Zoe Taylor

Shadowcraft: Aria Blade (Revised) - Issue 6

Issue 6: Unfinished Business


“Hello child of fate.”

“Don’t screw with me you little brat.” I snapped back. “I need to talk to Raven Wing, and no, it’s not about you this time.”

She giggled vapidly. “Of course it’s about me. It’s ALL been about me. The sooner you understand that, the closer you’ll be to winning, silly goose! But if you want me to wake her, you’ll have to answer my riddle.”

Shadowcraft: Aria Blade (Revised) - Issue 5

Issue 5: Birds of a Feather

“Maybe something came up?” she offered in a soothing tone.

“Over the course of the twenty seconds it took me to talk to Tank? I doubt it.”

“It’s up to you to decide how to proceed. Do you want to trust her, and risk having your heart broken, or do you want to not trust her, and risk breaking hers?”

“What?” I asked, turning to look at her. She wasn’t there anymore. In her place was another black feather.

More Rambling! Yay! :-D

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It's important that I state, first and foremost, that I am in an exceptionally good mood right now. I feel more creative, and, in a word, "pumped" than I've felt in awhile, so take that into account foremost to set the 'mood' of this blog post.

I know after I finished Book Two of Becoming Robin I sort of went into a conservation phase for awhile. It took me forever to get the final chapter posted due to a combination of RL stuff and the Holiday blues, which put an even further damper on my finishing rewriting Shadowcraft.

Disney goes TG ... Sort of

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In a storyline that could have come right out of TopShelf, Disney's Wizards of Waverly Place now features a transgendered character, in a roundabout way.

For those not familiar with the series, it's about a family of wizards living in the modern world and how they cope with everyday situations.

One of the staple characters, Max, was inadvertently magically transformed into a young girl, "Maxine", on the last episode. The promo "and she might be sticking around awhile" is what amused me enough to finally post about it.

Promised update

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So just a quick update on the college front, since I promised a few of you I'd keep you posted when I knew something.

Essentially, I'm going to wait until the summer to start classes. I know this sounds like a cop-out, or that I'm backing out again, but really, it's not, and I actually owe you guys for it not being so for once :-)

Happy New Year :-)

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First, to get the site business out of the way, I had hoped to have Robin posted up by now, but a mild case of food poisoning has kept me in bed. You can't keep a good author down, though. I think my muse is finally returning from her vacation, so we'll see what happens :-)

I do want to wish everyone a very happy New Year. I was going to post a blog on my two year anniversary of signing on with TopShelf;I'm only a few days late! It sounds harsh, but glad the holidays are finally over for another year.

Updates on Robin, and Other Stuff

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Hey guys,

I just wanted to post a quick update on what's going on with me, and my lack of presence lately. Things have just kind of snowballed on me with what happened to my dog (he's doing a LOT better, by the way. He's almost completely healed, and getting back to his old self), holiday drama, and about a hundred other things that I'd rather just put out of my mind for now.

On top of that, I've been sick this week, which has really drained me, but I'm sitting here with a big bowl of chicken noodle soup as I type this, and I'm starting to feel a bit better.

One Step Closer (to Coming Out)

This has been an unusual morning for me. What began as another pointless argument with my mother actually turned into something worthwhile for the both of us. I've learned a lot about her today that I didn't realize before, and I've been shamed for it, I'll freely admit.

The important thing is, I learned she isn't clueless, as I once believed by her previous reactions. In the past I've tried to talk to her about my being transgendered, and it's resulted in some pretty upsetting responses. The thing is, she doesn't remember any of it.

I'm shaking right now

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I'm shaking right now because something just attacked our dog. He's just a little half-chihuahua lapdog, but we let him out every night to do his business. Usually he stays close to the house, but tonight he ran off after something into the pasture by our house.

Back to School ... I Hope (Quick update :-D)

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Well, I'm taking the first steps to going back to school. I should have done this sooner, but you guys know what a rocky year this has been for me. My mother's not been as big a help as she insisted she would be, so I'm taking the initative (Edit: Not her fault - she's been busy this year too! :-D)

Becoming Robin Interlude - The Gowns

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BecomingRobinBk2 ©2010ZoeTaylor.png
 
~* The Gowns *~

It's almost entirely likely that the next chapter will feature Robin and Linda's first fittings, but I couldn't resist showing off what I have in mind for the two of them as a 'finished product' since the wedding itself will be taking place in the Spring, and Book Two will come to a close with the holidays (in-story).

Life's funny sometimes

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So um, it turns out my mother took out a small life insurance policy on me several years ago as part of a package that covered the three of us, adding me as a term policy or somesuch. I don't really understand how it all works, but basically, since the cost was increasing she decided to go ahead and cancel it.

Neither of us knew this was the type of policy that you pay into like a savings account. Between this and the award for the Halloween contest, I'll be able to afford a new keyboard and stand (I'm going with the Yamaha PSR E423) with a little bit left over. :-D

Do you ever just feel like screaming at your keyboard?

You know, things like "Stupid keyboard! MAKE WORDS!" ;-)

I've been ... Well, not exactly stuck per se, but having difficulty finding the right words for the next scene of my next chapter of Robin. I have the entire chapter in my head, and I can see each scene playing out, but somewhere between there and my fingers it's just not coming across as clearly as I'd like.

I decided to take a lesson from my characters - Updated 11/15/2010

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I have, for as long as I can remember, had a love affair with the language of music. In seventh grade (That's about age 12-13) my friends used to joke that when I played "A Whole New World" from Aladdin on my trumpet, it was like I went into a trance.

I never learned to read sheet music because of my vision problems. I actually found it MUCH easier to just learn to listen to what the guy next to me was playing and just copy him. I got so good at it that I could pick up a new part of a piece after an hour of practice listening to someone else sight-read it.

Shadowcraft: Aria Blade (Revised) - Issue 4

Issue 4: Changing of the Guard

She glowered, but this time not at me. “I know who’s responsible for this, and I’ll take care of it, but for now we need to put this thing down.”

“Let’s do this,” I responded, taking her hand in mine. Psy floated closer and grinned.

“Can I play too?” she chided. I could feel my cheeks burn.

“Psy this is serious! Get something to lob at its eye sensor. While it’s distracted Raven and I will move in for the-”

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff - Changing Course

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Don’t sweat the small stuff.

It's a piece of advice my drama teacher gave me when I was in High School, and for years I had trouble following it. What she literally meant is that little things aren’t worth being upset over, but a lot of little things can pile up if you let them.

I've been doing a lot of thinking recently though, and between the advice of my no-longer perspective therapist (more on that after the break :-)) and advice I’ve received from friends and concerned community members here, I’ve come to a conclusion.

Embrace the small stuff too!

Minor Update on the Therapist search

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I received a response from Margaret Cohen, the therapist in LR that I contacted last week. She was very friendly, and gave me the name of another therapist that might be a little closer (I'll have to check after I post this :-))

I'd be lying to say I'm not petrified to take this next step. It took every ounce of strength I could muster just to contact Margaret, but she says Mary is a terrific therapist, and like I said, she came across as very friendly, so I'm going to gather my nerve and write to her.

One Heart to Another: Christina's Story

One Heart To Another
Christina's Story
 ©2010 Zoe Taylor

Christina loved John like a brother in life. Can she learn to let go of him in death before it's too late?

One of a pair alongside John's Story.

Shadowcraft: Aria Blade (Revised) - Issue 3

Issue 3: Blood, Rage, and Tears

Enroute to the subway tunnel where the urban explorers found me awhile ago, we met up with Psychic Strike. She had her hand outstretched, holding a pair of zombies about ten feet off the ground. She glanced back at us with an all-too-serious stare, letting gravity do its work.

“Man am I glad to see you chica! What in the name of the Holy Mother is going on?! Oh, hi there.” She glanced toward Silver Sentinel with a brief smile, returning her attention to me.

“We’re not sure. Sil says they just appeared out of nowhere. I think Raven Wing’s involved. Volcaness is meeting us outside Raven’s lair.”

Why does this have to be so hard?

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Why is it that I can say the words in my head, over and over again. I know exactly what I'm feeling inside.

And then when it comes time to just say it, I completely choke to the point of racing behind a proverbial ten foot thick wall? It's almost like those feelings completely disappear for the brief few moments that that window of opportunity is there.

Shadowcraft: Aria Blade (Revised) - Issue 2

Issue 2: Raven's Broken Wing

“Just stop it. Whatever your game is, I refuse to participate any further. You’ve won. You’ve beaten me, and I am in no shape to defend myself, so just… finish me off and be done with it!”

She slowly approached, a new, yet familiar anger on her face. I watched as she balled her fists. A torrent of shadows washed over her form, and I shut my eyes tightly waiting for the finishing blow.

SMACK!

“OW! What… Why did you slap me?!” I shouted in surprise.

Doubting Myself

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I wonder how many other t-girls go through this much self-doubt, or if it ever truly stops?

Okay, bear with me here because I have a lot going through my mind right now, and I need to try and make sense of it the best way I know how - by writing. I don't know how much of this I'll be able to get into text, or how little, and if you get lost along the way, just raise your hand and an usher will be along shortly.

One Heart to Another: John's Story

One Heart To Another
John's Story
 ©2010 Zoe Taylor

They say that when you receive an organ donation, the person lives on as part of you, but what if the donation was from your best friend? Would their impulses and compulsions become yours?

Would you be able to cope with the grief of their death, knowing they gave you life?

One of a pair alongside Christina's Story.

So I went for a walk - or Awkward Conversations With Neighbors

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I decided to go for a short nature walk to clear my head, and I took my faithful companion, my Canon Rebel XSi with me for kicks. Sadly most of the photos were drastically overexposed because I completely forgot to change exposure compensation before I left.

Most of them were completely unsalvagable. No amount of Photoshop will fix them, but I have a couple that turned out really well, that I'll post at the end of the blog (scaled down to fit :-))

While I was out though, one of our neighbors passed by, and rolled to a stop as I was kneeling to get a picture of a washed out gully.

Shadowcraft: Aria Blade (Revised) - Issue 1

Issue 1: Enter Aria Blade

When we last left our heroine, she had just escaped the clutches of her apparent nemesis, the dark sorceress Raven Wing. A psychic shockwave disrupted Raven’s focus allowing Aria to slip free, but so wracked with pain was the villainess that she called out, begging the heroine not to abandon her.

Aria Blade bid a hasty retreat, but as the crisp night air washed over her gold-trimmed white costume and her exposed flesh, she turned to stare back at the ruin, Raven Wing’s pleading words echoing in her mind.

Shadowcraft: Aria Blade

"Shadowcraft" is a comic books universe within a universe. The actual Shadowcraft comic book is authored by the fictional character Margie Evans, and the series makes its debut as part of Book Two of my ongoing novel series, Becoming Robin

Aria Blade Revisions - Quick Follow-up

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Well, just a super-quick update on the Aria Blade front. I won't lie to you guys, there's a LOT that I still feel needs to be done to improve the story not even counting work on the final chapter of the initial saga, but I'm almost done with the first chapter's revisions.

It doesn't hurt that it really didn't need much work. I've touched up dialogue here and there, and unified narrative, adding and editing as I felt necessary. It's shaping up rather nicely.

UnPub request on Aria Blade, if you want to save your comments :-)

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Hi gang,

I've sent an unpublish request to one of our site admins to have Aria Blade taken down. There are a number of reasons, but MAINLY, Aria Blade was an experiment in writing style that, I feel, utterly flopped.

I may at some point in the future go back and do a complete rewrite and re-post it, but for now, I've asked that it be taken down. So if you want to save your comments, please do so, or PM me and I'll copy them over for you. They won't be deleted; they just won't be visible until/unless I decide to republish at a later date.

Dialogue: From Speech To Text

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Sadly, I have nothing excessively profound to add from my own, limited experience in writing. Instead I wanted to pass along the following short list I stumbled across in my search to become a better writer.

I can say with confidence that I will be taking these to heart going forward, and in any revisions of past work that I may or may not be working on ;-)

http://fictionwriting.about.com/od/crafttechnique/tp/dialogu...
Personal thoughts on my own failings after the break. :-)

A Trick ... or a Treat?

AToaT Cover/Image
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 © 2010 Zoe Taylor

Sixteen year old Michael Brown hated Halloween because it always meant chauffeuring his younger sister around, but a chance encounter with the town's 'witch' may just change his life forever.

Too 'sweet' for Halloween? *grin*

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So I just finished the rough draft on a Halloween-themed story. Like Becoming Robin this is seated very much in the Sweet / Sentimental category. Unlike Robin this isn't a novel-going-on-serial :-P

It's an actual, real-live short story, from me, the Queen of babbling endlessly. Can you believe it? ^_^

Lost, confused

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"I don't know who or what you are anymore."

It's a line from the movie, "Judge Dredd". Hershey's apartment's been trashed, the whole Judicial system's turned upside down, etc. and she thinks Dredd's a part of it. But it was the most appropriate quote I could think of to properly convey how I feel right now

Delays, and Aria Blade Finale

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Hey all,

Let me first apologize for the excessive delays. To be completely honest, I've been really depressed for the last couple of weeks now since my birthday, and compounded with being sick it's just slowed my writing to a crawl.

I know what I want to do with Chapter 21 of Robin, it's just finding the motivation to sit down and write or do anything I normally enjoy doing. It's frustrating, to say the least.

Been under the weather, but better now :-)

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Hey all,

I just wanted to leave a little note here that this past week I've been pretty under the weather. It's not anything serious, but it's left me feeling drained, so that's why the big delay so far. Next chapter (or two, maybe) of Robin should be up by Sunday, if not sooner.

Sorry for the delay. I don't like to let my writing go this long normally, but when all your muse says is "Shut up and take some medicine!" it's kind of hard to get anything done. :-D

~Zoe

*sigh* Maybe I'm just crazy.

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A few of you might have caught a glimpse of my earlier blog/rant/vent before I pulled it in regards to family issues.

I decided after posting it that it was just too heated and not within the general "friendly" of the site, so I pulled it though I have a hard-copy for myself because just writing it helped me quite a bit. :-)

A Question of Character(s)

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How often are your characters influenced by other media, either in direct inspiration or as a base template to extrapolate and 'grow' from?

For example in Becoming Robin Nicole is loosely based on an original character of mine from several years ago. The key differences are age and upbringing, and of course Raven Wing is based on Nicole.

Becoming Robin -/- Aria Blade - Concept Images!

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Becoming Robin / Aria Blade

Hey all!

As requested, I've uploaded the full, unresized concept images for Aria Blade, Raven Wing, Coronal Rose and Volcaness as they appear in-costume in Chapter 19 of Becoming Robin, "Halloween".

Posting this in blog form, but I'll be shortly adding it as an Outline/child page to Chapter 19.

~Zoe

Respect

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If I've overstepped my bounds, then I ask that the admins unpublish this, no questions asked, no hard feelings. I feel like this needs to be stated, though.

I'll keep it simple. All I ever wanted from this community is mutual respect. That's it. You don't have to like what I write, or the style in which I write it. You don't have to comment or read it. But please, please be respectful of each other.

Sweet Jesus. I just found my old camera 0.o

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While going through some things, I stumbled across my old Canon Rebel. This old thing brings back a lot of memories. See, when I was a freshman in high school, I decided I wanted to try out photography, so I bought a cheap piece of crap single-reflex SLR camera and took Photojournalism.

There were maybe ten of us interested in the class that year so we were all incredibly close by the end of it (You try spending six to ten hours a week in a darkroom with someone and NOT learn their deepest darkest secrets after awhile *grin*)

A Fascination With Dolls

I imagine it just comes with the territory to a certain degree, but for as long as I can remember I've not just loved, but been captivated and fascinated with dolls.

I never cared much for baby dolls, but 'little people' of all sorts, especially porcelain figurines and lifelike dolls, are some of my favorites.

Argh! I need a new font :-/

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Hey all,

I've fully transitioned over to the new PC now, but there's only one problem. It doesn't have Lucida Calligraphy!

This is surprising because, according to my research it was the most popular calligraphy font for web use.

So, I'm opening the floor to suggestions for a new Calligraphy font for my Becoming Robin and Aria Blade headers.

I haven't delved OpenOffice to see what I do have available yet, but that's my next step. I wanted to throw this out there first though in case someone more technically-minded might have a reccomendation.

On the future of Becoming Robin

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What an amazing journey this has been for me both as an author and, I feel, as a human being, not so much from writing my Robin stories but from my connection with the community here.

I've been thinking for awhile now about what it is I want to do with Robin's tale. I read somewhere recently (I STRONGLY suspect someone's signature right here at BCTS actually :-D) that the sign of a great story is when you dread writing the final chapter.

I've given my Organizers a facelift

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Just a quick note for anyone that's interested, I've finally sat down and done some uniformity tweaks to my Organizer pages.

I haven't decided if I'm going to do anything with my Author page yet, but Book One now has a proper title, and all three have a proper, brief synopsis attached.

Sorry it's taken me so long to get around to doing this. I really, honestly did not expect my Robin chapters to become so popular especially as the first serious writing I've done in years, not counting the odd fanfic here and there.

Too Many Ideas! (Or Ow, My Brain Hurts!)

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Too Many Ideas!
Or "Ow, My Brain Hurts!"

Two hours ago I tried to go to bed, but resulted in my just laying awake and thinking. I have so many plot threads going around in my head right now, and to add to that complexity, Aria Blade's sub-story just became a TG story in and of itself in the darker reaches of my warped imagination too.

Becoming Robin Interlude - On The Horizon

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Becoming Robin
 
~* Interlude - On The Horizon *~

 
I had originally written this as a comment to chapter six, Love is in the Air, but I kind of got on a roll and wrote more than I felt comfortable placing in my own story comments section, SO! I'm posting this here, and I'll probably child page it under Chapter Six for organization's sake. Thank you everyone, for your continued support. It really does mean a lot to me :-D

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