MRS.D'S BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

The Royal Palm: multi award-winning children's book!

Runaway Clothes:multi award-winning children's book!

Good Morning, World! - Mom's Choice Award Winner

The Trees Have Hearts - Mom's Choice Award Winner

Follow Carlo the Mouse Series!5 books are coming in 2017-2020!

Join The City Kittens and the Old House Cat

The Little Girl Praying on the Hill- Readers' Favorite International GOLD Award Winner

That Is How Things Are - Coming in fall 2017!

Who Will Feed Stacey First? Story 1:Coming 2018!

The Mysterious Life Inside a Closet-A New Children's Book Coming in spring 2018!!

A Beautiful Tribute From My Fans

Sunday, April 7, 2013

MY MOTHER’S NEW BEGINNING



By Viktoriya D’Agostino


Looking at the children’s books that my mother has written in English, I feel incredibly proud. In her fifties, my mother finally fulfilled her childhood dreams and became a writer. Holding her colorful books in my hands, I feel very fortunate to be her daughter. What my mother achieved is an incredible example for any child.
One day, my mom, a hardworking immigrant from Ukraine who did not have a chance to learn how to write in English until two years ago, opened my old computer and with two fingers started typing her first children’s stories. I know how much hard work, sweat, and determination she put into each of her books. I know it because I was eleven when I arrived in this country and had to learn a new language from scratch. My mother did what she always taught us—just do it and the results will come.
Growing up with my mother was not an easy task. Intelligent, strong, and ambitious, she pushed us to the limit, just as she pushed herself. If we made a wrong step and fell, we had no time to cry or feel sorry for ourselves. Her rule was simple and clear. “Get up, shake the dirt off, and next time watch where you step.” Back then, my sister and I did not understand why she could not be like other mothers.
 “It doesn’t matter how many times you fall or how many times someone knocks you down,” she said repeatedly. “What will matter in life is how you lift yourself up and move forward.” At times, it was painful and harsh, but now I see it as a great lesson, which helped me through tough times. Her directions smartly steered us away from mistakes and gave us guidelines for life. She taught us to be grounded and independent women. She wanted her daughters to stand firmly on their own two feet and be their own people.
My mother amazed us in many ways: the things she accomplished, the way she helped people, the sacrifices she made for others. She is part of the “sandwich generation,” who balanced her life between raising children, taking care of her disabled elderly parents, and running a business. She rarely spent time on herself. She always dedicated her time to the family, work, and others who needed her help. I still do not understand how she did not lose herself in an ocean of daily routine and problems.
After raising her family, she finally stopped working countless hours in our own business and started searching for a second career. My father convinced her to find something she would love. She did. … She pulled out my old computer and started writing. I knew she was a good writer, but I never thought she would seriously consider writing in English. We still laugh about her first email, which she sent to my sister. My sister forwarded it to me, asking. “Do you know what Mom meant?” I answered no, but deep inside, I had no doubts it would not take long before I would read her first story.
Little did I know that there would be many of them and that I would become a part of her journey. Frustrated and stressed, she kept writing until there were no letters left on the old keyboard. On her birthday, I bought her a new computer, but my mom and my old computer have become inseparable friends. Learning computer skills, grammar, writing, publishing, and marketing, she tirelessly moved forward, surprising us with her quick improvement. Her children’s stories were pouring like rain from the sky. At first, we thought she would become tired of struggling and give up, but she worked day and night, making us wonder. We knew better; my mother never stopped anything halfway, nor was she a quitter.
One evening, curious what Mom was writing, my father read her first stories. He called me the next day.
 “I think you should read Mom’s stories. They are good and they are funny. Her grammar needs some work, but I am ready to help her. I think you girls should do the same.”
“I am a math teacher, not an English teacher.” I rolled my eyes, recalling her first email.
Without any hesitation, Dad said, “I would like to publish her stories if she agrees.” A few days later, we rolled up our sleeves and started correcting Mom’s stories.
We truly enjoyed learning our mother’s creative side. Her stories reflected the deepness of her soul, unusual humor and imagination. She surprised us with how easily she expressed herself on paper, effortlessly creating scenes and characters in her children’s stories. Her love for children and animals was reflected in each of her stories, and while correcting them, I often cried or laughed like a child. She never sugarcoated her stories, but rather smartly underlined messages and lessons that might help children deal with their problems. As a mother, she intuitively knew how to open children’s eyes to the issues they must overcome.
While working on her books, we reconnected as siblings, as friends, and as a family. We learned a lot about Mom’s past and many “whys” were finally answered. Mom’s stories took us back to our childhood, to the country we had left behind. After years of struggling to understand why she uprooted us from the life we had, I now see the reason. She wanted us to grow up in a free country and have a chance to become confident women.
Over twenty years ago, when we lived in the Soviet Union, she did not see any opportunity for her small daughters. When the Soviet Union collapsed, she packed our belongings and left Ukraine. My sister and I were too little to comprehend the complexity of her decision. She was already an established young professional, who provided a stable life for us in Ukraine. We were growing up as happy and carefree girls, with many friends and family who loved us.
At that time, everything in our lives was safe and normal. We enjoyed going to school, playing in the park across from our new home. Things dramatically changed when the Soviet Union imploded and crumbled. For the first time, I saw demonstrations and violence in the streets. Always worried, Mom searched for a way out. One day, she received a package with papers. Reading them, she felt uplifted and happy.
“We are leaving!” She hugged me tight.
“Where?” I asked horrified.
“To America…” She looked in my eyes, which were full of frustration. “You will like it there.” She tried to tell me about Disney World and stores full of toys, but I already disliked the country my mother admired.
“I am not going!” I cried. I despised my mother for destroying my life.
“You will not make it here,” she said firmly, trying to convince me that life in America would be much easier.
 “I don’t speak English!” I felt like she was doing this for herself, because she wanted to go to America.
“You will learn.” She tried to hug me, but I pulled away, feeling angry and crushed. Upset, I asked about my friends.
“You will make new friends.” She walked away, leaving me alone with my fears.
I hoped my mother would change her mind and the moving day would never arrive. Seeing long lines for bread and milk, sometimes stretching to the end of the street, I knew she would stick to her plan.
“Why are you punishing us? I don’t want to go,” I cried, packing my bag.
 “I will do anything so you and your sister can live the free, respectable life every woman deserves,” she said, wiping the tears from my face. “I do not want my daughters to relive my life,” she said. I did not understand what she meant. My life was on this tiny street, in our unfinished little house, and it looked normal and fine. I did not see any reason to travel across the ocean.
I had just turned eleven when in February 1992 we left our cozy house in Ukraine. We said our good-byes to our grandparents, neighbors, and friends, and with a few bags, left behind the life we knew. For years, I was angry with my mother for ruining my life.
After arriving in America, my mother took on a heavy load of endless responsibilities. She did not speak, read, or write English, and I could only imagine how frightened she was. Mom attended school at night, but the program was basic and she went back to college. Being a single mother and taking care of her disabled parents, she had little time for studying. Years later, she met a wonderful man who became our father. He helped her to raise my sister and me, put us through college, and get us where we are now. Mom worked hard in her own bakery, took care of family and friends, and sent packages of donated or purchased goods to help less fortunate people in Ukraine. Her plans to became a writer, she buried somewhere deep inside.
Although it took many years, I finally came to the realization that I am who I am now because of my mother. My sister and I became independent, educated, and determined women.
Our mother still surprises us every day. She keeps doing what she loves the most: writing. Since Mom started typing stories with two fingers, she has come a long way. Now she is a published author of three children’s books: Carlo the Mouse on Vacation, The Trees Have Hearts, and The CityKittens and the Old House Cat. Her new children’s books Good Morning, World! Carlo the Mouse, Book 1: Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse, book 2: Now We’re Talking and book 3: What’sGoing On? are in the publishing process and will be available in 2013. The full series of Carlo the Mouse and her new books The Mysterious Life Insidea Closet and three rhyming stories WhoIs Most Important in the Fridge? and RunawayClothes are coming in 2014. For updates on Mom’s books, please visit her website: www.mrsdbooks.net.


 My mother continues to work on many new projects, marketing and establishing herself as a serious writer. Her future works include children’s books and short stories, and she has just started to write her first novel. We jokingly call her “the famous authoress,” and Mom laughs, because she still struggles with grammar and sweats over every sentence. Luckily, she never suffers from writer’s block.
I admire my mother for fearlessly changing her career in her fifties to become a published writer. Now I can see a different woman hiding behind my mother’s face. Looking at my mother’s books, Carlo the Mouse on Vacation, The Trees Have Hearts, and The City Kittens and The Old House Cat, I feel extremely lucky. Although we often joke that we become our mothers, I only wish I were half as great as my mother. Good luck, Mom! A job well done! Thank you for everything.


"What I like most about writing for children is reliving the special moments, when I feel as if I am a child again. When my story makes me laugh or cry, then I know I got it right. In my opinion, children’s books must teach both child and parent." 
Mrs.D.



A mix of realistic fiction with modern fantasies. A twist of true events with unrealistic characters, which teach children to conquer problems, build self-esteem, and overcome challenges.