You are now entering the world of my thoughts.

This blog is my diary of works in progress. The only way a writer can improve upon her skill is to practice, practice and practice some more. Here, in this place of quiet peace, I pen to paper my thoughts and creativity. Welcome to my world.

Copyright © 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 SN Taylor, All Rights Reserved

Monday, July 5, 2010

Free writing exercise

Dear little me,

I know it has been a while, but my have you changed. It has been a long road since I last got a good look at you. So many things have changed; you would not believe it. Remember the old haven, the wooded area behind our farmhouse? I remember spending hours there with little Sue and cousin Ray in the shade of those tall raggedy trees. Well, we had to find a new one. After the fire incident that killed little Sue, the haven was cleared away and a garage was built on top of it. Some years later, another fire raged through the garage. Some people started spreading rumors about the haven being cursed, but we paid no attention to that kind of crazy talk. We finished high school and like you promised, we left the dingy old stale town. But for some odd reason, we kept coming back. It's like, one moment we were in New York City, the next, we were on a train coming into town. It's not like we had anyone left in town, little Sue dead, Mama and Papa died during the farmer’s flu epidemic. Actually, like half the town fell to the virus. The worst cases were found near our old haven. Well, it took ten years but the city bought the old haven, cleared away the burnt down garage and built a fire station on top of it. We went to the grand opening. I remember it like it was yesterday. We had just completed college and had no idea what we wanted to do or be. We were broke, about to be evicted and owed a lot people a lot of money. We sat at the broke down table in our rusted kitchen. The water dripping from the faucet, hahaha, how it use to annoy the mess out of us. No matter what we did, the leak would not stay fixed. Well, that was the day we got a call from Mayor Manrowe. He needed workers at the fire station, but people were reluctant, crazy superstitious folks. He offered us a job, housing and medical insurance. Once again, we were on the next train out of New York City, only this time, it was our choice and we weren't going back. The town had changed. There were new buildings everywhere. Downtown had a new council building and police department, there was a new bank and shopping plaza, a new library and even a new school. Yeah, they got rid of all the classroom trailers and built a 'real' school. Well, on the day of the opening ceremony, only a hand full of people showed up, mostly folks warning and protesting using the old haven. For a few months, we were the only ones who stayed in the station. It was a quiet, eerie few months. We use to think we could hear little Sue laughing or crying. One night, on the eve of her death, we heard a scream. We found Mrs. Taper out back trying to burn down the station, but somehow, she caught on fire. She claimed it was the ghost of little Sue, but a nut case like her would say anything to keep from going to jail. After a few newcomers to town, we had a station crew of six. It was nice having others around. For a while, all was well. The station and crew kept the town fire free. In fact, we held the record for getting to a fire without significant lost of property or life. Things got even better. We met someone, a very special someone. Gotta say, the day he proposed, took us by storm. We were married at the station and even took our honeymoon there. Well, neither one of us had anytime off so we just made do. One night, we were called out to Farmer Taper's house. It was a false alarm; we told him and his wife to clean out his fireplace. On our way back, we saw a huge billow of smoke coming from the station. Luckily no one was hurt, but the station was destroyed. After a thorough investigation, they could not find any foul play or cause of the fire. Nothing! It was like the fire just appeared. It was claimed an accident, insurance was claimed and the station was torn down. We got another job working downtown as a secretary. For a while, things went back to normal. We had two children, sweetest little boy and girl in town. Sigh! We always thought they looked like mama, but their dad swore they took after him! Then, just when we thought things couldn't get better, the worse happened. The economic crash. Hubby lost his job along with half the town. We struggled quite a bit on my meager income. The stress of it all wrecked havoc on our marriage. Finally he couldn't take it any more, he ran off with a waitress taking our kids with him. We have not seen them since; some say he left the state, but who knows. We were depressed for a while, waiting, wondering. Then a moment of truth sparked life in our withering soul, we filed for divorced. We've put on some weight since then. But on the bright side, we've done pretty well. We worked hard and got promoted to CEO of the company, a long way from being a secretary ;) Bought a car. Have taken quite a few vacations outside of the town, we even visited New York City for a few days. Our old apartment was gone. We saved up money and bought our old Haven. We saved even more to build a house to call our own. One day, the kids may want to come back and they will have a nice four-bedroom home to come to. As I sit here writing you, little me, I just want to say, things have turned out fine for the most part. Keep your head up and never let others bring you down. Sniff, sniff. What's that smell? It smells like........


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Picture Book Editing Check List

I found a really nice article (check list) to use when editing pb manuscripts. I will try to use it the next time.

http://cbiclubhouse.com/2010/06/try-this-picture-book-editing-checklist/

Member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators