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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, May 30, 2011

In the News: I Inspire, inc

I recently came across this wonderful site called I Inspire, inc. What a wonderful cause to support! Reading to children is a must in my book, reading to children who are ill is a greater must. Check out the I Inspire page and show your support in bringing comfort, inspiration and empowerment to children. "Like" the page and send in donations. With your help and support, this organization and its volunteers will reach the hearts of many sick and/or hospitalized children.

Here is some general information taken from their facebook page: I Inspire, inc. is a U.S. based nonprofit that uses the arts to soothe hearts and inspire minds. Our signature program is "I Inspire Hearts™" where community volunteers read stories to children in hospitals using iPads. This aids in the mental and emotional health of children helping to make a rather antiseptic environment more warm and comforting to them.

Their mission is to use the Arts as a unifying tool that comforts children, enhances personal development, brings people together, raises social awareness, builds understanding across communities and inspires people to think, create, share, collaborate and volunteer for positive change.

For more information contact:

A Story in Every Song

I would like to think that musicians are every bit like writers. They have a story to tell in their music. Every song has it's tale. I like to hear these pieces, especially the ones with no words and try to hear and feel the story the musician is trying to tell. I have recently been listening to an instrumental track where the artist is using an Armenian Duduk. Listen to the video then read my interpretation. :) I would love to hear your interpretation of this song as well! :D

This is a sad story, one that ends with uncertainty. It is a story of two hearts who desire unity but destined to be torn apart. The heart of the past and the heart of the future. The past, dark cold and empty, and the future, bright warm and full of life, has so much to gain in their relationship. With the knowledge which the past possess, the future has the opportunity to be better, to have a greater quality of life. With the future, the past the ability to right wrongs, have a second chance to live and grow from its mistakes. But these two hearts can not exist together. They are destined to be separate, longing for each others embrace, an eternal marriage. But, perhaps, not all is lost on this doomed couple. Perhaps their story is not over. They have one thing in common, one thing that links them together forever, one thing that can never change. They have the present. The present will keep these to hearts joined together until the day comes when there is no past, present or future.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Blog Treasures

I have been busy lately and have not been able to post regularly all the little bits of treasures I have found over the web. I will post them today, they are all so wonderful that even late, they are a treasure to behold! :D

First, Katrina Lantz shares some wonderful notes on, Hook (What is it, parts of a hook) and Theme and Structure at a conference she attended. Jump on over to her blog, it is worth the read!

Second, Heather Mccorkle gives advice.. on taking Industry Advice. When you have a lot of great people telling you conflicting advice about your writing, it can be very daunting. Who do you listen to, or do you listen at all? Check out her blog and how she views taking industry advice. Don't forget to check out her Twitter Tuesday post with lots of goodies there.

Third, lots of wonderful and insightful poetry over at the blog of A Poet Named Fida. My favorite for this week is "All She Needed," that poem described exactly how I was feeling at the time! :D

Fourth, Karen Strong gave me lots to think about regarding my Word Count Obsession and her Never Give Up post was right on time! I wont bore you with all the little details but I will say this, I am inspired. I will not give up on any of my dreams, especially my writing dreams! :) Thanks Karen!

I will end this post with a video talking about the difference between a Writer and an Author. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Character Music

I have been spending a lot of time trying to develop one of my characters in my novel. In my attempt to get to know her, hear her voice, I have learned a lot about her personality, her history, and culture. Like many writers, I sometimes like to listen to music while I write. I find that it helps me block out other noises around the house like the tv, computer, phone and etc. I was listening to Yanni one day while writing about this particular character, Nusa from the Naqabashi clan. One of the instruments playing was a duduk, an Armenian instrument. It was really pretty. It somehow fit in with the mood of the writing, the personality of my character, and the topic being discussed. So I looked around for other songs similar to Yanni's and came across this cd. I chose three songs that I felt represented my character's situation:

Nare nare
Araksi artassouken
Nusrat's allap

Although all of the songs were really nice, most just were not what I needed for Nusa.

What music or song would best define your character?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Web Picture of the week!

This photo of the Milky Way Galaxy has been feeding my muse for the past couple of days since I found it. What I find so amazing about is that it was produced by a amateur photographer, Nick Risinger, who spent an entire year photographing the night sky in various regions. It took him over 37,000 exposures to complete this beautiful masterpiece of our night sky. For someone like me who lives in a city where seeing a star in the night sky is rare, this photo reminds me of my early childhood when I could stare up at the night sky in awe at the sheer beauty and mystery of the universe. Forget counting sheep, I counted stars! ( I miss those days.) Check out Mr. Risinger's website, Photopic Sky Survey. An awesome feature of the website is you can actually zoom in on different areas of the picture (I mean reeeally zoom in) without losing the clarity of the photo. This picture will be feeding my muse for a long time!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Summer TBR List 2011

With summer approaching, I want to get together a list of books to keep me entertained and away from the tube. (except for Phineas & Ferb, MONK, and a few other shows I can't live with out :D) So I am looking for some great reads. Got any suggestions? Here is a little background info on stuff I like to read. I love SCIFI!!!!! So anything along that line is great (so long as it is not romantic stuff. I HATE romance novels!) I also love detective, mystery novels like Agatha Christie and Lee Goldberg's MONK series. So what is out there? My goal is to read 25 books over the course of the summer. So I need good books that keep me going. IF I am not hooked within the first two chapters, it is all down hill for me. Unfortunately, I have the mind of a toddler when it comes to things I'm not interested in!

My Summer To Be Read List

1. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

2. Polaris by Jack McDevitt (bought it a while back, figured I ought to read it :/)

3. The Gift by Zaipa Ibrahim

4. The Tale of Hawthorn House by Susan Wittig Albert






















Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Shape Of Stories (video of Kurt Vonnegut)

This is a hilarious video that explains the shape of a story. The Professor actually describes three types of story plots. I would love to thank Katrina L. Lantz for sharing this video on her blog. :)

What story are you writing?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Life among the stars

One day, after we have depleted all our earth's resources, we will look to other planets to call home. One day, when our air is thicker than the fog rolling over the hills and heavier than rain fall we will look to our galaxy for a better drink. One day, when the ground can no longer support life, it may be possible to form colonies of life on dead planetary bodies. Who knows, it may be that one day we may get it right and preserve the one true blue gem we have in our solor system. If not, we may be looking at spheredome colonies as future homes of our kind. *Sigh*

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dearest Mama

Through out my life, Allah (swt) has blessed with so many things, awesome family, trusted friends, valuable life experiences, fun travels, wonderful job, good health, and a great sense of humor. :D But there is not one blessing from Allah (swt) that I cherish greater than the mother He blessed me with.
Dearest mama,

You are my heart, my soul, my wonder and my goal.
I love you mama because you…..

Loved, nutured and cared for me, even when I was wrong.

Offered me wisdom and guidance as a wonderful role model through every bumpy turn and fall I took.

Valued my feelings, ideas, hopes, and dreams even when no one else did.

Encouraged, inspired and supported me in all my endeavors no matter how far my imagination carried me away.

Devoted your life and made great sacrifices for me so that one day, I too could touch the lives and hearts of so many family, friends and the stranger in need.

me, for who I was, am and will always be,

your precious child, eldest daughter, and best friend.

With all my heart,

I love you Mama.Y

The Ultimate Mother's Day Story

This mother's day, we left out at 6:30 am to visit my mom's grave and to say a special prayer for her. As our usual custom, we clean her grave area, clear away plant/grass/leaf debris, and plant new flowers. We went to three-four different stores until we found one, Albertson, that was open so early on a Sunday morning, a holiday at that. We bought some flowers, a potted hanging plant and some pretty sunflowers which her favorite. We arrived at the cemetery. It was a really nice morning, the kind of morning she loved working out in her garden in, cool, misty and peaceful.
The welcome committee :)
Meet the mama bird.

We were greeted by two birds tweeting away on her grave. (My youngest sister has always been afraid of birds since her very young years when she got chased down by a bunch of chickens hungry for some food she had :D She was the first to notice the birds and begged us to get rid of them before she got out the car. Of course I had to decline since I didn't think mama would approve, so she sat in the car most of the time we were there.)

Mama bird trying to scare us off
Daddy bird also trying to charge and scare us off

I was touched the little birds were keeping her company on such a thoughtful day and so early in the morning. In Malaysia, mama loved it when birds visited her garden. But as we got out and approached the grave, the mama bird got really nervous and started squaking at us really loud. The closer we got, the more aggitated and aggressive she became protecting her ground nest. Another bird, I'm assuming was the daddy bird, was running around in circles squaking as well. We decided to quickly put the flowers down and move away from the grave so that the mother would relax. She got scared and ran off as we put the flower pot and sunflowers but stayed very close tweeting. They tried to scare us away by charging at us and showing their firey orange tail feathers.

The flowers.

Once we were done, we prayed and backed away. But for some reason they would not return to the nest. We moved our car further away and waited to see if they'd return. Still, they were hesitant to return to the nest. Then my sister thought that the hanging plant might be scaring them, after all, the hook did look like a larger bird neck and head! So we went back and she took the hanging plant away.

The nest.
At first she was just going to remove the hanger from the plant and replace it but the mama bird slowly began to inch her way back to her nest the minute the hanging plant was gone. So, we decided to bring it home with us but left the sunflowers on mama's grave. It was the most sweetest thing ever! It felt like reaffirmation of the wonderful, loving, caring person my mama was during her life, the legacy she left behind that continues on in her memory. My mama was the person everyone turned to for guidance, help, protection, education, reassurance, love, encouragement, knowledge and wisdom and tuna tacos. :) It is no wonder this cute bird family chose her place of rest as a nesting ground for their future legacy despite the fact that there is not much in the way of foliage protection that most birds use to guard their nest.

Today was the ultimate mother's day memory since the last mother's day we shared with my mom before she passed away. I love and miss her very much. She will always be in my heart, a treasure that can never be taken away or lost.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Blog treasures

Thanks to a wonderful blogger and future book author, Heather McCorkle (I'm so waiting for her story, "To Ride a Puca" to find a home in the publishing industry) who shared this most excellent genre link. I am always confused when it comes to assigning my stories a genre. But now, all my worries are gone. Here is a fab-tabulous link to a website called, "Book Country," their genre map describes each genre and sub-genres within each category. They even give examples of authors who exemplify the genre. Definitely check out the site, it is very informational.

Here is another bit of treasure I found as well. This blog Confessions of Suite 500 offers what they call First Page Shooter. The authors critique the first 250 words of fiction manuscripts (middle grade to adult, all genres). Be sure to check their How it Works post and the Directions post before you submit your first 250 words.

Good luck! & Happy Writing!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

If Walls Could Talk

Image by Jorge Jacinto. Taken from this site

There is an old earthling saying, “If walls could talk, the tales they would tell.” We were built millennia ago by space faring earthlings escaping the inhumanity of their race and searching for a new place to call home. Every brick, bolt, and steel bulkhead used to construct us embodied their hopes and dreams of a new start. Little did they know they also entrenched us with lies, deception and treachery of their past. We were naught but objects to protect them from the harsh elements and wild creatures and centuries later, their own injustices. We were walls of secrecy, walls of deception. The earthlings hid nothing from us; breathing a life in us they could never fathom. But we were more than just mere walls of their fashion and desires. We were sentient, brought to life by their greed and treachery. We were watching; we were listening; we were recording; we were historical eyewitnesses of the last of the human race. They are gone now, destroyed by their own hands, a fate they desperately tried to escape a millennia ago. We are now free to tell their tales, tales locked away in the walls of our being. We are the walls of Earthen, come witness the death of humanity.

Copyright © 2011 SN Taylor, All Rights Reserved

Top Ten: The Library!

Adelanto Branch Library
(it looks a little different now from when I was growing up.
It has been remodeled since I was a kid but still brings back great memories)

Why I LOVE My Local Library.

(and all libraries)

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