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 Dazed Author, Leslie Morstan
Aleksandra Petrova
 Posted: Sep 11 2017, 12:00 AM
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Aleks took in a breath as she walked into the library. She was dropping off Waylen’s books and picking up her books as well as the next in the series Waylen was reading. Sighing she turned the books in but the girl behind the desk was a fan of Aleks’ book and so she was gushing and giggling about it. Aleks smiled because she was happy with her fans. They seemed to understand her a little more even though they didn’t realize that the story was based a little more on truth. She refused to let them publish that in case Nolan figured it out. The girl was shooting question after question at Aleks about if the rumors of a movie were true and she just shrugged. “I don’t know. Honestly.” she said and smiled as she finished with her books.

Walking toward the children’s section she found the book series her son was reading and slipped the next book off the shelf. She smiled as she remembered reading it as a child. She missed those care free days but she wouldn’t trade having Waylen for the world. He was her everything. He was so important to her that she would die before losing him to anyone else. Especially his birth father. She hated being in constant fear of him finding them. But Aleks had the backing of her family lawyer that knew the situation and so if he ever did find them there was no way Nolan could take Waylen from her.

Standing she grabbed another book that Waylen had mentioned about reading as well as two more before heading off to the adult section. Reaching up she ran her fingers over the spines of the books with a sweet smile on her face. She wasn’t sure what she wanted to read right now. There was so much she could read and she was a fast reader. Humming softly she smiled, she had plenty of time until Waylen got out of school and she wasn’t needed at the shop until peek hour so she still had time until then so she was just wandering and doing some errands. It was nice being able to do anything she wanted whenever she wanted.

Aleks wasn’t use to not doing anything. For the last 10 or so years she’d been constantly doing something but ever since that business man came into her life she’d had free time even though she always ended up at the shop for one reason or another. She was nothing like those business owners that never went and helped out when she was needed. Her employees had learned that she was always right there when they needed her. No matter what it was. Weather it was personal or professional she was always willing to help. Smiling she was glad her employees trusted her so much. She was so into her thoughts that she hadn’t even realized she had stopped and was now just standing with her hand on a book in a daze.

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Leslie Morstan
 Posted: Sep 13 2017, 06:26 PM
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Leslie thought that Tiffany was getting a bit too big to wear, anymore, so she had her in her "big girl" stroller. Tiff was about to hit toddler stage, the terrible twos. Leslie often prayed to God for what she was going to do when Tiffany started acting out; would Leslie freak, or would she take it all in stride? Maybe Tiffy wouldn't even act out at all. The fun of being a mother, honestly. She often talked to Rachel about it, but she was aware that she was going to just have to take things as they came.

As things came, Tiff voiced "Book!" as they made their way into the library. "Yes, book," Leslie said. "Do you want a book, Tiffany?" The baby nodded. "Can you say... May I please have a book?" Leslie asked, not expecting Tiffy to say all of that, just some. And she got a "Peas half book" back. "All right, I'll get you a book." She perused the children's shelves, some things Tiffany pointed to being above her level; well, Tiffany couldn't read at all, so it wasn't as if those mattered.

Leslie came across a childhood favorite, then. "How about 'Goodnight Moon?'" she asked her daughter. Tiff knew what goodnight meant, and she knew what the moon was.

"Moon at night?" Tiffany asked.

"Yes, moon at night," Leslie agreed, and put the book into the crook of her arm. Yeah, Tiff was about the age where she'd enjoy the book. Her speech was a little delayed, but she understood more than most people would give her credit for. "Tonight, we're going to read about the moon at night," she told her daughter, who squealed with delight.

She got to the section for adults, and asked, "Can Mommy have a book too?"

"No," Tiffany said. Then again, her favorite word was 'no.' "Well, Mommy's going to have a book anyway," she said, and Tiffany said "Okay."

Leslie got to the section where her favorite author was, but there was someone checking out a book there, kind of out of it, and she was... wait. "Oh my gosh," Leslie said. "I've read that book," Leslie said, about the book Aleks was thumbing. "It's really great, but I think your books are better." She noticed the kids' books in the woman's hand. She couldn't see exactly what they were, but any kid who read regularly was bound to do well.

"Night night Moon!" Tiffany said, grabbing the book from Leslie's hand. "Wan hold book," Tiffy clarified.

"Kiddos, right?" Leslie laughed. "I came to check out a book for myself, and Tiffany, this little monster here, wants all the books."

"Not mon-ser," Tiffany pouted.

"You're a good monster, Tiff," Leslie said. "The best monster."

"Okay." And Tiffany got to flipping through the pages.
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Aleksandra Petrova
 Posted: Sep 13 2017, 10:09 PM
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Aleks sighed softly then was surprised by the voice and looked up ay the woman. Seeing the little though she smiled and listened to what she said and glanced at the book she had stopped at. "Thank you. Sorry. I'm still not use to being recognized."she said with a soft smile. Glancing down at the little girl and heard her say 'night night moon' and she instantly knew what she was talking about. Waylen called it the same thing when he was little. It made her smile at the memory and she adored hearing about kids who read. "Oh gosh. I know. My son was the same way. Nowadays I mostly just allow him to get his books and I get mine when he's at school. He loves reading so much I have to make him put books back on the shelf because he may read fast but he's not that fast."she said with a hint of a laugh. She remembered the first time he'd tried to do it and she instantly said no. Aleks had never thought she'd have to say no to reading. It was such a funny thing that she had been in disbelief of having actually sad that to him.

Aleks watched the interaction between mother and monster and it made her smile. "They really are the best little monsters. But they do enjoy going bump in the night and giving you a heart attack when you awake to find them leaning over you at midnight. Just staring at you. The first time my son did it i thought I was going to die. Had to recover so fast because he started to tear up. But truly they are the best little monsters. And little one we mommas love you all just the same."she said smiling down at the little girl flipping through 'Goodnight Moon'. It made Aleks happy seeing little ones reading orrather trying to read actual books. Nowadays alot of parents just put kids in front of screens and it killed her to know books were getting less and less used.

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Leslie Morstan
 Posted: Sep 16 2017, 06:17 PM
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Leslie smiled warmly, saying, "Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you or anything." Well, if that was the case. And then there was Tiffany, obsessed with the Moon book. "Oh, I hope Tiffany continues her love of reading. Well, she listens and looks at the pictures now, as she's only two, but yeah..." Tiffany's vocabulary, though, was getting a lot better. She was catching up with her peers. Smiling again, Leslie said, "Must be good to have a kid that loves reading just as much. Some kids don't like it at all, which isn't necessarily a bad thing... but kids who read tend to do better in school." Not that school was the end-all, be-all. "And have bigger imaginations," she added. Now that was something that was important. Kids without big imaginations got bored all the time. Kids who could play pretend like the best of them usually managed to find ways to entertain themselves, like the Kelley kids did, that Leslie was a sitter for. Connor did his thing and Phoebe was a princess enthusiast.

"Oh my gosh," Leslie laughed. "Tiffy's not in a big girl bed yet, so I haven't had the pleasure of having a kid in my face at midnight. I can only assume I'll have that issue in the coming years. She does have night terrors. Poor thing. But she doesn't like sleeping with me because I toss and turn a lot, so. Just hard to ever get completely comfortable. I guess she and I both have our sleep issues."

While Tiffany flipped each page and said, 'Night night, moon,' on each one, Leslie looked along the shelf for the next in the lit fic series she was on. "Ah, here we go. These aren't on Kindle," she said about the creepy John Saul novellas. "If you want a fast but interesting read..." she held the book up, "he's your man." She didn't know if the Kelleys knew all that she read, but there were things that they didn't have to harp on her about, and reading was one of them. She never drank or smoked or swore in front of the kids, or really at all, so there was no cause for alarm in Leslie's opinion. She liked some Stephen King and Dean Koontz and all that, but that didn't mean she had to turn into one of their characters! She really just had to be careful about what books she talked about at church, with certain people.

"I had Tiffany when I was seventeen," Leslie said. "Parents threw me out, all that, but I wouldn't change having my little monster for the world. She's such a sweet baby and very entertaining." She put the John Saul novel in Tiffy's hands when she reached for it -- not like she could read it, and the cover was pretty vague -- "How old's yours?" she asked, seeing as Aleks had a kid too.

"Oh, and I'm Leslie. It's good to meet a novelist I love, and maybe a new friend. Always dreamed of meeting Anne Rice actually, but I haven't yet. Goals!" She did have an autographed copy of Prince Lestat, but it had been autographed before being sent to her.
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Aleksandra Petrova
 Posted: Sep 17 2017, 01:53 AM
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Shaking her head she smiled at the woman, ”Oh don’t worry. I’m easily startled. But of course I’m also still not used to people recognizing who I am.”she said laughing softly. Aleks smiled as she looked down at the small child skimming through the book. It made her happy to see this. It reminded her so much of when Waylen was little. ”If she loves them now and you just support her love of reading as she grows I’m sure she will continue. Though I suppose you never know how they will learn and grow.”she told her as she shifted her books to her other arm. Not that they were heavy or anything they had just felt unnatural in the other arm while she was talking. It was nice having Waylen who loved to read but wasn’t into video games. Well most video games at least. He had his moments. But he mostly chooses reading over video games any day.

As the woman spoke of statistics and children’s imaginations she nodded in agreement. ”To be honest Waylen helped flesh out a couple of things for the books. He drew them so we could picture them better. So his imagination is pretty vast. I was very proud of him for that one.”she told her smiling happily at the memory of her son wanting to help her. Obviously not everything was child appropriate in it and she had told him that some of it would include details he would have to wait til he was much older but he knew vaguely that it was based on some of her past. He’d known she’d had a baby before him but she had gone to heaven and though when she had originally told him he hadn’t really understood but he somewhat better understood now. Though still not fully. He’d understand fully when he was older. She would also explain fully what really went on with his father and her.

Looking up at her again and laughed softly, ”Oh that was before he was in a big boy bed. He’d climbed out of his crib and walked to my room. Gave me a heart attack I swear. Sadly that wasn’t the last time he did that either but it was less of a heart attack. After about the 20th time I bought a bigger bed with rails.”she explained shaking her head. That was terrifying the first several times he’d climbed out of his crib. For a while she hadn’t slept much because of her being worried he’d hurt himself but he never seemed to fall out but sometimes he’d trip as he rushed to her room. ”That happens sometimes. No one has the same experience with their kids. I mean I know plenty of people that had the complete opposite experience so it’s never the same.”she said smiling up at her.

Aleks looked up and plucked a book off the shelf and added it to the pile in her arms then turned hearing the woman talking about books not being on the Kindle. Tilting her head she became curious as to what the books were. Seeing the book she held up she hummed and nodded. ”I’ll have to check it out some time. I have a long reading list I’ve been working on for a while. Or at least between books right now. Something to do while taking a momentary break from writing.”she said smiling up at the woman. She really did have a long reading list though she read through books pretty fast. She was currently reading through a Once Upon a Time retelling series that was pretty interesting. Which were the books she’d been looking for and had found one of them while standing there.

Hearing her explain about having the little girl when she was 17 made her frown a moment and remember the baby she had lost when she was 16. She swallowed her growing lump and felt for the girl. ”I was kicked out at 16 for getting pregnant. I understand how you feel.”she said then looked down at her books before the woman asked how old her son was. ”He’s 7 years old and I wouldn’t trade a single day of the last 7 years.”she said smiling then laughed softly that she hadn’t introduced herself. ”Pleasure to meet you. I’m Aleks or you actually already know that don’t you.”she said shaking her head at herself then smiled. ”Oh. Anne Rice. It’s been forever since I’ve read any of hers. Im ashamed to say it was before I really got into reading so I wasn’t interested in them much.”she explained completely ashamed of herself for that statement.

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Leslie Morstan
 Posted: Oct 6 2017, 05:13 PM
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Leslie did a one-shouldered shrug and said "I don't think I'd ever get used to it, myself. But then, I don't know. I've never come up with anything special except the cheesecake-stuffed French toast at Gertie's." And she hadn't even invented that fully, just had suggested that maybe they could stuff the toast with sugary cream cheese and vanilla and see what happened. Smiling, finally starting to realize that yes, she was meeting an author that she really dug on, she said "Tiffy loves books, and I plan on teaching her to read small words as soon as she thinks she's ready. If she's anything like I was as a kid, I'll have to confiscate her flashlight after bedtime. And I'm sure books will be dropped in the bathwater." She grinned a little "Right Tiff?"

"No," Tiffany said, and Leslie laughed. "Her answer for everything nowadays."

Leslie found it super cool that Aleks let her kid help her on books. "Hey, sometimes you just need the wisdom of a child. They can picture things we've lost the ability to as our brains grow and change. Like, I'm teaching Tiffany how to make shapes with Tangrams but for the life of me I can't remember how to make the duck shape! I have to keep looking at the card. When I was a kid it was no problem." She shrugged. It happened. She listened to the story of the kid giving his mom a freakout and laughed softly. "Oh, man. I'm sure Tiff will start that mess pretty soon. Her speech is a little delayed, but her mobility sure isn't."

The book series in question that Leslie was checking out was a creepy tale starting with a journalist and a contractor, and a little girl and her doll. Having been published in 1997, it was a bit surprising that the girl was actually most likely trans, but Leslie was open-minded and always made sure pronouns and gender identity were respected. But she knew that hadn't always been the case with a lot of people so she wondered how well that aspect of it was received when it first came out. She did know that the father of the girl with the doll put her in the old Asylum, the doll was taken away when it was found out she "was a little boy," and the story went from there. Aleks mentioned her reading list; Leslie nodded, saying, "Yeah, I know all about the long reading list. And yet, the more books you read, the more you find to be read."

Nodding again, Leslie said "It sucks, getting told you're... not welcome in your family anymore. I didn't know we had that in common though." For a while Leslie had it in her head that she deserved it, but through the church and finding where her faith stood, she realized it wasn't her fault... at least, not fully. "Seven, huh? That must have flown by so fast. I'm finding time flying by with my daughter, and I'm like 'Where's my little girl going?'" She was probably going to be starting high school before Leslie would even have time to take a breath!

"Oh, I love her books," Leslie said. "Well, most of them. 'Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis' was kind of bonkers, to be honest. Something with it didn't jive with me." She shrugged. "I'm not bothering you, am I?"
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Aleksandra Petrova
 Posted: Oct 7 2017, 11:07 PM
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Aleks smiled hearing her and nodded, ”That’s how I felt when I ‘accidentally’ added chocolate chunks to my Chocolate Chip Chunk cookies at work. But everyone seemed to love them but this is different. It’s a different thing then I ever thought possible.”she said smiling and nodded understanding. She’s had to check for the flash light several times and she remembered the bath time book droppings. It’d happened more often then she had enjoyed. ”I’m glad my son isn’t anything like I was when I was little. I hated reading.”she said ashamed at how she had been as a child. Aleks didn’t like that she hadn’t been a reader as a child or teenager. It irritated which is why she had tried her best to get Waylen fall in love with books. She just hadn’t been expecting him to love it as much as he did. Not that she was complaining but it was still a surprise. ”Oh yes. I know how that is. They find a word and latch onto it for weeks at a time.”she said laughing lightly at the situation.

Laughing lightly she nodded, ”Oh gosh I know. Those things are not easy. I did it for a little bit then gave up and asked someone to help me. Lucky my boyfriend at the time was pretty awesome at them so he helped. But that wasn’t until Waylen was roughly 4.”she explained feeling a little sad at the mention of Crush but she tried to hide it with a smile. ”Oh gosh I know. When I got to bookstores or libraries I have to fight myself on getting a book that I’ll eventually get to.”she said smiling and laughing lightly about the situation. So many people had the same problem so she knew she wasn’t alone.

Nodding she frowned and looked at the ground, ”I don’t like sharing it but my book is actually based off of my past. I had to escape from Waylen’s father so I don’t like sharing that little tidbit.”she said being slightly hesitant on sharing that information about her past. She didn’t do it very often and only a small handful knew. ”But yes, it’s flying by so fast. Just yesterday I swear he was 4 years old. I don’t know what happened.”she said smiling and laughing lightly. She knew it would be going so fast and it terrified her. Talking about books and children was so nice. She didn’t get it very often and she smiled at her, ”Oh no. Not at all. I don’t get to talk like this very often so when I do I get very excited.”

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