My name is Jeremy Breitenbach.
I was born prematurely at 24 weeks gestation. My parents were told that I would die as soon as I was born because my lungs were so underdeveloped. I remained in the hospital for 4 months.
There were many touch and go moments, even times when my parents were told to “pull the plug” since I would be a “vegetable”, yes those exact words were spoken to my parents.
I am blind, due to the oxygen that kept me alive and I have cerebral palsy, because of a brain bleed I experienced.
But I also was a successful student who attended regular classes. I am a published author and I continue to write. Far from the “vegetable” diagnosis!!
I use Braille.
The cerebral palsy limits me to the use of one hand, my left. I am actually legally blind. I have limited vision in my left eye and none in my right. I can watch TV, watch movies, and play video games if I sit close to the TV screen.
Some of my favorite TV shows are: the Dragon Ball franchise (which is comprised of: Dragon Ball, the Dragon Ball movies, Dragon Ball Z, the 15 DBZ movies and 2 specials, Dragon Ball Z Kai (the revised Dragon Ball Z including Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters; the long-awaited Buu Saga), Dragon Ball Super, Dragon Ball GT, and the Dragon Ball GT special), Ghost Adventures, Ghost Adventures: Aftershocks, The Middle, The Simpsons, Robot Chicken, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the entire Star Trek franchise, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (the one from 1983), Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, The Legend of Zelda (1989 animated series), Scream, Stranger Things, 11.22.63, Dennis the Menace (1986 animated series), Rugrats, Hey Arnold!, and many many others.
Some of my favorite movies are: Stephen King’s IT (1990 TV miniseries; I’m really looking forward to the remake in 2017), Carrie (1976 film) Pet Sematary, The Stand (1994 TV miniseries), Cujo, Children of the Corn (1984 film), Children of the Corn (2009 TV miniseries), The Shining, The Shining (1997 TV miniseries), The Mist, the Halloween franchise (not including the Rob Zombie films), The Friday the 13th franchise (not including the remake), A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise (not including the remake), the Phantasm franchise, the Scream franchise, the Tremors franchise, Star Trek: Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, Star Trek: Nemesis, Dennis the Menace (the 1993 film), Happy Gilmore, Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, Jack (1996 film), An American Tail, and many many others.
Some of my favorite video games are: The Legend of Zelda franchise, the Dragon Ball video game franchise, the Mortal Kombat franchise, the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise (specifically Sonic 2, Sonic 3, Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, and Sonic Generations), Shadow Man, Shadow Man 2econd Coming, and many others.
I like a wide range of music but my 2 favorite genres are: Country music and Christian music.
Some of my favorite country artists are: Collin Raye, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, George Strait, and many many more.
Some of my favorite Country groups are: Lonestar, Diamond Rio, Rascal Flatts, Emerson Drive, and many many others.
Some of my favorite Country duos are: Brooks & Dunn, Big & Rich, Sugarland, and many more.
Some of my favorite Christian music artists are: Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, Chris Tomlin, TobyMac, and many many others.
Some of my favorite Christian music groups are: Kutless, Casting Crowns, 7eventh Time Down, MercyMe, and many many others.
I specifically use a VoiceNote Apex whose only difference from a BrailleNote Apex is that the VoiceNote doesn’t have a refreshable braille display. The VoiceNote is basically a computer for blind people that has text-to-speech where any text can be spoken via a speech synthesizer. It uses a braille keyboard for input and has Internet, email, and chat (instant messaging) capabilities.
As well as date and time, a wordprocessor that can use Microsoft Word documents as a usable format, a planner, spell check, scientific calculator, a GPS function (which I don’t use), a games application, a pronunciation dictionary (which allows me to change how it says words if it mispronounces a word). For example, my last name.
It also has a media center containing an FM radio, Internet radio, the ability to make short recordings (or as it calls them memos) via the built-in internal microphone or an external microphone which can be connected to it, the ability to play varying media file types a few of which are: mp3, wma, and wmv, the ability to use usb devices such as a flash drive (aka memory stick), and many other features but those are all the main ones.
I‘ve been writing since I was 15-years-old. I started out with writing original stories based off of The Legend of Zelda and original stories based off a ’90’s cartoon I love called Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, but in the years since I stopped writing the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog stories, but still continued to write The Legend of Zelda stories. I eventually created an original series based on The Legend of Zelda consisting of 3 books so far.
I also began writing my own original stories based on the anime Dragon Ball Z (which I’m a HUGE fan of); so far writing 3 original Dragon Ball Z stories.
My inspiration for becoming an author is my favorite author, Stephen King. I have read several of his books in braille thanks to the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), and listened to many more in digital talking book format which I get via the NLS program called Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD). Books of his I’ve read/listened to are: IT, Carrie, Cujo, The Shining, Cell, The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition, Under the Dome, Pet Sematary, Doctor Sleep, and 11/22/63. Short stories of his I’ve read/listened to are: Children of the Corn, The Man in the Black Suit, All That You Love Will Be Carried Away, That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French, The Death of Jack Hamilton, The Boogeyman, The Cat from Hell, Jerusalem’s Lot, and Sometimes They Come Back. Out of everything I just named my number one favorite Stephen King book is IT. My number one favorite Stephen King short story is a tie between Children of the Corn and The Man in the Black Suit.
In 2009, I started writing my first real book; a book for adults titled The Gateway finishing it in 2011.
While writing that I began writing children’s books. I’ve written four (so far). Those books being: The Abduction of Benjamin Williams, My Dog George, Tim’s Story (which is still being written (it is also for anyone not just children), and Lost in Wisconsin.
I also wrote a how-to book titled How To Read and Write Braille.
After trying for many years to find a way to get published with no success whatsoever in 2014 I came across Ronnie C. Dawson, CEO and founder of Broken Bars Publishing and told him about myself and all 6 of my books.
I e-mailed him The Gateway, and long story short published it through them. It’s available on Broken Bars Publishing’s BookStore, Amazon in paperback and Kindle, and Barnes and Noble’s website for Nook.
Here’s what all 6 of my books are about:
How To Read and Write Braille:
Details how to read and write Braille includes Appendix detailing unified English Braille (UEB)
A physicist opens a gateway on a planet within another dimension which leads to an alien invasion; violence and strong language
The Abduction of Benjamin Williams:
A family gets betrayed by a neighbor they thought they could trust
My Dog George:
A boy’s dog runs away
A boy becomes an orphan after his parents and grandparents are killed in a tragic car crash. (None of the characters in this book are based on actual people. The basis for this book was inspired by the story told in Contemporary Christian Music artist Steven Curtis Chapman’s song “When Love Takes You In”, and Tim’s red hair was inspired by the hair color of the orphan boy in Steven Curtis Chapman’s song “All I Really Want”. This book is still being written and is for everyone not just children.)
Lost in Wisconsin:
A boy gets separated from his parents while they are going on vacation, and due to his dyslexia boards the wrong plane.
Excerpts from all 6 of these books can be found under the “Notes” tab of both my official Facebook page and my personal timeline (for those that wish to “Follow” me). (The links to my Facebook profile (only follow me), my official Facebook page, my official Twitter, and all the places where The Gateway can be purchased will be posted at the end of this article.)
Here’s what the books in my original The Legend of Zelda series are about –
The Hyrulean Civil War: The Saga of King Link, Book 1 (a civil war breaks out in Hyrule),
The Rezlorian Empire: The Saga of King Link, Book 2 (an emperor wants to conquer Hyrule)
The Great Moblin Invasion: The Saga of King Link, Book 3 (the King of the Moblins plans to invade the Upper World).
Here’s what my Dragon Ball Z original stories are about –
The Return of King Piccolo (King Piccolo returns to Earth to seek revenge on Goku)
Turles’ Revenge (Several years after his defeat, Turles escapes from Hell in another attempt at taking over the Earth)
The Return of Garlic Jr (The shattering of dimensions caused by Janemba destroys the barrier which separates the Dead Zone from Earth’s dimension once again releasing Garlic Jr).
Excerpts from The Legend of Zelda original series and my original Dragon Ball Z stories can only be found under the “Notes” tab of my personal timeline. (They will not be put into Notes on my official Facebook page. So if you are interested in reading any of these particular stories feel free to “Follow” me.)
Now I’m going to tell you all a lot about the current book I’m writing, Tim’s Story.
To remind everyone Tim’s Story is about a boy who becomes an orphan after his parents and grandparents are killed in a tragic car accident and I was inspired to write because of Contemporary Christian Music artist, Steven Curtis Chapman’s song “When Love Takes You In”.
When I publish Tim’s Story I’d like for a portion of the sale of each copy to go to Show Hope; the organization Contemporary Christian Music artist, Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth Chapman started in 2004 which helps orphans all over the world in finding families, and assisting families in adopting as well as helping care for orphans all over the world.
Back on August 1 I Tweeted Mike Hamilton, Executive Director of Show Hope and asked if it would be possible to donate proceeds from the sale of Tim’s Story to Show Hope once I was finished writing it and it was ready to be published.
Later that day he responded saying: You can donate proceeds. That would be great-however, just be aware though that we can’t provide endorsements.
It appears that once I am ready to publish Tim’s Story donating to Show Hope will definitely happen.
I made numerous changes, updates, and other rewrites to it. I’ve added several new characters that Tim befriends in the orphanage. I also completely described 3 Catholic Masses. They are: his first Mass in Ordinary Time without his parents and grandparents, his first Christmas Mass without his parents and grandparents, and his first Easter Mass without his parents and grandparents.
What I mean by described the Masses is I took down everything that is said by the priest and deacon during a Mass even getting the different things that occur during Christmas and Easter Mass. I was able to do this by using a braille edition of a book I have. The book is called The Rite of the Holy Mass by International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc., copyright 1969; Nihil Obstat: Charles E. Yost, S.C.J., Censor Deputatus; Imprimatur: William Cousins, D.D. Archbishop of Milwaukee Milwaukee, Wisconsin, January 30, 1970.
It was transcribed in English Braille by Xavier Society for the Blind in 1997.
Throughout the course of the book I mentioned several TV shows, movies, country music artists, groups, and duos, Christian music artists and groups, video games, game consoles, anime characters, sports teams, one Bluegrass artist, one Bluegrass group, 14 albums (5 Country music albums and 9 Christian music albums),, and one autobiography.
I did this to show the common interests and the developing friendship between Tim and his new friends he made at the orphanage.
Well, one of the TV shows was the Cartoon Network show, The Amazing World of Gumball and back in February I was given permission to keep its mention in Tim’s Story by the show’s creator, Ben Bocquelet.
Another TV show I mentioned was the Nickelodeon show, Hey Arnold! as well as mentioning the show I also mentioned Hey Arnold!: The Movie.
In March I was given permission to keep their mentions in Tim’s Story by their creator, Craig Bartlett.
And finally, one of the country music artists I mentioned was my #1 favorite artist, Collin Raye. I also mentioned 4 of his albums. I recently was given permission to keep their mentions in thanks to help from Collin’s son.
Throughout the book I also named 5 songs; naming the artist or group for each song, mentioned 2 pieces of classical music, and mentioned 7 hymns; using partial lyrics to two of them and full lyrics for the remaining five.
The seven hymns I named and used partial and full lyrics to in Tim’s Story are: “Amazing Grace”, “I Am the Bread of Life”, “Here I Am, Lord”, “Were You There”, “I Need Thee” (also known as “I Need Thee Every Hour”), “Beulah Land” (also known as “Sweet Beulah Land”), and “What A Friend We Have in Jesus”.
Partial lyrics to: “I Am the Bread of Life” and “Here I Am, Lord”.
Full lyrics to: “Amazing Grace”, “Were You “there”, I Need Thee”, “Beulah Land”, and “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”.
I used “Amazing Grace” because it was Tim’s parents’ favorite hymn and he wanted to play and sing it at their funeral as a tribute.
I used “I Am the Bread of Life” because that is the hymn Tim chose to show the headmaster of the orphanage his piano playing and singing talent.
I used “Here I Am, Lord” because that is the hymn Tim chose to show his new friends he met at the orphanage his piano playing and singing talent.
I used “Were You There” because Tim wanted to show all the kids in the orphanage that attend the church his singing and piano playing talent, and Were You There was the hymn scheduled for part of the Mass that particular day. I used “I Need Thee” because it was one of Tim’s favorites and he asked if he could play and sing it right after he played and sang Were You There.
I used “Beulah Land” because Tim wanted to pay tribute to his parents and grandparents at the church he attended with them because it was one of their favorites.
And I used “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” because Tim wanted to play and sing one final hymn to pay tribute to his parents and grandparents at the church he attended with them because that was another one of their favorite hymns.
The five songs I named are: “Save A Place For Me” by Matthew West, “Homesick” by MercyMe, “What Faith Can Do” by Kutless, “Welcome Home” by Michael W. Smith, and “When Love Takes You In” by Steven Curtis Chapman.
The 14 albums I named are: Collin Raye’s His Love Remains, Still on the Line…The Songs of Glen Campbell, Everlasting, and Greatest Hits Live, Keith Urban’s Fuse, Michael W. Smith’s Cracker Barrel Old Country Store exclusive album, Hymns, Sovereign, and The Spirit of Christmas, Steven Curtis Chapman’s Cracker Barrel Old Country Store exclusive album, Deep Roots and The Glorious Unfolding, Kutless’ Glory, lead singer of Kutless, Jon Micah Sumrall’s debut solo album (which is just a side project), Faith and Family, Casting Crowns’ Cracker Barrel Old Country Store exclusive album, Glorious Day: Hymns of Faith and Chris Tomlin’s Love Ran Red.
The classical music pieces I named are: Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” and “Bagatelle No. 25 in A Minor, Op. 59 Fúr Elise”. I have brought every single thing I mentioned in Tim’s Story to my publisher’s attention, and they told me that I can keep everything I mentioned in the book.