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VINTAGE 1950s: Around the World in 80 Days

August 3, 2020 by in category Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger tagged as ,

         The movie was based on an adventure novel  by Jules Verne written in 1873.  The movie had an all star cast with David Niven, Cantinflas, Shriley MacLaine, and Robert Newton, with cameo appearances of many others. It was released October 17. 1956 in the US.

         To win a bet, a British inventor, his Chinese valet and an aspiring French artist, leave on a trip to explore the world where they experience adventures and danger as they travel around the world in exactly eighty days.

         The movie was nominated  for eight  Academy Awards and won five, beating out critically and publicly praised films like Friendly Persuasion, The Ten Commandments, Giant and The King and I.

         Many of the balloon scenes with Niven and Cantinflas were filmed using a 160-foot (49 m) crane. Even that height bothered Niven, who was afraid of heights. Tom Burges, who was shorter than Niven, was used as a stand-in for scenes where the balloon is seen from a distance.

Added note:

In 2017 Mark Beaumont, a British cyclist inspired by Verne, set out to cycle across the world in 80 days. He departed from Paris on July 2 and completed the trip in 78 days, 14 hours and 40 minutes.

For a waltz down memory lane, Here is the trailer to the movie. Enjoy!

Published authors Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1955. Janet has published seven mystery novels, and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and lives in Southern California.

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HOW TO FINISH YOUR BOOK. . .AND KEEP YOUR DAY JOB

July 3, 2020 by in category Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger tagged as , ,

         Writing a book is a work of love. However, things get in the way, i.e. work. We all dream of the day when we can make enough money to survive by writing. Until that day comes (if it ever does), we need to keep our full time jobs. We wrote and published our first five books working full time.

         When do you write? This is a common question people always ask us. And it all comes down to time management and what you can do working around your family and work schedule.

         Both of us use to go into work 1-2 hours early each morning just to write. We brought our lap tops and clicked away until it was time to start work. Egg timers are great for working an hour at a time. Don’t forget to bring your breakfast. Some people prefer to stay later at work which may work better for you. Be sure to plan at least an hour or more at a time.

         Look for gaps in your day, including breaks, waiting for the mail, or meetings. Basically anytime you may have a few minutes, i.e.,  typing, or writing a note for characterization, dialogue or sub plot in a writing notebook, on a napkin/piece or scrap paper/paper towel and pocket it. You never know when inspiration will hit. Nothing is more frustrating than coming up with a fantastic idea, telling yourself you’ll remember and when it comes down to writing…forgetting.

Keep up the good writing.

Published authors Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1955. Janet has published seven mystery novels, and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and lives in Southern California.

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The Demise of the Little Nash Metropolitan

June 3, 2020 by in category Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger, Writing tagged as , , ,

The Little Nash Metropolitan

After World War II, the American public wanted new cars, not rehashed models from before production halted in 1942 for national emergency production. As a result, U.S. carmakers offered products in all price ranges.


Returning GIs started families, the suburbs grew at an unprecedented rate and peaked in the 1960s. Many growing families had moved away from the cities and needed economical ways to commute to their jobs in the cities.


Enter, the American-designed and British-built, Nash Metropolitan measured less than thirteen feet in length, and was often called America’s first sub-compact car. Production began in October 1953. Over the next eight years, over 95,000 Metropolitans were produced and sold by Nash/Hudson, then Rambler, and finally AMC.

The Second Car


 They designed it as a second car in a two-car family, for Mom taking the kids to school or shopping, or for Dad to drive to the railroad station to ride to work. A commuter/shopping car with a resemblance to the big Nash, but the scale was tiny. The Metropolitan’s wheelbase was shorter than the Volkswagen Beetle.


The miniscule two-seater came as convertible or hardtop models. No extra-cost, standard features (optional on most cars of that time) included electric windshield wipers, cigarette lighter, interior map light, and a continental-type rear-mounted spare tire with cover. While an AM radio, heater, and whitewall tires were listed as optional extras, it appeared all Metros left the factory with these items. Trunk space was accessed by folding the seatback forward.


In December 1956, the Austin Motor Company of Britain acquired the rights to sell the Metropolitan to non-North American markets. Modifications allowed manufacture of both left and right-hand drive models.


Several more changes came in 1959, including a glove box door, seat adjusters, vent windows, opening trunk lid and tubeless tires. The last Metropolitans came with a British-made 55 hp Austin engine.


Production of the funny little car stopped in 1960, but ‘leftovers’ were sold for under $1700 for another two years.


In popular culture, “The Little Nash Rambler” song was released in 1958 and often thought to refer to this teeny car. It was actually based on the larger, four-seat, Nash Rambler.


With the 1960s, came the birth of “muscle cars”, cheap gasoline and the need for speed. National pastimes included drag racing, and a return to NASCAR racing.


While some manufacturers offered one or two “economy” models like the Chevrolet Corvair and Ford Falcon, the little Metropolitan had no future. It faded into memory and became a curiosity for collectors.


Hollywood did not forget. The little car can be seen in: Clueless (1995), The Wedding Singer (1998), Blue Hawaii (1961) and others. It made many TV appearances, including Starsky & Hutch, The Ghost Whisperer, Square Pegs, and even The Simpsons!

The Little Nash Rambler

(Because I Couldn’t Resist)

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As a Writer, Is Talking to Yourself a Bad Thing?

May 3, 2020 by in category Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger, Writing tagged as , ,

Is Talking to Yourself a Bad Thing?

I’ve seen jokes and memes all over social media that describe how being self-isolated or “quarantined” during this COVID-19 pandemic has had one of two effects.


The first has been an overwhelming feeling of being trapped or imprisoned, with no opportunity for social interaction. If you have kids, and they are home, they have to be fed and watered, educated, entertained, and of course, experience some quality time with you. Even if you don’t have kids or parents in your home, there’s always laundry and dishes, all those things on your to-do list you’ve been putting off until you had “time.” Things like home repairs, organizing, binge watching all those programs and movies, you’ve recorded, and naps . . . yes, naps. The thing is, you aren’t trapped.

How are you using your self-isolation?


The second feeling has been one of great relief, as being shut up in one’s domicile provides the writer with the opportunity to get that story or book onto paper (or at least into the computer’s memory.) This second opportunity can also be seen as the chance to see ourselves in the mirror of truth.


Let me put it this way: Let’s assume you are a serious writer, whether it be a journalist, essayist, short-story author, non-fiction, or fiction novelist. What exactly has been keeping you from writing that thing you write? Is it your job? There’s that daily commute that can eat up a couple to several hours each day. Does the boss hover over your shoulder so you have no chance to put down a few paragraphs each day? Is it your chores, like taking the kids to school or daycare, picking them up, and taking them to their extra-curricular activities (soccer, dance, scouts, etc.?) Do you have a second job?


During the time we are all confined (at least, we should be) have we learned anything about ourselves and our writing process?


In that vein, there is another advantage to this situation—that is being able to read your WIP out loud to yourself or to those at home with you. Reading your work aloud helps you catch the rhythm of your writing, especially in early drafts. Though you may not be commuting, those hours can be spent refining dialog, grammar and even some holes in story or essay.
If you happen to live alone, you may have access to a recorder or use your computer to record and playback what you’ve read aloud. Even if you aren’t ready to read it to the world, your family and yourself are all great critique partners.

Go ahead and read—aloud. You’ll never go back to just reading over the page.

~Will

P.S. To those of you who are essential workers—thank you and stay well. We all want to read the stories that will come from all this.


Books by Janet Elizabeth Lynn and Will Zeilinger

DESERT ICE

Buy now!
DESERT ICE

GAME TOWN

Buy now!
GAME TOWN

SLICK DEAL

Buy now!
SLICK DEAL

SLIVERS OF GLASS

Buy now!
SLIVERS OF GLASS

STRANGE MARKINGS

Buy now!
STRANGE MARKINGS
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Women’s Fashion: 1960s

April 3, 2020 by in category Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger tagged as , ,

We are starting a new series of murder mysteries taking place in the1960s. To make the story real we must research what life was like in that decade. After all we do have to dress our characters!


The 1960s fashions for women showed a major change from the 1950s strait-laced, conservative styles to the relaxed, youthful, even unisex styles of the 1960s. In other words, wardrobes had a major overhaul in just one decade.


Skirts changed from the swing skirt in the early 60s to straight (pencil) to A line shape by the end of the decade. And the hemlines were raised drastically as the decade continued.

Casual dress became more and more popular. Women were more comfortable wearing Capri’s, bell bottoms and shorts even at social events.

Couples wore matching clothes or unisex clothes which sprang up in the mid to late 60s. Teenagers to young adults jumped on the unisex look.

The little black dress came into fashion for cocktail parties while the evening/ball gowns started with a layer of lace ending the decade with classy one-layer dresses with stylish decoration.


Bell-bottoms became fashionable for both men and women in Europe and North America. They flared out from the bottom of the calf and had slightly curved hems and a circumference of 18 inches (46 cm) at the bottom of each leg opening. They were usually worn with Cuban-heeled shoes, clogs, or Chelsea boots. 


The Empire waist style dress became very popular, reflecting the less strict social mores of dress from the 1950s (cinched waist). The 1960s women’s fashions considered women’s comfort and individual style as opposed to the earlier decades.

An interesting note: Capris’ acceptance in the United States was influenced by the 1960s television series The Dick Van Dyke Show. The character Laura Petrie, the young housewife played by Mary Tyler Moore, caused a fashion sensation by wearing snug-fitting capri pants. 


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