Archived Messages from

Christi Tue Jun 6 23:09:15 PDT 2000

Hi, all you nightowls. I missed some of your posts, so here I am again.

You are a lovely, lovely woman.
Maybe some twilight writing would do us all some good. Except for my son--he probably wouldn't really appreciate it. (sigh)
Enjoy your night-time ramblings. I know I will think of you tonight, out on your new deck stargazing and plunking away on your novel one sentence at a time. Go to it, girl!

Hey Rhoda,
I wondered if Gladiator was any good or if it was all about special effects. I still kind of have my doubts about the story being very good. How many stars would you give it, out of five? I have a hard time justifying plopping fifteen and-a-half dollars down for anything less than perfection. Know what I mean?

It's great to see you again. I think you've got a pretty good idea there, but whenever I write spooky stuff, I scare myself!

Christi Tue Jun 6 22:49:35 PDT 2000

Oh, if only Sequim were closer to cities of employment for us! The weather is perfect for a desert rat like myself, but alas, it is quite far from Seattle and Tacoma. :( I've been thinking of Port Orchard--know anything about it?
Ah Starbucks, the land where the coffee-buzz was born. Seattle has got to be cool.

First of all, I would be so honored to accept the position as Minister of Love Affairs. This is the most interesting, awe-inspiring job I have ever been offered. I'm intriqued. So is my husband. ;) This means you really MUST win the presidency, so I give you the forty-millions votes I have collected from around the world--votes of the feline persuasion. These furry felines were purr-fectly (sorry, that just came out) happy to further your cause and told me they were thrilled that there was a chance one of their own might win the presidency. It seems they have felt in the minority for many a moon now. They did try to make me promise that there would be stricter dog leash laws, and halibut steaks for supper at least once a week. I told them you'd think about it.

Er, story? I hadn't gotten up enough nerve to send the thing as is, but I'll lock away my pride long enough to send it to you, I promise. Just remember, you asked for it!
And as the Minister of Love Affairs, I bequeath to you a lovely evening alone (wink, wink) with your husband, free of kitties (sorry, Jon) and kiddies. I'm feeling very generous since I had such a lovely time last week with MY hubby on our anniversary.
In fact, I send a lovely romantic evening for everyone to enjoy with their significant others--their husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, lovers, and/or sheep. Oops, strike that last bit.

I forgive you for being so bloody prolific, only because you're so bleeping nice! ;)

It was Heather who was trying to figure out the name for that particular poetic form, but thanks for the update. Unfortunately, now that I know the answer, I can't even remember the question!

You could never intrude--not with a name like Candice! Something about that name just makes me want to like you right away. And I promise to never call you Candy. Cross my heart.

G'nightol, and happy romantic evening. *smooch*


Jerry Ericsson Tue Jun 6 22:32:38 PDT 2000

Americo, I am so glad you decided to stick around, it is great just talking to you from time to time.

My suggestion for the next project would be maybe, a collection of ghost stories, I think we could have great fun with it. Of course we would need our great task-master Americo to keep it going. I know I would never have written most of the stories I contributed to SM**, had it not been for his suggestions and guidance.

To all the new additions to our little notebook welcome, so glad you could join us.


Rhoda Tue Jun 6 22:23:08 PDT 2000

My husband and I saw GLADIATOR tonight. It was great! I was impressed with the sets of ancient Rome. They were so life-like. Ah, the wonder of modern technology. The story was excellent also. This was the best historical movie since BRAVEHEART. I recommend it highly.


I did not surmise from your posts that you were leaving. I only picked up on it from the posts that came after you. I thought these ladies knew something I did not. I cannot read your mind, not in a thousand years. You are and always will be a mystery to me. Anyway, I am glad you are not going anyway. Life would be too boring without you to challenge and vex me. You are definitely one of a kind.

THE SCARLETT PIMPERNEL was a fun book. I don't remember much about it, but now I feel the urge to pull it out of my bookcase, dust it off and read it again. The ZORRO story was based loosely on that theme--the popinjay who in reality is a masked hero.


A greeting to you this evening to ease your lonliness. I am all wound up with too much Diet Coke. It is 12:20 am and I cannot possibly go to sleep yet. I plan to spend this energy writing. May the muse be with you, and may your creative talents come to life in a great way on such an evening.

Happy Writing,


Heather Tue Jun 6 22:06:17 PDT 2000

I'm not supposed to feel pompous.
Isn't the feeling of pompocity really a 'looking down the nose at others?'
Then I don't feel pompous.
I feel lonely.

Writing into the night tears something of me away in sunlight hours.

I'm different now than ever I have been.


Just no one to reflect it back right now.

I think I will go out onto my newly constructed deck and gaze at the moon. She is just under a quarter, struggling towards fullness, towards a birth of a kind.
What will the next child be named? July.

I hope the moon has a labour coach. Who will step up and be midwife?

July. I should be halfway done my novel by then.

The race isn't on yet. Haven't my pen in hand at the moment.

Wait. Wait! Ok. Now I'm prepared. Alright, you can continue. Yes, I meant set. I'm set now. Trust me.

[On your mark...]

(sorry, I'm suffering serious delusions tonight. Fresh air beckons.)

Heather Tue Jun 6 21:50:55 PDT 2000

Americo, my addition to SM** (if we are indeed including all six senses as perfectly acceptable submissions)
will be "TEMPLE", a short shortie I wrote in the NB
on Tuesday May 2.
I will come up with another. Now that it doesn't have to revolve around food - although so much of living revolves around that.

Perhaps we could dream up a new collaborative project to be launched July 8th.
That would stir new excitement into the pheonixine writers who loan us their time and wit.
I say loan, because of the dedication.
There are many loyal, devoted Notebookers here.
Jack, we thank you from deep down. You have created a Divine community of souls here.

Family (I reiterate words that were not mine, but possibly Teekay or Rachel's?)
It is all about family. And family are not necessarily blood relatives.

There are more than several things thicker than blood.
Blood is the vehicle, but purity and genius pump the Life.

Dream forever in the Vast Universe that is you.
Write it down.

Say it well.

My heart pours as milk from a vase.


Teekay Tue Jun 6 21:14:04 PDT 2000

TINA: I can't even think as fast as HALLEE writes!

ROWRAHD: Are you still at work? Wake up to your self. Am waiting for a post operative post. Took me 16 months to think of that one. heh heh.

Tina Tue Jun 6 20:21:33 PDT 2000

Me again.

Left some thoughts for Clayton and Hallee on the crit page.

Reading Hallee's post and knowing that she writes so quickly made me think of the times when ideas just come so fast I can barely get them down on paper. Then when I read it afterwards there's little editing because it just came out RIGHT. I love that feeling.


Tina Tue Jun 6 19:35:29 PDT 2000


Hallee, I just started reading your post. More on that later. But HOW did you get it to show up as actually proper paragraphs? Jack, what'd she do? It's hard to read the posts that carry on without breaks. What's the secret?


Candice Tue Jun 6 18:40:23 PDT 2000

Yes - Robespierre was a character in the Scarlet Pimpernel - a bad guy. The SP was always watching out for him not to get caught. The REAL Robespierre - that's to say not the fake one - was a guy looking out for the little people - just had a unique way about him - the Reign of Terror
Off with their heads! Off with their heads! Not mine - [plop]

Hallee Tue Jun 6 18:35:02 PDT 2000

MARY - I meant to tell you that I followed your link to Evanovich (probably spelled wrong, but I'd never find it if I scrolled up). I will definitely have to find her books. She just gives you a quick taste of the books, and leaves you wanting more! Thanks for the tip.

Candice Tue Jun 6 18:34:21 PDT 2000

Hallee Tue Jun 6 18:26:31 PDT 2000

TEEKAY & CLAYTON: Thank you. I have never had anything open to critique before, and I will admit, I've been incredibly nervous all day. So much that my headache from this morning still lingers. Perhaps now I can relax some and quit chewing on my lip. Though I did read it after I posted it and noticed a few typos...I apologize for you having to bumble through them. I meant it when I said it was a draft.

CHARLES & CANDICE: Did I at least get the Scarlett Pimpernell thing right? It seems as if he was mentioned in the book, or maybe it was the movie? haha...names and two biggest weaknesses. (Bye the way, I'm still green myself, but welcome, Candice)

Teekay Tue Jun 6 18:12:40 PDT 2000

CHRISTI: Please ignore my last post. Hubby informs me that I have emails that have come in on his computer!

CANDICE: Hello and welcome. That sounds so official. Hiya, c'mon in. Ah, there, that's better. :)

Teekay Tue Jun 6 18:05:02 PDT 2000

Hi All,
I finally found my notebook. It was under a great big pile of clothes. Maybe I did not hide it afterall, maybe I am just quite messy.

MARY/Tina: What is woolies? I wasn't quite sure what you were talking about, so I had to go back and check. Woolies is what we call Woolworths, you know, the supermarket. BTW: It wasn't in the bicky section. See above post. :)

AMERICO: Oh VERY promising. Sorry, I missed the very part. I guess that is better than just promising. Still sounds like a way off though *sigh*. I'm not a real good gardener either, I like instant results.

JON: About the SM** stories, does that mean you want the ones that we really like from the lot we have already sent in? Or does that mean you want totally new ones?
As a VERY promising writer I am taking it upon myself that I was included in the invite.

HALLEE: I left something for you in the critique section.

CHRISTI: I am still waiting for you to send me your story. As a minister of love affairs? I imagine that you are very busy, but please send me your story.
Sorry, I thought AMERICO said HEATHER and CHRISTI. Where are my eyes??

RHODA: Sorry. Where is my brain. I've sent you back the synopsis really this time, only there's no synopsis attatched.

I'm going now, before the baby really destroys this room. I am promising to write today.

Candice Tue Jun 6 17:59:38 PDT 2000

First, I have been "eavesdropping" on all your lovely conversations hoping to find a way into your melange of talents. I hope you do not feel I am intruding - I am as of yet unpublished, but working hard at my craft.

Arik - I also happen to be a historian - Early American, but the term implies I must know of European history - at least a bit - Maximillian de Robespierre was a leader of the Jacobins, a group attacking the Girondist during the French Revolution. He was a bachelor in his mid-thirties and lawyer, who had been an ardent supporter for the democratic(small d)position. They (and he) came to believe the Revolution's survival impinged on the sans-culottes support. The Girondists and Jacobins each each suspected and denounced the other group. Robespierre guided the sans-culottes and served their interests but foremost was the survival of la Revolution! If you need more - let me know.

Rachel Tue Jun 6 17:59:19 PDT 2000

Americo - Did you get my e-mail?
Let me know,

Rachel Tue Jun 6 16:51:38 PDT 2000

Jon - I would work with you any day of the week. You are a great kitty! A publisher... Hey, anything's possible!
Take care you,

P. Cushing Tue Jun 6 16:48:25 PDT 2000

Dearest co-corespondent,
Not being one to waste my precious time in idle gossip or petty provarication for more any more than the politicaly correct period of time, I take now just a little time out to enquire just what terrible dilema haunts your troubled conscience these past days.
You act just a trifle out of character - though some would say not! - Do you suffer still from the effects of our last encounter?
In my humble opinion, it is unlike you to bring such a personal foible to a forum as public as this.
Can it be that you find yourself in need of my services once more?
Have no fear, I will come if called.

For now.....Please recite three Hail Marys' and four Our Fathers.
And God keep your soul safe from further harm until I tend it!
Be well.

Jon Tue Jun 6 15:02:01 PDT 2000

Forgot to say that the deadline for the stories is the 7th July. Year 2000.

Jon Tue Jun 6 14:58:31 PDT 2000


After consultation with my best advisors, I decided to appoint you my Minister for Love Affairs.
(No hyphen. That's a new Ministry in the History of the World. Something very very good for the gallaxy.)

I have now... Pussy, how many votes have I got? 13! (Plus the 3 million Teekay gave me of course — but she cannot vote, being only a VERY promising writer — I said VERY... that's not too bad for starters!

PS. I think it would be a good idea if the best talents on the block would send me by e-mail their greatest short-stories for SM** — on food and drinks, plus everything associated with the six senses. Who knows if we'll get a publisher? What do you think, Rachel? On second thoughts, send them to Rachel and keep a copy for you. Only the best will be accepted. No misspellings. You see, we are professionals. (NO kidding).

Americo Tue Jun 6 14:45:20 PDT 2000

Oh, Jack, that's very kind of you. Thank you, milord. How's the diving going? And our beloved Fran?

Actually I think I have extremely exciting news for you. Good news, of course. I'm just waiting for an e-mail.

People: where did you read that I was leaving the NB? Yes, where did you...
(Gosh! you can read my thoughts! Clever girls...)

Jack Beslanwitch Tue Jun 6 11:06:16 PDT 2000

Christi: The other possibility to look into, though I have heard it too is somewhat expensive, is Sequim over on the Olympic peninsula. It happens that this little community is noted for being in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains. So, while everywhere else in the northwest US and western British Columbia gets dumped on with drizzle or rain, this little plot of ground sits blissfully in blue skies and sun tans. Oh, and, yes, I forgot to mentioin that Seattle is the original home of Starbucks. A double short mocha with raspberry nonfat and no whip, please.

Americo: let me chime in with an invitation to come back in all your curmudgeony and always intellectually exemplary best. We miss you. Oh, Jon is welcome as well. Take care all.

Allein Tue Jun 6 07:04:20 PDT 2000

Christi - *drool*

Charles Tue Jun 6 06:09:13 PDT 2000

First, there is Jacques Robespierre who owns a deli down the street from me. Probably not the dude you had in mind. Then there was Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre (1758-1794) who was a French revolutionary. He was a leader of the Jacobins and architect of the "Reign of Terror", -he was known as an austere and incorruptible man. His laws permitting the confiscation of property and arrest of suspected traitors, many of whom were guillotined, led to his own arrest and execution without trial. Then he opened the deli! (snort!)
You pick which one you want.
Regards, Charles

Hallee Tue Jun 6 02:25:11 PDT 2000

TEEKAY - If I can figure out what how to do it, I'll post something this morning, since I'm in the middle of writing a love scene and I have a headache, so I'm leaving them where they are for now. I'd hate to spoil their mood. I don't know what I'll post. Let me think about it some. Hmmm.

CHRISTI - When I finished my first book, my mom and I were worried that it was a fluke. It wasn't like I had been struggling for years trying to write a novel. I just started it one day and finished it six weeks later. I was as surprised as everyone else. So we all kind of sat back, nervous, that it was just that one thing inspired by the dream I'd had. Then I got the idea for the next book, and we all realized it wasn't a fluke. The ideas just kind of come out of thin air. I remember going the wrong way down a street to meet my inlaws for dinner and had to turn around. Somehow, we turned around in this parking lot of this really worn down motel that had this big dumpster sitting on the edge of the lot. I had this flash of this body lying behind the dumpster, and the whole plot of a book flashed through my head. I've been carrying around a notebook ever since then. (Please don't cry. I'm also incredibly lazy. Unless I find a really hard working, devoted agent, chances are good I'll never get published.)

HOWARD - I'd love for you to send me the whole thing, no holds barred (Is that the proper phrase? No "holes" or "holds"?). I love stuff like that. I have a hard time articulating what I'm thinking. Now, ask me the worldviews of any one of my characters, and I could expand for pages. But me? I've tried and usually blunder.

All of you talking about rain..::sigh:: I live in northern Florida..supposed to be a tropical climate, and I think we've had 8 inches of rain in 6 months. We're used to getting 8 inches in a single day. All this on top of weather in the high nineties. The only grass in my yard that is green surrounds my husband's garden, and I'm seeing news stories about fires in other parts of the state. They're saying this is the driest spring in history. I believe them. Everyone up there, face south and blow on the clouds really hard. Maybe they'll make their way down.

ARIK - If you remember that I'm bad enough with names that I keep a list of the characters in my book next to my computer, I'll tell you that I think I remember Robspiere, however that's spelled, in conjunction with the Scarlett Pimprenell (however that's spelled). But, it's highly likely that I'm wrong, so don't trust me.

Okay, TEEKAY, I think I've decided, and now it's time to figure out how to post something, that is, if my daughter didn't find my piece of paper with my login name and password. She's learning shapes now, and is taking great delight in the fact that she now knows how to cut out triangles. Unfortunately, there are little triangular pieces cut out of every piece of paper that is below the five foot elevation of things we keep out of her reach. I'm about to "accidentally" break the safety scissors.
I'm a little nervous about doing this, so if you don't like it, pretend you didn't see it. (grinning with clenched, seriously, I'm curious to know what you think.)

Bye for all now.

Arik Tue Jun 6 00:44:33 PDT 2000

Hey people.... can someone help me? I need some stuff about a guy called Robespierre... If someone can send me a link I will be very thanksfull :-).

Thank you. Arik

Christi Mon Jun 5 22:38:34 PDT 2000

Hi everyone! What a wealth of information on Washington--I'm thrilled down to my short shorties! hah hah.

Thank you, Jack. You really helped me; I know very little about what things are like in your state and (blush) I'd completely spaced the fact that you live there. I've been looking into the real estate and whew! We're looking into Kitsap County--it sounds darling and it's not so expensive. Sounds like it's got great small-town atmosphere, while the big city waits right across the Sound.
What you said about the huge thunder and lightening storms struck a chord with me. I would definitely miss our Monsoon season, where in one minute the day is sunny and beautiful and the next, you're in gale force winds with a lightening streaked, grey-black sky. There's something so powerful about it, even just witnessing it.

Hey Rachel! I'm still here, just not as often. Thanks for the info about B.C. too. If we get to move to Washington (I hope, I hope!) I want to visit B.C.--I've heard it's gorgeous. I'm just so sick of this damnable sun I could just loose my lunch. It's soooo hot in the summer (107 today), and it seems to last forever (about 5 months). I adore rain, but I'm sure that with enough of it, I could certainly grow tired of it. But maybe not; I am a pale-skinned girl who doesn't quite seem to fit in to this hot, dry climate. See how I'm going back and forth? I'm so freaked out about even thinking of moving. I've lived here since I was four years old! Okay, I'm shutting up now. Coffee anyone?

Hello good buddy! I loved your poem! Instead of saying that I left you a note on the crit. page, I thought I'd just yell it out for all the world to see. Great poem!
Have I ever got a smokin' deal for you. Just send me some of that cold weather and I'll send you some heat. Deal?
BTW, Americo said that Heather and Rachel were special cases. I wasn't even mentioned. *sniff* (How's that for a guilt trip, A*? :)

Where are you? I think you already know this, but just in case you don't--we really do love you!
I don't want to list out all of my personal political and religious views for many reasons--one being that they change so often. And I'm a pretty private person about that stuff.
One of the great things about this place is how different we all are. We come from different backgrounds and different countries even. It's so wonderful to see everyone's point of view; it opens my eyes and makes my world bigger. We would miss you very much if you were to leave.

On the flip side, I was wondering where Pussy has been as of late. Have you been keeping the poor dear tied up in the kitchen again? I send her tea and cakes so that she can get out of that dratted place and enjoy her afternoon. We women have much more to offer than pure household drudgery. Cheers, Pussy!

Welcome! You will like it here, I guarantee it. I was wondering how you get so many writing ideas flowing for you. Is it discipline--did you force yourself to write everyday and eventually things began to flow, or was it natural and easy? Please don't say it was natural and easy or I might cry.

A big HELLO! and warm, no, make that HOT hugs for everyone. Don't worry, I wore my antipersperant. That's a funny word--antipersperant. That's got to be spelled wrong. Where's my dictionary! And where's my inner dialogue? Did I say that outloud?

Sweltering in Arizona,


Rachel Mon Jun 5 22:37:57 PDT 2000

Tina - My husband and I just read your post. We had a laugh. Yes, it is the wineries (grins). Gray Monk makes one of our FAV wines "Latitude 50" Yah there should be a degree sign there, but I don't know where it is on my keyboard. Wish I were kidding about that...
We used to camp at the base of a winery in Westbank. That was pretty fun. Our favorite beer comes from Penticton. Tin Kettle Brewery made it. I loved the one called "Killer Bea" YUM! It is no longer avaliable. Now I have moved on to Kootney Black Lager. Its not quite the same, but it will do.
We travel the Okanogan often, maybe we could hook up some time. Or when you come down for the airshow, we live close.
Honest, we're real nice. I only have one, okay, two, okay, okay, three. All right I have four children. But really, its safe to visit. Their quiet (NOT)!
Take care you

Allein Mon Jun 5 20:51:24 PDT 2000

Jack - Yes, Washington is beautiful. We have about everything here - desert, mountains, rainforst (lots of rain). I hate rain, but I grew up here, so at least I'm used to it. I live right near Bangor military base and there are several kids at my school who have lived in places like Guam, Hawaii and the Phillipines all their lives.

Rachel - Don't worry, I like BC too, but it is pretty close to Washington.

Tina Mon Jun 5 20:31:24 PDT 2000

Rachel, I've gone through Maple Ridge many times! Never stopped, just gone through, but I get to the Abbotsford Airshow regularly so I've been close by! Uhmmm, you get 'thirsty' thinking of the OkanAgan? Let me guess... wineries! Do the words 'Grey Monk' make you thirstier? Or Calona Wines?
No, I haven't rafted the Thompson. Always say I will but haven't got to it yet. Kayaked the Shuswap and hiked the Monashee's though.
The best thing about B.C. is being within a half hour drive of everything! World class ski hills, beautiful lakes, rugged mountains... oh yeah I love B.C.! I'm in Vernon, not Kelowna, but I'm there often 'cause that's where the dojo I train at is.

Teekay.... woolies?


Mon Jun 5 19:13:06 PDT 2000

BTW, what are woolies?

Mary Mon Jun 5 19:12:06 PDT 2000

TEEKAY: I didn't leave a note for you on the poetry critique page. ;-)

'Zat better?

Teekay Mon Jun 5 19:04:23 PDT 2000

RHODA: I've sent your synopsis back. I know, about time.

Well *burp*, the notepad wasn't in the fridge or the pantry, so now I'm going to see if it's in the biscuit section and woolies. heh heh.

Here's a thought

Oh, sorry, false alarm.

Rachel Mon Jun 5 18:43:15 PDT 2000

Tina - I live in Maple Ridge, We are tucked up along the river, by the mountains (Garabaldi area) We get the rain, rain and the rain. I have a girlfriend from the Island who lives here now and she swears up and down that it rains much more in Maple Ridge (grins).
Okanogan eh? I get thirsty just thinking of my trips to the Okanogan... I used to live in Grand Forks. You might know where that is. I love it, but missed the coast. I'm a coastal gal.
I don't believe it! At last! Somebody from my very own area!!! This is exciting. I have relatives in Kelowna. I had a friend who lived in summerland. We spent a lot of time up there a coupl of years ago.
No place is quite as beauitful as B.C. I love it here. Have you ever gone rafting on the Thompson? That is a total RIOT! Mind you, kicking on a tube with a six pack is alos pretty dang fine (grins).
As for rain, we have plenty of our own right now. We have the bounce back thing going on. Just yesterday it was gorgeous sun, sun, sun. I still have my burn and here the rain is again. People will think I'm rusting...
Take care you

Rhoda Mon Jun 5 18:38:20 PDT 2000


I hope you are not planning to go, espacially on my account. Such was never my intent to drive you off or belittle you in any way. I wish you would stay because you are clever and interesting.

As far as myself and my lack of humanity and goodness, what can I say? I cannot promise to change, but I will always look as fairly as I can at the other side.


Teekay Mon Jun 5 18:36:17 PDT 2000

TINA: Sounds really cosy. I love a good storm. The weather here is bitterly cold. There are grey snow clouds in the sky, most of the trees have lost their leaves and just looking outside makes one glad to be warm and toasty in front of the fire.

RHODA: Am half way throught the book practically. Can't put the darn thing down.

HEATHER: Have just remembered that I have not yet sent HOWARD'S book onto you, I shall get around to it as soon as possible. Sorry.

AMERICO: By HEATHER & CHRISTI being special, do you mean the white coat type of special or just your everyday type of special? heh heh.
I am not jealous. I am already the white coat type of special.

I'm going to find my notepad now. I wonder where I should look first? Perhaps in the fridge, if it's not there I shall just console myself with some cold pizza, before moving onto the pantry to see if it's there.

Okay, really am going now.

Teekay Mon Jun 5 18:27:11 PDT 2000

RACHEL: Whoops, looks like you beat me to it while I was blabbing on. heh heh.

Teekay Mon Jun 5 18:24:20 PDT 2000

CHRISTI: How is it going?

HOWARD: First day back at work hmmm. Do you wish you were still back in hospital getting enemas instead? heh heh.

RACHEL: Read your story. I left something in the critiques.
I hate it when someone says that to me, it feels really doomy. Sounds a bit like, I left a doggy doo doo in the critiques. I didn't, but that's what that expression sounds like to me. :)

MARY: Thanks girly for the critique, but I'm a bit sick of that one now. It's movin' on time. Hmmm, now what shall I move on to? What are you working on at the moment? I know that if I just pick up a pen and paper it will come to me, but danged if I can find where I hid the note pad from my kids.

AMERICO: It does sound like your tying up loose ends, if you are then you can just stop it right there young man!
Any way, I don't think you will go, I think you're made of much stronger stuff than to walk out because of a difference of opinion.
Besides, too many people would miss you, and I'm not saying this because you said I was a promising writer, because frankly I think that sucks. Promising sounds like I have such a long way to go and I get carsick on long trips. I'm saying it cos it's true. If it's votes that you are after then I give you 3000 000 of them, here, take them, just stay.

HALLEE: Are you going to let us take a lookee at what you write? Hmmm? I am soooo jealous. I thought about getting up at 4 o'clock this morning. However, nothing happened and now I'm inclined to disbelieve that saying that it's the thought that counts. You are truly inspiring. I think, next to DOT, I shall make you my other idaol.

Tina Mon Jun 5 18:18:17 PDT 2000

To the pleasant chorus of thunder and mood lighting of lightning I bid you all hello! My dog is cowering against my legs, wimp that she is.

Rachel, where do you live? If it's the rainiest part of B.C. I'd guess Vancouver Island or the Sunshine Coast. They're both wonderful. I call the Okanagan home. We get a bit wet, but in the winter we get white and especially nice we get HOT! Okay, not right now. But USUALLY. If you like the rain, my vote is to send our weather to you...

About northern Washington, the word that always springs to my mind is floods. I don't trust the news to get the facts right or accurate or in proportion to the truth, but it seems I'm always hearing about flash floods in Puget Sound. I've been through the state and always love it, and I always enjoy Seattle. Washington is beautiful! Almost as lovely as British Columbia..... ;-)


Rachel Mon Jun 5 18:17:32 PDT 2000

Teekay - Thank you.
Take care,

howard Mon Jun 5 18:07:14 PDT 2000

HEATHERRACHELTEEKAYCHRISTI (whoever it was who wondered about the poetic device S* was using)I think I may have found it! One word used to describe that sort of poetic form is ANADIPLOSIS. I'm not sure it's an exact match, but it's close. I'll keep looking.

Rachel Mon Jun 5 17:41:17 PDT 2000

Jack - Hey! Are you going to open a new slate for SM*? I have a piece I would like to drop in. I have till July 7, 2000.

Take care you,


Jack Mon Jun 5 17:13:30 PDT 2000


Also, I will leave things up here for a day or so, but it past time that I should be archiving the Notebook as well. At 360k, some of you may be having trouble loading and/or leaving a message. But thought I would give it a little while more. Take care all.

Mon Jun 5 17:10:43 PDT 2000


Just noticed the comment by Americo about archiving and retiring the Strawberries and Moon. I have done so. In fact, since there has been little or no activity with regard to the collaborative fiction, I retired everything and now open things up for suggestions whether we want to start something up at this time.

Jack Beslanwitch Mon Jun 5 16:53:40 PDT 2000

Just got a chance to check back in. Washington State. Well, I will speak specifically about Seattle. It is a beautiful city with a vast array of wonderful restaurants, parks, unusual landmarks such as the Space Needle and Pike Place Market and more. In the immediate area of western Washington you have old growth rain forest such as the Ho River Rain Forest over on the Olympic Peninsula. Those are some of the up sides. The down sides are that this is indeed a possible setting for relocating. That means that traffic is terrible. But I am used to it. Also, yes there is rain, or, rather, drizzle. Out right rip roaring thunder and lightning rain storms like I remember from my Montana days are absent. Still, I have been here long enough that when I get a vast impact of blue skies with that strange yellow orb up there radiating all kinds of heat down on me I sometime find myself waxing nostalgic for grey skies and rain. If you like science fiction, this is a popular setting for conventions. Note the URL above. It is also noted for a wide variety of other artistic aspects. However, the other downside about the area is also one that is sabotaging some of the more unique artistic mini communities with their cheap studios. This is an expensive place to find housing in. We personally lucked out by buying twelve years ago, before everything sailed out of sight. If you looking at Seattle proper you will want to check out the price tags and make sure you do not have sticker shock. As you get farther away from Seattle downtown things tend to get a bit more reasonable.

But I will close on one element that may sway you back. This is a very beautiful part of the country. Not in the arid high desert way that you are used to in Arizona, but in the lusch beauty of trees, plants, flowers and more. Despite the cold, the San Juan Islands are reputed to be some of the best diving in the United States. Not having done any there, I can only say they are among the best in the Northwest at least. Having lived in several parts of the country, including Montana and California and Iowa, I will have to say this is truly home. I would never ever want to leave this part of the US except to tourist. Hope this gives you something of a balanced description. Allein might want to throw her comments in here as well.

Jerry Ericsson Mon Jun 5 15:11:58 PDT 2000

Americo - let us bury the hatchet - left you a short in SM**

Rachel Mon Jun 5 13:57:13 PDT 2000

Christi - How are yah? You asked about living in Washington State. I can't answer for Washington State, I live in British Columbia, Canada. I love my Province with a passion. It has its drawbacks, but I still LOVE it.
The rain... Hum, okay, maybe I don't love the rain, but I do like it. At least I like it for the first four or five weeks. After that it can get to be a little much.
I think that where I live we get more rain than any other place in my Province (I'm not kidding). I like the rain most of the time.
HEY WASHINGTON PEOPLE!!!!! What can yah tell Christi about your luscious state? C'mon, c'mon give up the goods (grins).

Mary - I send yah some smiles. I am glad that all is well with us.

Take care all


Mary Mon Jun 5 12:26:26 PDT 2000


Whew, I am so glad you aren't mad at me. I have always respected your diplomacy. See how easy it is to jump to someone's defense?


Have copies of both of those already (they aren't mine though). Haven't started them yet. I would be very open to an inter-notebook book exchange. Anybody interested in some Jeffery Deaver? My Evanovich books are all signed so they don't leave, but anything else can go. I also have shelves and shelves of writing books. Everything from The Fiction Writer's Silent Partner to Modus Operandi-The writer's guide to how criminals work. Willing to share those too.


Tina Mon Jun 5 09:45:55 PDT 2000

Rhoda, I'd love to get in on the Great Literary Exchange. Any takers on 'Skystone'? I could also be talked into a temporary parting with my copy of Contact by Carl Sagan. I don't know everyone's taste in reading, but Sagan is brilliant, even if you don't like light sci-fi. It is NOT like the movie. It is IMMENSELY better. Let me know.


Rachel Mon Jun 5 09:44:51 PDT 2000

Mary - It wasn't any one post that made me respond to you. It was all of it stacked up, okay? Just so you know. Now I am going to zip it up, put a stone in it, clap both hands over my mouth if needs be. I will hush up and let those of you who wish to continue to debate do so to your hearts content.

Take care you


Rachel Mon Jun 5 09:40:54 PDT 2000

Mary - I didn't intend to snap at you.

I view Americo as a very dear friend. I guess my friend-o-meter just hit tilt.

Do NOT feel responsible for the debate that has been going on here. It is not your fault. We have been over this before. If you read back over the archives you will see that this is not a new conversation. Sure, it has a new twist, but we have seen this one before. The archives are full of little flare ups. Don't worry, it wasn't you.

People can all get a little hot headed from time to time. In particular about things that they feel strongly about. It is so hard to bite back the words, so hard to stop the fingers from typing them onto the screen. So hard to find words that can get across the intensity of feeling and not be offensive. I hope that nobody leaves, if they do I doubt that it would really have much to do with the debate that has happened here.

Mary Mon Jun 5 09:33:13 PDT 2000

TEEKAY: I left a note for you on the poetry critique page.

Mary Mon Jun 5 09:20:05 PDT 2000


You are absolutely right--Americo did not make any personal attacks on me. I never came out and said that he did. I said that he made personal attacks on some of the posters here--which he did. I thought my last post to Americo was honest, forthright and totally fair. I guess I had disillusioned myself about Americo and was disappointed with the fact that he could be so mean to Rhoda, and so intolerant of anyone who disagrees with him. I thought he was more open minded than that. (Americo--sorry to talk about you like you aren't even here.) However, this argument was not only between two people. Jerry and I were the two who started this whole shebang while talking about a criminal case that we were both interested in. Therefore I felt a little bit responsible and, yes, a little guilty for the abuse Rhoda took. That is why I came to her defense. I certainly didn't mean to offend you, and am quite surprised that the first ill thing you said to me was in response to the nicest post to Americo that I have made as yet. He did, after all, throw the first stone. I reiterate: Can't we all just get along?

Rachel Mon Jun 5 09:01:18 PDT 2000

Mary - I just want to mention a little thing. Americo did not make any attacks on you. I have looked back over the posts and you have again and again posted what appear rather provoking words to him. It is you who would seem to be attacking. Ah, if you want to post me a note feel free to do that. I would prefer English. Portuguese is not fluid for me.

Rhoda - I hate to see fights. You know that. I also know that you have a good deal of passion in regards to your God and your values. There is nothing wrong with that. I don't want you to think I am taking sides. I don't like to see everyone rush to you as if you were some sort of swooning maiden. You're not. You are a strong women with strong opinons.

Rachel Mon Jun 5 08:51:49 PDT 2000

Allein - You, YOu, YOU!!!! I love yah kid:D I wish I could be there, but things are hectic in my life right now. Four children with many activities will tend to keep you on your toes. I know you will have a great time at Grad. Dan, the children and I will stop by in August. If it is okay with your parents to have a whole family fall on them like that. We won't stay over, we'll just stay for a visit. You can meet my family and then I could have them go explore the city or something. Check with your parents. I would love for you to get to meet my husband and children. My dog would not be with us, but I could bring a picture. I also have pictures of my fish (grins). I'm not kidding. I love my fish.

Teekay - Let me know what you think of the story.

Americo -

Mon Jun 5 08:13:01 PDT 2000


I would not pass around such a copy either. I sent QUO VADIS to Teekay, but I bought a new copy because I have two old hardback copies that are old and very fragile. I enjoyed exchanging books. It was a great idea. I just brought that up as an invitation to you. Go back to the archives and find Teekay's post on March 23, 2000 and that will describe what we have been doing with our favorite books.

Have fun, all and Happy Writing,


Mary Mon Jun 5 07:30:18 PDT 2000

I don't blame you for not wanting to pass around your autographed Outlander. I wouldn't do it either, if for no other reason than the notorious reputation of the Postal service. No offense to anyone here affiliated with the post office.

Please, please keep in mind that you are the one who luanched personal attacks on some of the people in the Notebook. You can't piss in someone's shoe and then expect them to walk around happily sloshing and saying things like, "Americo insulted me and everything I believe in but that's ok because I really don't mind." You sound like a person who is tying up loose ends before they ease on down the road, but I personally hope that you do not leave. I am sure that if I was brought up in your society my views would be much different and likewise for you if you had been born and raised in America. But that is not to be seen. Can't we all just get along? You need to measure the people here by their merits as writers. That is what we are here for.You say you have the right to know who you are dealing with, but I really don't see how it matters whether Jerry supports the death penalty or not when you say he has great potential as a writer. One should not affect the other--at least not in this forum. You say that Heather and Rachel are friends--these are the people that you should care about their belief systems. You deal more closely with them and therefore should no more. This post is turning out to be a lot windier than I wanted, so I am just going to stop here by saying-I hope I read your last post wrong and you are not leaving.-Mary

Americo Mon Jun 5 06:40:30 PDT 2000


Will you kindly archive "Strawberries and a Moon"? It's been a long time since anyone has posted there. The project has run out of steam, and I hate seing my ideas rottening, mainly when I have my name in them. As I am one of the few people I know that honors and has always honored his word, and sticks till the end to his promises and commitments, you can keep SM** open until the 7th July, but not after that. As the author and animator of the project, I think I have the right to ask you this. Thank you.

The contributors may publish their stories where and when they like. I would be very pleased if, in case of publication, I would have a word from them, so that I can rejoyce with them. Some may even want to thank me for the idea, though I do not expect feelings of gratitude from anyone. I just reserve the title for myself as a souvenir.

It was a useful project. I see much talent in Jerry Ericsson and in Eddie French. I think that they deserve to be published. Howard only posted a little thing, insufficent to draw any conclusion. He does not need my encouragement, but I would like to see more of him before we go. Teekay is a very promising talent and I believe in her future as a writer. Rachel and Heather are special cases. As friends, we'll certainly have better places and chances to discuss literature.

All the other collaborators showed qualities and, in some cases, real talent. Those who know me also know that I believe in honesty as a better service to authors than just conventional praise. What I said was what I thought. I also made a distinction between the writings and their authors, which means that I tried to take literature as the only thing to critique.

Jerry and Howard,

I'm appaled to be informed that 75 % of the North Americans defend death penalty. As I said or suggested before, I'm living in a society in which such an attitude to Man is shocking and considered immoral. We consider jail for life also an absurd, and our Constitution forbids the extradition of outlaws to countries where thay can be given penalties superior to 29 years in jail. The principal behind this is that of Redemption — meaning that any person must be given a chance to repent and change his/her ways, and Hope is an inalianable right which cannot be denied to anyone. We understand criminality as the outcome of an injust society, and the criminal a person who needs justice, not death. Only God can give and take life. I am not a believer, but those teachings and that policy seem good to me.

As for possessing guns, that is supposed to be as dangerous as letting a child play with poison. Only in some circumstances can a licence be granted for one to buy, sell or possess a gun. No one believes here that this restriction limits the fundamental rights of any democracy. On the contrary — we used to be sorry for the countries where gun carrying was allowed. Now the tendency is for indifference, unfortunately.

howard Mon Jun 5 06:33:27 PDT 2000

HALLEE -- Welcome! Thanks for the comments (thanks to *all* for the comments) Sure, you can print anything you like that I've written. I'll send you a copy of it that includes a part that I left out - probably more important than what I posted.

TEEKAY -- I'll check the workbook as soon as I get caught up here at work. First day back, don'tchaknow.

SASQUATCH -- Thanks for the laugh! Abominable-Abdominal indeed! It hurt to laugh when I read it, but I laughed just the same!

EVERYONE -- Thanks again for all those poems and short stories! I did read and appreciate all of them. Except the part about the moose and the avocado...


Arik Mon Jun 5 06:27:37 PDT 2000

Jon - Thank you.

Americana - He he. I sure will :-).

Haward - I"m on page 130 and its a very nice book... did you like it?

I will post the sentances at the evening...

Allein Mon Jun 5 06:27:15 PDT 2000

Rachel - I read portuguese too, I just don't understand any of it. :) So, since you're coming down in August, does that mean you won't be here for graduation? I didn't think so. Oh well, I'll see you then anyway. :)

Hallee Mon Jun 5 02:28:06 PDT 2000

HEATHER: Thanks for the welcome. Actually, to pronounce it, it rhymes with "sally". And, no, I don't edit as I go. I actually don't edit until the book has been finished for several weeks. (Right now, sitting next to my desk, is my trilogy. I finished it 8 weeks ago and still haven't edited it yet. Well, that one isn't getting sent out this week like I wanted. ::sigh::) There have been times I've read what I've written so far, if I'm stuck or not positive if I'm going in the right direction. I'll spend the morning reading, and by the time I get to my stopping point, I'm itching to get on with it. But then, I don't write with an outline, and often start a book without even knowing who the characters are. A lot of times, I don't know how the next paragraph is going to end, much less a chapter. So I don't really write conventionally. My characters seem to guide the book for me, rather than the other way around.

HOWARD: Thank you so much for what you said. Wow! It was as if I was reading a reflection of my thoughts. I would like to print it out, but I won't do so without your permission.

Well, I guess it's time to finish the chapter I'm working on. I've used up half of my writing time this morning because I'm avoiding it. The last 4 chapters are always the hardest for me to write, and I'm afraid I procrastinate when it comes to them. (Which is how I ended up here in the first place ::chuckle:: )

Happy Monday everyone.

Teekay Mon Jun 5 00:58:36 PDT 2000

I am home YAAAAAY.
HOWARD: I've posted that poeM IN THE POetry seCTion. WellDUH! I read it over and thought URGH, BUIT i POSTED IT ANYWAY. tHE POINT IS STILL VALID, EVEN THOUGH IT'S A BIT RHYMY. tHE BAby is HelPING me tYPE. wELL HE` SAY`S IT`'S HE`LPI`NG.``````

`ra~ch~el: i'M Off to look at your story now.

Tina Mon Jun 5 00:51:12 PDT 2000


Rhoda and Mary, I'd be willing to pass around almost any other book. My copy of Diana Gabaldon's first book - Outlander - is signed by the author and not going anywhere. Sorry.

Just 'cause everyone is on the subject of authors, another of my favourites is Jack Whyte. Among other things he writes Arthurian legend, the history not the magic. His first book is called The Skystone, although I think maybe it has a different title in the States. He's extremely talented.

To tired to think any more.

Rachel Sun Jun 4 23:52:22 PDT 2000

Heather - Hi you:D I'm feeling mighty fine (grins).

Harlee - Hi, nice to meet yah! Welcome, welcome. C'mon in and pull up a chair. Honest it's nice here. Don't mind the clatter, crash, bash of it all. It isn't always this way.

Mary - I read Portuguese. Just so yah know (smiles). It might take me some time, but I do read it.

Arik - I read some more of DragonLance. I am trying to get used to all of these strange creatures. I think that I could develop a fondness for the characters. Rastalin and Tas have endearing qualities.

Litter - I will not forget about Tolkin. I have the books on hand. They are waiting for me. I will be to them soon. I just want to read one, two and three of the set I have begun.

Take care all


Mary Sun Jun 4 23:41:17 PDT 2000

Well, that's good news.


You're welcome and thank you.

Jade Sun Jun 4 23:39:13 PDT 2000

Answer on paper the following questions about a story you are working on: Who is having the problem? What is the problem? Where and when does it take place? What excites you about the problem? How is the problem resolved?
An exercise in plotting. Conflict is vital for an effective story, and understanding the conflict is a central part of telling the story successfully. Adapted from Roberta Allen's Fast Fiction. Another way to think of conflict comes from Robert Olen Butler, who encourages writers to ask what the main character "yearns" for; what he or she wants or needs.

Heather Sun Jun 4 23:26:38 PDT 2000

Mary, did I forget to say THANK YOU? For your compliment...
It means a lot.

And might I say, as well, you lend a certain shine and style to the NB yourself!

Jade is a beautiful colour, and possesses a truly lusterous sheen.

(Those completely unaware of where that last bit came from, don't worry (pat pat) you will remember it someday.

Stay connected, not merely online.


Teekay Sun Jun 4 22:59:30 PDT 2000

MARY: I came across that site ages ago, I never really posted there regularly, just read all the good bits and left. This is about the only site I visit on the net and sometimes I find it hard to find the time to even do that.
It was so long ago, I can't even remember what name I posted under.

HOWARD: I am afraid I don't have a passionate feeling either way. As it hasn't affected me personally (and I pray to God it never does) I have not had any inclination to come to any decisions about how I feel about it, and if I were personally involved my views may then be totally different to any hypothetical ones I may have.
This may sound like a cop out and maybe it is. Sometimes when one hears of a particularly heinous crime one thinks 'why don't they just get given an injection like they give cats and dogs and put them out of their misery. This is the non religious view. Then on the other hand one thinks.'Well, I'm not God. It's up to God when and where he pays for his crime.
Sometimes it makes me wonder about this life thing and the hypocrisy of it all. A soul is a soul. I believe animals have souls. I believe all living things have souls, but why is it, when it comes to humans, that only then does the soul take on any great importance. Some people don't think twice about going out and killing animals. Some people don't think twice about going out and killing people. Sometimes it's all just a great big bunch of hypocrisy. It reminds me of a poem I wrote ages ago. I'll post it in the poetry workshop when I get home.
BTW: Have been hanging out for your post for ages. :)
Talk about jumping in at the deep end.

Heather Sun Jun 4 22:53:36 PDT 2000

Testing the water... testing testing...
Yup, it's no longer at the boiling point around here!

But I have a few bandaids handy and some Poly-Sporin (tm)
to dab onto any infernal sores still lingering.

Hallee, nice to meet you - my daughter's name is Hailey. I think they are pronounced the same (like Halley Mills)?

You wrote 6 books in 18 months? I thought I was a fast typist too -- but I'm still wading about in chapter 4.
I did have a few real glitches with computer viruses and so forth that really did a number on my novel a while back - but it is also slow going - possibly because I edit too much and take too much time doing so. (No, it's not just possible, it's definite)

Then again, my word count is almost 35,000 and chapter 4 is only twelve pages into it so far. I see ten chapters in my mind for this one.

Question for you Hallee: Do you edit your own work as you go? Or do you complete a chapter or even the whole thing before sitting back to dissect it?

I must truly dissect mine and get into every motivation of each character, think out every reason behind their actions and words, and carve the story into the oak so carefully that the end result is a cohesive picture, a sculpture in many dimensions, so to speak.

But I have had advice to just let my creativity flow and then edit and rewrite the stale phrasing later. I'm trying to do that more and more...

We'll see where that takes me.

Finely crafted, in polished oak, laquered in honey and pure thought. That is how I imagine the novel to seem, sitting in my hand, the day it is run on the press.
If you're going to make a dream come true, at least make it sweet.

Howard, thank you for what you said. Glad you found the words. Welcome back!

Rachel, big hugs to you! (((HUGS))))
I hope you are feeling better about the content of the NB today. And tell me about your new family member!

Sigh, to be your age again...
I can still say I'm perky after all these years.
Perky in spirit!

No, no, no waistband jokes tonight. That will be in about 40 years anyway.

Have to get some writing done.(period!)

Mary Sun Jun 4 21:25:50 PDT 2000


Missed your post because I was busy typing mine. I too had heard the Gabaldon story. What amazes me even more than her publishing experiences is the way she puts a book together. She writes scenes that are not all connected. When she thinks she has enough interesting scenes, she lays them all out and puts them in order until she builds a story out of them. Then she just writes the bridges to connect the scenes. Crazy stuff. I'd go nuts trying to do that.

Good Luck to you with whatever process you use to get it done.

Mary Sun Jun 4 21:18:50 PDT 2000


Hey you, your BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA girly thing sounds awfully familiar. Lord knows this isn't the only site where I have pissed people off-hope I never did you wrong over there. Just between me and you, who did you post as? Or did you just post as TEEKAY and I missed it? I just started checking things out over there about 6 weeks ago. At the time a bunch of 'regulars' quit posting because of some snit everybody was having for reasons that I never found out about. You aren't one of the people who left are you? The newness is wearing off of that for me now, I check it once a week or so for updates on the book signings and things, or excerpts from the next novel. OK, enough about that.


Eloquent as always.

I'm off to the workbook to check out the traffic. C-ya

Rhoda Sun Jun 4 21:13:58 PDT 2000


I have Diana Gabaldon's first three books in her Outlander series. I am personally not a great fan, but I do respect her work very much. I also have much admiration for Diana Gabaldon as a writer.

My mother-in-law gave me the books one Christmas. I got about one hundred pages into the first one and then did not finish. It could be that there was much going on at the time, and I was not in a good frame of mind. I do intend to give the books one more try, for so many people including my mother-in-law and sister-in-law are great fans.

Diana Gabaldon's personal story of publication is remarkable. She set out to write a book set in Scotland during the 18th century. It was originally meant to be a time travel. As she wrote, her heroine became so spunky and outspoken that Ms. Gabaldon concluded the character did not fit the setting, for she was too modern. The only way she could get the heroine to fit was to make it a time travel. Ms. Gabaldon wrote a book that according to all the experts on publication would never sell. It was too long and too detailed, and she was virtually unknown. She did, however, have a loyal following on the Internet. When she did find an interested publisher, she supposedly sold them her idea by assuring them that she had hundreds of people ready to buy the book when it came out. The publishing house went out on a limb, so to speak, and published her book which became an instant best-seller.

Ms. Gabaldon's career is an inspiration to me. She set out and wrote a book which she enjoyed writing. She stuck to her guns and actively marketed the book even before she found a publisher. What would have happened if she had listened to the doom-sayers which we all hear from today? Look at what she would have missed if she had taken to much to heart all the advice she got from conferences and all the professionals.

I don't think what happened to her could happen to just anyone. Perhaps she just happened to show up at the right place at the right time. But I do think that persistence can bring us a long way. Though we writers have to be wise to the reality of the publishing market, there is some room to follow our hearts.

Perhaps Mary and Tina might want to pass the first Diana Gabaldon book around. Teekay, Christi, Howard, some other folks and I have been sending out our favorites.

Ms. Gabaldon has a good web-site and I have given the web address above.


I am glad you had a nice break. It sounded really heavenly to be away from the noise of the world.


Take your time on the synopsis. There is no hurry. I appreciate your willingness to look it over. Hopefully I can finish the rest of TRB this week. Anyway that is my goal. I need to get these last pages to you before you forget what the story was all about.

Happy writing, everyone!


howard Sun Jun 4 18:34:13 PDT 2000

AMERICO -- Since you asked, I will, after much consideration, make this one statement.
First the easy part -- I own guns, and have done so for many years. I consider them to be tools, plain and simple. Used properly they are not a threat to anyone. I enjoy target shooting, and used to enjoy hunting, although I must admit that the accidental shooting death of a very close friend of mine a few years ago (he was shot by another very close friend) has dampened my enthusiasm a bit. I still may hunt again, but not now.

Now the difficult one --

It's good to have deep feelings about a subject as volatile as the death penalty, or even life imrisonment without the possibility of parole -- indeed, it's the person who has no passion at all about it that makes me wonder.

The person who believes that "an eye for an eye" is still the way to go, and who reads in the books of Moses that "he who sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed" needs also to remember what Jesus said about His fulfilling the law, and about loving and forgiving the enemy who has done the wrong -- even this Abu, or Hitler, or the Roman who drove the spikes.

His fulfillment of the law, however, in no way removes the responsibility of the person who committed murder. He -- or she -- is still (according to scripture) to forfeit his life. But it is not to be done with an attitude of vengeance, but one of humility.

Those who believe that God had no right to make such a pronouncement must remember that as Creator and Sustainer of life, He has *every* right to do so. His holiness demands perfect justice, just as His love demands perfect grace. That perfect justice will one day be seen in this world, and there will be those who have not cried out for His grace, who will "cry out to the rocks to hide them from His wrath." In the end, *every* knee shall bow to Him.

For those who subscribe to the Darwinist/Humanist theory of origin and evolution,and deny the existence of a creator, what's the problem with another death? Is it not just an extension of natural selection to want to get rid of an organism that has proved to be dangerous to life? Then again, perhaps it is the sadistic killer that was meant to survive in a world of coincidences that has no purpose, full of beings that just happened, having no predictable end, and depending on nothing but chance. But in that setting it makes no sense at all to embrace the agent of one's death -- to allow it to go free. Survival is the all-important thing. The mindless struggle to exist mandates the removal of the cancer that threatens that existence. Kill it, cut it out, or die under it.

In the end, it is not a political thing. Nor is it a religious thing. Politics and religion are both creations of mankind, and have no real control over the soul. Both will fail to meet the standard set by the one who would rather have a relationship with us.

Only that relationship will survive.

Teekay Sun Jun 4 18:16:05 PDT 2000

MARY: Been there, done that BWAH HAH HAHH HAH AAHAHAHA HSAHAHHA thanks anyway girly.

HALLEE: I think I hate you. :)(a very difficult smile, more of a grimace really.)

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Sun Jun 4 15:55:22 PDT 2000

Americo - Just got back from a wonderful relaxing weekend camping by Shadehill Lake. The weather did not cooperate as well as I would have liked, in fact last night the park ranger came by our camper and told us to batten down the hatches, as the weather bureau issued a severe thunderstorm warning - the bureau predicted we would be hit by 80 mph winds and 2 inch hail. We were thankful when all that happened was a light breeze accompanied by a nice rain. I had a chance to get away from the computer, television, newspapers and the rest. It was wonderful to relax, and finish a great book I have been wanting to finish. I see the topic of guns and death have yet to leave our happy home. I think we could go on for ever arguing the pros and cons of the issues. In reality, we can never agree because we come from different peoples, and different worlds. When you speak of your homeland, I can see the love you have for your world, for the peace that is there and the happyness of your peoples. I do from time to time envy your feelings and your home. Where I live, we too can go out in the night on any street, in any alley and be perfectly safe. I can drive for a hundred miles in any direction, and stop in any small town on the way and feel the same. The only exceptions being on the reservations, where the native americans frown on whites encroaching on their homes. Yet you see us as barbarians. Years ago when I was forced to live in the cities in the east, I can assure you this was not true, but you see our nation is so large that when one tires of these feelings of fear, they can move to better places. Many choose to live in the cities to be near what you see as civilization, the theater, fine foods, fine wines. Where I live, the theater is a place where we go on weekends to see the movie. A fine wine is one that does not cost to much, and has a lable from California. But as I say we can and do walk our streets safely at night. I do not carry a firearm with me when I venture out, and have not since I hung up my badge back in '93. Yes I still have them, as a rememberance of days gone by. I would not readily give them up though, if my government did as your did back 150 years ago, it is simply something in our blood as free Americans, we do not wish to begin giving up our rights, just because the liberals amongst us want us to. Many of us feel that if we begin giving up rights, such as those to own firearms, then we will have to give up more, such as those of speach, religion, the press, and the rest. I heard on the radio today that a recent poll in the US shows that over 75 percent of Americans support the death penalty. I think this too goes back to our history, and the way this great nation came to being. We don't think of the death penalty as a device to stop crime, we think of it in terms of justice. The only person the death penalty stops from being a criminal is the person who is in the end executed. Studies have shown that it is indeed more expensive to execute a person then to keep him in prison for the rest of his life. I know you feel this too is barbarisim, but would you want Charles Manson to live next door to you, despite the fact he has been in prison since 1972? I think we should agree to disagree. We are frinds, and have been for over a year. Our feelings on these issues run very deeply, but this should not make us enemys, we must learn to understan each other, and except each other for who we are.

Write ON!

Tina Sun Jun 4 15:51:50 PDT 2000

Hello all. Just got back from an overnight trip to a hot spring (ooh, ahh, much hot wonderful water and sun) and have discovered that my muse stayed there for another night. Oh well, I needed to catch up on the yardwork. Just as long as she shows up by tomorrow.

Hello Hallee!
6 or 7 books? Prodigious! Do stay here awhile and have fun!

Read Diana Gabaldon. She is very good. I recommend her to everyone who likes romance / historical fiction / drama / action / etc. type books. She's an author whose books I BUY instead of borrow.

Time to take my revenge on the evil Weed Hordes.... hahahahahahahaha!

Mary Sun Jun 4 14:36:23 PDT 2000


I didn't apologize about anything other than the fact that I didn't see your email link on the Strawberries and - Moon page of the Workbook. Don't make out like I am sorry for disagreeing with you.

Americo Sun Jun 4 14:32:14 PDT 2000


Do not blush for having called me the Anti-Christ yesterday and Dictator today. Everyday is a new word, as Arik would put it. You also said that I had no Testicules. But others called me Arrogant, Disrespectful and The Most Intolerant Person ever known. You are in good company, Mary! No need to have e-mailed me, apologizing privately. I hate leaving people without a personal, caring answer, but this time my hands are really full, sorry and kisses.

I would not even mention the testicules again (let alone the topic that made you invoke them in your post) if I were not worried about the people who read what was written here yesterday and remained silent. Must I conclude that most of the denizens of this notebook are in favour of the death penaly? Carrying guns? Jail for life?

You see, I have been contributing to this notebook for sixteen months and suddenly I became frightened. Who are you, people? I have a right to know who I am writing to and dealing with. Just a yes or no on the topics in question will do nicely.

And to show that I have forgiven any comments on my personality and body attributes, do not refrain, if you are so inclined, from using again the adjectives that have so adequately and elegantly characterized my awful self. The illustrious and highly sensitive people that got so much offended by my indignation against what I feel is a living contradiction between any decent religious thought and practice — will certainly let such adjectives and ornaments pass in very just silence again — I know a little about human incongruencies. So, be brave and honest, no cats or dogs outside.

Howard, now you can come in, if you are already healthy enough for strong statistics.

Allein Sun Jun 4 11:47:57 PDT 2000

Cassandra - I always envision Pussy as herself being a fluffy white persian sitting on a silk pillow.

Now for a haiku:

Graduation soon,
Never dreamed it would come,
Bring box of Kleen-ex.

Thank you, yes, very dumb.
Au revoir,

Rachel Sun Jun 4 08:48:39 PDT 2000

Teekay - My story is in the short story section of the workbook.

All - My story once again contains some words/phrases that are on the strong side and could be considered offensive. Read at your own risk...

Take care all


Hallee Sun Jun 4 08:04:00 PDT 2000

MARY: I am one of those people who are in line the day the J.D. Robb books come out. Then I read it in a day and come out of my Nora inflicted trance and realize I have a family who is probably hungry. (hahaha)

Mary Sun Jun 4 07:01:30 PDT 2000

Have you read any of the JD Robb aka Nora Roberts 'Death' series? Loyalty in Death, Ceremony in Death...?
They are futuristic crime novels with a romantic twist. They are really good.

You didn't really give me whole lot of choice in the matter. DICTATORS usually don't. And I warned you about my sucky portugese.(I still can't figure out how I got to be minister of translations-I'm assuming it is a mockery) And just so everyone here doesn't think that I called you the Anti-Christ-what I said was that I thought the Anti-Christ was the one who was supposed to want all countries to band together in a new world order. (The same comment you made.) Please take note that just because I have different views from you, I don't hate you.

I actually think that the resident evil overlord here would be a much better leader. He doesn't take any crap.

HOWARD: I am so sorry for the comments of the past few days and anything I did to contribute to the furor. You shoud be feeling respect and 'love?' coming from this notebook, not the disrespect and hate that reared it's ugly head.

EVERYBODY ELSE: Good morning, afternoon, evening...

Hallee Sun Jun 4 04:40:42 PDT 2000

TEEKAY: hahahaha Nope, I have a 3 yr old little girl (what a jewel), a husband, a dog, a cat, a full time job, church, all the normal stuff. But, I type really fast, and I get up at 4:30, allowing me 2 full hours to write without interruption. And, I don't plot out my books, I just have the basic premise, and the rest flows, so I've never been stuck with writer's block. And, lastly, only one of my books is a full 100,000 word book. Two more are 75,000, and I have a trilogy that are basic love stories, without the suspense, that are all 50,000 words. The one I'm working on now would have to end in 4 chapters to be 75,000 words, but I don't see that happening. I think this one is going to be novel lenghth.

MARY: I have never read Janet Evanovich, though I will definitely check her out. May favorite is Nora Roberts. A lot of her books don't have the suspense, but the ones that do, she is the master.

RHODA - Thanks for the tip. I will definitely try to find that book. I have discovered that my books are really good. But I have also discovered that my synopses all suck. I think that a lot of romance authors incorporate elements of suspense into their stories for added plot; however, I'm not quite sure where the line is drawn. I have books where the suspense factor takes forefront, and I have books where the romance takes the forefront. That's something that I'll have to do some thinking on. (Hmmm...what do I write?) :)

Thanks for the welcome, you all!

Jon Sun Jun 4 03:23:00 PDT 2000


Glad you accept being my minister for Internet links and tranlations. Incidentally, you can find Americo's e-address in the Workbook (SM** section) and also his full and true name, but he is unfortunatelly very busy and is unable to answer for the moment (which he regrets).
And do not be afraid. Contrary to what you called him in your Portuguese post (I helped him understand it), he is not the Anti-Christ!
(Not the true one at least...)

Howard — do not say anything. That's the wisest and fairest thing to do, really.

Mary Sat Jun 3 21:40:03 PDT 2000

What do you know, the damn link worked.

Go ahead TEEKAY, it takes you right to the home page. I took it for a test drive.

Mary Sat Jun 3 21:38:09 PDT 2000

Janet Evanovich has an awesome website. You really should check it out. . They accept fan fiction there. Stephanie Plum stories written by fans. I have never written one, but some of them can be very entertaining, and help pass the time between books.

Since I am going to be the new minister of internet links, I will start making an ass out of myself now and probably put a link here that doesn't work. If it doesn't take you where you need to go, just type in the address above.


ps- It is soooo cool that you love Janet too. I post on the message boards there as MCL, maybe we can bounce some Plum stuff off of each other there sometime!

Teekay Sat Jun 3 20:31:10 PDT 2000

I love Janet Evanovich's books!!!!!! That's the one I was going to send to CHRISTI. The first one that is. Me and the kids just devour her books. I tried to make the last one high five last. Tried rationing it out, because I knew it would be ages before we got hot 6 over here.
Have you read any of Fiona Walker's books?

Teekay Sat Jun 3 20:28:03 PDT 2000

HEATHER: (Teekay waves feebly from her position in the cold, wet, dirty gutter, but is knocked off balance as another muck truck knocks her to the ground) (It's so easy to see where she gets her sense of humour from isn't it?)

JON: But will there be ice cream and chippies and pizza hot and cold?? And what about the Queen Mum? Is she coming?

RACHEL: Am really looking forward to your story. I can feel another creative surge coming on myself.
How old is the newest member of your family? Male or Female?

HALLEE: 6-7 books? 6-7 books? I'm sorry, I just can't get my head around that one. You have written 6-7 books in 18 months. Now where'd I put that darn noose?
lET ME SEE HOW MY PSYCHIC ABILITIES ARE KEEPING UP. oooooohhhhmmmmmmmmmyouaresinglewithnochildrenpetsorpotplantswhichneedtendingtoyourlifeiscompletelyyourownandyoudoyourshoppingviatheinternetandyoualsohaveacookandacleaninglady.
How'd I do?

CASSANDRA: I'd rather imagined PUSSY to look like Dame Edna Everage rather than Jackie O.

HOWARD: Don't worry HOWARD, that's just something you picked up in hospital. It usually first begins when the Nurse shoves a thermometer under your tongue and it slowly progresses from there. Good news though, you'll be over it shortly.

RHODA: That synopsis will be back to you within the week and maybe even sooner, maybe today, but I am not going to commit myself because I have children and cats and a hubby and you never can tell what may happen next to destroy any plans made. I'm sorry it's taking so long.

I'm off all before my daughter turns ugly.

Mary Sat Jun 3 20:07:42 PDT 2000


Welcome! (Hope I spelled your name right, but I am clear down here on the bottom of the board and you are way up at the top)

Have you ever read any Janet Evanovich? I love her books. A nice fun read and break from reality. Give her a try, she has her latest coming out on the 20th of June. "Hot Six"

Have you read any Diana Gabaldon? My Mom reads romance, although Diana Gabaldon is now considered mainstream. The Outlander series, I have heard, is awesome. Haven't read any of it myself, but thought if you had you could give me your opinion.


howard Sat Jun 3 18:27:13 PDT 2000

Hi -- I've just caught up on the posts of the past few days, and for once in my life I just don't know what to say.

Cassandra Sat Jun 3 17:15:11 PDT 2000

Hey Sqrl!

I see your bored sitting home probably just as I am right now... well I'm not actually home but you know my usual weekend activities. ;) ;)

Arg! I've still got Notebook writer's block... hmmm what to say. I'm zipping through Anything Box rather quickly. I may pass it off to Sqrl or another friend of mine who's curious about the website (don't worry she's far more entertaining than I. :)

Any need for an intern in your presidental bid?? hmm? I'm kiddding of course, not that young women won't faun all over you in your newfound position of power. Power is an aphrodesiac you know. Pussy had better watch you carefully. She would make a very good first lady, you know. She's got a very Jackie O. quality about her. I bet she'd be thrilled knowing that the nation would look to her as a fashion "example".

Well, off to do the dishes (yes, Sqrl, again, aren't I nice?? :D )

Good luck everyone!


Rhoda Sat Jun 3 17:09:16 PDT 2000

Actually I do not know if it is accurate to say I read a lot of romance thrillers. Joan Wolf, Catherine Coulter and Mary Jo Putney use a lot of suspense elements in their novels, but I do not think they write thrillers per se. I am reading a book by Elizabeth Thronton. It is pretty good. Would Stella Cameron be a writer who writes thrillers?


Rhoda Sat Jun 3 17:02:06 PDT 2000


As far as I am concerned there is always room for one more here on the Notebook. I read a lot of romantic thrillers. I too would rather work on my novels than write synopses. I hate the things. Have you ever heard of a book called WRITING THE FICTION SYNOPSIS by Pam McCuthcheon? I have found it helpful.

You sound like a busy and profilic writer. That quality will take you far. I too am searching for a home for my completed novels. I write historical fiction (it is actually romance, but not technically).

Hop aboard and join in on our conversations.

All the best,


Hallee Sat Jun 3 14:34:11 PDT 2000

Hello, all. My Name is Hallee, and I've been enjoying your posts for the past few days. You seem like a tight group, though I hope that there might be room for one more. I would be nice to have a fellowship with others who have also been struck by this bug they call the muse.

I have been writing for about 18 months now, and have completed 6, almost 7, books. I'm still trying to learn the intricacies of securing an agent and/or publisher, though I'm afraid I spend a lot more time writing my novels than trying to perfect my synopses.

I write romances with a thriller/mystery twist, and I'm thoroughly enjoying every minute of it. Who knew the kind of things I'd think up until I started writing. Now I look at the parking lot of a seedy motel and ten plots whirl through my mind. It's scary, facinating, and exciting all at the same time.

So for now, I will go back to trying to make this next chapter as intense as I want it to be. I look forward to coming back and reading more of your posts.

Jon Sat Jun 3 11:53:43 PDT 2000

List of my future ministers:

Allein — minister of charm and public relations
Arik — minister of culture
Heather — minister of education
Rachel — minister of transports and travelling
Mary — minister of the Internet links and translations
Rhoda — minister for religious affairs and other stuff
Jerry — minister for the abolishion of the dead penalty and guns

I'm thinking of people for other ministries. So behave yourselves accordingly.

PS. Any attempt to corrupt me will be severely punished. Just act naturaly while I'm taking your pictures. I will not tolerate any refusals to my offerings.

Jon, President (or better, just candidate for the moment).

I have now 11 (eleven) votes. I need 300 million.

Christi Sat Jun 3 11:20:48 PDT 2000

Little-old-ladyyyyy-hooooooh! Hello, is it safe to come out? Man, this really it a family, isn't it? I can remember many an argument just like the one that's been raging here for the past couple-a days. The thing about family is that no matter how mad they make you--how nuts they make you, they are still your family; you still have to get past your differences and find ways to get along.

Don't make me tell my mom on you guys--she's a real hardass when it comes to arguments. Her answer was to throw the offending parties in the pool with their clothes and shoes on, leaving us sputtering with anger as we drip-dried outside--having to make-up before we were allowed back in the house. Now I don't have a pool, but I do have a hose with a power sprayer on it.

On a completely unralated topic, I seem to remember Allein, and possibly Rachel living in the Seattle area; is that right? My husband and I are thinking of relocating to that area and are wondering how it is to live there. We're from Arizona, born and raised, used to the hot, arrid climate and don't know what we'd do with so many rainy days and all that greenery. I tend to think it would be wonderful, but that could be the romantic in me talking. It could be that I would go batty without my wide open spaces and surrounding mountains. Can any of you guys tell me what it's really like in Washington? How the people are? How much the cost of living is? You can go around the internet forever, but never get a true picture of what it's like to live in a place. Help! My email's above; please give me some input if you can. I'm begging now, on my knees, and it's really hard to type when you're on your knees. :0)

Congratulations! You made it!! We knew you could do it. Graduating is one of the scariest things in the world, no? Don't worry, your life will fall into place afterwards--it just takes a little time. And if you're already sure of what comes next, disregard my reassurances. But I think reassurances are nice when you can get them.

I'm glad you're back. How was your trip?

I'm still here, and I thank you for your blessing. It felt great!

Thanks for the mail! I ate 'em up, but I only got two of them. Are you SURE there were three? I'll send you the beginnings of my silly story but please don't expect much. It's just driving me crazy!

Now I'm off to work on the short story that's been plaguing me for a month now. Must finish the dadblasted thing soon.

Love to all,

Christi (still dripping and cooling off)

Allein Sat Jun 3 11:18:30 PDT 2000

Sqrl - Thanks for the colorful message. :)

Thanks to everyone else who has wished me good luck as well. :)

Tina - Grad nite is a party sponsored by the school in order to prevent people from drinking. I should be fine. We'll be taken to Planet Hollywood in Seattle right after graduation to party and then we get to go for a cruise on the Spirit of Puget Sound. I'm happy about this.

Mary Sat Jun 3 09:39:03 PDT 2000

Of all the days to win an award.
Thanks Arik.

Arik Http:// Sat Jun 3 08:39:31 PDT 2000

okey people.... the sentances are back!!!!

the dumbest sentance of the day is defenatly belong's to Mary:

Meu poder portugese seja um pouco oxidado, mas eu sou certo que você começará a idéia de o que eu estou tentando dizer. Eu serei amaldiçoado
se eu o deixar ter a última palavra nesta edição e em ver como como você não afixará um email address para yourself(probably uma idéia boa que
considera seu attitude)I terá que retort no caderno: Eu acredito que o anti-Christ é esse quem tenta unir todos os países em uma ordem nova do
mundo, não é ele? Se aquele for seu jogo do que você revelou-se demasiado logo. Também, eu não v como você pensa que você é direito sobre o
que você fêz a Rhoda. Completamente frankly tresanda e eu perdi todo o respeito para você. Including todo seu altere-egos esse sustento você de ter
que sentir accountable para o que você diz. Eu suponho em um nutshell, eu estou tentando dizer vou ELE você mesmo. (que não deve ser demasiado
duro para que você figure para fora de ver como como você se gosta de assim muito.) AGORA nós podemos começar para trás ao negócio na mão
e escrever histórias. Não que eu submeterei sempre a história mim estava escrevendo para a manutenção programada **, que eu não quero ter
qualquer coisa fazer com esse projeto mais longo. - Mary"


The best sentance goes to Ashling:

"The Morning Pages process is a sort of mental enema, allowing me to write
more creatively and productively, because it's cleaned out all the crap --"


the funniest sentance of the day goes to Rachel:

"The Morning Pages process is a sort of mental enema, allowing me to write
more creatively and productively, because it's cleaned out all the crap --"


good luck :-).

Rachel Sat Jun 3 08:10:54 PDT 2000

Teekay - Hi you:D Yes, the trip we take is a fun one. Thank you for the congrats on the new child in my home. He is doing well. Then again this is only day three (smiles). Hope all is well with you.
Take care,

Mary Sat Jun 3 06:40:04 PDT 2000

The post below this one is a very special one devoted just to Americo. I wrote it in Portugese so that no one has to be subjected to any more discussion of the topics of the last two days. I would gladly have emailed it to him, but he doesn't link to his email here, which is probably a good idea. I would be thrilled to leave this issue rest, but I wasn't going to let him have the last word.

Mary Sat Jun 3 06:37:01 PDT 2000

Meu poder portugese seja um pouco oxidado, mas eu sou certo que você começará a idéia de o que eu estou tentando dizer. Eu serei amaldiçoado se eu o deixar ter a última palavra nesta edição e em ver como como você não afixará um email address para yourself(probably uma idéia boa que considera seu attitude)I terá que retort no caderno: Eu acredito que o anti-Christ é esse quem tenta unir todos os países em uma ordem nova do mundo, não é ele? Se aquele for seu jogo do que você revelou-se demasiado logo. Também, eu não v como você pensa que você é direito sobre o que você fêz a Rhoda. Completamente frankly tresanda e eu perdi todo o respeito para você. Including todo seu altere-egos esse sustento você de ter que sentir accountable para o que você diz. Eu suponho em um nutshell, eu estou tentando dizer vou ELE você mesmo. (que não deve ser demasiado duro para que você figure para fora de ver como como você se gosta de assim muito.) AGORA nós podemos começar para trás ao negócio na mão e escrever histórias. Não que eu submeterei sempre a história mim estava escrevendo para a manutenção programada **, que eu não quero ter qualquer coisa fazer com esse projeto mais longo. - Mary

Americo Sat Jun 3 02:23:14 PDT 2000

Good morning, everybody!

The Wahlpurgis night is over. Now back to work, all. The Workbook needs stories. And SM** more than any other place.

This weekend is short-story weekend. You can publish those stories in the Workbook, not necessarily here.

And pray for those who are going to die, but more importantly think if you are not responsible for any of the deaths.

Ashling Sat Jun 3 02:19:02 PDT 2000

Hello all. Hope your muses are being kind and bringing lots of goodies to your keyboards. My writing is going well, just started a new chapter.

I'm reading Julie Cameron's Vein of Gold. I no longer need to try all the writing exercises in these inspirational type books, but savor them for the warm glow they surround my Muse with. I am utilizing one suggestion--Morning Pages.

Cameron insists on the details being followed to the letter ... handwritten first thing every morning, always 3 pages, in an 8" x 11" hardback notebook. I couldn't find such an animal, but duplicated as closely as possible, because the reasons Cameron gives for following this ritual are very valid. It might remind some of automatic writing, but it's totally different from that for me. The Morning Pages process is a sort of mental enema, allowing me to write more creatively and productively, because it's cleaned out all the crap --

Go-wash-the-dishes-first, These-chararacters-are-boring, Better-check-my-e-mail, I'm-tired-need-to-take-a-nap, I'll-never-get-published, Did-I-return-Mary's-phone-call,
What-shall-I-get-my-mother-in-law-for-Christmas? I'll-write-later-after-running-errands ............

All that stuff flows onto the pages and gets flushed right down the drain and then--at whatever point in the day that I sit down at the keyboard ... The story I'm currently telling flows onto the pages.

So Rhoda, flush Americo down the drain, and keep on writing the gold. I love ya.


Jon Sat Jun 3 02:08:28 PDT 2000

My campaign for the Presidency of USA&CAN.

Frequently asked asquestions (FAQ, sorry, ID).

1. How many votes do you need?
A: 300 million.
2. How many promised votes do you already have?
A: 10 — which means TEN TIMES more than on the eve!
3. CAN has not a President. The head of the State is a Queen. How can you be the President of CAN in such circumstances?
A: I'll create the new job of President in CAN. Just an honorary thing, no work involved. My wife Pussy will be the Queen, sparing poor Elizabeth a lot of headaches.
4. Will you have to raise the taxes to create these two new jobs?
A: I'll abolish taxes and other alibis for people to allow themselves saying nonsense, kind of "As a tax-payer I do not want my money to be spent with outlaws or cats— just kill them".
5. What's your attitude towards death penalty, guns and the Bible?
A: Since the Bible seems to be the book of all excuses, I'll recommend my peoples (Statesians and Nadians) to read "PlayCat" instead. Or my "CatsDictionary" if they do not like Iting. What do YOU think of the Bible?
6. Why do you want to be the President of both USA&CAN?
A: I'm against political divisions. Countries are the source of one of the greatest diseases in the world: patriotism. I intend to unify all the world in a single confederation, but that will take some time — months at least.
7. Do you intend to be the President of such a world confederation?
A: Who else? Yes, who else? A*, who "hates" Rhoda? R*, who thinks A* capable of feelings? Jerry, a man understandingly traumatized by the brutal death of a colleague but forgetting that the guy who killed him had a gun which should not exist but which he defends selling and possessing?
8. How about Allein, Christi, Heather, Rachel?
A: They'll be appointed ministers.
9. How about the others?
A: They are probably asleep now, poor darlings. Let them dream of my better world.
10. What do you think of Jesus Christ?
A: Like A*, a "liberal" (Jerry's funny definition of A*). Crucifixion is the historical medicine for such trouble-makers. So be it.

Rachel Sat Jun 3 00:19:48 PDT 2000

ALL I REALLY DO MEAN ALL - You have been sitting and watching all of this happen. My heart has pounded in my chest. There are no grins for me to give. I do not like this. Let me say that sometimes a thing needs to be between two people. That all others should bow out. There are things that we can not know. Do not know. Things we think we do know do not count. I say in a very soft voice to one and all to let this be a difference of opinion that has happened between two people who know one another.
Not one of you has drawn a breath in either of their lives. Not any of you can assume to know either of the people involved. What I say is to quietly step back and let the two of them speak to one another if they so choose. Do not come to be involved in things you do not understand.
I will not make this request again.
Take care one and all

Rhoda, Americo, may I with the greatest respect ask that the both of you conduct any and all further dispute with one another via e-mail? You both know where to reach me if you would care to speak to me about this.

PS - I'm about to post a bit in the workbook that could earn me an ass kicking. I'm okay with that. Line up one and all. I will defend what I say with all my heart. I'm the sort who does not walk away. I think that all that we have talked about here. All of the passions and feelings have little or nothing to do with god, guns or the death penalty.

PPS - Heather I wish I could grin, but I really can not. I am not pleased with the direction of this conversation. I knew from the start that it would not end well. Honestly look at the passions of the people on this site!

CHARLES - Don't go away. It is not always like this. I admit that there have been times. If you read over the archives you will see that every few months this sort of thing happens. It is because we are a community here. Like it or lump it that is what we have become. We care for love and offend the living shit out of each other. Jack calls this place freedom hall. That is exactly what it is. The catch is that only the brave can really ever be free. In our aspirations to reach personal freedom we do so flail... I hope you stick it out. It may not always be pretty, but know what? It's family.

Take care all

Hugs all around. Even if you shove me off I will have embraced you.


Now LISTNE UP. ENOUGH AND ENOUGH AND ENOUGH. I'm about to get me into a temper and yah all jes d'na wana see such a thin.

Can we all be friends? Can we agree that all sides really do see the very same thing? That injustice is what we all rage against? It is not the guns, not the courts, it is not any one thing. It is the all mighty grey that encompases injustice.

Mary Fri Jun 2 23:58:02 PDT 2000


You have added some salient points to this most edifying conversation--and you did so with class and style.

The rest of this post is not aimed directly at you Heather, your name just came at the top because of my response to your post.

In defense of my beloved country, I will say that we don't sell guns to just anybody. Granted there are loopholes as there are with any law in this country, but ideally only law abiding citizens can purchase guns. There is a registration thingie you have to go through, and a waiting period bruhaha, a pain in the neck background check or if you are a criminal you can just buy one off the street for a couple bills. One argument made quite often here is that if you outlaw guns, the only people who have them would be the criminals that don't care that it is illegal to have them. The mentality of this country is the mentality of this country. If someone wants to kill you, they are going to kill you whether they have guns or not. I am for stricter gun control--not banning them altogether.

A lot of the morality issues of this country, ok-most, are lacking miserably. I don't know exactly what caused it or how to fix it. I do know that our President has not helped at all. He sleeps with anything that walks, cowtows to celebrities, I could go on and on. It feels good to be able to say these things without worrying whether or not I will be arrested for treason or other such non-patriot type crimes. I can do that because this is a Free Country. I'm free to cross state lines if I want to, I'm free to bitch about the President, I'm free to quote the Bible, I'm even free to carry a gun if I was so inclined. I have freedoms I don't even want and will never use. But if you are in for a penny you are in for a pound, I would take this country crime and all before I gave up the freedoms people have died to give me and my family. That is what makes me an American.

I guess I am not civilized enough to be able to imagine someone raping and killing my little girl without my wanting to electrocute the rapist-murderer pig that did it. If that makes me a barbarian then so be it. God can sort me out later and see if my motivations were false.

Charles and Tina and everyone else, I apologize for doing exactly what I complained about when I started posting here. Airing my whatevers. This isn't the place.

Heather Fri Jun 2 23:45:57 PDT 2000

And here I am again.

Wanted to leave Tina a note!
I'm sorry if I seemed negative in my critique. I think this happens a lot. So many suggestions leap to mind I forgot to say I was interested in your work and that I found much talent in your style and choice of wording. I also find a lot of talent in YOU.

I'm also sorry I don't really enjoy sci-fi or fantasy much.
I am certain that your story is of very good calibre according to that genre. I have little means to measure, however, being that I rarely read it! I went with literary mind to a space launch. SHRUG!

I would love to read more, by the way.

Americo, one final note on today's explosion -
Apology time is now yours. Rhoda didn't deserve the smoting you bequeathed.

Night, all,
and here's to a smilier tomorrow.
Rachel, we need all the grins we can muster!
Teekay, Litter, so refreshing to hear from you.

Teekay, always with a funny quip to tickle our frowning brows! Love to you and all of us here. You never know when one of us will need all the positive blessings we can collectively send.

Howard, you there? Fran, Jack, Christi, Litter?
Another blessing, just for safe measure. And another for the rest of us!


Heather Fri Jun 2 23:24:47 PDT 2000

Couldn't beat me away from this here computer with a danged sledgehammer at the moment.

Right below this post (I hope) is my last post,
wherein I am the Hypocrit in flesh form.
I said that Biblical quotes can be taken and slanted by the quoter, therefore 'proving' whatever point they want.
And I went ahead and 'proved IT', by using a quote! (alright, I paraphrased - red-handed again!)

But that WAS my point.

Think about it.

I sure am.


Heather Fri Jun 2 23:19:51 PDT 2000

I don't mean to be rude, but I would like to shed some light upon quoting Biblical passages:

They are often taken way out of context and so, like statistics, can be slanted towards whatever it is you wish to 'prove'.

Rhoda, the passages you have quoted from the Bible did NOT necessarily mean for US to take the 'He shall be put to death' part into OUR OWN HANDS. The Bible never specifies that we, as humans, 'Shall take it upon ourselves to judge any other and punish them for their crimes'. In fact, it does the opposite: it encourages people to adopt or cultivate the attitude that God will serve Justice in His own good time and by His own means. We are asked not to judge, lest we ourselves be so judged. That's why I would not live where there is the death penalty.

I interpret those passages to mean that a more Universal justice shall come for the crime committed. He shall not have eternal Life...but the Hand of Justice is God's, not mine.

Not saying I think we should let convicted criminals run rampant in the country. I don't have the solution all wrapped up in waxed paper to fit in my palm, like easy lunch for chucking into the microwave and done in two minutes.

But I agree with Jerry, on his ideas about Morality. If it is now left up to the parents to teach it - as it always should be for starters at least - then look where our lack has surfaced. We haven't taught our children anything but vice. And sometimes we haven't even taught them simple good taste.

All you have to do is look at popluar America: The Springer Show. WWF Wrestling. Itchy and Scratchy. I could go on.

And I don't think reinstating 1950's attitudes would work, in fact I think it may have repressed a few too many people. What happens when repression becomes too great?

So let's not push this debate too far.

Relax. Mellow. Shhhhhh. You are now calm, accepting of other's opinions and views; the physical and emotional stress has leaked from every limb so like the oil from the pan in your car. Nice and constant, until the well of stress is simply empty!
No big spurty lumps of oil, no burning odours, no blue smoke.

Let's all just shake hands and have a cracker. Put some nice cheddar on that. A glass of your favourite wine, and presto!

We're still friends.

(Ok, so trying to smooth it all over is hopeless, I do not deny it)

Rhoda, you were right about politics. And the guns don't shoot by themselves. But with guns not available, shooting would be harder to accomplish. It does make sense.

In Canada, we are not allowed to possess firearms unless we have an F.A.C., and we certainly are not allowed to carry them on our person just anywhere. We hunt with them. Or we are an on-duty cop.

Or a' nutbar American', (hypothetically speaking) who somehow smuggled a piece in under his shirt when driving through customs. Great tourist attractions, those Americans...


That was very rude of me, and politically incorrect to boot, and right after I declared, "PEACE, MAN!"

So now I will cower in the corner designated for hypocrits and the undecided.

I'll shut up now.


Tina Fri Jun 2 22:56:23 PDT 2000

I am deeply bothered.
For a month now I've been impressed by the international community on this site, by the good humour and tolerance evidenced in the conversations. I look forward to reading reasonably intelligent discourse, creative thoughts and engaging conversations. (I do NOT refer to the IT conversation). Here today I find mud slinging and abuse of the pixels in my screen.
I'd hoped to find literary support here. Now I'm considering withdrawing that hope. What meaningful critique can I expect from the pit of disrespect I've just read?

Hmmm. I just tried to be neutral. I can't. Americo, please don't bother reading anything I post in the workbook, because I cannot be bothered to care about your arrogant comments. Ditto for Jon.

Heather, I say again Thank you thank you thank you! I'd love to hear your thoughts after you've read more than the first few pages. You're critique did come across fairly negative, but that's okay. Three years of art school made me immune to negativity about my work, made me see that everybody looks at things in different ways. You don't need to like what I do to give me meaningful insight into making it better.

Allien, enjoy your grad! It's never the same again. Also, be wise as you celebrate. I live in a small town with yearly graduation nightmares and deaths, and I always hold my breath on grad night, until everyone is safe and sound the next morning. Congratulations! :-D

'Nuf said for one night.

Mary Fri Jun 2 21:48:43 PDT 2000

It is a terrible shame that this argument has resulted in the personal attack of Rhoda at the hands of someone who doesn't even have the testiculos to post their email link so she could respond privately.
I think it would be best if Jack archived the Notebook and this was never mentioned again. Ridiculous.

Squirrel Fri Jun 2 20:14:26 PDT 2000

I hope you have a wonderful summer and enjoy the freedom . . . before you have to ship off to college ;-D hope to hear from you soon.

Everyone else: {{{{{{{BIG HUGS TO YOU ALL TOOO}}}}}}} I know I've been away for a while, and I'll be slipping in and out, again. Things are hectic here, as usual, and finding time to visit all my favorite places on-line is a tad bit difficult. I just wanted to say hi, and let you all know that I am doing well. And a BIG HELLO to all these new faces/names on here!

thanks for your time you all,


Teekay Fri Jun 2 19:51:19 PDT 2000

WHOOO HOOOOOO ROWHARD IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GOOD!!

RACHEL: What a fantastic sounding holiday. When I was a kid we used to go camping a lot, but since I've been married we haven't gone even once. Hubby's a bit of a wooz I guess. I think I'll just take matters into my own hands and buy the tent and sleeping bags etc. etc.
BTW: Congratulations on your new arrival.

EDDIE: What are you doing? Come out of there and be yourself again.

AMERICO: Geez!! Do you always get so personally offensive when somebody has an opposing view to your own? Hey man, just askin', just askin' no disrespect intended.
(ducks and shuffles out of the line of fire.)
Whoops, no pun intended, honest.
You are however forgiven for this if you are deemed to have just cause in slashing somebody's character and self esteem in the name of getting your point across. Let's just hope RHODA doesn't become violent now, after all, it is the majority of these children who have been brought up to have their spirits broken, their character annhialated who grow up to be the ones who have no respect for others, no hope for themselves and very little appreciation for a life.
Viscious circle really isn't it.
Now, you can either both be friends and do your little bit for making the world a nicer place, or you can hate each other and continue to add to the muck pile we already have.

THERE, BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD GO I. I think there's a little something in that for all of us, don't you?

CHRISTI: I've finally braved it into the (home) office, though my feet are very, very cold and I am too lazy to put sox on. I have sent you three emails, they've been lined up and waiting for me to connect for a little while now.

Well PILLARS OF THE EARTH sounds really interesting. I must read it again, because I have forgotten practically all the details. I did remember however that it was very memorable.

Charles Fri Jun 2 19:35:32 PDT 2000

Hey all, enough already! I came to this group because I write and wanted to associate with others of like mind. If you feel strongly about an issue, any issue, may I suggest you pretend this is a forum of writers and write an essay on your agenda. Then others can critique it or ignore it. I have no time for this personal stuff. And if you insist on gossiping...come and sit over here, beside me.

Litter Fri Jun 2 18:33:19 PDT 2000

Dear all,

What a sad day this has been for the notebook. Not the pro's and cons of the death penalty, which I am being careful to avoid as it is such an emotive subject, but the blatant disrespect shown to one of our number in a scurrilous attack on her character. Disagree about any subject or stance taken but please leave personal attacks out of this forum - they do nothing but cause hurt, resentment and ill feeling. I don't think there is anyone here who has a right to assassinate the character of anyone else?

How about disagreeing without the personal baggage and vociferous attacks???


Allein Fri Jun 2 16:39:53 PDT 2000

Rachel - I am going to grad nite. YAY!! I love going into the little shops at tourist towns. We went to Ripleys Believe it or Not in Newport, Oregon and it's pretty cool. A little expensive for a big family but cool. I hope to see you then - maybe sooner.

Americo - I am in agreement with you on the death penalty issue. If you kill a man because he murdered someone then you are guilty of the same crime. I think a better punishment would be to lock him away and let him live with his guilt. But, on the subject of school shootings, I don't believe that owning a gun is the problem - many families own guns, mine does. My brother and I know where it is in case we have to use it against an intruder, but we would never go into a school and purposely kill people. I think that is attributed to mental status, how a person was brought up, who they are friends with and the media recently that has put lots of attention on that sort of thing. Anyway, that's all I have to say about that.

Americo Fri Jun 2 16:24:38 PDT 2000

Just as extra information (hopefully the last post on this subject):

In my country, perpetual prison was abolished a very long time ago. It still exists in other European countries, but our Constitution forbids the expatriation of any foreign criminal if the country where he will be judged has penalties superior to 29 years. The struggle now is to abolish perpetual prison in any civilized country we have relations with.

This may seem too lenient to some people who, instead of trying to help solve the problem of criminality by eliminating its roots, reason about life in terms of revenge, taxes and money (this is really INDECENT!). But I have a friend (he's Scottish and Quaker by persuasion) that is against prison AT ALL. I am not sufficently developed to understand him entirely, helas, but at least I understand that he knows what true Christianism — of which he is an expert, with books on religious matters published — should be about: education of the animal in us and forgiveness.

We cannot forget that each society has the criminals that it deserves. Some people are so tired of hearing about children being killed in schools by mad gunmen, by people not daring go out in some cities after 6 o'clock pm, by so many signs of avoidable violence in a country supposedly developed, that they say: "They are really stupid by allowing guns in the hands of anybody, aren't they?"

I would not like to be one of the indifferent. Please do not insulate the USA from the world and be humble enough to recognize and correct your errors, at least the most horrendous, those which have been self-evident to many countries ages ago — like death penalty, selling guns indiscriminately, or even jail for life. These are inhuman and, yes, very very stupid!

Rhoda Fri Jun 2 16:08:07 PDT 2000


I accept your disrespect, Thank you. I do not have nearly as negative opinions of yourself. But now that you have strewn me upon the trash heap of humanity, I suppose I must face the realization that I am lower than low in your eyes and all because I either chose not to ignore you and your misguided opinions or that I defend a well-thought out position however different it is from yours.

But true discussion can not proceed on the basis of disrespect. So I bow out of it. I am truly sorry that you hate me.

What else can I say? I am only saddened that there is so much intolerence in this world and that you are one of the most intolerent people I have ever encountered.


Jerry Ericsson Fri Jun 2 15:37:19 PDT 2000

Ah well it is nice to start these arguments then leave, which is exactly what I am doing. In about an hour I will be towing our new used camper down to the local lake, where we will enjoy a couple of days of fresh air and family togetherness. Sorry about starting World War III over such issues as gun control and the death penalty. But they are fair issues, and have to be delt with from time to time. I have written a couple of articles that are published on themestreme which outline my feelings about gun control. I will do one on the death penalty when I finish the research on the case I started this all over. I have read the first three days transcript of the trial, and intend to finish the case which goes on for several more days in the transcript before I write my article about it. I guess you all know by now where my sentaments are with that issue anyhow.

Be kind to each other and have a great weekend, I know I will.

Write on!


Americo Fri Jun 2 15:21:54 PDT 2000


I am and will always be disrespectful to anyone with criminal attitudes towards Man. You mentioned Jerry, but that was a dirty trick to pretend to be out of the issue. If I was disrespectful at all (which I do not think I was) it was towards YOU!

You know what I think about you as a person and a writer — I told you that in an e-mail and I am not going to make it public here. I want you to sleep without nightmares. I also think that you are a discredit to any decent religion, Christian or pseudo-Christian.

As for your interpretation of the Bible, using it to defend death penalty, it is shameful or ignorant — unless your Bible is really the absurd book I think it is (the one I read was not that bad).

PS. I wanted to drop the subject and I told that on the previous post. Please people, drop the subject.

Rhoda Fri Jun 2 14:37:45 PDT 2000


I realize that you did not bring the subject of the death penalty up. I have no problem with your views that are very different from mine; I only take exception to your attitude that those who do not fall in are morally bankrupt and are lacking in intelligence. I thought your attitude and your statement entirely disrespectful to Jerry and others.

The death penalty was never meant to be a deterrent to crime. Its purpose is justice, a life for a life. People who can cold-bloodedly kill their fellow human beings have no place in society, and certainly no right to the public till and tax-payer's money. In your country I am sure that such people are imprisoned and never let out. That is good and maybe is one reason you have a lower crime rate. I might be able to accept such a solution, but here in this country violent criminals are routeinly given parol. Murderers do not stay locked up. The United States has always been a violent country. I don't know if that is because of our history or because our population density or because of our mentality, or because we have a very open society. Whatever the reason, that is the fact, and to disarm citizens and have them rely on the scant law-enforcement personel for safety would be disasterous. The main reason for the 2nd amendment allowing citizens to be armed is that the framers of our constitution were familiar with tyranny. The British tried to disarm our citizens. They also seized homes and people's property for their own use. The government cannot as easily do such things with an armed citizenry. I will remind you that one of the first things Hitler did in Germany was to gather up all the guns from the common citizen. Britian could not adequately defend itself from an impending German invasion because none of its citizens were armed. My father remembers drives here in the U.S. during the thirties for our people to give up their guns and send them over to Britain.

Regarding the Bible and death penalty: kill in the Hebrew as used in the commandment means murder. The Ten Commandments are given in Chapter 20 of Exodus. I quote from the next chapter, 21 verse 12:

"He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death."

Go on to verses 14-17:

"But if a man come "presumptuously" upon his neighbor to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die. He that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death. And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death."

In the same vein, consider:

"(Submit) Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise fo them that do well." I Peter 2:15.

I could go on and on, but I have more than made my point.

I do not like the way the death penalty is done in the United States, but the appeal system does take pains to see that innocent people are not put to death. This appeal process is extremely expensive. I think it is terrible when police officers get killed for doing the job they have been paid and entrusted to do, but nobody who kills an infant gets the death penalty in this country. That is wrong. People who abuse and physically harm children go free everyday. A man found guilty of shaking his girl friend's baby just got life (read about it in the newspaper yesterday), but I think he deserved the death penalty as much as any cop-killer.

Our criminal justice system leaves much to be desired. The main problem with it is its lack of consistancy.

I am aware Europeans regard Americans as backward and reactionary, but just remember it was Europe that has been the breeding ground for two world wars. Brutality exists over there as here. In Holland, old people are put to death by their physicians. All across Europe and the United States as well, innocent unborn babies are killed in the name of a woman's right to chose.

I respect the European community and their contribution to culture and to the betterment of the world at large, but I have yet to see where Europeans are inherently more moral, more intelligent, or higher-minded than anyone else.

I am willing to let these subjects rest, but I wanted to present the "other side."


E. French Fri Jun 2 14:13:15 PDT 2000


Americo Fri Jun 2 12:49:11 PDT 2000

Jerry, Rhoda and other defenders of the death penalty and the right to North-Americans possess guns.

We abolished death penalty about 150 years ago — and we have infinitely less criminality than in the States.

Guns are only authorized in very special cases — and we can go out and walk freely in the streets of any city at any hour of day or night.(An exception to this is a degraded quarter in Lisbon where people take drugs, called "Casal ventoso").

I was in Vienna some weeks ago and was happy to see that people there are not afraid of being assaulted or murdered either, at any time. And Vienna is notorious for right wing thought.

Death penalty or guns are NOT - basically — political issues. They are moral and intelligence issues. I cannot understand how a Christian can defend death penalty or guns. I have observed that the more religious a person think he/she is the more reactionary he/she is towards humanity and civilization. In this respect, the USA is at the level of Irak!

I do not want to hurt the "patriotic" feelings of anyone. As a comparatively new country you have the right to go through that stage of psychological development — we have also gone through that in the past. But now it's time to think in worldwide terms. As a prominent country - in economic, technological, military and, in some cases, also cultural aspects — you must rethink your attitude to moral issues like the death penalty or allowing any crazy person (and anyone can become crazy at any moment) to have a gun. Many innocent people have already been murdered in the electric chair or in any dark street of some of your cities. And, for those who are always brandishing the Bible, there is there a commandment that reads: THOU SHALL NOT KILL.

PS. I know that this is not the best topic to discuss here, but I would not have spoken about it, if Jerry had not raised the issue. I regret the death of the policeman that was killed as much as the many people that policemen have killed or the death of the innocent people that guns kill every day. Have a fairer distribution of the nation's wealth, provide a good education to any child, make life easier to anyone, follow the true teachings of Jesus or of any religious leader worth that name — and you'll see that the USA will stop being considered the most backward country of the CIVILIZED world in basic issues like life or death.

PPS. I was glad to hear that our President spoke about the abolishion of the death penalty to your President — who heard and said nothing.

PPS. I suggest that we put an end to this topic now. I repeat that I answered only because I felt I was being abused in my right to decent thinking on this NB.

Americo Fri Jun 2 12:49:09 PDT 2000

Jerry, Rhoda and other defenders of the death penalty and the right to North-Americans possess guns.

We abolished death penalty about 150 years ago — and we have infinitely less criminality than in the States.

Guns are only authorized in very special cases — and we can go out and walk freely in the streets of any city at any hour of day or night.(An exception to this is a degraded quarter in Lisbon where people take drugs, called "Casal ventoso").

I was in Vienna some weeks ago and was happy to see that people there are not afraid of being assaulted or murdered either, at any time. And Vienna is notorious for right wing thought.

Death penalty or guns are NOT - basically — political issues. They are moral and intelligence issues. I cannot understand how a Christian can defend death penalty or guns. I have observed that the more religious a person think he/she is the more reactionary he/she is towards humanity and civilization. In this respect, the USA is at the level of Irak!

I do not want to hurt the "patriotic" feelings of anyone. As a comparatively new country you have the right to go through that stage of psychological development — we have also gone through that in the past. But now it's time to think in worldwide terms. As a prominent country - in economic, technological, military and, in some cases, also cultural aspects — you must rethink your attitude to moral issues like the death penalty or allowing any crazy person (and anyone can become crazy at any moment) to have a gun. Many innocent people have already been murdered in the electric chair or in any dark street of some of your cities. And, for those who are always brandishing the Bible, there is there a commandment that reads: THOU SHALL NOT KILL.

PS. I know that this is not the best topic to discuss here, but I would not have spoken about it, if Jerry had not raised the issue. I regret the death of the policeman that was killed as much as the many people that policemen have killed or the death of the innocent people that guns kill every day. Have a fairer distribution of the nation's wealth, provide a good education to any child, make life easier to anyone, follow the true teachings of Jesus or of any religious leader worth that name — and you'll see that the USA will stop being considered the most backward country of the CIVILIZED world in basic issues like life or death.

PPS. I was glad to hear that our President spoke about the abolishion of the death penalty to your President — who heard and said nothing.

PPS. I suggest that we put an end to this topic now. I repeat that I answered only because I felt I was being abused in my right to decent thinking on this NB.

Jerry Ericsson Fri Jun 2 09:39:01 PDT 2000

Americo, excuse my knee-jerk reaction.
You blame guns for the death of the children in our schools, let me explain something to you.

First of all, way back when I was in high school, and we drove our pickups to school, most of us had a .22 caliber rifle in the rifle rack in the back window of the pickup. Most of those were loaded, in case we ran into a skunk or badger or rattle snake, or something like that that needed to be dispatached. Why would we dispatch them, simply because they were killing the chickens or other livestock on our farms. At any rate, way back then all those guns were just outside the school, and yet none of us ever even thought about taking one of them into the school and kill other students. This was happening in all small farming communities acorss this nation. There were also (ghasp) shotguns in those pickups, in case we ran into a flock of ducks, geese, or maybe a phesant on the way home, we would shoot it for supper.

Why you may ask, then didn't these school slayings happen back then, simply because we were taught better. We learned in grade school about the golden rule, the ten commandments, and what was moral and what was wrong. Now days, liberals such as yourself, have convinced the courts, and thus the schools that this should not be permited. God has no place in school, (except during finals but that is a different story). Morality can no longer be taught in shool, that is up to the parents to instruct. Since these rulings, the death toll in schools have increased dramaticaly, taking away the guns will not stop this. Look at Littleton Col., the two terrorists that did so much killings had planted propane bombs in the lunch room, that thank god didn't explode. Had then not had access to firearms, they would surely have paid more attention to the bombs, and been there to insure thier plans suceeded. No, it isn't the guns in this nation that cause the killings. I just heard on the news, as I was writing this, that a car driving in excess of 50 miles per hour drove through a playgound in Chicago, injuring many children. Would you now ask that we ban cars? The problem in America is much deeper then guns. Yes, I have said that something should be done, and I agree that there are to many guns available, but that will not stop the violence. Take away the guns, and the knives will be the weapon of choice, or maybe the baseball bat, indeed a deadly weapon in its own right. The problem is in the deterioration of morality in our nation. The Supreme Court has changed our laws. Where our constitution says that the governement shall not interfear with religion, has been changed by the court to say that the government shall not allow any religion, at least in our schools.

As far at the death penality is concerned, this particular case is horriable. This man walked up to an officer who had simply stopped a car for some simple infraction of the traffic law, and while the officer was attempting to handcuff the offender, shot him twice. (the man says he was defending his brother, yet he wasn't even in the same car) Then when the officer fell to the ground, he stood over him and shot him three more times. This was an execution, not a murder. Then when called to answer for his crime, he continually interfeared with the hearing until the court was forced to have him removed from court. Now he claimes that he did not recieve a fair trial. His claim is based upon his being removed from the courtroom because of his own misbehavior. He has never denied that he killed the officer, nor has any evidence been brought to light that would clear him. This execution of the officer happend back in 1981, yet he still has not met his due punishment. Sixteen judges have looked at this case, including the Supreme court of his state, and the US Supreme court. All of them have said he has received a fair trial. Now that his time is growing near, he is trying to get public suport in getting himself released from prison. Not to have his sentance reduced to life, but to be released. Some of the liberal actors and business men have decided to make him the poster child for the abolishment of the death penalty. Now I am not a supporter of the death penalty in most cases, I would support it in cases where a police officer is killed, not just because I was one, but I feel that anyone who would kill a police officer would do the same to anyone at any time. But I rambel on, excuse my long post, I know the notebook is becoming fat, but I guess you just pushed my button. Sometimes people do that. How can I hope to make you understand how things are here, you have never lived here. Likewise I do not understand your feelings, as I have never lived there. Maybe that is the best part of this fine notebook, we from different lands, can learn from eachother.

Rhoda Fri Jun 2 09:33:20 PDT 2000


I defend the right of American citizens to own guns, and on that I am also serious.

It was nice when we had a few glorious week's break from political debate. I hate it because I know that I am so out of step with most of the participants of the Notebook. We are all friendly and like a family when politics does not creep into the discussion. However, I have a hard time sitting back and having someone claim the upper moral hand on all these issues. I have no moral superiority over anyone here, but I do have a mind and feelings that run just as deep as anyone else's.


If all those kids and teachers at Columbine and all the other schools had been poisoned to death by some kid bringing in Anthrax or putting cyanide in the water fountains, would you be happier? Nice to know that if you take a gun and shoot someone, you are not responsible for the murder, the gun is. How easy.

Fed up with politics! More fed up with politicians!


Clayton Fri Jun 2 09:33:09 PDT 2000

Sorry about the cut off post. I had a really good insight into my postion on the issue and I don't remember what I wrote down. I feel that imprisoned murderers should never under any circumstances be given parol or be released. These people who have stabbed, gutted, shot or killed someone in any other fashion should not be let out on good behaviour! Is the justice system insane.

I don't feel the should be considered differently because of who the victim is. Everyone is equal under the law.

I feel this man should be put to death for his crime as should all murderers. Why should tax dollars be spent to house murderers in better conditions than some of the poor people of the country?

Well, thanks for letting me rant.

Rhoda Fri Jun 2 09:22:26 PDT 2000


I defend the death penalty on this Notebook, and I am very serious.


Clayton Fri Jun 2 09:16:27 PDT 2000


Jerry and Americo

I have been reading your conversation and I am intrigued. I know that you guys probably do not care about my views, I am only 17 and I live in Canada, but I feel that I should put in my observations.

I would like to start off by saying that I am personally not against the death penalty. I feel that any person who has killed another person unlawfully should be imprisoned. Now, this is where everything gets complicated. Fi

Rachel Fri Jun 2 09:08:09 PDT 2000

Allein - Good! I'm happy that you are going to get the ticket. I talked to Dan last night and we will make a stop on our way home from Cannon Beach. Yes, it is in Oregon. We stay outside of the city in a little place called Nehalem Bay. It has camping, dunes and isn't as busy as Cannon Beach. We don't really spend much time in Cannon Beach proper. Our children don't get the same enjoyment out of visiting the shops that Dan and I do... Hum, maybe in a few more years (grins).
Take care you

Heather Fri Jun 2 07:17:50 PDT 2000

Arik and Clayton, welcome back - nice to 'see' you both!

Tina, I am glad that anything in the crit was helpful!
Sometimes I do a critique and then later say 'Oh, no! Was it over-kill?
I want to encourage you. Critiques really help, even if they are on the negative side, because you can take a look at your work from a perspective you would not have otherwise.
I don't think my crit of your fine work was too negative, though. (Was it?) There are no areas in your writing that can't easily be fine-tuned. We all need tuning, once in a while.

I would ask for you to critique some of my work if you are interested, but at this point in time I think I have shown it to as many people as I feel comfortable with reading it.
It is possible to have too many hands in the cauldron, so to say.

Jon, if you would be PRIME MINISTER of Canada, first you have to remember that Canada doesn't have a president. Unless you are president of the highschool student body.
That would probably be more interesting to you, wouldn't it?

I know what you would do if you were PM in Canada:
Every park would have to have a large 'litter box area' for all visiting cats. There would be no 'leashless dog parks', and at every 'dog poopy garbage can' there would be an accompanying 'cat poopy can' with a handy scooper shovel. (City funded, of course, not Federal)

Then, you would have scratching posts installed at every playground and public place, as well as your special bathrooms in every mall or carnival lot. The special bathrooms would be unisex for kitties, with water and milk on tap, paw cleanser, and extra deep pans of the finest litterbox sand.

And then you would remove taxes from any and all cat products. YOu would increase the taxes on dog licenses, dog products, and for people who own dogs, essentially.

But we cat owners would get tax cuts!

Next you would launch a program for street cats, and a program entitled 'Kittens of Wayward Parentage'. There would be C.A., (Cats Anonymous) and T.C.A (Tom Cats Anonymous) and Alacat (like Alanon). You would launch a new job agency called 'Pussy for Hire' across the nation, and finally heave us over the top of the debt-hole we've been skulking in for years.

You would legalize the growth and sale of 'humannip' to equal the distribution and sales power of catnip, simply because it would make cat lovers as 'happy' as their cats.
And finally, you might even take a few paw-swipes at the House of Commons, creating a new, envigourated House Of Cats, which would revolutionize the way issues were brought up for discussion... "Mr. Meow, (Mr. Speaker)... we wish to lobby against pet-imprisonment! The bird is back in the cage!" and all the cats would run amuck over desk and table, demanding attention. You, Jon, could even preside over the whole cat-bag, wearing a little powdered wig and black robes.

Don't forget your gavel.

Or your charming accent. We just can't get enough of cute accents here.

All the ladies would vote for you. They have more cats than people in their houses anyhow.

(Pardon my sweeping generalizations)

Alright, I will vote for you. And so will Babe, although only if you promise to send her support cheques for her kittens you sired early this year!

You still have to meet me in the meadow to defend your good name. Up for it now, meow mix?


Mary Fri Jun 2 07:07:17 PDT 2000


I would be interested to hear your opinion on the death penalty if your own son or daughter was stabbed and tortured to death by a repeat offender. This is not a soap box I am willing to stand on in the Notebook, but you asked for this one comment.

Talk to the hand.

Jerry Ericsson Fri Jun 2 07:05:14 PDT 2000

Americo - first off, if you don't live here, don't try to tell us how to live, YOU DON'T GET A VOTE!

Check out the site I have quoted above. Now I don't think we should execute all our prisoners, I know that there are some who have been wrongfully convicted, and they should indeed be free. HOWEVER, being an x-police officer, having spent those thousands of hours defending the public from the scum that slither through the night, I hold that ANY person who would do what this man did, that being the EXECUTION slaying of a police officer does indeed deserve the death penalty. Read how he did this, then read how he disrupted the court proceedures, and made a mockery of the trial, and how the LIBERAL'S like yourself are doing everything in their power not to get him a new trial, but to SET HIM FREE!

Americo Fri Jun 2 06:45:05 PDT 2000


There is a missprint in the sentence below. Although insignificant, I do not mind correct it:


I'm absolutely fed up of criminals and criminal minds, like supporters of the "freedom" to possess guns (those I hold responsible for the children that have been killed in your schools and the extraordinary crime rate of that country of yours) and of those who defend death penalty.

Americo Fri Jun 2 06:39:57 PDT 2000

Jerry Ericsson,

Please to not defend death penalty on the notebook.

I'm very serious.

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Jun 2 01:40:31 PDT 2000

Welcome back Howard

     Er, sorry for shouting. But happy to see that things are looking up and you seem to be on the mend.

     Oh, a bit of personal news. Fran and I have completed our didactic, finished the closed water diving skills and will be doing our first two open water dives next Tuesday. This basically involves doing some of the same skills that we did in the swimming pool in Puget Sound. I will keep everyone posted on how it goes. I did find out a bit more about what our Manta Ray dive in Hawaii was going to be like. What I had not realized was that the wingspan of the manta rays is 12 to 15 feet and their mouths are the size of trash can openings. I cannot wait to be sitting at the bottom of twenty to thirty feet with those beautiful creatures "flying" just above my head. As per usual Fran and I are planning all the dives we will be doing in the advanced open water dive course when we have not even gotten through with are initial course work. The biggest road block for me was working out the dive tables. Being mathematically challenged from early on, I am not surprised, but I seem to finally be getting the hang of the things. Take care everyone. And, Howard, look forward to hearing about the trials and tribulations of modern health care.

Arik Fri Jun 2 00:24:45 PDT 2000

Tina - Hey.... you are new here right? welcome :-). I dont think we'v meat because I wasn't here for the last 2 weeks so it is nice to meet you :-).

Jon - How was it... giving everyone the best sentances? (I do hope you did it while I was gone)

Clayton - I don't think I meet you too, so it is very nice toy see new faces around here :P

Hey guys, I"m back to the net with a lot of free time so feel free to visit my home page:


*hint, hint* :-). good day to all of you :-)

Tina Thu Jun 1 23:15:28 PDT 2000

Thank you thank you thank you Heather!

Not painful, very helpful!
All of your words gave me things to think about, and some reflect things I've argued with myself about. I'll respond in the the crit page!

Thank you thank you thank you!


Allein Thu Jun 1 21:38:42 PDT 2000

Rachel - Yes ma'am. Where is Cannon Beach - in Oregon? If it is, I think I've been there. One guy in my class thought that Portland was the capital of Oregon and Salem the capital of Massechusses (yes, spelled wrong). I can spell Mississippi, but not Massechusses. :(
So now I go forth to buy my grad party ticket and party hardy! :D Well, actually, I'll go to sleep then wake up in the morning and buy my ticket tomorrow.
PS: Maybe I'll see you in August.

Rachel Thu Jun 1 17:38:45 PDT 2000

Allein!!! You have to go to your grad night party! Don't you dare not go because of me. I really am not sure if I can come over.
I don't think that you should skip your grad party. I know that I had such a blast at mine. I didn't go to my grad with a boyfriend, I had a friend escort me. I could have gone on my own if I wanted, but this friend of mine had really wanted to attend. It worked out nicely for both of us. Honestly, you should go.
I will be going to Cannon Beach this summer. I have talked to Dan and we will be sure to make a stop at your place. That would be in August on the 18th or the 19th. I'll have a firm date shortly.
Take care you

PS - Go get that ticket!
PPS - Hugs:D

Allein Thu Jun 1 16:05:09 PDT 2000

Rachel - Okay, here's what I'll do. I will not buy a grad nite party ticket and hope that you will be able to make it. Of course, even if you don't there are pluses - I save 100 dollars and I don't have to Aaron more than necessary. Anyway, I hope to get a final answer soon. My aunt is not coming down (she's coming the end of July) so you'll have a nice cozy room and bed all to yourself. TV included. The TV was my brother's but then he got bad grades and my parents took it away. He's on his way to Summer school this summer. If you can't come, I understand, but I'm still going to pray that you are able because it would be nice to have more than two people at my graduation. Besides, we'll get together sometime this summer. *hugs*

Heather - Fuck, fuck fuckity fuck! :) There, I said it again. The worst thing in my school is the teachers don't even care if you say that - some of the younger ones even use that language themselves. :) It's weird how everyone knows what the word means but they don't use it correctly and use it often. These girls coming on the Maury show (which is funny because you can actually tell what they're saying even though they try to cover it) couldn't say one sentence without that word. I usually don't swear but sometimes I do. *hugs*

Jon - *scratch behind the ear* I have a friend named Jon. We went out for coffee today. I loaned him 10 dollars and he will pay me back on June 14 (when he gets his paycheck) or I will see to it that he doesn't see June 15. He's a trustworthy guy though - there are very few people I lend money to. I gave him a nice shiny penny for being my slave. Actually, he offered because I was overloaded with stuff to carry and he carried it. He also dressed up in drag at my birthday party (Rachel will see these pictures when she next visits).

Everyone - *hugs* and :) I graduate in seven days!

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Thu Jun 1 14:22:11 PDT 2000

The above link will take you to a story about the cop-killer that Mary and I were talking about earlier.

I don't care how you feel about the death penalty, if there was one person in the US that deserves what he is getting it is this man.

Americo Thu Jun 1 12:14:14 PDT 2000


I told Jon to be more careful about his impressions about Bill. (They've become close friends). He threatened to write a biography of the man "in the context of the History of the USA, Canada and the Rest, with an addenda about what is left of Puritan rubbish". (That's his title).

You'd better give him the votes he needs to become your President (300 million). The sooner the better.

In the meantime, happy weekend.

Rachel Thu Jun 1 10:18:59 PDT 2000

Clayton - Welcome back:D

Allein - I have to get organized over here. We have a new child moving into our house this afternoon. I still may be able to come over for your graduation. I just need to see what happens. Hugs for yah!

Christi - You are such a sweet heart! I am sending you very strong hugs. Nobody can ever really know what another person is feeling. The best we can do is to lend our love and support. You have mine. I wish your mohter-in-law much peace and comfort. I will concentrate the flow of these things towards her and towards yourself and your family.

As far as me and my friends who have been lost I'm okay with that. They will always live in my heart and mind. In this way they are still strong, healthy and for ever young.

Litter - GRINS!

Heather - You and I seem to have so much in common. I send you hugs. I also have lost many friends. I can't look at a photo album without seeing the face of somebody who has passed. It's strange, we were all supposed to be so happy. Then to have so many go the way of suicide or drugs. This all works towards my set of shorts about "the things we don't know"
Hey, but what can we do, life is for the living. We can remember our friends and if we are lucky we will be able to bring some of what was good in them to the world.

Take care all,


PS - Rhoda, its nice to see yah.

Clayton Thu Jun 1 09:08:12 PDT 2000

Hey all!

I'm back from my trip to the Rockies. I think I'll start working on my next project soon. I have a lot of ideas and I have to write.

Talk to you later.

Jon Thu Jun 1 08:29:30 PDT 2000

Here are the results of my wild campaign, started yesterday night, to become the next President of the USA & Canada: 0 (zero) prospective votes.

My advisors tell me that it's not a good score and that I must do something to improve on it. The target seems to be 300 million votes — I cannot afford giving illusions to my competitors. Not an easy task (they say). I asked Bill, who's now having lunch with the Israeli Prime-Minister, amidst a big demonstration of the taxi-drivers against their presence in their territory, the streets of Lisbon, for advice. Here's what he told me:

Jon (that's me). The North-Americans (that includes Canada) are very ungrateful. I strengthened the USA economy (don't ask me how) and made Canada an easy land for you, when you become President, to conquer and, therefore, develop. The dollar is stronger than in any time in History before, and some good steps have been made to universal nuclear disarmament and all that. Do you think they love me? Not at all. There is i now a tendency to condemn me to hell just because I ited (sic, probably ate) a girl ouside my oval office. All the world laughed at the importance the descendants of the puritans — yes, those who wrote the letter A on the breasts of the lovely heroine of "The Scarlet Letter" — ascribed to my little sin, but that sort of people never learn. They hate me.

"Ya," I said sadly. "Christ ited (sic) their ascendants with wild words, but, as you say, they never learn. And what's worse, they think they'll go to heaven. 'Bunch of vipers'!" I exclaimed (that's from the Gospels).

Arik Thu Jun 1 08:25:55 PDT 2000

Hello people... I"m back... I finished all the time taking things and now I have free time so I guess the best sentance of the day is back on by me :-).

I recived the book that Howard sent me... and Howard... you are a third.. and so is christi :-).

good day guys.

Heather Thu Jun 1 07:32:53 PDT 2000

Good morning,
and a fair day to all, filled with words and spaces and egads! perhaps even semicolons.

Litter, let me guess: Your mother was well-endowed? Could explain your pre-occupation with large... can't even bring myself to say it!

And that reminds me - I've spoiled my son in the ways of large mammaries, then, if indeed breast feeding is what gave you the big booby bug! (There, I said it anyway - or rather I said 'almost-IT') Throw allusions out the window and just say IT.
But not if you are at a tender age - right Allein?

Allein! You said the F-word! That's one hundred lines on the blackboard for you - I will not utter 'forbidden unlawful carnal knowledge' in anagramous form! I will not utter 'forbidden...

Hop to it, now!
Show me your hundred lines by the end of the day or face detention!

Kidding, I'm kidding. If we can say it...
and kids at school say it...

My grandfather does have a piece of advice for all of (us) the F-word slingers: Use your imagination and find adjectives that are more interesting. Any brainless bimbo can say 'Fuck', but it takes intelligence to come up with a better variety of adjectives, that probably express what you're feeling more accurately. (He said this to me after I accidentally said 'Fuck!' in his presence)

Well, sometimes, as Rachel said, the F-word just fits, and there isn't another word quite like it. I heartily agree.

We all know that feeling. The spot in a sentence where a word is supposed to go, if only you could put your pen down on the exact one you need. You've got that particular word near the tip of your tongue, but somehow the brain won't allow it to be spat out.

I was feeling like that with 'anagram' (see above message to Allein). I knew what I meant, but did anagram fit precisely? Was there another word I was looking for that fit better - but if you don't know the word you can't look it up in the dictionary, or the Thesaurus. Unless you have one of those infamous 'backwards' (or is that backwords?) dictionary. Or is that really just a thesaurus?
I've never seen one myself. Am I missing out?

Ok, Tina, today is the day I have some time to read your novel. Of course, I have other things on the go, but they can wait an hour or two today. I feel so lucky that I can delay for once!
AHh! I just received by express post a letter. And not looking quite awake, nor pleasing to the eyes this morning was not a bonus. The delivery guy probably had a start when I opened the door! Poor fellow.

I really should go and comb my hair. Maybe apply some makeup. I have a bit of the blotchies since last weekend I spent an awful lot of time in the sun. I used to tan in ten minutes flat, even and golden brown. I haven't really had a tan on my face that was truly brown in so long I can't very well remember how many years it's been. My skin must have forgotten how to soak up sun evenly.

I will have to teach it all over again!

Ciao, for now, off to the workbook I go
And I might even tickle the tummy of SM** today. I owe it a story about 'the hermit' anyway.


Litter Thu Jun 1 05:09:12 PDT 2000


Old Codger… Yankee… And you thought people were glad to see you back??? Well let me add my own typically Celtic welcome - It's about time you got off your butt and got back here, you old bandit!

Or, perhaps, a kindlier Celtic welcome - Ceud Mìle Fàilte!

It is good to see you back - you had quite a few people worried here, not least, myself.

Allein - Good vibes for your graduation - may you not trip over and go your length in front of all those fellow students and there families :o)

Tina - Thank you, for your kind words. Like Christi (and others I suspect) I have your opening chapters downloaded and intend to comment - but time seems to disappear before my very eyes…

Jerry E - had a look at that site you mentioned - see above excuse. I have it book-marked.

Heather - thanks for your kind words also. Always appreciated. What else can I say - I was a breast-fed baby…

Rachel - thinking on one of your earlier posts I have this horrible image of difficulties with walking :o)

Christi - you are too kind, thank you. My prayers for your mother-in-law continue for what we Celts call a 'Good Death' - that is, one with grace and dignity, and with family around you.

The sleep of seven lights upon you, my dear,
The sleep of seven joys upon you, my dear,
The sleep of seven slumbers upon you, my dear.

Sleep, oh sleep in the quiet of quietness,
Sleep, oh sleep in the way of guidance,
Sleep, oh sleep in the love of all loving.

Traditional Irish Blessing (abridged)

Teekay - nice work and good sentiments in your 'Howard Poem' - seems you got the crying bit right too :o)

Jon - I thank you for your comments, plaudits and prizes - you are a discerning cat indeed. (That sounds kinda arrogant, so let's just stick with thanks!) PS I think that most of our US contingent would thank you for providing an alternative to the Oral office for Bill Cliton. I do believe he is a big fan of Pu… no, no, I can't bring myself to say it ;o)

Heather And Rachel - I, too, have lost friends in similar circumstances - It is sometimes impossible to rationalise a reason for what has happened, but I understand how you feel.

Coming soon - The F-Word!

Ciao for now,


Apologies if I have neglected anyone.

Allein Wed May 31 23:17:05 PDT 2000

You mean that Fuck is a bad word? Gee, in my school it's common vocabulary.

I graduate in eight days. I'm nervous - my parents think I'm crazy for it. Rachel might come. She'd be the only one other than my parents. My brother refuses to come, but then he never goes to anything. He probably won't go to his funeral if he can possibly avoid it.

Well, I'm off to get some sleep. I have a presentation in Japanese tomorrow and I need my beauty sleep - hah! Like any amount of sleep could make me beautiful. About 1000 years might bring me up to ugly. :p I hate the way I look (especially in the morning).
Bye bye,

Heather Wed May 31 23:08:16 PDT 2000

Christi, thank you for thinking of both Rachel and myself.
Don't worry about me, I'm hummin' along, life is what you make it all the way.
Bless you and your family and your mother in law, Sandi. (Sandy?) and may you feel strength within you and in those you love. The journey is not over. It is simply a new phase of life beginning. And just like birth, there may be some pain. But there is always solace to come.


Heather Wed May 31 22:59:15 PDT 2000

HOWARD! WELCOME HOME! (To paraphrase Jerry :o)

So glad to hear you are home and feeling much better. Tell us a little of your adventure, won't you? Add some sparkle and shine in the SM** smorgasbord! Although, hospital food being what it is, your story might not have the protagonist as a willing recipient of those kitchen fire gruell and combo-pack convections. Rather as bland and rubbery as airplane complimentaries, no?

Right, I know, I know, don't remind you. But just think how lovely it will be to cook and be cooked for and to taste REAL food now! Unless it was your clams that gave you the stomach pains? I hope it wasn't, but then, I hope it wasn't something even more serious.

I've eaten a few bad clams in my time on this planet.

...Yes, Jon, PLEASE take Chretien, please! But he must be taken with several PILLARS OF SALT - not just a few mere grains.
Tina, a big two thumbs skyward on that idea.

It's (IT) is past my time for sleep induction, must go and retrieve my mallot and give myself a knock. There has to be some other way to turn off my ranting inner voice? (Better known as consciousness, or maybe more like the surfacing of the idioplasm)
I mean something other than a mallot, gravol or sleeping pills.


Recklessly Sleepless in Canada


Tina Wed May 31 22:05:47 PDT 2000

Hello all and Howard! It's good to find you here!

You are wonderful to give your time for me. I mean it. I can't even imagine your days.
When I read your post I thought of something I wrote last year that I'd forgotten all about. I don't believe in coincidences, so I took the liberty of posting it in the poetry workbook. It's not a poem, but it's not a story either. I just felt like I should share it.

Your poem struck a beautiful note for me.

If we send you our P.M., would you keep him too? Please?


Christi Wed May 31 21:36:43 PDT 2000

HOWARD!!! Welcome back, you old codger! You just made my whole week by coming back to us--thank you! I couldn't take any more bad news about people I care for. Whew!
That Dorie seems like a real keeper; what'd ya ever do to deserve her? ;)

I'm so glad I hit the refresh button after my last post. Everyone please disregard anything in my last post that reflected sadness. I'm happy as a fly on . . . well, you know what.

***HUGS*** to Howard and everyone else! I just can't stop hitting the !!!!! key! See?! Stop it! I mean it! Oh well,


Christi Wed May 31 21:25:09 PDT 2000

Hello everyone! I'm sure you're all wondering who won the writing contest--all those beautiful poems and all those lovely stories, among which, no losers could be found. I'm sure that Howard will be honored to have inspired such tribute. Thanks for sharing of your talents--I was thoroughly inspired. The award goes to Americo, Jerry, Tina, Heather, Litter, Rachel, and Teekay. I give smooches and hugs to be divided up among you, you lovlies. XOXOXOXOXOXOXO

I'm sorry you're so frustrated about our lack of critques in the Workbook. You are right about that. I began reading your novel chapters awhile back, but I wanted to wait until I'd finished before I said anything about them. You never know if something you have a problem with will be resolved in later paragraphs. I'll finish soon and post a crit.

Unfortunately, I don't know anything about the case you spoke of. Is the killer saying that he didn't do it, or does he want the world to forgive him because of some tragic childhood?
I do resent it when people try to give murderers excuses for their actions. If there was no justice for victims, what kind of world would this be? It's not a perfect system, but without it we would all be at the mercy of these people who have no conscience.

Rachel and Heather,
I'm never offended by the F-word. Sometimes it's the only word that fits, and then other times it's just fun to say.
It's just horrible what happened to your friends. I never quite know what to say when someone loses a close friend. My words can't express how I feel, seeing them go through such sorrow. Actually, most of our friends have bowed out for the time being because of what's going on with my MIL. I guess they don't how to react so they just stay out of it.

Just as an update, it turns out that my Mother-in-law isn't going to get better. The doctors have told us not to put her through the trauma of treatment when the end result will be the same. The cancer is much too far along; it's taking over with incredible speed. It was the hardest decision we've ever had to make to try to make her last weeks as good as we can by forgoing treatment that would have wiped out the rest of her memory, and probably made her deaf as well. We're now concentrating on her quality of life. She hardly even recognizes us anymore, but I can tell that she is happier and less afraid when we're around. It's hard to see her like this but there are flashes of happiness, especially when she's looking at her grandkids.
Thanks everyone, for your prayers and well wishes. We're taking each new step as it comes. It's a little easier to bear because I know that death is not our final step--it's just the next step. That's what I keep telling myself, anyway.

I'm not trying to bring everybody down here. Actually, I'm so happy to be able to come here to get away from it all and kick up my heels a little.

To change the subject, yes, you are a giant ploppy pants for not answering my mail, but I can understand if it's that cold outside. This is how ignorant I am--I didn't even know you GOT snow in Austrailia! We hardly ever see any here. Enlighten me, oh girlie of Rooland; what are your seasons like?

B.S. Wonderful point!

I'm afraid that I shall never again be able to see the word "it" without thinking of you. Your speech was marked with genius. *applause, applause*

Hi, I'm glad you're so inspired. Psssst. Could you send some of that my way?

I've been working on this post on and off all day, and I'm sure that I am already behind on all the new posting. I send a big "HI!" to everyone I missed.
Goodnight, 'til morrow, when we will surely meet again.

Christi :)

Mary Wed May 31 21:23:04 PDT 2000

What a relief! So glad to see that you are home safe and sound. Here is a little Emerson for ya.

We take care of our health, we lay up money, we make our roof tight and our clothing sufficient, but who provides wisely that he shall not be wanting in the best property of

You certainly have a lot of people who care about you Howard. You must be doing something right!


Jerry Ericsson Wed May 31 18:25:35 PDT 2000

Howard {{{{{{{{{{{{{WELCOME HOME}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
I was worried about you, glad you got home OK.

Americo, please keep him! By the lock up pussy, oops, I guess it wasn't cats he was chasing was it.

Allein Wed May 31 17:38:04 PDT 2000

Howard - I'm so glad that you're better and back here with us. ((((BIG HUGS))))

Jon Wed May 31 17:05:08 PDT 2000

Me again.

Howard, how about the whisky in the hospital? And the nurses? Not that I care about nurses of course.

Jon Wed May 31 17:01:10 PDT 2000

Just to let you know that your President decided to stay in Portugal for ever. I'll find him a job and a little flat near my place. We became good friends.

It was not hard to convince him to stay. I told him about us never saying four letter words. Our ITS have usually more letters. He is learning them quickly.

PS. Now that I come to think of it. His job is vacant there, isn't it? That's giving me interesting ideas. I'll probably need votes. Hum...

PPS. Who would like me for President? (Just checking)

Americo Wed May 31 16:50:25 PDT 2000


Well, what can I say? I never thought that I could love and miss a yankee... Moreover male, christian and not a Mac-user, that's to say, with all the possible defects in the world. Yet, contaminated by the general feelings about you, even I worried that you could leave us here, alone, in the dark, hungry, just with Jon's posts to smile.

Welcome back, friend. But only after you are completely recovered. The NB has become hot and dangerous lately. Even Rhoda is using the word IT! And in a while it will be ITIT. And then ITITITIT. Finally the Russians, and then the Chinese. In a word, the end of the world.

Rhoda Wed May 31 16:28:49 PDT 2000


Welcome back!!! It made my day to see your post. I am glad you are enjoying PILLARS OF THE EARTH. It is quite a memorable tale. Lots of references to IT.


Anglo-Saxons invented the term. You might be surprised to learn that Puritanical Anglo-Saxons actually invented IT. We only act Puritanical becuase we are trying to keep it all a secret. If the rest of the world really knew what IT was like over here, our poor shores would be even more overrun than they are now.

I am glad you are having these nice heart to heart conversations with our president. Keep up the good work, and God willing, Mr. Clinton will stay in Portugal and do for you folks what he has done for us.

Have a great evening, folks!


Rachel Wed May 31 15:52:26 PDT 2000

HOWARD!!!!!!!! Welcome back. Dorrie sounds wonderful, wonderful and WONDERFUL! I send you very big smiles:D
Take care you

Howard Wed May 31 15:48:57 PDT 2000

Errrr --- Ummmmm ----- wooosh woosh -- is this thing on?


Just wanted you all to know I got out of the hospital this afternoon, and I'm feeling much better, and THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR PRAYERS AND GOOD VIBES IN MY DIRECTION!!!!!!

This was a real eye-opener to the wonders of modern health care! More about that later, possibly in a story...

I got a chance to read, though, and got almost halfway through "The Pillars of the Earth." It's great so far! I wouldn't recommend it to the kiddies, nor the faint-hearted, but it's a very interesting picture of one of my favorite periods of history -- the 12th century, especially the church during that period.

One thing that lifted my spirits tremendously was the hard copy of the notebook that Dorie (did I tell you how much I love her?) brought in for me to read. The nurse came in as I was reading all your posts, and thought that I was really hurting, because of the tears running down my cheeks. She couldn't understand it.

I'll get to answer individual posts as soon as I clean up the several hundred Emails awaiting me.

Love ya all!


Rachel Wed May 31 13:38:34 PDT 2000

Cassandra - Hi, its nice to see yah back. I hope that your computer will behave for you(smiles).
Take care you

Cassandra Wed May 31 12:22:30 PDT 2000

Whew! *wiping forehead* You don't know how much trouble my computer and web browser have been giving me trying to get in here. And I missed so much!!

Howard and Dorie- You undoubtedly have my prayers and thoughts... I can't help but wonder if this is why I felt so strongly that I had to visit the Notebook.... :) *hugs* to both of you.

Funny, I thought I had a lot to say here but I can't remember any of it...

Have you ever been on the edge of sleep and suddenly gotten a vision that has something to do with what you've been writing or your characters? I had one the other night, and since then, every visit my pen makes to a page of paper results in all sorts of interesting things. My muse sits by my side even at this moment, tapping its toe, basically waiting for me to give up this useless effort to write something new and interesting to you, and to get back to so called "productive" writing.

Rama, our feline companion here has just seen fit to ambush me with tons of furred affection... Methinks he just wants to use the computer (selfish thing that he is).

But I must cowtow (or is it cattow in this case?) for we all know who holds the power in this house...


B. S. Wed May 31 10:57:35 PDT 2000

Let grammar rule those who don't know how to think what they feel. Let it be servant to those who know how to express themselves. It's told of Sigismund, King of Rome, that when someone pointed out a grammatical mistake he'd made in a speech, he answered, "I'm King of Rome, and above all grammar." And he went down in history as Sigismund the super-grammaticam. A marvellous symbol!

Jon Wed May 31 10:54:44 PDT 2000

Title: My speech yesterday evening and what I had for dessert. In other words, IT.

I was invited to have dinner with your President Bill, who was here in Lisbon yesterday but has probably already fled to more decent places. The event was held in Ajuda Palace, where I was once a cat-for-all-trades — that's why I was invited. No need to exaggerate and say that it was because of my contribution to world literature. This was what the Press said when the Pope came here on the 13th May, but the true reason why the Pope invited me to have dinner with him was because I am a saint. I was speaking about my speech yesterday. Please forgive my tendency to digress.

My speech was delivered after dinner and before the Port. After the Port wine I delivered a second speech, but I cannot reproduce that one here — it was censured, and Bill asked me to keep it just for the two of us … he wants to use it in his farewell address to your Nation, so be patient and wait for it. We ate (Pussy, what was the menu?) ... She cannot remember. But we drank (Pussy?... Well, she's snoring). What I really liked was the dessert. Your Bill cannot eat chocolates or anything with milk. So I ate his dessert. Quite nice. And then I cleaned my fresh mouth with the back of my paw and delivered my speech. Here's my speech at last.

Mr President,
Please do not use four letters words in the White House. Only pretty girls may do it, but we, men, must forgive them everything. We, the gentlemen of the 21st century (cheers and applause) must never say four letter words, mainly IT. We must just do IT. (Silence followed by shouts of "I never do IT" or "I do IT all the time", according to each one's persuasions.) I and Pussy never say words like IT. We just do IT. Jerry did say IT once, but that was in a short-story and does not count. With these fine examples in front of your eyes, you, Mr President, please do not say IT. Just do IT. (Applause and cheers).

Then the President spoke.

Jon. I'm usually too busy to fuck, if that's what you mean by IT. Even when I had more time I only fucked outside my office. My people, called United Statesians, is the most puritan people on earth. They never say fuck. It is not forbidden, but 250 (some say 300, capitalist exaggeration) million men and women in my sweet romantic country can swear that they never use 4 letter words. I assure you that... (Pussy interrupted him with a phrase I cannot reproduce here. This was followed by generalised confusion and three shots to the air from Bill's security men, who tend to think that all the world is like Texas and are afraid of even the butterflies. I took the opportunity to finish Bill's dessert — two rosy nipples wrapped in blue ice and covered with little droplets of dew. I loved IT.

Our own President also spoke. Here's what he said:
Bill and other guests. To say IT or not to say IT, that seems to be the question. In my quality as President of the fucking country that presides at the EU for some more days, may I recommend ITIT (all together, no hifen) instead of any other word ? It has the required four letters and sounds nicer than IT, which may hurt prudish ears. What do you think, Spouse? (that's his wife).

She agreed and so did Pussy. Thus, from this moment on, let us say ITIT and mainly do IT.

PS. Tonight is language night. The living writers in this site are requested to write something creative, showing that they are not just literary mummies (writing stories in the way their greatgrandparents did, forgetting that literature is just living language intimately coupled with thought and feeling). A* cannot enter this contest!!!

Alternatively, you can also write a speech (doubt you have talent for speeches like mine.)

Heather Wed May 31 08:49:25 PDT 2000

Rachel, I understand where you are coming from exactly.
A good friend of mine also overdosed two years ago. They found him face down, blueish green, in a ditch-like slope, his blood (upon analysis) so full of alcohol, and illegal drugs it was thought a miracle he made it from where he had liekly walked from. He had last been seen in his apartment, at least ten blocks away. He was originally from nearby Guelph, but died in B.C., where he had run off to a year earlier. I was one of the last people from Guelph to see him alive.
He was the third of three friends that died in a very short period of time, and the odd thing (or maybe the biggest clue) was that at one time, all three of the people had lived under one roof. The person I would have thought to die by an overdose was killed on his motorcycle, completely sober, on his way home from work. The first person died from complications due to Diabetes.

I was very fond of all three.

There aren't too many years where someone I love DOESN'T die. Maybe this year will be one. But I can't say for certain. 1999 was a good year, no one died, no one was maimed for life, no one bottomed out completely, no one lost their job.
I'm hopeful that 2000 will be just as wonderful, if not totally refreshing.

Last year there were weddings instead of funerals. This year has already seen one great wedding, so perhaps there is a roll going on!

Thank you to Jerry, for pasting the email onto the NB. It is good news to hear of that boycott.
My thoughts have been with the Officer's family on more than one occasion.

Jon, as Rachel said, put your Saintly paws over your burning ears! Your Innocent mind is liable to infiltration.

Tina, in between writing, cleaning my house, picking up my daughter from school, and work, I will read your novel beginnings in the workbook. Thanks for pointing the way!

Howard, Howards, is there any news of you? Good news I pray.
Litter, loved your poem. Also, nice to see you back and getting caught up on all the new posts! Hee hee.
Womb and breasts your comfort indeed. Aren't they the most comforting things there are?

I knew that.

Bouncing back to my work now,

Rachel Wed May 31 07:38:51 PDT 2000

Hi all - Me again. Wow, its really something to come here in the morning and find that my post is still the last one sitting there. I hope you all know that I was just kidding around... Really (smiles). I'm really very nice... Ahh, and just so you all know I'm not about to start using the F word in all of my posts.
Take care all

Rachel Tue May 30 23:31:05 PDT 2000

Hi all - didn't do the spell check on my last post. I'm sure you all are smart enough to piece it on together. If you can't manage that one one your own, fell free to drop me an e-mail at ( and I'll be happy to help you all interpret my blessed script (very wicked grins).

Take care all

PS - I'm trusting in your brain power to work out what I have said.

Rachel Tue May 30 22:33:17 PDT 2000

Hi all - I didn't really think that saying the word fuck would be a big deal. In particular given the fact that story was really for Howard. I know that Howard is fine with the word fuck. After all he knew Bob... (GRINS)! If you all have a problem with the word fuck. Just skip on over it. I'm not trying to be nasty here. I'm just telling a story, I'm using the language of the people involved. If you knew more it might be more acceptable.
My friend moved to my nice suburban area from a not so nice area. His family made good, moved out, moved up and brought a whole new way of talking to the quite suburbs...
Heck, who am I kidding even before he came we had the wicked older children who were teaching us naughty words and trying to get us all to smoke.
I brawled a lot as a kid, but that was because I was a total Tom boy.
Martin was the first boy who equated my breasts with balls. He would yell, "Hey no hitting her in the nards!" The guys we hung with soon learned that my nards hung just a little higher than their own.
JON -if you are offended then take your little puss-n-boots and use them to cover your sainted eyes!
Between all of us my friend Martin died a couple of years ago. It freaking broke my heart. He died of a of a drug overdoes. It was intentional. I told him if it went down like that I would never attend the funeral. I didn't. I tend to be a gal of my word.
There is a story that goes with that story and I'm working on writing it in a way that brings it across with at least a decent renditon of some of what was felt.
If I ever crank it out in a way that I think will do it justice I will share it with you guys. If not, well then it will sit on disk for ever and for ever.
Now I really must get back to writing. I'm working on soemthing... Aren't I always (wicked grins).
Honest guys, hope I didn't offend, but know what? If I did I'm not really sorry. I don't think a write should ever really be sorry...
Take care all

PS - It really wasn't a very good story. I had some nasty repitition going on as far as I was concerned. I'm sure that there is lots that could be picked at. I was tired when I wrote it. I had put down several other story before I set on that one. The other Story/poem/what ever they were would not have been quite right. Maybe I'll work them into the story about Marty. He was a really decent guy. Its a freaking shame that drugs ate his soul.

Rhoda Tue May 30 21:11:02 PDT 2000


I sent you a file with my long synopsis for TRB.


Jerry Ericsson Tue May 30 20:31:52 PDT 2000

Americo - no problem, I was just kidding anyhow.

Americo Tue May 30 20:08:01 PDT 2000


On Monday, Jan 31, I published a note mimicking the language of your story "In the Mess Hall". In that post, the phrase "fuckin nuts" was put in Jon's mouth. But he was just reproducing your own sentence "Urich is fuckin nuts, had to ride over to DBT East with him today!"

My post pretended to be a pastiche of the language of the soldiers of your fine story, respecting inclusive its spelling — an homage to your talent, actually.

I never used the word fuck on the notebook, except for literary purposes Hum... guess I've used it now. Sorry.

Jerry Ericsson Tue May 30 18:35:20 PDT 2000

Teekay - the e-mail is down the page a ways, about the FOP boycot. The diddy isn't mine, I heard it at a party one night, and it just sort of stayed with me.

Jon - check the archives back around the end of January, to the first part of Feb. of '99, I found the comment near the bottom of that archive

Teekay Tue May 30 18:09:40 PDT 2000

MARY/JERRY: email? Everyone should know? I am very curious.

JERRY: I thought that 'go to Father' ditty was marvellous. Is it yours?

CHRISTI: I am a horrible poopy pig. Hubby tells me I have 2 emails from you and I haven't yet read them. It is soooo cold here, snowing-though not right now, and I haven't moved from the fire unless I've absolutely had to. Forgive me, I shall respond soon.

JON: I offer you love, pets, lavender oil and some catnip for you to roll in, you are obviously a peeved pussy and in need of some affection. Oh yes, and here's a little bit of last nights pizza, look there, it has an anchovy on it.

Sometimes, you are lucky,
and occassionally in your life you
will meet certain people,
certain people who you just know
are your kind of people,
and you will know that they are,
are your kind of people,
because they'll make you laugh,
laugh and cry,
cry and think,
and miss them,
miss them
when they are away,
even for a little while.

Jon Tue May 30 16:36:14 PDT 2000

New style!
Though I should not interfere with Christi's job — to give the prizes to our great contest, here's a poem I saw somewhere which deserves all the prizes:

For friends,
I thank you Great Spirit.
For Love,
I thank you Great God.
But also I thank you
For Meadows and Kisses,
Howards and Kittens,
And the gift of love that we share.

I like the kisses and the kittens, but what I love most is the Howards.
That's the spirit of this great notebook, for which we thank Jack. The poem we thank Litter.

Bill Clinton is here. He's behaving himself nicely.(What else could he do?)

Mary Tue May 30 12:34:10 PDT 2000


I copy/pasted that email, and sent it to everyone in my address book. Too many cops in my family to not take something like this seriously. Thanks for posting it.

Litter Tue May 30 12:19:27 PDT 2000

Hi All!

My entry for the Rowhad contest is late as I went for a space walk yesterday with my two friends Migraine and Morpheus. So sorry. Haven't even read the rest of the Notebook since Sunday, so I shall do that later - can't have Heater (sorry ;o) fretting over my lack of presence, whilst I catch up, can I?

Jack, when I miss a BD I do it in style - so happy ex-birthday, or a very early happy 50th!!!

For Howard -


When I was low,
I felt the power of Love at it's most potent.
It came in waves,
Transcending the elemental forces of Nature,
Swathing me
In its cocoon of silky womb-warm Comfort,
Holding me
To it's nourishing, nurturing, motherly breasts.

For a while
My fears would be gently taken from me,
And I would be
Lulled and lullaby'd, rocked and coddled,
Safe and secure -
Immersed in mists of mysterious tranquillity…
Carried, by friends,
On the altruism of their unlimited loving.

For friends,
I thank you Great Spirit.
For Love,
I thank you Great God.
But also I thank you
For Meadows and Kisses,
Howards and Kittens,
And the gift of love that we share.

(Altered from the original, 30/5/2000)

© LitterAli, 23/01/98

Ciao for now,


Jerry Ericsson Tue May 30 11:37:02 PDT 2000

The following is an excert from an E-Mail I received from a fellow officer, thought you all might be interested.

> At the recent National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) conference in
> Alabama, the delegation in attendance voted unanimously to begin a
> boycott
> of persons, products and companies associated with the supporting of
> convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.
> In case you don't know, this animal was convicted in the 1981 killing of
> Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.
> The act was an especially brutal and sadistic murder that still haunts
> the
> family, friends and coworkers of Officer Faulkner. (The New York Shields
> presented Officer Faulkner's family with a Medal of Valor at their
> 1999 Police Memorial Breakfast).
> Convict Abu-Jamal has written a book, "Live from Death Row," and
> attempted
> to place himself in a celebrity status as a result of his criminal
> behavior.
> Others have supported his pathetic attempt to gain stardom and freedom,
> all the while spitting in the face of Officer Faulkner, his family and
> every single law enforcement officer in the United States.
> The F. O. P. has announced the formal boycotting of the following:
> 1. Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Products who are donators to a defense fund
> for
> the killer.
> 2. Actor Paul Newman, an outspoken supporter of the killer.
> 3. Actress Susan Sarandon, another supporter of the killer.
> 4. Filmmakers Spike Lee, Oliver Stone and John Landis, supporters of
> the
> killer.
> 5. Writers Norman Mailer and Joyce Carol Oates, supporters of the
> killer.
> 6. Supermodel Naomi Campbell, supporter of the killer.
> 7. Musicians Sting, David Byrne and Michael Stipe of REM, supporters of
> the killer.
> 8. The Backstreet Boys who are performing "free" benefit concerts for
> the
> killers defense fund. One of their "benefit concerts" schedule for
> Baltimore, MD had to be cancelled when Baltimore police officers refused
> to work the overtime shifts for security at the concert.
> As you also may not know, a tape recorded statement made by the killer
> was
> played at the graduation commencement ceremony of Evergreen State
> College
> in the state of Washington in June 1999. This resulted in over 800
> graduates walking out and another two dozen turning their backs during
> the
> killers 3 minute diatribe of hate.

Jon Tue May 30 10:40:03 PDT 2000


Are you sure HE wrote here such an ugly word? And in relation to one of your lovely stories?! A missprint or a quotation perhaps? (Blush, blush, blush).

Anyway, you girls watch out your English, okay? I do not want Pussy to become contaminated by your lousy language.

Tina Tue May 30 09:41:20 PDT 2000

Good Morning!

Memories of sweet, serene childhood! You've been kickin' butt for a long time, eh? :-)

I've posted the beginning of my novel in the novel workbook. Should be right there, waiting..... I'd be HUGELY grateful for some comment. I've been writing my story for ME and I can't stop writing it but I often wonder if it's good enough for publishing. I know it's better than some of the trash I've read in paperback, (it always amazes me how much bad work gets published!) but I know it can be better yet.

What I'm really hoping for is intelligent feedback on, well, the entire thing. It's long. I know it's a huge, crazy job. But a girl has to try.

And while I'm indulging wishful thinking, maybe my hayfever will go away and I'll get the day off work so I can write all day!


Rachel Tue May 30 09:26:19 PDT 2000

Heather - Ummmmmmmmmm, I'm tellin! You said the F-word.

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Tue May 30 08:40:19 PDT 2000

My daughter the art major has been reading my stories, and decided to show old dad how it is done. She did a wonderful job of it, and I posted the results in the workbook short story workshop.

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Tue May 30 07:32:27 PDT 2000

Heather - I think you are mistaken, Americo used the F word when commenting on my short "In the Mess Hall" several months ago.

Jerry Ericsson Tue May 30 07:28:11 PDT 2000

Americo - lock up the babies, grab the old ladies, protect all your womanfolk, our sex-maniac president is on his way to Lisbon.

Go to father was what she said,
and she knew that I knew that her father was dead;
and she knew that I knew what a life he had lead;
so she knew what she meant when she said;
go to father

Write on

Heather Tue May 30 07:21:25 PDT 2000

Congratulations to Rachel for a lovely tribute to friendship, with all of it's charms and vivid memories.
The congratulations is also in part for being the first to post in the NB (not the WB) the word: FUCK (in any tense; amusing past, heady present or sweet future)

I might be wrong, but since I've been here no one has posted the famous f-word on this page!


Oh, sorry, was I supposed to say I never utter it myself? I'd be lying. Aren't I such a polite young lady...

Hold the door.


Heather Tue May 30 07:15:08 PDT 2000

Good morning, dear friends of the pen;

I am hoping our combined blessings have wakened Howard from his hospital bed and roused that spirit in him that so loves to tease. Nurses and wives especially.

Litter, how and where are you?

T'was wondering where on earth and ethernet that some of the many mewbies have gone. There has been a great influx of newcomers recently, and not many have stayed with us.

Tina, I looked in the workbook - almost everywhere - and didn't see anything you had posted. Perhaps I missed something with tired eyes?
I do enjoy reading what you write in your posts. Is that what you were after?

Jon, kitty, I was waiting in the meadow this morn, and you did not appear! Certainly, you were cat-napping. You musn't sleep when you have been summoned to meet me!
Bad kitty.
I waited until the sun rose up too high to say it was morning and not a whisker was witnessed in that delightful spring meadow. Bah, Catbug!
You must defend your cattish name later. When you're not napping.
Late payment fees: one set of front claws, for my necklace, tied into a strand with your whiskers.


Rachel Mon May 29 21:59:00 PDT 2000

This is in memory of a friend of mine.

Just a day

We were huddled in the dark together, little lights of our flashlights flickered on and off "Do you want to go to the moon today?"
"No way, the moon was boring. We need to go someplace better. Do you think that we should go to the deepest part of the ocean? We could look for some sea monsters. I saw a really cool show about sea monsters.
"Sea monsters aren't real. You're all fucked up."
"Hey! You can't say fucked up, that’s bad language."
"You just said it."
"I was only saying it, so you knew what I was talking about you not being able to say."
"That's fucked up."
"You said it again, I'm gonna tell if you say fucked up one more time."
"Nah, hu, I'm gonna tell. You said it twice too!"
I reached over in the dark and pushed him "Your such an idiot. Now are we going to the moon or are we going to go to the ocean."
I dunno Kate, why don't we go to Jupiter today."
"Jupiter, cool."
"I know Kattie, you could go to Jupiter to get more stupider."
I sighed "You do realize that what you just said shows us who is really the stupid one in this tree stump."
"Hey! It isn't a tree stump, it's Mission control!!!! Martin let out a scream and raced out of Mission Control shouting "A girl, a girl, it’s a killer girl from the dog planet of Pluto." He started to make barking noises. That was when I knew I was going to have to punch him.
He stood barking and laughing. I walked directly up to him and plowed him one right in the face. He yelled and his hands flew to his nose as blood spurted forth. He let out a roar of anger and the brawl was on.
Needles to say our mothers got involved. They thought it was a whole lot more serious than Marty and I. They were still talking about it long after he and I had crunched up all the ice from our ice packs.

Rachel Mon May 29 21:58:58 PDT 2000

This is in memory of a friend of mine.

Just a day

We were huddled in the dark together, little lights of our flashlights flickered on and off "Do you want to go to the moon today?"
"No way, the moon was boring. We need to go someplace better. Do you think that we should go to the deepest part of the ocean? We could look for some sea monsters. I saw a really cool show about sea monsters.
"Sea monsters aren't real. You're all fucked up."
"Hey! You can't say fucked up, that’s bad language."
"You just said it."
"I was only saying it, so you knew what I was talking about you not being able to say."
"That's fucked up."
"You said it again, I'm gonna tell if you say fucked up one more time."
"Nah, hu, I'm gonna tell. You said it twice too!"
I reached over in the dark and pushed him "Your such an idiot. Now are we going to the moon or are we going to go to the ocean."
I dunno Kate, why don't we go to Jupiter today."
"Jupiter, cool."
"I know Kattie, you could go to Jupiter to get more stupider."
I sighed "You do realize that what you just said shows us who is really the stupid one in this tree stump."
"Hey! It isn't a tree stump, it's Mission control!!!! Martin let out a scream and raced out of Mission Control shouting "A girl, a girl, it’s a killer girl from the dog planet of Pluto." He started to make barking noises. That was when I knew I was going to have to punch him.
He stood barking and laughing. I walked directly up to him and plowed him one right in the face. He yelled and his hands flew to his nose as blood spurted forth. He let out a roar of anger and the brawl was on.
Needles to say our mothers got involved. They thought it was a whole lot more serious than Marty and I. They were still talking about it long after he and I had crunched up all the ice from our ice packs.

Heather Mon May 29 21:57:12 PDT 2000

Ooops snurgle snurgle

I forgot to wish Jack a Happy Birthday! Glurgle glug glug!
Happy Underwater Experiences too!
And a few sips of the salt-water in a toast to good health for Fran!
White wine of the soul.

Sea-stars...sigh. Love 'em. Tickle one for me!

Heather Mon May 29 21:54:37 PDT 2000

P.S.: Tina! I liked your poem! (The one you posted before my last post!)

It sounds as if you've posted other things where - (?)
In the workbook somewhere and are awaiting our comments?
Yes, yes, I will go and read,
and possibly critique. Tomorrow afternoon.
I am tired and it's past my bedtime.
Must don pajamas now, not my woman-armour.
Besides, that just consists of a rather healthy sized brassiere and other sexy underlings.
Underlings, not underthings. Why use a cliche? Except when the cliche is so old no one uses it any more, and then I'll use it.

Just to be bold. And unusual.
Or not.

Helloooo it's too late to even be focusing on the screen!
I'll foray into the typing & online world tomorrow.
After I've gotten some other things done around here.

The deck is almost finished. And I'm a little sunburnt.


Heather Mon May 29 21:47:57 PDT 2000

Hey there, everyone,
I'm back from the nether regions of a busy life.
Usually busy typing... but not recently. (Recently meaning this weekend)

Until The Pen Meets Page

...And what dread hath been borne this night?
To hear of Howard,
And his horrifying plight?
Give mine ears and eyes the news
Of speeding health to rest with you.
O'er many hill and plain,
I send thee Blessings
In your name
For if ye shall find regret
That festers more and does not let
That fine hand sway above the page
and give breath to those that be on stage,
I fear the players rightly so
Will ne'er move 'til morning's glow
And Howard pens them life again -
As he resumes his written reign.

Howard, may you heal faster than an arrow flies.

(Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana)

Americo, tell Jon to don his cat-armour and meet me in the meadow at dawn!
Battle of the wits, is it?

Ha ha! I will wait and see how good his aim is.

Heather (ducking)

Tina Mon May 29 21:09:25 PDT 2000

In the Company of Friends

If true friends make one wealthy
Then I have found the wealth of nations in the sky.
Silver and Gold,
Reflections carried by the wind,
Displayed in the ever changing sculpture
Of clouds.
Diamonds and Rubies and Topaz,
Sparkling nocturnal jewels
Burning in the depth of space.
Iridescent opals that dance
High above, and sing!
Graceful aurora greeting all.

I feel the warmth of welcome from my friends
The clouds, the stars, the northern lights.
Familiar, reassuring, comforting.
Give me their company
For even a breath of time;
Enough to remind me we are all kin,

Mary Mon May 29 20:04:10 PDT 2000

Just checking in to see if anyone had heard anything about Howard. Guess not.

Goodnight everyone!

Jerry Ericsson Mon May 29 19:48:13 PDT 2000

Here is my contribution to tonights project, got a little longer then I had planned, but here it is anyhow:The

The man on the radio reported the air temperature was forty degrees below zero, with a wind blowing at a steady 45 miles per hour giving a wind-chill temperature of one hundred and fifteen degrees below zero. It was snowing so heavily that a person couldn’t see their hand in front of their face.

My CB radio broke squelch then “Lone Ranger this is Tonto, you gotta copy?”

It was my friend Howard; his CB handle was Tonto, after the faithful Indian companion of the television character Lone Ranger. I of course was the Lone Ranger on the CB, a tribute to my many years of law enforcement.

“You got that one Lone Ranger!” I replied, squeezing the mike button on my CB.

“Ya, Ranger, I am stuck out here in the snow, about five miles south of town, any chance you can get out here and pick me up?”

“Stand by Tonto.”

I went to the front door and looked out again, no the snow wasn’t letting up, and I knew it would be much worse out on the road. But this was Howard, the best friend I ever had, and I wouldn’t let him down.

“Tonto, this is the Ranger, be on my way in a short-short, gotta get my old truck Silver cranked up, should be able to make it in four-wheel drive.”

I had my doubts, the blizzard had been blowing steady for over three hours, and I was sure the snow banks would be very deep, and very long.

Quickly I bundled up in my winter garb, first the thermal under-ware, then my insulated work jeans followed by my snowmobile suit, then my old Air-Force Parka, you know the kind with fur around the hood. Then I went out and tried my truck. It turned over very slowly at first, I wasn’t sure the old gal would start in such frigid tempters, but she finally coughed a couple of times, then came to live.

I sat there a couple of minutes and listened while the power steering pump whined against the cold, when it quit whining, I put the transmission in reverse, and again waited a few minutes, while the cold fluid became liquid again and transferred the power to the wheels. Slowly the truck began moving backwards, I had to guess when I was off my driveway and into the street, as everything was totally white and it was impossible to see where anything was. The streetlights were on though, and I could see their glow off in the distance, giving me some idea where I was in relation to the world.

I made my way out from my neighborhood to the main highway. There was no traffic, and I could see why, several times, I had to get out and shovel when my truck became stuck in the snow. Even with four-wheel drive, there were snowdrifts big enough to stop me cold. It took me twenty minutes to make it out to the highway, and when I got there, I called for Howard on my CB, and he answered. He said the engine on his car had stalled, and he was becoming very cold. I told him to tear the stuffing out of the car seat, and shove it into his cloths, to hold his body heat in. He said he would do that.

“Hang in there guy!” I said, as I pointed the nose of Silver down Highway 73 and headed south.

I could see the fence posts on either side of the road ditch, used them to judge where the highway was, I stayed right in the middle so as not to run off into the ditch. This worked for the first two miles, but then I came to a drift that was way to long to make it through. I knew it wouldn’t work, but I guess it was just stupid pride in the power of my old truck that made me try. I backed up as far as I dared then slammed the gas pedal to the floor. The engine roared, and Silver jumped forward at a mighty pace. We made it over half way, when the snow finally won the fight, and I was stuck tight. I tried to back up and give it another run, but I could only rock the truck back and forth a short distance, and I could tell that I would never get it out without a lot of shoveling. Howard was out there and I knew I had to get there quickly before the cold won.

I gathered up my winter survival kit that I kept behind the seat of my truck, it contained food, emergency blankets and candles for warmth, then began walking south on the Highway. It was very tough going, but I was making pretty good time, I fell several times when the snow was deeper then I guessed, but after an hour and a half, I had made my way to Howard’s car. He was there waiting for me, and in suprisingly good shape. He looked like Santa, what with all that foam rubber stuffed in his coat and down his pant legs. I gave him the emergency blankets, and we sat together in his car and ate some of the candy for quick energy.

“Silver is only a mile down the road, think you can make it?”

“Think so.” He replied, so we sat there a couple more minutes, then began our trek for Silver. The weather seemed to have gotten worse, I would judge the winds now to be over fifty miles per hour, and we could barley see anything, but my foot prints were still visible and we followed them until we got to silver.

I started the engine on Silver, and turned up the heat. We just sat there for awhile, both of us to exhausted to speak. Finally Howard said, “Thanks, I knew I could count on you.”

“Any time my friend!” I replied, “Any time.”

Well we waited out the storm, and Silver kept us safe until the State snowplow found us the next morning. It was quite a storm, and I think we will both remember it the rest of our lives.

Americo Mon May 29 19:01:00 PDT 2000

Tonight is not thought-provoking night (that will be some other time, sorry Jon). It's Howard's night. As Christi said, everyone must write a little poem or a little short-story about a friend (or friendship). To Howard's health. Who dares not write a little, beautiful, moving thing? Here's my shortie.


I met this guy in a coffee-house. He was reading Law in Lisbon University but did not look like having enough money to pay his coffee. Months later, I got a letter from him. He had just joined the army and urgently needed some money to pay the fees of his course, otherwise he would have to interrupt it and lose at least a year of diligent study. I stole some bucks from my mom's purse and paid him the fees. I wrote to him saying that his little financial problem and been solved; all he had to worry about now was to prepare himself for his exams in July. No answer, not even a fancy word on a box of matches. The guy was probably dead or had deserted from the army and was now living in Paris wrapped in velvets.

Some years later, I was trying to get a taxi to go home. It was raining hard and I was not enjoying the wet bleak dirty landscape. I had already mentally insulted three old ladies and two pregnant young women who I had offered all my taxis just because they were dying soon or were pathetic in their ugly wrinkles and disproportionate wombs and pretty faces, just for art's sake, in a lousy crowded city, in a winter's day about to expire, all my hate for the human kind crossed on my forehead. And suddenly a voice shouted from the soaked, stupid, taxi-hungried crowd.

"Americo!" That was my name, for those who do not read the papers. "I'm back from the war!"

I recognized the once broken guy. He was by now a successful lawyer or a general or something, I thought, because he was carrying an umbrella, exactly what I needed to protect the shining of my revolted head and lips. A taxi stopped and, first thing I did or thought, I jumped into it. No time for hugs or words. Just a jump into the shelter and cozy loneliness of a moving beast. Not even a goodbye with my eyelids if you know what I mean.

"Take my umbrella, my friend," the guy said puttting it quickly into one of my lost, waving hands. The taxi was by now speeding towards the night, splashing mud onto everything running backwards as everything does when we run. I looked at the useless umbrella. It was like a lawyer's diploma on the wall of my cold soaked trembling knees. The umbrella of excited, awkward, nervous gratitude from a man whose name I had completely forgotten.

I'm looking at the black thing now. Years have past and I never knew where to send it back to. I guess it does not belong to anyone. No need to worry about lost property.

So cheers, and here's my glass of wine raised to everybody's health.

Tina Mon May 29 18:10:56 PDT 2000


All this talk about diving is making me ache to go under water again. Jack, it's as wonderful as your expecting. Charles, your story reminded me of my first ocean dive - not nearly as intense - but with the same wonder. The pull of the tide, and watching nudibranchs swimming, and kelp beds, and sea stars... oh my now I want to go diving. I haven't been in six years.

If Jon can stir the pot, I will too. Does ANYONE ever do critiques around this place? There are almost no comments on the critiques pages. Talking here is fun and all, but I had the distinct impression that the whole point was to offer advice, support and worthwhile discussion about each other's writing. If that discussion happens through direct e-mail contact, fine, but let the newbies in on it, eh? I really don't care if the comments are good or bad, but feedback of some kind or other would be nice. At this point I couldn't say if anyone has even read my post.

Now that I've griped, I must go boil pasta, garden, and do some writing! My story is entering the final scene and I'm getting very excited. So many ideas, so little time!


Charles Mon May 29 17:17:18 PDT 2000

Jack- your keeping us posted on your scuba lessons caused me to dig out a short I wrote quite a while ago. "First Dive" is in the short story section. Thanks for reminding me of it. Have fun under the surface -it's great fun!

gariess Mon May 29 16:19:00 PDT 2000

Egads, folks!!!

I am so behind, even just reading the posts that I only just now read that the salmon are in. I would like to keep reading to catch up, but I have been so busy I let myself get hungry without knowing it. Now I look at Jack's post about the salmon and all I want to do is run out to the market and get a few pounds of filets. They fly that stuff in here from the west coast and it is some good, I can tell you. I can't stand it. I was just born weak. I wonder if we fly bluefish out to the west? I wonder what the balance of trade with the salmon industry is against bluefish?



Christi Mon May 29 16:14:56 PDT 2000

I forgot your birthday too? I am so ashamed and red-faced right now. Happy very-late birthday to you too!!! To quote myself from about twenty some-odd years ago--did you get anything cool?! ;)

Christi Mon May 29 16:07:49 PDT 2000

Ooh are you stirring up the pot. You never know what will bubble to the surface when you do that. About the notebook needing some life--you are totally right. I'm through whining and wining for now, though I don't promise to stop beering.

All right, I'll start. I'm announcing a contest! In honor of Howard, who we hope is relaxing and getting better, let's write a poem or short-shortie about friends. If the subject of friends doesn't grease your wheels, you may also write about wasps (a subject near and dear to our Howard). The poem or short-shortie that makes us laugh or cry the most, wins! I haven't decided which is more important right now.

Happy very-late birthday!!! Was it all you thought it would be?

Love to all,


Jon Mon May 29 12:57:51 PDT 2000

where you see whine, please read whine and wine.
(Just in case you girls know how to read).

Tonight is thought-provoking night. A* cannot enter this lovely competition. But I can. Actually I think that I have already won all the prizes with my three latest post (this one also counts).

See you soon on another planet.

Jon Mon May 29 12:52:08 PDT 2000

PS. Not that I care or even expect. I know this audience. Just lurkers and other parasites.

PPS. I bet that the whine and pizza girls will run now and vehemently protest. That's the only thing they know how to do. And do it so badly that I spend my nights crying.

To the real people: Cushing, Ben Jonson and Descartes.
What are you doing here? You lurkers! Get suntanned! (this is my latest great sentence. I love it.)

Jon Mon May 29 12:40:31 PDT 2000

Someone must do something to give life to this notebook again.
Not me. Time I get something back from you, just for a change.

Jerry Sun May 28 21:07:22 PDT 2000

My spell checker isn't working all that great these days, the above is the address for theme stream if your interested.


Jerry A.G. Ericsson Sun May 28 20:19:53 PDT 2000

Jack glad you survived another birthday. I survived mine also, turned 49, close to the top of the hill but not over it yet. Have fun in the water, I envy you greatly, as I always wanted to do the same, just never got the chance.

Went to that kind of fun, I signed up as an author, and have published several essays in the past couple of days. Gives me a chance to spout off with my conservative ideals. Don't think anyone will get rich writing for them, as it only pays a dime everytime anyone reads your article. I signed up yesterday and so far my account is up to $.90 they pay every three months if you make over $25.00 in that time. But all in all it is kind of fun to play around with. I have read some very good writing posted there, also some of the worst I have ever seen in my life. Guess it is a cross section of writers of every ability.

Dorie - how's our good friend Howard doing? Hope he gets better soon, he is loved very much by the close little family that makes up this notebook.

Write on!


Teekay Sun May 28 16:39:32 PDT 2000

JACK: HAPPY BIRTHDAY , although this is a little late.

Teekay Sun May 28 16:38:11 PDT 2000

DORRIE: Send my best to HOWARD, if you are still keeping in touch with the notebook for him. Tell him he must hurry and get well as ARIK is wanting the book, and we are all missing his company dreadfully.
I'm rather depressed now, I don't like to think of HOWARD being ill.
Good onya HOWARD, and the day started so well too.

Americo Sun May 28 16:33:25 PDT 2000

Glad you survived your birthday. May the new year in your life bring you happiness and Fran health. Hope you also learn diving properly — at least in a bath tub (with or without special gear). The narrative of your diving lessons has been a joy to read.

Rachel Sun May 28 16:23:37 PDT 2000

Take care you,

Jack Beslanwitch Sun May 28 15:50:57 PDT 2000

Hope everybody here in the states is having a wonderful and sunny holiday. Seems things are a bit quiet on the Notebook. At any rate, I survived my birthday and all is well here. Just working on an ad for Westercon at the moment. Good writing everyone.

Arik Sun May 28 07:53:38 PDT 2000

howard - did you maled me the book? or is it just the @#$@# slow mail delivery?

Trudy Sat May 27 20:24:43 PDT 2000

Christi...I knew I liked you...extolling the wonderfulness of great Canadian Moosehead beer...yummm....

I'm just doing a quick read through the messages here folks but had to respond to the beer convo!!!!


Jack Beslanwitch Sat May 27 18:54:18 PDT 2000

    Dorie: My prayers are definitely with both you and Howard. Hope the news turns out to be something simple to heal and both of you come out of this without any difficulty. Take care.

    Everyone: Catching you all up with the latest. Fran is well. Doctors have actually let her go off of Tamoxifin which was part of the problem that they had to check out with the surgery. We have both passed our final didactics for Open Water Scuba. I still need more work on the dive tables, but that will happen. At any rate, we should be doing our first dive with our dry suits in the pool this week and hopefully sometime in the next couple of weeks doing our open water dive in Puget Sound.

    We have been out most of the day checking out potential diving sights, including the Edmonds Underwater Park and another in West Seattle which is the likely spot where we will be doing our open water dives to complete our certification.

    And last, but not least, we have been doing our best to celebrate my 48th birthday, so I have had a couple of drinks. Probably, after a bit I will go up and have a few more and watch the season closer for Star Trek Voyager than I am taping as a type this. Take care everyone.

E. French Sat May 27 17:32:45 PDT 2000

Best wishes mate,
Come back soon!

Jessica Sat May 27 15:59:34 PDT 2000

Howard - Good thoughts and many prayers for you.

Americo Sat May 27 15:40:14 PDT 2000

Good vibes for Howard from this side of the earth. And come back soon to the notebook, you lazybones!

Allein Sat May 27 09:54:01 PDT 2000

Dorie - My thoughts and prayers are with you and Howard at this time. I hope for the best.

Litter Sat May 27 07:27:38 PDT 2000

Dorie, sorry, I dropped the 'e'...

Litter Sat May 27 07:26:15 PDT 2000

Dori, prayers and all the positive cyber vibes I can manage for Howard.(I'm in the UK) He's been a good friend to me for some time now. Hope all goes well and they find out and deal with his problem.

Blessings to you both,


Christi Fri May 26 22:41:23 PDT 2000

Dorie - I'll be saying my prayers for Howard and for you and the rest of your family tonight. Thank you so much for letting us know what was happening. Howard is very special to everyone here and I know that we all will be sending many prayers and positive thoughts to him. Tell him we miss him enormously, and that he'd better come back soon!
If there's anything I can do, please let me know (my email address is above). Howard has been a source of strength for me in recent months, and I hope I can do something to return the favor. God bless.


Tina Fri May 26 21:51:27 PDT 2000

More best wishes to Howard, and as many prayers as needed.

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Fri May 26 18:07:55 PDT 2000

Dori - My thoughts and prayers are with Howard - tell him to take it easy listen to the Dr.'s and don't give the nurses to hard a time.


sasquatch Fri May 26 18:03:10 PDT 2000

howard person I sasquatch hope you become well in short time. i sasquatch know cousin that is Yeti and is abominable also. hope howard person abominable pain gone soon. i sasquatch will tell to father who creates all that i wish he make howard person to be well again soon. say hello to cute nurse for sasquatch i must go now,

Rhoda Fri May 26 18:00:19 PDT 2000


My prayers are with you and Howard. I hope the doctors soon find out what is wrong with Howard.

Thank you for letting us know.

God Bless,


Rachel Fri May 26 16:43:13 PDT 2000

Dorie - Would you pass on well wishes for me? Thank you.
Take care you,

Charles Fri May 26 15:40:38 PDT 2000

Dorie-Please give Howard my best...well, my 2nd best (I'll keep the best) and tell him I'll pick him up in the e-type when he's ready to come home! :>)

Dorie Fri May 26 14:18:45 PDT 2000


I'm Dorie, Howard's wife. Howard wanted me to write and let you know that he is in the hospital. He was admitted last night with severe abdominal pain. The doctors are trying to figure out what is exactly causing the pain.


George Lynch Fri May 26 12:18:03 PDT 2000

I ran across this site that fosters the writing
community. You get paid for your articles.
Do check it out if you have a chance:

This is what it says on the site:

Themestream is building the world's largest collection of knowledge about the topics you love and
need to know about. Whether it's architecture, fitness, gardening or sailing, read all about your
personal interests at Themestream.


CALLING ALL WRITERS - I am hungry for your words. I thirst for your prose. I am starving to death. Jon parades before me with his cat dictionary, even it begins to look good. I want new words, NEW WORDS!!!!!!!


PS - The name is Strawberries and a Moon. I hate when people call me Strawberries and Moon.

Teekay. Fri May 26 00:57:34 PDT 2000

Hey Ho all,

JERRY: hope your feeling better soon. Finally finished the stories yaaay. That one soldier one, any way left a comment in the critiques.

HEATHER: Have your address already as I sent you 'the anything box'. You are a very brave person to photograph a wedding.

RHODA: I'll keep the photos and if you want to send any on, I'll leave it up to you. Sorry, I thought it was part of the plan to include a photo in with the book if one wanted to, like I didn't. Heh heh. Shouldn't've said anything.
BTW: That one with you and Mel Gibson together made me gnash my teeth with jealousy.
And thanks too for the 'Hank' book. Bianca started reading it this morning. I think they're really rapt that it came all the way from Texas. Well, near Texas.
Took Quo Vadis to the hairdressers with me and read it while she was pulling my head all around. Grab any chance you can to read is my motto.

MARY: I know exactly what you mean about those caps lock keys, okay, key. I used to go to all the bother of going back and erasing and starting again, but now I'm wild and wooly and I don't give a dagnabbit.

Gotta go and see an eitedfodd,

Heather Thu May 25 22:27:40 PDT 2000


Yes, please!

Just email me and I'll reply with my snail address
But it may be a day or two -
Friday (now today) I have a wedding to photograph - as my third or fourth occupation. Who can count these things any more?

So, excuse me if this sounds rude, but I have a filter to Vaseline. It makes such a dreamy glow and hazy cast in the photograph; just right for a few closeups of the bride, but a little too gooey for everyday shots. Sometimes the effect is rather goofy, gooey, cheesy ~ however you want to say it.
But those brides, they sure do love to look romantic. It might just be the last time for some of them to feel that way, especially folding socks and underwear, and like all Moms, scrubbing out a myriad of stains in the kid's clothing. Grass, mud, ketchup; and if you have boys: blood, dead squirrel guts, frog juice and salamander exudate. Did I mention nose goblins? Yeah, put them down there on that list of nasties.
So how did I get from bridal white to green goblins?
Best policy, don't even begin to wonder.

I might be too busy to get back to the NB for three days, as Saturday and Sunday we are building our deck at the side of the house. Picture it a happy experience for me - I'm not near as positive as you can be (for me) at the moment, thanks to gloomy weather possibilites and the prospect of digging four foot deep post holes (in the rain). Send me your flowers, your hugs, your sunshine and your elbow grease!

And a shutter bug or two.

Vaseline, how lovely it is to see through you.


Cassandra Thu May 25 22:03:40 PDT 2000

Wait... if those boxes a real that doesn't speak very well for this three tailed monkey on my shoulder...

Cassandra Thu May 25 22:01:05 PDT 2000


No, no summer school. Thank whatever God there may be! I effectively BSed my way into getting a B in my Graphic Design class, and an A in my Art History... and the rest I passed without any big whoop-de-doo. So I breathed a giant sigh of relief opon wresting my grade sheet free from that stupid envelope.


Well, more like leap tall buildings in many many little bounds in rapid succesion, and maybe as fast as a limber cheetah, but frisky as hyperactive kitten you'd be darned right.


You get better quick, before I have to come over there and beat the healing into you... wait... I'll have to come over there and hug the healing into you... wait, you might just hold off getting better to get hugs in that case.... Well, you're just to wily and cunning for me to figure out just what to do with ya!

I got Anything Box in the mail today. *widest grin you've ever seen* And whoever actually heard, or knew of the little doubt in the back of my mind as to the reading tastes of the notebookers must give me a sound and thourough spanking. This is fantastic Howard. Thanks for sending it out in the first place *hugs*, it must've been pure agony to part with.

Well, off to dreamland with me, I'm starting to see text boxes with Allein's screenname on them all over my screen...

Later gators


Rhoda Thu May 25 19:47:26 PDT 2000

I am ready for another book if anyone wishes to send one. Anyone interested, just e-mail me and I will give you my snail mail address.


Do what you wish with my picture, but I meant for you to have it. If you would like to send it on to Chrisi, that is alright too.

It is still lightening outside, so I had better get off the computer.

Happy writing,


Mary Thu May 25 18:47:53 PDT 2000

That damn caps lock never fails to make me look like an idiot just when I am feeling clever!

mARY Thu May 25 18:46:58 PDT 2000


Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America.

What is my prize? Wink wink?

Jerry Ericsson Thu May 25 17:49:40 PDT 2000

Christi - you are so right, just shows to go ya, that a fellow shouldn't try and write a story when he has a case of the flu. I am recovering nicely today, think I will take another shot at that story, you never know I might just re-post it when I have done the re-write.

Howard - take it easy, get better fast.\

Write on.


Teekay Thu May 25 17:10:45 PDT 2000


Teekay's Mum. Thu May 25 17:08:55 PDT 2000

..........and so I said to Ima Schitz, Ima, you should see my daughter's new hair cut, she looks just like that person on the movies, what's there name again? Oh yes, that nice Private Ryan. Such a nice boy, and good looking too.

Teekay. Thu May 25 17:06:03 PDT 2000

HOWARD: I knew when I first saw you that you really knew your reverberations. It didn't come as any kind of relevation to me, I just knew it. I said to myself 'now there's a man who knows his reverberations.'

SPBQSA Could only come up with special barbeque sauce.

Am terribly sad to hear you are under the weather. My daughter had this unusually enlarged lump in her neck and a high white blood cell count about two weeks ago. After freaking out for a bit, a belated test result showed that even though it didn't detect glandular fever first time round, it did the next, so that was an awful reief. I hope yours is something just as simple.

I know you said Colonel Sanders, but I already had Yosemite Sam lodged in there.

CHRISTI: I think I'm to send on RHODA'S picture in the book when I've finished with it.

RHODA: LOVE the book. Very absorbing.

JON: Thank you so for the prize, I'm sure I didn't deserve it. I'd like to thank my Mum and Dad and all my Family and the Prime MInister and Everybody, thank you, thankyou.

ARIK: Where are you? I win your prizes much easier.

howard Thu May 25 15:37:51 PDT 2000

Hi - I may not be around much for a while, or maybe too much, dunno yet. I just got home from the hospital, where they did lab work and xrays to find out why I allasudden gots excruciating pain in my lower abdomen, general weakness, ache all over, etc etc ETC. That last ETC is the one that REALLY hurts, as opposed to the garden variety excruciation of the first group. White blood cell count is up, so Dr put me on an antibiotic, and the only reason he didn't keep me in hosp is that I promised to come back if it gets worse. He didn't say how *much* worse, so I haven't gone back in yet. Also got put on a liquid diet (no Moosehead) with no rough stuff. Sounds like diverticulitis, but he wouldn't commit. No chicken BBQ over the holiday, either, although I could come up Heater's way and just watch! Gotta go back Tuesday. Good thing is he didn't find any blockage, or any bad stuff yet.

CHRISTI -- Less like Yosemite Sam, more like Colonel Sanders without the goatee. Think SPEBQSA (a prize for the first to identify that). THink bass or baritone.

Right now think hurtin' puppy, and I only say that because I know you all do care.

Gotta go drink some supper.


Christi Thu May 25 14:37:09 PDT 2000

Americo - I no longer care about getting an award because I have the love of a sweet, soulful, black-eyed kitty, and I am filled with happiness. Who could want for more? Please tell Jon for me that he has my undying love and affection, and that his owner isn't too shabby either. Nice kitty.

Teekay, Rachel and Litter - Thanks so much! Birthdays have ceased to enrapture me, but the part of them I still enjoy is the warmth I receive from my friends.

Teekay (again) - Your hair--your long, gorgeous hair!!! Oh wait, you said you'd already cut it once before. Well the picture I saw was taken when you still had long hair. I'd say it's time to drag the old camera out and stand still long enough for your hubby to snap a picture of your mug. I want an update! Okay, okay, if you do, I'll do the same (scary thought) since the one you saw of me was when I still had my long locks. Deal?
I'm dying to know what Rhoda sent you AND what she looks like. Do you think she'd mind if you told us?

How about it, Rhoda?

Jerry - Pretty sick story, my friend. Very scintillating though. I was pulled in right away, and couldn't take my eyes off it, but I thought you launched into the ending way too soon. The ending also felt kind of choppy to me; I think if you lengthened the story and worked with the ending you'd have a real winner here. It sounded like the voice of experience. Now quit stealing my muse!!!

Howrad - I can't get the picture of you out of my head that Teekay put in there. Yosimite Sam is sooo cute, but do you really resemble him? If you do nothing to correct this, we will all think so.

Hugs all around,


Jessica Thu May 25 11:25:44 PDT 2000

Hi guys - So many posts, so little time!

Litter Thu May 25 11:13:12 PDT 2000

Hi all,

Jon, I have to say that I like cats or, rather, they like me. Even alleged antisocial cats curl up on my lap, purring gently. I know that cats have guts. How? Well, mostly road-kill - eeeuuchh, have they got guts and lots of them. Me, gutless? Well that would have to be down to the surgeon, not really my fault.

Rachel, everything? That conjures up fecund possibilities… ;o)

Christi - Be-happy-lated-birthday, be-birthday-lated-happy, be-lated-birth-happyday… or words to that effect.

Jerry - 'The Dead Cat', hmm, has a certain ring to it!

Is this new Cassandra able to leap tall buildings in a single bound? Is she faster than a speeding bullet???

Thank you, thank you, ohh, thank you, all those who missed me, even if I hadn't actually gone anywhere.

Busy busy busy

Ciao for now,


Americo Thu May 25 08:21:15 PDT 2000


You complained that Jon has never given you any award and does not even notice your existence. With tears in his big black eyes, he asked me to tell you, "in a discreet, subtle way," that he is in love with you, but fears the jealousy of all his other admirers to tell you that intimate secret personally. (I'm afraid he has no guts...)

He kisses everybody everywhere and has decided to give first prizes to all, mainly to those who are entering their title&period too late. I got the prize for "the silliest notebooker ever" … Hope Heather does not object.

Humm...He said "everybody", and that probably includes... well, everybody.

howard Thu May 25 06:54:25 PDT 2000

TEEK -- Reverberation? Isn't that the last book in the Bible?

:-) ;-) :-) ;-)


Rachel Wed May 24 23:35:41 PDT 2000

Christi - Happy Birthday! Gezz, I'm late with everything this week!

Take care you,


Teekay Wed May 24 22:24:51 PDT 2000

Ohmigad, It just came to me like a reverberation, A bolt from the blue, so to speak! Vincent Van Gogh cut off his ear!! I cut off my hair!!
Bet you're sorry now JON, and if you're not, well, you should be.

CHRISTI: If I say yes to a piece of that cake, then judging by the delivery speed of Rhoda's book, it should be about 60 days before it gets here and that's if the customs people don't eat it. Okay, yes please, I'd love a piece.

Teekay's Mum. Wed May 24 22:13:34 PDT 2000

What's that Dear? Oh yes Dear. Whatever you say Dear.

Teekay Wed May 24 22:12:20 PDT 2000

JERRY: Wow. You've been busy. I haven't even finished your ghost story yet.

CHRISTI: Aaah moose head beer. Haven't a clue. We have beer with names like Victorian Bitter or Fosters or Tooheys.
Nothing half so artistic sounding as moosehead beer.

I just got back from having my hair cut. Success this time. The last time I had my hair cut, I wanted to look like Dharma from Dharma and Greg, but the hairdresser had never seen the show and I came out looking like Greg. And you think you all had bad dental experiences.
Anyway, this time I came out looking like Meg Ryan, only much, much cuter. Right Mum?

Christi Wed May 24 21:49:42 PDT 2000

Aw shucks . . . you remembered! Thanks, Teeks!! I also got two belated cards today--I feel so loved. I wish I could do a heart instead of a happy face, but a happy face will have to suffice. ;0)
Can it be true that you don't know what Moosehead beer is? I'm sure our Canadian friends can tell you better than I. Or not. Maybe they don't even like Moosehead. Well I like it; it's a tasty light Canadian beer and it is yummylicious. I'm beginning to sound like an alchie(holic), but really I just like a good beer once in a while. Moosehead happened to be on sale last week so I bought a case.

Trudy - Hi! As you can see we are up to about the same amount of trouble as usual. I'm in up to my neck (which reminds me of Howard's joke). I wish I could say that the muse has been with me, but I think she went to stay with Teekay for awhile.

Hi Cassandra! No summer school?

Jerry - I'm off to read your story! I really enjoyed your last couple, just didn't have time to tell you. Your last one really got stuck in my head--the visuals were very good.
You sure are writing a lot . . . was it you who stole my muse? Hmmm.

I'm eating a three-day-old piece of birthday cake that's been sitting out on the kitchen counter for quite some time. It's still tasty but it's hard on two sides. I wonder if one can get food poisening from birthday cake. Wouldn't that be Scroogey?

Merry un-birthday to you all, and to me too! Would anyone like to share a piece of not-quite-yet-moldy cake?


Jerry A.G. Ericsson Wed May 24 21:01:14 PDT 2000

Left a short-short in the short story workshop.

Jerry Ericsson Wed May 24 20:21:18 PDT 2000

Ok, here is my try at the great Americo contest (better late then never they tell me!)

THE DEAD CAT was used to prop the door open allowing the cold damp air of the night into the vacant house.

Trudy Wed May 24 19:28:32 PDT 2000


yep I'm here, if not in body then in mond beleive me! Hope all is well with you *smile*


Trudy Wed May 24 19:26:23 PDT 2000


I'm so glad you bee-lieve! I bee-lieve in you...keep writing girl!

Hello everyone...I've not even been lurking much these days, but doing lots of writing (mostly non-fiction) and thinking of all of you often (wondering what mischief you're all up to, actually).

Hoping the muse is visiting every one of you...


Teekay Wed May 24 18:59:41 PDT 2000

CHRISTI: What's a moose head?

Wed May 24 18:58:39 PDT 2000

ZOE: Cold pizza is very, very good.

JON: I have chose to overlook your foible. Obviously you have not yet reached that intellectual nirvana and are not able to see the sheer and utter...stuff, that was contained in my....title thingy. After all was Van Gogh's genius celebrated while he lived and breathed? I think not. And what of all the other truly great artists? Twas only after the mind progressed that they were truly able to 'see' the beauty, the wisdom, the wonder of what lay before their eyes.
I have forgiven you JON for you are only not human.


THE SLEEPMAKER was supposed to be one of the better quality mattresses, but hadn't it made Hattie toss and turn all night?

Oh the feelings it evokes, the mood, the atmosphere. Oh JON. Oh poor, poor JON.

Rhoda Wed May 24 18:43:23 PDT 2000


Your book is packaged and sent. Enjoy.


Wed May 24 18:42:36 PDT 2000

psst psssst pssst okay everybody 1... 2.... 3....



dON'T THINK WE FORGOT, WE JUST WANTED TO SURPRISE YOU (IS THAT HOW YOU SPELL IT??) any way, we thought if we left it a couple of days then you'd be really, really surprised(is that how you spell it?.

RHODA: I GOT IT!!! What a thrill. Now I know what you look like and what CHRISTI looks like. I can only imagine HOWARD and I still come up with Yosemite Sam. First impressions last and all that.
What a great idea, sending all that stuff up. It was wonderful opening it, a bit like Christmas. The timing is just perfect cos I just last night finished HOWARD'S book.
The book looks wonderful too, can't wait to start it.
Thankyou so much.
BTW: Customs had been through it. There must have been something in those cookies hah hah.

HOWARD: Finished your book. You're right, the first one was better. I still enjoyed this one though.

HEATHER: Do you want me to send HOLDING WONDER on to you?

Must go and read the posts now. Had to get in first and spill the news.

Americo Wed May 24 16:34:03 PDT 2000


Thank you for your post. You are right: the name of the author of "The Error of Descartes" is António Damásio.

I don't think his work (on the way the brain functions) has theological implications. But your question is pertinent, mainly if you are a believer.

Rachel Wed May 24 15:48:28 PDT 2000

Jon - Zoe has spent the afternoon reminding me of what a wonderful time we had while you were visiting. She insists that you must have been kidding about the no guts thing. After all, it was I who went to the moon first. History however is written by those who speak up, isn't it?
Long to short what I'm saying is that I still would welcome you in my home. I have a wide variety of seafood for you to choose from. I can pick up some chicken if that is what spins your wheels.
Be a nice kitty. (special message just for Jon - Meow, ewo,eyo wowo eow mmmmeow, eeeeeee oeoeowieutmmmm - I know you'll understand - grins).
Ciao for now you wild cat you!

Allein Wed May 24 15:19:24 PDT 2000

Cassandra - Glad to see you back. Hope to get a reply to my e-mail soon, or better yet chat with you if you actually wrestle the computer away from your dad.

Allein Wed May 24 15:17:32 PDT 2000

Jon - What do you mean everyone else has no guts? Why don't you shut up you little punk?

There, I just told Jon off, that takes guts right there. Even though I'm only joking - Jon is a very amusing cat.

Cassandra Wed May 24 13:47:17 PDT 2000

She's new she's improved, she slices she dices, she's currently forming new cultures and religions on her fantasy world:
It's Cassandra

That strange enigmatic and undoubtly beautiful creature known for her catish attitude towards dependence finally returns after setting up her computer at home (and nearly ruining things by deleting something she shouldn't have, but that's a whole nother story).

Ha, I know, speaking of one's self in the third person might just be a sign of mental imbalances, or just a really gigantic ego... but heck, I never professed to being sane, or modest for that matter. :)

With that serene and confident speldor of a heart (from which you act of course for if you acted fully with your mind we would all be dumbfounded and lost in its depth) you'd get along famously with the cat who graces my home with his presence. Sometime I will have to drag him away from all of his endless tyraid of typing. It seems as if he is intent to pen the next "Great American Novel". Perhaps it will share shelf space and pulitzer mention with your next "Great Portugeuse Novel".

Of course my dog, Mookie, who only entertains himself with garrish comic books and rawhide chew pieces couldn't be bothered to learn even his ABC's. I doubt you'd wish to converse with him much, though on occasion I think the felines enjoy playing jokes on his slow mind, the poor thing.

I must return to reading... my current project is The Seal of Gaia by Marlin Maddoux (I love interesting and original names such as that... as is proven by my significant other Varick).

May your muse swing from the branches poised outside your favorite window inviting you with open arms and wry smile to play amidst the leaves and breezes. :)



Rachel Wed May 24 13:31:59 PDT 2000

Damn dog! She got on the computer again!!! That last post was from me. Not from Zoe. From Rachel, not from Zoe. That dog needs a good ass-kicking herself. Honestly, as if Pussy needs any further worry.

Zoe Wed May 24 13:29:38 PDT 2000

Christi - Yeah! We have guts, we have guts! We have lots and lots of guts.
Okay, I'm with you on the ass kicking event. Well, unless it conflictus with my social/political views (grins).

Teekay - You okay? I have some cold pizza and beer. I'm willing to share. Honest, I wont bite your fingers. I'm real, real nice (grins). If you want to come round later it is b-b-q night. Not that I'm as exciting as Heather when I b-b-q.

Heather - I know a little girl, her name is Heather. She lives with her Oma and Opa (spelling)? Anyway, her Oma and Opa have pretty thick German accents. When they say Heather, it sounds like Header. Every time I see your name I think "Hey, Header, how's it going?" So, if we meet up next summer and I call you Header, please forgive me (grins). I talked to my Sensei today and it looks like I could have things going on by then. I'll need to get a little more serious about my training. I can do that. If you had been in my class this morning you never would think it. I was off in my "Rachel's land" A very special place where I like to entertain myself with wonderful thoughts and ideas. I got caught, caught dreaming with my eyes wide open. Yes, yes, yes! I can cause myself to blush from time to time.

Litter and Jack - I hope that all is well with you guys.

GS - You, YOu, YOU!!!!!

Sasquatch - You mentioned another poem. I would like to see more by you. I'm not really very good at crit work on poems. I think that they are soul talk. I like the human/sasquatch feeling that emenates from your poetry.

Take care all,


PS - Arik - See yah when you are back. Or I guess, I'll read yah when yah get back. Take care of you.

Christi Wed May 24 12:17:21 PDT 2000

Jon - I did so contribute, albeit a little late. I not only have guts but I also have glory.
Also, I am guilty of blaming unjustly my friend Americo, when it seems you are the culprit. But how can I be mad at my very first friend at the Notebook? Oh wait, it's perfectly fine to be mad at one's friends, as long as one gets over it and holds no grudges. I hold no grudges as long as you admit that I did enter your contest.

Teekay - Who dashed your spirit? And how can your spirit be dashed after writing such a fine, fine story? Point me at 'em and I'll kick their booty, enlisting the help of Rachel and Tina, the kick-butt girls. You girls got my back?

Howard - I'll always be your spoon, forever and ever. Kiss.

Rene - Interesting poist. ;)

Rachel - Hi! It goes fine. And goes, and goes, and goes.

Mary - I'm glad you understand that we really do like you. Honest, we do!

Sasquatch - I don't imagine that your kind of moosehead would tingle on my tongue OR loosen my limbs. You may have experienced the kind of Moosehead I'm speaking of by eating over-ripe fruit at one time or another.

My but I have been surly these past few days. Will A* and Jon forgive me? Will they even speak to me, acknowledging my existance? Tune in next week for "As the Notebook Churns".

Happy day to all.


Rachel Wed May 24 11:44:25 PDT 2000

Christi - It's nice to see you back. Hope that all is going well for you.

Tina - Boken's are the wooden sword, right? If that is what we are talking about, then yes, I have worked with them. I just got in from my karate class. We had a fellow training with us. Who is one of those multi belt sorts. After class, he tossed us around a bit. It was fun. He always has interesting things to show us. He is not only skilled, but considerate as well. That makes learning things from him fun. Yah, he will show you how it works, how it feels, but he will not rip your arms off your body and beat you about the head with them. I count that as a real plus in a martial arts teacher (grins).



Ciao for now!


Rachel Wed May 24 11:35:56 PDT 2000

Jon - I have guts! I have a whole lot of them:) You can just call me inside out girl!!!

I am late with this, but better late than never (grins).

THE THINGS WE DO NOT KNOW can and do cause our selves and others grievous thought be it unintentional harm.

I have a set of shorts that I am working on. They revolve around this opening and are interspersed with poems that relate to the story in question. It's a different sort of project for me. I am having fun with it. It's a little on the grim side but hey I like it.

Take care all


howard Wed May 24 11:08:06 PDT 2000

Hey Rennie and Tony! (Or is it Renn and Stimpy?) This is a writing site -- what's with all the philosophizing? Go existentialize somewhere else! I think, therefore I am (allergic to hairballs) :-)

errr - SASQUATCH -- Perhaps you should be careful about what you heard while lurking around a hunting camp. Not all critters are what they appear to be, or sound like. Maybe you could get Heater or Rachel to explain about the birds and the beavers. And I don't think Christi's Moosehead was quite the same brew as what you found in the woods. Erk!


Tina Wed May 24 10:28:01 PDT 2000


It's a beautiful day and I need to go garden but first...

I just left you a crit on 'The Room'. I enjoyed it muchly!

You take feline snobbery to a new level. I admire that in a cat. Leaha - the cat who lives with me - says that you are a fine cat, a credit to cats everywhere. Unfortunately, she hasn't mastered typing so she can't speak for herself. :-)

Have you ever used a boken? I just bought one last night, to start training next week, and I can't wait. My husband and I have already started trying it out, since we're both nuts about swords. In fact he just tried to cut off my head.

(A boken is a wooden samurai sword)
T.J. :-)

R Descartes Wed May 24 10:21:32 PDT 2000

Ahh, Professor Damasio! (Is that a typographical error in your name?) I have been hoping to hear from you, and to be able to ask a question of you.
Do you really expect the civilised world to believe that the soul and spirit are mere biological functions attached to the mind? After all, if one determines that these are bounded by the laws of biology, then there can be no notion of free will. This would be unacceptable to atheist and theologian alike!
I know you protested that the religious aspect of soul and spirit were not directly affected by your postulation, but please do not take us for fools. You know very well that is a direct contradiction to what you have already posited. Please, sir, explain yourself.


Jon CatsDictionary Wed May 24 08:26:42 PDT 2000

António Dâmaso,

you are also disqualified.

António Dâmaso The Error of Descartes Wed May 24 08:26:01 PDT 2000

The greatest human error of modern times is to think that all great decisions come from the mind. They can also come from the heart. Emotion is at least as important as the brain. Actually, now that I come to think of it, Man is largely an emotional being. That's why I prefer cats. I have a profound distaste for people who disregard cats and their superior intelligence.

Jon Wed May 24 08:19:32 PDT 2000

You are also disqualified. I'll think about the reasons of my decision some other time.

PS. To those who did not dare contribute:

This is a list of the only people I admire:
Bill (also called Will),

The rest have no guts.

Americo Wed May 24 08:13:07 PDT 2000


Heather has a point. Not all humans can be saints like you and, as a sociologist, you should be more understanding of human frailties. Heather is the outcome of a corrupt society where doubt about the others' intentions and decisions is a means of survival. I will not compete again in your lousy contests.

PS. This reminds me that you disregarded my contribution(s) in previous contest(s). How unjust!

Jon Wed May 24 08:11:45 PDT 2000


you have been disqualified because you doubted of my impartiality.

Another thing: I am not owned by anybody. I am just me. (I doubt that you can understand this, but that's the truth).

sasquatch Wed May 24 05:35:09 PDT 2000

Christi person I sasquatch have moose head one time and it was cold also, and rest of moose was cold as well but not all there. I sasquatch do not memory humans persons liking moose head. I sasquatch memory humans persons talk in they call hunting camp to like rabbit and the deer and the beaver creatures but all to eat was hot dogs. Not looking as dogs either. Mary person I sasquatch to make of poem of bear and girl in blue with basket sorry on step in. Teekay person chook makes eggs must be bird like we call chicken? I must go.

Will Wed May 24 05:31:51 PDT 2000

Doubt though the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt Jon's justice.

Americo Wed May 24 05:30:55 PDT 2000


You complained that Jon disregarded your title cum period entry.
Not at all. He analysed it with the diligence that he puts in everything he does. He simply did not consider it good enough to win any prize. Don't get discouraged and try again next time.

Mary Tue May 23 22:24:53 PDT 2000

TEEKAY: It means just as much again coming from you. I don't have anything better to do either. I am a zombie insomniac.

Mary Tue May 23 22:22:20 PDT 2000

How could I forget you?
I believe in fact that it WAS you that saved a girl I knew. She had on a blue sundress and was carrying a picninc basket. I came running when she screamed but by the time I got there it was all over. Thank you for risking your life.

ps- I always thought it was bear crap I stepped in. :-|

Teekay Tue May 23 22:13:07 PDT 2000

I should be writing, but I have had my spirit irrecocvab, irecovibl, irrecov, crushed beyond repair.

MARY: I enjoyed your poem very much.
keep up the lucid flow and you will definitely find very willing readers. And you already have us.

Teekay Tue May 23 22:08:55 PDT 2000

Yes. You're all perfectly right. I have nothing better to do.

Mary Tue May 23 22:05:43 PDT 2000

HEATHER: I think that is the nicest thing you have ever said to me. (That I have you guys.) I have kinda felt like the old relative that not everyone really likes, but puts up with to keep the peace. Thanks.

ps- That sorta sounds like I am implying that you haven't been nice and that is not what I meant at all. Understand that it is 1:00am here and I'm running on 4 hours worth of sleep that is over a day old. ;-)

HOWARD: Thinkin' of ya Big Guy.

GARY: One more thing...You wanna thumb wrestle?

EVERYBODY ELSE: Hey there! Those of you who are mentioning things like "We can't talk about that here- it's not about writing" or "Let's stick to the subject at hand" type things: I am over the bitch fest. Just wanted to say that in case my past tangents and tyrades are the cause of such remarks. I think you are all great and have wonderful stories to tell. I'm not just blowing sunshine either because if I didn't really feel that way I wouldn't still be posting here. You guys are like potato chips and beer. The more you get the more you want!:-)



Teekay Tue May 23 21:01:32 PDT 2000

CHRISTI: Hi girly. You must not vent you wrath on A*. He is the innocent in all of this. It is the dastardly pussy JON who is the culprit. One cannot be blamed for what their other personalities choose to do, or not to do toloodle oolde to doodle oo oo.
And I jutht loved your thententh too. It wath tho, tho I don't know, thententhy.
I'll email you later, am at the dreaded cuss word place now.



And I tried soooo hard too. *sniff* *sniff* is that salmon I smell???

Christi Tue May 23 20:18:29 PDT 2000

Americo - Harumph! I have nothing to say to you, as I have never won any of your contests or even gotten honorable mention (not that I deserved it). I've said a lot for someone who has nothing to say.

Litter - I missed you! I missed myself too. I do that frequently.
I had no herbals on Monday--what I had was better. It was a lovely ice cold Moosehead that tingled on my tongue and loosened my limbs. Yumm. Want one?

Teekay - I, also, liked your title. I didn't enter this time, for obvious reasons. Like . . . I NEVER WIN! No, I just couldn't think up a title that wasn't sarcastic, and as everyone knows, that would result in incurring the wrath of A*, and/or Jon.
Oh, and you shouldn't take the soap-present as an insult unless it was accompanied by a nudge or a wink.
What's Tazmanian soap look and smell like?!

Nice to see you Gariess! You too, Gary. You don't like assuming other identities, GS? I mean Gary . . . er, I mean Gariess. Heh heh.

Heather - It's so hard not to call you Heater now, thanks to Howrad. Thanks for asking about how everything is going over here. It's not so hot but we're hanging in there, just going from day to day. That's all we can do and it seems to be working pretty well.
Your bee sounds very cute; I love bees.

And speaking of Trudy, HELLO Trudy!! Are you still out there?

THAT INSUFFERABLE BASTARD is on the rampage again, spreading his vulgarities around like butter on toasted bread.

I know, I'm too late, but my mind was blank until now. Is that a winner, A*? Honest, I had no one in mind when I wrote it--no one here, anyway.


Teekay Tue May 23 20:10:35 PDT 2000

I knew it! I knew I forgot to name that last post!

Tue May 23 20:09:34 PDT 2000

HEATHER: I love you.
Not the medicine cabinet NOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooo.

SASKY: Chooks are ummm, well they're aaah, they're ummm. well chooks really. Big red dogs love to eat them. And they lay eggs. Sometimes the same egg twice, but only if the weather is right.

sasquatch Tue May 23 19:56:56 PDT 2000

Litter person I sasquatch did miss you. I sasquatch have also wait for Mary person to tell what I ask on memory bear and girl. And what is really this pizza and what is you say paraphernalia for knockout. This is confusion on sasquatch for how does pizza paraphernalia make to knockout I sasquatch have not understanding. Teekay person what is chook. I must go.

Heather Tue May 23 18:38:10 PDT 2000

Teekay, I liked your title, personally!
And Litter, I did miss you, but figured that you were busy with, well, other things. Glad that Liz is doing well!

Jon, thank you for the honour you have bestowed upon me. It's the first award I have had the joy of receiving in the NB. On another note, can a cat really vote for his owner? I didn't think Americo's title could be entered into the contest, seeing that he resides with the contest creator... but it was a nice try.

I now have a deliciously cute bumble bee decorating my desk, dangling above my monitor. Thanks Trudy!
It was a terrific day. I bee-lieve I can do it. I WILL have this *#%&)% novel finished by the end of this year, or, or, or...
(not?) No! I must finish it, with the same gusto infused within the remaining pages as the first chapters.
Chapter 4 is coming along nicely, new twists finding ways in I had not conceived of until the moment my fingers delegated the keys to bring them forth.
(Excuse the mouthful, there; I must let that excessively dry sentence go down)
Water. Slurp, ahhhhh.

Mary, I enjoyed your poem very much.
Keep up the lucid flow and you'll definately find very willing readers. And you already have us.

Gariess, I understood your understated comment about the difference between your 'reading and not posting', and the garden variety 'lurker'.
I think.

Grey... matter... confused... tied... into little knots...and hurting... migraine! MIGRAINE!

Oh, just a wee headache.

To the medicine chest I go, I go.


Teekay. Tue May 23 18:38:01 PDT 2000

MARY: I don't think you should listen to your poetry mentor. Sounds like he's trying to fit you into the cliched poet slot.
Beauty is in th eye of the beholder and all that.

Reminds me of a story about a boy. Basically, this little boy goes to school and has all his originality curbed, by this particular teacher, and it is only when he moves schools and gets a teacher who understands creativity that his originality emerges again. It sounded better the first time, but my stupid, idiotic computer went mental and I lost it. Damn, near broke my heart for the second time today.

Mary Tue May 23 17:41:19 PDT 2000

LITTER: Thanks for commenting on Red Letter Day. I have some work to do on it yet. My poetry mentor slammed me on this one. I think his exact words were "It's like 'Crocodile Rock' with one foot stuck in the mud." Crap.

BTW, I think of you everytime I reboot my computer because I have a quote from Braveheart on there that says "...they fought like warrior poets, they fought like Scotsmen, and won their freedom." I hope I spelled Scotsmen right--no offense if I didn't.
Thanks again, Mary

Tue May 23 17:23:02 PDT 2000

Teekay Tue May 23 16:32:21 PDT 2000

LITTER: I missed you, but I knew where you were and that you'd be back when you could.
Anyway, you think you're in a huff. JON totally ignored my title and sentence attempt, and I tried sooooo hard. If you want to know more, well, I'm afraid there isn't any, but there's an email address around here somewhere you might take a look at.


HOWARD: That was a very interesting post about your chooks, but I do feel the notebook is slipping slightly from the purpose for which it was intended, so, if you don't mind can we discuss your sheep and cattle in future. :D well I thought it was funny.

CHARLES: Good one. I like it. Ellaborate in it's simplicity with just a hint of woody oak. *hic*

Somebody just gave me soap as a present. Should I be offended? It's Tasmanian soap, does that make a dfference?

Off now to dwell on how horrible, mean and nasty JON is. (wretched cat.)

Charles Tue May 23 15:59:10 PDT 2000

Litter-re: your 'misspelled word leads off in its own direction and gives the intended word a twist or even a meaning of it's own'
I have to share this with you. My accountant's name is Myron. (true) Whenever I email him my spellcheck suggests...(ready?) "Moron"! I am so tempted...

Charles Tue May 23 15:55:33 PDT 2000

Heather-Ok, I'll give it a try but I can't see the difficulty;
I went to Limbo, in the back of a Limo
I went to Lmobo, in the back of a Limbo
I went to Limo, in the back of a Limbo
I went to Limbo, in the back, with a bimbo.

Tue May 23 15:52:22 PDT 2000


Where the symbols <> are there should have been a quotation thusly -

"Want to know more? Like what you have read? Email me at, and we can discuss some more about this."

*^&$£)$ html scripting...


Litter Tue May 23 15:49:42 PDT 2000

Hi All,

Jmanrulz772 and Deanna - Welcome.

One thing though -
- Ehm, that is actually the purpose of this and the linked 'workbook' pages…

Now then, I am in the middle of a giant huff - everybody missed everybody else, but nobody missed me :o(

Mary, Loved your poem. I am a fan of minimalist, esoteric and experimental poetry. I have a poet friend, whose poetry is essential reading for the English Schools syllabus. His advice for those writing 'modern poetry' is to write what you 'feel', or want to say, and then cut it back and cut it back until you have said it without any padding or unnecessary wordage. For classical poetry there are, of course, rules. For modern poetry there are no rules. Way to go Mary!

Wohrad - see above - as for punctuation rules for poetry, forget them unless you plan to write in a classical style. Well, you can't actually forget them because there are none!

Heather and Christi - could you send me some of the herbal influences that inspired your Monday mails. ;o) Note to Tina ;o) is a smiley face winking.

Evil Overlord - you're no fun! I won't be staying in any of your dungeons any time soon!

Hi Arik… oops, bye Arik…

I love spelling mistakes, not because they make me feel in any way superior but because they show how fragile words can be, and sometime a misspelled word leads off in its own direction and gives the intended word a twist or even a meaning of it's own. (Anyone know what I'm on about?)

OK, now I'm going to have my nervous breakdown. I've worked hard for it, I deserve it and it's bound to be my turn by now…

Ciao for now,


Allein Tue May 23 15:13:14 PDT 2000


gariess Tue May 23 14:57:50 PDT 2000

Howard and Heather,

I have not gone walkabout. I am still here. I am not lurking; I am simply reading and not posting. There is a distinction here, but I am a loss to explain it at the moment since my gray matter seems to have temporarily failed me. At least I hope it is temporary.

I am not Ben. I don't care much for assuming identities, mainly because my own, most of the time, is more than I can handle. If I were to assume one of a Johnson, it would be Samuel rather than Ben. Samuel, of course, was not an Elizabethan, but although he wrote a bit he was, in his own time, chiefly known for his conversation.

My best to you all,


Jon, CEO Tue May 23 14:30:18 PDT 2000

Here is the list of the winners of the 1st title&first sentence for a book (with my incontrovertible comments and edits):

"VINEYARD MOON, oh, vineyard moon, how it shakes my very soul!"

Exciting title, though this is not the first moon I see in the NB. Lacking a bit in originality. The period is too romantic to start a good novel with.

"UNDER THE CHERRY-TREE, with this hot ring I wed thee."

I like cherries, but I have no idea of what you can do under a cherry-tree. Sasquatch would certainly laugh if "under the cherry tree" would suggest anything beautiful to any reader. The whole sentence is silly: marriage is completely out of fashion, even as a theme for a novel.

THE SLEEPER WAKES, and immediately and very inconsiderately demands that his wife make him some breakfast, whereupon she (being tired beyond restraint by his incessant demands)promptly dispatches him back whence he came.

Redundancy is the main defect of all the period, including the title-phrase. Here is my (definitive) version: "Jon wakes and demands Pussy his breakfast. Tired of a rather demanding night, she sends him to hell."
No further comments allowed (nor even from master Ben S)!

Marlowe Mon May 22 16:56:45 PDT 2000
Oh girle, oh gold, oh beauty, oh my blisse.

This is the best title and first opening sentence of the contest. It has everything to please — except that it is too pleasing to be artistically honest. Recommendable to best-seller prostitutes, creative-writing teachers and other cheats (Sorry, Marlowe — I am incorruptible).

Let me be ignorant, and IN NOTHING GOOD,
But graciously to know I am no better.

Modesty, exactly like vanity, is intolerable in a writer. Everything is bad in our Will's contribution. I'm glad he recognizes that.

And now the prizes:

Best title: Heather and Americo, ex-aequo.
Best first period: Howard.
Best attempt at getting rich: Marlowe.
Best lesson in civility: Will

Rachel Tue May 23 13:31:03 PDT 2000

Charles - Nice to see yah back. Were yah thinking of me (grins).

Take care you


Rachel Tue May 23 13:24:30 PDT 2000


I don't think I feel like wearing jeans... You see, they don't quite go with my paraphernailia (big, wicked grins)!

Take care you,


howard Tue May 23 12:30:05 PDT 2000

AMERICO -- I think it's *you* who deserves an award, because you spelt incontravertible correctly, while I did not. And the i and the a are far enough apart that I cannot claim it to be a tupographicla error.
What do you suppose Jon meant by "other paraphernalia?" I would imagine that the pizza gals would be knockouts in jeans -- even without the use of "other paraphernalia," especially if the pizza is a grilled one, with fresh basil and tomatoes, and three kinds of cheeses, and just a hint of garlic, and possibly an anchovy in one corner, just for Jon, and another across from it for Pussy.

Americo Tue May 23 12:03:19 PDT 2000

Very well observed, Howard. Your evidence is incontrovertible, mainly as far as the slight slant of the l is concerned. I think that that cat also deserves an award of some kind (which kind I dare not suggest in front of this civilized audience).

Jon, who is reading his Elizabethans and has not much time for us, asked me to announce that to-night (sic) the award cerimony of his coveted prizes will take place. Here, on these very premises. "The wine and pizza girls" (I have no idea who he is referring to) are also invited, and may bring their jeans, (((hUGS))), :D, :-) and other paraphernalia.

Rachel Tue May 23 10:01:37 PDT 2000

Teekay - Pizza! Sounds like a plan.
Take care you

howard Tue May 23 09:55:40 PDT 2000

JON -- The very fact that I have CHOSEN to remain here proves that I indeed have very good taste!
And, rather than mere blablahblah, I shall give evidence of the quickness of my intellect by offering incontrovertable proof that you, Jon, and Will, are one and the same! Observe, if you will, the individual characters in the posts by Jon and Will -- they are exactly the same! the slight imperfections in the P, coupled with the peculiar slant to the l, prove my point inarguably!
I rest,
My case!

howard (eat your heart out, Sherlock!)

Jon Tue May 23 08:06:21 PDT 2000

No comments to Bill's modesty.
Waiting for more entries. (There are already some good ones).
And the question remains: who will show that he/she is not just a blablahber but a person with imagination (and good taste)?

Will Tue May 23 07:52:44 PDT 2000

To be honest I don't know who wrote the sentence I humbly ask you to allow me to contribute. If I (I published it under my name in a little play called "Measure for Mesasure"),
Ben Jonson (a worthy rival), Robert Greene, who I plagiarized in my salad days, the great Bacon, or my Lord Oxford. There is also the possiblity that A* wrote it, but I think that his genius would do much better. All this is open to discussion, and all I want is to thank you for the second prize you awarded me in your latest contest. This time I do not aspire to be a serious candidate to any prize (though the fourth or fifth would give me much contentment); I only ask you for a friendly hug.

PS. The wine and pizza girls are lovely, don't you think so?

Now the title&sentence:

Let me be ignorant, and IN NOTHING GOOD,
But graciously to know I am no better.

howard Tue May 23 07:29:02 PDT 2000

CHRISTI -- Good to see you here again! It's been interesting, but not quite as nice without you! This place is a direct contradiction to the old "Too Many Cooks" adage. We miss that extra spoon!
Poem? there have been several good ones right here in the notebook! Mary just did a right nice love poem, and Teekay and Heather have too. I tried one or two, then got dissed by Ben Jonson, (but he later apologised and offered some very welcome suggestions for my poem)and then he proceeded to blow us away with a poem of his own, that put a lump in my throat. GS has gone walkabout, I think. Perhaps Heather is right? Sasquatch hasn't been around much, either.

TEEKAY -- Chooks are all gone for now. The incident I mentioned happened a few years ago, and somebody's dog got the last of them (a big red one) right in the middle of the back yard. Feathers everywhere! Gonna get more soon, and a couple of pigs too.

MARY -- Nice!

back to work --

Heather Tue May 23 06:45:47 PDT 2000

Unlike you, Arik, it seems Avatar has an extraordinary amount of time! (It was you, Avatar, wasn't it? Posting the Evil Overlord's vow list?)

I, on a similar hand, have little time for posting today - but perhaps this evening I may be back for a visit. Besides, I am curious to know whom Jon will find victorious in regards to the contest of Titles.
I think Howard's was quite entertaining!

I also think my sentence structure has gone down the poop chute. Taking Grammar along with it. (ha ha ha nice fragment)

Christi, hope you are still hangin' in there. Blessings heaped upon you and yours. Jerry, hope you are feeling better! BLessings to you as well. :o)

Well, a tip of my hat to all, if I wore one.

P.S. Great to see Charles and Allein have been lurking, but where did Gariess go? HEY! GS! Ye dare not goeth away! Or is Ben, in fact, you?

Arik Tue May 23 01:35:47 PDT 2000

Hey people. I have a very hard week. I have almost no free time and it will go this way till the 30.5.00 so untill then I won't be able to visit here very much... sorry :-).

Good luck till the 30

Heather Mon May 22 23:13:26 PDT 2000

Teekay! I'm alive and still smilin'. Thanks for missin' me! I've missed out on a lot of goings-on, I noticed! I also missed all of you.
Charles, great to see you back again - where did you go?
I went to Limbo, in the back of a Limo. Say that five times fast.

The Limo was green, and filled with mice. I didn't enjoy the ride, but I must say, the chauffeur was most amusing. Reminded me of the hero mouse from 'Secret of Nimh'.

Where is my head lately?

Don't tell me. It's still attached, thank you.
Been working all weekend, and also celebrated my son's third birthday!
So I'm still reeling from the helium balloons, forgive me.

Here, Jon, is the requested Title To Win Me A Medal:

VINEYARD MOON, oh, vineyard moon, how it shakes my very soul!

Mmhmmm, it's short, but sweetness does count.

I am past my hours of wakedness, and now off to bed goes my nakedness. It's not mosquitos that get me, nor sorely bedeck me, with these lascivious bumps;
I dare not abrade, or savagely grade
these devilish raspberry lumps!

Ok, I'm still awake, and this struck me as sounding quite funny:
(Where does one pull these things from if one doesn't wear HATS?)

Naught, ought or other
nay, no, nix, nil,
nada or not on your life;
I say no, I mean no,
no matter what so,
and lavish your face with my

Don't ask!
I have no idea! Must be the lack of R.E.M sleep...
Ben, sorry to see you have departed.

Dearly departed, we aren't gathered here today,
But in our absence left these notes:
Good hello, Fare thee well,
and whatever else is to say
I never did meet
a bunch so decidedly discreet
And ne'er a footstep betray.
'Tis relief to find
Not a one that didn't mind
Not being at the
Committee Meeting today.

Must go get my head examined. My pillow will see to it.

Teekay Mon May 22 22:17:46 PDT 2000

JERRY: Thankyou. You are a gem. I went and had a peek at your story. Read the first two lines and decided to wait till I was home so I could really enjoy. Ooh ooh, little shivers of anticipation run up and down my spine.

CHRISTI: I am sooooooo glad your back. I've missed you sorely. BTW ROWHARD'S poem is on the notebook. Just scroll down a bit.

TINA: :) is a smiley face sideways. :D

HOWARD: Any word on those chooks?

Better go and do some work now.

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Mon May 22 21:57:32 PDT 2000

Left my little ghost story in the short-story workshop. Not real happy with the ending, maybe I am still under the influence of the flu, well I know that I am, but just can't seem to keep away from the keyboard anyhow.

Have another ghost story about half way through, might get that one finished in a day or three.

Thanks for the cretics read them a few days ago, just never got around to saying thanks.

Howard - CHEER UP!!



BTW :-) is a sideways smily face ;-}

Tina Mon May 22 21:47:13 PDT 2000


Check the short story crit page. It's not much but it's there. Post more and I'll critique more! Feel free to email it if you'd prefer.

Come, sit, stay awhile!

Is Laura who posted parts of 'Prometheus Bond' still around?

As an admitted newbie to internet chat stuff, could someone please fill me in on what :-) means?


Christi Mon May 22 21:28:28 PDT 2000

Avatar - Longie time! Hi!

Teekay - Tanks fer missin' me. *sniff* I missed you too. I am alive and breathing--two things I don't take entirely for granted anymore. Oh happy day, I am alive and healthy (enough), and silly and happy (enough). I am now taking my forefinger and strumming my lips with it. Bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb. Warm hugs for you, but watch out for the slobber on my finger.

Howard - Wha's this poem I keep hearing aboot? I guess I'll havta amble over to the poetry page. Thanks for the much needed laughs you've been sending. Loved the billboards; especially the "safe sex" one!
R U still sad Howrad? Cheer up and turn that Bach off! I've been diggin' on Rachmaninov lately; he just jingles my jangle. Now, back on your head!

Rachel - Hiya! Eye thinc ewe right vary gud!

Teekay Mon May 22 18:12:37 PDT 2000

RACHEL: Your on. I'll bring the pizza's.

Avatar Mon May 22 18:04:32 PDT 2000

Mary- Certainly! But first you have to be initiated. (rubs hands together)

Teekay- I like being missed.

Jessica- Got it from an email. 'course my resident evil overlord loved it.

Jodi- I have the same problem all the time. I wish I had found a way to get around it by now. If you can, Go for it!
Best of luck

Later all

Charles ` Mon May 22 18:01:41 PDT 2000

Tina- yeah, I know, 'thank' is singular for 'thanks' -but you only posted one crit. Whaddya think, that wuz a typo?? :>)

The Evil Overlord Mon May 22 17:59:49 PDT 2000

Tina-Refrains from evil laughter(see number 20)- Well, I suppose that they will just have to die...hee, hee, hee...

51. If one of my dungeon guards begins expressing concern over the conditions in the beautiful princess' cell, I will immediately transfer him to a less people-oriented position.
52. I will hire a team of board-certified architects and surveyors to examine my castle and inform me of any secret passages and abandoned tunnels that I might not know about.
53. If the beautiful princess that I capture says "I'll never marry you! Never, do you hear me, NEVER!!!", I will say "Oh well" and kill her.
54. I will not strike a bargain with a demonic being then attempt to double-cross it simply because I feel like being contrary.
55. The deformed mutants and odd-ball psychotics will have their place in my Legions of Terror. However before I send them out on important covert missions that require tact and subtlety, I will first see if there is anyone else equally qualified who will attract less attention.
56. My Legions of Terror will be trained in basic markmanship. Any who cannot learn to hit a man-sized target at 10 meters will be used for target practice.
57. Before employing any captured artifacts or machinery, I will carefully read the owner's manual.
58. If it becomes necessary to escape, I will never stop to pose dramatically and toss off a one-liner.
59. I will never build a sentinent computer smarter than I am.
60. My five-year-old child advisor will also be asked to decipher any code I am thinking of using. If he breaks the code in under 30 seconds, it will not be used. Note: this also applies to passwords.
61. If my advisors ask "Why are you risking everything on such a mad scheme?", I will not proceed until I have a response that satisfies them.
62. I will design fortress hallways with no alcoves or protruding structural supports which intruders could use for cover in a fire fight.
63. Bulk trash will be disposed of in incinerators, not compactors. And they will be kept hot, with none of that nonsense about flames going through accessible tunnels at predictable intervals.
64. I will see a competent psychiatrist and get cured of all extremely unusual phobias and bizarre compulsive habits which could prove to be a disadvantage.
65. If I must have computer systems with publicly available terminals, the maps they display of my complex will have a room clearly marked as the Main Control Room. That room will be the Execution Chamber. The actual main control room will be marked as Sewage Overflow Containment.
66. My security keypad will actually be a fingerprint scanner. Anyone who watches someone press a sequence of buttons or dusts the pad for fingerprints then subsequently tries to enter by repeating that sequence will trigger the alarm system.
67. No matter how many shorts we have in the system, my guards will be instructed to treat every surveillance camera malfunction as a full-scale emergency.
68. I will spare someone who saved my life sometime in the past. This is only reasonable as it encourages others to do so. However, the offer is good one time only. If they want me to spare them again, they's better save my life again.
69. All midwives will be banned from the realm. All babies will be delivered at state-approved hospitals. Orphans will be placed in foster-homes, not abandoned in the woods to be raised by creatures of the wild.
70. When my guards split up to search for intruders, they will always travel in groups of at least two. They will be trained so that if one of them disappears mysteriously while on patrol, the other will immediately initiate an alert and call for backup, instead of quizzically peering around a corner.
71. If I decide to test a lieutenant's loyalty and see if he/she should be made a trusted lieutenant, I will have a crack squad of marksmen standing by in case the answer is no.
72. If all the heroes are standing together around a strange device and begin to taunt me, I will pull out a conventional weapon instead of using my unstoppable superweapon on them.
73. I will not agree to let the heroes go free if they win a rigged contest, even though my advisors assure me it is impossible for them to win.
74. When I create a multimedia presentation of my plan designed so that my five-year-old advisor can easily understand the details, I will not label the disk "Project Overlord" and leave it lying on top of my desk.
75. I will instruct my Legions of Terror to attack the hero en masse, instead of standing around waiting while members break off and attack one or two at a time.
76. If the hero runs up to my roof, I will not run up after him and struggle with him in an attempt to push him over the edge. I will also not engage him at the edge of a cliff. (In the middle of a rope-bridge over a river of molten lava is not even worth considering).
77. If I have a fit of temporary insanity and decide to give the hero the chance to reject a job as my trusted lieutenant, I will retain enough sanity to wait until my current trusted lieutenant is out of earshot before making the offer.
78. I will not tell my Legions of Terror "And he must be taken alive!" The command will be "And try to take him alive if it is reasonably practical."
79. If my doomsday device happens to come with a reverse switch, as soon as it has been employed it will be melted down and made into limited-edition commemorative coins.
80. If my weakest troops fail to eliminate a hero, I will send out my best troops instead of wasting time with progressively stronger ones as he gets closer and closer to my fortress.
81. If I am fighting with the hero atop a moving platform, have disarmed him, and am about to finish him off and he glances behind me and drops flat, I too will drop flat instead of quizzically turning around to find out what he saw.
82. I will not shoot at any of my enemies if they are standing in front of the crucial support beam to a heavy, dangerous, unbalanced structure.
83. If I'm eating dinner with the hero, put poison in his goblet, then have to leave the table for any reason, I will order new drinks for both of us instead of trying to decide whether or not to switch with him.
84. I will not have captives of one sex guarded by members of the opposite sex.
85. I will not use any plan in which the final step is horribly complicated, e.g. "Align the 12 Stones of Power on the sacred altar then activate the medallion at the moment of total eclipse." Instead it will be more along the lines of "Push the button."
86. I will make sure that my doomsday device is up to code and properly grounded.
87. My vats of hazardous chemicals will be covered when not in use. Also, I will not construct walkways above them.
88. If a group of henchmen fail miserably at a task, I will not berate them for incompetence then send the same group out to try the task again.
89. After I capture the hero's superweapon, I will not immediately disband my legions and relax my guard because I believe whoever hold the weapon is unstoppable. After all, the hero held the weapon and I took it from him.
90. I will not design my Main Control Room so that every workstation is facing away from the door.
91. I will not ignore the messenger that stumbles in exhausted and obviously agitated until my personal grooming or current entertainment is finished. It might actually be important.
92. If I ever talk to the hero on the phone, I will not taunt him. Instead I will say that his dogged perserverance has given me new insight on the futility of my evil ways and that if he leaves me alone for a few months of quiet contemplatiom I will likely return to the path of righteousness. (Heroes are incredibly gullible in this).
93. If I decide to hold a double execution of the hero and an underling who failed or betrayed me, I will see to it that the hero is scheduled to go first.
94. When arresting prisoners, my guards will not allow them to stop and grab a useless trinket of purely sentimental value.
95. My dungeon will have its own qualified medical staff complete with bodyguards. That way if a prisoner becomes sick and his cellmate tells the guard it's an emergency, the guard will fetch a trama team instead of opening up the cell for a look.
96. My door mechanisms will be designed so that blasting the control panel on the outside seals the door and blasting the control panel on the inside opens the door, not vice versa.
97. My dungeon cells will not be furnished with objects that contain reflective surfaces or anything that can be unraveled.
98. If an attractive young couple enters my realm, I will carefully monitor their activities. If I find they are happy and affectionate, I will ignore them. However if circumstances have forced them together against their will and they spend all their time bickering and criticizing each other except during the intermittent occasions when they are saving each others' lives at which point there are hints of sexual tension, I will immediately order their execution.
99. Any data file of crucial importance will be padded to 1.45Mb in size.
100. Finally, to keep my subjects permanently locked in a mindless trance, I will provide each of them with free unlimited Internet access.

Fare well ye mortals. Quiver in fear as my victory is ensured.

-The Evil Overlord

Charles Mon May 22 17:09:32 PDT 2000

Rachel- Wow, I was thinking of you at exactly the same time!
Ok, I wasn't...but I will from now on! Hi also to Teekay, Howard, Tina and all. (Tina, many thank for the short story crits) I hope you're all writing. I drop by each day -busy working, writing and reading in that order.
Ciao all.

Rachel Mon May 22 17:05:38 PDT 2000

Teekay - The evening here is mild and pleasant. There is a faint breeze blowing, it carries with it all the scents of the river and forest. I think you would like it. The lawn is freshly cut. All in all a nice enough place to spend the evening (smiles). If you are a little cool perhaps I could offer you a blanket, or if you prefer we can certainly move inside. I have one of those homes that people say just sort of embraces you. So, come and make yourself at home any time. Ahh, I have a nice selection of VQA wines on hand. B.C. wines are some of the finest in the world.

Take care you


Jon Mon May 22 17:03:03 PDT 2000

After this, certainly the most beautiful post ever, will the pizza club kindly go to bed?

We need beauty here. And silence to enjoy.

Marlowe Mon May 22 16:56:45 PDT 2000

Jon, things past recovery
are hardly cur'ed with exclamations.

"Oh girle, oh gold, oh beauty, oh my blisse."

That's my title and first sentence. The prize is yours.

Teekay Mon May 22 16:51:22 PDT 2000

MARY: Hi. Left you a critique. Well....Sort of.

Teekay. Mon May 22 16:43:45 PDT 2000

Hi All,
HOWARD: It cheers my heart immensely to hear that you are at least a little improved. How are the chickens?

RACHEL: Great. How about we make it some type of wine. We'll sit out on your patio at sunset, overlooking the wilderness that surrounds your house and enjoy each others company, but if it's cold we'll sit in by the fire.

CHRISTI: (((((((((((((HUG))))))))))))))))) am missing you.

HEATHER: Am missing you too. Where are you?

DEANNA: Welcome.

JMAN: I must say, you do have me chomping at the bit.

THE SLEEPMAKER was supposed to be one of the better quality mattresses, but hadn't it made Hattie toss and turn all night.

Sorry, this came from my left brain, it refuses to let my right brain out at work. Pity.

Rachel Mon May 22 16:25:12 PDT 2000

Charles - Are you still around? If you aren't, then I guess you will not be answering.
Hey, maybe even if you are, you won't be answering. I'm not sure why, but I was thinking of yah.
Hope all is well with you.

Rachel Mon May 22 16:01:21 PDT 2000

Mary - I wanted to say hi to you. I saw the poem/love letter that you left. It flows nicely, at least it does when I read it. A lot of times what I find with poetry is that it means the most to the people that it is created for or inspired by. I think you are onto something.

Take care you,


Mon May 22 15:45:51 PDT 2000

lurk, lurk, lurk, can you guess who is lurking like Allein?
Who ducks out of the light, reads but has yet to be seen?
A familiar face, perhaps a lilting laugh, and a comma to spare?
Or am I simply someone new tricking you to care?

P.S. clue- the last thing I posted was in the poetry section of the workbook.

Jon (with a message from Marlowe!) Mon May 22 13:04:31 PDT 2000

A message from Marlowe.

I received at 12:29 (GMT), a letter from Marlowe complaining about A*s attempt at corrupting me with his self-praise of his title&first sentence for a novel. This letter, whose contents the greatest Elizabethan asked me not to divulge, is accompanied by a message in blank verse, which he asked me to reveal onto you. Here's the message:

Brother Jon, I find my selfe agreeu'd,
Yet insufficent to expresse the same:
For it requires a great and thundring speech:
Good brother tell my chagrin to my Lords,
I know you haue a better wit then I.

I've respected the punctuation and spelling of the second greatest Elizabethan poet (next to Bill only — sorry Ben. I thought that it could show the world that there is nothing that can influence my sovereign judgment in matters literary.

PS. Marlowe, are you sure that the girl you promised to introduce me to, in your confidential letter, does not snore at all?
Looking forward to your own title&and first sentence (anything will do, coming from you), Jon.

howard Mon May 22 12:03:08 PDT 2000

Sorry, JMAN... was supposed to be a :-) at the end of my last post.


howard Mon May 22 11:48:37 PDT 2000

DEANNA -- Hi! Yes, we're a friendly group (most of the time) and we enjoy each others' company. Sometimes we even write! Welcome!

JMAN... Okay, I'll bite -- but only because I'm interested in the paulwroteromans3 part -- and not because I'm impressed by four mispelt words, in three lines that change tense and make very little sense whatever.
I'm at work now, but my Edress is above -- always open for an idea. Just don't send it as an attachment, if you catch my meaning...


Deanna Mon May 22 11:15:14 PDT 2000

Hi everyone. My name is Deanna. I started writing at age 12 (now I'm 20). I have 2 cousins (12 and 16) who write, but they live over two hours away, so we don't really talk. My pen pal and I write continuous stories in our letters; but that's about it. Except for an article I wrote for the school paper nothing has been published. You all seem like a wonderful group of friends to hang out with.
See you all later.

Jmanrulz772 Mon May 22 10:25:47 PDT 2000

The gentle, saffron marigolds were swaying daintly in the simple breeze that was blwoing forming an almost serene image, peacefull, until the realization of what has happened re-establishes itslef in your mind, and you are again haunted by the past.

Want to know more? Like what you have read? Email me at, and we can discuss some more about this.

Rachel Mon May 22 08:39:38 PDT 2000

Teekay - I have come to your door. In my arms I have flowers which I offer to you. What do you say we sit down and have a nice cup of... Well, whatever (grins).
Take care you

howard Mon May 22 06:58:23 PDT 2000

BEN -- Thank you (I think) for your apparent about-face. I do appreciate your suggestions on the first stanza of my poem (who would not?) but I am unsure as to where to best learn the principles of poetic punctuation. There is no small number of books on poetry, but each has its own approach, and none cover completely the subject of punctuation.
Thank you also for that poem to the masters. To think that our small efforts might one day be compared with yours is an overwhelming thought. Americo, of course, then Sasquatch, Heather, Litter, Rachel, Mary, and a few others, without question -- but the rest of us? You're all too gracious! Please don't stay too long away from us.

JON -- If I understand correctly, you are looking for something like:
THE SLEEPER WAKES, and immediately and very inconsiderately demands that his wife make him some breakfast, whereupon she (being tired beyond restraint by his incessant demands)promptly dispatches him back whence he came.

RACHEL, RHODA, TEEKAY, and those who sent encouraging Emails, thanks -- you did cheer me up. Not completely out of the blue-grey woolieboogers yet, but it's getting better. Now if only the rain would stop...


Americo Mon May 22 05:02:44 PDT 2000

Jon, here is my sentence:

"UNDER THE CHERRY-TREE, with this hot ring I wed thee."

Jon, I have just won the prize, I suppose...

Please notice that my sentence rhymes, which certainly deserves a bonus to the first prize...

Jon, CEO Mon May 22 04:57:35 PDT 2000

New contest!!!

Title AND first period for a book

Prizes, prizes, prizes!!!

Only rule: the title must be capitalized and included in a period.

Example: "THOU LIEST, thou shag-hair'd villain!" — THOU LIEST being the title and part of the first period of a novel (in this case it could be a novel about the friendship of Ben and I...)

Will S
Ben J
and A*

— you are warmly invited!

As for the rest of the populace, you can also try (mild skeptic laughter at your chances of winning...)

Teekay Sun May 21 23:27:51 PDT 2000

RACHEL: Yeesh! Once I laughed and it was supposed to be with you, not at you.

Mary Sun May 21 22:43:12 PDT 2000

I'm a day late and a dollar short--story of my life, but can I post a poem as a love letter here? I missed my chance before, and besides this just came to me.

Red Letter Day

red satin lover
hoarded wealth
gentled tilth
did you discover
actual sin

or does love turn filth
for eyes
that want more
candy store
she's bad for your health
say your goodbyes

come out the back door
take my hand
I've forgiven your
trespass mating.

(little untraditional, but what do you think?)

Rachel Sun May 21 22:27:41 PDT 2000

Allein - Poulsbo... I think I got lost there. I think that is the place that I pulled the cop over (grins)! Yah, you all still think I'm kidding about that, don't yah?

Rachel :D

Rachel Sun May 21 22:24:18 PDT 2000

Allein - Yes, I got the e-mail. Wow! What can I say. I would be delighted. Now I just have to sort it all out with Dan and the van... Could you drop me your phone number in an e-mail? I had a crash since our last visit. Hell of a *#*#&$#&) experience. Would not advise anyone to try it. It was awful!
I'll write back, yah knows I will (smiles and a hug for yah)!
Take care you,

Allein Sun May 21 21:45:22 PDT 2000


Yes, I've been lurking. I have no excuse, just haven't had anything to say and right now I have a headache but I figured that I should drop in and write something.
Today I went to Vikingfest in Poulsbo. It's really fun and similar to the Whaling Days celebration in my town. There are all sorts of stands selling food and novelty items. One stand was selling jewelry. I bought two necklaces. It was really fun.

Jerry - Hope you feel better.

Rachel - I wrote you an e-mail, did you get it? ((((BIG HUGS))))
May the leprechan bless you with his lucky charms,

Rachel Sun May 21 21:15:35 PDT 2000

Jerry - Hope you feel better soon:)
Take care you,

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Sun May 21 21:08:35 PDT 2000

All those who share an admination for Mr. Card (Endor's Game) check out the site above, it contains an interview with the author about his works, and the possiablity of a movie by that name.

Haven't been able to finish my ghost story, as I came down with a nasty case of flu, headache, caugh, fevor, the works. Maybe when I get over this, I will finish, it is sort of in limbo with a couple of other works, just sitting on my hard drive waiting to be compleated.

Must sign off and get to bed -

Write ON


Rachel Sun May 21 20:50:19 PDT 2000

Rhoda - It is so nice to see you back. I had, had concern that after "Shadows" I would not hear much from you. I'm happy to see that you are still talking to me.

I knew that you would be of much encouragement to Jodi. There is really nothing like a person who write in your own field. Yah, I forgot how to spell the "G" word and I don't want Teekay to have to come in and laugh her ass off at me.

I think she laughs at my expense all too often ass (uh, er, uh, I thin I dud a spullin earor...) it is (grins).

Take care all


Ben:Jonson Sun May 21 20:49:51 PDT 2000

You are right, my Portugese friend, I should not have been so harsh to criticize the work of such a worthy part of this company, though he be a bit presumptuous in his own right. Howard my good man, be pleased to accept my humble apology, albeit with a bit of advice. In that bit of rhyme you set, (and I do upon second glance see the merit in it, though it was obviously done hastily) one small rearrangement would I make in any case. In the first stanza the word "thee" is used incorrectly. It should be "thou." Of course this begs a change in the fourth line, which may be accomplished as follows:

Imposter named, imposter proved!
No Goddess, God, or Wisdom, thou,
For can the hand the worlds hath moved
The use of 'postrophe not know?

'Tis but a matter of person and point of view, but it's an example of the small differences that distinguish an acolyte from a master. One of the others is your horrendous punctuation. I will not attempt to remedy that for you, but will suggest that you seek enlightenment.

Gads! I must be away from this time! I am beginning to sound like one of you! This distillation of the language is not to my liking in the least, and I will not suffer it longer, lest I find myself permanently scarred.

Good night, and good morrow. You shall not see me again in this place, though others may stop. Make them welcome, for they too may deign to teach, though rare the lessons be. Indeed, seek them out, for they are able still to impart their knowledge of the writer's craft.

I leave you all with this:

Come, sweet muse, inspire the quills
of these who seek to leave their mark;
To right the wrongs, relieve the ills,
to shed some light where worlds be dark.

Salute them, masters past and gone,
inspire and teach thy way with word;
Until they join with us in song,
and prove the pen will best the sword.

And when they too lay pen aside,
and yield the fight to younger hand;
Though they themselves like we, have died,
with ours their words will ever stand.

With ours, their words will ever stand.


Teekay Sun May 21 20:29:25 PDT 2000

RHODA: Hi girly. Your last comment made me think of something I'd read some where. It goes: If you have forever to write it, it'll take forever to write it.
I also read that you are much more likely to finish something if you give yourself a deadline. Don't tell anyone else your deadline though, if you do, then extend it by a month or two.

Rhoda Sun May 21 19:26:15 PDT 2000


I am still here.


I have to agree with what others have said. Just write. Write even if you don't like what you are writing. You can always change it later. Just write the story you have going around in your head.

I can maybe think of a few more tricks for getting started. As I recall with my first novel, I just sat down and did it. I set out to write the novel I always wanted to read. I had a thousand false starts, but I persisted. Don't be a perfectionist on the first draft. Also get a good friend who writes also, someone a bit more experienced than yourself (critique groups can serve this function). Have someone read what you have written and then critique it. You will be surprised how much better you will write when you know someone else will be looking at it.

Hope that helps.


I haven't forgotten you. I will send the book. Really I will. Census work is almost over, so life will get slower again. My husband thinks the job has done me a world of good and has suggested I find another part time job. I tend to agree. I do like working, and to be honest, I have done better with my writing not having so much time on my hands.


The rewrite is almost done.

Greetings to all of the newcomers!

Take care, all


"I am rather like a mosquito in a nudist camp; I know what I ought to do, but I don't know where to begin." Stephen Bayne

Americo Sun May 21 14:43:10 PDT 2000

Ben Jonson,

Your first post impressed Jon so much that he is reviewing his Elizabethan English. He already knows how to say "Gracious my lord"... a transpositon of the possessive adjective which ends up by making a new noun (milord). One of the good sides of the English language is its plasticity.

If you look carefully at Jon's reply to your first post, you'll notice that he spellt your name using both Johnson and Jonson, thus giving you the benefit of the doubt. Tell us the spelling you prefer for your honourable patronymic.

You were not fair to Howard's talent as a poet. Howard is also a generous critic and a good friend of us all. But you were joking of course.

Jon made a mistake. A* (that's me) did not sleep in your old room at Cambridge. That furry entity confounded you with Marlowe.

PS. Impersonations of other writers are a good exercise, practiced by Marcel Proust for instance ("Pastiches et Mélanges").

Rachel Sun May 21 08:10:34 PDT 2000

Jodi - Go for it! Yeah!!!!

Take care you,


Tina Sat May 20 21:18:12 PDT 2000

Mmmmm, pizza. Dripping with rich sauce, smothered in three cheeses and decked with an array of vegetables; red onion, mushrooms, pineapple, and peppers. A touch of basil and garlic to liven the flavour, and tomato sliced thinly on top. Mmmmmmmmmm......

Hungry anyone?
Just trying to compete with Jack's salmon. Hope the weather was good in Puget Sound!

Teekay Sat May 20 21:08:35 PDT 2000

TINA: PIZZA!!!!!!! Wow! You really know how to thrill with words don't you? You've found my weak spot girly.

Jodi Sat May 20 20:39:30 PDT 2000

To all who Offered advice...Thank You! I am feeling the ambition to start. I've always had it, but a couple of boys and a husband and don't forget the job- they leave me sidetracked. But I know, those are just excuses to avoid failure when what I am realizing may really be success.
I think I could really do this. I have a creative side to me that is just busting at the seams. So, I do have a story line in my head and I have done a character outline of my hero and heroine, I am going to start this. You will be hearing from me soon when I have something to tell you all!
Thanks again-I'll be back.

The Pope Sat May 20 20:05:55 PDT 2000

You rang?

Goddess Sat May 20 20:01:01 PDT 2000

It is Wisdom that I preside over, not knowledge,
but this hand moves gently and I should ne'er want for you to find err in my voice. Spoken, Its and It's sounds the same. Hence, my blatant 'goof' as you so aptly pointed out.
A humble nod in your direction and a plait of greenery for your crown. Ye shall be Knowledge, when your form Knows the Life force as All again.

May your fruits be many and sweet.

Tina Sat May 20 19:14:37 PDT 2000

Thanks for the chuckle Teekay!

Tina Sat May 20 19:12:53 PDT 2000

Greetings to all mortals, gods, and the dead.

Evil Overlord,
Here we all assumed you were too consumed by power and insanity to think straight! What shall the hero(ine) do now that you're on to her/him?

The only way to start is to pick up a pen and start! An excellent teacher told me to 'write with fire, edit with ice'. Don't be afraid of the words and don't worry where it'll end up, just let it go.
Something I do, whether I'm just beginning a piece or in the middle of it, is jot down whatever it is that has you excited. That way, if you get bogged down in other stuff and lose sight of what you were after, the original idea is always there to excite you again. Sometimes it's the plot, sometimes it's a section of dialogue, sometimes just a description of the setting and people, but it's enough to get me back on track.

Gotta go make pizza!

Teekay Sat May 20 19:03:10 PDT 2000

AVATAR: Of course we missed you.

JODI: Welcome. The secret to starting writing is to just start. The shopping can wait. It doesn't have to be perfect first time round. Stop putting it off. Stop expecting to get it right first draft. Stop thinking that somebody is going to be looking over your shoulder and judging you.
I find that once you get into the mind state the ideas will just come flowing in. My recipe is to write on an A4 pad and then I can just scribble bits in all over the place when I think of them. After that I do another more ordered copy by hand again editing it, and then finally I type it onto the computer and that is where I do my final edit.
You may find something different works for you though. I've only recently discovered that this works best for me.
It's trial and error really.
Remember, one usually doesn't want to begin because of fear of failure, but if you don't try, you've already failed.

Teekay. Sat May 20 18:52:02 PDT 2000

HOWARD: I just read that you were feeling a bit glum so i shall type out this joke that I found in a writers magazine for you. I hope it gives you a chuckle. Here goes. Ahem.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine they laid down for the night and went to sleep.
Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend. "Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."
Watson replied, "I see millions of stars."
"What does that tell you?"
Watson pondered for a minute. "Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant, Meteorogically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you?"
"Watson, you moron. Some bastard has stolen our tent."

Hope this does the trick. If not, get the hens inside and just hope for the best.

Teekay Sat May 20 18:33:32 PDT 2000

HOWARD: What a superb poem. I thought right at the start that someone would suspect something, afterall I spelled build buid in the very first post. S I M R POET is, and I know this is pretty desperate, Yes(S) I(I) AM(M) A(R) POET.
Forgive me all but I couldn't resist the temptation. Guess you could say the devil made me do it.

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

TIM POSER is also an anagram, but you got that already didn't you?
You are such fun.

Howard Sat May 20 18:09:44 PDT 2000

BEN -- "Sad bit of humour and doggerel?" Was it all that bad? I would hope for a token of charity from one so unjustly maligned as you, but perhaps not so unjustly after all. I can see where I might have spent more time polishing it, but poetaster? Thanks a lot! And just what is it that you think I know best?

Perhaps I'm just in a melancholy mood tonight. It's raining, I'm out of chianti, and sherry, and I'm listening to the Bach B-minor Mass. It's ordinarily a calming work, but for some reason tonight it's downright depressing. I think I'll switch to something more lively. Chopin -- Piano Concerto #1 -- much better! I don't suppose that either of *you* are Out There tonight? J.S.? Frederic? Of course not -- this is a writers' group, not for musicians. Still, what with God, Will, Ben, and now the Evil Overlord, I wouldn't be surprised at anything.

Actually I *am* feeling a bit depressed tonight for some reason. I have no reason to be, but I am. It's strange, because I very seldom get this way. There's just this overpowering feeling that something important is about to happen, and I'm going to be looking the wrong way when it does. Like the time we had a bad storm here, and the wind blew so hard that one of our chickens laid the same egg twice. I've still got the shell to prove it!

I guess Ben was right, there's another one of my "sad bits of humour." Oh well, what can you expect?

good night

Mary Sat May 20 16:34:34 PDT 2000


Can I be on your side?

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Sat May 20 16:32:17 PDT 2000

Jodi - we were all new here once, and had to post our first story here, believe me, it gets much easier, the more you write. The way I usually do it, is to run the story through in my head, or at least the basics of the story, then try writing it down. Most of the time the story I began in my head becomes a totaly different story in print, seems the charcters come to live and take over the story -- at least in my head they do. Any how the best way to get started is to simply sit down at the computer/word processor/typewriter/pen and paper and write it down. Good luck with your first, we are waiting to see your first masterpiece.


Jessica Sat May 20 16:17:46 PDT 2000

Howard & Rachel - I'm glad you both like the title. Can anyone tell me how to get it attached to the story?

Jodi - Hello, nice to meet you.

Avatar - Nice to meet you. I LOVE the Evil Overlord bit!


Avatar Sat May 20 15:01:23 PDT 2000

Writer's cramp...agh!...

Hello Rachel, hello Howard...can't talk much...have a cramp...uff!...

The Evil Overlord Sat May 20 14:57:24 PDT 2000


1. My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear Plexiglas visors, not face-concealing ones.
2. My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through
3. My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed, not kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten cell of my dungeon.
4. Shooting is not too good for my enemies.
5. The artifact which is the source of my power will not be kept on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire guarded by the Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box. The same applies to the object which is my one weakness.
6. I will not gloat over my enemies' predicament before killing them.
7. When I've captured my adversary and he says, "Look, before you kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?" I'll say, "No." and shoot him. No, on second thought I'll shoot him then say "No."
8. After I kidnap the beautiful princess, we will be married immediately in a quiet civil ceremony, not a lavish spectacle in three weeks' time during which the final phase of my plan will be carried out.
9. I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be a large red button labeled "Danger: Do Not Push". The big red button marked "Do Not Push" will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough to disregard it. Similarly, the ON/OFF switch will not clearly be labeled as such.
10. I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum --a small hotel well outside my borders will work just as well.
11. I will be secure in my superiority. Therefore, I will feel no need to prove it by leaving clues in the form of riddles or leaving my weaker enemies alive to show they pose no threat.
12. One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation.
13. All slain enemies will be cremated, or at least have several rounds of ammunition emptied into them, not left for dead at the bottom of the cliff. The announcement of their deaths, as well as any accompanying celebration, will be deferred until after the aforementioned disposal.
14. The hero is not entitled to a last kiss, a last cigarette, or any other form of last request.
15. I will never employ any device with a digital countdown. If I find that such a device is absolutely unavoidable, I will set it to activate when the counter reaches 117 and the hero is just putting his plan into operation.
16. I will never utter the sentence "But before I kill you, there's just one thing I want to know."
17. When I employ people as advisors, I will occasionally listen to their advice.
18. I will not have a son. Although his laughably under-planned attempt to usurp power would easily fail, it would provide a fatal distraction at a crucial point in time.
19. I will not have a daughter. She would be as beautiful as she was evil, but one look at the hero's rugged countenance and she'd betray her own father.
20. Despite its' proven stress-relieving effect, I will not indulge in maniacal laughter. When so occupied, it's too easy to miss unexpected developments that a more attentive individual could adjust to accordingly.
21. I will hire a talented fashion designer to create original uniforms for my Legions of Terror, as opposed to some cheap knock-off that make them look like Nazi stormtroopers, Roman footsoldiers, or savage Mongol hordes. All were eventually defeated and I want my troops to have a more positive mind-set.
22. No matter how tempted I am with the prospect of unlimited power, I will not consume any energy field bigger than my head.
23. I will keep a special cache of low-tech weapons and train my troops in their use. That way - even if the heroes manage to neutralize my power generator an/or render the standard-issue energy weapons useless - my troops will not be overrun by a handful of savages armed with spears and rocks.
24. I will maintain a realistic assessment of my strengths and weaknesses. Even though this takes some of the fun out of the job, at least I will never utter the line "No, this cannot be! I AM INVINCIBLE!!!" (After that, death is usually instantaneous.)
25. No matter how well it would perform, I will never construct any sort of machinery which is completely indestructible except for one small and virtually inaccessible vulnerable spot.
26. No matter how attractive certain members of the rebellion are, there is probably someone just as attractive who is not desperate to kill me. Therefore, I will think twice before ordering a prisoner sent to my bedchamber.
27. I will never build only one of anything important. All important systems will have redundant control panels and power supplies. For the same reason I will always carry at least two fully loaded weapons at all times.
28. My pet monster will be kept in a secure cage from which it cannot escape and into which I could not accidentally stumble.
29. I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.
30. All bumbling conjurers, clumsy squires, no-talent bards, and cowardly thieves in the land will be pre-emptively put to death. My foes will surely give up and abandon their quest if they have no source of comic relief.
31. All naive, busty tavern wenches in my realm will be replaced with surly, world-weary waitresses who will provide no unexpected reinforcement and/or romantic subplot for the hero or his sidekick.
32. I will not fly into a rage and kill a messenger who brings me bad news just to illustrate how evil I really am. Good messengers are hard to come by.
33. I won't require high-ranking female members of my organization to wear a stainless-steel bustier. Morale is better with a more casual dress-code. Similarly, outfits made entirely from black leather will be reserved for formal occasions.
34. I will not turn into a snake. It never helps.
35. I will not grow a goatee. In the old days they made you look diabolic. Now they just make you look like a disaffected member of Generation X.
36. I will not imprison members of the same party in the same cell block, let alone the same cell. If they are important prisoners, I will keep the only key to the cell door on my person instead of handing out copies to every bottom-rung guard in the prison.
37. If my trusted lieutenant tells me my Legions of Terror are losing a battle, I will believe him. After all, he's my trusted lieutenant.
38. If an enemy I have just killed has a younger sibling or offspring anywhere, I will find them and have them killed immediately, instead of waiting for them to grow up harboring feelings of vengeance towards me in my old age.
39. If I absolutely must ride into battle, I will certainly not ride at the forefront of my Legions of Terror, nor will I seek out my opposite number among his army.
40. I will be neither chivalrous nor sporting. If I have an unstoppable superweapon, I will use it as early and as often as possible instead of keeping it in reserve.
41. Once my power is secure, I will destroy all those pesky time-travel devices.
42. When I capture the hero, I will make sure I also get his dog, monkey, ferret, or whatever sickeningly cute little animal capable of untying ropes and filching keys happens to follow him around.
43. I will maintain a healthy amount of skepticism when I capture the beautiful rebel and she claims she is attracted to my power and good looks and will gladly betray her companions if I just let her in on my plan.
44. I will only employ bounty hunters who work for money. Those who work for the pleasure of the hunt tend to do dumb things like even the odds to give the other guy a sporting chance.
45. I will make sure I have a clear understanding of who is responsible for what in my organization. For example, if my general screws up I will not draw my weapon, point it at him, say "And here is the price for failure," then suddenly turn and kill some random underling.
46. If an advisor says to me "My liege, he is but one man. What can one man possibly do?", I will reply "This." and kill the advisor.
47. If I learn that a callow youth has begun a quest to destroy me, I will slay him while he is still a callow youth instead of waiting for him to mature.
48. I will treat any beast which I control through magic or technology with respect and kindness. Thus if the control is ever broken, it will not immediately come after me for revenge.
49. If I learn the whereabouts of the one artifact which can destroy me, I will not send all my troops out to seize it. Instead I will send them out to seize something else and quietly put a Want-Ad in the local paper.
50. My main computers will have their own special operating system that will be completely incompatible with standard IBM and Macintosh PowerBook's.

To be continued...

Rachel Sat May 20 13:19:34 PDT 2000

Howard - Me again. I am writing lots of new stuff all the time. I wouldn't want you to think that I wasn't writing. I'm a writing machine! It's my short story stuff that I get shy about. I find that often what I do when I write a short is to give an outline for a novel. I hate when that happens!
My writing tends to be on the longer side of things. I have a couple of major projects underway. They are into edits at this point. I feel that they are going well and that each have great potential for being published.
I would post some of my stuff in the workbook, but I'm kind of werid about that. I don't want it out there. I don't want to wake up one morning and read a review of my book published by somebody else.
I do like to write shorts. I just don't know how good I am at them (grins). I like the two I posted in SM* They both make me smile. I have several more here that I would not mind putting up. I guess I should.
Take care you,

Ben Jonson Sat May 20 12:32:01 PDT 2000

Furry friend, do not stay away from this place on account of me. I think we'd enjoy one another's company. But alas, I think you'd be the one missed the most, not I, so perhaps I should make my way back whence I came. Only a few minor points need to be cleared up before I take my leave:::
I am a bit surprised that you did not take note that I had used the original spelling of my surname, reinserting the H in it, and leaving out the double prick that made the critics wonder if I'd left my senses.
And Howard, how nice of you to ask of my Annie. She is indeed at peace. But you yourself are in danger of being taken for a poetaster, with that sad bit of humour and doggerel you tried to impress us with. You should stick with what you know best. Still, it did show that wit still survives, if only barely recognizeable.
I must be off; I promised the boys I'd meet them at The Mermaid again tonight. Yes, furry one, The Mermaid. Not the Black Swan, where you've wasted so many hours straining for a glimpse of immortality.

Good morrow all, I must be off,

Jon Sat May 20 12:18:14 PDT 2000

Onto Abba,

Gracious my Lord,

Forgive Howard for calling you Sir. He thought he was addresing me, your humble servant,

Jon (Saint, and friend of Bill, Ben and other luminaries).

PS. Saturnday kisses to all of you.

Rachel Sat May 20 11:28:04 PDT 2000

Jodi - Welcome:) I think you just need to start. If you are good at talking out a story, why not set up a tape recorder and talk it out. Then you can take what you have said and type it out. Chances are that once you had the first bit down the rest would start to flow. If it doesn't, uh, well, then I'm kinda out of ideas (smiles for you). I think that people here will be able to offer you all kinds of advice. They really are wonderful and supportive people. Rhoda writes historical novels with romantic themes. She would be a good person to talk to.

Rhoda - You still lurking?

Ciao for now


Rachel Sat May 20 11:17:31 PDT 2000

Avatar - It's nice to see you back. Hope all is well with you.

Howard - I have been feeling a little bashful. At least in regrads to my writing (grins)!

Jessica - The title works well with the story. As you will have noticed from the posts of the past day or so we have lots of intersting and rare people who visit here. Stick around you may even hear from the Pope!

Take care all,


Jodi Sat May 20 11:13:09 PDT 2000

I am new to this site. I just wanted to let all of you know that you all seem like a very close family. I sense warmth coming from all your messages. Why am I here? I want to write, but I am so afraid to start! I like historical romances. I can tell an elaborate story off the top of my head but I am afraid to put it on paper. I have been encouraged to do it but how do you start? Any advice would be welcome. Thank you for "listening".

Howard Sat May 20 10:39:30 PDT 2000

Catching up on posts I missed somehow in the shuffle -- this machine is acting strangely, and I'm sometimes getting the posting area tight in the middle of previous posts. Makes it confusing at times, so apologies to those whose posts I've missed.

AVATAR -- Welcome back -- certainly we missed you!

ARIK -- I mailed "Ender's Game" this morning -- you should receive it by the end of this week.

JADE -- Another interesting exercise. I'll try it in a bit.

LITTER -- Whaddya mean "naughty, naughty!?" *you're* the one who came up with "Tempest in a D cup!" :-)

BEN -- I thought "Poetaster" was the vampire that got Edgar Allen. And how is Anne, your lovely wife?

JON and HEATHER -- I think the miscreant is attempting to apologise!

RACHEL -- haven't seen anything new from you in a while. Getting bashful? :-)

HEATHER -- I'm enjoying your latest poems, soaking in them (so to speak) before I comment further.

TIM -- Nice anagram! But what is I S M R ?

TINA -- Anything by Monet does the same for me. Also "The Scream" by Edvard Munch, and there's a picture of a farm girl walking with a goose (not the one by Mills) that really captivated me a few years ago at the Johnson Art Museum at Cornell University.

JESSICA -- That title fits, yes.

back to work!


Avatar Sat May 20 09:06:37 PDT 2000

Lurk, lurk, lurk,lurk,lurk,lurk..lurk..lurk..lur....k.....

Hello again! For all of you peoples who don't know me I am the resident lurker (until someone else pops up anyway) Everyonce in a while I make my prescence known by saying
-Didja miss me?

You who have no interest in this will now know that no one has said yes for quite a while.

To be posted later this afternoon- Guidelines for Evil Overlords! a highly recommended list for the young and evil at heart.

BTW- I didn't know GOD!!! posted here! Why didnt anyone tell me?
Oh, yeah, I'm never around...

Later all

howard Sat May 20 08:55:48 PDT 2000

Sorry, there should have been a


at the end of that last post!

Jade Sat May 20 07:15:05 PDT 2000

Sorry, that last massage was copy/pasted from Greg Garrett's site which I linked above. The last link doesn't work.

Jade Sat May 20 07:12:01 PDT 2000

Write a scene of dialogue in which one of the characters has a secret he has to tell the other.

An exercise in writing dialogue with an undercurrent of conflict. Good dialogue is always more than just surface talk. In class, we often use the situation of a man who wants to tell his wife or girlfriend's best friend that he is in love with her but does not know how she will respond to this news (I have to confess that I stole this plot from an old "Family Ties" episode where Michael J. Fox had to break the news to the girl in a train station); you of course could pick another "plot" for your scene.

Howard Sat May 20 06:18:19 PDT 2000

Imposter named, imposter proved!
No Goddess, God, or Wisdom, thee,
For can the hands the worlds hath moved
Know not the use of 'postrophe?

Possessive? Its -- (no mark to claim)
And your and you're doth sadly show
That Someone Else the stars did frame
Thy grammar thou did'st truly blow!

Take care o mortal, in thy boast,
And proof thy words, thine errors fix;
Lest it be shown that 'stead of Host
Thy number be but six-six-six.

Teekay Sat May 20 00:37:23 PDT 2000

Hello Everybody,
It's rather quiet on the notebook today. I have nothing in particular to say myself but I keep remembering the phrase 'a writer writes...always' and in order to convince my self that I am a writer I am going to write it. always, always, always, always I wonder how many times one must write it to be a writer? Maybe a few more times. always, always, always. Okay, my fingers are bored now, but at least I'm a writer now.

JACK: You've put me in the mood for some smoked cod. I know you didn't mention cod, but you mentioned fish and that's close enough.

GODDESS: I do believe you have the poetry of HEATHER about you.

Would love to stay and bore you all stupid a bit longer but, lucky for you guys my daughter needs to use the phone. Sure hope it's not to ring the asylum. I've warned her before about doing that. Kids, they just don't listen do they? *sigh*
I don't think there's a full moon tonight, but this lightbulb is fairly strong.

Bye all.

TIM POSER Sat May 20 00:29:03 PDT 2000

HOWARD: S I M R POET. Tis true. The greatest writer of all time, and there were no manby pamby computers either. Nor pen and paper for that matter. If we wanted to write we had to carve it from rock and granite. Writer's block had a whole new meaning back then.

GODDESS: What do you think your doing? Get back in the kitchen and get me my supper.

Goddess Fri May 19 23:10:32 PDT 2000

Do not take Him seriously on the Ma'am comment, for His sense of Divine Humour is sometimes too subtle for humankind to grasp. Take Life for instance.
Not without Irony, I am here to talk of Life and It's mysteries, yet I am the mystery, and my voice is old and silent.
God is the greatest writer of all. I am only the whisper in the Universal Mind, the urgings felt that soon become expressed.
You may call Me Wisdom, if you prefer.
I have Been since beyond the Beginning, and I shall Be when Time Passes away. Life shall also forever Be, for it is Divine in and of Itself. Earth is Life, just as is the entire physical form you name 'Cosmos'.
You are Life. Rocks are Life, Animals Life, Anything you see with your eyes is Life, and much that your eyes refuse to see.
God has been labeled with Pronouns that do not fit. Life is not a particular sex. See God as not having a designated sex, for God is higher than what those differentiations can define.
For God is Life, surely as God exists, and as surely as You exist. Your physical beings are only expressions of the higher vibration of Life, a Life that is not parcelled into 'male' or 'female'. Only as you hold the bodily vibration that is this expression of Life on the material level, it coalesces into one form or another, simply deciding to Be.

Above All, Be Happy ~

Wisdom has spoken. Blessed Be;

May you be cradled within pure Life Essence and see it's beauty always and in all ways.

Jack Beslanwitch Fri May 19 22:52:51 PDT 2000

Hello all: We were really really lucky. The stocks of copper river salmon started arriving yesterday. So, we got the chance of getting a real good price on two 5 pound sockeys that I will be cooking for the social tomorrow. If you have never tried Copper River Salmon, you are distinctly missing the very best tasting salmon in the world. And it is only available for around three weeks out of the year.

Now it is just a question of poach, bake or broil. Maybe bake one and broil the other. Oh, well, decisions. Decision. :-)

Rachel Fri May 19 22:22:38 PDT 2000

Howard - I heard a story once about this God guy. I don't think you should piss him off... Hi back at yah!

Take care all


Jerry Fri May 19 21:12:37 PDT 2000

Now Now Howard - you realy shouldn't anger supreme beings - watch out for lightning bolts!

Howard Fri May 19 20:20:19 PDT 2000

god -- IMPOSTER!

Rhoda Fri May 19 18:11:26 PDT 2000

A friend sent me this little story. With all the viruses out there these days, I thought I would share it here instead of forwarding it on:

A linguistics professor was lecturing to his class one day. "In English," he said, "A double negative forms a positive. In some languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative."

A voice from the back of the room piped up, "Yeah, right."


I am glad to know your wife came through her operation OK.

Now, to get back to work,


GOD Fri May 19 17:01:03 PDT 2000

HOWARD: It should have been Ma'am.

Jessica Fri May 19 11:11:06 PDT 2000

One and all - A note to let you know that I am still alive. I am assuming you all care deeply;o) My nephew has been staying with me for the past few days. Life with a child is very different from what I am used to. All that time I mentioned...

Americo - A title! You want a title to go with the story!! I can't believe I didn't give it a title. Thank you for letting me know. How about I call it "Braces, Brushes and Beef"?

Jon - You're a cat? An imaginary cat... Here I thought I had grown out of my imaginary friends. I guess not. I would be happy to call you friend. For me you are as real as any other person, or sasquatch on this page.


sasquatch Fri May 19 10:23:21 PDT 2000

Howard person I sasquatch have Yeti remembering but not of either Will person or Ben person. We come not to the land of the angels because of promise to George person after he took the life from our friend the flying serpent. We hunted for some time in land of night sun after that but not in place you call Angel land. Also still do not know the name of poem kind but only write down what comes in mind and heart. Mary person sasquatch does memory of bear and girl but not good. Girl was wearing blue I think and had small basket. Bear was more wonder at thing in basket. Girl person was more frightened at sasquatch than bear I think. Bear was frighten at sasquatch. sasquatch was frighten also and good thing wear no shorts as you call them, would make to sit in water to wash, and water is cold on there ha ha i must go.

howard Fri May 19 05:21:27 PDT 2000

GOD -- Forgive me, it should have been Abba - or Father.
and thank you.

Litter Fri May 19 02:35:31 PDT 2000

Hi All,

Liz is home and well. She is mobile and is not in much pain. (Actually, the nurses on the ward phoned and begged me to take her home - she being a nurse and all - as they thought she was watching them all the time... Which, of course, she was :o)

Thanks again for all your prayers, support, etc., etc.

Ciao for now,


Teekay. Thu May 18 21:37:31 PDT 2000

JACK: Sane??? The notebook? This notebook?

CHRISTI: I miss you dreadfully. I hope things are going well for your MIL and of course for you and your family.
Come back soon, okay.

Well all, there's a lot to be said for altered mind states. I have just spent the last 3 hours? immersed in another story. I love it. It's like meditation, but without the candle.

Till tomorrow then my merry, my lairy, my scary and my hairy friends.

Gary S Thu May 18 21:36:53 PDT 2000

Hello, guys,

I am taking a moment to check in and say hello. I know I haven't been around for a while. I am having one of those busy stretches. I have a moment while some chemicals are settling in the darkroom. It is late and I mixed up a batch of nasty stuff in water that was 20 degrees too cold. Now I have to wait till all those little white particles stop spinning around and get dissolved like they are supposed to be. At least it gives me time to scroll through the posts.
I'll be watching.


GOD Thu May 18 21:29:01 PDT 2000

HOWARD: Sir????

Jack Beslanwitch Thu May 18 21:28:41 PDT 2000


Just for everyone's information. This is the 100th archive that I have done for the Notebook. Not sure if there is some significance in that, but it certainly is worth noting that there are now 14.5 megs of archived messages for the Notebook. Take care everyone.

Jack Beslanwitch Thu May 18 21:21:59 PDT 2000

      Christi and Litter: My and Fran's prayers are also with you and yours in this time of trial. I am thinking very strong healing energies flowing in all of yours directions and hope that it helps as much as the same directed to me and mine has.

      With some chagrin I admit that life got very very busy and I came down with one of the worst colds I have had in three years right about the time Fran had surgery. Everything is fine there and we got the lab reports back today and nothing was found, BTW. But I have been very very scarce from the Notebook as a result as through many kleenexes I put out many small and great fires for clients and others and not got back here.

      You will be happy to know to know that the Notebook had indeed gotten bloated a bit, like 340k actually. At any rate, it is now archived or will be shortly and the Notebook is back to something bordering on a sane size.

      I also wanted to invite any who are in the Puget Sound area to join me and Fran on Saturday. If you klick on the link above it will take you to the announcement about a social we will be having here. Bring your swimsuit, well, all the information is in the link above. Take care.

Jerry Thu May 18 20:59:23 PDT 2000

I too have been described as a hermit - seems I am as happy to sit at home all alone as I am out among the general public. Think that comes from so many years spent alone in a squad car, mostly nights. One develops quite a sense of self doing that and quite an imagination. Litter - my best to you and your wife, I know what she is going through, as my wife had the same prceedure done several years ago. Christi - hope things are better for you and yours. I have been so busy the past few days that I haven't had a chance to finish my story, it is near the end, just haven't exactly figured out how that is going to happen. Guess I will have to sleep on it a few more days and see how the charcters get out of their situation. Drove the hundred miles to pick up our new camper today, we bought it several months ago, but left it at the dealership as it was winterized and we wanted to wait till the last freeze was past to go get it. While it isn't new, it is new to us, so we are just as excited to have it as we would be to have a new one. We are looking forward to spending plenty of weekends down at the lake, as my wife's new job gives her every weekend off, something we haven't had since we were married over thirty years ago. The great thing about camping is that it gives me plenty of time to relax and write. I will be taking my laptop along for just that purpose. Jerry

Jerry Thu May 18 20:59:23 PDT 2000

I too have been described as a hermit - seems I am as happy to sit at home all alone as I am out among the general public. Think that comes from so many years spent alone in a squad car, mostly nights. One develops quite a sense of self doing that and quite an imagination.

Litter - my best to you and your wife, I know what she is going through, as my wife had the same prceedure done several years ago.

Christi - hope things are better for you and yours.

I have been so busy the past few days that I haven't had a chance to finish my story, it is near the end, just haven't exactly figured out how that is going to happen. Guess I will have to sleep on it a few more days and see how the charcters get out of their situation. Drove the hundred miles to pick up our new camper today, we bought it several months ago, but left it at the dealership as it was winterized and we wanted to wait till the last freeze was past to go get it. While it isn't new, it is new to us, so we are just as excited to have it as we would be to have a new one. We are looking forward to spending plenty of weekends down at the lake, as my wife's new job gives her every weekend off, something we haven't had since we were married over thirty years ago. The great thing about camping is that it gives me plenty of time to relax and write. I will be taking my laptop along for just that purpose.


howard Thu May 18 19:37:32 PDT 2000

HEATER -- I've been to Guelph -- I'll help haul, if need be. We could use my cousin's old "Dolly" bike -- the one with the double baskets!

RACHEL -- Hi! Luv ya! :-) Luv this Paisano red, too!

JON&WILL&BEN&GOD -- What the heck is going on? Are we to be inundated by the ghosts (sorry Sir, I know *you're* not a ghost, except for a third) of writers past? Though that *was* a fair comeback, Ben.

And GOD -- Thanks for the good news about Liz -- now could You please bring Fran and Sandy safely through? Please?

SASQUATCH -- Does your racial memory have anything on Will and Ben? I'd ask about Jon, but we *know* he's just a figment of last night's calamari!

JON -- Sorry, couldn't resist.

ARIK -- I'll mail that book tomorrow and tomorrow and to.. Now they've got ME doing it!

good night!

throw another log on the fire, Teek!


Heather Thu May 18 19:29:37 PDT 2000

Nevermind my mind, folks. I forgot to put it back on the leash... must have been that moon, yuuuppp, must have been...
H** (two stars to differentiate between Howard, the absent, and me)

Heather Thu May 18 19:26:24 PDT 2000

Litter, continued blessings for Liz. Christi, heaps of blessings for Sandi as well. Jack and Fran, blessings all around.

Whroad, where art thou? Allein? Where have your journeys taken you? We miss you!
T.O.M.? The voice of the Bard has summoned thee.

is it hath, or has? Hmmm.


Teekay, you guessed right on, the full moon was last night, and whooooooey don't it feel just crazy. Just crazy, only a tad, simply a little whiff of insanity.
It's in the wind. Breezy, though, isn't it?
A strong gale in the makings I suspect.

Off I go, tangented and scattering all the more.
Does it have to make sense to be art?
Obviously not. Take M.C.Escher for example, and a dang fine one:
He makes the impossible possible, or yet; reality surreal and surreality very convincing. Takes your eyes but a minute to catch on, but your mind plays dilly-dally.
No, it doesn't have to make logical sense to be art. In fact, a little oblique movement and the audience is laughing and crying right in your hands. They think it's your lap, but we won't say anything, will we?

So, what was my point, anyway?

Ahh, art. Ain't it grand.

Tell me what I meant and you'll have tethered the prize.

Chuckle, guffaw; it's best to laugh at yourself, in case others take offense. Pun not intended and under no warranty unless coupled with proof of sale.


Tina Thu May 18 19:19:56 PDT 2000

And behold the power of the full moon!

There's a painting at the Emily Carr wing of the Vancouver Art Gallery that I can and have spent a full half hour staring at, several times. It's a mystical experience, a spiritual moment frozen in time. Just thinking about it evokes the feelings in me again. There are a handful of paintings, sculptures, songs, poems and written passages that have had that effect on me. I've hiked to some extraordinary, wild places that have the same magic.


Rachel Thu May 18 18:43:00 PDT 2000

Heather - I think that you having to carry me from the airport is a little much to ask (grins). I would likely share a shuttle in with some friends.
Once I was in town I would be happy to hike and take some coffee with you. I know it would be a pleasure to meet you.
I do have a backpack. One I am very fond of. It is OLD. It is a gray green thing. My pack has been many, many places with me. It isn't very pretty, but I love that thing.
I had wanted to go to camp this year, but things didn't work out. Yuh, you should feel very sorry me!
Your summer nights sound wonderful. I took my final summer after graduation off. I saved all year just so I could kick back and have some fun. That is what I did!
My final kid summer was not a hermit one.
I can really be quite the hermit crab from time to time.

Take care you,


ben johnson Thu May 18 18:35:30 PDT 2000

I bicker not with Will, my Lord,
indeed I hold in high esteem
his every word;
and yet when all is said and done,
I feel within my beating breast
an emptiness
as though my pen had won
yet failed to gain the prize.

And thou, small furry one, what of the arraignment? Should I have dealt with Marston in like manner as with Spencer? I think not. I could not have lived with more regrets. Mind you that Gabriel was once my friend, and I meant not the blow that sent so promising a young actor to a too-early grave. So, choosing to deal with Marston and Dekker in a different manner I unleashed the quill instead of the foil. That was Poetaster. No more, no less. But I am impressed that you thought enough of it to question me on't.

As for the bard, my sweet Heather, (in my day that was but a name for the beauty of the Scottish heath), I can only fall back on what my hand has already writ:

Triumph, my Britain, thou hast one to show
To whom all Scenes of Europe homage owe.
He was not of an age, but for all time !
And all the Muses still were in their prime,
When, like Apollo, he came forth to warm
Our ears, or like a Mercury to charm !
Nature herself was proud of his designs,
And joyed to wear the dressing of his lines !
Which were so richly spun, and woven so fit,
As, since, she will vouchsafe no other wit.

I bid you all good night, good morrow, and safe journey.

Teekay. Thu May 18 17:52:19 PDT 2000

Hi Everybody,

Was there a full moon last night. I must check.

Today I am all alone and I do not have to go to work. I have anticipated this day with a feeling akin to bliss. I have closed and locked all the doors, the fire is lit and I plan to spend these next few hours immersed in the right side of my brain. With no interuptions oh glee, oh glee.

Have a great day every one.

GOD Thu May 18 17:42:09 PDT 2000

BILL & BEN: Please boys, please. If you are going to keep up this petty bickering I am going to insist that you do a stint in limbo. I cannot even begin to think what impression you are giving the living about heaven. It has taken PR simply aeons to buid up a reputation that only the very best and very good and very humble are to be admitted into heaven. You boys are undoing centuries of hard work in one foul swoop of the pen. If you keep it up, soon it will be evident that we allow any Tom, Dick, Bill and Ben past the pearly gates

Heather Thu May 18 11:35:14 PDT 2000

Scathing, Jon, absolutely scathing!
Get those claws out of your own office chair.
Don't let a few foul comments spoil your beautiful demeanor.

Or your furniture.

(I'd hate to see how you would react if it were REAL INSULTS --but I'm talking to an imaginary cat... help)


Heather Thu May 18 11:29:09 PDT 2000

Howard, you are correct - iambic meter (or pentameter , if you like five lines per verse) is usually a satirical poem.
Now I'm going to writhe in the turmoil of NOT KNOWING! Agggg save me!


swiftly, soaring
'cross the sky
you follow day with night
Bring home weary souls to heav'n
Tear asunder plight;
For as an Eagle pierces high
Your arrow doth imbue
All of nature and hence; Man
Within each thought of you.

And to the most succulent Bard, Bill S.,
I will shout this to heaven if only you shall hear!

In mine eyes sing glorious choirs,
Their mouths pass gold --as dawn,
Wherein lies such gilt regards
But in this soul, to yours beyond.

Rachel! Of course I would love to meet in person! Egads, I'd march right on over to the airport and carry you on my shoulders to Guelph if need be! Bring your luggage in a knapsack, it will be a long hike. Coffee's on me.
(Don't knapsacks make those DD's just stick out even more? Heh heheh)
Yes, oh yes, I love to go off into nature's untouched, and find refreshment and rekindling.
I didn't have much time in the summers once I hit highschool to go off and be with friends; I was a fulltime Lifeguard by 16, part time during school. Mind you, my co-workers and I always had a blast. And summer nights at the Conservation area across the street from my house - well, there was nothing like it. Acres and acres of woods, fields, and a lake, completely devoid of other humans. Picture me rolling down huge, dew-laiden hills under a bright, almost flourescent moon! Rolling so fast the world kept spinning for five minutes afterward. Forget any attempts to get up and walk, though it was fun to try.

I've only been the hermit on occasion, but when I am 'he', I stay for a while...

Ahhh, (sigh to recollection)

I must be on to other pursuits now, my fair ladies and gentlemen.

A tip of my hat to all

Jon Thu May 18 11:21:08 PDT 2000


delighted to see you in a decent and civilized room such as this page. Hope you get used to a clean space quickly and do not miss the inns and brothels you have been patronizing since you were born (actually before you were born, as your mother... I stop here).

I do not think you'll ever be a match for the great Bill. You jealous toothwrenching illiterate poetaster —check this one in you dictionary, if you know how to read and if you still have any money left after your heavy drinking last night at the "Black Swan" by the Avon, that dirty pub which you and the other thiefs in this pretty town of Stratford like to patronize.

Just another thing. Do not call me "furry goblin" if you want to get any prizes (I was thinking of a very special prize for you...)

Apart from all this, fare thee well.

See you sometime, dear notebookers. I'd better have a rest now after the emotions of meeting such people like Shakespeare and Ben Johnson.

BTW, A* had the privilege and the honour of sleeping in the room which was yours in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. I said "yours" but I meant the real Ben. Needless to say that he slep alone and not with your mummy and all your female ancestors (yes, both of them).

(Sorry, Jack, this is just kidding — do not expel me from the notebook yet, not before I make mince pie of this Ben Jonson)

Ben Johnson Thu May 18 09:36:54 PDT 2000

to Jon:

Have a care, thou foolish mannequin!
Dost not know thy words will mark thee?
Hark! The cry of one who slept the contented slumber of ages falls on list'ning ear, and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow echoes again. This one thou wouldst deem "creep" is still a fair match for any mortal, e'en though That old bald cheater, Time has done his work on him.
But I, his only honest rival in the honorable craft will set pen to parchment, to gain the prize; and set at rest the argument. Heed a master of the quill:

Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,
And I 'll not look for wine.

Match that, my furry goblin, or put to rest thy notions; and if thou canst, then something indeed is rotten in Denmark!


Jon, CEO Thu May 18 08:33:23 PDT 2000

I can see that you are a great poet. I would have no trouble giving you the first prize if your sentence were in its full context. As it was posted, it had at least one error ("keeps" for "creeps"). I cannot understand how English-speaking natives can make errors. I bet that neither Arik in Hebrew, or A* in Portuguese make errors when they write in their respective languages. Eddie does not make them in English either (usually).

As an Englishman you should be more careful about your own language. Not that you, Bill S, write "a person... they" or any of the one thousand and one errors I see here everyday. But have you noticed that three tomorrows ask for a plural? The "creeps" in the second line of your poem should be "creep". I know that you had just a little education, and that was a long time ago. But if you want to contribute to SM**, as you asked, you'd better review your grammar first. There are other pages for beginners to publish their prose here.

A last observation: I saw how you tried to corrupt me with the idea of my sleeping in heaven with a girl with pretty boobs. I am used to attempts at spoiling my critic spirit, and I am incorruptible.

PS: Not that I care much about the topic, but, just in case I accept your kind invitation to visit you in paradise — I prefer girls with small boobs or a great mind, preferably both.

PPS. Unless they are twins and do not snore, in which case the bigger the better.

PPPS. And, on specially crowded and hot nights, I can do without the mind.

Bill Thu May 18 08:26:55 PDT 2000

Jon, I was so happy that you awarded me the second prize for my sentence. I thank you with all my heart.

I did not borrow the sentence from any of A*s books as you suggested. I borrowed it from one of my little plays, one called "Macbeth". It's the beginning of the following passage (last version):

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

I have a couple of sentences as interesting as the one that was honoured with the prize. I wonder if it would not be abusive to enter them in a future contest. I would also like to try your critical judgement publishing a short-story about food and the senses in your great collection "Strawberries and A Moon". I make no pretensions to it being as good as any of those already posted there, but I promise that, at least, it will have no spelling or grammar errors — this is my only claim to immortality.

Considering the incredible generosity and kindness of the notebookers towards their fellows' works, I thought that I may also have a chance of pleasing you.

PS. There's a bedroom for you whenever you feel like paying a visit to us here in heaven. Hope you do not mind sleeping with one of the girls on too crowded nights. They are all saints here, regardless of the size of their boobs and the variety of their talents.

howard Thu May 18 07:46:09 PDT 2000

HEATHER -- I haven't found out what that is yet, perhaps it is Iambic Pentameter, but somehow I don't think so. At least the description of IP that I found in an altavista search didn't match.

This notebook is getting awfully big -- I hope that doesn't mean Fran and Jack are having a bad time. I'd rather have them than the notebook at any rate!


Rachel again and again and again Thu May 18 01:02:05 PDT 2000

Heather - I saw the hermit mention below. I have been called a hermiton and off all my life (my husband likes to pretend that I'm not, but he knows better in his heart.
I extrovert myself only for those that I love.
It is pretty stranage for a girl who has grow up in a crowd to be called a hermit. Know what? It' possible! Large family, countless friends, it changes little.
While I was in my teen years all my friends thought I went overseas during summer (isn't that a riot?!) I was not overseas, I was just avoiding thier calls.
I had enough knowledge of other histrory/geogrpahy/cultures to back this up. It was better than admitting that I had spent the summer avoiding their calls and hiking for days and days in the hills that surrounded my home.
Besides, while I was out hiking, I was reading and writing, (grins)... I was learning about the places that they supposed that I had been. It was a very interesting and educational experience in how to sell a character.
Take care,

PS - Anyone else done this? I doubt it. Maybe Americo or SKS is in a different vein...

PPS - WHO HERE LOVE ART! Not that in the morning you'll be able to get me to talk about it. But really, have you ever just look at a piece and given yourself to it. Let your mind and soul wander. It is a wonderful experience. Honest. If you've never done it, I would say to run for the experience.

Rachel Thu May 18 00:32:56 PDT 2000

Heather - Sorry if my post is a little incohearent, I have had a glass of wine. This bottle is a gift... Home brew.. Hlep. What kind of gift is this... I think I feel dizzy. Help, help, help meeeee!


All again - I am writing a story for the short story notebook. I don't know if I'll post it of not. You ever do that? You ever write story after story. thought after though and just save them to disk? I do that.

How do you all feel about being a writer? I keep a journal on it. When I have an artisic hissy fit it's all recorded. It's all there. Isn't that just a frightening though?

I think that in time I could publish this little ditty of horror. You think science fiction is good...

This is an honest question, how many of you save the posts that you never post. Does this file of unposted posts have a name? I'm not saying show them. I'm just asking.

Take care all


PS - Damn! Now you all know that from time to time I actually spell check the stuff I leave on here! Crap, and I still miss soooooo much. Ain't tha just embrassin?

Rachel Thu May 18 00:21:47 PDT 2000

Heather - I expect to be in Guelph in 2001. I hope that at that time we can meet up.
The black belt grading needs to be done in Guelph or Victoria. I know that I will not want to wait. Sure, I could go overseas for less than it costs me to fly to Onatrio from British Columiba. But, what the hell. A gal can't be horrified every day... Can she? When I am out next year I really do hope that you and I will be able to meet up.
In the mean time my husband is having a mild panic attack. One of my baby sisters (one of the three) is moving to England. I have made the announcement that I will be going to visit her for a few weeks. My husband is still clutching his chest.
Last summer I was in Guelph (damed crying shame I didn't know you then.) On that trip I did the whole family reunion after 25-30 years, meet the e-mail pal, karate camp thing. I think I put too many activities into one vacation...
When I go for my grading I would like to meet you and my board of adjudicators. That will be sufficient for one trip (grins)...
Hey, how about we b-b-q while I'm there (huge grins)!!! I think you D picture (many more grins). Ahhhh, it is so nice to know that I am not alone!!!!!
Take care you,

Christi - I am thinking of wonderful yellow warm and energetic thoughts for Sandy. I am focusing all that I feel from you towards her. I am adding some of myself to this, but I would be the quiet part. Please hold her hand and wish her much strength.
The coffee is on, the tee is avaliable and the the bottle is on the counter. You just let me know.
Take care you

All - I am very fond of all of you!

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