September 15, 2011
I have always wanted to be a writer but my journey to get there followed a convoluted path that found me spending 15 years working in the building trades in New York City, having to leave that business because of something called MS, an acronym for an insidious illness called Multiple Sclerosis, that short circuits your nervous system leaving varied results for different folks, in my case stumbling around like a drunk and then being almost unable to walk at all. That was 30 years ago and, today, after a lot of hard work and prayers, I use no walking aids and get around just like most everyone else.
My wife, Loretta, my three kids and I moved to Florida (doctor’s advice) when this was all “going down” and I have been here ever since. Loretta died nine years ago from Melanoma and I married a widow four years ago (a great gal named Marty) who is now undergoing chemotherapy for Lymphoma. I also had prostate cancer and after a radical prostatectomy four and a half years ago, I’m doing great. Seems that cancer is like Al-Queda—always sneaking around and attacking people trying to kill them. Fortunately, due to incredible advances, cancer is not nearly as successful as it use to be although there is still a long way to go before, like Al-Queda, it is irradicated. So—I am a husband, father, grandfather and officially a “senior citizen” and what am I doing now is writing, with one of my genres being children’s books. It is my “permanent senior moment”. It’s ALL GOOD.
Enough of the “me” stuff. Let’s get to the book. The title is “Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes”. This is my first published children’s book and it is about a boy who has slippery feet. No one, not even the smartest doctors around, can figure out why Willie has slippery feet. He just does and that is all there is to it.
Naturally, because of his slippery feet, Willie just slips, slides and spins all over the place. He cannot run because he starts to slide, he cannot climb a tree because his feet slip off the branches and he cannot ride a bicycle because his feet slip from the pedals. Willie hates his slippery feet but what he hates even more are the special shoes that have been made for him that will stop all the slipping and sliding and spinning. Willie thinks that they are the stupidest, ugliest shoes anywhere and he is positive that, if he wears them, everyone will laugh at him. He discovers that sometimes we worry about things about ourselves when actually there was nothing to worry about in the first place.
The message in the book is about accepting “differences” in each other. Many kids think that, in some ways,they are different than other kids; ears are too big, nose is too large, hair does not look right, etc. Often times it can be a self-esteem issue and low self-esteem is one of the reasons some children are succeptible to bullying. The book has an intercative guide that addresses these issues and can be used in a classroom setting.