#Read about Guest Pre-Published #Author Aurora Jean Alexander


New author Aurora Jean Alexander is interviewed by Chris, The Story Reading Ape! Terrific interview! And, she has a debut novel too! ūüôā

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Aurora Jean Alexander LogoWho am I?

Hello,

I am Aurora Jean Alexander, a romance short story author, and poet. Right now I am working on my debut novel. When I’m not writing or at work, I’m into sports like traveling, extreme reading or going for long romantic walks.

Important keystones in my life are the support of my boyfriend and the affection of our four cats.

I have an extended bio on my Website, and I’d be happy to welcome you there anytime.

What does writing mean to me?

I started reading at a very young age. In many ways reading wonderful and mysterious stories was something to tickle and develop my fantasy. One day I read a book I never forgot. That day I felt the need to write stories. I wanted to create people, tell their stories, and build worlds and adventures. I one day wanted to write a book telling…

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The Book of Life


The book of life never truly ends until your¬†last breath has been taken. ¬†Until that moment, keep writing,¬†add new chapters to¬†create¬†paper pages never-ending¬†while¬†leaving¬†your¬†leather¬†cover open to imagination.”

Kim Gosselin

Book Imagination Fannie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*photo courtesy of http://www.sodahead.com/fun/if-books-transported-you-to-their-world-which-book-would-you-open/question-4409215/

The Wonder of Gardens


It was a Thursday like today.¬† A few weeks ago, I think.¬† Sunny with a bit of a chill in the air.¬† I was working in my office that afternoon when my husband came home from being on the road all week.¬† Popping his head between French doors of white he peeked in to say, ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a beautiful day!¬† Let‚Äôs get away!‚ÄĚ

Hopping into our car, we headed north on highway 44 towards downtown St. Louis.  Soon a bright green exit sign led us toward the St. Louis Botanical Gardens where something new will always surprise you with beauty and wonder.  Nature never ceases to amaze me there.  Life is always springing forth no matter the season with new blooms in colors never seen before.

Truth be told the gardens are filled with history dating back to 1859 when Henry Shaw moved his residence, Tower Grove House http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/our-garden/gardens-conservatories/victorian-district-tower-grove-house/tower-grove-house.aspx  to his gifted acres that are now the Botanical Gardens.  He was a botanist, a man of science, a visionary with a pure love for all given to us by God and the world above.  He studied plants and their surroundings, loving them more than life itself.  Before he passed away, he commissioned his mausoleum to be built on the grounds amid his beloved trees and vines of ever-changing flowers.  Even in death, he never wanted to leave his cherished gardens.  Anyone making a trip to St. Louis, owes themselves a visit to this most enchanting world.

Surprisingly, the day that we drove into the parking lot workers of all sorts were setting up for an annual Chinese Festival that runs all summer long.¬† It is a beautiful exhibit, helping¬†pay homage to China and¬†the magnificent Chinese gardens within the Botanical Gardens.¬† Huge, bright and colorful displays were being set up, all lit from within, welcoming us as we walked inside. ¬†Greeting us at the entrance¬†depicted two, giant elephants rising up on their back hooves. ¬†Most people don’t¬†realize¬†this magnificent presentation¬†is made entirely of individual porcelain plates, painstakingly laid one by one in perfect position. ¬†One mistake and the entire¬†display falls to pieces….

Anticipation prickled my arms.  I couldn’t wait to walk among the beautiful flowers or delight at the bright Chinese splendors of 2015.  Once out in the open air, my eyes darted this way and that.  So much to look at.  Blooms in all colors of the rainbow and others that I’d never imagined.  Fields of Irises with bees buzzing and bushes of peonies drooping with huge powder puffs of color nearly dusting the ground.

Besides the precious gifts of nature, by far I was mesmerized by man’s creation of art.  The fabulous Chinese presentations!  They were bright, ornamental, colorful and fun! Children and adults alike giggled at airy animals playing in the grass or gazed at beautiful displays while wondering what secrets tall gentlemen whispered through the cool breeze of willow trees?

So, if you get a chance please visit the St. Louis Botanical Gardens this summer.  In the light of day your eyes will gaze upon nature never dreamed of before.  And, when dusk begins to settle upon China, lanterns will light, soaring your senses to heights of magical travel.   Wishes of wonder will float through airy trees, whispered by little ones holding your hand.

‚ÄúMore‚Ķ‚Ķmore!‚ÄĚ

 

Curlers In My Head


This morning, Grandpa woke me up from the slumber in my bed.  He shook my arm and shook my head.  He rubbed my nose with the tip of his.  He kissed my cheek while lifting curlers in my head.

‚ÄúWhat are you doing Grandpa? ¬†Why are you looking under curlers in my head?”

Reaching behind, silky hair¬†slipped through the tight roll of a curler. ¬†Soft and spongy, it was. ¬†Before grandpa’s big eyes of brown, showers of colors¬†fell down, down, down.

“Grandpa, I feel nothing under the curlers in my head! ¬†Please, please, won’t you look again?”

Grandpa asked me to get out of bed.

‚ÄúGet up, climb out,” he said!¬† ‚ÄúWash your face, wear a dress and comb your hair.¬† I tell you, something is under the¬†curlers in your head!

“We have to go. ¬†We must do it now!”

I did what Grandpa said.  I washed my face, put on a dress and combed my hair.  My curlers of pink lay in the sink.  I looked at them and looked again.  I did not see anything under the inside of them.

Afterward, Grandpa waited for me in the car.  I sat next to him with my black purse atop my lap.  His two hands were on the wheel, driving me carefully ahead.

‚ÄúWhere are we going, Grandpa,‚ÄĚ I asked looking out the window?

‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a surprise, Grandma,‚ÄĚ he answered.¬† ‚ÄúWhatever was under the curlers in your head may still be there.‚ÄĚ

Together, we drove down dirt roads and chipped cement, past woodlands and trees of green.  Soon, we found ourselves within a city of big where buildings so tall raised windows high into the sky.  Storefronts stood on sidewalks, opening new doors to me.  Grandpa pulled over to the curb.  Getting out, he came over to my side, offering his hand to help me out.

‚ÄúGrandpa, what is this place? ¬†What are we doing?‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúNot we, YOU.‚Ä̬† Go inside, others are waiting. ¬†I will¬†see you very soon.‚ÄĚ

Clutching my purse close to my heart, I opened the front door to the nearest arch.  A handle of polished brass with twinkling bells played a pretty melody, making my ears sing a tune.   Inside were enchanted rooms made for Grandmothers and grand-daughters, alone.  Soon my own surrounded me, dressed in party dresses shaded in sherbet. Quickly, they told me this was all part of Grandpa’s surprise. 

First, we shared a tea-party on flowered china made in France.  A maid wearing a black dress tied with a ruffled apron, poured us tea from a bottomless silver pot.  Grand-daughters of of all sizes and shapes rested white napkins atop their laps while eating cucumber sandwiches of the palest green.  Next, a very fine Madame polished our fingernails in glowing bright pink before helping us choose a different flowered sticker to grow on the end of every other one.

Near the end of the day, a tall man wearing skinny red pants,¬†washed and cut Grandma‚Äôs hair.¬† ¬†Afterwards, he added great big C.U.R.L.E.R.S. ¬†¬†All of Grandma’s¬†grand-daughters gathered round to watch.

‚ÄúIs that YOU, Grandma,‚ÄĚ the oldest one asked?

‚ÄúIt doesn‚Äôt look like Grandma,‚ÄĚ whispered another who wore a worried look upon her face.

When Grandma’s hair was dry, the hair dresser began to take out curlers.  Two or three fell to the floor.  Suddenly all of the others followed, one-by-one.  Slowly, they began to roll toward Grandma’s grand-daughters.  Clapping their hands in delight, each child picked up round brushes of blue, dropping rainbow dust shaken from the inside.

‚ÄúOh, my,‚ÄĚ exclaimed the hairdresser’s head atop skinny red pants!¬† ‚ÄúThere is something under your curlers!‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúNo, there can‚Äôt be,‚ÄĚ Grandma¬†answered, turning to look at herself in a¬†giant silvered mirror.

By this time all of Grandma’s curlers were out of her hair.  She bent her head down nearly to the floor.  She shook it back and forth as hard as she could.  As much as she would.

Before the young man styled Grandma’s hair with a comb and a brush, he lifted each curl, winding it¬†up and down and all around with his long and thin fingers until Grandma’s hair looked beautiful.

“Don‚Äôt worry, what I saw under the curlers in your head wasn’t bad,¬†only good.‚ÄĚ

“What was¬†it, what did¬†you see,‚ÄĚ Grandma asked? ¬†‚ÄúNo one has ever told me.”

“I‚Äôve only seen it¬†once or twice before,‚ÄĚ he said. ¬†“I believe it to be the dust of magic. ¬†You and your grand-daughters have been given a gift.”

Magic¬†dust? ¬†I‚Äôve never heard of such a thing before.¬† Are you sure it’s REAL?

‚ÄúOh, yes,‚ÄĚ the young man said with a knowing smile.¬† ‚ÄúBut, only to those who truly believe…..like very special grandmothers and grand-daughters.”

“And, to think I never would have known without¬†Grandpa looking under the¬†curlers in my head,‚ÄĚ grinned Grandma!!

The End

 

Copyright Kim Gosselin 2015

 

 

Gifts of Books


Children.  So innocent all around.  Their bodies, minds and spirits flow as rivers to a sea of undiscovered imaginations.

Perhaps it was the snow that triggered this memory from long ago, or maybe it was rushing to grab a cup of coffee before I was out the door.  Years ago, when my youngest son attended kindergarten I still owned a small publishing company producing children’s books targeted to schools.

Once a week, in the afternoon, I stopped by his classroom to help a chosen student write and ‘publish’¬†a book.¬† For me, it was a magical time, minutes turning into an hour to strike a rare friendship with a five or six-year-old never met or known before.¬† Before long, I would get a peek at their inner soul.¬† Often giggles were shared.¬† Sometimes tears were shed.

The topic of the book was completely left to the budding author.¬† Once out of the safety of the classroom, an angelic girl dressed in the latest fashion might begin to fidget in her chair.¬† Or a boy, warm in a checkered flannel shirt stuffed into jeans would tap his pencil over and over and over again. ‚ÄúWhat should we write about today?‚ÄĚ

We talked about things in ‚Äėtheir‚Äô world.¬† Life at home, school and fun stuff like sports, hobbies, collections, pets and family vacations.¬† Some kids didn‚Äôt have the traditional family.¬† Their parents were divorced¬†or¬†they lived with blended families or¬†sometimes¬†with a grandparent. ¬†I explained how all of these were families¬†too.¬† I never pried, only listened to what they were willing to tell me.¬† Most often, what they told me turned into words which made their own unique story.¬† For the first time, they became real ‚Äėwriters‚Äô on those days.

There is one little boy who wrote and illustrated a story I shall never forget.  As soon we pulled our wooden chairs out from the Formica table that winter afternoon he knew what he wanted to write about.  I listened quietly as he began to tell me the story of his loving grandpa.  I got out the pencils and colored markers, the paper and tubes of glitter while he recited his tale.  With each turn of the page, more words were written.  It was not my job to correct spelling or grammar.  This would soon be a book authored by a kindergartner, in all its finished glory.

The little guy with blonde shaggy hair who was dressed in overalls wrote of how his grandpa took him fishing near a fast blue river.  Together, they liked to ride ponies and play cowboys in the woods.  His grandpa liked to lick vanilla ice cream cones on a hill behind his house.  He smoked cigars but never in the house.  His grandpa made funny jokes, tickled him until he giggled and wore scruffy whiskers on his face.  He was his best friend in the whole United States.

‚ÄúOh, how lucky you are to have such a fun grandpa.¬† You must love him very much.‚ÄĚ ¬†I remember saying, or something to that effect.¬† I checked my watch.¬† Our hour was nearing its end.¬† Time to staple the cover, add the T.I.T.L.E. together with the proud Author‚Äôs name.

‚ÄúWait, I‚Äôve got one more picture to draw,‚ÄĚ my new friend plaintively said.

I sat watching this endearing little guy who had tremendous love for his grandfather.¬† Not only did I hear and see it in his words, I felt it from his soul. ¬†He picked up crayons and markers to draw lines in different colors, connecting one to the other.¬† A long box began to take shape. ¬†Next, a floor¬†lamp appeared at one end of the box.¬† ‚ÄúWhat would this be,‚ÄĚ I wondered? ¬† The little boy was very quiet‚Ķpensive even.

Within seconds I could see. ¬†On a lined paper page,¬†a¬†portrait of a beloved grandpa took shape,¬†laying in a box. ¬†It was a child-like depiction of a casket.¬† ‚ÄúGrandpa,” I learned through tears and tissues, had recently passed away. ¬†He was very much on this precious child‚Äôs mind.¬† This is what he wanted to write about.¬† This was going to be his first published book.

All of the children‚Äôs stories that year were special.¬† They were theirs alone, ‚Äėpublished‚Äô into books right before their eyes.¬† I still remember each time the last staple clamped down on colorful construction paper covers.¬† Light shined through on faces of proud innocence as if to say, ‚ÄúI did this!¬† I wrote and published a book!‚ÄĚ

The tangible book is gift to be treasured forever.  Bound pages of paper to hold in the two of your hands.  Run your tips of fingers over printed words while dreaming of the unimaginable.  Oh, what a gift…..

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