Thursday, June 24, 2010


May I just say that I love Toni Morrison? She is absolutely brilliant. For those of you who do not know, Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. In my English class, we are reading "Beloved," and it is seriously one of the best books I've ever read. It's about a woman who escaped from slavery and the things she did to ensure her freedom. Some of those things were unforgivable.

Online classes are a bit of a challenge in that your discussions are done in an online exchange and you don't have the benefit of voice inflection, expression, and rambling to help you make a point. I've been impressed by my classmate's ability to make me see things differently. I tend to understand the books with layers of inferred or hidden meaning, but sometimes you "meet" someone who gets it at a level that makes reading a book an event. So thank you, classmates, for the enlightenment.

The other writer I discovered is Zora Neale Hurston. You may have heard of her novel, "Their Eyes Were Watching God," and the movie with Halle Berry was pretty good. But the book is fabulous. A bit hard to read at the outset because she uses the dialog to get the Southern black inflection, but once you pick up the cadence, the story is amazing.

How's this for a first line:

"Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board."

Wow. If you are looking for something to read this summer, give it a try. It is a story about an unforgettable, strong woman, and I kind of like those stories. You might like it too.


Jo Taylor

Monday, June 21, 2010

It's June!

Holy Cow! It's June! How did that happen when I wasn't looking?

Am I the only one who writes the date at least 50 times a day, but somehow does not realize it has been 2 months since I've done something I love? (That "something I love" would be posting on my blog oh-you-who-go-to-the-dark side).

I got a very kind and thoughtful email from a writer friend today, saying she missed me and my posts - how's that for making my day? Fabulous, I tell you - it felt fabulous. It felt so fabulous in fact that I felt like writing, which I haven't felt like for awhile. I think I'm starting to sound like Winnie the Pooh.

My silence has been from the usual busy, but also from the last push to finish school, applying for a big job I didn't end up getting, and other nefarious things thrown in my way, trying to get me to stop talking, or writing, or both.

Now that I'm almost done feeling sorry for myself (not quite done yet, but I will be done at 4:17 on June 28th), I can get back to writing. It feels kind of like the pool when you take the cover off- hot on the top and cool underneath, but refreshing and inspiring now that I've waded in.

My last two classed for my BA in English will be complete on August 9 and I will officially be done with school 20 something years after I started. I do not advise this. My dad told me once he didn't really care if I got a degree, just that I was well educated. Unfortunately, the rest of the world cares, so I caved to the pressure and got one. There. Boy, I feel so much more smarter now.

Life is good, all things considered, and I think a little break from writing every now and then will be a good thing. But I'm back, so get ready to read.

We are planning a road trip for the summer - up to Yellowstone - and I think I might do a road trip section for the blog just for the heck of it. Planning, going, going, going, re-planning, going some more - and all the stuff in between. It might not be that interesting, but it will keep me writing when I keep saying I have too much to do.

I hope it ends up being a bonding experience for the three of us (hubby, me, and 13 year old son), and I fondly remember road trips of my youth: Eating crunchy mac and cheese and crunchy red jello somewhere in Arizona after a sandstorm, wondering what the heck was so fabulous about burnt marshmallows but eating them anyway, lying in a tent that was just under 179 degrees with crickets singing so loudly my eyeballs hurt. Ah, the American Dream - the open road and all the discoveries just waiting over the horizon.

Now we have an RV and air conditioning. I hope my son will not suffer an incomplete childhood because he didn't get to experience camping in all its rustic glory. He'll get over it. I bet we can come up with completely original Taylor Fails for his story telling days. I'm going to be brave and share. Pictures may or may not be included.

Thanks for reading and thank you, dear Laura, for letting me know you thought of me today.

Jo Taylor