I’ve been truly honored to receive a most beautiful review of Aurora’s Greatest Discovery on Amazon posted by a gentleman, a Mr. Kevin Mason, who is a funeral director in the Buffalo area. Although a neighbor of mine, I’ve known Kevin only in passing, waving “Hi!” as he walked his little pooch throughout the years. It turns out he learned about Aurora from other dear neighbors who felt it was a book that belonged Kevin’s “comfort library” at his funeral home, so they lent him their copy to read.
I can only say it’s one thing to write and illustrate a tale that you hope will move your readers in a most positive light, but to actually receive such a sensitive and detailed response simply took my breath away. That it came from a man who is constantly exposed to those who are often experiencing the deepest of grief…well…he truly touched my heart.
Here is his review…I hope it offers you an even greater understanding of how “Aurora” might provide inspiration for hearts of all ages.
“The book is an easy and understandable read by most children and adults alike. Almost every page takes you on another adventure with Aurora and her family. Through the vision of this child, it is as if she holds your hand brings you along ….especially to the parks. Instant thoughts of beauty, calmness, serenity, and the innocence of child come shining through time and time again. Some parts I read twice as I found them to be riveting and worthy of a second read.
Although the book has a specific message and purpose all of its own, (and there is sadness over Fran’s passing), it clearly celebrates through the magical spirit of Aurora, the beauty in life, the power of believing, and the ability to move forward but never forget the past. There are so many facets to the writing, each with its own ability to educate and transform. In a perfect world no child should have to cope with the loss of a sibling, nor parent a child. Unfortunately it is not a perfect world. Fortunately, there is this book, that children, parents and families can use as a vehicle to renew hope, even restore faith and wrap themselves in the beauty Aurora’s story. I believe seeing the world and the loss of her brother through the eyes of this little girl is healing within itself.
The novel is a clear read, understandable, precise, educational (although most children wouldn’t know that), whimsical and kindhearted.
Beginning on page 138, “ Note to Parents and Educators” begins another source of healing. Educating all alike and making one think about the story, about Aurora, about Fran and preciousness, tenderness and beauty of life. I would imagine as a parent/educator and a child/children discuss these questions, it’s as if you relive the story again. In itself, this section for creating honest and open dialogue between adult and child, (even child to child) has the ability to transform your thoughts of death, grief, the power of art and writing. This is priceless.
The meticulous writings of the author, the content, the beauty and the question and answer section of this book should not be kept hidden to the volume of people seeking such a profound and transformational “ray of hope” in their own grief journey.”
Inspiration is such a magical thing! A fabulous idea comes through one’s mind and heart to create something that’s both exciting and joy-filled, and all within a flash of time. One is suddenly filled with tons of assurance that the inspiration will easily materialize, with all the pieces effortlessly falling into place. There’s not a shred of doubt that the process would be, in fact, a total piece of cake!
Receiving the original inspiration from Spirit to write a tale about “Aurora” was like that. I had become friends with a gifted young poet whom I had met through an Abraham-Hicks group that was studying the Law of Attraction. Some five years ago he asked several of us who were writers to come up with a short story that would teach children about the LOA in a simple clear way, without “conking them on the head with it”. He would then consolidate all of our tales into one volume and publish it. The inspiration came immediately, and I joined the enthusiastic team.
My tale was to be about a young girl, Aurora, who was passionate for the beauty in nature she found while growing up quite close to a large Frederick Olmstead-like park. Of course it had to be about a little girl wanting to be an artist, since that’s the only life I knew, so she also lived close to an art museum like the Albright Knox here in Buffalo. Her park inspired her to create countless drawings from “the time she was old enough to hold a crayon”, and her museum excursions showed her that the creative life of an artist is something very real and rich, as well as a world without boundaries.
I knew Aurora would have an enthusiasm of spirit that could not, would not, be lost or crushed. Demonstrating that enthusiasm and its consequences would be at the heart of the main theme: your beliefs shape your life as well as the world around you, and in time attracts your heart’s desire.
The plan was simple! After living so close to nature for about 8 years, Aurora’s parents decide to move to a city where any sign of a park was quite a distance away. Aurora is crestfallen. One day, in a pure desire to overcome her sadness and feelings of isolation, her heart is open to receive a powerful inspiration from Sacred Love: through countless renderings, she will draw the park she misses so dearly. She will create a vision on paper of all the beauty she adores.
She will create a park of her own.
Weeks, months, and several years pass, as she is steadfast in her vision, her desire to capture the beauty of nature and grow as an artist. It is during this time that the Law of Attraction creates a powerful new set of circumstances, and Aurora’s dream to live near nature once again comes true.
With that initial burst of inspiration, I even had the first and last lines of the tale; “I LOVE beauty!” and “It was the most beautiful feeling in all the world, and Aurora would remember it ALWAYS!” All I had to do was fill in the rest.
All I had to do was start!
It was all going to be so easy! It even felt as if it were truly already written….completely done!
But the original inspiration did not stay that simple! Very quickly it expanded beyond a little tale to include more details of how the process of creating shapes a child’s inner life. What were the challenges Aurora would face while on her quest to create her park? How would the experience of dislocation and its sense of isolation affect her? How would she surmount it all? So many scenes of Aurora’s life from baby onward began to fill my mind, scenes that revealed her spirit, inquisitiveness, determination, and passion for beauty and life.
I soon bowed out from the project, and decided to go it alone. I was no longer writing a short story on the Law of Attraction; I had in my hands the making of a novel dedicated to young aspiring artists who experience challenging circumstances; it was something I had never in my wildest imaginings ever dreamed of doing, yet seemed as if it were something I prepared my entire life for! The opportunity was thrilling beyond words!
But it didn’t end there. About a year later on a lovely day in May, I was on what Julia Cameron calls an artist’s date, preparing to spend the afternoon writing in Niagara on the Lake, Canada. While taking a long walk before settling down, the inspiration suddenly came where Aurora would have a much older brother who planned on being a landscape architect. Being ten years older, he would be her hero and mentor. For about 45 minutes, in a flourish of details I “heard” conversations, “saw” scenes between the two, and felt the potential for so much more.
I cannot tell you how excited I was; realizing this now added so much more richness to the story! I asked “what’s his name?” and eventually heard “Fran”. “Francis!” I cried. “Of course…after St. Francis! Everyone knows of his love for nature, regardless of one’s spiritual background! It’s perfect!”
Fran suddenly became so real, as if he were truly walking next to me. I could feel his tall presence, as well as his happy, wise, and tender nature. What a dream it would be to share him with all the world! But the words that followed from Spirit would crush my joy in a flash:
“When Aurora is ten…he dies!”
“He dies? NOOO!! You can’t do this to me!” I cried. And I didn’t stop crying for over an hour. How could Fran be taken from me…from Aurora? How could I be expected to do this? Write a novel about a child overcoming grief? As a Transformational Coach and Energy Therapist, I’d learned a great deal facilitating art and meditation seminars, as well as art therapy classes, but this was so specific. I knew the responsibility was immense, knowing I would be entering the tender mind of a child. How far should I go in describing the pain of grief?
What do you do when you receive an inspiration that is far bigger than you are at the time you received it? How do you create something when you feel you don’t have the skill set to do so? How do you catch up?
It now seemed that the very Laws of Attraction that I had intended to teach were now attracting me to the greatest challenge of my creative life. I would have to trust in Sacred Love to guide my way, even while I was writing about Aurora having to do the same.
Now my character not only lost her proximity to the beauty of nature she adored, but she also lost her beloved brother, who shared in that very adoration. “Aurora’s Greatest Discovery” had evolved to become a tale of how a young girl would be ignited with Sacred Love to create a massive body of art inspired by her and Fran’s love of nature. In the process it would assist her in overcoming her deepest grief. In time, with love ever showing her the way, her journey would take her into a world far more vast and beautiful than she could ever have imagined!
And just as Aurora would experience frustration in not knowing how to capture a scene as she wished, or experience self-doubt over her ability to live the artist’s life when she grew up, especially with Fran seemingly no longer there to support her, I would have to learn the various rules and structures used in writing a novel, and overcome the many frustrations in knowing how to apply them. I would have to take all this massive inspiration and at the end of the day have it all make sense! Because I feared bringing too much pain into a child’s mind, I would have to seek the wisdom of therapists who worked with children, to understand how far I should go in describing grief.
It appeared that my little heroine and I would embark on this great adventure together. We would hold each other’s hand on a journey of enchantment, of trust, of the joys and challenges of creative expansion, and most unexpectedly of all, hold each other’s hand on a journey through describing the deepest grief, so that other children might be helped to overcome their deepest grief.
Moving forward together, there was no turning back!
An inspiration truly can change one’s life beyond our wildest imaginings!