The Short Story

About April plus Madison

April Lynn James, PhD is the corporeal half of this Wonderland-inspired enterprise that is fueled, in part, by the whimsical rhymes composed and declaimed by her guardian angel,

Madison Hatta, Sonneteer.

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April Lynn James, PhD

Living an inspired life…

April Lynn James, PhD is a Speaker, Author, Soprano, and Designer of Whimsical Things. Passionate about the connection between creativi-Tea, spirituali-Tea and wellness, she transforms the world into a more joyful and playful place through April plus Madison, an Alice in Wonderland-inspired holistic wellness and expressive arts enterprise.

I was born singing, and my earliest memory is belting out the Carpenters’ Sing a Song on the swing set in my backyard at age four. Consider my excitement when I was allowed to join our Episcopal church choir a few years later in which I got to sing sacred music of the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods, something that has remained an important part of my life. As a student of all things metaphysical, I borrowed my first astrology book from the library at age eight and discovered yoga, thanks to the PBS show, Lilias, Yoga and You, around the same time.
 
Parental pressure and a traditional education gave me no understanding of how to pursue a career using my natural gifts, so at first, I sought success working behind the scenes in television and publishing. Bored because neither field utilized my creative skills, I sought guidance through astrology and oracle cards in addition to the standard career books. When I was laid off the day before Thanksgiving 1992, I followed my divine guidance, defied my parents, and returned to college to earn a second Bachelor’s degree, this time in Music.

Then I got into Harvard and thought I had arrived, yet my voice and body suffered in its hyper-competitive, overly intellectual environment. To survive, I got as far away as possible from the Music Department and my computer. I got back into juggling, which I had learned during my TV years. I took dance, mime, and recommitted to my yoga practice, adding Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais to the mix. I was even able to continue my mime studies when I lived in Dresden, Germany courtesy of a DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst/German Academic Exchange Service) Fellowship, where I researched my dissertation on the music and life of Maria Antonia, Electress of Saxony.

PhD in hand, I founded The Maria Antonia Project, an opera company whose mission is to bring operas composed by women out of the archives and onto the stage. The inspiring stories of women overcoming personal and professional obstacles to make their voices heard comprise my groundbreaking exhibitions, In Her Own Hand: Operas Composed by Women 1625-1913 (Harvard Music Library) and Women Composing for Marian Anderson (Penn Libraries). My research on Marian Anderson even became part of the recent American Masters documentary Marian Anderson: The Whole World in Her Hands, directed by Emmy- and Peabody Award-winner Rita Coburn.

Still, success as an independent scholar and singer did not prevent career and family dysfunction from weighing heavily upon me, and it was an unplanned viewing the Tim Burton film, Alice in Wonderland (2010), that took me down the rabbit hole and led to my guardian angel, Madison Hatta, Sonneteer, springing full-blown into my consciousness. Madison transforms angst into joy through the composition & declamation of original, whimsical sonnets on such themes as madness, Time, career & family dysFUNction and the importance of drinking tea.

I gave “fitting into the mainstream” one last college try by working as an academic librarian from 2015 to 2021, but left that field in July 2021 to focus on being a spiritual entrepreneur. I have come to realize that our education and workforce systems are mired in a worldview that values the intellect and ignores the importance of the body, soul, and our natural connection to the Divine. To create and live a fulfilling life, we must value and engage all aspects of our being—mind, heart, body, soul.

Through astrological consultations with me, people come to understand themselves and their place in the universe by learning to read the unique Life Map Blueprint contained in their birth chart, thus experiencing deep transformation. Through my PLAY-shops, participants recover their positivi-Tea, reawaken their flexibili-Tea of body and mind, and reconnect with their innate creativi-Tea. Through music and original, Wonderland-inspired creations, I disrupt the negative and uplift attitudes and moods. Connect with me (plus Madison) when you’re ready to live a more joyful and inspired life and make your own fun!


Make every day a frabjous day!



Connect with me on LinkedIn.

Email me at dr.april@aprilplusmadison.com to schedule a call.

Madison Hatta, Sonneteer

I did not create Madison; Madison comes through me. Madison first appeared in my consciousness as a childhood desire for a top hat and lifelong appreciation for English literature. It was during my “opera-preneur” years that I developed a conscious awareness of angelic presences in my life, shortly before Madison’s quite vocal appearance in my inner ear during the Tim Burton Alice and beyond. I see Madison as the guardian angel of my sense of humor. Madison’s chapbooks, the Book of Unreasonable Rhymes (2015) and the Book of Unrelenting Rhymes (2016) are available from Philadelphia’s legendary Moonstone Press.

The "Madisonnets" began flowing through me in the summer of 2011. I (plus Madison) now have well over 200 with which to delight the ear, eye, heart, and mind. Our Indiegogo campaign to fund the publication of Madison Hatta's Book of Unreasonable Rhymes was over 100% successful.

 

Listen to recitations of individual Madisonnets and an excerpt from our solo (duo) show, The Twinkle Bat Variations, at the April plus Madison's (A)Musings page.

 

Also, feel free to follow April plus Madison's Facebook page.

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