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Hello!

If you are interested, my blog has moved to a new home, a website of the same name.

The link is http://janetbtaylor.com/

 

The Hall of Mirrors at Versailles

 

 

Please join me.. And have a beautiful day!

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f you have watched the news in the last day or two, you have heard of this already. It is one of the weirdest things I have seen in a long time and is perfect for the Halloween season.

Apparently, a filmmaker in Dublin was screening the video extras in a Charlie Chaplin movie from 1928. He saw something that caught his eye, and over the course of a year, studied it. He showed it to over a hundred people and now–through Youtube– over a million have viewed it.

HE explains it far better than I can, and really.. you have to see it to believe it.  I am thrilled!  In a market where everyone who writes Young Adult fiction seems to focus on Werewolves, Vampires or Fairies, I am thisclose to finishing my first manuscript on….you guessed it…. Time Travel.

I hope that this video will draw a little interest toward the concept. Maybe it will help me when I get ready to start querying agents.  (Fingers crossed!!)

Anyway.. Get ready for those chills I promised…  Mwaaa haa haaaaaaaa!

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So.. I am entering my first contest.

It is a Cliffhanger contest by writer Brenda Drake.  It’s a very cool premise, and I thought I ‘d give it a whirl.  (nervous, much?)

Since my story is about time travel, I thought it would be a cool thing to post the actual “travel”.  The set up is Hope, a fifteen year old girl, has discovered that she must journey into the past to save her mother.  Trained by her Aunt Lucinda and assisted by her friend Phoebe- who has magic- Hope must surrender herself to “the Dim” the horrifying passageway into the past. She wears an ancient opal ring, which allows her to “steer”, and more importantly, to return.

Here.. they begin the ritual..

HOPE-scene..

Phoebe patted my cheek and stepped away.

“All right, lovey. Let’s do this. It’s almost sunrise.” She said, her voice shaking slightly.
The scent of wet earth was so thick I could barely breathe. Raising my hand to just above my head, I traced the strange carvings that covered every inch of the low, claustrophobic cave.
Phoebe’s voice was weak as she sang the opening notes of the song; something between a monk’s chant and a Celtic ballad, that would bring the Dim to life.  As the sound echoed around me, bouncing off the walls, it picked up strength. Louder and louder until I could feel the notes drumming against my bones. The hair on my arms stood up.
When the last echo died, I cracked one eyelid. The earth pressed down on us from above. The dank wind which had whirled my skirts around me out of the man-sized opening of the abyss halted, as if holding its breath.
Before I could ask why it didn’t work, everything reversed violently. All the air was sucked out of me. My skirt and hair began blowing towards the Dim; pulling me in, calling me.

When the tiny pinprick of red first appeared between my fingers, I was supposed to walk to the opening. But, my legs were as frozen as the stone walls. They would not obey.
Brighter and brighter, the light became thick, as if it had…substance. As the cold brilliance clung to my skin and began inching up my arm, I panicked. I tried flinging it off, like some nasty, sticky object that I’d accidently touched in a convenience store restroom. My breaths became shallow screams.

Phoebe touched my arm and began the final notes of the song. The beauty of her voice gave me the bit of courage I needed. I looked into her anxious face, blushed with the scarlet light. I gulped, nodded.
The light sped up my arm and across my chest. It dripped down my front and cascaded down my back, cold as black ice. My head was whirling as I stepped to the boundary of the Dim’s darkness. The eerie wind was pulling at me, wanting me. I was so cold, so confused that for an instant, I thought I heard someone screaming my name, over and over. The cold, syrupy, red brilliance sped up my throat and spilled over my lips, filling my mouth.
I staggered and turned, the back of my heels teetering on the cliff’s edge of the Dim. There was a voice in the wind. Two. Dozens. Hundreds. Thousands of voices behind me. They were so loud I wanted to cover my ears as they screamed. The noise filled my skull, almost splitting it open. I opened my arms and started the backwards fall, letting the magic of the Dim take me. Take me to the past. Take me to my mother. Anything to make the voices stop.
Alex burst through entrance to the cave, his eyes frantic.
“Hope! No!”

THAT’S IT… What do ya’ll  think???

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You are in an awful hurry. You have an extremely important meeting at work. One that could change your career. You might even finally get that raise you deserve.

The doorbell rings right before you walk out the door. An old woman stands on your doorstep.

“You can’t go to work today.” She tells you. “If you do, you will destroy your life, forever.”

“Who are you?” You ask, irritated at the interruption.

“Why,” she says, “I am you. From the future!”

Da.Da..Dunnnnn…

What would you do?

My current (um..and first) manuscript deals with Time Travel.  It is a fascinating subject. The brightest and most brilliant minds of all time spend years studying the possibilities.

See interview HERE of Carl Sagan, describing his TIME TRAVEL theories.

I hope these uber-smart scientists  figure out how to build a time machine, then one day, offer it as a vacation package. Can you imagine? It would be like taking a cruise….to the past.

How flippin’ cool would that be?

Here are a few questions that I have been mulling over.

1.)  Who would you do…  In??

2.)  Who would you want to meet??-Other than your own loved ones.

3.)  What historical event would you like to attend??

For me:

1.)  Now, I know that everyone is going to say Hitler, Genghis Khan or  Pol Pot, and those are great choices.  I, however, am gunning for the first idiot who decided that women should be skinny.  Take a look at Renaissance paintings, sometime. In that age, “full-figured” women were the ideal. Then somewhere in the fabric of time, some doofus told his wife that her butt looked big.  This time, instead of her usual, “Why thank you, dear. What a sweet thing to say.” She must have frowned and decided to have a carrot stick instead of a bon-bon.   Booo!

2.)  That is easy.. Eleanor of Aquitaine.  My all-time favorite person from history.

3.)  This is on the fly, but maybe.. the Wedding of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon.  They were both so young and beautiful.

How would you answer these questions?

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While the purpose of most blogs on writing is to inform, I have created this blog to gather information. There are a lot of us “Aspiring Authors” out there, who are trying to learn as we go.

When I began this journey, the only thing that came to  mind when someone mentioned “craft” to me, were Popsicle sticks and Elmer’s glue.

That was a beautiful time of innocence, when I wrote simply for the joy it gave me.  In fact, it made me a little sad to learn how much of “art” is actually  “business.”

Once I  committed to taking this journey, however, I determined to give it my all.  So,  I began to do research. The one word that was invariably near the top of the important issues  of nearly every website, tweet or book jacket on writing…. CRAFT.

The problem that I am facing at the present is that there is simply TOO much.  Too  many books.  Too many websites. Too many classes. How do newbies like me EVER make the right decisions?

That may sound ridiculous to any experts, who are used to weeding through the chaff of  information.  We poor little lost “aspirings” flounder.  We helplessly bounce from one site to another, not certain whom to trust.

Who is right?  What is wrong?

It can be a bit overwhelming.  I have already spent WAY too much on books, online workshops, and plan to spend a lot more as soon as I figure out how to choose.

… That is the question…..

HOW DO WE CHOOSE?

Where do  YOU turn for craft advice?

If there are any more Aspiree’s out there, which would like to link to this, I figure we are better off together.  Welcome. 🙂

Thank you and have a beautiful day.

Janet

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I got some really good news Saturday. I submitted my first short story to an e-zine and it was accepted for publication. I know it is not that big of a deal to most people, but to me, it proved that at least my writing doesn’t completely suck.

I think that is important…  not sucking.

I am an “aspiring” author. Hmm.. What does that mean exactly?

The dictionary says:

as·pire

http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/d/g/speaker.swf [uh-spahyuhr]

to long, aim, or seek ambitiously; be eagerly desirous, esp. for something great or of high value (usually fol. by to, after,or an infinitive): to aspire after literary immortality;

Ahhh… Part of the dictionary’s definition… To aspire after literary immortality.. Immortality???    Woowee! THAT is a BIG aspiration!

I think I will shoot a little lower.

I want people  to read what I write. I want them to sink themselves into the world that I create. I want them to hide from their children in the bathroom, so they can finish one of my chapters.

There are an awful lot of us “aspirings” out there. The question is, how to I rise out of the obscure pack?

Obviously, the writing has to be good. Or actually, more than good. It has to be phenomenal.

I have mentioned how naïve I was when I started this journey. I thought if you wrote a good book, you got published. Well, apparently, there is a lot more to it. You must also build a “social platform”, have lots of followers on Twitter and have a large Facebook page. I wonder how large of a Twitter  following Dickens would have? Or how many Facebook friends Tolstoy could cultivate?  What would have been their social media strategy ?

I am a toddler in the Twitter world. As an (ahem) forty-something, I feel awkward trying to break into that world. It seems too hip, too cool for an old broad like me. When I announced to my teenagers that I now “twittered”, they first gagged a little, then informed me, acidly, that it was “Tweeting, Mom. Duh..”

So, here I go. I will face this electronic world. I am going to jump in with both feet, and just hope that I don’t embarrass myself by being a ginormous nerd.

Except.. aren’t nerds cool, now?

Here is a tiny excerpt from my Manuscript.  What do you guys think????

This time I dreamed of Alex. Only the dreams were not of our time together, but strange, disjointed images.

He stood across from me, near a wide, flat river. Palm trees swayed in a hot breeze; and behind him, a huge pyramid rose out of the desert.
He wore a bronze breastplate and the plumed helmet of a Roman soldier. The gritty wind whipped my long, white robes and black braids around me. Alex grinned and held out his hand. In his palm rested a huge opal.
As I reached for it, the scene changed to winter. Snow covered a hilly landscape and we were clothed in plush, smooth furs. He tried to push the stone toward me again, but as I stretched out my hand to grasp it; he melted away to be replaced by Lucien. Dressed in the dandified clothes of a French aristocrat, he threw his head back in a cruel laugh. His unnaturally red lips were clownish against his white, powdered cheeks and black beauty mark. I turned to run, but my wide skirts wouldn’t allow me to turn quickly. My head was so heavy under the tall, white wig.
Only a few feet away, Alex struggled, his arms pinned behind him. Scratches covered his chest, where his white-frilled shirt gaped open. His autumn brown hair had escaped the low ponytail and hung in straggles around his blood-covered face. Someone grabbed me from behind, pulling me away as he screamed my name.
I sat up, panting and sweating, and then wished I hadn’t.

BTW>> I added on some of my favorite blog sites, and also some of the books I have read in the last year. With working on my own book, I’ve had less time to read, which is SO not cool! I LOVE “literature”, but sometimes you have to concentrate too hard. All these books are pure pleasure.

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I went to my first book signing this weekend. I know, I know.. What?! You say to yourself. How is this possible? All she does is talk about books. How is it that she has never been to a book signing?

I live in the South. That’s how. In particular, I live in Arkansas. We couldn’t be any further from New York or L.A. in either geography or lifestyle. We are slow ’bout things ’round here. Could that be the reason we don’t draw any big name authors to our state? I had to drive seven hours, to Kansas City,  just to attend an hour-long lecture and book signing.  I wouldn’t drive seven hours to meet a movie star, but I will to meet an author whose work I admire. Is that lame?

The population of Kansas City is around a half-million, including its suburban areas. My city, Little Rock, is not much smaller. Yet, we have little to no literary events. Oh, we can throw a hell of a watermelon festival, duck calling competition, or even a festival called Toad Suck Days (not even kidding). But try to get an author down here. Not happening.

So.. my question is… What’s wrong with the South? We’ll feed the heck out of anyone who wants to visit. Our mamas raised us to say yes ma’ am, and feed the company. Aren’t the  Black-eyed peas and peach cobbler alone worth the trip?

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