that ended with a happy resolution for all concerned. Even the villains were spared. I submitted my manuscript to Exceptional Parent magazine and the editor was delighted. That person changed their mind after much negotiation. You’d think that I would’ve given up on the thought of being an author of a children’s book. Time lead my unremarkable life’s journey forward with my taskmaster accompanying me every minute of my way. I moved nearer to a children’s hospital in another city for expert treatment for my son. One ray of hope for my mental health: I still had my magic pencil to carry me through those times of uncertainty. In my life before MS, I was a prolific artist working in many mediums: drawing, metals, silver, oil painting & piano to name a few. My music and art career were severely hampered by multiple sclerosis. Adding another advanced degree in effortlessly interacting with no sign of fatigue. Their innocent courtship and drippy love affair reflects the desires of every person, with a happy ending. An ending those children and their parents can identify with. The activity version has an additional 35 pages of educational fun material that will keep children busy for hours after its reading. These activities are suitable for all children at many cognitive levels.
E P I L O G U E
Today my son is 29 years old, has bought a home and is working as proofreader for a sub contracting company that services the local air force base. He is my hero. My example of how someone with severe disabilities can overcome their own obstacles and limitations to reach and attain their goals. •
BOTTLED UP: Details from Little Miss Blue & Mr. Red Who? A little blue ink drop is held prisoner in an ink bottle by an evil bottle cork that represents multiple sclerosis, the gate keeper of my body. Tormented every night by cork’s nightmarish rhymes, Little Miss Blue finally escapes from her bottle prison.
1997 was the most logical choice for someone with my new physical limitations. Down, but not out for the count, I was forced again to retire from my new teaching profession after only six years. Hello taskmaster my loyal companion, you’re acting up again I see. How have you been? Busy? I hope not. When I had to take disability retirement from being an elementary art teacher in 2004, I pondered the thoughts of paralysis and powerlessness once again, lamenting, "Having a physical handicap is like being held prisoner in a bottle." So I set out to write and illustrate another allegorical fantasy inspired this time by my life hampered by multiple sclerosis. This storyline was about a little blue ink drop held prisoner in an ink bottle by an evil bottle cork that restricted her movement, her self determination. She is tormented every night by cork’s nightmarish rhymes and nightmare mop’s nightmares. By accident Little Miss Blue escapes from her bottle prison. Cork represents multiple sclerosis, the gate keeper of my body. Mop represents fatigue (look how he torments Little Miss Blue!) The ink bottle represents my damaged body holding my spirit captive. Understand this; a little drop has no hands, feet or legs to worry about (unlike MS sufferers that do).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Bryan A. Bower: “I create custom games and toys that match a child’s particular cognitive level or physical deficit. My philosophy is this: ALL KIDS NEED TO DO IS HAVE FUN! ALL KIDS ARE KIDS FIRST! The trick is how do you present the right vehicle for fun that overcomes deficits? My hope is that this exposure of writing for Exceptional Parent magazine will help me secure large book and game orders for Reewob Publishing to thrive and prosper. Where are Walt Disney, Dr. Suess and Quick Draw McGraw when I need them the most me wonder? Ha! Ha!”
H E L P !
Is there an angel out there? My business plan is to provide illustrated stories, games and toys for a child with special needs. Toys and stories that everyone else wants! Writing exciting stories featuring cute characters that cope with certain deficits can go a long way toward promoting inclusion and self worth in a child.