Archived Messages from June 7, 2000 to June 20, 20000

Allein Tue Jun 20 23:28:36 PDT 2000


I haven't been posting much...nor have I been online much during the past few days...but I have been lurking and reading posts.

Litter - CONGRATS!!! A NOVEL PUBLISHED!!! PAAARRRRTTTYYY!!! Tell me when it's out and where I can get it!

Rhoda Tue Jun 20 21:28:00 PDT 2000


I read your short story and critiqued it. When I tried to send it I could not get online. My ISP has been messed up off and on for several days. I am currently in Tulsa and am writing you this message on my husband's laptop. I loved the story and thought you did well with the ending. You really had me going. I do not think a lot of people can execute that type of twist so well. This is the best story you have ever sent me. I had forgotten that some of us were doing ghost stories, and I was totally taken unawares. I will send you the file as soon as I get home which will be Thursday afternoon. There are only some minor corrections, nothing major, just a few suggestions to make the story read smoother.

I did a lot of work on TRB. I will send you chapters as soon as I get back.


Congratulations!!! Somehow I am not too surprised. Tell me where I can get a copy just as soon as it comes out.

Must go now,


Heather Tue Jun 20 20:24:00 PDT 2000

A post script for Tina!

Your feelings about posting your whole novel on the internet are exactly why I won't post my 'real work'. I don't want it that available since plaigarism is still not a thing of the past. It's easier now than before the web came about.

I do sometimes think about it, saying to myself that even if I did post the beginning, no one who would plaigarize could write exactly like I do, (or exactly like anyone else for that matter) so they likely wouldn't be able to finish it with the whole piece flowing the same way. An editor might catch that kind of thing. But I still won't take the chance of even losing the first bit. I lost it once before, when my computer caught a bad virus, and 30,000+ words were wiped.

Even my backups on disk were unreadable since the virus had plagued the whole system before our anti-virus protector caught on. Everything I saved (and replaced over top of previous work) was destroyed. My brother, computer scientist extraordinaire, was able to fish out tidbits, so in essence, I got almost every sentence back - but in complete dissaray. He found numerous copies of it in fragments, one for every time I saved it. Including all the edits and re-writes. It was such a mess I just started writing it fresh, not even using the tidbits. I even started writing it over again, beginning with a new angle (right in the middle of conflict) before I got anything back from my brother.
It was a blessing in disguise, that virus.
The first draft wasn't as good as I had wanted it to be, but the new one came out so much better, it was like a totally new story. I would have been floundering for months just trying to get the original chapter to sound right - so starting fresh really made a big difference!

So you see, there really is a reason for everything.

Here is a little story in that vein:

Once there was a man who had a strong, healthy son who had just turned 18. He and his son and his wife lived on a horse farm.

One day, their best breeding stallion ran off. The neighbour, on hearing the news said, "Oh, that's terrible news! I'm so sorry."
But the father just replied, "Good, bad, who can say?"

The next morning the stallion came back, and there were three young mares following him.
The neighbour again was at the fence, saying, "Oh, that's wonderful news! Lucky you!"
But the father just said, "Good, bad, who can say?"

One afternoon, his son was riding on one of the new mares, and the horse reared and bucked causing him to fall and break his leg.
The neighbour was again talking to his father, saying, "Oh, what bad news! That's so awful!"
And the father replied simply, "Good, bad, who can say?"

The next week a letter came in the mail. It was from the army, stating that all men 18 and up were to be drafted.
Since the son had broken his leg, he did not have to go.

A few months later, the neighbours all got news that their sons were killed in the battle, but since he had broken his leg, the horse farmer's son had been spared.

Good news, bad news, who can say?

Jerry Ericsson Tue Jun 20 19:57:36 PDT 2000

Litter - CONGRATS! - let us know when and where it is available, so we can get a copy.


Heather Tue Jun 20 19:52:56 PDT 2000

I can't congratulate you enough! Don't go leaving us now, alright? WAY TO GO LITTERALI!!!
Count me in on buying a copy of your book!

Americo, I would love to write the anthem. Not right this minute, but yes.
Right now I'm drawing a big fat blank.
I think I'll go warm up these fingertips on my coffee cup, and the keys.

And I might have some reading to do, if Tina really did post the revision of her chapter 1 and the prologue as well - I do believe I saw it perched there, taunting me to leave the laundry pile unfolded yesterday. But it could have been an hallucination...
Sorry, Tina, I haven't read it yet, but the laundry isn't folded, either. Kids have a way of grabbing your attention (throat) and enticing (dragging) you away from things every once in a while (five minute intervals). And now that they are fast asleep, I remember why I think they're such beautiful cherubim.

Thank you Hallee, I really hope you gleaned a few useful tidbits from the crit of chapter 5. It sounds like you did!
If I can help, you know I'm right there.

As for Pussy, she can be a rather nasty feline. Very egocentric as well. But now I'm talking about her and she'll be happy I just mentioned her name... feisty furball!


P.S. Party for Litter at my place on my sundeck! We'll have BBQ'd ribs and lobsters, caviar and champagne, mushrooms dripping in wine sauce and cheese, and yes, Howard, I will make several large platters of fiddleheads! They're in season!

Litter, our guest of honour, will get the best seat of the house, the nicest napkin, and the tallest hat.

Ta ta!

Mary Tue Jun 20 19:49:34 PDT 2000

LITTER: What a rush!!!!! I can't wait to have a copy in my grimy little hands!!!! Congrats and way to go!!

Hallee Tue Jun 20 18:38:22 PDT 2000


TINA - I'm looking forward to reading it - but it's 9:30 and I just got home. I'll check it out first thing tomorrow (I'm so excited...lalalala)

HEATHER: I'm on your side (are there sides? Are we supposed to pick?) because you have been so much more helpful in my craft and much nicer to me than Pussy. (hehe - I ought to put in an emoticon) :)

'Nite all.

Rachel Tue Jun 20 18:31:39 PDT 2000

Litter - YEAH! I am happy for you. That is wonderful, wonderful news.

Take care you,


Americo Tue Jun 20 17:00:51 PDT 2000


You are going to publish a novel? Sincere congratulations! Count on me to buy a copy.

Now my usual report.

Dear notebookers,

I heard of the revolution In the Empire performed, single-handed, by — who of all people? — Pussy, our Hollywood starlet. I hope that does not distract us from more important affairs, like the Euro soccer championship, in which Portugal has just beat Germany (3-0), three times world and present European champion. A name to add to our list of artists: Sérgio Conceição, who performed a hat-trick (three goals). In the other match, England lost to Rumania, and is packing to go home. My regrets to the subjects of Her Majesty the Queen. As I said once, I like the English, and I'm sad that they won't have a chance to play against Portugal again. I am sure they would do well, at least better than the Germans, who are also taking the plane back to their Vaterland.

As for the revolution, I advise the former PM and her former ministers not to try any actions which could lead to unecessary shed of tea. Yesterday Pussy had to go to her window at midnight and graciously wave to the soldiers of the former Minister of Justice, thus dispersing them (rebel Minister included) with their cannons. Another sign of rebellion can provoke unexpected reactions of that young lady, who, like the former PM, but surrounded by better collaborators, was born to win. 

So, angry at Pussy's unexpected coup d'etat /revolution, but resigned to our insignificance, let us behave ourselves and do our duty as mere writers and artists. I suggest that we compose the new hymn of the Empire and salute the new flag, which will be all white, a symbol of peace and milk and sugar.

Americo, ex-Minister of Sports and Games.

PS. Heather, Pussy asked me, as a token of admiration for your talent as a writer though poor leadership as PM, to invite you to write the words for the hymn of the notebook. Any volunteers for the music?

Warm congratulations to Litter again. Please do not leave us now, you are in good company.

And tonight is Litter's night. He is a good example for all of us.

Tina Tue Jun 20 16:24:56 PDT 2000



Tina Tue Jun 20 16:23:03 PDT 2000

Hello Heather, Jerry and other silent lurkers!

It's official. Everyone I work with thinks I'm wierd. I walked around reciting 'Jabberwocky' all day at work and they've concluded that I've lost it. Gone over the edge. I just couldn't help myself!

I posted another bit of my novel. Just a short bit that finishes off what I'd left hanging on my last long post. Thank you Hallee for reading! So few people have read it that I'm still very insecure about putting it out there for examination. My sister wants a copy to read, and while I feel excited that she wants to, I'm also dreading her reaction. What will she think? Worse, what will she think and not say to me? What if she reads into it and comes up with all sorts of off the wall ideas about what I meant?

The crazy thing is that at the same time as I'm insecure about my story, I also feel that I haven't done a bad job. Maybe I'm deluding myself, but that's kind of why I'm here looking for input. I figure that if it is bad, strangers (not so strange any more) are the ones who'll tell me so. I'm fairly confident that most everyone here is honest about why they're here, and aren't out to pain others to build their own ego.

On that thought, I'm getting less comfortable with placing a huge amount of my story on the internet. I know the chances are slim, but I worry about copyright infringment. If anyone has been reading 'Shadow' and would like to continue - something I'd be hugely grateful for - I'd be more comfortable e-mailing it straight to you, and putting only specific sections in the workbook. Maybe I'm paranoid but that's just how it is.

Did anyone hear that? I thought I heard a snicker...;-)

Off to my garden on this beautiful sunny day! (Hope you like that rain, Heather.)

Litter Tue Jun 20 16:12:52 PDT 2000

Hi All,

My adrenalin is pumping and I cannot concentrate on anything else - except my Sci-Fi/End Days/Apocalyptic novel 'The Watchers'. (which has a little humour and love interest thrown in for good measure)

I cannot concentrate on anything else - coz it is being published!

Yeee Haaaaaaaaa!

catch you all later,


Yeeeeeeeeeeee Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Jerry Ericsson Tue Jun 20 14:34:21 PDT 2000

Heather - gets rather lonely here in non-prime-time doesn't it?

Heather Tue Jun 20 13:57:07 PDT 2000

Where are all the people?

Good evening, everyone. Anyone?

Wow... suddenly I feel less responsible.
Although, as former P.M. of the page, I must tell you that I never really knew what exactly my duties were supposed to be. Take that, you scoundrel.

Hmmm. Yes, Jon, you're my scapegoat. Sorry, scapecat.

Nevermind, I'm drooling prose. Very bad, very ultra-ordinary prose, as well. Yuck.

Just checking in and found nobody home.
I won't cry. I'll just be back later when the action gets well, existent.

There's an echo in here.

Heather Tue Jun 20 10:32:34 PDT 2000

That sounded as if I've only begun to read recently.
No, I could read very well at age 4.


Heather Tue Jun 20 10:30:53 PDT 2000

Ok, so I'm not so disgruntled, and angst is not my server.

If I must be fired, then so be it.

But I won't go quietly. (You know me by now, don't you?)

You're welcome, Tina. I bought that book for my daughter a few years ago. She loved the pictures. It is a strange little copy of it with the illustrations by Graeme Base. Very odd, oh, yes, indeed.
I wonder what pharmaceudicals he injested before he sat down in front of his typewriter? Meaning Lewis Carroll. But I wonder what pharmaceuticals Graeme Base took, too.


Hallee, I posted a crit for chapter 5, remember to take it lightly and with loads of salt. I am not an official critique Master, by any means. Just one who loves all things literary. And I've only just begun my reading career.

Tip o' the hat to all of you


mary Tue Jun 20 09:51:31 PDT 2000

that last post was from me to sasquatch...i filled out the form wrong...again.

sasquatch Tue Jun 20 09:50:31 PDT 2000

very wise words indeed.
what a relief.

Tina Tue Jun 20 08:03:31 PDT 2000

Thank you Heather!

Heather Tue Jun 20 07:02:49 PDT 2000

Pussy, I fear you have contradicted your pretty self and gotten involved in politics. I thought you said you hated politics!

An election must be called if the Prime Minister is to be taken out of office.

Thanks, Jerry, for your chivalrous offering to protect the P.M. undergoing a coup from the forces of cats.

I think I will just set out a small bowl of cream and go back to dreaming.

Besides, I have to rest if I want to finish chapter 4 today.

Goodweed, I would take up your thoughtful offer but at this time I am rather busy with my novel. I rarely write a short story for the workbook and I suppose that is what has raised a lot of hairs around here. But I did post a story in the shortie section.
Perhaps her majesty did not like it, probably because her loyal subjects were the pale faces that landed and began claiming much of North America. The advent of the much suffering, by her ancestors' cruel hands.

Good day to all, and you all have a say in what things take shape here. If you liked the miniature government we had going, say so.

And for Tina:

"JABBERWOCKY, by Lewis Carroll

T'was brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood a while in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came shiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

And, hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
He chortled in his joy.

T'was brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe."

These were the words that Alice read, through the Looking Glass.

Ta ta!
Outgrabe ya later

Pussy Tue Jun 20 05:31:01 PDT 2000

Just to tell all the newbies that they have passed.

Internet problems again, oh dear!

PS. Did you people see my interview in PrettyFaces?

Jon is scuba diving in the Arctic (below the ice).

A* is watching soccer.

I'm so happy!

sasquatch Tue Jun 20 05:13:22 PDT 2000

Mary person no i sasquatch do not go other places, do not like the dark places, and only come here where it is friendly and good persons. i have heard of other twisted persons but do not speak with them. and i sasquatch am only sasquatch not person. humans persons are made different from the rest and are more like the one who makes us all. i think humans persons will be less twisted if they memory that. i must go.

Hallee Tue Jun 20 05:12:04 PDT 2000


novels, novels, novels, novels, novels, novels, novels, novels, novels, novels, novels, novels, novels, novels, novels, novels, novels, novels, novels, novels, novels, novels, novels.

47 I pass?

Goodweed of the North Tue Jun 20 04:06:06 PDT 2000

I would like to see both "As Darkness Descends" and Jack's original story back in the round robin. I would also like to see more participation. We can stretch our imaginations with such exercises. I find it educational and a great deal of fun trying to add to a story in such a way that I follow the a style that is perhaps not my own, but someone elses and try to blen my parts into the other. Besides, the stories were shaping up nicely.

But, that is just my opinion.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

marinasun Mon Jun 19 23:40:34 PDT 2000

Dear Pussy,

I did not know that we were under a government here. I just recently arrived, and would like to formally introduce myself, (Your Majesty - or just Pussy?). I am marinasun, I have a website with my stories posted there, I have posted one unfinished short story in the workbook, and have participated generally in the joyful roust we have going here in the Notebook. I welcome your rulership, and I too enjoy intellectual science fiction, and have non-intellectual stories I could post.

I must confess that I do enjoy the sport of smileys, and will quite often be found pasting them across any of my postings - even in the Workbook. Please... do not gasp. I was unaware that I was being disrespectful.

We shall all enjoy your structured eye governing us poor, uncivilized common folk... mere peasants.

Good day, my ladyship,

Jack Beslanwitch Mon Jun 19 23:40:05 PDT 2000

I archived everything and closed down the Round Robins partly because Americo asked that I do so and partly because there did not seem to be any activity going. If any want me to put anything back up or to start something new you only have to ask, but I suggest that you ask quickly. As of June 30th I will be incommunicado for two weeks. Er. Well, maybe an internet connection will appear while in Hawaii, but I am not going to hold my breath. I will get pictures and post them on my posi-web page as soon as I can.

candice Mon Jun 19 20:55:40 PDT 2000

I would like to reasure all those who have made this bloodless coup take place -Thomas Jefferson, himself,(minus the lovely Ms. Hemings) said every good government must undergo a coup occasionally, or if not the people's needs will not be served.

He was obviously Pre-Marxist, but as he helped the US rebvolt against their oppressor (please take no personal offense) King George and his many tyrannie - Vive l'revolution!

On to more meaty stuff - to one who has no idea whatis going on in the Notebook - these posts are a hoot.


Tina Mon Jun 19 20:14:41 PDT 2000

Ooops, I pulled a Hallee (sorry Hallee) and forgot who I am!
Then I say 'send me a copy anyone' and don't give my e-mail! Must be all this SUNSHINE getting to my head.


Mon Jun 19 20:12:22 PDT 2000

Twas brilling and the slithy toves
Did gure and gimble in the wake
All mimsy were the borogroves...

Or something like that.

Thank you Sasquatch! I love that poem, have since I was thirteen and first read it. But I don't have it anymore, I lost my copy that a friend had copied out for me. Does anyone have the whole thing? I'd be eternally grateful for an emailed copy of 'Jabberwocky'! And Sasquatch, you should avoid those little red berries...;-)

My ghost story is happening and I can't stop writing for long. I love this excitement of words coming out exactly as I want them!


Goodweed of the North Mon Jun 19 19:21:17 PDT 2000

I was trying to get into the round robin stories to see if any ghost stories had materialized. I failed to enter properly but found the files for "As Darkness Descends" on my hardrive. It must have been saved by Netscape. Anyway, I copied and pasted it into my word processor. Any who would like to read the story, as far as it went, let me know. If you would like to add to it privately, let me know and we can play with it. I would like to hear from Gail Williams. I don't know if I just don't recognize her nick or whether she left the notebook.

If you want to work on this story with me, i'll send it via e-mail attachment in RTF (Rich Text Format) which nearly all word processors can translate equally well.

Any takers?

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Mary-minister of links and translations Mon Jun 19 18:15:01 PDT 2000



Mary Mon Jun 19 18:13:01 PDT 2000

SASQUATCH PERSON:In attempting a little hands on research for a character I am writing, I visited parts of the lesser known, darker online chat rooms. Enlightening as it was, I was most surprised to see someone posting under the name 'sasquatch'. I didn't read what this person posted (1/2 afraid it was you'), but if it was you, I just wanted to warn you that if you do that too much you can go blind. That is how it works with us humans anyway.

ps. never ever talk to a girl named bunny. she is bad.

sasquatch Mon Jun 19 17:54:15 PDT 2000

Humans persons i have again found a book in a place where someone discards old unwanted things. it has no covers and many of pages are not there i think but i can read of it but some is in a language i think is not of here. what is brillig and the slithey toves? and where is the home of this jabberwock or is this like a dream from eating too many of the little red mushrooms? Christi person i am thinking of you and ones you love. i know what love is and that it does not die. i must go.

Pussy Mon Jun 19 15:41:49 PDT 2000

Letter from the Queen

Dear Pussy, my little devil,

I read on the papers that you dismissed all the ministers, including Number One. Well done! Ministers are such a bore! I had one, some years ago, a woman — what a disgrace. I cannot remember her name, they say that she wore knickers of iron, yes, "the iron nickers." If I had your talent for dismissing ministers, I should have dismissed her 20 times. But, well, I hate politics as much as you do. You are a glory for all women! God shave you, as they shout here (when they are drunk).

PS. Please try not to send any of those lazybones to gaol. That's expensive, you know.

PPS. Congratulations on your fantastic football team. Those men are so handsome...

PPS. I've just fired my cook.


I usually don't talk to people who have never come to any of my tea-parties. But I make an exception to you, as you are so pretty. Well, tests for newbies... Good question. It depends on the newbie, you know. How about writing twenty three novels in five minutes? A piece of cake for you...
And you must also come to one of my parties. All former ministers will have to, anyway. A question: should I arrest the former Prime-Minister? They say it's usual in times of Revolution. I hate arresting people. I'd rather have their heads cut. What do you think?

Jerry Ericsson MGCDP HTTP:// Mon Jun 19 15:37:05 PDT 2000


Due to the recent COUPD'E TAT, I have ordered the malita into full service to protect the PM. All citizens reporting to the central distrubition point will be immediately issued guns to protect our form of government. I also have requested the PM to place our nation under martial law, and implement through emergency powers act, enact a death penalty.

Jerry Ericsson
Minister for gun control and the death penalty.

Hallee Mon Jun 19 13:54:49 PDT 2000

PUSSY: Please, do tell. What might those required test be? For, I certainly would want to avoid offending someone who is so obviously high in status as yourself. :) (oops - emoticons offend you...hmmm...well, the smile was sincere, anyway.)

Pussy Mon Jun 19 11:16:54 PDT 2000


My people

I am appaled to see how such a great Empire has had such a poor Government. I will not delve into the details of Heather's failure as PM and the incompetence of all her Ministers. I will just point out some of the most striking flops of her Government:

— Science-fiction, the most cherished genre of this site, has been reduced to zero, and is now in danger of been superseded by ghost-stories...

— English, the language of this site, continues suffering the most dreadful attacks, like undue capitalization of whole sentences, shouts of all kinds, emoticons, and even the use of words like pre-menstrual (for prime-minister) ...

— None of the ministers has been doing his/her duty, except A*, despite his badly desguised leaning towards his own team. Even Arik has ceased giving his prizes...

— New people have started writing to this site without doing the required tests. That explains the wilderness of the posts and the return to sentences like "my beloved country", "I loved your story" and shortly, if we are not careful, "the land of the free and the brave" or even "boo".

I could go on and on. But my time is short and my task immense. There is only one way to save the Empire. To dismiss all the ministers and their prime-minister. And to declare this Empire the first Anarchy in History. From this moment on there will be no more ministers and no more prime-ministers. (At least until Jon returns from his voyage around the world and sends me to the library.)



Now back to my tea.

PS. A* can go on writing his lovely reports on the wonders of the Portuguese soccer team.

Pussy Mon Jun 19 09:25:24 PDT 2000

Ms. PM,

Aren't ALL the ministers supposed to work? Why is A* the only one who writes reports? Are sure you know how to lead an Empire?

Candice Mon Jun 19 09:22:46 PDT 2000

I tried ti say this last night but my post wouldn't go on - ladies - thank you for critiquing my chapter - as I was rereading it to my hubby last night I realized what I posted still has mucho problemos - I haven't really edited it correctly or the little things wouldn't glare at me.

So, anyway, dear hubby - he may be hubby #1, after this - when I finished said - hmmm, nice. Oh, well.

Church and home, Hallee, sounds great - here the big festival was OpSail 2000 with all the tall ships from 20 + countries and the sailors too - I had to get pics to refresh my memories for another book. Due to sudden downdrafts and torrential rain, we were caught under a tent. Another couple, really young, 2 Portugese sailors, a Russian doctor and his wife were also caught. The other groups - cepting the doc/wife and ourselves stayed until the rain subsided - great for the tomatoes and squash and zinnias - and we took the couple back to the tall ship they were part of. We were invited aboard and drank vodka - the Russian stuff, of course - until all hours. Will this make it into a book? - you'd better believe it!

Oh, well, as I had said thanks for the Great critiques - what I could use. Thanks forever.


Jon Mon Jun 19 09:18:11 PDT 2000

Just to tell you that the name of my yacht is "My Flower" and is sailing somewhere in the vast ocean.

PS. I said "My Flower", not "Mayflower".

Tina Mon Jun 19 08:45:25 PDT 2000

Heather, thank you for taking the rain! I hope you're getting nicely wet by now. I woke up to wonderful blue sky, warm sun and only a few high clouds meandering around the sky, so it seems we were successful.;-)

About your writing, it sounds like you craft your writing like a renaissance painter. One of the beauties of any art is that there is no wrong way to do it. The process is just as important as the result, to the artist, and the viewer always brings there own paradigm to the interpretation. Yes, I think we all want to finish things and begin the road to publication, but every minute I spend typing, thinking, discussing and editing is pure joy to me. It's the process that has the most meaning to me. I also find that in fine art. I silkscreen and draw, and it is the time I spend in the midst of that process, covered in ink, charcoal, conte and chalk, that I love best. The only wrong way to do it is the way that makes me uncomfortable, that makes the time spent seem an effort rather than pleasure.

Why don't you post parts of your book? There's no reason the sequences you've described won't work, but I couldn't give you feedback on a description any more than I could give a response on an unseen painting.

Hallee, thanks in advance! About detail, if you think I'm picky here, you should see me with my own work. Especially fight scenes. I actually enact them out with my husband to make sure they work (minus the blood and guts).

'Shadow' is on a low simmering back burner while I work on my short ghost story. It's such a completely different style of writing from 'Shadow'. It's great fun, and I'm eager to get it written. It's written in first person and it's given me a whole other kind of freedom in writing! Thanks Charles! :-) (if you're still around lurking)

Wow, this was going to be quick and short and here I am rambling on.... Going now. Bye.


Heather Mon Jun 19 07:22:08 PDT 2000

Errr, sorry everybody - don't know how it happened, but there's a GIANT space at the end of my last post.
Whooops. Chalk that one up to lack of attention. I think.

Heather, Presumed Malfunctioning

Heather Mon Jun 19 07:17:23 PDT 2000

Hallee, as far as I know there aren't any archives for the workbook except the round robins. It's an idea we could zip past Jack! Jack, what do you think? Could you create archives for the other workbook sections or would that take up too much K? Oh, and Jack, with your busy schedule, I certainly don't expect your reply immediately! :o>

There is probably a reason that the workbook isn't totally archived. :o)

Well, I must say Hallee, that I use the opposite approach - I edit a whole lot, and can't seem to get past a chapter unless it is fine-tuned and perfect. This has been my system over the past six+ months. It's worked fairly well, but I'm not producing as much volume as I'd like to.
I know how the book ends, I know most of the (rest of the) middle, I just have to make the lead into the next chapter perfect so that everything lines up properly, flows just right, and all loose ends are either continued or tied up. That sounds like I don't leave the reader too excited about the next chapter, but I purposely leave things hanging a little (or a lot) at the close of a chapter. I have the mystery before me, and know how it unfolds.

Each word is exactly the one I want, to express what I am trying, as a whole novel, to say. I suppose I work well this way, if it weren't that I think it too slow an approach. However, I have tried doing things the other way and find that I can't keep moving on so quickly because I simply end up erasing a lot of writing that doesn't fit just so.

I guess it is the philosohpy of minimalism. Economy of words. Something like that. Although, at times, I think my description is a little windy still.

Each of my chapters is two to three times as long as the ones you have posted in the workbook (I can't think of the title you gave your novel about Anna... Was there one and I just forgot it?) That is something I didn't plan, it is just where the chapter break made sense to me. Using chapter 1 and 2 as my precedents, my following chapters are approximately the same length. I don't hold myself to writing them all that length. There might be a few shorties in there too.
At the present time, I have approximately 33,900 words contained in 4 chapters. So, that's just nearing the half-way mark. Some novels are as short as 40,000 words, but I had a feeling before I started this one would be more along the lines of 90K. Just something I well, knew.

I've a question about time, in a novel. If there are three or four days that hold a jumbled myriad of events - life-changing cataclysmic events, that is - would it drag the book to write about most of the opening events in detail? Then there will be a speeding up of time towards the end - with some further development in the middle of course. Does that sound as though it will be too slow and then too fast? I haven't got it written in stone...

My protagonist will have to heal physically and mentally during the latter part of the book. So this is why I intend to allot her quite a bit of time.
In the opening chapters of the book there are events that transpire that had to be developed indepth. The middle of the book sees a lot more action and circumstances needing much more indepth writing. But the last quarter will be sped up. I don't think it necessary to go day by day into her healing process - but just delve into the major turning points and give a sense of how long it is taking her to actually heal. (She will think several times that she is ready to face the world again, only to find that she cannot)...
I will pay attention to details and give my all to creating a sense that the book isn't just whipped up into one happy ending in five paragraphs. Her growth and realizations are important components. I don't want to zip them past the reader and then say 'done!'.
That would be cheating.

So, Tina, my dear, does that sound like I will incorporate enough details for your fine senses?

Give me any and all of your thoughts, my friends!
I know it's hard to give a true opinion without reading my novel, but could you please try?

Thank you... prematurely.

Glad to hear your daughter has completely recovered, Hallee.

Christi, my thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your family. Remember the strength you have within you, and remember that Sandi has chosen her time to leave. Something from Fried Green Tomatoes hits me now - about Ruth. It was said that, 'Ruth was a lady, and a lady always knows when to leave.'
Sandi is a fine, fine lady. With you by her side, I'm sure she will have the most soothing transition at her chosen moment to depart. What more can one ask for? Loved ones around when you go, and loved ones around you when you arrive.

Blessings to all of you.

Well, good morning to all, and a happy, prosperous Monday.

Is there such a thing? Hallee, you've spurred us all on! Thank you!

Heather, P.M.

Plucky Medusa

Hallee Mon Jun 19 02:41:09 PDT 2000

Happy Monday morning everyone! I intended to come on yesterday and wish everyone who's a dad Happy Father's Day, but by the time that church got out and lunch was consumed and my daughter was napping (she's completely recovered now), I was in the mood to write. So, I nearly finished a chapter and wrote two synopses ( yuck). I now have the full synopsis for my if I could only make myself sit down and edit the stupid things, I might actually get it submitted. Then the day had gone by and it was time for the Father's Day meal, and before I knew it, bedtime. The whole day just flew by. So, a belated Happy Father's Day to all to whom it's intended.

I've posted chapter 5. Tina - it's full of action and I know you're picky about that. Please, let me know (which I know you will) if it's hard to follow. I have a really hard time writing action, but this chapter came so easily to me, almost too easily, so I worry I may have written it too fast.

CANDICE: I saw your new post, but I don't have time to read it right now. When I finish this I need to write. I'll try to get to it sometime later today.

TINA: I'm almost through reading yours. Like I said, the weekend just flew by. I'm excited about it, though, and will post a crit for you this morning, at some point. Oh, and send us the rain! Even with the normal Florida afternoon thunderstorms beginning, we're still in water conservation mode and the fireworks have still been cancelled.

HEATHER: If I had the guts, and didn't have such a tight budget, I would quit my day job. But, my husband and I agree that unless I get three books published, I shall keep on working. I want nothing more than to write full time. Hopefully, the timing will be all right, though. Two more years and my daughter starts school. If I get off my rear and work on securing an agent, perhaps by that time I'll at least have some sort of ball rolling and a definite plan. (Two years - seems like such a long time, but I've been writing for 18 months and here I still sit, two hours before I have to leave for my day job!)

JACK: I know you're working on revamping the workbook. But, in case you don't do that the way you plan, a suggestion. Perhaps a link from the critique section to the posting section?

CHRISTI: My thoughts and prayers go to you and your family.

GOODWEED: Good lord! I almost thought your story was a ghost story (hahaha). I kept expecting the daughter to see the dad and run screaming because he was dead or something. A lesson learned, albeit a very hard lesson. I remember that the day we brought my daughter home from the hospital, the pilot light blew out in our heater, and we had to relight it. We lived in a manufactured home, and the whole setup was just off the kitchen. I was terrified the entire time my husband was messing with it, and if it hadn't been 35 degrees outside (we're talking about Florida in March - fluke thing) I'd have taken her out and waited.

And now, a general question for all. I have been posting this manuscript chapter by chapter; however, it is a romance story and there are, well, love scenes. I would never want to offend anyone, or post something I shouldn't post, or break any rules, etc. So, before I get to that point, I am curious as to whether or not I should post those scenes, or just let that slide and get back to the story. I've looked back, but can find nothing to compare it to now, and unless I'm missing something, I can't find any archives in the workbook.

Heather - me again Sun Jun 18 19:52:44 PDT 2000

Just spent some time in the workbook and I read some really good work!

Candice, I have posted a crit for you. Please remember that I intended it to be constructive, and that in dissecting things, I was paying close attention to what you wrote.

As a whole, I really enjoyed your writing!

(No soothsaying, not at all)

Marinasun, very intriguing. Posted a little crit for you as well, although it might be more along the lines of what we consider 'comments' rather than an indepth critique.

I am bumbling along here, folks.

Where is everybody?

I think I need to eat. Getting shaky.

My thoughts get very confused if my sugar gets too low.
Gotta go.

Heather, P.M.
(Pancreas Malfunctioning)


Tina Sun Jun 18 19:50:27 PDT 2000

Wow is quiet in here today!
I can hear my own echo.

Hallee, I posted that crit I promised.

Heather, I've put in my request to have the rain transfered to you. My seeds 'n things are plenty wet. Of course, I haven't even finished planting stuff because it's been raining and I'm not fond of gardening in the rain.
I like Zinnia's too, but right now my Clematis is blooming and they are my favourite. I could fill my whole yard with Clematis if I had space.

Supper's ready, gonna go!

Heather Sun Jun 18 18:23:17 PDT 2000

P.P.S. Tina - I'll take your rain!
I love rain. Love walking in it, playing in it, sitting on the porch and relaxing with it all around. Unless, of course, there's lightening, and then I sit inside.

If you send me your rain, I won't have to keep watering those 2400 Zinnia seeds I've sown. Yes, your eyes are seeing correctly. 2400 Zinnia seeds. That's a lot of Zinnias. Instead of the House of Parliament, I'll be living in the House of Zinnias. Zinnia Heaven.

I think I like the word Zinnia. Zinnia oh Zinnia, how I like that Zinnia. Zinnias abound, I see them all around,
And I think it's up to infinity, the sheer volume of these Zinni -

Anyway, goodnight!
I might lurk awhile, seeing that I have some zesty energy to spare tonight.

Heather, P.M.

Heather I am http//www.ParliamentHill.inundated with protestors Sun Jun 18 17:05:39 PDT 2000

Hello, there, my ministers and writerly friends.
(Writerly, for writers, as in Painterly for painters)
[It's a technique]

I realized today that I am not made for conventional jobs.
I thought this was well understood before, but perhaps the realization was too understated for my mind to get its' talons around. Now it is no longer something I can ignore. I am too weary of the brainless punching of the clock, the slag pile of mass consumerism and the catering of the hoard that must go with it; the endless labour that just gets erased the next day and must be done all over again. Not to forget the thanklessness of it all. I am not made for such things. I know my place is to weave stories for the mind. Stories that perhaps become the only escape from said slag pile, for employees and hard workers any and everywhere.

I do not look upon everyday work as needless, yet I know that it is not my perfect fit. There is another hard job that I am called to.
My place is to lift the weary head, to spread the tablecloth of life's mysteries and loveliness out as though a smorgasbord; and feed minds with care and warmth. (Or if it be horror, then I spread out a goulish goulash - sorry, terrible pun)
With every page I sweat and spend my fire upon, my dream comes a little closer to being a reality.

I was born to write. I live to write. I love it with a passion so firey and deep, it could be likened to something infernal. But it isn't. I haven't found the right word - but someday I will.

So keep that in your hearts and minds, dear writers, for you have taken up this vehement Quest as I have.
You ride with me on steeds, fast unto the lands of imagination, wherein we are unleashed. May the swords we have armed ourselves with cut through the thick vines that bind, may we be strong enough to slash obstacles that may stand in our way. For our swords are the pens and keys, our native lands mapped on the paper to which we run to each chance we get.

Thanks for listening (reading)
and may the muse impart every inspiration you ask of her.

Thank you, Americo, for your report. There's nothing better than reading a report written by an enthusiast; for had you not enjoyed the sport you write of, I would be sleeping.

As you can see I am wide awake!

I don't know why this realization has me misty-eyed. Maybe it's because I have finally given myself permission to be a writer, no guilt. No guilt for not being right for regular working hours. No remorse for not liking my poorly paying 'job'. Nothing hovering over my head that peeps to me at odd hours, 'just keep your chin up and do this'. But without love? Love for the job? That is like marrying for nothing more than money or convenience. Not very much money, either.
I will not hang up my nametag just yet (still need a little flow of money, I admit) but I know that when I do, there will be no black clouds on the horizon.

I need to do what I love. Everything else bores me stupid.
I need to use my mind and imagination or it will atrophy!
But also, for now, I need to work where I work because I am actually learning more about people, and I need that. If I holed myself up completely, I would be a veritable hermit and I must stay realistic when writing my characters, especially for this novel. So I can see that right now, I need to hang on. I really need strength for it though. I thought I was going to have to run screaming from the building today. I am a lowly cashier.

I know there is meaning to exactly where I am - for that matter, when I am - and I must incorporate those lessons, and learn whatever it is I need to learn. There is a reason for everything.

Happy Father's Day, to all who are fathers.

Blessings to all,


Heather, P.M.

P.S. Can the Prime Minister please make more than minimum wage? It's not so laughable to hold office if the salary at least semi-accurately reflects the effort.

Tina Sun Jun 18 11:23:48 PDT 2000

Candice, I left you a crit in the workbook.

Everyone who wants rain, come here and take it away! Free to all takers! I want summer! Aaagghhhhhhh!:-[


Americo Sun Jun 18 05:16:26 PDT 2000

Ms Prime-Minister,

Another beautiful poem has been produced in the Euro Championship by the Portuguese soccer team, when, in a tough match against Rumania yesterday, they scored in the last minute. "These people are indecent, they make love with a foot ball in front of millions of spectators," a BBC commentator said. In fact Figo, Rui Costa, João Pinto and their play-mates should be arrested, before they make a baby on the pitch.

Not a poem but rather a spine-chilling ghost-story was the match England vs. Germany. The Englanders gave up their old "shoot into the clouds" style and adopted the Portuguese artistic way of making music with a ball. Result: after 34 years without a serious win over the sage, boring Germans, they won 1-0. My heart rejoyced, Ms. Prime-Minister: the Englanders have now a new lease of life and, with some luck, a chance of meeting the Portuguese again — hopefully in the Finals— and be turned into mince meat again.

Yours respectfully,
Americo, Minister of Sports and Games.

Sun Jun 18 04:51:11 PDT 2000

Sat Jun 17 22:53:35 PDT 2000

marinasun Sat Jun 17 22:34:33 PDT 2000


Just found it! Disregard previous post. What an idiot!

In Jack's e-mail there was a link to the right place. Have tucked it deep down into my pocket.

I can now rest. I'm lounging in the corner of my cage and nibbling on a raw steak.

; )

marinasun Sat Jun 17 21:46:15 PDT 2000


How do I get into the short story workbook? I click on the link for the workbook, and it takes me to a page that only has the submission form for getting your password and a link to the archives. Do I have to get a password each time?! I really want to get in there...

I'm pacing back and forth like a caged lion...


Heather Polo Mino EverythingEquestrian@bongo.drums Sat Jun 17 20:59:47 PDT 2000

Hello all
Very tired... must go to work in the morning...I am not a morning person...was born a night hawk...well, alright, a bear as well... like to ten pages of writing done last night...sorry I couldn't visit...Christi, my prayers are with you.

As you can see, I am running out of st--

Lena Sat Jun 17 20:18:25 PDT 2000


Rachel Sat Jun 17 13:24:32 PDT 2000

Americo, Jon, Pussy - Hello to all of you. I know why the lot of you are not around today. You are having a party to celebrate the hearth pounding win that Portugal had today!

Wow, wow and wow! The dying seconds, the final chance. A free kick and YES! Portugal takes the match with a second to spare! What a game! I was excited and I'm not even Portuguese. I can only think that Americo, Jon and Pussy must all be dancing. Pussy is likely trying to gain the attention of some yummy soccer hero... You go kitty!

Jon - Don't worry, I'm sure it will only be a passing fancy.

Americo - Hope you will be able to get back on the net soon. You are missed.

Pussy - Have you made any cakes? I still remember the last one you let me try... It was dreamy.

TO ALL THE NEW FACES - Hi, nice to meet yah.

Take care all,


Goodweed of the North Sat Jun 17 13:18:09 PDT 2000

The Misadvendures of a Do-It-Yourselfer

Author: G.W. North

Jim walked the dark stairway into his dry but dusty basement, sure of his abilities. He made his way straight to the circuit breaker box and tuned off the power to his high efficiancy gas furnace.

"What's wrong with this thing?" he said quietly to himself as he removed the sevice panel.

He looked over the wires and checked the various connectors to insure everything was snugly in place. Again using his wooden handled screwdriver, he removed the combustion box cover. H took a small flashlight from his pocket, turned it on, and peered into the unit's dark recesses. Everything looked ok.

Jim stood, returned to the circuit panel, and actuated the circuit breaker. A squirrel cage fan began to hum, blowing fresh air around the firebox. After waiting a moment, he heard a relay click and the sound of gas hissing into the combustion box. He watched for an ignition spark which never came.

He said to himself "Maybe I can use a long match and manually ignite the gas."

Jim went upstairs, after again turning off the circuit breaker, to get a couple of long kitchen matches. He returned to the basement and re-energized the furnace power. He waited for the gas to cyle on once more, matches in hand, ready to be lit. The relay clicked and Jim lit a match. He placed the flaming end into the fire box and was instantaneously asaulted by a burst of flame which singed the hair from his mustache, eye lashes, eyebrows, his bangs, and an inch of hair from in front of his right ear. There was no pain. The flame hadn't lasted long enough to damage his skin.

"Wow!" he exclaimed. He got up and turned the furnace power off once more. He turned out the basement lights and returned to his living room. He thought to himself "Man that smells bad."

He knew the stench of burning hair from other situations he had experianced in his youth.

He called to his daughter "Hey bug."

"What, Dad?" came the familiar reply.

"Come here a minute. I want to show you something."

"I'll be right there."

After a moment, she entered the living room saying "What's that awful smell? Is that the dog?"

Jim replied "No. It's my hair."

Bug moved close and inpected her father's head. "What'd you do?"

"I tried to light the furnace with a match. Look at my eyelashes and eyebrows."

"Moms gonna lecture you about this."

He replied "Mom's not going to know about this."

"I think you'd better tell her."

"She'll notice it soon enough."

"What, are you afraid of a scolding?"

"Listen little girl. It wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done, but the house is still standing and I didn't lose much hair. So just keep quiet. I only showed you so you would know not to do such a thing if you ever have a broken furnace."

"Well I think you're going to have to get your hair cut."

"Naw. I think I'll leave it as a momento to remind me not to try that again."

The above story is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the foolish (sheepish red faced look comes upon the author). Please be careful whenever survicing any flamable gas appliances, liquid fuels, etc. The flame front from less than 2 seconds worth of gas filling the fire box was enough to wake me up. Except for the extroardinary reflexes I was blessed with, I could have damaged my eyes with such a stunt. It's just not worth the risk.

Anyone who wants to build a story out of this real life experiance which happend less than half an hour ago, feel free to write. Hopefully, someone else won't have to go walking around with the smell of burnt hair, or worse.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Christi Sat Jun 17 11:52:01 PDT 2000

Hullo everyone!


I think that your 'walls down' talk was cool, and if that woman was too jaded to take it for what it was, don't sweat it. Those kinds of conversations can be so illuminating--you always learn something new about yourself and the person you're talking to. I have these convos with my Hubby, Mum and Sis usually--sometimes with my friends, and hadn't noticed that they coincided with my writing. But you got me to notice that I am much more open to new ideas when I'm deep into my writing. It lasts for days sometimes. Thanks for pointing it out!

Good luck on the surgery of the workbook. You are a great doctor, with deft hand-eye coordination, and I'm sure it will all go well.
Those wet suits DO look hot! Just thinking of having one on in our 110 degree heat puts me into a sweat. I need a glass of lemonade now.

Ewwww, creeeepy! You should use the motuary across the street for a ghost story. It is quite vivid--something I'm not likely to forget soon.

I hope your daughter AND you are feeling better. Oh the anguish of a mother when her cubs aren't feeling well. Made me sniffle a little--whoops, here I go again. *sniffle*
Upon further reading, I see that everyone is up to snuff again. Hooray!

Looks like I'm missing out on much great writing at the workbook. This week was a busy affair and I have just now gotten caught up on the posts. I hope I have time to check out all the new writing sometime this weekend.

My Mother-in-law's time is becoming short. We may only have a week longer to spend with her, so if I'm remiss in my time here, know that I'm thinking of you all. Love to all, especially you who I didn't get the time to respond to. :)


Candice or Sat Jun 17 09:08:35 PDT 2000

Hallee: Thanks - very helpfu. Just what I needed. I have a problem deciding what to write or not - first person or omnipotent voice. Just can't play God - been a mom too long.

Tina: whenever - thanks for reading - prior to doing so.

Hallee Sat Jun 17 08:42:57 PDT 2000

MARINASUN & CANDICE: I've left you notes in the critique sections. (Though, marinasun, I spelled your name wrong...sorry :( )

TINA: I know exactly where you're coming from.

And now, I shall take my bows for properly filling out the form to post my post. (Geesh)

Tina Sat Jun 17 07:47:28 PDT 2000

Hello Candice! I'll be happy to read your post... after work. Welcome.

Ditto to Marinasun. Sometimes work gets in the way of life. Actually, work ALWAYS gets in the way of life.
So many things I'd rather be doing....


Candice Sat Jun 17 00:45:37 PDT 2000

I meant - TALK about needing to check for corrections.

I guess 3 am is too late to stay up writing - at least for tonight - this morning.

Candice or Sat Jun 17 00:26:42 PDT 2000

First I want to say I am not sure about this writing stuff and I need some critique. So I put what I have - Chap 1 - of a novel - romance? - for anyone to take a shot.
Please be constructive and tell me to dump the idea of writing if thats what you see - do I sound like I have an inferiority complex? Not generally, as my family will attest, but this is . . . as you all know . . . personal.
Oh, yeah, I put the wrong e-mail on the workbook page, too. The correct one is here.

Take about needing to read for corrections...

marinasun Fri Jun 16 23:17:31 PDT 2000

Woops - that webpage address of mine should be what is above.

I have to proofread these things!


marinasun Fri Jun 16 23:14:24 PDT 2000

Hi everyone,

I just posted something in the short story workbook - an unfinished piece, but I hoped it would get some of your creative juices flowing.

HOWARD: I can't find any posts of yours. Is there a back issue section I'm not aware of?

Thanks everyone,

Mark Fri Jun 16 18:38:57 PDT 2000

My uncle Jim went to Ireland to do some personal geneological research. While there he interviewed local old-timers, rubbed cemetary stones, and sampled local brew.

One evening after more brew than research, he headed through the cemetary as a shortcut to the hotel. He fell in an open hole, apparently dug for a funeral tomorrow. Too drunk to figure out how to get out of the muddy thing, he resigned himself to wait until the morning and the embarrasment of asking for help. He curled up and went to sleep. Some time later he heard a thud and groan, came immediately awake and saw another drunk standing to look up at the rim of the hole. The fellow clutched at the soggy ground just overhead, it gave way and he slid back. The fellow jumped, slipped, and slid. Uncle Jim thought he'd save the man the trouble, rose to go over, put a hand on his shoulder, and said, "You can't get ou . . . He did!"

Hallee Fri Jun 16 17:43:36 PDT 2000

And, I did it again. (Good going, Hallee) Unless someone posted since me, the anonymous post below is from me. ::sigh::

G'night all

Fri Jun 16 17:41:45 PDT 2000

GOOD EVENING ALL. My daughter is better. Still a little touch on the feverish side - but so much better. And I'm tired - hahaha - no sleep yet. I had to work today while my husband got to stay home and play nursemaid all day. I think the whole family is going to retire very early tonight. :)

HEATHER: I shall have to agree with you on Mr. Kilmer. YUM By far my favorite. In cosntruction - PM stands for project manager. Seems fitting for the ghost stories.

JACK: Everything you talked about with the diving sounds absolutely facinating. Good luck with it.

HOWARD: As the sister of an older brother...shame on you (hahaha) - of course, I'm sure I tormented him as much as he tormented me. In our late pre-teen and very early teen years, our dad was a Ranger Instructor out in the swamp in Eglin Air Force Base. WAY out in the swamp - 17 miles to a main road. We had so much fun playing out there in the dark - even played a game called Ghost in the Graveyard. Your story brought back so many memories.

TINA: Your note in the critique page has left me with a warm glow and the urge to write even faster - to get more books done. It is exactly the goal I want to accomplish - leave the reader wanting to go on to the next chapter until they've read the whole book. And also to maybe reform some who may think they wouldn't enjoy a romance. :)

MARY: With your would be so easy to write horror stories. The inspirations would be all around you - from the inscriptions on the stones to imaginings of the late nights in the mortuary ::shudder::.

And now, I'm off to write for the first time since yesterday morning. The story is coming to a head, the action is growing to a crescendo, and our hero and heroine have still to confess their love for one another. Happy Friday to you all.

Mark Fri Jun 16 10:39:19 PDT 2000

HEATHER -- (PerMissable) do you have to be married to be a marriage counselor? Addicted to be an addictions counselor? I think it helps the process to be able to say "Yeah, I've been there." But, on the whole, editing is like counseling in that it is a whole different mind-set from the person you deal with on the other side. I was a journalist/photog in the early 70's and found that having learned the craft I could teach it (edit the works of beginners). Some things were(are) easier to spot in the writing of another. Spelling is an easy exampl;e, when I read my stuff I found myself reading what I knew _should be_ there rather than what was. Continuity involves a similar mental bridge; it was not always clear to me that a connection was not made.

In those days when I was young and muscular and full of flamable liquid, I felt as though I had something to say. Wrote, gave poetry readings and made a local name for myself. I no longer have the same ego. (I haven't had a drink of booze since '80 or '81. I am so dry I'm a fire hazard).

The drive to write lessened, but I still couldn't help twirling a pencil over what I read. Along the way I got two degrees in English and a lot of practice at critique. In some ways I think the Masters in English moved me further from writing than anything I've before or since.

James Fenimore Cooper wrote his first novel after reading a published dud that made him think "I can do better than that." I have been looking at themestream stuff that gives me the same feeling. I think it's time to go to General Nutrition Center, get energy drink, and write again.

Rachel Fri Jun 16 09:44:09 PDT 2000

Howard - You missed me! Thanx:D

Americo - I noticed (smiles). I even left yah a couple of notes here.

Take care all,


Jerry Ericsson Fri Jun 16 09:33:58 PDT 2000

Mary - When I was the Chief of Police for the City of Bowman ND, we lived one house away from the big black house on the corner, that was the funeral home. Shortly after we moved into our home, the undertaker sold out, and the new fellow that took over had a couple of kids the same age as ours. It didn't take long before our kids became acquainted, and began playing together. This of course led to the adults meeting and becoming good friends. After several invites back and forth, we became comfortable being in the main house, which was where the new undertaker and his family lived, and our kids became very comfortable playing hide and seek down in the basement amongst the coffin displays. They did however stay away from the prep room. Well the undertaker didn't know many others in the community, and when he needed help loading a coffin, or moving a body, he often called on me. Now this never bothered me much, unless of course it was a friend who was in the prep room. One day, while I was helping him prep the body of on very over-weight lady, who had broken the lift straps, and ended up on the floor, my wife decided she needed the checkbook which happen to be in my back pocket. She knew where I was, as she was home when the neighbor called, so came over and found us in the basement. We had just got the lady up on the prep table, when she walked in. As I turned and began talking with her, the undertaker hit the floor peddle which elevated the top portion of the table, and raised the dead person into a sitting position. My wife, not familiar with the procedure, turned ash white, turned and ran from the room. Well the undertaker and I had quite a laugh over this, and my wife staunchly refused to ever go into the prep-room again, even after I explained what happened.

howard Fri Jun 16 09:20:54 PDT 2000

Wait -- did you mean the post below about living near the cemetary? It looked so familiar that I just took it for granted! What I mean is, when I was younger (much younger) we lived next door to a cemetary also. Real quiet neighbors, if I remember correctly. Once in a while our well water would get a funny taste to it, but I don't remember anything real scarey happening. Except for when old uncle Lloyd took a short cut one night, and stepped in something that moaned, and he dropped his jug, and ran right into the iron mesh gate. Strained himself pretty badly.

howard Fri Jun 16 08:45:14 PDT 2000

MARY -- Thud? What thud? I didn't hear any thud! Where's the thud?
Thorry, I thuddenly got carried away... mutht have thtumbled over thome thtuff on the thtairth. Wath exthpecting a thtory about things that go thump in the night and waketh from a thound thleep.
There -- that's better! WOW ! now my tongue feels like I had a shot of novocaine!

Anyway, where's the one that went plop? (I refuse to start in on th*d again!) People were looking at me like I wath thome thort of thtrange thailor. Errgg!

I like ghost stories too, and have a couple all sssset to gho!

ssssso long!
:-}) <===(smiley face with handlebar moustache)

Heather Fri Jun 16 07:38:19 PDT 2000

P.S. I have no idea whether or not I just said the dumbest thing on Earth...
Don't you have to be a writer first to be an editor?

I actually don't know.

I know you have to write something first in order to edit it! Ha ha ha ha ha :oD

H, P.M.

Heather Fri Jun 16 07:34:11 PDT 2000

Teekay, my sweet friend,
there is no need for guilt at all. In fact, I haven't read your second crit of 'Whisperings'. I will do that after I have finished here.

You have not broken the sacred writer's code of ethics, if there is one. I think writers are about the only ones who can truly give a critique that will mean something to another writer. If that was your first impression of my story, then that was your first impression, that's all.
And first impressions are what I need to know about - some readers do not take a fine eye and dissect the writing. Some reader will only read it once, and so it's important to know what first reads catch in a short story!
Editors who are also writers I find are the most accurate and helpful to critique work - and we are all writers and our own editors here.

I wouldn't still be around if I couldn't handle and put to use critiques, no matter the result. I don't want critiques to be as water from a duck's back. I dissect and analyze and use the crit to improve my work!

I think I still could use some expansion on what the characters look like in my latest ss. You were right on that, Teekay! It's pretty hard to get a good idea of what a character looks like and how they act if I neglected to write even an iota of description on them!
If, relying on our residual image of Native Peoples, we create the characters in our minds, could it not leave a lot of room for stereotypes? Yes. Point in fact, if we don't describe and round out characters, no matter how short the story, we are forcing the actions and words to carry the character. Now, this isn't wrong, necessarily, but when talking to someone in person, you do get a sense of who they are by appearance. How can you imagine a character's actions, if you have no idea what they look like? Can they tap their foot, and be real in our minds if we don't know whether it's a long, slender foot in a sandal, or a short stubby foot squeezed into a pump that's too small? Sometimes those little things are the life of the character.
If that is missing, it leaves a bit of a hole in the story. It also means the action and dialogue have to make up for the lack of imagery about the character.

Now what I want to know is if 'Whisperings' carries itself without the added imagery. Does it? I'll have to give it a read and see.

Heather, P.M.

(Poseidon Maniac)

Mary Fri Jun 16 07:11:39 PDT 2000

Nice to see my ghost story went over with a nice big thud! :-)

TEEKAY: Cheer up girlie, I'm sure Heather will forgive ya.


Americo Fri Jun 16 05:05:27 PDT 2000

I'm having Internet problems and a lot of trouble to get or send messages of any kind. They say it's because of the Sun, which seems to be exploding all over the place.

Just in case someone wondered about my whereabouts.

Hallee Thu Jun 15 21:44:59 PDT 2000

Well, it's very late and I'm very exhausted. Dealing with stomach flu all day and writing a chapter during down times would be bad enough, but then her fever spiked to 103.6. I did get it to come down, with Tylenol (pretned there's a trademark symbol there - I'm tired) and a sponge bath (all the while she's talking about birds flying on her ceiling - ~sniffle~), but I'm afraid to sleep now. The medcine will wear off soon, and I worry the temp will spike back up. I tried to read new stories posted, but my head is too tired, so I'll do it probably this weekend. Sorry, Tina - I was so looking forward to a new post from you, too.

(((((TEEKAY)))) - you just looked like you needed a hug.

Since I'm too fried to be intelligent and respond even to any notebook posts, I think I'll just start researching my next book. That's mindless to just sit and save files.

Bye, all.

Teekay Thu Jun 15 21:03:57 PDT 2000

MARY: Sorry. Can't add on to this story at this time as I am too depressed. I am going to eat.

Teekay Thu Jun 15 21:00:55 PDT 2000

Back Again
still feeling incredibly guilty about HEATHER's crit. I feel as though I have breeched some type of writer's ethics code.
I am aware of the blood, sweat and tears that goes into a piece of writing and I am totally pissed off with myself to have not given HEATHER's work the attention it deserved.
In future, if I don't have the time to critique I am simply not going to do it. It isn't fair to the author and a half hearted crticism can do a lot more harm than good.
Once again, I am really, really sorry HEATHER.

Mary Thu Jun 15 20:42:26 PDT 2000


Your posts about cemeteries were very interesting. Our back yard butts up to an old, five foot, wrought iron fence. On the other side of that fence is an ancient cemetery. We just bought this house two years ago, and the fact that the cemetery was there never entered my mind. The stones are all white, leaning, and barely readable. The moon comes up over them at night and I must admit it is quite spooky. When my friends came over to see the place for the first time, they couldn't believe that the cemetery didn't bother us. What bothers me more than the cemetery is the mortuary/funeral home across the street. You can tell what nights they are embalming, because all the lights are on in the basement. We live in a very small town, so I generally know who it is, which makes it even more weird. Sometimes I feel like there is a story there, but I haven't been able to 'dig' it up yet.


Glad you decided to stick around.

I think I forgot to cast my vote for ghost stories. I think it is too late now, but I vote yes anyways.

BTW, Heather, thanks for the immunity. I probably don't really need it, I just wanted an excuse to write a sentence with a bunch of PM's in it!

I don't know if anybody needs warming up on a ghost story to get you in the mindset, but we could all try something we used to do around the campfire. I will start a ghost story (usually it was pretty tacky) with a few sentences, and the next person who wants to , can add a few more until we have a story. I will start:

Gina knew the sound. That scraping metal on metal that sliced her eardrums like a Ginzu.(warned you it was tacky!) She froze to the spot, waiting for the smell that would tell her which way to run.

Teekay Thu Jun 15 20:30:33 PDT 2000

HEATHER: Huge smacks up the side of the head for me!!! I have posted an entirely new critique. Please totally ignore the first one. It was worth absolutely ZERO.

tEEKAY did it again. Thu Jun 15 20:07:18 PDT 2000

Afternoon All Y'all,

HALLEE: I was definitely NOT making fun off you - deliberately anyway. I really have used your name (which I love) in my story. The story is rather different from what I gave the impression of though. I'm really glad you laughed though, and I hope your daughter is well soon.

HOWARD: Yes please. Thankyou.

HEATHER: She said she was going to ring next week about going for a coffee. It'll be interesting to see if she still does. hee hee.

JACK: That sounds like a great idea. Good luck.

GOODWEED: I'm sure an older woman could run just as fast - or die trying. heh heh
You are going to have to leave your novel for just a short while, now that you have given us such a tantalising taste treat.

My son is at his grand Mothers today, so , of course I have every intention of knuckling down and working on my novel. Wow. I love the sound of that. Working on my novel. Working on my novel. Working on my novel. Working on my novel. Working on my novel. Working on my novel. Working on my novel. Working on my novel. Working on my novel. Working on my novel. Working on my novel. Working on my novel. Working on my novel. Working on my novel. Working on my novel. Working on my novel.Working on my novel. Working on my novel. Working on my novel.

But first, to do a bit of web surfing BWAH HAHHAHAHAHAHAHAH.

Tina Thu Jun 15 20:01:49 PDT 2000


Just finished posting my re-write in the workbook. I had to do it in two chunks. I'm happier with it now! I'm sure further refinements will follow.

Everyone! Go read Hallee and Clayton and Heather and Jerry and Rachel and Teekay and everyone else I probably forgot! There's some great stuff happening there! Leave your comments so they at least know you read it!

There, now that I've kicked some butt....

Heather, PM (Pesky Mosquito, Pleasant Monday, Printed Material)
Pluto has one moon, Charon. 'Course, Pluto is smaller than our moon, and Charon is tinier than Pluto, something like 1200 km wide.

Jack, I'm green with envy and so glad you've gotten down there! I LOVE NUDIBRENKS! (Don't know if I spelled that right but don't feel like looking it up.) You should have an easier time with your bouyency once you use your dry suit.

Goodweed, I hope your sister got even. My big brother didn't try and scare me, just gross me out. He once told me (young, impressionable six year old) that the long white things in chili were worms not onions, and I didn't eat another onion until I was 13!

Hey, are the ghost stories official yet? Now that I'm thinking about mine I'm getting itchy to attack it.

Gonna go write now. Or edit some more.

Heather Thu Jun 15 19:25:43 PDT 2000

Don't mind my grammar - it's slacking off at the moment.

(Litter, YOUR rant... so pardon my lack of grammaquette)


Heather Thu Jun 15 19:23:27 PDT 2000

Goodweed, good to hear from you!
I just might have to add something to 'Darkness Descends'.
It will be different than what I'm currently writing (novel wise, that is). A nice vacation for my imagination.

Jack, the seastars are my favourite, and I am jealous! Take a photo of the one with the most arms. I have a great pic of one seastar that has almost 20 digits and is purple-blue on top and red underneath. But I didn't get to be the one to photograph it!
Someday I'll take the diving course and join the wonder that is the sea for a while. I could write for hours on the extreme joy I feel being around and in the water - but especially the ocean. It's like a foreign country to me, truly fascinating and incredible. A world of its' own.

Night all, and to all an a-musing eve.
Heather, P.M.

Prison Mate?
Planetary Motion
Pluto's Moon
(does it have one? Or is it just like one?)
Prudish Mistress
Pre Monition (joke)

Anyway, there are seemingly endless things that fit a two digit anagram.

Of course. **slaps face**
**turns face to slap other side**

(Howard, laughed so hard when you said that your keyboard only has one 'H'!)

Litter, you're rant was right on the money (ulp!)
I've been meaning to check out the site and will keep that to the forefront of my frontal lobe.

:o> H**

Goodweed of the North Thu Jun 15 18:05:20 PDT 2000

That should have been spelled - La Jolla Cove - pronounced La Hoya.

Seeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Goodweed of the North Thu Jun 15 18:02:07 PDT 2000


SCUBA - Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus! What an acronym. Which certification are you going for, Naui or Paddi? I missed my final certification dive as I was in the U.S. Navy and had duty that day. I COULDN'T GET OFF THE BASE!!! Two hundred dollars swirled down the toilet. I love diving off of San Diego. The only problem I experianced was sea sickness. We usually got to our diving site by catching a rip tide and snorkeling out. Needless to say, the water near shore was murky from wave action, rendering sight non-existant. Waves always crested over the snorkles, treating us to frequent swallows of sea water (YUK!!!(And don't tell me, I know. One exclamation point has as much power as three. And multiple exclamation points are a sure sign of the amature but at least my nested paretheses are correct.))

All in all, after inflating my BC, floating on the top, and vomiting on the water surface, my stomach settled down and I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the dives. The colors and life in Lajoya Cove are incredible. The fish (including small sharks and dogfish) off of Pacific Beach are amazing. Would that I could go back in time and body to 1977 and an 80 cubic foot aluminum tank with 3000 pounds of air, and take my wife along, that would be close to heaven (but everyone knows that heaven is full of great trout streams, beautiful fly rods, and mosquitoes that don't bite).

Enjoy yourself in the water. But remember to treat the blue lady with respect and caution. I personally knew two good men who drowned in diving accidents, one from hypothermia in waters coming out of Lake Superior into the St. Mary's River (the river on which I was raised, max temp - 67' F.), and the other from asphyxiation when he ran out of air after getting tangled in ocean veggies. Take care freind and enjoy.

Seeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Goodweed of the North Thu Jun 15 17:44:48 PDT 2000

By the way, "As Darkness Descends" has some otherworldliness in it. Anyone who cares to add to it is welcome.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Goodweed of the North Thu Jun 15 17:40:10 PDT 2000

Rhoda, Christi, TeeKay;
and all the rest, are here on Gilligan's Isle. Oh, um, how one's mind wanders.

Thanks for the wise words of encouragement. I will indeed take a look at ghost stories. It sounds like fun. I grew up next to a large cemetary, played army in it in the day, picked nightcrawlers in it at night, hunted in the woods behind it, chased parkers out of it, slept in a tree fort in the woods behind it, got chased out for racing motorcycles through the twisting dirt trails with my best freind (the caretaker's son no less), etc. I've seen strange things in the night. On one side of the road, which was a block away from our river-front house (long driveway to shovel in the wintertime), and on the other, a very large river (a mile wide in places and over thirty five feet deep) set the stage for many a frightful night (when I was a lad of but seven years that is). The river produced wonderous fogs which when mixed with the moaning cry of a foghorn, produced an incredible ambience for ghost stories, or scaring your little sister half out of her wits when she was coming home after dark and had to walk that long driveway which was flanked on either side by thick woodland, moohuahahahah (ever seen a 12 year old girl run from things which make spooky sounds and go bump in the night, just out of sight? She was fast!).

Anyway, I think a bunch of creative minds like those found at this site should be able to create a fun story. Did you know that single photon can exist in two places simutaneously? So says quantum mechanics and an experiment or two in Sweden. It has been hypothesized that multiple dimensions exist, with spirits which can see us, react with us. But we are sooooooo limited in our own knowledge and abilities. Hmmmmmmm. And the body is merely an organic machine by which we interface with the physical world. It has no life of its own , except that which is given it by our spirits. And the forces of the universe require that matter organizes itself into forms which can house spirits, or should I say energies, harnessed by the master energy of all energy and matter into humanity. A supreme being? He is that after all now isn't he.

And what spirits, great and small will seek to influence your life for good or evil, subtly or profoundly. Will they come in the night, like a shadow, hiding in shadows, or will they blaze into your life with the power of a whirlwind?
(Hollow, echoing laughter: heheheheheheheheheh!)

Oh, and I am now 100 pages into book three. And, I re-mailed (is that a word?) my first three chapters, synopsis, and cover letter (with prologue) to Tor, today, priority mail! Take that, you worthless spirit who seeks to keep me from being published!

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Whoa! Can I babble or what!

Jack Beslanwitch Thu Jun 15 17:18:31 PDT 2000

p.s. I have reduced the Novel Workbook to the latter part of May postings and did a similar cut in the Short Story Workbook. This has reduced things to 150k for the one and 78k for the latter. Let me know if this works for those attempting to post. I am going to hunt up some alternate scripts that may work it so that each story is stored as a separate file and comments are stacked below the story in question. Wish me luck and good writing everyone.

Jack Beslanwitch Thu Jun 15 15:36:10 PDT 2000

Hallee: in regards to being cold. No, actually I was bordering on roasting inside my wet suit. I was very very anxious to get into that nice cool 52 degree water in Puget Sound. Of course, once I master my buoyancy a little better I will shift to our custom dry suits and then we will not even worry about most any cold. We step into the suits, scrunch our heads and hands through the latex seals and zip up. We can get into the same with jeans and shirt or insulated underwear and be barely damp when we hit, go under and come back out of the water. This all means that we will be able do as one set of divers learning how to ice dive, go down through a hole in the ice in a lake up around Stevens Pass in the Cascades and turn upside down and moonwalk on the underside of the ice. Personally, I am not up for that yet, but I am definitely looking forward to being at the bottom of a Hawaiian bay watching the Manta Rays come in and suspect both Fran and I will be diving two to three times a month or more. Here in the Puget Sound area it is actually desirable to dive during the coldest part of the winter since that is whether there is the least algae and the greatest clarity. If you ever do decide to dive I think you will love it. I am finding more and more than the environment is very natural to me and the sense of wonder watching sunlight glint off schools of fish doing a ballet above me or petting an anemone or surprising a crab that goes scuttling way or picking up a starfish er seastar and holding it in my hand and then setting it back down so it can wiggle its way back into a comfortable spot is all well worth it. My, that is a very nice run on sentence if I do say so myself ;-). Bottom line, this is an avocation that will likely lend itself to some extraordinary pictures, extraordinary stories and some great sources for both non fiction and fiction writing. Take care. I am off to do surgery on the workbook.

Litter Thu Jun 15 15:14:03 PDT 2000

Hi All!

Better day, thus far. (I think.) Just back from my 17 year old daughters school prize-giving ceremony - She got 3 awards, so were are all really chuffed (Scot's vernacular for pleased!)

Howard mentioning 'themesetream' reminded me of something I was going to raise as a topic a few days ago, before the miseries set in. I have found a number of really good writers on themestream, a larger number of those with less talent but some promise, and an even bigger group of, what I can only describe as, literary rapists.

It seems that the way to make real money on a site like 'ts' is not to produce really good quality, but to produce lots and lots of anything with a catchy title, which will draw people into reading the articles. I'm busy monitoring (for my own edification) a group of people who are producing, in some cases, between 6 and 10 pieces of 'work' per day, most days of the week.

But this isn't quality stuff - as some wit once said: 'This isn't writing, it is typing, and not very good typing at that.' Some of it is only a moderate paragraph long and there are many serial 'writers' who seem to do nothing but rework extracts from 'Encarta', cookery books, how-to-do-it books, and so forth. One of this group has even advocated that it is okay to republish recipes as long as the person 'puts it in their own words'!!! This is a lot closer to plagiarism than I ever hope to get. (even unintentionally)

Has any one else that has been there found likewise? How do you feel about quantity, rather than quality, possibly 'turning off' the readership so that those who deserve to be seen are penalised along with the plagiarists and volume mongers?

I can't help think that, when themestream reckon they have enough writers of suitable quality, they will bring down the shutters and bounce all the literary rapists… At least I hope so.

Rant over :o) Got to go and write a dozen or so plagiarised paragraphs…

Ciao for now,


marinasun Thu Jun 15 14:49:16 PDT 2000

Hi everyone,

Thank you all for your welcomes. I'm happy to be here!

MARY: Thanks for the tip! I did! I live in Des Moines! ; )

TINA: I think your comment in my Guestbook was cut off. Thank you for it. You're right, I should choose another martial art. I didn't realize... And that character, including Dave, are the main characters in a long series of plots I have - and a few more tidbits like that one. She is my favorite female character of mine.

HOWARD: Thank you. Glad I'm not alone there. I'll look at your stories first! ; )


Jerry Ericsson Thu Jun 15 09:35:28 PDT 2000

Heather - finished reading your fine legend - left you some comments on the critique page - thought it was a very fine story indeed.

Clicked on my tray suite button in my tray, with your name in it, and it said - Pasurage Mead - another to add to your fine collection of PMS (did I say PMS?) I meant PM's I think.

howard Thu Jun 15 09:28:26 PDT 2000

RACHEL! I/we missed you!

HEATER -- (sorry, there's only one H on this keyboard...)
You might luck out and get the same Uncle Sam costume that Lucy Lawless wore in her now famous appearance (I have a video clip of that, if you're interested) at a hockey game, I think. Yes that'd be the one.

ALL -- Jerry mentioned WWW.THEMESTREAM.COM a while back, and I've been looking at it with great interest. Besides articles by Jerry and Litter, I just found an excellent one by Bruce Beckett, called "Six Tips for Writing Better Sex Scenes." I won't copy it here because they do get paid when people read their articles. Go there and check it out! There's also a great one on overcoming writer's block. Heather will enjoy a couple of the suggestions in that one.

back on your heads!

Rachel Thu Jun 15 09:01:39 PDT 2000

I'm here. Who calls?

Americo - Are you able to receive e-mail yet? Let me know.


Jerry Ericsson Thu Jun 15 08:34:24 PDT 2000

Heather - tried to read you story last night, but, alas, I had already taken my pain killers, and my head was not working well enough to follow it. Will give it another try this morning. It did look very interesting, I like that type of story. Was having a heck of a time with my ISP last night, tried to leave you a note but our server was down, and didn't come back up till this morning some time.


Heather Thu Jun 15 07:22:06 PDT 2000

Howard, I'll sing and even dance in an Uncle Sam suit, but I've never seen one at the Costume Palace. Where does one find an Uncle Sam suit?
Can I just wear some stripes?
How about a nice Maple leaf flag? I'll take the stage in it and drop it on the finale, where it will be known that I wear maple leaf boxers and undershirts. Oh, and socks too.
Besides, I was just backup vocals most of the time - wouldn't want to take too much attention away from our lead, wearing the Elizabethan gown and a powdered wig!

Howard, you can inspire leagues of people to sign up for any cause you back. I'm sending you some extra strength!
And a song.

Heather, P.M., and about to venture out into the great green belt of the yard.

Thu Jun 15 07:21:19 PDT 2000

Raaaaaaaaaachellllll! Hellllloooooooooo!

Heather Post Menstrual.calm Thu Jun 15 07:08:48 PDT 2000

Teekay, you are not alone. And I think you put your finger right on the reason. When we're being creative, the flow of energy is wide open, and it's a wonder to realize what our minds can open up to. FLOW, baby!

And I've babbled nonstop quite often - even here! ****GASP***

Just thought I'd relieve your concern with whether or notyou need to be committed. That's a galloping NO.

If she never calls you back, well, then don't worry about it. Genius sometimes gets a little lonely.

Tina, yes, you should be congratulated for being so consistent with posting crits. Your dedication to helping others is a song we all need to hear and sing ourselves.

(What's with these flower-pod-words, today? Teekay!?)

I will return to the workbook and check out any new developments, as I didn't get to every section in the last few days. Did visit the poetry page and left a comment or two.

Was it you Hallee, or Tina? Someone asked what inspired "Whisperings". I think it was the thought of GHOST STORIES combined with memories of Val Kilmer.
YUM. Anyone not quite making the connection on those two inspiring my story hasn't seen Thunderheart.

It is one of my very favourites, and not because of Val. But he helps! ***SIGH***

Graham Greene is another favourite actor.

My son is now cuddling my leg, wanting to foray into the great outdoors (mud, garden, sandbox) and so I must be off.
Hallee, I hope your daughter is feeling better! (((HUG)))

Heather, Pre Mortem
Phantom Morals
Plethora of Monikers

Oh, and a note for marinasun: Everything we write doesn't disappear from the notebook, even if it no longer appears on this page - Jack archives the messages and anyone wishing to look back over the past months and years (or last week) may do so by accessing the archives.

You can go back and read how Americo was an instigator from the moment he stepped aboard! (And still we love you, A*)


howard Thu Jun 15 07:02:34 PDT 2000

HEATER -- I wanna see you sing in an Uncle Sam suit! :-)

HALLEE (and others) Thanks for the encouraging words, notes, hugs, and cards, even! I guess the next best thing would be if I can get others to sign up for the program. I presented the Pheresis program in a college ethics class, and several signed up for that -- maybe I can do the same for the marrow donor program.

MARINASUN -- Welcome to you, too, and I hope you stay and join in the fun. There are some very nice folks here. I don't care much for the graphic stuff either, so you're not alone.

MARK -- Are you saying that Molly's face goes through your mind like smoke through an exhaust fan? Or that it's drawn there? :-) Intriguing -- is that what they term 'minimalist' poetry? That last is a serious question -- I've never seen a real description of minimalist, and I'm wondering. Neat references to the Susquehanna in your other poem too! Flowing like the emotions, yet within boundaries also, like the math. And never the same.

SASQUATCH -- I agree with Mark on the cyclic thing, although I do enjoy it. I've seen the Escher print you described (the hands) and have a copy of it somewhere. That is indeed a sad tale about the old man in the cabin. You are an interesting person, and I know an anthropology student who would love to chat with you.

TEEKAY -- Are you up for a classic Scifi novel? I've got one by Alan Dean Foster, called "Midworld" that I'll send along, if you like.

DISCLAIMER -- Anyone unmentioned is NOT forgotten -- just ran out of time!


Hallee Thu Jun 15 06:37:21 PDT 2000

TINA: I meant to tell you this morning, then I got sidetracked by everything else I meant to say. I wanted to thank you for the way you take the time to post the critiques. You consistently do it for everyone, and it's work to do that. I wanted to make sure that you know how appreciated it is. Probably not only by just me.

Hallee Thu Jun 15 06:17:27 PDT 2000

Well, I guess they say be careful what you wish for. I was sitting here this morning wishing that I had some more time to write and get things done today, and my daughter, poor heart, woke up with a stomach bug. :(

So, I've posted the next chapter in the workbook, for those of you interested. Enjoy - or tell me why if you don't. :)

Hallee Thu Jun 15 02:25:55 PDT 2000

OOPS! The post below is from me. I forgot to fill in the top. ::slapping my forehead::
Bye again.

Thu Jun 15 02:24:44 PDT 2000

Hey everyone. I've been writing every second I have to spare, so this is just a quickie.

TEEKAY - I can't tell if your making fun of me or not, but it doesn't matter because you're hillarious. I was laughing so loud, my secretary came into my office to see what was up. She didn't understand. I guess it needed some background.

TINA & CLAYTON: At some point, some time today, I'm going to post chapter 4. Right now, though, I'm going back to writing chapter 13. Tina: hahaha - keeping you guessing? My friends who are reading it are mad. They still can't figure out if Mike is doing it, and we're nearing the end. But that's the point, I guess. You don't want the reader to put down the book. Thanks for the notes, by the way. It is incredibly encouraging, when I worried critiques would be quite the opposite.

HOWARD - God bless you for your heart. I can't believe they wouldn't even consider a probable match who was willing to sign a disclaimer. It makes me mad, and makes me determined that when I find a few hours, I'll go do whatever I need to do to get registered to be on the list.

MARK & MARINASUN: Welcome, though I'm still so green it shouldn't come from me.

SASQUATCH: I'm not a big poetry fan, probably because I couldn't write a poem if I tried, but I loved Trees. What a great poem.

JERRY: I read your story & meant to go back and post a note for you, but, alas, I forgot. I laughed - good story. I'll try again to remember to put it on the critique page.

All of you who like editing: ::heavy sigh:: I can't stop writing long enough to edit. Only 2 of my books have been edited, and they haven't been edited thoroughly. I end up reading them, then get caught up reading and forget what I'm supposed to be doing. Then I start writing the next book and they sit next to my computer and collect dust. I think I'm the type of person (i.e., lazy) who is going to end up having to pay for editing services. Of course, that would take getting published, and yet again, there is the laziness issue.

HEATHER: ::a respectful nod to the PM:: (whatever you choose for that to stand for today) - sounds like you were perfect for the job. What fun!

JACK: You looked cold in the pictures. I think I may have lived in Florida for too long now. My heart is in the pacific northwest, or I thought it was until I saw something that reminded me of how cold the coast is there. ::smiles:: How fun to learn to dive. Something I've always wanted to do.

Okay - I intended for this to be a quickie, and here it is, I've been at the computer for almost an hour. It took so long to read and catch up. I must run now. I really want to finish this book, because I've been thinking more and more about the next book I want to write, and I can't wait to start it.

Bye for now.

Jack Beslanwitch Thu Jun 15 01:53:10 PDT 2000

Sorry people are having trouble with the Workbook. I will try to get a little time to put archive things and limit novel and short story workbooks to the last two weeks. I am hoping to get the new script up, but ran into a snag when I discovered that I could not use it in a pass word protected area. I will see what I can come up with. A little tired right now. Check with you tomorrow. Take care.

Tina Thu Jun 15 00:57:26 PDT 2000

Just tried to post the revamped opening of my story, but it wouldn't post. Add me to the list of Frustrated Posters. (Posting Misfits?) I'll try again tomorrow. Is the workbook too big or something? Jack? Help!

Teekay Wed Jun 14 21:37:59 PDT 2000

Oh, I just remembered something from yesterday, which was really quite strange and I wanted to share it with you all to see if it happens to others or if I'm just a wierdo.

It was the middle of the day and the baby was asleep and I was writing this novel I've started and I was just totally engrossed.

Anyhow, the phone rang and there was this woman on the other end whom I'd met once and talked to on the phone a few times.

I found myself just spilling my guts to this woman. Luckily I wasn't a government agent or I would have told her all the top secret stuff.

I didn't tell her anything juicy, coz I don't have anything juicy to tell, but I just found myself blurbling like and idiot. Sort of deep and meaningful and spiritual type of stuff.

And I could tell by her response that she thought I was one. (I wonder if she'll ever call again.) I was beginning to freak myself out.

Anyway, I just couldn't stop myself. I thought about it later and came to the conclusion that writing puts you into a type of meditative state and in such a state,all the walls go down and you are thoroughly open and exposed.

Has anyone else experienced this before?
Next time, the phone is going off the hook and I refuse to answer the door.

Thanks for listening.

Tina Wed Jun 14 21:36:59 PDT 2000


A quick note. I left a crit for Hallee and Clayton in the novel crit page.

Heather, I'd leave you one too but I need time to think about it. What inspired 'Whisperings'?

Sasquatch, I agree with Mark about your cyclic style, but I LOVE it. Life rarely gets straight to the point, and nature is an amazing, wonderful cycle. It's truthful and honest to paint it that way.

Marinasun, get yourself a password and check out the workbook! Lotsa good stuff there. We never see your home address or anything when you go there. I'll go find your site, I know you put a link in here somewhere....


Heather Wed Jun 14 21:14:48 PDT 2000

Jerry, any old time is the witching hour...



Heather Place Mat@on my table.gone Wed Jun 14 21:13:10 PDT 2000

Jerry, I DID read your stories in the ss workbook - earlier today. I didn't have time to comment, as I was composing my own ss. But I must say, your talent has unveiled itself at high noon! BRAVO!
(By the way, I read all of the shorties you wrote and posted in the WB lately and liked them ALL!)

The 'perfect Woman' sounds like a real bitch!


Hey Jade, wanna gimme a hand with the next NB mini-project?
We've got to start this ball rollin'! (What ball?) *snicker*


----Hey! Who wrote that?!
wooooo oooo oooooooo

Heather, P.M.
(No, I didn't post the one about 'pretentious mammaries', if that's what you all were wondering.)

Litter, I think I did have you in mind when I mentioned that I knew someone who wanted to BE my bra.
This old underwire contraption would love to retire.


sasquatch Wed Jun 14 20:59:18 PDT 2000

Mark person i thank for nice words on trees poem. i have seen in an old cabin in the trees a picture of a hand marking a hand but did not know which hand was marking first. it had this escher word you say on it. it belongs to old humans person who was good to me when i was sick. it is his best thing except for the book he reads to me from about the one. i go to see him again but he is cold and still with head resting on this book. i laid him and his book in a safe place to wait. i think he is happy now. he was always like sasquatch alone, but i think he is not alone now. i am sad but happy for him. he is my friend. i hope he remembers me also and i thank him for being kind. i found friends also here. i must go.

Teekay Wed Jun 14 20:57:09 PDT 2000

Hi All,

MARY: What are you doing girl. You should be asking for a darn raise. Obviously Minister of what it is you do, is a very challenging position and not everybody would be able to do it. I for 1.

LITTER: I agree. That P.M post did have a scent of HEATHER about it.
Hope things get better soon. Thanks too for the info. I'm going to memerize that for next time I want to impress. (It worked on me.)

RHODA: When I was a kid, I used to live in Darwin and every now and then there'd be cyclone warnings. Really freaky stuff but sort of exhilerating as well. Nothing bad happened until the year we moved away though. That was when Cyclone Tracy ravaged the town on Christmas morning of 1974. Heart breaking.

Okay going to look at the WB. About time too.

Jerry Ericsson Wed Jun 14 20:49:23 PDT 2000

Heather - I will read yours if you read mine. Posted one a couple of days ago, but nobody seemed to notice. Think it must be all this Post Mortem stuff going around or something.

Anyhow, I am off to the workbook to read your story. Did take quite some time to get down here to make my post, maybe it is the internet itself or something. Maybe it is the witching hour?

Write On.


Allein Wed Jun 14 20:36:15 PDT 2000

Rachel - I have had some trouble posting as well.

Teekay - Can't help you with the first, but the Hunchback's name is Quasimodo. I know this because this is my favorite book (so far).

Rachel Wed Jun 14 20:26:11 PDT 2000

Americo - I received your correspondece. I replied this morning, but am having difficulty in getting my e-mail through to you. I hope that all is well on your end.
Take care you,

ALL - Is anyone else having trouble posting on the notebook? ARGH! How frustrating. I can't get my mail sent, I can't post on the notebook. It's enough to get a gal worked into a tissy!

Rhoda Wed Jun 14 20:06:22 PDT 2000


I got your story, and I will be thrilled to read it. I am having a hard time with the battle scene at the end of my book. I am having to write out of sequence. Maybe I should just kill everyone off. Perhaps a large meteor is in order. No, just kidding. Please bear with me. I mean to have the rest of this book out to you before I leave town next week.

I just wrote out my schedule in my date binder until the middle of July. It is truly scary. I thought summer was supposed to be a vacation! I have trips to Tulsa and Louisville in the works. In between there are picnics, church camp, a Carolyn Arends (A Canadian musical artist) concert, Boy Scout camp, ball games in Amarillo, and heaps of other stuff.

Have to run and fill out my son's application for Boy Scout camp. Then I have to pay bills. Ugh. What a day!

We had a neat tornado scare yesterday. We had two warnings within two hours. Nothing bad happened, Praise God, but I did see my first funnel cloud, and it was awesome. It did not appear to be spinning. It just looked like a funnel in the sky. It really scared the kids. Today every kid in Perryton has been hyper. I think it was because of the weather and the sirens yesterday.

Happy writing,


Heather Wed Jun 14 19:28:57 PDT 2000

Mary, protection granted.

You have immunity as of this moment, whatever time it is GMT. (Greenwich Mean Time)

I left a short story on the shortie workbook page, if anyone would like another critiquing job. It's titled 'Whisperings'.

Pretentious Mammaries indeed. They preceed me, and announce my arrival in the most annoying tone.

At least they're not stuffed into a Xena, Warrior Princess metal bra. Ouch! What happens when it's really sunny and humid? (I can see the guy at the hardware store, the expression on his face when asked if CLR removes rust stains from nipples!)

Mark Wed Jun 14 18:41:56 PDT 2000


Smoke to an exhaust fan
Molly's face to my mind

Mark Wed Jun 14 18:30:11 PDT 2000

Sasquatch -- familiar with M.C. Escher?

Your poems remind me of his works, you start somewhere, work through some variations or complications and end up back at the beginning.

Either that or it's like twirling on a barstool :)

Anyway you have a positive talent for seeing the cyclic nature of things. Frankly, I tend to appreciate pieces that have a single point; your poems (the two I have seen) seem to have multiple points as they work around the circle. Trees, I think, is a better single statement of "The Great Cycle" even tho it has
-> trees stay in place
-> wind moves things
-> age changes things
-> trees stay in place
Still, I like it better when the writer comes right out and says what his[her] point is.
You read "War and Peace"? Every character in it goes through up and down cycles as the background cycles through War and Peace. The heroes of the story are the ones who believe in some higher power [god, nature, cyclic history]. The villains of the story honor no power outside themselves. I don't know your other stuff, but the two I've seen seem to be working on the right side of the tracks.
Howard copied your poem 'alone' and emailed it to me separately. It was that piece that made me get active here.

TEEKAY -- thanks for the 'scroll down' advice. I found the reference to the idea of keeping notepad and NB open at same time - I could already do that. My problem was that I was writing in the WB pad at the time and did not realize until just now that it is at the bottom of the page I had just read, I could have gone up and looked directly at Heather's poem instead of trusting my memory.

marinasun Wed Jun 14 18:17:45 PDT 2000

Hi everyone,

Thanks for the invite, Mary, but I don't want to put my home address on the internet. (I know it doesn't stay for everyone to see it, but still.) Can I post a story I have, a part of a story, here? And you Mary, or someone else, can send me their story or can post it here, too. Sorry about this, it's okay if I can't.


Wed Jun 14 17:04:00 PDT 2000

Here is the missing 'n' from below

Litter Wed Jun 14 17:02:04 PDT 2000

Mary - TFTLOAAE - Thanks For The List Of Acronyms And Emoticons - Simple! :o)

Mary - TFTLOAAE - Thanks For The List Of Acronyms And Emoticons - Simple! :o)

Howard - The rejection from the Bone Marrow program sucks bigtime. Bureaucracy wins out against health again! Oh, and I don't think it is Heater's (sorry :o) 'tail' that is being tweeked...

Heater - Would the candidate for that particular DD post have my name on it, by any chance? ;o)

Mark and Marinasun - Hi!

Christi - it was good enough for the double posting.

Teekay - William Shakespeare was never a Poet Laureate. The post in the UK used to be a Court appointed one (as in Royal Court) but now it is a government appointed post. Technically, the PL is supposed to record important national and Royal events, in prose and poem, but it is pretty much a status thing now - public acclamation for being 'the best'.

Crappy last few days for me people so that is it for me. Apologies if I've neglected anythig I should have answered.

Ciao for now,


howard Wed Jun 14 15:05:15 PDT 2000

Is something strange happening here? I got in the NB and saw some recent posts, then a scrambled section. Reloaded, and the NB looks normal again, but those posts are gone.

HEATER -- I think someone is tweaking your tail! Pretentious Mammaries? Woops! :-) Whoever that was is in a Presumptuous Mood!


Mary Wed Jun 14 09:50:27 PDT 2000

HI EVERYBODY! Just wanted to check in and see what is going on here. Have a great day!

LITTER: Try as I might, I can't get your acronym. I think the first four letters are Thanks for the laugh? Sorry, but you have me stumped.The minister of translations stands humbled.

HEATHER: Protect Me Prime Minister, so President Maxim won't Pound Me with a Portugese Mashie, Permanently Maiming or Possibly Murdering the Pathetic Minister of translations!(Or worse yet demote me!!)

Tina Wed Jun 14 09:29:07 PDT 2000


Christi, I'll send that book out PM (Posted Mail) as soon as I go near a post office! I like your idea about one sentence comments, so I'll put in a page for those. I wouldn't mind being on the list for 'Ender's Game'. I've always liked Card's writing, especially his Red Prophet series. Sounds like Ender's Game is even better.

Hi Mark and Marinasun!

Howard, I'm sorry for your news. That you were willing speaks volumes, though. Two of my cousins needed an organ transplant, and one with leukemia needed a marrow donation, so I'm partial to the cause.

It's my day off today and I'm gonna try and get some real writing done. Between hayfever, a cold, and visitors it's been 2 weeks since I seriously sat down and wrote! Aaaahgggggggg!:-< Course, I've been editing the opening scene again. Thanks all for the suggestions! It's getting sharper. When I'm happy with it again I'll repost it.

I'm off to see the wizard....

Wed Jun 14 08:44:51 PDT 2000

Pretentious Mammaries?

(ducking for cover)

Heather Wed Jun 14 08:15:24 PDT 2000

Whoops, thought of another:

Para Mecium!

Heh heh.

Heather Wed Jun 14 08:12:55 PDT 2000

Mark ~ You are right that my poem sounds like I was a bra!
Funny, I would not have seen that myself.
So, not so many people you've met can chat C++? Or Mensa, for that matter? Well, I'm afraid I'll disappoint with my confession: I do not know C++ or anything but BASIC make that REALLY BASIC! But my older brother has his Masters in Computer Science, and he created the database systems for the Human Genetics Program worldwide for his Masters' Thesis. He has projects on the go in Britain, and here in Canada. He also got married last year so while his wife is back in U of T achieving her own Masters, he is hard at work with computers. My younger brother is an Engineer. He just graduated from U of Michigan. I was a nurse, but finally just slapped myself upside the head one day and admitted that I couldn't be everyone's personal saving grace. Nursing is one of the most emotionally and physically draining jobs. When you touch and hold and clean and patch people all day, you give them your energy. You pass it on through close contact. Mind you, nurses won't be a lonely bunch. But sometimes you see too much and your eyes cannot close to anyone in need. One day you turn around and your own identity is wrapped up in others. And you wonder how it slipped away on you.
I also had to admit that my creativity was at zero while I was a nurse. I spent so much of myself helping others that I had little energy left when I came home, for my family, and even less for my writing and art.

I really liked your poem and agree with a previous post (sorry, was it yours, Howard?)
that you have drawn a parallel between mathematics and emotions. How you add up your experience and wishes and dreams and try to match them to another's. And in your poem, the pain is obvious, because you found that her sum total was not the same as yours. Rather like algebra, the x's and y's just cannot be added together.
That stems from a Universal Law that like attracts like.
(Forget what you may or may not know about magnets and/or axioms of our cultures)
Think atomic structure and valance electrons. Think solution, saturation, chemical properties.
You know what always awed me? How the entire Table of Elements just so happened to work out into a table in the first place. How each element fit, fell into place. So busy memorizing the physical aspects of said elements, it takes a step back to appreciate the way things are.

Anyhow, I go on and on and ...on.
Sorry everyone.

How did I arrive at chemistry?
Oh, yes, the mismatch of it in Mark's fine poem.

Keep posting!

Welcome to newbies!

Let's see what's up in the WB shall we?


Pretty Monkey
Podium Machine
Prime Meridian
(I like Pregnant Moose)

Wed Jun 14 00:58:42 PDT 2000


Just noticed the suggestion of ghost stories. Count me in. Do not have a lot of time, but this might have some interesting possibilities.

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Jun 14 00:51:45 PDT 2000

Fran and I finished our second open water dive. To get some idea of what this all looks like, I have included a couple of small photos from my first dive.

I am still overweighted with sixty pounds of lead weights to keep me down, but this gets me past my occasional anxiety and otherwise successfully lets me pass the skill tests necessary for me getting my certification before we head to Hawaii in July. Talk with you all soon. Take care.

Teekay -keeping on keeping on. Tue Jun 13 22:08:31 PDT 2000

Nearly forgot,
RHODA: I was wondering what Quo Vadis meant and last night I was flicking through a magazine and it had Quo Vadis - which way. Isn't that simply portentious?

Teekay Tue Jun 13 22:04:10 PDT 2000

HOWARD: ((((((((((hug)))))))))))))))))

MARK: Good one. Interesting because you have mixed logic with emotion. You have tried to describe the fleeting illogicality of relationships with the boundaries of math. I thought it was great.
BTW: If you scroll down a way you'll find how to have both windows open simultaneously. If you can't find it let me know.

HOWARD (again): Quasimodo - of course! Slap up the side of the head for me.*slap* And another one on the other side, just for fun. *slap*
Thankyou so much Howard. You're a great help. I know I could've looked it up on the net, but was easier to ask.

CHRISTI: What a load of prolific crapper hee hee heeeheheheheheheheeehehehhehehehehhehehehhehehhehehehehhehehehehehhehehehehehehehehehehhehecrapperhehehhehehehehcrappercrappercrapperheheheheheheheheh*SLAP* Phew, thanks mate, I needed that.

Ciao bellas comistita to foobey de crappola la crappy, crappa.
Yeeeeees I am. Vewy, vewy intelligent. I speak languages that have yet to be invented, in fact they may never be, and want to know something else? I can even make them up.
Yessir, I can.

Rachel Tue Jun 13 21:55:09 PDT 2000

MARY - HI YOU:D Thanks for thinkin of me (grins).

Christi - I love to edit. I enjoy taking the words and running my mind and fingers over them. Uh, er, um... You'll all start to wonder about what I write (grin/wink). Honest its prose, mainstream prose. Then again truth is often stranger and much more exciting than fiction. I have put down more than one story that people tell me could not have happened. That will invariably be the one that is true. Isn't life strange?

All - Hi guys. As Minister of the Heart I need to just send you all a hug. I can think of no exercises other than for each of you to continue to life and feel life with honesty, intensity and courage. That should keep you busy for a lifetime (grins).

Take care all


Christi Tue Jun 13 20:33:57 PDT 2000


Thanks, thanks!

I finally mailed you my address. I knew I'd forgotten something.

I like editing too. Just like Tina said, my stories come together with the editing. Before editing I don't even let my dog read it. Well, if I had a dog I wouldn't let him read it.

Ploppy Meadow
Pissed Mother
Pregnant Moose
Look what you started!

BTW, I loved the poem you wrote earlier. And I loved LITTER's and SASQUATCH's as well. So many Prolific Momentos. Somebody stop me! I really did mean that as a compliment but it turned into a P.M. joke.

Oh, and here's my vote for ghost stories. Riiiiiight . . . HERE! Did I scare ya? ;) Just practising.

Hiya! Welcome, welcome.

You got a chuckle out of my, just as you always do. Crapper is a very funny word, especially when you see it all written out like that.
Sorry, but I can be of absolutely not help to you in your research. I do have some interesting stories about mortuaries, speaking of embalming fluid. One of our friends' just quit a job selling buriel plots and such. Tells me stuff I don't want to know about ALL the freaking time! Same goes for my cousin, who's a doctor.

Howard again,
:-( Sad, sad. Very sorry, yes I am.

Very nice poem! I'm glad you stayed.

Hi yourself!

Sweet dreams to everyone,

Christi, Minister of L A

Mary Tue Jun 13 20:20:20 PDT 2000

I am so glad you accepted my invitation to return and work with us here. In case you didn't know(and forgive me if you did) all works in progress are posted in the Workbook. You can pick and choose the ones you would like to critique, and post your own there too! The Workbook is password protected , so please be sure to email Jack for your password. I'm looking forward to getting to know you and your writing better!

HOWARD:I am so sorry. I can only imagine how you feel. Know that my thoughts are with you and the little boy. What a nasty twist of fate.

MARK: Welcome welcome welcome. Good to meet ya.


Mark Tue Jun 13 19:56:05 PDT 2000

oops -- that's

Somehow my hand is Four and One,

Mark Tue Jun 13 19:52:37 PDT 2000

Heather - sorry, thought it was a riddle. You know, bunch of leading images that culmanate in the 'Who am I?' question. I saw the hard to breath, comes off, made with wire here, bone there, made to disguise (deceive?, darn, I need two windows open here) anyway ...
Would 'husbandy' type have surprised me? Yes. I am an MIS type and all the programmers whom I know have a hard time coming up for air. Had I chit-chatted with a man for 1 1/2 hours about mensa and activities and small talk, it would have been no different. There was no prior signal that arrays, loops, and if statements were an itch waiting to be scratched.

All - Here's one of mine
She's Gone

Candle casting shadows on close walls;
Moody, manipulable I think (ergo sum).

A flickering shadow makes moving
Boundaries; I want,
You do not.

The flame moves in a breeze
and the borders move
To another you and me
In a relationship of shadow borders
On close walls.

We lost our mathematics. Equations are
Equal only so long as each side
Gives or takes in balance.

New rings on your fingers, red
On your mouth, a ticket to travel
And I can no longer recognize Five.
Somehow my hane is Four and One,
Other fives are Three and Two
Headed for Two, Two, One
Like Susquehanna's headed
For a bay in the sun.

Susquehanna, out my back door,
Slides between hills
Like kids on a toboggan
Looking for the long ride,
Finding its way along a part
Of the countryside
I didn't know was tilted.

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Tue Jun 13 19:16:29 PDT 2000

Howard - I know what you mean, about smoking that is. I smoked for over thirty years myself. Gave it up a couple of years ago when it was a choice of eating or smoking. Took a long time to make the decision, but I was happy that I did choose eating. Not that I am starving to death. Many of us chose to start smoking when we were young, it was just the thing to do, had to smoke to be a man. After all that is what the TV told us every day, guess we fell for it. Although I haven't smoked now for over three years, there are still those times when I get the "need" for a smoke. Now I am smart enough not to go up-town and get one. Don't be to hard on yourself, I am sure there will be another donor for the young fellow

Howard Tue Jun 13 18:56:30 PDT 2000

SASQUATCH -- Beautiful! And that is more like the description of anadiplosis than your last one. From your poetry I see what it must be like to be alone.

I like the idea of ghost stories also, but I think Americo is looking for a more "literary" approach. But can anyone give a good definition or formula for a "literary" short story?

TEEKAY -- Formaldehyde, yes. And the hunchback was Quasimodo. A poet laureate is one who has been recognised, or who has received honors from a who has been crowned, so to speak, in the same way that an athlete was crowned (with a laurel wreath) for high achievement in his field. I don't know if Will Shakespeare was ever named as laureate.

All --
I had a very disappointing day. Part of the qualification for the bone marrow program was based on a health screening interview. I thought all went well, but received a call saying that they had to reject me -- not because I'm not a good match (I could have handled that) -- but because I have emphysema. They will not subject me to the risk of the anesthesia, even though I assured them that there would be no problem, and that I would be happy to sign any sort of waiver required. They're very conservative, though, and were adamant in this. So a five year old child may not get the treatment he needs just because I was stupid enough to get hooked on smoking when I was younger. It hurts.


Teekay Tue Jun 13 17:44:16 PDT 2000

HEATHER: Then again, maybe you deliberately left it out. ~shrug~

Teekay Tue Jun 13 17:41:06 PDT 2000

HEATHER: You forgot pre-menstrual.

Teekay Tue Jun 13 17:37:44 PDT 2000

Dear PUSSY: I am sorry that I did not receive your email. Could you please resend it to me. I do hate to think I'm missing out on something.

HOWARD: Thanks. Haven't got your picture. Am still waiting for it.

SASQUATCH: I just love your poetry. It has such truth and such depth.

RACHEL: Guess what I did first thing this morning, you know, after all the have to's were taken care of? I WROTE!and when I finish here I an going to write again.

HALLEE: I have used your name in my story. I hope you don't mind. It goes something like this. As Hallee, pronounced Sally, sat on the crapper, she thought to herself,'hmmmmm, I do wish my creater would get me off the crapper and give me a love scene instead. I feel I would find that to be much more fulfilling and move the story along much faster.'
Ha hahahahahahahhah.

NOTICE* Please everybody. I want you all to know that I do not use the word 'crapper' without a great deal of thought. In fact, this is the 2nd time in my entire life that I have ever said the word 'crapper' and I didn't even say it really, I wrote it. I feel it suits the tone of the work and that no other word will do at this particular time.
Thankyou for your ears.

I have a couple of questions and would appreciate it if anybody could let me know the answer. I tried ringing the vet, but he told me he could only answer horse questions and that I would be charged the normal consultation fee, so I'm really hoping you guys can help me out here.

1/ What is the technical name for embalming fluid? Is it formaldehyde?

2/What is a poet Laureate and was William Shakespeare one?

3/ What was the Hunchback of Notre Dames name?

Thanks anybody. I really appreciate it.

Oh, and YES. I give my vote to ghost stories.

Well back to the drawing board.

NOTE OF INTEREST: The biographies are in alphabetical order. Did you know that? Yeah, me too. Good to see some new additions there.

Americo Tue Jun 13 17:00:19 PDT 2000

Three votes in favor of the Ghost Stories, from Jon, Pussy and myself. Yet, none of us believes in ghosts — therefore no collaboration, sorry. But lots of cheers and words of incentive. That's a nice project for the Summer holidays.

marinasun Tue Jun 13 16:59:57 PDT 2000


I'm a newbie to the Notebook, but I posted a message requesting people to visit my site and critique my stories. Well someone did, so I feel it's my turn to offer. Don't expect me to be good at it, I'll just give you my honest readers perspective. I don't enjoy graphic or adult stuff.



Heather Patina'dRoof@Ottawa NBPM/Parliament/ Tue Jun 13 16:56:42 PDT 2000

BTW, Sasquatch, I just assumed from your brilliant poem that you had accepted the Ministry appointment. Of course, it is your decision, but we would be happy to have you as our Minister of Agriculture and Poetry.

I bow and tip my hat.

Heather, P.M.

P.M. could stand for so many things.
Piles o' Manure
In the Evening
Post Mark

I could go on.

Tina Tue Jun 13 16:50:51 PDT 2000


I've just been catching up on the posts, and I was so involved I boiled my kettle dry! I definitely need a whistling kettle...

Pussy, mark down my vote for ghost stories. I've actually got one simmering, and it'd be the perfect kick in the butt to do something with it.

Christi, is my e-mail not working? Haven't got your snail mail address yet. Sagan is wAAAting.

Another beautiful poem Sasquatch. As soon as I see you've posted another poem I get excited. I love them all. Haunting and lonely and rendered with heart striking imagery.

Rachel, I like editing too! No deep breath excercises involved. During the first draft I'm too focussed on the actions and emotions and dialogue to form the words artfullly. Editing is when I can slow down and rearrange and CRAFT the story, rather than just get it down before I forget my ideas. I see my work go from plain to... to vibrant, and that makes editing fulfilling and not drudgery.

I can't remember what was said in all the posts! Hi to all. Think I'll go and try to make tea again, and not boil the kettle out!


Heather Tue Jun 13 16:41:57 PDT 2000

Sasquatch, it is a beautiful poem you have blessed the Notebook with.

Thank you.

Our Minister of Agriculture and Poetry has filled the office beyond the requirements to our happiness and great honour!

Heather, P.M. (Well Pleased)

sasquatch Tue Jun 13 15:41:41 PDT 2000

Heather person is required much of minister of agriculture and poems? i sasquatch will think on for now.

here is ok poem?
the trees by sasquatch i wrote this

the trees will be when i am gone
to places other then than now
but still they stay and keep their place
and deep roots hold them as they face
the wind

that wind that carries word to all
of time that changes stone to dust
that beats upon their upraised limbs
and crying sings the mournful hymns
of age

an age that bends and breaks and tears
and carries to a final end
but no, it leaves behind a seed
that grows a blade, a stem, a reed
a tree

the tree will be when all is gone
when all seems over and complete
its roots again with purchase deep
begins again its watch to keep

i sasquatch see this in the trees around me and feel they will be always here. i must go

Heather Tue Jun 13 12:24:34 PDT 2000

Rachel! I will gladly see that you have a secretary appointed since you are simply inundated with calls and work to be done! Travel, Love, all of those striking things are going to keep you very wrapped up in your office.
If it gets too warm, let me know.

Who shall be Rachel's secretary? Hmmmmm. Hmmmmm.
How about Eddie?

I can't remember if he has already been appointed for an office. (Scroll down, scroll scroll...)

Heather, P.M.
Hey, Arik, Minister of Culture! Your assignment is still due as a new Minister of Education has yet resumed office. Rhoda hasn't decided yet. So c'mon and out with it. I can't wait! And Mary can't very well do her assignment wihtout yours. You will be docked marks for lateness. Better make it a zinger of an essay. :o}

Heather, P.M.

Heather Tue Jun 13 12:17:33 PDT 2000

Pussy, the job of tabulating votes does not involve you 'directly' in politics. You are not on either side, but a third party. All you need do is count the votes for or against GHOST STORIES (GS**?) for the next round robin, and I'm sure you can count them on those freshly painted nails. Besides, what fun is it to sit on your virgin-white couch and watch? You love to put your paw in and rattle the collection of cents. Not to mention you love to serve tea and cakes. Your husband is in the centre of the political 'storm', and so you cannot slip past us, untouched by the ghost of Forefathers. And I know you love attention.

Well, correction - Jon is not in the middle of a storm, but rather on a large body of water, riding in Glory the Vanity Vessel. He already put the NB flag on the moon. Where shall he travel next?
(BTW, the cream is in the fridge, Jon)

What's the count now?
I'll toss my vote in FOR GS** (We must officially give it a title, once it's voted in)
I promise to reward you for a job well done, with tea and scones at my house. I will cover the walk with flower petals so your polish won't chip.

Heather, P.M.

Rachel Tue Jun 13 11:40:39 PDT 2000

Heather - Hi you:D I accept the position. As long as I can hold two positions... I am all ready the Minister of Transportation and Travel. Yes! I know the exact location of Jon! I will tell no one, Bwah, ha, ha, ha!!!!!!!

Litter - Know what? Sometimes I LOVE editing. I'm not kidding about that. I am into medatative breathing. If you have any new exercises that you would like to pass along, I would be delighted to try them (grins)! The doctors? They are editing with me. We talk often, about all the people who don't like to edit. We don't understand...

Teekay - You go girl!

Christi - I send you smiles and a hug.

Now I must dash. The game is about to start.

Ciao for now!


Pussy Tue Jun 13 11:23:00 PDT 2000

Prime Minister,

No way. Hate politics.

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Tue Jun 13 10:31:47 PDT 2000

Left a short story in the short story workshop, a little attempt at writing a humorous story, please let me know if I succeeded.

Guess since I suggested ghost stories in the first place I needn't vote, but my vote is of course yes.

Hallee Tue Jun 13 10:03:30 PDT 2000

I have never written a ghost story, persay, but I would be willing to try if that were indeed the next project.

Heather Tue Jun 13 08:14:45 PDT 2000

Here is a cute little ditty (ditty?) of Unknown Authorage:

Yesterday upon the stairs
I met a man that wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today ~
I wish that man would go away.

How many votes for GHOST STORIES being the next project in our beloved ROUND ROBIN of the WORKBOOK?

I appoint Pussy as the official tabulator of the votes.
She needs a new hobby.

Heather, P.M.

Heather Tue Jun 13 07:59:52 PDT 2000

Howard, how many strings do you have?
You've been to Guelph, just come on up for Hillside Festival at Guelph Lake and I'll see what tunes I can pluck!
(Dooomph dooomph dooomph doompa doomp!)
Oh, and how large is your soundhole?
Hah hahahahha

All you who do not play stringed instruments, cover your ears and back on your heads!

P.S. Do you mind the bow? It tickles.

howard Tue Jun 13 06:47:01 PDT 2000

HEATER -- I almost forgot -- you'd like to own an upright bass? I sing bass, and I'm upright most of the time... except when I'm not...

CHRISTI -- Very nice! I liked it twice! :-)


howard Tue Jun 13 06:36:36 PDT 2000

MARK -- Welcome! I'm sure you'll find this place interesting -- I do, and there are some very talented people here. I'm working on getting a pix in the bio.

JASONR -- If you're still lurking, I'm still working on that piece you sent me. Sorry it's taking so long.

TEEKAY -- Got your picture -- lookin' good!

SASQUATCH -- you still didn't answer my question. You refer to the One -- what one?

back on your heads!


Teekay Mon Jun 12 22:50:51 PDT 2000


Christi Mon Jun 12 22:21:09 PDT 2000

Sorry, but that pizza was calling my name . . . or calling me names, I'm not sure which, but I do know that it tasted damn good.

Tag, you're it.

Teekay Mon Jun 12 21:57:23 PDT 2000

CHRISTIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII WAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTT. Guess you're into the pizza 'bout now. If only my speakers had been plugged in I woulda opened you email straight off. They're plugged in now.

Teekay Mon Jun 12 21:54:43 PDT 2000

CHRISTI: That was only 4 minutes! You said 5, yes you did!

Teekay Mon Jun 12 21:53:04 PDT 2000


Christi Mon Jun 12 21:49:54 PDT 2000

Thanks guys *sniff*. You've no idea how buoyant your kind words have made me.


Christi Mon Jun 12 21:30:30 PDT 2000

Hey Teeks. You here?

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Mon Jun 12 21:20:03 PDT 2000

Check out the site above, I have tried some of their software, and it works great. You can have a Thesaurus in your system tray all the time, just click on it and type in the word, it will do the rest for you. Makes a nice add-on for any word processor. I found it looking for a medical spell checker for my sister-in-law who works as a medical records tech. They also have a multi-lingual spell checker with all kinds of add-ons. You can even spell check in several languages at the same time.

Anyhow enough advertising for someone I don't even know.

Americo - thanks for the score. We here in America know so little about European football.

Write ON!


Teekay Mon Jun 12 21:16:48 PDT 2000

CHRISTI: I loved it and I loved the very last sentence too. It was the perfect last sentence. I got a bit excited when I saw the other bit at the bottom. I though there was more but alas......

I am probably really going to regret asking this but.......what's a C++ project??? I thought it was a battery strength hah hah hahclunk.

Heather Mon Jun 12 20:59:13 PDT 2000

Mark, welcome to the NB,
and no, I am not in fact, a bra. But I happen to know a guy who wishes he were my bra.

You were blown away by a woman that knows c++? Would you have been surprised had it been a 'husbandy type'?
Think about that, will you?

Americo, thank you for your report. It was informative, concise, and amusing.
On the other hand: Jon, you are a lazy bum. Pass the salt.

Christi, bravo! BRAVO! B R A V O!!!
(Did I mention I liked your 'A Breath of Fresh Air'?)

Everyone, I'd love to make a few more notes, but I'm on a rescue mission for a great friend tonight.
Oh, one more note.
Christi, I was backup vocals, sometimes lead vocalist, and I can play keys but I prefer percussion and bass. I would love to own an upright bass, but they're a little beyond my price range at the moment. Maybe next year.

When I say percussion, it's on the bass end of the cleff.
Once, a few years ago, for the jam night at a local bar/club, I had only bongos and a rain stick so for one particular number I used the rain stick to pound out a beat on the stage floor. It was GREAT!
The tune was pretty slow and heavy, so it was the perfect accentuation for that song. You could hear the sprinkle sound of the 'rocks and cacti prickles' inside the rainstick a bit with every deep 'bonnnng' on the stage. The stick, BTW is a really large one, takes two hands to reach around it.

I also love the deep thrum of the bass (electric) guitar, it is much more resonant in the rib cage when you play it, instead of being a listener in the audience. Even moreso when plugged into a Marshall stack or two.

Anyway, that is past, whether we will play again together we will have to wait and see. I feel inadequate in comparison to her. She's like Sarah McLachlan, and I'm not even on the list for the Lilith Fair!

well, I thought I had said enough for the night.
Obviously not.
Heather, P.M.

Honesty is the best policy, unfortunately, it wasn't a policy that passed in the House of Commons. I shall have to change that.

Teekay Mon Jun 12 20:47:42 PDT 2000

My ISP server was down yesterday, so I didn't get any emails. If you sent me one then please resend. I hate it when that happens. Aaah so many passions.

Mark Mon Jun 12 20:07:09 PDT 2000

Howard: went to the notebook, looks interesting, left a note,


then went to bio section, no pic of you?
noticed you snubbed mensa for being uppity. poetic.

i left 'em for having slobs. woman who administered the iq test i took had a big sweat streak on her butt and looked like she had it there yesterday too. was working nights at the time, so i only made a few sparsely-attended meetings, the people were particularly unsuccessful, but one house-wifey type surprised me by casually dropping the hint that we had to end the meeting because she was ready to return to her C++ project. wow. i was having trouble with basic.

Lena Mon Jun 12 19:59:13 PDT 2000

So - if you can have a pair of jeans and a pair of shorts and a pair of glasses, why do you only get a bra? If two's company, and all that... oh, quirks of the English language.

Christi - Oh, I love it. Thank you - the beginning had me thinking about the Jesus-God relationship, but I appreciated it more when the soul turned out to me Just Another Person.

Litter - Hey, thanks. I'll be there. Maybe we should buy a trampoline for Liz so that the landing part of the inaugural launch is covered.

I bought a wonderful book today. It is called "Escaping Into the Open - The Art of Writing True" by Elizabeth Berg. I checked it out from the library and ended up so engrossed in the exercises I coughed up an obscene amount of money and bought it from Borders today. Definitely recommended.

The funniest acronym I have seen is INALB, which stands for "I'm Not A Lawyer But..." Whoever made up that list had obvious never been in a chat room in his life and just liked to confuse people by condensing little-used phrases for his own amusement.

TTFN (Ta-Ta For Now),

Christi Mon Jun 12 19:57:59 PDT 2000

Whoa! That is one DOOzy of a double post. I don't even know how I did it! Sorry for the confusion guys. The first paragraph copied twice and then the story goes to the end, and then repeats again. Crud.

Sorry Jack!

The ending line is "I can't wait to see Father." I'd post it again, more clearly, but I've probably reached my max number of lines allowed. :-]

Christi Mon Jun 12 19:51:58 PDT 2000

As Teekay would say, I dood it, I dood it! I finished my assignment, and I must say "Thank you very much!", because it was really fun to do. The only thing is, I got on a roll and my twenty sentence assignment turned into a 1 1/2 pager. I hope no one minds me taking up all that space in the Notebook. Now the disclaimer.

This story is not an attempt to say that this is how everyone gets to be this earth. It is simply one person's story. Disclaimer over.

Just a Breath of Air
© Christine Ritchotte, 2000

This is my story—the story of how I came to be a flesh and blood, living, breathing human being. Only now do I remember it; it’s so vivid, as if it happened yesterday. Perhaps it did happen only yesterday, time being what it is. But oh, now how I do remember—how could I have ever forgotten? Just a Breath of Air
© Christine Ritchotte, 2000

This is my story—the story of how I came to be a flesh and blood, living, breathing human being. Only now do I remember it; it’s so vivid, as if it happened yesterday. Perhaps it did happen only yesterday, time being what it is. But oh, now how I do remember—how could I have ever forgotten?

It all started on a day when Father came to me unexpectedly. “Child,” he said, with no preamble, as per usual. “You have been called.”
“Called for what, Father?”
He smiled a glorious smile. “Why, called to earth of course.”
I stared, completely confused. “Father, I have no work on earth. I am just now mastering plant-making—see?” I spread my arms forth, showing off my handiwork.
He turned to the plants I had crafted that afternoon, then threw his gaze out to the miles of garden that surrounded us—every plant different from the one next to it, each one full of colour and intricate in design. “Yes, I see, my child,” he said. “But why do you make only perfect plants? There is much to be said for imperfection. Do you not wonder why you tire of your creations so quickly, moving from one to the next with such impatience?”
“But isn’t perfection what we strive for here?” I asked in frustration. “Why would we ever want anything to be imperfect? Father, what you are suggesting to me terrifies me—I don’t understand what it is you want from me.” I began shaking, as I always did when in his presence for any amount of time.
“My Child, I can see that what I ask of you is not within your power,” he said soothingly. “This is why it is so important for you to fulfill your destiny, and take your Earthly journey.”
All of a sudden it came back to me—the day so long ago, eons ago, that I had signed in the great book, placing my name on the long list to be sent to, what was then, the new project. I’d had visions of going to Earth to make right what was wrong. There was so much that needed fixing—I could almost taste the things I would be able to accomplish.
But that was so long ago. Since then, Earth had lost its luster for me, seemingly impossible to regulate. I’d long since placed it on my ‘things to ignore’ list, tuning out the others when they discussed anything to do with it. I was very good at that, as perfect in ignoring as I was in anything else I did. I couldn’t imagine that Father planned on holding me to going to a place I’d signed to go to in such haste and excitement. I wouldn’t go—I’d rather not exist if I had to. Earth had turned out to be so volatile in nature that no one could control it—not even Father. It was a place of daily cataclysm, where nothing was for certain, and nothing was sacred.
I looked at Father, realizing he had heard and felt my inner turmoil. Embarrassed, I looked down to the ground in shame, afraid to look upon him. But then he took my hand in his strong hand, and my fear and shame left me. We walked through the perfectly manicured grounds I had spent so long in tending. His warmth flowed through me, saturating me with blissful comfort, and I felt, rather than heard his next words. “I see your fears, Child. I know them well, and I also know that you will never learn to live without fear until you have lived as flesh and blood. You could stay here forever and never learn the things you will learn on Earth.”
I wept unabashedly, falling to my knees with the wonder of what I was feeling. When I felt I could, I took the hand he offered and let him help me up.
“It is my most wondrous and precious of gifts, and I give it to you, Mychellie.” From his lips, my true-name sang in the air, shimmering radiantly.
“Oh Father,” I wept. “I will go. I trust you, my Father, and I will go.”

I remember that day in the garden so well now. I weep again, thinking of it, and thinking of how I will finally look upon his face again.
Suddenly, I hear weeping that is not my own. I open my eyes, though I had not realized they had been closed, and I see my family. They are all here, surrounding me as I lay in my bed. I see my husband, Rory, the man of my life for over fifty-five years—a good and kind man I am proud to have known. His shoulders are stooped, so unlike him, when he usually stands so tall and proud. He’s caressing my face, like it’s a piece of fine china he’s afraid he’ll drop. How I wish I could comfort him.
My children are all here too, their eyes red-rimmed, looking to their spouses for support—all except for Daniel. Daniel is looking right at me, his face shining with something; could it be joy? I smile at him, feeling that special bond we’ve always had, this one last time. My cup runneth o’er—I know what that means now. My grandchildren are here, every last one of them. They run around the room and out into the hall, unaware of what’s happening, roughhousing until an adult grabs and chastises them.
‘It’s okay!’ I want to say. ‘Let them play. I want to see them play.’
The newest addition, Connie’s little six-month-old, who inherited my fire-engine red hair, is cooing at me. He sees me so clearly, blessing me with a gummy smile so wide it makes me laugh aloud. No one hears me but him.
My family—they have come so far with me— to places I never would have known, showing me truths I never would have seen. I am so blessed to have had all this—all these loved ones who surround me now, giving their love so freely.
“Thank you,” I whisper to them. “Thank you.”
“Goodbye, Alyce,” I hear my Rory say softly. “You stop worrying about us and get going.”
I hadn’t even realized I’d been waiting for a release, but oh, what a blessed release it is. I feel the pulling and can’t wait any longer. I have somewhere to go—somewhere so familiar, and yet so different now. Everything is different now.
I’m going home and I can’t wait to see Father.

It all started on a day when Father came to me unexpectedly. “Child,” he said, with no preamble, as per usual. “You have been called.”
“Called for what, Father?”
He smiled a glorious smile. “Why, called to earth of course.”
I stared, completely confused. “Father, I have no work on earth. I am just now mastering plant-making—see?” I spread my arms forth, showing off my handiwork.
He turned to the plants I had crafted that afternoon, then threw his gaze out to the miles of garden that surrounded us—every plant different from the one next to it, each one full of colour and intricate in design. “Yes, I see, my child,” he said. “But why do you make only perfect plants? There is much to be said for imperfection. Do you not wonder why you tire of your creations so quickly, moving from one to the next with such impatience?”
“But isn’t perfection what we strive for here?” I asked in frustration. “Why would we ever want anything to be imperfect? Father, what you are suggesting to me terrifies me—I don’t understand what it is you want from me.” I began shaking, as I always did when in his presence for any amount of time.
“My Child, I can see that what I ask of you is not within your power,” he said soothingly. “This is why it is so important for you to fulfill your destiny, and take your Earthly journey.”
All of a sudden it came back to me—the day so long ago, eons ago, that I had signed in the great book, placing my name on the long list to be sent to, what was then, the new project. I’d had visions of going to Earth to make right what was wrong. There was so much that needed fixing—I could almost taste the things I would be able to accomplish.
But that was so long ago. Since then, Earth had lost its luster for me, seemingly impossible to regulate. I’d long since placed it on my ‘things to ignore’ list, tuning out the others when they discussed anything to do with it. I was very good at that, as perfect in ignoring as I was in anything else I did. I couldn’t imagine that Father planned on holding me to going to a place I’d signed to go to in such haste and excitement. I wouldn’t go—I’d rather not exist if I had to. Earth had turned out to be so volatile in nature that no one could control it—not even Father. It was a place of daily cataclysm, where nothing was for certain, and nothing was sacred.
I looked at Father, realizing he had heard and felt my inner turmoil. Embarrassed, I looked down to the ground in shame, afraid to look upon him. But then he took my hand in his strong hand, and my fear and shame left me. We walked through the perfectly manicured grounds I had spent so long in tending. His warmth flowed through me, saturating me with blissful comfort, and I felt, rather than heard his next words. “I see your fears, Child. I know them well, and I also know that you will never learn to live without fear until you have lived as flesh and blood. You could stay here forever and never learn the things you will learn on Earth.”
I wept unabashedly, falling to my knees with the wonder of what I was feeling. When I felt I could, I took the hand he offered and let him help me up.
“It is my most wondrous and precious of gifts, and I give it to you, Mychellie.” From his lips, my true-name sang in the air, shimmering radiantly.
“Oh Father,” I wept. “I will go. I trust you, my Father, and I will go.”

I remember that day in the garden so well now. I weep again, thinking of it, and thinking of how I will finally look upon his face again.
Suddenly, I hear weeping that is not my own. I open my eyes, though I had not realized they had been closed, and I see my family. They are all here, surrounding me as I lay in my bed. I see my husband, Rory, the man of my life for over fifty-five years—a good and kind man I am proud to have known. His shoulders are stooped, so unlike him, when he usually stands so tall and proud. He’s caressing my face, like it’s a piece of fine china he’s afraid he’ll drop. How I wish I could comfort him.
My children are all here too, their eyes red-rimmed, looking to their spouses for support—all except for Daniel. Daniel is looking right at me, his face shining with something; could it be joy? I smile at him, feeling that special bond we’ve always had, this one last time. My cup runneth o’er—I know what that means now. My grandchildren are here, every last one of them. They run around the room and out into the hall, unaware of what’s happening, roughhousing until an adult grabs and chastises them.
‘It’s okay!’ I want to say. ‘Let them play. I want to see them play.’
The newest addition, Connie’s little six-month-old, who inherited my fire-engine red hair, is cooing at me. He sees me so clearly, blessing me with a gummy smile so wide it makes me laugh aloud. No one hears me but him.
My family—they have come so far with me— to places I never would have known, showing me truths I never would have seen. I am so blessed to have had all this—all these loved ones who surround me now, giving their love so freely.
“Thank you,” I whisper to them. “Thank you.”
“Goodbye, Alyce,” I hear my Rory say softly. “You stop worrying about us and get going.”
I hadn’t even realized I’d been waiting for a release, but oh, what a blessed release it is. I feel the pulling and can’t wait any longer. I have somewhere to go—somewhere so familiar, and yet so different now. Everything is different now.
I’m going home and I can’t wait to see Father.

Teekay Mon Jun 12 19:28:14 PDT 2000

Hi all,

RACHEL: I've done it. I've gone and started another book. I even have a sort of skeleton for it and I'm pretty sure I know how it ends up. (in the back of the closet, under the old jumpers.) Just joking. Whoo hoo, I feel all exillerated(?)......again.

HEATHER: Thank you.

Gotta go and do some postal catching up.

Mark Mon Jun 12 19:26:14 PDT 2000

"Swiftly falling
Slow to breathe
. . .
Who am I?"

You are a bra.

Pussy Mon Jun 12 16:54:55 PDT 2000

Here's a telegram from France Press, the news agency.

"The Portuguese team has just turned soccer into an art."

What would they write if they tasted my cakes?!

Jon Mon Jun 12 16:53:31 PDT 2000

From my yacht, somewhere in the ocean.

Subject: how fish and chips is a delicious apperitif. Or how the Portuguese team ited (sic, probably ate) the English squad in the 90 minutes of a memorable fooball match.

I confess that I supported Portugal. Actually I had invented a sophisticated machine to put the English soccer players to sleep. But I had a little problem with the machine, aimed at sending to Philips Stadium in Holand ultra-violet rays from the place in the ocean where I am hiding from my admirers and subjects. I pushed the wrong button and it was the Portuguese players that I put to sleep in the first 15 minutes of their match against England. I threw the machine overboard when I realized my mistake. It did not hurt any fish.

Freed from the paralysing effects of my invention, the Portugese team woke up and won graciously. I do not intend to use any more inventions of mine in this Euro championship, at least until I know which are the wrong and the right buttons.

Americo Minister of Sports and Games Mon Jun 12 16:51:56 PDT 2000

Ms. Prime Minister,

Portugal won 3-2 against England. It was the victory of genius over talent. The English scored at the second minute of the match, in their first shot to the goal. Fifteen minutes later they scored again, in their second (and last) shot to the goal.

Then something extraordinary happened. The Portuguese woke up and made mince pie of their oldest allies. Since princess Philippe of Lencaster married the King of Portugal, in the middle of the 14th century, the Portuguese have always supported the English against their foes, including Napoleon. In return the English helped the Portuguese drink their Port and flooded them with textiles and machinery during the Industrial Revolution. That's why the Portuguese have a fondness for their great allies.

No wonder that, as a Portuguese and a diplomat, I am crying while writing my first report to you, Ms. Prime Minister. Blue tears of sorrow for a people I love so much, but great hope that the English squad manage to defeat the Rumanians and the Germans and all the other European teams they will hopefully play against in the quarter and semi-finals, till they meet Portugal again in the finals, on the 3rd July — and are turned into mince pie once again.

Respectfuly yours,
Americo, Minister of Sports and Games

Litter Mon Jun 12 16:15:28 PDT 2000

Hey All,

Back after a bad couple of days - don't ask!

Howard - Trebuchets are my most recent embryonic hobby - fascinating machines. First I plan a tabletop model. Then I will construct one big enough to throw the kids to the bus stop, and then a bigger one to throw Liz to the nearest supermarket… Well, I can dream. We don't have a K-Mart yet, but Walmart has taken over a chain of stores in the UK and prices are tumbling. (Oh, and by the way, way to go and OUCH!)

Lena - you are invited to the inaugural 'supermarket launch' of the giant trebuchet.

Rachel, you LIKE editing? I want you to sit down and breathe deeply and regularly. When you are relaxed I want you to phone a doctor, a special doctor. You can yet be helped!

Eddie - Culloden will never be forgotten, such an ignominious day for Scotland. 'Tis only the 'Auld Alliance and the name 'French' which saves you from dire retribution. Congrats on the new job, bye the way.

Heater - I thank you. Now then, wild? We like lots of wild heather in Scotland! The poem - full of pain but wonderfully evocative.

Pen-names - who needs a pen-name? Oh yeah, I do, since it's about all I ever use :o) Some people think that is unnecessary but I disagree. If you are writing for different genres or, like me, using them to separate poetry from fiction from hard-copy articles. It seems all to easy to be known for one genre and not be taken seriously for something which seems totally different - after all, quite a number of people used pen-names for just such a reason.


Sasquatch - The wind has a message and a poem for you.

Goodweed, Avatar, and all y'all - Hi!

Ciao for now,


howard Mon Jun 12 14:18:45 PDT 2000

Don't forget ANFSCD and FTYBR!

Monty Python fans will recognise "And Now For Something Completely Different" and anyone who remembers the Munchkins will remember "Follow The Yellow Brick Road," -- used to indicate that further detailed instruction is unnecessary. See also the Nike commercials' "Just Do It!"

Hallee Mon Jun 12 13:00:16 PDT 2000

one acronym that is common in chat rooms, but may not be found on any published lists (I don't know - I've never looked):

LMAO = laughing my a#@*& off
ROFLMAO = rolling on the floor, laughing my a#$% off

Hallee Mon Jun 12 12:57:47 PDT 2000

Christi - I meant to start my previous post by saying thank you. :-) I tend to get very humbled and shy away when I'm told things like that, and in a room full of writers - it means even more to me (and flusters me even more).

Rhoda Mon Jun 12 12:56:47 PDT 2000


This weighty decision has plagued my mind for days. Though I would be honored to be Minister of Education, I have to sit back and honestly evaluate my potential effectiveness in such a position. Since Junior High School, I have been trying to educate everyone who comes into my path on history, politics, and just good ole common sense, and TO LITTLE AVAIL!

Perhaps I have made some progress on my kids, but then again they are a captive audience. So far they think I am brilliant, or so they tell me. But everyone else? My husband thinks I am smart too, but we agreed on all the important stuff from the day we met.

I tell you what. When Americo logs on and announces that he has become a political conservative and that he listens to Rush Limbaugh on his short-wave radio, I will definitely sign on to be the Minister of Education. Otherwise, I will have to think about it.


I am thrilled to hear about your progess in writing. Three books! I too have tried to get Tor/Forge to notice me. They publish many fine mainstream historicals. I am glad you posted and let us know what is happening. I am sorry about you not being able to find your colaborative writing project. I hope you find Jerry's proposed project to your liking. It would be wonderful to have you on board the Notebook again.


Good luck with your move and your new job. I hope this job will turn out to be all it promises to be and that while working hard you will still find time to write and to occassionally visit the Notebook.


I hope you are enjoying the experience of being a graduate.

There is so much more on the Notebook I have not read. I will respond when I am fully caught up.

Happy writing,


Hallee Mon Jun 12 12:18:00 PDT 2000

CHRISTI: I think the key word is encourage. My mother will say she has no talent, but all four of us say her talent lies in mothering, and my dad is incredibly too modest about both his drawing and writing ability. He's been a valuable tool when I'm having some problems wording a particularly descriptive scene. Anyway, what I was saying was that they encourage us to be happy. That's what we were told all our lives. "Do what makes you happy, and do your best at it - that's all we want."

It gives us a certain freedom and a certain confidence (though my confidence is still "budding")


Christi Mon Jun 12 11:32:09 PDT 2000

I think you're very artistic. You must have had great parents, who encouraged that kind of thing. My family's the same way--all of us lean toward the arts. It's a great way to lean, if you ask me.

Pussy Mon Jun 12 11:29:43 PDT 2000

At noon, NB's time, Portugal vs. England for the Euro Soccer Championship!

A*, all dressed in black, his face painted red, his feet painted green — the colours of the Portuguese shirts— prays to his gods that Portugal win.

Aboard his yacht, off the coast of Holand, where the match is going to be played in less than an hour, Jon sends paralysing rays (of his invention) trying to imobilize the minds and legs of the English players.

The tension is great, the country stopped. In Britain, Irish, Welsh and Scots drink to the victory of Portugal — great peoples! Half of the English are swooning with fear, the other half singing "Britain rule the waves".

At home, lying on my virgin white sofa, I polish my nails.

Pussy, secretary of the Minister of Sports and Games (self-appointed).

Tania: I got an error message when trying to thank your pretty photo with the pretty baby. I've just tried a second time, hope you get it. Anyway, thanks.

Christi Mon Jun 12 11:27:32 PDT 2000

Happy Moonday, all.

I truly do understand. You take care too.

G-luck with your move. What're ya, crazy? Eighteen months isn't very long to stay in one place--that must be some job/house/way of life! Again, good luck!

I think you're doing an awesome job. Thanks for the acronyms and emotiocon(?). I especially liked 8-o and :-].
This page has a nasty echo when you're all by yourself doesn't it?

My weekend turned out to be a nutty affair (not a love affair) and I wasn't able to do my assignment. I wonder if our new Prime Minister will grant me an extension.

Tor is one of my favorite publishers--they treat their authors pretty darn good. Hope you get good news from them.

My head hangs low low, my feet shuffle--I think they're embarrassed. Can feet blush? My weekend ran away with me and I wasn't able to even think of my assignment, except to think, "Oh dear, I really wanted to do that and now it's too late!" And after all those nice things you said, too. I'll try to come up with something quickly today.

I love your pen name! Sid and Scott are two of my favorite names.
You know what's funny? I had a feeling that you'd been in a band before, though I don't know why. What was your role in your band?
In high school and in the year or so after, I was in a band with my best friends--a band called Clockwerk (I didn't name it), and I sang backups (sometimes lead) and played keyboards. My best friend was the lead singer. It really was a blast--I'm so glad I got to do it. We weren't too bad, but we weren't too great either. That didn't stop us from thinking we were going to be the next big kahunas of the world. After the band broke up, my best friend and I broke up too, never to speak to one another again.
My husband was also in a band, though his was a lot better and much more popular than ours. They even put out a tape and did the club scene, but they were never signed. My husband now has a home studio and still writes his own music, but he has to work as an Engineer during the day, which doesn't leave much time for music-making. I hope he does realize his dreams one day--that he gets to play his music for a living.

Please tell Jon that I will always have milk.

I'll see all you lovlies this evening.


Hallee Mon Jun 12 09:07:09 PDT 2000

TEEKAY - hahaha - I don't know which would be worse. Both demand some sort of ending satisfaction, eh? (hahaha)

HEATHER: You're right - your penname has a nice ring to it. I like Sidra.

MARY: Your name is very touching...probably one that I won't forget (I am so horrible with names - HORRIBLE) I've always liked the name Jade, and I had tears in the back of my throat when you gave the background of Matthew. Every child I've lost was still in the womb, and as hard as each of those were, I can't imagine losing one you were able to love fo so long.

I don't remember who it was that was talking about middle children. I am second of four. But, somehow, all four of us are artists in some ways. My older brother went to college for cinematography, and writes the most unbelievable scripts, but he found his true love somewhere in his senior year and now is into mixing music. My younger brother is an artist - an unbelievable artist. He studied art in college, and is now trying to decide what he wantst to do with his degree. And, my little sister, the youngest, can write like no one I've seen. She's the one who is freelancing for a newspaper now. They dealt with her when she was her college's newspaper editor and called her the week after graduation. I had always thought that I had been left out of the bunch. It seemed my only artistic gift was decorating cakes. I guess I had just never tried before last year. All I know is that it sure surprised me (and my siblings - I used to be the source of good natured jokes - haha - "the dumb un-artistic one")

So now, I must return to my Monday. Oh - we got rain last night (yeah!) - now, just another 30 inches or so and we'll catch up to the last 6 months.

Take care all-

Americo Mon Jun 12 08:29:45 PDT 2000

Just to inform you that, following his becoming President of the Empire, Jon has gone for a voyage around the world, in his yacht, and is not available for any sort of work for some time.

He may visit your countries any day soon. He is cheeky enough to go and ask for a bowl of milk in your homes, at any hour of the day or night. Be ready to any surprise. And above all, live up to the occasion, if the occasion presents itself.

PS. The yatch Jon is sailing in is actually mine.

Heather Mon Jun 12 08:17:13 PDT 2000

OH FOR #(&%)#*$)_ SAKE!

I keep forgetting to post MY pseudoname.
I said I would!

I pulled this one out of a hat, actually. It doesn't have any deep meaning, as Mary's does, or ancestry, like Hallee's.

Sidra Scott.


That was/is my penname. I like it.
I think it has a nice ring to it. I don't know if I'll ever use it, though.

Teekay, I like your pennames too. :o)

Jerry, you have a great name as it stands, no need for anonymity. When I was just starting to write this novel, I wanted that anonymity so my family wouldn't read it - but now I figure I just won't give them any copies. If they do read it, then I just have to say - (*cringe*) hope they like it and appreciate all the blood I've shed writing it. If they don't, well, there are people who will.

I wrote my first little book at age 9, which I bound myself. I started writing poetry at age 12 or 13. My first poem was about war. It was entitled, "Missile Tow". I think it's due for a re-write someday. Some of my poetry was published when I was 14. I haven't submitted anything in years though. I was busy making them into songs when our little 'band' was still intact. It will be again, but not for a few years. The lead vocalist is my best friend, and she is very far away.

I wrote my first novel at 16. It's still in the closet and it's going to rot there.

I think I was responding to Rachel's post about how she was creating plays and stories from very young. I used to tell my baby brother stories all the time, too, and I loved making up the words to music as I fooled around on the piano. Then my mother would come in and tell me "That's not what you're supposed to be practicing!"

Ok, last post for me today.
Have to get (gasp) a tonne of work done.

Heather, P.M. BS, etc...

Heather Mon Jun 12 08:03:36 PDT 2000

Don't think that I forgot you, RACHEL!
I didn't but now I thought of a Ministry for you.
The Ministry of Heart.
All matters of the heart and it's tendencies are your domain. Christi is still Minister of Love Affairs, and your offices are side by side.

Rhoda, please accept your ministry of Education, as I am too idiotic to continue that Ministry.

Sasquatch, I pronounce you Minister of Agriculture. Do you accept? Also, you will have Ministry of Poetry and Plays
priveledges, since you are such a profound poet yourself.
I hope the trees speak to you and tell you all things wise and loving.

Arik, thanks for the prize. It keeps me humble. Like I need another kick in the @)%*$#%).
This weekend was enough of a kick.

Swiftly falling
Slow to breathe,
I tumble down inside.
Where have I left
my wit and charm,
My survivalist disguise?

Now I am a stranger
In the cloak I begged to wear
Form of wire, I bend to shape
Delusion is my mirror.

If you find me, send me home
I haven't slept for years
Cradled in my covers
Are old bones
and seeping tears.

On knees torn open with repent
I call out to open skies
Have I gone to find myself
Yet left me lone to die?

Who am I?

Well, there's always HOPE


sasquatch yeti@behind.tree.comm Mon Jun 12 07:55:38 PDT 2000

Teekay person dreams of sasquatch? what had to eat before sleep that made you have nightmare ha ha. sasquatch sometimes dream also about mate but wake and mate is not here still. then must go to where stone is to remember. Remembering sometimes hurts inside but mate is safe and cub is safe both in arms of one who made all. sometime sasquatch will go to them and all will become again.
Jon creature what have for sasquatch to do or is only for humans persons to be minister of things? i must go.

Hathor (I mean Heather) Mon Jun 12 07:45:10 PDT 2000

Well, I see that the NB has been busy during my absence.
Sorry folks, I guess I'm just, according to Jon and Arik, too stupid - to post on weekends.

I accept the nomination for Prime Minister only because otherwise it seems I'm out of a job. And I thought I was ministering well. *sigh*

Not that Prime Minister is something to snark at, it is an honour to be selected, however the criterion for the selection leaves me slightly wounded and a bit pissed off.

My biggest thank you and (((HUG)))) goes out to Mary, for her honesty and forthrighteousness. You are not so jaded as you may feel. We have a lot in common, although I must say it is not from happy moments. I have not lost a child, but my childhood to death. I am very sorry for your terrible loss. Your pseudoname is wonderful. It shows that you have healed a lot. I'm smiling, just thinking about how your penname gets you attention - much deserved, BTW.

Yes, I'm a middle child, but I was the youngest for a long time, too. My baby brother was born seven (almost eight) years after I was adopted. My older brother is adopted, and funny - he is the independent type, and a perfectionist in his work. Not a perfectionist with cleanliness, however.

As a middle child I went a little wild in my teens, no - let's make that very wild. I'm only half-cured and possibly still crazy. Writers are crazy anyway, so I'll finally fit right in.

Fight for all your life to fit in and then - blam! stop caring whether I do or not ~ and here you all are, waiting for me and asking what took me so bloody long.

The answer? IDK.

And thank you Mary, for your further work as Minister of Internet Links and Translations.

Litter, I commend your wonderful assignment. BRAVO!
It was scintillating.

Christi, looking forward to reading your assignment! (Tongue out side of mouth, pant pant)

Howard, you are a most generous soul, with gold sprinkled inside you. You absolutely twinkle. I hope you match and are able to donate. I can't give blood because I am hypoglycemic (A type of Diabetes) but I can give bone marrow. I pass out and am hard to revive when I give blood. Last time they almost called code. It took an hour until I knew my name, just from giving a little over a pint.

It's a good thing I don't cut myself - well, not very much. Probably a good reason not to take up one of Howard's hobbies.

Teekay, I love you, you talented wonder!
You are brilliant and wise and funny. Don't forget that, not ever. May all the confidence you need swell within you everywhere but your head! :o}

Eddie! Great to hear from you! Thanks for remembering me.
I haven't forgotten you were absent, in fact I've been pining for some of your stories!

Americo, how's that chess game coming along? CHECK.

P.M. for now,

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Sun Jun 11 21:23:43 PDT 2000

Never fear fair maiden, I yet lurk amongst these hallowed pages.

mARY Sun Jun 11 20:24:15 PDT 2000

Hey, where is everybody? Is there a gag order I don't know about. You really should tell me these things!



Is there anybody out there?

Arik Sun Jun 11 05:55:59 PDT 2000

Ashling - If you are not signing any notebooks then how come you'll be able to answer this post of mine?

Eddie french - Well.... you can start by reminding me who you are (I am really sorry about not remembering but....)

Ashling Sun Jun 11 01:14:16 PDT 2000

Hi everyone!

ARIK: Nope. I didn't post in your page's notebook ... I never sign anyone's guest book or whatever, just a personal quirk of mine.

GOODWEED: You might want to enclose a self-addressed stamped post card with your book this time & ask the publisher to drop it in the mail as a way of acknowledging they received your manuscript. I followed this suggestion when entering a contest a few months ago. A week or two later, the post card showed up in my mail box stamped "received by so-and-so on such-and-such date." I sighed happily and moved on to worrying about sending my next "child" out into the world. (Writers can be so neurotic sometimes.)

LITTER: Of course I remembered you do (research) voodoo. The only thing I have trouble recalling is where I put the time to accomplish everything on my To Do List. You know--I can't find the time to ... Alright, it's 3 am where I live ... my best jokes usually come earlier in the evening.

Happy Writing

marinasun Sun Jun 11 00:03:11 PDT 2000


Please come and visit my site. I've posted two story tidbits there and one full one. The three items are either first or second drafts. I am looking for feedback on the qaulity of my writing.


Thank You Very Much,

Goodweed of the North Sat Jun 10 21:53:16 PDT 2000

Eddie; Congrats on the "job you just couldn't refuse".
Rhoda; Hi. Haven't communicated to old freinds in a long time. Just want to say hi and I'm still around.
Don't think I'll be contributing to "Strawberries". I finished my second novel in rough draft and am 85 pages into my third book. My first was sent to Tor last november. I just received word yesterday, after sending them a second inquirey whether they received it or not, with a sase, that they never got the manuscript. I'll print it out again and re-submit on Monday. Seven months to find out they never got it in the mail. A prospective writer must have patience and tenacity. I WILL GET PUBLISHED!

Oh, um, ah, did that come out of me? Sorry guys and gals. Didn't mean to shout.

And by the way, this site still has the coolest writers on the web.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Mary Sat Jun 10 20:45:49 PDT 2000

Hi everyone. In case some of you are interested,here is a list of commonly used email acronyms and their meanings.

Acronym Expression
BBL Be Back Later
BFN Bye For Now
BRB Be Right Back
FWIW For What It’s Worth
HSIK How Should I Know
IAE In Any Event
IMO In My Opinion
IOW In Other Words
JFYI Just For Your Information
NBD No Big Deal
NOYB None Of Your Business
OIC Oh, I See
OTL Out To Lunch
OTOH On The Other Hand
PMFJI Pardon Me For Jumping In
TIC Tongue In Cheek
TTYL Talk To You Later
WRT With Respect To

Emoticon Emotion
:-) Happy
:-( Sad
:-< Very Sad or Upset
:-O Shocked or Amazed
:-D Laughing
;-) Winking
:-| Bored or Uninterested
8-| What next!
8-O Extremely Shocked
:-] Smirk, happy sarcasm
:-[ Grimace, sad sarcasm
:-} Grinning
:-\ Undecided
:-# Sealed Lips
:-& Tongue Tied
:-I Hmmm

I'm sure a lot of these are very common place, but I have to translate something!

Try the link above also, it is very informative.--Mary

Teekay Sat Jun 10 20:13:37 PDT 2000

Hi Everybody,

ARIK: If that's the dumbest sentence you can come up with I guess we must be a pretty intelligent lot, yes? :)

HALLEE: Leaving your characters in the middle of a love scene is a whole lot better than leaving them on the crapper, no?
Oh God, I didn't just say that.

RACHEL: I am so glad that you perceive me to be full of confidence. Those who know me generally tell me that I'm full of s***. We could have a really long discussion about how confident I really am though, but it'd probably be really boring and then you may need to go and seee a psychiatrist. It's funny really how people perceive each other. I enjoyed hearing your views on writing too, by the way, and thanks also for the compliment.

EDDIE: Hi there. I read somewhere that moving was one of the most stressful things you could do, and after reading your post, I guess it's true. Hope you get setled soon and come back properly.

GOOD WEED: The collaborative writing effort has been cleared out and dusted off. It had been fairly quiet for too long, so until somebody else comes up with a new project eg: Ghost stories. It will stay that way.
SM* has been taken off the board. You still have until the 7/7 to contribute a short story about food to it. Email it to either RACHEL or AMERICO. Once the best stories are selected it shall be sent out to publishers. Hurry, hurry, step right up, it's not too late.

AMERICO: I have another story for SM*, but I really don't know how you'll feel about this one. It's a bit off the wall.

Bye All y'all.
Have a great day.

Lena Sat Jun 10 18:15:56 PDT 2000

Hullo to all.

Rachel - Well said. Good luck.

So what is up with the book exchange that seems to be floating around here? Anybody care to fill me in?

--And what happened with Shadows? Finished? Put on the back burner?

Arik of the Very Cool Name - I think I am supposed to be the Minister of Poetry, but I am campaigning for a less stressful post.

I think I'm going to go check out the Workbook - haven't been THERE in ten million plus a few years.


Rachel Sat Jun 10 16:19:02 PDT 2000

Eddie - Best of luck with the move. Sounds like your life is full of exciting and new things. I wish you much luck with all that comes to you.

Howard - I hope that the match is sound. What a beautiful gift you offer!

Hugs all around,


Jerry Ericsson Sat Jun 10 16:00:07 PDT 2000

Thats OK Eddy, we forgive you.

Howard - great going, it must feel great to be able to help like that. My son is signed up for the same program, but hasn't been called yet. I am not able to give blood or blood products, having been exposed to Agent Orange and other things in Nam.

Eddie french Sat Jun 10 14:30:38 PDT 2000

I've not been actively participating lately, I know!
My Study is in shreds...My machines are torn from the comforting togetherness they have enjoyed for the last 18 months!
Yes, you guessed it! I'm moving house again!
My life is in full flux right now.
I've had an offer which I just CAN'T refuse!!!
So.. let's sum up:
New house
New job
Different lifestyle
My head is right up my *%*@
I DO read the posts about every three days.
I AM watching you all!

Some time in the next two weeks I will be offline for about a week while I set up the new study.
But until then......
Just behave yourselves...
No more fighting.....
No more back biting... (As if you would!)
((((((Hugs to)))))
Rhoda (Yup.. still around)
Allein (Well done)
Howard (Chin up)
Litter (Remember Culloden)
Americo (Easy now Tiger)
Rachel (Glad you're still here)
Jack & Fran (Of course)
ARIK!! ( What can I say)
HEATHER (See, I remembered)
JERRY (China Fleet Club, Back Door Club, Hennasey Road!!! Wan Chai!!!!!)
Lena (My...humans live longer now don't they) Sorry :¬)
Teekay...Special hug
Avatar... Now hey!!! You and me just have to be about right!!
Goodweed of the North... You still alive too???

Luv you all


Rachel Sat Jun 10 13:10:33 PDT 2000

Christi - I'm not unhappy. I am just not over enthusiastic (smiles). I am cheerful, I'm also cautious. I do get that moment when I complete a project where I smile and have a little burst of joy. then I get serious and get back to work. I know I must sound very grim. I assure you I am not. At least not all the time (grins and laughter). I am pleased with what I have done. I however do not consider it completed. I do not have a difinitive version that I would want to send out to a publisher I need to get the work completed, and then I need to get down the serious task of seeking an appropriate publisher for my book. All of this takes time. It is not easy and can be time consuming work. It can wear on the spirit. I for one fall in love with my work. My novels are almost like children. You give birth to an idea, feed it, nuruture it, watch it grow and then you try to send it out into the world. If you have done a good enough job the idea is, that the book will hold its own. I guess I just don't have a very romantic notion of finding a publisher. That shades my excitement over completing a novel. I know that once the book is down in the first draft that the real work is about to begin. The writing is the passion side of it all. The rush and flash of ideas that burst onto a page. The way that the story develops, twists and turns before you very eyes. I love this, thrill to this. I as I have said do like editing. I like it in a different way than I like to write a first draft. I like it in the sense that I see clarity and form given to ideas. I like that I know the work improves (at least that is the idea...)
Okay, I have to go. Yah see, I'm writing this story...
Take care you,

Christi Sat Jun 10 12:03:25 PDT 2000


Avatar and Lena,
Perfectionist procrastinator here. Actually, I'm not THAT much of a perfectionist. I pick my battles. If you asked my husband, I'm sure he'd give another story.

Thanks, I'll check out the new link.
I love your faux name--it's beautiful. I thought it was interesting that you get better response when you use it. I hadn't been thinking of a pen name, but now I'm considering it. Think I'll take it out for a test drive.

You're so wonderful to be willing to do such a thing. I'm a little concerned that you're still in recovery though. I know, I'm acting just like a mother. I'm tapeing my mouth shut now and you'll hear nothing more from me on the subject. I applaud you for helping where it's so desperately needed, even if they don't qualify you. Good luck!!!

You can do it! You're almost there!
I send you one of our beautiful, clear days for your garage sale, but only if you save me a rice crispy square.

Snail mail is on the way. I'm sooo excited--I've never read Carl Sagen before--just saw Nova a lot.

Cheer up! I knew what you meant, and I'm still just as excited for you. I DO think that writing a novel is a great accomplishment. You should be loud and proud. I would be!

I like Poe and think you should use it! Don't worry, Hallee Poe sounds nothing like Edgar Allen, but it sure does look interesting.

Off to the races,


Jon Sat Jun 10 10:45:06 PDT 2000

Good day, all.

Heather is now the person you ministers and commoners must address to to ask questions related to the Empire. I am now only the supernatural conscience of said Empire and intend to interfere only if Heather does not live up to the job. I am taking a deserved holiday after such an intense campaign for the Presidency. Keep the NB alive and interesting!


Rachel Sat Jun 10 08:45:58 PDT 2000

Teekay - Writing is what I do. I write. My mum tells me that before I could write, I would tell stories. I can remember this. I remember sitting at the piano and telling stories. I would pound the keys to make thunder, fairy sounds, sad sounds, happy sounds… After that I would direct my friends in plays I was slow to learn to write, so I would drill them with their lines until they knew them. Then we would perform the plays for our family and friends. As soon as I sorted out how to write it was all I wanted to do. I don't think that everyone is this way. I don't think that any two people write exactly the same way. We may find people who are similar, but they can not be precisely the same, because, they are not us.
I have read some of you work. I do not think you should worry. You seem so full of confidence, I doubt you are really worried at all:D
Your projects will reach completion in time. Every one writes at a different pace. It does not mean that the quality of writing is better or worse than that of another. All it means is that they write at a different pace.
Be patient and kind to yourself. Above all do not give up.

Arik - Thank you for the award:D Thank you also for saying I'm nice, that was sweet:D

Rhoda - I like editing. It may not always be easy, but it is well worth while. I had a time when I didn't think editing was important. I also didn't think that punctuation was important, or grammar, or spelling…
Well, now my thoughts on those matters have changed. It is all important, as is detail, flow, and consistency.
Editing is indeed the time when a work comes alive, when the changing of even the smallest detail comes to make a difference. Yes, a writer can give life to a story, but if it is so messed up that a reader can't get through it, then the life that is there is wasted.

Americo - Working with you on S* was a great experience. Thank you.

I think that will be enough from me about my feelings around writing and editing.

Take care all


Sat Jun 10 08:11:37 PDT 2000

Hallee Sat Jun 10 07:21:24 PDT 2000

HOWARD: All I can say is wow. God bless you. What an exciting opportunity.

HEATHER: I have bounced around the idea of a psuedoname. Hallee is hard for people to figure out the pronounciation, and my last name is long. I've thought about using my middle name, Anne, and my Scottish grandmother's maiden name: McCay. Anne McCay even sounds like a romance author's name, but I've not fully decided yet. I would like to have my own name on the cover of a book one day. Then, there's always my maiden name, Poe. But I wouldn't ever want to be compared to the master, so I've pretty much decided not to go with that.

RHODA: I'm afraid that this week I could put no one to shame. I've not written more than two pages all week. I feel kind of bad because I've left my couple in the middle of a love scene. Not really fair for them, but, oh, well. I had a rough week. Maybe this weekend I'll let them finish what they started.

And now, I must finish cleaning my house. It's a wreck. Maybe when my lovely daughter is napping I can get back to my book. I still have one more building to burn down and the hero to rescue the heronine one more time (after, of course, the finish what they started )

Goodweed of the North Sat Jun 10 06:45:35 PDT 2000

Have the stories been canceled in the "round robin"? I went to add to the SIP (story in progress) As Darkness Descends, but found no stories in the site at all. It may be my browser though.

So, what's going on?

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Mary Sat Jun 10 04:59:20 PDT 2000


I'll be thinkin' of ya today! We are having a garage sale too!


Thank you for starting to like me. I tried to go to our home page a few days ago, but the link didn't work. You posted a new link since then, but I haven't tried it yet. I will though...I promise. I will leave a note for you!

Rhoda Sat Jun 10 00:15:10 PDT 2000

I have another book for the exchange if anyone is interested. Actually, it is 2 books, because one is the necessary sequel to the other. My husband suggested I send these around. They are a series known as Mark of The Lion and they are written by a vetern romance writer named Francine Rivers. I will warn you. These two books are Christian Inspirational, but I believe they are the best representation of the genre. There are actually 3 books to the series, but the 3rd is really a different story altogether and it is very good, but 1 and 2 are the best and they are part of the same story.

If there are any interested takers, let me know and I will be happy to send them.


Novels are a lot of work, but I actually think editing is the most difficult and the most important part of the writing process. It is frustrating and often tedious, but the artistic process is every bit as work there as in the actual writing. Editing is akin to an artist touching up his oil painting. I think to do it well is the biggest difference between amateur and professional. Good luck with the effort.

See you all around,


Sat Jun 10 00:06:28 PDT 2000

Arik Fri Jun 9 23:29:39 PDT 2000

The best sentance for today is not from this notebook but from mine. it is by a very nice person that you all know and her name is Rachel:

" I often think that evil is a matter of perception, as is goodness. To one whose life is focused with darkness, those who engage in activities of light would seem evil. It is really a matter of opinion. I also believe firmly that all things can change"


The funniest sentance for today is by Avatar:

-just because i lurk doesn't mean i pay attention-

Stopping in to say hi...



And the dumbest sentance is by Heather or shell I say:

"Minister of Education,
Heather; BA, BSc, yada yada yada..."


That it for today. hope you have a wonderfull time and... yada yada yada :-).

Arik Fri Jun 9 23:20:47 PDT 2000

Mr.President - I wanted to know something. If I may ask, Why do we have the minister of war and peace? who do we fight... other notebooks? and by the way... I think this one is the most stupid minister! (sorry Cushion)

Lena - What minister are you?

Mary - ok. I won't :-). I am starting to like you... all you have to do now is to go to my home-page :-).

Teekay Fri Jun 9 22:39:59 PDT 2000

RACHEL: Well I'm impressed. I would love to say that I had completed a novel - or 8. I know I can say it, but it would be really good if it were true.
I guess your right, you just write it, so easy - WHY CAN'T I DO IT THEN???????? I guess though, if it really were that easy, then every one would do it.

LENA: You're right. You show me yours and I'll show you mine does sound a bit suspect.

RHODA: Have fun at your garage sale. We've never had one. Been to plenty, but never had one. I have picked up 2 briliant finds at garage sales and both for pittance.
One is an African Urn -$3:00 and one is a sort of strange looking wall hanger thing where you can put pens and letters. It looks very voodoooish I love it. It cost about $2:00. I've also picked up a lot of junk from garage sales, but I'm not going to brag about that.

ALLIEN: CONGRATULATIONS. Sounds like a good plan.

HOWARD: That is really wonderful.

Alright. That's it for me today.

Rachel Fri Jun 9 21:59:31 PDT 2000

Lean - I will be happy about my novel when it reaches the stage that I would present it to a publisher. For now I do love it, but I would not expect any one else to. It was completed shortly after I began my serious writing. I look at it now and shiver. The spelling, grammar, punctuation... It is enough to make me scream and pull at my hair. It is in need of much flesh, it is all bones.
I would sign a copy of the book for you, but I don't know if I could give you one. I'm not sure how many the average publisher gives to a new author. I would hate to tell everyone that I would give them a copy and sign it, then not be able to afford that (grins). Hey, it could happen!
I hope I didn't seem snappy in my past post. It's just that I didn't want you to think that "Honeymoon" was getting published. I was just sick at the thought that I could have mislead any one. I would not want to try to say I had accomplished something that I had not.
The completion of a novel isn't such a great thing. You just sit down and do it. It just comes out onto the page. I wrote my first novel when I was 12. It isn't the best thing in the world, but I still am fond of it. I will treasure it always.
Just because I can write a novel doesn't mean its good. That is another thing to keep in mind.
Take care you

Tina Fri Jun 9 21:52:44 PDT 2000


Christi, send me your snail mail address and the book will be on its way. Sagan is one of my heroes, both as a writer and scientist, and I think EVERYONE should read his stuff.

Congratulations Allien! And early congrats to Lena too!

Thanks Heather and Hallee for your comments! I'm scrutinising my opening in detail, and I agree that the prologue needs shortening. It's good that I've got editing to do, 'cause my muse is STILL on holiday at the hotsprings. Haven't been able to write a thing all week. I think it's the antihystamines I'm taking for hayfever; even when they say non-drowsy the stupid things fog my brain.

Off to see Mission Impossible 2! Official revue tomorrow.......:-)

Rhoda Fri Jun 9 21:40:44 PDT 2000

Tomorrow I am having a garage sale, and preparing for that has taken all my time for the past couple of days. Anyone of you in the neighborhood please stop by. I will be having coffee, cold drinks, and marshmellow, rice crispie squares.
Jon, there is a special bowl of milk for you if you come by.


TRB is almost complete. Really. I have about three scenes left, and one of those is the big battle scene at the end of the book. This is horrible. I have been so slow, but honest to goodness, I am about 25 pages away from being done.


Do not read my note to Christie. You put me to shame. I am so incredibly slow sometimes, and I am embarrassed just thinking about it. I am hoping that your good influence will rub off on me. When I wake up, go to the computer and it seems nothing is in my brain I will think of you and remember your good example. You are an inspiration!


The pictures were charming. Thank you. Your baby is so sweet. I have a bunch of recent pictures on my digital camera, but I misplaced the box that had the instruction book and the little patch cord that lets me put them on the computer. When I get my act together I will send you some. After this garage sale, I will get you a couple more chapters of TRB.


How wonderful. Bless your heart for doing such a thing. I hope it works out for you and the little boy.


Knock three times if you are still lurking out there, friend. I miss your comments.

I got to get my book done. I so want to check out the workbook again. I cannot wait to read and get up to date with what all of you have been writing.

For the time being, I got to go out to my garage and price clothing. It has been raining all night. Pray for sunshine tomorrow in my neck of the woods if anyone thinks of me between now and then.

Take care, all,


Lena Fri Jun 9 20:29:14 PDT 2000

Avatar - I'm the eldest child of my family. I always knew there was a reason I never finished things. (and HI! I still have the food fight story you wrote way back when...)

Let me see... if I remember correctly, the youngest child usually ends up being a noticeably creative person, often very funny. How many people here are the youngest in their family? Middle children do things to garner attention, while only children tend to have the characteristics of a first-born (perfectionist, etc.)

Rachel - I realize your novel is not published, but you should be very proud that it is finished. We are dreaming for you, that's all. (...and I do get a signed copy, right? *smiles*)

Howard - wow.

Litter - Sokay, no need to be distraught. Even if I am (sniff) such a (sniff) terribly forgettable (HONK!) person. --Nah, nah, you're fine. As long as you invite me to the K-mart siege (code name operation Blue Light Special).

Whoever it was who was up at 8 AM on a Sat. - Go back to sleep, you silly goose.

Allein - Our graduation is next Tuesday at 7:00 PM. I expect it to be a long, boring ceremony, as long as the full meaning of the event doesn't hit me. I'm going to college in the fall at Michigan Technological University (sounds impressive, doesn't it?) for computer science and math, which will hopefully be interesting. Congrats on your graduation.

Teekay - And I quote, "You show me yours first." Sounds pretty risqué to me, this sharing of pseudonyms.


howard Fri Jun 9 20:20:31 PDT 2000

LITTER -- A trebuchet? Have you laid seige to the local K-mart?

TEEKAY -- I posted one of those "stages of life" things a bit earlier in the current notebook. I think that's what they're referring to. Just printed "Red Shoe," and will read it shortly.

AMERICO -- No bombs from this end, but the book will be on its way shortly.

ALL -- I had a very exciting (and at the same time humbling) phone call this afternoon. Back in 1987 I signed up to be a bone marrow donor, but until now I had never heard from them. Now they've identified me as a probable match for a five year old boy who has leukemia. I go soon for further test matching, then if all goes well, I go to Syracuse University Hospital for the donation. I hope and pray that I'll be able to help this little guy, whoever he is.
And maybe he'll grow up to write a Pullet Surprise winner!

It's past my bedtime -- g'nite!

Mary Fri Jun 9 19:35:08 PDT 2000

Ok. We have a winner. The last link to eclectics works. You really should check it out--it is quite decent.

Mary Fri Jun 9 19:33:16 PDT 2000

That previous link doesn't work. Let's try this one. Fri Jun 9 19:30:49 PDT 2000

Mary Fri Jun 9 19:29:58 PDT 2000


I must give you credit for the first half of my pseudonym. Remember the analogy of the gem stones in the bracelet as the members of the NB? Well, you named me as the Jade of the bracelet. I kind of liked that at first. Then I really liked it because frankly, I am quited "jaded". I also love the color and meaning of the stone. I had been searching for some time for a pen name and this one kind of fell in my lap and it has been my experience that the best things usually happen that way. The second half of my name is my first son's name who died when he was 19 months old--Matthew. So there you have it, I have been writing and submitting under the name 'Jade Matthews' since Oh, the middle of March maybe? The remarkable thing about it is that I could submit the same piece under my real name and also under my pseudonym and I invariably get a better response when I submit it as Jade. Karma? Who knows--I'm not asking any questions. They can call me whatever they want--just don't call me late for a meeting with a publisher!

ARIK: Don't apologize, I was just teasin' ya! :-)

Sorry about the eclectic broken link. Two more strikes and I'm out! I will post it again at the top of this message and then I will take it for a test drive and make sure it works. If it doesn't work I will keep trying until it does.

Anybody here need anything translated?

Rachel Fri Jun 9 19:21:54 PDT 2000

All - I just lost a post! ARGH!!! I don't like when that happens.

I want to clear something up. MY novel is not being published. I am the one who is editing it. I have completed it, but it still needs work.

Mr. President (aka Jon) - I saw in your recent post that you did not mention me. Have you decided that you do not need a Ministry of Travel and Transportation?

All - Know what? My other post was better... Gezz, maybe I should think about that notepad idea (grins).

Take care all

Jerry Ericsson Fri Jun 9 16:56:08 PDT 2000

Avitar - welcome home, you too Lena, been a long time since I saw either of you around the notebook. Nice to have you back, hope you enjoy it around here as much as you used to. Now all we need to do is find all our other long lost members.

Write on!


Litter Fri Jun 9 16:56:01 PDT 2000

Hi all,

Heather - Why wait until Monday? Seven sentences… make that seven lines and you can have it now -

Warm, secure,
I hear my mother's heartbeat.
I feel her breathing.
It is comforting.
Muted music soothes me
As she touches my foot,
Caressing me to sleep again…

Jerry - thanks for the comments.

Lena - I am distraught. Woe is me! Woe, woe, and thrice woe… I have a sucky sucky sucky memory. Sorry I did not remember you. You watch out for those big headless chickens - they sure can give you a scare!

I've had a hard day phoning and e-mailing editors, I have to get up early and I have a trebuchet to build tomorrow, so I shall end here - TFI Friday!

Have a good weekend y'all,


Avatar Fri Jun 9 15:39:36 PDT 2000

-just because i lurk doesn't mean i pay attention-

Stopping in to say hi...


Read an interestin book on birth orders. Seems that the oldest child is most likely to be a perfectionist and therefore a procrastinator. I am not the oldest and yet am still procrastinatin' away. Wuz up wi' that?
Just a tidbit of totally unimportant info I can share.

Buenas tardes!

Allein, minister of charm :) Fri Jun 9 15:26:13 PDT 2000

Lena - Congrats on your graduation. I got through mine without crying. Tears came, but I shoved them back, it's a time for happiness. Besides, then I went to an overnight party. I came back this morning and slept until two in the afternoon. It was a school event - we went to Planet Hollywood in Seattle and then on the Spirit of Puget Sound cruise. It was really nice. As for college, I'm taking a year off to work. Then it's off to Seattle to go to Bryman and learn to be a dental assistant.

Rachel - I'm glad to hear you've finished your book. If it gets published and I get a copy, will you sign it for me? :)

Hallee - Our school doesn't have 10 year reunions. I'll have to wait twenty years to see my friends again.

Teekay Fri Jun 9 14:58:02 PDT 2000

JON: Finding the solution for impossible problems is what I do best.

HEATHER: I have two psuedonyms. 1 for my mills and boon books and 1 for my general novels. You show me yours first.
The reason I want to use a psyduedonym(?) is for the anonymity (?)

HOWARD: Is there a funny joke going around that I am missing out on?

I thought I had something interesting to contribute, but If I had I've forgotten it now. Oh well.

It's 7:55am Saturday morning and I think I need my head read.

Christi Fri Jun 9 14:43:23 PDT 2000

I was so excited about my assignment that I nearly sent this out as you! I had to quickly go up to the name box, delete your name and then put in mine. I accept said assignment with glee, and I thank you for the extended deadline. Will get to work immediately. :)

I would love to send you the book that Teekay sent me so long ago. I've been waiting for someone to request a good book. It's really fun--different from anything I've read, and I think you'd enjoy it. If you want it, just email me your snail mail and I'll get down to the post office, post haste.

I didn't know you'd finished a novel. Very cool!

You're done with TRB, aren't you? I'll cross my fingers for you and hope it gets published soon.

Just an opinion, but I think that Cassandra might make a good Minister of Contemporary Knowledge.

Howwwwward. Oh Howwwwwwwwwwwward! Hi, and thanks a LOT for the tip. I know, I know, you already told us about notepading and so did Teekay, but sometimes I just get lazy.
I liked your foonie yoke and larfed a lot.

Same as above. Hee!
Thanks for the neat emails--one made me cry (as predicted, oh Madame Fortune), and the other made me worry a bit, but left me more aware. I sent it on to others.

I'd like to take you up on reading Contact, if the offer still stands. Lemme know and I'll email ya. I loved the movie but never got around to picking up the book.

The link to Eclectic didn't take me anywhere manuverable--just left me sitting on a page with nowhere to go. Do you still have the URL?

G'day sweeties,


Jerry Ericsson Fri Jun 9 13:30:21 PDT 2000

Heather - Why would you want to write under another name? Myself, I would be proud to have something published, and would relish seeing my name under the title, unless of course it were some triple XXX smut or something like that. Then I guess I would have to come up with another name. Never mind, guess I answered my own question, this is of course allowed except in court, where the judge gets real P.O.'ed when that takes place.

Lena Fri Jun 9 13:11:05 PDT 2000

Arik - well, since I didn't know that the best sentence award was up for grabs, I can't be accused of brown-nosing, now can I? **smiles archly** Lena is my nick-name as well, so I understand. Lena = "light" in Latin.

Heather, MD, BS, etc. - love the e-mail addy. You should assign everyone one hour of watching the clouds in the sky during which you are not allowed to think about anything that relates to the real world. And then they should take a nap.

Um, and then they should write a poem about it. I guess. (My ministorial duties goaded me into adding that)

Rachel - oh, oh, congratulations! You are so wonderful - may I shake your hand? I won't wash it afterward... (eww!) I am very proud that you have a book being sent around to those stupid editors who wouldn't know a good manuscript if it hit them in the rear - of course I remember your story. I would be honored to read it in the entirety, but not if it is going to be a bother for you. Smiles for you, too.

Eddie - Hey! I didn't see ye pokin' around, but I'll take Rachel's word for it.

Hallee - Thank you kindly.

I've thought about using a pseudonym, because that way my family will never know I am a published author and will not try to read what I have written.

All good Americans go to Paris when they die (or so I'm told),

Jon, President Fri Jun 9 12:55:27 PDT 2000

My assignment and final speech as candidate, minutes before a well-deserved meal and prolonged nap. With a famous sentence in the end, to cap it all. And the signature.


As President, I don't have to make assignments. However, just to give a good example, here's the list of the ministers and their ministries, as per your requirement. Please note that there are some alterations to the original appointments and therefore to their functions.

Allein — Charm (her posts must be a model of grace for all of us)
Americo — Sports and Games (soccer and chess, mainly)
Cushion — War and Peace (he must report about wars and lead our army to make peace wherever there's a conflict — no guns can be used, actually guns will be abolished in our Empire)
Christi — Love Affairs (love must be our main value)
Rhoda — Education (grammar, spelling and information must be improved on the NB, discreetly)
Jack — science-fiction (this genre must be incentivated but not supersede any of the other genres, all of them being equally respected)
Howard — Ancient Knowledge
Litter — Environment (he'll fine any prevaricator of the rule of our highly morally developed Empire; there will be only one rule: absolute respect for life, justice and happiness)
Arik — Culture (he'll give the prizes for the best, the funniest and the dumbest sentence; in his way and without possibility of appeal or protest)
Lena — Poetry (she'll motivate people to practice it and post it so that we can have a moment of beauty as often as possible)
Jerry Ericsson — Justice (he'll write an accurate and professional report whenever he or any of his ministerial collegues requires: for example, if Americo wanted a report on the possibily of Portugal winning the European Soccer Championship, he would write tra-la-la, tra-la-la, and the chances are little but Our Lady of Fatima helps the poor — conclusion, Portugal will probably win, the greatest miracle the world has even seen, very/fairly/well... un/just).
Mary — Internet Links and Translations (Connections Electroniques et Traductions dans tous les langues du monde, bref, tout ce que vous voulez faire dans le domaine de l' Internet.)
Teekay — Minister for the Lost Causes. (You must find a solution for any impossible problem).

This list is incomplete because I am falling asleep and need my beauty treatment. But I have something to announce to you. You have been dismissed as Minister of Education. Three blunders in succession are too many blunders (doubting my impartiality, asking A* to apologize to R*, and killing the Queen husbie).

As the dumbest of all my ministers (Arik would certainly agree) you are, from this moment on, my Prime-Minister. You will have the power to dismiss and designate ministers (there are some vacancies to fill and I am not sure I did not forget anyone already appointed) and do the tasks usually required by a Prime-Minister. You must report to me whenever you want to make any big change or take any important decision. But only then. Please let me eat my catsnip in peace and enjoy my catslumber. My campaign for the Presidency is over. I am the Notebook and need no votes to be — the greatest and most beautiful dream of friendship on earth.

"My Kingdom is not of this world."

Jon, President, absolutely.

Heather, Minister of Education MoE@Didn'tchaknowthat,yaidiot? Fri Jun 9 12:21:11 PDT 2000

Dear, dear disturbed Jon, poor Kitty of the Highest Order;

You must have misunderstood what I meant when I said the King is dead. Your second post is more on the mark. I meant he is most certainly dead in the bedroom. Poor HRM the Queen, being accused of necrophelia, and right on the front page no less! And then, the press found out about her substitute husband! It nearly had her heart in a knot.
I know the Royal Knickers were already in quite a bunch.
You see, she couldn't keep it a secret for too long, not with all those handmaids and their loose lips. The palace walls are not nearly as thick as the Queen thinks.
As modern as the Queen is, she has no idea mixed in with those little decorative pebbles in the potted plants are some crafty Japanese listening devices. Possibly some video equipment, too.

As Minister of Education, I think I have been quite fair with my impartation of knowledge. Now, you Jon, must impart some rubbish on HRMtQ!
Let's just hope she isn't visiting the NB under a pseudoname!

Speaking of Pseudonames, have any of you thought of authoring under one?
I did, when I first started, just a few infantian paragraphs into chapter 1...
I had big stars twinkling in my eyes, which of course, didn't help my sight much ~ or, rather, it didn't help to dispell illusions. (delusions?)

So, if you have played with the idea of using a pseudoname, let's hear what you came up with!

(I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours!) The Minister of Education has to have some secrets, at least for the moment.

And on the topic of the assignments, since Americo has accepted his Ministry as that of Sports and Games, I will be assigning him something soon. Besides coverage of Soccer, thank you.

Please take your assignments semi-seriously, and have them ready for Monday!

Gonfalon - Howard, who could forget that one?

Minister of Education,
Heather; BA, BSc, yada yada yada...

Arik Fri Jun 9 07:33:40 PDT 2000

Mary - ohh. sorry. I just read you'r asigement before I'v read mine and I coulden't understand what was it all about :-). I guess I need to do my asigment heh? well... I'll do it in 2 days. ok?

Mary Fri Jun 9 06:17:47 PDT 2000


The assignment that the Minister of Education assigned to you, of course. You silly jokester.

"Now, as for Arik, Minister of Culture, your assignment will be thus:

Write a one-page (8 1/2 x 11, lined, with full title, name and date underlined in red) story on why Evil Overlords
must be ultimately defeated and kicked in the pants.
And, as one final specification, all words must be typed using phonetics, rather than conventional English.

Mary, Minister of Internet Links and Translations,
your assignment is to translate Arik's assignment, keeping it within the one-page limit. Also, it must bear a full title,
and have your name, date and title all underlined in red. (If it doesn't show up on the NB in red, we won't be
terribly mad.)"

Americo Fri Jun 9 06:03:34 PDT 2000


No need to send me "Strawberries and a Moon". I read all the stories except the last one. But Jerry Ericsson emailed it to me. I keep the best in my own archives.

The best? And which are the best?
Intriguing question.

People: Anyone wishing to enrich that fine collection about food and drinks may still send me their masterpieces till the 7th July.

Thanks for your offer. I'm delighted to accept it. Sports and Games? That means soccer and chess, doesn't it? I'm keen on that. I'm already preparing a report about the tremendous lesson Portugal will teach England when they play on Monday for the European Championship.

Jon Fri Jun 9 06:01:34 PDT 2000


HRM the Queen sent me a message yesterday complaining that you had killed her husband on the NB.

"How is it possible that a citizen of my Commonwealth ignore that my husbie is not dead at all?"

I asked Pussy for advice about how to deal with this embarassing blunder of my Minister of Education.

"Are you sure the man is not really dead? I mean, in bed?" Pussy asked.

Heather, please tell me if you were speaking metaphorically or if you know something the world ignores.

Howard, I would like you to be my Minister of Ancient Knowledge.

Your job will consist of checking in all the old books for holy evidence of our interesting discussions. By all I mean all, the Bible, the Al-khuran, the Bagavatha Gita, etc., etc.. I intend to be the President of all my peoples. Please accept this most challenging of ministries.

I'm thinking of a name for Minister of Contemporary Knowledge. Any candidates?

Americo, I appoint you the Minister of Sports and Games.

Hallee Fri Jun 9 03:46:53 PDT 2000

Happy Friday Everyone! (Finally...hahaha)

TINA - I posted something for you in the workbook. (Great story by the way)

HOWARD- Thanks for the email. I really enjoyed it and have it printed out.

ALLEIN & LENA - congrats on graduating! Last weekend was my 10 year high school reunion. You probably don't believe me, but you'll end up being surprised how quickly the next decade is going to go by.

Well - it's time to get ready for work and get my family out the door. Have a great day all!

Arik Fri Jun 9 03:29:22 PDT 2000

Mary - what isigment are you all talking about?

Mary Fri Jun 9 03:25:39 PDT 2000


My assignment stems from your assignment so get cracking.

Mary, Minister of Internet Links and Translations.

Arik Fri Jun 9 00:53:17 PDT 2000

Heather - How much time I'v got?

Lena - Thanks. actually my name is Arnold. Arik is the name my friend call me... so you can call me like this. :-). And not, you are not wining today's best sentance award.

Tina - Welcome... I think.

Ashling - thank you. Did you wrote something in the notebook?

Jon - I will. I will. please don't fire me. I'v always wanted to be a minister!

Heather (one more time) Thu Jun 8 23:14:10 PDT 2000

Howard! I loved the funny you posted!


Heather Thu Jun 8 23:13:22 PDT 2000

Two additional notes:

1.) Anyone willing to send me the next book? I'll stake a claim if no one has beat me to it!

2.) All assignments below have the same deadline: Monday, June 12, 2000.

H** and all the letters that follow. :o)

Heather Thu Jun 8 23:09:16 PDT 2000

Litter, the plucking sense of irony didn't elude me. Minister of the Environment, hmmm?
Your first assignment as M of E is to describe, in seven sentences, the environment of the womb. The assignment is to be handed in by Monday, June 12, 2000, in final copy form. No spelling or grammatical errors will be tolerated. And the screen must be free from dust when you type.

For Christi, as Minister of Love Affairs, your assignment is to describe, in twenty sentences, how on Earth an infant ever got into the womb in the first place. Did they know before-hand it would be such a hard place to exit? Give us your thoughts, reasons, and wit. No errors allowed.

Now, as for Arik, Minister of Culture, your assignment will be thus:

Write a one-page (8 1/2 x 11, lined, with full title, name and date underlined in red) story on why Evil Overlords must be ultimately defeated and kicked in the pants.
And, as one final specification, all words must be typed using phonetics, rather than conventional English.

Mary, Minister of Internet Links and Translations,
your assignment is to translate Arik's assignment, keeping it within the one-page limit. Also, it must bear a full title, and have your name, date and title all underlined in red. (If it doesn't show up on the NB in red, we won't be terribly mad.)

Jon, your assignment is to write out in full the Ministers' names and their respective titles. I give you one hour.
(From now)

Just kidding.

More assignments to come. I am in the Education Business, after all. I took my Sabbatical early, but I'm back. Heee heee heeee

Heather, Minister of Education, BA, Bsc, MA, DR, RX, DD,
and a few other initials.

Rachel Thu Jun 8 22:37:29 PDT 2000

Lena - The novel you are asking about has been completed for quite some time. It is in the process of being given such a beating with the ole editing stick, blood and guts all over the place... Naw, the story is more or less the same. I'm just working on cleaning it up some. Tightening it up, clarifying... Yah Eddie, I said clarifying (grins).
It's nice to see the two of you peaking out and about again.
Lena, if you are interested I could let you read what I am doing as I conduct what I hope will more or less be my final edit of the story. This however could take some time as I have other projects on the go that are consuming my time at this moment. Know what? I think it's pretty cool that you remember my story (smiles for you:D)
Take care,

Lena Thu Jun 8 21:09:11 PDT 2000

**waves enthusiastically and grins at the entire Notebook**


Litter - Well, I remember you, so we must have met somewhere in the middle. How strange...

Jon - Looks like you moved up in the world - you sure weren't kitten' around. **smacks herself on head for completely intentional punning** Let me think about being the Minister of Poetry, because I am sure there are people (and sasquatch) around here who are much more the poet than I. Couldn't I be the Minister of Lost Socks or something equally non-threatening? --Do you still like catnip?

Allein - **returns BIG hug** Oh, I'm graduating soon too! We had rehearsal today (boring) but the actual ceremony is next Tuesday. Are you going to college? Where? How is your story coming?

Americo - HI! (shouted back with equal volume, much to my delight)

Arik - Just thought I would tell you that I think you have a very cool name.

Rachel - Thanks. How's your story going? I remember reading the first two or three chapters, and if there are any more floating out there for grabs, well, just point me in the correct digital direction.

Hmm. Scary stories. When I was little and believed everything my father said, my dad told me the story about the Chicken That Ate White Sands Twice. (White Sands Missile Range was the name of the town that we lived in at the time.) Bear with me now.

Apparently, there was a mad scientist who created a giant chicken that rampaged through White Sands like Godzilla with a bad migraine and completely destroyed the place. In order to stop the giant chicken, a military expedition cut off the chicken's head, but, as those of you who grew up on the farm will know, a chicken will still run around without a head, and so this giant headless chicken with a heartbeat rampaged through the town yet again. It has never been found dead, and so it is assumed that the chicken is still alive and could come back to White Sands at any moment...

I lived in serious fear of the Giant Chicken for quite some time. I would look up at the mountain range that bordered our town and expect to see the huge form of a chicken stepping over the mountains. Oh yes, I am telling the truth, although I eventually figured out my dad was a great fibber and really really good at keeping a straight face. He once convinced my youngest sister we were going to feed her to the alligators, although how we would have managed that in the middle of a desert, I'm not quite sure.

Have a great day,

Tina Thu Jun 8 21:00:32 PDT 2000

Hello newbies, lurkers and residents old and new!

Rosemary, thanks for the info. I have many horse books, and they all have marvelous info on breeding and birth and foals and stuff, but a little fact like that? Uh uh.

Heather, thanks for the notes, and the interest in my story. I posted more. As I read through what I'm posting I'm trying to see it as a reader, and I'm seeing that the opening isn't as strong as I want it. It improves. I've fought and fought and FOUGHT with the opening... and the battle continues.

Thanks Hallee. The paragraph breaks make hordes of difference. Such a simple solution, ahem, shoulda thought of that but, but... I'm jus' lit'l!;-) I'll sit down and read your next bit tonight or tomorrow.

Wow! I won something! Thanks Arik! I've never won anything in my whole life! Oh, except for honorable mention in a colouring contest. I think it's unfair that only kids get to enter those. They're fun! And I don't even colour outside the lines... But my real talents lie in being funny AND stupid!

My book exchange offer still stands. There were no bites on the first two (Skystone and Contact) so I offer up any of Anne McCafferey's Pern books. I have them all. She's one of my favourite authors.


Mary-Minister of Internet Links and Translations Thu Jun 8 19:17:52 PDT 2000

With my duties as Minister of Internet Links newly re-established, I would like to direct the Notebook population and future Subjects of President Jon to the above writer's site. It has many articles and pages of interest to literary folk like us. A little bit of something for everyone. I have been told it is a gem of a web site by someone else that I recommended it to.

Just for good measure, the above post has been translated to French for the convenience of our French speaking Canadian neighbors to my north:

Avec mes fonctions car le ministre des liens Internet nouvellement rétablis, je voudrais diriger le population de cahier et les sujets de futur du Président Jon vers le site de l'auteur ci-dessus. Il a beaucoup d'articles et pages d'intérêt aux gens littéraires comme nous. Un peu de quelque chose pour chacun. On me l'a dit qu'est une gemme d'un site Web par quelqu'un d'autre que je l'ai recommandé à.

Litter Thu Jun 8 18:19:26 PDT 2000

OOOPS the URL didn't all fit in... It is -

Time we started a campaign to shorten URLs

Litter Thu Jun 8 18:17:22 PDT 2000

Hi Again,

Rachel - thanks for letting me come out of the hole. :o)

Heather - I really do have a sucky memory, short term that is. My long term memory is quite phenomenal - my first memory is coming out of somewhere tight, dark and very warm, into a blinding light and coolness that I have never before felt. Then someone swung my upside down by my ankles and gave me a good smack… That kind of behaviour can traumatise a young child, believe me! (I won't say anything about the goo and stuff :o)

Howard - thanks for your comments on the article on themestream.

Jon - how can I say no to such an honour/honor. The very idea of a Minister for the Environment called Litter appeals to my sense of irony. (Much like the Catholic Church having a Cardinal Syn - can you imagine if he ever became Pope???)

Ashling - thanks muchly for the URL. I've marked it to look at tomorrow. (It's 2.10am here just now :o( Fancy you remembering that!)

As for getting in touch - I'm advocating as I own the domain, and I can point it to whichever address is working best, without losing mails in the process.

Lena, Hi! Don't thing we've met? Not being in the US contingent I have no idea what award to congratulate you for achieving? I dare say someone will let me know.

My bed beckons…

Ciao for now,


Howard Thu Jun 8 18:06:21 PDT 2000

AMERICO -- Teekay says you're next in line for "The Pillars of the Earth." Just send me your snailmail address and I'll post it posthaste. My Edress is above -- just remove the NOSPAM.

CHRISTI -- That's one reason to do the notepad thing. If anything happens on the post you still have it for the rerun. Or sometimes I'll just hilight the text in the posting box, and do a copy from the edit pulldown menu, or press CTL-INSERT together (that does the copy too, without the mouse). That way it's on your clipboard, just in case.

TEEKAY -- good idea on the windows!

LENA -- Welcome back!

HALLEE -- It's "no holDs barred," like in a free-for-all rassling match. And I haven't forgot -- just haven't had time to do it right.

CANDICE -- Welcome!

ALL -- What Litter and Jerry said about THEMESTREAM.COM is right on!

Gotta go -- the hurrier I go, the behinder I get!

I'll leave you with something my brother just sent me -- dunno who wrote it, but it's pretty good...

At age 4, success is.......................not peeing your pants.
At age 12, success is.....................having friends.
At age 20, success is.....................having sex.
At age 35, success is.....................making money.
At age 60, success is.....................having sex.
At age 70, success is.....................having friends.
At age 80, success is.....................not peeing your pants


Christi Thu Jun 8 17:08:11 PDT 2000

ARGH!!! I just wrote the longest post, and my stupid internet connection wiped it out! It was funny, too, even if I do say so myself. And I do. Say so . . . to myself, that is. Er, does anyone know what the hell I'm talking about? And if you do, will you let me in on it?

Oh well (sigh). Just want you all to know that I read all your posts, laughed, thought about them, wrote down my responses, up and down and up and down, clicked on publish, and bye bye went the whole shebang. I love you guys but I'm not gonna do it again--it just never comes out the same the second time.

Kisses to all,

Christi, Minister of L.A.

Teekay Thu Jun 8 17:07:27 PDT 2000

Hi All,
I made a boo boo yesterday, when I was telling you all about how to have the windows open next to each other. The windows should both be open, not minimized. Sorry.

JON: Your letter from the queen reminded me of this hilarious book by Sue Townsend called 'The Queen and I' or something similar. A republic is voted in and the Queen etc have to go on welfare and live in government housing. I laughed my head off when I read it. The second time too. Recommended reading for all. I give it a 10/10 rating.

MARY: I thought I was bestowing a great honour on you. "Doing a Mary" Nice ring to it don't you think. When anyone omits an email before reading it and the said email does not contain any words pertaining to love, it shall be known as "Doing a Mary". Besides, isn't it only unprotected love that gives one a virus? I do believe you have protection my dear. BWAGH HAH HAH HAH AHH...

aND i DON'T KNOW WHO YOU'VE BEEN TALKING TO, BUT i'M A big STINK. (Ya just gotta hate those caps. lock!)

HEATHER: I think the term your after is Rocky Balboa. Tsk, you silly. :) Actually it's Ginkgo Biloba.
The Queens husband isn't dead. Is he??

LITTER: If you do take Rocky Balboa, please do not take it while breast feeding.

SASQUATCH: I was wondering about you this A.M. I had another dream about the notebook and woke up at 4 am thinking about this story I'm writing and how to make it more clear. The good news is that I think I have found the solution. Am going to try it out shortly. Fingers crossed.

Am sooo happy. The newsagents were able to get Writer's Digest in for me!!!!!

Thu Jun 8 16:56:41 PDT 2000

Ashling Thu Jun 8 16:24:13 PDT 2000

LITTER: The URL above is a Voodoo for you-you. With your recent crashes/virus probs, I wasn't sure where to e-mail you.

ARIK: Visited your site today ... I like the flaming letters and you get high marks for not being overloaded with graphics. I l-o-v-e the fast loading pages! Can't give any input on the fantasy books ... I've only written one longish short-story that vaguely qualifies as fantasy, perhaps a combo of mainstream-fantasy.

I get my sci-fi and fantasy mostly from movies today. Modern day mid-list southern authors, true crime, Brit, Irish & Celtic history, and spiritual/inspirational books take up all the reading time I can squeeze into my days.


Jerry Lee Thu Jun 8 13:41:54 PDT 2000

Yo, All.

Tina...oops! :>)

Jack, Keeping in mind that air (and other gasses) will compress at depth. So you may only need to kick down to 50 and then be perfectly bouyant until the trip up. What a pain the weights are, huh?

Take Care!

Jerry Lee

Jon Thu Jun 8 13:31:17 PDT 2000

People, will you please introduce yourselves to Lena? She was simply the best notebooker of the first quarter of last year. Together with Allein.

I was the 23rd.

Will my ministers please keep their jobs at least until the first ministerial meeting? However, you must show some sort of activity. Thus, Arik must go on giving his prizes (those you've just awarded me were very flattering and I thank you); Mary establishing the links and making the translations; and so on, and so on (use your imagination).

Litter, will you kindly accept being the Minister of the Environment? Whenever someone pollutes this environment, you fine him/her. The first to pollute will be the one with reactionary ideas — and he will be fined immediatelly, or at least more severely than A* or R*, who cannot resist a philosophical debate. It's up to you the define reactionary.


I'm very glad you came back! Please be the Minister of Poetry (talk to Heather, she's the Minister of Education and a good poet herself).

Allein Thu Jun 8 13:29:43 PDT 2000

Lena - WELCOME BACK!! ((((BIG HUGS)))) It's nice to hear from you again - congrats on your award. :)

Americo Thu Jun 8 13:15:19 PDT 2000


I rarely shout, but I've made an exception for you. Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back! And congratulations for your National Award.

Hallee Thu Jun 8 13:05:30 PDT 2000

CLAYTON & HEATHER: I left notes for you in the critique section. (By the way - thank you so was hard to for me to get up the nerve to post anything at all!)

Everyone is a good day for no other reason than it means that tomorrow is Friday. What a week! It seemed like everything happened to everyone around me all at the same time. Plus, I don't think I wrote more than two pages the entire week. And we still sit here with no rain.

So...enjoy Thursday because the weekend looms. (I don't normally complain about anything, but, gracious, it's been a rough one.)

Good news, though. My sister has been offered a freelancing job with a newspaper. Out of college for 1 week and they called her! I'm so excited for her. (A little envious, perhaps, but excited nonetheless.) A bright spot on this week from hell.


Arik Thu Jun 8 12:19:52 PDT 2000

howard - you want that 1 of us will buy 1 and the 2nd will buy other and we will shift it to each other?

howard Thu Jun 8 12:14:21 PDT 2000

ARIK -- No, I don't have the other two books yet, but when I get them I'll be happy to slip them into our little liberry exchange.

SASQUATCH -- Thanks, furry old pal! I wondered if you got lost out there. Just what kind of connection do you have, anyway? And when are you going to give us another poem? You know we love them! Also, I must admit you have got my curiosity up about "one who made all." What do you know of this one?

TEEKAY -- I won't forget to sign the book, and maybe I'll do as Rhoda, and put a picture in as a bookmark. Only hers was of a very pretty lady and some beautiful kids!

LITTER and JERRY -- Nice articles and pix in!

back to work

Rosemary Thu Jun 8 11:53:12 PDT 2000

Sorry, I forget to fill in the top part.

Thu Jun 8 11:51:20 PDT 2000

Hello All,
Still can't paste into the Short Story section and I'm not about to type 2500 words into it. So you all have a reprieve. The magazine closed submissions until July and cut their limit to 2000 words. I'm going to consider the whole thing a lesson in editing and forget that magazine.
I use WordPerfect 8 and if anyone knows why that would keep me from copy and pasteing to the workbook, please let me know.

If a mare has had a good life, no mistreatment and good food, she can continue to have babies into her 20's. I was at an auction where a 23 year old Arabian mare sold for $80,000. Some of her colts had been champions and I'm sure that makes a difference.

My Paint Gelding was 35 years old when he finally died. I thought I was going to have to ride forever. (that was a joke. I still miss him and it's been almost three years.)

Power to writing.

Arik Thu Jun 8 11:42:28 PDT 2000

Jon - Please don't fire me.... you see I am doing the sentances. I'll be a good culture minister :-). I'll write something about cats!!!


Arik Thu Jun 8 11:40:23 PDT 2000

Hey people, there are the sentances :-).

The best sentance of the day is by Pussy:

"Is this cheer up night?
In that case, I would like to say cheer up, all!"


The funniest sentance is by Jon:

"Give me some time to think about your suggestion of my becoming the Head of the Commonwealth and forget about the USA.

I am not happy about all of my Ministers. I'm thinking of dismssing some of them."


I couldn't decide what to give to this the most stupid sentance of the funniest so.... you decide :-). The sentance is by Tina:

"Uhmmm, thanks Jerry Lee, I think..."


Arik Thu Jun 8 11:24:44 PDT 2000

Jerry - It's ok. I guess I'll ask howard to do something about it :-).

Janice - Try this one.... will you. thanks.

Teekay - I don't know if I got you'r e-mail but I hope I did. It'll take some time co's I am only on page 165. I hope I will finish this fast :-).

Howard - Do you have the second and the third books of "Ender's Game"?

Sorry everyone for giving the wrong adress of my home-page. Hope this one works :-).

Rachel Thu Jun 8 11:09:56 PDT 2000

Litter - It's okay. Please don't hide in a hole.

Heather - Thanks, you are a sweetie. I'm glad that you aren't feeling alone any more (hugs).

Take care all


Heather Thu Jun 8 10:56:54 PDT 2000

Here is the cure, Litter, for that sucky memory:
Gingko Bilobi, no--
Gingko Bilibo
Billibong? Billoba? Billenbi?
No, that's Dilaudid.
Nevermind. Just look for the box that says Gingko - somethingorother and you'll be able to memorize the name of the strange herbs they've concocted, and you can zip onto the NB and correct me.

Biloba, Balogna, how I remember you so well. Like passionate wine, we danced and we dined,
And though I lost that slip of paper,
you phone number I do wager
Is still ringing slow and sexy
In my mind...

Oops, er, pardon me. Did I go down old tangent road? Must have been forked.

I'll bet Litter doesn't even have a bad memory. He certainly remembers breast feeding! Don't go crawling into just any hole to hide! You could get lost in some vortex and not grace us with your charm for many moons!

Rachel, all my prayers are guided your way, to your newly expanded family of 6. (Plus dogs and cats) Rejoice! Many have heard your call.

Jon, you might want to check the validity of that letter from Her Majesty. Her husband has been dead for quite some time. Although, I can't be sure she wasn't speaking of her lover(s). Oh, goodness! Now I'm blushing.

As Minister of Education, I would like to call all Notebookers to the task of writing one more addition to SM**, myself included, before it's lovely picnic lid has been closed forever. Do dine with me one last time.

And then will it be ghost stories? Perhaps that is a topic that will raise a few metres of gooseflesh among us. I am hoping it will be the chosen Round Robin of the Workbook, for I feel a few tinglies coming on.

A nod for all,
Am off to write more on my current chapter...

-- NOTE : I'm not lonely any more, thanks to some leftover strawberries and some fine red wine - and of course, your kind words, my friends.

Lena, welcome back!

Off to titter Corel 7 with the song of my keys.

BadLitter Thu Jun 8 10:15:13 PDT 2000

Hi all,

Teekay - you are right. I am a bad litter, I doubt if I am even eco-friendly any more :o( I have a very screwed up neural network and a really sucky memory and am now contemplating hara kiri.

Nope, I'm a coward as well so I'll just say sorry - you are right, that 'welcome to the new addition' was meant for How… Christ… ehm, Tin… Ar.. oh yes, RACHEL!!!


Rachel - a big hello and welcome to your new addition.

Gonna find me a big hole and go back to hiding…


Rachel Thu Jun 8 09:21:24 PDT 2000

Lena - It's nice to see you. I hope that all is going well. I have not heard of the award, but still I send my congrats. I am sure that you worked long and hard for it.

Litter - I am the one with the addition to my family. The addition is not a baby. He is a 9 year old boy, who came into the care of the Ministry a short time ago. He is doing well. I might even say very well. The children who come to be in my care have not had an easy time. They can use any and all positive thoughts/prayers--what ever you lift towards the betterment of the lives of others.

Alline - Have a great day:D HUGS!!!!!!!!!!

Take care all


Mary Thu Jun 8 08:48:19 PDT 2000


I am assuming from your letter to HRH that you are either dismissing me or seriously thinking about it? Please let me know so I can forward my ongoing internet link and translation projects to my replacement so as not to disrupt the flow of your campaign. Regretfully, Mary. (Acting Minister of Internet Links and Translations)


You little stinker! I said I was sorry about the emails! :-)

Jerry Ericsson Thu Jun 8 07:50:45 PDT 2000

Arik - Sorry, the books belong to my daughter, she collects them and would never let them out of the house.


sasquatch yeti@slowtree.forest Thu Jun 8 06:21:30 PDT 2000

Jack person thank so much for making the notebook to smaller size. Now can see again. Old tree is slow connection like Ent friends. Welcome new persons sasquatch likes to say hello to new persons and hope you like here also. Howard person it is good that you are better. sasquatch understands you will be better with all good wishes and asking one who made all to help. i must go.

Jon Thu Jun 8 06:19:31 PDT 2000

My answer to the Queen

Dear E.

Give me some time to think about your suggestion of my becoming the Head of the Commonwealth and forget about the USA.

I am not happy about all of my Ministers. I'm thinking of dismssing some of them.

Would you accept the Religious And Other Stuff thing? Or perhaps the Internet LInks And Translations? If you do, inform me privately. If you don't, forget it.

Hugs to the hubbie and kisses to you,

Jon (on behalf of Her Majesty) Thu Jun 8 06:12:19 PDT 2000

Letter from the Queen


I know that you intend to become the next President of USA&CAN. If I were you I would not care about USA — just Mcburgers and tasteless chips, let alone diet coke (argh!). CAN is a different song — the best celery you can buy. As for soccer, both countries are unworthy of their footballs.

I'm writing to you because being the Head of the Commonwealth is a real pain in the neck. My hubbie and I enjoy a bit of gardening, cycling, watching the soaps... Long trips to inhospitable parts of the world are not our cup of tea. We thought that you could take a fancy for at least the girls of Australia, let alone the heather of Scotland, a piece of land which I'm considering selling. Would you care to become the President of all my Commonwealth? Please, please!

My best regards to pretty Pussy. I enjoyed immensely her cake last time we met in the Azores, mainly because of the salt and pepper she mixed up with the other ingredients. Remind that little devil that she promised to send me its recipe.

Affectionately yours,

Thu Jun 8 03:45:43 PDT 2000

Hi Arik! Tried to look at your page ... Angelfire says it doesn't exist. Is there a typo in your URL maybe?


Jack Beslanwitch Thu Jun 8 02:15:23 PDT 2000

Well, things here almost got to a half meg. Yiiiikes. So, I have archived things. Will post them to archive sometime later tonight. And everybody should be able to post here without a problem.

Oh, and I talked with my dive master and he has indicated that my situation is not unknown. In discussing things with others, there are solutions. Mainly I have to just relaxe, but he will put more weight on me to get me down to where all the fun stuff is and let nature take its course. Fran did get down around 50 or so feet and as I said saw all kinds of really interesting things. I am still considering how best to put words to the awe, the terror, the beauty, the adventure that both of us are experiencing as we become acquainted with this wondrous new environment.

Take care and, Americo, thanks for the good news. Will get an email out to you shortly. If you want me to, I will zip and send you the final version of S&M, but I am trying to remember if we did not have problems with zip format on a Mac. Oh, well, talk with everyone again soon.

Teekay Wed Jun 7 22:57:19 PDT 2000

Sorry JACK, didn't mean to take up all those megakilla whatyhertzbites.

Teekay Wed Jun 7 22:55:14 PDT 2000

ARIK: I have sent you an email with my address for when you have finished with Ender's Game. I am letting you know so that you don't do a MARY and delete it without reading it. I have put Ender's Game as the subject, just so you know which one.

Teekay Wed Jun 7 22:54:50 PDT 2000

ARIK: I have sent you an email with my address for when you have finished with Ender's Game. I am letting you know so that you don't do a MARY and delete it without reading it. I have put Ender's Game as the subject, just so you know which one.

Teekay Wed Jun 7 22:30:54 PDT 2000

TINA: Why don't you just ring a vet? It would probably be the easiest way and they should know for sure.

LENA: Long time since you did what? Posted?

LITTER: I think you may be refering to RACHEL'S new addition?

CHRISTI: I am reading your story at the moment and loving it. Just had to tune in here to make sure the connection didn't cut off.

ARIK: Yes please. It would be great if you could send me Ender's Game when you'd finished with it.

HOWARD: Don't forget to sign that book O.K?

Arik Wed Jun 7 22:23:33 PDT 2000

Jerry - Do you think you'll be able to send me the other 2 books for some time?

Howard - I know you'v read it. You sent it to me... remember? I am reading it now (I know its slow but I have no free time) and I like it very much.

Teekay - You should! you want me to send it to you after I finish? (if howard and christy will agrre) :-).

How are you all going enyway? something new? where is jon.. I have't spoken to him years and I dont know what I suppose to do with my "minister of culture" :-).

Allein Wed Jun 7 22:13:10 PDT 2000

Howard - Thanks. Granulating, huh? At my school we're calling it Graditating. :)

Tina Wed Jun 7 21:55:13 PDT 2000

Uhmmm, thanks Jerry Lee, I think... Nice site you sent me to. I'll remember it the next time one of my niece's plastic horses needs pedigree information.

I'm kinda more interested in the real, living sort of horse, though. Thanks though.

Anyone else? How old can a (flesh and blood) mare be and still have foals?


Lena Wed Jun 7 21:30:36 PDT 2000

--wow, I haven't done that in quite some time!


Teekay Wed Jun 7 21:29:31 PDT 2000

Hi All,
JERRY: Yes! Ghost stories. I just lerv ghost stories. Who doesn't?

AMERICO/JON: It is sooo true. I would never have written even half as much as I have done had it not been for your guidance. Guidance? is that the word?
Maybe inspiration?

CHRISTI: You wrote that on purr-pose! I am rather jealous. At your next dinner party, play group meeting, you can just casually let it drop how being minister of love affairs is such a fulfilling job. The pay may stink, but no one has to know that heh heh.

JACK: Why does everybody else seem to have such an exciting life?

JON (again): Please tell A* that I shall be happy, no, overjoyed, to accept all of the above. The Minister of Lost Causes. Wow! I can feel my head just swelling already. (I think.) :) eerr, what's the pay like?

LITTER: The new family addition. Would that be my long lost notepad?

ARIK: I haven't read Ender's Game. Why?

HOWARD: I am sooo glad you enjoyed it. Who to send it to next? Now there's a thought.

Any takers on 'pillars of the earth' Remember though I want it back.

Guys here is the best tip for having the notebook and the notepad open simultaneously(phew). You open and minimize both the notebook and the notepad window and then you go to the bottom taskbar and right click and choose from menu tile windows (vertically/horizontally)

Oh Happy day! This is the day that the writing magazines come in. How can anyone be sad on this day?

Lena Wed Jun 7 21:26:23 PDT 2000

Hullo everybody.

It's nice to see familiar names around here - it's been a long time since I last visited, so it's comforting to see that life goes on as usual. Hullo to Rachel and Allein and Rhoda and Americo (and the usual set of incarnations thereof) and Jack and Jerry Lee and Litter and all the people I don't know or don't remember.

I'm doing pretty well. Got a scholarship to college and I'm leaving home in a month. Still writing. I was a National Merit Finalist, if anybody knows what that is.

Just wanted to say hi,

And... I have read Ender's Game... it's on my shelf of Favorite Books. I didn't really like any of the sequals, though - I thought it was better as a stand-alone novel.

Jerry Lee Wed Jun 7 20:40:55 PDT 2000

Yo, All.

Someone whose entry I cannot find asked about how old a mare should be for last foal. The answer is ABOUT 26. The above link will take you to a very informative site.

Bye bye you!
Jerry Lee

Jerry Ericsson Wed Jun 7 20:17:22 PDT 2000

Pussy - don't need cheering up, I am just a cheerful type of guy. The rest of you {{{{{{{{{{{CHEER UP}}}}}}}}}}}}

Wed Jun 7 18:24:40 PDT 2000

Wow! 407K! Took a fair bit of time even with the cable modem!

ALLEIN -- That's "Pomp and Circumstance." And guess what they call the flags that precede the march? Gonfalons! Where have we seen that word before, class? And the persons carrying them are Gonfaloniers. Anyway, congrats on granulating!

LITTER -- Yes, it's the Anadiplosis 500 -- where the last car in the first row becomes the first car in the second row.

ARIK -- I read and enjoyed "Ender's Game," and will read the rest of the series shortly.

TEEKAY -- "The Pillars of the Earth" was FANTASTIC! It's been a long time since I got that deeply into a book, and I'll definitely be adding a copy to my own collection. Who gets this one next?

Must get off to work on a class I'm teaching on the book of 1 Peter (for our adult Sunday School class). It's amazing too!


Allein Wed Jun 7 17:40:53 PDT 2000

Hi all - Had my first graduation practice today. Now I have that awful music stuck in my head. Not as bad as that one guy, when Ms. Hjelmaa (grad. director) told us that she hated that music he begins humming the wedding march. At least that's better than the one they play for graduation with the name I can't remember - Prom something I think.

Pussy Wed Jun 7 15:54:18 PDT 2000

Is this cheer up night?
In that case, I would like to say cheer up, all!


Jerry Lee Wed Jun 7 13:52:49 PDT 2000

Yo, All!

I've been away for awhile, but "I feel MUCH better, now."

I see a lot has happened here lately and would like to say "Howdy" to all the newcomers...and the oldcomers, too.

Jack, If deflating your B.C. before the dive doesn't help with the weight problem, just add more weights. It may be helpful to don your weight belt in the water. We had a guy in the Philipines with the same problem and thats what he did. Seems he needed so much that he nearly couldn't walk on land with all of it on.

I saw a great quote the other day...

If you would not be forgotten,
As soon as you are dead and rotten,
Either write things worth reading,
Or do things worth writing.
-Benjamin Franklin

Take care,
Jerry Lee

p.s. Lee is my middle name, like Jerry Lee Lewis. Just thought I'd tell you that to avoid confusion.

Litter Wed Jun 7 12:48:38 PDT 2000

Ooops - the URL should've been

Litter Wed Jun 7 12:43:41 PDT 2000

Is it safe to come out of my bunker yet?

Hi all,

Allein - Many congrats on your Graduation.

Hallee - Hello, welcome, and stop writing so fast - you're putting us all to shame…

Teekay - when I was stumped for something to say, it wasn't my mouth the nurse was shoving the thermometer into :o| Oh, and a welcome for the new family addition.

Christi - nice yodel!

Howard - ANADIPLOSIS? Isn't that where the ANADIPLOSIS 500 event for race cars takes place?

Candice - don't know you yet, are you new, or a lurker? Welcome in any event.

Clayton - Hi! I think you were bowing out for a while when I arrived on the notebook…

Heather - don't feel lonely, it makes me sad :o(

Jerry E - Had another look at that '' site you mentioned. Seems to be a pretty good variety of stuff of all calibres (calibers in the US?) so I signed on. Your opinions in some of the articles you posted are pretty much in line with mine, But enough of that here, just in case…

Let me say again people - - give it a look - and look for a recent article from George McLaren called 'Net Ailments'. It can be found under the Internet and humour sections. He and I are almost inseparably attached and mostly on very good terms… Now, that is NOT the me stream but themestream, although I suppose it could be? (I'm not as bashful as Jerry is…)

Jack - 45lbs - you must be a very buoyant person and no mistake. I have a cousin who is a very experienced diver, 30+ years, and he said that getting the weights right can be an unexpectedly difficult thing to do. You'll get there.

Well, it's headache season again here, so I'm going to get my Swedish au pair to give me a nice massage.

Ciao for now,


Americo Wed Jun 7 11:46:57 PDT 2000


No. Why not send them by e-mail? I'll tell you my impressions with the same sincerity as always.

PS. Anyone wishing to send NEW stories for SM** please be free to email them to me till the 7th July. The collection has some good stuff but not enough to make a publishable book yet.

Jerry Ericsson Wed Jun 7 11:16:33 PDT 2000

Arik - I have read Endor's Game, then followed with Speaker for the Dead, and am presently reading Xenocide. The last two are the rest of the series. My daughter is a Card fan, and has most of his books, so I borrowed them from her, except for Endor's Game, that came on loan from Christi.

Americo - Did you get a chance to read Lobster Tails and Eskimo Pies before Jack zipped up SM**, hope so, it was left as a peace offering.

Write on folks

Arik Http:// Wed Jun 7 09:41:37 PDT 2000

Hey people. How are you?

I wanted to do 2 things today. the first one it to invite you all to my page :-). The other one is to ask who have read the book "Ender's Game".

good day to all of you :-).

Tina Wed Jun 7 09:29:34 PDT 2000

Good Morning!

I like the idea for ghost stories, Jerry! I simply couldn't get into S&M, couldn't think of a thing, but GHOST stories.... booh!

Jack, you'll get it yet. Boyancy in salt water is entirely different from fresh. The first time I did a salt water dive - I was certified in a lake, not the ocean - I was loaded with so much lead even the dive master couldn't believe it. I'll send you heavy, dense thoughts next time you go.

Russel Crowe is my new favourite. He was excellent in Gladiator! My one and only beef was that some of the computer generated scenes were overdone. See Gladiator! The plot is much fuller than the teasers and previews made out. (If blood makes you queasy, maybe don't eat too much popcorn. It IS the Roman Army and Gladiators, after all. Less gore than Braveheart, though.)

Candice, hello! Pull up a chair!

I have a horse question for anyone who knows about such things. I've looked in many books but can't find out how old a mare can be and still be safely bred. It's just a tiny fact for my story, but I hate being inaccurate. Sorry to turn the notebook into a stable...


Jade Wed Jun 7 09:22:12 PDT 2000

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 Wed Jun 7 09:17:20 PDT 2000

Howard! I forgot to say THANK YOU for putting your thumb on the correct word for that type or style of poetry!

It had been bothering me for ages that I couldn't remember it!

Hmm. What was it again?

Ha ha ha


Heather Wed Jun 7 09:14:35 PDT 2000

I've unstuck myself,finally.
Was battling the dreaded WB this week.
Too much other stuff on the go. Now I have no excuses. I wrote approximately 4 pages today so far. And I won't be working tonight at my (paying, but barely) job, so I will have a nice, uneventful evening to write more.
I must not procrastinate.
Hallee's presence is a good thing here. Just thinking about all the books she's written in 18 months has me hopping!
I doubt I could write that much in that span of time - yet. Simply because I haven't written that much in so short a time does not mean I can not or will not.
I refuse to limit myself, by time or volume, or in the myriad of ways we limit ourselves each day. (Reach for the sky?)

Candice, welcome.

Jon, as Minister of Education, I suggest enrolling in Jade's English Composition Class, pronto. That goes for all of us. We must scroll back through this last week and find the latest exercise Jade posted, and do it!

Not IT, the exercise... er, you know what I meant.

Thank you, Christi, for your kind words. Rhoda, thank you as well. I won't forget the sweet things you have said to me.

Oh! Jon, what did you think of my suggestions for Parliament, once you have taken official reign?
I liked the new job agency idea, myself. We also need to create more jobs. Probably could use a few more publishing houses, to rival the big boys. The ones that work with fiction, especially. Bring all the writers you can find from your fine land when you come.

Heather (sorry, what a boring post today - spent the creativity under the moon last night, and on my work this morning! :o)

Mary Wed Jun 7 09:13:12 PDT 2000


Just wondering if I have been fired as minister of internet links and translations. I would understand of course--but I hope not.

ps-I have forwarded a virtual can of BumbleBee White Tuna as a peace offering. It's good stuff--really. I eat it myself. It is dolphin safe too.

Hallee Wed Jun 7 08:57:19 PDT 2000

TINA: Thank you so much for your notes. I appreciate your comments. Some things don't always flow so smoothly because I write so fast. Sometimes, when I'm editing, I wonder where in the world I was intending to go with what I said. About the formating: After I pasted the text, I just went back up through the post and formatted it. I have a friend who reads as I write, and I have to do that when I paste onto the email, so I do it without thinking. It only takes a few minutes, and it does make it easier for the person reading it. By the way, I posted the next chapter, in case you wanted to read more.

CHRISTI: You're sweet, thank you. :)

Jon Wed Jun 7 05:13:53 PDT 2000

Good morning, all.

Let us make of this the cheer up day.

Cushion — you will be the Minister for War end Games. Hope you honor us with your presence a bit more often.

Teekay — A* suggests that I appoint you Minister for the Lost Causes (he found your post about having lost your notepad and other items really funny/amusing/entertaining/intelligent — choose the word that best pleases you) but since your are so unforeseeable (sp.) towards praises, please tell us if you want to accept it.

And a hug for everyone.

Rhoda Wed Jun 7 00:52:53 PDT 2000


I would give GLADIATOR a four out of five stars. It was excellent, but not quite as good as SPARTACUS or BEN HUR. They would be five stars in my estimation. The story is really very good. If anything is worth sixteen bucks, this movie is. As far as myself I saw it for six dollars. There are advantages to living in small towns, I suppose.

The cast was also good. Dereck Jacobi was wonderful as always (I never saw him in a movie that was not good). Richard Harris was Marcus Aurillius. If you liked BRAVEHEART, you will like this movie.


Jack Beslanwitch Wed Jun 7 00:38:36 PDT 2000

Hello all: A little depressed. Fran was able to complete her first open water dive without a hitch, but I could not seem to get my buoyancy correct. We were up to 54 pounds of led weight when we threw in the towel for this try. Partly it may be me not relaxing. It is also the first time we have been in wet suits, so there may be something there as well. I will get past this, but am getting nervous that I will not get the chance to dive in Hawaii. Wish me luck and maybe even throw a prayer in there that this body can sink. Sounds like an odd request, but somehow I need to have the light bulb go off in my head that will get my body working correctly under water.

Fran was really excited as she was able to get down to 45 feet below and view lots of interesting life including perch and shrimp and other.

The one thing I will say is both of us are very very tired and are going to be quite stiff in the morning. I am not deterred, but hope I will get past this. Will try to get back here and archive the Notebook. It is getting fair to moderately monstrous in size. However, just too exhausted. Take care everyone.