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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spotlight on Carol Alexander and Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow

We are proud to introduce two contributors to our anthology, "Joy, Interrupted," Carol Alexander and Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow.

Carol Alexander
Carol Alexander wrote the poem “Dandelion Child” and be reached at caa11212@earthlink.net Her poem “tells of a child being routed through the foster care system, going from "mother" to "mother," but still hopeful of finding a loving family.” She has concentrated on writing for children and a couple of years ago, she began “sending out poems full of the things we can't say to children.” Carol has been a foster parent, raised a biological child, and continues to interest herself in the needs of kids.

Her work has been published or is scheduled to be published in/by Avocet, Boyne Berries, Cave Moon Press, The Canary, Chiron Review, Danse Macabre, Earthspeak, Fade, Fried Chicken and Coffee, Mobius, Numinous, OVS, Red Poppy Review, Red Review Review, River Poets, Journal, Sleeping Cat Books, and The Whistling Fire. Carol has also published ten books for children, and writes regularly for the educational publishing market.

According to Carol, “I believe my work may have been selected because it explores loss from the point of view of a child, rather than a mother, and lends another perspective to the collection. When I saw that Melissa was gathering work for an anthology on motherhood and loss, I hoped that this would be the right place for "Dandelion Child."”

Her favorite literary figures relating to motherhood include “Proust's doting mother or Rimbaud's deranged mere!” She adds, “One of my favorite comedies is "Baby Boom"--it's hard to top that one for the zaniness of modern parenthood. I also just saw Vera Farmiga in the film "Higher Ground" and was impressed by the struggle to live an examined life, raise children, and remain intact.”

Finally, Carol says, “I feel it's a privilege to add my work to an anthology that explores this potent subject.”

Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow
Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow contributed “RG” to our anthology and can be reached at elynne1@attglobal.net 

What is your piece about?
Marrying late in life, my husband and I did not have children. My story is about how I see my life as a woman who has not been blessed with having a child but has lived a fulfilled life and has enjoyed a close second experience to mothering. I am the eldest of four sisters. I lost my grandmother in a plane crash and my father and 16 yr. old sister in a second plane crash. I understand loss and survival.  

Why did you contribute to our anthology?
I wanted to share my perspective and experience with other women and men. Also, "RG" exists in the pages of this anthology.  A gift I purchased for my sister and brother-in-law's anniversary inspired my writing "RG". It was a time of reflection and insight. I was elated to see the submission call for Joy, Interrupted which I found after having completed my story. I am honored to be part of this anthology.

Tell us about yourself:
I am Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Wright College, Founding General Manager of WYCC-TV/PBS in Chicago and a Pushcart Prize nominated author. I write to motivate and inspire others through my short memoirs. I have the great pleasure of performing my work for audiences and recently performed in NYC at The Museum of Motherhood.  My performances of my stories have been broadcast on The Bob Edwards Show on NPR, and Rick Kogan's Sunday Papers on WGN radio. In addition to having recently returned from my performance in NYC, I have performed my stories throughout Chicago including the Printer's Row Lit Fest. My work has been part of the production "Dear Mother" in L.A. at The Lyric Theater. April 29th, 2012 I will perform my stories at the Acorn Theater in Three Oaks, Michigan. If you live close, I would love to have you in my audience.

Where else have you been published?
My short memoirs, short stories and essays have been published in magazines and newspapers and are anthologized in the books: Chicken Soup for the Chocolate Lover's Soul (HCI Books) THE REVOLVING DOOR; The Wisdom of Old Souls (Hidden Brook Press) GRANDMA LEBEDOW; Forever Friends (Mandinam Press) features THE ELEVATOR, MR. X and MR. Y, and LIFE 101; My Dad Is My Hero (Adams Media Publishing) HIS WAY; The Ultimate Teacher (HCI Books) THE HAT; Contemporary American Women: Our Defining Passages (All Things That Matter Press) THE NEEDLE IN THE HAYSTACK and MY GIFT OF NOW; Chicken Soup for the Soul: True Love (Simon and Schuster) RONALD; FOUR SISTERS IN LIFE AND DEATH is published in the new anthology THIS I BELIEVE: ON LOVE. This book is based on the popular NPR radio series. (Wiley Publishing); THE HAT is published in Living Lessons (Whispering Angel Books); DANCER'S LANE and MY OFFICE are published in Press Pause Moments: Essays About Life Transitions By Women Writers, (Winner of a 2011 Clarion Award) (Kiwi Publishing); THE HAT is published in Thin Threads of Teachers & Mentors (Kiwi Publishing); Thin Threads Anthology - More Real Stories of Life Changing Moments has also published THE HAT (Kiwi Publishing); Forever Travels features 10 of Elynne's travel stories ( Mandinam Press); Chicken Soup for the Soul Grieving and Recovery featuring THE RED PEN; Thin Threads Women & Friendship (Kiwi Publishing) featuring WAITING; Nurturing Paws (Whispering Angel Press) featuring DREAM GIRL; Thin Threads Moms & Grandmas (Kiwi Publishing) featuring MORE THAN LIFE, her Pushcart Prize nominated story. Coming in 2012: FIRST IN LINE will be published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Married Life; RG in Joy, Interrupted; THE ANSWER in Warpaint; MY BEST AUDIENCE in Thin Threads: Hadassah; HER FIRST GRANDCHILD in another Mothers & Grandmothers anthology (Title TBA); DREAM GIRL in The Animal Project Anthology.

Writing "More Than Life" about my mother and her inspiring grace and strength in the face of overwhelming loss was a gift I could share with her. She is now 87 yrs. old. The anthology Moms & Grandmas with my Pushcart Prize nominated story was launched on her birthday by Kiwi Publishing in NYC at The Museum of Motherhood where I performed it.

Elynne also shares, "My husband Richard is my muse."   Her
 blog is at http://lookaroundme.blogspot.com/

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