Archived Messages from June 21, 2000 to July 15, 2000

Heather Sat Jul 15 21:17:52 PDT 2000

Day in the sun; sizzled-skin glimpses and rubber muscles under black T-shirts. Food, glorious and proliferant, garnishing every paper plate with fragrant colour. Bottles, frescoed in droplets of ice dew, dripping from every hand.
Relatives and tears, laughter, white flashes and the whirring of camera winders followed the routes of the children, feet to the sky and catching grasshoppers.
At the edge of the field, the rain stopped. Not a drop could fall on a day such as today.

Family Reunion.

My face hurts from laughing and smiling.

The Littlest Monarch Sat Jul 15 17:34:06 PDT 2000

Upon the decision to clean the house today, nevermind that it never actually happened, I made the decision to tidy it up a bit. The television that I accidentally bumped into and began watching had a character on it that said,
"Cleanliness is next to Godliness." I found this rather amusing, obviously they had never been into an Athesist household. So, I departed from cleaning, which I hadn't really started yet, and went out. After all, what person would come in my house who cared whether or not I had vacumed in the last two years I have lived here. (I have actually.)
Have your people call my people and block your number from ever bugging me again,
The Littlest Monarch

Hallee Sat Jul 15 01:55:08 PDT 2000


It took me a while to get caught up on the posts.


WELCOME BACK JACK! (I noticed how quickly the page opened :0)

TEEKAY: I always mean well when I start those types of projects, but I have a whole box of uncompleted things. I guess I'm just not a crafty person.

JERRY LEE: Thanks. And thanks for sending me the answer. I still haven't had the chance to check out your website. I love puzzles like that - if you have more...bring them on.

GARIESS: Hiya. Nice to meet you.

Okay - that's all I can do. I have to..have to...have to get back to writing. It's all in my head - swirling around - looking for the exit.
(Heather - you could have described that so much better than I. hahaha)


Mary Fri Jul 14 23:39:03 PDT 2000

RHODA: Aha! Thats what I did wrong! Thanks. No wonder I'm not minister of links anymore. duh.

TEEKAY: Hey there girlie.

HEATHER: Hope all is well with you.


Teekay Fri Jul 14 20:40:29 PDT 2000

sorry, i was cut short.

i am readiong an amazing book at the moment called 'ice station' by matthew j. reilly and it is totally gripping. i ration it out so that at least i get something done. it goes; read a bit-do dishes, read some more-sweep floor, read some more-mop, you get the idea.

my writing is now a page per day, more if i'm so inclined, but i must do a page at least.

hello to all of you, i'm sure i've missed a few things, but the baby says it's his turn now and to get off the computer, so, 'til next time.


Te Fri Jul 14 20:33:49 PDT 2000

Hi All,
I feel like I have been away for ages, but I think in real time it's only been about three days.

Okay, first things first,



WELCOME BACK RHODA AND i'M GLAD THE NEWS IS PRETTY GOOD. (I have been rather terrible with your chapters. I am onto the second one, but it is soooo cold in this office that I haven't spent much time in here. Hubby smokes in here and I can't stand the smell of it, so all the windows are open and it's winter. I'll get to them though. I'd love to just print them out, but I don't think we have that much paper.)


GARIESS: WELCOME BACK! Surely you jest about the 'what is petrol anyway?' Right?

HEATHER: Thanks for the advice. I think it may have been just starting blues. The story is taking more shape now and I'm getting more involved. I want to get hoplessly and utterly lost in it though.

HALLEE & MARY: I love to play some sport - like patchwork and cross stitch and perhaps an occassional round of crochet. :-D

Fri Jul 14 20:33:45 PDT 2000

Heather Fri Jul 14 19:15:18 PDT 2000

Husband is watching a truly inspirational movie - Deep Impact. (I was being sarcastic) Just the perfect cap for a very hectic, torrential rain storm day. Nothing like a little meteor collision with Earth to lift the spirits.

What's with the NB? Everyone on summer holiday...?
Lucky sods.


Rhoda Fri Jul 14 18:24:07 PDT 2000


Do not forget the http://www.etc. I loved the Janet Evanovich web-site, by the way. Thank you for sharing it.


Mary Fri Jul 14 07:21:50 PDT 2000

typical. that link doesnt work. just type into the location bar above. sorry. geez.

Mary Fri Jul 14 07:18:27 PDT 2000

LITTER: One of the best sites i have seen that uses frames is linked above. it is maintained very well and (i think) it loads quickly. perhaps you should just check it out (maybe it will give you some ideas) Probably giving the choice is the best plan, but maybe you will check it out anyway. bye.

howard Fri Jul 14 06:07:16 PDT 2000

Hello --

I'll be away for a while, trekking through the Bible belt, the southwest, out to the Grand Canyon, returning in two weeks.

Sorry to stir up the lumps and then run off while they settle, but I guess that's the way it goes.

Welcome back, Jack!


Arik Fri Jul 14 00:10:54 PDT 2000

Thanks you guys... I am so happy now *sniff*.
Avatar - I am 37 now. (oh my god... I am getting old).

Christi Thu Jul 13 23:12:05 PDT 2000

Hello Ladies and Germs!

Haaaaah! Funny! You made that test up? Brilliantly brilliant.

This is how big of a dork I am. I have no clue what you mean when you say 'frames'. I know what a house frame, a picture frame, a framling, a frame of mind, and a frame of reference is, but have NO idea what a web page frame might be. Me intellegent very am is.

Now, to beat a dead horse (and a dead horse this definitely IS!), I can't STAND elitists. My husband and I have a couple of "friends" who are the worst elitists I've ever met, and they just can't figure out why no one ever calls to ask them to tea! We avoid them like the plague, but like a bad rash, they always seem to come back. I think we need a support group or something.
Okay, now rigormortis has set in, and the horse is beginning to attract flies--big ones.

I knew it, I knew it! I'm so glad you're back, even though you're gone right now.

Happy Birthday, Arik!

I'm so relieved for your friend.
Keep the faith during your move. Moving is one of the most tedious and exasperating things ever invented, but it's so exciting to move to a new place. Y'all come back now, y' hear?

Tired mush brain taking over . . . need large quantity of zzzzzs. Happy slumbering to all.


Heather Thu Jul 13 22:25:23 PDT 2000

Avatar, you must still be confusing 'perfectionism' (or obsession) with 'elitism'.

Here is a handy test to find out which is which:

1) When you set your toothbrush into the holder, and someone else's toothbrush is in your spot, you would:

a) Fling all other toothbrushes into the sink, wash them with soap, and cleanse the holder with bleach to make sure nobody else's saliva germs have touched your brush.

b) Shrug, and put yours back in the right spot.

c) Brush your teeth and only notice it's the wrong brush after you've grinned into the mirror, make believing you're a rabid skunk swallowing the tail of its victim.

d) Grab each member of your family (or your roommates) and demand to know by what right they have usurped your number one place in the toothbrush holder.

e) What toothbrush holder?


2) When in an elevator and you unexpectedly pass gas, do would:

a) Laugh

b) Get off on the next floor and run down the stairs.

c) Declare that it wasn't a fart - it's the onions and broccoli you just had for lunch.

d) Excuse me? I never fart.

e) Stand perfectly still and sniff the air, mentally noting the rank of your flatus. A Ten Rating is the worst smell you have ever laid nose hairs on, A One Rating is a fart the dog wouldn't even notice.


3) When the time arrives for you to sign a check or other document in front of a bank teller, you would:

a) Scribble it as usual. Any pen will do.

b) Concentrate on signing it identically to the signature that's on your bank card - wouldn't want the teller suspecting you had taken the card and were just forging.

c) Brandish your own pen, simply because it doesn't have one of those stupid chains on it. Oh, and because it writes 'nice'.

d) Whip out the personalized ink stamp of your signature and the premium quality ink pad, and in a flourish of looking down your nose while huffing at the teller, stamp your check. Ask for a wet wipe to cleanse the stamp afterward.

e) I don't have a chequing account.


4) When driving in your car and searching for a parking spot, you would:

a) Park on the crosswalk because it's convenient and you deserve to be close to the entrance.

b) Put the car into park at the mall, and wonder where the valet is.

c) Have your driver park the car for you. Having a chauffer ie the valet is.

c) Have your driver park the car for you. Having a chauffer is the only way to travel.

d) Car? I take the bus, man.

e) You order from catalogues. The parking lot frenzy is a personal pet peeve.


Check your score: (add up your points)

1) a)3 b)0 c)2 d)4 e)1

2) a)0 b)3 c)1 d)4 e)2

3) a)0 b)3 c)1 d)4 e)2

4) a)0 b)2 c)4 d)1 e)3

Add up your score and see what it says:

...0 to 3:

Apathetic and carefree. Also out of it most of the time. It's a toss up. You don't care about too much, least of all the little things. But those little things neither annoy you nor take up much thought space. That's good. You can't fit anything else in there.

...4 to 7:

Are you sure you're not a hippy?

...8 to 11:

A wee bit off the wall, aren't you? Enjoy it.

...12 to 15:

Did you know that the toilets flush in a different direction in the Southern Hemisphere? Oh, no! Something you did not know? Write it down for heaven's sake! It just might come up on a test some day!
Psssst! By the way, you are pulling into the drive - thru on a road in nutville. You're having 'obsessive compulsive disorder', with a double side - order of perfectionism. Drive through and pick up your prescription, please.

...15 or 16:

Writing this one is a distraction. I'm playing chess, and guess what? Check mate. Gotcha, you big pig of an elitist! Oh, but I forgot. You want me to know you're better than I am. So you advertize it.


There. That's all the creative juice I can part with on the NB tonight. Have to save a whole whonk of it for my novel!


Avatar Thu Jul 13 20:54:53 PDT 2000

I'd sing you the bad happy birthday song, because you're feeling sad, but it might not be appropriate (grins)
By the way, I don't know if any one else has asked you this yet, but, How Old Are You? Or is it supposed to be ixnay to mention that sort of thing?

Litter- Maybe. Admittedly, when I write this late in the evening my posts tend to be screwy, but I don't think I mistook elitism for perfectionism. There is an extreme of elitism, whether just in my mind or a real one, that exists. You tend to watch everything you write with an overly keen eye, nervous at every turn that you are copying someone, something....
Okay, now that we've beat that topic to death...

Heather- Gardening? Really? Do you happen to know of any good combinations of flowers that keeps the color blooming all year, preferably blue? *Laugh* I just got a project sprung on me and need some advice from people. Anybody?

Jack- Did you get rained on in Hawaii? Oh, and welcome back ;)

Here's a good tip for all yous with big projects- think baby steps!

Later all

Litter Thu Jul 13 16:59:44 PDT 2000

Hi all,

WB Jack.

Happy Birthday Arik. I don't have time to be depressed because of my age -- I'm too busy being depressed about everything else :o) or maybe :o(

Avatar -- I think you are confusing perfectionism with elitism? I see nothing wrong with perfectionism, per se, but elitism is a deliberate choice to set oneself above others -- a very arrogant aspiration. Perfectionism, on the other hand, is something that we should all aspire to, at least as far as is practicable. I think that all of us here look for our writing to be the best that we can make it. However, perfectionism can be a hindrance, as there always seems to be something that can be improved.

Heather -- take care and not overdo things, huh? How many hands do you have now?

All -- Looks like I'll probably do the new website both with and without frames and give the choice on the welcome page. Should be too much extra as the basic artwork and stuff will be the same and I have plenty space. Thanks for the comments.

Ciao for now,


Allein Thu Jul 13 14:05:24 PDT 2000

Arik: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! ((((BIG HUGE BIRTHDAY HUG)))) I would jump out of a cake and sing to you, but the cake is...uh...gone. *burp* ::grins::

Rachel: *hugs* for you.

Jerry Lee Thu Jul 13 13:51:58 PDT 2000

Yo all,

First, puzzles and riddles are nice, but writing is forever. No apologies necessary.
Second, I have exactly the same symptoms. I'll be working on a story, only to have a better (though no more worthy) story pounce upon my synapses. The only way I can function is to make little notes to myself. Then, I'll finish up the story I'm getting bored with and write on the new one until either another new story pops up or I get re-interested in the original one. (When I say "bored with" I don't mean to say that the story no longer interests me, it's just that I like to maintain a very high level of enthusiasm.)
One of these days, all of my stories will be done on the same day and some publisher is going to think I'm more prolific than Shakespeare!

As far as elitism is concerned, I think a little bit is healthy. To seperate ourselves from the "masses" helps self esteem to a point. If we have a low opinion of people in general and think of ourselves as just another one of "them", we will overcome nothing, extend our horizins not at all, and sell ourselves short at every turn.
This is not to say that more elitism than is absolutely necessary is a good idea. To constantly look down on all others in the world creates the likes of Hitler and Napolean.
In summary, we need a bit to deliver, too much or too little and we implode.

Take care, all.

Jerry Lee

Arik Thu Jul 13 10:44:37 PDT 2000

Thank you guys. Thank you a lot. You know that ve kno each other for 2 years? seems like a long time isn't it :-).

Rhoda Thu Jul 13 09:36:50 PDT 2000


Upcoming birthdays are depressing to comptemplate sometimes, but when they get around, I enjoy them. I must admit, the big 40 was a little tough, but then 40 is only a number. Our hang ups about age are all in our head most of the time. I hope, Arik, that this present birthday and this coming year far outweighs your expectations and that it is a fantastic one for you.

WELCOME BACK, JACK!!! Your diving sounds like quite an experience. I am so glad you had a good time. It is great to have you back though.

I have to go to Tulsa for a househunting trip next week. There are so many choices! There are at least half a dozen school systems to chose from plus parochial, Lutherian and Christian academies to consider. It almost makes me dizzy to think of it. There is so much to do here in Perryton in the meantime. The hardest I think is cleaning up my house. I have been trying for three days. I have to get it ready to show by tomorrow. On top of that I promised to write a friend of mine a 1500 word article by the 15th. But I will I do it, one step at a time.

Must run now.

Happy writing,


Heather Thu Jul 13 07:34:40 PDT 2000

Welcome back, Jack!
Sounds as though the trip to Hawaii was exhilarating!

Happy Birthday, Arik! Birthdays are only sad if you contemplate age too long.

Sore wrists and fingers this morning, so typing will be short. (I hear whooping and celebration)
Gardening yesterday, had to turn over all the garden bed soil, it was so packed and hardened I think my hands might have fallen off digging had it not been for determination and tendons. Mulched and peat mossed until my head sprouted. Saw a worm that was so huge it was (seriously) larger around than my THUMB. No kidding. Ouch, my hands really calloused up overnight, to add to the ones I already had.
I should have turned the soil last year when we bought the house, but there were so many other things to do,first.

Off to pamper my hands.

Then I'll be visiting chapter 4 since it's lonely.
I am almost finished.


Mary Thu Jul 13 06:20:42 PDT 2000


Jack Beslanwitch Thu Jul 13 05:08:58 PDT 2000

Hello all:

Just got back from Hawaii several hours ago and a little tired after the long flight and pawing through a pile of email. I will have more to say when I get up and have time to archive the Notebook to a reasonable size again. The diving was great. Got in 10 dives while there, including ones where I got to swim with large turtles, see manta rays do a ballet above me, swim through lava caverns with openings above, before and behind and coral covering everything. Do not have space enough to tell the accounts of all the fish seen. I will note one, though. The garden eel which gets its name because it anchors itself in the sand and stands up like blades of grass or many many cobras doing a dance the music of the pipes. When you float over them they subside into the sand, being the shy creatures that they are. The unique aspect about this is that Hawaii is one of the few places where a recreational diver can see them, since they normally are found at 150 feet. Here they can be found between 60 and greater. We saw them at 81 feet, which, by the way, was the deepest I have dived so far. Take care everyone and talk with you more when I have had sleep.

Arik Thu Jul 13 03:40:00 PDT 2000

Thanks mary :-). I guess it's true.

Mary Wed Jul 12 23:30:42 PDT 2000


MAKE A WISH AND BLOW OUT THE CANDLES...Don't know how you celebrate your birthday, but i think everybody has been sad on the big day at one time or another. Congratulations anyway and celebrate! We are happy you were born!!

Arik Wed Jul 12 23:12:26 PDT 2000

hey guys. whats up? it's my birthday to day.... and I'm sad..... Don't know why but I am... ever happned to ya?

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Wed Jul 12 22:01:24 PDT 2000

Litter - on the subject of frames, don't much care for them myself, as I do most of my web stuff on my little old 486 laptop, which will only display 640 x480/256 color to start with, when I get to a frames page, I have to keep scrolling right and left to take in all the text etc. Don't mine them when I am on my big machine, but that is getting more rare an occurance every day. The old back keeps me in my recliner more and more, I am limited to my desk chair to about an hour at a time now.

On the other hand, frames are nice for quick navagation when the display isn't taken into consideration. Maybe just a small one on the right side, with quick links, and a reasonable text in the left larger frame would work, never ran into a site like that, be unique and make one, never know might start a fad.

Write on!


Heather Wed Jul 12 20:42:45 PDT 2000

Litter, frames sound good to me, but it's true, pages with them take longer to load. Something to consider.

Also, a no-thought way to choose between several ideas is the old hat pick. Write the novel ideas on slips of paper, and put them in a top hat (alright, a fedora will suffice) and close your eyes - and ask someone else to pick one.
Or, you could just sit down and start writing the one that you want to write most urgently. Don't worry too much about whether it will be marketable. With one book ready for publication and soon to be marketed, you have more than your foot in the door. You've got your body into the room.

Rachel - it's BBQ season (man, I am running out of sunblock - hee hee) and my privacy fence has been completed!

Well, I was going to say something - possibly on that black-tongued elitism topic. Yeah, that was it. But the thoughts have scattered. Really, it's time to get back to the real reason I'm on the computer.
Email. (kidding)


Avatar Wed Jul 12 20:36:02 PDT 2000

Litter- I'm going to keep the discussion going, I really am!
I have to say that, unfortunately, some people could indeed destroy their goals and their talents for elitism's sake. I have been to that extreme and back again. What if SOMEONE ELSE has already thought of this idea? What if it's not original enough?
People who aspire to be great writers can indeed fall onto their proverbial 'petards'. The idea that SOMEONE ELSE has already had that idea already, drives one to perfection. And ultimately to ruin. It is entirely possible to destroy all talent you have ever had, all for one fear.
That of losing originality.

Rhoda- I'm glad to hear that Angie is doing well and sorry to say that I missed out on the praying. I'll make it up when she goes through chemo!

Laura- Lucky you! I wish I had your problem! Mine is similar to Litter's, only when I go to write any of them down the logical side of my brain takes over and -boom!-
Or, and this is similar to your's, I get em, but decide I have something I need to do more. Talk about blowing yourself out of the water before setting sail!

Hallee- I once read in a magazine about two women, mother and daughter, the latter who had both breasts removed to prevent cancer there, the former who died from it, I believe. She didn't get false breasts to live like she used to. She stayed the way she was after surgery.
Some women get false breasts for very good reasons. Others just like getting more stares.
Food for thought.

Later all

P.S. Arik- that was good! What inspired it?

Mary Wed Jul 12 19:11:17 PDT 2000

I personally love frames--I think they make sites easier to navigate.

Laura Laura97224 Wed Jul 12 17:32:32 PDT 2000

About frames. PLEASE, Please, don't do that. for people like me who have old dinosaurs of computers, it locks us up.


Litter Wed Jul 12 16:05:27 PDT 2000

Hi Peeps,

A quick question for anyone and everyone. I'm designing a new webpage and I want to know how many people like websites that use frames (e.g. one for a title, a sidebar for site navigation and a main frame for the content), and how many people think frames suck and just get in the way? Answer here or by e-mail as you wish. Ta!

Heater - good story. I think women who falsify their charms (other than for bona-fide medical reasons) deserve all the embarrassment they get. The things you see when you don't have a camera, huh?

Jerry Lee -- I keep on promising myself a look at the Einstein puzzle but I always get sidetracked. I still owe Mary a poem too. Where does the time go?

Rhoda -- Good news about Angie's surgery going well. Also, I agree that much mass-market fictions sucks -- but it's what the masses want or, at least, are told that they want. Having said that I have to agree with Amerigo (Who, me? Yes, me!), that writers should aspire to be the best they can be -- it goes without saying! (Well, I think it does…)

Avatar (The persona of a god that feels like a small child… Hmmm.) -- I think that a person CAN be too elitist but, fortunately, I don't think many actually are. It also seems to me that those who attempt to be elitist or pass themselves of as one of the 'elite' are hoist on their own petards, and fail miserably. That is not to say that those who aspire to be great/influential/respected writers, (for example) fall into the same category. -- Aiming to be 'the best', or one of 'the best', is a perfectly laudable goal, but aiming to join an elite for elitism's sake is the stuff of sycophantic sterility.

A short time ago We had some discussion of what to do when Writers Block sets in -- I suffer from the opposite -- too many ideas and not enough direction. (Difficulty in choosing which storyline of many to follow.) Anyone else plagued with this. It gets even worse when there are several hot ideas in totally different genres -- you know one will sell but, perhaps, another will provide more of a challenge -- what do you choose ?????????????????

Back to work,

Ciao for now,


Rachel Wed Jul 12 09:06:32 PDT 2000

Garies - A hug like that in a public place... Oh my, oh dear! GRINS! It's nice to see you back on the page.

Heather - I will be having a b-b-q this week. I'm sure that I will think of you (grin, wink).

Take care all,


Tina Wed Jul 12 08:32:19 PDT 2000


Laura, I will do so. I've been busy with guests and domestic stuff, but I have read the first three posts of 'Prometheus'. I'm enjoying it immensely and I will send you my thoughts soon.

Avatar, right now is one of those times that I hope my muse is on 'Standby'. Other responsibilities have kept my from writing at any length and the ideas are just boiling in my head. When I do sit down to write nothing will be able to distract me!

Gotta go now.

Arik Tue Jul 11 23:45:27 PDT 2000

I can see what you see not.
Vision milky then eyes rot.
When you turn they will be gone,
whispering their hidden song.
Then you see what can not be,
shadows move where light should be.
Out of darkness, out of mind,
Cast down into the halls of the blind.

good day to all of you :-).

Heather Tue Jul 11 21:29:45 PDT 2000

Congrats, Hallee!

(I don't know if I am congratulating you on figuring out the Einstein puzzler or on the agent and publishing house simult. submission)

So congrats for both.

I just heard this ground breaking news (for real, actually) and laughed until I choked on pooled saliva. At a major amusement park today a woman lost her false breasts while on the roller coaster. They flew out at high speed (obviously NOT implants, but Jello (tm) in ziplock bags (tm), stuffed into her bra) and were lost among piles of weeds at the bottom of the structure.
She is probably still shuffling in the overgrowth, searching on hands and knees for her self-esteem.

I made up the Jello part. I can't imagine how friekish two life-like bags of fat would look, just hiding there, so silent in the bushes.

Yawn and burble.

No, really - that was heard all across Ontario today, unfortunately for her. Let's pray she's laughing too.

A lot of breast issues popping up lately. (wrinkling one eyebrow, combing the other)

Laura Tue Jul 11 17:35:25 PDT 2000

I cannot get in to the WB from here (library considers it a chat room) please E-mail me your comments.


Jerry Lee Tue Jul 11 15:15:08 PDT 2000

Yo, All!

I've been away for an unexpectedly long weekend, but have returned to put your minds at ease concerning the answer to Einstein's riddle. Click on the above address to see who keeps fish, but let me remind you, if you see the answer without exhausting yourself on the puzzle, the point of IQ is moot.

Speaking of IQ, Hallee E-mailed me with the correct answer! She is to be commended on her mental acrobatics!

Take care, Jerry Lee.

Tue Jul 11 13:50:40 PDT 2000

"Lavender's blue, dilly, dilly, dilly. Lavender's green. If I were king, dilly, dilly, I'd need a queen..."

I can't think of any jingles with derry, derry.

I enjoyed my trip to Louisville immensely. I saw many old friends and family, and it broke my heart to have to leave them again and come home. The trees were as beautiful as I remembered, and so was the great, mighty Ohio River. The weather cooportated for the most part. There was a little rain, but that moved off to provide a lovely cool front.

Angie did fine with her surgery. I told her that many of you all were praying and thinking about her, and she was very moved to know it. She is a bit sore and has to wait until she has healed before she can begin chemo.

Elitism. I do not rightly know how to define it, but I know it when I see it, and to be quite frank, I don't recognize it among any of you. You see some of it at writer's conferences, but it is not generally among the more successful writers.

I think what does rile me is these occassional people you hear in seminars and at the lunch table who tell you such things, "Books are getting sexier. Unless you respond to that market trend, you will never break in." Or "blond heros just won't cut it anymore. Women think blond guys are insipid," or "the heronine can never be pregnant with a baby who is not the hero's," or "you will never sell a book these days that takes place in the Middle East." One hears so many thou shalts and thou shalt nots in publishing circles. At the same time editors tell you how open minded they are and how they are looking for something different and fresh.

I think I understand partly Americo's argument. I too am beginning to despise mass market fiction, and partly because it is so repetitious. Writers write to please the editors and the marketing departments rather than write to please themselves and their readership. If you don't believe me, ask a few authors on contract. They'll admit it.

Oh well, it is this crazy headache and my sinus infection that puts me on my soap box today. My out-look on life will improve when my head finally clears.

"Without adultery two-thirds of our novelists would stand in line for unemployment checks." Peter Prescott (That quote is for you, Americo)

Take care, all


Avatar Tue Jul 11 13:02:24 PDT 2000

Oh, what I wouldn't give for another 10 years to my life right now! Being young has it's advantages, but when you're reading posts that have been very complex lately...ouch!

ALL- I have to tell you, reading some of these (namely Americo, Litter, Howard, etc.) makes me feel like a small child.
And now, I'm going to raise my hand a little hesitantly, bite the bullet, choke down some of my rising lunch and ask all three of you-
Can a person become too elitist?

If there is an extreme for generalization, then there should be one for elitism, as humanity is always fair when the complexity of the opposing sides could kill you.

BTW- this is NOT me opening the floor for more warring of the words. This is just me being curious. Of course, that could be fatal too. Look what happened to the cat.

AMERICO- Did you get enough stories for publishing Strawberries and the Moon? And whatever happened to the Shadows project?

TINA- You do not know how very appreciative I am that someone has answered my question! If this notebook is like a family, then I am the one that lives in the attic, comes out but rarely, and doesn't get paid attention to very often. That is, until I do something schnasty, like burning the house down or something...

Burn baby, Burn!
-the firedemon exits-


Mark Tue Jul 11 10:32:38 PDT 2000

Derry, Dairy, Who's got the derry?
Heigh-Ho the derry-o
Londonderry, Derrytown

And a Dairy Queen is a milkman in high heels

gariess Tue Jul 11 07:52:24 PDT 2000

Of course if you've been watching Jerry Springer or Ricki Lake, a woman is a man for all that, and vice versa. Who is this Rabbi Burns? Probably the religious faction of George's family.

Okay, I'm off to Maine. Four days.


Litter Tue Jul 11 02:34:04 PDT 2000

Reactions and reservations.

Amerigo -- You may have to return to sender, as you wish, as the elitist mail was in direct response to a line of discussion posted on the notebook and one that used that very word -- elitism. The post is not addressed specifically, as it was not intended specifically. It was meant as a self-searching exercise for anyone whose conscience was pricked by anything that I said within the post. I have been subject to/embroiled within elitism in many different guises and have found the elitists are those with something to prove to themselves, but without the wherewithal with which to prove it. Elitism disparages the efforts and talents of others -- My personal view on elitism -- I despise it and everything it stands for.

My experience, in the main, is that those who genuinely excel in their chosen field (whether it be literature, music, art, commerce, relationships or any field not yet mentioned), tend not to hold elitist views. Elitism poisons embryonic and struggling talent. It is counter-productive and has no place in my world-view.

If anyone feels that they are a part of the Neo-nazi-literati then they probably are. If they feel that they are not, then they probably aren't.

Then again there are the trolls… Trolls are those who whip up discussion with the pretence of belonging to the ranks of the NNL or elitists of another stripe. We are all capable of this to some degree or other. Amerigo, have you been trollish? Have I been trollish? Questions, questions -- perhaps there are answers forming as I speak?

Seek ye all the bastard bastions of neo-nazi-literati and burn them on the high alter of ignorance and affectation.

I conclude with the sentiments of Rabbie Burns, to whom I wish I could hold a candle --
'A man's a man for a' that.' (Ladies, this is a generic term that also means 'a woman's a woman for a' that', but probably NOT 'a man's a woman for a' that', or 'a woman's a man for a' that'… :o)


Hallee Tue Jul 11 01:59:03 PDT 2000

Morning all. Today I am submitting my trilogy to an agent who asked for it, and also to a publisher just to save time while the agent contemplates it and decides to tell me something like, "you write well, BUT."

TINA: Thank you. :) No greater compliment could a romance writer wish for.

CHRISTI: Welcome back. ('s fun to be sappy on occsation =-) )

TEEKAY: Many sports, I too, find to be boring (unless, of course, it's American football - nothing boring about that at all); however, just to flip through the channels and pause to watch men in the finest physical shape possible run around a court or a field and do their thing - that cannot be boring (well, unless you're a man - but they do have those Victoria's Secret commercials now). ;)

Okay, all. Now I'm off to write my query letter. I almost wish I had some more editing to do. Maybe, maybe, maybe, I can get back to my novel once this day is through and the packages are in the mail. It's amazing how much queries and synopses and editing can just suck the muse right out of you.

Happy Tuesday!

Heather Tue Jul 11 00:45:05 PDT 2000

Oh, for shame! No Derry, Maine?
But is there a main, dairy?

I know what you'll say already, Howard!
Litter, eyes forward!
Gariess, distractions will come and go. Tits are in for the long haul - and the pun was intended.
Rachel, enjoy your hug! I'll send you one too. ((HUG!))
A HUG for Christi as well! ((BIG HUG!))
Well, exasperating as it may seem, tonight's writing was not a fruitless venture:
I have composed a new resume, utilizing frustration as my kindling. Not frustration with my wordprocessor, no - frustration with my present job. My first draft for the cover letter is also my final copy. If only my novel would press onto the page so easily! The resume will have to wait for printing until tomorrow. I have to peel apart my filing cabinet for some long lost information, first.

And before the landslide of paper hits me like so many encyclopedias, I must get some rest.

Fare thee well!

CHRISTI! So GOOD to hear from you. Can't wait to see more of your posts! (I forgot to say that earlier, forgive me.)

Oh, and I DID get some real writing done today, on my novel. Thank GOD the block has been flushed. It had plagued me again --for days.


gariess Tue Jul 11 00:18:15 PDT 2000

By the way,

I don't know if anyone here has heard from Sass, but word is he let himself be seen again. It was on the news. He's got to be more careful than that, if he is to preserve the mystery and the challenge of catching out the old big foot. And for that matter not getting a load of birdshot in his furry butt would be a respectable agenda in itself. You don't know what some of these fanatics are like.


gariess Tue Jul 11 00:08:16 PDT 2000

Heather, sweet Heather, I am so glad to have run into you. Actually I don't think there is a Derry Maine. King used the Derry name of the town in New Hampshire for his story from Derry so I am told. I don't know if this really works. It is said he used the locale of the city of Keene New hampshire for a story he renamed a fictional town in New Hampshire. I believe that was "It." I think they use all these contortions just to throw the bloodhounds among the readers off. I don't guarantee any theory on King's locales. Still, If he says it's Boulder Colorado, it is Boulder Colorado.

kissy, kissy


Heather Mon Jul 10 22:30:08 PDT 2000

Gariess, I was hoping for your return! Don't stay in the wilds too long, but do pop in and visit Sasquatch while you're off romping with the lampshades and petrol cans.

And while in Maine, go to Derry, I'm sure you'll meet up with King. Remember to check the sewer grates for clowns, spiders, little boys and newspaper boats. If you see any, don't tug the grate, and don't hide under a lampshade. The clowns are on to that one.

Oh, and if you pass by a shop called 'Needful Things', you don't need any.

Cheerio and ta ta; all of that smatter.

I'm going off to write my eyeballs out.

Remind me not to gouge. Or cackle.
Heather (whoops, a few fragments never... ow!)

gariess Mon Jul 10 21:41:51 PDT 2000

One other thing.

I leave tomorrow for the wilds of the state of Maine. I will be looking in the woods for that lampshade. I also hope to run into Stephen King (I know, Maine is a big place, yadayadayada) Anyhow, if I come back here and find that peace has not been declared, I will have King write you all into his next book and have you visited with unheard of horrors. Just something to think about. And remember. No sentence fragments.


gariess Mon Jul 10 21:30:08 PDT 2000

I think I better get moving on that trip to the woods. This place really needs a lampshade. Ah, well, I know what it's like to get into a flame war in the NB.


It is interesting to hear how other places celebrate the 4th. A rodeo is a cool idea. Here, we have the Boston Pops which throws a big party on the banks of the Charles river. The grounds are opened at 6AM on the morning of the 4th and the people swarm in to establish territory. No chairs allowed, only blankets. Imagine waiting 12 hours for the band to strike up. But what a band. This year 500,000 people saw the show and the fireworks on the Charles. I have only ever watched it on TV, but when the Pops plays the first bars of the Stars and Stripes and half a million people jump up and start to shout and dance, I always choke up like a school-girl. It's a geat moment to be a Sousa, wouldn't you say, Americo?

Silly me, for Americo it is always a great moment to be a Sousa. Why have it any other way?



Jerry A.G. Ericsson Mon Jul 10 20:16:52 PDT 2000

Gezz a guy takes a few days off from the notebook and all sorts of interesting events take place. Well no sense in jumping in the midst of it all.

As most of you know, the 4th of July is our time to celebrate our independance. Here in South Dakota, this is done in a wonderful way, not only do we have our fireworks display, we RODEO! Spent the past three days in celebration, with Rodeo's every day, intermixed with plays, dances and all that goes with them. Of course I didn't dance, can't do things like that anymore, I did however enjoy the music floating past my house from the huge tent which takes up an entire one block section of our main street. Lots of food, and great reunions with old friends, along with meeting new ones. Somehow it makes a person feel young again, if only for a short time. Ah well, its all over for another year, and after a few days recoperation, I will be back to normal, and maybe writing a few stories based on the insperation of this last week.

Write ON!

Americo Mon Jul 10 19:30:07 PDT 2000

I've just had a look at the posts since my latest one (July 9). I'll wait till Jack comes back and give us a tabula rasa to reply to the most interesting ones. But there is one which must be remedied right away.

The name of its author is Litter. And Litter, with his Celtic straightforwardness and gallantry, will kindly explain to us what he means by the following passage, coming in the aftermath of a change of opinions between Howard and I.

Here is Litter on elitism the "sin" I was accused of and the topic of the day:

"Elitism rears is ugly, port-swilling, cigar-smoking (Cuban only, rolled on the thighs of a virgin), haute-couture, nouvelle-cuisine, feng-shui, wooden (not veneered) head. Who is to say? What are the entrance qualifications to the bastard bastions of the neo-nazi-literati? (...)

(Litter, July 9)

Litter, before that post you said here that you were feeling like writing : "A satirical review of Presidential Erections and life in the Oral Orifice Ahhhhhhhh."

None of the people who get so justly irritated and protest so rightly and vehemently because I defend the artistic integrity of a writer and consider death punishment immoral raised their voices against such a proof of good taste. Typical.

But I'll do it for the happy silent majority.

Wonderful project, Litter! It shows you ain't no elitist, man. And how beautifully said. Bravo!

Now that I have done justice to your genius and clean taste,
I feel entitled to ask you a little favour. Please tell us who you have in mind when you mention
"the neo-nazi-literati"

I'd like to know who and where they are so that we can call the Nuremberg Court again. Those people deserve a lesson. I hate them. I honestly do. I have been the loudest democrat on this page and I had no idea that we still had such criminals since Martin was kicked off. I am totally with you on that, man.

Unless your "neo-nazi-literati" are just the "elitists" you condemned. In that case... well, Litter, sorry but you ain't right there, and, my brother, you committed a sin. You offended an honest person who did you no harm and moreover who was, is and will be so obviously right that even a seegull can see it. One? Two, if Jon was included. Three, since Pussy has just awaken.

I'll leave the "bastard bastions" of your marvelous post for another time. Or perhaps I'll put it in the same "return to the sender" packet, if you send yours by first class mail.

Another topic, promising to be quick. Just a Post Scriptum,

I know what the "gang on" reaction means and I am only sincerely sorry for Howard, a good man and a worthy notebooker, for having such a kind of support. But he does not need my help and I'll leave it to him to put things in order. I'm curious to see how he will do it.

gariess Mon Jul 10 16:56:23 PDT 2000

So you missed me greatly, did you? Lucky for me your aim is so bad.

I have to take a minute, here, to hug Rachel. It doesn't really take a minute. I just said that. Okay, that's enough hugging. Any longer and I won't have to go to forest to find wood.

The last time I dropped in here somebody had posted something about tits (why would I think of that now?) I was wondering if we have a scribe, here, who is a little obsessive on the subject. Anyway, whenever I think about tits, I get all caught up in my thoughts and forget whatever it is I am doing. That's why I didn't post anything that last time. In fact, I am forcing myself to write this without thinking. I can do that.

Okay, several minutes have passed since I wrote that last line. I wish I could remember what I was going to say. Well, it was probably a lie anyway. Oh, I know what it was, the lampshade. Yes, the lampshade! I am going back to the woods to get the lampshade out of the Porsche. I will bring it back to the NB so we can have a lampshade to wear again, when we want to be silly. If anyone wants to bring back the Porsche, they will have to get gas. Hayden always put petrol in it but I think it will run better on gas.

I will now watch an episode of Freinds on the TV. That should help to get my mind off tits.

I really love all you guys, but I hate getting sappy so don't expect me to repeat that. Just remember it and don't tell anybody I said it. What is petrol anyway? Probably kangaroo piss.



Christi Mon Jul 10 10:07:15 PDT 2000

Hello all! I am so glad to be back. Sandy's memorial was on Friday, and it was an experience to be had. We celebrated her life, and what a life it was. I feel lifted. I feel like I might be able to write again, too. My heart survived, having been mended back together with the help of many generous fellow humans who gave love and support during a time of great trial. I think that by the end of one's life, their heart has been broken and mended so many times that it resembles a patchwork quilt. But the thread is made of the purest gold, and each patch represents new triumphs, new friends, and renewed faith.
Sap sap sap. I am sooo sappy lately. ;) Anyway, love and stuff to you all for your prayers, positive vibes, and your humor.

Hi! And thanks. Aw shucks.

Who are you, oh anonymous poster of July 9th? Be you Garriess, a person we miss greatly, or be you the legendary Hayden, a person I've not yet had the pleasure of meeting? Come out and tell us more of your wanderings of our fair Notebook. I for one am intrigued.

With all the posting of late, I still haven't a clue as to who's in charge of our government now. I stayed inside during the overthrowing thingie, and as far as I'm concerned, I'm still

Christi, your Minister of Love Affairs

Heather Mon Jul 10 09:19:24 PDT 2000

I find distancing myself from my MS the hard part. I'm so entwined in my novel, through personal experience etc., that I must remind myself often to take a step back and analyze carefully. It is rather like taking the 'straight and narrow' path, yet it winds and slopes, is covered in slippery mosses and tangled vines. There are hidden pitfalls, ever at random intervals. And I'm barefoot.

But I'm not defenseless. I've got all of my senses and some logic handy.

Perhaps there is some way to bring your emotions closer to your writing. See yourself reflected in the characters. (the protagonist at the very least). Imagine you are slipping into their actual shoes at this very moment.

Is this novel about something that you have not personally experienced? That might be the primary reason you feel you aren't completely submerged in your work (besides the obvious aspect of the mechanical).

All I know is that if I weren't totally immersed in the story, it wouldn't be my best work. If you feel that it might be boring, then you may want to evaluate whether or not you are bringing everything to the page.
If you are emotionally distanced, there is also another factor to consider: Are you too close to the subject matter?

Big tidy hugs and vicious grins.

Mary Mon Jul 10 04:49:51 PDT 2000

TEEKAY: Good to see you this morning! I do stand on a tennis court occasionally--lobbing and back-handing towards my husband. Don't worry though--you wont have to watch me anytime soon. I stink. However, I can't find a single boring thing about Rafter! I could watch him lose for hours!


Teekay Mon Jul 10 00:38:10 PDT 2000

Hi All,

RHODA: Back already? That was quick.

MARY: I don't watch any sport on TV. I find it incredibly boring, at least, I imagine I would, for I have never tried, nor felt the inclination to. Why do you ask? Do you play? I'd watch it if you played.

CHRISTI: Where are you? I hope all is okay with you. Am missing your prescence dear.

HOWARD: I'm glad to hear Molly will be okay and be getting that B.A. as well.

Okay, now for my (future)best selling novel update. I have religiously written 2 & 1/2 pages everynight. I have found that when I'm writing I don't get very emotionally involved with it. It's like being a spectator and sort of reeling it off. I don't know if that's because it's extrememly dull (which I suspect it may be.) or if that's a common thing??? I do however tend to lose myself when I'm reading a good book, and I do lose myself when I am writing, but more on a superficial level. Make sense? I don't know? Anyway, I'm doing it and I'm determined to see it through.

Heaps more I'd like to rave on about, but, someone's gotta cook the dinner.

Heather Sun Jul 9 22:34:23 PDT 2000

400,000 words in the English Language (give or take three)
and only seven of that number are taboo.
Which seven, and why?
Are they still taboo?
If you guess them, perhaps they aren't as viciously scorned as they once were.

Pardon me, but I thought I smelled the earthy smoke of a Cuban, recently lit. My thigh is forlornly naked of brown paper.


Sun Jul 9 22:10:09 PDT 2000

Well, I was lost in the forest, you see. If you have ever been lost in the forest you know how scary it can be, even for a little while. I walked for some time, looking for a way out of the woods and at last I heard a rumble in the background. It took a long time, but I walked through some of the dense undergrowth and when I parted the leaves in front of me I saw a large clearing.

The ground was trampled. It appeared to be the scene of some recent disturbance or such. On a tree was a hastily written warning on an unfolded cardboard carton that declared the area out of bounds to elitists, and crap-writers. I wasnt sure I knew what these things were, but I didnt think it mattered if I was one of them or not since there was no one about. On other trees were messages in different hands. They were about different things. Somehow port swilling and the thighs of virgins come to mind, and there were less provoking issues raised such as ganging up on people for one thing or another. I have always been partial to port swilling, myself, and would have been glad to get to a place where I could do some. I am also partial to the thighs of virgins although I must explain that I have never been able to tell a virgin thigh from any other, Things like that are best taken on faith, I suppose, and best contemplated when one is safely out of the forest. Cigars I never liked, whomevers thighs they were rolled on.

After reading a few of these writings I could see that this was no place for me. At this point I was more in need of finding a course to follow than to satisfy my curiosity about the origin and the aim of these writings.

After a long time I observed what seemed to be old tire tracks leading away from the clearing. They were very faded, but they offered the only possibility I could see to finding a way out of the forest so I followed them. I followed them for the longest time. They finally ended in a thicket where there was a rusting old sports car. I looked inside and saw the most peculiar thing on the front seat, a shabby old lampshade. Very Strange, indeed. I found a road soon after that and eventually came to familiar surroundings.

I thought about the clearing in the woods many times since that day. I also thought about the signs on the trees and that old car with the lampshade, but for the life of me no explanation comes to mind.

Rachel Sun Jul 9 21:54:44 PDT 2000

All - Smiles and hugs all around.

Rhoda Sun Jul 9 21:25:35 PDT 2000

To be honest, Americo is not the only person here who is provocative on occasion. To say that really isn't fair, so I must correct my mistake. Anyone can provoke debate given the right circumstances.

Rhoda Sun Jul 9 21:22:42 PDT 2000

What have I missed? A brawl and I wasn't even a part of it!

I hope all is settled and we are all friends again.


Please try not to take it all so much to heart. I read through the posts and did not find them so terrible. Howard and Americo have strong feelings, and I respect both men because of that. People with conviction will get a little rowdy at times. Family members scrape with one another. Sometimes people on the Notebook do the same.

Americo says some very provocative things, many which to engender strong emotion.

I think the balance here involves being free to express one's heart-felt opinions and still remain respectful to the person one disagrees with.

Those are my observations for all they are worth.

Nice to not be in the hot seat this time,


Howard Sun Jul 9 20:20:03 PDT 2000

AMERICO -- I'm sorry if I offended with the A* -- there was no offense intended. And I do appreciate where you're coming from. Perhaps "elitist" was not the right choice in words. But for a moment there I recalled similar words from a professor who used to trash students' writing, then the students themselves, right in front of the class. And I reacted as I did to her. I guess that's why I only got a 'B' in her class.

RACHEL -- I consider Americo a friend also, so I was honest in my disagreement with him. No more, no less. I don't think I "trashed" anyone's taste in literature, nor did he. Americo is sincere in his desire to encourage excellence in the craft of writing. So am I. We express it in different ways. So be it.

MARK -- Nice pattern in contrast. I agree with you on the second stanza, but can we say 'similied'? I guess we can, though it shocks at first. Another e-cquaintance coined "Let a simile be like your umbrella" (philip cohen) I like that.

SISYPHUS -- Perhaps that rock belongs in the foundation, and not the parapet.

All -- Rachel is right -- lets not be ganging up on anyone. We don't need "mob mentality" egging us on to words that we wouldn't otherwise write. One Goldring was enough.


Mary Sun Jul 9 19:40:07 PDT 2000

RACHEL: I am not sorry for voicing my support of comments made by other people, and you must admit (at least partially) that Americo can go a little overboard. I do however agree that it seems like all we have done lately is argue. Well, not ALL, but a lot. Your loyalty is beyond reproach...oh, to have a friend such as you.

AMERICO: No mudslinging from me, just controlled nods and mutterings. Along with being one of the most frustratingly stubborn people on the planet, you are also one of the most insightful and intelligent. I respect you for that, despite our incompatibilities. You are indeed entitled to your opinions.

HEATHER: Hi! Hope all is well with you.

TEEKAY: Do you ever watch tennis? Australia sure does turn out some hot looking tennis players.


Rachel Sun Jul 9 17:47:06 PDT 2000

All - Why is it that every time Americo opens his mouth to share an opinion people seem to jump down his throat and take offense. He is only sharing a view. For this he is accused of everything. I am seeing some pretty ugly words tossed around this site right now. I don't see why people are so quick to take things personally...

Okay, I know that if you have been on this site for a long time you would know that I have taken things personally once or twice. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't like the way that folks here seem to pack attack.

What do I mean by that? I mean that one person will say something and then all the others will chime in with "Yah, yah that is just what I was thinking. Uh, hu. Me too."

I have made no secret that I view Americo as a friend. I know he doesn't need me to stick up for him, but this is just something that really does bother me.

The man is not into elitism.

I also don't like common crap writing. Does that make me an elitist? Does the fact that I find it difficult to respect the work of a person who mimics others make me an elitist?

Mary - I know, I know I'm doing what I said not to do again. I'm a gal who is full of contradictions.

Howard - I don't think you would shoot a person, not unless your very life or the life of one you loved depended on it. Then again in the situation and given the ability to defend self who wouldn't kill an attacker? I know I would.

Americo - I don't think Howard would shoot a person for the love of a dog.

I am so frustrated with all of this! It seems that each time I turn around there is one nasty conversation after another going on in here.

Tina - I also am not a maniac. Although if you read this post of mine you might think I am... I hope I can get up for some camping in your area this summer. If I do we should get together. It would be fun. We do knife fighting in my dojo. I always have fun when we have a knife day.

Allein - Thank you for getting back to me so quickly (smiles).

This is far from my usual post. It is just that I am so tired of all of this. I can't stand the way that people natter on at one another. We all think differently and there is nothing wrong with that.

I guess if we didn't disagree and go back and forth it wouldn't be a very interesting place. There just has to be a way that people here can talk to each other and skip the name calling/mud slinging stuff.

I happen to love the literature that I saw being bashed on this page. Don't trash an author and their works just because you feel that they wrote a literary piece and you happen to be angry with Americo.

Now I think that I have said more than enough for one day.

Take care all,


Mark Sun Jul 9 17:33:35 PDT 2000

Litter wrote: "(Flotsam and Jetsam betrothed in a divine marriage of bottom burps and halitosis.)" That would be the low and the high of it, eh? Perfectly in keeping with my dictum about the tension of opposites. Keep up the good work.

Litter Sun Jul 9 15:59:07 PDT 2000

A blisteringly good Sunday to you all -- except, that is, for all those for whom it is now Monday.

Elitism rears is ugly, port-swilling, cigar-smoking (Cuban only, rolled on the thighs of a virgin), haute-couture, nouvelle-cuisine, feng-shui, wooden (not veneered) head. Who is to say? What are the entrance qualifications to the bastard bastions of the neo-nazi-literati? Tell me, do, I want to join and be famous for being famous for talking bollocks. (Bullocks bollocks, that is -- taken after noble death in the bull-ring, not as a by-product of common butchery in an abattoir. [Much as it does sound French and impressive…])

Personally, I can only bear to read fiction if it is written entirely in hyeroglyphics. (Although I do sometimes indulge in the common underbelly of the classical Greek. But that is between thee and me and not for repetition in the vulgar pages of irrelevance.)

Where was I? Oh yes, Science Fiction!

Researching quantum mechanics and astro-physics to get a handle on what cannot be, at this moment, but that may be at some time in the future. (If you, of course, accept the notion that time is linear and forwardly progressive and not, as we of course are all aware, a mere part of a grand unified theory of everything -- Are there any left that are so nave and gullible?)

So what, that much of what is theorised and written about now transmutes from sci-fi to sci-fact in the future -- Sci-Fi is, all things considered, a waste of paper (or electrons for e-publishing) and a debased heresy of the high art of literature…

Strangely as it may seem I don't think so.

Now, as howrad would say -- back on your heads!


(Flotsam and Jetsam betrothed in a divine marriage of bottom burps and halitosis.)

Mary Sun Jul 9 06:46:46 PDT 2000

HOWARD: Atta Boy!

EVERYONE: Good Sunday! Hope everyone enjoys their day. Went to Waldens yesterday and saw 'Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul'. Just wanted to let everyone know it is out there because i had no idea.

in the immortal words of Jack Nicholson playing the Joker in Batman:

"Can't we all just get along?"

now there is some fine dialogue. smiles to all...

Hallee Sun Jul 9 04:59:11 PDT 2000

AMERICO: The reason, I believe, that Howard said you have "and underlying tone of elitism" is because you said that great literature is the only one that deserves to be written and respected. I have been trying to form a response to that since I read it, but I believe Howard did such a good job that I will leave it alone.

And, yet, you have in a sense retracted that statement. You yourself admitted to reading a thriller or a sci-fi on a lazy day. Personally, I don't enjoy reading great literature. It bores me to tears. Just as I don't enjoy watching what society deems "great" films. As I've said before, I prefer entertainment. I will take a good Bond movie over Snow Falling on Cedars any day of the week, and prefer my romances and thrillers over Hawthorne and Poe. I'm certain that you feel that places you above me in many aspects, and if you do, so be it.

And, why was I given life? As a Christian, I know the answer to that question, as well as the others that followed. It's simple, really, and very clear.


Americo Sun Jul 9 03:37:32 PDT 2000

Okay, Howard, you can call me A* like Jon. I'll call you Howard, though. A mere question of style.

Now I just want to make this clear: what you (and other people) call my "underlying tone of elitism" does not make sense to me. What separates us is not a different attitude towards what we read. I may also enjoy reading, on a day of leisure and laziness, a good thriller, a good science fiction book, etc. and I have defended all genres on this page more than anyone else. What I insist on is that each author must try to write his/her books in an original and artistic way, and not just limit himself/herself to copy what has already been done.

What separates us is a different attitude towards writing. A writer must strive for the best and not be content with the mediocre or even the average. If one does not feel able to write the best in the genre of his/her choice, that person is on the wrong path. Because writing is not a job like any other job. Writing is a vocation, the only means some people find to explain the apparent absurd of their existence or to express, hopefully for ever, the immense joy of having had a chance to experience this silly adventure on earth.

What separates us, Howard, is a different worldview and a different concept of destiny. What you call my elitism is merely my wish to express myself in the best way I can, the best way to answer this little set of questions: "Why was I given life? Why this anguish, why this bliss? What can I do with the humble skills I have?" And this attempt at answering : "I must use my skills in the best possible way. I cannot just aim at the easy, at the fashionable, at what the others have already done. I have to find my true voice and give it its unique expression." That is what writing means, Howard. And that is what I have been preaching here for a year and a half.

But this notebook is like the myth of Sisyphus you are condemned to start again and again. Not very different from a writer's plight.

Heather Sun Jul 9 01:47:37 PDT 2000

With thundering glee I commend you, Howard.

Americo, weirdness tinges every artist's soul, but to what degree the tinge? And with what notion do we defend our writerly weirdness, overlooking any other brand?

The real question is how these tinges are developed.
One slight pinkness on an otherwise blue and green pallette can be enlarged and everything holds pink surprise. Ignore the little tinge of pink and it is overrun by the sheer strength of the others.

See the pink and celebrate. Take it up and spread it.

...Focus your lens on the diminutive shadow, top left in your view, dappling the shoulder of your subject. Now, anyone can aim and snap the shutter. It is the focus, the emphasis with which we apply our attention, our efforts. Our fine eye that sees the shadow at all.


There aren't any 'averages' left, I don't think. So many ways to express ourselves (or not); if you sniff the air and take a wide-angle-look at the crowd, I'll bet not a one will fall into the average category, if only upon a careful second look. We cannot know what lies dormant in the heart. We can only measure it by words and actions and token clues. Yet where is the slide-rule that designates a value for average, or normal, or weirdness for that matter? A moot question.

Now I remind myself that I'm perceived as weird all the time. I can feel it in the bend of others' gazes, the shifting way their feet move and the blank faces devoid of comprehension. No matter, I mutter.
No matter. Geniuses and idiots alike are allowed their weirdnesses. I do not claim to be either. But I'll take my weirdness, whatever it is and whenever it sparks, and ride the flames as far as they may take me.

You know what? I don't care if I make sense to anyone else any more. I make sense to me.

Heather (yawn)

Howard Sat Jul 8 22:23:19 PDT 2000

A* -- I think, perhaps, that we're saying the same thing after all, now that you put it that way. At least I think that's what I said in the last sentence of my previous post: "Making that re-telling interesting, doing it in a way that captivates the reader and makes him want to continue -- that's the difficult part of the writer's craft."

But there is that underlying tone of elitism that seems to sneer at writing that is not "true literature," and that is what I protest. Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed Camus' "The Stranger," Hemingway's "Islands in the Stream", Faulkner, Ibsen, Tolstoy, Melville, Poe -- all of the above. No argument there. But I also enjoy the work of Ian Fleming, Sterling Lanier, Alan Dean Foster, Zane Grey, Burroughs, Kline, Theodor Geisel -- and others who may not be recognised by the literati, but who still hold my interest because they write well, on the things about which I enjoy reading.
There was only one C.S. Lewis, one Browning, one Shakespeare (okay, there were two Brownings). They, and others, created works that live on after them to entertain and inspire. Those works are uniquely theirs, but who is to say that they are any "better" than L'Engle, Rice, Henderson, or Card? They did not 'invent' the talent with which they were blessed, but they did use and develop it to the best of their ability.
And that is what we strive toward here -- those unique persons we know as Rachel, Tina, Jerry, Teekay, Rhoda, Heather, and the rest of us,(some weirder than others, to be sure) are here to encourage one another to try, develop, and use the talent we've been given, whether it be Science Fiction, Poetry, Short Story, Romance, Mystery, or Haiku.

As I said, perhaps we *are* saying the same thing...

As for your contention that had I been able to get hold of a gun I would have killed the man who ran over Molly -- no, I think not. There's no satisfaction to be had in that. And if he *had* shot her I would have taken the gun from him and broken it. Then him. But not shot him -- that would be much less effective, and much too common.

Mark Sat Jul 8 21:00:03 PDT 2000

New piece on poetry page. I included a bit of my own editing and the rationale.

I really believe in the notion of Critical Thinking: i.e., make assessment of things we see rather than take 'reality' at face value. But we all need some feedback and we all need some value system to fall back on or Critical Thinking invents new meaning each time the alarm goes off. Thinking is like sex, don't do it alone.

Tina Sat Jul 8 20:37:25 PDT 2000


Howard, you seem to me a very sensible, compassionate person. I draw this conclusion by the thoughts you express, the actions you describe, the clarity of your writen voice. Draw a gun on that idiot? No. Anger is not the same as stupidity, and even if a weapon had been placed in your hands, I think you have the intelligence to handle the situation. I just wanted you to know that.

I've yet to see any evidence that anyone here cannot express their views. I've yet to see any evidence that anyone here stands on the pinacle of the best veiws. I've yet to see any evidence that anyone anywhere is the sole voice of the best views. I do see evidence here that the experiences of life are being embraced and belief systems have formed in accordance with those experiences, moderated by tolerance. I do see evidence of a beautiful array of beliefs, intelligence and viewpoints, as bright and varied as an alpine field of wildflowers. Who's to say which flower is the most ideal? A domestic rose would never survive that environment, and wild paintbrush disdains a garden. Does that elevate the dandelion to be the best?

Avatar, sometimes. At those times I cancel any other plans - if possible - and write all day. Hunger becomes incidental, discomfort is inconsequential. Those times are far more important than the daily drudgery of chores and minor commitments. If I can't delay those responsibilities I ask my muse to hold the thought and pray she listens.

Off to write. Or edit. Or both.

Americo Sat Jul 8 17:51:24 PDT 2000


(I'm Jon's secretary today.)

We discussed this matter in January and February last year, remember?

I agree with you (and so does Jon at least he never said anything to the contrary) that practically all subjects have been dealt with. We both agree with you. We never said anything to the contrary. That was not the point, anyway.

NOW: Why don't you agree with Jon that a writer must deal with them in an original way? He said that any book must be new and written in a new way. And this is only what he said. Stories may be old, but a new writer must tell it in a new way. Those old books of yours say nothing to the contrary.

Actually the old books you referred to were very original, in style and contents, and great literature when they were first produced. It's because they were original that they were so good. And they were so good that, despite having scandalized many people at the time, for some people they are still masterpieces today. Thus must be ALL good literature and forever.

Literature is a specialized craft and a very demanding art. It's also the expression of the uniqueness of a creative soul. What Jon says is so easy to understand!

All the great American writers I know wrote and are still writing according to Jon's principles (if I may say so...). Melville, and Poe, and Hawthorn, and Fitzgeral, and Faulkner, and Hemingway did it. Even your latest Nobel Prize, Toni Morrison, is trying to do it...

I am speaking about great literature. It's the only one that deserves to be written and respected. This is a forum where some young people are trying to write and learn the job. It's very important that they know what they must try to do, and avoid like the plague the massified industry which is sometimes pointed out here as good literature. I was horrified when some time ago I saw what people were reading. I remember only a decent book from the lists that were offered here as good literature. It was called "L'tranger" (The Stranger?) by Alber Camus. YOU mentioned it!

I cannot of course know everything and read everything, and very likely other good books were also mentioned. I only remember that one. And I also remember that once, last year, a chap who pretended to also be a writer, said that Shakespeare was rubbish and I was the only one here to protest. Death penalty was defended here some time ago, and I was the only one to protest. Gun carrying (forbidden last month in Brazil at last) is almost taboo to discuss here because everybody here seems to be in favour of that blatant stupidity (you'd probably have killed the chap that overran Molly with his car if you had a gun in your hands, or at least Molly would have been shot if that beast I'm referring to the car owner, not to Molly had a gun handy). And, however, a writer cannot express here, without causing trouble, views that are obviously the best. And they are the best because they are the most rational, and the ones that the most civilized societies have adopted.

The same in regard to literature. What kind of place is this? People protest whenever a decent opinion is expressed; people shut up when the usual monstrosities are expressed. Very weird place, really!

I like it. It's fun, mainly when Jon goes on his great adventures. Now let's see what comes next.

Avatar Sat Jul 8 15:19:40 PDT 2000

Just dropping a line in...

Did anyone here see BICENTENNIAL MAN yet? It's a new movie out with Robin Williams in it based on a book co-authored by Isaac Asimov called the Positronic Man. It is a very sad, moving, movie and I have a feeling the book is the same. Anyone read it?

All- When, as you write, does the writing itself begin to grab, hold you to your chair and glue you to the page?


Howard Sat Jul 8 14:36:05 PDT 2000

JON -- I wouldn't expect you to remember it, because it's written in a very old book, but the wisest man who ever lived (so lots of people -- some of them very original thinkers -- say) observed that "There is nothing new under the sun," and "All is vanity (empty)." Your "wierdness" is, therefore, redundant. There is no more "original sin" with which to shock your masses. There is only the re-telling of what has been done again and again. Making that re-telling interesting, doing it in a way that captivates the reader and makes him want to continue -- that's the difficult part of the writer's craft.

Americo Sat Jul 8 13:00:22 PDT 2000

Not that obvious, Mark... You don't want to be gillotined, do you? (GRINS)

Mark Sat Jul 8 12:55:22 PDT 2000

We get easily fed up of people who say the obvious, and by saying it lie, because the obvious is never true Obvious; therefore, . . .

That's when I like it. Please try to be like me Uh, yer not jumping off any roofs, are you? My mother alwys aksed "And if all the other kids were jumping off a roof?" and we could never get settled on that, 'cause the rooves alwys seemed to get higher all the time and the kids was alwys makin her aks that and I never got a good anser and, ya know what, I never did see any line of kids jumpin off no rooves no matter where I went, but that was alwys my mother's question

Allein Sat Jul 8 12:20:45 PDT 2000

Tina - I live across the Puget Sound from Seattle in Silverdale - so small it's not listed on most maps.

Jon On weirdiosity Sat Jul 8 08:53:07 PDT 2000

Speech to the Empire

On weirdiosity

Citizens and lurkers,

Weirdness is the very soul of creation. If you don't find something new and strange in a book, for instance, throw that book away: it's dishonest, it's just a poor replica of something injected, by the media and other instruments of darkness, in the veins of the brainless non-entity called "the crowds." The author of such a book is an unconscious plagiarist and an envoy of inertia. Many so-called writers are just that, people without original ideas, feelings, sentiments, or language. They confine themselves to reproducing the pseudo-ideas current in their society, and copying the style of writing dictated by the "Academy for the brainless" . Such writers, those wretched scribblers who do not try to always create a new and more beautiful world in each book they write, those parrots of the brainless crowds, can sometimes sell their products, because prostitution may be a well paid job, but they are worse than prostitutes: they are the opposite of creators and must be laughed at in this Empire, where only souls able to originally express their divine uniqueness can live in peace and merriment. We get easily fed up of people who say the obvious, and by saying it lie, because the obvious is never true.

Truth is naturally shocking, because you need some effort to think it and find it for yourself. You need to read a lot, and learn how to read, and see what's behind words and exotic adventures, and try to understand that the written word is a sacred mystery, and cannot be dismissed just because it is not the good morning of your milkman. You need to be a creator to be a reader, and if you do not have that gift of creativity in you, stop reading and turn on the tely. That's where your particular notebook is, not here, a place for healthy weird people, as its name indicates "Writers' Notebook". A hellish place not for the weak of heart or mind.

So weirdness is the name of the game. This NB can easily become a conventional kind of chat room. But we are lucky: from time to time, a weird entity appears and stirs up the routine. Whenever I feel bored to tears with the NB I go on a trip. I went to school, to the moon, to the Arctic, well, I cannot remember all the places I went to. In those glorious moments and those even more glorious when someone tells something directly from the intelligent heart the NB becomes weird.

That's when I like it. Please try to be like me.

Americo Sat Jul 8 05:32:08 PDT 2000


if you dress me like a lady and sneak me into Jon's parties, he may even ask me for a waltz... What a great idea you had! The problem is if he discovers that I am a male and was not invited. He'd kick me out and would leave me in the cold till morning. And would ask all his guest to come to the window of his bunker and spit on my ashamed head. A terrible cat, Jon.

Tina Sat Jul 8 00:20:05 PDT 2000


Allein, Rachel lives about four-ish hours away. If I bribe her with a bottle of Grey Monk wine maybe she'll visit next time she's up. I'm not a maniac, although I once tried to learn how to throw knives and I want to learn knife fighting... at my dojo that is. You're in Seattle, right?

I'd try and make more reasonable responses but I've just recently had too much wine and I can't remember all the postings I just read. Maybe tomorrow...


Oh yeah, Hallee, I read that chapter this afternoon. I had 20 minutes before the bus showed up, and thought I'd do a once through the chapter. If that bus had stopped in front of my house and honked its horn, I wouldn't have been able to tear myself away!

'til later...

Heather Fri Jul 7 23:14:11 PDT 2000

Nice of you to point that out, Howard! That's not the meaning I'd intended - but leave it to me,
and leave it to you, howard, to read it with chest-in-mind.

I have to start practicing my typing skills. I have to be able to type 50 words per minute minimum... and during the test you can't backspace to fix a typo. It's actually programmed so that you can't backspace. How rude!

I don't think I'll have a problem typing that fast, it is more a question of accuracy. The actual ink-arrow on the backspace key is fading!

Wish me oodles of accuracy.
Ooil bee kneeding it.

Mark - still attempting d-load.

Howard, glad that Molly will recover and has such loving owners.

Goodnight, all
and Litter, you sure are randy this evening!


Allein Fri Jul 7 22:57:15 PDT 2000

Tina - It was beautiful and sunny here too. I don't think you live very far away from Rachel - if you two get to be friends online, you should meet her, she's a really great person (and not a 400lb man in tights). As for me, I have no car and no way to meet you, but then, we haven't really talked much so you could be a knife wielding maniac - I don't think you are, but you never know online. Anyway, I'd like to get to know you better - you seem like an interesting and nice person.

Americo - I've been around - just lurking. Next time Jon throws one of his parties, I'll dress you up like a lady and sneak you in. He'll never notice. ;) As for the addresses, Rachel e-mailed me about that, and I'll e-mail her either tomorrow (most likely) or Sunday.

Howard Fri Jul 7 21:16:30 PDT 2000

HEATER -- You've *got* to win a prize for that sentence -- at least the last half! What sentence you ask? I quote:
"...the top doesn't need to be filled out, really." hmmm...
it had to be you... ;-)

MARK -- I have (had?) most if not all of Burroughs' stuff, and a stack of books by one of his contemporaries - Otis Adelbert Kline. I've got them in a box somewhere, and I'm hoping the mice haven't got into them yet. Great stuff, that! Also have all the original "Conan" paperbacks. There was an article about Robert E. Howard on the CNN website earlier this week that was quite interesting. He did his writing in an 8x10 foot room (or was it 6x8?) and was regarded as quite the undesireable eccentric in his home town in Texas.

On Molly -- the folks at Cornell found that *both* her hind legs are broken, and the tab is now up over $2000. But she's part of the family, and money don't last near as long as the trust and affection in those big brown eyes.

LITTER -- I set up a userid and password for a woman in the UK last week; her name is Moneypenny. Odd name -- right out of Sherlock Holmes, I think. Or something like that.

The clerk at the checkout in Wegman's supermarket tonight entertained us with nearly the whole script of the latest "Simpsons" episode. He said that he and his buddies memorize whole shows and recite the lines at parties. I told him that we used to do the same thing with "Monty Python" scripts. He said "Who?"
I must be getting old...

It's after midnight here, and I'm beat!

Mark Fri Jul 7 19:31:22 PDT 2000

MARINASUN -- A shot in the dark? I think there's a story in that.

FOR ALL YOU MUSIC LISTENERS -- try I really like a Public Radio program called Echoes and it is available on demand at musicsojourn along with scads (sheets? groups?) of other music types.

ALL YOU SCI-FI WRITERS -- Who does good work and who does bad? Anyone read Pirx the Pilot? I used to read Edgar Rice Burroughs (yup, the Tarzan guy). He had stories of action and intrigue on Mars, the moon, the center of the earth, and maybe even Venus. I still recommend him.
I try to measure what I write and what I read against some standard. Asimov is one guy for me when I read. Hemingway is another. I don't care enough about the Sci stuff to make it my writing backdrop; for that I use Tolstoy, Wordsworth, or Melville.

CHRISTI -- that button works on pages I publish. No, nothing happened on my end. Had some wisecracks in mind about who's been pushing my buttons but I don't think I'll use them.

HEATHER -- affirmative

marinasun Fri Jul 7 18:34:04 PDT 2000

TINA: That would have been 10:47 PT, I think. Maybe the chat room is busted, that's why nobody is ever in there. We're all there - but we just can't see each other! I think there's a science fiction story in that.... Anyway, it was a shot in the dark. Hope you didn't stay too long.


Hallee Fri Jul 7 17:56:42 PDT 2000

JERRY LEE!!!! YOO HOO...JERRY LEE!!! (the link for the answer, please)

Fri Jul 7 16:47:24 PDT 2000


from one Bond freak to another: hahahahahahahahahhaha that is hysterical.


Litter Fri Jul 7 15:08:42 PDT 2000

Aaaaarghhhh! All this talk of Science Fiction in my back reading, just when I promised myself a non sci-fi short story experience… Now I'm back on the sci-fi track again. I rally like sci-fi and the mind-expanding possibilities it poses, but I want to write other stuff as well. A murder mystery or two… A comment on the socio-economic ramifications of wooden furniture… A satirical review of Presidential Erections and life in the Oral Orifice… Ahhhhhhhh.

Rowhad - Glad Molly is going to be OK but, for $1500 plus I would expect her to come out with a masters degree at least!

Now then, who mentioned critics? Now just remember, critics should be pitied, not chastised. After all, they only seem to be critical of the people who can and are doing what they themselves cannot -- poor unfortunate scumbags. As for those who put one form of fiction above another -- egotists, snobs, posers and sundry other disparaging names and boo sucks to them. I always find that a well reasoned argument deflates their egos. (and a lit cigarette, their partners… )

All you all -- I WILL catch up.


Ciao for now.


PS If Odd-Job had worked for Blaufelt instead of Goldfinger, would he have been known as Blau-Job?

Heather Fri Jul 7 10:48:51 PDT 2000

Tina, is also in Michigan, where my parents and younger brother are.

My server is a teeny tiny splotch of a mole on the webskin.

Oh, and Hallee, as long as you sign the bottom of a post, the top doesn't need to be filled out, really.


Americo Fri Jul 7 10:23:51 PDT 2000

Hello, Allein!

I was wondering about your whereabouts lately. Jon did not invite me to the 5th July of the Penguins'party. "Only beautiful, intelligent ladies were invited," he said, when I asked him for explanations. " Yes, la crme de la crme," Pussy added, jealousy greening in her eyes. She's learning French now.

I think Rachel needs something from you. A list of names of people you'd like to envy you, I suppose. Make it as big as you can. But above all amuse yourself.

We love you. (Jon and I for sure. Pussy, well, that depends on the moon)

Howard Fri Jul 7 09:55:39 PDT 2000

Thanks to all for the kind thoughts towards Molly. She's at Cornell University Animal Center now, awaiting orthopaedic surgery to repair a badly broken leg. There are still no apparent internal injuries, and she's able to limp along on three legs, but she's in lots of pain. We found out that my daughter is liable for the $1500+ surgical cost, as well as the damage to the guy's car, even though the investigating officer said there's no way they were at or below the speed limit -- skid marks were too long.

back to work

Tina Fri Jul 7 09:24:38 PDT 2000


Allien, I'm in B.C., in the Okanagan about three hours north of the border. And it's beautiful and sunny today. Hurray!

Hallee, is a huge server up here, part of Shaw Cable which is almost everywhere. I didn't know it went into Oregon, though.

Marinasun, I checked in the chat room twice but no luck. Maybe I wasn't doing it right? I don't know.


Heather Fri Jul 7 08:09:53 PDT 2000

Hallee, I don't think of you as any less a serious artist. We just happen to write different ways. And different things.

James Michener spends two years on research for a novel, and another two writing it. I couldn't spend that much time researching anything. I don't know how long it will take to write this novel, but I'm still aiming for December of this year - for the definitive copy. Wish me luck, I'm so busy I'll be needing it.

Wedding today. Have to travel. Have to travel in our nice outfits and shoes. Have to arrive wrinkle-less and kidless. Sure. I'll just pretend I look freshly-pressed and ignore the creases. The kids will see us looking our best, but that's before we leave.

I'll also ignore the complaints that will undoubtedly flow from my husband's lips, most likely to hit peak level during dinner. He hates anything green, vegetable-ish or leafy.
That about covers the whole veggie and fruit food groups.
I'm hoping he'll eat some chicken and cake.


Allein Fri Jul 7 06:25:25 PDT 2000

Tina - PDT. Cool - Where on the Pacific do you live? I live in Washington. You don't have to answer if you're afraid that I'm a knife-wielding maniac or something, I'm just wondering what state or area (if you're in Canada).

Jon - Loved the party. Don't remember much though, too high on chocolate.

Hallee Fri Jul 7 02:18:31 PDT 2000

Hahaha - I did it again. (sigh)
Heather, dear...the following post is from me.

Fri Jul 7 02:17:03 PDT 2000

HEATHER: I would say that you're a serious artist, while I'm just going with the flow :) I had no intentions of being a writer, and have no idea where this gift came from or why it decided to settle upon me eighteen months ago. I'm sure God has a plan with it, so I'm just moving along, waiting for that to be revealed to me.

This is the first book I've written that required any form of research. And, my research consisted of calling my friend's husband almost daily and asking him a dozen questions (he's an EMT and a fireman...handy). And, what he's done, is take what I've printed out for him and handed it around the firestation. Any discrepancies in the fireman world have been discovered and struck out. I also have about 20 men who are demanding to be in the book at some point...hence the characters Jarvis and Kirby, so far. haha

I would like to be like you, but I don't even know how. I just jump in, and my characters are there, somehow already existing, and I know them, of them, about them. I know what they'd say and how - I know how old, where they went to's all in my head. When I get on the wrong path in a book, I can't write. I KNOW it's wrong, so I stop, back up to the point when the flow stopped, then erase and start over again. I've had to do that twice, and it's worked well. Other than that, I rarely even know "whodunit" until the end of the book.

So, I think I'm just a medium. Some great writer (meaning serious artist such as yourself) must have died in January of 1999 and I just got in the path of their muse - that's the best I can come up with.

(Thanks for the poem)

Tina Thu Jul 6 23:56:39 PDT 2000

Marinasun, what time is that PDT?

marinasun Thu Jul 6 22:52:10 PDT 2000

Thanks, Teekay. Yep, it's the NB. I've given up on figuring out who's in charge. Aren't we all, anyway? Thank you, democracy! Boy, I need some sanity, too.

If anyone bops in at 12:47am CT on July 7th - I'll be in the chat room for five minutes. Ta-da! That's the way to plan a chat. I can hear the echoes already....


Heather Thu Jul 6 22:39:29 PDT 2000

There is a rather confuddling sentence or two in my last post. Don't MIND me, I seem to have misplaced my own.

Perhaps it is mania touching the corners of my frontal lobe. Perhaps it is coffee.


Heather Thu Jul 6 22:33:13 PDT 2000

Hallee; I have spent more than a 10 week period just delving into the characters, writing character composites and histories; even conversations, ideas (both mine for the novel and ideas that characters have), story plans, as well as personality profiles and motivations. This novel just is not the kind that can be written in such a short amount of linear time (at least not by me!). I've had to do some research on police protocol, but haven't actually interviewed a Canadian cop in person. That might have to happen, just for a few nitpicky details. I don't need to do much medical research since I was a nurse before I decided to take on a new way of life - that is also my hopeful career.

I have thought many times that I could just write it, (just write it, slather it all over one great wad of paper, no wasted sheets) and if there were details that weren't accurate or realistic, hey, it's fiction, folks. But the more I write and craft the novel to bring forth logical yet unexpected conclusions, I decided to reach for realism and depth since that is how I feel this novel will best be expressed. I know, for the type of issues that evolve in the novel, that the smallest details can make or break the readers' trust. So I have taken the side that lends less artistic freedom and opted for the more technical angle - especially for certain events, but that doesn't affect the 'how' as much as it affects the 'why' when it comes to answering story questions, connecting plants, and deciphering my own hidden symbols. I still have all the artistic licence I need - it's amazing how scrutiny brings about a certain flavour to a passage now that I have chosen the places to cook.

I am closer to this story than (hopefully) apparant to a reader who does not know me. This is probably why I also have given the details as rigorous an inspection as possible; but I'm almost ready to go out and bite canines in frustration. ('Hair of the dog ya bit!')
The subject matter of the novel demands realistic and sensitive handling. And I still have yet to settle on a pitch. That will have to wait.

My next novel I plan on giving myself a larger field to romp in, in fact, most of the world will be 'my' stomping grounds. But that is the next book, and I'm still stranded in the first official novel (ie: one that will not die in my closet and silently decompose).

I can see it, though, ending up with just as much research and planning going into the second book, too. I think I am starting to know myself better.

I would like to be able to write as quickly as you do, Hallee, but I also know that (so far) that isn't the way I work!
BEST OF LUCK with your submissions and the search for an agent.

Here is a likely well-known quote, but suffice to say - it fits.

"Shoot for the moon,
and even if you miss, you will still land up
amongst the stars."

--Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.

Here is a poem I have savoured for years, each time I open one of my older poetry books.

(It might not fit, but it's beautiful none the less)


The child looks upwards
At the blue sky above.
He lifts his tiny hand
And longs to touch the sky.

Unable to perceive
That the sky is an illusion;
The child thinks he cannot reach it,
When he holds it in his hand.

--Manuel Bandeira,
from 'Poetry Alive: Transitions; A Compilation'.

Goodnight, my dear friends,
and God Bless.

And thanks, Jerry, for being so helpful! ;o)

Laura Thu Jul 6 21:57:28 PDT 2000


I posted ch 3, it should begin to explain things. If you are still lost after that, give me a yell, you may be reading too much into it, or you may be just lost enough to be on the right trail. I need nuts and bolts of what is good and bad, but up to about chapter four has been reviewed way too many times.


Tina Thu Jul 6 20:58:53 PDT 2000

Marinasun, if you mean about the notebook, don't be. I can't remember who termed it so, but there is rampant 'wierdiosity' on this site at times. Eventually sincerity and wit will return all to sanity.

If you mean something else, what's up? Internet animosity is a wonderful thing, so don't be shy.

Rachel Thu Jul 6 20:23:17 PDT 2000

Jon - Thank you for the awards and your high praise. I am pleased that all is going well in the Empire. If you ever need my assistance or service you have only to say and I will be there.

Now I feel I must be honest with you. I did not cheer for the French in the Euro Cup. I wanted them out in the Semi finals. My heart and mind nearly exploded when they advanced to the finals they way that they did. They should not have won.

marinasun Thu Jul 6 19:57:13 PDT 2000

I am so confused.


Teekay Thu Jul 6 17:38:02 PDT 2000

The Supreme Judge is a fraud.

SASQUATCH: Yes, I see what you mean. I had trust and faith mixed up together.

HALLEE: Wow! I got exhausted just reading your post. Not because it was long, it just seemed so busy. You are a huge inspiration.

I have begun the best seller. yes, I know you are all sick and tired of me saying that, but this time I really have. And I've written more than two lines. Yes indeedy, I have written 2 and 1/2 pages, and they are big pages too. I am only going to take Tuesday nights off, cos 'Just shoot me' & 'Charmed' are on then. I've decided to write on the weekends. As you can all see I am a true and dedicated writer.

Hallee Thu Jul 6 16:40:49 PDT 2000

TEEKAY: I write mostly in the morning. I get up at 4:30, and most days I have until 6:30 to write before I have to wake my family. I also live relatively close to work, and I come home and write for 45 minutes of my lunch hour - except today when I was solving that riddle - haha. Then, I also sneak in that half hour while my daughter is in the bath every evening.
If I don't get what's in my head written out, I cannot sleep. A lot of times, I get up in the middle of the night just to type out 3 or 4 quick paragraphs. I think that's because I never know what's going to happen next, so when I finish for that session, I immediately start milling the story in my head and coming up with the next paragraph or the next scene.
Up to this point, I've managed to write a book in about 6 to 10 weeks, but, my pace seems to have slacked. I started the one I'm on 3 months ago, and I still have 4 chapters left to write. Who knows why. There's a lot going on in life right now. Plus, there's all that editing that I'm doing right now.
Anyway - I didn't intend for this to be a novel - hahaha - sorry.


Jon Thu Jul 6 15:54:50 PDT 2000

Am I back? I wonder.

Thanks to Pussy, I'm back again on a clean, orderly and well organized Empire. The Empire will have no ministers. But I saved in my files the psychological prints of those who were my characters.

Here are my conclusions:

Only Rachel was totally worthy of my trust. She flied a plane to the Arctic which saved me from the wild bears and other beasts who were threatening my life and making hazardous my holidays under and on ice and almost impossible my return to save the Empire from the barbarians. I appreciated her courage. (More about our 5th July party with the penguins and the Inuits some other time.) A medal for her faithfulness and courageous behaviour in difficult times and environments. No wonder she is the best fiction writer on the block: a writer needs a taste for adventure, and the more impossible the better.

Only Jerry Ericsson did something to save the Empire from a coup d'tat in my absence. Though I firmly oppose some of his views on matters I consider vital, I appreciated his character and his sense of duty. To fight against Pussy man, that's really something. You'll get a medal for bravour exceptional. I'm sure your soldiers would not have fled at a simple waving and smile of Pussy if they were made of your stuff. For some reason you wrote the best stories for SM**. You have the stamina.

Only A* continued with his reports, thus performing his duties till the end. This shows persistence, but mainly love for soccer. No medal for him.

Courage, persistence and character are indispensable qualities for a writer. Those who do not have them, try a different job.

All the other ministers fled or hid themselves. Those who protested against the coup d' tat did it for personal reasons which had nothing to do with the welfare of the Empire, and only showed earthly preoccupations or psychological weaknesses unworthy of their high rank and position. They will not come with me in any future ventures, like climbing the Everest, one of my wildest dreams.

My determinations:

The "My Flower", A*s yacht, will be returned to his proprietor. He will not be guillotined because Pussy asked me to spare all lives and shed no blood. And he was a reasonable minister, though with a tendency to be biased against France my favourite team. I forgive him for voting against me. Even I voted against me what would you expect with such an undecorous candidate as I presented myself to the crowds? It's necessary to try something different, you know? We are all fed up of well-behaved, hypocritical candidates. And I believe that the best always wins, even if he spits on the ice.

Pussy asked me to give the Empire the name of International Land of Freedom and Fraternity (ILFF). I insisted on the "International" to remind Americans and other aliens that this is a free INTERNATIONAL forum for all creeds, talents, temperaments and persuasions, inclusive my new philosophy, "Penguinese" obviously the best and truest.

This ends the polilogy entitled "Plots? eat them for breakfast". Despite its funny title, it was a deep study on the psychology of human and other creatures.

PS. For those who followed the series and want to keep it in their fridge for future reference.

I convinced the Supreme Judge to accept the shadows' thoughts as concrete and valid votes for Pussy. In any case she would resign in my favour and I would inevitably save the Empire even if she didn't resign. One cannot beat one's fate, and mine is to be a saviour of Empires.

I also convinced the SJ to vote for me I needed a little vote to show to my friends. So the results were: one vote for me, all the other votes for Pussy.I'm really proud of my pretty, smart, generous and dedicated wife.

Now I deserve some rest from the fatigues of my holidays and the chores of having to recover this delicate Empire from the forces of chaos and tedium. And Pussy, like any other creature, deserves the love, respect and admiration of all civilized subjects of this Empire. Thank you for your patience.

PS. Do not forget to pay your taxes punctually.

Written on the last day of SM** as a public project.

Rachel Thu Jul 6 11:08:58 PDT 2000

Jon - I had a wonderful time at the party last night. I am sorry that I had to leave early. It seems that by going to bed early I missed much. I didn't know about all that has happened till just now. The world has turned and changed while I slept. I guess that is how it goes... I'm pleased that all has turned out so well.
Your faithful Minister of what ever you would like me to be,

Hallee Thu Jul 6 10:13:36 PDT 2000

JERRY LEE: I think I got the answer (dancing a little jig). It took my ENTIRE lunchbreak, and my paper that I worked it out on is splattered with chicken salad...but I think I got it. I emailed you. Please, oh if you have any mercy, kind sir, let me know if I did in fact get it right. :)


sasquatch Thu Jul 6 09:34:49 PDT 2000

Teekay person there is a not same between creatures and humans persons in the way of you call faith. I sasquatch trust and do not require same thing you call it faith for this is how the one made me and all creatures. Humans persons are made with a different way because the one wished for them to choose to love and not to do because they were made to love. Need what you call faith for that otherwise there is no point because all is the same tree rock creature humans and nothing left after. But humans persons are free to desire to choose one or other. I sasquatch do not need to do that choosing. That is the not same.

Judge creature I sasquatch am not ashamed of any who say sasquatch is friend. I do shame at creatures who act as twisted humans persons and do not respect the one.

Mark person I sasquatch think there would not be much fog on that i write. Longest word I know is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious which another Mary person told, but there is never a place to use it. Think maybe humans persons small ones write better.

Also I will not step on cat ever. Too hard to clean from between toes ha ha ha. i must go.

Mark Thu Jul 6 08:04:26 PDT 2000

The webpage address is a link to a site with the Fog Index. It is a readability tool to help you gauge the grade level of your proposed audience; i.e., the denser the fog, the greater skill your audience needs. Most of us should probably max out at 10.

Tina Thu Jul 6 07:45:56 PDT 2000

Hello All!

Thanks for the thoughts Hallee. I have a few questions, but I'll ask them in the crit page but not til later. Thanks so much!
I'm sending you positive 'editing' thoughts, to help you grind through. It's not as exhilerating as the initial writing but it is satisfying when a section falls into place just as you want it.

Laura, I'm enjoying 'Prometheus Bond'. I'll offer thoughts just as soon as I think on it some more. I'm glad you came back! I knew I'd enjoy your work when I read the first draft. And yeah, TJ is fine. It's actually my real nickname, at least from some people.

Howard, you have a heart of gold. :-) I have no patience for jerks like that driver and I'm glad you told him off.

And Jerry Lee... thanks a lot! I can't resist those kind of puzzles and it will drive me around the bend soon! I fell asleep last night thinking about it. Aaghhhhhhh! Really though, thanks. I love solving those puzzles.

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go....

Supreme Judge Thu Jul 6 06:08:44 PDT 2000

Supreme Judge speaking:

Hope you realize that the entities who have lately posted under the names of Jon, Pussy, Americo, Impala, Kawinkiedinks and Queen are not the real Jon etc., but just their shadows. Notice that each of them addresses to him/herself and not to the respectable Notebookers. They are only thinking to themselves, but have not come to any conclusion yet. This brilliant twist in the great story of the coup and counter-coup is far from concluded. In order to help your fatigued brains understand this incredible plot here's a brief summary of it:

Taking advantage of Jon's absence, his wife Pussy performed a coup d'etat and dissolved the Government. There was practically no resistance. Jon, who is scuba diving, skiing and trying to melt the ice in the Arctic knew of Pussy's treason only recently. He called for an election, presenting himself as a bloody tyrant and a spitting-on-the-ice creature. Pussy, a master in psychology of the crowds, used the demagogic technique of melting the hearts. The powers that be have just expressed their inner thoughts. But not their definitive conclusions. Only if you read the last volume of this polilogy, entitled "Plots? eat them for breakfast", will you know how the story ends. I'm afraid you will have to buy it, as its author is getting fed up of his readers and cannot promise to publish it here. After all, he despises plots and knows that good writing is something completely different.

Sasquatch aren't you ashamed of having such supporters?

Teekay Thu Jul 6 05:42:32 PDT 2000

HOWARD: Ithink SASQY meant that creatures already have faith and don't question things as humans do.
I'm glad Molly's okay. I'm a sucker for animals.

SASQY(dear): do you know that JON is only a little bitty pussy cat? How easily they squash. How dreadful it would be for him to get under one of your big, strong, hairy feet.

Okay, I'm a sucker for most animals.

MARY: Hey there girly. Do you know PUSSY is only a little, bitty kitty (and I think she wears curlers. And drinks!) How easily they squash. Oh dear, wouldn't it be a terrible thing if a SASQUATCH fell on her. *sigh*
Oh dear MARY, I see your not adverse to few drops yourself.

HALLEE: When do you write? Is it when your daughter asleep or do you write any old time? Do tell, enquiring and jealous minds want to know.
I do wish you good luck. GOOD LUCK.

Dear alls,
I'm off to write my future best seller *snort*. Well. the start of it anyway. Or at least a couple of lines.
Wish me luck. And perserverance.

Tomorrow we can plan how to kill JON or PUSSY or both. It depends on what mood I'm in.
BTW: I think the popes a fraud and I believe they are blackmailing the queen. Seems the puusycat who went to London to visit the queen was none other than PUSSY herself. Word has it she caught the Queen doing something rather nasty while she was sitting under her chair. No wonder PUSSY drinks, but she can't be forgiven for the dreadful curlers.

Jon Emperor at last and again Thu Jul 6 04:51:48 PDT 2000


There's nothing like a good plot to win the day. I'll go back home, but only after I say good-bye to my beloved penguins and to my holiday's cook, the Inuit's wife, a nice, always smiling lady who sends greetings to everybody.

Pussy, I love you.

A*, you will be guillotined and I'll keep your yacht. All the others will be pardoned, but wait for a ministerial recast.

Pussy Thu Jul 6 04:45:23 PDT 2000


Dear Notebookers and faithful subjects.
I never thought I could ever win this election. But the heart has won against reason, sensibility against genius, conservatism against imagination and ingenuity. Bad Jon was defeated. Our pretty Empire will go on like it ever was: a place for nice people to write nice things, like "I love my husband and kids" and "You have great talent, your dialogues are a masterpiece!". This is the Empire bad Jon has always fought and wanted to improve. But he appointed a Prime-Minister and Ministers who were as good as the Italian soccer team... With some exceptions which he will certainly reward when he will return to my arms and to our bosom. Because, dear citizens, I do not want to be your Empress. I just want to be Jon's wife.

Jon, I won the election, but I resign all my powers and pass them onto you. You will always be my lover and my Emperor, and therefore the Emperor of us all. Please come back and proceed with your idealist attempts at improving our beloved NB.

Americo Thu Jul 6 04:44:06 PDT 2000


Jon, I'm getting fed up of your antics. How could you spit on the lovely penguins?

With the votes of the Pope, the Queen, Impala, the Kawinkiedinks and those of the silent majority and the undecided, who, by historical tradition and week temperament, cannot vote but for the status quo, you've lost the election. The counter-coup is over. Peace and happiness have returned to our streets. Pussy, our dear Emperess, please make a speech to the Empire of Love and Good Writing (aka, Notebook).

PS. Jon, I want my yacht back.

Impala and Kawinkiedinks Thu Jul 6 04:43:03 PDT 2000


Pussy, as a sensitive female and a God loving creature, I can only vote for you!

Kawinkiedinks (all three of them and their descendants)

Pussy, in the name of liberty, equality and fraternity, we vote on you. That's one million votes! Long live the Empire without spitting-on-the-ice creatures like Jon!

Queen Thu Jul 6 04:40:48 PDT 2000


Pussy, my dear, I did not know Jon was such an evil person. When we met in the Azores last year he seemed a gentleman and even kissed my hand. I was horrified to know that he spat on penguins and drank blood with his pat of whale. I definitely cast my vote on you!

Hallee Thu Jul 6 02:44:30 PDT 2000

TINA: I've posted a crit (I know..I know...FINALLY) :)

LAURA: Ditto :) Mine is the one that doesn't have anything filled out at the top. It's kinda hard for this simple girl to remember to do that (growling in frustration). But, I signed my name at the bottom, so you'll know it's from me. :)

HOWARD: You certainly do not lead a boring life. Good for you, making those people leave in a hurry! I hope that they don't try to sue anyone, and I hope that the police noticed the skid marks.

JON: Thanks for the invite, but, if you're trying to buy votes, I still remain undecided. I shall have to wait until AFTER the party to make up my mind. Although, I'll tell you that your arugments with sasquatch make me hesitant to vote for you, as I don't really want you as the spiritual leader of the empire.

TEEKAY: I have looked at Mills & Boon, but it's been a while and seemed like they only take agented submissions. (sigh) I am going to be submitting this STUPID trilogy that I'm in the middle of editing ('s really good but I really HATE editing) to an agent, and also at the same time to Kensington publishers. They publish a line that the trilogy will fit nicely in, and rather than wait weeks and weeks for the agent to tell me no, at least I'm cutting some wait time by doing both. Wish me luck.

Okay - I've posted the beginning of another book I've written, just for a taste of something new. I don't think I'll be posting anymore of the one I'm writing now, simply because almost half of it is already up. As much as I'd like to think no one would steal someone else's work, and as vain as it may be to think that mine's worth stealing, I still don't want it to happen.

Have a great Thursday.

Jerry Lee Wed Jul 5 19:40:39 PDT 2000

Sorry 'bout that...I left my name off that last post.

Wed Jul 5 19:37:03 PDT 2000

Yo, All!

Jon, such a worldly cat as yourself should know the benifits of decorum and restraint, shouldnt he?

Sasquatch, Even in this cyber-world of light on phosphorus we must deal with small mammals scurring about and trying to trip us up. With your legendary feet, it should be no major effort to end the torment...

Jack, Good for you! I had faith in you!

All, I am working on a web page that deals with a riddle written by Albert Einstein aver 100 years ago. He claimed that only two percent of the population would be able to com up with the correct answer.
I thought you all could use a diversion, so here it is the way is was given to me:

There are 5 houses in 5 different colors. In each house lives a person
with a different nationality.

The 5 owners drink a certain type of beverage, smoke a certain brand of
cigar, and keep a certain pet.

No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar, or drink the same beverage.

The question is who owns the fish?


The Brit lives in the red house.
The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
The Dane drinks tea.
The green house is on the left of the white house.
The green house's owner drinks coffee.
The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.
The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.
The man living in the center house drinks milk.
The Norwegian lives in the first house.
The man who smokes Blends lives next to the one who keeps cats.
The man who keeps the horses lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.
The owner who smokes Bluemasters drinks beer.
The German smokes Prince.
The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
The man who smokes Blends has a neighbor who drinks water.

---on my new website, I will not only have an answer page for you to check your solution against, but a detailed explaination of HOW to come up with the far, it's the hardest thing I've ever written.

Take care, All
Jerry Lee

p.s. Please do not give the answer in this forum, it may ruin it for someone who would have otherwise gotten it themselves. Thanks!

Mary Wed Jul 5 19:10:43 PDT 2000

SASQUATCH: I echo Heather's thought's on the love matter. And the Jon issue too for that matter. gray matter splatter shatter hatter. oops, got away from me there. i need some wine. bye.

Mary Wed Jul 5 19:07:48 PDT 2000

HOWARD: Way to be a Dad, fella!!! Hope Molly is comfortably recuperating at home. Smiles to you.

PUSSY: Although I feel for your plight, you dismised me from the best job I've ever had. Give me one good reason to call in favors to save you now. (pssst--get out the code book the allies sent you--the blue pigeons fly south at midnight)


Heather Wed Jul 5 19:03:58 PDT 2000

Sasquatch, please stay, do not be bothered by Jon, who is sometimes an A-hole.

I don't think the one who loves and made all can give less love to some creatures and more to others. The one who made all either loves or does not. Since this One is all-loving,
there are no degrees of that love.


sasquatch Wed Jul 5 18:30:26 PDT 2000

Jon creature you behave more as twisted humans person than as animal. i sasquatch believe you are having strange spirit in to make you speak as this. it is as the one has said that all creatures became hurt when first fell, and need to be brought back. And will. And this is not as you call faith as humans persons need to have, this is knowing. but humans persons can choose. we can not. some time i believe we are most of fortune but other times i am envy of humans persons. the one loves all but them more.
Teekay person thank for you words to me. i will not go, and jon creature can not even pull guillotine up high to reach sasquatch ha ha.
Howard person i sasquatch sorrow for your molly creature and will think to the one to help her and for your daughter to comfort. some time humans persons love creatures so much and maybe too much i think. but creatures have love too for some humans persons. i must go.

Jon Wed Jul 5 18:03:06 PDT 2000

The Pope will also be guillotined and I'll become the spiritual head of LTD.
Sasquatch will also be guillotined.

Pope Wed Jul 5 17:59:58 PDT 2000

Pussy, my daughter. I'm appalled to see no knights of the grail on that NB of yours. I give you my vote!

Howard Wed Jul 5 17:36:41 PDT 2000

The day was ggetting along quite well, until I got a call from our daughter's neighbor, crying and trying to tell me that she needed to get hold of Karin because their Molly -- a St Bernard had just been hit by a car. I got there in time to hear the guy still complaining about damage to his car, and insisting that they (his wife was driving) was only going 30-35 miles per hour (in a 30 mph zone). The skid marks (about 40-50 feet to impact) and the fact that Molly (all 165 lbs of her) was thrown about 20 feet into the ditch, put the lie to that. I wasn't going to press the matter right then, but then he wanted to know what homeowners insurance they had so he could file a claim for damages. I don't remember exactly what I said at that point, but from what the others said afterwards I must have led him to believe that a good part of those damages would be bodily injuries that hadn't occurred yet, but were about to.
Anyway, he and his wife gave us their information and left rather hurriedly, and we managed to get Molly into the back of my truck and on down to the animal hospital. She seems to be not injured as seriously as we thought, no apparent internal injuries, but a badly broken right hind leg. We found out after we got back home that the guy was asking for a gun so he could "put her out of her misery" right there, and asked the woman across the road to lie about what happened if the troopers should ask any questions. Now I hope my daughter doesn't run into him any time soon! She'll hand him his head.
Too worked up yet to think much.
more later

Pussy Wed Jul 5 17:24:44 PDT 2000

My brethren, I've been praying all day. Not for my victory in this election, which I'm sure to lose, but for my soul. Jon will torture me before guillotining me and sending me to a convent in Transylvania. I'm terrorised and pray that some gentleman, some knight of the Grail, come and free me from my terror. I want to die, but not in the hands of Jon, the terrible, le sanguinaire, le brut, le monstre ... I have a fever, I'm so ill, and so pale, and so white, and so lonely, and so unprotected, help me!!!
PS. I leave my blue bike to Sir Cushion.

Jon Wed Jul 5 17:17:45 PDT 2000

Rach, tell the Inuit's wife that I'll join you both tonight and will bring some guests. It's the penguin's 5th July and we are going to celebrate with a serenate at the moonshine. Plenty of food to eat. Whale breats, sealion scalops and other good things. The following Notebookers are invited: Allein, Heather, Christi, Lydia Sweet and Hallee only. The others must become jealous and write posts showing their jealousy. After this we'll come back in triumph to the Empire, where I will have Pussy guillotined and all her supporters whipped till death. I'm feeling rather ferocious tonight. I'll drink blood with the pat of whale. It's good to become the Emperor again. The Empire will change name and will be called "The Land of Terror and Darkness" (LTD) and tbe ruled by the greatest tyrant the world has ever smelled I, Emperor of LTD.
Jon (spitting on two penguins knelt at my feet).
PS. I'm quite sure I'll get 100% of the votes. My campaign is irresistible (I think).

Rachel Wed Jul 5 16:34:20 PDT 2000

Jon - Thank goodness that penguin was willing to give back the "My Flower" I was having a difficult time flying!

The Inuits wife has been treating me to some wonderful home cooking. I am almost recovered from my flying experience. She tells me that you are will be meeting us later this evening. That you are busy now and not to be disturbed.

Your faithful Minister of Transport and Travel


Pussy Wed Jul 5 13:54:34 PDT 2000

I only have a modest (blue) bike. But I'll let everybody use it, even those who won't vote for me. I love you all.

Pussy (crying, almost sure she will go to a convent and have her head cut by evil, arrogant, spitting- on- the- ice Jon).

Jon Wed Jul 5 13:50:20 PDT 2000

Only YES is a vote for Pussy. Any other word is a vote for me.
I'll let people who vote for me use my yatch when I win this election.
Jon (laughing with superiority and spitting on the ice).
PS. The yatch is not exactly mine, it's A*s, but that's the same.

Heather Wed Jul 5 12:29:55 PDT 2000

I vote 'Undecided'. If that's actually a vote.

No more politics today, please. There are enough to go 'round everywhere else.
That isn't meant as a no for Pussy, either.

Ahem. Just clearing that up.

Good afternoon, everyone.
Tina, I'm still reading, gaining speed on the end.

I'll check back later if I have anything of interest to say. Think I'm tapped for the time being.

Blaaahhhhhh (sorry, I feel rather blah.)

Jon Wed Jul 5 11:44:11 PDT 2000


The penguin has just offered me the yatch, without my having to kill him. Come quick and we'll return to the Empire in the "My Flower". The Inuit's wife will also come, she's quite a good cook.

I'm furious with the Pope. He said NO! so that's a vote pro Pussy. But A* said "nothing" that's a vote for me. A draw for the moment, I suppose.

I intend to reestablish law and order in the Empire and appoint new ministers. Some of them were crap, to use the Pope's language. But others were good.

The Pope Wed Jul 5 11:35:25 PDT 2000


After consultation with my theologians, who reminded me the case of Henry VIII, I will not grant you the divorce to Pussy. Hope you do not declare yourself the spiritual head of the Empire. This is not meant as a vote against you. NO!

PS. France was shamelessly favoured by the referees in the match they "won" against Portugal; Italy could not do anything against Joanne of Arc, the patron of the bloody French Italy was crap anyway. I think that Portugal and Holland were the best teams in the Euro thing. Sorry for the language.

Americo Wed Jul 5 09:29:37 PDT 2000

What Pussy meant was that NO means votes for her; nothing or yes, votes for Jon.

I say nothing, er, I mean, I do not want to interfere.

Pussy Wed Jul 5 09:24:58 PDT 2000

Address to the Empire

Citizens of all creeds and persuasions.
I confess. I did the coup d'etat. I, a frail woman, did it alone with the sole weapons of grace and reason. The grace that we, women, possess, and the reason I borrowed from Jon, my unfaithful husband and exhausted lover.

The coup was successful and peaceful. For many days we enjoyed a happy life, sipping our tea and chatting merrily about our favorite topics: pop music, pretty authors and sci-fi. The only intruders of our blissful realm were sasquatch and jon, the theologists, and A* and Arik, the soccer fans. All the other males remained at a respectful distance. It was paradise.

But now the mobs became restless and are causing trouble. Jon threatens to return from his exile in the Arctic and restablish law and order. He will bring his Inuit lover with him and send me to a convent, or ask Jerry to have me beheaded. Will you allow that? Me beheaded or a nun (or a beheaded nun)? Jon sitting on the throne with his Inuit lover on his right, ruling the Empire with his iron rod and his inflexible reason? Isn't my heart bigger than his brain? Isn't my tea tastier than his whisky? Please support me, saying "no" to Jon. You just write "no", and I'll rule. Write nothing and the people will win, and I'll go on being your

speechless, sobbing, tearful Emperess,


PS. I'll generously reward those who write NO!

Rachel Wed Jul 5 09:02:38 PDT 2000

Jon - The plane I sent last night was shot down. I will be to you in minutes. Yes, that is right, I'm flying the plane! I couldn't trust anyone else to do it...

Jon Alone in the Arctic Wed Jul 5 08:29:17 PDT 2000

If that plane does not arrive soon, Rachel, I will kill the penguin who bought the "My Flower" (A*s yatch) and take possession of the yatch again. (I've already taken possession of a Inuit's wife but that's a different story). And, Heather, if your report is true and there is trouble in the Empire, many heads will have to fall. Where's Pussy? And A*? And everybody. And here's how I, the Emperor, is alone and crying on the Arctic.

Howard Wed Jul 5 05:30:39 PDT 2000

What's this then? Ralphing on the mic, editing finished, anniversaries -- belated Happys, Mark&Cate! (And I thought last night's fireworks were all at the park!) And critters arguing theology! Take a few days off and miss lots!
SASQUATCH -- I gotta say I agree with you (I think) except I'm not sure what you mean about creatures not needing faith. I thought all needed faith?
LITTER -- Congrats again!
TEEKAY -- Enjoy "Midworld!" It's a good one.


Teekay Wed Jul 5 04:32:58 PDT 2000

Hello everybody,

HEATHER: 4 hours of sleep? Really? I do hope you're joking. If I had to get by on 4 hours sleep a night, I would surely be hallucinating. Heeeeeeeeeeeeey, now there's a thought. :-D

HALLEE: I have got to tell you that I loved your smelly piece. It stunk. In all the right ways. Actually using the sense of smell really made the piece come off the page. It made it seem more vivid, more real. Well done girl, I'm going to have a practise at that myself a bit later. I'll have a few jots on some paper before I commit it to the notebook though.

HOWARD: I got the book today - and have even started reading it. Thank you.

CHRISTI: Now how did you know that was me Sherlock?

HALLEE (again) Have you been to the mills and boon sight? They're always crying out for more authors. I think it's so hard to write a romance. Actually I'm finding it hard to write anything at the moment (decent that is).

SASQUATCH: Bravo. Well said. And don't go. Not too far anyway.

MARY: Who dismissed you? Have I missed something?

ARIK: I'm sorry. I forgot to resend my address. I'll do it right now.

I tried writing a love poem the other night and believe me, it wasn't pretty. And why do I have to make everything rhyme? Is this a sickness?

Orright then, I'm orf, ava a good one.

Arik Wed Jul 5 02:41:04 PDT 2000

Teekay - did you sent me the adress? I can't find it :-(.

Heather Wed Jul 5 01:40:18 PDT 2000

I don't need to add what the vomit smells like, do I?
Thought it was enough as is.


Heather Wed Jul 5 01:35:40 PDT 2000

Reports from Parliament Hill:

"...It's absolute mayhem, folks, it seems the Prime Minister has been overthrown and everything going on as I stand here, by the Eternal Flame in front of our Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, is part of the fallout due to her dismissal. The Ministers are flapping about, uttering grievances and shaking fists full of Severance forms. Who knows what will happen? There are hundreds of protestors lining up as we speak, only some of which are the Ministers' family members..."

Further News:
(Audio tape)
"Oh, God! It's terrible! The people are marching onto the lawns, smashing everything in sight! A reporter is down! I repeat! Reporter down! We've got trouble--"

"...At three this morning it was publicly declared that the Coup D'Etat has pushed some militant protestors to take aim at the government officials involved in the coup. Police patrols have had to be called in throughout the night and into the morning hours due to the numerous threats of violence from these protestors, some of which now include the former ministers themselves. People are still running in the streets, ranting and rioting, declaring political 'war'! It's dangerous just being near to get a full report..."


Surrounded by the chemical smoke of the Eternal Flame and long, blue shadows, she paced in a small pool of light on the sidewalk. Everywhere, from the lawns right out in the centre of the streets, and steadily swarming up the paths leading to the Parliament buildings were bodies, blistering with the hot passions of hatred and blame; like a pungent mould ripening just beneath the skin of the fear fruit.

Shouts echoed in the distance, carrying a raw waft of it towards her in the wind. Seconds lapsed, building expectation on the spindly legs of rage. Then, with a reverberating crash, a far-off street light went out. Instantly her body trembled with the force of the cascading glass, even at a hundred paces. Carrie smothered a cry in her throat and slipped into the bushes next to the sidewalk, hovering under its cool canopy. The smell of tension ripped open the night air and sent waves of nausea through her.

Not knowing what else to feel, she lifted the weight of the microphone up, cradling the foam sphere in the nook of her chin, waiting for the sick storm within her to pass, but hoping the storm going on around her would hold on. Collin would be looking for her.

Collin, the camera ever-present, intruding on her face, microscopically inching over her every blemish, soaking each pore onto the film. Collin, stripping her bare with a lens uncapped, the searchlight poised and hungry.

Every nerve swelled the moment the red light flicked on. That gulf of a lens, that black hole of a thousand empty eyes reading her every move, sucking every word for nutrients. Live.

More smashing, tinkling cascading glass, more shouting that stood far above the constant sea of voices. One less light.

The bushes hugged her, seeking to comfort her delicately in their mint-scented arms. The heady sauce of unrest and nature. Or were they the same?

"Carrie! Where the hell are you?" His far away voice stuck into her ribs and made her swallow a reply.

She heard the scraping of his stiff-soled shoes halt beside the lamp post. The warm pastry in his hand leaked lemon and cream. Mint and sugared-lemon filling topped with cream, combining with the dangerously sour wind. Her stomach twisted and her mouth watered. Somewhere deep in her bones a shudder took flight.


The twist in her stomach tightened, her bowels churned, and opening her jaws she heaved out a gush of vomit. It rushed out so hard it missed her teeth completely. She bent with the force of it, sputtering and retching over the mound of bare earth, coating the roots of the bushes.

"Carrie! What are you doing--"

Spasm number two. Carrie shook with the hot flood spurting from her mouth, one arm encircling a branch. "Coo-ll-in!" she moaned.

His eyes squinted to make out the form bent over beneath the shadowed bushes, the sound of liquid hitting the packed soil his unlit beacon. "Carrie? Channel seven?" Collin shuffled to the edge of the sidewalk, staring into the indigo blank until his eyes focused.
"Jesus! You got food poisoning or something? We gotta get this story! Don't bung out on me now!"

Carrie swiped the back of her hand across her forehead. "Collin.."
She was leaning against the bush, all her strength directed to her legs, trying to stay afloat from the ground.

Lights swept along the sidewalk, bouncing with the hurried steps of another cameraman. A crowd of high-heeled whisperers shoved past Collin on the walk.

Without moving the camera from his shoulder, he dove towards the bushes, his fingers finding the smooth, dark fabric of her sleeve and coiling around her arm in one motion. He had dropped or eaten the pastry, but the singed fruit-cream smell still assauled her senses.

"Col-l-lin," she managed with a slur, lifting the microphone with a limp wrist, "I've pu-u-u-ked all o-o-over the mic."


Your report, Jon.

Waiting for further news from the front lines.


Tue Jul 4 23:37:00 PDT 2000

Rachel Tue Jul 4 22:10:21 PDT 2000

Jon - As your former Minister of Travel and Transportation I will send a plane for you. It will pick you up at the place at that time. Now I must go back to my hide out! I can not risk Pussy finding me...

Tue Jul 4 21:45:23 PDT 2000

Tue Jul 4 19:25:22 PDT 2000

Tue Jul 4 19:24:56 PDT 2000

Tue Jul 4 18:44:20 PDT 2000

Laura Tue Jul 4 18:40:28 PDT 2000

Hello TJ, may I call you that?....

Yes I'm back, I could use some feedback on what I wrote.

As for the discussion earlier about Sci-fi, I found that I get a better reaction if I tell them Science Fiction. "sci-fi" is still seen as hack stuff...


Jon Tue Jul 4 17:31:48 PDT 2000

Would anyone send me an airplane to go back to the Empire? I sense there was trouble there. Pussy sold all my helicopters. I don't understand that woman. She should miss me, don't you think? Heather? HEATHER! I need a report about the state of the Empire. Stop.

Tina Tue Jul 4 17:25:46 PDT 2000

Hallee, I just left you some thoughts on the WB crit page.


Lydia Sweet Tue Jul 4 16:04:57 PDT 2000

I apologize for short message...STOP...Wrote lenghty missile last night...STOP...Computer would not accept... STOP...Then crashed...STOP...Too tired to repeat...STOP...Will respond to sensory contest anon...STOP


JON (capital letters) Tue Jul 4 15:27:13 PDT 2000

Who dismissed Mary? Who dismissed my Ministers? Could anyone please inform me about the state of the Empire, which I left so clean, so organized, so pretty, before embarking on this long voyage to the Arctic (and other intimate, secret parts of the world)? Heather, Prime-Minister, I need a report.

(PS: Who's Mary?)

Litter Tue Jul 4 14:49:28 PDT 2000

It is done!

::Litter sits back and sighs a mega-sigh of relief ::

The last of the editing required prior to publishing, hopefully, is now complete. And having almost sent no chapter 17 and two identical chapter 18's, it only goes to prove that editing is necessary after all. (Heather, that's what the comma counting was. [but I wasn't actually counting them!])

Now I can have a few days of nothingness -- wife and child #2 visiting friends in England and child #1 working a holiday job. Ahhhhh, peace, quiet, dirty dishes adorning the sink until I feel like doing them …

And what collective noun could possibly be better, for a group of writers, than 'a block of writers!' -- inspirational, Rowhad, inspirational.

Now it's back to designing a new webpage for me…



Mary Tue Jul 4 14:19:41 PDT 2000

JON: Unfortunately, I was dismissed as Minister of Internet Links and Translations and my new contract with Alta Vista prohibits me from translating for you free of charge. My apologies, Mary

Tue Jul 4 12:09:25 PDT 2000

jon (small letter) Tue Jul 4 11:25:57 PDT 2000

sasquatch, I am not a human person, I am only Jon, and will not be offended by anything you say. I promise. You promise me the same and we may find truth. On one condition: no old books quoted to support our arguments. They were written to people other than us, ignorant people, we know better now (but not enough, I know). Just our reasoning of humble earth creatures without fear of the unknown. I have as much faith as you, but my faith is inside me and not outside me. The KA is me, as no one else can know more than me on what I know. And I only know what I know and know that only what I know is possible. You believe in the impossible, and that's very pretty. I believe in the possible and it's also pretty. Perhaps possible and impossible can get married and make the true son of truth.

sasquatch Tue Jul 4 10:21:58 PDT 2000

Jon creature sasquatch can not lose faith, faith is for humans persons. Creatures know and do not need faith. And what is more childish to believe in the one or to believe that humans persons can fix all themselves. Yeti memory has looked on what humans persons have done when they think they are as the one and say they are not in need of the one and they can not fix things but make things more broken. It is sad. It was not to be so but sasquatch will not tell of these things more if it makes to offend. i must go.

Jon On a pause from scuba diving under the Arctic Tue Jul 4 09:15:36 PDT 2000

Sasquatch- what kind of game was that "the one knows all" played with humans creatures? Is He a sort of footballer? Or like A*, who cannot resist a little game? Were it true, the passion for games of that Knows All (KA) would have caused a lot of suffering to the humans kind. What for? Just to please His madness? How can you believe in such childish stories? Sasquatch, I don't want you to lose your faith, but your KA is just a myth. Do not be afraid of talking to me about the KA though. We'll certainly find something better for our Hope.

Here's a song to the ladies:
La do-na mo-bi-le... (Mary: translation, please).

Rachel Tue Jul 4 07:22:09 PDT 2000

Marinasun - I had a feeling it was not your real name (grins). I still like it. I have noticed that a lot of people don't use real names on the net.

Christi - Hi you!

Jon - Thank you for the beautiful letters.

Take care all,


sasquatch Tue Jul 4 07:06:19 PDT 2000

Jon creature I sasquatch am male and not girl or boy as they are humans words and sasquatch is creature as Jon and Pussy. Sasquatch knows that there is a not same between humans persons and sasquatch creature. The one who made all knows sasquatch as he knows all and has care for all but for humans persons he has great care because he made them for forever. It is sorrow that the first two humans persons listened to the one who fell from the sky. Sasquatch knows all alive was broken then and all is still broken. But the one who made all has said that he will one day make all well again. One came to do this but humans persons broke him and thought they had won but he did not remain as broken. He said to us that he will still fix all one day. And we wait. I must go

Jon On holidays Tue Jul 4 05:59:52 PDT 2000

News from me on the Arctic

Crowd If the oceans inundate your houses do not worry. It's just me skiing on the Arctic. The ice is melting and the level of the seas increasing. But A* will pay all damages.

A* I sold your yacht "My Flower" to a rich penguin. Please send helicopter.

Can anyone tell me how the Empire is doing? Are all my ministers well? Hope Pussy did not do anything funny in my absence, like a coupt d'tat or something.

PS. Sasquatch, are you a girl or a boy?

Hallee Tue Jul 4 04:15:59 PDT 2000

TINA: My brother in law and I were discussing that yesterday. He is a huge fan of sci fi, especially those that are considered more fantasy. He and my husband swap books, and they stand amazed in the worlds that are created. Sadly, though, he doesn't think that romance books are worth the time to read, regardless of the plot around the romance. He simply isn't interested, even in what I've written. We've been sharing books we've read and discussing them for years, and he doesn't want to read something I've written, simply because of the romance angle. It's even hard to find agents that deal in that genre. If you look through Writer's Market, you'll see pop up over and over again, "no romance." And all the while, Nora Roberts continues to make it to the number one best seller every time she publishes a book.

You are a brilliant writer, and I look forward to the day that I can pull your book from a shelf in a bookstore.

JON: I won't give them back. I won't! You'll just have to re-write them if someone else wants them.

MARK: Happy Anniversary!

HEATHER: No one else entered, so I win, right. :)


Christi Mon Jul 3 22:15:21 PDT 2000

*sigh* All those romantic love letters. They were barely in my grasp, and for a few precious seconds I reveled in them. Then they were taken away from me to be given to another. I am not bitter, however. I am happy to have had them for one sweet moment, even if it was only a mistake.
Say hi to the penguins for me. Especially Fred.

Hi Laura!

Mark, *Pop!* *Snap!*
I pushed your button but nothing happened. Did something happen on your end?

I feel your pain; I really do. I aspire to write Science Fiction--good Science Fiction, too. Unlike you, I've never gotten the impression of snobbery from others. If anything, most people think the snobbery goes the other way, saying they just can't understand it.
To me, Sci-Fi offers the most original and sometimes even the most inspirational reading of any other genre.
And if you look at Amazon's top 100 books of the millenium, you'll see that there's a heck of a lot of science fiction on that list. That's no small potatoes.
Chin up, girl! Creativity is never a waste, and you absolutely SHOULD have a great deal of pride in your work.

Hello Heather, Rachel, Horwda, Mary and Marinasun! Nice to see so many here. And 'HI!' to Teekay, who couldn't figure out what she was going to post to all of us. You been sniffin' fumes in the lab again girlie?

Speaking of smells, I believe my popcorn is done. Woo hoo! I'm off to the movies.

Goodnight thweeties.

marinasun Mon Jul 3 20:34:05 PDT 2000

Hi everyone,

RACHEL: Thanks. It's not my *real* name - obviously.

HEATHER: What contest?

See ya all,

Heather Mon Jul 3 20:06:10 PDT 2000

Tina, don't let it bother you. Your novel will always be as good as you make it. No one's opinion can actually change what is written unless you choose to be swayed by that opinion, and re-write with that in mind.

Critiques from other writers aside, if someone puts your work down, (even if it is merely perceived by the writer that it is a put-down) then chase it from your mind with great swooping buckets of ice.

Art is painful to expose to the world. I'd rather run and die hiding some days. And that's without a rotten opinion from outside of my head. Only the little voices in there, whispering, 'You can't win, you can't make a dime, what a waste of time, time, time...'
I choose not to listen any longer and I step forward.

Here I am.


P.S.Hallee, nice use of the 'nasal sense' in your piece.
Where are all the rest of the contest entries? C'mon, friends, give us your wares.

Oh, yes. I suppose I will contribute as well, but give me a day.

Mary, I'm there. I have a part-time (nearing full time)job as well, some evenings and most weekends. I think four hours' sleep is an amazing luxury, don't you?

Tina Mon Jul 3 19:05:19 PDT 2000

Mark, in no way was I comparing myself to Asimov. Don't I wish! There are masters in every art, and that isn't disputed. It is the elitist attitude that bugs me. The perception that no other art is valuable.

No, my troubled thoughts were seeing parallels between aspiring writers/artists. When the inevitable question of 'what do you write?' comes up, and I answer 'sci-fi', the light of interest usually goes off and I get a glare of disdain. Had I said 'drama' or 'historical drama' or even 'crime thriller' the response would be entirely different. And more than the direct responses are the societal cues. Open the book section of the Globe & Mail and find a revue of a sci-fi! Go ahead, look for it! Try hard! While I don't foresee anything I write being held up to that level of judgement, it still creates an insidious perception of what deserves to be considered serious art.

All things aside, it is a personal struggle to allow myself to feel a tiny bit of pride in doing something I love. These days I'd settle for not feeling like I'm wasting my time. In recent weeks I've been beaten over the head with the idea that since I don't have kids and don't have a 'wow' career, I've wasted the last ten years of my life. The time I put into art is disregarded as a waste! I know better, but when an attitude is thrown at you persistantly by people you usually respect, it starts to eat your beliefs and pull you down.

Sorry to not keep this brief! The telegram approach just wouldn't work.

Hello Laura! I've read your last posts and was wondering if you'd come back. I'd be happy to offer my thoughts if you'd value them!

Oh, dinner time and my hubby made spaghetti. He makes the best spaghetti.


Jon Mon Jul 3 17:11:23 PDT 2000


Wrong address! I invented a new machine, writes love letters. If you got any of the million and three I sent to you today, resend them to the right people, as follows: Hallee (3,000,000); Christi (3,000,003); Allein (one million). Humm... Got the figures wrong again. Well, send them all to Rachel, Heather and Lydia Sweet. I'll write others to the others tomorrow.
PS. I was so glad that Portugal lost the soccer thing! Hope you did not eat any French.

To my admirers: I'm still scuba diving below the ice of the Arctic. I hear that the ice is getting hot. No wonder, with me here.

Rachel Mon Jul 3 16:50:46 PDT 2000

Mark - Happy anniversary!
Take care you,

Mon Jul 3 15:46:53 PDT 2000

Sorry, wedding anniversary. Happy wedding anniversary, Mark.

A* Mon Jul 3 15:44:31 PDT 2000

manually? Not so good.
Happy birthday. Mon Jul 3 15:42:29 PDT 2000

Telegram about the telegram I addressed to those who love me. Please stop, world! I hear that there are already problems of overmailing around the planet. So many emails converging to the same point may lead people to believe I am the love bug or something. Okay, just five or six more.

Mark Mon Jul 3 15:14:04 PDT 2000

AMERICO -- I don't have Front Page, just Front Page Express. Front Page makes it easy to create a site Like Jack's. I have space for long posts. Anyone who wants to send a lengthy note can email it to me and I will manually post it. Be aware though that July 4 is my wedding anniversary. I will pay less attention to email than usual tomorrow.

Mon Jul 3 14:50:46 PDT 2000

Mon Jul 3 14:30:19 PDT 2000

Laura Mon Jul 3 14:25:21 PDT 2000

For those of you who have read the first part of my Novel Prometheus bond, I have a new draft of the first chapter posted in the archive, I need feedback soon as it is my goal to have the whole MS ready for publication by may of next year.


Mon Jul 3 14:11:26 PDT 2000

Laura Mon Jul 3 14:08:03 PDT 2000

Hello everyone, long time no see....

Hallee Mon Jul 3 14:05:53 PDT 2000

MARK: Much better. My lack of education shows, because if you hadn't have provided examples, then I wouldn't even know what you were talking about. Thank you so much - as said before, it's helping with the editing I'm doing.


Americo Mon Jul 3 14:01:02 PDT 2000

Hey, Mark, how can one post on your site? I went there but I could not see any entry window like the one in Jack's NB. Open one and you'll have lots of clients.

Rachel Mon Jul 3 13:57:59 PDT 2000

Mark - I don't think that the Bio section is updated very often. Some of those people were gone when I started to visit the page. That was two years ago... Yikes! I should get a life (grins). Yah won't find me on the bio page. I'm kinda shy about that sort of stuff.

Marinasun - I love your name. I have not been very active on the page of late. I think that soon I will be having more time.

Take care all,


Americo Mon Jul 3 13:56:39 PDT 2000

Telegram only for those who love me. No need to reply (do not choke the Internet).

PS. How about this trick of reserving the NB only for me?

Mark Mon Jul 3 13:11:11 PDT 2000

In order to keep it short in NB, I've posted long responses to Tina and Hallee on my own site. Click Here to open it. The Tina reply is a first pass at my credo on criticism and the Hallee response is a blue-pencil of her good piece on using the nose in prose.

Mon Jul 3 13:03:55 PDT 2000

Telegram received.

Americo Mon Jul 3 10:34:02 PDT 2000

This telegram is for a very special person. (Invisible ink, the best for secrets).

Americo Mon Jul 3 10:18:46 PDT 2000

This is a telegram. Stop.

Hallee Mon Jul 3 06:26:28 PDT 2000


He stood in the entrance as the heavy door shut quietly behind him, running his hands through his hair to shake off the excess rain. It was quiet in here; still, surreal compared to the busy, rainy street just on the other side of the wooden doors. He walked further in, letting his eyes adjust to the dim interior. It was rare for him to come in from this entrance, but he liked to learn from different perspectives.

He could smell candle wax and turned his head to watch an old woman light a new candle. Her hands shook badly enough to make it seem to be an almost painful task. He was stepping forward to help just as the wick finally caught the flame.

The air was stale, signs of a room decades old that had never been opened to the fresh air. The rain, wet bodies, and old wood added a musty scent that could never be covered up. The pews shone, though, a sign of care by loving hands, and added the essence of lemon wax. A woman with tears streaming down her face brushed by him, obviously in a hurry to get out. For a moment, he was nearly assaulted by the power of her perfume, but then it dissipated and blended in to the air, adding its substance to the collection of thousands before it.

The closer he got to the front, the stronger he could smell the lilies. A brief smile touched his mouth at the beauty of the arrangement, they were his favorite flower, and he sniffed appreciatively as the fragrance intensified. They would last several days, which pleased him.

He stepped onto the platform and crossed to the pulpit. It was home, his home, comfortable, familiar. He laid his notes on the lectern and his smile was brighter as he straightened his collar.

Mon Jul 3 05:43:02 PDT 2000

good idea

Americo Mon Jul 3 04:05:46 PDT 2000

Jack forgot to archive the NB before going on holidays. I know that he had unexpected extra work to do on the eve of his expedition to Hawaii. In order not to load the NB too much, I suggest that we write only telegrams until he comes back and archives.

Tina Sun Jul 2 23:27:13 PDT 2000

Why does an artist create and then present that creation to a public that almost always pulls them down?

I don't believe in high art and low art. Those are terms used by one societal level to belittle another, when in reality none is better than the other. Art made for entertainment, stimulation, beauty, provocation and function and any other reason lies equal until an elitist opinion showers praise or destruction. Art is an expression not an object, and is always valid to the creator.

So then why does the artist care about the elitist opinion? Why do we allow ourselves to be manipulated into submission of the ego until we feel guilty for our creations?

I've been wrestling with these thoughts for several weeks now. It's a fight I thought I'd finished years ago in art school. But here it is again, under the mask of 'literature'. It deflates my spirit, saps the words from my mind and thoughts and fingers. And the worst of it is that I KNOW BETTER! I've found the black, foul oil dripping from the tongues of elitists who thought they knew better than I what abstracted form my art should take, and rejected them for realism. Yet I find myself examining my words and wondering if they are worthy enough to waste the time of others. After all, it's sci-fi. (sarcasm reeks of black foul oil) The triumphs and defeats of my life are in those pages, yet they somehow lack validity because the elitist minority frowns on sci-fi.

This isn't about criticism. Criticism is opinion. This is about the relegation of creation into craft, where the elitist minority can snub and ignore it. The only true measure of a creation is whether it fulfills the expression of the creator. If it benefits the viewer/reader/listener in any way, that is only a perk.

I'm meandering a bit, and that's a reflection of where my mind is. How many people never release their own inner artist because society has already told them it is worthless? It's an insidious defeat that can even penetrate an aware psyche.

I'm no longer daunted by intellectual elitism, but it is like a virus. It sneaks up in forms you can't see, then goes after your weakest defences. It can be fought off, but only after a bit of misery.

Ooh, I've gone and dumped. I'm thinking about not posting this, but then, why not? Writing it has helped clear my thoughts, and not hitting 'publish' would seem to invalidate the whole thing.


Oh yeah. Heather, I'm working on it! I am! Did my e-mail open up okay?

Mary Sun Jul 2 22:19:44 PDT 2000

marinasun: Hi again! Yeah, I meant inkspot, and no you dont need to send my daughter an email. I just told her user name because she loves to dance so much. And she is good too! She was born with rhythm, but my son is a lost cause.

ABOUT CHAT: I think that it might be fun to chat with you all, but Mark is right--it is almost impossible to pull off sometimes. I am in Ohio, but keep hours that run closer to Teekay's in Australia. I am mother/wife by day, writer/internet junkie by night. Give me four hours of sleep and I'm good to go. So, Mark, you pick a time and I can probably be there, hopefully a lot of us can. Good Luck!

marinasun Sun Jul 2 21:25:49 PDT 2000

Hi everyone,
MARK: I meant more like an actual day of a month - and an exact time. It might exclude some people, but probably more of a chance that it would work. Who would like to set it up?

MARY: Cute! I didn't realize she was so young. Did you want me to send her an e-mail? I'd love to. Say hi at Inkspot? Or on my site? Just wanted to clarify. I'm rarely at Inkspot.

RACHEL: Hi. I'm a newbie here. Thanks for the welcome.

HALLEE: Good! LOL Yum!

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Sun Jul 2 20:34:09 PDT 2000

Been out surfing the web - visiting military sites of some of my old units, brings back lots of memories, some grand some sad, but it is nice all the same.

Happy 4th all


Mark Sun Jul 2 20:25:25 PDT 2000


When I visualize,
Or dream of,
Selfsustaining motion --
My screwthreaded oblong
-- moving in circles
-- over a set of rods
-- which lift it again and again
-- by a series of over-center springs
I realize
My vision of God

Screwthreaded oblong: like a football (American Football, sorry Americo) with grooves running around it similar to the grooves cut into a screw.

Face that thing down onto a set of pins, and it would turn (screw) its way downhill due to gravity. (Yes, yes, perfect conditions, zero coefficient of friction. Hey this is mortality trying to understand immortality, OK?)

Over-center spring: a device used mainly in switches. The purpose of an over-center spring is to keep an item at one end of its throw or the other; that is, when you flip a light switch from the up position to the down position, you'll notice a slight tension moving into the center. Once you get just past center of the switch throw, many switches have a spring which completes the switch movement to fully down. That's an over-center switch. And it's ready to flip back in the opposite direction and do the same job.

My vision here is of the oblong, by gravity, turning itself downward. As it travels down, it presses down (and out) on the rods that hold it up. The rods, on over-center snap springs, lift to the up position, bringing the oblong back to its starting point, but on the opposite ends of the springs, so that the whole contraption constantly uses gravity to power the springs which lift the oblong which uses gravity . . .

I did say a day or so ago that I once found approaches to life either artistic or technical. This is a hangover from that period.

value="Push me" onclick="pushMark()">

Mark Sun Jul 2 19:21:57 PDT 2000

Rachel -- Hello, and thank you. I haven't been coming here long, but I went back to the biographies today and can tell that there has been quite a bit of turnover. Only a few of the bio's belong to people I can identify as active.

Christi -- "No sense of humor"? Now you listen here, young woman. I happen to know a few things about humor.

Marinasun -- I like it. Scheduled times to meet at NB chat. How about the first quarter of any hour? So, if you're on at 8:50, when 9 rolls around check into chat. Hmm. I just scrolled thru the last few days of posts and there are hours between most. Apparently we are hitting this page at separate times anyway. Darndy, darndy, darndy; writing is such a solitary task.

Do these symbols come out ?

_ ƒP

Heather Sun Jul 2 19:16:01 PDT 2000

Good eve, notebookers.

Here is an enlightening yet challenging quote for all of us:

"...One of the real tests of writers, especially poets, is how well they write about smells. If they can't describe the scent of sanctity in a church, can you trust them to describe the suburbs of the heart?"

--Diane Ackerman, 'A Natural History of the Senses'

Now back on your heads... and tell me what it smells like.


howard Sun Jul 2 19:07:22 PDT 2000

Hi -- I've been out to the chat room too, but it was empty as usual. Lots of room to think!

TEEKAY -- Dunno about brilliant, but "A Block of writers" just seemed like the right way to go.

Cyber-Marriage? Dunno. It would be tough deciding on just one - or two or three... I think I'll just stick with the extremely good fortune I've already been blessed with.

I just got an Email from a friend who sent me the address of a pretty nifty webpage belonging to another acquaintance, who has just recently published another detective story. Her name is Truly Donovan, and she was instrumental in the design and build of the GML text language - a forerunner of the HTML we all know and love. She's a retired IBMer, (that's where I met her (online))and a very interesting woman. Her web page is
Check it out!
Gotta run


Sun Jul 2 18:01:22 PDT 2000

Hi All,
just a quick pop in to say howdy do.

CHRISTI: Have forgotten what I was going to say.
MARY: Same.
HOWARD: Ditto.
MARK: Ditto.
AMERICO: As Above.
There are others that I can't remember what I have to say to but I am being really distracted here, so instead of just babbliang on I shall go and come back later.

Americo Sun Jul 2 17:19:35 PDT 2000

A*, Jon and Pussy (or PussyCat) are etymologically derived from the same source the Force, or the Entity, or the Numen, depending on the scientifico-religio-batrachio trends of each NBooKer (I like this spelling, don't you?). Arik uses a collective to designate that holy trinity: Americana. But other philologists disagree. I don't know. Do you? Who knows? The mystery of the trinity is an old one. Perhaps Trinity with a capital. I really don't know. This intrigues me. And Jack forgot to archive the NoteBooK, which forces me to be brief. In a word. Chiao. Au revoir. Vive la France.

Rachel Sun Jul 2 16:59:33 PDT 2000

Mark - Hi:D I have been enjoying your posts. I don't think that I have welcomed you yet. So.... WELCOME!

All the other new people - There seem to be a lot of new faces these days. I want to say "Hi" to each of you. Welcome!!

Take care all,


Mark Sun Jul 2 16:20:10 PDT 2000

Americo -- "Jon will marry the rest of the crowd. " Har De HarHar.
"Pussy will go to a convent. " Uh, refresh me on the etmyology of that name.

More in an hour or so. Meanwhile, Christi, no gum-chewing in the chatroom.

Americo Sun Jul 2 14:48:21 PDT 2000

France beat Italy 2-1 and become European Soccer champion 2000.
Not bad for a team which is also World Champion.
Congratulations to France.

Just? I think so. I liked Holland's soccer best, but that's my right to subjectivity. And I wished Portugal to win, my right to have a heart. I did not like the Italian rather defensive soccer, my right to be critical. Those were, in any case, the best soccer teams in this Euro championship. The devil came and chose. Congratulations to all of them (devil included).

This concludes my task as Minister of Sports and Games.

Cybermarriage. After much meditation, I came to the conclusion that there is only one person I can get married to here: Allein. She is the most intelligent, the most balanced and the most promising aspiring writer in the Internet (to be published soon). She is my twin soul. So, from this moment on Allein and I are married for all purposes and consequences. Who dares to oppose? (The bride has no right of vote in this matter).

Jon will marry the rest of the crowd.

Pussy will go to a convent.

Christi Sun Jul 2 13:38:00 PDT 2000

The blue dove flies at midnight, whilst baring his bottom to the citizens below.
(The secret code answering your earlier message. Wink wink.)

Christi Sun Jul 2 13:34:50 PDT 2000

Hello everybodeeeeeeeeee!

Leave it to a former professor to have no sense of humor, whatsoever. (Kidding . . . I think.) I do confess to being a bit childish at times. I think it's important not to lose that part of myself no matter how old I get. My writing wouldn't be the same without it.
And in closing, I say, "Nanner nanner boo boo, stick your head in . . .

Oh, I nearly forgot about your comment regarding the chat room. I never even realized there WAS a chat room because no one ever mentioned going there! It would be fun to have a set time to chat. I also liked your idea about the poetry ring.

Yes, "Speaker for the Dead" IS about Ender, so don't worry your pretty little head about it. Now go out and get it!

Welcome! It's very nice to meet you.

Thank you very much.
Oh, and about Americo's comment; it just means he likes you.

Happy Sunday (and early Monday) to you all. Enjoy!


Mary Sun Jul 2 08:07:59 PDT 2000

Good Morning everybody!

Hope all is well with you. marinasun: caught your posts at inkspot..maybe i will drop in and say hi sometime.(my daughter is 2 1/2 and she rocks! she gets a lot of email from grandparents and such so i set up her own email account at disney--her username is twinkletoes).

Yoohoo, Teekay, where are you? I will send you mail.

Must go work on my tan and write some poetry that is itching behind my eyes. Have a happy 4th if i'm not back before then.


Hallee Sun Jul 2 04:24:57 PDT 2000

MARINASUN: Actually, it was chocolate cupcakes. :o) (Notice the plural)

marinasun Sat Jul 1 23:49:28 PDT 2000

MARK: Maybe we should set up a date and time for us all (whoever is available) to meet in the chat room. I know how it feels to be in a chat by yourself. You can almost hear echoes...

HALLEE: That's exciting about the trilogy! Don't forget about the ice cream!

MARY: Thanks, Brian Setzer was one of the ones on the tip of my tongue. I groove to the BBVD's too. Your daughter has good taste in music!

Thanks everyone,

Heather Sat Jul 1 22:47:55 PDT 2000

A Poetry Ring. Hmmmm. Sounds very beautiful and the thought is stirring. It also sounds like it might weigh an awful lot for my wee finger.

Funny the things one thinks of mowing the lawn. I am tempted to bring along at least a piece of paper and pen, but always forget. A tape recorder would not do. I would not be able to decipher what I was saying unless I turned off the mower. I like to be efficient.

Economy of words.

Not that I practice that at all times. I edit so it sounds as though I write that way to begin with. The point is to keep at all times, the integrity of your voice.

'Uvula' is singular and 'uvuli' is plural. Just had to clear that up, and make sure no one calls a single uvula an uvuli.

And I hate using 'an' in front of words beginning with 'h' - it sounds corny. But I hear it's correct grammatically.

I'm not in the mood to finish my post with what I had thought earlier to say.

I'm in the mood to sleep. Smmeck smmeck; my contact lenses are drying out and I've run out of tears.

You might say a poet is most like a turtle and a bear combined. When angry, they are unpredictable and could strike without warning. When sad, retreat into a shell. Do turtles dream poems when they hibernate, all hidden in the mudbank? I imagine they must.

Bears dream; they dream of fish and clear waters and cubs while they sleep through winter. I'll bet they dream, too, that man will not encroach upon their territory.

Going to bed.

Tina Sat Jul 1 21:52:21 PDT 2000


Just a wierd thing. Everytime I'm on-line surfing, and use the 'Back' arrow to return here, I get jumped to June 23. Is this just my computer being mucked or is it happening to anyone else?

One other thing...
Happy Birthday Canada!
(Sorry, just had to get that in. The fireworks are starting and this is the first year in awhile I haven't gone, so I'm bummed. Think I'll go sing 'Oh Canada'.)


Hallee Sat Jul 1 20:55:20 PDT 2000

Hey everyone. I had to take a break from editing. My eyes are crossing, and I'm so far behind in reading the posts that it's pitiful.

CHRISTI: I was so caught up in myself last week that I just realized that I never offered you my deepest condolences. I'm glad you had that time with a woman you so obviously loved. Though my words weren't on the page, my prayers have been with you and your family since I first read a post from you concerning it.

RHODA: I've added your sister-in-law to my prayers. And I hope your family has a good move. I remember my mom moving from somewhere with no Wal-Mart to the place she lives now. I think she was more excited about an available Wal-Mart than anything.

LYDIA: We had a restaurant my husband and I used to go to in St. Augustine that had a swing band made up of a group of men who were all together in WWII. They played on Thursday nights, and my husband and I would always make a date to go there that night. He listens to classical rock, I listen to country, but we found a common ground with the swing. I miss it.

AMERICO: I'm glad I gave you a good laugh. Your comment illicited all of the emotions I'm certain you were aiming for. Which is a good thing, because I was writing a really tense scene and I needed them. Thanks for the help.

MARINASUN: I hope you enjoy it. :)

Why do I read? first response was to say for the escape, but I really don't desire escape - merely entertainment. The books I read mirror what I write - fun, sexy, thrilling - and for the few hours put into a good book, I'm involved in all sorts of adventure.

Music? I'm a big fan of country music - though it's disappointing me of late - southern gospel, and classic piano. Kind of an odd combo, but it's the truth. I can tune just about anything out when I'm writing, be it a Disney movie or the radio, so I don't really find something to set a certain tone.

Okay, I think I have it all covered now. I hope I didn't leave anyone out. I think my eyes may have uncrossed by now. Time to get back to the editing.


Mark Sat Jul 1 19:29:50 PDT 2000

new poem on poetry page

Mark Sat Jul 1 17:46:09 PDT 2000

Anyone use the chat function here? I've opened it several times the last few days and always been alone.

Hallee halleec Sat Jul 1 15:15:25 PDT 2000

MARK: Thanks. I'm spending the weekend editing a trilogy an agent wants to look at. That's something I know now that I need to look out for.


Arik Sat Jul 1 09:17:13 PDT 2000

Lydia Sweet - I am sorry for missing the point but who are you and what do you thank me for?


Lydia Sweet Sat Jul 1 09:11:38 PDT 2000


Just watched your dive from the 21st. WAY COOOLLL!


Lydia Sweet Sat Jul 1 09:08:51 PDT 2000

Oh, how wonderful to have internet at home. Now is can comment on subjects being discussed without looking over my shoulder to see if the boss if lurking and not feel quilty that I am neglecting the paid work. I know I sound a little giddy. (Oh, well, I'm entitled.)

Rhoda: Drop a line when you return from your vacation and tell your sister-in-law we are all thinking of her. Well wishing, no matter the source, is heart-warming. I think she will appreciate the thought. I have a husband that should be dead, but I believe that all the prayers and thoughts sent his way saved him.
Bye the way: Moving again? You have wheels on everything now, right? Congrats to you, and of course your hubby too!

Arik: Thank you. My oldest daughter enjoys reading as much as I do. My younger daughter fails to see the draw, but perhaps with maturity that will change. She's only 13 and much into her hormones at the present.

I am a little late on the music topic, but I do remember discussing this before. No matter. I love all kinds of music and although I can tune out the kids, the neighbors lawnmower and the TV, I can't tune out music. I guess because I have no musical talent and I envy those who do, it draws my attention when I am writing. I have it playing all day at work and doesn't bother me a bit, but when I write for some reason, it intrudes. After the last discussion I tried again to play it in the background. I started to hum and lost my train of thought.

I do enjoy Swing very much. I'm not quite old enough to have learned it when it was popular, but because it was the music my parents grew up with and because old movies were rife with it (old black and white and eary color movies were often musicals. Improved sound and technology gave birth to a lot of them.) Most of the first movies that made it to TV were these types of film and I guess you could say I teethed on them.

Also, some years ago we had a theme restaurant here called the 49th Bomber Group. It was in a replica of a French farm house surrounded outside by sand bags, old jeeps and speakers that played nothing but World War II era music. It was on a strip of land right beside the airport and you could see the planes taking off and landing while you ate. Good food and super atmosphere. It went out of business when they had a really bad episode of food poisionng and were made to throw out their entire meat locker and decontaminate it. People just quit going. Really a shame. I wish they could have made a comeback. (Sigh)

As to the cyer marriage? Well I don't know many of you here right now, but Howard? Perhaps, if he could put up with my insatiable curiousity. I am grossly under educated for a writer and love to pick the brains of the unsuspecting. At least those who are willing to share. Or, perhaps Hayden. I really want to go riding in the Porshe.

I guess you can tell it's been awhile since I have been able to get together with people I enjoy. Those people who dicsuss subjects dear to my heart; music, writing, travel, books and of course who can make nonsense seem like reality from tiny threads of thought, who can laugh at themselves and who care for someone they have never met.

Thanks for still being here.


Mark Sat Jul 1 08:54:35 PDT 2000

Heather -- you wrote on crit page, "Most of the poetry I have written does not get posted. Some of it is just too open. There are a few that I've posted and then wished I hadn't. But only because under every hard shell, there is a softness. Tender softness, so easily bruised and torn." Interesting. An old mentor of mine wrote her doctoral dissertation on The Fragile Toughness of poets. It's worth writing about.

Mark Sat Jul 1 08:46:13 PDT 2000

Mary -- Hello, same here. Yes, simplicity is usually found after much effort. E=MC2 and the simple black dress. Both are elegant and both demonstrate a true grasp of something beyond normal observation.

All -- holy cow. I went ring shopping (WebRings, that is). There are multitudes out there. Most have the restriction that you must have a home page on the same computer as the RingKeeper. look at the directory on for instance. That makes announcing your page somewhat simpler, but restricts the range of joiners. Makes the notebook and workbook look like pretty good ideas. Let me know what you think.

Mary Sat Jul 1 08:43:15 PDT 2000

HEATHER: Left you an itty-bitty note on the PCritiques page. I'll be back later.

Mary Sat Jul 1 08:28:16 PDT 2000

MARK: I think you are so right about the 50/60s influence on today's country music. Sooooo different than the country my father listened to. I don't know if the classical you listen to is mostly for piano ( my personal preference), or what, but if it is solo piano that you like, you might want to try George Winston. There is so much depth to his music despite its simplicity. Makes it perfect for writing. Cant believe I didnt mention him before. Oh, I'm Mary by the way...nice to meet you!

Mark Sat Jul 1 08:16:00 PDT 2000

Howard -- Dynamite, eh? Good. Spent years looking for the right place to attach this fuse.

Christi -- That's what the little kids always sing to the big kids. Makes me think I must be one of the adults here. Thanks.

Heather -- OK. The real proposal. Since this is a cyber-union of minds intent on writing, I suggest we take the old doctor's advice about schedule, make adjustments to the kind of activity he winked at, and make it email. I'll write three items a day for the first week, one item a day for the next three weeks, and three items a week until we reach some clarity. I think of myself first as a poet, but I also have some novel parts to kick out and some essays. Some of it will be junk because I am out of practice, some of it will simply be first attempts, some of it will be good.
Your response to my crits on the poetry page said that you had some stuff written that you didn't want public. I have nothing on paper like that yet, but it's with me nonetheless. I don't go about with a trenchcoat ready to flash my secrets on unsuspecting strangers, but I do honestly answer questions and expect in the course of this 'marriage' to get some probing questions and ask some. If our union works, we should both become accomplished writers
I had a notion while mowing the east portion of the lawn this morning, that I should establish a website called PoetryRing and present it to you. Then I could say, "With this ring . . ." 8 ).
Will you ?

Music Lovers -- When writing I like classical. At other times I like 60's and 70's rock, swing, and modern country. I think an awful lot of today's country took its lessons from the rockers of '50 and '60.

Arik Sat Jul 1 00:11:19 PDT 2000

Christi - I am here but I guess you are gone, hey? However... it is about ender at all? I hope it is :-). I loved ender's game. I think it is a really good book.... for a SF :-).

good dreams to you :-).

Christi Sat Jul 1 00:03:45 PDT 2000

Hey Arik! Sorry, I didn't see you there and now you're probably gone.
The second book is called "Speaker for the Dead" and I just loved it. But don't expect it to be anything at all like Ender's Game. It's not nearly as action packed--it's more of a 'thinking' book. Gee, I've made it sound so enticing here. Really, it is a great book--one of my favorites.
I've got to get to bed now. My screen is squiggling in front of my eyes and I haven't even been drinking.

Adios, Amigo!

Arik Fri Jun 30 23:52:30 PDT 2000

Christi - I see you are the only one on-line sop... how are you?

I wanted to ask you what is the name of the second book of ender's game....

Christi Fri Jun 30 23:22:52 PDT 2000

Heather and Mark sittin' in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G. Ooh la la!

Er, Howard? Okay, I'll admit to being a little curious about your nude bungee jumping. I'm also a little scared. ;) Pics?

Hi Litter, and thanks. By the way, I always wanted to tell you how much I liked your poems about plastic mams, but I don't think I ever got around to telling you. Pure laziness on my part. Here's a belated but emphatic, "You rock!" I just want you to know that I have never ever uttered the words 'you rock' in my life, and I have that broken that rule for you.

Rhoda! Congrats!

You are VERY welcome.
H'yuck! Your post cracked me up. I am a bit concerned about the soccer thing, now that you mention it. AND Americo has not said yes yet. Maybe he's a monogomist. You know, I always swore I'd never marry a sports fanatic. I HATE competing with the television.

G'nightol, and happy slumbering.


Arik Fri Jun 30 23:06:54 PDT 2000

Teekay - Yes please. resend your adress :-). You know... the virus ate it all :-).

Rhoda Fri Jun 30 22:36:08 PDT 2000


I sent you the rest of TRB, at least what I have. I lack only the last battle scene and the ending. Endings are incredibly hard for me, but I will attend to it either on my vacation or when I get back.

I sent the chapters on three different e-mails because I had difficulty sending them all at once. Thank you for your help and your interest.

I will keep in touch,


Heather Fri Jun 30 21:23:51 PDT 2000

I think my Doctor would prescribe some salve, for what would be some very chafed skin. But he might change that first order to three times in the morning, three times in the afternoon...

...I was talking of when to apply the salve!


Mary Fri Jun 30 20:26:56 PDT 2000

Try some Brian Setzer, marinasun, my daughter loves BBVDDaddy too! She has a blast with the stuff!

marinasun Fri Jun 30 19:17:17 PDT 2000

Tina: I'm new to swing, just recently fell in love with it, but so far I like the Big, Bad, Voodoo Daddys. I have others on the tip of my tongue...

I was surprised by your post - it reminded me of someone I know on the 'net. I call him mur, and he goes to karaoke bars to sing and play harmonica, and he LOVES swing, too. Sounds like a match to me!

See ya all,

Mark Fri Jun 30 18:47:05 PDT 2000

Hallee -- left a crit

All -- long afternoon walking behind a lawn mower. Wonder if I can get a tape recorder that will allow me to record my thoughts as I plod my path. I need one that will filter out the noise of a 6 HP Briggs&Stratton engine. I'm sure I had more than one thought out there.

Heather -- really true, isn't it? nothing ventured, nothing gained. OK. Next steps? The old family doctor suggested his recipe for a long marriage: "Three times a day for the first week, once a day for the next three weeks, and three times a week until the condition clears up."

Mary Fri Jun 30 18:27:16 PDT 2000

TEEKAY: How right you are. That was callous and insensitive of me. My marriage to Howard lasted only hours, as he had to be home for dinner, and Litter, well let's just say we fought over the whip too much. Had I a lick of sense in my scattered brain, I would have dropped to my knee, and extended my heart to you. Hindsight, my dear. Hindsight.

In any event, thank you for your support of my poem 'Red Letter Day', I didn't take it lightly. Smiles to you, and continued respect, Mary.

Teekay Fri Jun 30 16:24:23 PDT 2000

RHODA: That's fantastic! I am so happy for you. When is it all going to be happening?

Teekay Fri Jun 30 16:21:38 PDT 2000

Hi All,

CHRISTI: You are aware aren't you that if you marry AMERICO for his poetry and passion, you are probably going to have to fit it in around soccer games. I can see it now, you are both sitting on the couch, the room is lit only by moonlight which filters gently through the sliding windows that lead out on to the balcony and by the soft white glow of the television.
AMERICO: "Ah my sweet beauty, for surely never was there one so precious, so, so......."
CHRISTI: "Yes Americo, yes? So what? So what my poetic, passionate darling?"
AMERICO: "Hmmmmmmm? Whassat?"
CHRISTI: My love, what is it that grasps your attention so, is it something I have done? Oh Americo my poetic, passionate, portugese person please, please parlevou(?) to me.
AMERICO: Oh for heaven's sake would you shut up you stupid woman? Can't you see the soccers started? When you chose me for a husband you knew that soccer came first in my life. I made that perfectly clear."
CHRISTI: Oh Americo, how could you *sob*.
AMERICO: Listen love, while your up, could you bring me a beer from the fridge?

You did however choose wisely choosing me. (thanks.)

ARIK: Great! You have finished Enders Game. I am very in between books now, so it is perfect timing. 'Tis I who wanted it next. If you need me to resend my address, just say so.
In answer to your 'why do you read' question. I think LYDIA summed it up beautifully.

ALLIEN: I know this is old, but in answer to your who would you pick quiz, I did choose A. I eliminated B/ coz he sounded a bit confused. I eliminated C/ coz he sounded rather anal, and A was what was left, and he didn't sound too bad anyway. Rather creative, I thought.
So what have you been up to now there's no more school?

HEATHER: Am a bit upset about being turned down in favour of a non existant cat. But as each day passes I am getting stronger and further from the incident.
I have been trying for a while to remember the name of that dangly thing that hangs down the back of the throat. Thank you.

MARY: I said all those things about your poem too. I said it was fantastic, and that your poetry teacher didn't know what he was talking about, but do I get a mention? NO. It's LITTER said this and LITTER said that. I don't even get a look in. *sniff*
Forgive me. I am a little sensitive to being rejected for marriage twice in one day. Thank goodness CHRISTI came along.

LITTER: Hope you pick up soon.

HOWARD: A Block of Writer's. Brilliant!

RHODA: Send those chapters please, please. I hope I'm not too late.

Okay all,
my tea dregs are cold so I've gotta go make a freshun. Have a great Saturday.

Rhoda Fri Jun 30 16:18:49 PDT 2000


It is so great to see you back. I have no set time that I am on-line anymore, now that my kids are out of school. I am always open to chat, but since I have gotten rid of AOL, I can only do so on the one provided on the Notebook.

I leave to go to Louisville tomorrow. There are so many relatives I have not seen for a long time. I will have the opportunity to visit with my sister-in-law, Angie. I appreciate the kind words, thoughts, and prayers lifted up on her behalf. I am supposed to be back a week from Tuesday.


Welcome aboard. I would be pleased to see what you have written.

That reminds me that I need to check out the Workbook when I come back. There is so much there, and I have been lax in looking at it.

Well, I had better get to work and pack and clean house and that kind of thing.

Take care, all,


Rhoda Fri Jun 30 16:09:42 PDT 2000

Oh, yes, and Borders book store.

Rhoda Fri Jun 30 16:08:19 PDT 2000

It is now official:


Critique groups, universities, libraries, newspapers, lots of schools, culture, real trees, rain, malls, Sam's club, and Wal-mart!


Arik Fri Jun 30 12:07:07 PDT 2000

I finished Ender's game... I forgot who wanted it so plese remind me :-)


howard Fri Jun 30 11:24:58 PDT 2000

LITTER -- It could only be a "block" of writers...


Litter Fri Jun 30 11:10:57 PDT 2000

Hi All, WARNING - Long Rambling Post Follows --

I've taken the opportunity of a window of lucidity in an otherwise freaky couple of days. I'm just a tad unwell at the moment and have had some pretty awesome hallucinations this afternoon. Scary stuff but bucket-loads of altered-mind-states to write about :o) [None of this is intentional and hallucinations have not been produced in any illegal way - just in case you wondered…]

Someone asked me to repost SillyCon, so I'll put it at the end of this message.

Christi - Haven't posted since seeing your message. No pity but, as Howard said, there are many of us who have been where you are just now. You had time to say goodbye, and Sandy passed knowing that she was loved. Those are good things and things you will take strength from in the future months. Being freed from pain is, in itself, a blessing. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Rhoda - Likewise my thoughts and prayers are also with you and your sister in law.

Mark - it certainly sounds like you have been through a spiritual maze and I have to agree that many religions seem to be in competition for the monopoly on being the only one that shows the right way. Life, spiritual or otherwise, is seldom that simple.

Heater - This BBQ is sounding better and better with every new posting. So we are going to have nude bungee jumping as well now… Well now… I agree, also, that dirty dishes are decoration or, as I prefer to call them in my house, an organic artform.

Clayton, et al. - Music? My tastes are very eclectic but I have to agree about listening to music without lyrics when I'm writing. Lyrics can lead you away from your thought processes all too easily. My selection depends on what mood I wish to evoke - upbeat, sad, energetic, slow and easy, etc., etc., and I tend to listen mostly to Acoustic/Folk/Blues or Baroque guitar music, although Celtic Music does it for me too. As I don't speak Gaelic or Latin I can listen to stuff like Clannad, Dan ar Bras, or mediaeval stuff like Gregorian chant or Russian Orthodox chant, to instill a reflective, fantasy or historic frame of mind.

Sometimes, prior to writing about the period of my own lifetime, listening to music of the sixties or seventies, or so forth, can invoke the mood of the times. Sixties music, especially, takes me right to the mindset of the time -- stuff like Hendrix, early Bowie, Matthews Southern Comfort, CS & N, James Taylor, Small Faces, Beachboys, Beatles and so on, ad nauseum. (Not to forget the 'music-to-slit-your-wrists-to' maestro - Leonard Cohen) Ahhh, happy daze!

[For contemporary Christian music I have to go for the virtuoso electric guitar playing of the Glam Rockers, STRYPER. Having dabbled with electric guitars those guys are gggggooooodddd.]

Marinasun - Don't worry about all the marriages - there are a lot of sadists and masochists on this list at the moment ;o)

WB Lydia. There is a new situation comedy in the UK just now that's called 'Love is a many Splintered Thing' -- yup, it's about marital infidelity…

Hi and hello to Raman. Hope you are going to hang around as the list is becoming more cosmopolitan and that can only be good for a bunch, (flock, herd, school, pack ???) of writers.

What IS the collective noun for writers? Anyone?

Hi Rowhad. How could I have forgotten Clapton and Simon (& Garfunkel) Have to agree with you about polka music.

Why do I read? Vicarious experience, enjoyment, stimulation or, as stated the charter for the BBC -- Education, information and entertainment.

Now, as Promised,


Talking of tits?
Judgement by size...
Taut, rounded, bouncy -
A justification of beauty,
Perhaps even worth?

A silicone society.
An implant inclined culture…
Neutering nature -
Recreating creation
In man's perverse image.

Godless plastic people
With bits to spare.
Overinflated tits, and ego's -
The cut and tuck
Of a bankrupt moral code.

A storm in a D-cup?
But where's the beauty
In crying with pain,
Dying of cancer,
Melting in front of a fire?

Inspired by Pamela.

LitterAli, 18/11/96

Jerry Ericsson Fri Jun 30 11:10:15 PDT 2000

You were talking about the group Jars of Clay? If you want some of thier music, go to the link above, you need Real Player to listen to it. If you don't have it, you can get the program for free from


Howard Fri Jun 30 08:45:57 PDT 2000

MARY -- Almost forgot -- Thanks for the thought! Dorie says okay, but I've gotta be home in time for supper...

SASQUATCH -- That is a beautiful thought! It almost sounds like the picture of God as the refiner, in one of the minor prophets -- Amos or Joel, I think. You must do some lurking around churches!

MARK -- Careful -- she's dynamite!

I really have to be getting back to work

Howard Fri Jun 30 08:23:07 PDT 2000

HEATER -- What sport would I like to watch? Nude bungee jumping sounds interesting. I'll send you a picture of it when I get home tonight. I'll send it to anyone else that requests it too. Seriously.

What kind of music? We covered this a while back, but it's always a good subject. It's probably easier to say what I *don't* listen to -- Polka music. Not that I don't like it, just not real crazy about it. Heavy Metal has to be somewhere below the bottom of the list. I've found I can get better sounds by kicking a galvanized garbage can full of cats and beer bottles down a long flight of stairs...
I do like Mahler, Bach, Schubert, Mozart, Meatloaf, Liszt, Debussey, Tchaikowsky, Clapton, BB King, Paul Simon, etc etc. I love Celtic, Klezmer, Blues, Jazz, Gospel, etc etc, though not necessarily in that order. Phil Keaggy, Leo Kottke, Brooks Williams, and Django Reinhardt (again not necessarily in that order) are among my heroes.

Why do I read? Because I can. A "Family Circus" cartoon said it all a few years ago. One of the kids was reading, and the tv was playing in the background. He said to his mom "TV is okay, but reading puts the pictures right in my mind."
I wrote an essay on reading a few years ago, entitled "The Summer I Swam the Panama Canal." Got published. I posted it on the workbook a while back, but it's gone now. I'll send a copy to anyone who's interested.

RAMAN -- Welcome!

LYDIA -- WELCOME BACK!! Good to see you!

back on your heads

Raman Nautiyal Fri Jun 30 03:54:32 PDT 2000

Who,s publishing, anyway? Sometimes too frustating! now that i have a decent job, thoughts just don't come. anyone interested in reading my work? mail.

Arik Fri Jun 30 00:07:42 PDT 2000

Americo - Now, after you lost and we won.... friends?

Tina Thu Jun 29 23:45:04 PDT 2000

Marinasun, I like swing, but haven't become familiar with any outstanding artists. Who's good? Really good, not just popular.

Just spent half an hour at a kareoke bar. My goodness I guess I can sing kind of okay, at least comparatively! Not that I did...

See y'all

marinasun Thu Jun 29 23:11:52 PDT 2000

If I was going to marry someone - I'd marry Jerry. He has over 500 songs on his Real Jukebox! lol

I also like the Titanic soundtrack, Rhoda, because of the dramatic background music - but don't you find the sudden jumps in volume annoying? Ahhhh!

Oooh, and I like Celtic music, too. Anyone like swing?

Well, now I'm getting off the topic. Hi, Mary. Thanks for asking, I'm doing well.

See ya all,

P.S. Hallee, I'm going to read your next chapter!

Heather Thu Jun 29 23:03:01 PDT 2000


Mark Thu Jun 29 20:04:04 PDT 2000

Heather -- poetry crits are on that page

marry me

Lydia Sweet Thu Jun 29 19:49:10 PDT 2000

Hi all,

It has been ages since I had time or opportunity to converse with you all. However I now have my own computer and am online. (Do you hear Gabriel's horn? LOL). I hope now I will have the opportunity to chat live with those of you who haunt this realm in the evenings. I also hope to be able to post more frequently.

I am tickled to see so many familiar faces here along with the new. I just glanced over some of the posts for the last couple of days and although I'm not sure I caught all the conversations for topics floating out there, I did catch the one asking about why I read.

Love. Plain and simple. Well maybe not plain and simple. Reading is a many splendored thing.(grin). I have little money, but I have traveled the world, experienced many cultures and relligions. I have travel backward and forward in time. I have seen through the eyes of men.(For a woman that's a strange place to be). I have felt the unthinkalbe fear of the victim and experienced the madness of the stalker. I have been rich and poor, I have been a doctor, sailor, prostitute, king, queen, etc. I have felt God's unabiding love. All from picking up small squares of bound paper. You ask why I read? You can't get all that from a movie.

I saw that Jack was trekking off to Hawaii. Luck Dog! I will have to settle for the Gulfcoast later in the summer. But my heart yearns for the ocean. It calls to me and I finally can respond. I had hoped for Florida, but I'm settling for the Mississippi coast. Closer and cheaper, since my time and finances are limited.

Rhoda, drop me a line and let me know when you will be online. I'll try to be there.

BY the way I am also available at
That's my current home address. It will change next month to something with BellSouth. I'll let you know.

Hallee Thu Jun 29 19:09:51 PDT 2000

Evening all. For those who are following the story, I've posted another chapter.

TINA: In case you haven't been by, I left you a quick note in the workbook.

And for a quick rundown of my week: my grandmother had surgery Monday (the biopsy came back negative..thank you, God), my Sunday School teacher had open heart surgery Tuesday, I had a funeral for a friend's dad on Tuesday, my friend's 2-1/2 year old daughter has surgery tomorrow, my grandpa has a brain EKG or something like that tomorrow to see if he has Alzeihmer's on top of the Parkinsen's that he was just diagnosed with, a great-uncle was diagnosed with lung cancer, and my cardiologist called me yesterday because he was reviewing my records and decided he wants to see me. Again. (Oh - yeah - and VBS had twice the number of kids we anticipated) So, it's been a hell week.

Which is why I won't even try to pose anything intelligent. But it's also why I'm checking right now to make sure I filled the top out. (haha - I didn't! Good thing I checked)

G'night, all.

Tina Thu Jun 29 19:02:46 PDT 2000


Allien, there's a Canadian singer you've got to hear if you haven't already. Loreena McKennit is AWESOME! And she has a version of Greensleeves that will remove you from this level of consciousness and float you in the clouds! It's on her album 'The Visit'. Her home page is above.

Such variety in musical inspiration! I find anything fast or hard to be too distracting when I'm writing... except Celtic. It can be fast without bothering me. I'm always fascinated by the multiple ways people inspire and support their creativity.

Have a great night!

Allein Thu Jun 29 17:59:57 PDT 2000

Tina - Ohhh, I LOVE Celtic music! (Maybe 'cause I'm mostly Irish). Especially played on a harp. My friend, Skylar, plays the harp and she's really amazing at it. I love the song "Greensleaves" - it's my favorite. I can't wait to get it on CD, but unfortunately, I need money for that, and I'm not good about saving money. *sheepish grin*

Americo Thu Jun 29 16:46:23 PDT 2000

Rhoda: if you married me you'd quickly become a stern humanist, defending all the great causes of Mankind past, present and future. And I'd probably learn English. The perfect couple of two exciting brains.

How many Heathers are there on this NB? From the place where he is semi-hibernating,Jon sent a quick, almost inaudible message, using a short-waves radio of his invention, proposing marriage "to the two" (sic) Heathers. Strange!

People: it's this soccer thing. Portugal and Holland are out. The final, on Sunday, will be France-Italy. It will be a match between a second-rate team using an obsolete system based on defence at all costs and by all means and sudden, quick counter-attacks (called "catennacio") Italy; and the French, who play good soccer but suffer from the complex of Astrix: boasting that they can beat everybody, but are in fact hopeless without their Oblix. In the case of their match against Portugal, who they beat at the last minutes of extra-time with a non-existent penalty, their Oblix was a crazy linesman and a poor referee. Europe is in a state of shock because such a sad ending.

The best teams of the Euro were Holland and Portugal. They deserved to play against each other to know which is the best. But the fates wanted Italy (a team of handsome farnientes, suffering from chronic rheumatism except Del Piero, who is a good player) and France. Yes, you heard well, France. I think I had already pronounced that name somewhere.

Hope you know what the complex of Astrix is. You kick somebody from behind and run to ask your father for help. It was the technique the Gauls used to keep the Romans at bay for some time. But in the end the Romans made croissants out of the Gauls. Hope the Italian farnientes do the same to the French on Sunday. If not, the Portuguese will do it in 4 years' time, when the Euro will be here. That's a promise.

And here's how soccer has become a much more important event, at least in Europe and South America, than World War I & II. A multi-billion industry! And a headache when one's team lose.

Jerry Ericsson Thu Jun 29 15:42:11 PDT 2000

Music to write by - oldies from the 50's to the 70's, I have over five-hundred songs stored on my computer in real audio format, I simply bring up real jukebox and turn it on auto, and it selects the music for me. I also have an amplifier attached to my sound card, and a four speaker system. With this setup, I could rock the house down, but I don't. Just keep it loud enough to cover the outside noise.

I did discover a place to enable my writing, did it today. Went fishing all by myself. Just sat on the dock, all alone and gazed out over the lake, watching the floats on my fishing line bob back and forth with the waves. Never saw another soul for over five hours. (never caught any fish either!) It was refreshing, and I came home in a much better mood.

Write on -


Heather Thu Jun 29 13:42:03 PDT 2000

Rhoda! I think it just might be too much for Americo.

Litter, >> there's a little pair.
I don't have big enough brackets on my keyboard to give your eyebrows a raise. How about topless highjump and a BBQ?
Howard, what sport would you like to 'see'? ;o)

Oh, happy day. My daughter is out of school for the summer. That means tomorrow we are all sleeping in for the first time in a year. YAHOOOOO!
I'm so looking forward to 10 am in my pajamas. If I wear any, that is.


Rhoda Thu Jun 29 12:34:46 PDT 2000


I like Jars of Clay also. Me and my daughter also like the Austrailian Christian group, The Newsboys, but I could not write to their music.

I too do well with Celtic because so far it has fit my subject matter. It is soothing, yet stimulating music and unobtrusive. I also like soundtracks with Braveheart, Titanic, and Sleepless in Seattle being my favorites. Classical music such as Borodin and Rimsky-Korsekov is good. I also like Beethovan and Shubert.

I just have to tell! My husband got a job offer from his company that will take us to Tulsa. The job involves a substantial raise and a large bonus if Frank meets the company's goal at project's end. He will give his answer tomorrow afternoon. I think he will take it, but we are still praying about.


If you want the type of relationship that good fiction is based on, then marry me. Would that not be a thought? Think of the knock-down, drag out fights we could have. We could talk about captital punishment, gun control, nuclear disarmament and the United Nations. On second thought, I don't think you could handle it. I am far too emotional and very passionate. Such a union could precipitate World War III. It would be hell on earth, but would be the stuff of great literature. I think I will just remain a cyber-spinster.

Happy writing!


Mary Thu Jun 29 11:52:52 PDT 2000


HEATHER: Jars of Clay is an Alternative Christian Rock group. The CD is 'If I Left The Zoo'. I like them, but agree about lyrics being distracting. That is probaby why I like classical piano--no words, just emotion.
Have a great day everyone! Write-on!

Heather Thu Jun 29 07:17:04 PDT 2000

Heh heh,
Tina - if you're that bored you can come and polish my house! I tend to neglect some of the clutter until it festoons over top of everything else and I can't find my socks. But I don't have much to call clutter myself - it's Wayne's or the kids' clutter. Really. The only things I have collected to the point of obsession are copies of my chapter drafts. I have a fear of losing my novel again - so even if all of my numerous disks go haywire and must be terminated, I still have a stack of copies - the latest neatly 'thrown' in so it's first in line - so if need be I can type it all over again. I will not lose 30,000 words ever again.
And the stacks are nicely contained in my file folder, or tucked into the shelves of my desk.
Clutter! Bah.
Dirty dishes aren't clutter. They're decoration.

Heather (again)

Heather Thu Jun 29 07:06:12 PDT 2000

Good to see you posting, Christi. You sound very strong and together. :o) and a BIG HUG!

Don't have any 'Jars of Clay', but NIN is familiar!

Actually, I don't listen to music very often when writing, I find that bits of the lyric infiltrate my writing and it becomes too tedious thinning out the seedlings of them and leaving in my own sprouts.
I do have an assortment of CD's that pose less of a threat (ie: no lyrics) but most of the time the music of the keys clacking is enough. I am so entwined in the world of writing that the soft tinklings of piano often fail to reach farther than the back of my head.

Disney, however - if I happen to be writing while the kids are up - is another story. My desk is very close to the TV, and if they are watching the 'hour of TV or one movie' they are allowed in one day, then it's 'Beauty and The Beast' soundtrack, or 'Toy Story', 'Bug's Life', etc... that leaks in. I usually don't get much more than a thought down before I have to either do something else (email) or dance with the kids during the songs. We find it much more fun to get up and flounce around during a movie than sit there and grow potatoe-eyes.

And you know, the Disney movies always have excellent plot and theme, integrity of characters, etc. Essentially, they are very well written. But there is only so much of Woody and Buzz I can stand.

Top of the mornin' to you all.


Tina Thu Jun 29 06:53:40 PDT 2000

Music? Oh yeah must have music. Ottmar Liebert seems to live in my CD player the most, but these days so does Enrique Iglesias and a Vancouver artist named Shelley Lennex. Anything Celtic works too.

Clayton, I'm glad to hear you've found your words again. I'm a bit stuck right now too, letting ideas simmer and take shape, and it's so frustrating. Let it flow!

I discovered yesterday that being unable to sit for long is a good way to get housework done! My home is shining. It gets boring standing around doing nothing... :-|


Wed Jun 28 23:27:24 PDT 2000

Hello to everyone! I'm in a great mood tonight and I must say "THANK YOU!" all around.

Thanks for the strength. It's a good time to have some extra strength around the house.

Rhoda, I'm sorry I forgot to add my concern and good thoughts for your sister-in-law. I have a good feeling that everything is going to turn out okay. I hope I'm right. :)

Your story was perfect. I had never thought about it that way before, but you drew such a vivid picture in my mind I'll never forget it.

On the subject of reading: I read to see what it's like to live in other people's skins, and to think about things I wouldn't have otherwise thought of. I read to learn about humanity. I guess I read to learn, period. It's boring but true.

Now, on the subject of marriages. If you were to ask me today, I would first choose Teekay because she makes me laugh and keeps me on my toes (laughter being one of the most important facets of marriage). And since I'm going all out here, I would also have two husbands--Americo and Sasquatch. Americo for my pensive moods and for his passion, and Sasquatch for his beauty and his musky scent. I'm lucky enough to have chosen mates who weren't yet taken, so I call dibs!

Thanks for the smiles, you sillies.


Mary Wed Jun 28 23:12:54 PDT 2000

Hi Marinasun! How ya doin? I'm like you in that I listen to different music for different scenes. I do have a certain affinity for Liszt, though. Especially when my hubby plays it for me. Gotta love musical soundtracks too! 'Les Miserables' is my favorite--cried all the way through the performance the first time I saw it. The tragedy and irony are inspiring to me. I'm scanning my row of CDs above the computer now and there is everything from 'Jars of Clay' to 'Nine Inch Nails' so I guess it all just depends on the mood, right? Just checking in--c-ya.

marinasun Wed Jun 28 21:50:04 PDT 2000

Hey Clayton: I listen to Andrew Loyd Webber and Sarah Brightman for romantic scenes, Alanis Morrisette for action (among others), and Smash Mouth, swing, and current hits for general. I can't write without music pumping in my ears. I also get ideas from music. Music is half the fun of writing.

All: What's the deal with the marriages? I'm 22....


Clayton Wed Jun 28 20:54:22 PDT 2000

Hey all!

I finally found an idea I can stay with. I know that this is the one I can write with. I won't tell you now, but I will try to get some writing done soon.

By the way, just a little research question. What kind of music do you guys/girls listen to while writing? Do you listen to music at all?

Personally I like heavy metal. Why?! you might ask. Well, the fast tempos and raging lyrics get my brain moving. I get ideas and I think better.

Anyway, enough of my useless banter.

Bye all!

Heather Wed Jun 28 20:48:50 PDT 2000

Sasquatch, a very wise point you made. So wonderful to hear from you, and do you mind if I remember what you just posted? I liked it so much. I might dream on it.


Rhoda Wed Jun 28 20:20:53 PDT 2000


May you and Fran have a wonderful time!


Congratulations on your sister's wedding. Thanks for your thoughts.


I appreciate your thoughts.


Thanks for the prayer.


sasquatch Wed Jun 28 20:05:15 PDT 2000

Christi person long ago i heard of a man who found in the ground some precious gold and wished to make it pure and more valuable. He put it into a pot and put the pot in the fire so that the gold melted. When the gold turned to liquid the part that was not gold came to the top and he used a tool to remove it. This was a long process, but he did not give up because he knew that it would be worth it in the end. He would take it into his house and it would be beautiful there. The way he knew it was finished and pure was to look into the pot, and when he could see his reflection his job was done. I thought this must be as the one who made all knows when humans persons are ready to be taken into his house. When he can see his reflection in them he knows. I think Sandy person was such as this. I must go.

Heather Wed Jun 28 20:03:07 PDT 2000

If all of my hand-written scribbles and notes during the writing process of my novel were published as is, they would look very much like one gigantic Rorschach test. It would have to be printed on one enormous fold-out-National-Geographic-imitation-map sheet. But it would be interesting.
Might tell a story all on its' own.

If you have a translator, that is.

My father should have been a physician; he has a signature and handwriting that no one to this day can decipher. Not even he can read it later.

It's better when he prints, but not much.

Good thing we have these keys to keep us from having to hand write everything, longhand. Can you imagine not even having a typewriter, like Jack Kerouac? He wrote his first novel on a giant roll of paper towel and submitted it, as it was. That was 'On the Road'. (See what I mean about mis-firing neurons? I can't remember if that's the correct title)

Spark and poof, whiffle and thunder,
Out of my skull flies visions and

Oh, well, I have spellcheck.
And grammarcheck too, though I've never used it.

Rachel, it is very good to hear from you. Kittens are fun, especially if they're just playing at your house for a day. It's when they wake you up all night that they end up not being quite so cute. I am reminded of the assaults my toes have suffered due to a particular kitten, I won't mention her feisty name...

Right, cat? Yes, you. She looks up at me with innocence (feigned) and a request. For milk. (Demanded)

Hang in there, Christi, you are in all of our thoughts.

Hey, Howard and Litter, would'ya mind if I joined the fun (polygamy, polygashmy) and gave your muse something to smoulder about?
How about a BBQ then?
Tee hee. Jon just hasn't made up his fickle mind and my proposal has been left in mid-air. :o{


Mark Wed Jun 28 19:54:47 PDT 2000

ALL -- left a new poem on poetry page

Heather and Howard -- thanks for crits on last ones.

Mark Wed Jun 28 19:23:13 PDT 2000

Hi, all. . . An interesting day of posts, eh? Christi loses an in-law and Rachel gains one. Sasquatch, you lurking? That circularity is your rhythm section

Christi and Rachel -- thanks for posting.

Polygamy takes a lot of energy. It's a fine idea when you're young and more trouble than it's worth after a certain age.
Calvin and Mrs. Coolidge were at a chicken ranch during his presidency. The rancher pointed out to the couple that the one rooster in his yard serviced all the hens. Mrs Coolidge asked about his frequency and the rancher said the rooster performed many times a day.
Mrs. C. turned to the president and said, "How about that Calvin? Many times a day."
The president replied. "Yes, and each time with a different hen."

I'd say she could have used a bit of polygamy in her life.

I read because I have to. I read for pleasure. I read for competition. I can't believe a newswriter and his editor both let "When your on Route 17 this summer . . ." go by, and a different writer and different editor let slip with "You're finances will be impacted . . ."

I taught remedial English to college freshmen in New York and Texas. In NY the kids couldn't distinguish -are- and -our- : they are both pronounced "R", as in: Are you coming to are party. In Texas the kids couldn't distinguish -on- and -own- : they are both pronounced "OWN"; as in: He was own his own horse.
Anyway, the spoken and written differences lead to innumerable thoughts about how we think, and precision levels, and priorities.
Ever heard someone say "A tough road to hoe."? Hmm. Precision levels.
The difference between Casa Blanca and White House. Why in one pattern is the house first and why in English is the color first? Priorities?
Walter Ong has a wonderful book titled "Orality and Literacy" where he examines the effect of literacy on the way we think. Highly recommended.

Heather -- Self-Mastery. Wasn't that a Seinfeld episode?

Rhoda -- plug away. Good thoughts.

All -- on the "Good Thoughts" notion. Seems to me like the '60s brought a major wave of interest in Eastern Philosophy to North America. (I'm surprised to see how much of that activity was going on in Europe even last century.) I've been (alphabetically) a Baptist, Buddhist, Catholic, and Universalist. I think they all have influences where you find people who want you to believe the 'right' way and espouse thinking along group lines. I also think that they all have influences where you find people who want you to believe the 'right' way and espouse thinking for yourself.

Check out the latest issue of US News, with Tiger Woods and "Mind Power" on the cover. The story is about thinking for yourself. You can find that topic in Plato, Augustine, and LaoTse. You can find other things in those three as well. On the whole, what you find in books of philosophy is what you look for. Pick up Augustine's "Confessions" in the library, take some notes as you scan it, take a few days away, then come back and scan your notes, knowing that those notes are your answers to a Rorschach test. Do the same with the others.

Rachel Wed Jun 28 17:49:31 PDT 2000

Jack - Have fun!
Take care you,

Mary Wed Jun 28 16:48:05 PDT 2000

Oh, yeah..almost forgot.

The name of Litter's ((o))((o)) poem was, 'SillyCon'.

You guys crack me up.

Mary Wed Jun 28 16:42:10 PDT 2000

WHEWWWWW! Took me forever to catch up with all the posts! You have all been very busy.

CHRISTI: My kids are watching 'The Lion King'. I put it in for them in honor of Sandy and the circle of life. You are right to be happy for her.

RHODA: Have faith. I sent a prayer up.

EVERYONE WHO WISHED ME CONGRATULATIONS: Thank you sooo much. I had submitted other poems to them with no luck. What a surprise. The most satisfying thing about it is that APW is the first place my poetry mentor was ever recognized. Makes me feel like I am on the right track.

I know I am a bit late but:

I read to escape from all the shit people dump on me all day and because it takes me places I will probably never see. Like a lot of you, I dont just read a book, I live it. I write because I want to do the same for other people.

I love my husband very much, and really don't need another husband, but if I were to get married to someone here(and dont think I didn't notice that no one mentioned me ;-)) I would have to pick Howard. He knows how to love a woman. Maybe I would keep Litter on the side--he could keep my dark half happy.( sorry Howard).

HEATHER: Thanks for the email. Hang in there girlie.

TEEKAY: Hope all is well with you.


Allein Wed Jun 28 16:36:28 PDT 2000

Christi - I will keep my thoughts and prayers with you. I hope the service turns out beautifully and just as you plan.

Heather - Actually, I'm eighteen, so I could marry Americo regardless of what my parents say, but a long distance relationship...I don't know...

Rachel Wed Jun 28 16:09:28 PDT 2000

Allein - The kitten was an adorable long hair calico. She was soooooo sweet. I was kitten sitting for a friend. Now the kitten is back with her family. It was fun to have her around for a day or so.

Take care you,


Rachel Wed Jun 28 15:53:26 PDT 2000

Christi - I send warm thoughts to you and your family.

Rhoda - I will keep you and yours in my mind and thoughts.

Christi & Rhoda - I would like to be able to say something beautiful, but I find that words fail me. Just know that I care for both of you. That you are on my mind and heart.

Take care,


Heather! Teekay and I as a couple... Well, she does sound kind of cute (grins)! Only trouble is that my dance card is full. I'm sure Teekay doesn't mind. After all, for all she knows I could be a real tire biter. Or worse yet, my spirit could be dark and ugly and full of dreadful things! Not that it is... Honest, really, I'm sweet (big smiles)!

All - I also have been quiet of late. There is nothing wrong in my life. All is going very well. Things are wonderful. one of my baby sisters got married last weekend. Been visiting with the family, the whole deal. I'm just a little tired and a lot busy. Sometimes that happens.

Take care all,


Jack Beslanwitch Wed Jun 28 13:40:25 PDT 2000

Rhoda: Not hard to do. The Tao Te Ching is one of my favorites. I believe that Lao Tse was either contemporary or very close to the same time as Confucius. Another book that came out of the orient that is of use to a writer and is wonderful for quotes is the Art of War by Sun Sui, I think I got that spelling right.

Then, of course, there are all those wonderful koans that derive from Zen. My favorite is : observer a finger pointed at the moon. Beware!!! Do not mistake the finger for the moon.

Almost as good as What is the sound of one hand clapping.

Take care all. I will try to remember to archive this before I run off for Honolulu and parts Hawaiian for two weeks. Just got back from a dive to boost my flagging confidence about diving. Worked out well, although the water was pea soup and visibility was about three to four feet. Winter really is the best time to dive in Puget Sound. Love you all. Take care and good writing.

Rhoda Wed Jun 28 12:39:55 PDT 2000


Sorry about that. I am showing my ignorance of Eastern philosophy and thought. I guess I got confused with Confusious (Egads, I know I misspelled this name) who was supposedly a real person.


Arik Wed Jun 28 12:01:37 PDT 2000

America- Today is the game hah? :-). lkking forward for you to loose.

However, I wanted to ask you to remind me what was my test...

B.T.W: May I still call you Americana?

Jerry Ericsson Wed Jun 28 11:12:05 PDT 2000

Christi - add my thoughts and prayers to the long list. Know that a part of Sandy will live within you for having known and learned from her.


howard Wed Jun 28 10:24:42 PDT 2000

CHRISTI -- Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We do know what you're going through. I think it was Sasquatch that said it best -- "love does not die..."

Hang in there,
howard (and dorie)

Heather Wed Jun 28 10:09:39 PDT 2000

Just checking what time it is in GMT.

Rhoda, the Tao Te Ching is a collection of writings about life and learning, much like some of the other walks of spiritual writings you might read to gather wisdom when needed. There actually isn't a Mr. Tao. The Tao, instead, is a way of living. The Tao Te Ching captures its' essence quite neatly.
It was written by Lao Tse hundreds of years ago.
There are hundreds of translations. Still one of the most popular guides to the Tao ways of living. I must have three copies, all translated by different people.
If you wish to have an English 'summary' of the Tao's ideals, the neatest book I've found is called 'The Tao of Pooh'. (Tao is pronounced 'Dow', same as the stock)
Can't recall who wrote the Tao of Pooh. Will have to dig it out and take a gander!

There is also now an accompanying book to The Tao of Pooh, I think it is the Ti of Piglet. I haven't read it yet. I can't vouch for my accuracy on that title, either.

Have a wonder-filled day, and may all who need be blessed tenfold.


Tina Wed Jun 28 09:40:16 PDT 2000

Lots of warm thoughts and good prayers for you and your husband and Sandy. You're proof that love and strength and compassion are unlimited and endless.


Rhoda Wed Jun 28 08:27:58 PDT 2000


My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. A part of Sandy will always be with you. I feel that way about my mother. Somehow I have the impression that she knows what I am experiencing and what I am feeling. I don't think loved ones ever really leave us, though they are not with us in body. Once in awhile one of my children will say something that sounds just like her, or I'll see one of her expressions on their faces. Sandy will too live on in many different ways.

Still I know you miss her.


Wise words from Mr. Tao. Thank you for sharing them.


Interesting observations about your world leaders. It also goes to show how complicated and multi-faceted human beings really are. I think we should always keep the big picture in mind when we consider giving people power.

Why do I read? Well, I must, I suppose. Reading is entertainment, education, and so much more. In contrast to television, I think reading stimulates parts of the brain that no other medium can. You can get emotional impressions in movies as you can in books, but as far as picking up detail and getting depth out of a subject, nothing beats a book.

I agree with Jerry. One mate is more than enough. Who ever invented polygamy just didn't have his head on straight. My cyber life is very dry and very chaste, so consider me a cyber-spinster. Besides Jon is already spoken for, so who else could there possibly be?

Americo and Heather, thanks for your prayers.

Happy writing,


Heather Wed Jun 28 07:07:54 PDT 2000

Here is a relevant passage from the Tao Te Ching:


Those who know others are intelligent;
Those who know themselves have insight.
Those who master others have force;
Those who master themselves have strength.

Those who know what is enough are wealthy.
Those who perservere have direction.
Those who maintain their position endure
And those who die, and yet do not perish,
live on.

Chinese symbol - INSIGHT = to have the radiance of the sun and the clarity of the moon.

Heather Wed Jun 28 06:47:24 PDT 2000

Christi, my thoughts and strength are with you.
It's true, and I like that saying of Sandy's very much. We need a suitcase to carry all that we collect over our lifetime. But when we leave the suitcase behind, it's because we don't need to take physical things on that trip. In fact, we can't take anything physical. It is a voyage of the soul, the psyche. When we need our next suitcase it is like saying we need to learn more things in the material realm. Take comfort in the fact that Sandy has learned all she needed to learn in her lifetime.

As for the rest of us suitcases, we still have many things to learn.


Americo Wed Jun 28 04:50:49 PDT 2000


I hug you with all the strengh of the earth. I was expecting Sandy to start her wonderful voyage, so I was not surprised to read your news. I am under the impression that the moist in my eyes is God's dew on the splendour of the universe. We'll meet again somewhere, though I ignore where and when and if. But we must meet, all of us, human beings almost angels. And, as Fernando Pessoa wrote, "to die is just to go unseen for a while."


healing vibes and my silent words onto your sister-in-law.

Christi Wed Jun 28 00:49:31 PDT 2000

Hello friends.
I come bearing bad news, but I'm not devastated, so no pity.
Sandy passed away early on Monday morning, around 4:30. Our emotions are up and down and in-between, but mostly I'm just happy that she's free of the pain she was in.
I was incredibly scared to see her that morning, knowing that she wasn't in her body anymore. I don't know what I expected really, but when I saw her it was amazing. She looked exactly the same--her eyes half way open and her jaw relaxed. I could have sworn she'd blink or move her hand or something.
Then I touched her face and it was very cool. It didn't feel cold--not like they describe in the movies. It was like when you've been sitting under the air conditioner too long and your whole body is chilly. I couldn't lose the feeling that she was still there. It took me some time before I realized she really wasn't and that she wasn't going to come back into that body. She always said her body was just a suitcase, and now I knew what she meant. But the compassion I felt for that tired, used up body was overwhelming, and I kept wanting to touch her like I had when I'd spent time by her side these past weeks. Maybe it's strange, but I actually was able to be happy for her, happy that she's free. I've learned more from one woman's death than I've learned on my own in my entire life. I'm simply not as afraid as I used to be.

For you Allein (you great big sweetie (HUG)) and Mark, Sandy is my Mother-in-law. She had a malignant brain tumor that went undiagnosed until it was far too late, and from start to finish it was only a month and a half from her diagnosis to her death.
We thought she'd be around forever and can't help but to regret the times we missed out on being with her. But that's not what she wanted--she wanted a celebration when she passed over. So on the eighth of July we'll have a memorial service in her honor, celebrating her life. She gave me so many gifts, the most important of which are not even tangible. (Except, of course, for my lovely husband.)
I'm honored to have known her and I'm honored to have loved her. She was the strongest, most giving woman I've ever known, and we will miss her dearly.

I meant for this to be short but look what happened. Anyway, I just want you all to know how much I appreciate you. I get my head on straight somehow when I come here.

Gather your loved ones up and squeeze them tight, and dedicate that moment to your memory forever. I'm feeling generous tonight and I'm sending you all big, warm hugs across oceans and time, wherever you may be.

Hubby is calling out that it is way past my bedtime and he is so right.
Love to all,


Heather Tue Jun 27 22:46:22 PDT 2000

My prayers are with you and your family, Rhoda. Take care of everyone you love, and take care of yourself.

Blessings out to Tina as well. Ouch!
I scraped my back on a diving board once, but never munched my rear rollerblading. Did rollerskate when I was a kid, and had a few nose-dives. Good think I don't scar easily. At least not on the outside.


Excuse my proliferous postage. Think I'm done now.

Heather Tue Jun 27 22:43:39 PDT 2000

Never mind the below post, I was a bit cafuffled.

I'll calm down, in a few hours.

I wanted to say that Teekay and I would have a great marriage, but Jon has already given me his paw.

I think Teekay and Rachel might be a more dynamic couple.

Americo, you must not marry a minor! Allein's parents might get a little peeved. Pick again.


Heather Tue Jun 27 22:38:14 PDT 2000

Ugh, I detest the capslock button! At least I detest where it was placed. Whoever designed the keyboard (sorry, typewriter) and then the keyboard, I would love to time travel and kick his or her ass(es). Just have a tumble and rip out some eyeteeth (bicuspids) and infuse a bit of my knuckles into their latimus dorsi, their upper maxilla, and even their uvuli. Not only is the setup continually frustrating, no one has designed a keyboard or computer that hooks up directly to the mind so I can just 'think' what I wish to write, and it is done. The voice program recognition thingy, well, kick that creator's ass too. And the keyboard - well, whoever added the stupid F buttons and the capslock should have his brain removed and my fist surgically inserted. Whoever thought up the 'shift' button, or the 'control' button should be immediately forced to reckon with all these fingernails, digging into his or her grey matter. Not much of a reckoning, by then...

But I digress so much I haven't begun to say what I originally clicked on the 'post now' virtual button for.

Litter, I laughed and laughed, and even hooted (hooters) at your jigglicon.

Must go, time to get some (a little bit of?) work done.
Not that I'm counting commas, mind you. That would be entirely too tedious a proposition for me right now. One (probably dumb) question, Litter. Why are you counting commas? I know you're trying to finish your final edit and all. Just curious. Hoping, really hoping I won't have to do that too! It sounds horribly boring.

Americo, if you're bored, you could count parenthesis, I seem to use them a lot.
I'm sure you do, too. (don't you?)

Since it's marry someone in virtual space night, I choose to marry Jon. He's catty enough to keep me on my toes. That is, I choose to marry Jon if he divorces Pussy.
She loves herself enough to get by alone.


Jerry Ericsson Tue Jun 27 20:30:02 PDT 2000

Why do I read - to escape the everyday world and for a time, live a different life. To learn the news, to communicate with my friends.

Americo, to be married again, no, I think not, one wife is surely pleanty for any one man, sometimes one is to many.

Write on.


Tina Tue Jun 27 20:19:14 PDT 2000

Heather, I sent you an e-mail but now I read that your server is acting up? So I'll say it here. I haven't yet 'cause I went camping, then mashed up my butt while roller blading. Took a nice big tumble. Now I can't really sit for long. Tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to it! I am I will I am I will!

Howdy everyone else!

I've come to a greater appreciation of the absence of pain.

Why do I read?
For escape, sometimes. For education. To see life through other eyes. And simply because of the thrill I feel when a good author uses words to evoke a moment or emotion that suspends time.

Been sitting too long. Ouch!:-(

Allein Tue Jun 27 18:45:58 PDT 2000

Americo - Aren't you already married?

Rhoda Tue Jun 27 18:24:17 PDT 2000


I sent you some of my redone version of THE RELUCTANT BARBARIAN. Since I went back and rearranged things a bit, the ending has come out much better. I can send more until Saturday when I go off on vacation. I will be gone for two weeks. I am going to visit my family up in Kentucky.

Much has happened. My sister-in-law was recently diagnosed with brest cancer. They did a radical masectomy but still didn't get all the cancer. She will have to be on chemo. Please give Angie and her husband John good vives and your prayers. Frank just finished a job interview in Tulsa. Perhaps we won't have to move to Guymon after all this summer. We will just have to see.

Sorry I have been so irregular on the Notebook. We have had this long cold front, and I have been down with a sinus infection. Staring at the computer for too long gives me an awful headache. I went to the doctor today, so perhaps it will get better.

Take care, all


Americo Tue Jun 27 18:02:27 PDT 2000

Now for intellectual stuff.
When one finishes a book one hates it. It never is what one dreamt of it. That's why to publish is a painful experience. You look at your book and you feel terrible.
That's why you write another one. It's called the myth of Sysiph (Sisyph?).
Then come the reviews. If they tell wonders about your book, you feel that the critics are a bit limited. If the critics tell horrors, you feel like killing them.
That's why I would rather be Figo (or any other good footballer) than a writer. I would like to be happy and not permanently discontent with what I write. I sometimes like a page, even a chapter (when I am feeling generous towards myself). But never a whole book.
Just a moment. You start liking your book three years after you published it.
That's when you compare the one you disliked with the latest.

PS. Perhaps we'd better talk about marrying one another.

Americo Tue Jun 27 17:30:50 PDT 2000

Tonight is marriage night.
I want to marry Allein.
And you, people?
Married people can also get in. This is just virtual. And to be male or female is not important.
Heather, would you like to marry Teekay? Or do you prefer somebody else?
And why? The why is important.
I want to marry Allein because we love each other since immemorial times.
And she is against death penalty.

Another important thing. I am worried that Portugal will lose against France tomorrow. Can anyone help?

Litter Tue Jun 27 15:55:11 PDT 2000

Hi guys and guyesses,

Taking a break from comma counting -- Have I said before how much I hate self-editing…

I'm reshaping the end of my manuscript to open things up a bit - suggestion from the publisher and, I have to say, it has made the end a lot better in relation to the rest of the story. It wasn't a bad ending but it didn't leave anywhere to go. Trust a publisher to look at the option of a follow up!!!

Mary - Way to go! What did I say about the negative criticism from your mentor? Obviously the publisher also disagreed with him/her. (I forget.) Something else I forgot was to write a poem of the same format like I promised. (sucky memory) I shall do so without fail (or, without excessive fail :o) as soon as I get my edit off to the publishers for the final time. Don't denigrate the achievement -- Poet of the month is good.

Mark - I think therefor I am. I think? Think what? Think I think or think I am? If I only think I think … Bugger it - Keep on trying - you'll get there. From what you have written on the notebook it doesn't look like you have a problem. Strangely, though, my wife no longer walks up stairs in front of me :o) True story now - almost everyone I know that is creative looks at there work when it is finished and thinks it is crap. On completion of something you are much too familiar with it and how you envisaged it -- You cannot always judge it yourself and I have found that it is best to look at something when you have let it lie for a time, not when you have just finished it. Looks like you have lots of memories to draw on. When all said and done you can always write about how you feel not being able to write. Sound silly - works for me with the poetry that nobody gets to see…

Teekay - it's not like you to talk a lot of shit ;o)

Heather - tuning fork, vibrating … I wish people would stop putting ideas like that in my head!!! ((o)(o)) OHMMMMM Wow! A 40 year old dryer - I'd be glad to get one that worked past 4 years!

Howard - I think I'm way overdue you some mail.

All y'all - hopefully I'll be able to give the notebook and the workbooks some attention in a day or two. (Or three or four or…)

Ciao for now,


Back to comma counting.

Americo Tue Jun 27 15:51:21 PDT 2000

Now, Arik, if you go on asking dumb questions, or speaking about the wonders of the Italian team, I will ask you to repeat all the tests you did to become a member of this select club. And the tests will include the physical ones, backflips and so on.

For the moment, just eat three big pizzas with olives and some canelloni. Drink some Italian wine as well. (Arrgghhh!!! ).

Okay, just two pizzas.

Jerry Ericsson Tue Jun 27 14:34:43 PDT 2000

Allien - As I may have mentioned before, when I get bored, I play around with emulators. An emulator is a program that makes your computer act like a different type of computer. For example, I have one that turns my computer into an old Commodore 64, another that turns it into a Nintendo, and so forth. Well I found one the other day that emulates the Sharp EX-6800. You may have never heard of this computer, neither did I. The reason being that it was never sold in the USA. It is a totally Japanese computer. Many of the games on it are very good renditions of old arcade games, but there are lots of them that are role playing games, all in Japanese. Though you might like to get a copy of it, and practice reading Japanese. It is available from the above link, and if you do a search for EX6800 ROMS, you can find sites that have games for it.


Rachel Tue Jun 27 14:01:50 PDT 2000

Arik - I read books for a few different reasons. Sometimes I will read a book for the simple reason that one of my children gave it to me as a gift. I will also read a book if a friend tells me that it is very good. Other times I will read books because they interest me. I have read books for research purposes as well. Most of the time when I read it is in hopes that what I read will help me to improve my own writing. I have had some very good books brought to my attention and have thrilled to the reading. I like to see how other authors bring things together. I like to look at what makes me react and respond. I will mark these pages then go back and review them after I have read the book. I like to see the different styles, the different ways of organization.

I guess if I am truthful I read to learn more about what it is that I love to do. I love to write.

Take care you,


Heather Tue Jun 27 13:54:33 PDT 2000

Tina, left you a crit in the WB, novel sect. but you're probably not gonna like it.

Howard, you are so FUNNY!
Press my tummy, and I giggle and roll among the summer flowers. Or, without tummy-poke, I run and dance among the weeds.

Never thought how many times in conversation I'd be saying 'cup'. Think of it in a 'guy' way (or Women's hockey) when they talk of 'cups' they're talking about protective ones, over top of their...


Arik Tue Jun 27 13:48:04 PDT 2000

Americana - From now on until next week. And by the way, I need a real answer to my question. the 3rd thing is that

Now, lets do an analise to the prizes Americo gave... shell we?

We can see, that in all the dumbest sentanses of the day, we meet the same word.... "Itally".

Americo, why do you think "Itally" is such a stupid word?

Thanks everyone for the answers.... let them keep going :-). I need them for my new book.


Avatar Tue Jun 27 13:23:57 PDT 2000

Ha ha ha!
Ohhho that was a very good crack at me. A very good one indeed. I must repay the favor sometime.
(for those of you not in on the joke-i was trying to think of something useful to say and my 'ahem' muse popped in with a bunch of giggles and a trite phrase. "Useful, ha!")

Am I the only one around here with a sarcastic muse?

Allein- you know, this may be useful or not, but I do believe that people have problems in some areas only to excel in others.
Exp. Franklin Roosevelt was an excellent political leader but by your example, did not have a good personal life.
I don't know what Adolf excelled at, but he sure ruined life for almost everyone as a general.

Americo- I believe you have just solved your own boredom problem. If not, I usually read a good book until eye strain kills me. Or draw.


Arik- I read because of one simple reason.
I have been reading since I was four-longer than that if you count the times my mother read to me- and never stopped. I think it might be an instinctive habit, I am not sure.
More on the subject later. For reason, see below.

Quote of the day-
Get off the computer!- (my older sister)
Later all

Americo Tue Jun 27 12:17:59 PDT 2000


What do you people do against boredom? I am deadly bored. I do not like Summer. I prefer Winter.

Allein, will you marry me? Please!

howrad Tue Jun 27 12:10:11 PDT 2000

Sure -- leave it to Heater to make a comment on World CUP anything...

Heather Tue Jun 27 11:54:50 PDT 2000

Oh, and Americo? There's nothing more exciting than World Cup Soccer! Saw that in the mid-90's. VERY COOL. Went to The Palace of Auburn Hills to see it.

I think.
Sorry, neurons mis-firing again.


Heather Tue Jun 27 11:52:57 PDT 2000

Americo, naughty naughty. You used an emoticon!
:o> Cheeky, aren't I?

Litter, we're waiting to hear from your lovely Scottish voice! (Alright, typing hands)

Mark, I should explain. Howard and Litter ganged up on me and made me tell my cup size. No, maybe I just offered it, part of the 'underwire' story. There are a few of us around here with some rather pointy points to make. And Litter is always looking for pointers! How about you, Howard! Did that curl your handlebar moustache? :<)

The poetry section has been annexed, so Litter's poem about fake breasts has been long gone. Post it again Litter!
It was something to the tune of 'Silicon Valley Girls'.
I might have just made that up, however.

Allein, liked the kitty emoticon you posted - very cute!


Americo Tue Jun 27 11:30:21 PDT 2000


How are you today??? :)

So from now on I will give the prizes.

And the best sentence goes to you: "We are not barbarians."
The funniest sentence goes to you too: " We suppose to be writers."
The dumbest sentence is also yours: "Italy is the best soccer team ever!"

Now for your question: "Why do you read books?"

I read books as a pastime between soccer matches and to learn how to become rich and famous so that I can go to Italy.

Heather Tue Jun 27 11:25:43 PDT 2000

That should have been 'medium' not 'mediums'.
Where did my grammar fly to?
Perhaps it dug a deep tunnel instead, and is sitting, henceforth, under my house. I must resurrect it.


Heather Tue Jun 27 11:23:24 PDT 2000

Yes, Jerry, I think it is more common for men to be 'boys' around their fathers, and women are more like 'sisters', once they are both adults. But a parent is always a parent, no matter how many other roles all of us take on as we grow.

Arik, to anwer your simple but not stupid question:
I love to read because it takes me into the minds of other people, other daydreams, other worlds. And I love language.
Especially my own, which is pig-latin. (kidding)

I love to read because it expands my mind, teaches and tickles me. It connects me, in a way films and other mediums cannot. In a well-crafted story, (well-written, and well-crafted) you become part of the story. You are there.

Well, folks, I received 'Holding Wonder' from Teekay yesterday! And I am already engrossed, now into the second short story. Haven't had much time to read it, but so far, it's excellent. I went to a used book store today while out doing laundry, and found some Zenna Henderson, but not 'The Anything Box'. But the store will call me if they get a copy. They did have 'Holding Wonder', 'The People' and 'Pilgrimage'. I also bought 'Edgar Cayce The Sleeping Prophet', by Jess Stearn. I'll let you know if it's as interesting as the other Cayce books I've read.

Well, my email has been clogged up with some message I can't download. Might have to call my server and get it deleted. :o<

Till then, have a terrific Tuesday afternoon.

Allein Tue Jun 27 11:19:59 PDT 2000

Here's something I got through e-mail. Those who haven't read this choose wisely, those who have, ignore this. Who Would You Choose? (A Rhetorical Question)

It's is time to elect a world leader, and your vote counts. Here's the inside scoop on the three leading candidates. Choose wisely!

Candidate A: consults with astrologists. He's had two mistresses. He chain smokes and drinks 8 to 10 martinis a day.

Candidate B: was kicked out of office twice, sleeps until noon, used opium in college and drinks a quart of brandy every evening.

Candidate C: is a decorated war hero. He's a vegetarian, doesn't smoke, drinks an occasional beer and hasn't had any illicit affairs.

Ready to choose. These were all world leaders. Which of these candidates is your choice???

Candidate A: is Franklin D. Roosevelt

Candidate B: is Winston Churchill

Candidate C: is Adolf Hitler

Surprising, isn't it? Don't feel bad - I chose C too. My brother on the other hand, chose B, however, that was because of the sleeping till noon and drug usage.

Arik Tue Jun 27 10:57:57 PDT 2000

people, I have to ask you something. it is very important question so try to unswer is siriuslly.

Why do you read books?

Thank you.

Mark Tue Jun 27 09:52:49 PDT 2000

HOWARD -- "I like that picture of Heather as a tuning fork! In the key of D, wouldn't you say? "
Well, I'd say she's not likely a flat note.

Jerry Ericsson Tue Jun 27 08:30:27 PDT 2000

Heather, intersting slip there, "boys," when it comes to their fathers, most men are still boys -- guess it's a guy thing.

Heather Tue Jun 27 07:31:08 PDT 2000

Top of the mornin' to you all.

Jerry, my father in law bought us our dishwasher. He's the kind of person that likes to swarm his sons in luxury, that way they don't complain that there's a rather large lack of communication. I sure don't mind having the dishwasher, and my husband happens to be the only son out of four that communicates with his Dad on a friendship basis, with understanding and mutual respect. (They still don't communicate fully, but getting there.) My husband is the favoured son. I'm the favoured daughter-in-law because I always send thank you cards and letters. I send pictures of the kids, because we don't see his Dad that often.
What seems odd to me is that the other sons and their wives don't send thank you's for the things he buys or does for them. But that's not really my business. It's their prerogative if they choose to stay silent.

I appreciate what my father in law does, even if it is covering over a deeper problem. At least he is trying, in his own dysfunctional way, to show his sons that he cares.

Your dishwasher, on the other hand, is not a token to cover over dysfunction. A dishwasher is a handy tool. Besides, who needs dishpan hands? Especially not your lovely wife! A little luxury goes a long way.

My father in law is also into photography as a side interest, and that gives he and I some common ground. You see, there is always some way I can help. If communicating with my father in law, even in small ways such as talking about photography, can open him up a bit to expressing himself, he will feel more able to communicate with our family. It might repair some of the damage for all of his sons.

As I said quite a long time ago, there was abuse in my husband's family when he was young, and it continued for many years. My husband was the only one to stand up and rebel when he was older, to take back his own voice, and power, and choices. His father, for some reason or other, suddenly realized that he'd lose him forever if they didn't reach some sort of peace. None of the other boys did that (sorry; grown men) and so there is no respect between them.
They still do everything they can to please their father, and have never stood up to him.

Over the time we've been married, it's gotten better. I hope it continues to improve. Not because his father has shitwacks of money and likes to spend it on us. But because having a family that is no longer dysfunctional would be really wonderful. It's really hard to have a holiday celebration with my husband without him holing himself up and being miserable. My husband has a lot of things to work through still, and the process seems to be speeding up the better everyone communicates. Makes perfect sense to me. As long as his father is alive, there is room for improvement.

Well, enough about that.

My big ol' Bessie dryer decided it was time to give up the ghost. I think she just needs a new drive belt. I'm going to pull her open and apply all of the mechanical knowledge I have retained. It shouldn't be too hard, anyway. The hard part will be finding a company that still carries the right parts! She's an ancient appliance, definately before 1960.
Wish they made things to last that long these days.

If I can't find the right parts anywhere, I'm going to have to go and invest in the gas dryer that matches my washer. I have one of those front loading ones, the new version of the laundromat type. Best washer I've ever used. Used 1/3 of the water a regular washer does.
If we aren't working to conserve our natural resources, we might as well just bury ourselves in toxic waste now and get it over with. Water is precious.

Anyway, I have to run off with some wet laundry to the local laundromat, don't have a clothesline. I was thinking of putting one up today, but it would be too low (not much to attach it to out there) and the kids might actually get 'clothslined' by the clothesline!

See you all soon,
and don't mind my bantering.
Sasquatch, we miss you!

Gariess, missing your presence too.

Randall, by God, where did you run off to? (I know, grammar baddddd)

And to all, a prosperous afternoon. When I get back I'm applying myself to this seat again and finishing chapter 4... and then some!
I was pelted with ideas for the dialogue scene last night, and it was just the perfect thing for that whole section.
Thanks, to all who sent me your muse for a while, she was more than willing to help! I have returned all of my muse's sisters, found the cell phone number for mine. She was away on vacation and didn't leave me a note! (Well, of all things - REALLY!)


Arik Tue Jun 27 01:54:50 PDT 2000

Americana - We not barbarians. We suppose to be writers. I will let you give the prises and we will stop fighting about soccer, ok?

to everyone exsept Americana - Itally is the best soccer team ever!

Heather Mon Jun 26 22:38:55 PDT 2000

Congratulations, Mary!
Now we're talking.

You deserve it, and may you enjoy every moment of it.

A tuning fork. Hmmmmmmmmmm
I agree, Mark, that we usually don't analyze things when we're feeling good - if we did we'd probably be able to repeat it a little more often.
Reasons? Why interrupt a good thing? I guess...
Analyzing the rotten things is one way to assess the situation - here's an easy assessment technique:
Do I like how I'm feeling at this moment? No? Well, then let's not get ourselves into the same situation again. So the horrible, ugly and foul are really tools in disguise.
I guess...

And poked and prodded does describe the situation well when I'm walking up the stairs ahead of my husband! (I really don't mind, actually)

Tuning fork OHMMMMM
I like that, and I think that describes this whole little community we've got goin' on here. We all reverberate rather nicely with good news!

Howard, it was good timing on your part to get out of there!

I am having trouble downloading my last email message - I am hoping it's from Tina!
(Is it, huh huh, is it?)

Man, I think I need to steep my little soul in some refreshments. How does a milk bath with almonds sound? And a dab of sea kelp just so I don't fall asleep (this gunk that is supposed to be great for your skin, well, it floats around and sooner or later a little bit slides against your leg or arm or buttock, and WOAH! You're outta there in no time.)

Sounds good right about


Allein Mon Jun 26 21:54:16 PDT 2000

Hi all,
I just got back from a shopping spree around town with my buddy Liselle (her real name is Lisa, but Liselle just sounds so cool, so we call her that). Well, I didn't just get back either, she came to my house to hang out for a while and then after she left I ate dinner (an apple - other than a handful of cheerios and a bowl of Mac&Cheese, that's all I've had today). Hopefully I burned a few pounds because we rode our bikes all around town. I got two books, two scarves, a wooden wall hanging with a Japanese scene on it and a neat crystal candle holder.

I'm getting a real nice tan on my arms this summer. :)

Rachel - What kind of cats do you have? Your kitten sounds cute. >^.~< Can't wait till you come down in August. :) *hugs*

Christi - How are you holding up? My thoughts and prayers are still with you and Sandy. I hope you're lurking so you get this message and you don't have to reply if you don't feel like it. ((((((BIG HUGE LOVING HUGS))))))))

May the best team win. I'm torn between Italy and Portugal because I have two good friends in each country (obviously you all know my Portuguese - spelled wrong - friend - Americo, but the Italian one doesn't have internet). I don't choose sides in these matters. Soccer doesn't really interest me too much actually, but I know it's really popular in Europe. I'm just not much of a sports person. I'm more of an indoor girl - unless mall trolling counts as a sport.
Anyway, I'm going to sleep now. I'm very tired.
Night and sweet dreams everyone,

Teekay Mon Jun 26 20:58:01 PDT 2000


I just lost my stupid post - again. I hate that!

MARY: Congratulations! Maybe your poetry teacher person should take a looksee at that page.
And yes, I miss GARY too, but I guess that even all of us put together just weren't equal to one Hayden with a lampshade. *sigh*

That's it. No More. Can't believe it got lost.



howard Mon Jun 26 20:41:57 PDT 2000

MARY -- Congratulations! That's neat!

MARK -- Details? Not much that's interesting. Straight arrow here. Or is that "strayed arrow?" I did pick up a couple of Pine Street (that's where they said they were from, anyway) girls after work one rainy night at about 1AM. They were hitching a ride back to Binghamton, and I happened by. They were real friendly, and offered to buy me a beer at the Lamplighter on Washington Street, right next to the old NYS Unemployment office. Got inside and got a good start on a brew, when I began to realize that this was a gay bar. I was cool, didn't let it bother me. Drank the beer a little faster than usual, though. Got gas real bad...
Then there's a bit of a flap where the two girls were standing, and things got real interesting. Some big ugly black guy (turned out to be their pimp) started voicing some small displeasure at the way they'd been mishandling his financial affairs. Bartender suggested they all leave. Looked at me too. I just shrugged it off, finished my beer, and walked out. The girls were by this time really into a screaming match with the pimp and a couple of his friends. I decided that I didn't know any of them well enough to carry any weight in what was obviously a private discussion, so I walked across the street to my old Rambler, got in, and started to pull out. Just as I did, I rolled the window down just in time to see and hear one of the girls take a swing at the dude. As I pulled away, he grabbed her by the hair in one hand, and her arse in the other, swung her around, and threw her, head first, right through the plate glass door of the employment office.
About that time I spotted a Binghamton Police car coming up the next block with his signal on to make a turn before he got to us. I flashed the lights and swerved out across the street to get his attention, then floored it right at him. Pulled over just in time, and hollered out the window at him and told him what was going down. About that time he heard the alarm down the street and took off to see for himself. Dunno if he caught anybody, but I was outta there like right now! Never heard any more about it. Never really wanted to.
There's some quality folks in Binghamton!
And yes, it really happened just like that. Might even make a good short story someday, except that short stories are supposed to be fiction, aren't they? :-)

I like that picture of Heather as a tuning fork! In the key of D, wouldn't you say?


Mark Mon Jun 26 19:41:45 PDT 2000

AVATAR -- hmm. Ignore what I'm thinking. Would that I could.

Generally speaking I think (therefore I am)
. . . incapable of writing a novel
. . . capable of capturing snippets which can become poems.

Proust and Joyce found expression of their epiphanies (Joyce's term) in novels. I prefer Wordsworth's 'spots of time.' Perhaps it's a form of laziness to think about putting out such small pieces.

AMERICO -- thanks for the prize. Humbly accepted.

HEATHER -- I too like to poke and prod; my wife will no longer go up a set of stairs in front of me. Interesting question on why the writer runs dry - the real question, I think (to continue the 'think' theme). I compared you to a tuning fork yesterday because one tap and you reverberate for a long while. But tuning forks measure true notes, and I think you have it here. I knew I'd write the flip side of yesterday's poem today. In many ways it feels truer than the original, yet it doesn't address causes. Ain't it the truth that when we feel crummy we want the cause of it, and when we feel good we don't want to examine it?

HOWARD -- missed ya. Glad yer back at the keyboard. Any more details about how you know the girls on Pine St.?
Speaking of Louisiana, Cajun Apple Pie got red pepper sauce in it?

ALL -- Here's a companion piece to yesterday's

So I've got this writer's block thing, you know? And I'm beginning to think I'm gonna have to change something. Maybe go down to Liberty Street and volunteer at the kitchen. The Salvation Army, Volunteers of America, and several churches all run kitchens for the poor.

Some of those guys are just lost in this world, there's no sense trying to rehab them, but there's no sense making their lives difficult either. I'm sitting here feeling like my word processor has abandoned me, nothing I write is any good and life is crap. Maybe I could use a good dose of "thought I had it bad because I had no shoes" treatment.

Salvation Army fed me for a week when I was just out of the Army and back in college. My GI Bill had not kicked in and nobody else would feed a college student with resources; even though I was broke and starving. Funny, after that I always worked part-time as a cook and never missed a meal.

Met some mean guys in the free kitchen. One dude died in a fire; he used to brag about how he got paid to set fires because he was so good at it. Brag about how he didn't always need a soup kitchen. I'm guessing now that neither brag was true. Another alcoholic fantasy come to a bad end.

But I can't forget that I was there, that there may be another guy there who just needs this little bit of help. And I don't want to forget the guys with the alcoholic fantasies who get 45 minutes of a quiet meal and companionship in a lonely day of brutal dreams. Most of all, I know something's got to change here.

Mary Mon Jun 26 19:32:09 PDT 2000

Hi Guys!

No big deal, really, but I am a tiny bit pleased. One of my poems (the one Litter liked actually) has been selected by The Albany Poetry Workshop which makes me a guest poet for the month of July. The link is above if you want to check it out. Don't forget, it is under Jade Matthews.

All seems pretty quiet here. Anybody else miss Gary?


Pussy Mon Jun 26 18:36:04 PDT 2000

Suppose have to do something to enliven the NB. With this heat? No. Let it die.
(She goes back to sleep).

Rachel Mon Jun 26 18:32:12 PDT 2000

Hi all - I think the best way to write is with honesty. It isn't always easy to be honest. Honesty isn't always pretty. You have to write with heart. I think that if writing lacks grit, guts and humor then it could fall flat. I like to write about life. Life is an everything experience.

I do feel that we need to be able to deal with all of the topics. those that are taboo and those that we are comfortable with. If we don't test and stretch our personal limits, then we are cheating our selves.

Take care all,


Avatar Mon Jun 26 12:41:44 PDT 2000

-scratch-scratch-scratch- (sound of nails on head)
You'd think that after all this time I'd learn to ignore what I'm thinking.
That's laughable.
What's even more laughable- it keeps happening over and over again.
For all of you who are in the depths of writer's block, laugh at me.
No, laugh with me, my feelings wish to stay intact.
I'm the one who reads all the writing-help books, then finds out there's no point to them.
-snorts of laughter come from keyboard-
What I have done is comparable to studying, worrying, looking for and reading about AIDS while still a virgin.
I don't need help.
Because I haven't tried at all.
No, that's not true.
I have tried, just not the way it should have been done.
Without the agonizing ifs...
If its not good...
If its not the best...
It can't be.
Do you see the cycle? The pattern?
What will break it?
-shrug- I don't know.
-flexes shoulder muscles- But I think I'm finally ready to try

Clayton, over here you are applauded. Not for what you have done, but for the effort. Congratulations.

Later all

Americo Mon Jun 26 10:20:36 PDT 2000

Arik, if you do that I'll ask Pussy to dismiss everybody. And Italy shall not win. Holland will. (Or Portugal...).

Arik, you have just won the prize for the dumbest sentence of all times: "You shall no longer give my beautiful prizes". The dumbest sentence ever!!!

The best sentence is this: "The soccer of Italy stinks."

Arik Mon Jun 26 10:12:26 PDT 2000

Americana - ok. You shell no longer give my biutiful prisez.

I shell give this job to someone who want's Itally to win :-).

howard Mon Jun 26 09:56:15 PDT 2000

MARK -- Maines is desperately seeking CDL-A drivers for their new Burger King contract, and they have driver training right there. They're promising home every weekend, with only a night or two away during the week. If you believe them, that is... I may have to go on the road in order to stir up the trucker yarn I've been trying to finish.

JERRY -- A dishwasher?? I've been thinking of getting *my* wife a new trolling motor. She's getting blisters from these oars. Or maybe a depth finder so she doesn't have to keep looking over the side. Whaddya think?


Heather Mon Jun 26 06:12:24 PDT 2000

Good morning, all.

I cannot say whether the best writing is the only morally upright thing and anything less is immoral;
but I do know the most compelling of stories to us are those that break rules, are filled with travail and sin; the loss of innocence is somehow very magnetic.

I think I've used them all (those plights to humanity), and written with them clinging to my flesh. Sometimes I lean back to read what I've written and can't - the burden is quite huge and stuffs itself between my back and the chair. Only because I myself have suffered the loss of innoncence.

I am certain that we have all felt this burden. Why is that so compelling a thing to read?
And now as readers:
We want to see how the (hero)heroine gets herself out of the biggest mess imaginable. It doesn't make a story surreal to have this protagonist wallowing in more pain than we have personally known; it seems all the more reason to see the (hero)heroine through to the end of the book.

So as writers, we want to grab the audience by the testicles, (ovaries). We want to twist them around, make the reader uncomfortable, and yet still they ache to keep reading.

Hmmmmm. Now you know, Clayton, and any who feel they are swamped in writer's block, if you are looking for something to feel strongly about, go out into the world and watch, someone of high morals will surely crumble for you.

Just keep looking.

On the other hand, if you've experienced enough to write from memory, go right ahead without any extra research!


Americo Mon Jun 26 04:48:24 PDT 2000


Best sentence: Mark "All the stuff we can argue about "the Virgin and the Whore" in Philosophy classes and Lit classes doesn't mean a thing until you actually go skin-to-skin with a woman because you just want to get off and she just wants some cash."

Comment. That's the spirit of the true writer : only what you have experienced (or deeply imagined, so deeply that you cry or laugh as if it had been real) can become good writing; the rest is canned, formula, plagiaristic, immoral literature. Prize also for the courage of saying it in this select, scented, rice-powdered audience.

Warning to people: now do not start using 4 letter words here (unless absolutely necessary). I do not like them because they rarely express intelligently what one wants to say. And they lack originality.

Funiest sentence: Hallee "I am a good writer".

Dumbest sentence: Arik "I hope the last game will be Portugal and Italy and we [Italy] will kick your ass."

Comment. Why the dumbest? Because it should be "(...) and Portugal will kick (...)"

A*, on behalf of Arik the sentences-master.

Americo Mon Jun 26 03:25:12 PDT 2000


What you say about soccer in Europe (and in other parts of the world) is true. Kids start kicking a ball in their cradle. I myself cannot resist kicking a ball when I see one.

Soccer was supposed not to be fit for intellectuals some decades ago. But now everybody loves soccer. The queen of Holland watches the Dutch team whenever she can go to the stadium, and our President of the Republic cannot miss a final. And those individualities cheer and misbehave in the stadium like any other mortal. It has become the most beautiful spectacle on earth, doubtless, with billions of people watching the most important matches.

The USA are not doing too badly in that game, though many Americans do not know that. I think they will be world champions in 8 to 12 years. The Canadians are becoming very keen on soccer too. Next to chess, it's the most fascinating game in History.

PS. I would like to say that I support Portugal of course. But please do not think that it is because of patriotism. Not at all. It happens that they are the best. Well, almost... The champions of the world are presently the French, though the Brazilians are the very best.

Arik Mon Jun 26 02:55:39 PDT 2000

Americna - Well, thank you. I think that was the smartest sentance. I dont know if portugal won but I hope they did and that the last game will be btween them and itally amd We shell kick your ass :-) If I may use that kind of word.

I am sorry for not giving the prices but I don't have a lot of free time so wait a wek or so. Till then, Americana will take care of it (if it's ok by you).

good day to all of you. :-)

Jack Beslanwitch Mon Jun 26 02:19:50 PDT 2000

Slight correction on the URL. I really am tired.

Jack Beslanwitch Mon Jun 26 02:17:25 PDT 2000

Hello everyone. Just dropping in to say hi. I am mad passionately trying to get everything taken care of before we head out for Hawaii on Friday. Wanted to make note that I will try to archive the Notebook the very last thing on Thursday so things do not grow thoroughly out of hand while I am gone for two weeks. Take care everyone. Off to bed. Oh, the link above is for those with cable modems. Cannot remember if I listed this or not. But it is a crystal clear video of my first successful open water dive. But only for those with a high speed connection. Ciao.

Teekay Mon Jun 26 01:06:50 PDT 2000

Hewo(to be said in Elmer Fudd voice.)

Well, well, well.
hmmmmmmmm, yes, well.

CLAYTON: I know just where you're comin' from man. I've just spent most of the past week beating myself up about ever thinking I could be a writer.
I think I'm over it now. This session I mean, there's bound to be more of 'em. Many more.

I think what you and I need to do is to first, get an idea. And it has to be an idea about something we really want to write about. Secondly, we then have to break that idea up into chapters and then we absolutely force ourselves to write at least a page every day (doesn't matter if it's crap.) We give ourselves a deadline to complete each chapter. ie 1 month. or whatever your comfortable with. No editing at this stage.
Only when we've finished, we'll put what we've written aside for about a week or so and then we'll go over it with a fine tooth comb and make it perfect.
If we come up with other intrusive ides, we'll just jot then down in a notepad to follow up later, maybe a whole new novel.
I think we have to follow the Nike maxim and JUST DO IT.

Let's start now. I've axed my first attempt. It sucked. But this time, wether it sucks or not, I'm just sticking to it and so are you right? right!

Anyway, when we tell people about the novel we wrote, we don't have to tell them it stunk right?

Oh you guys, I'm sure I had other stuff to blather on about, but I can't remember it.
I hear you all sighing with relief.

CHRISTI POO: I am using our special code for this one bjhfhdsfkjvhfd
Oh yeah, chocolate covered donuts???DROOL.

JERRY: In a really selfish way, that was really lovely of you to buy your wife that dishwasher. :D

HOWARD: The book is Quo Vadis. Have sent you an email aboot at. (that last bit was to be spoken with a Scottish accent.)

gotta go
teething baby.

Heather Sun Jun 25 22:48:26 PDT 2000

Forgot to reply - no, Howard, I haven't heard of that law in Nova Scotia, nor have I heard of someone being arrested over it. Although, I have heard that in a state in midwest U.S. there is a law against singing in the shower. Basically, there were old laws prohibiting this for some reason, and the law was never changed. I doubt too many were arrested for it, but I'm sure they would have arrested my Dad if it were against the law in Canada! Do you know what 'singing at the top of one's lungs in the shower' can do to a daughter, with friends over? Very embarassing.
I can't remember if embarassing has one 'r' and two 's'', or the other way around, and I don't plan on taking out my dictionary.
Eyes - just - not - focusing - very - well...


Heather Sun Jun 25 22:41:29 PDT 2000

Howard, don't worry, I do realize what the common reality is. And no, I do not need medication in order to get a weekend pass from the Institution.

The incredible functions and philosophies about the human mind are a side interest. There is much more to learn. And sometimes I just like to poke and prod and see what pops out of others' minds.

I am serious about several things in my life. Writing is one of them. Love is another, which encompasses family, and friends. The soul is one as well. The ways of the Universe and the Powers that Be are on the same list.

I can't put those in any particular order, as they are all extremely important.

I would be more than happy to exchange apple pie recipes, Howard, and you are a well-loved person, me being one of many who love you.

Glad to see you up to posting already - hope your outpatient procedure went well. It certainly looks that way!

Tina, I will read your re-write - but at the moment it's getting late and I have some sleeping to do!
I am also anxious to hear from you... even my email is restless. :0]

Mark, your 'poem'/story idea is good, but why is the writer starving for inspiration? Give us the grits. It can't be the library drying it up. Libraries will inspire me until I die.

To all sports fans; I wish you a lively football match for watching, and well-behaved crowds.

To everyone; May you publish your novels, your poetry, your articles and more, and may the muse ride shotgun always.


howard Sun Jun 25 20:39:55 PDT 2000

MARK -- Try a couple of blocks over -- on Pine Street. Carrol's getting to be too commercial. The girls there don't give a damn about your two bucks. So I hear, anyway...

SASQUATCH -- Where're you at?

TEEKAY -- You too!? And what book are you asking about? I have an opening coming up in my reading schedule.

AMERICO -- I got to watch soccer while I was in Germany. I liked it a lot, but never could get into it physically. Then I realized why -- over there the kids start dribbling a soccer ball while still in diapers! No kidding! I watched kids on their way to kindergarten, kicking a soccer ball all the way to school and back. Same thing in Spain and France. Over here we learn baseball, football, and basketball, but there's not nearly the gracefulness in these that there is in soccer. My eldest daughter played soccer in school, and did well at it, but would have been no match for your average 6th grader.

HEATER -- I had this great long dissertation typed in here about what *is* and *is not*, but it made my head hurt, so I cut and pasted it into a workpad session for further consideration at another time. I still love you, though...And someday we'll have to swap apple pie recipes -- I have this great one for "Cajun Apple Pie."

Has anyone heard about a law in Nova Scotia that prohibits the wearing of any scented deodorants, aftershave, cologne, etc.? I just heard about a 17 year old who was arrested in school for wearing a deodorant. Is that factual? If so, what's this world coming to?

It's late -- g'night!

Mark Sun Jun 25 19:22:35 PDT 2000

Here's a piece of fiction partly inspired by talk of writer's block and partly directed by Americo's remarks on where a writer has to go. I keep writing stuff like this that looks like it should go somewhere in a story, but which is really probably a poem. This thing encapsulates one frustrated moment in the way that a poem is the statement of a single moment/vision. Dunno, whaddya think?

So I've got this writer's block thing, you know? And I'm beginning to think I'm gonna have to change something. Maybe go down to Carrol Street and see what the hookers look like.

The college and the library were okay for a few years, but the inspiration there has dried up. And let's face it, the college and library are not hotbeds of action. I think the best stuff I ever wrote was based on times I had with working people, kind of like Steinbeck.

I don't think I can go back to cargo boats, you gotta be young to work the boats. But the oil fields off the Louisiana coast still need cooks; the money's good, it's a working-class life, and it's a long way from the library.

Had a hooker in New Orleans once for 13 dollars. Amazing. All I had was 15 and she didn't want to take all my money, so she let me keep two dollars. I always figured the working girls had a heart in there, she proved it to me. All the stuff we can argue about "the Virgin and the Whore" in Philosophy classes and Lit classes doesn't mean a thing until you actually go skin-to-skin with a woman because you just want to get off and she just wants some cash. Find that in Anthropology.

I never wanted to get off so bad that I'd commit rape or anything, but I gotta do something to get my writing back to life, put some lead in my pencil, so to speak. I gotta go do something that's just different from the library and college.

Jerry Ericsson Sun Jun 25 18:55:22 PDT 2000

Clayton -- OK, here is your next assignment -- Since you are having trouble coming up with something to write, write a ghost story. Not just any ghost story, but one so terrifing that it will curl my toes. One so frightening that it will make me fear what goes bump in the night. One that will bring fear and terror to anyone who happens upon it in the workbook. That should get your writing back on track.

My daughter is leaving home next week. As I have said she graduated from college this spring, and now has found her first job. It is in a nearby city, just a little over a hundred miles north-east from here. My son has offered her a room in his home till she gets settled on her own, he lives forty miles north of that city. This morning we hauled some of her furnature to my sons. Last night, I heard my wife ask our daughter who would do the dishes now that she was leaving. While we were at my sons, he, my daughter and I drove to a friend of my sons, who happened to have a dishwasher for sale. I bought it for my wife. Now she has someone to wash dishes for her. (Keeps me out of the dog house for not doing them.)

Write ON!


Americo Sun Jun 25 15:09:24 PDT 2000

"And which are the 4 best teams in this Euro thing?" you ask.
"And the 2 second best?"
I'll tell you on Thursday.
"And the best?".
I'll tell you coming Sunday.
So hold your breath. And start betting.

Hallee Sun Jun 25 04:59:12 PDT 2000

Happy Sunday everyone. Well, VBS starts tonight, so I'm stealing a couple of hours of downtime before this week begins.

CLAYTON: I've read the first chapter of what you've written, and you write very well. Perhaps, if you chose something you wanted to write, then created a detailed outline of the entire story, that would aide you in continuing the story. I personally don't write that way, I am sometimes surprised at what the next paragraph might bring, but then my style probably drives most serious writers crazy. But, one thing that I do that may help you, is that I don't edit anything, including spell checking (Heather & Tina will definitely attest to that :) ) until I'm completely finished. I don't want to distract myself or break the flow that seems to come when I sit down. And, take Heather's advice about carrying a notebook. I have started that, and it is amazing how an idea that just may pass through your mind when you have nothing to write it on can become so concrete you just put your thoughts on paper.

AMERICO: I've never watched European football. However, my brother has now declared it to be the best sport ever played. Considering what a huge baseball fan he is, I may start watching it to see what it is that's appealing to him.

As to your comments to Mark about the morality of a writer, if you're saying what I think you're saying, then I must disagree with you. I think you're saying that a writer is not a great artist unless he tests and pushes the boundaries of common morality. Not every reader is seeking to read a tale that contains incest or pedophilia or adultry that ends in depression. Some readers want to read a happy ending with a thrilling plot, to walk away feeling good about life and the people in it. I believe that I am a good writer, however rough my un-honed skills may be, but the audience I'm seeking wouldn't want to see the dark side of life. Some people live with that too much, and choose to escape it when they can. I'm afraid that I cannot be as clear as you. Hopefully, you can understand what I'm trying to say.

MARINASUN: Thank you for your crit. I, too, hope one day that you can stand in a bookstore and watch someone buy my books. :) As I said when I first posted a chapter, I had never put anything up for critique before, and worried and fretted horribly while I waited for postings. I have to tell you that everything that I've received in feedback has done nothing more than spur me on. I wish that I could provide as useful critiques as those that are given to me, and perhaps one day, when I understand this craft better, I will be able to.

CANDICE: I hope you're feeling better soon. And I hope that your husband survives this :). I'm afraid that my situation wouldn't be much different in the same circumstances. It's sad how horribly men are babied - hahaha. I'm looking forward to reading your second chapter.

TINA: Thank you for the critique you've posted for me. I feel bad when I get them now, because I know that I'm not nearly as helpful to you as you are to me. I'm in the process of reading your latest post, but with VBS happening, I didn't finish it like I wanted to this weekend (if i didn't live so close to my church, I would have just carried a sleeping bag with me). I hope I can do it tomorrow sometime during a break at work.

HEATHER: You haven't given me a critique that produced any pains yet, though I appreciated the smile (I needed one when I saw it!). You and Tina have both helped me more than I could have hoped, and I've printed the crits in case Jack cleans out the workbook before I edit. I'll certainly refer to them as I edit, because there are so many things that I simply don't catch, for no reason than the fact that I'm an untrained rookie. I'm glad you're enjoying it enough to ask for more.

I was stuck on the end of my book. I've had to erase three chapters because I didn't know that Chicago had no forrests I could burn down. Then I just didn't know where to go, probably because my creativity has been eaten up preparing for vacation bible school. However, I've come up with an alternate plan, and am now desperate to get back into the swing of writing. If all goes as planned, I should finish this book by the end of this week. Then, I must sit down and edit my trilogy (yuck - no, wait - triple yuck) so that I can get it submitted. I've put it off too long.

So, now that I've taken up so much space, I'll sign off. I hope I didn't forget to respond to anyone. Have a great Sunday all.


Americo Sun Jun 25 03:53:20 PDT 2000

ARIK !!!

How are you, my friend??? Are you well??? Or just the same??? Did the viruses eat your computer or did you eat the viruses? :) I am well, and you are also well (I hope). Everybody is well. I think. Therefore. (Heather, you must read Antnio Damsio's "The Feeling of What Happens", even better than his "Descartes' Error Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain". But only after you finish your novel: that's your great priority. Before concluding your novel, you ought not to think nor therefore nor nothing nor nought. 7th December the deadline, remember!)

ARIK!!! This is your lucky day. You have just won the prize for the dumbest sentence:"there is only one good team in the world and that's Italy."

The prize for the best sentence goes for me: "the best team is Portugal".

More news about soccer soon, in this theatre/theater.

Ashling Sun Jun 25 02:52:04 PDT 2000

Hi everyone!

CLAYTON: A few years ago, I sat in your chair and pondered that same view. Then I attended a writer's conference--and discovered I wasn't alone. I met Ray Bradbury and read his book Zen in the Art of Writing--and found hope. I made a list of what I loved ... those things that made my eyes sparkle and my voice bubble when I described them to other folks--it was a beginning. I went back to college and took creative writing courses--and learned how to feed and water an idea before trying to create a story out of it.

When I began my novel, I had nothing important to say--just some questions I needed to find answers for ... but as the plot develops and the characters grow page by page--I'm discovering a story worth telling.

What is the most important person, place, thing or activity to you, Clayton? What do you enjoy hearing about, reading about, participating in, talking over? Start with your greatest passion in life. Anything that excites you will spill onto the page ... That inspiration will require the perspiration of God-only-knows how many editing sessions, but that finished "product" will hold readers' interest.

Never compare your first drafts to a published author's finished works ... I read that online somewhere recently--sounded like a good idea to me.

Hope you'll keep us posted on your progress.

I finished chapter seven of my novel tonight. Still plodding along.

Happy Writing to all,

Arik Sun Jun 25 01:12:44 PDT 2000

Clayton - You know what I think... I think that if you don't have an idea, what to write about, then just dont write. as lev tolstoy told once:

"there are 3 stept in writing. in the first one, you'll have a very strong feeling you have to write something, check if you have what to write about" it's that I"m saing something bad but you han't have the 1st one yet... so wait with it :-). If you'll be interested I'll tell you the other 2 :-).

Americana - Ohh please. forget about portugal. There is only 1 good team on this world and it is Itally. I am a fan of it and we will revange on france this time :-).

Mary - Thanks. I'll look up for it and about e-mail... I dont know.... only if they are from TEEKAY.... just kidding. He is A very nice guy :-).

TEEKAY - You are very nice :-).

marinasun Sat Jun 24 23:41:32 PDT 2000

Woops! Sorry Pussy for the smiley at the end of my message! I can't help it! lol


marinasun Sat Jun 24 23:38:45 PDT 2000

Hi everyone.

Hallee, I posted a crit for you in the novel section.

That's all,
marinasun : )

Heather Sat Jun 24 23:24:33 PDT 2000

I'm sorry again, everyone,
I seem to be the running bull, stampeding all over this wonderful site.

I did check to see whether the pilot light in my medulla went out. It's still sparking, but with a few minor adjustments I'll be fine.

By the way, I am an applet program.

(Run that by me again?) LOL

Clayton, your difficulty is not in finding ideas. Your difficulty comes from not being able to stick with a good idea, or be able to concentrate on only one. The solution is to find the central idea to which all other ideas bounce from.

Carry a journal or notepad at all times, and write down your ideas as they come. When you start seeing a pattern, a central theme that pops up time and time again,
try setting that down as the main, most important idea, and write a novel around it.
Give it a try. See if it doesn't work out into something that will hold your interest long enough to get finished. Or started, as the case may be.

You may only need the push to get it started, and once it's running, it'll go forever - like my mother's convertible.


Heather Sat Jun 24 23:04:00 PDT 2000

Reality? Hello. There is only this: What we perceive. Our brain interprets everything - 100% of our existence. So, knowing that we are, basically, our thoughts; it goes without saying that as we interpret the world, so it is.

We may also be interpreting that we have a brain, or for that matter, a body.

Greeks were not the first to perceive the Earth as spherical. It has 'always' been 'known' as a sphere by at least some of the people inhabiting the planet. It just happened to be the common belief of most of the 'civilized' world in that particular age that thought it flat.
But I reiterate: it is still all in the mind.
I am not a 'Jungian'. But I do like the way he thought.
I also study a huge variety of 'matter', and have come to one basic conclusion.

(Here I arrive at the same sentence)
It's all in the mind.

You think, therefore you are. You are therefore, I think.

You think the world is round, therefore, for you - it is.
I think the world is cruel and condemned, and to me, it is.
That was merely an example.
I won't sign that dotted line and believe that the world is cruel. I prefer to see that every being has ultimate free will, or, in Tom Robbins' style, CHOICE. With that, we choose to interpret things in our own way.

And in choice sits a process - still contained in the seed that is our brain.

Or, simplified further, our reality is our thoughts. We don't need to limit our reality into a physical place or time. Or concensus.

We just need to hold good thoughts and our reality is good.

If I entertain the notion that the world is flat, and it looks flat and it feels flat and, heaven forbid, it even IS flat, would telling me even the Greeks knew it was round mean it can't be flat for me? Does that mean fiction has to be a lie? Or can it be anything we want it to be?

Wait, I think it's about to be said:
Fiction might even be the truth.

Sorry! I get carried away...Just f*cking with minds, again.
More my own than yours, I'm sure. Stir stir, bubble bubble, I'm making butter out of milk and oil out of engines.

Please pardon me, but I'm mad that my reality is so terrible that there was an attempt on it's little dream. Leave me be with my illusions, if that's what some of you think they are. Maybe I'm the one who really sees, and not the other way 'round.
You may think anything you please.

But so will I.

Did that make the sci-fi friends here absolutely cringe?

Clayton Sat Jun 24 22:02:32 PDT 2000

I have come to a very serious problem.

I can't write.

I can, but it is nothing.

I have no clue why. Every idea I have I discard almost immediately. They say to write what you know.

What if I know nothing?

What if what I know doesn't apply.

I am confused.


I need an idea I like. Something I can concentrate on long enough to write about. I always have thousands of ideas and they always push others out of the way. I can't accomplish anything.

Cruel fate hath gripped mine heart and squeez'd.
(damn Macbeth)


Mark Sat Jun 24 20:18:19 PDT 2000

Posted two poems on poetry page. One yesterday, one today.

Truth? Jungian types claim that there are archetypes we all identify with. Idunno. Sometimes that's a comforting thought. But then how come 'Moon' gets more respect in Korea than 'Mother'? In every other language, 'Mother' got the highest positive rating as an idea and a word. Korea the exception that proves the rule?

CHRISTI -- Don't know who Sandy is, but enjoy your time with her. My wife and I run an elder care home. (There's a link to 'personal history' on my web page if you're interested.) We have lost a few people, including her mother. The losses are not easy; but with dignity and respect for the dying person, I can say that we have no regrets; and life goes on more smoothly without the emotional baggage we would have if the living respect had not been there.

HEATHER -- Wow, touching you is like touching a tuning fork.
"The Earth might very well have been flat before they sailed around it and saw it as round." Uh, no. Greek mathematicians knew the Earth had to be round because of the way the North Star went closer to the horizon as they traveled South. By making observations in Greece and Egypt and points between, one Greek (he'd make a good story) made an estimate of the Earth's circumference that was surprisingly accurate.

AMERICO -- Here's to you and the Portuguese ball kickers.

Americo Sat Jun 24 17:07:53 PDT 2000

Are you people aware of the extraordinary fact that Portugal has won yet again, is now in the semi-finals, and among the best 4 soccer teams in Europe? Some say that's the fulfilment of the third secret of Fatima...

Now the task is to beat two of the other teams still kicking about to become the European champion. Quite easy!

(Don't be jealous. That's just European football)

Allein Sat Jun 24 13:34:04 PDT 2000

Christi - My hugs and prayers are with you and Sandy. I'm sorry - I haven't been around the last few days because my computer has been messed up. Could you fill me in on who Sandy is and what's wrong with her? I feel terrible not knowing and I can't figure it out from reading the posts. Thanks and more hugs and prayers for you.

Mary Sat Jun 24 13:06:25 PDT 2000

ARIK: I have McAfee VShield and am very happy with it, just for your information. Where do you keep getting these viruses anyway? emails? Just do what I do: don't open them. Ha ha TEEKAY, yes that one was directed your way.

Arik Sat Jun 24 11:57:46 PDT 2000

Jack - thanks man. I wante to ask you to re-send me my username and password in the workbook. thanks. I also hope everything will get back on track. I'll sure buy norton (I'v learned something from 2 times a virus killed my cute cute cpu :-).

Heather Sat Jun 24 11:32:25 PDT 2000

Here are a few ideas that may incite new soapboxes in the NB, but they are certainly welcome.

A writer's adeptship comes from how well he can state the things he sees on the page of his soul. How well it is read and understood is a completely different matter. The best writers were often misunderstood. We're still analyzing Shakespeare in every English Lit class across the continent.

Whether or not writers are liars is our (their) personal preference and freedom. Fiction is the way a writer sees something, an event, people, intangibles. Just because those do not necessarily happen outside of the writer's mind does not make them a lie. Who's world do you live in? You may choose as many as you like, but they are your worlds and yours alone. I live in my world, and those that interact and take part in my world are there by choice. The way I see my world may not be the way you see your own. In fact, there are few Universalities, but they are strong and always true. They are usually present, in some form or another, in every piece of writing ever written.

Embellishment does still not render a passage as false. Just as the circus alive in my daughter's mind is not false. But she clearly knows that it is her creation.

So there is no facade, but for the facade of a facade. It is one that we have pulled over our own eyes to keep our little minds from bursting. You may wish to name that however you see fit, and perhaps you see that as an actual facade, vs. the fact, but what are facts?

Facts are nothing more than something several(or many) people agree on, and have what they believe to be the credentials to make it official. Experiments are rarely without flaw. The Earth might very well have been flat before they sailed around it and saw it as round.

It's still all in the mind.
Perception, my dears, perception.


Americo Sat Jun 24 05:47:45 PDT 2000


A writer is an ordinary person and an artist. As an ordinary person he must behave properly, and only get drunk on Saturdays. He is allowed to do all the funny things of any mortal, like ordering his wife around if he got a sprained ankle (if he is a male), or forcing her husband to watch with a smile that lousy, romantic film with no soccer in it (if she is a female).

As an artist, he must obbey a very strict ethical code difficult to understand by ordinary people. He must have the courage to be alone against the morality of the ordinary people. He must be unique. If his book implies to commit incest, or kill a policeman, he must do it (in his creative imagination only, rarely in practice, unless he needs more than the usual dose of inspiration, in which case he must do what his ordinary conscience tells him to do and use some sort of precaution in order not to get caught, etc.).

Nabokov's "Lolita" is a very moral book, because, despite dealing with the nasty theme of paedophilia, it's very well written. The morality of an artist is the beauty of his books. The greater a writer is the more moral that writer is. The opposite is also true: the more mediocre a writer is the more conventionally moral his works are. This latter case of writer must be hanged, whipped and be forced to walk naked at the mall, his head under his left arm.

Example: let's suppose the theme of a novel is marriage. The book will be good if there is adultery in it, and all kinds of savagery between the couple, and all kinds of strange ways to make love between the husband and his mistress(esses) and vice-versa (between the wife and her thousand lovers). Such a book must not, however, end in divorce, but in successive remarriages, where the couple starts everything nasty again, and so on, and so forth, until the seventh time they try a decent marriage life. Happy ending, folowed by depression or suicide (depression recommended).

The novel will be bad if it defends what everybody knows: that the couple should love each other and that sort of rubbish. A novel is highly immoral if it is conventional or badly written. As simple as that.

Have I made myself clear? Of course I have. And by the way, I'd better register the copyright of the novel described above. It sounds quite moral to me.

Jack Beslanwitch Sat Jun 24 01:02:58 PDT 2000

Arik: Condolences. It is the reason that I have Norton set up to download the latest virus build at 5 in the morning and check for viruses at 6. All of this while I am asleep. There are advantages for being perpetually on the internet via cable modem. And there is good reason to have a firewall while I am at it. Hope you get things put back together. I have had my hard drive crash and wipe all kinds of things, but not a virus. Knock. Knock. Knock. Oh, sorry, that's a piece of sheet rock and not wood. Take care and hope you rediscover your sense of humor about all of this.

Arik Sat Jun 24 00:15:45 PDT 2000


sorry guys... it's just that I hate them so much! The only thing left is the book I am workig on right now... on a disc!

Christi Fri Jun 23 23:32:32 PDT 2000

To all, I give heaping thanks for the kindnesses. They won't soon be forgotten.

Thank you for not remaining silent--what you said lifted me out of sadness and warmed me.
Unfortunately, I don't feel courageous at all. Sandy is the courageous one--I'm just a witness to her strength and will. She's a truly amazing woman, and the only thing that makes it bearable that she's leaving us is the knowledge that there's a part of her in my husband, and in my little son, and I'll see her in them and thank her for them as long as I live.

Don't worry, A*, I always knew you had a sentimental side and I never thought any less of you for it. ;) That's one of the reasons we love you, you know. *Kiss kiss*

I want to write so badly right now but I'm fresh out of stamina. Could it really be this late?

G'night and sweet dreams to you all, and to all of your loved ones.

Christi, X-Minister of Love Affairs

Mark Fri Jun 23 20:05:13 PDT 2000

Overheard on NPR today: "I'm in a roomful of writers, so I'm in a roomful of liars."

Struck me as true. Sure, writers with aim for truth. Writers with moral purpose. Liars nonetheless. My truth is never going to be anyone else's, regardless of how much effort I put into giving you the background. And one thing you have all wondered is how to 'represent' a situation on paper; i.e., how to tell a good lie.

Nabokov said writers had to be the most moral of all people, yet he wrote _Lolita_ and other glosses on purposeful and accidental incest. Hmm. Spun a pretty good yarn somewhere there.

The most interesting writers can present images which I (in suspension of disbelief) will accept as true. The more you make the story/poem/stuff ring true, the more you have to craft it against an artificial background and vice-versa. In order to spin a good yarn, you have to be able to tell when and where to weave the artiface against the artifact. You have to be an accomplished liar

Candice Fri Jun 23 18:25:45 PDT 2000

Heather: I am finally getting back to the computer. I'm sorry for showing up, looking around and then leaving. Actually I have nursing my broken right foot and wrenched left knee - I do it good, don't I? Then my husband - wretched soul that he is - went running and - you guessed it - no huge twist in this plot - he sprained his ankle. He is lying on the bed - His Most Royal Highness - ordering me around. Problem is I can't get around more than he can. It would be hilarious if I weren't so sore.

I am getting back to my writing now - soon I will ask for critiques of Chap 1 and 2 - together. Just not yet....

I am trying to keep up with all the personalities on this notebook and their foibles with writing. And their great accomplishments - congrats to Litter.
Along that vein - to Fran and Jack - how long has it been? 20 years and counting for the 2 of us - unless his ankle doesn't get better so that he will move around and stop complaining.

Christi - I don't know you - I just know Death - not a pretty sight from the human perspecive - please don't swat me with Disney posters but...

Please put up with me sporatically -with love and needing a muse to sit on my shoulder for 10 min.

Hallee Fri Jun 23 13:54:04 PDT 2000

Christi: I am truly moved beyond words. Please know that my prayers are with you and your family.


Americo Fri Jun 23 12:32:44 PDT 2000

Christi, I was so moved when I read your description of Sandy squeezing your hand and trying to smile at you! I just wanted you to know that. You are such a courageous person! Please kiss Sandy for me. I am with her and with you. And still with Howard's father, who died at the turn of the century, and with Howard's mother, who, if I understood well, could not leave the conjugal bed on the last night. And with Howard, who is not well yet. I am with all of you, people who suffer and share your feelings with us all. And sorry for being so moved and not being able to just remain silent.

Tina Fri Jun 23 11:54:23 PDT 2000


I've just posted another re-write in the workbook. As usual, all comments are welcome!

For everyone who needs them, I offer (((hugs))) and strength. Christi, I admire the love you give so freely.


Jerry Ericsson Fri Jun 23 11:09:59 PDT 2000

Heather, know that there is to be a gathering of the muse(s) at your house, as I have instructed mine to fly to your side as I type. Please send her back when you are finished with her.


Rachel Fri Jun 23 11:00:07 PDT 2000

Christi - Sorry about that. I just had a kitten run across my computer desk and keyboard. What I was going to say is that I am sending you a hug as well.

Take care all


PS - I better go, the kitten is getting ready to pounce again.

Rachel Fri Jun 23 10:55:20 PDT 2000

Heather - I send you some very strong hugs. I also have requested that a muse be sent to you at once. The muse should be there by now. Just remember, you asked for it (grins).

Christi - r2q

Christi Fri Jun 23 09:11:23 PDT 2000

Jack and Fran,
Congrats! Hawaii is very nearly the perfect place to have one's anniversary. Add diving, and you've got one for the books!

Litter! Let me add my belated but VERY EXCITED CONGRATULATIONS (!!!) on getting your book deal. I'm so proud of you!
I don't know if this applies in the U.K., but here, once you've got an offer from a publisher it's a good idea to query the agent you want, letting them know that you need an agent and that you have a contract that you'd like them to negotiate for you. Most times the agent will snap you right up, knowing they've got a bonifide deal in the works, and preserve your precious rights at the same time. You probably already know all of this, but you've got me in a tizzy, man! I could go on and on, but I'll stop now, after saying HOORAY FOR LITTER!!!

Very nice poem!
You sound so lonely right now and it makes me kind of sad. Cheer up woman—you’ve still got us! It’s hard to lose a friend, but at least you’re not really losing her—you’re just going to have to work harder to see and speak with her. Now you’ve got me thinking about the fact that if I move away, I’ll be losing all my family and friends in one fell swoop. I’m wondering if it’s really worth it.

Sorry, but soccer holds no thrills for me. Now a toothless guy on a hockey rink with a big stick--that's something different, altogether!

Don't you hate it when that happens? :)
I don't have valium, but I do have frosted chocolate doughnuts. Mmm, who needs drugs?!

Thanks for the smile. ;-) Your post gave it to me.
PS I'm a water chicken too.

Thanks to you all for your loving thoughts for Sandy. She sleeps most of the time now, not eating or drinking, having lost the ability and desire to swallow since Sunday. I was sitting next to her yesterday, holding her hand and just being with her. She was able to squeeze my hand and look back at me, and she tried to form a smile but couldn't quite pull it off. That attempted smile made my day. I just stared at her for the rest of the time, trying to memorize her face and the moment. It’s very strange, this death thing. My whole being rebels against the fact that everyone on this earth will eventually die at some point. Doesn’t seem right. Here I am, going 'round in circles, always to end up at exactly the same spot where I left off. If anyone says ANYTHING about ‘the circle of life’, I’ll cream them with a rolled up Disney poster. ;) Love you, guys, and thanks fer listening.


Mary Fri Jun 23 08:57:14 PDT 2000

HEATHER: Boy are we on the same page. I feel exactly the same as you. Hubby gone from 7 to 7, computer staring at me all the time, one car, kids in the pool...hang in there. You aren't as alone as you think.

Heather Fri Jun 23 08:25:44 PDT 2000

Hallee, I'll post a crit in a few minutes...

:o) Just a fore-smile to ease any small pains induced by critique.

Teekay, haven't heard of that author. Unfortunately, when you're the half-hermit and homebody I have become these days, visits to the bookstore and library are less frequent. But school is almost out for the summer, so we will be wading through the library stacks all morning on many a day. Or at the actual wading pool - me under the closest tree, reading, and the kids in their suits to frolick.

I think moreso than the feeling I get of snobbery riding oh, so high in the bookstores, I am busy writing and that keeps me home. If I had as much of a social life as I did prior to my decision to get back into writing as a career, I wouldn't have the time or the brain cells. Well, alright, I never was able to drink more than two beers in one sitting. But two was enough, believe me. Too much socialization and the work just wouldn't be produced. Catch 22 - no socialization means I'm holed up and lonely at my desk, and the realism of characters in social situations might suffer.
So here I teeter.

Here I can do both...

Love to all and all a great afternoon.
Today I must say goodbye to one of my last friends' from town. She is moving out East. Permanently. No other close friends here but my husband, and he works and sleeps, and tries to get in a kiss or two during the short time between.

But I get lots of sloppy three-year-old and seven-year-old kisses. *sigh*

Fly me the muse, she's due at the airport any day now.
I've already sent out the ticket.


Mary Fri Jun 23 06:22:14 PDT 2000

TEEKAY: Just wanted to let you know that Janet Evanovich's Hot Six was well worth the wait. I was laughing out loud reading it--until my husband gave me the evil eye. (He was trying to sleep and I coudn't put it down (read it in 3 hours!)). Did I punctuate that right? Looks funny.

He highly recommends Jeffrey Deaver's latest: 'The Empty Chair'. But does admit that some of the characters' personalities strayed from how they were in previous books.


Heather Thu Jun 22 23:56:21 PDT 2000

Thanks Hallee, I'll check it out tomorrow morning.
I am off to bed but thought I'd check in here first. Yes, I am a tad anxious to see where things are going...

Where is everyone? I must have disgruntled a few people with my superfluous chit chat about so-called regular life. Not enough references to the literary life. Which, by the way, cannot be separated from the rest. Eat sleep think books. Novels, short stories, articles, reviews, movies in our blood, oh, all hail language and it's versatility. Wordsmiths, weild your pens.
It's good to know that we have others to talk with about well, anything really, since the writing life is sometimes a pretty lonely existence.

Thank you, Trudy, for another great outing. Funny how book stores intimidate me. (Yes, I'm sharing this with all of you, obviously.)
I think of libraries as my hallowed halls, but book stores sometimes evoke strong feelings of being snubbed. I can't pinpoint the origin of this feeling, however. I'll think on it a while and see what I can hypothesize.

Anyone else feeling out of sorts tonight?
Must be that great stone gullet of the moon. She's watching me a little too closely I think.
Maybe she's hungry for more SM** stories.
Alright, Miss Moon, I'll sleep on that one too.

Bless all of you and keep up with the muse. She's a fast mover.

So are her sisters.


Hallee Thu Jun 22 12:41:26 PDT 2000

HEATHER: (hahaha) Chapter 6 is there. (You seemed a little anxious)

Mary Thu Jun 22 11:02:59 PDT 2000

HEATHER: Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness. What you did for the little boy and others is commendable and I bet it made you feel great too! I don't know exactly why I'm afraid of the water--I don't remember not being that way. But I do plan on doing something about it, as I love the ocean. Everything about it. If I run into any locked doors on my my quest to freedom, I know who has an extra key! Thanks again, Heather! :-)

Heather Thu Jun 22 10:08:01 PDT 2000

Mary, I was a lifeguard and swim instructor for most of my teen years. I taught people of all ages to swim no matter their fears - from 4 month old babies to the elderly. I helped out a boy who had been born with only two deformed fingers and two toes on each hand or foot. He had trouble staying afloat because he couldn't cup the water, and the way his toes were, the water sailed right through. He'd gone to so many different swim classes - private and regular- that they were thinking, with great frustration, that this was to be his final attempt at swimming when he came to the pool where I worked. I'm sure none of the other instructors had enough gumption to tell his parents why there was a problem.

I ended up 'inventing' these little paddles out of plywood and velcro for him to wear over the palms of his hands, and with his feet we finally found a pair of flippers that were adjustable enough to accomodate his feet - the way the 'knuckles' of his two toes came out they were so wide he couldn't wear conventional shoes. His hands were very large too, with very short digits. He was happy as a clam after he got used to the paddles and flippers, and ended up on the swim team a few years later. So you see, there are always alternate routes to solving a problem.

For another, older person, who was so afraid of water she would scream in the shower, I asked her to do special exercises during the days in between lessons. For the first few weeks of the lessons she would only stick her toes in, and sit for most of the lesson, quaking with fear on the pool deck. She told me by the third lesson why she had been so afraid - someone had thrown her in the lake when she was young, in a very deep spot, to teach her how to swim. She'd been scared to death of water for almost thirty years since.
...So, for starters I asked her to stand over the sink and pour water over her head with a cup. When she got used to the way the water felt, running in her ears and eyes, I asked her to fill the sink and start dunking her head, bit by bit until finally she was able to dunk her whole head and face without fear. Then she started progressing pretty fast. Once you get used to water on your face and holding your breath (even blowing bubbles) the fear of inhaling water decreases. She was a real floater, so as soon as she got into the shallow end on one of the last weeks of lessons, she suddenly had this revelation "I float! I float! I'm not going to sink to the bottom!" And I taught her a few techniques to be sure she'd stay afloat. She enrolled for continuous classes after that and ended up being quite comfortable in the water, deep or shallow. She wouldn't swim in a lake, but at least if she ever fell in, she'd know what to do.

So Mary, if there's anything I can do to help you get over your fear, let me know.

I'd be more than happy to do what I can through email. I know it wouldn't be as helpful as being there in person, but you never know.

To all a happy and prosperous morning.

Tina, the rain is wonderful! I knew we'd have to re-do the shingles anyway, so it wasn't much of a surprise. It's only a little leak, not much of a problem - don't even need a bucket. But we do have to have the roof done soon so we won't get too much water damage. There goes another thousand dollars at least... and right after we bought all the supplies and built the deck, too. We've had three water incidents here in one year - the plumbing went (flood flood) and that was expensive and a big pain in the...
and then the hot water heater up and died last month. Soon my big old 'Bessie' dryer will kick it and I'll be out shopping for one to match my new washer. But eventually, we'll have everything running perfectly - should be by the end of this year. Then next year we're ripping out the cupboards and starting the kitchen from scratch. The only thing left after that is to have the driveway repaved, and to finish the basement into a rec room and bar. I am so looking forward to kicking my feet up and looking around - and NOT finding something else that is either about to break down or needs to be done.

Ok, I think I've just about used up everyone's patience here!
I'm airing my household matters on the site - OH NO
That's not good - but today that's what is on my mind.

What things we find in life to capture on paper! Or the NB. Sorry, everyone, this is probably my longest post ever.


Mary Thu Jun 22 06:19:26 PDT 2000

JERRY AND LITTER TOO! See, I didn't forget you guys!

Mary Thu Jun 22 06:17:33 PDT 2000


TEEKAY: Lovely to see you this morning.

HOWARD: Good Luck, and Prayers your way.

EVERYONE WHO HAS POSTED THINGS ABOUT THEIR LONG LASTING MARRIAGES: Sure is a wonderful thing to hear! You all sound truly happy and devoted to your loves. I have only found my Prince 5 years ago, but look very much forward to spending the rest of my life with him. You are an inspiration! Happy Anniversary to you all.

LITTER'S PARTY PLANNER: Mark me down for the fireworks! We have a wonderful supplier just a half hour away. I'm good for a Chocolate Trifle as well.

JACK: I have a terrible fear of the water that has limited my life for far too long. (I am a strong swimmer only because I'm terrified of drowning.) I think it is wonderful that you will be diving in Hawaii--just a little jealous and irritated with myself for not being able to beat this phobia. Say hi to the rays for me--they're my favorite.


Hallee Thu Jun 22 02:17:24 PDT 2000

Happy Thursday to you all. I've been so busy lately - we have Vacation Bible Scool starting next week, and there is so much preparation that it's almost a relief when it actually starts.

Tina & Heather: I left you both a note in the crit section, but I'll reiterate my thank you. Everything was incredibly helpful and will definitely be taken into account when it comes time to rework the chapter. Right now I'm just wishing I could get on with 13, but alas, I'm stuck. I think my brain is just tired from VBS stuff.

Tina - Pulled a Hallee? hahahaha - that's so funny. (Funny thing is, I just checked and I hadn't filled out the top! hehehe)

Teekay - You're welcome. Any time.

Howard - You're in my prayers for the outpatient thing. I hope the surgery, for whatever it's for, is successful.

Americo: It sounds like an incredibly interesting project. I wish I could have been part of it, but I couldn't write a short story if I were paid to, and I've tried so I know. But, I do enjoy reading them, so I hope the publishing venture works out.

Litter: A second congrats considering the fact that you did it without an agent. That's terrific! Proves it can be done.

If I missed anyone at all, I apologize. I'm yawning so hard that my eyes are watering. And now I must run. I want to try to plug away at this difficult chapter a little longer.

Have a great day.

Tina Wed Jun 21 23:51:50 PDT 2000

Heather, thanks for the ideas. I've got to learn to stop reading crits at night 'cause now I'll be busy thinking and won't sleep. Sorry to hear that the rain I sent you is having a personal visit. We've been sunny ever since I sent it your way. I might even water my lawn tomorrow.

About that party for Litter, mark me down for salsa and chips.


Teekay Wed Jun 21 21:51:55 PDT 2000

Forgot to say

RHODA: I finished the book. It was awesome. Couldn't stop thinking about it. And they tell you what Quo Vadis means at the end. No wonder you weren't excited about what I told you.
Who is to be getting it next? Great book.

HALLEE: I thanked you for the hug.

Hmmmm, what else did I say?
Ah, who bloody well cares anyway?

I don't need a hug this time, but a valium would be very nice.
No, I don't really take valium.

It's far too weak.


About it being far too weak.

Not about not taking it.

Yeah, well okay, I'm really going now.


Teekay Wed Jun 21 21:47:26 PDT 2000

Hi all,
Posted out this bloody huge post yesterday and it got lost somewhere in space.

CONGRATS LITTER and what ASHLING said. I had it all covered in my previous post. Damn, I hate it when that happens. We need to know all the details. Do tell. I'm definitely buying a copy, so don't forget to mention the name you are publishing under.

CONGRATS: Jack and Fran.

AMERICO: I'm pretty sure you will totally hate the stroy I wrote, so I'm not going to send it - unless you beg.
HA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH Jokin' mon, but I truly do think that you will find it unacceptable for the aesthetic SM*.

Gotta go, will catch up on the posts later.

Heather Wed Jun 21 21:04:20 PDT 2000

Howard, good to hear from you so soon after I wondered (in the NB) where you were!
Take care, and blessings be yours during your nurse-teasing tomorrow. (Is is tomorrow? Eeek. I can't even remember that and I just read your post)
Goodnight, fare thee well,
and may all be blessed and happy.

Pass the cheese-corn-crab-puffs, please.
I was being sincere, and it came out like snack food.


Jerry Ericsson Wed Jun 21 20:33:03 PDT 2000

Jack & Fran - happy anniversary, Judy and I will be celebrating our 31st in a couple of months, it just keeps getting better and better.


Mary Wed Jun 21 19:40:27 PDT 2000

LITTER: Winks back at ya.

Howard Wed Jun 21 19:29:02 PDT 2000

LITTER -- Congratulations! Way to go ! I'll be looking for your book on!

I haven't been around much lately, busy with family matters and medical stuff -- got another outpatient procedure tomorrow. But I've been thinking about you all.

TEEKAY and AMERICO -- I'm hoping to mail those books by this weekend. Just haven't had time to do much of anything.

Gotta run

Heather Wed Jun 21 18:52:00 PDT 2000

You are most welcome, gracious hostess Kitty.
It almost didn't make it to the NB, for I was just about to hit 'reset' and then at the last possible moment took the plunge and posted it.

Not quite gagging, I resume my seat in front of this computer. A screen not unlike any of your screens. Kind of makes you warm and fuzzy all over, doesn't it?

And just in case you were lurking, Randall, where have you been? I hope you were just working on a personal project and didn't forget about us. You have to come to the party for Litter! And Litter has a terrific hat he's going to wear (so like a lampshade)! I think I'll just wear a plain old lampshade, spare the stripes. I never did look good in the tigerskin things.
I prefer panther.


P.S. Gariess, we miss you. You haven't been absent as long as Randall, but we still noticed. Howard, I pray you're feeling alright because we haven't heard a peep out of you in days, either. Who scared away most of the guys? Pussy, I bet it was you.

Pussy Wed Jun 21 18:34:12 PDT 2000

Thanks, Heather, for the lyrics. You called it "The Notebook Anthem", you meant "The Empire Anthem" of course. But that's more or less the same thing.

Now we need music to the words. Any musician around?

Did you, guys, see Spain vs. Yugoslavia? What a fantastic match! A* will not write about it because he is afraid that Spain win to Portugal. Great country, Spain. La furia espaola is really something! Bravo! And France vs Holand? The smile of happiness of my dear friend, the queen of Holand, when the match finished with a win of her Dutch!

You soccerless people do not know what you miss. The greatest show on earth.

Heather Wed Jun 21 17:03:49 PDT 2000

The Notebook Anthem:

O, Mighty words,
How you do grace
These kindred pages
Without face.
From all abounding
Life and souls
Come minds to gather,
Tales console.
Words, you string
the heart itself,
and pour the thoughts
From inner shelf.
You, words, you
Give this only gift ~
For otherwise,
the Scribe's bereft.
In each word grows
the planted seed;
Watered by tears,
our sweat, and need.
In each vein your
richness flows
But with expression
All can know.
And with expression, all can know...

Well, it's more of a poem.

For the Love of Words.

I'll be back later.

Litter Wed Jun 21 16:47:14 PDT 2000

Good Morrow all,

Tina, Americo, Rachel, Hallee, Mary, Heather (party sounds great - and I have a really tall multi-coloured top-hat :o), Jerry, Rhoda, Allein (long time no see), Ashling, and anyone who has posted since my last download of the 'Notebook' - Thanks for the congrat's and stuffl. Much appreciated I can assure you. Don't want to go into too many details just now accept to say that the publisher offered and I accepted. Now we get down to the nitty gritty. The manuscript was reviewed by three readers before the decision was made to accept it. I find that pretty reassuring that, as so often, it was not just down to the say-so of a single person. Be assured that this forum will be the first online to be given the final details, as soon as I know them.

Perseverance does pay - it took me almost 3 years to place it, since my first rejection, but in that time it has been tweaked, trimmed and tightened. All things considered it has been a valuable learning exercise.

Congrats to Jack and Fran on your Diving certification and your anniversary… I have almost 3 years on you as it'll be our 18th in two weeks time.

Ashling (et al) - I can say that an agent did NOT represent the manuscript. Primarily, this was a consequence of not being able to find one. In the UK, first-time authors are very seldom considered by agents who, it seems, want to make easy money on the back of someone who has been previously published!!! I can understand this but it is pretty galling for those that have no previous publishing record. Mags in the UK tend to advise first time authors to put their energies into finding a publisher, not an agent. And we all know the story of how large publishers only want what agents want and that means going down the line of smaller or newer publishers… Patience - All will be revealed in, hopefully, the near future.

Mary - those 'dark places' can be a bit of an eye opener, can't they ;o)

Heather - thanks for posting 'Jabberwocky' - I now have a copy of one of the best nonsense poems ever. Anybody seen the film 'Jabberwocky' by the monty Python team? Strangely wonderful but gory film…

I have to get back to the final edit of the final chapter of 'The Watchers' - it was 'suggested' to me that I might like to make the end more 'open' rather than the closed, nowhere to go, one that I had originally written. I had to agree. (I think our reasons for this may have differed though???)

Ciao for now,


PS - there ain't no way that I'll be leaving here. Writing can be pretty lonely and this is the best forum of the many that I have tried. Sorry, you are stuck with me for a while yet. ;o)

Wed Jun 21 15:35:50 PDT 2000

Hi Notebookers!

Happy Anniversary to the youngsters, Jack and Fran. (In a few months Barry and I will celebrate 22 years.) I shall weave a garland of flowers for my hair today in your honor--something with a Celtic/Druid flavor since today also marks Summer Soltice. Now, some Notebooker should be able to find a nice romantic plot with a Sci-Fi slant in there somewheres ...

May the Muse be with all of us ...

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Jun 21 14:59:25 PDT 2000

As I mentioned. Did get around to archiving so things should load a shade faster. Also, I had a slight snafu in my link to the real video file. That has been corrected. However, the picture is a bit fuzzy for those trying the Real Server. For those with a faster connection, i.e., cable or fast DSL, you can check out instead. This will give a crystal clear video. Take care.

Americo Wed Jun 21 09:04:05 PDT 2000

Strawberries and a Moon

Definition a collection of the best short-stories written by members of the notebook, including some of those posted, in due time, in the space generously conceded by Jack to that effect, and also those directly sent by email to Americo.

Theme food and taste, the senses in general (including the sixth). In a word, how the mind responds to external stimuli and how the creative spirit transforms them in literature.

History an open Internet space from the 7th November 1999 till the 4th June 2000. Anyone wishing to contribute to the collection may still email their NEW texts to Americo until the 7th July 2000.

Objective the purpose of the idea was three-fold:
a) motivate people to write and speak about literature on the NB;
b) improve the writing and the critic spirit of the notebookers;
c) publish in book form the selected short-stories, if possible.
The two first objectives were partly achieved; the third remains to be seen. The odds are that, if the stories are very good, and there are enough of them, they will be published, and their authors paid for them. But that cannot be considered a promise yet, as the book is still far from completed.

Good intentions and bitter regrets Although some interesting stuff was posted, the collection has not yet sufficent quality to be considered for publication. Even if a publisher offered his services right now, the answer would be negative. But the deadline is only on the 7th July. Who knows if the gold will start arriving?

NB. The happy few whose stories will be selected will be privately informed. The other geniuses will have to try again, if a second opportunity comes their way. Only the quality of the stories will be considered, not the names of their authors or their philosophical/political/religious beliefs.

There is the possibility that contributors revealing talent will be contacted, regardless of the intrinsic quality of their stories for a different project.

NB2. Those who got frightened please do not bother contributing. This is only for serious published writers (if they are good) and exceptional aspiring authors (if they are good). The others have the limbo of the Workbook to go on exercising.

NB3. This will be the last post about "Strawberries and a Moon".

PS. Old notebookers are also invited.

PPS. IF PUBLISHED, "STRAWBERRIES AND A MOON" will be dedicated to Fran and Jack without any more words.

Heather Wed Jun 21 08:54:44 PDT 2000

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY JACK AND FRAN! And CONGRATS on your PADI attainment. BTW, I tried to get to view the footage, but couldn't access the file. I have Real Player, so that wasn't it. Perhaps the link was off by one letter?

Tina, of course you can email me! Clarify things for me, please! (Could it have been the insomnia that had me thinking things didn't fit? I cannot say.)

Has anyone else seen 'Fight Club'? Man, I don't want to be an insomniac any more. I'd give the movie 3 and a half stars out of five. With the twist-tie ending, I'd have to see it again to say whether or not the concept actually 'jives', but I don't think I want to sit through the nearly three hour film again just for that. Brad Pitt just isn't that delicious.

Heather Wed Jun 21 08:43:52 PDT 2000

Pussy, darling, I made the most tremendous apple pie, with my acclaimed home-made pastry. Won't you have a piece while it's still warm from the oven?

I know you like vanilla ice - cream, so a helping of that I dash on the edge, and a dollop of real whipped cream on top. I won't write your name in icing, that's a little much.

We'll be sharing it with all the party - goers, in Litter's honour!

My ex-ministers did make some efforts to please His Majesty, Jon, but something tells me he's as insatiable as Pussy. There's just no one with that much time, my dears.

BTW, Litter; Ashling asked some questions and we're all just chomping our respective bits, thirsting to know!
Tell us! Tell us NOW! (Ieee, I'm parched!)
Did I mention a tad jealous? Yeah, call me a light shade of green. Just a hint of the leafy. Alright, make that a few leaves.

Americo, Pussy, Jon; your anthem is coming along. The first challenge was getting the Canadian National Anthem out of my head while composing the NB anthem. It's still just a rough draft.

And 'Notebook' is not exactly a dulcet thing to rhyme.

Oh, now I have the Sex Pistols' version of 'God Save the Queen', rummaging around in this stump of grey matter.
That simply won't do. But I don't have to compose the score, now do I!

No peeking at my draft yet, either.

Tease and taunt, you leave me gaunt
Hung'ring for Ever After;
Taste of rhyme, a tea with time
And dandy courses of laughter.


Tina Wed Jun 21 08:18:22 PDT 2000


Heather, I think I think I think I know why my opening confuses you. Do you mind if I e-mail you directly to ask some questions? I SO appreciate your crit! Thank you, again.

Happy Anniversary Jack! And congrats on getting your PADI! Hawaii or bust!


Rachel Wed Jun 21 08:12:51 PDT 2000

Jack & Fran - Happy Anniversary:D


Pussy Wed Jun 21 04:23:15 PDT 2000


That's me, Pussy. Let us kiss and be friends. You failed as PM not because of you but because of your rotten ministers, who did not collaborate (at least enough). Come to my party tonight and bring me their heads on a plate.

And of course, we want the anthem.

Ashling Wed Jun 21 03:23:13 PDT 2000

I got so excited I forgot to fill out my e-mail address on the post below.


Wed Jun 21 03:19:55 PDT 2000

LITTER: Fan-frigging-tastic! Don't be shy, give us all the details ... Who's the publisher--did you submit The Watchers yourself--or use an agent--is the advance big enough to take us all out to dinner--when's the probable publication date ... and and, did I leave anything vital out? Pleeze throw a few crumbs of info towards us not-yet-published mortals to keep us encouraged. I'm so thrilled for you Litter that I'm gonna wait until tomorrow to get jealous. It's wonderful to know that talent and perseverance get rewarded. Of course, the fact that you're a nice guy doesn't hurt either. Oops! Now I've ruined your reputation by blabbing that last bit. I bet lots of folks suspected your true nature anyways.


Wed Jun 21 01:19:42 PDT 2000

p.s. And also, I will be archiving sometime tomorrow. We are up to 300k again. Too pooped to do it tonight. Hasta Manana.

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Jun 21 01:16:52 PDT 2000

Just got back and able to read some of the posts.

Litter -


This is wonderful news

Fran and I have wonderful news of our own. We finished our last two open water dives and fulfilled the skills to be certified as PADI Open Water Divers. You can catch a bit of my second open water dive above if you have Real Player. Take care all, and especially you Litter, we are somewhat exhausted after two dives on the same day and carting equipment from car, setting up gear and hauling it all back. But even with being flat out exhausted I am also exhilarated. This is also our fifteenth wedding anniversary, so it makes a nice way to celebrate it. Well, I should say that the anniversary began about an hour ago; we were married on June 21, 1985. Good writing.

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