Sundance has been accepted in the
Young Adult genre of the
Author Academy Awards!
I am so very proud!
But without your help, my book cannot win.
PLEASE VOTE for Sundance!!
(The book is on page 16)
I thought it might be a fun idea, just to throw in a few jokes and make you all laugh. I know it’s not much, but if I can make one of you laugh, my good deed for the day is done. Have fun, enjoy and share away.
In Europe lives a family with seven children, three girls, four boys. The youngest of the boys does not speak, he gets older, five, six, close to seven and he still does not say a word. The doctor doesn’t find anything and nobody can help. Finally, the family’s priest recommends them to go to ‘Lourdes’, a catholic pilgrimage destination in France.
To guarantee the kids at home are kept well and safe, the mother stays home and the father takes the boy to Lourdes. When they arrived there, the father takes his son to the holy waters, where he takes the boys’ head and dives it three times into the water. When the boy comes up the third time he coughs and spits and tells his father clearly: “Would you stop that crap? You’re a complete dummy!” – Overflowing with happiness the father runs to the phone to call his wife and tell her the good news: “Our son speaks! He can speak! He called me a dummy!” The mother replies dryly: “And he is absolutely right: You took the wrong kid!”
A boy and a girl in a small ‘farmer’s village’ in Europe fell in love. In that time, out in the country, people didn’t like seeing unmarried couples being all over each other, so they had to meet in secret.
One night they decided to meet behind the girl’s home’s backyard. They passionately began kissing – one thing led to another – and the heat of the youth took over and nature took its course.
Afterward, he held her in his arms and softly told her: “I’m so sorry. If I had known you were still a virgin, I had taken more time.” She replied with the same loving softness: “Oh if I had known you had more time, I had taken off my pantyhose.”
(All images and memes are courtesy of Google.com)
This week I got Sharon K. Connell’s Newsletter where she published my interview. I’m very grateful for that interview and I love how she showed me and my books. Thank you very much, Sharon!
To subscribe to Sharon’s Newsletter click HERE
A. J. Alexander is a talented classical musician who has won several music contests in her youth. She is an accomplished skier and loves to swim, amongst other sports.
She works for a global corporation as a part of the management team and travels a lot, also internationally.
A.J. Alexander lives in Southern California with her three beautiful active and demanding cats. In her rare free time, she loves to meet friends or go for long nature walks.
A. J. learned reading and writing at the age of four and realized quite early in her education that she loves painting pictures with words. During her school time, she won poetry as well as short story contests. Later on, she participated in writing and poetry workshops to learn the craft. During her time at university, her education as a writer turned toward creative as well as journalistic writing. A. J. published several poems and short stories under a pen name.
Currently, she is working on ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series, her first book in the series, ‘Soul Taker’ was published December 15, 2018, the second book, ‘Sundance’ is on the market since August 2019 and the third book in the series will be published in spring 2020. Writing fantasy books has always been her dream, and she looks forward to sharing her work with her audience. The need to write a novel had been nesting in her head for quite some time.
A.J. Alexander descends from an internationally extended, politically and entrepreneurially active family and was privileged to enjoy an excellent international education. In her spare time she volunteers for charity events, fights for animal rights and when needed serves as an interpreter to help great causes.
So now, let’s get into my interview.
What is the first book that made you cry?
Oh, I remember that day as it was yesterday. In the book, I read there was this beautiful, strong black stallion supporting our hero, and the horse died. I cried hot tears.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
If it would exhaust me, I’d not be a writer.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
The ‘need’ to become published as quickly as possible. Within that process, they just ‘leave out’ a few steps and don’t have a book at the end but some amateurish, poor result of a sloppy but fast project.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
In a way both. I am working on a book series, ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series. But I don’t want people to be ‘lost’ when they have the chance to buy book three in the series, I still want them to feel comfortable with the book and enjoy the read without the feeling of having missed something they should have read. I’d like each book to stand on its own as well as being part of the series. That’s my dream.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Start networking earlier.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
It did slow my process down since I had to take far more time for marketing now.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
I think I was about ten years old when I realized how powerful words are. Ever since then I tried to use them wisely. As much as they hold – they also can kill.
Do you base your characters on real people?
Not entirely no. Some of my characters do have certain habits, speak in a particular manner of people I know or resemble them a bit. But my characters are fictional and that’s how I like it.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Six. Book 4 to 8 and an additional few stories in the series are either with the copyright lawyer, with the editor, I’m still working on them or are waiting until I pick up my work on them.
How many hours a day do you write?
That depends on what else I do. I cannot live off writing – I do have a job.
What did you edit out of your most recent work?
That was a part I like very much while I drafted the book. But during my work to type the draft into the computer, re-reading that paragraph, it just seems enormously awkward and does not really belong there anymore. I therefore deleted the entire paragraph.
Boy, have I been there, AJ. And it just kills you to have to do surgery on something that sounded so good when you write it, too.
How do you select the names of your characters?
First I pick names that I think match the character’s look. I search for them online, important to me is normally the meaning of the name and the origin. If I find the first names I like, normally I pick about 12 to 15 names, then I start doing the very same thing with the last names. After that, I start limiting the lists to the six or seven I like the most. I list the first names on the left, the last names on the right side, then I ‘connect’ the names that sound the best to me and combine the perfect meaning for my character. And that will be the name.
What are you working on now?
Currently, I work on ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series and usually I work on several books at once. For example, I type in the drafted book seven right now – to the same time I write additional stories and book 8.
Who is your favorite author?
There are so many talented authors, it is very hard to pick one.
What is your all-time favorite novel?
In what genre do you write?
Young Adult Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
AJ, I’d like to thank you for being a part of my newsletter this month. I know my readers have enjoyed getting to know a little more about you.
Readers, if you’d like to contact AJ about her books, writing, or to find out even more about her, check out her links below.
I’m now talking to the kids, teenagers, and the ones who one day want to become teens, young adults, and millennials. I’m talking to those wimps who have no clue that one can grow up without having everyone (namely, the parents) fighting for them while they lean back and continue playing on their computers and not do anything…
We and I very consciously talk about that group of people, born before 1980, we didn’t have what you have today – what did we have? Nothing, after the war! We had nothing! (And I know exactly who of you is laughing now and got the joke!) 😀
What did we have? We didn’t have mothers who bought us fast food or whatever we wanted to eat and ordered deliveries of our favorite sweets. We had a mother who cooked! Our mothers cooked spinach, green beans, peas, cauliflower – I grew up in a time before broccoli! We had real oatmeal and soup! We had to eat what was on the table – OR NOT EAT AT ALL! And when we didn’t behave as we should, there were days we were sent to bed without dinner.
We had toys – our toys came from China! All the lead paint and cadmium we sucked off the toys ourselves! Nobody helped us – and we didn’t die. Our mothers drove us around in cars without baby’s safety cushions and children’s seats, without airbags and some of them even without seat belts! Our mothers didn’t drive their children around in family vans and SUV’s. We had Volkswagen Beetles! Vacation time came, and our Dad was driving us, his wife, and two kids in the back of his baby blue beetle for 16 hours across the continent! Our mother had a few plastic bags for us kids to vomit into in case we didn’t feel so well.
When we were on the road, our mother didn’t have baby wipes or sterile medical wipes. She had a fabric family handkerchief where she spat into and wiped our faces with! That is actually the best stain remover on Earth! If a cleaner-production-company would be smart, they’d bottle up mother-spittle and sell it as an ‘all stain remover,’ because it removes everything, from mud to blood. And in that handkerchief, if anyone would ever have it scientifically investigated, you could have found the DNA from our great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, robber-knight Alexander!
When we couldn’t sleep as kids, we didn’t get ‘sleep-well-baby-tea’ or ‘baby-sleeping-juice’ from the drug store. No! Grandmother came in with the big bottle of brandy, and if there was none in the house, we got eggnog instead – we were forced to open our mouth and got it fed with the tablespoon, followed by a handful of gummi bears which we ate, one after another, then turned around and slept, and we still have all our teeth!
If we once in a rare while got a chewing gum, we didn’t chew and carelessly discarded it by the side of the road after half an hour. We chewed the entire day – and then in the evening, carefully placed it on our nightstand! In the morning, we blew the fluffs off the gum and stuck it back into our mouth – and in school, in the break, when talking to our best friend, we loaned it to her for the duration of the break – and the next lesson!
To play with we didn’t have Wii-consoles, Playstation, i-phones, i-pads, i-pods and were glued to them and frozen in time. What did we have to play with when we were kids? We had FRIENDS! And with these friends, we played daily! Yes, and sometimes we argued, we wrestled and once in a while one of our teeth fell out – but back then an incident like that wasn’t followed by an immediate meeting with parents who threatened to contact their lawyers! We were the ones being responsible for what we did!
And additionally, to the lost tooth, we got a clean slap across the face from Mom what she considered a clear statement in educational measures. Then we played ball – all kinds of ball. Softball, Basketball, soccer. The athletic kids were picked by the respective team captains, the not-so-athletic ones (like little AJ) were watching, not playing because these kids had to learn to handle disappointment – without the constant support of a children’s psychiatrist.
We all drank from the same glasses. Not the matching glasses – the SAME ones – like our siblings, parents, neighbors, neighbors’ kids, friends, and the neighbors’ dog sometimes. That wasn’t always nice – and sometimes we even drank from the garden hose when we were really thirsty – and we all survived!
We barely ever drank water and never soda- nor ‘filtered water’ out of a bottle, or water with a taste – no, we drank lemonade, yellow lemon tasty liquid with tons of sugar, sometimes the thing was syrup with orange taste and bubbles – and then we went back playing and ran it off.
We got grades in school – from first class on! And when we had bad grades in school, our parents told us off! They didn’t go giving their opinion to our teachers! We were the ones who had to work hard in school because only the kids with good grades who knew things and were good in school went to college, not every Ritalin-addicted brat whose parents were too lazy to work in school back in their times and hired tutors for their kids from the second class on, still believing their brood is highly gifted.
We had everything – we, the ones born before 1980 had everything! Freedom, success, failure, happiness, disappointment – and lemonade! We grew up, we experienced the first computers – we learned how to use them, we grew with the technology – but it doesn’t control us! We are neither addicted, nor are we dominated by technology! To us, it is a relief, a help, not our master. We can survive without it – the one after 1980 can’t! We are the ones who are tough; nothing is killing us, shattering us or making us giving up – because we learned to live with whatever was thrown to us – and we survived!
My Aunt, my late Dad’s youngest sister, passed away at 81.
Sister Sebastiana grew up as the youngest of eight children on a farm with a connected restaurant. Like her siblings, she had to start helping in her parent’s businesses quite early.
When she was 24 years old, she decided to dedicate her life to God. After her novitiate, she first became a kindergarten teacher and later decided to go back to her congregation when they called her for help.
She always beamed and laughed when she told stories from her kindergarten children. Sister Sebastiana had hearty, infectious laughter and shared her youngest brother’s, my Dad’s, humor. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I liked her so much.
When she got ill four years ago, she gathered courage and continued her life with God and continued her work. But the illness was stronger than her strength of life. Very calmly, Sister Sebastiana accepted her diagnosis and faced death with admirable faith in God. She carried the suffering of her illness with impressive patience and lost the fight yesterday when she closed her eyes forever.
Our entire family is going to miss her terribly. She was always a rock in the ocean of our lives. But we know she is with her Creator now and, as heavy as my heart is, I know her soul is with God.
It’s February 9, 2020 – ‘Oscar’ Sunday. For hours everyone with a name in Hollywood is walking the red carpet. I enjoyed the event enormously. Since I’m not an expert, I will definitely not criticize any of the academy’s decision. I don’t have the right to do that… many excellent actors and actresses, film artists, and Academy members have done their best in these decisions.
But what I’m sure going to do, is saying a word or two to the wardrobe some of the famous Hollywood Elite wore today. Of course, I cannot show every single participant and wardrobe here. But I picked the ones that triggered the most reaction in me. I promise one thing I’ll do my best. All these comments are strictly my personal opinion and my own taste. I hope you’ll enjoy the pictures, the comments, and if you agree or disagree with me, let me know in the comments.
We have a few nice, impressive and safe dresses here with some of our beloved Hollywood actresses, Renee Zellweger, Natalie Portman, Salma Hayek, and Scarlet Johansson
We also have a nicely and safely dressed Mindy Kaling, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Kelly Ripa, and America Ferrera, who is glowing, thanks to her pregnancy. Congratulations, America.
I hope very much you’ll forgive me for interrupting the ‘Ladie’s Oscar Night’ for a few pictures of very well dressed (and other) gentlemen. We have, of course, the very well classically dressed tuxedo participants: Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves (here with his date: his Mom), Taika Waititi, Tom Hanks, Leo DiCaprio, and Rami Malek.
Of course, we have two more gentlemen that need to be mentioned, our all-time-favorites, Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino, one of them in a classic tux while Al Pacino looks his typical self, a bit ragged, a bit disheveled, just as we all love him.
And then, of course, two to mention whose choice of wardrobe (or stylist), I, unfortunately, cannot understand: Timothée Chalamet and Billy Porter. It is one thing to be yourself, it’s another thing to look completely out of place and out of space. To me, that’s a no-go, sorry.
We have breathtaking dress picks, like Laura Dern, Sigourney Weaver, Sandra Oh, and Cynthia Erivo. I know, I read in some places, Sandra Oh belonged to the worst dressed actresses, but I don’t agree. I think she looks fresh and beautiful in her golden ruffled Ellie Saab dress. Also, I heard comments that Laura Dern’s dress is horrible, I don’t think so. I’m quoting my sister here: ‘Normally I don’t like black and pink mixed, but that is not classic pink, it’s more a discreet powder tone which makes her look classic and gorgeous.’. To me, Sigourney Weaver’s forest green dress is a timeless classic, simple but elegant, and makes her look beautiful. And of course, Cynthia’s dress, even as unusual it is, it’s still elegant and makes her look regal.
We have a few memorable, classically beautiful, even breathtaking wardrobe choices, for example, Regina King, Beanie Feldstein, Margot Robbie, Charlize Theron, Penelope Cruz, and Rebel Wilson. In my opinion, well chosen, well done.
Now, let’s get to those participants, who I think, were a bit unlucky in their choice of wardrobe (or stylist). I’m very much into staying true to oneself, but that doesn’t mean, that ‘oneself’ is the center of the universe, and no adaption whatsoever is necessary. Not everything classic is bad or simply old-fashioned. Sometimes it’s beautiful and breathtaking! ‘Taking risks’ in my book, doesn’t mean looking like you got lost and should actually be at another event.
Zazie Beetz, I’m sorry, but for the most important award of the year, this is just insufficient. It’s beautiful, no doubt, but it’s not enough. Next time, please, upgrade!
Saoirse Ronan, I know it’s Gucci, but I’m afraid, even though the top looks amazing, the frills in the middle and the entire bottom don’t. That dress looks like you’re wearing two or three unfinished dresses hastily sewn together. I’m sure, next time, your choice will be much better.
Kristen Wiig… I’m sorry, but no… This looks a bit like the curtain in the bathroom of an old German castle… In an emergency, it also can serve as a table cloth on Christmas with these frills on the side, or – it may also be a tomato ravioli… depending on how hungry one is while looking at it. You have this absolutely breathtaking body – deciding on this sausage peel wasn’t necessary!
Olivia Coleman – far better than the Golden Globe dress, but not good enough for you. Three colors weren’t necessary – a nice simple black and white dress would have been beautiful on you – and that awkward sleeve-do on the dress once again adds width and weight to your frame. Still, room for improvement.
Little Julia Butters… my-oh-my. Young girls can look so cute on the red carpet. Some stylists manage to display the presentiment of future beauty and talent by dressing their young clients. This stylist – didn’t. Julia Butters looks like she’s wearing the dress in which Miss Piggy exploded. I hope from the bottom of my heart, next time someone keeps an eye on that girl!
Blac Chyna… I’m not sure what exactly your contribution to the Hollywood acting community is. I’m just wondering why you are showing up on the red carpet of the most important Award of the year, looking like you actually planned to go to the porn awards. Got lost? If not, maybe you should…
Billie Eilish – really? Sorry, Chanel or not – I think nothing on this look is the least bit positive. You have such a gorgeous face – that hair color is completely blocking your entire look, no matter if it’s fluorescent. The hawk-like claws aren’t helping. They look cheap. The entire oversized outfit makes you look like a meth bong. No-no…
On A Personal Note:
In a post like this one, I would normally not adding any kind of statement. It should just show my opinion about the fashion, it should make people look at the pictures, giggle a bit about my descriptions, agree or disagree with me and have fun. But today I was a bit surprised – and also a bit sad.
In today’s Oscar Memoriam Tribute, one actor, who was even featured in one of the shown pictures, “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”, was left out: Luke Perry.
Luke Perry, our favorite ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ star, passed away on March 4, 2019, after suffering a stroke at the age of 52. His passing came one week after the 2019 Academy Awards, so it would actually be ‘logical’ to have him mentioned in the 2019 tribute. But he was famously missing.
That’s why I mentioned him here once again. R. I. P. Luke Perry.
All pictures courtesy of Google.com unless mentioned differently.