Last spring I was sitting in front of an elementary school primary class reading the book “It’s okay to be different” by Todd Parr, trying to make sure I stuttered. Fluency, in this case, would have meant failure.
There was a little girl in the class who stuttered, and I was there to make a point to all her classmates that stuttering is okay. After the story, I started a question and answer period, which quickly evolved into a competitive discussion of opinions and statements. During this time, I watched the little girl interact with her classmates and saw how they danced the dance of communication with her. It was how I would have expected it and it concerned me. I had to do something.
I asked to speak to the girl’s teacher and was warmly welcomed to discuss the topic of stuttering. Bursting with books, links, newsletters and brochures, I met with the girl’s mother and gave her all the resources I had. Still I felt like that wasn’t enough. I couldn’t get the little girl out of my head, so I decided to write a story. One story turned into a second and a third. I presented the stories to the mother and daughter and together they greeted me with huge smiles thanking me for them. The mother even told me that the most recent one made her cry. I was encouraged to try and publish them.
The publishing adventure was a huge waiting game. But, when I finally received emails of scanned art, the first glimpse of my book cover and my first round of edits, I was like an excited 5 year old who’d been waiting for Santa. Fireplaces are old school, my gifts came whooshing through the internet. The end result of a 3 season gestation period from writing to distribution was seeing my beautiful paperback book, coming in a 8x11 inches and weighing approximately 0.5 lbs, showing its face on Amazon and in Chapters on October 26, 2016.
My book is called “Adventures of a Stuttering Superhero. Adventure #1 – Interrupt-itis”. In this book, Melissa is a brave stuttering superhero who confronts a student that is interrupting her and finishing her sentences. Join Melissa as she goes on a journey to cure this student of interrupt-it is and find out how she does it! This is just the first book in my series. Books up to adventure #9 have already been planned.
My goal is to get a copy of my books in every Speech Language Pathologist’s office and every school and public library. Stuttering needs to stop being the unspeakable. You want to change society? Give them a story to remember.
If you would like to contact Kim Block, please feel free to visit her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/