunteer at the local library in Roy, Washington, (which isn’t far from my home) and the Library Director, Mrs. Hanson, suggested that I write some books for kids. My first attempt: DADDY AND ME TIME (which is a story about a daddy penguin and his kid penguin going about their day to the movies, riding bikes, hiking and walking.) It still sits unpublished due to illustration issues.

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 who are 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? With the help of my pets my ‘HI, MY NAME IS’ series was born. As the pets aged, I wrote the ‘AND THIS IS ME NOW’ series. When my pets passed away, I wrote the ‘CIRCLE OF LIFE’ series.

I am currently working on poetry journal 32: HEY THERE FRIEND, CAN WE CHAT? You can find these books at: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/davidbrian68. You can contact me by email at davidbrian68@yahoo.com or by snail mail at: David Rossman, P.O. Box 401, Roy, WA. 98580-0401, USA. I’d love to hear from you.

Photo captions: 1) This picture was taken at my home in Roy, WA, 2) Cover of one of David’s books. 3) David B. Rossman.

David RossmanAbout the writer: David B. Rossman, a Special Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service. He was born with Cerebral Palsy, and yet has been able to write a total of some 52 books. David lives in Roy, Washington State, and can be contacted at davidbrian68@yahoo.com.

** You may republish this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net).

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